Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Libor Scandal Escalates To Italy - Taking Us Closer To the Vatican - JPMorgan Money Laundering For The Pope AND God Has Employed A Spin Doctor From Murdoch's Fox News .


Italian police have taken documents from a Barclays office in Milan as part of a probe into possible Euribor rate manipulation, according to Reuters.

It said the raid occurred as regulators investigated fixing fears of the eurozone equivalent of the scandal-hit, London-based Libor inter-bank lending rate.
The search was ordered by prosecutors in the southern city of Trani, who have opened a criminal probe into the possible manipulation of the Euribor rate.
The move comes after complaints were filed by two consumer groups, Adusbef and Federconsumatori.
Two judicial sources also confirmed the raid occurred last week, according to Reuters.
Documents, computer material and emails were seized, the consumer groups said in a joint statement.
They said the Milan raid occurred “with the aim of looking for evidence that Barclays also manipulated Euribor, as it did with Libor, with a negative impact on mortgage rates paid by Italians”.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vatican Bank Failed To Act On Money Laundering.

The Vatican's scandal-struck bank has failed on seven counts to clean up its act and will not be allowed on a list of financially virtuous nations, EU inspectors indicated yesterday.
The report, by Moneyval, a department of the Council of Europe, means the institution will remain outside the "white list" of countries that abide by global norms on fighting money laundering, the financing of terrorism and tax evasion.

The failures by the bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), in the 16 key areas of financial transparency include: insufficient customer due diligence; insufficient compliance on the reporting of suspicious transactions; and insufficient supervision and monitoring.

Rome magistrates are investigating the bank regarding suspicious transactions that came to light in 2010. But the whiff of financial scandal about the bank, which is housed in the 15th-century Tower of Nicholas V overlooking Pope Benedict's apartment, has been present since 1982, when it was implicated in the fraudulent bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano.

The IOR's president, Italian Gotti Tedeschi, was ousted in a boardroom battle on 24 May. He said he was fired because he was too keen on improving transparency; the Vatican said he was an obstacle.

The Moneyval report "strongly recommended" that the bank be "independently supervised by a prudential supervisor".

The Vatican's Undersecretary of State, Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, said the report had noted some progress and that "both the praise and criticism" from the Moneyval committee on financial transparency were welcome. He added that the Vatican has always had "a clear determination to fight money laundering and terrorist financing".


Monday, July 23, 2012

Inside The Vatican Bank : Silence - Secrets And Latin Cash Machines.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI: the Vatican bank is launching a major publicity drive in advance of a Council of Europe report on its compliance with money-laundering rules. Photograph: Reuters

On the ceiling of the conference room in the Vatican bank, there is a big, round allegorical painting.

There is the Virgin Mary somewhat improbably wearing a papal tiara and holding a model of a church. There is another holy lady offering the mother of Jesus a gold plate laden with crowns, a gold chain and an honorific decoration. In the background, Neptune is emerging from the sea on a chariot, while in the foreground there is snake winding its way through a patch of mushrooms.

Baffled? Well, what did you expect? This is the heart of what, until Thursday, was the most secret building in the "city of secrets" – the premises of an institution that has attracted more speculation, suspicion and sinister insinuation than almost any on earth.

Addressing a restricted number of correspondents on the first-ever press visit to the Vatican bank, its managing director, Paolo Cipriani, could scarcely be expected to recall its involvement with Banco Ambrosiano – whose boss, Roberto Calvi, was found lifeless and dangling by the neck under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982 – or the claim by Holocaust survivors that the bank took in gold looted by wartime Croatian fascists. He merely alluded briskly to "that veil, that shadow that comes from the past", and then plunged back into an account of the bank's efforts to satisfy international requirements on transparency.

Next month, a committee of the Council of Europe is to report on the Vatican's progress towards compliance with rules designed to prevent money laundering and the funding of terrorism. The aim of the briefing and tour was to persuade the world that the bank – or Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), to give it its proper name – was as clean as a new white altar cloth.

