Scandal of Ealing Abbey & Press Portrayal of “The Church’s Criminality”

Monks no longer allowed to run St Benedict’s school where children were abused;    ENGLAND: London Ealing: St Benedict’s School

Guardian, 24 October, 2019…

A “sadistic and predatory” atmosphere and a culture of cover-up and denial in a Catholic school allowed sexual abusers to commit crimes against children for decades, an independent inquiry has found.

Senior figures at Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s school in west London, part of the English Benedictine Congregation, were perpetrators of abuse over a 30-year period. Staff members failed to raise concerns because of a “mafia-like” atmosphere and the fear of losing their jobs.

Since 2003, four members of staff, including a former abbot, have been convicted of multiple offences relating to the sexual abuse of more than 20 children. The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) said: “The total scale of abuse can never be known, but it is likely to be much greater.”

…The inquiry heard evidence over five days in February. It sought a witness statement and documentation from the pope’s representative in the UK, the apostolic nuncio, which the Holy See refused to provide.

…“The Catholic church needs to be held accountable for its criminality…”   Click here to read the entire, horrifying, newspaper report

Comment:

There is nobody on this blog who, on reading the above report, will even remotely seek to justify such disgraceful abuse.  The behaviour of all involved is summed up simply as “evil”.

However, such shocking reports of this evil behaviour, which is the very opposite of everything Christ taught, should not, for a second, shake our faith in the four marks of Christ’s Church, which is that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic.  The holiness of the Church comes primarily from Christ, not from the members, although when we speak of the Church as “holy” we are thinking, too, of the entire Church, from the beginning – the Church in Heaven (the Church Triumphant); the Church in Purgatory (The Church Suffering) and the Church on earth (The Church Militiant).

Those who look at such evil behaviour perpetrated by some members of the Church on earth at any given point in history and see it as evidence that the Church is not holy, are revealing ignorance of the composition of the Church, which is not confined to the visible body of the Church on earth.

This is not to minimise, in any way, the gravity of what is happening in the Church today, least of all the complicity of the Vatican in evil.  We have just been discussing, on other threads,  the Pope’s own complicity in the utter scandal of promoting the worship of pagan idols within the Vatican itself and various churches around Rome. The breaking of the First Commandment is about as serious as it gets for a Pope.  And Our Lord has warned us that it is not only pagan idols which are to be tossed into rivers:   “…he that shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned int he depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

“…he that shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe in Me,
it were better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned int he depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

The questions for discussion here must, therefore, surely include

1) why on earth would the Vatican refuse to co-operate with the authorities investigating the Ealing scandal?

2) how many Catholics actually understand the composition of the Church themselves? 

3) does it all come back to the failure of Catholic education across the board – schools at every level, seminaries, etc?

4)  what sort of episcopal oversight is there of religious Orders within each diocese?

5) How confident can we be that absolutely everything is being done to rid the Church of this evil – abuser priests? 

6)  Or is this evil irrevocably linked to the loss of the supernatural within the  Church since the so-called “reforms” (the rvolution) of Vatican II?

27th October – Feast of Christ the King!

Comment:

We are reflecting upon, and discussing, the shocking state of the Church on various threads; We have noted that Our Lord, Christ the King, is being abused and insulted at the highest levels in His Church today.  The human element in the Church is all but obscuring the divine.  Let us, therefore, use this Feast Day thread as a small means of reparation, as well as celebration. Take a few minutes to share your favourite hymns and prayers, devotions, novenas, pilgrimages etc. as a means of reminding ourselves that, despite the scandalous outward appearances, Christ is  remaining true to His promise to be with His Church right to the end:  “…And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt 28:20)  

Real faith is required of us today – we cannot merely, as some put it, “cling to a tribal identity”.  Perhaps a short extract from the life of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, will point us towards the attitude of soul which we might most profitably embrace at this time – the saint is writing (to her Superior) about the affliction of her “dark night of the soul”: 

From the time of my childhood I felt that one day I should be set free from this land of darkness. I believed it, not only because I had been told so by others, but my heart’s most secret and deepest longings assured me that there was in store for me another and more beautiful country—an abiding dwelling-place. I was like Christopher Columbus, whose genius anticipated the discovery of the New World. And suddenly the mists about me have penetrated my very soul and have enveloped me so completely that I cannot even picture to myself this promised country . . . all has faded away. When my heart, weary of the surrounding darkness, tries to find some rest in the thought of a life to come, my anguish increases. It seems to me that out of the darkness I hear the mocking voice of the unbeliever: “You dream of a land of light and fragrance, you dream that the Creator of these wonders will be yours for ever, you think one day to escape from these mists where you now languish. Nay, rejoice in death, which will give you, not what you hope for, but a night darker still, the night of utter nothingness!”

