*TheMediaReport.com Special Investigation* Overlearning the Lessons of the Abuse Scandals: Custodian Uses Bathroom, and Cardinal O’Malley Fires Everyone

Cardinal Seán O'Malley

Overreacting: Boston's Cardinal Seán O'Malley

In a way it was inevitable: After years of media hysteria over the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, Church officials have now decided on a policy of "shoot first, ask questions later" when it comes to even the scantest allegations of impropriety.

In January of this year, in an astonishing act of injustice, Boston's Cardinal Seán O'Malley forced the resignations of three individuals from a Catholic school in Revere, despite the fact that no one broke any law or did anything wrong.

If it were not clear already, it should be clear now: "Zero tolerance" has now fully morphed into paranoia and cruelty.

Man uses bathroom, and hysteria ensues at the archdiocese


The scene of the (non-)crime

Like many urban Catholic schools, Immaculate Conception School in Revere (on the working-class outskirts of Boston) lacks adequate space, so it had been a "common practice for a number of years" in the school for adults to use the student restroom so long as there was not a student already in there.

Well, at some point at the end of last year, a mother called the school to report that her kindergarten-aged son felt "uncomfortable" walking into the restroom and seeing the school's 64-year-old custodian using a urinal. (The restroom was just steps away opposite the janitor's office.) [Addendum, 3/18/15: The Revere Advocate reported in late January that the janitor used the bathroom in question "for upwards of 17 years without incident."]

At no time did anyone ever report or even suggest that anyone had committed any behavior in the least bit sexual or criminal. Never.

In other words, the boy walked into the restroom and saw what anyone would see if he walked into any public men's restroom – such as at the theater or Boston's Fenway Park.

The school was at a loss at how to respond to the mother's phone call, but at some point, someone came up with the idea that the concern should somehow be reported to law enforcement. Big mistake.

Overreacting, Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston immediately forced the resignations of three employees of the parish and its school: Father George Szal, the popular parish priest; Alison Kelly, the school's principal; and an unnamed second-grade teacher.

The Cardinal's reason for forcibly removing the trio was that the group had somehow failed to report the issue to law enforcement and the archdiocese "in a timely manner." Shockingly, the archdiocese reportedly gave the three "an ultimatum – resign or be fired."

Yet even after both local police and the local district attorney investigated the case and discovered that nothing even remotely criminal had occurred, Cardinal O'Malley still would not reverse his impetuous decision. The lives of four innocent people (the trio plus the custodian) would remain tarnished.

"A misunderstanding that got crazy"

TheMediaReport.com spoke to Revere Police's Sgt. Steven Pisano, a highly respected, 36-year veteran officer who worked on the investigation. Child welfare advocates have lauded Pisano in the past for his tireless work on behalf of child abuse victims, including victims of clergy abuse.

Pisano not only confirmed to us that "nothing criminal" occurred at the school, he stated that the entire episode was a "non-issue," a "misunderstanding that got crazy," and something that "took on a life of its own it shouldn't have."

[Read the Revere Police's response to TheMediaReport.com's public record request]

In addition, even the parent of the "uncomfortable" child at the center of the episode has "indicated that she had never intended to unlock such a maelstrom on the school" with her concern.

We also learned that the second-grade teacher who was fired forced to resign was a young teacher who traveled a great distance and under great sacrifice to work at the school. And despite being paid a low salary – as opposed to the astronomical salaries at the Cardinal's headquarters – she often spent much of her own money on school supplies for her students. A parent whose child was in the teacher's class told the Revere Journal:

"My daughter's teacher is the last one who should have gotten fired … There was a story going around that she was crying when she was cleaning out her room. She told everyone that she wasn't crying because she lost her job, but because she wasn't allowed to say good-bye to the kids. That woman would have taken a bullet for my kids and you don't find that all the time. For her to lose her job over this is tragic."

Asking for logic and justice

Parents at Immaculate Conception School are naturally up in arms over the way Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston have handled this incident, and they created a petition with 927 signatures demanding a meeting with O'Malley to address the matter.

Parent Jeffrey Turco, who has three children in the school, has probably summed up this entire episode the best:

"[Archdiocese of Boston officials are] so panicked about how criminally they handled [the priest sex abuse cases] years ago that now they don't care who they hurt – whether the kids, the parents or three good people, four if you count the custodian.

"The Cardinal and his people ought to stand up and say, 'Sorry, we've made a mistake here in our zeal to protect children.' However, they're so arrogant and so stuck in their office complexes in Braintree that I don't know if they have the fortitude to admit they made a mistake … It's so un-Christian the way they handled this."

In typical bureaucratic fashion, over a month later, there has been no response at all from Cardinal O'Malley to the parents' petition. No letter, no phone call, no email. Nothing.

Appealing to Pope Francis' 'Year of Mercy'

Is this the kind of Church Cardinal O'Malley wishes to lead? A Church where paranoia, personal reputation, and "ultimatums" trump justice, Christian charity, and common sense?

Just last Friday, Pope Francis announced jubilee year dedicated to Divine Mercy. "It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy," said the pope. "We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord's words: 'Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful' (cf. Lk 6:36)."

Is there a reason that Cardinal O'Malley cannot extend mercy to these completely innocent men and women in Revere?

In the spirit of this Lenten season, TheMediaReport.com calls upon Cardinal O'Malley to immediately reinstate Rev. Szal, Principal Kelly, the second-grade teacher, and the custodian to their jobs.

Justice and decency demand it.

**Respectfully contact Cardinal O'Malley at ArchbishopSean@RCAB.org or at 617-782-2544.**

[NOTE: Before publication of this story, Archdiocese of Boston spokesperson Terrence Donilon ($208,293 total compensation in 2012) did not return calls from TheMediaReport.com to answer questions about this story. Mercy.]


  1. Publion says:

    TMR has put up so many very worthwhile revelations over time, but this one actually stuns me.

    We don’t even have a parent who – like those in the McMartin Pre-School Satanic Ritual Day-Care Abuse parents – appeared clearly to be looking to create a cause célèbre.

    Rather, the forces set in train over so long and impressed so deeply into the public ethos and milieu have now clearly taken on a life of their own. (Much as – to their utter shock and dismay – the German elites discovered after they had tossed Hitler the bone of the Chancellorship while assuring themselves self-approvingly that “we are hiring him”.)

    Toss in a hierarch whose entire shtick (and I think it has now indeed devolved into a shtick and become his ‘signature issue’) is to be the opposite of the prior generation of hierarchs. He has gotten where he is merely by making himself the ‘non-Law’.

    And is not this irony rich? – non-Law-like he has indeed become.

    But then: the Law itself – in its spirit and its principles – has been for so long deranged by Victimist agitprop and the Gramscian treachery of legislators seeking to pander to new ‘demographics’ and interest-groups … that one can actually see how this action of this hierarch might seem ‘logical’. (Just as so many of the early 1930s German laws might – to a willing eye – appear as merely ‘the next logical step’ in the glittering and vital process of increasing the Protection of Reich und Volk.)

    Or perhaps, to eyes motivated by a more careerist or ‘realist’ or ‘revolutionary’ bent: these people who have been tossed from their jobs are simply ‘collateral damage’, a few of the ‘necessary eggs’ that will inevitably have to be broken to whomp-up the Glorious Omelette.

    As Mayor DeBlasio in New York and the President and the Attorney-General in regard to Ferguson have been playing with fire in trying to play to their ‘bases’ by toying with explosive emotions, so too now this hierarch demonstrates what happens when you have made up your mind to ‘play to a base’ come hell or high-water.

    And ‘zero tolerance’ is in and of itself a catchy term but an impossible policy: there is nothing in the wormy wood of humanity that is ‘totally pure’ and with an impurity rate of ‘zero’. And thus if you start trying to shoehorn every situation you encounter into your ideologically pre-conceived ‘shoe’, then you are going to wind up breaking bones. Breaking lives.

    The Playbook at this juncture would demand the vigorous head-tossing of the Wig of Clear-Sighted Outrage in this way: all this boo-hoo about a couple of people when nobody is paying attention to the horrendous and soul-killing sufferings of (and on and on; fill in the blank).

    But we don’t even know how many or if any of those allegedly victimized myrmidons exist. What we do have and what we do know is that these decent and capable people, while – as Admiralty law so nicely puts it – “pursuing their lawful occasions”, were tossed overboard as sacrifices to the demon-gods of Victimism in an almost pagan attempt to placate forces that should have been confronted forthrightly long ago.

    Churchill said of the appeasers: They have sacrificed honor for peace; they shall have neither. And along those same lines – adapting a statement of Ben Franklin’s (that he did not invent): those who sacrifice integrity for a little temporary esteem deserve neither honor nor esteem.

    Connecting this to a comment I have just submitted for the ‘Lily Fowler’ article (now two back in the series here): we are not seeing the type of resolute churchman exemplified by Archbishop Stephen Langton (as we are so well informed by ‘Malcolm Harris’ in his comment on that thread).

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Liar! And Churchill was a homegrown version of fascism.
      But you know nothing of history unless history is to be considered : " The Amazing Miracles of the catholic church". Why do you think the Socialist government was voted in, in England at the end of WW2 and Churchill was voted out? Because the Tory party were so loved by the average English person?

      If being called a follower of Alinsky means being a truth teller; then sign me up. You know if you tried telling the truth, yourself instead of pretending to tell the truth you might get somewhere meaningful. You just want power not meaning. I can see more money's being thrown in to your obfuscations. Your reasoning smells store bought.

    • Fred S. says:

      It's funny, but the bishops are generally unwilling to actually discipline (excommunicate) a public official who is Catholic and denies Catholic Faith or Morals.  Instead, they go after those who are willing to be submissive.
      This is something prevelent in the secular world amongst leaders and managers: those who do sacrifice and submit to authority get punished, while those who do not sacrifice and submit are rewarded with the fruits of appeasement.
      Perhaps what is needed is an apology from the Cardinal as well as a public display of Church discipline against a truly out-of-line Catholic.
      Too bad Cardinal O'Malley is not in Albany, NY.  He could dole out some discipline to Andrew Cuomo.

  2. Lauren says:

    O' Malley should resign himself. 

    So much for solidarity

  3. Jim Robertson says:

    Are we to pretend that this show of O'Malley's (pretending to be being forced into immorally firing people, who did nothing ) is due to the, somehow immoral, pressure of victims or the media? Boston's cardinal just a straw in the wind blown every which way????? You right wingers would be funny if you weren't so deeply dumb.

    The catholic hierarchy is so democratic it listens to the people!!!!!!!! When did that happen?

  4. Publion says:

    On the 16th at 840PM what do we get?

    In the first paragraph and first sentence: an epithet unsupported by any explanation or explication.

    And in the same paragraph in the second sentence: another epithet (this one based on the only 3×5 under the topic ‘Churchill’). And readers are welcome to consider especially the accuracy of characterizing Churchill as being “a homegrown version of fascism”.

    In the second paragraph another epithet: I “know nothing of history” although then – rather incoherently – “unless history is to be considered”. And readers are welcome to try to make heads or tails of that one.

    But in furtherance of this bit, we are then proffered “The Amazing Miracles of the catholic church” (sic). But nothing else in explication, leaving us to make heads or tails of that one.

    Abuseniks seem to be averse to explanation or explication; they – and the Playbook – are content to simply toss up epitheticals and figure they’ve done the job they set out to do. And that may be true: their only move is to toss-up plop-tossy epitheticals and hope those bits pass for illuminating commentary.

    In fact, in the crop of JR bits thus tossed-up on the evening of the 16th on the current and two most recently-past articles, he keeps on about my “posing” and “pretending” in regard to this or that; through the wonders of projection I think we see clearly that Abuseniks are pretty much besotted with “posing” and “pretending”. Which gives rise to the thought that they deployed it for their stories as well as their comments.

    Back to that same second paragraph: we are then given an example of JR’s historical and logical chops: Churchill was voted out in 1945 because the Brits preferred a Socialist government to Churchill’s “homegrown version of fascism”. But the Brits were tired of the rigors of war (6 years of it), on top of the Depression, and so they tried something else. Which got them yet more years of deprivation and scarcity until … they brought Churchill back again.

    And Churchill was a Conservative, not a Tory.