Not the least of the IOR's handicaps is that it is housed in what was once the papal prison – a grim, grey tower built in the 15th century and attached to one side of the Palace of Sixtus V, the pope's residence. We entered through a walled courtyard at the side and were taken up five flights of stairs into the conference room, through a passageway in which old ledgers were on display together with two magnificent coin collections.

After the briefing, we were directed along a corridor to a winding staircase that led down though the tower and eventually delivered us into a big, circular hall. Ranged across one side were the tellers' positions. Light entered the room through high, broad windows let into the massively thick walls of the former jail.

At the bottom of a flight of stairs at the entrance was an ATM. In Latin, the opening screen announced it was available for a cash withdrawal – a "deductio ex pecunia".

According to Cipriani, the IOR has 33,000 accounts belonging to clerics, religious orders and foundations, Vatican employees and diplomats accredited to the Holy See. He said the IOR had used scrupulous checks to prevent them being used by third parties.

Openness at the Vatican usually comes in limited doses, and this was no exception. TV cameras and recording devices were banned and questions for Cipriani after his presentation had to be submitted in advance.

But the IOR could scarcely find a more reassuring face to turn to the outside world than the bespectacled and ever-so-slightly chubby one of its genial managing director. He admitted that he had found it difficult to adapt to the ways of the Vatican after a lifetime spent in commercial banking. He ended by draping across the front of his lectern a T-shirt he had been given by another banker with "Anti-money Laundering Expert" and a representation of a washtub emblazoned on the front.

At one point during his presentation, he clapped his hand to his mouth after saying nuns could not open accounts "because they have taken vows of chastity". Looking just like a choirboy heard using rude words in the vestry, he said: "I meant 'poverty'."

Not all of the shadows cast over the IOR, however, date from its distant past. In 2010, Cipriani and his then president were put under investigation in Italy for a suspected violation of anti-money-laundering laws that the Vatican said was due to a misunderstanding. In February, JP Morgan broke off a 35-year relationship with the bank after the IOR refused to furnish it with information the Vatican considered excessive. And three months later, the president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who had been brought in specifically to improve transparency, was suddenly dismissed.

Cipriani gave the Vatican's side of both the first two controversies. But, in a presentation lasting some two and a half hours, Gotti Tedeschi's name was not mentioned even once.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Church Continues To Support And Assist Paedophile Priests.

The archdiocese has disclosed to The Age that it is providing significant financial support to four clergy released from jail after serving sentences for child sex abuse.
Victim support groups say more clergy found either by police or internal church investigations to have abused children are likely to be receiving financial support from different Catholic orders outside the Melbourne archdiocese's control.

A spokesman for the Melbourne archdiocese said church law required the bishop to ''ensure appropriate financial support is provided to all priests''. ''The archdiocese contributes to rental support and health insurance for four priests who have had their faculties to function as a priest withdrawn, been convicted of child sex offences and completed any term of imprisonment imposed by the courts.'' ..read more


Vatican: Popes Butler Released.

Paolo Gabriele
Paolo Gabriele

Paolo Gabriele gets a provisional release after he was put in prison on charges of leaking confidential documents from the Apostolic Palace

vatican insider staffRome
After being held in prison for almost 60 days on charges of illegal possession of confidential documents belonging to the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, Benedict XVI’s former butler has been released from his security cell in the Vatican Gendarmerie building, where he has been confined since 23 May 2012.

