Covington Catholic student involved in incident at Washington, D.C. march releases statement By Briana Rice | January 20, 2019 at 6:50 PM CST – Updated January 21 at 11:24 AM PARK HILLS, KENTUCKY (FOX19) – The student at the center of the viral videos involving Covington Catholic High School students and Native American marchers issued a statement on Sunday night. [ New video shows more of incident involving Kentucky high school students at Indigenous Peoples March ] Nick Sandmann, a junior, is releasing what he calls the factual account in order to “correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me.” This is the statement in its entirety: Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School Junior, Regarding Incident at the Lincoln Memorial I am providing this factual account of what happened on Friday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial to correct misinformation and outright lies being spread about my family and me. I am the student in the video who was confronted by the Native American protestor. I arrived at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:30 p.m. I was told to be there by 5:30 p.m., when our busses were due to leave Washington for the trip back to Kentucky. We had been attending the March for Life rally, and then had split up into small groups to do sightseeing. When we arrived, we noticed four African American protestors who were also on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am not sure what they were protesting, and I did not interact with them. I did hear them direct derogatory insults at our school group. The protestors said hateful things. They called us “racists,” “bigots,” “white crackers,” “f*****s,” and “incest kids.” They also taunted an African American student from my school by telling him that we would “harvest his organs.” I have no idea what that insult means, but it was startling to hear. Because we were being loudly attacked and taunted in public, a student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group. The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school. Our chaperone gave us permission to use our school chants. We would not have done that without obtaining permission from the adults in charge of our group. At no time did I hear any student chant anything other than the school spirit chants. I did not witness or hear any students chant “build that wall” or anything hateful or racist at any time. Assertions to the contrary are simply false. Our chants were loud because we wanted to drown out the hateful comments that were being shouted at us by the protestors. After a few minutes of chanting, the Native American protestors, who I hadn’t previously noticed, approached our group. The Native American protestors had drums and were accompanied by at least one person with a camera. The protestor everyone has seen in the video began playing his drum as he waded into the crowd, which parted for him. I did not see anyone try to block his path. He locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face. He played his drum the entire time he was in my face. I never interacted with this protestor. I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protestors, and when the second group approached I was worried that a situation was getting out of control where adults were attempting to provoke teenagers. I believed that by remaining motionless and calm, I was helping to diffuse the situation. I realized everyone had cameras and that perhaps a group of adults was trying to provoke a group of teenagers into a larger conflict. I said a silent prayer that the situation would not get out of hand. During the period of the drumming, a member of the protestor’s entourage began yelling at a fellow student that we “stole our land” and that we should “go back to Europe.” I heard one of my fellow students begin to respond. I motioned to my classmate and tried to get him to stop engaging with the protestor, as I was still in the mindset that we needed to calm down tensions. I never felt like I was blocking the Native American protestor. He did not make any attempt to go around me. It was clear to me that he had singled me out for a confrontation, although I am not sure why. The engagement ended when one of our teachers told me the busses had arrived and it was time to go. I obeyed my teacher and simply walked to the busses. At that moment, I thought I had diffused the situation by remaining calm, and I was thankful nothing physical had occurred. I never understood why either of the two groups of protestors were engaging with us, or exactly what they were protesting at the Lincoln Memorial. We were simply there to meet a bus, not become central players in a media spectacle. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever encountered any sort of public protest, let alone this kind of confrontation or demonstration. I was not intentionally making faces at the protestor. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation. I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me – to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence. I harbor no ill will for this person. I respect this person’s right to protest and engage in free speech activities, and I support his chanting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial any day of the week. I believe he should re-think his tactics of invading the personal space of others, but that is his choice to make. I am being called every name in the book, including a racist, and I will not stand for this mob-like character assassination of my family’s name. My parents were not on the trip, and I strive to represent my family in a respectful way in all public settings. I have received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults. One person threatened to harm me at school, and one person claims to live in my neighborhood. My parents are receiving death and professional threats because of the social media mob that has formed over this issue. I love my school, my teachers and my classmates. I work hard to achieve good grades and to participate in several extracurricular activities. I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen – that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African Americans or Native Americans. I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that. I cannot speak for everyone, only for myself. But I can tell you my experience with Covington Catholic is that students are respectful of all races and cultures. We also support everyone’s right to free speech. I am not going to comment on the words or account of Mr. Phillips, as I don’t know him and would not presume to know what is in his heart or mind. Nor am I going to comment further on the other protestors, as I don’t know their hearts or minds, either. I have read that Mr. Phillips is a veteran of the United States Marines. I thank him for his service and am grateful to anyone who puts on the uniform to defend our nation. If anyone has earned the right to speak freely, it is a U.S. Marine veteran. I can only speak for myself and what I observed and felt at the time. But I would caution everyone passing judgement based on a few seconds of video to watch the longer video clips that are on the internet, as they show a much different story than is being portrayed by people with agendas. I provided this account of events to the Diocese of Covington so they may know exactly what happened, and I stand ready and willing to cooperate with any investigation they are conducting.

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Ted Cruz NAILS IT !!!


WATCH: Ted Cruz Nails It About Why Pelosi Delayed Trump’s State Of The Union Address

Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images 

By HANK BERRIEN January 17, 2019 

On Wednesday, asked about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stance to postpone President Trump’s State of the Union Address and why she would take that position, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a biting answer that was dead right: Pelosi doesn’t want Trump to directly address the American people because then they will get a different message than the mainstream media will give them.

Pelosi wrote to President Trump on Wednesday, “Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29.” She later told CNN, “This is a housekeeping matter in the Congress of the United States, so we can honor the responsibility of the invitation we extended to the President. He can make it from the Oval Office if he wants.”

The interviewer started with Cruz by commenting, “So we’re seeing some efforts from House Democratic leadership to either postpone or put off the State of the Union address because of the shutdown.” He asked Cruz, “Does it really make any sense whatsoever to try to do that, and do people honestly believe that they are going to silence President Trump or end the partial shutdown by talking away the House chambers cameras from him?”