    Then on to Alinsky: once again, we get the old Abusenik bit about being “a truth-teller” (or – perhaps – posing as one or pretending to be one). But that’s not at all what I have been saying about Alinsky, whose Gramscian and revolutionary agitprop was designed to manipulate or force the imposition of the Alinskyite practioners’ very specific and particular definition of what they saw “truth” to be. Alinsky was a technician of agitprop; his underlying conceptions of ‘truth’ shared with Gramsci the ‘revolutionary’ definition of ‘truth’: if it’s good for the ‘revolution’ then it’s true (and good); if not not.

    Then an epithet to the effect that I might want to ‘try’ to “tell the truth” – but of course that “truth” to which he refers is the Abusenik ‘truth’ and thus we’re right back at square-one.

    And the whole confection topped-off here with – yet again – the insinuation that I am somehow paid for my comments. Once again: Abuseniks can’t seem to imagine anybody engaging in ideas for the sake of the ideas and the larger and deeper comprehension of things  – they can only imagine being paid for their stories and assorted bits. Which may well be what drew them to the Stampede in the first place, as Anderson and Doyle realized in their own ways several decades ago.

    Then on the 16th at 850PM we are given the proffer that the Revere episode is merely a “show” of that Cardinal’s “pretending to be forced into immorally firing people, who did nothing” (sic). In what way exactly would this be a “show”; why would Cardinal O’Malley ‘pretend’ “to be forced” to do it? What would be the benefit to him of starting such a dust-up?

    But – yes – the Cardinal’s action here is, I have said, “due to the … pressure of” Victimism (not “victims” and I didn’t say “somehow immoral”) and of Victimism as embraced and amplified by the media. Subtracting for the usual Abusenik misquotation in order to get something more convenient to toss their stuff at, it is Victimism at the core of things here; Abuseniks – as is evident from JR’s text here – can’t think or don’t like to think in terms of large conceptual categories; this reflects the agitprop and Playbook requirement to always keep it ‘personal’, so that the emotional manipulation arising from this or that ‘story’ sidesteps and precludes any deeper conceptual analysis of their stuff. After all, look what happens when you actually do try to analyze and assess their stuff.

    And then – but of course – those who do try to analyze and assess are merely “right-wingers”. Yah.

    And the whole bit then not-quite-sensically concluded with a bit about the hierarchy being “so democratic it listens to people”. “When did that happen?”,  JR asks.

    Answer: it didn’t happen. As I indicated in my comment, there are now “forces” put in play by the larger concepts of Victimism and the Stampede that are exerting pressures. But that doesn’t mean O’Malley had to work so hard to cave-in to them.

  5. Toler says:

    Ureal.  Nice job O Malley

  6. Raider Fan says:

    The catholic hierarchy is so democratic it listens to the people!!!!!!!

    Yes, it listened to New Ways Ministry, it listened to Pax Christi, it listened to innumerable persons who now run everything from the greeting ministry to the parking lot orange cones ministry.

  7. Joe says:

    What happen to Father George Szal? Was he removed from the parish and sent to another assignment? or has he been suspended?  or what?


  8. Mike Ference says:

    The Roman Coward Church gets it wrong again and again and again. Too bad cardinals are never wrong, O'Malley could just admit his mistake and make amends.

  9. Justyn Tyme says:

    Wake Up People! When dealing with the RCAB you are dealing with most who are Atheists, Narcissistic Sociopaths who mascarade as  Cardinal, Bishops and Priests! What did Jesus call such people: Whitened Sepulcers, Brood of Vipers, Blind Guides, Hypocrites. They give me lip service but their hearts are far from ME. They already have their reward!! Welcome Home? Right! Not in my Home!!

  10. Charlene says:

    Shame on O'Malley! Can't he and his cohorts see how wrong they are?? And he buries his head in the sand. This is the man who is advising the pope and heading Vatican ministries! Pope Francis should be made aware of this terrible injustice to four people. I hope htere are no plans to laicize Father Szal, but it would not surprise me! Shame on that Archdiocese and those who cannot right a wrong!

    • John says:

      I agree Charlene, but that is presuming that Pope Francis would intervene.  No, +Sean is in the Pope's camp; so don't hold your breath.  Just like when the family of the founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculta asked Pope Francis to his face, "When will our uncle be freed from his exile"?  "Soon", the Pope responded and that was two years ago. (Google that order and read how they were taken over by "good" Pope Francis' henchmen). No, it seems that no matter how wrong the hierarchs are, if they are buds of the Pope, they are protected.  Justyn sums it up succinctly.

  11. rondre says:

    Not having all the facts means impaired judgement.  Which is probably why so many Catholics online don't really know what they are talking about.   Too funny  MR as always you don't have all the facts. So now it's open season on Cardinal O'Malley gee wonder why? lol

    Never should an adult in a school use a studnets' bathroom ask aroun d and you will bget yourt answer.

  12. John Duffin says:

    With cigar in one hand, and an elegant glass of premium vintage wine in the other, I watch the RCC, ablaze as a Viking funeral pyre, vanishing before my gleefull eyes into the shadowy  depths of history. May the church remain it's the cold, dark, watery grave forever. 

    • JTLiuzza says:

      Join the list of millions who have shared your sorry aspirations over the last 2,000 years.  Didn't work out too well for them.  Neither will it for you.  And enjoy your "glee" while you can.

    • Judy says:

      Sorry John.  The actual observant, orthodox Catholics will never go down.  Non praevalebunt!

    • John Duffin says:

      I see. Your faith is like a rock. No matter how many children suffer and are tortuted to death by this death cult that is called the RCC.  Even if it is your neighbors children or even your own children's lives that are at stake. Not changing your mind is far more important than anyone else's lives, no matter who they are. This world is all about me!  It's called childhood indoctrination. They did it to me too. But after a half of a century I left the church, 'In Writing'.

      Watch or read Sam Harris's book 'Waking Up.

      Daniel Dennett's 'Breaking The Spell'.

      Richard Dawkin's 'The God Delusion'.

      You dont loose anything when you leave the church. You gain everything. A new appreication of life with far more meaning and understanding than any ancient text from superstitous bartbaric goat herders that couldnt write their name in the dirt with a stick.






  13. TLM says:

    Diabolical Scizophrenia now in full bloom in the Church of Christ. Seems to be highly contagious so I suspect it may be in the Holy Water.

  14. Kathleen says:

    With Prelates like O'Malley and Dolan, the Church in the US will continue to suffer.  You will not see the media rip these two men apart, but they will really do a number on Cardinal Burke and Archbiship Cardileone and the very few other fearless and holy Prelates that we have here in this country!

    • Kathleen Riney says:

      Thanks Kathleen!!  Dolan & O'Mally just may be the 2 nuts that Crack the already present Schism, Wide Open!!  What Dolan did yesterday was BLASPHAMY!!!  It doesn't make a bit of differrence who or how many people AGREE on that…..It is what it is!!   The Modernists can go on yapping forever, but, the Middle-Class that built the Church here, is NOT supporting it anymore….Men like the above are the reason…So, we have a few Legit Bishops & many more Priests than you would like to think….."Home Church Communities" have ALREADY STARTED!! Quietly, by invitation, & the Clergy are Adequately Supported….

  15. Chardin says:

    Sad story, but spare us the pious shock and surprise. The archdiocese of Boston came to the brink of annihilation over scandals, both real and imagined. Moreover, much political hay was made and agendas pushed that spanned married priesthood, women priests, same sex marriage etc. Great advantage of that awful time was and is taken by ill willed people with nefarious purposes to the extent that even Catholics of good will are drawn into suspicion of evil where none existed. Big over reaction? Maybe. Justified? It's too bad, but we got what we all demanded.

  16. Jim Robertson says:

    You catholics didn't demand same sex marriage or married priests or women priests. None of which are "nefarious". You are your own bogeyman, no need to call anyone else "nefarious' with your track record. You catholics demand nothing from your bosses. Hell you don't even care if your kids are raped.  You've kept the same enablers in power., still.

    It's you who are a moral desert. You've failed on every major moral issue in the 20th century. Then get on your high horse about marriage; divorce; women's equality and the use of birth control and gay people. The catholic church gets a big fat F in moral leadership.

  17. Simple solution.

    Homeschool. When the Catholic schools in the nation are finally, and thankfully, closed, we can get back to the business of being Catholic instead of subsidizing the mess. 

  18. Judy says:

    Not really much different than all the "Protecting God's Children" classes they now expect every volunteer to attend.  And be background checked.  And be fingerprinted.  Because we are all supposed to pretend that it wasn't the homosexual priests preying on our children.  No, it is the mother of five children who has volunteered to teach CCD that is the real threat.

  19. Bea says:

    Whatever happened to:

    "Innocent until proven guilty"

    Whatever happened to "Mercy" in this coming "Jubilee Year of Mercy"

    I suspect the coming "Jubile Year of Mercy" was created to defend the Synod on the "family" (AKA Sin-nod on homosexuals and adulterers). Heaven forbid that a Cardinal will acknowledge he made a mistake and be merciful to these 4 abused adults.

    • malcolm harris says:

      Promised myself that would not buy into this one. But a comment from a friend, a former schoolteacher, caused me to change my mind. She taught in an elementary school, in the Philippines, for many years. That school had a long-standing policy that no child went to the restroom alone. Another child had to accompany him/her. The origins of this policy were unknown.. Her best guess was that some small children were afraid of being bullied by older/bigger children.

      Which prompts my question: Would this particular small boy have still felt "uncomfortable" if he had been with a buddy?. Am just trying to throw an idea into the mix.

      Hopefully this will end in a compromise. With staff being returned….but changes being made.

    • Maureen Avila says:

      Perhaps Cardinal O'Malley is being charitable in firing 4 people over a non-issue..he might just want to make them and their families poor  so that Pope Francis will like them more.

  20. Texas says:

    Too bad the teacher isn't an illegal alien.  She would have gotten a promotion, a raise, automatic citizenship, free health care, tenure, and retirement benefits to retire early at full pay.  Not to mention catered to in her own language, with her own food, in her own "culture," and would be given complete and total support in all ways for reproducing as much and as fast as possible.  Plus be given license for an infinite number of relatives to enter the country and receive the same as she.  After all, they are (supposedly) the future of the Church and the nation are they not ?

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Texas you are a bigot.

      Are you a native American? If not your ancestors emigrated here.

      Why are you so anti-people?

      Illegal immegrants work harder and recieve less services than most Americans. Yet they pay all the taxes; you pretend to.

      Why don't you secede from the union. I for one would gladly see you and the state you use for a moniker go away.

      Don't you know all you red states take more from the government you loathe, than what you give to it in taxes?

      Hit the road you welfare bums. Get out and work as hard as an illegal has to. You couldn't touch the hem of their garments.

  21. Julie says:

    The Catholic Church tortures children to death? LOL. That is a new one. The ridiculous accusations posted by the anti-Catholics on here smack of desperation. And I SO believe Rondre is a journalism professor.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Julie raped catholic children have commited suicide because of their abuse. They've drugged and drunk themselves to death also suicides. The church's behavior as so well expressed by P kills. It kills people, Julie. it kills it's own children.

      Rondre probably texts her posts hence the typo's.

      I just spell badly. No excuse.I just have very little time left in life; and I'd rather not spend it looking up correct spellings. Why would I ? To keep a consistantly miserable asshole like P quiet? It can't be done. TMR was built for assholes like P.

  22. daisy says:

    I take the child has no father in the home? If the sight of a man urinating frightens him then something is amiss.

  23. LAM says:

    This article is important because this innocent priest has not been restored to priestly ministry as are many other priests who have been found innocent of accusations according to a priest in the Archdiocese.


    We need to bear in mind that on 60 Minutes this Cardinal rejected the teaching of St. John Paul II and the Church and stated if he were beginning a Church he would be comfortable with female priests.


    The refusal to restore ministry of accused priests found innocent or to overreact to accusations by acting as though they are valid could be driven by a desire to drive down the number of priests in an attempt by the dissenters who have emerged under Pope Francis to advocate for married and female priests.

  24. Jim Robertson says:

    You have no priests coming in. Why wouldn't you use women as priests? You will have to in the end.

    First you'll let your male priests marry; and then if that doesn't bring the number of priests up. you'll finally have to turn to women. Where you should have looked in the first place.

    Christ! I'd make a better pope than the ones you have had. Excluding my grandpa pope Greg X of course. :^)

    • eddie too says:

      easy to spout attacks.   it takes no intelleigence, no knowledge, no interest in the truth and no facts.  sure is easy to spout attacks.

      it is much harder to give people salvation.  in fact, descending to the level of sinners and offering One's life on the cross is what that takes.

      sure is easy to spout attacks and offer nothing of value.

