Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bishop Resigns:Fernando Bargallo - Hot Blooded Male - Image Confirms The Bishop Is Not A Paedophile. ( Video Clip - Ralph And Meggie - The Thorn Birds)

The Vatican has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop who was caught cavorting with a blonde, bikini-clad woman on a Mexican beach.
Bargallo, who led the Argentine diocese of Merlo-Moreno outside Buenos Aires since May 1997, has reportedly admitted to having "amorous ties" with the woman he is seen embracing in the water, thought to be a divorced restaurant owner 

Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial :Jury Didn't Buy Prosecution's Grand Conspiracy Theory

Lost in all the hoopla over the "historic" conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn was the jury's repudiation of the prosecution's central allegation in the priest abuse case: that Lynn had somehow conspired with predator priests to keep them in ministry, so they could abuse new victims.

The prosecution's conspiracy theory was that Lynn got up every day and said in effect, what can I do to keep pedophile priests in ministry, so they can continue to rape, molest and abuse more innocent children.

On Monday, the jury foreman in the case went on Fox 29 and said that not only did he and other jurors not believe the prosecutors' theory, but also that they didn't understand it. It would be comical, except that the Commonwealth just spent millions of dollars and eight weeks of trial trying to convince the jury that Bill Lynn the quintessential company man was the alleged mastermind of the archdiocese conspiracy to endanger children.

The jury found Lynn not guilty of conspiring with Father Edward V. Avery, or anyone else, to endanger the welfare of children.

On Monday morning, jury foreman Isa Logan went on Fox 29's Good Day and told anchors Mike Jerrick and Karen Hepp that he didn't buy the prosecution's conspiracy theory, and neither did anyone else on the jury.

"It wasn't  about him [Lynn] passing them [abuser priests] on from parish to parish," Logan explained to the two TV anchors. Instead, the jury concentrated on Lynn's role as a supervisor, Logan said. "It was more on what are your actions knowing about a father [priest], what do you do after the fact when you find out that this person could be a potential problem or is a problem."

"None of us understood or believed that he [Lynn] had the understanding that here's a predator priest, I'll help him get to another parish so he can continue to enjoy what he likes to do," Logan stated. "None of us believed that."

"It's a ludicrous notion," agreed Jeff Lindy, one of Msgr. Lynn's defense lawyers. Lindy is hoping that the conviction, which he says is based on a child endangerment law that doesn't really apply to Lynn, is thrown out on appeal. ...read more


Holland:Catholic Monk Responsible For Dozens Of Deaths.

One man is responsible for the deaths of dozens of boys at the Saint Joseph mental institution in the province of Limburg, according to an investigation conducted by the local newspaper De Limburger.

Between 1952 and 1954, the mortality rate at Saint Joseph’s was alarmingly high. According to De Limburger, prosecutors will soon release the findings of their investigation into one of the most serious cases of abuse within a Catholic institution. The newspaper writes that a man called Brother Andreas, who is already deceased, was responsible for the deaths of the severely handicapped boys....read more


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nun Abused By Priest:The Sister Florence Mary Rape Case .

Why popular secular media channels are silent on this. Is it because Hindus are not involved in this ?

Trichy  (Tamilnadu) : All the five accused in the Sister Florence Mary rape case appeared before the mahila court in Trichy on Wednesday, even as the victim submitted a petition before the judge, seeking permission to officially engage a lawyer for the prosecution, along with the public prosecutor before the start of the trial.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer A Rajendran, who appeared for Fr Rajarathinam, a Jesuit priest and accused number one in the case, asked the judge to grant more time to counter the victim's plea. Judge Rahman posted the hearing to May 28.

Fr Rajarathinam, the former principal of St Joseph's College, Trichy was accused by Florence Mary (31), a former member of St Anne's congregation in Trichy, of rape in 2006 and later in 2008. The priest was granted anticipatory bail by the Madras high court on November 3, 2010 after he allegedly went underground for over a month.

The other accused in the case were Fr Provincial Mudiappasamy Devadoss, Fr Joe Xavier, Fr Xavier Vedam, the principal of Arulanandar College, Karumathur and Dr Suchitra attached to Kavery hospital, Trichy who had allegedly conducted the abortion on the nun who was allegedly raped by Fr Rajaranthinam.

Fr Devadoss, and Fr Joe Xavier were charged under section 506 (1) (Criminal intimidation), Fr Xavier Vedam under section 506(1) and also the Women's Harassment Act (section 4) and Dr Suchitra under sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 313 (causing miscarriage without woman's consent).

Advocate Irudayasamy, who appeared for Florence Mary said that the victim had every right to engage a lawyer and said that the prosecution had also staked its claim to cross-examine the defence witnesses during the trial.
The petitioner's counsel also said the names of two lawyers were proposed so that when one was absent, the other would officially appear on behalf of the victim. The police had filed an 88-page charge-sheet before the judicial magistrate-I Illangovan on June 21 last year. The case was then transferred to the district principal sessions judge who on February 23 this year transferred the case to the mahila court asking all the parties to appear there on March 12.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Greg Burke FOX News Reporter Hired As PR Guy For The Vatican.

The Vatican will be getting some (much needed) PR help after hiring a Fox News correspondent as a senior communications adviser for the Church's top administrative office, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

The Fox News staffer, Greg Burke, is also a member of the conservative Catholic Opus Dei group. He will leave his job at Fox, where he is a Rome-based reporter. Before working for Fox, Burke was a Rome-based journalist for Time.

Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial :Father Brennan Walks Out Into The Sunshine - Paedophiles Who Become Priests.

Recap from journalist Ralph Cipriano who has covered the sordid child abuse trial since day one.

Msgr. Lynn Taken Into Custody

Moments after he had been convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, Msgr. William J. Lynn bowed his head at the defense table. The issue now was whether his bail would be revoked, and the speaker was Lynn's longtime antagonist, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington.

The monsignor had just been convicted of a third-degree felony that "calls for a lengthy jail sentence," Blessington roared. "Let's start it today. That's justice."

The monsignor had his back to courtroom spectators, but everybody could see the back of his neck and his ears turning bright red.
Moments later, family members wept silently as the monsignor was led away by sheriff's deputies. "Oh God," one young woman sobbed. His shame was now complete. Lynn would spend the night as the newest inmate at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, known as CFCF, at 7901 State Road in Northeast Philadelphia.
Outside the Criminal Justice Center, Father James J. Brennan walked out into the mid-afternoon heat and was immediately surrounded by reporters and TV cameras.

"I'm very tired, I'm very grateful, I'm very blessed," the priest said as he thanked his lawyers, William J. Brennan and Richard J. Fuschino, Jr., who basically represented the priest pro bono. 

