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21 priests put on leave after review of suspected child sexual abuse
Left to right, from top: Edward Avery, James Brennan, Charles Engelhardt, William Lynn and Bernard Shero were charged in connection with sex abuse against minors.
March 8th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

21 priests put on leave after review of suspected child sexual abuse

By the CNN Wire Staff

Philadelphia (CNN) - Twenty-one priests have been placed on administrative leave following a review of suspected child sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church in Philadelphia, according to a statement from the city's archbishop.

The church investigated 37 priests identified in a grand jury report as remaining in "active ministry with credible allegations of child sexual abuse," according to Cardinal Justin Rigali.

In addition to the 21 announced Tuesday, three other priests have already been placed on administrative leave after the report was released in February, Rigali said.

Five others would have been subject to administrative leave, he added, but one was already on leave and two others are considered "incapacitated" and have not been in active ministry. Two other priests no longer serve in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, but the church has "notified the superiors of their religious orders and the bishops of the dioceses where they are residing," he said.

"I want to be clear: These administrative leaves are interim measures," Rigali said in a written statement. "They are not in any way final determinations or judgments."

The cardinal added that he wished "to express again my sorrow for the sexual abuse of minors committed by any members of the church, especially clergy."

"I am truly sorry for the harm done to the victims of sexual abuse, as well as to the members of our community who suffer as a result of this great evil and crime," he said.

In February, three Philadelphia priests and a parochial school teacher were charged with raping and assaulting boys in their care, while a former official with the Philadelphia Archdiocese was accused of allowing the abusive priests to have access to children, the city's district attorney's office said.

CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen said the charges against the former church official appeared to be unprecedented and could have national implications.

"This is apparently the first time that a Catholic leader has been charged criminally for the cover-up as opposed to the abuse itself," he said. "It sends a shot across the bow for bishops and other diocesan officials in other parts of the country, who have to wonder now if they've got criminal exposure, too."

Edward Avery, 68, and Charles Engelhardt, 64, were charged with allegedly assaulting a 10-year-old boy at St. Jerome Parish from 1998 to 1999.

Bernard Shero, 48, a teacher in the school, is charged with allegedly assaulting the same boy there in 2000, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said at a press conference in February.

James Brennan, another priest, is accused of assaulting a different boy, a 14-year-old, in 1996.

Monsignor William Lynn, who served as the secretary for clergy for the then-Philadelphia Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the alleged assaults, Williams said.

From 1992 until 2004, Lynn was responsible for investigating reports that priests had sexually abused children, the district attorney's office said.

The grand jury found that Lynn, 60, endangered children, including the alleged victims of those charged last week, by knowingly allowing dangerous priests to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to kids.

Avery, Engelhardt and Shero were charged with rape, indecent sexual assault and other criminal counts following the results of the grand jury investigation of clergy sexual abuse, Williams said. The names of the alleged victims, who are now in their 20s, have not been publicly released.

The grand jury believed that more than 30 priests remained in ministry in Pennsylvania despite solid, credible allegations of abuse, according to Williams.

Williams on Tuesday said Rigali's actions "are as commendable as they are unprecedented."

"Going forward, in cases involving allegations of abuse by clergy, my office and the Philadelphia police will investigate, and where appropriate we will charge and prosecute. I intend to use the resources of this office to the greatest extent possible to protect the children of Philadelphia," Williams said in a statement.

"In those cases where allegations are not prosecutable because of the statute of limitations or some other reason, we encourage the Archdiocese to take the necessary and proper steps to protect the children for whom they are responsible, as they have done here."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church

soundoff (896 Responses)
  1. american38

    I AM ASHAMED TO SAY I AM A CATHOLIC.....and these priests should not be on administrative leave, they should be taken out back and shot....

    March 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Believer

      I'm not a fan of the Catholic religion but no one should be a shamed to be Catholic because of this. Be a shamed of those pedophiles and the preist who hid this but stay strong in your faith.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  2. Richard I. Lawson, Jr.

    Lock them up and let the preach in Jail.

    March 10, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  3. Albert

    Many religious experiences can be explained away. All of them actually. Sorry.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:32 am |
  4. McJesus

    Jesus loves you, ESPECIALLY your children. Through his servants.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:08 am |
  5. suneclipser

    Anybody who believes in a supernatural God, virgin births, people dying and coming back to life to float off into the sky, miracles, etc., deserve to get whatever happens to them. I have no sympathy for any people of "faith". These morons have set back humanity two thousand years already. Time to make all that nonsense as illegal as crack!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  6. c

    There are a lot of cold empty souls on this page. It makes me sad

    March 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • ExtraJesusWithThatPlease

      People of any faith behaving atrociously make all people of faith look bad. It's unfortunate because the Bible is not organized religion, and religion is not faith. The people who live by faith as a guide for their own life are usually silent, and the troublemakers get all the press.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  7. tldixon

    and that guy that lives in that palce in Rome?you know, the guy who was in hitler's youth...what about that vow of poverty?

    March 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  8. tldixon

    hiding pedophiles and passing them around so they can molest kids in a new locale, all the while asking the parents for 10% of their wages-the audacity...brought to you by the same folks who brought the world the Crusades, the Inquisition and turned it's back on the Holocaust-thanks for all the memories and good works

    March 9, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  9. Abm

    I meant to add that castration won't necessarly help.

