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Records detail cardinal's failings in abuse scandal
Cardinal Roger Mahony will be deposed Saturday, then head to Rome to vote on next pope.
February 22nd, 2013
07:15 PM ET

Records detail cardinal's failings in abuse scandal

By Wayne Drash, CNN

(CNN) – Told by two families that a visiting priest was suspected of molesting their children in 1988, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not immediately notify police. Instead, Cardinal Roger Mahony’s right-hand man alerted the priest – a heads-up that allowed him to flee the country for Mexico.

He remained in the priesthood there for another 21 years, allegedly continuing to molest. He has denied the accusations and remains a fugitive.

Newly released church documents show the behind-the-scenes machinations of top officials within the Los Angeles archdiocese making decisions on how to deal with pedophile priests, hindering police investigations and saying, in private, something completely different than what they said in public.

Mahony, one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in America at the time, received constant updates on molesting priests and sometimes gave orders on how to deal with cases, including once telling subordinates to deny a police request for a list of altar boys. In at least one case, minute details like retirement benefits were discussed for an admitted molester.

On Saturday, Mahony faced a deposition, answering questions on his handling of the abuse scandal for the first time since the documents' release.

He will journey next to Rome to join the conclave to decide the next pope - a decision that has stirred controversy among advocates of abuse victims and many Catholics.

Anthony De Marco, an attorney who has spent decades representing abuse victims, said the newly released documents surprised even him, because they show “how frequently there was correspondence back and forth between Cardinal Mahony and his top assistants and others after a priest was accused.”

"We know a lot more about his conduct and his words now than we ever have, and I believe that's going to make for a much more thorough deposition," said De Marco, ahead of the deposition he was scheduled to lead.

The archdiocese had fought for years against the documents' being made public. But a judge ordered the release of the material – more than 12,000 pages that detail the extent of sexual abuse within the archdiocese dating back to the 1930s.

“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said in rebuking Mahony, his predecessor.

Still, Gomez supports Mahony on his journey to Rome, where he will join the papal conclave in the Sistine Chapel to choose the next pope. In a letter to priests within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Gomez asked them “to pray for Cardinal Mahony as he fulfills this sacred duty as Cardinal Elector.”

“I am confident that Cardinal Mahony’s accomplishments and experience in the areas of immigration, social justice, sacred liturgy, and the role of the laity in the Church will serve the College of Cardinals well,” Gomez said.

‘The children are not traumatized’

The case of the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera is a microcosm of the larger abuse crisis within the church. It will be at the heart of the deposition.

At a time when the archdiocese was widening its base within the ever-growing Latino community in Southern California, Aguilar-Rivera came to the United States from Mexico, in March 1987. Aguilar-Rivera’s bishop in Mexico had asked the Los Angeles archdiocese to take him in.

The archdiocese welcomed him and found a spot for him in two parishes where parents trusted him with their children, unsupervised.

“He even used his status as a newcomer, his need to learn English, as his ruse for getting children alone," said Terry McKiernan, founder of the church watchdog group BishopAccountability.org. "It’s one of the most extreme combinations of devout Catholic people very open to a priest, very respectful of him, and the callousness and carelessness of hierarchy on both sides of the border about the dangers that this priest posed."

McKiernan added, “This is a man who was a total predator, whose entire life and being seemed to be focused on abusing children.”

Once in the United States, Aguilar-Rivera was first sent to work at Our Lady of Guadalupe, a church with a largely Mexican-American population in East Los Angeles. The bishop for that area, Juan Arzube, Mahony’s vicar general for the San Gabriel Region, had once been accused of molestation and often lobbied on behalf of molesting priests, arguing they deserved to be forgiven, the documents show.

Arzube denied molesting any children himself, but admitted under deposition to being alone with altar boys on many occasions in his rectory apartment. His name was part of a massive civil lawsuit settled with accusers in 2007.

Arzube’s cavalier attitude toward sexual abuse is summed up in a 1980 document in which he lobbied for reinstatement of a priest who had been stripped of his duties, for a second time, because he molested altar boys. “How many priests are there completely guiltless over a period of 10 years?” said Arzube, who died on Christmas Day in 2007 at age 89.

