December 1st, 2010
06:34 PM ET

Protestors criticize new Catholic archbishop of Seattle

Editor's Note: CNN's Michael Martinez brings us this story.

New Roman Catholic archbishop of Seattle, J. Peter Sartain, was installed Wednesday afternoon with a Mass in the archdiocese's cathedral as protestors gathered outside.

"I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of this church," Sartain told congregants and priests filling St. James Cathedral. He then officially assumed his seat behind the altar to a minute-long ovation.

Sartain, 58, who was ordained in 1978, most recently served as bishop of the Joliet, Illinois, diocese for four years. It was an official act during his tenure there that prompted protestors to gather outside the cathedral Wednesday.

John Shuster of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said he was upset by the Vatican's decision to install Sartain because Sartain ordained Alejandro Flores in 2009 even though diocesan officials had concerns about Flores' use of male pornography.

"Why would he even ordain him anyway? Who would take that chance?" Shuster told CNN affiliate KIRO-TV in an interview before the protest.

After his ordination, Flores was accused of molesting a suburban Chicago boy over a five-year period beginning in 2005, SNAP leaders said, citing news accounts. Flores pleaded guilty in September.

The Archdiocese of Seattle has said that once Sartain found out about the allegations, he reported them.

Sartain replaces Archbishop Alex J. Brunett, 75, who retired last year.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Mass • United States • Washington

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. civilioutside

    People, by and large, aren't angry at the church because some priests have turned out to be child molestors. They're angry at the church for systematically shielding child molestors in their ranks from detection and prosecution, and for continuing to allow them to serve in capacities that give them access to children.

    December 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  2. Frogist

    So the priest had gay pr0n. And SNAP made the connection that because he was gay, he was probably a child molester? Or was it that he had se-xual thoughts that he was a child molester? I'm really curious about their logic here.

    December 2, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  3. Floyd

    Personally, I gave up Catholicism for Lent (and for that matter, Advent) a long time ago, simply because the religion didn't make sense to me any more.
    The recent scandal about some priests molesting altar boys and nothing being done about it, is just another nail in the coffin of Catholicism. Note that some Protestant churches have similar problems.

    December 2, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • CatholicMom


      Expecting man to be perfect and sinless without struggles is contrary to what is true. So when man sins you blame God? Or His Church? Why not try to understand what sin is and where grace comes from to help man avoid those pitfalls.

      We are all called to be Saints and this is not too lofty an expectation if you realize there can be relapses into sin for we have a nature that is directed by our freewill; our free will means we have to make choices and often we make the wrong one [look at our penal system] but that does not mean that we cannot ever overcome our desire to sin rather than do good.

      If only ‘some Protestant churches have similar problems’, as you say,…why not seek out the one that does not and worship and praise God in that church?

      December 2, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • anhtuanb

      It is just not because the recent activities that is driving us out of the churches(local congregations). We are commanded to come out since 1988. We are under a Great Tribulation where God is separating the wheats from the tares that grow inside His fields(local churches). It doesn't matter what denominations anyone belongs to, they have secrets. At this end time, they are being revealed. God is bringing the judgement on the churches(house of God). Don't forget to continue in prayer and study the bible. Faith is from Christ not from the churches. Churches do not save people, it is Jesus Christ(one true God) who save people, anywhere, anytime, according to His good pleasure and His will. Please visit familyradio.com to learn more about our days. God is revealing so much information from the bible because the seven seal is opened by Jesus Christ, and now we can understand the prophecy of Daniel 12 ("abomination of desolation").

      May God bless you.

      December 2, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • CatholicMom


      So you are saying we received a new commandment in 1988? There will be no new revelation since Jesus resurrection…did you forget?

      Why do you say to ‘keep reading your Bible’ when you no longer believe that Catholic Church was inst!tuted by Christ? The Bible came from the Catholic Church almost 400 years after Jesus’ resurrection. Why accept part of the Catholic Church and shun the rest?

      One of the purposes of Jesus’ Incarnation was to establish His Kingdom on earth, His Church.

      Faith is from Christ but it is through hearing that we receive it. [Romans 10-17] He first spoke to the Apostles and told them to go out to all the nations and teach them what they had HEARD from Him. Jesus Christ was SENT by God to speak His Word to us, then He SENT out the Apostles to teach us what they had heard. We hear through someone who has been SENT. Many may think they have been called but few are SENT; to be sent someone has to do the sending and we cannot send ourselves. Who are you listening to…someone sent or someone who ‘sent’ him/her self?

      December 2, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  4. LiberateUs

    Once I turn 18, and gather enough money. I'm leaving the USA for good. If Catholicism continues to be condemned any longer, then I'll move to a more TOLERANT country!
    Dieses Land kann für alle in die Hölle gehen I care!

    December 1, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • Daniel

      LiberateUs, we need you here. The challenge is not where there is no challenge, the challenge is here, and here you will be liberated by helping others to become liberated. Many of us Catholics struggle everyday knowing that most Catholics aren't Catholic. And when most Catholics aren't Catholic, and when many others are not Catholic (i.e. other "Christian" denominations) it is liberating knowing that the battlefront is here in the USA – a great place to become a martyr or a saint.

      December 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      No! Don’t go! Remember, the world is going to hate the Catholic Church because it is the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Catholic Church is not of the world thus the world hates it. Have no fear, Jesus Christ promised to be with us always. He will give you the grace you need to endure until the end. You have a great family which includes all the Saints who are members of Christ’s Body, too, and they are encouraging us to not lose faith.

      When I first read some of these Belief Blog comments and the posts I was astounded at how much hate there is out there in the world. But now after months of reading on them I see the hate as pain in many hearts because of lack of faith in God.

      Each soul is worth looking after in hopes that love will win out. Remember Jesus is the good shepherd who goes out into the desert for one lost sheep and leaves the 99 to do so. We need to imitate Jesus and not let one soul feel unloved.

      December 2, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • Reality

      Liberating all Catholics/Christians from the Big Resurrection Con:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology grad school class notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      Continuing on:

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      December 2, 2010 at 8:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Before you leave the US, I strongly urge you to look at the survey results at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11843586. – they may help you select a compatible country. But, please do not come to Canada! We are among the more enlightened countries (according to this survey) and your presence would be a regression.

      December 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  5. CatholicMom

    God bless archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Seattle; and all who attended Mass no matter where they came from!

    December 1, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • anhtuanb

      To CatholicMom, I was once a Catholic since my birth because my parents are a Catholic. I left the congregation 9 months ago because I was not able to spiritually grow from my congregation. Even after many bible studies, they all preached the same thing, their doctrines that do not based on the entirety of the bible. Just like what you did, pull out verses and applied them to the church to make the church looks like it is under God's protection, and deliberately left out or twisted other "warning" verses about what would happen to them in the end time. How sad it is to see that they have to use their understandings to understand the word of God, instead of following the principle God has established, that is "comparing spiritual things with spirituals". All the churches(denominations) are doing the same thing. They are now under the wrath of God, just like the Israel in BC, and God left the Jews to give the Gentiles. Same is being done today...God is now giving the "bread" to people outside the local congregations all around the world. God commands true believers to come out of the churches and go to Christ(the Word). If you look at closely to your statements, you see that you are approving for their actions and covering whatever that happened. The question is why is it happening to a person(the priest)? Don't you remember that we are forced to follow the doctrine of confessing to the priests, but do they ever confess their sins to us until it is revealed? If the priest follows that guideline, he would not have done it in the beginning because the congregation would help him...that didn't happen. Rule established by tradition but even they don't follow it, and making the members to do. How terrible! You can learn more at familyradio.com

      December 2, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • CatholicMom


      You said, ‘God is now giving the "bread" to people outside the local congregations all around the world. God commands true believers to come out of the churches and go to Christ(the Word).’

      How is He giving his “bread” to people outside the congregations and do you gather together to receive this ‘bread’….but isn’t gathering together a congregation?.... and how did you receive this command to go out of the church and go to Christ [the Word’]? Where did you go to get to Christ?

      So now to fulfill the command to confess your sin to one another [James 5:16] and confess to one who has been sent to do this ministry [2 Cor. 5:17-20] so that you know your sins are forgiven [Jn 20:23], you no longer adhere to those verses?

      Didn’t you know Priests cannot confess to themselves…they need to go to one who has been sent just as we do.

      So, now you confess to your congregation? I thought you walked out the churches [congregations]….

      We can confess that we have sinned to our congregation in thought word and deed and in what we have failed to do; but the actual sin is HEARD by the Priest who is listening in Persona Christi and who has the power to absolve us of that sin. If the sin is not heard how can it be absolved and if it is heard by a congregation who cannot absolve, what good has it done your soul?

      Are you saying if you had to stand in front of your congregation and verbalize your sin you would not do the sin? Well, you must have done it already if you think you need to stand before them. So what if you fall again, …oh, that is right, you will never fall again because you do not ever want to have to stand before them again.

      So now you are no longer a sinner and in no way in need of a Savior? What do you do now if you need to go before a congregation and you have none to go to? Oh, that is right, you went before them already and now you will never sin again…especially since now you have been commanded to come out of them, the churches.