"I think we're a little punchy," said attorney William J. Brennan. "We're just happy to to be out here in the sunshine with Father Brennan, and to be going home."

Instead of jail.

It was a vivid contrast between defendants Friday as the 13th week of the trial came to an end on the 13th day of jury deliberations. Those double 13s turned out to be lucky for Father Brennan and very unlucky for Msgr. Lynn.

Lynn now wears the mantle as the only Catholic administrator in the country to be found criminally liable for sex crimes against minors committed by priests, without touching anyone himself.

At 2 p.m. in Courtroom 304, the foreman in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case stood up to announce the verdict. Isa Logan is a statuesque 6-foot-6 church deacon, Army veteran and former high school basketball player in dreadlocks. He announced that the jury was hung on both charges against Father Brennan, that of attempted rape and endangering the welfare of children. It was a case that had credibility problems from the start, as pointed out on this blog.

The jury found Msgr. Lynn not guilty of conspiring with Father Edward V. Avery, or anyone else, to endanger the welfare of children, specifically a 10-year-old altar boy sexually assaulted by Avery, who had previously been accused of sex abuse. But the jury found the monsignor guilty of endangering the welfare of that same 10-year-old altar boy by allowing Avery to continue in ministry. 

The jury had asked the judge whether Msgr. Lynn had to knowingly act with criminal intent to be found guilty on the conspiracy charge. It was a question that not only confused jurors, but also the judge. On the night of June 14, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina instructed the jury that Msgr. Lynn did not have to act with criminal intent. The next morning, June 15, the judge reversed herself, saying that the monsignor did have to act with criminal intent in order to be found guilty on the conspiracy charge.

When he testified, Msgr. Lynn told the jury that this was the first time a priest under his supervision had  abused a child, and that he was sorry for what happened to the 10-year-old altar boy.

The jury also found Msgr. Lynn not guilty of endangering the welfare of the 14-year-old who was allegedly the victim of attempted rape by Father Brennan.

After the judge thanked jurors for the "great deal of time taken out of your lives," she dismissed them. A stampede of reporters was allowed to bolt the courtroom, and head for their cell phones, which for the past three months, have not been allowed in the courtroom of Judge Sarmina.

The court deputies locked the doors of the courtroom again. The next issue was bail. Jeff Lindy, one of Msgr. Lynn's defense lawyers, argued that his client was not a flight risk.

But Assistant District Attorney Blessington immediately ratcheted up the rhetoric to cross-examination level, where he called Lynn a liar every four minutes. The monsignor had just been convicted of "conduct which is beyond reprehensible," Blessington said. The prosecutor raged about the "despicable lies he [Lynn] told to the grand jury," and the lies he told to this jury.

Now that he was a convicted felon, the monsignor has "great incentive to flee," the prosecutor said. Especially since Blessington said he would seek the maximum prison term for the monsignor. Lynn had the wealth of the archdiocese behind him, Blessington said. The archdiocese was already footing the bill for Lynn's "incredibly well-funded defense team," the prosecutor noted.

"Treat him like the criminal he is," Blessington implored the judge. 

Jeff Lindy, one of Lynn's defense lawyers, argued that the monsignor had been under investigation for more than a decade, and had made eleven appearances before a grand jury investigating sex abuse. The monsignor has shown up every day in court for the past 13 weeks, and always acted the same, submissive, Lindy said. His client wasn't going anywhere.

"He's always had the specter of indictment hanging over him," Lindy said. "He knew this day could come."

But the judge, who favored the prosecution with just about every ruling before and during the trial, appeared anxious to see the monsignor in a jump suit.

"I am leaning to revoking bail," she said. Lindy suggested house arrest. 

Blessington was on his feet several more times. "I'm sick, sore and disgusted," he said at one point. The possibility of house arrest prompted the prosecutor to remind the judge of Lynn's "reprehensible and deplorable conduct over the past 12 years."

While the monsignor had his head bowed at the defense table, Lindy stood with one hand on his client's back. "He has been under the sword of Damocles hanging over him for a decade," Lindy said.

The monsignor was 61 years old, had a clean record, and so many community ties "that it would take me 25 minutes to describe," Lindy said. The monsignor could be on house arrest at his sister's house in Reading, where he currently lives, or at his brother-in-law's house in Philadelphia, Lindy offered.

Any other defendant who was 61 and had a clean record would not be going to jail after a conviction on a third-degree felony, Lindy said. They would also not be subject to the "vitriol" of the prosecutor, Lindy added.

Blessington didn't deny the charge. "Vitriol, oh yes," the prosecutor admitted. "Every speck." Blessington mentioned again that Lynn's defense was "wholly funded by the archdiocese of Philadelphia," and that Lynn had been "pompous and condescending" on the witness stand.

"This man belongs in jail right now," Blessington yelled.

"He doesn't own a passport," Lindy told the judge. "He's not going anywhere."

"He's not a flight risk," Thomas Bergstrom, another defense lawyer, told the judge. "I don't know how you can make that argument," the judge replied. "You cannot speak for what he would do."

Bergstrom told the judge there was no evidence that Lynn was a flight risk. "Why would you think that he would now run?" Bergstrom asked.

"Because he doesn't want to go to jail?" the judge suggested.

"This is not a guy who's not gonna show up for his day of reckoning," Lindy replied in the double-negative.

Blessington got on his high horse again. The monsignor had "committed atrocities," the prosecutor said. "He went in front of the grand jury and lied. He came in here and lied."

Blessington also took a shot at Lindy, who had objected to Blessington's spiel about the archdiocese footing the bill for Lynn's defense team.

"Guess what counsel? You're being paid by the archdiocese! Don't try and hide from it," Blessington shouted.

As happened often during the trial, Blessington was not addressing the subject at hand, whether Lynn posed enough of a flight risk to have his bail revoked. Instead, Blessington was attacking the character of the defendant, and slamming the defense lawyers. Maybe save it for sentencing?

Any first-year law student could see Blessington had strayed far off the subject. But as she often did during the trial, Judge Sarmina made no effort to reign in Blessington. She objected to Lindy's tone as "huffy," but said nothing critical to Blessington.

The judge announced that she was revoking Lynn's bail. She said she would entertain a future motion to place Lynn on house arrest. But for now, the judge ordered sheriff's deputies to remove the dangerous monsignor from the courtroom.

The judge announced that the monsignor would have to turn in his passport. Apparently she didn't hear Lynn's lawyer when he told her the monsignor didn't own a passport. The monsignor did not appear to pose much of a flight risk. The overweight priest can barely walk two blocks without panting heavily. But the judge seemed determined to cap a show trial by tossing the monsignor in the slammer.