The first inkling of Aguilar-Rivera’s alleged ­actions in America came on Friday January 8, 1988, when two families – “all trustworthy people” – informed their pastor that they believed their children had been molested. The priest, in turn, told Thomas Curry, the vicar of clergy and Mahony’s second in command.

One incident “happened at Christmas when Father visited the other family,” Curry told Mahony in a letter dated January 10, 1988. “There was a good deal of drinking, and the family asked him to stay. He slept in the room with the children and is supposed to have gotten into bed with one of the boys that night.”

The principal of the boys’ school, Curry noted, had been informed of the accusations and “will be obliged to report it to police.”

But the church didn’t respond by first alerting police. Instead, Curry met with Aguilar-Rivera at the church the day after the allegations were made, a Saturday morning, and informed him that a police investigation would be launched.

“I offered to find a place for him to live until he could make other arrangements, but he volunteered that he would stay with his sister here and leave for Mexico on Monday or Tuesday of this week,” Curry wrote Mahony.

“… He asked that his bishop not be told, and I said that would not be possible. I told him the charges as I knew them, although I did not give the names of the families. He denied all, although he admitted that there was a good deal of drinking at Christmas. I told him that it was likely the accusations would be reported to the police and that he was in a good deal of danger.”

The documents show no suggestion on Curry’s or Mahony’s part that Aguilar-Rivera stay in the United States, cooperate with authorities and face the allegations.

Armed with the information, Aguilar-Rivera skipped town before police were notified on Monday, apparently by the school principal. That day, a detective asked an official within the archdiocese if Aguilar-Rivera intended to flee to Mexico.

“I said I was not sure,” said the official, who is not named in the documents. “I also said that Nicolas knew that it would probably be reported to the police, and that I had explained that some people were bound to report.”

Law enforcement took the allegations seriously and launched an investigation, even accusing the church of not fully cooperating with its efforts – an accusation that would eventually go public in a story in the Los Angeles Times.

One document says that a boy’s relative “had heard” that cops had accused church officials of a cover-up. “The family does not want any trouble,” said the memo dated January 21, 1988. “They want [Aguilar-Rivera] to receive help and that he not be able to do this again.”

The memo added, “The children are not traumatized.”

Five days later, police pushed for a list of altar boys at St. Agatha’s, the second parish where Aguilar-Rivera worked. This request sent archdiocese officials into a frenzy.

Curry wrote Mahony that he believed the church should not cooperate. “We have no evidence that Father Aguilar-Rivera was involved with altar boys as such,” Curry wrote on January 26, 1988. “All the boys involved were members of families he was friendly with in Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the alleged abuse took place while he was visiting these families or while they were visiting him.”

The pastor at St. Agatha, Curry continued, had no knowledge of abuse on his premises and “his concern is that if the police come and interview the boys, the matter will spread around the parish. The parish there is a black-Hispanic one, and he finds his situation as an Anglo pastor a very delicate one.”

“The whole issue of our records is a very sensitive one, and I am reluctant to give any list to the police,” Curry concluded. “We are being friendly but firm.”

At the bottom of the typed letter is a handwritten message from Mahony. “We cannot give such a list for no cause whatsoever,” he scrawled on the page, initializing it with “RMM.”

He underlined “cannot” for extra emphasis.

None of the archdiocese officials were ever charged with obstruction of justice.

Police eventually got the altar boy list, with no help from the archdiocese. Investigators learned the extent of Aguilar-Rivera’s alleged crimes by interviewing boys ranging in age from about 9 to 13.

In all, police said, 26 boys were molested in just nine months, many of them repeatedly. Aguilar-Rivera would eventually be charged in a felony complaint relating to 10 boys, with 19 counts of committing a lewd act with a child.

A Los Angeles Times reporter asked the archdiocese for comment at the time; its public statement stands in direct contrast to what the newly released documents reveal. “He was asked to stay in the country to face the accusations against him, but he chose to leave,” said Joseph Battaglia, the spokesman for the archdiocese.

