Friday, August 31, 2018

"It's All Rubbish": Emeritus Pope Benedict's Secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein on Viganò's Letter

Valuable commentary on the Viganò affair keeps churning out, and I feel obliged to crank the churn here and provide excerpts for you. Here are some things I've read in the last two days I think worth sharing:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Footnote to Previous Posting: On John Thavis' Testimony re: How Vatican Press Corps Cheered When Benedict Was Elected

A footnote to what I posted earlier today providing some recent commentary on the Viganò story: did you notice in the article by Michelle Boorstein John Thavis' report that there was a loud cheer in the press room of the Vatican press corps when Pope Benedict's election was announced? Thavis states that it has been revelatory for him to discover just how conservative many religion reporters covering Catholic matters and the Vatican really are, the grousing of these journalists about Pope Francis, their adulation of John Paul II and his successor Benedict.

Abuse Survivors Speak Out: Viganò Is "Just a Fanatic Who Blames Gays" — More on What Viganò's Attack Is Really About

SNAP, Survivors Denounce Archbishop Viganò’s Statements Conflating Homosexuality and Sexual Violence by Clergy

SNAP's position on what Viganò and his cabal are doing creates more than a tiny wrinkle for that cabal, doesn't it? Supposedly, they're all about addressing the sexual crimes of clergy and of the hierarchy, to assist survivors. Their proposed purge of gay priests and members of the hierarchy is premised wholly on the claim that they want to deal with the abuse horror show.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

For All You Folks Suddenly Discovering There's Corruption Reaching to the Papacy — Because Vigano Has Told You So — Let Me Tell You About Maciel and John Paul II

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Paris Archbishop Upholds Sanctions Against Vatican "Expert" on Homosexuality, Msgr. Tony Anatrella

A tidbit of news that should not escape our notice as Vigano et al. try to stage a coup toppling Pope Francis, with overt allegations that he has protected a "homosexual network" of church dignitaries who are responsible for the abuse crisis:

On Francis, "the Left," and "the Right": Where I Stand — I Don't Have Luxury of Pretending That Hitler's Plans for the Jews Are Just a Minor Facet of His Agenda

Viganò's letter employs American culture-war terms, as it speaks of "the left" and "the right" within the Catholic church. People who might assume that, because I speak of the urgency of unmasking and pushing back against the vicious anti-LGBTQ agenda of that letter and its attack on Pope Francis, I stand on one or the other side of that cultural divide and with Francis don't know me very well. And haven't listened very closely to what I've long said about myself and how I fit into these schemata.

Media Begin Filling in Picture of Those Orchestrating Viganò's Attack on Francis: Predictable Players with Predictable Anti-LGBTQ Agenda

As I've been saying, the Viganò press event is and has been orchestrated: completely. We have increasing evidence of this, and of how it parallels what a cabal of hard-right anti-LGBTQ political and religious players sought to do to Francis with Kim Davis in collaboration with Viganò in 2015. As in that débacle, the current events being orchestrated by Viganò and his cabal involve some of the worst figures on the American Catholic scene, collaborating with European ones, all intent on topping Francis' papacy and mounting an ugly anti-gay purge within the Catholic church, reasserting as decisively as possible that the Catholic community hates and intends to attack and exclude LGBTQ human beings from God's redemptive plan:

Monday, August 27, 2018

Buy Viganò's Attack on Francis, and You're Buying a Vicious, Orchestrated Anti-LGBTQ Attack

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Michael Sean Winters on the Coup Attempted by Viganò & Cronies: "Francis Did Act" & "Vigano Is More Than a Little Obssessed with Homosexuality"

I appreciate Colleen and Sarasi for pointing to Michael Sean Winters' statement today on the attempted coup staged by Viganò and his cronies, entitled "Vigano letter exposes the putsch against Pope Francis." Here's an excerpt:

Commentary on What Viganò and His Cronies Are About: "Fight Against Francis Has Reached the Scorched Earth Stage"

Screenshot of Speakers for National Organization for Marriage's 2015 March for Marriage

Commentary I recommend on the Viganò letter and what's going on with it (and why it was released to venues like Lifesite News and National Catholic Register and immediately broadcast everywhere possible by the bitterly homophobic former Catholic commentator Rod Dreher):

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Homophobic Right-Wing Catholics Push Meme That Francis Is Responsible for McCarrick: Please Remind Me Who Made McCarrick Archbishop & Cardinal?

