Reality Check: Five Fast Facts You Need to Know About the Overhyped PA Grand Jury Report

Say what

Publicity seeking media hero Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro.

The recently released Pennsylvania grand jury report about abuse there decades ago has predictably created the usual media circus of untethered allegations and hysterical claims by haters of the Church. Amidst all of this hysteria, however, all fair-minded people should consider the following indisputable facts about the report:

1. A "grand jury report" is essentially a press release written by publicity seeking prosecutors.

As any lawyer will tell you, a "grand jury report" is actually written by government attorneys with an agenda. The folks in the "jury" are merely a formality, window dressing to make the matter legal. Jurors sit in a room eating hoagies and reading the newspaper while "listening" to one-sided proceedings orchestrated by prosecutors. There is no fact-checking, no cross-examination of witnesses, and no due process.

When the time comes, a jury member simply slaps his signature on the finished product written by prosecutors to make everything official. Press conferences by politically ambitious prosecutors ensue, and the intended media hysteria follows.

Properly used, a grand jury is merely supposed examine evidence to determine whether there is probable cause that a crime took place and should be prosecuted. This was clearly not the intention of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. In an 800+-page screed, Shapiro's report does not recommend a single criminal charge, because almost all of the accusations are many decades old.

In truth, the whole grand jury report idea was cooked up by Shapiro's predecessor, the disgraced Kathleen Kane, now criminally convicted of perjury, in order to gain media attention and advance her own political ambitions.

2. Most of the priests named in the report are dead and unable to defend themselves.

TheMediaReport.com identified approximately 233 individuals in the report who were named and whose living status was noted. Of the 233 priests whose living status was known, 124, or over 53%, were deceased, and thus no longer around to defend themselves. (The status of about 20 men in the report were listed as "unknown"; 20 entries were blacked out (redacted) completely; and there were about 13 others who were not even listed with a name (e.g., "Pittsburgh priests #2-10," "Harrisburg priest #1," etc.).)

One such dead priest who would probably want to respond to the charges against him in the report if he were alive is Fr. Gregory Flohr, who died in 2007. Flohr died completely unblemished, without a single charge against him in over four decades in ministry. After he died, an anonymous male accuser came forward with a bizarre claim that no reasonable person would believe. Yet Fr. Flohr was included anyway in the bogus report even though he is obviously unable to defend himself.

3. There are numerous priests named in the report who are falsely accused.

For starters, in discussing the case of Msgr. Thomas Benestad, the grand jury report chastised the Church because it "elected to rely on Benestad's word rather than the word of the victims." What the report failed to mention, however, is that Benestad's case was thoroughly examined by a former FBI agent who determined it to be bogus. Sources also tell us that Benestad's male accuser was a criminal with incarcerations in multiple states and has been diagnosed with mental illness. Yet Benestad's name has been plastered across the media landscape as if he had been determined guilty.

And Benestad's case is just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, we may never know exactly the dozens of priests who were wrongly maligned in Shapiro's press release.

4. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro outright lied in the report and deceived the public.

Shapiro's claims that the Church "did nothing" when handling abuse cases and that it showed "complete disdain" for victims are nothing but complete fabrications.

Take the case in the report of Rev. Joseph Mueller: In 1986, a man went to the Diocese of Pittsburgh to claim that Mueller abused him years earlier as a teenager. Then-Bishop Donald Wuerl immediately removed him from ministry and shipped him off to St. Luke's treatment facility. St. Luke's advised Wuerl that Mueller "not work with children or adolescents." So what did Wuerl do? He stripped Mueller of his faculties, and the dude never worked as a priest again.

In fact, if one takes the time to actually read the report, one will see that the first action by a diocese, even many decades ago, was almost always to immediately remove the accused priest from his assignment. In a bunch of cases, priestly faculties were stripped. Therapy was often provided to victims.

As for Shapiro's claim that the Church showed "complete disdain" for victims, Cardinal Wuerl has asserted, "I met with every victim. Anyone that would come forward, I met with them and I'd have to say more than once shared a tear with them as they or their parents told the story."

5. The Catholic Church's practice of retaining its personnel files for centuries continues to gratuitously expose itself to scrutiny by secular authorities.

Do you ever wonder why you never see a "grand jury report" about abuse by public school teachers from the 1960s, 70s, or 80s like we do from the Catholic Church?

The reason is simple: Under federal law, organizations only need to retain personnel documents for one year after an employee departs the organization. Then off to the shredder they go.

Meanwhile, the Church preserves documents dating back to the first century, and at the same time it is accused of secreting evidence and obstructing justice.

See more of our Special PA Jury Report analysis:
PART I: Pushing Aside Media Hysteria: We Uncover
Pennsylvania's Dishonest Grand Jury Report

PART II: Mouths Washed Out With Holy Water? Rapes at Airports?
Pennsylvania's Dishonest Grand Jury Report EXPOSED

This Abuse Accusation Against a Priest Is So Completely Ridiculous, See For Yourself

Comments

  1. John A Morgan says:

    Why doesn’t the Catholic Church make an effort to set the story straight. The truth, the whole truth needs to be put out there. I for one an tired of getting My Fathers people to be attacked without anyone defending our faith. It’s long overdue that we defend ourselves. We can’t and shouldn’t just sit back and let people to get away without defending The Catholic Church. Thank you and God Bless America.

    • Guy says:

      John has said it wonderfully-Ive written to Cardinal's Dolan, Chaput, and Wuerl and begged them to ask the department of Justice to examine this report that has so many lies and flaws. I hope and pray that they will do this to let the public know that the Church is not going tobe profiled and stereotyped any more.

      We know this crime happens, but we know it is not the 'thousands of victims and hundreds of priests' they want everyone to believe.

