April 30, 2010 Comments Off on Wikipedia – Bomis and online pornography, US cardinal ignored pedophilic priest
After this article, there are additional links on problems with Wikipedia.
Congress Reacts to Wikipedia Firestorm By James R. Marsh on April 29, 2010 FoxNews.com was recently informed that the day after the Wikipedophilia post appeared on this blog, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sent a copy of Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger’s letter to the FBI. Rep. Steve Austria, R-Ohio, sent a copy of the same letter to the FBI on April 27. Perhaps this is the kind of bi-partisanship we’ve all been waiting for. Stay tuned for updates which are posted here on FoxNews.com.
An interesting side note:
An interesting side note: Wikipedia apparently got its start in the world of online pornography. According to an article on Wikipedia: Bomis …is a dot-com company founded in 1996. Its primary business is the sale of advertising on the Bomis.com search portal. It was founded by [the current head of Wikipedia] Jimmy Wales and Tim Shell, and provided support for the free encyclopedia projects Nupedia and Wikipedia.
On the Bomis.com site, Bomis creates and hosts web rings around search terms popular among male users. The rings are currently categorized broadly as “Babe”, “Entertainment”, “Sports”, “Adult”, “Science fiction”, and “Other”. The “Adult”, “Babe”, and “Entertainment” categories are the most frequently updated and the most popular. Revenue from search-related pages is generated from advertising and affiliate marketing.
Bomis ran a website called Bomis Premium at premium.bomis.com until 2005, offering customers access to premium, X-rated pornographic content. Until mid-2005, Bomis also featured the Bomis Babe Report, a free blog, publishing news and reviews about celebrities, models, and the adult entertainment industry. The Babe Report prominently linked to Bomis Premium and frequently posted updates about new models joining Bomis. Bomis has also operated nekkid.info, a free repository of selected erotic photographs, and continues to host The Babe Engine, “a precision babe search engine”, which indexes photos ranging from glamour photography to pornography. Bomis is best known for having supported the creation of the free-content online encyclopedia projects Nupedia and Wikipedia. Bomis hosted Nupedia in 2000, and Larry Sanger was hired to manage and edit that project. http://www.childlaw.us/2010/04/congress-reacts-to-wikipedia-f.html
Other webpages with information on Wikipedia
Problems with Wikipedia https://eassurvey.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/problems-with-wikipedia/
Pedophiles find a home on Wikipedia https://eassurvey.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/pedophiles-find-a-home-on-wikipedia/
WIKIPEDIA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF VALIDITY – problems with Wikipedia, Wikipedia child abuse misinformation https://eassurvey.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/wikipedophilia-wikipedia-child-abuse-misinformation-clergy-abuse-suit/
Wikipedia – pedophilia allegations
US cardinal ignored pedophilic priest 29 Apr 2010 A recently uncovered statement reveals that a US cardinal kept silent after learning that a California priest had molested a boy 15 years ago.
Former archbishop of San Francisco, Cardinal William Levada, talked about the case in a 2005 deposition obtained by The Associated Press. Levada decided not to remove the Rev. Milton Walsh from the ministry after learning he had molested a 13-year-old boy. The cardinal said that he did not contact police because he trusted Walsh would not reoffend. When Levada learned of the abuse, Walsh had been pastor for six years at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. Walsh remained there for two more years and was removed from active ministry in 2002, when US bishops passed a “zero tolerance” policy on sex abuse and police started investigating. Levada is currently the highest-ranking American at the Vatican and head of the office that defrocks pedophile
April 30, 2010 Comments Off on Survivorship Ritual Abuse Webinar May 15
OUR NEXT WEBINAR:
Saturday, May 15, noon to 1:30 Pacific time
(Check in at 11:45)
“Riding off into the Sunrise.”
“Riding Off Into the Sunrise” shares the landscape of long-haul recovery after the first ten years.
When Celestial’s first memory came home to roost, she ran out and bought all the right books and a cookie, joined three support groups, and hired a therapist (telling him “Six sessions should be plenty.”). She worked hard to rocket through the past and catapult to recovery, a shining state of normal where the streetlights have keys under them and everyone is Over It by now.
Years and cookies later, she is still plodding with determination, one foot (or hand) in front of the other. She’s found that the rockiest places hold the deepest lessons about love for herself, for others, and for the whole world. Being normal still sounds appealing; but instead she gets to be Celestial, telling how even dark parts of the journey hold their own special lights and graces.