I'm confused. There's a big "bombshell" being pushed hard this Satruday evening by homophobic right-wing Catholics like Rod Dreher claiming that Francis knew what McCarrick was doing and did nothing.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Google Top Stories Featuring Catholic Homophobic Bile in "Top Stories" re: World Meeting of Families

Look at the Catholic homophobic bile Google is billing right now as its set of "top stories" if you google Fr. James Martin and his presentation at World Meeting of Families (I'm obviously not referring to the NCR article or the America one when I speak of "homophobic bile").

Important Correction to My Earlier Posting About World Meeting of Families and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's Opening Homily

Please note that I have added an important correction to my previous posting. It's now included in the text of that posting, with a statement that I appear flatly to have misread Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's remarks in his homily at the World Meeting of Families — and Sarasi has kindly pointed this out to me. Since some readers may have read that posting and may not see my correction, I'm also posting it here as a stand-alone item. It reads,

Later: Sarasi has challenged my reading of Archbishop Martin's remarks above, and I think she is quite right in reading the remarks to say something quite different from what I initially heard in them. As she notes, the statement about ideological interpretations of a family that "probably does not exist" is likely a critique of people who want to exclude and attack LGBTQ families.

My apologies to all of you and Archbishop Martin — I think I simply misheard/misread these comments initially, and want to make note of my error, with a nod of gratitude to Sarasi.

Refusal of Catholic Hierarchy to Get Abuse Situation Parallels Refusal to Get LGBTQ People: World Meeting of Families Reminds Us, It's Not Going to Get Better

Put together the quite shameful way in which LGBTQ people are being treated by the World Meeting of Families with the obstinate, blame-passing game that the same Catholic hierarchs excluding LGBTQ families from this gathering continue playing with clerical sexual crimes, and I wonder why any Catholics still hold hope that the Catholic church will provide them a welcome table.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Interesting Conversations Right Now re: Evangelicals Hopping on Gay-Bashing Bandwagon Following Pennsylvania Report


There are some interesting conversations going on in the ex-evangelical community right now, about the predictable Schadenfreude and predictable gay-bashing being exhibited by many evangelicals in light of the Pennsylvania grand jury report and the McCarrick story. Right-wing white evangelicals have long loved to pretend that sexual abuse of minors or sexual abuse of vulnerable church members by clergy are confined to the Catholic church — because all those gay clergy.

Mary McAleese on "Fake Hetero Homophobes" Within the Clergy, and the Terrible Damage They Do

Stephen McDermott, "'I find them terrifying': Mary McAleese wary of gay priests and nuns who preach anti-LGBTI message":

Monday, August 20, 2018

Anthea Butler Responds to Pope's Statement re: Clergy Sex Crimes: "Stop Passing the Buck Onto the People of God Instead of the Catholic Hierarchy"

Religious studies professor Anthea Butler responds to the latest papal statement about the abuse horror show, and, as ever tells the God's truth:

Ruth Krall's Risking the Collective: Commitment of Religious Institutions to Dominant Male Privilege at Root of Abuse of Women and Children

Theologian Ruth Krall has just published a new monograph at her website. It's called Risking the Collective. I'm reading it now, and will be sharing excerpts as I read. 

Ruth's work in the field of sexual violence, and her combined background as a nurse-therapist and theologian, make what she has to say extremely important for those seeking ways to respond to endemic sexual abuse of women and children in our society and its institutions. This book could not be more timely, in light of the Philadelphia grand jury report.

