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Friday, July 16, 2004
Update on Msgr. Woolsey

He appeared today to give his side of the story. From what I saw on TV, he claims that the money was properly given to the Church and he did not directly take funds from Miss Cale for his personal use. If there's a good paper trail to back those claims up, I think Msgr. Woolsey will have a good defense.

But the news is not good at all, he's been ordered to step down as pastor.

The good religion reporter at the New York Times, Daniel Wakin, filed this story in tomorrow's (Friday's editon):

The Archdiocese of New York ordered a prominent monsignor to resign as pastor of an Upper East Side parish in Manhattan after it discovered evidence that he may have misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in parish funds, a spokesman said yesterday.

The archdiocese began investigating the priest, Msgr. John G. Woolsey, after receiving a complaint about him last fall, said the spokesman, Joseph Zwilling. The family friend of an elderly parishioner accused Monsignor Woolsey of wheedling nearly a half-million dollars from the parishioner before she died and of dipping into donations she had made to the parish.

Once the investigation started, "It got deeper and deeper," Mr. Zwilling said.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Northeast PA Times-Leader: Police charge priest

The Rev. Samuel Perrins, 47, is accused of soliciting man, 22

HAZLETON - Criminal charges were filed against a Roman Catholic priest Monday, more than a month after police say he offered a 22-year-old man $50 in exchange for oral sex.

Investigators say that on June 2, the Rev. Samuel Perrins, a priest at Most Precious Blood Church in Hazleton, approached a 22-year-old man riding a motor scooter down Mine Street around 9 p.m.

The alleged victim told police that Perrins, who appeared to be waiting to cross Vine Street, began walking alongside his scooter and talking to him, police said. Perrins then offered $50 if he agreed to engage in a mutual sex act, the man told police.

After refusing the offer, the man told police Perrins asked about manual stimulation. Once again, the man declined and rode to a nearby restaurant to telephone authorities.

He described the man who propositioned him as in his 50s, wearing glasses, jeans, a beige jacket, a baseball cap and carrying an umbrella, police said.

After contacting police, the man saw Perrins walking down Broad Street where he followed him until Perrins sat down on a bench, police said. The victim contacted police again to direct them to the location.

As police arrived, the man flagged down their car and pointed out the seated man, police said. When officers questioned the older man, he identified himself as Samuel Perrins, police said. He, however, denied soliciting sex, police said.

Perrins, 47, fit the description given, police said. Inside a duffel bag Perrins was carrying, police said they found baby wipes, Vaseline and rubber gloves.

Asked what the items were for, he told police, "they are just in there," according to investigators.

No further commentary is required.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, July 15, 2004
Canada East: Fugitive Catholic brother in United States faces charges but not extradition
ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) - A Roman Catholic brother living in the United States who faces child sex charges in Newfoundland will be arrested immediately should he ever return to Canada.

But Canadian prosecutors are not seeking the extradition of Gerald Chumik, who has been identified by a U.S. newspaper as one of 30 fugitive priests, brothers and other religious workers living in the U.S. facing sex abuse accusations in other countries.

Chumik, who lives in a Catholic religious complex overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, Calif., was charged in 1990 with two child sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

Fort Frances Times: Fugitive friar finds refuge in California
A Franciscan friar who is an accused child molester is being housed by the Catholic order in California—even though officials know he is a fugitive from Canadian justice.

Gerald Chumik is one of about 200 Catholic priests, brothers, and other religious workers who have escaped sexual abuse accusations by moving abroad, according to an investigation by the Dallas Morning News.

About 30 face current charges or investigations, and many remain free with their superiors’ blessings.

Church and state officials are aware Chumik is living in a religious complex overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Barbara, Calif. But no one seems willing to order him to go back to Canada and face justice, the newspaper reported in today’s edition.

“ We can’t ask anybody to do anything they don’t want to do,&rdquo Rev. Mel Jurisich, head of the Franciscan order’s Western U.S. region, is quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“ The only way we could force his hand is to dismiss him. ”

The Franciscans should expel him. Cardinal Mahony should direct that the Franciscans expel him. In fact, he could be compelled under obedience to surrender to authorities in Canada.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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My Amazon Associates Report

                                                Amount  Balance
07/06/2004 	2004 Quarter 2 Referral Fees 	$28.31 	$29.07

So I will be sending Good Counsel Homes a check for $30.