  25. Mark says:

    This is indeed a scandal. I bet you won't be reading about this at Catholics 4 Change.

  26. Publion says:

    And yet once again (the 20th, 1237AM) JR tries to run a sly Playbook conflation by us: he ‘informs’ or ‘reports’ to ‘Julie’ that “raped Catholic children have committed suicide because of their abuse” (corrections supplied).

    And so yet once again it has to be pointed out: we run here into the Stampede (and generally Victimist) Causality Problem, i.e. the necessity of demonstrating that a result-B was caused by an action-A.

    Thus in the case of a “raped” child (and we are already into the Evidence Problem with this) it has to be demonstrated that the ‘rape’ was the direct cause of the suicide.

    And, more generally, that any present issues and difficulties observable in the allegant i) were the direct result of the alleged ‘rape’ or ‘abuse’) and ii) that the present issues and difficulties were not either x) caused by other things and/or y) were not actually preexistent in the allegant or perhaps even z) that the present issues and difficulties were not actually themselves the cause of the allegation (rather than the other way around).

    We see this Causality Problem demonstrated vividly in the Philadelphia Billy Doe cases (criminal and up-coming civil; readers may consult Ralph Cipriano’s BigTrial site reporting): is Doe m) a once large-futured and well-functioning child who was so widely and profoundly wrecked to become the person Doe is today, simply and directly as a result of his alleged ‘abuse’ or n) are we seeing a profoundly problematic and highly-challenged child (with addiction issues and the characterological sequelae of addiction-addled persons) who saw a chance to surf a wave and go for a score with an allegation … ?

    (I would note here the intriguing point that on the BigTrial site we have seen both the Doe cases and the ‘Fr. Andy’ case in Philly where the highly-problematic claims are made by allegants who have police officers (active or retired) in their immediate family – which gives rise to various possible connections.)

    This is no small Problem. And it is very real. (Again: notice what I am saying and not-saying here: I am not saying that this or that suicide is not real; I am saying that the problem lies in establishing the causal link between a particular suicide and an (alleged) instance of ‘abuse’ or ‘rape’.)

    The difficulties of assessing an answer or even a probable explanatory answer are precisely the difficulties that the traditional legal process (based as it is on the Scientific Method) was designed to address. And the complexities of it are precisely the aspects and elements that the Stampede agitprop is designed to manipulate third-party observers into ignoring.

    And thus the Stampede appeals simultaneously to two regrettably large audiences: f) those who in their ‘revolutionary’ zeal insist that their ‘truth’ must be accepted without question and immediately and g) those who do not process information according to the Scientific Method but rather process information in a less mature or even a primitive fashion.

    And then this whole shebang is amplified both by the mainstream media (for its own purposes) and by the internet modality.

    And here we are today.

    Then the rhetorical effort in the rest of that first paragraph by which ‘Julie’ is repetitively addressed in the tones of Pure-Earnestness, as if the Pure-Earnestness might move her quickly and quietly over the abyssal Problems.

    Then a stab at why ‘Rondre’s posts have so many “typos” (she texts, doncha see?): But what JR does not even notice or what he deliberately avoids here is that the content of Rondre’s thinking does not in any way seem congruent with her claim that she is some sort of media-teacher or professor, with the educational and expression-al and mental-processing chops that such a career would demand. (But of course: on the internet anybody can be anybody and it is what it is; which is why it is the content and not the self-claims that are utterly vital in the internet modality.)

    And – while he’s on the subject – JR then essays another stab at trying to characterize his own spelling issues: He has “no excuse”, he says.

    And then proceeds to deliver a series of excuses: he’s just reely reely busy … or, more specifically (and manipulatively): he doesn’t have much time left in life (“I just have very little time left in life”) … sigh. If one had so little time left in one’s life, then wouldn’t one want one’s ‘legacy’ to be as competently and maturely conceived and expressed as possible?

    Oh, and thus he doesn’t really have the time to be “looking up correct spellings”. But of course – and yet again – he is using a word-processing program and there is no word-processing program these days that does not provide its own spell-checking function. Which either undermines his excuse or else indicates that he has purposely overridden and purposely ignores the spell-check warnings that would appear on his screen. (As I have asked so many times before: if he works with a word-processing program that has no spell-check function, then could he provide the name of that program? Add this never-answered question to the list of questions he doesn’t answer.)

    And further: he doesn’t seem to realize that to misspell so egregiously while also delivering himself of so many wide and general and various assertions about all manner of issues and ‘realities’ really doesn’t do much for his credibility. (But perhaps this consistent misspelling has, in his mind, another desirable objective and purpose. But why wade into that swamp?)

    And further: we see in that third paragraph the effort to personalize the whole thing: he can’t see any reason to spell properly (which is itself a problem; see immediately above) just “to keep a consistently miserable a[…]hole” like me “happy” (correction supplied; juvenile scatological epithet edited). But it’s not to “keep … [me] … happy” – what JR clearly doesn’t even begin to notice is that his own credibility is weakened by this misspelling, implying as it does his inability or unwillingness to exercise care with his own material.

    And the whole bit concludes with another juvenile scatological whack at both me and TMR. Charming.

    Then on the 20th at 524PM he delivers to another commenter his considered assessment of various aspects of Church doctrine and praxis. Readers can consider it as they will.

    And then – have you been waittttttting for ittttttttttt? – he informs us that (if he does say so himself) he would “make a better pope than the ones you have had”. It is truly difficult here to discern whether this is simply a vivid (and very uncharacteristic) effort at self-parody or if this is actually a reflection of what he seriously believes about himself and his abilities. Readers with a clinical inclination might consider this as they will.

    Leo XIII, Benedict XV, Pius XI, John XXIII, John Paul II … ? JR could have done a better job? And yet he doth profess and plaint so often here his irritated bemusement that his assertions are not given the ‘respect’ that he feels they deserve …

    And the bit concludes with a reference – yet again – to his claimed distant (almost a millennium) descent from Pope Gregory X. And I can only repeat: It is truly difficult here to discern whether this is simply a vivid (and very uncharacteristic) effort at self-parody or if this is actually a reflection of what he seriously believes about himself and his abilities. Readers with a clinical inclination might consider this as they will.

    I would conclude my own comment here with this thought, connected to my prior comments on recent threads about the lack of Catholic education regarding the accomplishment of various Popes and clerics: this is a result of the ‘revolutionary’ sensibility that has swept the West in the past few decades.

    And the manner of it is on this wise:  since i) the ‘revolution’ (defined as you will) of the past few decades is so utterly and profoundly accurate and good, then ii) any prior history or persons are by definition failures (since they did not further the ‘revolution’s agenda) and thus iii) they needn’t be studied since they are irrelevant to the Pure and Total Excellence of the present ‘revolution’ and therefore they are thus also nothing but fodder for the ashcan of history and therefore … ignore them and their (remarkable) achievements.

    And as I have said in previous comments: this profound mess of a sensibility has taken root not only in the general culture but also within the Church herself, in the laity and the clergy (and even hierarchy) itself.

  27. Paul_smith says:

    New to the site. Would someone please provide a definition for the oft used term 'Abusenik'?


  28. Publion says:

    Responding to ‘Paul Smith’ (the 21st at 652PM):

    An ‘Abusenik’ is a person who a) claims to have been abused; b) considers any doubt or questioning of the claimed abuse to be an ‘attack’; c) insists that all or almost all cases of claimed abuse should be accepted without substantive questioning; and d) attempts in comments to avoid any further assessment with a variety of dodges and distractions that are called – for shorthand – the ‘Playbook’.

    While we’re on the subject: the ‘Stampede’ is shorthand for the phenomenon created in public opinion when media and politicians and tort-attorneys operated synergistically to d) create public impressions that presumed without question the veracity of all such claims; e) deranged evidentiary and due process rules and laws in order to make it easier for such claims to survive judicial scrutiny; and f) devised multiple-plaintiff lawsuits that by their very nature would induce Church and Insurer attorneys (especially the latter) to opt for settlement rather than try to defend against each of the multiple plaintiffs/allegations in trial process.

    And a ‘Stampedenik’ is somebody who thinks all the stuff in the paragraph immediately above is either g) a good thing or h) is merely the natural development of how things worked out and do not indicate the high probability of a manipulated and constructed phenomenon.

  29. The Catholic Advantage? says:

    According to Mr. Bill Donohue there is a Catholic Advantage.  Does Mr. Bill Donohue

    believe that priests and bishops should make parishoners aware if they are working

    with the governemnt to entrap innocent people?  Personally, I would be delighted to

    hear Mr. Bill Donohue's thoughts and reflections on this issue.  Perhaps someone at

    Fox News can squeeze him in some down time.  Usually, Mr.Donohue focuses on

    ridding the church of its homosexually active priests.  I was sort of wondering if the priests

    in charge of elementary schools could focus on a better curriculum than their boyfriends.

    FOE EXAMPLE……..It would be very helpful if they did not malicioulsly use their contacts

    in the government to "report" innocent parishoners, and, exploiting our nations Patriot Act.

    Also, it would have been nice if since WWI the following information were incorporated:

    An Alien Place  The Fort Missoula, MOntana Detention Camp 1941-1944

    Stalag Wisconsin Inside WWII Prisoner of War Camps By Betty Cowley

    The Train to Crystal City  FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program During WWII

    What were the priests doing during WWII until recently besides allowing the morale

    of soldiers, students, doctors and nurses (Americans of German and Italian descent)

    be demoralized?

  30. Jim Robertson says:

    Can I post anything today?

  31. Jim Robertson says:

    P I don't know computers at all. I type and send emails that's about it.

    Mr.Smith, "Abuseniks" is Publions self invented word to describe the media's response to the catholic church sex abuse crisis. P believes that a left wing feminist gay conspiracy has caused the outrage handed back to the church  by the world on behalf of the church's, too real, victims.

    He is stationed at this site attempting to turn a "stampede"  with lies.

    I did not invent pope Gregory X (or grand pa as I like to call him) Ancestry.com said he's my grand pa. St. Louis (of Paris France) is also a grandfather. So I've got a pope and a saint ( in the gene pool). P can spell well but he lies like a bad rug.So far all we get from him is snobbery

    If I were the pope; here's what I'd do:

    I would immediately open the priesthood to women and apologize deeply to them for the centuries of discount and being left out of decision making in the church. They too were made in god's image and likeness. And the church has suffered because it hasn't treat women well.

    I would immediately open all the vatican's secrets I can find especially those of the money laundering vatican bank. And publish them.

    I would immediately apologize with compensation to all the abuse victims who survived their rapes by catholic clerics.

    I would immediately allow priests to marry who they love of any gender of their choosing. A happy priest is a healthy one.

    I would apologize to Gay people and offer shelter and safety to any being persecuted.

    I would immediately apologize to Jews; Gypsies; Jehovah's witnesses; Communists for not speaking up for them during the Shoa.

    I would apologize to every protestant religion.

    I would send any  sex perpetrators hiding in the vatican to be prosecuted in the countries where they commited their crimes.

    I would sell or give away the wealth of the church to the poor.

    I would start the church again using the concept of The Mystical body of Christ as being paramount.

     My sisters/ brothers are me.

    I would democratize the church. Bishops would be elected just like pontiffs; and the "People of God" could expel a bad bishop when ever they choose.

    And on the 7th day I would rest. :^)

    And all of my actions above would cause a renaisance in the church.

    A place where honesty was held sacrosant. Where truth telling and support ruled the day. Where people were more important than even an imagined god.

    Where nurturence won over fear. Love over hate.

    I'd be a swell pope.

    • PATHETIC Priests says:

      Jim Robertson,

      Great–you left something out.  He should apologize to the American Government and children of the American families if he and his currupt cardinal knowingly gossiped about innocent families and placed them under surveillance via the Patriot Act via their lying, currupt NSA contacts.

  32. Publion says:

    On the 22nd at 136PM we are informed (by a commenter screen-named “Catholic Advantage” and to whom I shall refer here as ‘CA’) about a “Catholic Advantage” proposed by Bill Donohue; there is no explanation as to what Donohue means by that term or how he defines it. And that’s unfortunate here because it the basis for the rest of the paragraph, which immediately goes on to riff about CA’s own take on the “Catholic Advantage” (however it is defined or perhaps however CA defines it).

    Apparently, CA skips all the clarifying and explaining and proceeds to throw us into the middle of the stream forthwith: CA asks whether Donohue believes “that priests and bishops should make parishioners aware if [sic] they are working with the government to entrap innocent people?”.

