Our porn addicted bishop was on the go a lot

Share Button

I have updated the Bishop Raymond Lahey page.  Many articles which were on theinquiry.ca website have been copied over to this site and a lot of new information has been added.  I don’t quite know why I never got this done before.  Perhaps because I was in Ireland with my dying brother when news of Bishop Lahey’s arrest broke?  I don’t know, but for whatever reason I never got around to getting it done.  Yesterday I decided I had best get busy and pull together all the information and post it.  There are still a few bits and pieces which I need to dig out, and there are a few more legal time-lines which must or should be added, but the bulk of the information which I have on hand is there.

Links to some of the new articles added are posted on the “NEW” (to the Site) page.   I will list them below:

1955:  The Adelphian lists R. Lahey as a member of the The Adelphian Staff

1955The Adelphian lists R. Lahey as a member of the Catholic Action Club at St. Bonaventure College

1992Lahey took himself and all the priests of St. George’s Diocese to Galilee Mission Centre in Arnprior, Ontario for the Enneagram workshop conducted by Father Chris Rushton omi.

June 2007: gave keynote address at Atlantic Liturgical Conference Study Day held in Corner Brook Newfoundland.

16 June 2009Lahey in Saskatoon speaking on new GIRM and new translation of Roman Missal

March 17-18 2009Lahey part of Canadian & Orthodox Catholics dialogue in Toronto, Ontario

28 November 2007:  Lahey gave the keynote address at the Saskatoon Diocese Eucharist Congress

23 November 2008Raymond J Lahey directive in St. Margaret Parish, Toronto bulletin regrading  use of missals (scroll to second page “How to Use Missals”

Winter 2007:  Homily by Bishop Raymond Lahey at St. Francis Xavier University convocation (Antigonish, Nova Scotia( – scroll to second page)

October (?)  2007:  Saskatoon Eucharistic Congress “A liturgical music workshop with musician Bob Hurd will be offered in conjunction with St. Thomas More College. Keynote speakers during the three-day event will be Bishop Raymond Lahey, Fr. Ed Foley and Sr. Theresa Koernke...”

June 2007: gave keynote address at Atlantic Liturgical Conference Study Day held in Corner Brook Newfoundland.

29 July 2009:  Bishop Lahey speaker at day on liturgy in Diocese of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

July-August 2009:  Raymond J Lahey article in Celebrate! 2009 entitled  ”The Holy Spirit, agent of communion and transformation”

1958:  The Adelphian lists R. Lahey as one of several former students studying at St. Paul’s  Seminary in Ottawa, Ontario

16 June 2009Lahey in Saskatoon speaking on new GIRM and new translation of Roman Missal

Lahey 2010 Statement of Claim & Statement of Defence

If anyone has any further information about Lahey’s travels around Canada on speaking engagements and so on please pass it along (cornwall@theinquiry.ca).  It seems he was in Saskatoon a lot, but that may just be a case of my not having information on his other engagements in Canada.  Regardless, it certainly looks as though our porn addicted homosexual bishop was on the go a lot!

Enough for now

Sylvia

This entry was posted in Administrative, Bishops, Canada, Scandal and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Our porn addicted bishop was on the go a lot

  1. 1yellowknife says:

    CHILD porn addicted – the most worrisome and disturbing aspect of this man’s behaviour.

  2. Anne C says:

    I am a Catholic – I attend church and we have a good priest – who speaks openly. I am also an independent thinker and I have no problem saying that the Catholic church – and I mean the hierarchy, the policy and decision makers, the vatican – are in denial. They are not dealing with things. Problems in any institution always lead to the top. In other words: if you’re not getting the answers you need, speak to the manager. (And don’t budge until you get answers).

    These problems are ancient. Now – we report on these cases. That is a huge leap forward for society. To move even further forward: church leaders need to admit the problem is widespread, revisit the celibacy rule for priests, and open their doors to female leadership.

    I read this blog occasionally – as difficult as it is – because I see the problem as a societal problem. When you have a culture of denial – you are set up for a world of fantasy, secrets and lies. Maybe celibacy can be done – and maybe the majority of priests have figured out a way to deal with this rule. But it’s obviously a serious problem for a percentage of priests that are causing very real damage to others – psychological damage, economic damage, damage to the church’s reputation – and damage to their own parishioners.

    If the whole point of celibacy is to focus the priest’s energy on ministry – without distraction – in reality, the reverse seems to be true. I would prefer if my priests had freedom and health in their personal lives – to live openly – married, straight or gay (none of my business). I want to see priests whose buried urges don’t conflict with their work. I think if priests could live open lives – they would not feel they have to be saints – and could be vulnerable and thus more available to us – even as friends.

    We know that Lahey entered the church in the 1950s as a closeted gay man. He would not have been able to survive openly in the society around him in the Maritimes. What if he was abused? What if he came from an impoverished family? Like many, he hid in the church. The cycle of denial continued.

    For people to call this man a ‘demon’ – is ridiculous. To indulge in that kind of mythical moralism is part of the same angel/demon view of the world that kept this man in denial. The fact is – he is a gay man who could not live his identity. This lead to psychological troubles. Over time, he was so ill he was obviously in denial about the pain caused by the victims of child porn. And thus – a society (including the church) that harshly condemns anything different (i.e. homosexuality) as deviant is partially responsible for creating a society that is psychologically troubled.

    Lahey’s actions are very troubling to us. We want to condemn. But let’s also ask: what is the church – and society – structure that allows this to happen in the first place?

    It is good that this site reports on abuse. But I would keep asking: What are those at the top doing about it? What priests are out there now – who need help? Does the church/society offer a culture of openness, health and counseling?

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if outing these problems leads to a more open, healthy, equal society for all?

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Anne C, What really is the axe you were grinding? Is it freedom for all with no responsibility? Or, is it the matter of sex is no business of the Church?Or,could it be you think Jesus and the Apostles just plain got it wrong?

      I did not read one word about the victims of abuse here, or in any of Lahey’s statements.
      I may be out to lunch on this, but, I know that GOD does not make mistakes, that humans sin, and that some humans live a very Evil life, including many who entered the clergy just to get at the readily available number of children to fullfill their need to abuse. And, please do not give me the over-used exscuse that they were born that way.

  3. adam says:

    Ann, what does the celibacy in the priesthood have to do with a bishop addicted to child porn and a strong attraction to tying up and gaging 13-17 year old boys?

    I suggest you read what the church really teaches and ask Jesus to reveal to you or show you why the church’s teachings are beautiful and nothing to do with laheys problem. I am thankful you belong to and participate the one true church founded by Jesus which unfortunately is filled with sinners you and me included. May we all realize that we need to be more holy, that we need to be more like Jesus, that we need to be authentic so that our message my not be silenced by this awful disguisting scourge. you
    are in dangerous area with your views of homosexuality…the logic you are using is why we in the church and as society is in the mess we are in (excluding the bishops who made a mess trying to stupidly “protect” the church) the lack of chastity in this world is the whole problem…yes he we not healthy sexually and hid behind a collar…and thankfully the church has tools for screening which are much better.

    first priority must be to support men to become men and man up to lead their families to heaven instead of ruining lives by viewing pornography. do you know that about 70% of men in our church pews view porn on regular basis…the men with a roman collar are being renewed with good solid men but i’m sure some of the older priests and the guy next to you in the pew has a sexual deviance…which started with pornography…i wish others were trying to help these people – it is my full time job, i see so many beautiful things happening from our ministry and i have more men to help than i can handle and no funding for someone else…i feel like i’m a vioce crying in the wilderness…and even frequent catholics see nothing wrong with their husbands viewing porn … “boys will be boys” well guess what its ruining lives and no one is saying a damn thing…

    thankfully all is not doom and gloom, let’s try to keep in focus that no other organization in the world does more to feed the poor or help the needy…however, we’ve got to get rid of these creeps who are destroying the perception of who we really are as Catholics and what good we do.

  4. adam says:

    sylvia,

    lahey didnt do much speaking publically, quite frankly it wasn’t a secret that he didnt have much worthwhile to say. his time was marked with management by aviodance and doing as little as possible. while he was out of the diocese more than 8 months a year and always said he was to be at conferences, plenary, liturgical commissions, the commission for the new translation, etc…we now know most of his travel was not church related. he’d go to a one week meeting and it took him 3 weeks to get home….

  5. Sylvia says:

    I think it’s a combination of both adam. I added more info to his page today – it’s the tip of the ice berg.

    I am sure some his travels in the past ten years related to seeing and/or spending time with his ‘mate.’ That, of course didn’t stop Lahey from heading off to places like Thailand, and it didn’t stop Lahey from travelling with his nest egg of kiddie porn and all sorts of sex toys.

    Was his ‘mate’ with him on any or all of those trips?

    Did we pay for those trips?

    I get sick looking at his cavorting around.

    I am hard-pressed to believe that not one of our bishops had an inkling of what was going on, either in the porn department, the kiddie porn department, the one night stands department or long-term relationship department.

    Who knew? Which bishops knew? Which bishops tolerated? Which bishops enabled this abject betrayal of child, faithful, Church and God?