In the article, police said the church was being less than forthcoming with investigators; a father of two of the alleged victims said simply, “The church shouldn’t be telling lies.”

With the allegations now in the open, the tone of archdiocese officials shifted. Three days later, Curry wrote Aguilar-Rivera’s bishop in Mexico and included a copy of the Los Angeles Times’ story.

“May I request that if you know of the whereabouts of Father Aguilar-Rivera,” Curry said, “you urge him most strongly to return here to answer the allegations that have been made against him.”

While on the run, Aguilar-Rivera even called the home of one of the boys he allegedly molested.

“Don’t you know everybody is looking for you?” the mother said, according to a March 11, 1988, memo.

“For what?” Aguilar-Rivera responded.

Aguilar-Rivera would remain in the priesthood in Mexico - for another 21 years. He would be dogged of more molestation allegations while there.

A civil suit filed in the United States in 2010 by a Mexican citizen alleged Aguilar-Rivera raped him when he was a 12-year-old altar boy in Mexico. The suit alleges Mahony and a Mexican cardinal conspired to hide Aguilar-Rivera between the two countries with full knowledge of his alleged pedophilia, putting an untold number of children at risk. Mahony has denied the allegations.

Aguilar-Rivera was convicted in Mexico in 2003 of a misdemeanor sex abuse charge, but was allowed to walk free while the case was under appeal, according to the Dallas Morning News.

He remains on Mexico’s federal prosecutor’s Most Want List wanted on charges of rape and indecent assault.

Aguilar-Rivera was finally stripped of his duties in 2009 by the Vatican, which approved his removal from “clerical state, a priest who has been accused of the sexual abuse of minors in Mexico and the United States,” the Catholic News Agency reported on July 31, 2009.

Attorney De Marco said it’s disgusting church authorities did nothing to stop him.

“He was able to walk around with the authority of the collar in a country where that authority carries more significance than it does here,” De Marco said. “How could anyone ever justify that 21-year delay? This man molested 26 children in nine months in the United States. How many more were there over 21 years?”

Aguilar-Rivera, now 71, is believed to be alive, a free man in Mexico.

Mahony prays for humiliation

Mahony, who turns 77 next week, was appointed archbishop of Los Angeles by Pope John Paul II in 1985, overseeing the archdiocese until 2011 when he retired. In 1991, he became a cardinal, the highest-ranking Catholic clergy below the pope.

McKiernan, who launched BishopAccountability.org in 2003 to keep track of the widespread church abuse, said the recently released documents show the scope and magnitude of Mahony’s and Curry’s efforts in “intentionally evading the authorities.”

“We didn’t have evidence of that before. It’s actually more stark,” he said. “You can tell from these documents Mahony was trying to keep abused priests away from police. ­… The document record is a disgraceful one.”

Curry stepped down earlier this month as the regional bishop of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and “publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as vicar for clergy,” archbishop Gomez said in announcing the resignation.

Mahony has said he has long acknowledged mistakes in the 1980s and that he improved the reporting mechanisms of priestly abuse in the years that followed.

He has recently taken to his personal blog, scribing an array of posts about praying for humiliation.

“… I am for the first time realizing that I should be praying for the very things from which I cringe, the disgrace I abhor, the fool that I seem,” he blogged on February 15.

In a post this week, he asked followers for “your prayers and your encouragements in my own life to handle all of my mistakes, omissions, and commissions as God asks, and as Jesus and Mary lived out: to take in what swirls around me, to hold it, to carry it, to transform it and to give it back as grace, blessing and gift.”

De Marco, the attorney conducting the deposition, said Mahony should feel one emotion far greater than humiliation: shame.

Amid calls for Mahony to not travel to Rome, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles remains steadfast in its support of his trip, saying canon law dictates that he attend.

Catholics United, a liberal-leaning group that pushes for social justice within the church, and SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) said they delivered a petition with close to 10,000 signatures to Saint Charles Borromeo Church in North Hollywood on Saturday, asking for Mahony not to attend the conclave.