Marie Collins on False Claim That Abuse Ended in 2002 in Catholic Church, and on Whose Interests Blaming Abuse on Gay Priests Serves

Marie Collins knows a bit about the abuse crimes in the Catholic church and how the men of God at the top of the church have long covered them up. Her testimony should be listened to seriously, it seems to me.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Now This: Wuerl Withdraws from World Meeting of Families

Now there's this: as Patsy McGarry reported several hours ago, Cardinal Wuerl has withdrawn from the World Meeting of Families:

A Cardinal who was heavily criticised for his handling of child sexual abuse allegations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report has withdrawn from a scheduled appearance at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin next week, it has been confirmed. 
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, was due to give the keynote address, entitled “The Welfare of the Family is Decisive for the Future of the World,” in the RDS at 2.30pm next Wednesday. 
No reason has been provided for the decision.

On criticisms of Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty International Ireland of plans for Wuerl to offer a keynote address on families, see my posting earlier today

Colm O'Gorman on Wuerl as Keynote Speaker in World Meeting of Families: Will Speak on "Welfare of the Family is Decisive for the Future of the World"

Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, comments this morning on what the Pennsylvania report tells us about Cardinal Wuerl, and about Wuerl's upcoming address on the "welfare of the family" at the World meeting of Families. He also reminds us of who made Wuerl a cardinal — Benedict XVI, who had previously headed the CDF, to which all cases of clerical sexual abuse are required by church law to be reported. So that Benedict had full knowledge of what Wuerl had covered up when he made Wuerl a cardinal:

Friday, August 17, 2018

"For they preach but they do not practice": An Appeal for Justice to U.S. Bishops and Pastors — Please Consider Signing

A theologian-colleague who is a friend of mine shared this letter with me today, asking me to consider signing it as a theologian. It's a letter that will be sent to the U.S. Catholic bishops, and  Catholic pastoral workers, theologians, and activists in the U.S. are being encouraged to read and sign it. If you're inclined to sign, you'll see directions at the bottom of the letter instructing you how to do so and what information to provide. Thanks for considering this very good initiative and sharing it. I believe the deadline for signing is Sunday night (August 19).

Here's the statement:

USCCB, Delete Your Account: Lay Catholics Respond to Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

More Commentary on Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, as Vatican Sends Thoughts and Prayers

That there should be mass defrockings is obvious. That there should also be a swath of criminal convictions also seems beyond question….Evil is real, and it walked the earth in Pennsylvania. It entered through our church doors.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Response to Rita Ferrone's Prescription for Systemic Change in Church: "The Bishops Will Need to Work Together with All the Members of the Church" — Who Is "All," for Commonweal Catholics?

Valuable Commentary on Pennsylvania Report: "Spokesperson for the Vatican Reached Wednesday Morning Said It 'Has No Comment'"

Valuable commentary I've read in the past two days about the Pennsylvania grand jury report:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Rita Ferrone on Responding to the McCarrick Story: "What Will the People Calling for These Investigations Do if Pope Saint John Paul II Is Implicated?"

A statement well worth reading, which has even more weight following yesterday's release of the Pennsylvania grant jury report (I think that Rita Ferrone likely wrote this essay before yesterday's revelations). She's thinking through how to respond to the McCarrick story, and cautions against a juridical-legal approach to the mess the hierarchy has made of itself and the church it claims to represent in a unique, top-down way. Rita Ferrone cautions against a juridical-legal approach to this mess, as in a formal investigation to get to the bottom (or is top a better word here?) of the mess.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

More Initial Impressions of Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report: "They Hid It All"

More first impressions:

Initial Impressions of Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report: "They Hid It All"

I have not yet read the Pennsylvania grand jury report. I am reading news coverage now. Here are some initial top-of-the-head responses:

Revisiting Cahill and Wilkinson's Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church As Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report Is Released

Dallas Morning News, June 2002

This is a posting from this blog dated 20 October 2017 that I'd like to re-post this morning, as we wait for the Pennsylvania grand jury report to be made public. When Cahill and Wilkinson's Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church was published last year, it was widely applauded as the most comprehensive report ever published on this subject. In recommending the Cahill-Wilkinson study  with that assessment, the noted authority on the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic church Kieran Tapsell also stated that this study is of paramount importance because of the attention it directs to the systemic causes of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

To LGBTQ Young People: If You Want Healthy Spiritual Lives, Walk Away from U.S. Catholicism As Fast As You Can — As Ugly Homophobia Convulses Church Again

It's time for me to issue another of those public service announcements warning LGBTQ folks seeking healthy spiritual foundations and welcoming, affirming, loving religious communities to run as fast as their feet can carry them away from the Catholic church in the U.S. Especially young LGBTQ folks or gender-questioning ones seeking those foundations and those loving religious communities….