Dear Mother, this description of what I suffer is as far removed from reality as the first rough outline is from the model, but I fear that to write more were to blaspheme . . . even now I may have said too much. May God forgive me! He knows that I try to live by Faith, though it does not afford me the least consolation. I have made more acts of Faith in this last year than during all the rest of my life.  (Chapter IX, The Story of a Soul).

Maybe we should compete with this great saint and Doctor of the Church, in making many acts of Faith, not just on this beautiful Feast, but every day throughout the worsening crisis in the Church.  Here’s one – if you have a favourite, please share:

An Act of Faith…

O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.   Amen.

Hail, Christ the King! 

Priest: Fatima Warnings Fulfilled in Amazon Synod – Worst Fears Realised…

Comment: 

As the priest interviewed in the video indicates, silence is not an option at this late stage in the crisis. We must all speak out now, in every way possible, to highlight the “new pathways” being pursued by Pope Francis, to create what is, in fact, a new Church, opposed to the Church founded by Christ, true God and true Man.   It is difficult to see how anyone, priest, religious or lay person, can remain silent at this point and still be confident of salvation.  Or is this a case of “the lady doth protest too much?”

Feast of Saint Raphael: Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Dr John Dunn RIP

St Raphael, Archangel

It is with much sadness that I have learned of the death of Dr John James Dunn.

Dr John Dunn passed away peacefully this morning at  7.a.m. It is a great consolation to reflect on the fact that he has been taken on his final journey today, the Feast of the archangel Saint Raphael, the patron saint of travellers.  

May his soul rest in peace.

Further information about funeral arrangements will follow as soon as confirmed, within the next 24/36 hours.  *

 

*  Update…

Body will be received on evening of Friday, 1st November, at 7pm in St Mary’s, 89 Abercromby Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow, G40 2DQ, with Rosary recited as per Dr Dunn’s wishes.

Traditional Latin Funeral Mass, 12 noon, Saturday, 2nd November. 

Please pray for the consolation of Dr Dunn’s family – Father Stephen Dunn, John, Catherine, Simon and James. 

This thread will remain open to allow bloggers to express sympathy, and promise prayers for the repose of the soul of the deceased, and for the  consolation of the family. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him; may he rest in peace. Amen.

Dr John James Dunn…
May he rest in peace. 

If Pope Francis Doubts Divinity of Christ, Can We Trust The Church? 

Comment:

The priest’s sermon in the above video is a much needed reminder of the basics of the Faith; the 20 minutes required to hear the sermon/watch the video is well worth spending to remind ourselves that – notwithstanding the scandals we are witnessing, not least through the words and actions of this shocking pontiff – God is with His Church, and it is the ONLY Church which has been given to us for our salvation.  It is worth reminding ourselves of just who and what is infallible, and when; and to check out the teaching of the Church that Scripture is true, entire and whole: there is no error in Scripture, as the Church herself is indefectable –  in relation to which, you may wish to comment on the police raid on the Vatican, to which Father refers. Oh,  and you may want to let us know what you think about the Amazon Synod recommendation that we begin now to confess our “sins against ecology”…  Laugh? I thought I’d never start…

Mental Health: Is Wearing Our Heart on Our Sleeve Good for the Soul? 

Comment:

News commentators are enjoying dissecting the ITV documentary interview with Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, generally known as “Harry & Meghan”, in which they both speak very openly about the negative impact of their royal public life on their mental health. 

 The reaction from viewers has been mixed.  Given that they are able to travel the globe at taxpayers’ expense, and use the camera and thick column inches in newspapers to lecture us all not to do the same (in the interests of saving the planet), there has been lots of criticism along the lines of “hypocrites”. 

However, whether true or not, that’s not the purpose of this discussion. We can all be hypocrites on occasion.   Right now, we are much more interested in the growing custom within once “stiff upper lip” British society, of just about everyone – royal or not – wearing their hearts on their sleeves and claiming poor mental health at every turn.