"His participation in the conclave would only bring clouds of shame at a time that should bring springs of hope. Cardinal Mahony, please, stay home," said Chris Pumpelly, Catholics United's communications director.

There is no indication he will.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Catholic Church • Mexico • Pope • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

soundoff (459 Responses)
  1. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill would not is not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well and don't want to violate their silly beliefs.

    Recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    On sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    =============================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  2. Nietodarwin

    People who believe in any religion are mentally ill. There is NO evidence of a god or gods, because there is no god. We need to make it illegal for these nuts to take vulnerable children to church for the horrible brainwashing that they then foist upon their children, etc etc. CHRISTIANS ARE CRIMINALS IN EVERY WAY, (even the so called good law abiding ones.)

    February 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • longtooth

      For most of human history, there was no evidence that the earth was round. I'm no fan of religions, but sometimes a lack of evidence doesn't indicate a falsehood.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  3. truth be told

    All so called atheists are liars, give them any topic they will lie incessantly about it, it is what so called atheists do. The good news is they do not fool normal decent people, the population figures for idiot so called atheists never changes. They do try to claim the unaffiliated and agnostics in their group but the unaffiliated and agnostics are light years ahead of the so called atheist in intelligence and are way too smart to be taken in by them. Truth be told there is no use for the so called atheist in this world or the next.

    February 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EMBARRASSING EPIC FAIL".

      February 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      The United States will be great again when we get rid of the likes of you. I'm a patriot, and you are a delusional danger to the great country our founding fathers started.

      The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus…will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
      Thomas Jefferson
      “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.”
      _ Thomas Jefferson

      February 23, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • bigotBlaster

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. troll.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • truth be told

      President George H W Bush has said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be a citizen of this country, we are one nation under God.
      More proof that all so called atheists are liars, the only fail on these blogs is the failure of so called atheists to do humanity a favor by offing themselves. They sure wouldn't be missed.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Billy

      One of the Bushies is proof of something? LMAO! What an idiot TBT is.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    How does the Antichrist torture the mankind? I guess it has much to do with lies which he tells us.

    For example, in nearly every speech Obamba, Merkel, Cameron, etc. claim that it would not matter what exactly you believe. They acknowledge every religion, that is a crime of lie.

    The Only One who can set us free is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born by the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, man and God at the same time. We all have inherited the inclination to sin from Adam. The sin (sin is the opposite of Christian love or selfishness or egoism) dwells in our limbs that means that we are condemned to sin, even when we actually don't want to sin. From this curse we can only be set free by Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer.

    All religions, excepted Christianity, justify the sin. Buttom line they don't lead their believers to a life of love towards God and the human neighbour but prescribe certain idiotic rituals which dispense you from the duty to love God and your neighbour. For example the Catholics say a rosary in order to calm down God, and the Muslims go to Mecca sometimes. There is a saying in Arabia that the more one goes to Mecce the worse he becomes. I guess the saying is true.

    To sum it up: If we don't believe in the releasing Gospel of Jesus Christ we more and more become beasts which harm each other. Day by day we struggle to survive even on the cost of our neighbour and God's holiness. Our common religion is: "The survival of the fittest!" Actually the whole mankind should cooperate and be a large organism but through the lies of the Antichrist God's wonderful body dies, and corrodes.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer Braendlein, spigots and steak. Promulgate your presumptions only in vacuo on ice cream.

      Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard.

      Bus stops follow movement, or do they? The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. In the locale of catalysts, there is always a way to the lavatory for the unimpeded. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners if you are so purple. It's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64.

      And remember, never ever miss an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      February 23, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Rainer Braendlein", but "God", "Christ", the "Son of God", "God", "Virgin Mary", "Holy Spirit", "Adam", "sin", "the great Redeemer", and "Antichrist" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      February 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  5. treblemaker

    It's so hilarious listening to Gentiles argue amongst themselves and their fractured denominations. As far as I am concerned, the only true follower of Christ is a Jewish convert, because they leave "everything behind" to follow Him. No Gentile could even understand that.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Psychiatrist

      I understand. Now tell me about your childhood...

