Sunday, February 10, 2019

In the News: Abuse in Southern Baptist Churches, Abuse of Women in Catholic Church, Newly Staged Attack on Pope Francis

Here are some important interrelated items I've read in the past several days that I'd like to share with you:

In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state. 
They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions. 
About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers. ... 
SEARCH OUR DATABASE: We found 220 Southern Baptist church officials who were convicted or pleaded guilty.

If your understanding of the gospel means that rapists and sexual offenders still have access to those who can be harmed, you do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Leadership Conference of Religious Women, "LCWR Statement on the Sexual Abuse of Sisters by Clergy": 

The sexual harassment and rape of Catholic sisters by priests and bishops has been discussed in meetings of leaders of orders of Catholic sisters from around the world for almost 20 years. Although the incidences seem most prevalent in developing countries, harassment and rape of sisters have been noted in other countries as well, including in the United States. A study conducted in 1996 by St. Louis University indicated that there were sisters in the United States who had suffered some form of sexual trauma by Catholic priests. Often those sisters did not share this information even with their own communities.

We were led into a sitting room with windows overlooking Madison Avenue. Spellman, a diminutive, fleshy square-faced man wearing wire-rimmed spectacles was seated in a corner of the room. His assistant the monsignor showed me to a chair next to him. I took my seat and got out my pen and notebook and started the interview, but before I could even ask my first question, Spellman put his hand on my thigh and started moving it toward my crotch. He was just about to reach my private parts when the monsignor, who was standing behind him, reached over his shoulder and grabbed his wrist and put his hand back in his lap. "Now, now, eminence,' the monsignor whispered to Spellman.

The matter-of-fact way in which Lucian Truscott writes of Spellman's sexual advances to him when he was a young West Point cadet makes the story all the more horrifying. I read his account of being groped (multiple times in one interview) by “Mary” aka Cardinal Spellman, and the more I read it, the madder I become. I think back to how Belmont Abbey College presented me with a one-year terminal contract in 1993 days after I had just received a glowing annual review, and refused to explain the termination to me, refused to provide any explanation of it.

I think of how the college administration and monks on the faculty lied to me and lied about me.
I think of how I begged — BEGGED — both Bishop William Curlin and Abbot Oscar Burnett to meet with me and discuss how this unjust action was affecting me, destroying my faith, crushing a theological career for which I had sacrificed much and worked hard.

Neither dignitary ever deigned to meet with me. Both were utterly cruel.

All those years when the opinions of men like this mattered to me, HAD to matter as long as I worked in Catholic institutions.

And now we’ve learned who those men were and how they behaved — and why they could for so long get away with their cruelty and callous abuse of non-ordained Catholics, and I’m just frankly beyond disgusted.

And disgusted with the big “bridge-building” Catholic poobahs who wrote glowing eulogies of Bishop Curlin when he died. Some bridge-building!

How do those so certain, so smug Catholics who remain with this church imagine those of us treated so abusively will ever be brought back? I’d sooner put my foot in a nest of vipers. 

Cardinal Dolan from New York, the former money-burying prelate in Milwaukee, is raising hell with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo over Cuomo's having signed an abortion-rights bill. It apparently has escaped the notice of Dolan from New York and the rest of the Clan of the Red Beanie that whatever slim credibility the institutional church had on the subject of human sexuality in general, and abortion in particular, has evaporated completely over the last week. 
From The New York Times
"An article last week in Women Church World, the women’s magazine of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, blamed the abuse on the outsize power of priests. 'The abuse of women results in procreation and so is at the origin of the scandal of imposed abortions and children not recognized by priests,' wrote the article's author, Lucetta Scaraffia, a feminist intellectual and the editor in chief of Women Church World." 
For the love of god, shut up and do penance, the lot of you. If most of you would quit, that would be helpful, too.

Toni Van Pelt, National Organization for Women, "Pope Francis Must Act Now - Reform on Sexual Abuse is Long Overdue":

Actions speak louder than words. Stop objectifying children and women, treating them as second class parishioners, concubines, or indentured acolytes who are available to service predatory men in your church. 
Abuse in the Church has been a well known issue for decades. Some believe sexual abuse of nuns dates back centuries, and in the 1990s, members of religious orders prepared private reports about this abuse for top Vatican officials that went nowhere.

And as the CDF head sacked by Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller, issues a "manifesto" that is a thinly veiled attack on the pope — a staged attack in collaboration with Cardinal Burke, with an immediately (and pre-planned) petition campaign accompanying, Massimo Faggioli issues a salient reminder of who's pulling these strings:

No comments: