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Archive for March 25th, 2010

“We have Met the Enemy and He Is Us”—Walt Kelly

This well done satirical scene, reminiscent of 24, shows members from various security agencies in the process of apprehending a “Terrorist.”

(H-T Budd Schroeder at the American Daughter Media Center)


Feds’ Deconfliction.wmv 2:27 Video

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“I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood”— The Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy in a letter to Cardinal Ratzinger.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger shows that the highest priority for church officials was protecting the church from scandal. Deaf students spent more than 30 years trying to raise the alarm about the predator priest who molested about 200 boys during his tenure at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974.

“Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer.

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims … Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children … but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Instead of being disciplined, Father Murphy was quietly moved by Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes, schools and, as one lawsuit charges, a juvenile detention center. He died in 1998, still a priest.”


 

Warned About Abuse, Vatican Failed to Defrock Priest

By Laurie Goodstein and Rachel Donadio

Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer.

The Wisconsin case involved an American priest, the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy, who worked at a renowned school for deaf children from 1950 to 1974. But it is only one of thousands of cases forwarded over decades by bishops to the Vatican office called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led from 1981 to 2005 by Cardinal Ratzinger. It is still the office that decides whether accused priests should be given full canonical trials and defrocked.

In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal.

But Cardinal Bertone halted the process after Father Murphy personally wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger protesting that he should not be put on trial because he had already repented and was in poor health and that the case was beyond the church’s own statute of limitations.

“I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood,” Father Murphy wrote near the end of his life to Cardinal Ratzinger. “I ask your kind assistance in this matter.” The files contain no response from Cardinal Ratzinger.

The New York Times obtained the documents, which the church fought to keep secret, from Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, the lawyers for five men who have brought four lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The documents include letters between bishops and the Vatican, victims’ affidavits, the handwritten notes of an expert on sexual disorders who interviewed Father Murphy and minutes of a final meeting on the case at the Vatican.

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Instead of being disciplined, Father Murphy was quietly moved by Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee to the Diocese of Superior in northern Wisconsin in 1974, where he spent his last 24 years working freely with children in parishes, schools and, as one lawsuit charges, a juvenile detention center. He died in 1998, still a priest.

Even as the pope himself in a recent letter to Irish Catholics has emphasized the need to cooperate with civil justice in abuse cases, the correspondence seems to indicate that the Vatican’s insistence on secrecy has often impeded such cooperation. At the same time, the officials’ reluctance to defrock a sex abuser shows that on a doctrinal level, the Vatican has tended to view the matter in terms of sin and repentance more than crime and punishment.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, was shown the documents and was asked to respond to questions about the case. He provided a statement saying that Father Murphy had certainly violated “particularly vulnerable” children and the law, and that it was a “tragic case.” But he pointed out that the Vatican was not forwarded the case until 1996, years after civil authorities had investigated the case and dropped it.

Father Lombardi emphasized that neither the Code of Canon Law nor the Vatican norms issued in 1962, which instruct bishops to conduct canonical investigations and trials in secret, prohibited church officials from reporting child abuse to civil authorities. He did not address why that had never happened in this case.

As to why Father Murphy was never defrocked, he said that “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties.” He said that Father Murphy’s poor health and the lack of more recent accusations against him were factors in the decision.

The Vatican’s inaction is not unusual. Only 20 percent of the 3,000 accused priests whose cases went to the church’s doctrinal office between 2001 and 2010 were given full church trials, and only some of those were defrocked, according to a recent interview in an Italian newspaper with Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the chief internal prosecutor at that office. An additional 10 percent were defrocked immediately. Ten percent left voluntarily. But a majority — 60 percent — faced other “administrative and disciplinary provisions,” Monsignor Scicluna said, like being prohibited from celebrating Mass.

To many, Father Murphy appeared to be a saint: a hearing man gifted at communicating in American Sign Language and an effective fund-raiser for deaf causes. A priest of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, he started as a teacher at St. John’s School for the Deaf, in St. Francis, in 1950. He was promoted to run the school in 1963 even though students had disclosed to church officials in the 1950s that he was a predator.

Victims give similar accounts of Father Murphy’s pulling down their pants and touching them in his office, his car, his mother’s country house, on class excursions and fund-raising trips and in their dormitory beds at night. Arthur Budzinski said he was first molested when he went to Father Murphy for confession when he was about 12, in 1960.

“If he was a real mean guy, I would have stayed away,” said Mr. Budzinski, now 61, who worked for years as a journeyman printer. “But he was so friendly, and so nice and understanding. I knew he was wrong, but I couldn’t really believe it.”