      February 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  6. Rainer Braendlein

    How does the Antichrist torture the mankind? I guess it has much to do with lies which he tells us.

    For example, in nearly every speech Obamba, Merkel, Cameron, etc. claim that it would not matter what exactly you believe. They acknowledge every religion, that is a crime of lie.

    The Only One who can set us free is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born by the Virgin Mary, conceived by the Holy Spirit, man and God at the same time. We all have inherited the inclination to sin from Adam. The sin (sin is the opposite of Christian love or selfishness or egoism) dwells in our limbs that means that we are condemned to sin, even when we actually don't want to sin. From this curse we can only be set free by Jesus Christ, the great Redeemer.

    All religions, excepted Christianity, justify the sin. Buttom line they don't lead their believers to a life our love towards God and the human neighbour but prescribe certain idiotic rituals which dispense you from the duty to love God and your neighbour. For example the Catholics say a rosary in order to calm down God, and the Muslims go to Mecca sometimes. There is a saying in Arabia that the more one goes to Mecce the worse he becomes. I guess the saying is true.

    To sum it up: If we don't believe in the releasing Gospel of Jesus Christ we more and more become beasts which harm each other. Day by day we struggle to survive even on the cost of our neighbour and God's holiness. Our common religion is: "The survival of the fittest!" Actually the whole mankind should cooperate and be a large organism but through the lies of the Antichrist God's wonderful body dies, and corrodes.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • OOO

      I don't believe anything you are saying. What you gonna do about it?

      February 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the bible is a book of fairy tales. the bible mentions unicorns seven times. also dragons and satyrs. there are talking donkeys and snakes. the bible says to kill g.ays, disobedient children, non-virgin brides and anyone working the weekend. btw, the devil kills exactly 10 people in the bible. - god murders millions in his great flood. he drowned pregnant women, the elderly, infirm, physically disabled, mentally challenged and babies. read that again: BABIES. only a disgusting monster could justify filling a child's lungs with water and call it divine justice. your christian god is a baby-killer, so you may want to get off your high horse.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Rainer Braendlein", but "God", "Christ", the "Son of God", "God", "Virgin Mary", "Holy Spirit", "Adam", "sin", "the great Redeemer", and "Antichrist" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your repeated unfounded assertions may represent truths is: "EPIC FAIL". Perhaps the following book can help you cope with the problem of repeating unfounded assertions:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      February 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  7. Patines

    This might sound too blunt, but these people have known at all different levels about all the abuses and regardless of what anyone of you might think, they're all guilty, including the pope. When you witness a crime or you have the proves of a crime being committed and keep silent, you are as guilty as the one who has committed a crime.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  8. usresham

    How will whites react if Black man is selected as Pop? Will they leave the church or call him names as they do to out President?

    February 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Patines

      That's an interesting point and that might be the wild card to get rid off this evil organization.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  9. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill would not is not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well and don't want to violate their silly beliefs.

    Recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    On sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    ===============================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • David Sutton

      I am a practicing catholic, yet I respect your opinion for I believe you have at least given thought to these important issues.
      Most of us Christians are like sheep who would have slept through the Sermon on the Mount (from Robert Bolt's play "A Man for All Seasons).We catholics rely on our bishops to lead us. Some think this is folly. But I myself am a sheep–in that I need guidance, direction and leadership in what I believe. Yet the Bishops themselves have told us that our informed conscience is
      our guide, and we must follow it.

      March 3, 2013 at 4:28 am |
    • End Religion

      David, consider having a chat with your personal incontinence consultant. You have uncontrolled diarrhea of the mouth.

      March 3, 2013 at 4:30 am |
  10. Dino Martini

    So this guy's busy schedule is:

    1. Be deposed for his role in the most horrific religious scandal of the last couple centuries.

    2. Immediately go elect the next Pope. Who could conceivably be him.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  11. EX catholic

    That's how IDOLATRY goes on. IDOLATRY is NOT a Religion, IDOLATRY is a very serious SIN.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • ..