He will finally be able to re-embrace his wife and children and spend Sunday, his first day of freedom with them. Contextually, the conclusion of the preliminary investigation led by Prosecutor Piero Antonio Bonnet should have been decisive for Gabriele’s release. The examining magistrate will pronounce a sentence for the Pope’s 46 year old former butler who is accused of aggravated theft and is so far the only person being investigated for the Vatican document leak: he will either be committed for trial and his case opened for public debate or he will receive an acquittal.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

JPMorgan Connections: War Criminal Tony Blair - A Papal Knight Of Malta Answerable ONLY To The Pope.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, left, and Libyan leader Col.  Moammar Gaddafi, right, during an hour long break in their talks, stroll together to a separate tent for a lunch in Tripoli, Thursday March 25, 2004.  (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA) ** UNITED KINGDOM OUT: MAGAZINES OUT: NO SALES: **

Business ... Blair and Gaddafi in Tripoli in 2004. Photo: AP
TONY BLAIR is facing calls for greater transparency in his role as Middle East peace envoy after it has emerged he visited Muammar Gaddafi in 2009 while JPMorgan, the investment bank that employs Blair as a £2 million-a-year ($3.2 million) adviser, sought to negotiate a multibillion-pound loan from Libya.

Blair also championed two large business deals in the West Bank and Gaza involving telecoms and gas extraction which stood to benefit corporate clients of JPMorgan, an investigation by the UK Channel 4 TV station's Dispatches program reveals.

Blair, who represents the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East - the US, European Union, Russia and the United Nations - flew to see the former Libyan leader in January 2009 as JPMorgan tried to finalise a deal for the Libyan Investment Authority to lend a multibillion-pound sum to Rusal, the aluminium company run by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

The LIA was set up by Gaddafi to manage the country's wealth and was estimated to be worth $64 billion last September.
Emails obtained by anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness and seen by the Guardian reveal JPMorgan's vice-chairman, Lord Renwick, invited the then vice-chairman of LIA, Mustafa Zarti, to ''finalise the terms of the mandate concerning Rusal before Mr Blair's visit to Tripoli which is scheduled to take place on around 22 January''.

The meeting went ahead, but a spokesman for Mr Blair denied the former British prime minister had been involved in the proposed Rusal deal. A spokesman for JPMorgan said Blair had no knowledge of the proposal but could not explain why Blair's visit to Gaddafi was raised in the email.

''Neither Tony Blair nor any of his staff raised any issue to do with a Russian aluminium company,'' Blair's spokesman said. A Rusal presentation obtained by Global Witness showed the aluminium company had been seeking a $4.5 billion loan in the form of a convertible bond, but the deal never happened.

In the Palestinian territories as the quartet envoy, Blair persuaded the Israeli government to open radio frequencies so mobile phone company Wataniya could operate in the West Bank. The company's owner, Qtel, a Qatari telecoms company, is a client of JPMorgan and bought Wataniya with a $2 billion loan the bank helped arrange.

The second deal saw Mr Blair champion the development of a gas field off the coast of Gaza.

The owner of the rights to operate the field is BG Group, a client of JPMorgan.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ''In neither case was Mr Blair even aware JPMorgan had a connection with the company.''

Guardian News and Media


JPMorgan Complicit In Vatican Money Laundering.

The Council of Europe presented a preliminary report in Strasbourg Wednesday on massive money-laundering by the Vatican.  As JP Morgan was the Vatican’s chief bank until the scandal broke, The Morgue may soon have a much bigger scandal and PR nightmare on its hands than a simply $9 billion derivatives loss.

It is clear that JPMorgan is complicit in money-laundering in Europe with the Vatican, having abetted Vatican bank money-laundering and fraud by allowing IRS-defined suspicious transactions pass through their institution.

From the Silver Vigilante:

This financial account allegedly processed more than a billion euros for the Vatican bank through last year. Italian investigators suspect the account was used to launder funds from “dubious sources.” According to the strict anti-money-laundering laws to which financial institutions are supposed to be held, JPMorgan should be considered a primary suspect in massive money-laundering operations in Europe, centered at the Vatican bank. Considering the blatant record amassed by the Vatican – it’s fraudulent and illegal dealings – JPMorgan worked as one of the pope’s banksters with complete disregard for moral hazard. It was not until JPMorgan was caught naked in bed with the pope, engaging in massive and illegal transfers, did the bank begin scrutinizing the Vatican’s financial dealings to which it was an accomplice.  To this point, the mainstream media has focused on the shadyness of the Vatican – an age old story, literally – and not directly implicated JPMorgan in yet further financial crimes.

