Our Lady of Madhu Church is built on an ancient Pattini Amma Temple site – Shenali D. Waduge

Madhu Church, Mannar, Sri Lanka

Shenali Waduge“The site where Madhu Church presently stands was the original site of a Pattini Devale (later called Amman Kovil) since 114-136 CE under King Gajabahu. This means that the Pattini Devale has been where the Madhu Church now stands for 1850 years. If the Pattini Devale is no longer in its original site it is because the Portuguese Catholics destroyed every place of worship that was non-Catholic and converted non-Catholics to Catholicism.” –  Shenali D. Waduge

Goddess PattiniWith the recent calls to rewrite history it is no better a time than now to bring out all the hard facts that have got both hidden or buried (pun intended). Every time the topic of colonial atrocities are brought forward for debate the quick response is to claim these as history pushing to the background the crimes committed in the name of peaceful coexistence.

However, when most of the laws in place today were created with the intention of putting past crimes into the background and to ensure the continuance of the reign of white rule over the rest of us. Given that we are all victims, it is time we started to remind these very nations of some of their crimes. The background of the Pattini Devale is important for many reasons – it is where the Madhu Church presently stands, the Pattini Devale has a history beyond 1850 years whereas the Madhu Church is hardly 150 years old. Misappropriation of sacred sites belonging to other religions need to stop. The Church has to apologize and return the site to its original owners.

Of late the media attempts to portray the Madhu Church as being more than 600 years old which is proven an exaggeration for the Portuguese Catholics came to Sri Lanka in 1505 – Catholic history starts after conversion of Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus. In fact a recommendation was to be made under the Ranil Wickremasinghe Government to recommend to the Vatican that the church be sanctified as a National Basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. How historically and morally incorrect this move is to the Pope Francis with Sri Lanka flagHindus who are well aware of the history behind the ‘church’.

If anyone contests this claim they have to only refer to Brief Notice of the Origin and History of the Sanctuary of Madhu by the then Bishop of Jaffna to Mr. E. B. Denham who had tried to conceal that the church was on top of the ancient Pattini Devale as admitted by British civil servant R. W. Levers. They would also need to refer to Manual of the North Central Province by R. W. Levers who says “At the present day the offerings are generally taken to St. Mary’s Church at Madhu, which is considered by the Buddhist and a great many of the Tamil pilgrims, who resort there, as the Temple of Pattini Amma (Amman Kovil).” – these are historically recorded truths by the British themselves.

Chronology:

  • Portuguese Catholics arrive in Sri Lanka – 1505
  • Dutch Christians arrive in Sri Lanka – 1602
  • British arrive in Sri Lanka – 1796
  • Dutch Protestants drove out Portuguese from Mannar – 1670 (344 years ago)
  • Madhu a Catholic shrine only since 1870 (a history of 144 years only)
  • Even though the Bishop of Jaffna initiated the Madhu Festival since 1870, it did not have a church.
  • The foundation stone of the church was laid only in 1876. (so the church itself is only 138 years old and thus the claims made by the late UNP minister that the church is 600 years old is a total fabrication). Moreover, even by 1911 there were no permanent residents at Madhu. The Census of 1911 recorded 320 pilgrims, 230 of whom were Sinhalese from Colombo and the rest from Chilaw.

Gajabahu I also known as Gajabahuka Gamani (c. 114 – 136 CE) of Rajarata in Sri LankaHindus have greater claim

The site where Madhu Church presently stands was the original site of a Pattini Devale (later called Amman Kovil) since 114-136 CE under King Gajabahu. This means that the Pattini Devale has been where the Madhu Church now stands for 1850 years. If the Pattini Devale is no longer in its original site it is because the Portuguese Catholics destroyed every place of worship that was non-Catholic and converted non-Catholics to Catholicism. These conversions were done by force and anyone resisting faced death. We are well aware of the suffering the Catholic Inquisition since 1233 caused for all non-Catholics and heretics, and it was because the Dutch themselves were victims that they avenged the suffering they were put through by the Catholics when they arrived in Sri Lanka. The 1638 Treaty between the Dutch and the Sinhala King provided a clause to expel all Catholics.

The Madhu site is where the Hindu Amman Kovil has stood for at least 1850 years as against 144 years for the Madhu Church. What needs to be reiterated and what the Catholic Church needs to accept is that the Church usurped this ancient Hindu temple, not only that they desecrated the Durgai Amman Silai and built a Catholic church in its place in 1876 though the annual Madhu Festival has been held since 1870.

Cankili II (Cekaracacekaran IX)The usurping of the Hindu kovil is very much part of the inquisition objectives and a continuation of the wanton destruction of scores of temples, kovils and murder of Muslims by the Portuguese Catholics. The Church clergy may not like to be reminded that they ordered the beheading of the last Tamil Hindu ruler Sangili Kumaran and conversion of his family. Tamils should not forget that it was the Sinhalese king who sent his general to rescue the Hindu Tamils and in so doing sacrificed his life. Was it not a repetition of this very same scenario that occurred during the final phase of the war when 5000 military lives was lost to save 300,000 Tamils many of whom were possibly LTTE family members or even LTTE in civilian attire.