The cost of each Webinar is $20.00, plus the cost of your telephone call to the East Coast. There are a limited number of full and partial scholarships available. Registration closes Thursday evening May 13. If you wish to pay by PayPal, go to http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html Otherwise, send your check to: SURVIVORSHIP, Family Justice Center, 470 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612.
To reserve a space in the Webinar, e-mail Shamai at email@example.com and give her this information:
2. The Webinar you wish to attend: “Riding off into the Sunrise.” on Saturday, May 15 and/or one of the Webinars listed below
3. Whether you need a full or partial scholarship
4. Method of payment
5. Your preferred e-mail address (so we can send you instructions)
6. The name you will be using for the Webinar. (This does not have to be your real name or your message board screen name.)
Rev. Tom Ball
“Open Discussion on the Use of Prayer for Christian Survivors of Ritual Abuse.”
Alison Miller, Ph.D.,
“Self-injury, Flashbacks, and Flooding as Programmed responses, and How to Deal with Them.”
“How a Non-Artist Uses Art for Healing.”
Flower aka Garden
Survivorship members may listen to past Webinars in the members’ section. (For information on joining Survivorship, go to http://www.survivorship.org/about/membership.html
Past Webinars include:
“Healthy Supportive Relationships – What They Are, How to Make One.” (Kitty Downey) “Art and Activism: What the Public Sees.” (Lynn Schirmer) “Hope, Healing and Help through Music and Advocacy.” (Mike Skinner) “Understanding Nazi Influence in Ritual Abuse.” (Alik of the OwlClan) “Sensory and Emotional Flashbacks.” (Jeannie Riseman) “The Intersection between Ritual Abuse and Physical Disability.” (Lara, BSW) “Forgiving the Unforgivable: One Survivor’s Journey to Peace” (Bonnie Bazill-Davis) “How Survivors Can Help Their Own Cases for Disability Application and Appeal.” (Pam Perskin Noblitt) “Empowerment and Managing the Effects of Programming.” (Randy Noblitt, Ph.D.) “Normal Guilt, Guilt Induced by Extreme Abuse, and Some Suggestions for Working with Guilt.” (Jeannie Riseman)
Complete details on all our Webinars are at http://www.survivorship.org/webinars.html
We hope you join us — attending a Webinar is not much more complicated than making a phone call. You don’t have to have any special technical software or knowledge and it is a wonderful way to connect with other survivors.
April 29, 2010 Comments Off on Wikipedia Child Porn allegation (FOX), California Church Cover-up?
also Pedophile priest flees back to Ireland, where he is a free man
Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI By Jana Winter FOXNews.com
April 27, 2010 The parent company of Wikipedia is knowingly distributing child pornography, the co-founder of the online encyclopedia says, and he’s imploring the FBI to investigate.
Larry Sanger, who left Wikipedia in 2002, said Wikimedia Commons, the parent company of Wiki products including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikinews and Wikiquote, is rife with renderings of children performing sexual acts. Sanger sent a letter to the FBI earlier this month outlining his concerns and identifying two specific Wikimedia Commons categories he believes violate federal obscenity law. The first category, entitled “Pedophilia,” contains 25-30 explicit and detailed drawings of children performing sexual acts. The category was created three years ago. The second, “Lolicon,” provides cartoons similar in detail and depiction. One of the more egregious cartoons shows a rendering of a young child about to perform oral sex on a much older man….But the threat is even greater than the images themselves, says James Marsh, an attorney who wrote about Sanger’s letter to the FBI on his Child Law Blog. “Wikipedia’s continued interest in child sexual exploitation is troubling not only because the site hosts some questionable images, but because it can easily serve as a gateway to other sites containing child pornography,” Marsh told FoxNews.com….
UPDATES: Following publication of this article, Wikimedia Foundation posted an online response that reads in part: “The Wikimedia Foundation obeys the law. In the weeks since Sanger’s published allegations, the Wikimedia Foundation has not been contacted by the FBI or any other law-enforcement agency with regard to allegedly illegal content on any Wikimedia projects. Our community of volunteer editors takes action to remove illegal material when such material is brought to its attention. The Wikimedia Foundation is proud of the Wikimedia editors who zealously work to keep the projects free of illegal material. If and when we are informed by law enforcement agencies of illegal content that has not already been removed through self-policing, we will take quick action to delete it.”….