Thank you for making amazon.com purchases through this web site.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Oswald Sorbino for Bush

The saner one of a pair of people who started Catholic blogs in December 2002 has a item on his support for President Bush.

The political calculation that the important undecideds want to see McCain, Pataki, etc. speak at the convention and not Rick Santorum or Peter King can backfire and turn off the cultural conservatives.

Maybe it's to preempt the Democrats from using a culturally conservative speech from the Republican Convention as a campaign prop.

Frankly I'd like to see all the Senate RINOs get pushed out by genuine Republican House members -- but the whole Toomey/Specter content demonstrates this is very, very difficult.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The train wreck called the Sentate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment

Howard Fineman has the best explanation of what went wrong in the Senate this week on the FMA:

Republicans think they have an advantage in the "mainstream" war on the issue of gay marriage. But they may have tossed it away this week. In proposing a constitutional amendment to define marriage only as "the union of a man and a woman," the GOP's goal was to put Democrats on the cultural defensive and to inspire religious conservatives who form the core of the modern party today. Instead, the White House and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist have exposed divisions among Republicans and, through a well-meaning procedural mistake, allowed the Democratic ticket to wriggle free of the need to cast a potentially harmful vote on the matter.

According to the polls, most Americans oppose the idea of sanctifying the unions of gay or lesbian couples by calling it "marriage." In other words, they generally disagree with the recent ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Seeking to capitalize on that sentiment, GOP leaders have been pushing an amendment that would apply not only to federal law—which could affect federal benefits and rights of various kinds—but to all the states.

But, from the beginning, Senate GOP leaders have faced hurdles, mathematical and political. For one, they need two thirds of the Senate—67 votes if everyone is present—to send the amendment to the states for ratification. For another, they need 60 votes (no matter how many senators are present) to shut off the kind of endless filibuster debates foes can use to delay any Senate action.

Frist faced further problems: a handful of "moderate" GOP senators, most from New England, who are more socially tolerant of gays and lesbians, and other Republicans, who are cultural conservatives, but who nevertheless loathe the idea of amending the constitution for any reason.

In the end, Frist and White House strategist Karl Rove couldn't decide whether they really wanted to pass the measure or merely have a vote they could campaign on. The result is that they got neither.

I doubt this was serious. I saw no party discipline, no arm-twisting. The Republicans expected to lose but to have a decent campaign issue. In the end they looked clueless -- with the exception of Rick Santorum.

I hope that after the election and a few more Republican votes, there can be a coherent effort to get the FMA sent to the states for ratification.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Angelo de la Cruz: an unfinished story

The Timeline

Wednesday (July 7) de la Cruz is kidnapped. His armed security escort Hafidh H. Amer is killed. The demand is made by terrorists that he will be killed on Saturday if their demands are not met.

Thursday (July 8) Gloria Arroyo agrees with the terrorists demands publicly. The victim is identified. Blogs (including mine) discuss this surrender to terrorists.

Friday (July 9) Celebrations in the streets in the Phillipines. In Iraq, nothing happens.

Saturday (July 10) The original deadline passes -- new demands, new negotiations, etc.

Thursday (July 15) de la Cruz is still being threatened with death. Since Arroyo conceded everything that's been demanded, there's puzzelment.

Michelle Malkin: The Mollycoddling Milksops of Manila

Add the flag of the Philippines to the International Hall of Appeasers. Sign this pitiful nation up for a lifetime membership to the Axis of Weasels. And remind me never again to brag about the proud fighting spirit of my ancestors...

...But facing pressure from a vocal minority of isolationists, anti-American academics and Catholic church leaders, Filipino government officials buckled within hours of their original decision. On Monday, Philippine deputy foreign minister Rafael Seguis announced on al-Jazeera television that "in response to your request" -- "request," as if the terrorists had extended an invitation to tea -- the Philippines "will withdraw its humanitarian forces as soon as possible."