    Which bishops saw to it that he got his little trips here, there and everywhere – paid for by either CCCB funds (read our contributions) or diocesan funds (read our contributions)?

    Which bishops thought it was a lark to allow this disgrace to the priesthood and humanity to put a letter to children in the front of a Grade 7 Religion text?

    Lahey has left his mark. Every book bearing his name should be burned.

    • JG says:

      Sylvia,
      I always cringe at the thought of burning books…because we are then free to forget the mistakes and repeat them! God forbid…
      As for Lahey, didn’t he surrender his passport?…How difficult would it be through customs records to follow the trail of his “side trips” abroad?…They would probably invoke his “right to privacy”…!!!
      This is where I wonder how much “will” (there is)with our governments to “really” look after the most vulnerable… dining with a bishop or serving chicken and mashed potatoes in a soup kitchen???….Hummmm!…which one has more appeal and “class” for a front page in a national paper…which one will attract the “shakers and movers” for a politically ambitious ….person?…
      The priorities are skewed by the selfishness of our “leaders”…and abused children have a little squeaky voice…they look at the walls or the ground…when they dare to speak up, even 50 years later!
      We are all terribly offended, frustrated but willing to defend. In the “good” circles, do they even want to hear about the “rabble”…??
      WE can and should continue to talk and SCREAM, but our elected elite…Have we ever heard from any of them…ever??…on the subject??…
      I hope we don’t have to wait for this as long as we have waited to hear from the church!
      Someone should start with Lahey’s passport!
      jg

  6. Michel B says:

    Glad to hear something about and for the survivors of his crimes, those children are the survivors of these idiots and need to have a voice amongst the people who are tripping over themselves to rationalize and justify criminal behaviour and try to set it aside from the commonality of these types of occurrences within the church. I read on here about how the church should be this or that but i don’t read how the church should help survivors directly and atone for it’s shame. BTW I did indicate in a previous post that our saintly Excellency of the gag and bound hands was going on little sex holidays by way of Thailand..should be an inquiry into his behaviour abroad and 15 months and get out of jail free card is not severe enough in my opinion. I have no difficulty with people in our country acting legally within our rights as indicated in our bill of rights.. I do have difficulty with children being targeted and abused criminally and institutions protecting the criminals within their ranks. Nothing wrong with the Church and the dogma.. something wrong with the people in the Church. See them as individuals that have to be subject to law the same as others and then start being honest about what is going on within the Church and chase them out by hook, crook or by prosecution but don’t rationalize how its because of this or that.

    Now enough about them and a little about those disenfranchised individuals who have fought courageously and sometimes paid with their lives to make their truth known.. They are the ones that need groups and counseling and restitution not only of their dignity but of their faith and their souls because what was done to them is an atrocity and may never be remediated. Any effort to make them a part of rather than the victims of the church would go a long way but would still be a drop in a bucket. At this moment in time I only see the opposite to that being espoused as the corporate policy change the focus to helping survivors rather than helping the church and the church will survive .. is that not what the church is love and fellowship. Yes I am the balck sheep of the family..,.

    People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head; it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.
    Anthony de Mello

    Make the survivors the essence of your heart and the rest will follow.

  7. Anne C says:

    Good questions Sylvia. No way did the church bishops not know.

    Do people/the church really think that these are ALL just isolated incidents? Here, there, everywhere? Sorry.

    I recall that Sylvia posted an excellent article here from an American psychologist – a former priest – who now testifies on grand juries etc. It is much easier to control celibate priests in a culture that promotes silence, guilt, and shame. Many of these priests don’t even think they’ve done anything wrong – in fact they see themselves as the victim! To me that is the weirdest part. How is that possible? I was wondering why – and I think the answer is the pattern of the church covering up for them. Others may have different opinions.

    I am trying to find the right questions – if we find the right ones – perhaps we help the victims. We prevent more of this from happening.

    Who doesn’t bleed for the victims? Who isn’t completely disgusted? It is pretty difficult to remain Catholic these days. But – it is also important to use our brains.

    I still wonder how priests can help their community – when they have no inclination about the actual lives of the people in their community (marriage/mortgages/pressures etc). The whole thing is flawed. But then…perhaps if you had an empowered, healthy, priesthood – independent thinkers – they would start questioning the church? Above all – the church wants to remain in control. No questions asked.

    To all the people hard hit by the abuse – I so admire you for coming forward. You are literally the ONLY light in all of this. Of course you are going through hell. Your coming forward helps others.

    To the rest of the Catholics out there – keep asking questions.

  8. Anne C says:

    PS

    I totally agree – of course – the victims need counseling, restitution, support – etc. Most definitely. It is important to remember: the victims have done nothing wrong. They are the victims. They are the end result of a sickness that is not in them – but in the priests and church.

    To other Catholics out there: you know I am not the only one who thinks like this. I am the only person from my graduating class (180 people) from a Canadian Catholic high school who still goes to church. The others would not even bother to read this stuff. I also know that my church is not interested in me – or my views. Thinking people – questioning people – have been completely marginalized. I know many, many examples amongst my friends and family.

    The RC church is quite happy to put on a face of sadness and shame that these so called “isolated incidents” have taken place. They are quite happy to focus on ‘a few problems’ – instead of their own larger problems – which they are so obviously in denial about. Read the cases on this blog! Look for the patterns – the priests/church do not really believe they have done anything wrong. And please – do not just read what they say – look at their actions.

    If the church was truly focused on real lives and troubles of their local communities – – and it was a help born out of love, not power – then those crimes would not take place in the first place.

    My peace to the victims.

    And my courage to those of you still trying to be Catholics.

    Ask questions.

    • Lina says:

      I do share similar feelings as Anne C as posted.

      I’m far from being what you would call a good Catholic. I would say I’m more of a cafetria Catholic.

      I went to the Saturday evening Mass yesterday. I forced my self to pray where in the past it flowed with such ease.

      I remembered praying the Our Father with all my might. I love my husband and he is with me there sitting by my side.

      Nevertheless…I could relate somewhat to the statues more than to the priest and the other people around me. I’m like a pew filler.

      The heavenly citizens (Saints etc..) might as well occupy the empty pew seats.

      I donate very little now in the collection basket (not more than a buck or less) and sometimes I only give those soup labels and grocery receipts from these stores and company that will give money for school kids to buy sport equipments etc…

      I do not like the way the clergy abuse victims are continued being victimized by the Catholic Church.

      I found out on my own so many lies and deceit by many a clergy. I’ve seen families torn apart because the Catholic Church did not do the right thing.

      I was asked at times why I continue to go to the Catholic Church instead going to another Christian denominational church.

      I’ve been a cradle Catholic all my life. I’ve got this addiction to the Catholic Church. It left a mark on me that is seared in my brain.

      There was this song I feel somewhat I can relate to about the Catholic Church and my faith.

      “I’m Like A Bird” Song & lyrics by Nelly Furtado:

      You’re beautiful, that’s for sure
      You’ll never ever fade
      You’re lovely but it’s not for sure
      That I won’t ever change
      And though my love is rare
      Though my love is true

      I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away
      I don’t know where my soul is, I don’t know where my home is
      (and baby all I need for you to know is)
      I’m like a bird, I’ll only fly away
      I don’t know where my soul is, I don’t know where my home is
      All I need for you to know is

      Your faith in me brings me to tears
      Even after all these years
      And it pains me so much to tell
      That you don’t know me that well
      And though my love is rare
      Though my love is true

      It’s not that I wanna say goodbye
      It’s just that every time you try to tell me that you love me
      Each and every single day I know
      I’m going to have to eventually give you away
      And though my love is rare
      And though my love is true
      Hey I’m just scared
      That we may fall through.

  9. Cheryl-Helene Thomson says:

    Well, Anne, since you say you are the only 1 out of 179 others in your high school who still go to the Catholic Church – and seeing that your perception of what it is to be Catholic leads you to want the Catholic Church to change so radically – I wonder if you have looked into the Anglican or the United Church denominations lately. You might be more comfortable in those settings.

  10. Anne C says:

    I relate to what you are saying, Lina. It is honest and healthy to ask questions. And, I think only committed believers question or feel uncomfortable – and are willing to be honest about what they think, feel and see.

    It is only honest to sit in a Catholic church these days – and do a reality check. Are the victims needs really being addressed? Do I want my two young boys to be alone with priests? Do I trust where my donations are going? What do they know – right now – that they are covering up?

    Does asking questions mean we have to leave the Catholic church? I don’t think so. From reading this board, I see that some still prefer corruption and silence. (I hope you get the help you need Cheryl-Helene).

    In Canada we have a bill of rights and freedoms. I will continue to speak up, and ask questions, in order to protect my family, and the victims, and other church members.

    As for “The Church” – we ARE the church. If I am asking questions, than that IS the church asking questions.