The transfers did not come with information regarding account holders or purposes for the transfers. Of that amount, 20 million pounds apparently was heading to the Vatican’s JPMorgan account in Frankfurt. The other 3 million euros were heading for an account at a different bank in Rome......read more


The Vatican Bank: Jesuits Control Of The Zionist Movement - Greg Szymanski . Blair Bush Murdoch Are ALL Papal Knights Of Malta . They Are JESUITS.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Philadelphia Priest AbuseTrial: Judge Denies Arrest For Monsignor.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a defense motion today that would have granted house arrest to Msgr. William J. Lynn.

The judge's decision means that Lynn will continue to reside at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, known as CFCF, on State Road in Northeast Philadelphia. According to his attorney, Jeff Lindy, Lynn is in protective custody there, and leading a contemplative life.

Judge Sarmina did grant one defense request, to move up Lynn's sentencing date from Aug. 13 to July 24, provided the monsignor was willing to waive a pre-sentence report. The theory was, after Lynn has been the object of grand jury scrutiny and a decade of investigation, there was nothing new out there to be dug up by an investigator that would affect his sentence. Lynn agreed to the request.
The 61-year-old monsignor is facing a sentence of three and a half to seven years after being convicted on one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a third-degree felony. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington surprised nobody in the courtroom when he said he would be asking for the maximum sentence.

The judge had asked Blessington to investigate whether the commonwealth could draw up an extradition waiver that if signed by Lynn would prevent the monsignor from escaping to the Vatican. Blessington said he did investigate, and that such a waiver would be "worthless" in the event that the monsignor went on the lam.

Another Lynn defense lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, told the judge that the defense was prepared to raise Lynn's bail from $50,000 to $100,000, meaning the family's ten percent deposit would rise from $5,000 to $10,000, if the judge was willing to grant house arrest.

Bergstrom, tried to assure the judge that Lynn was not a flight risk before she made her decision. "He's not going anywhere," Bergstrom said of his client, who was brought to the courthouse by sheriff's deputies, and was wearing a black short sleeve shirt and pants, minus his priest's collar.

Bergstrom tried to appeal to the judge's sense of fairness, but struck out looking. "If he were any other defendant he'd be out on bail," Bergstrom told the judge. "I don't think he should be treated any differently. I think he's entitled to it."

But if the monsignor made a break for it, the judge asked Bergstrom, "Would you serve his sentence?"

"Sure, absolutely," Bergstrom replied. "That's the faith that I have in this man."....read more


Philadelphia Paedophile Priest Trial :Inside The Archdiocese Spin Machine.

Ralph Cipriano explains..

Devine used to work for Brian Tierney, the former mouthpiece for the late Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, back when His Eminence was running a criminal enterprise out of the archdiocese. According to a 2005 grand jury report, Cardinal Bevilacqua and his predecessor, Cardinal John Krol, orchestrated a systematic coverup spanning four decades that managed to successfully shield from prosecution 63 priests who had raped, molested and sexually abused hundreds of innocent children. Nice references, huh?

I have already detailed on this blog how Tierney and Devine could stoop so low as to enlist a couple of pedophile priests in their PR campaign to boost the cardinal's image. I've written about how Devine and Tierney used a pack of lies 19 years ago to cover-up Bevilacqua's embarrassing $1 million spending spree to redecorate his seaside villa, at the same time he was closing poor minority parishes and schools in North Philadelphia.

Today, I'd like to talk about how Jay Devine made an "amazingly stupid" admission to one of my editors at the Inquirer in 1998. And how I included Devine's amazingly stupid quote in a book that I wrote about my former lawyer, Jim Beasley, in 2008. And how when Devine heard this quote read on the air in 2009 by co-host Rhea Hughes on WIP, who said it the most outrageous quote in the book, Jay Devine, that outrageous liar, hired a lawyer, brazenly rewrote his amazingly stupid quote of 11 years earlier, so he could threaten to sue me for libel.