Cruz responded:

Listen, if you’re Nancy Pelosi it makes a lot of sense. Nancy Pelosi is terrified, number one, of her extreme left-wing base; she is captive of that; and number two, the position of Congressional Democrats in this shutdown is objectively unreasonable. In 2013, Chuck Schumer and every Senate Democrat voted in favor of 350 miles of border wall. They have right now shut the government down to stop 234 miles of border wall. I don’t know how you explain that you voted in favor of 350 miles but you shut the government down to stop 234 miles. That is incoherent.

The honest answer: It’s not a substantive disagreement; it’s that they’re terrified of their extreme left wing, who hates Trump. And that’s why we’re having a shutdown. So why does Nancy Pelosi not want the State of the Union? Because the State of the Union is an enormous platform for the president to speak directly to the American people, and she doesn’t want people focusing on the substance of this issue. She wants their information to come from the mainstream media rather than the president.

Listen, it’s the same reason, You remember, back right before the shutdown, when the president met with Pelosi and Schumer in the Oval Office and it was a remarkable meeting. I thought the funniest and most revealing moment was when Pelosi said multiple times, “Please, can we turn the cameras off? Can we get the reports out of here” She didn’t want people to see then that their position was objectively unreasonable. The president has said he’s willing to compromise; he’s willing to negotiate but we need to secure the border. The president’s right on that. Their position is not defensible so of course she’s trying to hide from the cameras and I don’t think we should let her.

Watch below:

Sen @tedcruz: Pelosi’s #Sotu delay is because she’s terrified of Trump speaking directly to the American people pic.twitter.com/0OknSx2Tys #maga— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) January 17, 2019

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IT IS SMALL CONSOLATION TO KNOW THAT “ES WAR IMMER SO!”


   The nineteenth-century churchman John Henry Newman has shaped many of my views and how to apply them. With the credit of a second miracle to his intercession, it is likely that he will be canonized in short order.   

Our culture as a whole is conflicted about the course of events and moral failing in dealing with them, and this is glaringly so in the Church, which is made by God to be a beacon and ballast for all people. Newman reminds us in one of his letters (Vol. XXV, p. 204) not to be surprised by this, as it fits the predictable strategy of the Anti-Christ: “Where you have power, you will have the abuse of power—and the more absolute, the stronger, the more sacred the power, the greater and more certain will be its abuse.”   

For Catholics, present problems are weightier than at any time since the sixteenth century, with its political and theological upheavals. Even the assurance of a stable and centrifugal reference in Rome itself is being tested. It is helpful to recall what Newman said in another of his letters (Vol. XXVII, p. 256): “In the times of Arianism the great men of the Church thought things too bad to last. So did Pope Gregory at the end of the 7th century, St. Romuald in the 11th, afterwards St. Vincent Ferrer, and I think Savonarola—and so on to our time.”   

It would be falsely pious to sweep the scandals of our day under the rug. And it is stunningly evident that, in cases of moral abuse, bureaucratic attempts to buy silence have been a very bad investment.   In the  Historical Sketches, Newman refers to “the endemic perennial fidget which possesses us about giving scandal; facts are omitted in great histories, or glosses are put upon memorable acts, because they are thought not edifying, whereas of all scandals such omissions, such glosses, are the greatest.”   

Present experience attests to what Newman wrote in his book Via Media: “The whole course of Christianity from the first . . . is but one series of troubles and disorders. Every century is like every other, and to those who live in it seems worse than all times before it. The Church is ever ailing . . . Religion seems ever expiring, schisms dominant, the light of truth dim, its adherents scattered. The cause of Christ is ever in its last agony.”   

Scandal is “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil” and it “takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2284-2285). Our Lord, who faulted the scribes and Pharisees for giving scandal, is the author and head of the Church, and the good news is that, despite the vicissitudes and dissembling of the Church’s mortal members, His Good News is not “fake news.”

-Father George W. Rutler
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WE NEED TO KEEP EVENTS CURRENT AND PAST IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE

slideshow 5



The Impact That Wiped Out the Dinosaurs 

 THE KT-BOUNDARY IMPACT

Paintings and text copyright William K. Hartmann

Web page design by W. K. Hartmann and Daniel C. Berman


What Happened in Brief

According to abundant geological evidence, an asteroid roughly 10 km (6 miles) across hit Earth about 65 million years ago. This impact made a huge explosion and a crater about 180 km (roughly 110 miles) across. Debris from the explosion was thrown into the atmosphere, severely altering the climate, and leading to the extinction of roughly 3/4 of species that existed at that time, including the dinosaurs. Many asteroids of this type are now known; their orbits pass through the inner solar system and cross Earth’s orbit. Some of these could potentially hit Earth in the future. Most, but not all are smaller than the one that hit us 65 million years ago.

Gaps in the Fossil Record

Fossils found in soil layers of different ages show a record of slow, gradual changes in species, with simple organisms gradually being replaced by more complex organisms, apparently by evolutionary processes driven by natural selection. For example, 1000 million years (abbreviate My) ago, the oceans held only simple organisms like algae, while the land was relatively lifeless. Fish fossils appear in strata after about 500-600 My ago; dinosaurs and giant reptiles were on the land by 200 My ago. Mammals were not common until after 65 My ago, and humanlike creatures appeared only in the last 4 My.