Lynn's sentencing was set for Aug. 13th. He faces a prison sentence of 3 1/2 to 7 years.

Lynn's lawyers were downcast when they met with the press.

"He's upset, he's crushed," Lindy said of Lynn. Asked if the monsignor was a fall guy, Lindy replied, "Of course he is. They had a body there, and that body was Msgr. Lynn."

Bergstrom said he wasn't second-guessing his decision to put Lynn on the witness stand. " It was the right decision. I think the jury needed to hear from him."

Outside the courthouse, Isa Logan, the 36-year-old jury foreman, faced the press. He agreed that it was helpful to hear from Lynn, but he noted that Lynn had also apologized from the witness stand for what happened to the 10-year-old altar boy.

Logan was asked why the jury needed 13 days to deliberate.

"We just needed more clarity on the elements of the charge," he said. "It's easy when you're on the outside looking in. On the inside, it's a little different."

Logan said jurors were open-minded, passionate, and "wanted true justice." The case, he said, opened his eyes.

"I never knew about the stuff happening in the church," he said. "My heart goes out to the victims."

"I'm a father" of two sons and a daughter, Logan said. "I wouldn't want my child to go through anything like this."

Logan was asked whether Lynn was a fall guy for the Catholic church. As a former Army officer, he said he didn't buy into that argument. Logan had plenty of superiors giving him orders. If an order was inhumane, Logan said, he always had the option of not carrying it out. It was the same telling argument a
nun had made from the witness stand the day she called out Monsignor Lynn.

"I'm a human being before I'm a soldier," Logan said. The jury foreman, a church deacon, said he prayed that "God would have his way" with the Catholic church.

On July 23, Father Brennan will return to the courthouse for a status hearing on his case. The district attorney must now decide whether the priest should be retried. It may be an uphill climb. Two female jurors told Fox 29 reporter Kristen Byrne that they didn't find Brennan's lone accuser, Mark Bukowski, credible, saying it seemed like he was making up his testimony on the witness stand.

A few blocks away from the courthouse, District Attorney Seth Williams held a press conference. Normally, when you have a trial and you only win one of five counts, it's not something to crow about. Especially when the jury rejected the prosecution's main argument, that Lynn had conspired with Father Avery to endanger the welfare of children by keeping the priest in ministry.

But Williams acted like he had just won the Super Bowl.

"This is a monumental verdict for the named and unnamed victims of child assaults," the district attorney said. The prosecutors had taken on "for the first time the conspiracy of silence" that led to abuse of minors in the Catholic church that had "gone on for centuries," said the district attorney, himself a former altar boy.

Williams said he would have to review the evidence to decide whether to retry Father Brennan. But he was happy that Msgr. Lynn would now have to "face the consequences of his unspeakable crimes."

Was he talking about the My Lai massacre?

Williams ducked questions on whether he should have indicted Lynn's boss, Cardinal Bevilacqua. The late cardinal was one of many members of the Catholic hierarchy who "had dirty hands," Williams said. But the prosecutors decided to go with the case where they had the most evidence of child endangerment, and that was the case against Msgr. Lynn, Williams said.

Hmm. Let's review. Bevilacqua was the guy who, according to a 2005 grand jury report, along with the late Cardinal John Krol, orchestrated a systemic cover-up of sexual abuse of children over four decades that shielded 63 pervert priests from prosecution, after they had raped, sodomized and molested hundreds of innocent children.

The grand jury at first believed that Bevilacqua and other church officials were “tragically incompetent at rooting out sexually abusive priests and removing them from the ministry." But after the grand jurors reviewed thousands of pages of secret archive files that contained the same “incompetent investigation techniques ... it became apparent ... that Msgr. Lynn was handling the cases precisely as his boss wished.”

The grand jury said that under Bevilacqua, a code of secrecy existed that managed to keep both parishioners and police in the dark. “Cardinal Bevilacqua had a strict policy, according to his aides, that forbid informing parishioners,” the report said. “The cardinal, in fact, encouraged that parishioners be misinformed.”

When Lynn plowed through 323 secret archive files in 1994 to compile a list of 35 abuser priests in active ministry, it was Cardinal Bevilacqua who ordered that list shredded. Can you say cover up?

Edward P. Cullen, bishop emeritus of Allentown, sat in on a high-level meeting with the cardinal to decide what to do with that list of 35 priests, according to trial testimony. And Joseph R. Cistone, bishop of Saginaw, Mich., witnessed the shredding.

But Seth Williams ducked questions about whether he should have or would in the future indict either bishop. The district attorney said he has to weigh the evidence to see whether charges would be brought against any "additional defendants."

Williams returned to his talking points, saying this "monumental case will change the way business is done in many institutions."

The prosecutor recalled one incident where a priest named
Sylwester Wiejata confessed to Lynn that he had just molested a 13-year-old girl. The monsignor admitted when he testified to the grand jury that he didn't call the police, or try to do anything to determine the identity of the girl, or her parents.

I have three daughters, the district attorney said, tearing up. He said he would be mortified if one of his daughters was raped, and authorities "didn't tell me."

Ok, so he upgraded the crime from molestation to rape. But the DA was on a roll. The message had gone out that sex abuse would no longer be tolerated in Philadelphia. And as he sits in his jail cell tonight, the monsignor got that message, the district attorney said.

Yes, tonight, all the citizens of Philadelphia can breathe easier knowing the monsignor is no longer at large, thanks to the bottom feeders at the district attorney's office, and their cheerleader on the bench in Courtroom 304. The message is out there, if you're a kingpin of a criminal organization, make sure you and your top associates have an underling at the bottom of the organizational chart ready to take the fall.

A monumental verdict indeed.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Philadelphia Paedophile Trial:Catholic official convicted of endangerment, acquitted of conspiracy in groundbreaking trial.

More to follow...

Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial : Hung Jury.

While we await the verdict some information on a hung jury.

This guest post is by Beasley Firm attorney Max Kennerly, who regularly blogs at Litigation & Trial.Eleven days into deliberations, the jury has told Judge Sarmina that they're hung on all but one of the counts. Now what?