The beauty of it is I have all of this in writing. And I'm eager to share.....read more


Priest Abuse Blog In The Media.

Article by journalist Ralph Cipriano. Please leave your comments at link provided.

There's an exhaustive and authoritative new website that catalogues everything that moved during the priest abuse trial:


Here's what the introduction to the site says:
"The trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn and Rev. James J. Brennan in Philadelphia was complex and lengthy, and its conclusion was a watershed event: the first conviction of a church official for child endangerment. During the trial, witnesses and exhibits provided the jury with information on 21 other accused priests whom Lynn had managed." 
"We have provided two resources for understanding the trial and the evidence that has been presented during it. On this page, we offer a day-by-day list of the witnesses, evidence, and courtroom discussions, with links to articles by journalists who were present at the trial and filed detailed accounts. The mainstays are John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian of the Philadelphia InquirerMaryclaire Dale and Joann Loviglio of the Associated Press, and Ralph Cipriano of the Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog sponsored by The Beasley Firm. Many other reporters covered the trial, and we have included selections of their work. We have emphasized the longer accounts. The men and women of the press deserve everyone's sincere thanks for their dedicated and able reporting during this epic trial."

-- The prosecutor laid an egg in her opening statement to the jury.

-- The judge had a 
stranglehold on Courtroom 304.

-- The prosecution's strategy was to put the 
Archdiocese of Philadelphia on trial.

-- The cardinal's spin machine would stoop to anything, even using a couple of 
pedophiles, to make His Eminence look good.

-- The case against Father James J. Brennan 
unraveled early.

-- The mother of Father Brennan's accuser took the stand for the prosecution, and her testimony actually 
hurt the case.

--  When he was a Trappist monk, Father Brennan used to sing 
White Christmas to chickens.

-- The film debut of Cardinal Bevilacqua's 
deposition tragically was canceled during the trial.

-- The prosecution was doing some fine 
play-acting as they read Msgr. Lynn's grand jury testimony into the record.

-- The play-acting revealed the monsignor to be a 
bumbling detective as he chased a pervert priest on the lam.

-- If you were planning a gay cruise to Thailand, the man to call was Father Mike.

-- A secret archdiocese memo that Cardinal Bevilacqua ordered shredded in 1994 was discovered in a locked safe at archdiocese headquarters in 2006, resulting in an in-house lawyer saying a bunch of guys in collars at 222 N. 17th St. were lying.

-- A former teen Jesus told the jury about being sexually abused during an archdiocese passion play.

-- A nun 
called out Msgr. Lynn from the witness stand.

--  All the 
cardinal's men who were missing from the defense table.

-- The prosecution's 
smoking gun may have hit the wrong target.

-- The fire-breathing prosecutor who called Msgr. Lynn 
a liar once every four minutes.

-- The 
momentum in the case at the end was clearly swinging to the defense.

-- The archdiocese was spending at least 
$75,000 a week on its dream team of four defense lawyers.

-- While the jury deliberated, defense lawyer William J. Brennan played 
Godfather trivia with Vernon Odom of Action News.

-- The jury was confused by the judge's 
contradictory instructions.

-- The judge during deliberations completely 
reversed herself overnight on the key issue of whether Msgr. Lynn had to have acted with criminal intent in order to have been found guilty of conspiring to endanger the welfare of children.

How was that not a story? A judge doing a complete reversal on key jury instructions regarding whether the main defendant had to act with criminal intent? How'd they miss that one?

If you're doing this job right, at some point, you're gonna piss everybody off. At various points during the trial, we've enraged the victims' groups, the defense lawyers thought we hated them, we've ripped the judge, and now those thin-skinned prosecutors aren't talking to us because we
rained on their victory parade. Get over it guys.

We will continue to post honest, uncensored reporting that tracks the story where ever it goes. Thanks to everybody for tuning in.