      Hi Fr McCrae-everyone pray that Fr. McCrae get released soon-he's been in prison for almost 25 years on another bogus charge of abuse that even his accusers told people privately, "NEVER HAPPENED-we're going for the money."

      St Thomas More pray for him and us and the innocent priests.

       

       

    • Claire Sarlis says:

      I agree some of these charges are just downright lies!

  2. Well done Media Report. Unfortunately it is not only the press that runs with this for in the wake of Archbishop Vigano's Testimony, a beat up if there ever was one, those in the anti-Francis camp are using the Pennsylvania report as ammunition (though what responsibiligy Francis has for this I do not know). The same situation pretty much applies here in Australia. The accusations began to come thick and fast under the so-called Melbourne Response in the late 1990s set up by then Archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell. The Independent Commission, as it was also called, was led by Peter O'Callaghan. The problem with this Commission was that O'Callaghan did not have to follow the demands for evidence whether it be of a criminal or civil court. Indeed, the accused didn't even have the right to cross examine his accuser! The truth or not of the accuser rested solely upon what O'Callagahn felt was true or false. This same O'Callaghan later recommended a pay out to a man who claimed he had been satanically ritually abused (yes, you heard right) back in the 1960s and saw people murdered. Even though the police said there was absolutely no evidence for these and other claims nevertheless O'Callaghan felt the accuser must be compensated! By the way, those who managed to convince O'Callaghan got forty to fifty thousand dollars. One might have thought this to be a system open to abuse. And yet, later in Australia the Towards Healing Bishops' approach took the same line! In the recent Royal Commission, the Justice presiding, McClelland, as written up in the Australian, has come to place faith in what used to be called 'recovered memories'. As with the Pennsylvania report there are far more on the so-called right of the Church, those who hate Francis, who accept this stuff without question as it serves to justify their movement to get rid of all the prelates they hate. By the way, I am theologically a conservative, against abortion, contraception, gay marriage, gender ideology, and women priests. Just so this might save time for those who think to paint me as some secret member of a 'homosexualist' freemasonic conspiracy to destroy the Church.

  3. Baptized In Water says:

    I found this website a day or two ago. It all started with the press release of this most recent grand jury report. I’m almost finished with college, so I am somewhat educated, and there was something about it that struck me as odd. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I could tell something wasn’t right. To me it just seemed more like a publicity stunt. I was already familiar with the deep anti Catholic sentiment in America, so I figured I would brush up on some of that reading. Then digging into the matter deeper with a healthy dose of skepticism, I found the work of Mr. Pierre, Jr. After reading through much of his work, it all became very clear what this latest grand jury report was really about, especially given the two previous Penn. grand jury reports. So, there is a history of them doing exactly this. I was familiar with the movie Spotlight, as I saw it a few years ago, and up until a few days ago I never thought to question the narrative constantly in the media. And while I attended public school most of my life, as a boy I attended a Catholic parochial school and never once was I made to feel uncomfortable by anyone. In fact, I have very good memories of those days and still look up to my pastor as a person of deep faith who treated me very kindly and with respect. And from time to time I go to church and recieve the Sacraments, though it’s not very often for me. Now, people can disagree with the Catholic Church on a legitimate issue, but false accusations from anonymous persons is something I find morally reprehensible. Pope Francis has led me back to the Church in recent years. When I want to cry I watch him with the people. I think the Church should push back on this issue, although I understand given the present climate, that may be hard to do. The story of what happened to Fr. Engelhardt broke my heart.

  4. Otto says:

    @John A. Morgan,

    I think the Church is afraid to defend itself because it would look bad particularly in today's climate of moral panic about sexual misconduct where every accuser must be believed no matter how old or ludicrous their story is. It is considered better PR to basically take the attacks and bullying and apologize even in cases that are likely bogus. Clearly this is not working because even though the Church has made a lot of progress on the issue of clerical abuse it is still considered a juicy target by the media, lawyers and unscrupulous politicians looking to make a name for themselves by beating up on an unpopular institution. Let's be honest, anti-Catholicism has strong roots in the United States and it is one factor behind these witch hunts.

    @Robert Tilley,

    It is sad to see conservative Catholics joining the attack on the Church simply to score points against Pope Francis. Typically it was left-wing Catholics who did this to previous popes in an attempt to use the Scandals to try to force changes in Church teachings on sex, bioethics, the all-male priesthood and clerical celibacy. Now I am afraid that the Right is getting in on the act as well and some of the worst anti-Catholic screeds can be found on the Right. Check out the comments on any of Rod Dreher's blog posts at The American Conservative to see what I mean.

    This goes back to the comment by @John A. Morgan above regarding why few Catholics are defending the Church. The truth is that many American Catholics are now more interested in pushing their political ideologies than defending the truth and being obedient to the pope. So they are now making alliances of convenience with various anti-Catholic forces as part of their attempts to remake the Church in their own ideological image.

    What they don’t understand is that there is more at stake here than their own ideological battles. I think this is full-blown persecution of the Church. There is no other way to explain why one institution is always singled out for these investigations while other religious organizations, the Boy Scouts, public schools and Hollywood all get off scot-free. In those cases only individual “bad apples” like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein are ever targeted not entire institutions. But that is never the case with the Catholic Church which is painted as totally corrupt and evil even though we know through study after study that instances of abuse in religious institutions is about the same across the board and that the Catholic Church has since the 2000s developed the best record on dealing with the abuse issue of any major religious institution. Hence the need for anti-Catholics to go back decades to find cases of alleged abuse and even then many of those alleged cases are not verifiable and are likely bogus.

  5. Dan says:

    John 8:12  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." 21 So he said to them again, "I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come." 23 He said to them, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."