    It would help to know the incident(s) prompting the question, since as it is posed here it is less than clear (and smacks queasily of the old Playbook ‘innuendo’ gambit).

    And the paragraph then segues – with no obvious logical connection or traceable thought process – to “homosexually active priests” and “priests in charge of elementary schools” who might “focus on a better curriculum than their boyfriends”. (I could presume that a “rather” would be well-placed after “curriculum” in that phrase, but that’s not what the commenter wrote.)

    Unless there is some unstated connection between a) “clergy working with the government to entrap innocent people” and b) “homosexually active priests” and “priests in charge of elementary schools” then I can’t see the point that CA is – presumably – trying to make to us.

    Nor are things at all improved by the second paragraph, which simply drags in the USA Patriot Act and – apparently (that “they”) – clergy using “their contact in government” to “’report’ innocent parishioners”. Innocent of what? Suspected of being guilty of what? We are not informed.

    We are then informed that “it would have been nice if” … and we off now into American history “since WW1”. Specifically, if the Church would kindly ‘incorporate’ … what appear to be two publications, about which we get nothing but the titles.

    The bottom line of which – have you been waitttttting forrrrrr ittttttttttt? – appears to be that “the priests during WWII until recently” were doing little “besides allowing the morale of soldiers, students, doctors and nurses” – which rather broad grouping is then qualified parenthetically as “Americans of German and Italian descent” – to “be demoralized”.

    Readers who can see their way clear to work with CA’s material as it is proffered here are welcome to do so. But I can’t see what issues CA is on about here; presuming that we aren’t merely getting i) yet another clear example of unclear expression and mental-processing or perhaps ii) just another nice example of Playbook ‘innuendo’. Or both.

    However, a familiar note is sounded: there is a recently-published book entitled The Train to Crystal City, which may be the basis of an earlier recent commenter who makes reference to a “Crystal City”.

    This book is about US government internment policies in regard to persons classified as “enemy aliens” of German and Italian extraction (apparently not citizens, although that distinction appears to have been only loosely made by the government in some instances). The Crystal City (Texas) camp was set up not by the Immigration authorities (under whose aegis the West Coast Japanese internment camps were conducted) but rather by the Department of Justice (apparently on the more selective basis of internees there being adjudged potentially criminally dangerous by means of maintaining actual contacts with enemy agents – although again the government was rather loose in its definitional boundaries in all of this).

    I have found no reviews of this book that mention the Catholic Church’s involvement as being of significance to the reviewer’s assessment of the book or of the events described in the book. This in and of itself does not prove that the Church was not somehow mentioned in the book but it certainly doesn’t seem to have been a major concern of the author’s.

    From all of this it seems to me that what we are seeing with this “Crystal City” bit is some excitation down in the lower depths of the anti-Catholic precincts of the internet that is somehow seeking to do some Church-bashing by connecting the Church in the US during WW2 as being complicit in the various government internment policies and programs.

    If so, then my questions in a prior comment to the earlier “Crystal City” mentioner are applicable: In what ways is the Church supposed to have been complicit? Was such complicity (presuming it is established) out-of-bounds for a wartime situation? (Which also will require establishing that in the Texas camp the US government was itself not acting understandably and/or appropriately for a government in that era and in a time of war.)

    Without such assessment and explication, there’s not really much more to be done on this subject here.

    Then on the 22nd at 740PM we get a self-pitying manipulative plaint from JR: can he “post anything today?”. As if this site were an aural/verbal (rather than a visual/written) exchange and he can’t get a word in edgewise.

    But, of course, JR and/or his muse(s) can put up anything desired.

    And sure enough, at 838PM JR and/or his muse(s) proceed to do precisely that, and at uncharacteristic length.

    So let’s go along paragraph by paragraph.

    In the first paragraph: In regard to a) my point about word-processor software and spell-check and b) my question as to just what word-processor program he uses (that apparently doesn’t include a spell-check function) we merely get the dodgy plaint that he doesn’t “know computers at all” and that he only “send[s] emails and that’s about it”.

    Apparently he must be reminded that he also puts up a lot of posts here (and until barred from the sites, elsewhere) and thus the composition of those posts require his use of a word-processor program that has to be deliberately engaged on his computer. Unless, of course, he merely gets all his comments from others by email and then simply cuts-and-pastes the texts of such emails so that they appear here under his name as his own compositions and material. Who knows? But the explanatory options are limited.

    In the second paragraph: JR – as is his right – proffers to ‘Paul Smith’ JR’s own take on “Abuseniks” and the definition of that term. His description of “Abuseniks” as my word “to describe the media’s response to the cathocli church sex abuse crisis” is wrong: the term describes certain persons, not the “media’s response” (that would, instead, be a partial element in my definition of “Stampede”) and I clearly made that distinction in my comment to ‘Paul Smith’ on the 22nd at 1043AM.

    We see again that the Abusenik mind and the Playbook agenda do not pay attention to the actual meanings of the words and terms they encounter. Which is also a characteristic of the plop-tossy mentality: if it looks like it can be tossed as some plop, then toss it regardless of whether – when looked at closely – it actually means anything.

    We see, as well, the rather breezy disregard for definitions that may have played so handy a role in the fashioning of claims and allegations and stories: it’s not the actual meanings of the words, it’s just the spirit of the thing.

    In that same paragraph, JR would need to provide an actual quotation from my material (accurate, of course) that indicates my position as being that “a left wing feminist gay conspiracy has caused the outrage” of the Catholic Abuse Crisis. But I would advise that readers not postpone their next meal waiting for it.

    In the third paragraph we merely get more epithet, in the form of an utterly ungrounded assertion that I am “stationed on this site” for the purpose of trying to “turn a ‘stampede’ with lies”. If anyone can make sense of that formulation they are welcome to share it; and we see yet again the accusation of “lies” without actually naming any such purported “lies”.

    In the fourth paragraph: JR slyly conflates i) the actual historical existence of Pope Gregory X, who reigned from 1271 to 1276 (which I have seen nobody here doubt) with ii) the assertion that Pope Gregory X is JR’s distant ancestor (manipulatively referred to by JR as “grand pa”). Who knows? He proffers only the existence of the site Ancestry.com (which nobody doubts) but not any actual link that would establish his own descent from that Pope.

    And even if he were descended so very distantly from that Pope … so what? From all the material in the record here that has gone up under his name, such a purported descent doesn’t seem at all to have bestowed any critical or expressive or analytical (or perhaps characterological) chops.

     And ditto for the King and the Saint (“of” – we are informed by the Wig of Knowing – “Paris France” [sic]).

    And the whole bit in the paragraph topped off by an epithet: I may be able to “spell well” but I ‘lie’ “like a bad rug”. Tee hee.

    And apparently pointing out the numerous and substantial problems with Abusenik material is “snobbery”. Although this may actually shed some light on the JR spelling-issue: he deliberately misspells as a back-up defense: i.e. if his material isn’t accepted he can then don the Wig of Victimization and claim that he is the victim of “snobbery” perpetrated by those who assess or correct or address the material. That’s neat. This is the type of mentality attracted to the Stampede.

    But then but then: in the fifth paragraph we are led into a papal agenda that JR would seek to implement if he “were the pope”. So profound, indeed abyssal, a counterfactual might be dismissed as the type of visions and plans overheard in the day-rooms of secure institutions, but readers may consider it as they will.

    The series of agenda-items reads like a hodge-podge of the usual liberal/radical agendas for the Church and I doubt anybody here would be unfamiliar with most of them. (Although they are expressed here with a rhetorical skill not very often seen in JR’s material.)

    That takes us through paragraphs six to fifteen and paragraph seventeen.

    All I would say is that the mainstream Protestant polities have attempted to implement each and all of these agenda-points in their own way and have simply rendered themselves invertebrate and increasingly irrelevant. And I would repeat and refer-to my recent comments as to the remarkable capacity of the Catholic Church to simultaneously i) maintain a coherence and substantive essence while ii) also providing for well-considered change congruent with that essence. No other religious entity or polity in the history of the world has managed to do that (and few have even seen fit to try). Any nominations for any other such religious entity or polity are, of course, welcome to be proposed here.

    In the sixteenth paragraph: We get a cutesy effort to sound au courant with a variation on the Charlie Hebdo mantra.

    In the eighteenth paragraph: We get a cutesy effort with that bit from the Book of Genesis (with – have you been waitttttttttttttttttttting forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr itttttttttttttttttttttttttttt? – JR playing the role of God).

    In the nineteenth paragraph (are we continuing to overhear conversations from that day-room?) we are forthrightly and cheerbily informed (by JR’s personal collection of tea leaves, perhaps) that “all of [his] actions above would cause a renaissance in the Church” (correction supplied).

    In response I would simply refer back to my immediately prior points in this comment about those actions having been tried before with much-less-than-happy historical results and consequences.

    In the twentieth paragraph we are further informed that this envisioned (to put it politely) ‘religion’ would be a place “where people were more important than even an imagined god”. Which – how to put this? – would somewhat fundamentally undermine its efficacy and legitimacy as a ‘religion’, would it not? A religion without any divinity at its core, with no Metaplane, would be rather hard to define as a religion, would it not? A ‘lifestyle’ perhaps, or even a ‘philosophy’ … but a religion it would not be.

    But what are definitions and concepts to Abuseniks? They are gall and wormwood and thoroughly unfamiliar and uncongenial territory indeed.

    Then in the penultimate paragraph we get the gauzy tootle about “nurturance” (my spell-check flagged “nurturence” instantly) and the rest of it. A nice rhetorical flourish and hopefully the orchestra down in the stage-pit quickly takes its cue to strike up the head-for-the-curtains music.

    And the whole show concludes with JR’s ‘logical’ conclusion that he would “be a swell pope”. And readers may consider that assertion as they may.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Unitarians and Buddhists are considered religions and they don't necessarily believe in a god.

      Are you jealous because you can't pretend to be both a good pope and a Genisis diety at the same time?

      I'm in no day room, dear. I'm a free range human being.

      I can play.  Something I doubt you've ever done. Is your imagination only used for your religious beliefs?

      Spelling again? Who gives a flying fuck? (I know I spelled that right.)

    • Publion says:

      On the 24th at 307PM:


      In the first paragraph, we are given the examples of “Unitarians and Buddhism”. And – if you can make any sense of the weirdly qualified assertion – they “don’t necessarily believe in a god”.


      Unitarianism – as might be evident from its very name – does not believe in the Trinity but does believe in God as being one-personed.


      Buddhism sees itself as a ‘dharma’ or ‘way of life’, thus qualifying in my conception as a lifestyle rather than a Metaplanar-based and Metaplanar-grounded religion.


      Then in the second paragraph, JR inquires if I am “jealous” because I (rather than he?) “cannot pretend to be both a good pope and a Genesis deity at the same time”. The question, it seems clear, does indeed take on the aura of the day-room and is best simply left right up there where it was put.


      In the third paragraph – and perhaps demonstrating on some inchoate level an awareness of what has just been revealed in the second paragraph – JR informs us that he is “in no day room”, adding – in that queasily characteristic tic – a gender-bendy “dear”.  I never said JR is actually in a day-room; I had merely noted that certain material proffered by him clearly comes wreathed in the aura of the day-room.


      In the fourth paragraph – deploying one of the oldest dodges in the book – JR now implies that he was just ‘playing’. If one were as inclined as Abuseniks to don Wigs, then this would be a fine point to don the Wig of Outraged Decency and huff that nothing connected to abuse is a fit subject for “play”.


      The interesting attempt at conceptual jiu-jitsu – seeking to simultaneously i) characterize me as insufficiently imaginative while ii) implying that all religion is reducible to ‘imagination’ is far too clever for anything we have come to see from JR. And his muse is hereby informed that we have been around the track with the ‘religion and imagination’ bit several times before and it’s in the record here.


      And then and then and then and then – and yet again – in the last paragraph JR once more dodges his Spelling Problem by attempting to dismiss it … and – have you been waitttttting for itttttt? – with a bit of juvenile scatology.


      But he is indeed accurate: he does seem to know how to spell juvenile scatological terms. Tote that up in the achievement column for sure.


      But at this point his many dodges themselves constitute a pointer to the answer: his Spelling Problem is most likely deliberately constructed and deployed (for whatever reasons he may have). There is no word-processor program commercially available that has no spell-check capability.