      Are you ignorant? If praying to a statue of Jesus is idolatry, that means Jesus is a false God...how do you not GET that, you moron?

      February 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Sam Stone, your comments are not useful. Breeze off!

    February 23, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Duh

      Neither are yours so buzz off!

      February 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • ..

      Rainer Braendlein, your comments are not useful. Fuck off!

      February 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Touched a nerve

      Rainer none of the crap you post is wecome, we have learned to ignore your posts but you could just p1ss off.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      Rainy:

      1. It's a public forum

      2. Fvck off, punk

      February 23, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Jesus' Kampf

      Jah! Ve must send all opposition to ze kamps! Heil Jesus!

      February 23, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
  13. jim

    this whole story reminds me of a corrupt corporation that breaks the law. lets say bp for instance. the plead guilty and pay the fines and go about their way. do the real culprits ever answer for their crimes, no. who pays the fines? stockholders of bp. parishioners of the church for the other. if mahony was really disgraced he would retire in humiliation and never be heard of again. the church will always and permanently be tarnished by the sins of its leaders, but the only way to get past all of this is to show a true willingness to be open to all fact findings, and truly change its mindset towards this fiasco.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Let us look at the facts. The whole world is about to become a giant factory (today morning I have heard that Facebook builds a big data store in northern Sweden, nearly the end of the world, but they prefer the cold climate for cooling their computers). Our underpants are made in Pakistan, India, Turkey or elsewhere. Our cattle is fed with soya from Asia, Africa and elsewhere. Whe could not produce the bulks of meat without the imported Soya. Briefly, we are much to occupied with the circulation of matter (goods and food, etc.). We invest too little time in contemplation, and we wonder why our world has become an icecold place concerning human emotions which we would need so urgently.

    However, the Antichrist and his friends live a life of luxery spending the taxes which we pay him, and the more we work, and not contemplate, the more taxes he gets.

    Let us escape to Jesus Christ, the good ruler, who wants to promote our happiness and our soul's health and is not interested in our money; let us reduce our consumption of goods and food, and spend more time for thinking about God, Jesus Christ, and how we should tread our fellow human beings according to God's will.

    February 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      If you mean Joey Ratzinger, we don't have to give him anything at all.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • OhPlease

      More negativity from the Christians, this is what is so wrong with this cult. They have to bring down the world in order to sell their religion. They can't recognize the good in the world because then they would have to admit the world doesn't need their cult.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • Dino Martini

      Rainer's posts always sound exactly like the Nazi party platform with Jesus instead of Hitler.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • ..

      There's a reason for that, Dino. He comes from the land of Hitler. He's just going by what his Fatherland history has indocrinated him with.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  15. elizabeth seymour

    Hay i love to say i love to read off my phone and read the news and i love to read every thing on my phone but when i read some thing sad and i start to cry i hate to cry because i hurts me when some one says that and i am a loving person i love u bff and bf and gf

    February 23, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  16. Impeach

    Them ALL and send to jail.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    "Newly released church docu-ments show the behind-the-scenes machinations of top officials within the Los Angeles archdiocese making decisions on how to deal with pedophile priests, hindering police investigations and saying, in private, something completely different than what they said in public."

    What actually is special about that? Every averagely intelligent man knew it ever that this was going on in the Catholic Church.

    However, we should not assume that Obama, Merkel and Hollande behave in a different way. Certainly they are the same hypocrites telling us any lies.

    Peoples have suffered a lot from the reign of the popes (after 600 a. D.) and from the reign of the Caliphs and Muhammad. Yet, the popes and the Caliphs have been only forerunners of the Antichrist, and I guess that at the moment we experience how the Antichrist gets rid of his rivals. The Antichrist will torture us in a more perfect way than Muhammad and the popes could ever do it.