    We need not be silenced by anyone.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      To all who are upset with the way the Church is or is not operating, we all know they can not operate for long without our money. The Diocese pays the Priest, and the money we donate, in a large part, goes to the Diocese.
      Cut off the donations at the Parish level, and then we will get the attention of all of the Diocese.
      I started 6 weeks ago just giving 2 cents, in an envelope, each Sunday. I know some others who are doing the same. We call it giving our 2-cents worth-and if the idea grows, soon there will be a real impact.
      It really is time to put our money where our mouth is, and that can be done by joing our 2-cent movement

  11. MikeMc says:

    Giving your 2 cents worth….marvelous idea! That could catch on! I related earlier in another section of this site about the new Bishop/Cardinal of Philadelphia selling his “mansion”. It’s obvious why the Church needs money….to pay legal fees and hopefully to give to abuse victoms… to better their lives….with counselling and financial aid of some sort.
    But as for giving to the Church so priests can still smoke and drink and take vacations…..no! (Never mind your sports packages on cable tv) Not from me.
    It’s my “two cents worth” from now on!

  12. MikeMc says:

    Oh, and am I upset with the RC Church? You bet.

  13. Anne C says:

    2 cents worth – what a great idea. I’m in!

    It has always bothered me that we do not have a say in how our donations are spent. What about that priest in Vancouver – Horgan – who brought in his priest friend from Paraguay every year who begged the parishioners for donations. Meanwhile the ‘friend’ was basically running a brothel that matched up young boys/priests. For more, read: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=526e6873-6a0b-49c0-a453-b03d219fe6cd

    All it took was two parishioners to Google the guy’s name – and all of the information came up – including the fact that the guy was being investigated by the Vatican. Just one simple step. Maybe it’s time to show the church we are not so ignorant and passive after all.

    I agree that bishop’s ‘regret’ is a non-apology. The response in our local Catholic newspaper to Lahey was pathetic – went something like: “well – only a certain amount of the photos were child porn – and they were in his computer cache.” My sons read that article about the detailed photos – and the torture – what am I supposed to tell them? Ignore it? Do you think they want to go to church now – never mind serve at mass? I tell them – quite simply – that you cannot really rely on institutions. We Catholics are dealing with a major loss of innocence here. What is the response from our church? The usual SILENCE. Which means: if you don’t like our lies, perverts and systemic cover-ups – then leave.

    By the way – what is the response by the CCCB to Lahey? What is the response from Harper? And – where are the petitions to the Vatican – demanding an official response, and an official apology. They need to respond!

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Ann C. and MikeMe, spread the word among your friends about the 2-cent’s worth. It is a movement , that if it takes hold quickly can quickly bring results.
      Your Parish Priests will not be without a salary, your Church will still have funds for repairs and staff, but, the Diocese will feel the pinch very fast.
      It is ther we must get the message home- we will NOT put up with this crap that has been going on anymore!
      Straighten up , or get a to pay your way!
      I really think this IS what JESUS would do !

  14. MikeMc says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2012/01/08/nl-archbishop-lahey-message-0108.html?cmp=rss

    This may have been already listed here. However, read the comments that follow it. Amazing. Hope the Archbishop Currie reads them too.

  15. Sylvia says:

    Thanks MikeMc. I have now posted the article and comments on the Raymond Lahey page. I have also posted Archbishop Currie’s statement – will comment after I have supper.

  16. Michel B says:

    Here is my two cents, let the priests who have property, camps, motorcycles and houses put in their 2 cents and pay for the crimes of their brothers, let them recommit to a life of chaste poverty and be subject to the charity of their congregations.

  17. Michel B says:

    This money came from real fathers and mothers and the working people who donated to this corrupt economic institution.

  18. Michel B says:

    The Church is but the hand that skims the lions share and they have become a great corrupt economic power as result. Today I witnessed a baptismal by Bene the infallible and they needed to mention that he used a golden bowl in the ceremony. Please… while people suffer worldwide these corporate greed mongers are sitting on a vast fortunes exploited from the working faithful. I think a dialogue such as the one back in the day needs to occur between the those committed to a vow of poverty and those who want to accumulate wealth. Very crass this institution and they need to reconnect to their real purpose. Again I am talking about them rather than the survivors of the wrongs done by this institution. I try not to use the word victim and consider that the victims of these crimes have died have been silenced as result to these crimes. The survivors are still valiantly standing for truth and justice and fighting the marks slashed across their souls..

  19. Sylvia says:

    By way of explanation to Michel B’s series of postings….

    Michel contacted me because he was attempting to post a comment but it was consistently being rejected. He thought perhaps I had blocked him.

    No. I hadn’t blocked him. Michel encountered a problem which I deal with from time to time when I post articles. Sometimes I am unable to post an article because the software suddenly takes exception to a particular word in the entire article. I have had cases where the ‘offending’ word was “another”! There is no rhyme nor reason to it: a glitch in the software which shows itself from time to time. If I leave the word -or sometimes a phrase – out, the article can be posted. Sometimes I can do that with a […] to show a word is missing – sometimes I can’t because the absence of the word impacts the gist of the articlel too much. If it’s one of my blogs, I rewrite the sentence to get around it.

    So, I explained this to Michel – he posted his comment a bit at a time and discovered that part of his text was being rejected.

    When I talk about my software being finicky this is what I mean 🙂 If you encounter the problem please let me know. It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it’s awfully annoying.

  20. MikeMc says:

    Are chalices still made of gold and jewel encrusted? I just looked this up on a site……There is a chalice there…….here’s what it says: “An unusual jeweled antique silver gilt Victorian chalice. The chalice has chinoiserie decoration. The stem and the base are encrusted with jewels such as moonstone, shell cameo, amethyst, pearls and garnet believed to be donated by the parishioners. $4,800 Chancery.”
    Wow, how many are there worlwide in the Church?
    Now with all respect to the faith, I do realize what the chalice holds. But I’m beginning to ask what Jesus himself would want? Like in Temple times, I think Jesus would be whipping and kicking over tables in the Bishops’ and Cardinals’ cathedrals and palaces. He did it once, why not again?
    And that’s my “two cents worth” for today. I feel saddened, angry and betrayed by my church and its priests. Someone wrote the other day that a “fellow went to confession in one of those new “two-door” confessionals. When he walked in there was a cigar tray, a bottle of bourbon and a pinup on the wall. Suddenly the priest came in and said, “Excuse me, this is my booth, Yours is the other one.” When I read that, I honestly asked myself, “Wow.,…would I have ever heard that 30-40 years ago?” It would have been scandelous and sinful to even tell that., let alone repeat it. But this is the humour we hear on late shows and about priests and little boys. etc The Church’s reputation is tarnished and I’m not sure what will bring it back. It may not ever come back. Sites like this one are a wake up call to all Catholics.

  21. Michel B. says:

    I think JC would be happy with an old wooden bowl, surrounded by honesty, compassion, and unconditional love… without discernment between the rich and the poor.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      After reviewing several of the postson the Lahey, affair, the borne caper,the Leclair fiasco, and the den on inquity which was the Clergy of the Catholic Church in Newfoundlnd, the words of George Orwell seem to suit the situation: In a time of mass deceit, Truth is a revolutionary idea !
      It is my guess that with all which was uncovered during the various investigations of the Cashel matter, the most of the truth has not yet been exposed.
      All one needs to do is to look at where clergy fled to after the story broke- some right away, some a bit later. Even in the Lahey affair, the Papal Nuncio fled the day after lahey’s arrest. Lahey was arrested arriving at the airport in Ottawa- The Nuncio fled from Ottawa.
      Truth matters to some of us, but, to many in the clergy it is an inconvenience!

  22. Cheryl-Helene Thomson says:

    Support in his old age wouldn’t be a problem for Lahey, if Canada follows ‘enlightened’ thinking in other countries. Greece may be bankrupt, but they are working on their priorities anyway (irony here). Here’s news from the website of an FM radio station in Washington, D.C.:

    By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS
    Associated Press

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Greek disability groups expressed anger Monday at a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs.

    The National Confederation of Disabled People called the action “incomprehensible,” and said pedophiles are now awarded a higher government disability pay than some people who have received organ transplants.

    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=267&sid=2699114

  23. Michel B. says:

    Problem solved .. get all the kids out of Greece and send all the priest criminals there and put up a big fence.

  24. Sylvia says:

    We live in a world gone mad! Paedophilia a “disability” ? But, it makes sense I suppose if we remember that the message being disseminated these days re child molesters is that it’s not their fault because they have no control over their actions.

  25. Anne C says:

    Yes we do live in a world gone ‘mad’. We try to survive – knowing that this whole world we were raised into has been blown apart. As some here suggest: we can “just leave – there’s the door” – – since some of us see the truth and are thus proclaimed not welcome by some – but that is really not so easy. That is a big part of why the RC church – and some here – still do just not get it. The young are indochtrinated into faith. Particularly for some of us – in highly devout families – we CAN’T just walk away. You mix pedophilia/abuse into the mix? I can’t image what that would be like. VERY hard to get away from. After all – thi is not – a job we are walking away from here. It is an entire – life.

    I pray for those who need to walk away – to be able to walk away.

    As for Jesus and the symbol he would use for a chalice? No, not gold and jewels. Instead – a manger. Some straw. A few loose bits of wood.