Belmont Club The White Flag Goes Up

It's official. The Philippines has capitulated to international terror. A spokesman for its Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the terms. Bloomberg reports:
Foreign Secretary Delia Albert issued a statement confirming an al-Jazeera report on the plan to win the release of Angelo de la Cruz. The Qatar-based network today televised a video, dubbed in Arabic, in which Philippine Deputy Foreign Minister Rafael Seguis announced the withdrawal. "We are responding to your request and are to withdraw our humanitarian contingent in Iraq as soon as possible,'' Seguis said, according to al-Jazeera's English-language Web site. Seguis spoke with "foreknowledge and full authority of the Philippine government,'' Albert said in the statement. Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has to weigh the life of de la Cruz, a father of eight and one of about 7 million Filipinos working abroad to support families at home, against her support for U.S. President George W. Bush's campaign against terrorism, which has won her increased American military aid.
[the remainder of the Belmont Club article discusses American combat deaths fighting terrorism in the Philippines.

If you are not familiar with Phillipine politics and the role of the Catholic Church in shaping all important decisions including military ones, you can read the Phillipine sources directly:

(1) a Manila opinion poll

(2) The Straits Times local coverage

(3) ABS: Local voices says US is responsible for de la Cruz's kidnapping

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post. Pal: Priest 'Stupid' but no thief

Taking her money was “imprudent and stupid,” said a colleague ? but he and others who knew them said Monsignor John Woolsey and parishioner Rose Cale were friends who got each other through emotionally tough times.

Woolsey, charged in a lawsuit with swindling $490,000 from Cale, met her a few years ago when she was in a dispute with her former parish, St. Jean Baptiste on East 76th Street.

Cale had donated $10,000 for renovations, and in return wanted the church to install a small plaque honoring her family, said the colleague, a church official who didn't want to be named.

When the church refused, Cale complained ? and took up the matter with Woolsey, co-vicar of Catholic churches on the East Side of Manhattan.

Amid her dispute with St. Jean Baptiste, Cale's brother Dominick died ? and even though she wasn't a member, Woolsey let her have a burial service at his church, St. John the Martyr on East 71st Street, said the official.

Woolsey also helped Cale get back her $10,000 donation to St. Jean Baptiste ? so she decided to stick with his church...

This appears on page 7 which is pretty good placement in the New York Post.

When you see the rest of the article I think you will agree that it was imprudent. If Rose Cale and Woolsey became close at the article describes, it strikes me as odd that no one picked up on the situation regarding the estate (i.e. the relatives). It appears that that Rose Cale didn't anticipate the problems that these gifts would present after her death to Monsignor Woolsey.

From what I know about estate planning, this problem could have been avoided.

The New York Times finally discovered this story taking place a few blocks from their own New York Times building. They gave it a paragraph on page B6 of their pathetic 8 page Metro section. The story kicked off on with a press release from the law firm that the estate retained. Why the Times didn't sniff this out as a big story is no mystery to readers who constantly see the Times miss local stories or cover them using the Associated Press 60-word summary.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004
My sorry attempt at making light of a serious subject

In the debate on whether or not, the use of a condom by a married couple where one is has HIV infection, I'm struck by how the desire for sexual relations is presented not merely as a strong human urge, but one that is irresistable.

What's even stranger is that the new voices proclaiming that sexual continence is beyond the power of human will are priests and bishops who have freely chosen this for life as gift to the Church.

There's certainly involuntary absence of sexual relations in marriage: age, disease, accident, an overseas work or military obligation, and I imagine others as well. Certainly the love that one has for their spouse should make them do all in their power to make the risk of transmission of HIV zero point zero zero zero.

Here's the answer key: object = HIV, frogurt = condom, and well, you can make up the rest as Homer struggles with this moral dillemma.


Wierd Guy- "Take this object, but beware, it carries a terrible curse"
Homer- "Ooo, that's bad"
Wierd Guy- "But it comes with a free frogurt!"
Homer- "That's good"
Wierd Guy- "The frogurt is also cursed"
Homer- "That's bad"
Wierd Guy- "But you get your choice of toppings!"
Homer- "That's good"
Wierd Guy- "The toppings contain potassium benzoate... That's bad"
Homer- "Can I go now?"

So when making a compromise with evil comes up, think of Homer Simpson, if thinking of St. Paul doesn't register with you or your friends.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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All gifts are not created equal

The Catholic League has press release on the lawsuit against Msgr. Woolsey and Archdiocese of New York.