Therefore all Catholics in Sri Lanka descend from Sinhalese and Tamils who were forcibly converted by the Portuguese Catholics. 

At this point we need to also remind the Hindus that prior to the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 the Sinhalese and Hindus were living amicably. It was the spectre of the arrival of the white man that brought a curse to the country since 1505.

Hindus and Buddhists became united through the efforts to bring about the anti-conversion legislation. We recall the efforts of UNP MP Maheswaran who tried his best to reconvert Tamils to Hinduism but he fell prey to LTTE’s guns.

So did six soldiers who were cleaning the Madhu Church premises on 12 Feb 2008.

Cardinal Malcolm RanjitWhile the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka says sacred places should be kept free of violence and bloodshed we cannot but wonder why they are silent about very prominent Catholic clergy who had been and continue to be very much involved with the LTTE and their sponsors both locally and internationally. The accusation against the Church of connections to the LTTE could have been easily negated by the Church taking action against these Catholic clergy by defrocking them. The golden question is – why has the Church not taken action against these clergy who have been very much aligned to terrorist activity.

Rayappu JosephIf Father Rayappu Joseph opened Eelam House in London, allowed the Madhu Church to be used as an LTTE office. We also recall the arrests of 3 priests on 1 February 2008 carrying suicide jackets and interrogations revealed that these priests had brought down 30 suicide cadres from Mannar to Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. These priests had even transported several suicide kits and weapons. One of the 3 arrested was a pastor of a church in Mannar. The previous year on 20 February security forces also recovered cyanide capsules and equipment from St. Mary’s Church Jaffna. What we can make out is that the Christian clergy had been used to transport weapons and explosives across the country – this is aiding and abetting terrorism.

Fr. S. J. EmmanuelWhat individual priests do using the cover of the religion can be effectively responded to not simply by issuing a statement denouncing the action. Given the innumerable cases of involvement by priests with a banned terrorist movement what the Church and its headquarters in the Vatican should have rightfully done was to defrock those like Father Emmanuel and Father Rayappu Joseph.

Returning to the issue of the ownership of the Madhu site – all that needs to be repeated is that the place is rightfully that of the Pattini Kovil of the Hindus. It is immoral for the site to be usurped and made into a holy site for Catholics totally ignoring the history behind the site. Numerous other sites across the country where churches stand were all formerly sites of Buddhist temples as well. The exact positions of these churches where former Buddhist temples once stood are given in the Portuguese chronicler Queyroz’s works.

Sri Lankan Catholic priests demonstrating in support of LTTE chief PrabhakaranWhat needs to be also said is that the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America were all invaded, occupied and systems put in place to convert the natives, kill those who refused, plunder the wealth of the lands and devise devious ways to play the natives against each other by creating sub-cultures that would create the necessary environment for these white Western nations to prevail over the ‘uncivilized’ world. Has any of this colonial mentality changed at all over the years?

 Be that as it may what needs to be said is that the very countries ignoring their own track records are dictating the rules of law to us the victims and all we can say is to return all that they took by force and level the playing field first. – Express, 25 January 2014

 » Shenali Waduge is a Sri Lankan civil society writer concerned about fair play in all matters that concern citizens of her country as well as the world at large.

Devi Kannagi-Pattini

Evangelization of Asia: Significance of objections to Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka – Shenali D. Waduge

Madhu Church, Sri Lanka

Shenali Waduge“On the one hand while there is no grudge against the Pope arriving to bless Catholics, we need to look at the ulterior motives behind the visit of the Pope while also highlighting that he is obliged to offer Asia and in particular India a long overdue apology complimented with compensation. It is poignant that Asia is reminded that the Pope arrives not simply to bless his people but with the intention to encourage lay and Church clergy to advance their agenda of harvesting more souls.” – Shenali D. Waduge

Pope Francis In Sri Lanka 2015The US and Western Christian nations have made clear their foreign policy objectives in Asia. The focus of Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic faith and the State of Vatican, is also Asia. Asia is seen as having the greatest potential for the expansion of Catholicism. When the Church declares the Third Christian Millennium as “a great harvest of faith will be reaped in this vast and vital continent,” it definitely means harvest of souls and conversion of non-Catholics to Catholicism. Should non-Catholic nations and nationalities not therefore have the right to prepare for eventualities and raise these concerns in public without being told that objections to conversions is against reconciliation, amity between religions and people?

Pope Francis hugs Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, Archbishop of Colombo, at St Peter's Basilica, on February 8, 2014 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYSObjections to Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka

While Sri Lanka’s Sinhala Buddhists, Tamil Hindus and Muslims do not have any objections to a leader of a faith coming to bless people of that faith, what the Church and the Catholic public need to realize is that the objections have historically justifiable reasons. Anyone who has committed crimes over 500 years cannot be offended when they are reminded of them. The Church showed no remorse for any of the crimes committed upon inhabited lands that colonial crusaders were given orders to declare as Christian ‘discovered lands’ and confiscate them from the indigenous while converting natives and killing those that refused. Present day lay Catholics need to realize that these crimes were committed on behalf of the Church while confiscating artefacts, goods and wealth that belonged to these nations – these confiscated and stolen treasures are all lying inside the Vatican.