Mr. Budzinski and a group of other deaf former students spent more than 30 years trying to raise the alarm, including passing out leaflets outside the Milwaukee cathedral. Mr. Budzinski’s friend Gary Smith said in an interview that Father Murphy molested him 50 or 60 times, starting at age 12. By the time he graduated from high school at St. John’s, Mr. Smith said, “I was a very, very angry man.”

In 1993, with complaints about Father Murphy landing on his desk, Archbishop Weakland hired a social worker specializing in treating sexual offenders to evaluate him. After four days of interviews, the social worker said that Father Murphy had admitted his acts, had probably molested about 200 boys and felt no remorse. [emphasis mine]

However, it was not until 1996 that Archbishop Weakland tried to have Father Murphy defrocked. The reason, he wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger, was to defuse the anger among the deaf and restore their trust in the church. He wrote that since he had become aware that “solicitation in the confessional might be part of the situation,” the case belonged at the doctrinal office.

With no response from Cardinal Ratzinger, Archbishop Weakland wrote a different Vatican office in March 1997 saying the matter was urgent because a lawyer was preparing to sue, the case could become public and “true scandal in the future seems very possible.”

Recently some bishops have argued that the 1962 norms dictating secret disciplinary procedures have long fallen out of use. But it is clear from these documents that in 1997, they were still in force.

But the effort to dismiss Father Murphy came to a sudden halt after the priest appealed to Cardinal Ratzinger for leniency.

In an interview, Archbishop Weakland said that he recalled a final meeting at the Vatican in May 1998 in which he failed to persuade Cardinal Bertone and other doctrinal officials to grant a canonical trial to defrock Father Murphy. (In 2002, Archbishop Weakland resigned after it became public that he had an affair with a man and used church money to pay him a settlement.)

Archbishop Weakland said this week in an interview, “The evidence was so complete, and so extensive that I thought he should be reduced to the lay state, and also that that would bring a certain amount of peace in the deaf community.”

Father Murphy died four months later at age 72 and was buried in his priestly vestments. Archbishop Weakland wrote a last letter to Cardinal Bertone explaining his regret that Father Murphy’s family had disobeyed the archbishop’s instructions that the funeral be small and private, and the coffin kept closed.

“In spite of these difficulties,” Archbishop Weakland wrote, “we are still hoping we can avoid undue publicity that would be negative toward the church.”

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The above poster, “One People, One Party, One Lord!” establishes Brother O as the absolute head of the U.S. government and for progressives a semi-deity. Brother O inspires leftists to work harder and do more for the Democrat Party, having been convinced by the propagandists in the mainstream media that their quest for ObamaCare was a sort of holy crusade. 

Brother O worship helps instill pride in the American black community, labor unions, and the Democrat Party, which is especially important to the progressive cause in that it defines Brother O as an embodiment of all the good of the Democrat Party. This type of propaganda not only glorifies the Democrat Party, but it also persuades foolish Americans to continue to blindly follow its commands. 

I.M. Kane

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“We’ve come to expect more from Fox. Perhaps it’s time to start expecting less, at least when issues involving Islam are involved.

What’s at stake here is a principle that is vital to western civilization: the basic right of free peoples to formulate and express their ideas, even when one finds those ideas abhorrent. “—Rich Trzupek


 

Fox Turns On Wilders

By Rich Trzupek

If there is one major news outlet that would be expected to leap to the defense of free speech when that vital linchpin of liberty is under attack, one would expect that Fox News would be the one organization to do so. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that the Obama administration tried to cut Fox out of access to the White House. To their credit, Fox’s competitors leapt to defend – not Fox, whom the rest of the mainstream networks despise – but free speech. That episode makes the way that all the networks, and Fox in particular, are ignoring the Geert Wilders trial so troubling and, in the case of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., rather mystifying, at least until one scratches the surface a bit.

Nobody expects CNN, ABC, NBC, etc. to cover the Wilders trial because those networks have established beyond any reasonable doubt that they are not going to cover issues related to Islam if the story in question doesn’t fit neatly within their “Islam isn’t the problem, it’s just a few explosive bad apples” narrative. Journalists who bend over backward to disconnect Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan from his jihadist inspirations aren’t likely to care about a political leader living across the pond who is obviously nothing more than a fringe, right-wing Islamophobe. But Fox? We’ve come to expect more from Fox. Perhaps it’s time to start expecting less, at least when issues involving Islam are involved.

What’s ironic about Fox ignoring the Wilders’ story is that the most important part of the attack on this Dutch politician doesn’t involve Islam at all, not really. If Fox editors and pundits honestly believe that Wilders is a fringe politician, spouting paranoid nonsense, fine. They’re wrong, but their opinion of Wilders and his ideas are irrelevant. What’s at stake here is a principle that is vital to western civilization: the basic right of free peoples to formulate and express their ideas, even when one finds those ideas abhorrent.