[Side comment: The above description has been challenged for two centuries by religious fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are defined as people who believe that the primary way of learning about nature should not be the scientific method, or compilation of evidence tested in different labs in different countries, but rather interpretation of ancient manuscripts, such as the Koran, the Old Testament of the Bible, the New Testament, or other ancient writings. The scientific method was hammered out mainly in the 1600s, when naturalists of that period agreed that information about nature could best be determined by direct observations of nature, and experiments, which would be published openly, in international literature. The key to the method is that assertions published by one scientist can be tested by new, independent observations and measures made by other scientists. Daniel Boorstein’s book, “The Discovers,” gives an excellent overview of how the scientific method was established. This method of learning about nature continues to be under challenge in America from fundamentalist groups, for example in school boards and state legislatures. In 1998, the Arizona state school board recommended that the term “evolution” be dropped from public school curriculum in the state, only to reverse themselves some months later after a public outcry. In 1999 the Kansas sate school board dropped evolution and the Big Being theory of the universe’s origin from the subjects tested in their school system. Several other state school boards subsequently followed in their footsteps. This battle is not new; it is four centuries old!]

Ever since the fossil sequence began being mapped around 1800, geologists noticed that striking “breaks” occurred in the sequence, when one group of fossilized species gave way to other groups during short intervals. Indeed, these breaks were the basis for dividing geologic time into different eras with different names. For example, the Paleozoic era gave way to the Mesozoic era of middle life forms, which in turn gave way to the present Cenozoic era of recent life. Prior to the 1980s, the causes of the breaks were unknown…

How Was the Impact Event Discovered?

In the late 1970s, a team of geochemists headed by Luis Alvarez and his son Walter Alvarez, both with connections to the University of California at Berkeley, was studying chemical changes in soil layers corresponding to breaks in the fossil record. In the soil layer that separates the Mesozoic Era from the Cenozoic Era, dating 65 My ago, they found an excess of the element iridium, which is common in meteorites. Meteorites are believed to be fragments of asteroids. Therefore, the Alvarez team theorized that an asteroid had hit Earth at this time, and that the debris ejected from the explosion were spread in the soil layer. 

For about ten years, this theory was extremely controversial. However, compelling evidence has accumulated to support the theory.

Evidence for the Impact Event

There are now many lines of evidence to prove that a relatively large impact happened 65 My ago.

  1. The iridium excess in the 65 My-old soil layer has been confirmed at many points around the world.
  2. The same soil layer contains grains of quartz that were deformed by high shock pressures, as would occur in a giant explosion. (The deformation is a microscopic structure called “twinning,” in the crystals).
  3. The same soil layer contains enough soot to correspond to burnding down all of the forests of the world. This suggests that massive fires were touched off at the time of impact.
  4. The same soil layer, especially around the Gulf of Mexico, contains massive deposits of tumbled boulders, as would be generated in a large tsunami, or “tidal wave.” The geographic distribution of tsunami deposits suggest the impact was in the Caribbean area.
  5. After a decade of searching, scientists in 1990 identified the crater associated with this material. It is no longer visible on the surface of the Earth, but is buried under sediments. It straddles the coast of Yucatan. It is revealed by mapping the strength of the gravity field over that area, and by drilling; it has been dated to 65 My old.
  6. Astronomers have charted numerous asteroids that cross Earth’s orbit. From studies of orbit statistics, it is estimated that asteroids of 10 km size can hit the earth roughly every 100 My or so — which fits with the idea that we actually did get hit 65 My ago by an object this size. (Smaller hits are much more common).

What Happened During the Impact?

Asteroids hit Earth typically at high speeds of 16 to 32 km/sec (10-20 miles/sec). During the impact, the kinetic energy in the asteroid (or energy of motion) is converted to explosive energy, blowing debris of dust, soil, and rocks not only into the atmosphere, but out into space, where it fell back into the top of the atmosphere. Early calculations in the 1980s (using in part ideas worked out by Carl Sagan and his colleagues) showed that so much dust entered the high atmosphere that the Earth was shrouded in a dust layer that blocked sunlight for several weeks or months. This would have killed some plants, disrupting the food chain.
   

Later calculations (especially by Jay Melosh at the University of Arizona) indicated that for the first few hours after the impact, rocky debris would have fallen back into the high atmosphere, creating a storm of glowing fireballs in the sky. The radiant energy from these would have heated the surface to boiling temperatures for some minutes, and would have been enough to kill many animals and plants on the surface. However, in regions of heavy rainstorms or snowstorms, these organisms would have survived the first few hours. Sea creatures would have been buffered from effects in the first hours, but plankton on the surface might have died out over the weeks of darkness, decreasing the food supply for small fish, which affected the bigger fish, and so on.

These examples show how hard it is to predict the exact effects of the impact. Many species who lived on the surface (such as dinosaurs) might have been decimated in hour or weeks. Species who lived in burrows, or hibernated (like some mammals) might have survived. This may explain why mammals replaced giant reptiles after the impact. Tiny primitive mammals may have emerged from their dens, to find that their giant reptile competitors were mostly gone.

Were All Breaks in the Evolutionary Record Caused by Asteroid Impacts?

Probably not. The biggest known break is the break between the Paleozoic Eara and the Mesozoic Era, about 230 to 250 My ago, when something like 90% of then-existing species died out. This has been called the “Great Dying,” but has not been explained. So far there is no evidence of an asteroid impact at that time. The second greatest break is the one that we have discussed, 65 My ago, caused by an asteroid impact.

Geologists have divided the eras into shorter intervals called Periods, such as the Jurassic Period, noted for its large dinosaurs. These Periods are also defined by breaks in the fossil record, smaller than the breaks between eras. Many species went extinct during these breaks, but not as many as in the breaks between the Eras. Evidence for impacts, smaller than the one 65 My ago, has been found at some of the breaks, but not at others.

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DO WE NEED A WALL TO PROTECT AMERICA ?????

8 TIME DEPORTEE CAUGHT WITH $850,000 WORTH OF COKE AND METH


Steven Ahle

 STEVEN AHLE JANUARY 17, 2019

Jose Olegario Lopez, a 44-year-old Mexican national from the state of Sinaloa, was traveling with his son when a police officer tried to pull him over for a traffic violation.