    March 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  10. Amber

    I wish the media would show the good things that preachers and churches do, they seem to concentrate so much on all the bad guys out their that are corrupted. These men (and woman out there I am sure) that do these gross things are either not real Christians, or they are just having a hard time with fighting and controlling their sin nature and have backslidden and now need to face serious consequences. But most preachers and ministers of some sorts are good and not like these sick molesters. CNN if you read these at all please think about the idea of giving articles and things on good folks and good stories in the Christian world too.......please stop concentrating on the bad, it is making folks think that that is all we are, and it's not. I do appreciate the CNN Heroes, I love those. But maybe you can show the goodness in the Christian world as well.

    March 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  11. pearl

    Aside from the priest mess, (and it is a mess) I could never be Catholic. I could not belong to an organization that addresses a mere mortal as his holiness, holy father, and then worships him as being someone more divine than the rest of humanity. That has always disturbed me about the Catholic religion. That, and the great wealth the Catholic church acquires from the many companies, and businesses the church seems to own and operate. I was amazed to learn about the booming businesses owned by many of the large Catholic churches in Quebec for example. Everything from running tourist shops that sell church relics/religious knick knacks to the many faithful , visiting pilgrim flock; to operating bee farms, and food markets. Are these individuals in the business of saving souls, or saving cold, hard cash??? Makes ya wonder.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • c

      Pearl, if you were to become a Catholic the first thing you would learn is that we only worship the One True God. It is forbidden in the church to worship, Mary, the saints or even the Pope. We recognize he is annointed by the Holy Spirit and is infallible in matters only to the church. Sadly, the Pope is not entirely infallable or he would be able to tell us who will win the superbowl. I recommend before people tell us what our faith means and is to learn the faith first and not by a non Catholic. I dated a Baptist and loved to attend service with him except when his preacher would get up on the alter and tell his parish bold faced lies about the Church.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • c

      Also, the church never sells relics, there is a donation usually that is gone right back into that Saints promotion. Pearl did you know that of every dollar that 96cents goes right back out to the various charities. Administration accounts for about 4cents on the dollar. And did you know that Charity Navigators, very stringent in their investigations, gives the Catholic Church its highest rating. Please do a little research before you base your opinion. I pray that you learn more about our beautiful faith.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • The Truth

      *********@c: Pearl did you know that of every dollar that 96cents goes right back out to the various charities. Administration accounts for about 4cents on the dollar.*******

      LOL.... that is HILARIOUS. Nothing could further from the truth.

      The Bishop of LA sits on a MILLION DOLLAR chair!!!! http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/LA_Cathedral_cathedra.jpg

      In that picture, notice the chairs in the middle. The big chair is the archbishop of Los Angeles' chair and the smaller ones are for other Church Hierarchy.

      The big chair... cost them ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
      The smaller chairs cost them $250,000.00 EACH.
      The altar there cost them FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.

      Who spends a million dollars for a chair? Bill Gates, Oprah, etc don't have million dollar chairs. In fact, that chair is worth more than Warren Buffett's house!!! How many people would that money have clothed, housed and fed??? The chair isn't even that nice. Would Jesus spend a million dollars on a CHAIR???

      Putting this into perspective: The husband of one of my friends is a fighter pilot. He had to eject one time & he is now nearly two inches shorter due to the massive spinal compression force. So he was in a highly advanced jet whose chair allowed him to open the canopy, rocket out of a moving plane at 12-15 G's (the space shuttle at launch is about 3 G's), employed a parachute and took him to safety.

      The pilot's chair doing all that is around $100K... the Catholic Church's stationary wooden chair is $1M. And BTW... the doors to the Church were $3 MILLION DOLLARS. The lectern was $2 MILLION DOLLARS. The altar was $5 MILLION DOLLARS. Need I go on?

      And how many people could that $1M wooden chair for the bishop of Los Angeles have fed? Or in the Bay Area, they are currently constructing a new cathedral in Oakland. This is DESPITE having cathedrals in San Francisco and San Jose which are both less than a 30 minute drive away. They are spending 1/5-1/4 of a BILLION dollars to build it. First off, they don't need another cathedral here. Secondly, the cost is absurd.

      While yes, they do give money to charity, it is only a tiny fraction of what they take in. I used to work at my rectory for years. The money for the poor ran out EVERY SINGLE WEEK. And probably a majority of the time ran out early in the week. And what did the Church do to families who showed up at the door with mothers who literally had starving babies because they couldn't afford food? Yep, they turned them away with nothing. All of this despite there being tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in the vault from the week's collection in Church.

      Do even know where your money goes? Here's an excerpt of a letter I sent to my own parents a few years back:

      >
      >
      And look at Hurricane Katrina… where is the Vatican stepping up and shelling out their millions to help? Instead the Pope sent an official envoy from the Vatican’s charity Cor Unum. That was nice of him. Last year, Cor Unum helped the entire world by donating a grand total of… are you ready… $1.5 Million Euros. Wow… I hope that doesn’t break them. The Catholic Church is worth probably in the trillions of dollars. Yet, Wal Mart has already donated $17 million to the Katrina victims and the owners of Wal Mart have donated another $15 million on top of that for a total of $32 million. So Wal Mart can give more money than the Vatican can??? Come on… John Grisham, the novelist (he’s a novelist for crying out loud), personally donated $5 Million to the relief fund. How can Grisham donate over three times the amount of money that the Vatican’s Cor Unum donated all around the world all last year?
      And speaking of Vatican money, did you know this?

      “Despite its claims otherwise, the Vatican Bank is not a branch of the State of Vatican City. It exists as an enti-ty unto itself without corporate or ecclesiastical ties to any other agency within the Holy See. It is under the direct supervision of the pope. He is the one and only stockholder. He owns it and he controls it.