    Ever the rulers of the world knew that Catholic priests, bishops and the popes themselves committed heavy crimes but they cast a veil of silence over it because they cooperated with the Catholic Church. Seemingly the Catholic Church loses its protection by the temporal rulers. They want to get rid of this insti-tution which reminds them still too much of Christianity although she (the Catholic Church) forsook The LORD arround 600 after Christ, and became a wh-ore (she commited adultery with Satan and the world).

    February 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Dude, this wasn't worth it the first time.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer Braendlein, spigots and steak. Promulgate your presumptions only in vacuo on ice cream. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they? The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. In the locale of catalysts, there is always a way to the lavatory for the unimpeded. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners if you are so purple. It's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts and a screwdriver. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job (84)

      And remember, never ever miss an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Write in Vote

      Lets get behind Rainer for the next pope...Pope Rainman the 1st. Oy Vey.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      rainy: how are you doing, you old closet queen?

      February 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • jim

      so you use one example of corruption and deceit to tarnish reputations and characters of those you simply don't like or disagree with. that renders your entire statement null. if you have facts that popes, obama , merkel or others are corrupt and have lied , broken laws or in otherwise deceived you. make your case or shut the f up.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • ..

      Ranier sings, "I come from the land of Hitler", yet presumes to tell us about Obama, Merkel and Hollande?? Clean up you own back yard before telling others tht they need to clean up theirs, you asshole. You grasp on reality is tenuous at best.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  18. catfishgrazis14

    MEA MAXIMA CULPA:SILENCE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD. sunday 2/24 on HBO.

    February 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    "Newly released church docu-ments show the behind-the-scenes machinations of top officials within the Los Angeles archdiocese making decisions on how to deal with pedophile priests, hindering police investigations and saying, in private, something completely different than what they said in public."

    What actually is special about that? Every averagely intelligent man knew it ever that this was going on in the Catholic Church.

    However, we should not assume that Obama, Merkel and Hollande behave in a different way. Certainly they are the same hypocrites telling us any lies.

    Peoples have suffered a lot from the reign of the popes (after 600 a. D.) and from the reign of the Caliphs and Muhammad. Yet, the popes and the Caliphs have been only forerunners of the Antichrist, and I guess that at the moment we experience how the Antichrist gets rid of his Western and Eastern rivals. The Antichrist will torture us in a more perfect way than Muhammad and the popes could ever do it.

    Ever the rulers of the world knew that Catholic priests, bishops and the popes themselves committed heavy crimes but they cast a veil of silence over it because they cooperated with the Catholic Church. Seemingly the Catholic Church loses its protection by the temporal rulers. They want to get rid of this insti-tution which reminds them still too much of Christianity although she (the Catholic Church) forsake The LORD arround 600 after Christ, and became a wh-ore (she committed adultery with Satan and the world).

    February 23, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Jill

      Rainer Braendlein, promulgate your presumptions only in vacuo on ice cream. Stay succulently upon your velodrome and fear not the coming of the essential kangaroo. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. Expand quietly but do not relish. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners while it's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. 1112. Welcome to the new sandwich lumberyard. Bus stops follow movement, or do they? The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job when a steamshovel is too distant for pomegranate. Strawberries are your incidental chemistry. Present the fulcrum in advance of the gypsum cookie, for as the tree is combed, so goes the predicate. In the locale of catalysts, there is always a way to the lavatory for the unimpeded. Whether or not you agree with the plumber, harvest away ye hearties. Kalabash in Friebourg but not in spanners if you are so purple. It's raining. Bring out the mustard but flap flap flap until takeoff. Why would you say such a thing in the presence of the substrate? 64. The impediment to your posterior is large but can be dissected with chestnuts and a screwdriver. Obermeyer. Glasnost and shallot cookies will do the main job (84)

      And remember, never ever miss an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      February 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • ..

      Ranier sings, “I come from the land of Hitler”, yet presumes to tell us about Obama, Merkel and Hollande?? Clean up you own back yard before telling others that they need to clean up theirs, you asshole. Your grasp on reality is tenuous at best.

      February 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  20. AvdBerg

    Spiritual Truth

    To find the truth go to http://www.gaychristian101.com

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

    February 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.