Important note: I mean no disrespect to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children. Kids are being hurt!!!
It is astounding that the child sexual abuse cases were allowed to continue for more than six decades and this was done around the world, in the Roman Catholic Church. Wasn’t there anyone in the hierarchy or anyone working in Archdiocesan or Diocesan offices, who would have spoken up in attempt to try to stop this abuse against children? What prevented these people in the Church from speaking up for defenseless children to protect them? There is something seriously wrong with any organization when children are not protected, particularly as demonstrated by the Roman Catholic Church. However, this is also true for those in civil law enforcement offices around the world, including lawyers. Wasn't there anyone courageous enough to speak up to the hierarchy in defense of children? And why not? It appears to have been collective collusion on the part of the hierarchy, the Vatican, pontiffs, chancery staffs, law enforcement officials, lawyers and Catholic Church members. If child sexual abuse is covered up, what other forms of human abuses and corruption are also being covered up by the Vatican, the hierarchy and the pontiffs? It is unsettling to hear about such possibilities, which we do not like to hear. No one wants to hear such disturbing news, but we cannot turned a deaf ear to such news when peoples' lives are threatened, especially children. The recorded history of Roman Catholic Church is littered through the centuries of sandals, corruption, and killing innocent people i.e. Crusades. In 2000, Pope John Paul II made a public apology, asking forgiveness from God for sins committed by the Church, against groups of people, “We are asking pardon for the divisions among Christians, for the use of violence that some have committed in the service of truth, and for attitudes of mistrust and hostility assumed towards followers of other religions." Pope John Paul II pleaded for the hope that “Never again,” would the Church repeat these kinds of violence. (Rory Carroll)
Any organization that does not have built in "checks and balances" as history proves runs the great risk of becoming a totalitarian regime, open to many forms of human abuses. The Roman Catholic Hierarchy does not have any checks and balances built in. Many abuses are commited, particullty to children who are not protected, and all is covered up by a false religious front, which is unquestioningly believed and supported by the majority of it's members.
How did the Roman Catholic Church get this way? It is because I am a faithful believer that I speak out against the corruption and the pervasive harm caused to children. Jesus taught us about the importance of children and sternly warned us to see to it the these little ones are not harmed. In no way am I against the Roman Catholic Church, I am only against the abuses found in the Church, which are in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Just like the true believers of the Islam religion who in no way condone the events of 911 air attacks to the twin towers of NYC World Trade Center.
I found out what happens when a priest speaks out about abuse inflicted on children, in 1997. At the time, I was sternly warned, by a friend in the Vatican that I could be badly harmed by some powerful hierarchy members in the Vatican. Specifics were not given, but it was the way that it was said that I remember, a shuddering flash of intense fright. In disbelief, I naively dismissed it, as an overeaction, an exaggeration. I have since learned what my friend meant by the warning. It was through the Interenet communications that many child sexual abuse victims learned that they were not alone about what happened to them and how they were mistreated by the hierarchy when they went to report the abuse. Many of these vicitms were also mistreated by Church members, even by their own families, because no one wanted to believe something that heinous would ever happen by the hierarchy. This is another reason why the coverups were able to last for so many decades. I tell my story for the same reason to end the abuse, the coverups and protect others, most especially children. As a priest, in good conscience, there is no other way out, I have looked long and hard. To walk away and allowed the Vatican, Benedict XVI to silence me is to allow the abuse and coverups to continue indefinitely. I don't think any honest person could ever live with him or herself, if that person turned his or her back on children and walked away. I know for sure I couldn't if I allowed them or others to silence me. Love me or hate me, help me or hurt me is just not important, but telling the truth is for the sake of children and before God. This truth is not hard to fine, just spend time reading, and studying the research studies about human sexuality. This truth is so easy to obtain that the real question then becomes what stops people from learning the truth. Maybe, they are afraid what they might learn about themselves, about their sexuality. They would learn the truth about human sexuality that it has a great deal of variability and that can be frightening, even paralyzing for some, likely for the ones who speak out loudest against LGBT civil rights. And isn't this what we are seeing and hearing from the opponents to Marriage Equality and LGBT civil rights, is fear and hysteria, but absolutely no concrete facts about human sexuality or about LGBT people or about the bible. Nothing! Nothing but hot air! Hot air that seriously hurts children, causing violence, fueling hate in the world and God is watching. The words from the bible that the truth will set you free are not believed or considered. However, for me there are no civil laws to protect priests who speak out against the abuse to children in the Roman Catholic Church. You have to ask on who's side is civil law on truth or fear and hysteria. Our history tells us on who's side civil law is on, it starts on the side of fear and hysteria. It is only after enormous number of innocent lives are lost do we begin to see a change after people learn the truth does civil law begin to move towards the truth. Hopefully, with the use of the Interent we will see this process move faster and save millions of innocent lives.