    The jig is up. Your Church has been hiding its sin in "darkness", pitch blackness. Now the light has shined in on the darkness and exposed the filth that's been secretly hidden for years, decades and most likely centuries. "You will die in your sins" and cannot go where Christ will be in heaven, because you preferred to go to your "Queen of Heaven", your Mother of Mercy, your life, your sweetness and your hope. Christ is the one who died for your sins, but you only know the one your Roman ancestors crucified and you even sport trophies of their conquest in all your temples.

  6. malcolm harris says:

    It is clear that the enemies of the Church believe that they are on a winning streak.. They have a complicit mainstream media on their side…. and politically ambitious prosecutors leading the charge. But above all they have a receptive general public… who are too busy with their own problems to think about other things. But if they did make the effort, to apply discernment, then they would have to be sceptical. Because the media has already conveyed that all child molesters tend to be recidivists. Meaning that despite doing time for their crimes, they are put on a 'sex offenders register'. Which tells concerned citizens when these guys are living in their locality. Very real is the public hysteria over sex offenders. Yet Joss Shapiro, the Attorney General, would now have us  believe that priests like Fr.Gregory Flohr, can have an unblemished record, over four decades of ministry, but still be a child molester?…..What?… And his one accuser only making his vile accusation after the poor man was in his grave?. So much for the theory of recidivism.? A discerning mind would conclude that either the theory is wrong… or the dead man has been falsely accused. And if it can happen to him…..then how many others have also been falsely accused?.

    • Dan says:

      Malcolm, Your cult has given ample proof that "child molesters tend to be recidivists". I guess if you're a staunch Catholic, you can turn a blind eye to all the proof in the correspondence of your own bishops, msgr's and guilty priests confessions. Problem is according to definition, a recidivist is a convicted criminal who reoffends, especially repeatedly, when most of your criminal priests were never convicted because their cases were handled by "the Church" and they were given a free ticket to reoffend and they took full advantage of every opportunity. They are truly unrepentant disgusting sinners who deserve no mercy. That's period!

    • Dan says:

      And also, just because you think you can cherry pick a single case and therefore assume there must be many others falsely accused, when you don't even know if he was falsely accused. This is totally disingenuous and I can't believe that all of you Catholics keep doing this, when there is so much written proof of a systemic problem among the hierarchy of your church. When will you come clean and admit to the horrible sins of your cult, instead of thinking you can continually deny and sweep it all under the rug. Your scarlet colored rugs have become moth eaten and the world is beginning to get a much clearer view of all of the disgust "the Church" has been hiding in secret. This is the work of the Almighty and it will not be thwarted, no matter how hard man tries to hide these sins from His eyes or ours.

    • LLC says:

      Dan, "And also, just because you think you can cherry pick a single case and therefore assume there must be many others falsely accused, when you don't even know if he was falsely accused" = Similarly, you have generalized from sparse single cases and therefore assumed that there must be many others correctly accused, when you don't even know if they were correctly accused in the first place. James 1:2-4.

       

       

       

    • Dan says:

      And another Catholic excuser, denier and enabler joins the fray. I've "generalized from sparse single cases"? Are you kidding or are you just another Catholic ostrich with their head buried in the sand? We have 300-plus priests in 3/4 of Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Boston, Mexico, Chili, Honduras, Philippines, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Africa and the rest of America, Europe, South America, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Do you get the picture? If 1/4 of these cases were true it would be 1/4 too many cases of child abuse. That's period. And you want to say "sparse single cases"? And your quote in James doesn't mean you go through and carry out many temptations, it means resisting the temptations and persecutions will build fortitude and patience. It doesn't give Carte Blanche for grown men to go rape and sodomize little boys, multiple times and numbers, and for a church to overlook and secretly hide their transgressions. This is not indicative of anything Christian whatsoever.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      “another Catholic excuser, denier and enabler joins the fray” = incorrect and misleading. Nowhere in my post I excused, denied or enabled.

      “We have 300-plus priests in 3/4 of Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Boston, Mexico, Chili, Honduras, Philippines, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Africa and the rest of America, Europe, South America, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.” = redundant and non-relevant to the discussion. The (highly inflationed) absolute number of cases is not in discussion here; your unwillingness to consider that part of the accused may be (and indeed are) innocent is. In a more colloquial way, “you can dish it but can’t take it”.

      “If 1/4 of these cases were true it would be 1/4 too many cases of child abuse” = again, non-relevant to this discussion. I agree that one case of child abuse is one too many, and no catholic is denying it.

      “And you want to say "sparse single cases" = the number of cases, again, is not what is in discussion here; your generalization based on the few guilty ones is.

      The quote from James stands, and it is appropriate in this situation. The Church has withstood many crises in the past, and has emerged stronger than ever before, because she stands on Jesus’ promises that “the gates of hell will not prevail against her”. Can you say the same about yours?

    • Dan says:

      Once again, ARE YOU KIDDING!?! You claimed I "generalized from sparse single cases". I named off some of several countries and continents where your clergy has successfully raped and sodomized young boys and fewer girls, and "your Church" officials slyly kept those cases from the public eye. Now you think you can claim its "redundant and non-relevant to the discussion". The thing that is redundant is the number of priest child molesters who weren't satisfied raping one child but were multiple offenders. What is very "relevant" is how every case was handled in similar fashion with secret payoffs and confidentiality clauses in order to keep the high volumn of pedophiles and perverts of your cult from the public eye. For you to say I "generalized from sparse single cases", while you prefer to keep your "head buried in the sand" so as not to admit how widespread the disgust is among your deceiving hypocritical leaders = an "excuser, denier and enabler" and for this reason I don't think your church will ever change or be willing to clean up their act.