That doesn't mean it's over, because the Court can still give what's informally known as a "dynamite" charge and try to move the jury to a verdict one way or the other. Under the century-old United States Supreme Court case, Allen v. United States, 164 U.S. 492 (1896), the Court may admonish the jury to keep trying, and can ask jurors to reconsider their positions. In Pennsylvania, the charge is known as a Spencer charge after the main case applying it here, Commonwealth v. Spencer, 442 Pa. 328, 275 A.2d 299 (1971), which incorporated American Bar Association standard 15-5.4. That standard says:

(a) Before the jury retires for deliberation, the court may give an instruction which informs the jury:
(1) that in order to return a verdict, each juror must agree thereto;
(2) that jurors have a duty to consult with one another and to deliberate with a view to reaching an agreement, if it can be done without violence to individual judgment;
(3) that each juror must decide the case for himself or herself but only after an impartial consideration of the evidence with the other jurors;
(4) that in the course of deliberations, a juror should not hesitate to reexamine his or her own views and change an opinion if the juror is convinced it is erroneous; and
(5) that no juror should surrender his or her honest belief as to the weight or effect of the evidence solely because of the opinion of the other jurors, or for the mere purpose of returning a verdict.
(b) If it appears to the court that the jury has been unable to agree, the court may require the jury to continue their deliberations and may give or repeat an instruction as provided in section (a). The court should not require or threaten to require the jury to deliberate for an unreasonable length of time or for unreasonable intervals.
(c) The jury may be discharged without having agreed upon a verdict if it appears that there is no reasonable probability of agreement.
The core concern in giving a Spencer instruction is to ensure the jury doesn't feel coerced by the court to reaching a verdict one way or another. The charge cannot, for example, "instruct the minority jurors to yield to the majority," nor instruct that "the majority [] need not re-examine their position." Commonwealth v. Schaffer, 2005 PA Super 14 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005). The point of the charge is to make sure everyone has thoroughly considered the issues and so has reached a fully informed and honest belief as to the evidence....read more


Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial. : The Jury Have Reached A Verdict.

 To be announced at 2 p.m.....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

2000 Years Of Paedophile Priests - They Argue That Child Abuse Is A Spiritual Issue And Not A Criminal Offence.

Accused Pedophile Priest's Picture Included In Holy Spirit Yearbook

This year's issue of the Holy Spirit School yearbook was supposed to be special, a treasured keepsake to remember the 47-year-old Catholic school that's set to close Thursday.

Not anymore.

Parents and Packer Park community members are incensed with a parish decision to include a photograph of a smiling defrocked priest in the last Holy Spirit yearbook — next to a 1965 photograph of the eighth-grade graduating class. David C. Sicoli was featured prominently in the 2005 grand-jury report, accused of molesting several boys during his 33-year ministry. Sicoli served as pastor at Holy Spirit Church before he was defrocked in 2008 after the Archdiocese logged 11 credible abuse claims against him dating back to 1977.

He was never charged criminally, but many parents and residents in the parish blame Sicoli for the school's eventual closure.
Parent Maria Capetola said that Sicoli's image next to children is "a disgrace" and "the last slap in the face that they're [Holy Spirit] going to give us."

Capetola said that she was "livid" when she saw the photo Tuesday morning and, believing it was a mistake, went to see Holy Spirit's current pastor, the Rev. Mark Kunigonis, at the rectory.
"Why would you put a pervert in the yearbook with innocent children?" she asked Kunigonis.
"Well, he was a pastor and he wasn't convicted," Kunigonis said, according to Capetola.
"You're sick. You're a sick man," she told him.

Kunigonis declined to comment and said a letter would be sent home with students for their parents Tuesday. None of the parents interviewed by the Daily News claimed to have received it Tuesday night.

Leslie Davila, director of the Archdiocese's Office of Child and Youth Protection, called the photo's publication "regrettable."

"When an image or a name of a known child-abuser is published, it causes some very real wounds and it reopens wounds for victims," Davila said. "The inclusion was regrettable and may have caused pain for victims of abuse or acted as a traumatic cue for people."

The allegations against Sicoli were brought up by prosecutors in the case against Monsignor William Lynn, whose fate is being mulled by a jury. He is one of 21 priests whose secret files were shown to jurors to prove that Lynn ignored or didn't investigate signs that priests were sexually abusing children. n

Contact Regina Medina at 215-854-5985, medinar@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter @reginamedina.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial:Monsignor William Lynn, The First Catholic Church Figure To Be Targeted Not For Molesting Children But For Concealing The Abuse.

Published on 1 Jun 2012 by

A Philadelphia jury began deliberating Friday in a landmark criminal case against Monsignor William Lynn, the first Catholic Church figure to be targeted not for molesting children, but for concealing the abuse. Margaret Warner talks with John Martin of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the emotional trial.

Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial: Catholic Church Spend $11 Million To Save Paedophile Protector.

The "Read-Back Jury" Frustrates Judge, Lawyers in Archdiocese Sex Abuse Case

They're not a runaway jury, they're a read back jury.

Jurors in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case keep asking for more testimony to be read back to them. On Monday, the jurors asked for the transcript of Father James J. Brennan's canonical hearing to be read back. That's the record of the 2008 church inquest made into sex abuse allegations against Father Brennan by Mark Bukowski. That was two hours of fun, but at least the jurors asked for something that had originally been part of the evidence presented at trial in this case.

On Tuesday, the jury asked for a read back on a document that had not been presented to the jury during the trial, now in its 12th week in Courtroom 304. Specifically, the jury asked for a transcript of Mark Bukowski's testimony to the canonical court that investigated his allegations of sex abuse against Father Brennan. Bukowski has alleged that back in 1996, when he was 14, Father Brennan attempted to rape him.
This document was never read to the jury in its entirety, but excerpts were used by both prosecutors and defense lawyers to buttress their cases. Tuesday, the jury asked Judge M. Teresa Sarmina for permission to read the entire document, and the judge granted that request over the strenuous objections of Father Brennan's defense attorney, William J. Brennan.

Brennan complained that by allowing the transcript to be read into the record, the judge was in effect permitting the alleged victim, Mark Bukowski, to make a second appearance in the courtroom, only this time he could not be subject to cross-examination.

"I think you're dead wrong on the law," Brennan told the judge.

When the judge asked who was going to read back Bukowski's testimony to the jury, defense attorney Brennan suggested that the judge bring back Mark Bukowski himself to read it. During a courtroom break, out in the hallway, Brennan threw his cell phone against a wall in disgust.

The judge also had the court reporter read back Jack Rossiter's report of his interview with Father Brennan. Rossiter was a former FBI agent hired by the archdiocese to investigate allegations of sex abuse.  The read backs of the Bukowski testimony and the Rossiter testimony went on for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon.

But the fun part was, when the jury was finished hearing the latest read backs, they retired to the jury room, and 90 minutes later, they sent a note to the judge asking for more read backs. The jury asked the judge to have Mark Bukowski's testimony read back to them, which took up two days in court. The jury also asked for the testimony of Mark Bukowksi's mother to be read back. The jury also asked for the testimony of a former 10-year-old altar boy to be read back.

The former altar boy was the victim sexually abused by Father Edward V. Avery, who has pleaded guilty to involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a minor.