Erik Moeller also posted a response that reads in part: “I want to say definitively: I do not defend nor support acts of sexual violence against children and have never defended pedophilia in any way. “I have consistently defended the right of children of comparable age to engage in consensual, harmless sexual interactions with each other – what’s commonly called “playing doctor”, and also safe sex among teens. I have never defended the “right” of pedophiles to abuse children; child sexual abuse is a crime, and there is no such right. Children also don’t have the ability to consent to sexual activity with pedophiles, and such activities are sexual violence against children by definition.”….
FoxNews.com has been informed that Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, sent a copy of Sanger’s letter to the FBI on April 21, and Rep. Steve Austria, R-Ohio, sent a copy of the same letter to the FBI on April 27.
Wikipedia Responds to FOXNews.com Story By James R. Marsh on April 28, 2010 Yesterday, FOXNews.com published this story online entitled “Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI.” Now both the Wikimedia Foundation and one subject of the exposé, Erik Möller, have responded.
Wikipedophilia, Wikipedia child abuse misinformation
problems with wikipedia
Sarson, J & MacDonald, L. (2010). Canada, Torturers, Guns and Bullets International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) April 2010 Bulletin No., 22 page 1 http://www.iansa-women.org/sites/default/files/newsviews/en-iansa-wn-bulletin22-web.pdf
Information on their research
Pedophile priest flees back to Ireland, where he is a free man By NIALL O’DOWD IrishCentral.com Publisher 4/27/10 Notorious pedophile priest Father Oliver O’Grady is back in his old haunts in Ireland a free man after fleeing Rotterdam in Holland, where it was discovered that he was working with children and in a local Catholic church, calling himself “Brother Francis.” O’Grady abused hundreds of children during his thirty years in America as a priest. One victim was only nine months old. He served seven years out of a 14-year prison sentence before being deported to Ireland in 2003. O’Grady was unmasked in Holland a few weeks ago after a 2006 documentary called “Deliver us from Evil” was finally shown in the country. The documentary is based on his activities while in America and the priest was immediately recognized….Local police in Ireland say they can do nothing, as O’Grady has not committed any crime since he was deported from America in 2003. He is due to receive a large retirement benefit from the church when he turns 65 in June, according to Berg. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Pedophile-priest-flees-back-to-Ireland-where-he-is-a-free-man-92147629.html
California Church Cover-up? Allegations Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony Knew Of Priest’s Abuse
By chris oregan LOS ANGELES, April 23, 2002 (CBS) When victims of a California priest were awarded $30 million in 1998, it was the largest judgment ever against the Catholic Church. And, for the first time in a priest abuse case, a cardinal, Roger Mahony, testified. “I felt like he lied to us,” said juror Mary Park. He told Park and other jurors that when he was Bishop of Stockton, he didn’t know Father Oliver O’Grady was a molester. Mahony transferred the priest weeks after a police investigation. He claimed he never read the secret file his diocese kept which contained O’Grady’s confession. “We asked each other, ‘Did you think he was telling the truth?’ And the greatest majority of us felt he wasn’t being honest with us, that he was still covering up,” said Park. In 1991, evidence surfaced connecting Mahony and his predecessors to the cover up of the Rita Milla case. When she was a teenager, a priest told her: he had a secret. “He just leaned over and kissed me,” said Milla. In time, she says Father Santiago Tamayo forced her to have sex with him and other priests. “It was seven priests. It didn’t stop until I got pregnant,” she said….But, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales, when they did nothing she decided to sue. The priests fled and the archdiocese said it didn’t know where they went. The story might have ended there, but seven years later, Father Tamayo, plagued by guilt, came back and confessed. He’d kept letters showing the Church knew he was in the Philippines and paid him to stay there. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/04/23/eveningnews/main507039.shtml
April 28, 2010 Comments Off on Catholic Orgs fight abuse laws, molestation of boys and priests’ beliefs
A Better Chance at Justice for Abuse Victims By LAWRENCE LESSIG April 26, 2010….I represented a victim of child sexual abuse in a case brought against a nonsectarian private school in New Jersey. The trial court in that case had held that a state statute immunizing charities against negligence also protected the school even if its employees acted “willfully, wantonly, recklessly, indifferently – even criminally.” I volunteered to help appeal that ruling of absolute immunity, and get it reversed. On the other side were lawyers for the insurance company that would have paid the bill if the school had been found liable. Their position was completely understandable: An insurance company has an obligation to its shareholders.
What was truly astonishing was the appearance of the New Jersey Catholic Conference in the case. As its Web site explains, the conference “represents the Catholic bishops of New Jersey on matters of public policy,” because “the Catholic Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by the moral convictions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good and the protection of the weak and the vulnerable.”
