Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Catholic Priests Molesting Children

At numerous times over the past three decades we have heard news reports about cases of Catholic priests molesting children. This is truly a tragedy of the highest magnitude, when the very religious leaders that these children and their parents trust to be godly examples turn out to be evil predators.

Fr. Edward Avery, former Philadelphia
priest pleaded guilty of sex abuse charge
In the most recently example, a grand jury accused over 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests of molesting more than 1,000 children. The Fox News report said that the grand jury's "findings echoed many earlier church investigations around the country." What a tragedy! Here is the report, which you should be warned contains graphic allegations of sexual abuse. It says, "The 'real number' of abused children might be in the thousands." According to Fox News, "U.S. bishops have acknowledged that more than 17,000 people nationwide have reported being molested by priests and others in the church."

The victims were mostly boys, but some of them were girls also. The report documents the horrors perpetrated by these priests like anal rape, fondling, oral sex, and child pornography. These sometimes resulted in pregnancies and suicides. In some cases these priests even paid for abortions for girls they raped and got pregnant. They also further abused their victims by seeking to silence them and pay them off.

And rather than punish the priests responsible, the Catholic Church leaders merely move these pedophiles to another parish, where they are free to abuse more victims. The Fox article states that "The grand jury accused Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who leads the Washington archdiocese, of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop." As I stated, they named more than 300 of these allegedly abusive priests, and while many of them are either dead or retired, a few of them are still in ministry!

What reproach they have brought upon the name of Christ! What torment for their victims! These are the kind of people that God is against. He does not tolerate hypocrisy, especially among the shepherds in the Church, who are supposed to be feeding the flock, but instead feed only their own carnal appetites. Ezekiel the prophet wrote, "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?"'" (Ez 34:2).

The Lord goes on to describe how these shepherds, have slaughtered the sheep, ate the fat, and clothed themselves with the wool. They failed to strengthen the sickly, they have not healed the diseased, or bound up the broken, they have not brought back the ones who were scattered, nor have they sought for the lost; but with force and with severity they have dominated the sheep. They reason the sheep were scattered was for lack of a proper shepherd, and as a result they became food for every wild beast. The Lord says:

"Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 'As I live,' declares the Lord GOD, 'surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them."'" (Eze 34:7-10)

The Lord gave a similar message the Jeremiah the prophet as well. "'Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!' declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: 'You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,' declares the LORD." (Jer 23:1-2)

This is what Jesus condemned when He said, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." (Mt 18:6). It was in this very same context of harming children that the Lord said, "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!" (Mt 18:7).

The latest report proves that the Catholic Church is an organized crime syndicate like the mafia, in light of their systematic cover up of abuses that occurred over a period of 70 years. While the grand jury report covers only six of the eight Pennsylvania dioceses, there were already three previous grand jury investigations into abuses in the other two dioceses - the archdiocese of Philadephia and Altoona-Johnston. Therefore, this is a state-wide problem across all Pennsylvania dioceses.

These crimes were covered up by the Catholic hierarchy all the way from the local diocese to the Vatican. One of the things they have done is try to refer these cases to the Vatican in Rome where they can hold their own secret hearings and investigate themselves. The church has sought to reduce the church's legal exposure and maintain strategies to “avoid scandal.” When state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the report, he said that now at last “we can begin to understand the systematic coverup of church officials.”

Former Boston Catholic priest Paul Shanley,
Convicted of Raping Boy
This is not unique to Pennsylvania, nor is it the first such scandal to hit the Catholic Church. There was also the controversy in Boston, Massachusetts, surrounding John Geoghan, a convicted pedophile priest, who is now defrocked. He was accused of molesting more than a 100 victims over a period of 40 years. Since that scandal, other dioceses in Massachusetts have come forward and turned over their records of abusive priests to the law enforcement authorities.