The following point was made in conversation with a friend on the topic earlier today:  what, at one time, a Catholic would have offered up in silent prayer for the sake of his/her own soul, and the souls of others in spiritual danger, is now considered a matter for counselling and/or medication.  Stress, anxiety, depression, you name it, there seems to be an increased sensitivity, to the point of hyper-sensitivity in many, if not most people, for – more often than not – trivial/no good reason.  Lamentably, that includes Catholics.  Surely, Catholics should be living on a rather higher level – notwithstanding that there will be, of course, those with genuine, diagnosed, mental health illness.

Or is the above assessment a bit too hard? Harsh, even?

Extinction Rebellion: Priest Protester Making An Idiot of Himself – Clown! 

Passionist Fr. Martin Newell speaks from the roof of a train stopped at London’s Shadwell Station en route to the financial district Oct. 17. (Courtesy of Extinction Rebellion/ Vladimir Morozov)    (Click on image to read report).                                                                         

In case you think this is a one-off maverick – think again. His Order is fully behind him – click here

I emailed via the Order’s website as follows but, as ever, I’m not holding my breath for a reply.  After all, as one friend said, these folk are never going to be taking part in pro-life protests – they won’t want humans polluting the planet.  Clowns.

MY EMAIL VIA THE PASSIONISTS’ WEBSITE

From the Editor, Catholic Truth…

I am preparing to launch a blog discussion about the priest who participated in the extinction rebellion protest atop a train, so in the interests of fairness and balance, I wanted to check if and when this same priest has ever participated in any pro-life gathering or are there copies of letters you may be able to provide where he has written to MPs etc. on the subject of the murder of unborn babies or any other moral issue. 

 Also, is he aware of the letter sent by 500 climate scientists to the UN offering evidence to prove that there is NO climate emergency.

 I look forward to your early reply. 

 Thank you  [Ends].

Comments invited…

…because, having watched that idiot on the news (I assume it is the same idiot who was pulled from the train)*  I am,  frankly, speechless that he is a priest.  Over to you! 

* As corrected below in the comments, this is not the case.  The protester pulled by the commuters from the top of the train was yet another idiot, at another station. I remain speechless, however, that any priest would behave in such a juvenile manner. Clown. 

Catholics MUST Be ProLife:Action!(3)

A 4D ultrasound test is a way of reproducing a moving image of your baby inside your womb. The 4D ultrasound uses sound waves to create this moving image. In a 3D ultrasound, you can see a three-dimensional image of your baby. A 4D ultrasound takes this experience to the next level. It creates an effect that is similar to watching a live video. Using this technology, you can see what your baby is doing at that moment inside your womb. In fact, you can even see if your baby is yawning or smiling at that particular moment!

This thread is dedicated to sharing news about pro-life issues.

Where possible, we suggest that bloggers make and respond to calls to action in defence of the unborn child – whether that entails emailing MPs or supporting various vigils etc.
Try not to simply post a link to news – publish an extract and/or make a suggestion about possible action, that will encourage readers to click your link.

Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an “unspeakable crime”.54
But today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). Especially in the case of abortion there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as “interruption of pregnancy”, which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.

The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth
if we recognize that we are dealing with murder…
Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae – on the Value and Inviolability, of Human Life #58  [Emphasis added]   Click here to read the entire encyclical

To read Pro-Life thread (2) click here

What on Earth IS “The Catholic Ethos”?

From the Scottish Catholic Observer, 11/10/19
‘Our schools are inclusive, not divisive,’ say headteachers

Catholic Primary headteachers reject secular arguments as they gather for annual CHAPS conference.

Catholic schools are inclusive, not divisive, headteachers emphasised this week as the Archbishop of Glasgow urged them not to shy away from their Catholic ethos.

The recent debate in the secular world over closing Catholic schools was one of the subjects of discussion at the annual Catholic Headteachers Association of Primary Schools (CHAPS) conference at the Dunblane Hydro on October 3-4.

The conference included a workshop at which teachers discussed the inclusion of children of other faiths in their schools.

Debunking secular argument

Sr Isabel Smyth, secretary for interreligious dialogue for the Bishop’s Conference of Scotland, lead the workshop.

She said that the fact there are many pupils of other faiths attending Catholic Schools ‘absolutely’ debunks recent claims in the media that Catholic schools are the cause of bigotry in Scotland.

“If you look at our Catholic schools, many of them are multi-faith and a lot of the children don’t belong to any faith whatsoever.

“If we teach and promote a Catholic ethos at its best then we are doing what’s best for the country,” she said.

Inclusive

Present at the workshop was Clare Harker, headteacher of St Albert’s Primary School in Glasgow…

More than 90 per cent of the school’s pupils are from a Muslim background, a small percentage are Catholic and the remainder are made up of other faiths and none.