Yet the “well-formed consciences” of the conference had not entered the case on behalf of the weak and the vulnerable. The Catholic Conference had filed a brief in support of the insurance company, to defend a rule that would have left institutions – like the church – immune from responsibility even if employees “criminally” protected an abuser. The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled against the insurers in 2006.
But representatives of the Catholic Church have continued their work against the “weak and the vulnerable” here in New York. New York has one of the nation’s most restrictive statutes of limitations for child sexual abuse, requiring victims to sue within five years of turning 18, whether or not they have recognized the psychological harm caused to them by their abuse.
Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, a Queens Democrat, has introduced a bill to give victims another five years to seek compensation, plus a one-year window for victims blocked by the old limitations to now bring suit. That legislation has passed the Assembly three times, yet the Senate has refused to consider it. It has now been reintroduced into the Assembly. At the core of the opposition to this bill is heavy lobbying by the New York Catholic Conference; according to published reports, the conference has hired top-dollar lobbyists to kill the bill. At least one bishop is reported to have threatened to close schools and parishes in legislators’ districts if they vote for the bill. And as Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Cardozo University, has written, bishops “publicly rail against statute of limitation reform as though it were the equivalent of mandatory abortion.”
If the New York Catholic Conference stops this reform, it will achieve three things. First, it will protect its own wealth. Second, it will assure that potentially thousands of victims who have been abused by priests will have no opportunity for compensation. And third, it will help preserve a system of irresponsibility that makes it too easy to ignore child sexual abuse, because the costs of ignoring it are lower in New York than in most other states.
Church in Mexico relieves priest of duties years after woman alleges abuse By N.C. Aizenman Washington Post Staff Writer April 27, 2010 Roman Catholic Church officials in Mexico have temporarily relieved a priest of his parish duties pending further investigation of long-standing allegations that he sexually abused a girl in San Francisco during the 1960s and early 1970s, according to a press release issued Monday in Spanish by the Archdiocese of Yucatan. The priest, the Rev. Teodoro Baquedano Pech, 70, who has denied engaging in abuse, had been ministering in several rural hamlets near Yucatan’s state capital, Merida. A recent Washington Post article described how for 12 years Baquedano’s alleged victim, Sylvia Chavez, now 54, and top church officials in San Francisco repeatedly warned church leaders in Yucatan about the priest. In 2003 a top deputy of Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzarán, the archbishop of Yucatan, responded in a letter that “we have taken all precautions to restrict Father Baquedano’s access to children.” Baquedano was never removed from ministry, however.
Child sex `no breach of virtue’, some priests believe STEPHEN LUNN The Australian April 28, 2010 SOME priests didn’t see the molestation of boys as a breach of their celibacy vows, retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson says. The former auxiliary bishop of Sydney blames the absence of women from church life as a catalyst for the sexual abuse crisis enveloping the faith. In an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Bishop Robinson says boys suffered more than girls at the hands of pedophile priests partly because they were more available to them, with nuns tending to play a greater role in the religious education of young girls. There was also a view among some offenders with whom he had worked that a priest’s celibacy vows weren’t broken if a boy was involved. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/child-sex-no-breach-of-virtue-some-priests-believe/story-e6frg6nf-1225859084751
April 27, 2010 Comments Off on child sexual abuse is traumatic, Sexual Assault, US Torture
The state of betrayal trauma theory: Reply to McNally Conceptual issues and future directions Freyd, DePrince, Gleaves MEMORY, 2007, 15 (3), 295-311 Betrayal trauma theory (Freyd, 1994, 1996, 2001) is an approach to conceptualising trauma that points to the importance of social relationships in understanding post-traumatic outcomes, including reduced recall.