Prior to that one, there was also a priest pedophilia scandal in Louisiana, and there was another one in Texas as well. According to Wikipedia, "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas paid $30.9 million in 1998 to twelve victims of one priest." The Wikipedia article, Catholic Church sex abuse cases in the United States, documents others scandals in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, and other places, but there are also cases reported outside the United States as well. For example, a nun in Argentina was arrested for helping priests rape deaf children. In fact there is a large database of publicly accused priests, which is posted online. Of course, not all of those accusations contained in the database are true, but it helps to show the magnitude of the problem. These are not isolated incidents, but are pervasive throughout the church.

After decades of abuse, the Catholic Church has failed to adequately resolve the issue. But it is taking its toll on the church, because many dioceses have gone bankrupt from fighting the legal battles, and many people have stopped attending the church, as well as withdrawn their financial support. In fact, according to Wikipedia, "Eight Catholic dioceses have declared bankruptcy due to sex abuse cases from 2004–2011." However, as of 2018 the number has now risen to twenty dioceses and religious orders that have gone bankrupt over this scandal. According to Fox News, the clergy sex abuse of children has cost the Catholic Church more than $3 billion.

Furthermore, many Catholic nuns have broken the silence and come forth about the sexual abuse they faced at the hands of priests and bishops, such as sister Charlotte, whose testimony is posted online. She suddenly disappeared two years after giving this testimony.

You may read the transcript of the above audio recording of Sister Charlotte's Testimony.

Or here is a longer transcript of Sister Charlotte's Testimony with more details.

Priests Who Follow Their Own Sensual Desires
Peter the apostle warned that there would be false prophets who would arise like these priests and bishops have. He said. "Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned." (2Pe 2:2). As a result of the disgraceful acts that these priests have committed, others have blasphemed and spoken evil of the way of truth.

The Pope's Culpability
Pope Francis (L) and Archbishop McCarrick (R)
Ultimately the Pope is culpable, because he oversees the entire Roman Catholic Church universally, and the buck stops with him. He knew about these things, but has not properly addressed them and has actually covered them up.

According to FoxNews contributor Raymond Arroyo on 'The Ingraham Angle,' Carlo Maria Viganò, the former top Vatican diplomat in the United States, who is well-respected, has exposed the Pope and called for his resignation. Archbishop Viganò felt he could not go to his grave without clearing his conscience by writing a letter on August 25, 2018 revealing a major cover up of sexual abuse in the Church. He said his "conscience dictates" that he reveal the truth, because the corruption has "reached the very top of the church's hierarchy."

His 11-page letter states that the Pope and other top officials in the Church knew of the allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who is the former Archbishop of Washington D.C. In fact, the Vatican was informed in 2000 of McCarrick's "gravely immoral behaviour with seminarians and priests," and was subsequently informed again two more times between 2005 and 2011.

Initially Pope Benedict XVI placed severe restrictions on McCarrick for his behavior, but Francis later lifted the sanctions. According to Wikipedia, Viganò states that "Pope Francis subsequently removed these sanctions and made McCarrick 'his trusted counselor', even though Francis 'knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator. He knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.'" Viganò reveals a potential motive for this special treatment, stating that McCarrick played an important role in Francis being elected to the papal office.

The Wikipedia article goes on to say that "Monsignor Jean-François Lantheaume, the former first counsellor at the apostolic nunciature in Washington D.C., confirmed that Viganò had told 'the truth.'" Additionally, Joseph Strickland the bishop of Tyler, Texas also made a public statement that Viganò's allegations are credible. According to Edward Pentin of the National Catholic register, reporting from Rome, his sources say that Viganò does seem to have a lot of credibility. Viganò states in his letter that he is ready to reaffirm under oath the statements he has made in his letter, calling on God as his witness. As I have stated, Viganò has called for the Pope and other officials who knew about McCarrick's behavior to resign.

When Francis was questioned about this letter by reporters aboard the papal jet, he answered evasively, declining to comment. On August 29, 2018, ANSA, the top wire service in Italy, stated in an article called Pope bitter over Viganò case that Francis is "embittered" by Viganò's letter, even though the former envoy has stated he is not acting in revenge. The article states that Francis is not considering stepping down.