In my job, I’m not permitted to accept any gifts from anyone with whom I have a professional relationship in excess of $5.

The reason for this should be obvious. Accepting large gifts makes it unclear if I’m working only for the interests of my employer or in the interests of my gift-giver.

Likewise, if the gift-giver is responsible to others as an employee or to shareholders, this casts ethical doubt as well on the responsible use of that money.

When a priest starts to receive such gifts without disclosure to his bishop, so large that this one woman is essentially funding his retirement and excluding her own family from inheriting, it raises questions and the estate is only making a claim now - they haven’t won in court yet - but I think the estate is entitled to some answers.

The principle that William Donohue cites is that a priest can accept a gift of any size at any time from anyone is not a principle that is ethically defensible—simply because some gifts if disclosed will make the cover of 3 newspapers in one day because of appearances and suspicions.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Debate not permitted here. Your position is bigoted.

I'm picking up Laura Ingraham's point here: It's not the definition of marriage debate, it's not the judicial tyranny debate, it's the debate debate.

The idea is that if you define a position as bigoted, you don't have to debate the other side.

Teddy Kennedy added the label "radical" to the idea that marriage should be the union of one man and one woman.

If we're bigoted, intolerant, and radical, we're not on the road to social marginalia, we're on the way to the cross.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004
New York Post. Monsignor Woolsey Monsignor John Woolsey and Archdiocese sued for raiding estate of elderly woman
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 12, 2004--The Estate of Rose Cale has filed a formal complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the Archdiocese of New York and Monsignor John G. Woolsey, pastor of Saint John the Martyr Church in Manhattan. The complaint alleges that Monsignor Woolsey used undue influence in his capacity as a trusted and respected spiritual leader, to induce Miss Cale, then in her eighties, to give him over $490,000 in cash and stock. In addition, the complaint alleges that Monsignor Woolsey misappropriated charitable contributions that Miss Cale made directly to the Church.

As a devout Catholic, Miss Cale attended church almost every day for the twenty-year period prior to her death in 2003 at the age of 88. A parishioner of St. John the Martyr Church from 1997-2003, she interacted on a daily basis with Monsignor Woolsey, who heard her confessions and gave her holy communion.

The complaint charges that Monsignor Woolsey (i) purchased a condominium at the Jersey Shore with $100,000 given to him by Miss Cale and (ii) convinced Miss Cale to move her stock portfolio from her own broker of 20 years to the Monsignor's personal broker, which ultimately resulted in Miss Cale transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock into his personal account.

The complaint further alleges that the Archdiocese:

  • -- knew of similar conduct among its clergy;
  • -- has not promulgated any rules or regulations governing the conduct of priests and pastors in accepting gifts from parishioners;
  • -- failed to take reasonable measures to prevent similar abuses by its clergy; and
  • -- is responsible for Monsignor Woolsey's allegedly wrongful conduct.

Attorney Brian Caplan of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP who represents the Estate of Rose Cale stated, "Spiritual leaders of all faiths play an important role in our society and provide comfort, guidance and counsel to their religious followers on a daily basis. Given the trusted and confidential relationship which exists between these leaders and their followers, the law presumes that any gift procured by such a leader is obtained through improper means. These leaders have a moral and ethical obligation to refrain from accepting or inducing their followers to provide them with significant gifts."

Also here:

AP (Newsday)

New York Daily News

New York Post

1010 WINS Radio

An odd legal corporate governance site that offers some sarcastic criticism.

More sarcasm in a news blog.

Monsignor Woolsey is a familiar name to many because he was a frequent speaker at Family and Pro-Life conferences. He was a protege of Cardinal O'Connor.

I met him several times and considered him to be a dynamic and articulate speaker. I'm not gloating but note that many do when these stories appear. I really hope and pray that Monsignor Woolsey is able to show that he was authorized to use the money given to him by Miss Cale.

The financial scandal is the second scandal to infect the Church. Generally it's not done this way with one parishioner, it's done by skimming the cash off the parish collection or using kickbacks from contractors and know of priests personally who did this.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, July 12, 2004
Rubber Baron

An excellent item in Not Quite Catholic But Still Enjoying It which is being edited now Elliot Bougis while Mark Shea is on sabbatical on something that's become a hot topic in the UK. The licit use of condoms.