    Hold strong to the simple message of Jesus. Jesus knew our humanity – and knew we needed things to be beautiful and simple.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    We really do live in a world gone mad. I teach in a Catholic school and you would be shocked by the homily the priest gave at the Christmas liturgy. The guy missed the “Christmas message.” During his homily he addressed 800 teenagers, calling them sinners, telling them they should feel guilt for their behaviour, and offering them the sacrament of reconciliation as the solution. (I walked out of the gym)

    It was bad enough that, with the changes to the mass, the folk singers were not allowed to sing the regular songs and the new choir performed a bizarre mix of latin and gregorian chants, but the homily put me over the edge. Total disconnect.

    This is the Catholic Church of today! The writing is on the wall.

    • Al says:

      Elizabeth,
      Sad to hear that that priest has forgotten about the tru meaning of Christmas.He missed a great opportunity to talk to children about God’s love. It’s sad. It’s priests like him turns the people away from church and I have seen a few of them who destroyed the parish and community. It looks like a he is an ultra conservative who is worried about not the souls, but incence, chanting etc. I see a lot in some of the young ultra consevative guys!. They make their own laws and rules to fit in to theirown agenda which drives people and children away.

      In our church we had all old christmas music except the gloria, lord have mercy and holy holy etc. We also had christmas pageant during mass by over 50 children . Even santa came at the end of the mass with presents!
      So the priest said that mass should be condemned or reported to the school board or to the bishop.

  27. Michel Bertrand says:

    The Roman Catholic Church and all of it’s follies.. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa nobody to blame but themselves and their adherence to moneychangers attitude.. Not much different from Marcus Crassus of roman infamy… or the philosophy in Dostoyevsky’s Brother Karamazov in the legend of the Grand Inquisitor.. so sad it is not even pitiful..

  28. Anne C says:

    I used to be a Catholic high school teacher, and I get what you’re talking about. This was a few years ago….I remember one priest visited and told all of the boys they were “going to hell” (exact words) if they looked at the hem of the skirts of the girls. It went from there – to worse. The entire year was hellfire, doom and gloom. Well, most of my grade 9 boys then did their homework, googled the documentation on the Catholic church’s sex crimes, and voila – they refused to attend mass at school! Not only that – the kids all quietly boycotted attending mass at home. I heard about this – and as an educator was frustrated.

  29. MikeMc says:

    I have actually taken time out to read the last site Sylvia posted (above). http://www.theinquiry.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Lahey-2010-Statement-of-Claim-Statement-of-Defence-searchable.pdf.pdf

    It is an education in itself. The lawyers have to do their duty but based on what has happened and been revealed about Bishop Lahey, I’m quiet sure Mr Boland is telling the truth. The Church in the past really covered up what it knew. I think the same is still going on today…..just in a different way. So with this amount of scandal, why not remove any “holdings” on ~vaulted correspondence~ in every filing cabinet from the Pope on down to the local parish level.
    This is not just a religious thing anymore. It deserves a public National inquiry. There are people with bent knuckles today,… to put it mildly,….(hardly ‘mildly’ , I suppose!!!) that deserve to know the truth and see justice done.

  30. Anne: What you describe is truly tragic! No priest, bishop, cardinal or pope can say that anyone is definitely going to hell for to do so impinges upon God’s mercy and forgiveness. Your priest should have taught about God’s love for your students, not His concern about the length of girls skirt hems.

    And these brother priests of mine ponder at meetings why kids don’t come to church anymore! Seems pretty simple for me to understand. Any ideas why it’s so difficult for some of my confreres?

    Fr. Tim

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Father Moyle , what is the reaction when you preach on sin and the need to go to Confession? Do you have a steady , good turnout for Confession in your Paris? Or are your parishioners the same as in so many parishes where the Communion lines are long , and the Confessional lines very short?

      If you Confessional lines are very short, do you preach on that? Just how do you manage the whole subject of sin in Mattawa?

      • Sheep: Yes. I preach on the need for confession regularly, just as I do about the other essential elements of a regular Catholic life. That said, you’re correct in assuming that there are no long line-ups to get into the confessional here in Mattawa. Most people do not believe that they need to confess their sins to a priest today no matter what a priest preaches.

        Fr. Tim

  31. Anne C says:

    Well, I don’t really have the answers. I guess either you see it – or you don’t. To me it was very clear – and to most teenagers, as well. Kids do not wear masks. They tend to see things for what they are. To most – it was just another adult who does not ‘get’ them. I really wish the church would use some professional common sense and stop placing these old fashioned priests with their weird ideas – who are obviously just not good with young people – in our schools. All in all it was sad to see my students all lose interest in their faith. But, I also didn’t blame the kids.

    • Anne: I’d be curious to know the age of the priest that turned off your kids. What scares me is that it doesn’t appear to be older priests who are issuing such a strict line. It’s priests that have been ordained in the past few years! Many of them are more conservative and traditional than those of us who were ordained earlier. Often they like to walk around in cassocks and wear biretta’s on their heads, marking themselves as being ‘different’ (better?) than the average lay person. Even if I grant that there is value in public witness to one’s vocation through dress, a simple Roman collar has always sufficed for me and my generation.

      Fr. Tim

  32. Anne C says:

    The priest in question looked to be in his mid 30s. He took himself very seriously, yes, wore a cassock. I remember hearing one boy in a classroom outside of class-time say: “we are all going to hell.” And another boy said: “Come on. The priest didn’t mean it that way.” And the priest was walking past the door and the older boy said: “Come one you didn’t really mean ‘actual’ burning in hell did you??” And the priest looked at the boy – like how dare you question me – and said: “Yes. That is what I meant. Burn in hell. It is a mortal sin to look at a girl’s hemline in a non-virtuous way.” So, I guess unless you’re a tailor, you’re out of luck. Knowing how teenagers are – I bet the kids weren’t even interested in the hemlines until the priest said anything. It was like he created – and cultivated – the sin – and the sinner. Ridiculous! He should be leading the kids on community service missions – and cultivating love of self, love of God, love of community in teens with low self esteem.

  33. Cheryl-Helene Thomson says:

    @Elizabeth – A Christmas liturgy such as you describe, in a high school, is frankly unbelievable, perhaps in a way most readers at first glance would be surprised to realize. In fact, sorry, but I don’t believe it happened at all the way you have described it. If you “walked out of the gym,” perhaps it was you, the teacher, who was under conviction, as they say. Furthermore, you didn’t stay to see how many teenagers came forward to partake of the Sacrament of Reconciliation after they were invited. I am absolutely certain that the story of the Birth of Christ was some part of the homily. Christ came to offer sinners, and we are all sinners, the hope of restoration through the love of God. The Incarnation had no other purpose. It is important to present the basic truth of “the Christmas Story.” If the priest you have belittled actually used the Babe in the manger as the springboard to preach on redemption from sin through repentance, he was exactly on the right track. Sometimes there are personal reasons why a person can hear a sermon and only be negatively impacted. If there are more young “traditional” priests these days, I thank God for them. They are not going to be to be the ones molesting children. Their liberal predecessors were the ones who only gave ‘lip service’ to faith – and no, they would never tell kids that sin separates them from God, at Christmas or any other time. They themselves were too far away from Him themselves.

    • Cheryl: I wish what you say is true, but there are many among the ranks of convicted priests who were, as you would say ‘traditional’ in dress and piety. For some (not all!), the return to more visible symbols of the priesthood masquerade the evil intent of the one who’s wearing them. They are pressing all the traditional ‘trust buttons’… some for comfort; others for harm. The founder of the Legionaries of Christ (Marciel), the most traditional of orders of the past 100 years, demanded that cassocks etc. were normal dress… and he has been revealed to be one of the worst offenders anywhere!! He even fooled the Pope!

      Do not confuse piety with holiness. Do not consider dress as an indicator of character. Just because someone dresses traditionally is no guarantee that they are safe to children.

      Most priests, irrespective of their clerical garb are holy men of virtue and service. Some are not. Don’t be confused by our clothes. Any parent must get to know any priest and trust their instincts before they should ever leave them in charge of their children. Events have proven that you cannot presume the good intent of ANY ONE, priest or not. (I take as given that all parents would similarly have street proofed their children and would take all necessary precautions so that their children would immediately report anything that made them feel ‘icky’.) Priests no longer can be assumed to be exempt from the same scrutiny a parent would use with any stranger before leaving their kids in their care.

      As a priest, I can tell you that I refuse to ever be left alone in a closed room with any children. If their parents/teachers will not stay whenever they have to bring kids for sacramental preparation, when I visit a class or any time a kid needs to come and see me. No accompanying adult? No dice. Any priest that would so foolishly put himself in such a position is asking to get into trouble and should not be trusted by parents. He has just violated umpteen Diocesan policies and Insurance company rules by putting himself in a vulnerable situation with a minor. Do you really think you can trust him to properly care for your kid? I wouldn’t.