When I came out in 1997, I expected to be mistreated by the Vatican, particularly by Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI. I immediately lost my priest salary, funding for earned sabbaticals and status in the priesthood regarding future assignments. I was given 2 choices either submitted to re-education concerning my views about sexual orientation, reparative therapy or take an assignment far up north in Michigan, which previous to my coming out I had been asked to be the rector of the Cathedral of Grand Rapids. Reparative therapy has since been documented as harmful by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. I was being forced out of the priesthood, which I had no intention of leaving. Instead, I chose to study psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, which was approved but without salary or funding. I lived in rectories of priest friends in the Archdiocese of Detroit and earned a little money from stipends saying masses. I eventually after many long delays, because of limited finances, I graduated with a Master’s degree in psychology from Madonna University and licensed by the State of Michigan.
For nearly 8 years, after coming out, 1997, I was allowed to continue my studies in psychology and providing weekend support to parishes saying masses, by my diocese of Grand Rapids. In late 2002, a priest friend who is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, asked me if I would be pastor of his parish while he was serving in Iraq, which I agreed to do. I did this while working on my Masters in Clinical Psychology. He returned in the fall of 2003, but asked me to stay on because he was scheduled to return to Iraq, in June of 2005, which I also agreed to do. However, quite abruptly in, late November 2004, approximately 6 months before Pope John Paul II died, I was told that my studies are to end and I was to quit my work at a Community Mental Health Clinic or I had to move out in a one month. For my own personal well-being I chose to move out, but I would still be saying masses on weekends at various parishes. I had very little money and knew that I would not be able to stay at any rectory. I had to find somewhere to live. This was again Cardinal Ratzinger’s orders to get me to leave the priesthood and had Walter Hurley begin this process.
I had and have no intentions to leave the priesthood. I had spent my whole life as a priest and continued to study, as a pastor, in order to better meet the growing needs of parishioners. It was because I was and still am a good priest that I came out. As I faithfully believed and followed religiously the Vatican’s antigay teachings growing up, I also followed the moral principles of truth, justice, mercy, love, etc. I learned clearly from Jesus what it means to be his disciples (man or woman), the willingness to lay down one’s life for others. And for me to leave the priesthood, I would be deserting the well-being of innocent children.
Cardinal Ratzinger made no acknowledgement of the psychological harm that the Vatican had caused me my whole life by their unsubstantiated antigay teachings or in my efforts to address this harm I had entered into Catholic psychotherapy (reparative/conversion therapy), which I was not aware of would only harm me further. It was and remains quite clear that my personal well-being was not ever a considered factor to Cardinal Ratzinger or Walter Hurley, instead there was malicious intent to cause me harm, which there is documentation. To the public they would hided behind the statements that I was unwilling to follow their directives, no matter how harmful they would be to me. They do not want me back, they want me out to silence me. And I live in the United States of America. THERE ARE NO CIVIL LAWS TO PROTECT PRIESTS WHO ARE DOING THEIR JOB, EVEN IF TRYING TO PROTECT CHILDREN. EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY THERE ARE NO CIVIL LAWS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM UNORTHODOX HARMFUL CHURCH TEACHINGS. They had severely harmed the first 50 years of my life and now they are compelled to harm the remaining years of my life. Where is the justice in that? Where is the protection under the law? It is a different type of hate crime concealed under layers of the pretense of outward religious fervor.
For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23: 27-28
The continued silence of Church and civil authorities harms children - Prayers for Bobby. Children do not have lobbyists or anyone to protect them. Kids are being hurt !!!