Elliot links to this article in the UK Tablet. Martin Rhonheimer: The truth about condoms (free reg. reqd.)

Church leaders have caused a furore by suggesting that even the HIV-infected should avoid condoms. But this is not church teaching, says a leading moral philosopher

Most people are convinced that an HIV-infected person who has sex should use a condom to protect his partner from infection. Whatever one may think about a promiscuous lifestyle, about homosexual acts or prostitution, that person acts at least with a sense of responsibility in trying to avoid transmitting his infection to others.

Here's an article with an accusing tone:

UK Guardian: Catholics, condoms and Africa

The Catholic church today finds itself in a curious position: while caring for a quarter of all Aids sufferers in sub-saharan Africa, it is accused of being a killer rather than a healer; by rejecting condoms in the battle against Aids, it stands charged with contributing to its spread.

The church argues that the only realistic and long-lasting response to Aids is a change in moral behaviour, one that rejects promiscuity and adheres to abstinence and fidelity in sexual relations. Condoms, it says, are not the solution, and it points to good evidence that campaigns promoting them in Africa have actually encouraged promiscuity - and thus fuelled the spread of Aids.

I also found tbis in Brian's noetica blog

Since human weakness does not make evil things into good things, but can only lessen the subjective guilt of the person, it makes sense that the Church can not make condom use a universal policy for dealing with HIV. The Church doesn't condone immoral methods for dealing with problems as a matter of policy. When a person is or is not guilty for doing something, or when a person might be counseled to use a condom is a highly individual and unique situation that can only be dealt with on a particular basis, it's not suitable for being generalized as part of some universal policy.

Here are the remarks I entered into Elliot's comment box:

(1) Does a condom have any licit use? No, because every use of a condom is contraceptive in intent.

(2) Does a condom have its own intrinsic risks? Yes, because there is a possiblity of a break or leak which would permit HIV transmission, and condom users have transmitted HIV.

(3) What if a HIV-infected man cannot be sexually continent because of human weakness and has sexual intercourse with a condom. It's still evil but the guilt is mitigated by the impairment of the will.

I'm not ready to concede that men cannot behave in a responsible way -- that lust cannot be controlled. We've been given grace to control human passions.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Opinion Journal. Dale Buss: Christian Teens? Not Very.
Many hold mushy beliefs antithetical to the creed.

When I'm teaching Sunday school, I'm encouraged by what I hear from the teenagers at my evangelical Christian church in suburban Detroit. They seem to understand--and, more important, to believe--the bedrock tenets that will help them hew to orthodoxy throughout their lives and make them salt and light in the world.

But the hard numbers say otherwise. It turns out that, while they may profess the faith and indeed love Jesus, the vast majority of Christian teenagers in this country actually hold beliefs fundamentally antithetical to the creed. The forces of moral relativism and "tolerance" have gotten to them in a big way. In fact, some leaders believe that mushy doctrine among the younger generation ranks as the No. 1 crisis facing American Christendom today.

After that positive blog item below I found this one. We need better religious education.

I wouldn't say that's the number one crisis but it's close. For me the number one crisis is the the basic failure to acknowledge that we are under God, from that simple fact so much evil flows.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: New York, Prime Conversion Ground

The Church of the Pentecost has been a hard sell for the Rev. Andrews Donkor.

It seems that the three-and-a-half-hour services, colorful African dress and exuberant clapping and singing are not drawing many of the non-African New Yorkers whose souls he wants to save. Few have joined the church in the past two years.

But Mr. Donkor, 38, from Ghana, is undaunted in his mission. "I believe if you don't enjoy, you can't do it," he said softly in a recent interview at his church, just north of Central Park on West 110th Street.

Mr. Donkor is one of a recent generation of religious men and women who see New York City as prime conversion ground. Missionaries with a twist, they are reversing the path that for generations has sent Americans and Europeans to Africa, Asia and Latin America to convert the local people to Christianity. Instead, these envoys are traveling to New York to evangelize their compatriots as well as to convert members of other immigrant groups.

The Catholic Church is mentioned at the end. Nice photo.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Hampton Roads Pilot: New bishop conforms to strict Catholic law
Six weeks after taking office, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo is reshaping the Diocese of Richmond to bring it into close conformity with the policies of Pope John Paul II and orthodox Catholic teaching.