      December 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
    • underChrist

      I was a catholic until the age of 21. I always loved God and at a young age started a personal study of the bible. Unfortunately I wasn't aware of how necessary a good teacher is so much of my studying lead to many miss-steps along my path. In the end though as I prayed to find the one true God and asked him to save my soul by His grace for His glory and my salvation. He has. For years I prayed the Hail Mary and many other catholic prayers to saintst. But as I asked God to reveal Himself to me I found I was unable to pray the Hail Mary without disturbing images entering my mind. I eventually stopped trying. At the time I thought it was something wrong with me.. Years later I now see that it was cause I wasn't made to pray to Mary. The bible says we have one mediator between us and the Father. That is Jesus Christ His son. You have to admit with me that God is capable of all things. Nothing is impossible to Him. You know this if you have faith. So if Jesus was Gods son on earth. And truly He did claim even to be the Lord Himself, why would He ever need anyone else to help Him in dealing with the needs of His children? To think that God needs help say God isn't all powerful. Which both you and I know is blasphemy. When our Lord taught you and I to pray He told us: "when you pray, pray like this: Our Father who art in Heaven.. Holy is thy name"... He didn't tell us use a separate mediator. And God never lies to us. Im afraid that Catholicism has become to the new testament, what Judaism became to the Old. Full of priests that weren't looking for the kingdom of God. They made they're own rules and interpretations of the Word of God. But the bible states- Cursed is the man who adds or takes away from the Word of God. Im begging you if its necessary that you reconsider your position in Christ's body of believers. I don't side with people who attack the lay church members. I don't even hate any of the true priests of God that may be in the catholic church. But Im telling you, many have become the modern day Pharisees and Saudacees that Jesus warned us about. Put tradition and pride away. Just search for God using the bible alone. Lets not add to it. Lets not subtract it. Lets take it for what it is as the holy Word of Truth. I pray you will consider this. I pray you will join me in my prayers to our Holy Father. I will pray for myself, that I not fail the Lord of all. I pray for you, that God hold you in the palm of His hand and leads you to salvation in Christ.. And I pray for my mother. Who also is still a practicing catholic and just cant put her pride in Mary out of the way to see the true word of God. Mary stated all generations would call her blessed. Not that all generations would pray to her so she would intercede with Jesus. She also called Jesus in her womb her Savior. She had sinned like the rest of us. Someone born without original sin, and who led a sinless life wouldn't need to call on a savior... I love you. And I hope God takes care of all of us.

      December 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
    • CatholicMom


      When we honor Mary and pray and ask for her intercession we are asking her to go to her son, Jesus Christ, who is our only Mediator, with our pet!tions. We do not ask her to go to the Father for us.

      Did you know that when you pray the Hail Mary prayer you are reciting Bible verses? What person would disapprove of reciting Bible verses?

      Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee [Lk 1:28]
      Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus [Lk 1:42]
      And then we ask : Holy Mary, Mother of God [Luke 1:43]
      Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

      Jesus says honor your mother and father. Does He follow His own commandments, do you think? Would He listen to His Mother? He did when she asked Him to start His ministry before He was ready, at the wedding.

      Is Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ? Are we children of God? Yes! Jesus is the Son of God and so He is our brother and Mary is our Mother, too!

      We are a family; we are all children of God. Those of us who are Baptized are members of Jesus Christ’s body with Him the head. Mary is part of the body of Christ, too. We can ask any member of our family to pray for us any time and ask our pet!tion through Jesus Christ our only Mediator. When we die, if we are in a state of grace, we are still members of Christ’s body. God wants us to be a loving-towards-each-other family; He does not want us to be ‘on our own,’ a just me and my Bible person. He is all for loving thy neighbor and calling him our brother/sister in the Lord. Once we are Baptized we have Jesus Christ living within our soul! We have a personal relationship with Him in that we are now His hands and feet, doing the will of the Father! Jesus Christ continues His priesthood through us! He renews our strength in Him by the Holy Eucharist. There is nothing more personal.

      The Tradition that we can put away are man’s traditions…should we put up a Christmas tree or not …that sort of thing… but the Tradition which was taught to the Apostles by Jesus Christ who was SENT by the Father is the Tradition which He asked the Apostles to go out and teach all nations. He also told them to Baptize everyone. He said He would send the Paraclete to bring them into all remembrance of what He taught and to guide them into all fullness of Truth as they can bear it and He said evil would not prevail against His Church.

      Do all nations call Mary blessed? No. Why not do as the Bible says to do?

      Mary knew Jesus Christ was her Savior as He is everyone’s Savior. Jesus saved her from Original Sin at the moment of her Immaculate Conception. Yes, with God all things are possible. Do you think that the very vessel that would carry Him for nine months was unclean in any way? No! Jesus Christ saved her from any stain.

      Thank you for your love in Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit guide you on your journey.

      December 2, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hi CM...! I see you have been 'holding court' educating in the Catholic way... yes...?

      Hope that you are well...?

      Oh, by the way, your presence is requested on the "Cutie baby" article. -Reality posted an interesting thought...possibly a loophole, and I was hoping that you would put your Catholic knowledge to light on the subject.


      December 3, 2010 at 2:25 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Hi, Peace2All,

      Today is a getting-ready-for-the-Bake-Sale day at our Church center so I won’t be doing much on here today or tomorrow but I will try!
      Come to the sale and we can talk over a hot cup of coffee and some caramel-cinnamon pecan rolls! Mmmm! Well, ok, I know it is hard to talk with your mouth full…..

      December 3, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  6. Tiff2

    Yet another mis step by the catholic church in this horrendous scandel! ANY AND ALL priest who were involved in the moving around, ordination, cover up, etc of anyone found to be molester should be forced into retirement by the Vatican. Until that happens, many catholics will continue to stay away from the church.

    December 1, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
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.