      Then at 311PM:


      In the first paragraph, we get further not-quite-sensical bits about being (or not-being) simultaneously an atheist and a pope. This is of only clinical (and not theological) interest: it points to an inability to maintain clear mental boundaries between a) the contents of one’s imaginings and b) reality. No surprises here.

      The paragraph continues with a bit about “contradiction” which was not a point raised here and apparently indicates JR having a pillow-fight with himself. No surprises here either.


      Which bit he then attempts to rescue with something about “popes who murdered”. Always recalling that with Abuseniks there is the Problem of Mutating Definitions (in this case, the definition of ‘murder’) then might JR have some particular “popes” in mind?


      Which conceptual mush then leads into the second paragraph and the question about whether “atheism or murder” is “the bigger contradiction”? Contradict-ive to what? JR provides no basis for his proffered comparison/contrast. No surprises here either.


    • Jim Robertson says:

      How is it you know so much about day rooms? Miss them do you? I've only seen them in movies "One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest" etc. They look the perfect spot for religious day dreamers like yourself.

      Have I failed to tell you to fuck off lately? I wouldn't want to miss an opportunity.

  33. Jim Robertson says:

    Just because I imagined myself pope doesn't mean I would stop being an atheist if I were pope.
    Contradiction? Most certainly; but then you've had popes who murdered.

    Which is the bigger contradiction? Atheism or murder?

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Pius XII comes to mind as a murderer by not speaking up for Jews, Gypsies; Gays; Communists to his pals Benito and Adolph; and Francisco. Yes! Pius the XII was a killer.

      Your newest saint. JP2 would qualify as a murderer by forbiding condom usage as a preventative to contacting the AIDS' virus. So innocent wives were murdered by their HIV + husbands' obedience to the soon to be sainted holy father.

      Let alone those popes who led armies killing people to maintain "sacred" property.

      All the above behaviors are exactly what Jesus would have done. Sure he would!


    • Jim Robertson says:

      It should read to the too soon to be sainted holy father. Apologies.

  34. Jim Robertson says:

    I'm noticing in Australia the settlement for an average of $65,000 per victim as compensation has failed to jell. Even though SNAP and the other women led "committees", who "support" victims'  "interests". have already declared along with the catholic and anglican churches their support of such low compensation. Meanwhile one victim refused $50,000 offer from the catholic church sued and was awarded $750,000 as compensation for the abuse the church bargain priced at $50 grand. Remember SNAP supports a $65,000 per victim settlement plan.

    All of which proves my contentions about SNAP: That SNAP is a church based false flagged opperation created to keep settlements at rock bottom prices. SNAP if you will remember  (I wrote about it here" raced to accept the possibility of $65,000 settlements the moment , the very first moment, such a number was even suggested. Wow! Collective bargaining aint what it used to be.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      I should have said " active catholic women led committees".

    • Publion says:

      On the 25th at 434PM in the first paragraph we are informed about what JR has been “noticing” recently. And yet – as so very often – we get no link to an actual corroborative document or source for this “noticing”. Demonstrating yet again that Abuseniks and the Playbook don’t work to inform, but only to manipulate. 

      In the second paragraph we are yet again given a nice and clear example of how little Abuseniks really care for clear thinking: after the bits that were proffered in the first paragraph, and with no explication that might give us some grasp of the reasoning he used to reach his assertion, he merely asserts that the collection of bits in the first paragraph “all … proves” his “contentions” (an uncharacteristic usage for JR’s material) about SNAP. 

      Those “contentions”, of course, as simply the same ones we have already seen, tossed up but never coherently supported or explained: SNAP is a front for the Church (although, this time around, with an added twist: SNAP was “created to keep settlements at rock bottom prices”). 

      I am not familiar with what’s been going on in Australia so I don’t know which, if any, of JR’s bits are actual and accurate. 

      But simply going on the material in the 434PM comment I can easily see a far more credible possibility: SNAP feared that it was not going to have a large chance of re-creating the American Stampede in Australia and tried to get the most money for the most allegants. 

      And if indeed there was a case that went to trial and garnered more than 10 times more than the original offer, we would need to know more details of both the case and applicable Australian tort law in order to rule-out the possibility that the one specific case mentioned (if indeed it is accurately described) possessed elements that enabled its success; elements which would not be present in most other allegations.

      Whatever the case may be, the material JR proffers in his first paragraph certainly does not prove his asserted speculation about SNAP being a creature of the Church – and we have been around the track with that speculation a number of times and at some length over time here. 

      And on the 25that 441PM just some more plop-tossy bits about the day-room mentality. JR assures us his only knowledge of a day-room comes from watching movies. Be that as it may or may-not, he seems to be under the impression that the denizens of day-rooms are more or less “day dreamers” – but that impression is not at all accurate; the denizens of day-rooms are far more profoundly challenged or deranged. 

      ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nes’t merely pulled the same gambit for mental illness that ‘Cabaret’ pulled for sexual anarchy: set up the script dynamics so that you can have a Good versus an Evil; in the former film the Good was mental illness (the script’s conceit being that the mentally ill are normal and the clinical staff are Evil because they are oppressive) as in the latter film the Good was sexual license or anarchy (the conceit being that anything that the Evil Nazis sought to stop must itself have been Good). 

      And then, as if on some level he were aware of that, he volunteers a pitch-perfect example of juvenile scatology. Which, for a fuller stereophonic or stereoscopic effect, needs to be considered in conjunction with his cheeribly violent death-wishes for me, that are proffered in his comment of the 25th at 422PM on the second thread on the site here, the one about SNAP winning its appeal.  

      We are, indeed, beyond the cafeteria. 

      Moving right along:

      On the 27th at 1118AM JR now demonstrates his signature lack of awareness of the meaning of words; or – perhaps – the Abusenik mind’s lack of concern for definitions so long as a vivid and catchy bit can be tossed-up: to be a “murderer” one must – how to put this nicely? – murder somebody. “Not speaking up” does not qualify as “murder” (except in the Abusenik universe). Nor was Pius XII “pals” with Mussolini, Hitler and Franco. 

      But as I have often said here: definitions are not congenial to Abuseniks because definitions limit the possibilities of the story and the allegation. 

      And in riffing on, JR simply gives a further example of his above-noted problem: John Paul II does not qualify as a “murderer” simply because JR doesn’t like what that Pope said (and might we have an accurate quotation and citation of just what John Paul II said about condom usage in the context of AIDS?). 

      And thus we see that in eschewing definitions while tossing around catchy terms with a robust (not to say gay) abandon, Abuseniks wind up creating cartoon-level caricatures of mature thought and expression. 

      The only Pope who comes to mind as having gone on a battlefield was Julius II who once led an army into the field to try to drive out the various armies that had invaded the Italian peninsula. To assert that he did so merely to “maintain ‘sacred’ property” is sufficiently wide of the mark as to be cartoonish. 

      And the conclusion about what Jesus would or would not have done is nothing more than a ‘reductio ad absurdum’ since Jesus – unlike the Popes by the sixteenth-century – never wielded the ability to field armies against invading forces and in His time an army such as Julius II led would have been impossible for the Christian community to put into the field. 

      Then on the 27th at 1056AM JR implies that another commenter is “stupid” because – waitttt for ittttt – that commenter did not use the term “politically correct” the way JR would define it.

      And JR then defines it in a way that it is not used in general discourse: his personal definition of the term is – so very conveniently – that one ‘addresses’ “your fellow humans as equal”. Readers are welcome to search with any engine the phrase “politically correct” to find such a definition (aside from JR’s mention of it here). The most accurate definition I could find was one from Merriam-Webster that defined the operative core dynamic involved in the phrase: to seek the suppression or prevention of any discourse that might offend the sensibilities or preferences of anybody else. 

      The provenance of the phrase goes back to the early Soviet Communists: if you didn’t conduct discourse in full conformity with the political presumptions and agenda of the Party then your thoughts and ideas were not “politically correct” and … things usually went downhill for you from there. Shoals of Party members (especially the “old Bolsheviks” and members of communist-type groups who differed from Lenin in their presumptions and desired agendas) were eliminated in the Purges of the later 1930s under Stalin. 

      But, of course, by defining a term or phrase in just the way he wants to, then JR’s path is smoothed to build his preferred position on whatever definition he has come up with. Which he proceeds to do immediately. 
      Thus, in this O’Malley matter, JR’s spin is that O’Malley purposely deployed his ‘zero tolerance’ rule in order to – waitttttttttttt for ittttttttttttttttttttttt! – “outrage people against victims”. 

      Thus – doncha see? – if the Church doesn’t go for zero-tolerance then it is dissing ‘victims’ and if the Church does deploy zero-tolerance and people get to see just how bad the results of such a policy can be, then the Church is making victims look bad. This is a fine example of the old Heads I Win/Tails You Lose scam: heads you are dissing victims by not doing what they want, tails you are outraging people against victims by doing what victims want. 

      And the rest of that comment is just a riff, the quality of which readers may judge for themselves.
      And at 1127AM on the 27th we get JR suggesting that it is TMR that is actually a candidate for the day-room. Whether candidacy for the day-room best lies with TMR or with JR is something, of course, that readers can decide for themselves. 

      And – of course – what JR doth “talk about” as being actual facts, and whether JR’s conclusions logically and coherently proceed from those purported facts … these are issues that must always be considered with some care.

  35. Kathy says:

    IN DEFENSE OF Laurie Goodstein.

    More balance would add to her credibility.  In addition to the disgusting sex crimes, one archdiocese had various parents in my neighborhood "reporting" details of our personal life back to them.  Ironically, in  one instance their "informant" appeared unconcerned that her special needs child had an appropriate fitting flotation device.  Strategically, she was selected because she is not catholic.  The GOOD NEWS???  SOMEHOW this family came up with the money they needed to build a LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS!!!!

    They are far away from the ocean!!!!!! 



  36. Kathy says:

    YO…….Rich People West of Boston…..

    We had our home built by Francis Cormier!!!!!!!

    Are any of you interested in the real estate details of our transaction??

    PLEASE…….be sure to leave your reply on this site.

    I was thinking of an OPEN house.  The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    What does this have to do with the Boston Archdiocese????  E_V_R_Y_T_H_I_N_G!!!

  37. sixlittlerabbits says:

    Just curious, was the little boy being raised by a single mother? It seems strange that he would be bothered by encountering  a man in the bathroom. (Aren't most little boys encouraged by rheir dads during toiilet training?) . O'Malley is a disgrace and lacks common sense. So three people are sacrificed to political correctness and stupidity. This is what things have come to under O'Malley, an insider in the Francine papacy. Maybe Francis should be asked to provide a private bathroom for the boy!

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Are you really that stupid to buy O'Malley as "politically correct"? ( I see being "politically correct" as meaning adressing your fellow humans as equal. There's something wrong with that?) His behavior was meant to outrage people against victims. Like the church is so powerless in the sway of a self created "PC" scam? Please! He says he's forced to behave badly. "the devil made him do it". it being the firing of the innocent as if he's being forced to by the Boston Globe or victims in general. Utter nonsense! Poor poor cardinal. Us nasty rape victims have tied his clerical hands. Tsk! Tsk! He's powerless to do right. A powerless Boston cardinal? Hell must have frozen over.

  38. Jim Robertson says:

    Kathy seems to be marching to her own drummer.

    Let's see I talk about SNAP's affect on settlement talks for Australian victims and the bargain basement settlement numbers agreed to by SNAP the very day such low numbers were suggested; and we get non sequators galore.

    I may be in a day room after all. It's called: The Media Report.

  39. Kathy says:

    UM…..Is there any reason in particular rich white females committng crimes in Washington,DC

    are not incarcerated at the same rate as poor black males in the inner cities?

    Just wondering

  40. EireCatholic says:

    I'm glad Cardinal O'Malley wasn't chosen as pope.

  41. Jim Robertson says:

    O'Malley's just as crafty as the pope. "Zero Tolerance made me do evil by firing innocent people." Your PR people are so rusty they think that crap will fly?

  42. Publion says:

    We have often discussed the Anderson Strategies and how they slyly and shrewdly took advantage not only of i) ‘reforms’ demanded by Victimists in evidentiary principles and jurispraxis in regard to sex-claims cases (civil or criminal) but also of ii) the gap between the objectives of Insurer attorneys and Church attorneys  and – so rarely – attorneys for individual accused priests.

    This is a link to an excellent article that discusses at length but quite readably for a lay-person the various complexities involved in civil lawsuits that involve Insurer attorneys.