      I don't know why Catholics think "the gates of hell will not prevail against her" pertains to their church. Have you read of the demise of your Church in Rev 17 and 18. Pay extra attention to the perfect description of your church in Rev 18:3-5. And yes, my church will prevail because it is based on the teachings of the One True God, Jesus Christ His Son, His Precious Word, the Apostles and Paul. It doesn't write or have other books, false teachings or false gods and goddesses, in order to fool you from knowing the truth and blind you from God's True Plan of Salvation.  servant of the Lord

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      “Once again, ARE YOU KIDDING!” = no. Firstly, please check the settings of your keyboard. The Caps Lock may be on. Secondly, you keep missing the point of this discussion, which is the possibility (as in the other post to which you have just responded, again missing the point) that among the accused parties some (one could say more than some) may be (and indeed are) innocent. The absolute number of cases is not relevant, nor is the litany of geographic locations (FYI, it’s Chile, not Chili). No Catholic disputes the fact that some crimes were committed by the clergy (at every level, perhaps). The point here is, once again, that among the many accused some (and indeed more than some) are innocent, and this is enough to cast a shadow on this and other reports. Instead, your attitude is more of the kind of “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius”. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

      Your interpretation of Revelation is interesting but, alas, incorrect, and, again, non-relevant to this discussion. If you wish to meditate over a very interesting scripture, please read Ephesians 4:26-31. As Paul says, it is good to seek justice, but not at the cost of sinning.

    • Dan says:

      Everything is "non-relevant" unless its the pointless stuff you put up that doesn't prove your point. You want to quote the Bible, turn to the next page, Ephesians 5:5-12.

      "For this you can be sure: No immoral, impure of greedy person-such a person is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are the light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in 'secret'.

      And my Caps Lock and bold key are working just fine. 

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      I wholeheartedly agree with your quote of Ephesians 5:5-12. Unfortunately, it’s still not the point of this discussion. For the last time, nobody here denies the terrible sins and crimes committed by some Catholics. What is in discussion is your synecdoche way to attribute such crimes to the entire clergy – and indeed the entire Church – based on flawed reports such as the PA Grand Jury. It has been shown – not just by this site but by many others – that priests nominated in this report are actually innocent, and how some of these accusations are ludicrous. This would be enough to warrant a critical eye when such reports are published. Instead, you choose to take them at face value. As someone already said, “Whatever you wish to believe”

    • Dan says:

      Once again, LLC, it is most definitely you who has missed the point. The point being there is by far many more guilty priests and bishops than innocent. Why do Catholics think they can double-talk an opponent into believing Catholic truth rather than the 'truth'? When speaking of the accused you claim "some", but double-down to add "(one could say more than some)" and you start with "may be" innocent but add "(and indeed are) innocent". So what is it? Some or more than some or may be or indeed are innocent?

      You claim, "No Catholic disputes the fact that some crimes were committed …", but you don't add to that your "one could say more than some" crimes were committed. Yet studies say 99% of accusations against "the Church" were credible and less than 1% are false. That would mean that way more crimes were committed than false accusations. This shows extreme manipulation of what is really the truth. You may not think so, but the amount of cases in America and around the world is not only relevant, it's very important. You and others would just prefer to sweep those facts under the rug and hope they go away.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      “The point being there is by far many more guilty priests and bishops than innocent.” = incorrect. The point of this blog is that some priests and bishops have been wrongly accused.

      “So what is it? Some or more than some or may be or indeed are innocent?” = this is why proof beyond reasonable doubt is required by the law to condemn someone, not simply being nominated in a highly flawed report.

      “but you don't add to that your "one could say more than some" crimes were committed.” = please do not add words to my blogs, nor try to guess my thoughts. As already explained, the absolute number of crimes and guilty parts is not the topic of this blog.

      “Yet studies say 99% of accusations against "the Church" were credible and less than 1% are false.” = please indicate where to find these studies; I looked around but wasn’t able to find any corroborating or disproving proof. Furthermore, the law doesn’t care if an accusation is “credible”. What it matters is that the crime did or did not occur.

      “That would mean that way more crimes were committed than false accusations.” = incorrect. If an accusation is credible, it simply means that the prosecution is more likely to pursue it, not that it must necessarily be true.

      “You may not think so, but the amount of cases in America and around the world is not only relevant, it's very important.” = once again, misleading and incorrect. Please do not put words in my posts that are not there. I never said nor thought that the “amount of cases…is not relevant” in general. What I said is that this post focuses on the priests and clergy who have been wrongly accused in a highly flawed report

    • Dan says:

      Sounds like you're piling on more excuses, denials and deceptions, which leads to enabling, the very reason why the Church is in the mess they're in today. I think by now I know what "the point of this blog is". Let's concentrate on the few supposedly "wrongly accused" and try our best to ignore the slew of guilty priests and their bishop excusers and enablers.

      I didn't "add words to [your] blog", but you ought to add that thousands of crimes were committed and secretly covered up. And right, I know according to you and the other deniers that "the absolute number of crimes and guilty parts [are] not the topic of this blog". Forgive me. I forgot that catholics would rather ignore the truth.

      You'll "find these studies" wherever you find those who are willing to face the truth. It's hard to find the truth if you walk around with your head in the sand.

      How can you say my statement, "the amount of cases in America and around the world is not only relevant, it's very important", equals "misleading and incorrect"? Do you just toss out any accusations in hopes that people will believe the nonsense. Apparently, like Malcolm, you never read the Grand Jury report. Even if you overlook Shapiro's comments, the correspondence in Church files between bishops, chancellors and priests who admitted guilt of sexually assaulting children is overwhelming evidence proving the report is not "highly flawed" as you would like to believe and make others believe.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      Since you are not willing to engage in a constructive dialogue, I am shaking your dust off my feet and move on (Matthew 1:14). Our discussions are now for the other readers to judge.