Lopez refused to stop until a contingent of police cars surrounded him and left him unable to move. The police said he had cocaine residue on him and they brought in a drug sniffing dog, who found bundles of drugs individually wrapped. Lopez was arrested, but his son was released to his mother, when they determined he was not part of the drug smuggling operation.

ICE placed a detainer on him and they will take custody when the state is done with him.

From Breitbart News

Officers who initially searched Lopez found he had traces of cocaine on his body, authorities said.

When officers and a K9 conducted an in-depth search of Lopez’s vehicle, they discovered multiple individually wrapped packages. Detectives say they recovered 2.35 pounds of cocaine, worth $106,000, and 16.7 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of more than $750,000.

Authorities charged Lopez with two first-degree felony counts of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute, one count of failing to respond to obey an officer, and one class A misdemeanor charge of drug paraphernalia possession, according to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials confirmed that Lopez is in the U.S. illegally and has been busted for illegally re-entering the country eight times.I guess this just another manufactured crises and that nearly 1 million in drugs just shows that illegal aliens are just like you and me, just trying to make a living. Democrats continue to support drug running because building a wall is immoral and that’s just not where the Democrats are as a party.

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ALAS POOR OXFORD UNION! I KNEW IT WELL HORATIO !!

Oxford Union Sponsors Staged Debate

January 16, 2019

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the latest game played by the Oxford Union:
 
Is the Oxford Union committing suicide? It is one thing to lie to me after being disinvited from participating in a debate on February 28, quite another to knife itself by staging a phony debate on the Catholic Church.   
 
“This House Believes That England Can Never Pay For Its Sins Against Irish Catholics.” Imagine a debate on this subject with representatives of the Irish Republican Army on one side and Sinn Fein (the political arm of the IRA) on the other. This is what the Oxford Union is doing by stacking the deck against the Catholic Church on the motion, “The House Believes The Catholic Church Can Never Pay For Its Sins.”
 
The three defending the House motion are Mitchell Garabedian, Elizabeth Coppin, and Thomas Reilly.
 
Garabedian is a good choice. Last year he appeared on WGBH (PBS) in Boston arguing that the Catholic Church should be stripped of its tax-exempt status. In 2011, he was accused by a reporter for the Boston Globe (not exactly a Catholic-friendly source) of maligning the good name of an exonerated priest whom the attorney was hounding. When I called Garabedian to see if he had any regrets about trying to destroy Father Charles Murphy, he went berserk, screaming like a madman. He fits in with this circus like a glove.
 
I do not know Elizabeth Coppin, but since she is there to give voice to alleged victims of the Magdalene Laundries, perhaps someone from the audience will ask her why the McAleese Report (the official Irish government study) on this institution found that most of the horror stories were pure bunk. For example, there is zero evidence that any woman was sexually abused by the nuns. That’s not my opinion—it is the testimony of women who lived in the laundries, as recorded in the report.
 
The third person making the case against the Catholic Church is also a splendid choice. He showcased his contempt for separation of church and state when he was the Massachusetts Attorney General: He said he wanted his office to be involved in the recruitment, selection, training, and monitoring of priests.
 
If a Boston bishop, acting on reports of corruption in the state government, said he wanted the Church to police public officials and their staffs, he would be accused of trampling on the First Amendment. Indeed, he would be called a fascist. Perhaps Reilly can be asked why he never returned a single indictment of a Boston priest in 2003, and why he thinks he was justified in wasting a colossal amount of public funds on a wild-goose chase (he knew the statute of limitations had long run out on miscreant priests).
 
The side that was selected to defend the Catholic Church is even better. It includes only two persons, one of whom, Dr. Jay R. Feierman, is a former psychiatrist who treated offending priests. Perhaps someone can ask him how he feels about all the glowing reports that the psychiatrists fed the bishops for decades—telling them how they “fixed” these men—knowing now how wrong they were.
 
The big prize is Marci Hamilton. For the Oxford Union to treat her as a champion of the Catholic Church is analogous to selecting a supporter of the Klan to defend African Americans.
 
To begin with, Hamilton and Garabedian are one and the same. They have jointly sued the Holy See, unsuccessfully, and have served on the same panels at anti-Catholic conferences for years. She has quite a resume.

  • Hamilton’s career attacking the Catholic Church began when she was sought out by Jeffrey Anderson, the most anti-Catholic, Church-suing lawyer in the U.S. His goal, he once said, is to “sue the s*** out of the Catholic Church.” He has made good on his promise.
  • A few years back, Hamilton teamed up with Anderson to sue the Holy See. They lost.
  • Hamilton is opposed to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the seminal bill protecting religious liberty that was overwhelmingly  passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
  • Hamilton falsely accused Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, of hiding $55 million from victims when he was the Bishop of Milwaukee. She has never apologized.
  • In 2013, Hamilton said that the Catholic Church’s objections to having Catholic non-profits pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans was proof of its “all-out war on women.”
  • Hamilton always seeks to rescind state laws on the statute of limitations so that she can sue the Catholic Church for decades-old offenses, while at the same time arguing that such legislation should not apply to the public schools. She made this case in her 2008 book, Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, and worked to implement her ideas in Colorado and other states.
  • In 2016, Hamilton told the press that the U.S. bishops pay my salary. I emailed her on May 5, 2016 calling her a liar. She had no response.
  • When discussing the Muslim terrorists involved in the Danish cartoon issue, Hamilton said, “There is no meaningful difference between the reasoning of imams and the Catholic League on these issues,” thus maliciously claiming the Catholic League engages in, or promotes, violence against its critics.

There we have it. The Oxford Union is in free-fall. It is hosting anti-Catholic bigots to defend the Catholic Church, making a mockery of its once stellar reputation.
 
If any of these haters would like to debate me, I will arrange it and pay for all the expenses. But I won’t hang by the phone. At least Christopher Hitchens, whom I debated many times, was honest, which is more than I can say for the Oxford Union and its stooges.