    As you can see if you read the article, there are numerous complexities that would confront any attorneys seeking to defend against allegations; so numerous that settlement would be the only rational solution.

    Thus, I will say, readers can see how the Stampede lawsuits were not at all merely the inevitable working-out of ‘justice’ in a simple and clear fashion nor were those lawsuits in any way valid indicators of the veracity of what the assorted allegations claimed.

    • Publion says:

      And in regard to my immediately prior comment (the 31st at 1246PM) I came across a cartoon (from the ‘Pearls Before Swine’ comic strip) that nicely touches upon the Evidence Problem:

      The character ‘Goat’ says to the character ‘Pig’ that he needs some tips on how to lose weight.

      ‘Pig’ says No problem. He uses “the helium diet”.

      How does “the helium diet” work?, asks ‘Goat’.

      ‘Pig’ demonstrates: he stands on a bathroom scale while holding a large bunch of balloons.

      ‘Goat’ observes that he doesn’t “think that counts”.

      To which ‘Pig’ declares confidently: “The scale doesn’t lie”.

      The various Victimist ‘reforms’ (especially as they weaken evidentiary principles in order to avoid the Third-Party Observer Problem) act precisely as those helium balloons, yet we are supposed to accept that the legal process “doesn’t lie”.

      Readers can consider this as they will. 

  43. Publion says:

    We have moved – rather refreshingly – toward some interesting and serious religious and theological reflective material.


    First – noting ‘Jimmy Mitchell’s (the 1st, 419PM) nicely phrased and toned request to “Please elaborate, if you will” – I would simply add this about “the JP2 reign of reaction” (and in doing so I am not sure of JM’s valence here, i.e. whether it is factual or ironic or something else): JP2 did indeed ‘react’ to what he saw happening in the world around him and in Europe especially. He ‘reacted’ vigorously and robustly, both in his stupendous amount of travels and interactions with millions and also through voluminous explications and exhortations  in encyclicals, Apostolic Letters, books, articles, speeches, addresses and letters.


    But that brings us to the word “reaction”, which nowadays carries so much freight at to be almost a code-word. From a basically scientific usage (readers may recall high-school chemistry) it acquired a political sense (e.g. ‘the forces of reaction’) in the West, especially after the French Revolution began.


    The sense was thus of counter-Revolutionary response (a sense then that gained even more traction after 1848 and with the coming of the Soviet revolutionary control of Russia in 1917).


    This sense has certainly taken on new life since the later 1960s in the West: since all demanded ‘change’ was considered both ‘revolutionary’ and good, then any doubt, hesitation, objection or opposition to that ‘change’ was dubbed ‘reactionary’.


    And that term ‘reactionary’ willy-nilly acquired a negative valence implying a hodge-podge sense of being unenlightened, anti-progressive, anti-liberal, conservative, fuddy-duddy, old-school, bitter-clingy, and fill-in-the-blank. Thus, anybody who in any way held back or had any reservations about any ‘revolutionary changes’ was some sort of troglodyte, insensitive, backward-looking, Puritanical, bossy buttinsky who was trying to derail the Engine of History yet was thereby dooming him/herself to the trash-bin of History.


    I would simply say that while JP2 was most certainly ‘reacting’, he was not ‘reactionary’ in the immediately above sense. In ‘reaction’ to what he saw happening around him, JP2 proposed a powerfully-reasoned and comprehensively thought-out and very positive vision and schema of what world and especially Western culture and civilization had to take into account as they re-shaped themselves (or at least as their elites tried to impose such a re-shaping upon them).


    Readers may consult any of JP2’s works or consider a competent intellectual and spiritual biography. I could well recommend the books by George Weigel, Witness To Hope and The End and the Beginning – although all of his book are very much worth the read.

  44. Publion says:

    That being said, on to JR’s material, where he gives his own take on various aspects, religious and theological and otherwise.


    On the 31st at 1041AM: I would take issue with the characterization of pilgrims visiting an “underwater crucifix” as “only illuminat[-ing] the decadence of your church since the JP2 reign of reaction”.


    I have addressed the “JP2 reign of reaction” phrase immediately above.


    In regard to the whole concept of assorted sites that become the objects of popular pilgrimage: the Church has always had to face and deal-with the fact that ‘popular religion’ (i.e. religious acts and sensibilities that arise spontaneously among groups of people; you might call it the ‘folk religion’ impulse) is a volatile but stubbornly persistent characteristic of humans (Christians included).


    What to do about this characteristic but also impulsive energy? If you try to completely squelch it you will fail since ‘popular’ and ‘folk’ religious impulses will find an outlet one way or antoher. If you simply approve of every instance of such pilgrimage, then you wind up putting the official Church seal of approval on God-knows-what sorts of excitements that may indeed work to weaken rather than strengthen faith and the Faith.


    An early Church solution – especially during the early missionary era – was to ‘baptize’ popular pre-existing pagan sites by building churches or chapels on them and by giving pre-existing pagan festal times a Christian interpretation, incorporating some of them into the Church’s own festal calendar.


    As the Church became more organized, hierarchs came to handle such spontaneously-arising sites and objects with a certain reserve and skepticism, at least until further (often lengthy) study was conducted. One recalls, famously, the 19th-century difficulties Bernadette Soubirous had in getting the local Bishop and then the Vatican to accept her claims in regard to the apparition that came to her at Lourdes.


    In the ‘modern’ West we don’t see much of this nowadays, except for the occasional excitements as somebody (not necessarily Catholic) discovers a divine image in a sandwich or some such. But in many other places – where ‘modernity’ has not so deeply penetrated – there remain not only such questionable outbreaks but also more substantial phenomena (such as Medjugorje, in recent decades).


    In any case, the Church must – as always – take into account popular piety and the needs of various people who need – as humans so often do – a more tangible object of their faith-experience, above and beyond established liturgy, ritual, and doctrine.


    So the Church must be ‘responsive’ without simply giving away the store and regressing Catholicism to a hodgepodge of popular and folk excitements. It requires striking a dynamic and tensive balance, something which Catholicism has done rather adroitly for millennia now.


    So I would say that “decadence” doesn’t enter into it at all.


    In fact, in regard to this underwater crucifix (with which phenomenon I am not familiar) I would wonder if the Church has actually approved it or if, instead, it is simply one more outbreak of local popular or folk excitement as occurs from time to time and has throughout the history of Christianity.


    As for the attempt to somehow rationally connect US “illegal wars … for the past 12 years” with this underwater phenomenon: I can’t see any way to rationally and causally connect them. I would say that what we are seeing in this attempt is simply some effort to connect them for plop-tossy purposes, with no underlying rationale.


    And the fact that nations continue to cause deaths through wars, legal or illegal, and that poverty remains, can most surely not be ascribed to the Church – which does not control History and human events and human actions, individual and collective. And for that matter, since the Great Society’s War on Poverty dawned half a century ago, the poverty level hasn’t moved much – which simply serves to demonstrate that neither a) wealthy and powerful nations that actually wish to eradicate certain perennial human afflictions nor b) the Church can ‘totally’ establish or eradicate anything. (And was not the sad and murderous history of the USSR and the Soviet Revolution – with all its high ideals at the outset – an even more vivid example of this?)


    I am not a close student of art, and I am not well-read in Serrano’s intentions in his work. Is he making a powerful but assaultive statement on the fraudulence of Christ Himself (and by association, the Church and perhaps all Christianity or all religion), or is he making a powerfully insightful statement on the failures of the West to genuine embrace Christ’s message (or at least Serrano’s take on Christ’s message)?


    On the 1st at 821PM: more about “decadent” and decadence as characterizing the Church. But as I said, we haven’t established that this underwater site has formal Church approval and in any case it seems to be a local and popular site.


    Nor is the Church sufficiently ‘totalitarian’ as to squelch it or eradicate it). Once, there was a rationally-derived vision of a ‘Christendom’, with the Church and government working together to create a Christian culture and civilization that would deploy both spiritual and temporal power to maintain the integrity of such a Christian culture and civilization. But while possessed of an indubitable conceptual charm, this vision proved unworkable in the actual working-out of history and human affairs.


    Instead the Church developed herself as a formidable witness to the message of Christ as an ideal and a core Vision to which culture and civilization should aspire and by which all nations and cultures and civilizations could and should judge themselves. (That was very much at the heart of JP2’s ministry and work.)


    This project is formidably difficult in this world of ours and always has been and probably always will be. Nor will there ever be ‘perfection’ in achieving either the Vision or even the Church’s (as a human organization) witness to that Vision.


    But most certainly the whole issue requires far more serious thought than catchy one-liners and half-thoughts, evinced in so many precincts of modernity, can usefully address.


    The Maciel matter certainly indicates to me – as it also does to Weigel, if I have read him correctly – a mistaken trust on the part of JP2. For that matter, it is often said that JP2 failed to recognize the scope and depth of the ‘Abuse Matter’ when it first arose. But JP2 was well aware and personally-experienced in the totalitarian (Soviet and Communist and Nazi) strategy of eroding the credibility of the Church by attacking her clergy (often with sexual charges). And I would say that he might also have intuited that the Stampede as it was developing and efflorescing in the US was precisely that: a Stampede (in its dynamics, even if he didn’t use my term for it here).


    But I think it is more accurate to say that he did not realize to what extent the miscarriages of Vatican 2 had worked their dark magics on the American Church and many of its clergy and even hierarchy. He did, if I recall, early in his pontificate, insist to his Nuncio to the US that there should be “no more weaklings” consecrated as Bishops and promoted to high position in the US Catholic Church.


    In fact, I am currently reading a 2010 book by an American Jesuit and Dean at Boston College (The American Catholic Revolution: How the ‘60s Changed the Church Forever, by Mark S. Massa, S.J.) in which this cleric cheeribly burbles that while indeed there were changes claimed to be based on the documents of Vatican 2 that actually were no such things, yet these ‘revolutionary changes’ were and are as valid (even in their lack of grounding in the Vatican 2 documents) as anything that the Council actually sought to bring about.


    Readers may perhaps recognize in this assertion a clear echo of contemporary American ‘liberal’ Constitutional and jurisprudential theorizing: that nowadays (in the New Liberal/Progressive/Revolutionary  Order, one might say) it doesn’t really matter what the Framers meant or intended because they knew so little that is of any useful or worthwhile relevance to contemporary political and social illuminations and excitements.


    It seems to me that the US is now facing the vital and profound problem and challenge that the Church has long faced: how to adapt the Core Vision in practice without losing the core essence and integrity of the Vision? How to be flexible without becoming invertebrate, one might say. (Which ties in with my nautical analogy: how to make the hull rigid and invertebrate sufficiently to maintain the integrity of the ship as a vessel while providing enough ‘give’ and flexibility to enable the hull to respond to the various and ever-changing stresses of wind and wave and motive thrust? The same analogy would work with an aircraft’s fuselage.)


    One path forward must certainly not be taken: the ‘revolutionary’ path of demanding that one simply achieve as much flexibility as possible and to hell with rigidity and vertebracy because it will all work out because the ‘revolution’ has such good intentions and won’t have any bad consequences or sequelae.


    And in regard to JP’s alleged “attack against the Theology of Liberation”: JP2 saw clearly that that theological approach was far too entwined with the Communist vision and would in praxis, like the Communist vision, result in some form of totalitarianism (as was demonstrated in the actual history of the Soviet Union, the Eastern bloc, Mao’s China, and Castro’s Cuba).


    Interestingly, a secondary point in this Jesuit’s cheerible assessment is that Vatican 2 introduced – willy or nilly – “historical consciousness” into the Church; an assessment made with apparently no sense of irony or caution as to that phrase’s historical provenance in Marxism and Communist dogma. And I would further say that the Church has been well-acquainted with ‘history’ and “historical consciousness” from the get-go. Even a consideration of Pius IX’s objections to ‘modernism’ reveals that he saw in the hurtling cultural and intellectual excitements of his era a welter of profound problems that have only demonstrated themselves so vividly and lethally as time has gone on.


    Nor can I accept as a mere assertion that JP2’s objections to the realities of Liberation Theology constituted “a crime against” Catholicism and against “Jesus’s mandate”. The Bolsheviks, if you read their original hopes and visions, were quite sure that they were implementing a vision that would actually fulfill what were in substance ancient Christian mandates – thus that they were going to do a better job than Christianity in implementing all of the Goods in the Christian Vision. (Readers might wish to consult Peter Watson’s 2014 book The Age of Atheists, especially Chapter 10: “The Bolshevik Crusade for Scientific Atheism”; I have mentioned this book before – Watson is actually trying to make the case for Atheism, but his exhaustive and illuminating recounting of the many atheistic impulses and doctrines of the past few centuries merely, to my mind, indicates how grossly and fundamentally insufficient they were in concept and as they worked out in actual historical events.)

