Comments on the Philadelphia court case that is stunning the world
by Tony Bushby
On March 26, 2012 jurors began hearing graphic testimony from former Catholic schoolchildren, parishioners and police detectives about the alleged dissolute lifestyles of predator Catholic priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese. As this high profile trial moves into its second month of testimony, many people are following the fate of Monsignor William Lynn, 61 who is accused of transferring paedophile priests to unsuspecting parishes to hide their earlier child sex abuse crimes, and Rev. William Brennan, accused of anally raping a 14-year-old boy in 1996. He and Lynn have both entered not guilty pleas, whileas a third co-defendant, defrocked priest Edward Avery, entered a guilty plea on the eve of the trial and is now in prison. It is a landmark case, since Monsignor Lynn is the first U.S. Church official ever charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for allegedly leaving predators in jobs around children despite numerous prior complaints, but not on allegations that he molested children himself.
The testimony so far has been horrifying, so what is it that is so vile about the culture of the Catholic priesthood that is being shown as rotten to the core?
- Maybe it is the evidence of a priest who joked about how hard it was to rape three young boys in one week.
- Maybe it is because it took the Archdiocese of Philadelphia a decade to respond to one official request for Church records.
- Maybe it is hearing about a police raid on a rectory to arrest a priest after $15,000 worth of kiddie pornography was found under his bed.
- Maybe it was hearing that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia allowed a paedophile priest to remain in parish ministry for five years after psychiatrists described him as 'a sick and dangerous man'.
- Maybe it is because a newly assigned priest wrote a sexually graphic love letter to a young school boy he fancied.
- Maybe it is because a priest had a stable of boys rotate through his rectory bedroom, once raping two at the same time so neither thought he was playing favorites.
- Maybe it is hearing that a priest undressed a fifth grade boy in a small storage room, told him that God loved him, had him engage in oral intercourse and then ejaculated over the boy's face.
- Maybe it is coming to realize that many Catholic priests are dangerous cultural abnormalities
- Maybe it is because an admitted abusive priest was advised by his superiors to stay 'low key' around churches in case his victims spotted him.
- Maybe it is the Holy Mother Church lamenting about how distressed she is about the child sex abuse revelations, but couldn't care less.
- Maybe it is the empty rhetoric of the fat and jovial 'Comic Cardinal Dolan' who continues to dish out righteous-sounding but hollow and vague promises, such as we 'strive to the fullest to end the societal scourge of child sexual abuse' and on the very same day that the Church itself announced a 15% increase in the number of credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors committed by Roman Catholic priests or deacons in the United States in 2011.
- Maybe it is the attitude of the Vatican in the whole proceedings as the Pope and his cardinals, while mouthing pious platitudes about their concern for the well-being of children in the care of the Church, are cowering like mangy mongrel dogs behind the protection of Vatican City's sovereignty status.
- Maybe it is the new low of depravity to learn about a 'sick' priest who made schoolboys strip naked as they played Christ in a sadomasochistic play, and then whipped them with leather straps until they had cuts, bruises and welts on their bodies.
- Maybe it is the detailed, and sick perversion of numerous individual and uncharged priests who will walk away free from their crimes.
- Maybe it is that Catholic hierarchs knowingly let this form of terrorism happen right under their noses, and then protected the priests responsible.
- Maybe it is because a West Virginia judge had to order a Church official to give evidence after he refused to testify at the trial.
- Maybe it is the disgusting graphic daily newspaper reports as testimony is given describing the seamy underbelly of the Catholic Church and the lurid lifestyles of many mentally-disturbed predator priests.
- Maybe it is the stunning allegations of an attempted male gang rape on a priest at a USA Catholic seminary
- Maybe it is because the ongoing revelations are personal testimony in a court of law, under oath, and on the record.
- Maybe it is being reminded that Philadelphia's archdiocese placed 23 'suspect' priests on administrative leave following the release of the 2011 grand jury report.
- Maybe it is headlines like these:
- 'Witness: Bishop Sexually Abused Teen Boy'
- 'Cardinal Bevilacqua broke civil and Church laws'
- Obstruction of justice cubed' (Canon Law expert), in reference to the 1994 shredding ordered by Cardinal Bevilacqua of a list of 35 accused Philadelphia priests
- 'Cardinal Bevilacqua Helps Out Convicted Priest Who Loves Kiddie Porn'
- Maybe it is wondering who ordered Cardinal Bevilacqua to destroy the files. Was it Pope John Paul II, or then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who at the time of the shredding in 1994 was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) that supposedly lead investigations into child sex abuse by Catholic priests around the world?