Contact Oxford Union president Daniel Wilkinson: president@oxford-union.org

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THE HUMAN PERSON SEXUALITY & FAMILY POLITICS & LAW EDUCATION & CULTURE BUSINESS & ECONOMICS ABORTION Bad (Though Not Entirely Bad) Pro-Life Arguments JANUARY 14, 2019BY FRANCIS J. BECKWITH Good intentions are not enough. Pro-lifers need good arguments too. We should avoid the temptation to make these popular, emotionally compelling, but badly reasoned arguments against abortion. In the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas warned his fellow Christians, “For when anyone in the endeavor to prove the faith brings forward reasons which are not cogent, he falls under the ridicule of the unbelievers: since they suppose that we stand upon such reasons, and that we believe on such grounds.” This is true of moral and political arguments just as much as theological and philosophical ones. For those of us who believe in the sanctity of human life and seek to persuade those with whom we disagree, it is essential that the reasons we give actually support our position. Unfortunately, some well-meaning prolife advocates present arguments that are emotionally moving but shift the focus away from the essence of the sanctity of life ethic: it is always, everywhere, morally wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human person. A shift away from that focus not only gives our critics a mistaken impression about the strength of our position, but also misleads them as to what we actually believe about the nature of unborn human life. What follows are descriptions of some of these bad pro-life arguments—and explanations of why pro-lifers shouldn’t make them. The Argument from Killing Beethoven. There are variations on this argument. They are usually in the form of a dialogue, such as this one, quoted by Garrett Hardin: Two physicians are talking shop. “Doctor,” says one, “I’d like your professional opinion. The question is, should the pregnancy have been terminated or not? The father was syphilitic. The mother was tuberculous. They had already had four children: the first was blind, the second died, the third was deaf and dumb, and the fourth was tuberculous. The woman was pregnant for the fifth time. As the attending physician, what would you have done?” “I would have terminated the pregnancy.” “Then you would have murdered Beethoven.” Imagine, however, all the facts about Beethoven’s parents, siblings, and family life were also true of Adolf Hitler’s. Could not a pro-choice advocate then end the dialogue this way?: “As the attending physician, what would you have done?” “I would have terminated the pregnancy.” “Congratulations, you just saved the lives of six million Jews.” For those who defend the sanctity of life, the wrongness of intentionally killing an innocent human person does not depend on whether or not he or she will become a world class composer or a moral monster. Fetus-Ludwig and Fetus-Adolf are equally human and equally innocent, just as an anonymous homeless person, an asylum-seeking immigrant, and Jeff Bezos each possesses the same inviolable right to life. The dignity of each member of the human family is not affected by what we may think he or she is capable of contributing, whether to the country’s gross domestic product or to the world’s cultural riches. That’s why the Beethoven argument is superfluous at best and misleading at worst. The Argument from Gruesome Abortion Procedures Because the aim of an abortion is to terminate pregnancy in a way that ensures that the fetus dies, the woman is not harmed, and all the fetal parts are evacuated from her womb, abortion procedures involve the intentional dismemberment, poisoning, crushing, and/or stabbing of a living human fetus. For this reason, films like The Silent Scream and photographs of aborted fetuses are sometimes effectively used by pro-life groups in their public presentations. Priests for Life, for example, publishes these words on its website above a gallery of pictures that includes aborted fetuses: “The abortion images below show some of the grim reality of abortion. Only seeing such images of abortion can bring us to the kind of indignation needed to sustain the sacrifices that will be necessary to finally bring an end to this injustice.” But how, precisely, does this show that abortion is gravely wrong? After all, if one believes, as most pro-choice advocates do, that any being’s moral status depends on its having a certain level of conscious existence and self-awareness, and a fetus during most of its gestation has not achieved that level, then virtually no abortions are unjust, regardless of how gruesome the photos of their aftermath may appear. Moreover, there are many events and activities that have been photographed that some would find gruesome, though they are not gravely wrong, such as President John F. Kennedy’s autopsy, the bullet-riddled bodies of Nazi soldiers, the gutting of a deer, or the open-heart surgery of an elderly patient. On the other hand, suppose that a new technology allows a physician to instantly dematerialize the fetus like a Star Trek phaser set on kill. Because this new technology is cheap, efficient, and safe for the pregnant woman, no more gruesome abortions are performed. But if you think that abortion is gravely wrong, would this absence of gruesomeness make any difference to that moral judgment? Would it make the fetus any less a member of the human community? It may be that the post-abortion images are being used by pro-life supporters to rebut the claim by some pro-choice advocates that the fetus is merely a “clump of cells” or is not yet an individual human organism. But virtually all sophisticated pro-choice thinkers do not claim any such thing. They recognize the fetus’s humanity, but they deny that it has moral status. They argue, as I noted above, that because the fetus lacks certain presently exercisable powers, e.g., a certain level of conscious existence and self-awareness, it lacks moral status. This distinction has been defended in differing ways by some notable academics, including Ronald Dworkin, Michael Tooley, and Peter Singer, none of whom denies the fetus’ humanity. Of course, many of us have critiqued this position, arguing that the moral status of the fetus does not depend on what it does, but rather on what it is. For if human ability (or achievement) is the sine qua non of an individual’s right to life, then it is difficult to explain why we shouldn’t abandon the idea of human equality, since all our abilities come in degrees at every stage of human development. As the pro-choice philosopher Jeff McMahan writes: “It is hard to avoid the sense that our egalitarian commitments rest on distressingly insecure foundations” if “the properties on which our moral status appears to supervene are all matters of degree.” Nevertheless, one has to make the argument. Gruesome pictures by themselves won’t do. The Argument from Abortion Regret and Emotional Pain Beginning in the late 1990s, certain segments of the pro-life movement started shifting the focus of their opposition to abortion from the wrongness of taking innocent human life to the emotional and psychic injuries that they claim women suffer as a consequence of procuring an abortion. There is, of course, nothing untoward in drawing people’s attention to collateral harms that may flow from elective abortion. But even a pro-choice advocate could concede that point without ever acquiescing to the pro-life view of unborn human life. Emotional and psychic injuries, by themselves, cannot establish the moral quality of the act that one believes caused them. Suppose you enlist in the Army and are sent off to fight in a just war. While in combat, you kill five enemy combatants, and you know you are morally justified in doing so. Nevertheless, when you return home, you begin to regret your enlistment, since you now suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and anxiety. Your therapist attributes these mental struggles directly to the violence in which you engaged while in combat, even though you know that the war and the killing were both just. On the other hand, one’s actions do not become right or good just because one has no regrets about them or emotional pain resulting from them. If a sexual predator shows no remorse for his actions, and in fact thinks of his “successes” as romantic conquests that affirm his self-worth, no one would say that his actions are therefore morally just. By overemphasizing stories of abortion regret, the pro-life advocate sets himself up for the obvious counternarratives by his pro-choice critics. They can simply collect and publicize their own stories of women who either do not regret having an abortion or are pleased that they went through with the procedure, which is precisely what has happened. Advocates of the sanctity of life must take concrete actions to care for the wellbeing of both mother and child. But to tightly tether the pro-life cause to the vicissitudes of the social sciences—implying that the wrongness of abortion depends in some way, however modest, on the bad psychological effects of procuring one—teaches the wrong lesson. A Kernel of Truth Is Not Enough In each of these bad prolife arguments, there is a kernel of truth. The killing Beethoven argument appeals to our deep intuition that a human being’s intrinsic worth does not depend on the condition of her parents or the circumstances of her birth, but it fails to acknowledge that her worth doesn’t depend on the prospects of her future either. The argument from gruesome abortion procedures shows us that the unborn child is a human being, but it cannot by itself show us that abortion is the unjust killing of an innocent human person. The argument from abortion regret and emotional pain may tell us that some women who choose abortion suffer psychological injury, but such consequences cannot tell us whether or not abortion is morally wrong. Because these arguments have a kernel of truth in them, they may very well serve as a catalyst for deeper reflection that leads one to truly see the unborn child as one of us. For that reason, they are not entirely bad. Nevertheless, pro-lifers should remember that these arguments by themselves cannot establish the veracity of our position and principles, no matter how rhetorically powerful they may seem. About the Author FRANCIS J. BECKWITH Francis J. Beckwith is Professor of Philosophy & Church-State Studies, and Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Philosophy, at Baylor University. Among his books are Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (2007) and the award-winning Taking Ri..