      Unlike ANY other financial inst-itution, the Vatican Bank is audited by neither internal nor outside agencies. Its worth remains a matter of conjecture, even for members of the College of Cardinals. There is not a scrap of its papers among all of the other bureaucracies of the Roman Church – not even ecclesiastical financial agencies – that attests to its assets or accounts. In 1996 Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the internal auditor of the Holy See, told investigators that he has no authority over the Vatican Bank and has no knowledge of its operations.”

      On Wall Street, the Vatican owns stocks for such companies as Gulf Oil, Shell, GM, IBM, Bethlehem Steel, etc that 10 years ago were already valued at over a Billion dollars. (I do find it amusing that they’d own Bethlehem Steel.) LOL The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican would often buy and sell gold in lots valued in the millions in single transactions. They have accu-mulated billions and billions of dollars worth of gold that is being held at the US Federal Reserve Bank along with Banks in England and Switzerland. The Boston archdiocese (by itself) lists it assets at $650 Million and its total net worth at $575 million.

      The Catholic Church just in America alone is more wealthy than the 5 largest corporations in America COMBINED!!!! Yet, they can’t be donating huge sums of money to help the needy??? I’m sure Jesus would have kept that money and not shared it.
      >
      >

      There are countless hard working Catholics that give their money to the Church thinking it is going to help the needy when in fact, some of it helps the needy, but another massive portion goes to items like this. How many hungry people would those chairs have fed?

      The worst way the Catholic Church stole money from parishioners was through Mother Teresa. This woman took people's money under the premise that she was helping the poor and dying. However, hardly any of that money ever went to those people. Instead, the money went into nunneries for her religious order and the rest went into the Vatican Bank never to be seen again (as both the Vatican Bank and Mother Teresa's order refuse to be audited and keep everything secret). Mother Teresa believed that the poor should suffer like Jesus did and therefore didn't spend the money on them. Here's a quote from her: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." An editor and doctor for a British medical journal visited her Home for the Dying in Calcutta and used terms like "Haphazard" when describing the care they were getting and said the pain management was "severely lacking." Dr. Fox specifically held Teresa responsible for conditions in this home, and observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. But then when Mother Teresa needed medical care, she flew herself to California to get it. Classic.

      None of this begins to talk about all of the evil people she took money from. The Duvaliers, Charles Keating, Enver Hoxha, Robert Maxwell, etc, etc, etc. And actual pictures exist with her and many of these people.

      I’ll stop here, but believe me when I say that I am only at the tip of the iceberg with her. It’s great that the two people that the Catholic Church are choosing to “fast track” their requirements for to make Saints in the quickest manner possible are Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Perhaps John Paul can be the patron saint of child mole-sters and Mother Teresa can be the patron saint of people who like to watch others suffer and die (while basically stealing huge sums of money at the same time).

      In any event, this is typical of the RCC. When I was at the Vatican, their artwork collection was greater than that of the Louvre. They could sell just one of their masterpieces and feed an entire small country in Africa.

      If Catholics would stop giving to the Church and use their hard earned money to go out on the street and help people themselves, this world would be a MUCH better place. There are 80 Christians in the US to every 1 homeless person. 80 to 1!!!! So stop giving your money to fund million dollar chairs and palaces for bishops and the pope and go help out an actual human being that is REALLY in need.

      Peace.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • The Truth

      My bad – please disregard my previous post

      March 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • The Truth

      LMAO... Yet another person who can't produce a coherent rebuttal! Instead, you feel the need to act like a 3rd grader and pretend to be me. Classic! LMAO!!!

      March 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • geraldh

      Truth,

      Your wacked. First of all yes money goes to build parishes and cathedrals so people can go to a place and be taught the faith, which motivates them to give to the organizations that take care of the poor. Ever heard of Catholic Charities? Sharing and caring hands? No the local parish doesn't always have money for everyone but they will direct them where to go and there are places. By the way the local parishes where I live do give out alot!

      March 10, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • The Truth

      @geraldh: Your wacked.*******

      First off, it is "you're" not "your." Based on items like this and from reading your other posts, it is pretty clear that I get to deal with yet another person who believes strongly in religion who isn't overly educated.

      Secondly, calling someone "wacked" is VERY Christian of you. Perhaps you should study your Bible some more and then you'd know better.

      *********First of all yes money goes to build parishes and cathedrals so people can go to a place and be taught the faith, which motivates them to give to the organizations that take care of the poor.*********

      LOL... listen to yourself and your justifications. Guess what... those same people can meet out in a public park for free instead of in a 1/4 of a BILLION dollar building and do the same thing. The fact that you are even attempting to rationalize out the expenditures I mentioned earlier are hilarious. And before you get your panties all up in a bunch, no I'm not saying that people should meet in a park (though there is nothing wrong with that), but just that they don't need the uber extrava-gance that they choose freely to expend their money on as that is not what Jesus was even remotely about.

      Here's a newsflash for you: JESUS WAS A CARPENTER. HOW MANY BUILDINGS KNOWN AS CHURCHES DID HE BUILD? Oh, that's right... none. lol

      *******Ever heard of Catholic Charities?********

      Ever heard of child ra-pe?

      ******Sharing and caring hands?*******

      Money laundering for the mafia?

      ******No the local parish doesn't always have money for everyone but they will direct them where to go and there are places.********

      Why don't they have money at the local parish? They take it in don't they? It is because they go and send it off elsewhere instead of in the hands of the people in that particular community. And yes, the Church will offer up other alternatives on many occasions (as I've already said they do help some people), but many of those alternatives are out of money as well and can't help either.