- Maybe it was hearing that Cardinal Bevilacqua joined with Pennsylvania bishops 'to examine how the dioceses … can better protect their secret archives from civil-law discovery' (Court records)
Monsignor William LynnOn and on it goes, day after day and becoming increasingly sordid and shocking … priests sucking little boy's penises; gay bondage porn in the Church; priests kissing and fondling minors; confiscated pornography; priests anally sodomizing and imposing oral sex on their victims; 'rotation' of molestation of teen victims between competing priests; Nuns made to clean up after priest's orgies; clergy groping six-year-olds; priests stalking children; 10,000 potentially incriminating documents; secret therapy for priests; boozed clergy, 'unnatural clerical involvements'; secret Catholic files, etc, etc.
Defenceless kids have been raped in an international clerical conspiracy, and the Vatican hierarchy connived to cover-up the evidence in an effort to protect a dishonest 'Catholic industry'.
The point of the fact is that the Philadelphia trial is publicly presenting a first-hand and ongoing picture of decades of vile and sickening behaviour by Catholic cardinals, bishops, monsignors and priests, all operating with the full knowledge and support of popes.
Vatican mired in scandal
The trial revelations are not isolated incidents, and the disturbing message coming from the Philadelphia courtroom is typical of every Catholic diocese in the world, as witnessed by the explosion of priesthood sex scandals in Ireland, Australia, Germany, Chile, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Sweden, Haiti, Holland, Poland, England, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia, France, Norway, the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Austria, Belgium and Brazil, where 1700 priests were recently accused of sexual abuses on little children. An honest Vatican-produced 'Catholic Registry of Dangerous Paedophile Priests' would contain tens of thousands of names, including that of a recent pope, and it is probable that the Holy See has such a registry securely hidden away in its Secret Archives.
Calling the Church of Rome to accountability
It is difficult to find the correct metaphors to describe the magnitude of events occurring in the Catholic Church today; cataclysms, seismic shifts, twisters, or hurricanes, are not enough to cover evidence of a growing clerical criminal phenomenon that is beyond the ordinary sphere of human understanding.
The disturbing patterns emerging on many fronts make it difficult to construct a mega-image of what is actually happening in the Catholic Church, but 'looming apocalypse' would be an approximation, confirmed by the Third Secret of Fatima that predicted the Catholic Church would self-destruct from within by 2017. The institutionalized nature of Catholicism's rampant criminal activity reveals the true nature of its popes, but also the full Vatican bureaucracy that supports and encourages people of this persuasion into its priesthood and then systematically and knowingly conceals their felonies when the true motives of many priests are publicly exposed. Buried deep in this repulsive and ever-expanding child-abuse scandal, the Pope, his cardinals and his bishops have their backs to the wall, and only a fraction of the evidence has yet been presented. Never before has a trial apparently carried such implications for the papacy, for if the allegations that Monsignor Lynn knowingly ignored child sexual abuse by priests are upheld in court, then the public can expect an avalanche of new legal actions against clergymen around the world, including bishops and cardinals.
All roads lead to Rome
We should also remember that the Pope is not excluded from the prosecutors' dragnet, as shown by the filing of a comprehensive criminal complaint against him and Cardinals Bertone, Levada and Sodano in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
In September last year, SNAP, the priest abuse survivor's network, filed the powerful complaint, alleging a worldwide priest child abuse cover-up in the Catholic Church alleging crimes against humanity, and last month, supplemented its original claims with additional charges after receiving a spate of new allegations from nearly 500 victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers from many countries.
SNAP's claim was supported by Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organization that accused the Vatican and the Catholic Church with human rights violations for failing to protect children from abuse, and for failure to comply with international mandates to protect children.
Storm clouds over the Vatican
The anticipated aftermath of the Philadelphia trial presents a ticking time-bomb for the Pope, who by now must be seriously concerned about how the daily revelations from evidence being presented will affect him in the actions against him in The Hague.
Adding to the Pope's woes, the recent appointment of Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, the mother of two children as the new International Criminal Court lead prosecutor, may be causing him and the cardinals to squirm a little about the eventual outcome of SNAP's ICC court case.
Faced with a deluge of negative world-wide publicity, the Holy See and its priesthood have some dark days ahead, and as the national and international prosecutors storm the Vatican's walls, it's every old pope and cardinal for himself.
Growing public loathing
One aspect of the crisis confronting the Vatican today is the widespread collapse of support for the hierarchy on the part of the traditionally loyal and dutiful laity.
The Holy See's obsessions for pretentious costumes, lacy frocks and gilded papal ceremonies helps make them numb towards the plights of sexually abused children.
Facing the scope of the growing revelations amidst deluge of clerical filth charges, millions of people are now legitimately asking: 'Is the Catholic Church corrupt?'
The constant bombshells coming forward from the Philadelphia trial add up to a growing revulsion against people who support the malicious Vatican system that provides for these and other crimes, and who ignore an historical Catholic phenomenon that has destroyed the lives and hope of thousands of innocent people.