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THE ONLY PERSONS BENEFITTING FROM THE CONVICTION OF Cardinal Pell ARE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL AND HIS VATICAN ASSOCIATES WHO GAINED FREE ACCESS TO THE VATICAN’S WEALTH


The inexplicable conviction of Cardinal Pell

By Phil Lawler | Dec 17, 2018

Through bitter experience over the years, I have learned never to proclaim that some trusted figure couldn’t possibly be guilty of sexual abuse. I have learned to wait, to weigh the evidence, and if a court finds the man guilty, to accept that finding.

Since I don’t know the facts, I cannot guarantee that Cardinal George Pell is innocent of the offenses of which he has been convicted in a secret trial. But I can say that a grave injustice has been done, for several reasons.

First, because in a proper legal system, not only is justice done, but justice is seen to be done. The trial of Cardinal Pell, conducted under a court-ordered media blackout, has prevented the world from knowing what evidence was presented against him, what defense was offered. 

We have only leaked reports: hearsay evidence. If the court had its way, we wouldn’t know that the cardinal had been convicted. To this day we don’t even know what charges were brought against him.

Cui bono? Whose interests were served by this secrecy? Not those of the cardinal’s accusers, who have already come forward. Certainly not those of the cardinal, who had no opportunity to defend his tattered reputation. 

The general thrust of the charges against Cardinal Pell had been discussed in the Australian media for months before the court imposed a gag order. It was the prosecution that wanted a secret trial. Why? There is no reassuring answer to that question.

Second, because the results of the trial, as they have been recounted to us by several reasonably reliable sources, are not convincing. 

We have been told that the jurors reached a unanimous decision. But we have also been told that in an earlier trial, in September, the jurors had voted 10-2 to acquit the cardinal, before their failure to render a final verdict led to a new trial. 

If these reports are accurate (and with all these reports there is no certainty), then the net result of two trials has produced a slim majority in favor of conviction: not a resounding endorsement of the prosecution’s claims.

And heaven knows the prosecution was aggressive. Cardinal Pell has become an unpopular figure in Australia, a convenient scapegoat for the abuse scandal there. 

It is noteworthy that police opened an investigation of Cardinal Pell, looking for evidence of sexual abuse, before receiving a complaint.

Third, because before the media blackout was imposed, witnesses had testified—and they presumably testified again at the trial—that Cardinal Pell couldn’t have done what he was accused of doing. 

In most sex-abuse cases, the jury must ultimately weigh the conflicting testimony of accuser and accused, about what did or did not happen when they were alone together. 

But in this case, priests familiar with the charges insist that it is literally impossible for the cardinal to have been alone with the young men who have accused him. 

The allegations involve incidents that allegedly took place in the Melbourne cathedral. 

The cardinal, we are told, was always accompanied by other clerics while he was at the cathedral, he was wearing liturgical robes, and the sacristy that is supposedly the scene of the crimes is open to passersby.

Fourth, because Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied the charges—not with the sort of bluster that we have come to expect from accused clerics, but with a simple, matter-of-fact insistence that he did no wrong, and a confident (in fact maybe naïve) assertion that he would be vindicated when he had his day in court. 