      The item that you seem to be unable to grasp is that while they do help people, they take in a fortune and not nearly a large enough piece of that fortune goes to help the needy. If the Catholic Church brings in say $1M and donates $100K of that to charity (randomly selected numbers) or if a poor person who only has $10 to his name gives $5 of that to someone in need, the person giving the $5 is doing better because he is giving a much bigger piece of his pie to help the needy.

      According to Childfund.org, for under a dollar per day, just $28 per month, you can sponsor a child to have food, safe drinking water, quality education, place to play, job opportunities once they graduate, etc. So now let's do some math.... if the CC didn't build this ridiculously excessive cathedral in Oakland at the 1/4 of a BILLION dollar price tag, that would be enough money to provide for 8,928,571 children for a month or 745,000 children per year. So those children get to suffer so that your pompous self and others like you get to sit inside of some gleaming building pretending to care about the poor?!?!? LOL That is so asinine that it is barely worth commenting on. Great morals indeed!

      I bet if you were one of those children starving to death, you'd hope rich Catholics in a far away land keep building superfluous buildings so that they'd feel good about themselves while you are sitting there rotting away dying of starvation and disease.

      *******By the way the local parishes where I live do give out alot!******

      They do? How do you know that? Have you seen their financial books? How much do they give? Let's be honest, you have no idea of how much or how little they really give out. You are just saying that based on what you have heard or you have surmised it with no actual proof of it. I used to work in the rectory. I used to hand out this money. I've seen it first hand.

      So if given the choice with the money that you donate each year:

      Option A: Go help "Fred, Jane and their two kids" that are homeless get back on their feet by opening up your home for them to stay and providing financial assistance to them.

      Option B: Organize and set up your own food bank to help feed the poor and hungry.

      Option C: Donate the money to a corrupt organization that has ties to the mafia and covers up the ra-pe of children so that they can purchase $1M dollar chairs for their bishops to sit on and 1/4 of a billion dollar buildings.

      Hmmmmmm.... Tough choice there.... Gee... I bet God would "really" want you to choose Option C. The only people that want you to pick Option C are the CC and their brainwashed followers. And the reason why you pick "C" is because it is simply more convenient for you as the other two options actually cause you to "do" rather than to sit around and watch.

      Peace.

      March 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  12. In YourFaceGerald

    STILL WAITING FOR AN ANSWER GERALD.....? Did you convienently overlook this post?
    GERALD? IRONMAN? Has one of the sisters of Fatima told lies as well?

    In Your Face Gerald

    IRONMAN 62292 As a young Catholic person strong in my faith I am deeply saddened and angry with those priests who have turned away from God and committed these awful and atrocious acts of violence. This is obviously not acceptable for any reason. Even though these few priests have done these things, the majority of the Catholic priesthood are true to their vows and beliefs and values. But I think it is unfair that we judge these priests and even those who have not done anything. The media paints the Catholic priesthood as a bunch of pedophiles. That is just simply untrue. Those renegade priests deserve the consequences for what they did. But not all priests are like that. 99% are not like that. We need to be forgiving, just as Christ says. We need to pray for them. Those who speak ill of the Church and the priests are no better than those rapist and molesters. You commit murder by your words.

    Gerald said: gerald

    Amen. It is disturbing.

    This was taken from your Sisters of Fatima...... Can you say, Those who speak ill of the Church and the priests are no better than those rapist and molesters. You commit murder by your words.

    and Can Gerald say AMEN! to this? READ on what the Fatima Prophecy said:

    "How I warned and warned that satan would enter into the highest realms of the hierarchy in Rome. The Third Secret, My child, is that satan would enter into My Son's Church." – Our Lady of the Roses, May 13, 1978

    --------––

    Since 1972, the evils that have befallen the Catholic Church and the Vatican include the “deception of the century”, the murder of Pope John Paul I, a cardinal consorting with the devil that was within 5 votes of becoming elected Pope, the devastating decline in priestly and religious vocations, the June 26, 2000 forgery, and the "scandal of the millennium" (the clergy s=ex-abuse scandal).

    And few people have even made the connection to the warnings given by Our Lady of Fatima.

    "I say this evening, as your God, that on that date [1972], as promised at Fatima, satan entered My Church upon earth. He brought with him his agents–and satan himself, the deceiver of all mankind–sat in on Vatican II and maneuvered all the outsiders to come in and distort My doctrines and distort the truth.

    "At Fatima, My Mother tried to warn of this coming event, but who cared to listen? Who was interested in listening? Not those who were years–earth-years away. All Heaven was crying in that time, for the Eternal Father had made it known how His message would be received. To this day, to your earth-year of 1986, you have not been given, My children, the full secrets as given to the children at Fatima.

    "Therefore, I must make it known at this time to you. If you are perceiving and interested in My Church upon earth, I do not have to explain Myself too fully; for you will already know of the chaos that satan has wrought when he entered My Church. And why did he enter, you say? This I want it made known, My child–and you will not be affrighted as you are now–you will speak out for Me and My Mother, and the Eternal Father in the Holy Spirit; you will speak out and say that satan is in the Church, My Church upon earth. He knows his time is growing short.

    GERALD? IRONMAN? Has one of the sisters of Fatima told lies as well?