I'd also like to thank the guy who dreamed up this project, Jim Beasley Jr. He's a former juvenile delinquent who grew up to become a doctor and a lawyer. He's been running The Beasley Firm since his dad died in 2004, putting out one fire after another and working his ass off to keep the place up and running as the go-to-firm for serious litigation and legal trial representation. In his spare time, Jim races motorcycles and flies vintage World War II airplanes at air shows.

I had just finished writing Courtroom Cowboy, a biography of Jim's father, back in 2008, when Jim asked me what I was doing. The answer was nothing. Every lawyer in town is interested in the Fumo case, he said. Why don't you go down to the courthouse and see what's going on?

So we blogged the Fumo case. And then Jim suggested blogging this trial. He was also crazy enough to pay me for it. During the 13-week priest abuse trial, Jim was enthusiastic about the blog, but I kept asking him, What are you getting out of this?

"I just think it's a cool thing to do," he said.

Thanks, Jim. 
Ralph Cipriano


Ongoing Archdiocese Fire Sale Exposes 19-Year-Old Cover-Up of Cardinal Bevilacqua's Lavish Spending

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is holding a fire sale after running up $11.6 million in legal bills in the fiscal year prior to the priest abuse trial. Facing a $17 million operating deficit, the archdiocese is now selling off the cardinal's mansion on City Line Avenue, and closing down the 117-year-old archdiocese newspaper, The Catholic Standard & Times.

The latest victim of the church's austerity campaign is Villa St. Joseph-by-the-Sea. The grand summer vacation home where Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua once entertained wealthy donors will soon be up for sale. It's a three-story brick and stucco oceanfront mansion that covers an entire city block along the boardwalk in Ventnor, N.J., and is assessed at $6.2 million.

The impending sale of the cardinal's seaside villa is not only a sign of the archdiocese's changing fortunes, but it also exposes a bunch of lies told by the cardinal's PR guys 19 years ago to get His Eminence out of a public relations jam over the villa. It's an amusing saga.

It should surprise nobody that a cardinal who in 1994 would order the shredding of a list of 35 abuser priests then in ministry a year earlier, in 1993, would launch an elaborate and untruthful cover-up of his own lavish spending habits. 

But you've got to admire the resourcefulness of the cardinal's spin machine. To pull off the villa cover-up, the cardinal and his PR guys enlisted the services of a wealthy donor willing to bend the truth, and they also planted a fraudulent article and photo in the archdiocese's own newspaper. Maybe it's a good thing that they're finally closing that house organ. The archdiocese spin machine also apparently manufactured a phony alibi about a non-existing "reverter clause" on the original deed of sale of the villa to claim that the cardinal couldn't sell the place if he wanted to.

It's a pack of lies that stood for 19 years. Somewhere, Brian Tierney is smiling.

The saga began on June 29, 1993, when a group of 18 protesters held a demonstration at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Using Superglue instead of nails, the protesters attached a list of grievances to the cathedral door that accused the cardinal of betraying the gospel by "willfully neglecting the poor."

The protesters said that at the same time he was closing poor churches and schools in North Philadelphia, the cardinal was redecorating his summer home. Talk about a public relations nightmare for His Eminence. At the time, minority parishioners were picketing the cathedral every week to protest the closings. I was there the day of the Martin Luther-style protest at the cathedral, covering the story as the religion reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jay Devine, a spokesman on loan to the archdiocese from Tierney's PR firm, claimed the cardinal's vacation home was also a summer residence for up to a dozen retired priests. "The place was in fairly deplorable condition and needed that kind of work to accommodate the priests," Devine told the Philadelphia Inquirer on June 30, 1993, in a story that ran under my byline.

Permits on file at Ventnor City Hall showed contractors at the villa in 1993 were doing $118,000 worth of interior renovations, plumbing and electrical work. Tax records listed the archdiocese as the owner of the villa since 1963, with the place then assessed at $1.7 million, and the archdiocese paying annual taxes of $30,249 in 1992.

