Tuesday, December 17

Kenneth Woodward on the wound that has not yet healed.

A "gray area"

They told the priest to stop saying Mass after he was convicted of possessing child pornography. They said he stopped. He didn't.

They found out when parishioners called in compliments on his homilies

The Rev. Edward M. DePaoli was barred from celebrating Mass in public, hearing confessions and performing marriages after he was found guilty in 1986 of receiving a child porn magazine called "Joy Boy 33" through the mail.He was never formally defrocked, however, and has continued to live in church residences for 16 years. During that time he has been allowed to wear clerical garb, but he's been prohibited from all public priestly duties.In recent years, however, DePaoli had occasionally participated in Masses at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Stowe, with the permission of the church's regular pastor, according to Catherine Rossi, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.Rossi said the permission was withdrawn about a month and a half ago after the archdiocese received phone calls from parishioners who said DePaoli was taking part in Mass. "Actually the calls that came in were people complimenting him on a great homily," Rossi said.
DePaoli had no active assignment at the church, but lived in its rectory, she said.

Word Up:

If you're ever in a public place that's supposed to be quiet (like a library for instance) and you hear a toddler bellowing "Hello!" every two seconds....

come and say hi.


Bishop starts process to defrock priest

10 years after the guy pled guilty..

Supremes ask Bush administration for opinion on abortion case

The Supreme Court put the Bush administration on the spot yesterday, asking for its views in a politically charged abortion case involving aggressive efforts to deter doctors from performing abortions. The administration will consider whether a law that protects access to abortion clinics can be used to punish protesters who list doctors' personal information on the Internet and advertise doctors and clinic staff members as "wanted" on posters. .....

Justices have been asked to hear an appeal from the anti-abortion activists, who were ordered to pay nearly $110 million in punitive damages to the doctors for violating a racketeering law and the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The activists maintain that their activities are protected free speech. The Bush administration's Supreme Court lawyer, Solicitor General Theodore Olson, could have filed the administration's opinion in the case without being asked, but didn't

Kopp faces new charge

James Kopp, 47, already charged with intentional second-degree murder, pleaded innocent to reckless murder with depraved indifference to human life. If convicted, he could get 25 years to life in prison. ''There was new evidence that was brought to our attention that warranted the second count,'' said prosecutor Joe Marusak. He declined to elaborate, citing a gag order, but the indictment was clearly linked to Kopp's admissions in a Buffalo News interview last month.

All right - here's an article from Wired about what the Vatican Archives is putting online for the rest of us to see.

Now, if anyone can go to the archives or museum section of the Vatican site and dig out the spot where these treasures may be seen, I'd greatly appreciate it, because, for the life of me, I can't figure it out.

What's going on the Indy Archdiocese with their accused priests.

• Rev. John B. Schoettelkotte of Bristow was placed on administrative leave after the archdiocese substantiated an allegation that he abused a woman 30 years ago.

• Rev. Jack Okon of Indianapolis was placed on leave after being accused of fondling two teenage boys in the 1970s.

• Rev. Micheal H. Kelley resigned from a southern Indiana parish, admitting past sexual misconduct with adults.

• The late Rev. Albert Deery was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing schoolgirls.

Because, you know, this is all because of homosexuals in the priesthood. Anyway.

The board has investigated some of those priests, said DeLaney, but not all of them. And it isn't reviewing allegations against priests who have died, she said.

Jay Carrigan, vice president of Voice of the Faithful-Indiana, said knowing where the lay board is in the process is a step forward. His group is a lay Catholic organization that supports victims of priest abuse and priests who are not abusers.

The group has been pushing the archdiocese to tell the public how many priests are under investigation, how many victims have come forward and how much money the church has spent to settle cases against priests.

It also wants the archbishop to appoint a victim of priest abuse to the board.

Twice the group has made these requests by letter, the latest sent on Friday.

Borcherts said the second letter had not arrived.

In response to the first letter, Buechlein didn't give the group the information requested. He also dismissed the idea of appointing a victim of priest abuse to the board, referring to counsel he had received from DeLaney, a former Marion County deputy prosecuting attorney.

Putting a victim of abuse on the board wouldn't be fair to priests, DeLaney said."It is unrealistic to think that any person traumatized can make judgments without having that trauma impact those judgments," she said.

I think I'm just about bowled over here. I guess if the bishops can put a victim of abuse on their board, maybe the Archbishop of Indianapolis could, too. And I guess priests are always and everywhere to be trusted to be totally objective about the failings of their brother priests?

Is there light at the end of a tunnel?

Or - when a baby finally has a night of 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep is it more accurate to say that there's darkness - blessed, quiet darkness - at the end of this particular tunnel?

George Weigel in the LA Times (LRR)

Let the healing begin.

This seems to be the consensus Catholic response, ranging from victims groups to the church hierarchy to the Catholic press. It is an entirely appropriate sentiment if the question is reconciling the victims of clergy sexual abuse to the church.

But it is a hopelessly inadequate reaction if the question is fixing what is broken in the structures of Catholic belief and practice in the United States.

The jargon of the therapeutic culture in which "fixated ephebophilia" masks the reality of homosexual molestation and "observe the boundaries" replaces "don't commit grave sin" is part of the problem, not part of the solution, to a crisis caused by priests who broke their vows and bishops who failed to lead

Via Andrew Sullivan

From gay activist to Dominican

Twice before, Baikauskas, who turned 50 this March, had considered the priesthood. The first time he was in eighth grade. He had made a pact with a friend. Though back then a boy entering high school could choose to leave home and devote his life to God, Baikauskas’s family quickly put an end to that possibility. The thought wouldn’t enter his mind again until 1989, a year after Baikauskas, a recovering alcoholic, stopped drinking. He planned to give the Dominican friar every opportunity to turn him away. At their breakfast, he laid it all out: “I’m 47 years old. I’m divorced. I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m gay!” Baikauskas laughs as he gives each statement greater emphasis. “And you still want to talk to me?”

“Well, of course,” the friar said.

Within a year, Baikauskas would be accepted into the Dominican Order of Preachers at St. Dominic Priory on the campus of St. Louis University. This past August he started his first semester at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. He hopes to be ordained in 2007.

Dontee Stokes found not guilty

Dontee D. Stokes, who admitted shooting a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting him nearly a decade ago, was acquitted last night of attempted murder in a Baltimore trial that drew national attention amid the church's unfolding sex scandal.The jury of 11 women and one man took about eight hours to find Stokes, a 26-year-old West Baltimore barber, not guilty of attempted murder and five other counts that could have sent him to prison for life.Jurors did, however, convict Stokes of three lesser handgun charges, which most likely will bring a sentence of probation.Accompanying the verdict was a handwritten note from the jury, asking the judge for leniency during sentencing.

Cardinal Law discusses his future

The text of his statement.


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