The Roman Catholic Church of Corruption
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Journal Contributing Writer
Sep 27, 2005, 00:21
Dante reserved the lowest circle
circle of treachery�for those who violated trust. He placed quite a few
priests, church leaders, and popes there. They�ll be getting lots of company . .
The larger than usual headline
of the Philadelphia Inquirer lastThursday read, �An �Immoral� Cover-up.� A
grand jury indicted the Philadelphia archdiocese in a 418-page report
detailing rampant pedophilia and sexual abuse as well as decades of well
planned, sinister cover-up orchestrated by two Philadelphia cardinals, (the
late) John Krol and (recently retired) Anthony Bevilacqua. Krol was and
Bevilacqua is an outspoken critic of homosexuality and civil rights for gay and
Here are just a few of the
documented examples of what predator priests did under the protection of Krol
11-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by a priest who took her for an abortion
when she became pregnant.
grader was molested by a priest inside a confessional.
girl was groped by a priest while she lay immobilized in traction in a hospital
offered money to boys in exchange for sadomasochistic acts of bondage and wrote
a letter asking a boy to make him his �slave.� The priest remains in ministry.
priest enjoyed having children play the roles of Jesus and other biblical
characters in parish Passion plays. He made them disrobe and whip each other
until they had cuts, bruises and welts.
falsely told a 12-year-old boy his mother knew of the assaults and consented to
the rape of her son.
The grand jury found that many
victims were abused for years and that many priests abused multiple victims,
sometimes preying on members of the same family. Father Albert T. Kostelnick
had 18 victims. Father James J. Brzyski, whose conduct the report described as
a �criminal rampage,� abused 17 victims, many of them from a single parish.
Father Nicholas V. Cudemo abused 16 victims and was allowed to stay in his
pastoral role for decades after the first abuse report in 1966.
And how did the archdiocese
respond to the grand jury�s painstakingly documented report? In a truly disgusting
display of perverted self-interest and bunker mentality, they claimed to be victims.
Even more disgusting is that no criminal charges can be filed against the
priests or against �Prince of the Church� Bevilacqua, despite the evidence
presented in the grand jury�s report:
reviewing thousands of documents from Archdiocese files and hearing . . . from
over a hundred witnesses, we, the Grand Jurors, were taken aback by the extent
of sexual exploitation within the Philadelphia Archdiocese. . .
For any who
might want to believe that the abuse problem in the Philadelphia area was
limited in scope, this Report will disabuse them of that impression. The Jurors
heard from some victims who were sexually abused once or twice, and from many
more who were abused week after week for years. . . . Indeed, the evidence
arising from the Philadelphia Archdiocese reveals criminality against minors on
a widespread scale�sparing no geographic sector, no income level, no ethnic
group. We heard testimony about priests molesting and raping children in
rectory bedrooms, in church sacristies, in parked cars, in swimming pools, at
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, at the priests� vacation houses in the Poconos and
the Jersey shore, in the children�s schools and even in their own homes . . .
Bevilacqua, Cardinal Krol and their top aides all abdicated their duty to
protect children. They concealed priests� sexual abuses instead of exposing
them. . . .
There is no
doubt that the cardinals and their top aides knew that Philadelphia priests
were abusing children. There is no doubt that these officials engaged in a
continuous, concerted campaign of cover-up over the priests� sexual offenses .
abusive priests were either left quietly in place or �recycled� to unsuspecting
new parishes�vastly expanding the number of children who were abused. . . .
clearly established that Cardinal Bevilacqua knew that the priests had admitted
abusing minors. They also established that he alone was responsible for
subsequently placing or leaving the priests in parishes where they would
present a severe danger to children. . .
Bevilacqua had a strict policy, according to his aides, that forbid informing
parishioners . . . The Cardinal, in fact, encouraged that parishioners be
misinformed. . . .
Bevilacqua was trained as an attorney . . . The Grand Jurors find that in his
handling of priests� sexual abuse, Cardinal Bevilacqua was motivated by an
intent to keep the record clear of evidence that would implicate him or the
Archdiocese. To this end, he continued many of the practices of his
predecessor, Cardinal Krol, aimed at avoiding scandal, while also introducing
policies that reflected a growing awareness that dioceses and bishops might be
held legally responsible for their negligent and knowing actions that abetted
known predators . . .
themselves from negative publicity or expensive lawsuits�while keeping abusive
priests active�the cardinals and their aides hid the priests� crimes from
parishioners, police and the general public.
officials at the highest levels received reports of abuse . . . They chose not
to conduct any meaningful investigation . . . They left dangerous priests in
place or transferred them to different parishes as a means of concealment . . .