  1. The Church has committed millions of murders in the name of God and while the Church has apologized to the rest of the world an apology to Asia has yet to be given as well as compensation for these crimes.
  2. The crimes cover the missionary activities under colonial rule, Goan Inquisition, forceful conversions or death for those that refused and these are documented crimes admitted by Catholics themselves.
  3. Thousands of Buddhist, Hindu, Islam places of worship were destroyed and in its place Churches were built for which an apology has yet to be given. The works of Queroy lists out all such churches built on top of Buddhist/Hindu temples and kovil. The Madhu Church to which the Pope is scheduled to hold prayers was originally a Hindu temple
  4. The present efforts by the Church through their priests and lay advocates to use poverty and other social ills to cunningly draw people to embrace their faith as salvation and the manner the Church uses the power of wealth and Western governmental/non-governmental Catholic/Christian associations and leaders to influence Asian politicians against protecting non-Catholics is a case in point.

Francis XavierEvangelizing Asia/Africa

Asia is a continent that holds 60% of the world’s people. At the end of 2007, 1.15 billion people were Catholic, and approximately one billion were non-Catholic Christians. Fifty nations where Catholicism is spreading rapidly are all in Asia & Africa. Between 1542 and 1552, St. Francis Xavier converted an estimated 700,000 souls in modern-day India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. Between 1610 and 1651, St. Peter Claver baptized some 300,000 slaves in Cartagena, Colombia.

At the conclusion of the final message of the 10th General Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in 2012. Excerpts from the statement issued, “The mission of new evangelization, new in its ardour, its methods and its expressions, is urgent. … We are a community of faith called by the Lord to a mission of evangelization in the world.”

Catholic Church in South KoreaLessons from South Korea

South Korea was a formerly Buddhist nation. Today South Korea is under the Western thumb and the Catholic faith. The Korean Catholic Church traces its origins to 1784 and foreign missionaries took up the task of converting non-Catholics. Catholics make up almost 11% of South Korea’s 50 million population. In 1960 there were just 2% Catholics. At the end of 2013, South Korea’s 5.4 million Catholics were served by 4,261 priests, with a further 1,489 seminarians in the pipeline. Catholics in South Korea are increasingly prosperous – Bishop William McNaughton attributes the financial success of Catholics there to the excellence of Catholic education. The flip side is that as people acquire more education and money, they no longer need God attributed to the decline in Catholicism in Europe. However in South Korea, where wealth, education and church expansion continue to go together – this is the template being used for the rest of Asia. Tom Fox, author of Pentecost in Asia, said, “the starting point of the Asian church has always been the local church. “This is the model of local governance and evangelization that Pope Francis encourages and promotes. Korea was largely evangelized by lay activists, not organized missionary campaigns. Charity and Giving are slogans to draw non-Catholics of Asia to embrace the faith and it is working in a region that is POOR. The message is clear: want education? want to come out poverty? want employment? want key places in state and private sector? want a better life and belong among elite society? Become a Catholic!

Representatives of the Korean churches agreed to reorganize the ‘Conference of Christian Unity of Korea’ into the ‘Commission on Faith and Order of Korean Churches’ in 2012. The member churches of this newly reformed Commission are 11 religious bodies: the Catholic Church in Korea, the Orthodox Church in Korea, the National Council of Churches in Korea , the Presbyterian Church of Korea, General Assembly of Presbyterian Church, the Korean Methodist Church, the Anglican Church of Korea, the Salvation Army of Korea Territory, Korea Evangelical Church, the Korea Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church of Korea.

The South Korean success story provides the inspiration for the Church as its stamps forward to evangelize the Asian continent.

Mihintale Buddha  The case for defense

The Church and missionaries have identifiable goals, they have funds and other means to enforce their objectives. The question is what have non-Catholic organizations (Buddhist and Hindu) done to protect their people against conversions and the social ills of poverty, unemployment, good education etc that are key areas that enables the Church to draw people to their fold to embrace their faith because they are promised to be given what people are seeking.

How far have Buddhist/Hindu organizations/associations that are constantly bickering amongst their own done to address fundamental areas where their people live in poverty (at different levels), people want education but lack even the fundamentals, people desire employment and social status but have not been given the tools to enable them to rise and create for themselves a better living standard? How far have Buddhist/Hindu associations established programs to keep people informed while also addressing the core reasons why people are prepared to give their ‘souls’ to another faith simply because their faith has not addressed simple aspirations. Why can’t the Buddhists galvanize themselves to address these core areas – empower the poor, show ethical livelihoods in keeping with the philosophy of Buddha, sustain these teachings to education, enable employment and address other social ills that entice people to do wrongs. There is much that Buddhist societies and in particular the Buddhist clergy can do and must do instead of the present manner that they function.