In addition to ignoring the fact that free speech is on trial in the Netherlands, some Fox commentators have recently attacked Wilders and his ideas, the implication being that even if a viewer is astute enough to realize that this Dutch politician is on trial for what he has said, Wilders is merely a nut job who’s not worth worrying about anyway. On March 9 Glenn Beck characterized Wilders as a “far right” politician, then when on to ominously observe that “the left – in Europe – is communism; the right is fascism – in Europe.” A first grader could connect those particular dots, as Beck intended. This is the same Glenn Beck who, a year ago, welcomed Wilders on his show and was downright sympathetic to the attacks on Wilders’ right to free speech that the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party had endured. Wilders experience, Beck declared, was a warning to America: “If you want to see what our future looks like, all you need to is look to Europe.”

Beck has apparently forgotten what he said, or has decided that free speech isn’t really that important a principle after all. Ironically, Wilders is hardly “far right” in his political views. Rather, his politics defy any sort of easy categorization. What Wilders understands is that an Islamic state has no use for the kind of healthy debate that makes democracy work. When Sharia Law is implemented, it’s the Quran’s way or the highway. Wilders’ political goal is to put measures in place that will ensure that the Netherlands remains a free, democratic nation. Wilders’ legal fight is about the freedom to work toward that goal.

Wilders criticizes Islam, not Muslims, because he believes that Islam is ultimately employed as a totalitarian system of governance, whatever it’s attributes or flaws as a religion. Otherwise sensible conservatives, like Charles Krauthammer, dismissed Wilders’ concerns out of hand:

“What he (Wilders) says is extreme, radical, and wrong. He basically is arguing that Islam is the same as Islamism. Islamism is an ideology of a small minority which holds that the essence of Islam is jihad, conquest, forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam]. The untruth of that is obvious. If you look at the United States, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the U.S. are not Islamists. So, it’s simply incorrect. Now, in Europe, there is probably a slightly larger minority but, nonetheless, the overwhelming majority are not.”

But what Wilders is saying and what pundits like Krauthammer think Wilders is saying are two different things. Of course most Muslims living in the United States are not Islamists. Of course the majority of the Muslims living in Europe are not Islamists. It’s safe to wager that the majority of Muslims living in Iran are not Islamists either. That’s not the point. Wilders, and any rational thinker, can’t help but observe that Muslim nations are overwhelmingly ruled by governments that are, in effect if not in name, theocracies. Sometimes those theocracies are dangerous, hostile tyrannies, as in the case of Iran, and sometimes they are indifferent, if occasionally useful, friends of the west like Saudi Arabia. At either end of the spectrum, no Muslim-ruled nation respects western traditions and values like freedom of speech, the equality of peoples and the right of dissent. Wilders hasn’t been trying to demonize individual Muslims, he’s been trying to keep the Netherlands from turning into an Islamic state. One may disagree with his methods, but to say that he doesn’t have the right to employ those methods because the theocratic system he opposes is so violently hyper-sensitive is patently ridiculous and downright cowardly.

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All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself.”—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”), Vol. I 

I’m reminded of an old joke:

One night a beat cop spots a guy looking for something by a light pole, and he walks up and asks the guy if he’s lost something there. The guy tells the cop he’s lost his keys over in the alley. The cop looks a little puzzled and asks the guy why he’s looking by the light pole if he lost his keys in the alley. The guy looks up at the cop and says that the light’s better near the pole and it’s easier to see.

My point is that people who expect to find actual journalism being practiced under the bright lights of the mainstream media are like the guy looking for his keys by the street light. Although it’s a lot easier to get their news that way, they’re looking in the wrong place if actual journalism is what they’re looking for.

I.M. Kane

 


 

Isn’t It Remarkable

(H-T Arlen)

ISN’T IT REMARKABLE THAT THE PRESS CAN FIND EVERY WOMAN WITH WHOM TIGER HAS HAD AN AFFAIR IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, WITH PHOTOS, TEXT MESSAGES, RECORDED PHONE CALLS, ETC.

THEY  KNOW NOT ONLY THE CAUSE OF THE FAMILY FIGHT, BUT  THEY EVEN KNOW IT WAS A WEDGE FROM HIS GOLF BAG THAT SHE USED TO  BREAK OUT THE  WINDOWS IN THE ESCALADE. NOT ONLY THAT, THEY KNOW WHICH WEDGE!

THIS IS THE SAME PRESS (OR IS IT?)  THAT CANNOT LOCATE OBAMA’S OFFICIAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE  …  OR ANY OF HIS PAPERS WHILE IN COLLEGE … OR HOW HE PAID FOR A HARVARD EDUCATION … (or Michelle Obama’s Princeton thesis on racism.) 

TRULY REMARKABLE!

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