      One last point, since you clearly do not understand, or more likely pretend not to: “How can you say my statement, "the amount of cases in America and around the world is not only relevant, it's very important", equals "misleading and incorrect"?” = what “misleading and incorrect” is not the “the amount of cases in America and around the world” portion. It’s the part immediately before, “You may not think so”. Regardless of your futile and foolish attempts to claim otherwise, I utterly believe that one of these crimes is one too many, let alone all the ones that have actually happened.

      But, alas, Proverbs 23:9 is right. Time to go.

    • Dan says:

       I will most definitely try to heed your advice to "Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words." Proverbs 23:9   Glad to see that one catholic in this blog can quote and might read the Bible.

    • Dan says:

      Matthew 10:14

  7. I would encourage people to read or hear the full text of what Francis said on the plane from Ireland, including his response to the Vigano Testimony. He went on to speak of certain alleged cases of sex abuse and affirmed the principle that no one should be thought evil until proven evil — what in other words means innocent until proven guilty. Today, allegations of cover up are thrown around when the person is simply waiting for conclusive evidence. It is instructive to study the history of recovered and/or repressed memories to see how they are abused to condemn the innocent. This was of course a big deal in the 1980s and early 1990s and then it went to ground, as it were, in so-called Alien abduction stories (but I don't think any Aliens were slandered in the media or made to comply with plea deals). But the history goes back further than that and includes Protestant evangelical tales of having been a witch or a druid or a jesuit or a rock star producer, who conjured up demons to abuse children who were then hyptnotised to forget. When these fantasists got air play all of sudden lots of people came forward and claimed they too had been likewise abused. And then hundreds if not thousands came forward! Sound familiar? No, not just today but back in the seventeenth century when at places like Salem when one then two came forward claiming having been bewitched and sexually assaulted by the devil, all of a sudden lots and lots of other people came forward to claim the same thing. And so it was that the most preposterous stories were believed. Perhaps Arthur Miller's The Crucible could be perfomed today and the fake news media could be the accusers. By the way Dan, this nonsense stemmed from Protestant evangelical and fundamentalist quarters (and the irony being that many of the victims of false accusations were Protestants), in other words a fundamental current of injustice, and God hates injustice and especially false witness, flowed from certain (but certainly not all) Protestant quarters. I reckon one thing anyone who fears God ought to be in terror of in respect of what has been going on is that they are not judged by God in the way they have judged and condemned others and that on the say so of allegations that have not been proven in a court of law.

  8. Dan says:

    Robert, Your Church has been handling these cases and trying them in house for decades, and now that their secret perversions are being finally exposed, you would like them to be considered "innocent until proven guilty" by "conclusive evidence". Victims were coming forward, either themselves or their parents, as evidenced in Catholic files, not only in a timely fashion, but while these perpetrators were still alive. For the good of your church, they were not prosecuted like they should have been by civil authorities back then and now that years have passed you're asking for due process with conclusive evidence. Many unqualified bishops and Msgr.'s made decisions that these perverts would not harm again and that victims were not in any need of counseling or psychiatric help, saving the church money and leading to more unsuspecting victims being thrown to the wolves. Now you ask for fair justice. Where was the fair justice for the innocent raped and molested children of your Church?

    Hopefully for the last time, I am not a Protestant, fundamentalist or the usual Catholic slur "fundie". I am a Bible believing true follower of God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ, taught from the Word and not from any false churches, false preachers or false religions of this world. I have been blessed with the wisdom that can only come spiritually from God the Creator. I have no "fear" or "terror" of God's Judgment and am actually looking forward to the day when all will be judged with justice and fairness. From the corruption that I've seen coming from your Church, the District Attorneys they obviously have on their payroll and the compulsive liars of your clergy and their attorneys, I could never trust any justice from our courts. I trust not in man but in the infallible judgments of the Almighty God. His judgments will be honest, true, righteous and fair. Come quickly Lord Jesus.   servant of the One True God

  9. malcolm harris says:

    'Baptized in Water', on the 4th, has provided a good insight into the mind of a young Catholic. Which included the thought that the Church…. "should push back". As an older Catholic would like to say that agree with him entirely. Because my own experience has taught me that silence is ofter regarded as admitting guilt. In reality many people still reason the way they did as kids. When falsely accused… for example of raiding the cookie jar, kids protest loudly and with emotion. Because they know that a lowered- head- silence would be taken as a virtual admission of guilt. Sadly despite our outward show of maturity, there is a child within all of us.  Have little doubt that the secular world cannot comprehend the words of Christ, when he spoke of "forgiveness and turning the other cheek". And people like Joss Shapiro, and thousands like him, the words of Christ's…….. "do  not compute". We have to survive in this secular world… and so we should push back.

    • Dan says:

      I'd like to educate Catholics and so-called Christians on the importance of reading the Bible to truly understand teachings that we had long taken for granted. John the Baptist said:

      "I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire." Matt 3:11

      So this is where we stand. Do we prefer the baptism that was forced upon us as babies or another like the one forced upon myself (33 yrs. old) by a false christian church? Do we want the one performed by a fallible human, that superficially cleanses the outward man or the one performed by the greater and mightier Son of the Living God. The fire that purifies and burns deep where bone meets marrow, cleansing the heart, the soul and the mind? Only God or Christ can baptize with His Holy Spirit, no other mediator or mediatrix, helper or co-mediator ever required. Read the Lord's Word, to fill you with wisdom and understanding and instill in you the strength to fight the good fight, God's fight against evil, a war without weapons. Peace.

       

    • Baptized In Water says:

      Dan, you’re a rhetoritician, plain and simple. Everytime I read an article on here, there you are in the comments. Freedom of religion doesn’t seem to be a concept you cherish. There are many things I could say to you, but I will just say this. Maybe it’s you who should spend more time practicing instead of reading and preaching. Matthew 7:2 For as you judge, you will be judged. You’re not God. You’re fallible, just like the rest of us. Perhaps you might find it in your heart one day to be more humble.