I was and still am being punished and mistreated because I spoke out the truth about human sexuality, which is all backed by research data and about the harm that is caused to children by the Vatican’s antigay teachings. This truth about human sexuality is all documented and it completely nullifies all the Vatican’s antigay teachings. Cardinal Ratzinger was aware of the facts of human sexuality some 20 years before I learned about them. However, Cardinal Ratzinger was silencing the clergy and religious who were speaking out about the truth, instead of implementing the necessary changes to update the Vatican teachings on human sexuality. This truth if it had not been suppressed could have saved countless lives and violence caused to innocent people, especially children. How is it possible for one man in the Vatican is allowed to cause so much harm to people? Who gave him the power to ignore facts, facts that would have saved people lives? How is this possible in the Roman Catholic Church? There is an odious familiarity about this kind of silence, because it is like the decades of silence and cover-ups regarding the child sexual abuse cases. Aren’t children the most precious human beings we have under our care? Then why are they always so forgotten and abused by the Vatican, Benedict XVI and the hierarchy? And why is Benedict XVI, the Vatican and the hierarchy so obsessed with finding ways in Canon Law to silence me, instead of putting that energy into trying to stop the harm they are causing to children, again all over the world?
We have witnessed in 2009, major world leaders speaking out on LGBT issues, beginning with Tony Blair, April 2009, inviting Benedict XVI to rethink his views on homosexuality. The President Obama at the White House dedicates June 2009 to Gay Pride. At the end of June 2009, President Obama and the First Lady hold a reception for LGBT leaders at the White House. The Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and his wife Sarah acknowledged Gay Pride in London with a reception at 10 Downing Street for organizers of the parade. Then Sarah Brown joins London’s Gay pride parade by leading the parade. Many more leaders of governments made their presence known in support of LGBT people in 2009, who we are all so indebted to for their courage and leadership. On Sunday, February 1, 2009, Johanna Sigurdardottir, named as Iceland's Prime Minister, is the first openly lesbian head of government in Europe, if not the world - at least in modern times. The Episcopal General Convention in Anaheim, California, July 2009, the Episcopal Church declared gays and lesbians eligible for "any ordained ministry" that is affirming their acceptance of gays and lesbians for all roles in ministry. Episcopal Church also agreed to consider marriage liturgies for same-sex unions and to give bishops greater latitude in meeting the spiritual needs of gay and lesbian couples.
In December 2008 I was so frightened by the world silence to Benedict XVI’s degrading and harmful Christmas message to homosexuals and transgender people. However, as 2009 moved forward the support of world leaders and the Episcopal Church for LGBT people has been overwhelming and is most reassuring for everyone. What is most noticeably absent and disturbing is that not one cardinal or bishop from the Roman Catholic Church has spoken out in support of LGBT children. Not a word is heard, not even a defined documented teaching about human sexuality given or anytime for discussion offered. Instead, these cardinal and bishops have joined the side of hatred and fear towards LGBT people and children. We are publicly witnessing how Benedict XVI, the hierarchy and the Vatican were able to turn their backs on the child sexual abuse cases and how they are doing the same for children growing up LGBT. Something needs to be changed in the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church this cannot be allowed to continue in the name of Christ. Now that we as members of the Roman Catholic Church are aware of the abuses caused to children by the Vatican and the hierarchy, we will be held responsible for what happens to children in the Church from here on out.
LGBT issues are not a matter of moral evil. They are issues about our human nature, which is a part of every human being, more than many people want to admit. What is a matter of moral evil is people’s ignorance about LGBT issues as they relates to the known facts of human sexuality.
1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. Catechism of the Catholic Church
This means for everyone before speaking out against LGBT people, and especially because of the known serious harms it causes children who grow up to be LGBT, must thoroughly make every effort to find out what is true and good about human sexuality. It also cautions everyone that it is possible that an individual’s conscience can be blinded through the habit of committing sin. This means that over time we may have just followed what other people have been saying against LGBT people, sexual orientation, and human sexuality, but never personally searched out for ourselves the true facts about human sexuality, sexual orientation regarding LGBT people, then we are responsible for the evil we commit. What this means is when it is our time to be judged before God, the excuse that I was only following orders, even if unknowingly we harmed innocent children will not get us into heaven. Because it is the moral responsibility of every human being to find the truth before making statements that are harmful to children. This goes for everyone, ministers, clergy, hierarchy, pontiffs, TV ministers, presidents, leaders of governments, teachers, professors, etc. Promulgating ignorance that creates fear and violence against innocent people and children all over the world is the grave moral evil – not LGBT people.
An informed conscience is required to enter the Kingdom of God.
At the end of WWII, Hitler’s atrocities were made known to the world; with all due respect the same has begun for Benedict XVI, the hierarchy, and the Vatican, the truth comes through an education about human sexuality and the use of the Internet, instant communication globally. No one individual, no religion, no one has the right to hurt anyone, especially children - Kids are being hurt !!!
Important note: I mean no disrespect to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children. Kids are being hurt!!!