  45. Publion says:

    Thus on to the 2nd at 139AM: The idea that “mysticism” is “decadent” – even in light of the extent of human “suffering” in the world – is grossly insufficient in its grasp of what is actually going on with human beings: facing up to the vast and also intractable human suffering in history is precisely why human beings seek – perhaps even must seek – the divine and especially the Christian Vision. How else to face so terrifying and active a volcanic abyss of suffering without being deranged and overcome by it?


    The Bolsheviks, whose originating desires and visions were so well-intentioned but who – being atheists and thus utterly Monoplanar – relied utterly on mere human capabilities, simply found themselves drawn ever more deeply into control and terror and death-dealing as they sought to effectively eradicate that suffering that they saw all around them.


    And it was precisely in the service of forcing humans to amalgamate themselves into a “collective energy” that led – nicely – to ‘collectivization’ and to – as Lenin insisted – terror as a means of jump-starting such energies.


    And the Egyptians (presuming that they managed the pyramids without any non-human help) were working on what for them was a fundamentally and overt religious project: they were seeking to ensure the benevolence of their god(s) by constructing the amazing things. (Although we note that in the Egyptian temple-religion the well-being of ordinary people and their beyond-death salvation wasn’t even a consideration.)


    As to ‘where’ God ‘is’, the Church has marvelously nurtured the Vision that He is simultaneously i) ‘up there’ and ii) ‘among us’. But both of those pumpkins are necessary to balance the ride, to use Lincoln’s pithy and homey image. Few if any other world-religions have managed that, if they even saw fit to try.


    As for the age-old and primitively reductionist bit about Christians being ‘cannibals’ because of the Eucharist … well, JR merely trumpets a groundless smear that has been around for two millennia. Were he to actually view a genuine act of “cannibalism” he would rather quickly and clearly see the difference between the Eucharist and genuine actual “cannibalism”. Christianity, once again, has managed a marvelous tensive balance: believers so profoundly ‘participate’ in the life and strength of God without actually having to eat this or that unfortunate individual.


    And I would also point out that were it not for an authoritative central power in the Church, many ‘Christians’ among the newly-converted might have continued their folk-religious habits by trying to declare actual cannibalism to be genuinely Christian. There have been and still are lots of actions and beliefs that this or that group would like to see incorporated into Christianity or Catholicism that simply don’t cover the bases when it comes to sustaining a genuine Christianity.


    And the same “Jesus” to Whose sayings and actions JR so frequently appeals as a bat to whack the Church instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper.


    And while it is certainly true that sometimes God can be “revealed in the shock of the different”, that factoid in no way translates into the principle that everything that is “different” and ‘shocking’ is therefore indubitably a manifestation and revelation of God. This, again, is where a careful central Church authority and capacity is utterly essential to prevent accretions that actually work against the integrity of the Christian Vision and the Gospel Message.

  46. Publion says:

    Then on the 1st at 201AM: we are heading into deeply dubious ground in the assertion that one can be in the presence of a God and yet that God need not be “worshipped”. Human beings ‘worship’ and always have; it’s what we do. If ‘worship’ means – as I think it must – seeking by personal and communal means (which automatically includes some level of organization) to unite with God and become more like God and derive strength and consolation from God … then ‘worship’ is certainly included in the genuine religious project and the genuine religious experience.


    The Bolsheviks and atheists generally have eschewed ‘worship’ as they have eschewed a Multiplanar human existence that includes the Metaplane, but look where that has gotten them. They had to and continue to resort to imposition in order to try to get human beings under their sway to dispense with worship.


    Stalin had to re-open the churches – which with their clerics and hierarchs and rituals and traditions he had so brutally and bloodily sought to erase – in order to tap the deepest energies of the Russian people in order meet the challenge of the Great Patriotic War; Lenin himself was (continually) embalmed and put into his plastic case in that Mausoleum in order to give the people a sense that he was, like a saint, incorrupt in death.


    Then a riff on “women” and we are off into one of the notable modern excitements. No other religion has elevated women (and so many) to sainthood. And Mary was raised to a position unknown to any other world-religion. What particular roles they play in the organizational hierarchy is another question, but it is hardly the core reality involved here. Except in current political concerns and agitations – which are currently trying to force the Church to conform to contemporary excitements regardless of any deeper issues.


    And we conclude with some bits about the Trinity and the claim that “the bible never mentions a trinity either”. The term certainly does not appear in the New Testament, but the Gospels certainly refer to a Father and a Son (Jesus called Himself the “Son of God”) and a Spirit and the Church’s meditation and reflection on that resulted in the concept we now call the Trinity. Jesus Himself said (MT 28:19) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. Which pretty much covers the bases in terms of a Trinity.


    And the Trinity quickly appears in the earliest handbooks of Christian teaching, the Didache.


    And if the validity or integrity of the Gospels themselves are in question here, then JR will need to muster more theological chops than he has heretofore demonstrated, and it will take more than a few magpie-collected bits trawled from various lower precincts of the internet.


    But for the present, the Gospels and the Church’s careful reflection on them still stand as the core of the Church’s teaching and it will take more than a few trendy one-liners insufficiently thought-through to consider all that.

  47. Publion says:

    Before taking a look at the most recent crop, and based on the stuff we are about to look at, I want to reiterate.

    Why spend time on some of the truly jaw-dropping stuff that goes up? Why not just leave up on the screen where it was put, twisting in the wind for all to see and consider as they will? Am I indeed “obsessed” by taking so much time and so many pixels on the stuff?

    My answer is that in considering material that goes up here I do not look at material that goes up as being merely the individual proffering of this or that commenter. This is the internet, after all, and my mind also takes into account the large number of people who will read the material on the site.

    And – alas –there are more than a few people out in the web-reading world whose initial impulse would be to accept some of the material that goes up here as true, rational, coherent, accurate and credible.

    And so much of it – as I try to demonstrate – is not any of that at all.

    So the material has to be addressed.

    That being said (again), on to the 3rd at 607PM:

    Wearing the rarely-seen Daddy-Wig, JR doth lecture “Jimmy” and share with “Jimmy” some aspects of his vision.

    In the first paragraph, we are implicitly given the scenario in which Jesus might have meant: I am saying this just so it can be written and I can say that it is written.

    Or possibly that while Jesus is admitting that this or that “is written”, He either a) has a different idea or b) He has ideas that will support what “is written”.

    The first possibility is something just short of silly.

    The second possibility – with its subsets – is much more plausible but requires that each instance of Jesus’ saying “it is written” be considered specifically, in order to see just what He is going for with the lead-in phrase “it is written”.

    Thus any statement of Jesus prefaced by “it is written” constitutes a beginning-point, not an end-point, of careful consideration.

    But that’s not how certain precincts of the webverse roll; instead you simply glom onto a factoid-y bit and start drawing major conclusions which then become one-liner assertions. And – as I said above – in some precincts of the webverse this sort of thing is taken for genuine and informed reasoning and insight.

    It could be said that I am “obsessed” with countering that tendency, as best I may. But my clear and sustained purpose in this project doesn’t reach the clinical definition of “obsession”, although – again – in certain precincts of the webverse simply tossing around specialized terms means, for far too many, presuming that the tosser of the terms must be greatly knowledgeable and competent in the deployment of terms. And as we have so often seen, even here, that is not necessarily so. Not hardly.

    In the second paragraph JR delivers – without explication – his presumption that there were not “any gospel writers, period”. (That “period” – of course – intended to compensate in sass and assertiveness for a statement that is otherwise in no way explained.)

     But the purpose of the assertion is not to enlighten, but rather merely to toss-up a catchy bit, which serves the needs and purposes of the asserter more than it does the informational needs of the reader.

    And it has to be said here as a general principle that simply tossing up stuff in regard to rather serious and substantive and complicated issues does not at all translate immediately into the presumption that the tosser is actually possessed of the chops to be wading around in such serious material and subject-matter.

    If there were no writers of the Gospels, then how – not to put too fine a point on it – did the Gospels come to be written?

    In the third paragraph, there is a proffered answer: the Imperial Romans did it. The Gospels were a “scam” perpetrated by the Imperial Romans.

    Who, How, and Why: these are vital questions raised by this ostensibly historico-theological assertion by JR.

    He has no specific answers. Instead his assertion simply provides a launch-platform for his signature “black ops” (correction supplied) trope.

    But even that “black ops” trope is not explained. Instead the ball quickly bounces on to the conclusion that the Imperial Romans (purportedly) created and wrote the Gospels so that people would have to “obey” them (manipulative scare-caps omitted).

    But we know that for the first several centuries of the Christian era the Romans persecuted Christians as well as Jews and other believers (members of some so-called ‘mystery religions’) who for one reason or another did not worship the Imperial gods. Because the entire societal and cultural polity of Rome was based squarely on its civic-temple religion which required the public worship of the Roman gods.

    So why would “the Imperial Romans” create the basis of a religion that specifically demanded of its adherents that they precisely do not worship the Roman gods in the rites of the state-cult upon which Roman culture and society and polity were based? The Romans were pagans, but they were not political imbeciles.

    And we know that the Gospels are datable to the later first century, thus well before the time of (the later Emperors) Constantine and Theodosius in the fourth century.

    These are huge and profound historical data which cannot be reconciled with an assertion that “the Imperial Romans” whomped up the Gospels.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Because revisions happened in christianity. The Flavians created Jesus as god because they knew who all gods really were created for: the rulers. That they might be authenticated from "on high"

  48. Publion says:

    Nor did the Romans have any concept of “damnation” (certainly not in the Christian sense of a damnation in the next life or damnation by a God or by the gods): the Roman punishment for not publicly worshipping the civic gods was not theological or religious “damnation” but rather a very practical and very palpable persecution by very real public authorities, up to and including a horrible death by some form of public execution.

    And what we see here is – as so very often – a mushy conflation of historical tidbits from various centuries and historical periods, to the effect that the Imperial Romans were – have you been waittttttting forrrr itttttttt? – tools of the Church.

    This is a cartoon. A cartoon dressed-up to look like historical discourse and analysis, but a cartoon nonetheless. And a very self-serving and convenient cartoon as well.

    The Pope became Pontifex Maximus (the old pagan Roman office of Supreme or Greatest Priest, a title held in Imperial times by the Emperor himself) only after the decline of the Imperial authority (and the splitting of the Empire into East and West). Pope Damasus I was the first to hold the title, bestowed upon him by (Western) Emperor Gratian in 360AD on the hardly illogical grounds that since that young Emperor was not himself a priest, then he didn’t think it proper for him to be holding a priestly office.

    The Popes of the era did not consider the title as being of any great significance, continuing to base their Office on the Petrine Authority. But in subsequent eras, as the Popes (now by default coming to function as both religious and political authority as the Imperial power declined) came into conflict with heretically-minded Eastern Emperors, the title came in handy as a buttress to the papal (and Western) position.

    But none of these historical actualities are congenial or convenient to JR’s cartoon purpose: to somehow conflate the Imperial and the Papal in such a way as to somehow arrive at a whack at the Church.

    Then in the fourth paragraph we get more of the same: we are to believe that the Romans “invaded Israel because the Jews wouldn’t worship Caesar as a god”. That is not why the Republic extended its influence in the entire far-Eastern end of the Mediterranean in the Third Mithridatic War (73-63BC) when Pompey moved on Judea; the Romans were simply moving in on a territory that had previously been invaded and controlled by earlier conquerors reaching back through Alexander to the Babylonians and the Assyrians and further back to the Egyptians.

    Or perhaps JR had some other “invasion” in mind, or perhaps the cartoon holds that there was only one?

    When the Roman-client kingdom of the Herodians failed, then in 44AD the Romans instituted direct Roman rule. (In the time of Pilate’s procurator-ship, power was uneasily divided between the Procurator and the Herodian client-king.)

    The first of the Jewish-Roman wars – taking place from 66-73AD – was prompted by the refusal of the locals to pay taxes to Rome.