      Fr. Tim

      • Larry Green says:

        Fr Tim, you said “As a priest, I can tell you that I refuse to ever be left alone in a closed room with any children. If their parents/teachers will not stay whenever they have to bring kids for sacramental preparation, when I visit a class or any time a kid needs to come and see me. No accompanying adult? No dice.” My question is… why ? ….

        • Larry: Two reasons:

          a) it’s in violation of a number of rules
          b) C.Y.A.

          Fr. Tim

          • Larry Green says:

            What is C.Y.A. ?

          • Larry: C.Y.A. (cover your ass)

            Fr. Tim

          • Larry Green says:

            Fr. Tim,
            “a” begs the question ie. your initial proposition which I cited above is more believable than the ’ reason ’ for it.
            Are you not in the least bit offended that your superiors would set “ umpteen rules “ forbidding you to be alone with “ minors “ ( why one chooses to use the term minors when referring to children is suspect ) when in fact you have done nothing wrong ? Pedophiles are dangerous and must stay away from children but are all priests dangerous or are all men for that matter ? Why are you not permitted to think for yourself and make your own judgement ? These ‘ rules ‘ represent an egregious violation of a basic human right. Are you being totally truthful in your reporting here that you refuse to be alone with children because you are prohibited by your superiors from doing so ?
            “b” Covering your ass begs the question again.
            The initial question with regard to your position of refusing to be alone with a child was “ why ? “ and you responded (a) simply by broadening your position to include the church and insurance companies. (b) says , ‘because that’s why.’ These are not reasons. They are rather vague distractions from the ‘ real ’ reason.
            While “Covering Your Ass” gives a clue it falls short of stating the reason/s.
            By ‘why’ I mean what is the underlying reason that would account for this perception of the priest putting himself in a ‘vulnerable’ situation by being alone with children. What is it that prevents you from answering directly and truthfully.
            The following are examples of what may constitute a direct answer to “ Why?”
            1. There is a fear that a priest by virtue of the fact that he is a priest may not have the ability to control an urge to sexually assault children if they are alone. 2. Children are irresistibly seductive by nature. 3. Children will later in life use the situation ( time alone ) to falsely accuse a priest of molesting them so they can get some money.
            I for one can fully understand and respect the right and the choice for any parent to allow their child to spend time alone with an adult whom they trust- priest or not- ( there are so many good reasons – children are sexual toys only in the minds of pedophiles-).
            I can also very easily understand and respect why many parents would refuse to allow their children to be alone with a priest and why many children would not want to be alone with a priest. It’s because they don’t trust priests in general in view of the infestation of pedophiles , conspirators and enablers within the church.
            What I don’t understand ( or maybe I do sort of ) and do not respect is why any priest would “ refuse “ to be alone with a child. It’s a rather hideous position and insulting to children in general and victims in particular.

          • MikeMc says:

            Wow Larry, well said. I don’t know this Fr Tim, but I see he has an answer everywhere. So please answer, Fr T.
            Then Larry goes on to say: “I can also very easily understand and respect why many parents would refuse to allow their children to be alone with a priest and why many children would not want to be alone with a priest. It’s because they don’t trust priests in general in view of the infestation of pedophiles , conspirators and enablers within the church.”
            Wow……..it can’t be said any clearer than this:…… in view of the infestation of pedophiles , conspirators and enablers within the church.”

            I think the reputation of the once called “Holy Priethood” has been tarnished forever. Sad indeed. But I truly believe there has been something flawed and unnatural from the beginning. In fairness, however, I grew up where we had popular priests in our parish and in our school. Some even came to my parents’ house to dinner…..I believe they visted all homes in the parish. I never saw any problem there at all….nor in school. But I am seeing a different story from all over and from every land. Take Ireland for example. The land of my ancestors. It was happening there first. And so the story continues…..

          • Larry: Larry: I’m not offended at all. The rules for the protection of everyone involved: the kids, priest, parents and Church. There are predator priests. There are also malicious kids and parents. Remember the case of the teacher (from Deep River?) who was falsely accused by two girls. They both recanted on the stand, saying that they were angry with the teacher so the laid the false accusation. They didn’t understand the gravity of what they were doing as they quickly became entrapped in their lie. Even though the teacher was absolved, his life, marriage and career fell apart as a result of the charges. Why would you think that I would willingly put myself in a similar situation? Prudential judgment alone would speak of caution whenever I’m potentially facing such a situation. There’s more at stake than just my future reputation – because any potential law suits would also drain the resources of the diocese. I have a fiduciary responsibility to the goods that parishioners have donated as well as protecting myself. For that reason, the Diocese and the insurance companies that insure us have a right to demand a certain code of conduct to protect their interests as well.

            As to your question ‘B’: Clearly your first and third examples are correct. I don’t believe your second is correct. Children are never responsible for their own abuse. To say so is akin to saying that wives are responsible if they are beaten by their husbands. In issues of abuse, there is only one perpetrator and that’s the adult.

            Sorry that you find it heinous to not meet alone with a child. But there is no one to blame except the predator priests who have sullied the reputation of all priests. I don’t like it any more than you do, but these are the realities of ministry in these times.

            Fr. Tim

          • Larry: Hope you can understand what I wrote. I shouldn’t have tackled answering your question if I didn’t have the time to do it properly. I see now that’s it’s full of typos. (including my ‘Larry: Larry’ salutation!) Let me know if I need to clarify anything.

            Fr. Tim

  34. MikeMc says:

    Actually Anne, Elizabeth said she walked out of the gym. That was courageous. Most Catholics would just stay there and “take it”. Like sheep. Like abuse “tithing” and women not being allowed in priesthood and a hierarchy of “old men.” They just accept this cause it’s drilled into them from birth. Some don’t even speak out although you know what they are thinking and occasionally tell you in private.
    Now I admit I wasn’t there to hear this priest, so we are entitled to our opinions. But I do know many good teachers and I believe what Elizabeth heard and saw. Just like that “hemline absurd priest”……I’m sure there are two sides to this story. But it’s obvious something did not go right with the kids.
    Sad state of affairs indeed!
    Anyway that’s my “two cents” worth here and in the collection plate. By the way, didn’t Jesus say something about long robes and tassles of the Pharisees?

  35. MikeMc says:

    Pardon me….the above was directed to Cherly H Thomson. Sorry Anne.

  36. Cheryl-Helene Thomson says:

    8:30 a.m. Saturday: Top of the morning and a big laugh for me courtesy of Fr. Moyle. Good grief, I never said anything about cassocks. Cassocks?! Talk about missing the point. In la-la land, if you see a priest in a cassock, it must mean he is traditional. Oh boy, or ‘Oh Father’, give me a break.

    Note @MikeMc – The “to look at a girl’s hemline” quote was not in the priest’s homily, but a comment he made to a boy as he was walking outside the room. If you think there is no reason to point out there should be boundaries to a young man’s thought life, then you are obviously comfortable with your own imaginings.

    Unfortunately, older people are often insulated from the sexually-charged world that is actually the environment of high school students today. Pornography is everywhere. And it is not limited to a fantasy life.

    According to London’s “Daily Mail” (Jan. 13, 2012):

    “Teenagers are engaging in an explosion of casual sex sparked by a sexting culture, according to new research.. sexting – the practice of sending explicit images and video film electronically… Now a survey of 16 to 24-year olds has revealed that one-in-ten have made contact with people online and subsequently met them in the ‘physical’ world to have casual sex…Eighty per cent of the respondents had used a smartphone or the web for sexual purposes.

    “The results were revealed less than a week after an inquest into the death of troubled 15-year-old Simone Grice, from Illogan, near Redruth, heard she had been meeting older men for sex after contacting them online. The coroner ruled she killed herself.”

    Another view:
    A lady named Anna Freeman writes on http://savethemales.ca

    “If you take a generation, and deprive them of all moral values, all guidance and support, all spirituality and humanness, and instead bombard them with explicit, dehumanized sexual images – this is what you get…

    “Women now judge themselves, not as mothers, nurturers, or companions, but on how quickly and extensively men are prepared to debase them. What 50-years ago would have been considered appalling, degrading treatment from men, is now considered a compliment…their value in life is directly measured by how many people they can get to crudely respond to this ‘hotness’. Boasting of how many ‘conquests’ they’ve achieved is a common conversational topic amongst young girls…”

    “But the truly astonishing fact is that, whilst young men may at least physically enjoy casual sex, young women don’t.

    “They are programmed and designed not to (hence the online ‘problem pages’ inundated by ‘Help, I’m ‘faking it!’ letters). How many young men would so enthusiastically engage in casual, anonymous sex if it wasn’t physically satisfying? Probably none. But young women do, all the time. That’s how distorted, dehumanized and controlled they have become.

    “This brainwashing is so extensive that many, many of my friends – all bright, attractive, kind and thoughtful women – started having unprotected sex with strangers from their teens onwards.”

    “Many have had abortions (official UK figures show that around 30% of women seeking abortions didn’t use any contraception), and these abortions will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives – to say nothing of the lives that have been so brutally cut short as a result.

    “Can this amount of suffering and pain really be justified by a five-minute anesthetized fumble with someone who might not even remember their names? Somehow, generations of girls have been convinced that it can be.