Pope FrancisThus, on the one hand while there is no grudge against the Pope arriving to bless Catholics, we need to look at the ulterior motives behind the visit of the Pope while also highlighting that he is obliged to offer Asia and in particular India a long overdue apology complimented with compensation. It is poignant that Asia is reminded that the Pope arrives not simply to bless his people but with the intention to encourage lay and Church clergy to advance their agenda of harvesting more souls.

Sri Lanka that weathered Western Christian missionaries, criminal colonial rule and numerous other Catholic Action initiatives must remain alert in spite of a thin Constitutional provision that establishes the Buddhist identity of the nation that has been diluted by multicultural political leaders with no grasp of or interest in preserving the historical heritage of Sri Lanka but who need it nevertheless to come into power and remain in power. – Sinhalanet, 30 December 2014 

Sri Lankan Catholic priests supporting LTTE leader Prabhakaran

Further reading:

» Shenali Waduge is a Sri Lankan civil society writer concerned about fair play in all matters that concern citizens of her country as well as the world at large.

Sonia-G has three foreign bank accounts, withdrew $10 billion recently – Niticentral Staff

Vatican Bank

Niti Central - Bold & Right“As per a report published in Hindustan Times, Swamy said that Sonia withdrew the amount from a Vatican bank after the new Pope declared that account must disclose the name of the holder. Swamy said the three banks in which Sonia Gandhi allegedly has accounts are one in Vatican [IOR], Sarasin Bank in Basel in Switzerland and Pictet Bank in Zurich.” – Niticentral Staff

Subramanian SwamyBJP leader Subramanian Swamy has accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of possessing three secret foreign bank accounts and that she has recently withdrawn $10 billion from a bank based in Vatican. The move comes days after Swamy accused Sonia’s son-in-law Robert Vadra of involvement in a land deal in Delhi.

Swamy was in Guwahati campaigning for the BJP where he made such revelation while addressing a Press conference.

“Sonia Gandhi has three accounts in foreign banks and her total amounts in these three secret bank accounts are 1.5 lakh crore. Recently she had withdrawn $10 billion from a Vatican-based bank,” said Swamy.

Sonia-G & Rahul BabaAs per a report published in Hindustan Times, Swamy said that Sonia withdrew the amount from a Vatican bank after the new Pope declared that account must disclose the name of the holder. Swamy said the three banks in which Sonia Gandhi allegedly has accounts are one in Vatican [IOR], Sarasin Bank in Basel in Switzerland, and Pictet Bank in Zurich.

He said that Rs 120 lakh crore of the country has been kept in foreign banks by a few individuals and if the BJP is voted to power, it would bring back all these amounts from foreign banks.

Earlier, Swamy wrote to the President demanding an inquiry by the Central Vigilance Commission and probe by CBI into the alleged involvement of Robert Vadra in a major DLF land deal in the national capital.

Swamy alleged that Vadra used his political influence to get a 23-acre property worth more than Rs 20,000 crore near Rashtrapati Bhavan allotted to DLF for just Rs 65 crore. DLF is proposing to develop high-end apartments, since its has secured permission for a housing complex.

Robert Vadra“It is obvious that without political influence this change in land use breaching national security and providing windfall profits would not have been possible,” Swamy said in his letter to the President.

Swamy said in some companies floated by Vadra in recent times, Sonia Gandhi's Bank Accounts“DLF executive Amit Mehta was the director.” In light of the allegations, Swamy appealed, “Please take necessary steps including referring this letter to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner for a probe and subsequent CBI investigation.”

According to Swamy, Vadra floated six companies in June-August 2012. “During this period, UPA Government had allotted Delhi’s most prime property to DLF group,” he alleged. Vadra is the managing director of all the newly-floated six companies. – Niti Central, 19 April 2014

» Niticentral Staff are the News Analysis Desk of Team Niti Central.

IOR or Vatican Bank

Sarasin Bank

Pictet & Cie Bank Head Quarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

Catholic priests raped and pillaged for 50 years in Chicago – Barbie Latza Nadeau

Barbie Latza Nadeau“Some priests, like Father Joseph Savage, apparently not only raped children, they also pillaged Episcopalian churches in the area. The documents in his lengthy dossier clearly point to suspicion that he often brought young teenage boys into churches to steal precious relics. Yet he was allowed to keep his collar.” – Barbie Latza Nadeau

FrancisSome of the accusations against perverted priests are handwritten letters penned by worried mothers. Others are emails sent decades after the abuses occurred. There are letters so old the mimeographed typewriting is smudged and difficult to read. There are emails so recent, they call into question just how much of the clerical abuse is still going on. In all, more than 15,000 pages from the secret archives of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review have been released on the Chicago Archdiocese website relating to hundreds of lurid sexual-abuse crimes by 36 perverted priests dating back to the 1950s. The most recent documents are only a year old.

