Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Catholic Abuse News - 100 Brooklyn Paedophile Priests Named

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. "Truly sorry"
More Than 100 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Are Named by Brooklyn Catholic Diocese - The New York Times

Something is causing deep concern to the Catholic hierarchy in the New York diocese of Brooklyn. They are desperately trying to distance themselves from the former routine procedure of cover-up and ignore and even facilitate, the treatment of vulnerable children as the sex toys of choice for Catholic priests.

As the investigations following the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report into the sexual abuses of children by Catholic priests and the ensuing cover-ups, gathers pace, the New York diocese of Brooklyn, which covers the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, has released the names of more than 100 priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

This is one of the largest list of the growing number of such lists being hurriedly released ahead of investigations by law enforcement agencies across America, and comes from one of the largest diocese by population, containing some 1.5 million Catholics.

The list is about half the size of the total for all five diocese in the State of New Jersey. Their list of 200 names was released just a week ago. And last month, the Jesuit province of northeastern United States released a list of 50 priests, many of whom had taught and predated on the children in its New York schools.

As recently as 2017, the diocese of Brooklyn was only admitting to eight predatory paedophile priests, all of whom had been defrocked.

In the past month, Hartford, Kansas City, Missouri, and most of the 15 dioceses in Texas have also released lists of predatory priests but these are dwarfed by the Brooklyn list. Only the archdioceses of Los Angeles and Boston have named more paedophile priests so far. One wonders what the total for New York will be when boroughs such as Bronx, with it's large Latino population report.

The publication of this list almost coincides with the decision to defrock (former) Cardinal Theodore McCarrick announced four days ago. McCarrick, who was stripped of his Cardinal title a few months ago and reduced to the ranks has now been stripped of his priesthood.

McCarrick is the most senior Catholic cleric to be so treated in modern times. He had been regarded as the most senior Catholic in the USA was was supposedly in the forefront of the campaign to end the very abuses he has now been found guilty of by a Vatican 'closed doors' trial. The announcement said he had been found guilty of two charges: soliciting sex during confession and committing “sins” with minors and adults "with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power."

A letter dated Oct. 11, 2006 from Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, then substitute for the Vatican Secretariat of State, to Father Boniface Ramsey references a Nov. 2000 letter Father Ramsey had written to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Vatican nuncio to the United States, warning about sexual abuse committed by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick. The letter, scanned and released by Father Ramsey to Catholic News Service Sept. 7, confirms past remarks by Father Ramsey and also confirms elements of the Aug. 26 testimony by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former nuncio to the United States. (CNS photo/courtesy of Father Boniface Ramsey) See MCCARRICK-SANDRI-RAMSEY Sept. 7, 2018. EDITORS: Name of priest redacted by Father Ramsey and CNS.

Because of the statute of limitations, McCarrick, aged 88, is unlikely to face a criminal trial in the USA.

His fall from grace is a major embarrassment for Pope Francis because there are persistent rumours, supported by a letter written to a New York Catholic priest, that Francis himself is responsible for reinstating him, in full knowledge of the charges against him for which his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI had placed him on restricted activities.

These charges related to his harassment and abuse of young seminarians who were required to sleep with him. These allegations were made public by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and have been supported by a letter written on behalf of the Vatican by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri to Father James B. Ramsey of St Christopher Parish, Staten Island.

Pope Francis has so far remained under the code of omerta on the subject because it raises two possibilities, neither of which reflect well on the papacy. Either Benedict did not know but should have (and Viganò's claim and Sandri's letter suggest he did), or he did know but did nothing. Either way, Benedict is culpable.

If however, Benedict did know and did something, then the finger points firmly at Francis, because he is the only person who could have removed McCarrick's restrictions and would have done so in full knowledge of the facts for which McCarrick has now been convicted.

So, does Pope Francis shoulder the responsibility for allowing a predatory Cardinal to continue his predations, or does he blame Pope Benedict XVI for allowing it to continue? In either case we have an example of a Pope allowing a predatory priest to continue his crimes.

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