We argue in this paper that child sexual abuse very often constitutes a severe betrayal trauma and that it is thus ‘‘genuinely traumatic”. We will also argue that one reasonably common effect of child sexual abuse *particularly the more it involves betrayal trauma* is some degree of forgetting or ‘‘knowledge isolation” about the event. This last claim speaks to the heart of betrayal trauma theory that McNally has summarised and critiqued. In this paper we will respond to aspects of McNally’s critique as well as offer our own perspective on the state of betrayal trauma theory. We discuss (1) conceptual issues, (2) critiques of empirical studies, and (3) future directions. Although our interpretation of data diverges from McNally’s in many places, we have all arrived at a surprisingly common endpoint. McNally suggests a child may not think about the abuse for several reasons, such as fears that disclosure may break up the family. In accord with betrayal trauma theory, we note that the failure to think about events will contribute to poorer memory for the event and that these processes are mediated by the unique demands placed on a child exposed to betrayal traumas. http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/articles/fdg2007.pdf
Talking About Sexual Assault: Society’s Response to Survivors – Sexual assault is a traumatic experience for any woman. Furthermore, many victims who tell others about their assault must endure a “second assault” in the form of negative reactions, such as victim blaming and disbelief. One third to two thirds of victims may experience such reactions, which have negative mental and physical health effects on the victims. This book provides a comprehensive look at women’s rape disclosure, addressing such issues as why, how often, and to whom women disclose their sexual assault; how people respond to disclosures; what factors influence how they respond to disclosures; and how these responses affect survivors. ISBN: 978-1-4338-0741-1 March 2010 Part of the Psychology of Women Series http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318073.aspx
Psychologists Notes May Indicate Zubaydah Torture Experimentation 25 April 2010 by: Jeffrey Kaye, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis One interesting nugget found in newly released CIA documents related to the destruction of 92 torture tapes concerns the unreported existence of psychologist’s notes as a standard part of the interrogation protocol. In a “top secret” paper (undated) entitled “The CIA Interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, March 2001 – January 2003,” in a section that, though heavily redacted, describes the review of the tapes by a CIA attorney from the Office of General Counsel, “interrogation materials” are described as consisting of “videotapes, logbook, notebook, and psychologist’s notes.” http://www.truthout.org/psychologists-notes-indicate-zubaydah-torture-experimentation58855
Torture FOIA – Torture Documents Released 4/15/2010, Part 1 April 15, 2010
In response to the ACLU’s lawsuit, the CIA released documents related to the reasons behind the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes of interrogations on April 15, 2010. (Part 1 includes documents 1-9 of the release.) http://www.aclu.org/national-security/torture-foia-torture-documents-released-4152010 http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/cia_release20100415_p01-09.pdf
April 25, 2010 Comments Off on Church scandal’s next wave: Abused girls
Expect numbers of women victimized by priests as children to rise over next few years, say lawyers Apr 24 2010 By Mary Ormsby
….But London-based lawyer Robert Talach, who represented McLauchlin and other Sylvestre victims, expects that male-female ratio to change within five to 10 years to reflect a trend that began in the 1970s when the church welcomed female altar servers. Researchers say disclosure of abuse is typically delayed for about 30 years, which means women assaulted as children are just starting to come to terms with what happened. “In some of our Sylvestre cases, which are (from) the `70s, many of the women were victimized under the pretenses of `I’m training you to be one of these new, upcoming female altar servers,'” said Talach, who has represented more than 100 victims of clergy abuse, most of them male…..
Father Donald Holmes, a modern cleric who rode a motorcycle, sported a beard, played hockey and preferred street clothes to his Roman collar, also preyed on girls as they began taking bigger roles in the church. He was convicted in 2002 of sexually abusing 12 girls around the Sudbury area between 1972 and 1984. In general, girls in Canada are four times more likely than boys to be victims of sexual offences, according to police figures reported to Stats Canada. Females are more likely to be attractive to clergy because the majority of priests are heterosexual – but some are psychologically and sexually immature, says former priest-turned-lawyer Patrick Wall.
“If they’re going to explore sexually, they’re going to explore with a little girl,” said Wall, a California-based expert on Catholic clergy abuse who now works with victims. Wall’s perspective on the degree of female abuse is unique. He was a Benedictine monk for 12 years, working as a “fixer” dispatched to tidy up messy sexual problems of priests and laymen at troubled parishes and schools. He said when a girl required surgery after rape, the code was that she needed a “hernia” operation.
In a bizarre twinning, he counselled accused priests and heard confessions from traumatized victims. He also worked on cases where priests impregnated girls then procured abortions for them. “That is so prevalent, it happens all the time,” he said of the abortion runs, which in part accounts for his belief that teenaged girls are the silent majority of priest-related sexual abuse. By age 33, Wall deduced most, if not all, of the 195 parishes and hundreds of religious orders in the U.S. employed “fixers” like him to wipe down crime scenes that involved children. He quit religious life in disgust and scoffs at the Vatican’s pledge to better protect boys and girls from its surpliced predators. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/800312–church-scandal-s-next-wave-abused-girls
April 25, 2010 Comments Off on $18.5 million Boy Scouts case, The Man Who Sued the Pope
$18.5 Million in Liability for Scouts in Abuse Case
By WILLIAM YARDLEY April 23, 2010 PORTLAND, Ore. — The Boy Scouts of America were ordered Friday to pay $18.5 million in a lawsuit that has focused new attention on the secret files the Scouts keep to document claims of sexual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers….In Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday, a jury found the Scouts liable for $18.5 million in punitive damages in a case brought by a man who was sexually abused by an assistant troop leader in the early 1980s, when the man was about 12. The verdict was by far the largest ever against the Scouts in a jury trial. The jury could have ordered the Scouts to pay up to $25 million. The same jury last week awarded the man, Kerry Lewis, $1.4 million in compensatory damages….In the Oregon case, about 1,000 files, from the years 1965 to 1984, were included as evidence, though the judge, John A. Wittmayer, allowed only the jury and lawyers involved to view them.