    • Dan says:

      I guess your right. I don't believe in freedom of false religions to brainwash. Did Christ believe in freedom of false religions? Do you know how he treated the Jewish Pharisees and what he said about the hypocrites of false religions in Matthew 23? I was not judging you at all. Just wanted you to know the baptism you would want to seek. Never said I was infallible or that I was God. Love His teachings and want all to come to know the truth. Sorry if that offends you.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      “Do you know how he treated the Jewish Pharisees and what he said about the hypocrites of false religions in Matthew 23” = there is no mention of “false religions” in Matthew 23. In fact, Jesus very carefully differentiates the teachings (“So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach”) of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees from their behavior, but He does not refute their authoritative stand (“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat”).

    • Dan says:

      Wow, LLC, you sure do look at everything with a very narrow mind. And you believe "there is no mentrion of 'false religions'?" Allow me to show you. Your quote, "But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." 1) In other words, they preach to you to be holy and don't sin, but they commit all kinds of sexually immoral sins against innocent children. Sound like any false religions you know? 2) They do all their deeds to be seen by others. 3) …they lenghten their robes. 4) … they love the place of honor at feasts 5) best seats in the synagogues / churches [big thrones on the altar] 6) … and greetings in the marketplace [Morning Father] 7) But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher. And call no one father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven 8) The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

      So your Church fits all of these descriptions and other "false religions" fit some of them. And you tell me that Jesus was not speaking of hypocrites of false religions. I wish I had the energy to explain how your Church also qualifies for the other 'Seven Woes' in the chapter, but I think you should get the picture from what I pointed out in the first chapter.    servant of the Lord

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      “Wow, LLC, you sure do look at everything with a very narrow mind” = interesting assumption, coming from someone who takes the PA Grand Jury report literally even when shown incorrect.

      “Allow me to show you” = not needed, as I have already heard these incorrect interpretations of Matthew 23 from others. Your narrow minded and superficial repetition doesn’t make them accurate. Perhaps, in the haste of responding (Proverbs 19:2), the correct meaning of “false” escaped you. Nothing taught by the doctors of the Law and the Pharisees was criticized by Jesus as false, or incorrect. Their behavior was. In other words, if your cardiologist told you to stay away from fat and salt, but he/she kept eating junk food, you wouldn’t stop eating healthy because of the hypocrisy. Once again, you seem incapable of discerning the formers (teachings) from the latter (behavior).

      “So your Church fits all of these descriptions and other "false religions" fit some of them.?” = it surely fits any religion I know. In any religion, including your so-called Bible-believing Church, preachers do one thing while preaching another. It is called being human, with all the limitations deriving from it.

      “I wish I had the energy to explain how your Church also qualifies for the other 'Seven Woes' in the chapter” = therefore, please rest. 

    • Dan says:

      In Matthew 23, Jesus is describing the attributes of false churches so His chosen would recognize the hypocrites of false religions and steer clear. He didn't even mention the "behavior" of such, because their behavior was to disgusting to even mention, as your Church has proven to be true. I don't know why you think that if you say my interpretations are "incorrect", well then that makes it so. Matthew 23 perfectly describes your Church, as the prophecies of Revelations 17 and 18, describing the whore that sits on the beast, elaborates on the colors, riches and sexual immorality of this horrific cult. Apparently you choose to ignore the truth and prefer to believe in the lies, so I'll let Isaiah describe you and your church.

      "Go tell this people: 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the hearts of this people calloused; deafen their ears and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."  Isaiah 6:9-10

    • Dan says:

      In my "so-called Bible-believing Church", preachers who weren't practicing what they preach would immediately be removed, along with those who practiced gross sexual immorality with children. Would have been nice if your Church lived by those Biblical principles and they wouldn't be in the conundrum they're presently struggling with. Send the perpetrators to the proper civil authorities, like they keep claiming they're going to do. Rarely ever done! And now it's come back to bite you!

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      It seems that your rest didn’t produce the desired results. I was hoping for some fresh material, for engaging in a new discussion. Repeating your incorrect and superficial interpretation of Matthew 23 doesn’t make it correct.  “He didn't even mention the "behavior" of such” = perhaps, you should read again Matthew 23:3, specifically.

      As already said, Matthew 23 is about hypocrisy, not false teachings (or false churches). The doctors of the Law and the Pharisees do not teach incorrectly. They simply fail to act on their own teachings, which is the definition of hypocrisy, and which is what Jesus focuses on.

      Speaking of hypocrisy, “In my "so-called Bible-believing Church", preachers who weren't practicing what they preach would immediately be removed” = doubtfully, as your Church should be empty, by now.

      Please, rest some more. Perhaps next time you’ll bring fresh material to the discussion table.

    • Dan says:

      "Whatever you wish to believe." By the way, that was my quote you used. Talk about stale material, you keep repeating your same excuses. Your Church qualifies for both hypocrisy and false teachings and the list of Matthew 23:1-9 is proof of that, and add the "Seven Woes" and I'd have to say, "If the shoe fits you'll have to wear it." And I thought I remember that it was your "Time to go." a long time ago. Maybe you meant it was "Time to go" read and try to comprehend Biblical truth, instead of denying the obvious, that Christ and the Bible has your Church and it's false attributes pegged. Strange how I have no problem understanding even Catholic versions of the Word. Why do Catholics have such a problem with Biblical truth, unless the quote I gave you from Isaiah just happens to ring true? Sorry I have to repeat the teachings, but sometimes that's the best way to learn.

    • LLC says:

      Dan,

      “Whatever you wish to believe." By the way, that was my quote you used.” = not bad, it only took you 8 days to realize it. Perhaps the rest actually did something. But, again, perhaps not. The insistence on the “false teachings” concept (absent from Matthew 23) indicates how you don’t seem to be able to provide fresh discussion material. Wisdom 3:11 is most apt here.