That intention is most obvious with DiLorenzo’s announcement last month that no one can be invited by parishes as a guest speaker without first being approved by the diocesan theologian, a post re-established by the bishop.

This is truly a sign that something new is happening. This is accountability over chaos.

A sign of the reporters bias is "strict" by the way.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Scotsman: Priest 'orgy films' found
Roman Catholic leaders in Austria called an emergency meeting today after officials discovered a vast cache of photos and videos allegedly depicting young priests having orgies at a seminary.

About 40,000 photographs, including child pornography, were reportedly downloaded at the seminary in St Poelten, about 50 miles west of Vienna. The Austrian Bishops’ Conference issued a statement today pledging a swift investigation.

"Anything that has to do with homosexuality or pornography has no place at a seminary for priests," it said.

Scotsman: Priests 'In Orgy' at Seminary

Roman Catholic leaders in Austria called an emergency meeting today after officials discovered a vast cache of photos and videos allegedly depicting young priests having sex at a seminary.

About 40,000 photographs and an undisclosed number of films, including child pornography, were downloaded on computers at the seminary in St Poelten, about 50 miles west of Vienna, the respected news magazine Profil reported.

Officials with the local diocese declined to comment but were meeting privately on the scandal, Austrian state television reported.

It said the seminary’s director, the Rev Ulrich Kuechl, and his deputy, Wolfgang Rothe, had resigned.

The Austrian Bishops Conference issued a statement today pledging a full and swift investigation.

&lquote;Anything that has to do with homosexuality or pornography has no place at a seminary for priests,&rquote; it said.

Church officials discovered the material on a computer at the seminary, Profil said. It published several images purportedly showing young priests and their instructors kissing and fondling each other and engaging in orgies and sex games.

The child porn came mostly from web sites based in Poland, the magazine said.

Bishop Kurt Krenn, a conservative churchman who oversees the St Poelten Diocese, told Austrian television he had seen photos of seminary leaders in sexual situations with students. Krenn, however, dismissed the photos as “silly pranks” that “had nothing to do with homosexuality”.

A group of St. Poelten Diocese officials planned to ask the Vatican to remove Krenn as bishop, Austrian radio reported.

Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini told the Austria Press Agency that the Holy See had no comment.

Krenn, 68, issued a statement calling the accusations groundless while conceding that he &lquot;may have made some wrong personnel decisions&rquote; at the seminary.

Many will be asking If the people involved are of legal age, what's the problem?

It's amazing that Krenn would not treat this immediately with the gravity it demands. What a lack of judgment.

Perhaps the comment I made about bishops speaking for themselves and not thru a "Communications Director" was hasty.

There should also be interviews with every student who left the seminary to determine if they communicated to anyone knowledge of this depravity, and if so, what was done with that information.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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John Allen's Word from Rome

I presume that by now most "Word from Rome" readers will have seen the letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the question of denying the Eucharist to Catholic politicians with a pro-choice stance on abortion. If not, it can be found here: The Kerry Affair: What Ratzinger Wanted from the American Bishops .

The text of the letter was published by my Italian colleague Sandro Magister in his on-line column.

In the letter, Ratzinger seems to support those bishops who have threatened to withhold communion from Catholic politicians who support "permissive abortion and euthanasia laws." It's all the more striking, then, that the American bishops in June left such measures to the discretion of individual bishops. Some will see this as "defiance" of Rome, others as legitimate pastoral application in the American context.

John Allen has a lot of fans among Catholic bloggers. However, I think he lets too much of his own opinion and agenda slip into his reporting. Here we have his sin of ommission:

Allen fails to report that Cardinal McCarrick presented to the public an plainly false paraphrase of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter.

It would have a certain integrity to it if Cardinal McCarrick were to openly disagree with Cardinal Ratzinger, but he didn't do that he put his own words and attitudes into the mouth of Cardinal Ratzinger.

All that made the leak of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter a obligatory action.

We weren't entitled to see that letter in the first place, but the falsehood had to be exposed.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The cat got Edwards' tongue

Matt Drudge reported that Edwards was unable to answer the question from a reporter "Does life begin at conception".

Edwards had famously used his own voice to be the voice of an unborn child when a contingency fee for him was at stake.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com