    My child–and you will not be affrighted as you are now–you will speak out for Me and My Mother, and the Eternal Father in the Holy Spirit; you will speak out and say that satan is in the Church, My Church upon earth. He knows his time is growing short.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • gerald

      First of all I don't have 24/7 to watch what everyone posts to me. I didn't see the post. I fully acknowledge there are wolves among the sheep. Even in high places such as the vatican. I fully acknowledge these are serious sins. Bearing false witness is a sin as well. People seem to miss that and broad brush priests and convict them all.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  13. gerald

    All,

    thank you for your hatred of me for trying to keep this all rational! I love your jabs and accusations so keep it up. God bless you. I do condemn any actions against children by ANYONE including priests, teachers, coaches, fathers, cousins, uncles, mothers. There are 38 million such cases in the US. The rest of you seem only to be concerned with a few thousand perpetrate by Catholic clergy. A terrible scandal I agree. God bless you all. He loves you all.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • aerobicqueen

      Gerald.....the problem here is the fact that the Catholic church UNSCRIPTURALLY forbids priests to marry. What kind of person would this likely attract? It's the position of trust and the facad of holiness that makes this type of abuse most reprehensible. This is not a secular uncle...this is a 'religious' person who should be held to a MUCH higher standard.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • gerald

      Aerobicqueen, open your bible and read Jesus words when Peter says "then it is better not to marry" in Matth 19. Jesus says "some are celibate for the sake of the kingdom". Paul also affirms the superiority of celibacy in 1 cor 7. Where is this manifest in your protestant denominations? Pretty much not. It is protestantism that is unbiblical. Jesus prayed that they all be one, not 30,000 (denominations). We are told by Paul that division is of the devil. Ever heard of divide and conquer. Priests choose between celibacy and marriage. They are not forbidden to be married. They make a choice. And hey, guess what Jesus was celibate. Learn your bible hun.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  14. Jack Watcher

    All of you enablers and Catholic Church apologists should take a few minutes and read about the disgraceful molestation situation in Ireland. Nobody that knows anything about Ireland can say there is any bias against the Church. What has been exposed there is beyond disgusting. And the same sort of thing is beginning to be exposed here. The basis of Church control is the enforced celibacy of the priests and the degradation of women. E.g. No women priests and past practice of requiring women to cover their heads in church. What is that about...

    March 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  15. WarriorsMk2u

    President Obama should recall our Ambassador to the Vatican and expell the Papal Nuncio (Ambassador) as a protest.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Panzer

    I would like to have all the money spent on the clergy for legal defense and give it to children in need.

    March 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  17. geeeeez

    Clearly abstinence is not natural.

    March 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • gerald

      Because 2% or less of the priests abused abstinance is not natural? 98% of them did not abuse. A smaller percentage of priests abuse than the general population. Married men abuse. Your statement is baseless.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • DavidMichael

      97% of statistics are made up.
      I didn't trust a priest in the confessional with my children. That was the end of my catholicism.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • gerald

      Don't trust your kids with coaches or teachers either. There as likely if not more to molest your child.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
  18. Devdaan

    The passivity of lay people is part of the problem. Why are we lay people sitting on our hands and doing nothing about this? This is our mother church that's been paraded in public humiliation by corrupt priests and bishops. How can we find them and root them out of the church? What kind of governance do we need to not put unilateral decision making into the hands of bishops and priests? What lay review can we put in place for priest transfers? What lay structure can we put in place to investigate secret archives in every diocese to expose abusers, and people of every other perversion who masquerade as priests? We need to get our church back. We need our church to be the bride of Christ without spot or wrinkle. What can we do to activate a movement of lay people to clean out this filth? Shouldn't we Catholics be more zealous about cleaning our own home than juries, lawyers and others – the church is the visible representation of the kingdom of God? Any thoughts on how we can get started?

    March 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Devdaan,

      We can start by learning our Faith and recognizing when someone [Priest or Bishop] speaks a falsehood. Holiness is visible when it comes to adherence to the Church’s teachings in all matters of the Liturgy. This is a start…when red flags go up…do not dismiss them. Take your concerns to the Parish Council.

      Our Church is the Bride of Christ without spot or wrinkle or any such thing…. the members are the sinners…the House of God is not a sinner. The Church is the hospital which sinners need. This is why Jesus Christ founded His Church: Mark 2:17 Jesus hearing this, saith to them: They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For I came not to call the just, but sinners.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Chris

    To the Catholic bashers.....The mass media fills your brainless heads with whatever you want to believe.
    Sure....nobody cares about pedophiles with shallow pockets. wheres the story in that? If the Catholic Church dissappeared today there world would be a heck of a lot worse off......Only ONE foreign aid group came to help hurricaune Katrina victims, THE VATICAN. The Church spends 10 Billion dollars a year in this country alone on education.....What do most other denominations do?, Take care of themselves! Think for yourselves for once and find the WHOLE truth, it's out there.
    or remain dangerously ignorant.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • chief

      its people like you that perpetuate the ped saga.... got off your can and clean up the church instead of deflecting the issue.....
      so what the church has done good..... i can see it "YES LORD WE ALLOWED KIDS TO BE ABUSED BUT WE FED THE POOR".....

      March 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Observer

      @Chris,
      Yep. "Catholic-bashers are brainless." They want to talk about pedophiles and how little the church has done when they are discovered. It's better to switch the subject.

      March 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • REV. CHARLES W. DAILY, JR. MSW, LI&FSW, MChrSpr.

      Abuse of anyone has always been against Holy Scripture, Christian Ethics and moral teaching. we are fortunate to now be living in a time of disclosure and accountability. Offenders are largely untreated victims of abuse and should be regarded as such both within the church and society. A healthy and christian response dictates treating the matter with treating both victim and offender. Save the judgement and recrimination as it will take us nowhere. I am a successful therapist who chose 'Holy Orders' as an Anglican Priest, in part, to participate in the rehabilitation effort on a wider scale. Peace, Chuck+

      March 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Chaos

      Message: Don't pay any attention to the serial sodomizing of children and coddling of the molesters behind the curtain.