Of course guilty men can protest their innocence, too. But I find Cardinal Pell’s denials more convincing than most. Moreover,…

Fifth, the charges against Cardinal Pell are isolated. The alleged incidents in the cathedral, and another allegation dating back to a pool party in the 1970s, are the only complaints that have emerged, through months of aggressive investigation. 

Is it really plausible that someone who demanded sexual favors from altar boys in the 1990s would have made no other such demands before or after? That such a brazen predator would have no other victims?

In other cases, when a prominent Catholic prelate has been accused of sexual misconduct, other charges have quickly followed. 

The first accusations against McCarrick, Apuron, Wesolowski, O’Brien, Groer, and others were quickly followed by cascades of other charges; once the first public complaint was lodged, other complaints proliferated. Not in this case.

Maybe he is guilty; I cannot dismiss that possibility. But Cardinal Pell has not acted guilty. His behavior has been unlike that of other convicted prelates, and the case against him has been thoroughly unlike those against other abusers.

Cardinal Pell will have an opportunity to appeal his conviction (and it is noteworthy that an Australian appeals court recently overturned the conviction of another prelate, Archbishop Philip Wilson, in a setback for overzealous prosecutors). 

But it will be months before his appeal is heard. At 77 years of age, and with a balky heart, the cardinal may not live long enough to enjoy any vindication. 

He has already been relieved of his post at the Vatican, and is unlikely to receive any new pastoral assignment even if he is finally cleared of all charges. In a word, he has been effectively removed from the scene. And again I find myself asking: Cui bono?

https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otn.cfm?id=1316

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SOME PROFOUND INSIGHTS INTO THE SEX CRISIS IN THE CHURCH

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THE DARK ROAD AHEAD

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A behind the scenes look at US law enforcement investigating the Catholic Church

By Beverly Stevens, REGINA Editor

Photo Credit: Evan Wing

She’s spent a career getting up close and personal with predators and their victims.

‘Cathy’* began her career as a Special Deputy to an agency investigating narcotic trafficking, which she did for ten years. An RN with a master’s in psychology, she now works as a consultant to US law enforcement agencies, interviewing subjects as well as victims. She also coaches law enforcement officers working on undercover assignments, especially those that involve human trafficking.

For Catholics wondering what is going on behind the scenes with dioceses responding to law enforcement investigating the Catholic Church in 15 US states and at the Federal level, Cathy’s insights are quite timely. 

In this wide-ranging interview, REGINA interviews Cathy about what’s actually happening, how law enforcement views the recent maneuvers of bishops; what authorities are uncovering in the Church by mapping predators and tracking their travel; how victims are targeted and the lifelong suffering they endure; and the uses of gaslighting, priestly predator networks and how they operate.  Cathy also discusses how the Mc Carrick revelations tipped off law enforcement; the kinds of drugs connected with the trafficking suspected in Catholic rectories;  signs of abuse that Catholics should be looking for as well as what a Federal move will mean for Catholics and why and how we must report wrong-doing to authorities. 

*Not her real name. REGINA’s interviewee asked to remain anonymous in order to protect law enforcement agents working in the field. 

REGINA:  People tell us that there’s little or no talk in their diocese about this and assume this means there’s no ‘problem’. Is this a safe assumption to make?

CATHY: This is absolutely NOT a safe assumption. Predators depend on silence. With predators we have long known that the four things they depend on the most are silence, threats, rewards, and in the case of some victims a willingness or desire to protect others. I’m also very concerned about the lack of people’s understanding that their parish and diocesan property is at risk; even if nothing can be proven to have happened there, just because it’s part of the Church.

REGINA:  What is law enforcement finding with laity and clergy in Catholic dioceses? 

CATHY: With Catholics, especially really good Catholics, we are finding that silence is often aided by their desire to not gossip and a fear of making false accusations against anyone, let alone someone they have been raised to respect and not question. 

REGINA: US dioceses appear to be following a prescribed course of action in dealing with the public uproar about this. First, there’s the ‘listening sessions’. What purpose does this serve? Is it possible they are trying to identify possible troublemakers? 

CATHY: This might be their intent, however it is a very ineffective way to go about attempting to out abusers of any kind. It’s unlikely for the majority of the population to make any kind of public accusation against someone they are being or have been abused by.

REGINA: Why is that?

CATHY: Most victims, no matter the age at which they were abused, tend to feel responsible for their own abuse. Feeling that they either did something to ‘deserve’ being targeted or they are embarrassed that they ‘allowed’ the abuse to happen.

REGINA: What do ‘listening sessions’ accomplish – if anything? 

CATHY: It might be more effective for dioceses to address publicly the things that victims go through and maybe then after some time send members of the diocesan staff out to various locations for people to report fears, concerns or actual crimes to the diocese.

Listening sessions work well for law enforcement however, in that they are public events and an officer/agent can be sent to them to listen into the feeling and activities of various parishes and the diocese itself. 

REGINA: Wow, one has to wonder if this has occurred to the bishops. Next there’s the releasing of lists of the credibly accused, the lion’s share of which are deceased or laicized. Does this mean that there are no current cases? 

CATHY: This is probably one of the least effective things that any diocese does. From the law enforcement point of view, releasing information on an abuser who has been laicized and is living is good, in that it may encourage someone else abused by the same man to come forward and may result in more charges, or even first time charges being brought against this offender.

REGINA: So, a priest predator who has been laicized and is just living out there on their own is still a danger?

CATHY: Abusers rarely stop until they are prosecuted and imprisoned.

REGINA: And these ‘credibly accused’ priests were often accused decades ago. 

CATHY: These names need to be released as soon as the investigation results in the determination that there’s a credible accusation. From the psychological stand point these lists are good in that they permit other abuse victims to see that they were not the only victim of this man. Frequently someone who was abused over an extended period of time is lead to believe they are the only one, which is why some victims believe that by being abused they are saving others from the same fate.

REGINA: But that’s not why the bishops are releasing these lists.