The jury's latest requests did not sit well with Judge Sarmina.

"I'm certainly not gonna have the whole trial re-read for them," she said. "We can't try this case again," William J. Brennan agreed. "You can tell them when they're this confused, it's called reasonable doubt."

"They have to do their job," Brennan said of the jury.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington argued that as far as the prosecution was concerned, the read backs could go on indefinitely. "Give 'em what they want, Your Honor," Blessington told the judge.

But Judge Sarmina said she wasn't going to do it. "We cannot go back and read days and days of testimony to them," the judge said. Sarmina said she would go along with reading portions of testimony back to clear up disputes among jurors. But there would be no more wholesale reading of court transcripts.

Jurors left court shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday. They have tomorrow off, but are scheduled to return to court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. They are also scheduled to deliberate Friday.


Vatican Mafia Connections : Matteo Messina Denaro, a Mafia Godfather on the run.

The Vatican Bank is under media fire as reports emerge that Italian prosecutors suspect it of laundering Sicilian mafia bosses’ riches.

­The Vatican Bank is under media fire as reports emerge that Italian prosecutors suspect it of laundering Sicilian mafia bosses’ riches.

The Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican Bank, has so far refused to disclose details of an account held by a priest in connection with a money laundering and fraud investigation.

Father Ninni Treppiedi was sacked from serving as a priest after a series of church funds transactions made by his parish came to anti-mafia prosecutors’ attention this spring. The dealings, involving millions of euro, date back to 2007-2009.

Prosecutors suspect Treppiedi was involved in money-laundering operations linked to Matteo Messina Denaro, a Mafia Godfather on the run. The cleric’s former post in Aclamo, near Trapani, is said to be the richest parish in the Mafia stronghold of Sicily....read more


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vatican Zionism: Vatican Distance Themselves From Zionist Connections.

The Vatican said Tuesday that an economic agreement it is negotiating with Israel will not mean the de facto recognition of Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem.

The Vatican was responding to
allegations that the deal, which involves tax status and other financial issues concerning Church properties in the Holy Land, would result in a recognition of Israel's control of East Jerusalem....read more


Philadelphia Priest Paedophile Trial : Father Brennan - Lets Hope We Do Not Have A Weak Jury.

Jurors in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case Monday sent a few more questions to the judge that took a few more passes over well-plowed ground.

Jurors then followed up those questions by re-hearing a two-hour transcript of the 2008 church canonical trial of Father James J. Brennan read into the record back on April 30th by Msgr. Kevin Quirk. The transcript told the priest's version of the night he was accused of allegedly attempting to rape 14-year-old Mark Bukowski.

By day's end, the jurors seemed stuck on the Father Brennan case. Meanwhile, the judge appeared crabby, the prosecutors seemed edgy and the defense lawyers couldn't be blamed if they were daring to dream about a hung jury.

The first question the jurors asked Judge M. Teresa Sarmina was, does a person charged with endangering the welfare of children have to be engaging in criminal behavior?

In response, the judge offered the example of a person who doesn't feed his child for a day. That person may not guilty of a crime, the judge said. But if that person doesn't feed his child for say, three weeks, that same person may be guilty of murder.

So the judge's answer to the jury's question was, "It does not have to be, but it could be."

The second jury question posed to the judge was, does a person have to know that their conduct is criminal in order to be guilty of committing a crime? It's that old argument over whether ignorance of the law is any excuse. The judge's answer: No, a person does not have to know what they're doing is criminal in order to be guilty of committing a crime.

Both questions were interpreted by courtroom observers to pertain to the Brennan case, where the priest is charged with attempted rape, and endangering the welfare of a child. The jurors were thought to have decided the Brennan case last week, and were perceived as moving on to the more complicated case of Msgr. William J. Lynn. But Monday's questions appeared to show that the jury was, at least for the moment, still bogged down on Father Brennan....read more


Israel Vatican Accord Accepts Occupation.

Palestinian political factions on Sunday condemned a draft economic agreement between Israel and the Vatican, saying it entails the Holy See recognizing Israeli legislation in East Jerusalem and occupied Palestinian territory.The document outlining an agreement between Israel and the Vatican on legal and fiscal issues has been circulating in different circles, the PLO said in a statement.

By failing to distinguish between Israel and annexed East Jerusalem and Palestinian territory under occupation, the text would see the Vatican indirectly recognize Israel's "exercise of powers and authorities in the occupied Palestinian territories," the PLO said.

The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission of Israel and the Vatican will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Rome on the draft, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

"We trust that the Holy See will clarify the situation and affirm that it will uphold its legal and moral responsibility as a High Contracting Party to the Fourth Geneva Convention," Fatah official Nabil Shaath said in a statement.

Kayed al-Ghoul, a member of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said that if the draft is signed it would represent a serious shift in the Vatican's position towards the Palestinians.

Palestinian Liberation Front delegate Adnan al-Ghareeb called on the Vatican to maintain its position towards the Israeli occupation, a statement said.

The Vatican is part of the international consensus which recognizes the Palestinian territories as being under Israeli military occupation, Fatah official Shaath said.

"As such, any agreement with Israel must not jeopardize or undermine this legal fact nor contribute to Israel’s systematic and illegal policies of undermining the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination," he added.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Papal Knights Of Malta. The Land Owned By The Vatican In Jerusalem. The World Leaders Who Are "Connected" . Do We Have A Zionist Connection ?

Vatileaks:Ettore Gotti Tedeschi Fears For His Life.

The former head of the Vatican Bank has become the Papacy’s Enemy Number One, after police discovered a trove of documents exposing financial misdeeds in the Holy See. The banker now reportedly fears for his life.

­Earlier this week police conducted a dawn raid on the house and office of Ettore GottiTedeschi. Investigators say they were looking for evidence in a graft case against defense and aerospace firm Finmeccanica, which was formerly run by a close friend of Gotti Tedeschi.

Instead, as it turns out, police stumbled upon an entirely different find....read more


Father Ninni Treppiedi : Prosecutors Investigate Vatican Bank Mafia Link.

Anti Mafia prosecutors have asked the secretive Vatican Bank to disclose details of an account held by a priest in connection with a money laundering and fraud investigation, it emerged on Sunday.

The official request was made more than a month ago but so far the Vatican Bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, has refused to disclose any records of the account held by father Ninni Treppiedi – who is currently suspended from serving as a priest.
Investigators want to know more about vast sums of money that are said to have passed through his account to establish if they were money laundering operations by on the run Mafia Godfather, Matteo Messina Denaro.
The reports emerged in the Italian media and came just two weeks after the head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was sacked amid claims of power struggles and corruption within the Holy See which have been linked to the leaking of sensitive documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI.
More in line with a Dan Brown thriller, it is not the first time that the Vatican Bank has been embroiled in claims of Mafia money laundering.