Chicago Sex Abuse ScandalThe disturbing document dump was released Thursday as the retiring Cardinal Francis George prepares to leave the post he has held since 1997. They follow a similar gesture last January when the archdiocese released 6,000 pages of documents pertaining to 30 pedophilic priests as part of a legal settlement brokered by Chicago attorney Jeff Anderson. The Chicago Archdiocese has paid more than $130 million in abuse-victim settlements. “We cannot change the past but we hope we can rebuild trust through honest and open dialogue,” George said in a statement on the eve of the document release. “Child abuse is a crime and a sin.”

While the document trove is impressive, many of the names and an abundance of detail has been blackened out, no doubt for privacy issues. Records on two of Chicago’s most notorious pedophile priests were not released because of ongoing legal action. The cases involving Daniel McCormack, who is accused of molesting three young boys, including an 8-year-old he allegedly molested on Christmas Eve, and Edward Maloney are not included because McCormack’s records have been sealed by a judge as part of his admission; Maloney is appealing his laicization with the Vatican in Rome.

The allegations include accusations of priests plying young victims with alcohol and cigarettes, of fondling, masturbating, and performing oral sex on minors, and a strong current of denial and well-documented coverup by the church that can be traced all the way to Rome.

Take the case of Father Gregory Miller, whose 275-page dossier is filled with congratulatory letters of advancement within the archdiocese. But his file is also dotted with frequent warnings of misconduct. On Page 105 of the Miller dossier, one brief summary of an allegation states, “while in Fr. Miller’s quarters in the rectory, he instructed XX to remove his clothes; Fr. Miller also removed his clothes and had an erection; Fr. Miller took his hand and rubbed XX’s leg two times, then placed his hand on XX’s stomach and began to move his hand down to XX’s genital area” the rest of the complaint has been blocked by the diocese.

A few years later, Miller’s assignment as a parish priest was renewed. Despite an “acknowledgement of misconduct policies” added to the priest’s record in 2004, followed by a “pastoral intervention plan” in 2005, Miller’s record shows the addition, in 2007, of another congratulatory letter in which the clearly improper priest is appointed to serve a second term as pastor of Saint Bernadette in Evergreen Park for six more years. “The support you have received for this reappointment is an indication of the fine pastoral leadership you have given the people of Saint Bernadette as you have proclaimed the Gospel there these past six years,” the letter from Cardinal Francis George states, followed by a personal note. “Gary, it is my hope that this will be a time of personal renewal for you as you continue your priestly service to the people who have been entrusted in your care,” the cardinal writes.

In 2012, a new complainant wrote an email to Leah McCluskey of the Chicago Archdiocese’s abuse committee, stating: “To whom, After having watched, and been wrenched by the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State story… I have a story to tell,” the unnamed accuser writes. “It goes back to 1972-73 at a parish in South Byron.”

“Every effort will be made to avoid unnecessary publicity. Should information about this become known, we will work to protect your reputation and your right to privacy.”

Chicago Priest ArrestedFurther documents show that the archdiocese did investigate the email, while placing Miller on watch yet again, telling him not to be alone with minors. Records state that the victim, clearly bolstered by the Sandusky case, was 13 at the time of Miller’s abuse. In a file memo in 2012, McCluskey states that when she confronted Miller, he said he did not know the young man making the claims, but when pressed with further details, McCluskey writes, “Fr. Miller responded by saying that he would like to ‘reserve comment at this time.’”

Chicago priests accused of abusing childrenAccording to the memo, Miller then asked what the statute of limitations in Illinois was and to define what the allegations meant. “Fr. Miller asked for a definition of sexual abuse. I told Fr. Miller that sexual abuse does not have to mean penetration and that it may be sexual touching over and/or under clothing of the victim and/or any touch that is unwanted by the victim. I added that sexual abuse may also be showing or viewing pornographic images (to/with a victim).”

More disturbing still, despite what were clearly repeat allegations, the archdiocese’s vicar general, John Canary, wrote the errant priest to tell him that he was not to be alone with anyone under age 18, seemingly apologizing for the trouble. “This is not a judgment of guilt, nor is it a suspension of any other canonical penalty,” Canary wrote. “Every effort will be made to avoid unnecessary publicity. Should information about this become known, we will work to protect your reputation and your right to privacy.”

Reading through the documents is frustrating at times because full pages are blackened out, like the memos concerning Father William Lupo, a priest who faced multiple allegations, including “exposure of full naked body in bed to 14 year old girl in rectory and of partial nakedness to two other teen-age girls in/around his bedroom shower; passionate kissing and hugging over approximately six years with at least 3 teenage girls.”

The church was so well-informed on Lupo’s sins they even sent a priestly spy, Father Jerome Jiordan, who wrote his surveillance report after spending time clearly spying on the priest. “As far as the parishioners know, I’m a house guest who finds it convenient to stay here,” he wrote in a memo to the Chicago diocese. “I have a room at the foot of the stairs to the pastor’s quarters and therefore I am in a position to know whether there are any visitors to his rooms.”