      March 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Magic

      Chris,

      "Only ONE foreign aid group came to help hurricaune Katrina victims, THE VATICAN."

      You are quite misinformed (or something?). Look at this wikipedia page - they even had to add an alphabetized search aid because there are so many.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_response_to_Hurricane_Katrina

      March 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      REV.CHARLES W. DAILY, JR. MSW, LI&FSW, MChrSpr.,

      Thank you for your concern and work with all of God’s children.

      March 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Magic

      Rev. Daily,

      "... we are fortunate to now be living in a time of disclosure and accountability."

      It is only by dint of strength of these victims and their families that we have any disclosure and accountability today. They have been screaming, begging and pleading for over 20 years.

      It is not only about the criminal 'sinner'-priests. The cover-up crimes by the supposedly trustworthy and "ordained by God" hierarchy (all the way to the top) is a most heinous betrayal, as is the lack of reporting by fellow clergymen who might have known. The Church has lost so much credibility with this; and it may be irretrievable.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • gerald

      chief,

      who allowed kids to be abused? Who are you accusing? Chris? Me? All Catholics? Another broad brusher taking the easy road of throwing out accusations without responsibility for them. Yes, expose those who are guilty but simple minds broad brush as you have.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Observer

      @Magic,

      Thanks for the facts. We've resolved the "brainless head" issue.

      March 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Halleluljah

      Revelation ch 18

      March 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Pennynot

      to Rev Charles, If abusive priests are themselves victims of abuse, is this now a screening criteria before accepting someone into the Church? Yes we are in an age of accountability, parents are accountable too. DO NOT assume anyone is better at protecting you child and DO NOT let anyone be alone with your child. TALK TO YOUR KIDS! Remind them, Father X and Uncle Y are not allowed to touch them in bad ways. Make sure they know they can come to you.

      March 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • michelle

      Dissolving the church isn't the solution, because the church does a lot of good. The solution is in taking the untouchable status off churchs and allowing the justice system to work like it does in other professions. The should not be immune. The BEST thing to come out of this is exposure. Parents need to be aware of this potential and keep an eye on their kids and not to be so trusting!! The collar doesn't equate to saintliness

      March 9, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • ANTHONY

      THATS A VERY GOOD DEED BUT IT DOESN'T EXCUSE THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR. THIS DOES NOT REPRESENT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.i'M A MUSLIM, WE'VE BEEN JUDGED BY A GROUP OF HORRIFIC PEOPLE WITH OUR RELIGION. WE DON'T LIKE TO STEREOTYPE A GROUP OF PEOPLE FOR A FEW IDIOTS. THAT WOULD BE LIKE LOOKING AT CRIPS, BLOODS, AND THE KKK AND SAYING THEY REPRESENT CHRISTIANS, THEY DON'T THEY REP THEMSELVES. THOSE PRIEST ALSO REP THEMSELVES AND WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEIR MAKER.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • c

      Thank you Chris. You are so right. It is never published that .8 % of Priests are charged whereas 1.7% of Protestant pastors are charged. The protestant church in reality has a bigger problem but we will never hear about that.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • aerobicqueen

      Actually the world would not be worse off without the Catholic Church. It's just another big business. Have you been to the Vatican? Gross wealth. Jesus is not impressed.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Frank fox

      Since this cult was created by politics in the 4th century it has always caused pain to humanity, they created war, conspirations, divided goverments, kings , not to mention all of the killing they are responsible for that history accounts them by the millions, they are nothing but a terrorist organization that up until this day still hurts humanity, and when katrina hit Louisiana they nothing, i my self had to move to another state since that tragedy,the vatican is allways asking for money, money and power.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • Frank fox

      Since this cult was created by politics in the 4th century it has always caused pain to humanity, they created war, conspirations, divided goverments, kings , not to mention all of the killing they are responsible for that history accounts them by the millions, they are nothing but a terrorist organization that up until this day still hurts humanity, and when katrina hit Louisiana they did nothing, i my self had to move to another state since that tragedy,the vatican is allways asking for money, money and power.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • The Truth

      @Chris: To the Catholic bashers.....*******

      Chris... we aren't bashing Catholics. We are bashing child ra-pists. Then we are bashing the church officials who have been accessories in the crime by blatantly covering it up and allowing the ra-pe of more children. Then we are bashing people like yourself who continue to be part of the problem by supporting the ra-pe of children with your dollars in church.

      The mere fact that you aren't on our side bashing against child ra-pists is pretty pathetic. You can say you don't like it all you want, yet you continue to be an enabler by supporting a corrupt organization that is STILL hiding the truth.

      Why are there ANY secret files with the Vatican? Aren't they supposed to tell the truth? What do they have to hide?

      If you were a GOOD CATHOLIC and if you REALLY cared about the church and if you REALLY cared about children being ra-ped, then YOU would picketing your church and DEMANDING change NOW. Demand that the Pope resign. Demand that all the files are made public IMMEDIATELY. Demand that a neutral third party be able to go in and examine the church's files and records. Demand that the truth come out. Demand that they come clean and beg for forgiveness.

      If it were the CEO of WalMart allowing employees to molest kids, you'd be calling for his head. If it was your new next door neighbor, you'd be calling the police and demanding he be arrested. Yet when it comes to your church, you do NOTHING. Instead of being in an uproar and doing the right thing, you choose to FUND and SUPPORT them!!!!! Brilliant!