Thirty years ago this month financier Roberto Calvi was found hanging under London's Blackfriars Bridge with cash and bricks stuffed into his pockets.

Initially City of London police recorded the death as suicide but Italian authorities believe it was murder after it emerged Calvi, known as God's Banker because of his links to the Vatican Bank, had been trying to launder millions of pounds of mob money via its accounts and through his own Banco Ambrosiano which had collapsed spectacularly.

Father Treppiedi, 36, was serving as a priest in Alcamo, near Trapani, said to be the richest parish on the Mafia's island stronghold of Sicily, and he was suspended after a series of questionable transactions of church funds and which has also led to his local bishop Francesco Micciche being sacked.

Trapani prosecutor Marcello Viola made the request six weeks ago for details of the account held by Father Treppiedi at the Institute of Religious Works to be disclosed but according to reports in Italian media, as yet the go ahead has still not been given by the Vatican.

In particular prosecutors are said to be looking at financial transactions made through Father Treppiedi's account at the Vatican Bank between 2007 and 2009 and which came to almost one million euros but paperwork explaining the source of the money is said to be missing.

Attention is also focusing on several land and property deals made by the parish which is in Messina Denaro's heartland in the area around Trapani and where he still commands fear and respect.

There is speculation that Gotti Tedeschi was aware of the possible Mafia link and was about to name names and police seized paperwork from his home which is said to detail his suspicions and which he had prepared for a handful of trusted sources as he feared his life was possible in danger.

In a statement prosecutor Viola said:"We have made a request for information to the Vatican City State in the spirit of collaboration with regard to an investigation into sums of money in financial transactions undertaken by the Diocese of Trapani."

Transactions by the Vatican Bank are already under the spotlight with leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera saying Gotti Tedeschi was aware of accounts held by "politicians, shady intermediaries, contractors and senior (Italian) officials, as well as people believed to be fronts for Mafia bosses."

Of particular interest are said to be property investments and property sales that could potentially have been used to disguise money transfers and launder money – all this in the light of report earlier this year that the Vatican Bank was not completely transparent in its dealings despite efforts to be so.

The latest development comes as prosecutors in the Vatican continue to question the Pope's butler Paolo Gabriele, 46, in connection with the leaking of documents which then ended up in a whistle blowing book published by an Italian journalist called His Holiness.
No-one from the Vatican was immediately available to comment.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Philadelphia Priest Paedophile Trial : Jury Goes On Vacation ....

The latest update from Ralph Cipriano who has spent each and everyday reporting the proceedings and I for one am truly grateful.

Jury Goes On Vacation; Bill Brennan, Vernon Odom Play Godfather Trivia

It's getting strange down at the courthouse, folks.

After a 10-week trial, the jury in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case has decided they need some time off for family events, like graduations. So on Thursday, after Judge M. Teresa Sarmina approved their request, jurors walked out of Courtroom 304, to get an early start on a long weekend.

The jury of seven men and five women that began deliberating last Friday afternoon are off this Friday. On Monday, they'll be coming in around 1 p.m. and hopefully put in a full afternoon, before they are scheduled to leave around 4:30 p.m. On Tuesday, they're expected to deliberate again, but Wednesday, they're off, and Friday they're off again.

So if they go the full route on Tuesday and Thursday, the jury will deliberate at most 2 1/2 days next week.

Usually, juries measure their time in terms of minutes and hours, and can't get out the door fast enough. But this jury seems to be digging in for the long haul. They've already ordered a marker board and an easel. Lunch today was from Chick-fil-A. This could take a while.

"I've never seen anything like it," said one veteran courtroom observer, who left the Criminal Justice Center shaking his head.

The jury didn't ask any questions of the judge. Meanwhile, journalists were camped out in the courtroom from The New York Times, the CBS Evening News, CNN, Reuters, AP, The Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC 10, CBS 3, 6ABC, and Fox 29.

The only event the press corps got to cover was the judge announcing the jury's long weekend. After the jury was dismissed, William J. Brennan, the lawyer for defendant Father James J. Brennan, was on his way out the door when he saw an old friend, Vernon Odom of Action News.

Brennan took a seat in front of Odom and soon, the two were deep in conversation. From the bench, Judge Sarmina reminded Brennan that she had a gag order still in effect that's supposed to prevent lawyers in the case from talking to the press.

"Judge, I've known him for 25 years," Odom said, before explaining that he and Odom weren't discussing the case, they were playing Godfather trivia.

Brennan stumped Odom when he asked who played Clemenza. Odom could not recall Richard Castellano.

But the wily Odom got back in the ballgame when he asked Brennan who played Al Neri. Brennan couldn't remember Richard Bright.

As the judge glowered disapprovingly, the two men were overheard talking about Barzini and Tattaglia as they left the courtroom, discussing a rubber match.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Murphy Report:Bishop James Kavanagh Protected Former Priest & Paedophile Bill Carney.

Former priest Bill Carney was named as one of the worst cases in Dublin's Catholic diocese in the Murphy report into clerical abuse there. However, for the last 10 years he has been free to live quietly in Britain.
Newsnight's Olenka Frenkiel has investigated his case and tracked him down in the Canary Islands.

Bill Carney
Carney used to invite children to his house in Ayrfield to watch videos

All the children in Ayrfield, Dublin, knew fun-loving Father Bill Carney - not just the altar boys and those who met him through school, but members of the Scout troop he ran and the groups of local children he took swimming.

His door was always open, there was a ready supply of Coke in the fridge and in the 1980s he had the very latest thing to lure youngsters in - a video player.

Adults disapproved of his swearing and crazy driving, but the Catholic Church was still so trusted, no-one suspected the truth about him.

Bridie Dwyer still lives in Ayrfield. Above the fireplace, with other family photographs is a picture of her youngest child, Paul, on his first Communion day.

At the age of 13 Paul went with other boys to watch videos at Father Carney's house and to have a sleepover, Mrs Dwyer told me. But at 2am Paul unexpectedly returned home.
"Thought you were going for a sleepover?" she recalled asking him as he pushed past her. "Didn't want to stay," he replied and shut his door.

Paul Dwyer
Carney is accused of raping Paul Dwyer when Paul was 13

"That's when he'd been raped," Mrs Dwyer told me, "but I didn't know".

What no-one, except Carney's bishop and the local police, knew was that the priest was a paedophile.

The Murphy report into the cover up by the Catholic Church and Irish state of clerical sex abuse was published in November 2009.