Some priests, like Father Joseph Savage, apparently not only raped children, they also pillaged Episcopalian churches in the area. The documents in his lengthy dossier clearly point to suspicion that he often brought young teenage boys into churches to steal precious relics. Yet he was allowed to keep his collar.

The revelations in the Chicago document trove show the church was clearly involved in the coverup and proliferation of pedophile abuse by not removing the abusers, which is something victims’ groups have always known. David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, says the latest revelations prove his group’s point. “This information could and should have been revealed years ago,” he said. “Lives could have been saved. Crimes could have been prevented. Families could have been preserved.” Instead, Clohessy accuses Cardinal George and dozens of his clerical colleagues of opting to put their own reputations first. “It’s as if Catholic officials thought, for years, that ‘Our job is to protect ourselves from lawsuits. So we’ll yank these dangerous men from parishes. But that’s all we’ll do. And whoever they molest next, that’s not our concern.’”

The latest documents are apparently endorsed by Pope Francis, who assigned a special child-abuse SWAT team almost a year ago with an eye toward greater transparency. John O’Malley, special counsel to Cardinal George on misconduct issues, told the Associated Press, “Cardinal George wanted it finished on his watch.” The victims understandably wish he would have “finished it” when he started almost 20 years ago, not on his way out. – The Daily Beast, 7 November 2014

» Barbie Latza Nadeau, author of the Angel Face, about Amanda Knox, has reported from Italy for Newsweek since 1997 and for The Daily Beast since 2009. She is a frequent contributor to CNN Traveller, Departures, Discovery, and Grazia. She appears regularly on CNN, the BBC, and NPR.

Francis George

 

Archbishop Wesolowski stored over 100,000 child porn videos in his PC – Umberto Bacchi

Jozef Wesolowski

Umberto Bacchi“Jozef Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be investigated for sex abuse, and the first top papal representative to receive a defrocking sentence. He has been charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession and might face up to seven years in the Vatican’s tiny jail.” – Umberto Bacchi

Paedophiles and their ecclesiastical enablers.A former Vatican archbishop accused of paedophilia stored tens of thousands of child porn videos and photos on a computer in his office at the Holy See diplomatic compound in the Dominican Republic, it has emerged.

Details of Jozef Wesolowski‘s massive child porn stash have been revealed after the 66-year-old was arrested at the Vatican earlier this week.

He is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be investigated for sex abuse, and the first top papal representative to receive a defrocking sentence. He has been charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession and might face up to seven years in the Vatican’s tiny jail.

Vatican detectives analysed the PC Wesolowski used in his office in Santo Domingo, where he served as Holy See envoy from 2008 to 2012 as part of an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of underage boys.

The probe reportedly revealed a collection of horrors. The Polish native held more than 100,000 sexually-explicit files, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported.

Some 160 videos showing teenage boys forced to perform sexual acts on themselves and on adults and more than 86,000 pornographic photos were meticulously archived in several category-based folders, the paper said.

Investigators said that at least another 45,000 pictures were deleted, while a second stash of material was found on a laptop Wesolowski used during his trips abroad.

Santa Marta Square Vatican CityThe former clergyman was placed under house arrest in a pre-trial detention at the Vatican earlier this week. He has been detained in a small room in the basement of the Collegio dei Penitenzieri, a convent located in the same building hosting the Vatican’s court and military police in the famous Santa Marta Square.

Investigators are also probing whether there was a network of people who helped him to set up sexual encounters and if he committed other abuse during his previous posts around the world.

Before arriving in Santo Domingo, Wesolowski served as apostolic nuncio in Bolivia and Central Asia – covering Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan and Uzbekistan – after holding less prominent roles in Southern African, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark.

He was recalled to Rome last year, after Dominican Republic media alleged he hired “rent boys” and was subsequently banished from the clergy, after a canonical court found him guilty of sex abuse.

His trial is expected to start in January. – International Business Times, 26 September 2014

» Umberto Bacchi is a foreign correspondent at International Business Times UK. He is a law graduate with a Masters in journalism and has a passion for politics and football, especially when they blend in together. Contact him at Email: u.bacchi@ibtimes.co.uk

Bishop & Boy

Related

Sex-Abuse Victims to Pope: Stop begging for forgiveness and just stop the abuse – Barbie Latza Nadeau

Barbie Latza Nadeau“Barbara Blaine, who was raped by her parish priest as a teenager, posed a number of topics she would like to discuss with Francis, if only she were given a chance.  First, she says she would like to tell the pope, ‘Stop talking about the crisis as though it’s past tense, and stop delaying while your abuse panels discusses details. You know the right thing to do. You don’t need a report.'” –  Barbie Latza Nadeau  

Pope FrancisOn Monday, Pope Francis followed the footsteps of his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II and met with a select group of men and women who had been raped, molested and lied to by their parish priests. 