      Yet you aren't. Instead you have been so brainwashed that you are sticking up for the side that is covering up the ra-pe of children. It's sickening.

      *********The mass media fills your brainless heads with whatever you want to believe.**********

      The Vatican fills your brainless head with whatever you want to believe. And BTW, studies have shown that the more someone believes in religion, the less intelligent they are. Atheists had the highest level of intelligence, followed by agnostics, followed by casual believers and with hard core believers like yourself coming in dead last. So be careful who you are calling brainless.

      *********If the Catholic Church dissappeared today there world would be a heck of a lot worse off......Only ONE foreign aid group came to help hurricaune Katrina victims, THE VATICAN. The Church spends 10 Billion dollars a year in this country alone on education.....What do most other denominations do?, Take care of themselves!**********

      As I posted below:

      LOL.... that is HILARIOUS. Nothing could further from the truth.

      The Bishop of LA sits on a MILLION DOLLAR chair!!!! http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/LA_Cathedral_cathedra.jpg

      In that picture, notice the chairs in the middle. The big chair is the archbishop of Los Angeles' chair and the smaller ones are for other Church Hierarchy.

      The big chair... cost them ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
      The smaller chairs cost them $250,000.00 EACH.
      The altar there cost them FIVE MILLION DOLLARS.

      Who spends a million dollars for a chair? Bill Gates, Oprah, etc don't have million dollar chairs. In fact, that chair is worth more than Warren Buffett's house!!! How many people would that money have clothed, housed and fed??? The chair isn't even that nice. Would Jesus spend a million dollars on a CHAIR???

      Putting this into perspective: The husband of one of my friends is a fighter pilot. He had to eject one time & he is now nearly two inches shorter due to the massive spinal compression force. So he was in a highly advanced jet whose chair allowed him to open the canopy, rocket out of a moving plane at 12-15 G's (the space shuttle at launch is about 3 G's), employed a parachute and took him to safety.

      The pilot's chair doing all that is around $100K... the Catholic Church's stationary wooden chair is $1M. And BTW... the doors to the Church were $3 MILLION DOLLARS. The lectern was $2 MILLION DOLLARS. The altar was $5 MILLION DOLLARS. Need I go on?

      And how many people could that $1M wooden chair for the bishop of Los Angeles have fed? Or in the Bay Area, they are currently constructing a new cathedral in Oakland. This is DESPITE having cathedrals in San Francisco and San Jose which are both less than a 30 minute drive away. They are spending 1/5-1/4 of a BILLION dollars to build it. First off, they don't need another cathedral here. Secondly, the cost is absurd.

      While yes, they do give money to charity, it is only a tiny fraction of what they take in. I used to work at my rectory for years. The money for the poor ran out EVERY SINGLE WEEK. And probably a majority of the time ran out early in the week. And what did the Church do to families who showed up at the door with mothers who literally had starving babies because they couldn't afford food? Yep, they turned them away with nothing. All of this despite there being tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in the vault from the week's collection in Church.

      Do even know where your money goes? Here's an excerpt of a letter I sent to my own parents a few years back:

      >
      >
      And look at Hurricane Katrina… where is the Vatican stepping up and shelling out their millions to help? Instead the Pope sent an official envoy from the Vatican’s charity Cor Unum. That was nice of him. Last year, Cor Unum helped the entire world by donating a grand total of… are you ready… $1.5 Million Euros. Wow… I hope that doesn’t break them. The Catholic Church is worth probably in the trillions of dollars. Yet, Wal Mart has already donated $17 million to the Katrina victims and the owners of Wal Mart have donated another $15 million on top of that for a total of $32 million. So Wal Mart can give more money than the Vatican can??? Come on… John Grisham, the novelist (he’s a novelist for crying out loud), personally donated $5 Million to the relief fund. How can Grisham donate over three times the amount of money that the Vatican’s Cor Unum donated all around the world all last year?
      And speaking of Vatican money, did you know this?

      “Despite its claims otherwise, the Vatican Bank is not a branch of the State of Vatican City. It exists as an enti-ty unto itself without corporate or ecclesiastical ties to any other agency within the Holy See. It is under the direct supervision of the pope. He is the one and only stockholder. He owns it and he controls it.

      Unlike ANY other financial inst-itution, the Vatican Bank is audited by neither internal nor outside agencies. Its worth remains a matter of conjecture, even for members of the College of Cardinals. There is not a scrap of its papers among all of the other bureaucracies of the Roman Church – not even ecclesiastical financial agencies – that attests to its assets or accounts. In 1996 Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the internal auditor of the Holy See, told investigators that he has no authority over the Vatican Bank and has no knowledge of its operations.”

      On Wall Street, the Vatican owns stocks for such companies as Gulf Oil, Shell, GM, IBM, Bethlehem Steel, etc that 10 years ago were already valued at over a Billion dollars. (I do find it amusing that they’d own Bethlehem Steel.) LOL The Wall Street Journal said that the Vatican would often buy and sell gold in lots valued in the millions in single transactions. They have accu-mulated billions and billions of dollars worth of gold that is being held at the US Federal Reserve Bank along with Banks in England and Switzerland. The Boston archdiocese (by itself) lists it assets at $650 Million and its total net worth at $575 million.

      The Catholic Church just in America alone is more wealthy than the 5 largest corporations in America COMBINED!!!! Yet, they can’t be donating huge sums of money to help the needy??? I’m sure Jesus would have kept that money and not shared it.
      >
      >

      There are countless hard working Catholics that give their money to the Church thinking it is going to help the needy when in fact, some of it helps the needy, but another massive portion goes to items like this. How many hungry people would those chairs have fed?