Mrs Harker said she wanted to make sure that ‘everybody is very clear that Catholic schools aren’t just the preserve of Catholics and that they’re not about proselytising or indoctrination, they’re about a way of loving—and I think that’s what Catholic schools are doing.’

Catholic ethos

She added: “I think people very much choose to come to our school because of the ethos and presence of God and God-like values.”

In his homily during Mass at the conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow asked the teachers to ‘deepen’ their schools’ Faith, for people of all faiths and none, stressing that the ‘religious ethos is something that attracts parents.’

Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles was a keynote speaker at the conference.

He said: “I’ve spent most of my life in and around Catholic schools. I went to one myself and for 27 years I worked in Catholic schools as a priest. Now, as a bishop, I’ve been involved in Catholic schools for the last three and a half years.

“I’ve never once, in all my time, heard anything sectarian or anything divisive within a Catholic school.”

Faith journey

CHAPS chairman James Kerr, headteacher of St Paul’s Primary School, Whiteinch, said the idea that Catholic schools cause separation among children of different faiths is ‘absolutely the total opposite of what a Catholic school is.’

“We recognise the faith journey of people of other faiths and of no faith,” Mr Kerr explained.

The curriculum for Catholic education in Scotland, ‘This is Our Faith’, governs the teaching of religious education in Catholic schools. In the curriculum there is a section dedicated to inclusion of other faiths in Catholic schools.

Mr Kerr added: “We are in the business of making saints, and saints come from all kinds of backgrounds. “ [Emphasis added].

“It’s not an easy journey for us, but Jesus didn’t have an easy journey either,” he said. “For headteachers there are challenges, but the bottom line is that you know ultimately you are doing God’s work.”

Catechism

Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow called on headteachers to be ‘lead catechists’ and ‘chief evangelisers’ in schools.

Speaking on the day, Archbishop Tartaglia told the headteachers: “You’ve heard often enough that Catholic teachers are called to be evangelists in their schools, they’re called to the mission of evangelisation, and Catholic headteachers occupy the post of chief evangelisers in their school community.”

The archbishop called upon the headteachers to ‘take the next step’ in being ‘more conscious, more informed, more living in Faith and leading in Faith’ in their schools.

“I love all my headteachers, but I can see when I go to a school when it’s on the button and when it isn’t,” he added.

“And what I’m asking you to do is to kind of take that step to make it more conscious, deeper, more felt, lived so that the boys and girls that are in your care will have a great experience of being a Catholic Christian.”

Commitment

Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles, attending his first CHAPS conference, said: “It was great to see so many committed headteachers from all across the country who are here and interested in their Faith and are passing that Faith onto young people in their care.”

Barbara Coupar, director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, agreed with the archbishop that Catholic headteachers must ‘take the next step’ in ‘building the Faith dimension’ in schools.

She said: “There are a lot of things we are doing very well, but one of the things we take for granted is the underlying Catholic dimension of our schools and I think that we’re at the point where we need to be a bit more up front about that and articulate it more.”   Source

Comment:

I found the above report confusing.  It seemed to be extolling the virtues of “the Catholic ethos”/”religious dimension” throughout, as evidence of the success of Catholic schools in their inclusiveness and diversity, and then, bang, right at the end, this from Barbara Coupar: “… one of the things we take for granted is the underlying Catholic dimension of our schools and I think that we’re at the point where we need to be a bit more up front about that and articulate it more.”

Oops!  is “the underlying Catholic dimension” the same thing as “the Catholic ethos”?  And what does “we need to articulate it more” mean, in practice?  Help!

Did Pope Deny the Divinity of Christ?

From Rorate Caeli…

We cannot remain silent about this unbelievable episode, which many of you are certainly aware of. The following:

Eugenio Scalfari, former director of La Repubblica published an article last Tuesday in which he writes: “Those who have had the fortune of meeting and conversing with him in utmost cultural confidence, the way I have several times, know that Pope Francis conceives the Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, man, not God incarnate. Once incarnated, Jesus ceases to be God and becomes man until His death on the cross.”

So a very well-known journalist asserts in one of the most widely-read Italian newspapers that Pope Francis does not believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. If this was true, Pope Francis would be a formal heretic, like the Arians, the Ebionites and the Socinians.  Click here to read more…
And click here to read Archbishop Viganò’s plea to the Pope to affirm his belief in Christ’s divinity. 

Comments invited…