Francis spent around half an hour individually with each of the victims— a man and a woman each from Ireland, Germany, and England—whose names and ages were not disclosed.  Prior to the one-on-one meetings, Francis presided over a Mass with the victims and members of the Papal Commission for the Protection of Children, led by Boston cardinal Sean O’Malley in which he apologized to the survivors for the “grave sins of clerical sexual abuse” committed against them.

“I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves,” Francis said at the special mass according to the homily transcript released by the Holy See. “This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk.”

After the Mass and meetings, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi briefed the press, explaining that while the content of each individual meeting should be kept private in accordance with the norms of pastor to parishioner confidentiality, one can be assured “they were profoundly emotional.”  At times laughing nervously as he explained that he knew not what was said but that it was of utmost importance, Lombardi then went on to counter criticism from the clerical sex abuse victims’ groups that warned that the meet and greet was nothing more than a public relations stunt.  “This body of opinion has always demonstrated its unwillingness to understand the pope’s actions,” he told reporters.  “I’m not surprised by the reaction, but it is totally clear that it was not a public relations event. It was a profound spiritual encounter.”

Barbara BlaineBarbara Blaine, outreach director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or SNAP disagrees.  Even though SNAP, now 25 years old, is the most widely recognized global support group for clerical victims with more than 18,000 members, no one from their leadership was invited to meet with Francis.

Ahead of the meeting Blaine, who was raped by her parish priest as a teenager, posed a number of topics she would like to discuss with Francis, if only she were given a chance.  First, she says she would like to tell the pope, “Stop talking about the crisis as though it’s past tense, and stop delaying while your abuse panels discusses details. You know the right thing to do. You don’t need a report.”

Catholic boysShe said she would also tell the pope to focus first on prevention, instead of forgiveness.  “Wounded adults can heal themselves but vulnerable kids can’t protect themselves,” she says, noting that abuse and sex abuse and the consistent cover up by the Vatican is still ongoing.  She also suggests that the Holy See take “tangible steps to safeguard those at risk” by doing a number of what would seem like fairly simple steps, that are acceptable responses in the secular community when it comes to battling pedophilia, sex abuse, and child rape.

SNAP’s demands include:

1. Order bishops to set up and finance a “whistleblower fund” to reward church staff whose actions lead to criminal charges or conviction of current or former abusive clerics.

2. Insist that bishops permanently post the names, photos and whereabouts of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics (including religious order priests) on diocesan and parish websites.

3. Demand that bishops hire independent corrections staff rather than clergy to house and monitor child molesting clerics who cannot be criminally charged because of statutes of limitation in remote, secure facilities so they will be kept away from children.

4. Instruct bishops to use only licensed therapists (not priests or nuns) to deal with abuse victims.

5. Tell bishops to use only former police (not clerics) to investigate abuse cases that cannot be pursued by law enforcement.

6. Convene and fund a world-wide conference of secular lawmakers who work to reform archaic, arbitrary, and predator-friendly secular laws (like the statute of limitations) that prevent victims from exposing those who commit and conceal sex offenses through civil and criminal courts.

7. Make an urgent, strong public plea to all church employees and members, begging them to give information and suspicions about fugitive predator priests to civil authorities so the clerics may be prosecuted and kept away from children.

8. Order bishops to avoid using language that minimizes clergy abuse like “it’s just a small percentage of priests” or deflects blame like “abuse happens in other settings too” or faults accusers like “these allegations are from 25 years ago” or mollifies church-goers like “he’s not accused of molesting at this parish” or praises accused wrongdoers like “he’s a very popular priest” or guilt-trips victims  like “he has tirelessly worked to help the poor”.

9. Turn over Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or CDF records about predatory priests to local law enforcement in the nations where the alleged crimes took place and insist that the head of each diocese and religious order do likewise with their abuse records.

10. Mandate church-based sessions to teach parishioners how to respond appropriately in abuse cases so victims, witnesses and whistleblowers won’t feel intimidated or hopeless.

11. Insist that priests immediately give their passports to their bishops when abuse accusations arise so they can’t flee overseas.

12. Demote and denounce at least a dozen complicit bishops, including Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City Missouri, the only sitting bishop who has been criminally convicted of refusing to report suspected child sex crimes.

13. Discourage current and future cover ups by clearly, publicly punishing prelates (like Cardinal Roger Mahony and others) who are concealing or have concealed child sex crimes.

14. Stop rebuffing secular officials and start letting Polish and Dominican Republic law enforcement officials arrest and prosecute Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski (a credibly accused child molesting cleric), instead of having Catholic officials investigate other Catholic officials.

Pope Francis: Aren't unsolicited kisses a form of molestation?Finally, Blaine says she would tell Francis that there is only one criteria that matters as he moves forward with his commission to protect minors: “Will this move actually protect kids by exposing and punishing clerics who commit and conceal child sex crimes?” If not, she says, “Then it doesn’t matter if it’s more or less than other officials or institutions have done or are doing. It doesn’t matter much if it gets great headlines. It doesn’t really matter if it makes adults feel better for a little bit. If it’s not preventing abuse, it’s probably meaningless or almost meaningless.” – The Daily Beast, 7 July 2014

» Barbie Latza Nadeau, author of the Angel Face, about Amanda Knox, has reported from Italy for Newsweek since 1997 and for The Daily Beast since 2009. She is a frequent contributor to CNN Traveller, Departures, Discovery, and Grazia. She appears regularly on CNN, the BBC, and NPR.