      The worst way the Catholic Church stole money from parishioners was through Mother Teresa. This woman took people's money under the premise that she was helping the poor and dying. However, hardly any of that money ever went to those people. Instead, the money went into nunneries for her religious order and the rest went into the Vatican Bank never to be seen again (as both the Vatican Bank and Mother Teresa's order refuse to be audited and keep everything secret). Mother Teresa believed that the poor should suffer like Jesus did and therefore didn't spend the money on them. Here's a quote from her: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people." An editor and doctor for a British medical journal visited her Home for the Dying in Calcutta and used terms like "Haphazard" when describing the care they were getting and said the pain management was "severely lacking." Dr. Fox specifically held Teresa responsible for conditions in this home, and observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. But then when Mother Teresa needed medical care, she flew herself to California to get it. Classic.

      None of this begins to talk about all of the evil people she took money from. The Duvaliers, Charles Keating, Enver Hoxha, Robert Maxwell, etc, etc, etc. And actual pictures exist with her and many of these people.

      I’ll stop here, but believe me when I say that I am only at the tip of the iceberg with her. It’s great that the two people that the Catholic Church are choosing to “fast track” their requirements for to make Saints in the quickest manner possible are Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. Perhaps John Paul can be the patron saint of child mole-sters and Mother Teresa can be the patron saint of people who like to watch others suffer and die (while basically stealing huge sums of money at the same time).

      In any event, this is typical of the RCC. When I was at the Vatican, their artwork collection was greater than that of the Louvre. They could sell just one of their masterpieces and feed an entire small country in Africa.

      If Catholics would stop giving to the Church and use their hard earned money to go out on the street and help people themselves, this world would be a MUCH better place. There are 80 Christians in the US to every 1 homeless person. 80 to 1!!!! So stop giving your money to fund million dollar chairs and palaces for bishops and the pope and go help out an actual human being that is REALLY in need.

      *******Think for yourselves for once and find the WHOLE truth, it's out there. or remain dangerously ignorant.********

      LOL... very Christian of you to call others ignorant and brainless. How many times did Jesus do that in the Bible? Yep, that's what I thought.

      Try thinking for yourself and stop being used as an accessory to child molestation.

      Peace.

      March 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Charlie Sheen

      Yo Truth – no need to write a book. Use the time and effort to become a winner like me.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • The Truth

      My bad – please disregard my previous post. I must have dialed down my meds too much.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • The Truth

      LMAO... Yet another person who can't produce a coherent rebuttal! Instead, you feel the need to act like a 3rd grader and pretend to be me. Classic! LMAO!!!

      Why don't you just come out and man up with your own name instead coward? What's the matter Colonel Sanders... chicken?

      Poor little baby can't speak up on your own behalf.... absolutely pathetic!

      March 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Shameeka

      The Vatican is the richest city in the world. This does not give them the right to not defrock the wicked, evil men that they protect and just transfer them to other parishes when they continue to prey on innocent children. There is no cure for pedophilia. Counseling will not solve the problems. These priests have broken the vow of celibacy that they agree to during their ordination. They are committing crimes and have ruined the lives of many innocent victims. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the present Pope Benedict XVI, wrote thousands of letters to bishops worldwide telling to not defrock these wicked priests but to rather transfer to other parishes. Man up to what goes on within the walls of your churches. Those, such as Benedict, will be held accountable for allowing this to continue as the others who choose to close their eyes and allow these heinous acts to continue. Face the facts. You are in denial. I don't understand how Catholics call Benedict the 'Vicar of Christ'. Your church is not the true church. The foundation of the church is Jesus Christ. He would never allow these children to be preyed upon. Jesus loved the little children.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • babajiska

      The Catholic Church can be compared to a babysitter hired by a father and mother to take care of their children. The instructions to her are simple: "Take care of our children. Feed them, make sure they are clean, and keep them from harm."
      When the parents return, though, they are shocked to see that their Children are famished. They are dirty, sickly, and miserable. They are crying for the babysitter's attention, but their cries go unheeded. Why? she is up on a ladder, washing the windows. Furious, the parents demand an explanation. The sitter replies: " Look at all that I did! Aren't the windows clean? i made repaires to the house too, all for you! Would the parents fell better? hardly! They never asked her to do those jobs ; they just wanted their children cared for. Her refusal to heed their instructions would infuriate them. christiandom has acted like that babysitter. Jesus left instructions for his representatives to feed people spiritually by teaching them the truth of Gods word and helping them to be spiritually clean. Yet Christiandom has dismally failed to obey his direction. She has left people spiritually starved, confused by falsehoods and ignorant of basic bible truths. Even her attempt to better this world can hardly be excuse her willful disobedience. That is why jesus said:
      "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not perform many wonderful works in your name? and yet i will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of Lawlessness."

      March 10, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  20. Ldenver

    Smite Me: Love your description of the Bible (science-fiction-horror-fantasy storybook). So funny, and so true!

    March 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • ExtraJesusWithThatPlease

      Yes, true to the people who see it that way. Just as my opinion is not fact, neither is yours. Your view is the fiction to people who believe.

      March 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • gerald

      Coming from someone who has no real basis for truth I find your assessment somewhat suspect to say the least.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Justina

      Ldenver, it's about acceptance of right discipline or rebuke from friends in life. Perverts take everyday normal things in perverse ways.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
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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.