    Indeed, the Romans had proven remarkably indulgent in allowing the Jews to maintain their religious preferences, so long as they remained orderly and paid their taxes. But while the Romans were not overly concerned about Jewish religious practices in their own little Palestinian patch, when the Jews (and the Christians) came to mainland Italy and to Rome itself, then a refusal to make public sacrifice to the civic gods constituted an unavoidable act of lese-majeste  (apologies for not getting the French accent marks into the text here) that had to be publicly and forcefully addressed, especially as the fortunes of the Empire began to decline. And as the number of Christians began increasing throughout the Empire – especially in the Mediterranean and in Italy and The City itself – this situation intensified.

    So the assertion that “the populations in the rest of the Roman world did” doesn’t really work, especially with the growth of mystery-religions and other syncretistic religious elements absorbed from various frontier-lands of the Empire and then from various barbarian tribes being invited into the historic territory of the Empire itself.

    Then more of the same quality of ‘historical thinking’ in the fifth paragraph with the assertion that “Christianity was built on hatred for the Jews for ‘killing Christ’”. Christianity’s remarkably immediate and powerful appeal was not “built on” hate but rather on the Christian vision of God and human beings and the interplay between God and human beings. The blame for Christ’s death on the Jews (based in the purportedly Imperial Roman Gospels) was an consequence and side-effect of the historical circumstances of Christ’s death but Christianity was not “built on” it; even a cursory examination of the earliest Christian teaching manuals, the Didache, indicate that.

    But – pitch-perfectly – this fifth paragraph assertion, so historically inaccurate, is quickly left where it was tossed as JR instead moves into story-telling mode: the “beating up” of Jewish kids (even – harrumph and ahem – “within [JR’s] life time in the U.S.”, his very own lifetime).

    Who, we are then immediately informed, were beaten up “for that imaginary murder”.

    Suppress, if possible, the inevitable mirth. And we are treated here to JR – who recently has blithely labeled as “murderers” Popes such as Pius XII and John Paul II – now pooh-poohing the execution of Christ as “imaginary”.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Didn't the destruction of Caesar's statue placed as a god to be worshiped next to Jahweh in the great temple in Jerusalem spark that revolt?

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Prove Jesus existed. You can not. So, logically, the execution of someone who never existed also never happened.

      Lucy, you got some proving to do.

  49. Publion says:

    But then we get a book reference, in a nice effort to spruce up the Wig and mimic serious and informed assessment: the reference is to a 2005 book by some dot-com businessman named Joseph Atwill (since also made into a documentary). This man claims that the Flavians invented Jesus by getting Josephus to write the Gospels after the founding Flavian, Vespasian, had subdued the First or Great Jewish Revolt in 70AD.  In Atwill’s take on things, the Romans were trying to get the Jews to accept a peaceful Messiah rather than a re-incarnation of David as King.

    First thing to note is the vividly juvenile ‘scholarly’ burble that “Joseph Atwill says it all in Caesers Messiah” (corrections not supplied). Rarely if indeed ever at all does one author ‘say it all’; competent students (let alone scholars) know that they have to have a basic knowledge, then read various authors, then compare and contrast in their assessment of the various authors’ claims.

    You don’t simply go looking for some one single book that “says it all” and call it a good day’s work. This smacks of the old fundamentalist mindset of the ‘proof text’ where one seeks not a wider and deeper comprehension, but merely a snippet or two that fits in with one’s predilections such that one can use the proof-texts to trumpet and honk one’s own cartoons. Atheists can be fundamentalists in their mindset too  – and not a few of them are.

    Anyhoo, you can consult the you-tube video of Atwill through your search engine. You can also look at the link below, which takes a look at the problems with Atwill’s stuff:


    Primary among Atwill’s various bits is that he says that the New Testament was written in a code, and that he is the only one to have sussed it out. So we already into magic-decoder-ring territory (and memories of the promises and offers on the back of cereal boxes and the back pages of comic-books back in the day).

    The problems with Atwill’s ‘theory’, in short:

    Christianity was already well-established before Josephus wrote in the later part of the first century (Atwill tries to go for 73AD but Josephus’s major material stems from the ninth decade)

    Nero is reported as persecuting Christians by Suetonius. (Why would “the imperial Romans” want to construct an alternative religion to Judaism and then persecute that alternative religion’s adherents?)

    The Pauline Letters were all written before 68AD.

    The Romans didn’t go in for any such latter-day subtleties as “black ops” or “psychological warfare”: if you opposed them they crushed you with military might. Subtlety was not a Roman characteristic nor a major Roman practice in foreign or domestic affairs, and certainly not in the salad-days of the Empire and “the Imperial Romans”. So this entire bit demonstrates itself to be not only hugely dubious, but also smacks odiously of anachronism, i.e. reading the dynamics of events of a later era back into an earlier era.

    By the time Josephus – even at the early 73AD date – purportedly created this new fake religion, the Romans had already crushed the Great Revolt.

    The statements that the Gospels attribute to Jesus (and in the current cartoon, creatively and deliberately placed in Jesus’ mouth by the Romans, who were ostensibly looking to create a “peaceful” alternative to Judaism) include such clear and direct statements as “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me”. Once again, the Romans – in this cartoon – would have had to have been utter political imbeciles if they thought such a statement was going to achieve their objective of ensuring a “peaceful” acceptance of Roman rule.

    Readers so inclined can conduct their own further considerations.

    And the comment concludes with a bit about a “religion that demands obedience to the state as part of obedience to God” (correction supplied). JR would be referring to the Russian Orthodox Church in the time of the Tsars, or possibly the Church of England. But he is going to have to do some serious homework if he is referring to the Catholic Church. Don’t postpone your next meal waiting for that.

    And – for once – I will let the comment of the 3rd at 1145PM just stay up there where it was put for all to see as it twists in the wind.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Atwill does not say he's the only one to "suss the code". He references Christopher Marlowe and others. 

      "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's" and holding a coin, money up, as the example of what "belongs" to Caesar, reeks of obedience to the state and a commercial like reminder to pay one's taxes to Rome.  "Turn the other cheek" also smells of obedience over revolt.

      Atwill's premise is that the Flavians created Jesus to exist before the time of the Flavians that Jesus might prophecy the Flavian emperor as being "The Son of Man" returned, who destroyed the temple and built a wall around Jerusalem just as he predicted he himself would do when he came back. Titus Flavius who did those things was supposed to be the very fullfillment of being the Messiah returned. Read Atwill's book not a catholic/christian critique of the book.

      Atwill says the real first christians were the Flavian imperial famiy. They were the first saints made by the church. St Helena being one. Thereby becoming self made kinds of gods (saints)  as the Caesars had been doing for centuries. ("A God in Colchester" from I Claudius comes to mind.)

      The Caesars, Like Egyptian Pharaohs had before them, figured out that if you are a living god ruling the empire, people are more likely to obey you, rather than fight you. So gods they became. And since the rebelious Jews believed in only one god, they invented Jesus as the messiah prophecy fulfilled.

      Bloody and expensive rebellion over; and "peaceful" obedience rendered unto Caesar. The real reason "Jesus" "came to earth" to insure the status quo. The catholic church is the Roman empire.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Paul was the fake path that was created to lead Jews to Jesus. He never existed either. Right along with the Gospel writers.

  50. Publion says:

    On a different topic, but one also mentioned on this and the two prior threads:

    John Paul 2 had deep and wide experience of totalitarianism, of both the Nazi and Soviet type in his own Poland and in Europe since the 1930. He was familiar with totalitarianism’s assumptions, its dynamics, its objectives, its strategies and tactics, because he had been personally involved in opposing them all as a young layman, as a seminarian, as a priest, as a Bishop and all the way forward from there.

    He knew the beast.

    Now when we come to the late-1960s liberal/progressive/revolutionary New Order, we can look at it – its assumptions, its dynamics, its objectives, its strategies and tactics – historically and conceptually as a variant form and expression of the totalitarian impulse.

    Jonah Goldberg, in his 2007 book Liberal Fascism does precisely that.

    He observes that historically Progressivism was a cradle-sibling of the other totalitarianisms: Communism, Fascism (Nazi or Italian), and Socialism; they were all born in that era between the 1880s and the 1920s and they shared fundamental characteristics.

    And while historical Progressivism (an American phenomenon) was not able to deploy overt violence in pursuit of its millennial goals and visions of a (much much) better country and a (much much) better world, historical Progressivism yet shared all the characteristics of its siblings: i) a sense that its visions were so very Good that only Evil could be the source of doubts about it, reservations about it, questions about it, or objections to it. Let alone opposition to it.

    And (ii) an elitist sense that most of the masses (Lincoln called them ‘the People’) ‘just didn’t get it’ and thus that (iii) its elites were like revolutionary Illuminati who must (and rightfully) take whatever steps necessary and possible to drag the people and the masses into the broad sunlit uplands of the Progressive vision.

    While historical American Progressivism in its original phase was significantly hemmed-in by traditional and fundamental American Constitutional and cultural principles and assumptions, yet however things changed in the 1960s under the forces unleashed by a new generation: a ‘New Left’ as opposed to the prior 1930s ‘Old Left’ – itself enamored of Soviet and Fascist capacities to force their agendas on their peoples, surfing Boomery self-confidence and (utterly unrecognized) ignorance, driven by a government (LBJ’s administration) cocksure that it could achieve without serious negative consequence whatever it set out to achieve, and fueled by the Democrats’ desperate need t construct new client-identities for their ‘demographics’.

    The ‘revolutionary’ nature inherent in the Great Society was not taken seriously; the very use of the term ‘revolutionary’ – so widely bruited about even at the highest levels of society and government – was taken to be merely a tad of good old American hyperbole and exaggeration and nothing more.

    But it was much more: it was actually the adoption, by government and elites, of some of the most fundamental presumptions, attitudes, strategies and tactics of totalitarianism and of the ‘revolutionary’ mindset and vision.

    And in the 1970s, under the especially extended philosophical tutelage of a feminism that took over huge tracts of Marxist and Communist doctrine and praxis (and with a bumptious ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ American Catholic acceptance of both feminism  and of Liberation Theology with all of its roots in totalitarian doctrine and praxis), the actual fabric of the Founding Vision was ripped by elites who insisted that the Founders ‘just didn’t get it’ and that therefore their Founding Vision and the principles and political mechanisms they had devised were nothing more than obstructions to the urgent and immediate realization of all the ‘revolutionary’ visions and demands (which of course were pure Good in intention and consequence and all opposition to them had to be Evil).

    Thus did Western ‘secularism’ and ‘progressivism’ (as ‘liberalism’ sought to rebrand itself as the unhappy consequences revealed by time went on) more intimately accept and embrace and deploy its Inner Totalitarian.

    In light of this, John Paul’s almost instinctive and visceral reactions to the trends in Western culture and society and civilization can be well-seen in the light of his natural recognition that – as much as Western elites did not want to admit it – their Project was essentially unfolding along the natal lines of all of its crib-mates and sibs, demonstrating the essential fundaments of the totalitarian impulse.

    And even if they did not demonstrate any of the Strong-State militaristic trappings of Communism and Nazism and Fascism, they retained the ‘for the people’ charms of theoretical Socialism (which, however, in actual historical praxis so often wound up taking the totalitarian path).

    And the whole shebang was buttressed-by and fronted-by the postwar and post-1960s adoption of Victimism as the public persona and public self-presentation of the New Order that must and would avenge or even prevent ‘victimization’ anywhere, anyhow, anytime … by whatever means necessary.

    So I think it is clear that John Paul II was acute in his awareness that what was happening in ‘modernity’ in his era was deeply flawed and dangerously so. And he opposed it with reason and exhortation at every turn throughout his pontificate.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Doesn't your church paint itself, (though no one else looks at it this way), as " That it's visions were so very Good than only Evil could be the source of doubts about it"? Isn't that the very game you "play" here?

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Reactionary bastard! Only the church is good? People working together for the benefit of each other is wrong? Of course it is; unless the church rules over all. How so very non totalitarian!

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Your sainted pope JP2 certainly took "modernity" 's money as offered by the very "modern" rapist bigamist child molesting drug addict, Maciel.

    • Jay H. says:

      While they didn’t adopt the 1930′s style militaristic trappings, they enthusiastically took to the Cuban revolution stylings – and to anything that would look anti-colonial. It was obvious even to kids my age that their shouting, their giving the finger, their lockstep behavior -absolutely repeated by today’s lot with some different accouterments and texts as unquestionable as Lenin ‘s or Mao’s were for their grampas and grandmas (now we’re supposed to tremble at a journalist like Dawkins pretending to b we a scientist) …
      I admire your patience in responding at such length to the useful idiots of the Gates-Cook form of totalitarianism …


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