    Conclusion from CHT: Young people are desperately in need of counsel, not more of the same, stupid permissiveness that dumped them, thanks to their parents and even grandparents, into the mud in which they are now suffocating, while they tell themselves it’s the biggest orgasm yet.

  37. MikeMc says:

    Cheryl….please reread this from above:

    beginning quote…..I used to be a Catholic high school teacher, and I get what you’re talking about. This was a few years ago….I remember one priest visited and told all of the boys they were “going to hell” (exact words) if they looked at the hem of the skirts of the girls. It went from there – to worse. The entire year was hellfire, doom and gloom. Well, most of my grade 9 boys then did their homework, googled the documentation on the Catholic church’s sex crimes, and voila – they refused to attend mass at school! Not only that – the kids all quietly boycotted attending mass at home. I heard about this – and as an educator was frustrated. ….end of quote

    What you said……………..Note @MikeMc – The “to look at a girl’s hemline” quote was not in the priest’s homily, but a comment he made to a boy as he was walking outside the room. If you think there is no reason to point out there should be boundaries to a young man’s thought life, then you are obviously comfortable with your own imaginings. end of quote

    Cheryl,….simply said, what the priest said and how he said it was damaging and wrong! This doom and gloom and hell fire….wrong approach. Yes, I agree the world has gone mad on sexual explosion in media etc etc…..But a 30 yr old priest talking like this to students….what did he accomplish? They all left the church!!
    Well done, Father X! You really hit the mark here!

  38. Elizabeth says:

    I have a few things I’d like to say.

    Cheryl,

    I’ve reread your post several times and I’m hurt, bothered, and confused by your comments. First, I was hurt when you said, “I don’t believe it happened at all the way you described it.” I am not a liar and I can assure you that my perception of the mass was in no way skewed. As for being hurt by this comment, let me explain. When I was five years old I was sodimized by two Redemptorist Brothers. The one happened to be my uncle’s brother-in-law and when he visited the family farm, he and his cohort would take the children to the woods for a picnic. (Unfortunately I was dropped off at the farm one weekend while they were visiting.) I was lucky in that I was only assaulted on that one occasion. You should meet my cousins! Unfortunately the repeated abuse was too much to take… but I digress. The point is this: those of us who have been assaulted by clergy and have struggled to tell what happened, have an issue with being called a liar.

    Secondly, I am bothered by your comments regarding teenagers. For the last twenty years I’ve taught at a wonderful high school with bright, socially-aware teens. In fact, just before the mass, my class was wrapping the gifts they had purchased for a child at the local shelter. Also, many had donated their old winter coats so that less fortunate kids would be warm this winter. In the spring, a group of our students and staff are going back to the Dominican Republic where they assist at various construction sites. These kids do not deserve to be called sinners. (You seem to think that by having access to the technology that ADULTS have created, they are automatically sinners. How sad.) Now bishop Lahey, the subject of this thread…but I digress.) As for the priest who said the Christmas, he’s not on staff and was oblivious to the moral fabric of the group of kids. Our chaplain admitted that of the four parishes that are affiliated with the school, his was the only one that agreed to send a priest to say mass. The sacrament of reconciliation was scheduled for the next day. I don’t have the numbers for the school, but no one from my class attented. . .

    Lastly, I am confused by “perhaps it was you, the teacher, who was under conviction.” Please explain.

    Father Tim,
    Follow your instincts regarding boundaries. Don’t apologize. Don’t rationalize. I can’t believe that anyone following this blog would think otherwise. Besides, what’s wrong with mom or dad being present when a priest, or dentist, or doctor is with a child? Perhaps my radar was hyper-vigilent when my kids were little but I have no regrets.

    Anne, Mike, and Al

    Thank-you for understanding what I had to say.

    A friend of mine, who happens to be deaf-blind sent me a New Year’s message via e-mail. (Long story short: He has Usher Syndrome. Was hearing-impaired as a kid. Deaf as a young adult and managed to get through U. of T. before going blind.) His message goes to CNIB where it is transcribed before it gets to me. (Hey Cheryl- There really is a positive side to technology! Anyway, here is his message:

    ..Encourage someone today. (And every
    day.) Be an Angel to somebody today.
    (And every day.) Be a Blessing to
    those who deserve it and those who do
    not, because you may never know whose
    life you are turning around. Kindness
    is the language which the deaf can hear
    and the blind can see… >Anonymous

    Dalai Lama said:

    ..We are all, by nature, clearly oriented
    toward the basic human values of love
    and compassion. We all prefer the love
    of others to their hatred. We all prefer
    othersb generosity to meanness. And
    who is there among us who does not
    prefer tolerance, respect and forgiveness
    of our failings to bigotry, disrespect,
    and resentment?..

    He also said:

    ..The first beneficiary of compassion
    is always oneself. When compassion,
    or warmheartedness, arises in us and
    our focus shifts away from our own
    narrow self-interest, it is as if we
    open an inner door. It reduces fear,
    boosts confidence and brings us inner
    strength. By reducing distrust, it
    opens us to others and brings us a
    sense of connection to others, and
    sense of purpose and meaning in life…

    And this ….

    ..A good laugh overcomes more difficulties
    and dissipates more dark clouds than
    any other one thing… > Laura Ingalls
    Wilder ( 1867-1957 )

    Cheers! Thumbs Up! I am rooting for
    you. .. K… – 9:10 AM 12/27/2011

    And to all of you, may 2012 be a joyful year.

    Elizabeth
    ==== ====

    • Larry Green says:

      Elizabeth, I am very sorry to that you have been a victim of sexual assault as a child.
      I am well aware Elizabeth that most if not all victims of child sexual assault have issues with being explicitly or implicitly being called a liar. They in fact all to often are called liars and this is precisely what I stand openly , explicitly and firmly against in what ever form it is expressed. It is extremely important that we communicate to victims in silence that if they want to come forward that they will be believed , they won’t be suspected of making up lies in order to get some money from the church. Your judgment about “ what I think “ misses the substance of what I am saying.

      • Larry Green says:

        By the way Elizabeth , I am also sorry that you were called a liar in here, I think it was unreasonable, totally unwarranted , and downright mean. Your action in that situation was commendable and I do hope that the students have received a clear message from you that it is very important always to think for yourself .

    • Al says:

      Elizabeth,
      After a long time I see a good person on this website who write sthing meaningful. I am glad teachers like you are in the catholic school system.

  39. Anne C says:

    Well, I appreciate the good feedback and support I’ve read on this board. Elizabeth’s story – sparked my memory/story – and I’m glad I brought it up. You can get really isolated working in these institutions – I can see how the frustration brings educators to tears (i.e. after a while you feel like – why bother educating kids to have a strong intellect when someone’s just going to come along and erase it). But then – you could say – those kids now need clear-heads and insight more than ever. All part of the reason why I stopped teaching in Catholic schools though. Way too frustrating. That – and the fact that at every single retreat the topic was usually about some aspect of sex and mortal sin. Not very uplifting.

    Fr. Tim’s comment about not being alone with kids in a room – is quite normal for a professional who works with kids these days. None of the male teachers would – that is an absolute given. For most of the female teachers too. Personally I believe false accusations are extremely rare – but they do exist. I believe there is research to support a trend that males are avoiding the teaching profession for this very reason. Why risk your reputation. One whiff – and you’re toast for life.

    See how these creeps affect everyone.

  40. Larry Green says:

    Fr. Tim, it’s no wonder why the Catholic church rejects the idea of women in the priesthood, I don’t know of many , if any, women who would tolerate, let alone welcome, being told by their boss who they can or can’t spend time alone with. It looks so depraved and lacking in confident virtue “ prudential judgement “ from the world out here but if it’s rules that you need and an authority to guide you , so be it .
    With regard to the examples of what would constitute a direct answer , they were just that , examples for illustration and not a presentation for you to correct. You said one and three are correct and two is not. We disagree. All three are in fact false. Do you really believe as number one states that ‘ by virtue of the fact that you are a priest ,’ you may not be able to control an urge to sexually assault children if you are alone with them ? I think not.
    In this post you have confirmed the ‘ real ’ reason 3. which was as I suspected. Is there any chance that you have inadvertently provided us with a little window to the ” whispering behind the scenes? ”
    I will not dignify by further responding to any argument in defence of this reason for “ priests refusing to be alone with children .” It would be much better if you gave this some very deep thought on your own from a perspective other than the one you have apparently become entrenched in.
    P.S. I didn’t use the term heinous I said hideous and I will add , a twisted perception of reality. It is insulting in act and in it’s demeaning message to children in general and in particular to victims of clerical sexual abuse.

    • Larry: I still don’t understand your point. Perhaps I’m just too dimwitted today to get it – and if so, I apologize. The pastoral approach I take with children is standard today. That you don’t like it is beside the point. How does that song go… ‘You can’t always get what you want’. It was the way I was trained to function when I was a social worker. It’s the way I have always proceeded as a priest. I am in no way obliged to change my attitude or practice because you insist on interpreting everything I write through the lens of your presumptions.