It described Carney as "a serial sexual abuser of children, male and female", saying that there had been complaints and suspicions "in respect of 32 named individuals" about him, adding that "there is evidence he abused many more children".

'Child in his bed'

Michael Wheeler, who as a boy was one of Carney's altar servers, said that following the report a strange but vivid memory from when he was young suddenly made sense.

He told me that when he was nine years old Carney was late for Mass one day, so, fearful that he might not turn up, he ran into the priest's house and called his name.

Bridie Dwyer
He wanted Carney in court so he could ask him why, why had Carney raped him? That never happened and the way things are going, the way the police and the clergy are handling it now I can't see it ever happening
Bridie Dwyer, mother of Paul

"I heard a groan," he said, "and I saw in the bedroom, a boy, a little older than me, naked between the sheets.

"This boy sat up, stared groggily at me, and fell back into the bed. I was terrified and ran out. As a child I couldn't understand why he was there. Now I know."

We now know that complaints about Carney were diverted away from the Irish criminal justice system to Bishop James Kavanagh, a man described by the Murphy Report as someone with "a soft spot for Carney".

Kavanagh did what he could to protect Carney from the law to avoid scandal for the Church.

One conscientious policeman, praised in the Murphy Report, did investigate complaints and they came to court. But the press were kept away as Carney pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and got probation.

Six families were paid compensation and Carney was soon back working, with access to children.

Paid to leave parish

Carney on wedding day
Carney got married in Scotland in 2004

In its 40 pages on Carney, the Murphy report said that his was one of the worst cases the commission investigated and that the Church's handling of his case was "nothing short of catastrophic".

"It was inept, self-serving and for the best part of 10 years displayed no obvious concern for the welfare of children," the report said.

In 1992, the Church convicted Carney internally, under Canon law, of child sexual abuse.

But this compulsive paedophile refused to leave the parish house. So the Church paid him £30,000 to go away.

He moved to Cheltenham and then to Scotland, where he has lived for the last 10 years running a family-friendly guest house in St Andrews.

Back in Dublin, it took Bridie's son Paul Dwyer 21 years to come forward, but in 2004 he told the police about his rape.

The police said they had received two other complaints like his and sent the file to the Irish director of public prosecutions (DPP), but the DPP said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

"So the case stopped," his mother told me, "and, a couple of weeks later Paul committed suicide. He couldn't handle it any more.

"He wanted Carney in court so he could ask him why, why had Carney raped him?

That never happened and the way things are going, the way the police and the clergy are handling it now I can't see it ever happening," she added.

No warnings given

That same year, in Scotland, Carney got married.

Newsnight has established that the Irish authorities knew his address but no-one, either from the Church or the Irish state, thought to warn his new wife about his past, or protect any children who might be at risk.

His refusal to acknowledge his paedophilia means the prognosis for a cure is bleak
Psychiatric assessment of Carney in Murphy report

Nothing was done to prevent him leaving, as usual, for his winter holiday in the Canary Islands, a popular destination for families with children, and no-one warned the local police.

The Murphy report quotes a psychiatric assessment which says he suffers from a "psychopathic personality disorder".

"His refusal to acknowledge his paedophilia," it said, "means the prognosis for a cure is bleak".

Confronted over abuse

I tracked Carney down in the Canary Islands, first at a restaurant on the sea front and then to the flat where he was staying, to ask about the abuse.

He refused to comment on the Murphy report, saying he had not read it.

He claimed that when he pleaded guilty to child sex abuse in 1983 it was not because he was guilty, but because: "I was told if I plead guilty the press would be kept away."

When I asked "Why did you rape Paul Dwyer?" his response was: "Rape. I'd like to explain that. Put it into context."

Bishop James Kavanagh
Bishop James Kavanagh protected Carney from the law

What kind of context, I asked, could excuse the rape of a child? But he did not answer.
And when I asked "Are you still abusing children?" his answer begged more questions.
"I haven't done that in 26 years and I have had no inclination," he said. But he refused to be drawn on whether that was admission that he had abused before.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Mahoney has been assigned the task of investigating whether anyone should be prosecuted as a result of the revelations in the Murphy report.

These investigations, his office has said, are ongoing.

In Britain, the Home Office said that because Carney's two convictions for indecent assault pre-date the 2003 Sex Offender's Act and took place in Ireland he would not be on the Sex Offenders Register and would pass unseen through the new stricter vetting procedures for child protection.

Carney meanwhile remains free to disappear beneath the radar.


Philadelphia: 'The Catholic Church's Secret Sex-Crime Files'

'How a scandal in Philadelphia exposed documents that reveal a high-level conspiracy to cover up decades of sexual abuse'

By Sabrina Rubin Erdely

The five co-defendants sit close enough to shake hands in the Philadelphia courtroom, but they never once acknowledge one another. Father James Brennan, a 47-year-old priest accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, looks sad and stooped in a navy sweater, unshaven and sniffling.

Edward Avery, a defrocked priest in his sixties, wears an unsettlingly pleasant expression on his face, as though he's mentally very far away. He and two other defendants – the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, also in his sixties, and Bernard Shero, a former Catholic schoolteacher in his forties – are accused of passing around "Billy," a fifth-grade altar boy. According to the charges, the three men raped and sodomized the 10-year-old, sometimes making him perform stripteases or getting him drunk on sacramental wine after Mass.

Heinous as the accusations are, the most shocking – and significant – are those against the fifth defendant, Monsignor William Lynn. At 60, Lynn is portly and dignified, his thin lips pressed together and his double chin held high. In a dramatic fashion statement, he alone has chosen to wear his black clerical garb today, a startling reminder that this is a priest on trial, a revered representative of the Catholic Church, not to mention a high-ranking official in Philadelphia's archdiocese.

Lynn, who reported directly to the cardinal, was the trusted custodian of a trove of documents known in the church as the "Secret Archives files." The files prove what many have long suspected: that officials in the upper echelons of the church not only tolerated the widespread sexual abuse of children by priests but conspired to hide the crimes and silence the victims.

Lynn is accused of having been the archdiocese's sex-abuse fixer, the man who covered up for its priests. Incredibly, after a scandal that has rocked the church for a generation, he is the first Catholic official ever criminally charged for the cover-up......read more


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wikileaks: Vatican's Global Importance Evident In Leaked Cables.

.- Leaked State Department cables are giving insight into the Vatican’s influential role on the world stage and the United States’ efforts to cooperate with the Holy See in advancing common interests.

Some Vatican-related cables are being released through WikiLeaks’ media partners, which include the New York Times and the British newspaper The Guardian. The cables are also slowly being released through the websites of WikiLeaks, although the main U.S. site has been shut down.