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Daughter of Argentinian Priest Speaks Out: "When Carlos Gamboa and the Church He Represents Talk About 'Yes to Life,'" What Do They Mean by That?

The following is the testimony of Agustina Maria Gamboa Arias, a young woman who was fathered by — but never supported or acknowledged publicly by — an Argentinian priest, Carolos Gamboa, who recently went on Argentinian television to speak out against a bill to legalize abortion, stating, "Every life is worthy," and that all children who are alive deserve support:

Strange Story from Fort Worth Diocese: Is Public Shaming of Priests Thought to Be Gay What We Can Look Forward to in Wake of McCarrick Story?

As Austen Ivereigh points out, the "open letter from young Catholics" who are seeking to resurrect the lavender mafia slur of priests in the wake of the McCarrick story (the letter does not use that term, but uses all the buzzwords connected to that slur) does not once mention Saint John Paul the Great, who made McCarrick a cardinal after the Vatican knew McCarrick's story, but focuses, instead, on Pope Francis, stating,

Sunday, August 5, 2018

James Alison on Homosexuality Among the Clergy, the Anatrella and McCarrick Stories, and the Trap of Clerical Dishonesty

Someone else who understands and has recently commented on the significance of the Anatrella (and McCarrick) story for those trying to revive the gay-bashing "lavender Mafia" theme about gay clergy and gay bishops in the Catholic church: the gay priest-theologian James Alison. Here's his recent commentary in The Tablet, entitled "Homosexuality among the clergy: caught in a trap of dishonesty":

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Bigger Picture in Sexual Abuse Stories Inside One Institution After Another: How Does Everyone Know, but Nothing Happens?

There's a recurring pattern here, isn't there, as if each individual story — spanning different faith communities and other institutions that are not faith communities — is part of a larger story? What is that larger story, and what can those of us concerned to shift this narrative do, so that fewer hapless human beings are victimized in this way within faith communities or other institutions?

Friday, August 3, 2018

Philippe Lefebvre Explains How Anatrella Held On So Long: "If You Are Scared Yourself, You Send in the Dogs. And Anatrella Said Things That Conservative Catholics Like to Hear"

Here's another piece of valuable commentary to which MarkWilliam has pointed us, which places the current hot attempt of those defending the Vatican's "gay expert" Msgr. Tony Anatrella to knock down the ecclesiastical censure of Anatrella and rehabilitate him. This article, entitled "The Secrets of the French Church’s 'Gay Expert', Tony Anatrella," is by Cameron Doody with Hendro Munsterman of Nederlands Dagblad, who has written about Anatrella in that publication.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Anatrella and the Homophobic Catholic Two-Step: Footnote to This Morning's Posting

In what I posted earlier today about the Tony Anatrella story, I mentioned to you that MarkWilliam had offered to translate for us an article about this story from the Italian publication Avvenire. Mark has now posted his translation of that article, entitled "Abusi, la difesa di monsignor Tony Anatrella," by Luciano Moia. Mark's translation is here.

Ecclesiastical Censure of Tony Anatrella: "All Those Religious Officials with Responsibility to Hear This Case in Paris and Rome Have Known the Facts about Anatrella for at Least Two Decades"

In comments here in the past two days, Sarasi and MarkWilliam both noted that they had not seen news* of the recent censure of the influential French monsignor-psychotherapist, Tony Anatrella, who has been relieved of clerical duties after church officials decided multiple allegations that he sexually assaulted men coming to him for "reparative" therapy are credible. As I noted in response to both Sarasi and MarkWilliam, I myself saw little news about this in English-language publications when it happened several weeks ago. I knew about the ecclesiastical sanction of Anatrella because a Facebook friend of mine in Montréal shared with me a statement Philippe Lefebvre made when this took place.