In his letter, Viganò revealed that there is a "mafia" style culture within the Roman Catholic Church, and according to a report from EWTN Nightly News from a Catholic perspective, he fears for his own life, which is clearly in danger for coming out with these revelations. He even states in his letter that two other Apostolic Nuncios in the United States* are now both prematurely deceased after informing the Holy See of Archbishop McCarrick’s "gravely immoral behavior with seminarians and priests." One of those Nuncios was Pietro Sambi, whose death came unexpectedly following an incident when he called McCarrick into his office in either 2009 or 2010 and reprimanded him sternly, announcing Benedict's measures against him. It has been reported by multiple sources that Viganò has been forced into "hiding" for fear of his life.

Moreover, the aforementioned ANSA article stated, "Viganò also claimed there was a powerful gay lobby in the Church he blamed for the abuse cover-ups, naming names." I have personally read the entire letter and can confirm that Viganò definitely described this all in detail. He states that there was a certain collaborator of Pope Benedict, named "Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who notoriously favored promoting homosexuals into positions of responsibility." This is not a new revelation, but one that has been known for quite some time. In 2012 Fr. Dariusz Oko, Ph.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow and Assistant Professor at the John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow documented his discovery of a “huge homosexual underground in the Church,” which substantiates the belief that there is a "gay mafia" inside the Vatican, known as the "lavender mafia."

While pro-gay forces within the church deny that homosexuality is the root cause for the sexual abuses, Viganò states that "80% of the abuses found were committed against young adults by homosexuals who were in a relationship of authority over their victims." He further corroborates his claims by citing the results of independent studies that have been conducted saying, "Independent Reports by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004 and 2011...concluded that, in cases of sexual abuse, 81% of the victims were male. In fact, most cases it is a question of homosexual abuse.”

He goes on to say, "The seriousness of homosexual behavior must be denounced," and quotes another source who has likewise concluded that "The homosexual networks present in the Church must be eradicated." This is not isolated to a specific case of abuse or to one location. In fact, "These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire Church." This proves the problem is widespread, and is intentionally being covered up, which challenges the pope's insistence that there is "zero tolerance" for sex abuse and cover ups. It is no wonder this is happening on Francis' watch, since he supports homosexuality.

One of the religious orders that Viganò explicitly calls out for abuse in his letter is the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, of which Francis is a member. Viganò reveals that there is a deviant wing of that order that is part of the church's problem.

He calls out "the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis." He has told Francis about specific immoral behavior going on the Roman Catholic Church in America, and the pope was neither surprised, nor did he show any concern. Viganò states: " the case of McCarrick, [Pope Francis] not only did not oppose evil but associated himself in doing evil with someone he knew to be deeply corrupt. He followed the advice of someone he knew well to be a pervert, thus multiplying exponentially with his supreme authority the evil done by McCarrick. And how many other evil pastors is Francis still continuing to prop up in their active destruction of the Church!" He concludes that Francis "has divided [the brethren], led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock."

A Thousand Years of Abuse
This sexual abuse is nothing new for the Roman Catholic Church, but has been going on for a thousand years. In his letter, Viganò cites a letter he once wrote to Pope Benedict in 2006, in which he requested permission to disclose to the pope the details of sexual abuse happening in the US. In that 2006 letter, Viganò said that doing so would be similar to what Peter Damian did in his letter to Pope Leo nearly a thousand years ago. He stated that he wished to document for Benedict the deplorable conditions in the present-day American church "with the same intensity that motivated Peter Damian to lay out before...Pope Leo IX, a description of the condition of the clergy during his time. The problems he spoke of are similar and as great now in the United States as they were then in Rome."

A Wikepedia article about Peter Damian states: "About 1050, during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX, [Damian] wrote a scathing treatise on the vices of the clergy, including sexual abuse of minors and actions by church superiors to hide the crimes. Liber Gomorrhianus was openly addressed to the pope." As we can easily learn from history, Pope Leo failed to address these abuses during those days, and Francis is failing to correct them now. They have never been properly dealt with, but instead covered up. It has been one continuous stream of evil for centuries within this corrupt church. When will people realize that this is a deviant branch of the true Church that for all intents and purposes may be classified as a perverted sex cult.