Christianity is not Krishna-Neeti and the Vatican was never a Shiva temple – Koenraad Elst

Vatican City - Shiva LingamTwo photos, taken from above the subjects,  the one on the left of St Peter’s Square and Church being an aerial photo.  The contention is that because St Peter’s Square with Bernini’s curved colonnade on each side looks like the yoni base of a Shiva Lingam, Bernini must have copied a Shiva Lingam when he built the colonnade between 1656 and 1667. Bernini certainly did not know anything about Hinduism and had never seen a Shiva Lingam. He says that he built the colonnade around the obelisk in the square’s centre—placed there in 1586, many decades before he arrived—so as to embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church.” The Mother Church was St Peter’s Basilica at the top of the square. It was completed in 1590 in the form of a Roman cross—as can be seen in the photo—and is neither the first church so constructed or the last, all classical churches being constructed in the form of a cross. So the photos above are a mischievous arbitrary comparison without rationale, created to mislead the credulous viewer into believing that Hindus had a worldwide religious empire in prehistory whose symbols and architecture Christians have plagiarized. — Editor 

Dr. Koenraad Elst“The very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus are not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism. They are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.” – Dr Koenraad Elst

P. N. OakQuite frequently, my mailbox is hit by yet another product of the P. N. Oak-type imagination. This one refers to a web article on IndiaDivine.org [ISKCON], dated 14 June 2014, called Was the Christian Vatican Originally a Temple to Lord Shiva? allegedly by Dr Subramanian Swamy.

It claims that “Rome’s church compound is in the shape of Shiva Lingam”. It also suggests, citing as its source the “famous historian P. N. Oak”, that Vatican comes from Sanskrit vatika (“park, religious centre”), Christianity from Krishna-neeti (“Krishna’s policy”, “the way of Krishna”), and Abraham from Brahma. Conclusion is that it’s all “plagiarism by the West”.

In fact, the shape of the church [and plaza] is standard, and therefore the claim implies that most classical churches, thousands of them, are really shaped like Shiva Lingams. If your eyes are very hazy, you might indeed get the impression of a similarity. This school is quickly satisfied with a mere semblance of similarity. Thus, a 3-shaped sign in the undeciphered Indus script is declared to be ॐ sign; as is a door ornament on the Red Fort, equally deemed to have been “originally a Hindu temple”. But even if a more perceptive look were to confirm this impression of similarity, it doesn’t prove a causal relation. The likeness between vatika and Vatican is claimed to “prove that the Vatican was a Hindu (Vedic) religious centre before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity from 1st century AD”. No, this phrase merely shows the miserably low standards of proof Jesus & Krishna: Are they the same?applied by the Hindu history-rewriters. Also, no evidence is attempted, or known from elsewhere, for the momentous replacement or forcible conversion of this Vedic pontiff.

As for the etymologies, they are false. Vaticanus Collis [or Vaticanus Mons] means “seers’ hill”, from vates meaning “seer, poet, inspired speaker”, related to the Germanic god-name Woden, meaning “fury, trance”. Christianity combines the Latin endings -(i)anus and –itas, meaning “follower of” and “the property/system/collectivity of”, with the Greek word Christos, “anointed”, as translation of the Biblical Hebrew word Mashiah, “anointed crown-prince, messiah”. Ab-raham is Hebrew and means “father of many ”, while Brahma originally means “great, growth”, related to Germanic berg, “mountain”. These Biblical words have nothing to do with their Sanskrit look-alikes.

Further, it claims that amen really comes from om/aum. Amen is Hebrew for “so be it, truly”, and has nothing to do with om/aum. For that matter, the frequent assertion in some yogic circles that Latin omnis, “all”, is also related, is equally untrue. Omnis is a phonetic adaptation from op-nis, with the root op-, “many”, related to the Latin-derived word opulence. The word amen is cognate to Arabic “amin“, which also means “certain”. A well-known Urdu word derived from it is mo’min, “one who takes as certain”, “believer”, hence “Muslim”. So according to these history-rewriters, a Muslim really is an “Om-sayer”!

ISKCONIt further claims that “all religions are one and are derived from Vedic Sanatana Dharma” and that “both Christianity and Islam originated as distortions of Vedic beliefs”. This is flatly untrue, but nonetheless Padres and Mullahs will welcome it if it helps in reconciling Hindu parents to their daughter’s elopement with a Christian or Muslim man and conversion to his religion: “Hey, Mom and Dad, don’t worry, it’s only a variation on the Vedic religion, as you yourselves always say!”

So, the very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus are not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism. They are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.

Vatican City

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