Lawyers for Mr. Lewis, who is now 37, said in court that the files detailed many instances across the country in which troop leaders or volunteers were allowed to continue working with children even after the Scouts had received complaints that they had committed sexual abuse. “They hid the problem,” Paul Mones, a lawyer for Mr. Lewis, said in closing arguments on Thursday, “and by hiding the problem, more abuse happened.” In the Oregon case, a former assistant troop leader, Timur Dykes, had admitted to molesting Mr. Lewis. Evidence has shown that Mr. Dykes, who has since been convicted in child-molesting cases, was allowed to interact with scouts even after leaders learned he had abused children.
The Man Who Sued the Pope Houston’s Daniel Shea thinks Joseph Ratzinger has a lot to answer for if he’d talk. By John Nova Lomax Apr 22 2010
Five years ago, Houston attorney/theologian Daniel Shea watched the results of the papal conclave at home. Intellectually, he knew what the dirty-gray smoke puffing out of the Sistine Chapel’s chimney signaled: that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger would soon be announced as the new Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Now, as the white-haired Pope battles a seemingly endless series of priestly sex scandals, Shea says he is still trying to get his head around his belief that he and his co-counsel Tahira Khan Merritt set the coronation in motion when they filed a Houston-based sex abuse lawsuit against Ratzinger. According to Shea, the cardinals elected Ratzinger Pope to give him the immunity that would enable him to avoid answering any questions concerning his knowledge about and handling of sex abuse cases in Houston’s St. Francis De Sales church in the mid-1990s….
In Doe et al v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston et al, Shea and Khan Merritt allege that a letter then-Cardinal Ratzinger sent to every Catholic bishop on May 18, 2001, constituted an international conspiracy to obstruct justice. This official Vatican document Ratzinger penned in his role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dealt with official church procedure in dealing with clerical sex abuse cases. Not only did this letter contain the cardinal’s current thinking on the subject, it also cited in a footnote a top-secret 1962 Vatican document Shea would eventually flush out.
This 48-year-old document, informally known as Crimen Sollicitationis, considered a smoking gun in some quarters, contains written orders from the Vatican laying bare a system for protecting child molesters. To Shea, Crimen is more than a smoking gun, it is “a nuclear bomb.”
Many churchmen disagree as to the true meaning of Crimen. Still, it’s easy to interpret that, taken together, Crimen and Ratzinger’s letter of May 18 make it plain that Ratzinger wanted these cases handled by the Vatican and only the Vatican. According to Ratzinger’s letter, the roles “of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests.” Furthermore, the letter was co-signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who later went on the record as follows: “In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offense of pedophilia is unfounded.”
The letter ordered everyone involved in these cases to keep the evidence confidential for ten years after the victims reached adulthood.
The entire proceedings were to be held under “pontifical secret,” meaning those who broke the silence to outside authorities could be excommunicated.
In fact, Shea believes that what he started with the lawsuit may eventually result in the destruction of the entire Roman Catholic Church….
In response to Ratzinger’s sending that letter, Shea and the Texas Secretary of State had already served his Vatican office with papers. The cardinal was scheduled to appear in federal Judge Lee Rosenthal’s Houston courtroom.
What’s more, the Pope would be giving his deposition to Shea, who is not just a tough plaintiff’s lawyer, but also a former Catholic deacon with three postgraduate theological degrees — one of them pontifical — from the University of Louvain, one of the oldest Catholic universities in Europe.
“I don’t think they were too pleased by that prospect,” Shea says.
But now that he had been made Pope, it would be a cold day in hell before Joseph Ratzinger would darken the Rusk Street doorway of Rosenthal’s court. As a newly minted head of state, Pope Benedict XVI was now diplomatically immune to American lawsuits. Again, Shea believes that was the whole point behind Ratzinger’s election.