Idolatry in Vigano's Letter
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not call attention to the fact that Viganò ends his treatise by calling upon the name of Mary for help with this terrible dilemma, rather than the name of Jesus, which goes directly against Scripture. He prays, "Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us! Mary, Virgin and Queen, Mother of the King of glory, pray for us!" This is one of the many Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church that I have written about in my article by that name. The Lord Jesus Christ told us that He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father, except by Him (Joh 14:6). Mary is neither the Mother of the Church nor the Queen of Heaven as the Catholics call her, and I have explained this from Scripture in my articles Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols and The Marine Kingdom and Queen of the Coast.

Scripture teaches us that there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). When Jesus taught us to pray, he said to pray to the heavenly Father, not to Mary. To do otherwise would be in direct disobedience to His instruction to us in the gospels, and to the very first commandment that says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex 20:3-5).

The Matter is Established by Two or Three Witnesses
We should not receive an accusation against an elder, unless it is brought by two or three witnesses (1 Tim 5:19). However, this particular matter definitely has at least two or three witnesses. In fact, there are thousands of witnesses of the horrific abuses and cruelty perpetrated against the Members of the Catholic Church by their shepherds. And now we have this detailed treatise of abuses by a highly placed Archbishop, detailing the scandal with names and places.

As I wrote in The Power of Two or Three, Jesus said that "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed." (Mat 18:16). Therefore, the matter presented in this article has been duly confirmed. By that I don't mean to say that every accusation that any person ever made against a priest anywhere in the world is true or that every accused priest is guilty, but the fact that so many have made these same kinds of allegations over such a long period of time across such a wide geographical area nationally (and even globally) confirms that this is a pervasive problem throughout the Catholic Church. Such an overwhelming amount of evidence simply cannot be ignored.

Putting it All Together
I hope that this article has helped to expose the pattern of horrible abuses that have taken place withing the Roman Catholic Church, and which may still be taking place today. As John the apostle wrote in the book of Revelation:

"I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.'" (Rev 18:4-5)

If you are still in the Catholic Church, then come out of it. One of the things the Lord said through Ezekiel the prophet was that He is going to go after His lost sheep Himself and gather them back. The Lord Jesus loves you. He wants to be your Shepherd, feed you, care for you, and heal your wounds.

For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. "As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. "I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. "I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. "I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD. "I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment." (Eze 34:11-16)

And the Lord said in the gospel of John:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep." (Joh 10:10-15)

Jesus Christ laid down His life for you. He is not like those priests and bishops, who are actually wolves in sheep's clothing. He is the good Shepherd and He desires a personal relationship with you. He died on the cross so that you could be made whole, forgiven, washed, cleansed, and have a personal relationship with Him.

I have an important question for you below, so don't go away.

Footnote: *Nuncio is an ambassador from the Vatican to the United States or another country.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Photo of Paul Shanley copyright Associated Press via WBUR news, used according to Fair Use Act for commentary and educational purposes.  Photo of Edward Avery copyright McLaughlin & Lauricella, trial attorneys.

Author's note: I strongly recommend reading Viganò's 11-page letter and viewing the videos I have posted on my Eternal Destinations blog about a young Ecuadorean girl who has visited hell twice.  She testifies to some things about the Catholic Church that she saw in hell, which are directly relevant to the topic of this blog.  Don't miss Angelica Zambrano's First Visit to Hell, Angelica Zambrano's Second Visit to Hell, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint, Pagan Symbols of the Popes, Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church, and Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality. I also suggest visiting the Ivarjed website that has a photo journal of some horrible acts of paganism in the Catholic Church, and Jack Chick's page on Catholicism. Also see AP Exclusive: Despite denial, Pope got abuse victim’s letter. You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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