Nine days later, Devine told the Inquirer, however, that despite tax records listing the property as owned by the archdiocese, the property could not be sold because of a restriction on a deed from a benefactor. Here's what the Inquirer printed on July 9, 1993, in a story under my byline:

The villa was donated in 1963 to the archdiocese by Hannah Gertrude Hogan for use as a residence for retired priests, Devine said. Hogan stipulated in a deed conveyed to then-Archbishop Krol that if the villa were sold, it would revert to its original owners ... No archdiocese monies were used to pay for the improvements, Devine said.

Instead, the money to pay for the improvements came from a $1 million donation from John E. Connolly of Pittsburgh, a wealthy donor who made a fortune on riverboat gambling, Devine maintained....read more


Judge Worried About Monsignor Hiding Out At The Vatican.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina wants Msgr. William J. Lynn to sign an extradition waiver before she'll consider letting him out of jail on house arrest.

The judge told lawyers in the case that she's worried about the monsignor fleeing the Commonwealth to hide out at the Vatican. If the monsignor wants to get out of jail, he'll have to sign the extradition waiver first. Then if he subsequently becomes a fugitive and is captured on Vatican soil, he cannot legally fight extradition back to the U.S.

Sounds like a plot for a TV potboiler, right? But the judge was serious, and so Lynn agreed to the request. The judge was crabbier than usual as she repeatedly lit into defense lawyer Jeff Lindy for mistakenly telling her last week that the monsignor does not have a passport. He does, although on Tuesday, the monsignor handed his passport over to the judge before he went back to jail.

The judge got things started at the hearing over house arrest by telling lawyers on both sides of the case that she wanted them to be civil.

You mean civil as opposed to criminal asked Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington. Blessington. Blessington, usually the most unhinged participant in these legal debates, did not seem to know what the judge was talking about.

The judge continued to hammer Lindy for saying that the monsignor did not have a passport on Friday after the verdict, just before the judge decided to have Msgr. Lynn taken into custody.

The judge slammed Lindy for being "zealous" in representing his client, but not getting his facts straight.

Lindy can get "huffy" as the judge has described it, but Blessington has so many more fouls. The prosecutor has repeatedly slammed the monsignor as a liar and the monsignor's defense lawyers as pampered, overpaid and whiny crybabies always trying to pull some last-minute maneuver to delay justice for their corrupt client. The best part for Blessington is that no matter how loud and obnoxious he gets, the judge never calls him on anything, a fact not lost on Lindy.

"It's remarkable that you're talking about me," Lindy said, glancing in the direction of Blessington. "I don't know why you're going off on me right now," Lindy said. But the judge was just getting started. 

"You stated it quite emphatically," the judge lectured Lindy about the passport that the monsignor allegedly did not have. "It turns out that you were in fact wrong," the judge continued. "Where would you get that understanding?"

Lindy said he might have gotten the wrong information from a relative or another lawyer in the case. He attempted to apologize, but the judge treated Lindy like a kid late for detention.

"If you're chewing gum, please get rid of it," she said.

"Yes, Your Honor," Lindy meekly responded.

The defense called Rita DeCarolis to the stand. She's a senior citizen who has volunteered her home to be the site of Msgr. Lynn's house arrest. DeCarolis said her son's late wife was Lynn's sister. DeCarolis testified that she lives alone. "I'm free," she said to help out the monsignor. She also was willing to let probation officers inspect her house, and call at all hours to check on the monsignor.

Lindy told the judge that his client was 61 years old, had no prior record, and plenty of ties to the community. Lynn was under investigation for ten years by a grand jury and never went anywhere, Lindy said. The monsignor made at least a dozen appearances before the grand jury. He showed up every day for court during the 13-week trial, usually early.

"He is absolutely no risk" to flee, Lindy said. The judge asked Lindy what he would do if despite his promises, his client fled the Commonwealth.

Lindy seemed perplexed. He suggested he could walk on his hands, eat the paper that his motion for house arrest was printed on, do somersaults, flips or whatever the judge wanted.

She glared at him. 

Lindy sat down, and it was Blessington's turn to pour some gasoline on the fire.