      As to the heinous/hideous point – such are the wonders of the auto-correct feature on my iMac. It slipped by me. Sorry. It’s been a hectic day.

      Fr. Tim

  41. Anne C says:

    When I read the comments on this board I realize that some of the pain is obviously quite deep. We can get caught in winning arguments with each other….but personally I think that’s a waste of time. I wonder if maybe we are more on the same page than we think? There is a lot of pain and frustration as you realize that you can’t trust these institutions – and as adults we all really need to think for ourselves – and train youth of today to do the same. So – maybe that is a good thing that has come out of all this: the truth. It does bring empowerment. Nowadays, thanks to the courageous victims, the truth has a chance to see the light of day. In the bad old days- forget it. What a truly wonderful long-term service you do for all members of society.

  42. Elizabeth says:

    Larry,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I was confused by your last sentence. “Your judgment about ‘what I think’ misses the substance of what I am saying.” Please clarify.

  43. MikeMc says:

    Anne says: We can get caught in winning arguments with each other….but personally I think that’s a waste of time.” I agree with this.
    I would, however, like to hear Fr Tim’s thoughts on the future of the Church and the future of Priesthood. I for one see a very damaged priesthood. A site like Sylvia’s certainly shows this. I do realize that “bad apples” exist everywhere and in every walk of life (boy scouts, teaching, coaches etc etc). But when I see what is happening in Ireland, Canada, Newfoundland, and now in the States (49 Catholic schoools closing just in Philly area), and pretty much in every country where the priesthood is, I have to ask the question if there is something fundamentally wrong. My bishop Lahey, the man who I had in my classroom with my students, was a functioning Bishop and a good man, so it seemed. His addiction or disease…or just downright sinfulness, was wrong morally and legally. He said he was glad he got caught. Big price to pay, I say.
    But how did he get through the system? The allegations of the time he was also a priest are yet to fully come to trial (if ever). So many priests…whether they knew of this about each other….or not……have had this problem. What is the cause? Why has it happened in such great numbers. Ok, it’s worldwide, I agree…..but the Church is worldwide and had the same teaching and values and directives to all it priests and religious. The problem has really only come to light these past 40-50 years……but I wonder if this has not been going on for centuries.
    So I now question the future of this priesthood and the church they serve. It’s not really a matter of people’s faith……I have been in churches in Nfld where there has been no priest for a Sunday service but the parishoners still had service, communion, preaching.
    So Fr Tim, as you can see I am really disappointed in this Church and saddened. (Often angry too) I think the problems stems right from the top on downward. T’is time, I say, for a woman Pope. And you know what? I’m not being humorous when I say this. You know it and I do…..the ‘old boys club’ has failed and it’s time they face the facts. Once “fear” and priestly damnation of someone no longer was accepted by the parishoners, then these men and their problems, ….and many times evils, ….have now come to light. We the laity, are not accepting it any more. When I read in here articles about both victims’ impact statements, and Bishop’s and priests’ “coverups”, it makes me wonder the future of the priesthood. Priests have damaged so many people. Stole their soul, as many have said. Thanks God things ahave come t light where victims can reclaim their souls.
    My faith is still with me. But do I see how this Church has gone astray? Yes. To be blunt, I don’t think I really care about the priesthood and its future. I would really look closely and carefully at any young man entering. T’is a sad state of affairs. Comments, Fr Tim?

    • Mike: Comments? Yes. Much of what you state is true, but your perspective is somewhat skewed. First off, approximately 3-5% of adults (almost, but not exclusively all males)are predators (sexually speaking). This figure holds true no matter what the vocation, occupation, education, marital or social status. So it stands to reason that at least that many are within the ranks of the clergy. I suspect it has always been thus – even St. Paul deals with the issue of sexual immorality and abuse in his letter to the Corinthian church so evidently it’s been an issue for over 2000 years. I will also say that even with all the protections that have been put in place, there will still be some who make it through to the priesthood. After all, if pedophiles can deceive spouses – they can surely beat any system. This is sad. It is tragic. It is the truth.

      So, what is the future of the Church and the priesthood? Sure doesn’t look positive in the near term and in the west. I do however point out that world wide the number of priests (and Catholics for that matter) continues to increase. It could be that in the not too distant future in Canada, Catholics will long for the return of the Latin mass… if it means that they can finally figure out what’s being said to them in the heavily accented English or French of missionaries from the developing world.

      This said: the Church will survive. Man cannot screw-up so perfectly as to thwart the plan of God. He intended the Church to be a vessel to bring the faithful through to His second coming. It will accomplish the task. As a Catholic I believe that with all my heart, mind and soul. All those who abused children, be they priests, bishops, popes or laity, will find that to be a day of terrible reckoning. If, according to scripture, being thrown into the ocean with a millstone tied around your next is preferable to the judgment they will receive, I can safely say it will not be a happy time for these predators. But they will fail if they think that their crimes will sink the Church. It has God’s promise that it will not fail.

      Hope this answers your questions.

      Fr. Tim

      • Lina says:

        Please tell us what areas these future Roman Catholic priests are coming from?

        Are these priests coming from the areas of the world where the clergy abuse scandals hasn’t come to light yet?

        What about the human rights track records in these areas? How do these areas see females…equals or second class citizens?

        • Lina: These priests are coming from Africa, the Philippines, Vietnam, Poland, India,… in other words, the developing world. As to the social conditions and cultures of each place, the relationship of the genders etc., you probably know as much about them as I do. I’ve never visited any of these places so all I know comes from the media over the years. I simply remind myself that technology is not necessarily a hallmark of civilized cultures. It could be that they have organized their social institutions in a way that you or I might consider to be advanced and enlightened.

          Fr. Tim

          • Lina says:

            As for the Philippines…I do know The Philippine Roman Catholic Church is a major political player that wields power and influence there.
            So it stand to reason they will push their own Roman Catholic agenda such as no artificial birth control etc…

            As for the other countries as well as the Philippines I would bet the clergy abuse scandals has not hit strong there as it done in Ireland, USA, Belgium etc…

            Only time will tell if these imported priests from the countries you mentioned Fr. Tim will succeed here in Canada.

            As for you mentioning in another post here about bringing back the Latin Mass I’m sure some wouldn’t mine it but the majority of folks will not.
            Unless you can convince them to imagine they are praying in tongues. That might work for a few who like the idea becoming a charismatic.

          • Lina says:

            I wanted to clear up something about my above post. I meant to say that the majority of folks will not like attending a Latin Mass.

          • Al says:

            There was a time priests went from Europe to these third world countries as missionaries to preach, teach and spread the good news. There is nothing wrong that these priests are being send to this country to do the same. Catholic church is universal. They come here with the official letter of their bishops or religious superior stating that they are priests in good standing and had never ever any alchoholic or sexual misconduct. I have known a few who are doing extreemly well here. In Toronto Archdiocese there are over hundred or more working in parishes who are from different countries.

          • Lina: I like you line about marketing a Latin mass as a Charismatic meeting! Thanks for the grin!!!

            Fr. Tim

      • Larry Green says:

        Fr Tim, I read that book too ,a few years ago “ How to Lie with Statistics “ By Darrell Huff. I read it for the purpose of spotting the lies though. Has this become your full time job ?

      • Larry Green says:

        ” It stands to reason.” There is no problem that needs fixing in the Catholic church. It’s all a part of nature and it has been for at least 2000 years and Fr. Tim’s powerful and accurate statistical data proves it once and for all. There is no need for concern or sites like this one at all !!! Well , I wont cause any feelings of discomfort by disagreeing with Fr. Tim . Apparently you’ve “ WON .”

  44. Larry Green says:

    Critical arguments are not a means to vent emotion nor do they represent one side or the other of a debate. The sole purpose in the advancement of critical argument is to state a claim or to evaluate the validity or soundness of a claim stated. It is certainly not about winning anything. Unless you accept everything that everyone says as being the truth , you challenge claims every day and that is no waste of time. There is no activity more worthy of praise than to seek the truth and that is precisely the aim of arguments constructed through the process of critical reasoning.
    “ I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire.

  45. Anne C says:

    My point exactly – people here should feel comfortable to comment on the larger problem (namely pedophile etc priests and the state of the church), without someone coming out with a “gotcha” point on something more personal. (That is not critical argument). It only sets us up against each other and distracts from the critical thread.

    The question from MikeMcC: “I wonder if this has not been going on for centuries.” I wonder this too – and I think many of us fear the answer. If you look at the evidence, and the number of cases going on, even on this site, in one country alone, I think that must constitute an epidemic. The church has never responded to the BIG problem, as you say MikeMcC. That is why I say we hold their feet to the fire for the BIG problem – beyond individual cases (which gives them permission to say: “oops, sorry” on a case by case basis).

    There is a Big, obvious problem – and the church is in denial over it. At some point they’re going to have to respond to the big problem.

    Regarding the future of the church/priesthood – perhaps the church/any one individual should never have that much power over others, period. I think it could be a form of protection for society should priests in future be viewed as ‘religious institutional leaders’ rather than ‘holy men’ – something most of them can’t live up to anyways.