The cables offer State Department officials’ own analysis and recount conversations with Vatican officials and diplomats from other countries. Topics range from the Vatican’s internal affairs to its actions in international relations.

One April 22, 2009 cable reported on Vatican hopes that better U.S.-Cuba relations would weaken the role of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Vatican’s motives included great concern regarding the “deterioration” of Church-state relations in Cuba.

Recounting a discussion with Msgr. Angelo Accattino, the Holy See official in charge of relations with Caribbean and Andean countries, the cable analyzed Chavez’s behavior at the Summit of the Americas. The Venezuelan president was “clearly rattled” by the possibility that the U.S. and Cuba could begin a dialogue that excluded him. This was reportedly a motive for his “bombastic approach” to President Barack Obama.

The cable stated that the Holy See “believes the U.S. and Cuba should pursue a dialogue both for its own sake” as well as to “reduce the influence of Chavez.”

A May 2006 cable analyzed the continuing Polish influence at the Vatican and discussed the Holy See’s hopes that Poland would capably defend life and family issues in the European Union. It also noted support for U.S. foreign policy among Polish clergy and seminarians at the Vatican. The cable further discussed the Vatican’s “wariness” towards the Radio Maryja outlet accused of xenophobia and anti-Semitism and the “dangers that right-wing nationalists posed to Poland’s future.”

One cable from August 2004 discussed U.S.-Vatican agreement on U.N. General Assembly initiatives, including a ban on human cloning and responses to human trafficking and anti-Semitism.

The cable reported some confusion over the Vatican’s support for a cloning ban and noted some misperceptions caused by communication problems may have proved “decisive” in a close U.N. vote on the issue.

A Feb. 20, 2009 memo further discussed communications problems which reduced the volume of the Vatican’s “moral megaphone.” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi is anomalous in his use of a Blackberry and many officials do not have official e-mail accounts. Fr. Lombardi is also “terribly overworked,” simultaneously managing the Vatican Press Office, Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Center, it stated.

The memo also critically described Pope Benedict XVI’s Regensburg speech as “disastrous.” The 2006 speech caused global controversy and violence when media reports focused on its quotation of a Byzantine emperor who said Islam was violent.

News coverage of the Vatican-related cables has brought many old stories back to the headlines.

The Guardian’s publication of a June 2009 cable highlighted the Vatican’s role in helping to secure the release of British sailors detained by Iran in April 2007.
However, this was already reported in 2007 by Time Magazine, among others, who noted that the release of the sailors came just a day after Pope Benedict XVI had sent a private letter asking for their release.

"There was respect for the request of the Pope," Iran’s vice-ambassador to the Holy See Ahmad Fahima told Time in 2007. “The policy of the Holy See is important throughout the whole world.”

The New York Times said the Vatican-related cables “do not appear to contain any bombshells.” Presently unreleased cables discuss Opus Dei’s reaction to the guilty plea of Robert P. Hanssen, an FBI agent who spied for Russia.

Other documents discuss U.S.-Vatican relations regarding the clergy sex abuse scandal which broke during 2002.

A U.S. Vatican embassy cable from that year reported that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then-secretary of state, spent most of his initial meeting with U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson to “register his displeasure with the several lawsuits filed in U.S. courts that have been served at the Vatican.”

The cardinal reportedly complained about “aggressive attorneys,” saying it was one thing to sue bishops but “another thing entirely to sue the Holy See.” According to the New York Times, the cardinal urged the ambassador to help defend the sovereignty of the Holy See.

Again in the headlines is Pope Benedict’s previous opposition to Turkey’s bid to enter the European Union. One 2004 cable recounted the Holy See’s acting foreign minister Msgr. Pietro Parolin’s clarification that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s criticisms of Turkish EU membership did not reflect the view of the Holy See at the time.

The cable discussed the integration of Muslims into European society and the problems of religious freedom in Turkey.  D. Brent Hardt, the U.S. Embassy official who authored the cable, noted that Cardinal Ratzinger was a “leading voice” behind the Vatican’s unsuccessful effort to secure a reference to Europe’s Christian roots in the EU constitution.

“He clearly understands that allowing a Muslim country into the EU would further weaken his case for Europe's Christian foundations,” Hardt explained, noting that the Vatican’s official position towards Turkish integration is one of “cautious, skeptical openness.”

A December 2006 cable revisited the question under the papacy of Benedict XVI. It reported that neither the Pope nor the Holy See have endorsed Turkey’s EU membership but the Holy See has been “consistently open” to the idea.

Msgr. Parolin said the Holy See would see no obstacle to Turkey joining the EU provided religious freedom advances in the country. In his estimate, the situation couldn’t get much worse for Turkey’s Christian community short of open persecution.

The same cable also referred to Pope Benedict’s Regensburg speech. In the view of U.S. embassy official Christopher Sandrolini, this speech made clear that the Pope was “not na├»ve about the challenges presented by Islam” but also gave “added heft to his favorable words on Turkey.” Sandrolini suggested the United States' focus on Turkey’s EU entry as an opportunity to improve the lives of Christians would also resonate with the Vatican.

A February 2010 cable examined Vatican-Irish relations concerning the commissions investigating sex abuse.

While saying Vatican and Irish officials’ first concern was for the victims, this reality was sometimes “obscured” by subsequent events triggered by the Vatican’s belief that the Irish government failed to respect and protect the sovereignty of the Holy See during the investigations.

The Vatican’s “relatively swift response” indicated that it learned from the U.S. sex abuse scandals, but the papal nuncio’s lack of action caused resentment among the Irish people.

The cables also offer insight into the U.S. government’s understanding of the relationship between the Vatican and the U.S. Catholic bishops.

A June 26, 2009 “scene setter” for President Obama’s July 10 visit to the Holy See noted the Vatican’s appreciation of many of the president’s positions, but also its “profound concerns” about his approach to abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

The document advised the president that the Vatican has made a “tactical decision” to allow the U.S. bishops to take the lead in voicing these concerns, and this difference in emphasis “should not be interpreted as a divergence of views.”

One pervasive theme of the State Department cables is the global importance of the Vatican.

The Vatican observer mission at the U.N. was “always active and influential behind the scenes,” a December 2009 memo reported. “As the spiritual leader of 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide and enjoying respect as well from non-Catholics, the Pope wields an unparalleled moral megaphone,” the June 2009 scene setter for President Obama said.

One lengthy July 2001 memo described the Vatican as “the supranational power” which has presence and reach in “virtually every country in the world.” However, the same cable was aware that American and Vatican interests do not always align, as in the case of the U.S. effort to isolate Saddam Hussein.

“We should recognize that the Vatican will not support our efforts in Iraq, and investigate ways to limit Vatican interference with our objectives,” it said.