They never alerted parents of the dangers poses by these offenders . . . They
intimidated and retaliated against victims and witnesses . . . They manipulated
"treatment" efforts in order to create a false impression of action .
. . They did many of these things in a conscious effort to simply to avoid
Moreover, while treating abusers
gently, with good wishes and promotions (Bevilacqua included one
molester, the Rev. Albert Kostelnick [who had the greatest number of victims],
at a 1997 luncheon honoring priests, and promoted him, even though the church
had received a constant stream of abuse allegations against him, including an
eyewitness account from a fellow priest) the grand
jury found that the cardinal had lashed out at those within the diocese who
tried to raise an alarm. After a seminarian came forward to report an abuser
priest, �Cardinal Bevilacqua ordered an investigation�of the seminarian.�
Bevilacqua refused to allow the seminarian to complete his studies and forced
him to seek ordination outside the diocese.
And what did Bevilacqua have to
say when he testified before the grand jury? As the Philadelphia Inquirer
reported, �in his testimony before the Grand Jury, Cardinal Bevilacqua was
still attempting to evade responsibility for placing known sexual offenders in
parishes where they had easy access to hundreds of children . . . He often
suggested he might not have known all the facts and that he delegated the
handling of these matters to his Secretary of Clergy. He repeatedly claimed to
have no memory of incidents and priests we will never forget.�
Despite overwhelming evidence
against priests, cardinals and numerous members of the church hierarchy, the
statute of limitations has run out. So the Catholic Church has once again
gotten away with crimes against
humanity while the depravity and cover-up continue at the highest level.
Pope Benedict XVI�s widely
publicized�and strategically timed�plan to purge
seminaries of gays is a transparent attempt to shift blame
from the corrupt, immoral Church to �homosexuals.� The facts about pedophilia
and homosexuality in no way support the pope�s initiative.
clinical separation of homosexuality and child molesting was acknowledged by
the appearance of the words �pedophilia� and �pedophile.� From the Oxford
P�dophilia. An abnormal, esp. sexual, love of young
1906 H. ELLIS Stud. Psychol. Sex V. i. 11 Paidophilia or the love of children . .
. may be included under this head [sc.
abnormality]. 1926 Med. Jrnl. & Rec.
CXXIV. 161/1 One must keep clearly in mind in dealing with pedophilia the
distinction between that mediating homosexuality, and the much more pure
perversion which is our subject. . . . Hence p�dophiliac, -philic adjs., pertaining to or characterized by
p�dophilia; also as n., a p�dophilic
1927 Psychoanal. Review XIV. 191 It is only in rare cases that one
encounters an individual who has pedophilic predilections and at the same time
is suffering from venereal disease. Ibid.,
Krafft-Ebing . . . in his attempt at psychological explanation falls back on �a
morbid disposition only� on the part of the pedophalic [sic] as the motivating factor.
1960 Spectator 8 July 69 The . . . survey . . . shows the paedophiliac
to be a type altogether distinct from the adult-seeking homosexual. . . .
1976 Publishers Weekly 26 Apr. 52/1 He contacted fellow pedophiliacs and
through them was able to sample many kinds of young girls.
Kathryn Conroy is assistant dean of Columbia University�s
School of Social Work. She recently pointed
out in The New York Times, �What is forgotten in all of the hysteria about
priest sexual abuse is that pedophilia is about a sexual attraction to children
(most often, regardless of their sex) and about access.� Dr. Conroy also made
the most pertinent point in relation to the pope�s ruse:
studies show that pedophiles (those adults who sexually abuse children) are
overwhelmingly heterosexual. In fact, homosexuals are statistically
underrepresented as those who sexually abuse children. . . .
women have far lower rates of sexually abusing children than men do. So if the
church were really serious about protecting children from sexual abuse by
priests, gays would not be excluded from the priesthood and ordination would be
extended to women.
from ordering an �Apostolic Visitation,� the revered Pope John Paul II did
virtually nothing about the church�s sex scandal or its predator priests. Given
the nature of the Vatican and the plethora of mass-media reports, John Paul II
had to know about the massive immoral cover-up carried out by his underlings.
Joseph Ratzinger was an ideological clone of John Paul and one of the most
politically conservative cardinals. His nickname was �God�s Rottweiler� and
�the Enforcer.� He�s now Pope
Benedict XVI. Like Cardinal Bevilacqua and his predecessor Cardinal Krol, Benedict XVI
isn�t interested in protecting children from predator priests or acknowledging
the corruption rampant in the church�s hierarchy. The Vatican is interested
solely in protecting itself, its power, and its political campaign against gay
and lesbian people.
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