    Remember that young priest in Hamilton Ontario last Fall who sexually assaulted an 18 year old male musician at the church? The victim said: “I went with him when he asked me too – out of respect.” Those words are very telling. Anyone here who is Catholic knows EXACTLY what that means. We are raised to respect priests as men of God, period. There is no ‘consent’ in these cases.

    It frustrates me in reading so many of these court cases that the church never openly acknowledges the priest’s power over their victims/parishioners/students people – yet constantly wields that power (as a given!) on a day-to-day basis.

    Maybe that is the whole problem – priests are put on pedestals, when we as a church should promote social equality. More and more, I also have a hard time with women not being considered equal in my church – when Jesus went out of His way to welcome women. The gospels mention this many times – Jesus constantly dismantled power, not the other way around. The role of the apostles was to teach, spread the word – it was a humble position. How far we have strayed from the gospel’s message.

    • Al says:

      Anne,
      you wrote about the priest (from Brazil) who worked in Hamilton. As far as I know later the case was dismissed. There is sthing that everyone should learn:inculturation. In the portughese culture they kiss the other of appreciation of what some one did or affection. In this case as far as I know that is what happend. Many portughese people I spoke too told me they do it all the time (hug and kiss).

      • Sylvia says:

        To my knowledge the case has not been dismissed Al. Father Silva has a court date in Hamilton on 26 January 2012.

        I don’t know the nature of the charges against Silva, but I do believe that after two years in Canada he would have learned that priests in Canada do not routinely kiss men – young or old – they have just met on the lips as a sign of affection or appreciation! Surely if he has been doing this for the past two years with every male he meets someone somewhere along the line would have taken offence and told him that is not appropriate in this country?

  46. Larry Green says:

    Anne, are you saying that no one should challenge you on any of the arguments that you just publicized here ?Are you saying that we should simply accept what you say as the absolute truth because any opposition to your arguments would constitute a personal attack ? I don’t know how anyone can tackle ” the “ BIG” universal problem without any desire or will to face the ‘ little ‘ individual problem. The church and the priesthood are not substantial entities that you can dialogue with. The priesthood is in the priest.

  47. Michel Bertrand says:

    One is 100 per cent to many in any area of occupation with children in positions of trust.. It is a crime that is and should be prosecuted by law and the perpetrators should answer unencumbered to society for their acts..

  48. Cheryl-Helene Thomson says:

    The term “liar,” Elizabeth, by definition means a predetermined intention to deceive. I did not call you a liar, nor would I call anyone on this forum a liar.

    However, as anyone who has studied law will verify, an eyewitness to any event can be seriously mistaken. What I actually said to you, Elizabeth, was this exact quote: “In fact, sorry, but I don’t believe it happened at all the way you have described it.” I then gave my reasons. You then responded later with a more complete description of the event, explaining that the Sacrament of Reconciliation was actually offered the following day. However, your original statement reeked with anti-traditional sarcasm, and I do not credit you with being a completely impartial observer, from the moment you heard the music – “a bizarre mix of latin and gregorian chants.” The foundations of the Roman Catholic Church indeed will seem bizarre, especially to those who deny that sin is indeed, always, in the camp.

    You also presented your ‘credentials’ as a victim. Just about everyone on this forum has done the same thing, myself included. I don’t see why our painful pasts have anything at all to do with the facts, ‘M’am nothing but the facts…’ In our mutual outpourings of sympathy, the original points get forgotten. Yes, let’s all be enlightened and politically correct and pat each other on the back. Can we get back to topic?

    We also pat people on the back, praising Elizabeth’s students, as she does, for giving clothes to the homeless and going down to Central America, on thousands of dollars of their parents’ dimes, or other parents’ dimes, to build schools, clinics, whatever. No, these do-gooders cannot possibly be “sinners,” says Elizabeth. Really?

    Surprise – that’s exactly what the Catholic Church hierarchy says about all those ‘fine priests’ who turn out to be sinners. ‘But they are so loved by their congregation… They helped so-and-so after that terrible tragedy…. They spearheaded this drive to help the aged parishioners….” These wonderful behaviors have absolutely nothing to do with sex practices and proclivities — by young or old.

    This is exactly why MikeMc is so floored to find out the truth about Bishop Lahey. He asks why didn’t the system weed him out earlier. It would have twenty years ago, in Newfoundland, but the hierarchy wasn’t paying attention. It wasn’t paying attention 5 years ago either when someone else launched a civil suit against Lahey. Sigh.

    I am not blaming Lahey’s laptop, or technology as a whole either, although the news articles I linked brought up that connection for young people. There is no question, however, that porn is more easy to access now than when the girlie magazines were on the top shelf of the magazine rack. Secrecy is so much easier.

    As pointed out by several journalists, both girl teens and boy teens (and pre-teens) are surfing smut online. I am sure they put on smiling faces for their parents and for their teachers, as they take out the garbage (with those tell-tale, soiled kleenexes), or get together with their friends to wash cars to collect donations for their next field trip, ‘sexting’ all the while.

    The fact that the mere gender of an individual somehow can determine how morally trustworthy they can be with children is absurd. The latest studies show that female child abusers make up 25 per cent of the total.

    I would not be any more comfortable with a woman priest, or a woman Pope for that matter, than I would be with the males, in or out of cossacks. The experience of the United Church, for example, personally shared with me by a very knowledgeable member of several minister-recruiting-committees, conveyed the following tidbits:

    One, female ministers are now preferred, because United Church congregations have had too many bad surprises from married male ministers and their heterosexual and homosexual liaisons.

    But second, female ministers are often lesbians; and if they are ‘married,’ it can be a marriage ‘in name only’. After someone spends years in university and seminary to get a fairly secure position ‘in ministry,’ and they are still paying off their student loans, there is ample motivation to pretend to live the way the congregation wants them to live, even if they have to live a lie.

    Surely, the world has changed to the extent that even women welcome ‘third parties,’ as well as men, when they would otherwise be alone with a child. However, in fact, twenty years ago, ‘old-fashioned’ Baptist ministers insisted they would never even be alone with their secretaries, and the secretaries were in full agreement with all precautions taken. I should know. I was one of the secretaries. Where there is no possibility of bad behavior, there will be no bad behavior.

    Now is the time we need to bring back chaperones. The ‘old-fashioned’ position was: Yes, we are all sinners. It’s still a good standard. We are all sinners. We can all fall.

    It absolutely astonishes me that some people want to provide ‘cover’ and defend young people against accusations of immorality, as if they are somehow more ‘pure’ than adults. Then, we blame the Roman Catholic Church, or the Boy Scouts, or the Football Team, for doing the same thing. But it is familiarity with the depraved, and availability to the depraved, which causes abuse, not the institutional setting.

    Regarding, by the way, the history of pedophilia and pederasty in the Roman Catholic Church – Of course, it happened. But it was denounced at the highest levels. I recommend the book by Randy Engels: “The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church.”

    Going right back to the 11th century, St. Peter Damian wrote a lengthy treatise entitled “The Book of Gomorrah.”

    In keeping with traditional Church teachings handed down from the time of the Apostles, he holds that all homosexual acts are crimes against Nature and therefore crimes against God who is the author of Nature.

    It is also refreshing to find an ecclesiastic whose first and primary concern in the matter of clerical sexual immorality is for God’s interests, not man’s, especially with regard to homosexuality in clerical ranks. Also, his special condemnation of pederastic crimes by clergy against young boys and men (including those preparing for holy orders), made over nine hundred years ago, certainly tends to undermine the excuse of many bishops and Cardinals who claim that they initially lacked specific knowledge and psychological insights by which to assess the seriousness of clerical pederastic crimes.

    Upon a first reading of the “Book of Gomorrah,” I think the average Catholic would find himself in a state of shock at the severity of Damian’s condemnation of clerical sodomical practices as well as the severe penalties that he asks Pope Leo IX to attach to such practices.

    Many Catholics have simply lost a sense of sin. It does not seem to matter if an overt effete homosexual cleric “camps” it out on the altar while administering heretical rites for an Ash Wednesday service. Some parishioners smile patronizingly. They are titillated. They find him ‘amusing’.

    Also, many Catholics today have little, if any, knowledge of how the early Church Fathers dealt with the issue of homosexuality, including pederasty, in clerical ranks.

    Take, for example, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4th Century architect of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea (322-379AD), for the cleric or monk caught making sexual advances (kissing) or sexually molesting young boys or men. The convicted offender was to be whipped in public, deprived of his tonsure (head shaven), bound in chains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to be contained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elder spiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread – the fodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor and moving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be always monitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had any contact with young men or boys.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Very well done ! We are all sinners, and it seems we go to great lengths to deny it , or just plain ignore it. People will say- well a loving God will never condemn anyone to Hell !! Oh ! is that so? Well then who did Jesus refer to when He spoke of Hades, or Gehenna, or the place of Lucifer?
      I do not like the following line, but, it has some merit in expressing reality.
      Those who do not believe in Hell will when they get there !

Leave a Reply