      “And I thought I remember that it was your "Time to go." a long time ago” = correct; everything that needed to be said then, it was said. This is, alas, another topic altogether, but it is headed in the same direction, from what I can see.

      “Strange how I have no problem understanding even Catholic versions of the Word” = I beg to differ. Your posts are proof that the opposite is true.

  10. Cam says:

    People, please quit responding to Dan. Don't you know a troll when you see one?

    • Dan says:

      Thank you for your intelligent contribution to the conversation. 

    • LLC says:

      Cam,

      “People, please quit responding to Dan. Don't you know a troll when you see one?” = normally, I would agree with you. In this case, aside from the never-ending hope that Dan may actually learn something from these exchanges, there is the amusement factor. There is nothing on TV, and it's a long way to 5-o'clock… But seriously, every interlocutor, even the most obnoxious one, can provide a growing opportunity. This is why I wish Dan would actually bring more challenges to the table, instead of these stale talking points of anti-Catholic propaganda.

    • Dan says:

      Yeah! I'm the one who said it and it took me 8 days to realize it? It's just that you've become so annoying, repeating my statements with that stupid = sign, like that means it's true. It just so happens that the Word is full of "anti-Catholic" verse, which doesn't make it "propaganda" just because the Catholic faith prefers to go against Biblical truth. I noticed it took you 5 days to repeat Cam's nonsense or did it take you that long to realize it was there, and then act like you're not in agreement with it. Also noticed that you prefer quoting from Solomon's Book of Wisdom and Proverbs. Is this the only part of the Bible you know and are you aware that Solomon in the end was quite the failure for falling for idol-worshipping women. Probably pretty dangerous for an idol-worshipping Catholic to lean on just those teachings. Is it that you just prefer to ignore all the anti-Catholic wisdom in the rest of the book.    servant of the Lord

  11. LLC says:

    Dan,

    “It's just that you've become so annoying” = another interesting comment, coming from the self-professed servant of the Lord.

    “repeating my statements with that stupid = sign, like that means it's true” = the “=” sign, so annoying to you (or, perhaps, you are annoyed by the repetition of your own words – who wouldn’t be?) is a device to part your logorrheic posts into more manageable sentences.

    “Also noticed that you prefer quoting from Solomon's Book of Wisdom and Proverbs” = “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.

    “Is this the only part of the Bible you know” = another interesting comment, coming from someone who chooses to ignore 10% of the Bible.

    “Solomon in the end was quite the failure for falling for idol-worshipping women” = and David was a killer, Matthew a tax collector, Saul persecuted the first Christians and Simon denied Jesus three times. I am sorry, do you have a point?

    Now, unless you have something constructive to bring to the table, I’m going to adjourn this discussion, but please feel free to continue posting your nonsense (Proverbs 18:2-3).

    • Dan says:

      You're right. I am "annoyed" that I have to keep repeating teachings to those refusing to learn. As if that wasn't bad enough you repeat what you refuse to understand = very annoying. And you think that in doing this, you're bringing some form of wisdom to the table?

      Can't agree more = "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." So I've quoted you scripture and explained the meaning in simple detail and all you have to say is = incorrect, irrelevant or anti-Catholic. So apparently you quote the Word, but don't feel it applies to you or your Church. If that doesn't display the hypocrisy of false religions, never practicing what they preach.

      I'm not ignoring Solomon's wisdom at all, but do prefer the wisdom of Christ, the Apostles and Paul and the Lord's plan of salvation. The difference between the great men of the Bible who were sinners and Solomon was the fact that they repented of their sins and with Christ's help changed their lives for the better. Surely a lesson your Church could learn from, if they weren't so busy disputing Biblical Truth and in denial, making excuses and offering empty promises to cover-up for their disgusting sins against innocent children.

      Now maybe you could bring something constructive to the table, rather than just repeating what I've given you. = extremely annoying!

      P.S. To be truly chosen of God has nothing to do with the "self". Why are Catholics so offended by one calling himself "servant of the Lord", but have no problem with the obnoxious titles followed by degrees given to their hierarchy, men falling far short of God's glory and holiness.

  12. LLC says:

    Dan,

    “I am "annoyed" that I have to keep repeating teachings to those refusing to learn” = perhaps, your “teachings” are the problem. Have you ever considered the possibility that you may be wrong? As, for example, with Matthew 23, where you insist on the false teachings, while Jesus Himself is contradicting you by upholding such teachings, while rebuking the doctors of the Law and the Pharisees for their behavior?

    “So I've quoted you scripture and explained the meaning in simple detail” = factually incorrect. You have quoted Scriptures and twisted their meaning to fit your agenda. See, again, your interpretation of Matthew 23.

    “I'm not ignoring Solomon's wisdom at all, but do prefer the wisdom of Christ, the Apostles and Paul and the Lord's plan of salvation” = your objection to the Book of Wisdom (which, incidentally, was not written by Salomon, but who cares about facts, when you can make up your own beliefs, right?) were Salomon’s faults (“Solomon in the end was quite the failure for falling for idol-worshipping women”), not his wisdom or lack of thereof. Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 points to the fact that at the end of his life Salomon has, perhaps, returned to the Lord and is trusting in Him. Ultimately, though, the answer to whether or not Solomon repented and was saved rests with God, not with us.

    “if they weren't so busy disputing Biblical Truth” = interesting, albeit historically and scripturally wrong, comment. If you studied the early Church history, you would see how the Catholic Church actually defined the articles of faith you now take for granted, and fought against heresies for centuries to preserve the correct teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.

    “extremely annoying!” = good. I can see that you are already adding the correct comment to your own statements.

    “To be truly chosen of God has nothing to do with the "self"” = please see Matthew 7:21. Most apt.

    Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I am signing off from this discussion. May God bless you and keep you safe (Matthew 5:44)

    • Dan says:

      LLC, You keep claiming that my interpretations and teachings are wrong, incorrect or false, and yet you have no good explanation and have yet to point out that what I'm saying is false. I don't have to "consider the possibility that [I] may be wrong". I know what I quote is right and my interpretations are fine, because I just see the Word as it is. I don't have some long explanation in order to twist the meaning and make excuses to benefit my own agenda. Could be because I don't even have my own agenda, for my only interest is in God's agenda.

      I want to prove to you that "Jesus Himself "[was not] contradicting me by upholding such teachings". Please look at Luke's gospel regarding those same teachings (Luke 20:46). 

      In the hearing of all the people, Jesus said to His disciples, "Beware of the scribes and teachers of the law. They like to walk around in long robes, and they love the greetings in the marketplaces, the chief seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets." Luke 20:46

      Christ starting out with "Beware" doesn't sound like He's upholding those teachings to me. He was criticizing their pompous, self-righteous, better than thou attitudes. Paraphrasing, I said "they lengthen their robes", "love the places of honor at feasts", "best seats in the synagogues / churches [big thrones on the altar]" and "greetings in the marketplace [Morning Father]". I only added Matthew 23:9, "And call no one father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.

      According to Christ's words in Luke, how is what I said wrong, misinterpreted or incorrect?

      I have 'no' objection to the Book of Wisdom. Just believe the teachings and "wisdom of Christ, the Apostles and Paul and the Lord's plan of salvation" is more important to the walk of any Christian. I'm well aware that writings attributed to Solomon weren't always written by him. Very unfair to insinuate that I don't "care about facts" and "make up [my] own beliefs", when nothing is further from the truth. Do agree that whether he repented or was saved was between God and Solomon, but according to Ecc.12:13, "Fear God and keep His commandments", he was breaking the 1st and most important Commandment against idolatry and the worship of graven images, instead of worshiping God.

      Finally, the Catholic Church may have "defined the articles of faith" for you, but I don't see where they preserve the correct teachings of Jesus and the Apostles at all, or even follow many of them. And Matthew 7:21 is most apt in describing Catholic hierarchy and those who follow their false teachings of greed, idolatry, sexual immorality and lies.Take Care and stay with the Word. 

    • Dan says:

      I also do agree that He was "rebuking the doctors of the law and the Pharisees for their behavior", just like He would be strongly rebuking your hierarchy for their behavior. Disgusting!

  13. LLC says:

    Dan,

    Since you have brought a different Scripture to support your point, I will do you the courtesy to continue our discussion. Unfortunately, Luke 20 is another nail in the coffin of your interpretation. Please read it carefully:

    “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes” = No teaching is mentioned here. Jesus rebukes the scribes for their vainglorious attitude (behavior): they like to be noticed for their long robes. Are the scribes teaching to wear long robes? Not at all. But they like to wear them.

    “…and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces…” = again, no teachings mentioned. The scribes like to be greeted with respect. Is this part of their teachings? No.

    “…and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets” = again, no mention of teaching whatsoever. The scribes want the best places at banquets and in the synagogues. Is this part of their teachings? No.

    As you can see, Jesus condemns the scribes’ behavior, not their teachings.

    Yet, you clearly have a hard time understanding the difference between teachings and behavior. Can you show me a jota of an official document of the Catholic Church that says it is ok to perform criminal and sinful acts? You won’t find any. And yet, some clergymen have done just that. Is it hypocritical of them? No doubt about it. Does it invalidate the teachings of the Catholic Church? Not at all.

    On a similar note, if you insist on Matthew 23:9, please have the courage and consistency to rebuke Saint Paul as well.

    Do you know why Catholic priests wear robes of different colors? Believe it or not, there was a time when literacy was scarce, and believers needed a visual reminder of the different times of the Church calendar (Advent, Lent, Easter and so forth). The different colors did just that. Comparing it to Matthew 23 simply shows ignorance of Church history (and plain history). Do you think that nobody else in 2,000 years has tried the same faulty interpretation of Matthew 23?

    As for the articles of faith established by the Catholic Church, please consider that the Nicene Creed, formulated by the Catholic Church around 325 AD, is a compendium of everything we now take for granted, but was very much in discussion then. For example, the belief that Jesus was the very first and most perfect of God's creatures, and he was made "God" only by the Father's was actually debated for over a century before the Catholic Church condemned it as heresy

    • Dan says:

      LLC, You seem to have this tendency to want to split hairs. Have you ever heard the expression that we teach by our example. The example your hierarchy teaches in the lengthening of their robes, big thrones on the altars and desiring 'titles' of Father or Holy Father, is that it is fine to parade a pompous piety, both an outward form of greed and idolatry. These are teachings against Christ's teachings of humility. I prefer not to expand on all the false teachings of the Church, but babbling ridiculous repetitive prayers to your sinless, immaculate, ever-virgin, assumed "Queen of Heaven" are just a few unbiblical teachings that go against the teachings of Christ. Paul never taught or demanded to be titled Father, or worse than that, Holy Father.

      You have some odd desire to claim my "ignorance of Church history (and plain history)". I'm not ignorant to the fact that the hypocrites wear different color dresses, which by the way has no bearing on the length of their robes, other than to distinguish that bishops and cardinals wear purple and scarlet red, colors of the whore who sits on the beast (Rev 17). Sad to say, I know way more about your Church than I ever cared to know. and that disgusts me.

      I do not take your Nicene Creed for granted, especially the line, I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, especially one filled with false teachings, bad behavior and hypocrisy.

       

  14. LLC says:

    Dan,

    “Paul never taught or demanded to be titled Father” = 1 Corinthians 4:15; Philippians 2:22.

    You are truly getting pathetic. Goodbye.

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