"I will be civil," Blessington promised. But within seconds, the prosecutor was talking about Lindy's "material misrepresentations" to the judge, like that passport that Lindy said the monsignor did not have.

Blessington then pulled out a Chicago Tribune story that talked about since 1985, 32 Catholic priests accused of sex abuse had absconded from the country. The Catholic Church, which paid for Lynn's high-priced lawyers, is a "very powerful" worldwide organization, Blessington said. If Lynn fled the country, he could put his collar back on and blend in as a priest anywhere around the world. 

Blessington was only a few minutes into his spiel where he promised to be civil when he briefly returned to the subject of Lynn's behavior on the witness stand. All he did was "lie, lie and lie," Blessington said of the monsignor.

"We're not here to discuss that, Mr. Blessington," the judge said. Wow, a mild reprimand from the judge. It only took 14 weeks.

Blessington skipped over the monsignor's behavior and talked about the "insulting" conduct of the defense team, and how they were now trying to "beg the court's indulgence" to get a convicted felon like their client out of jail.

Blessington asked the judge to consider the "mirror quality of the conduct" of the defense team, and how they reflected their corrupt client. He even took a shot at DeCarolis, calling her "the daughter-in-law of the son-in-law of a third cousin."

Blessington then returned to the subject of Lynn's conduct.

"He has nothing but utter contempt for the legal process," the prosecutor yelled. He doesn't deserve a reprieve from jail, especially considering it was "incomprehensible that he [Lynn] wouldn't get the maximum sentence." Lynn faces 3 1/2 to 7 years in jail after being convicted on the charge of endangering the welfare of a child, a third-class felony....read more


Pope’s visit to Lebanon is stirring up hopes and expectations,” says Holy Land Custodian

Fr. Pizzaballa
Fr. Pizzaballa

The Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, who believes in a historic passage in a world which is yet to reap the fruits of the Arab Spring, speaks to “Vatican Radio”

vatican insider staffRome
“In the Holy Land, everyone is awaiting the Pope’s visit with great anticipation.” “Numerous participation requests” have already been received and “because of the political situation getting visas will not be easy.” 

The Custodian of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa stated this, noting that the Arab Spring changed all organisational structures and Christians in the Middle East are expecting Benedict XVI’s guidance and support.
“Lebanonis a crucial cultural reference point for the entire Middle East and it is also for the life of the Church. This is why everyone wants to be present. The parishioners’ assembly, presided over by the Patriarch has already decided that all parishes will dedicate the next pastoral year to the study and reading of the Post-Synodal Exhortation,” the Franciscan cleric noted...... 

Philadelphia Paedophile Priests:Defrock Lynn Sex Abuse Victims Urge Archbishop Chaput To Laicze Convicted Priest.

(RNS) The leading advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy is urging Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to defrock the priest convicted last week of shielding other clerics who preyed on children. But laicizing Monsignor William Lynn is not as simple as it sounds.
Lynn oversaw clergy assignments in the Philadelphia archdiocese for a decade and is the first high-ranking church official ever found guilty of covering up for abuse, not committing it.
Lynn, 61, was convicted on one charge of child endangerment and was acquitted of conspiracy and a second endangerment charge after a closely watched three-month trial. He is in custody and could face up to seven years behind bars when he is sentenced on Aug. 13.
The request by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, came in a letter sent Wednesday (June 27) to Chaput. It highlights the unusual challenge of what punishment the church should levy on Lynn, if any.
"This is not about being vindictive. It's about being prudent," SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris write in their letter. "It's about sending the most clear and severe message possible to current and future church employees who ignore, conceal and enable heinous crimes against kids."
"That message should be a 'no brainer' -- if you protect predators and hurt kids by hiding known and suspected crimes, you will be out of a job."
The first difficulty in trying to laicize Lynn, though, is that his case is unique. There appear to be few provisions in canon law or in the policies adopted by the American bishops a decade ago for defrocking a priest who is not guilty of the actual abuse.