CATHY: No. For the most part they are an attempt for the bishops to try and make the laity believe they are listening to their concerns.

REGINA: Bishops are releasing the diocesan numbers trained to address sex abuse, the vast majority of which are lay people. Bishops are not required to be trained. What do you make of this?

CATHY: There’s a very simple and legal reason for this. Bishops are not required to be trained because it then puts them in a position, legally, to not be culpable for what is covered in the training.

REGINA: Wow.

CATHY: A prime example of this was when one bishop in a Missouri case said in a deposition that he “didn’t know if it is illegal for a priest to have sex with a minor.”

While it’s pretty much common sense that in most cases it’s illegal for any adult to have sex with a minor, since he wasn’t trained, most likely never went to law school, didn’t train as a law enforcement agent, even if he has that common sense, he gave the legally correct answer.

REGINA: Incredible.

CATHY: This is something that needs to change. It’s good that laity is trained, it’s important for everyone who in anyway functions as a representative of the Catholic Church to be trained to know what is abuse and what is not including bishops. For example, while most people believe it’s illegal for anyone 18 or older to have sexual contact with anyone under eighteen, almost every state has set their laws up with an approximation clause. These allow sex between minors and adults in situations where there is a limited number of years in the age difference. The most that I am aware of is five. So, unfortunately there are situations in which a 20 year old can legally be sexually active with a 15 year old.

What state and federal investigations are uncovering

REGINA: Fifteen states and the federal government are investigating the Catholic Church now. What kinds of crimes is law enforcement looking at in the USA?

CATHY: Currently I am aware of various law enforcement agencies looking for cases of sexual abuse. This includes a variety of crimes against minors, but also cases involving rape and prostitution of adults.

It’s much harder for men to admit to being victims of these crimes; it is extremely important that everyone understand that men can be and are raped and prostituted.

Other crimes that are being looked into included drug trafficking, money laundering, embezzlement, human trafficking and crimes committed by American citizens outside the US.

REGINA: What kinds of crimes committed outside the USA?

CATHY: Many people are unaware that it is illegal for any American to travel to any other country and abuse its citizens. While an American can travel outside the US and hire a prostitute where it is legal, it’s against US law for them to travel to another country and sexually assault any of its citizens, take part in any kind of trafficking or break many other American laws. 

REGINA: We have heard of groups of priests vacationing in Mexican resorts which cater to sex tourism. Is law enforcement tracking this behavior?

CATHY: At this point the travel activities of anyone who is suspect are being tracked, not only their current travel activities, but those in the past and their future travel plans. This information can lead to vital information as to other locations that an offender is committing crimes. It can also give information on other kinds of crime that individual might be involved in.

REGINA: Some foreign priests have expressed fears that they will be targeted by unscrupulous bishops. Are they a flight risk? What about priests who are US citizens? Will their passports be revoked?

CATHY: Anyone with a passport and means is a flight risk. Foreign priest could definitely be at a risk of being targeted by not only unscrupulous bishops, but by any brother priest who is involved in criminal activity.

Generally there are few people who want to go to prison and they generally will do anything they can to avoid it. There are in fact passports that have already been revoked and in some situations interstate travel has been restricted. In some cases clergy are currently not permitted to be transferred to locations outside of their existing diocese.

REGINA: What should priests do if they fear being targeted by prelates who are themselves involved in unscrupulous behavior? 

CATHY: With priest who are aware of unscrupulous and/or illegal activity I would advise them to also contact law enforcement. There is however one issue in the event of a priest who is aware of these activities and the criminal is aware that a particular priest is aware of their activities. Not all, but many will make a confession to that priest, thereby putting him in the situation of breaking the confessional seal if he were to go to law enforcement. 

Priestly predator networks and their uses

REGINA: Is it true that predators form networks? What do they use them for?

CATHY: It is very true that predators form networks; this allows them to exchange information on places they can safely find victims. It also allows them to trade victims; to know where they find prostitutes, what victim(s) might be okay with this, but not with that sort of sexual activity.

REGINA: They get very detailed, then.

CATHY: Oh yes. Networking gives predators a way to safely communicate with others about their crimes without being concerned about getting reported to law enforcement. It gives them a place to feel that they are not alone and while I hate saying this, to feel ‘normal’. A night out in a nearby city’s bar that attracts young males or females with three other predators can be very empowering.

REGINA: What else?

CATHY: These networks can also lead to information regarding resources for other criminal activity, such as making a predator aware of how they might be able to become a part of drug trafficking, and there by earn extra money for their own activities.

REGINA: So they can make money. 

CATHY: Networks also can unfortunately — and this is a big one — help them to be aware of law enforcement activities. While a local parish priest might not be aware that the young man or woman he is looking at with interest is the child of a law enforcement agent, the one from the next town over might be fully aware of that and happy to share the information and save a friend.

Targeting and grooming victims, and the bleak aftermath

REGINA: Is there a typical victim profile that predator priests go after?

CATHY: We have found that in many cases victims come from situations in which there is little or no involvement of a parent or both parents in a child or young man’s life. (About 80% of these cases involve men.) The young men especially, generally are missing a strong father figure. These are/were the kids that always get dropped off for religious education and Mass, and then picked up afterwards.

They are the kids who might always come with another teammate or friend to the sports games. The parent or other family member never attends.  There are also kids and adults from backgrounds where they have been abused or neglected by family or friends of family.

We, as a society often hear how important it is for children to have both a mother and a father who have an active role in the child’s life; I can’t stress how truly important this is. If a child isn’t getting proper love, support, discipline, etc. within their family they will seek it outside of the family and might pay a horrible price for it.

REGINA: Often these crimes go unreported for decades.  Why is that?

CATHY: There are a few reasons this happens. Generally the biggest reason is the threats that are made by the perpetrator of the crime. In the majority of cases the perpetrator will make threats against the safety of the victim; they will do this in regard to the victim telling anyone and also to get the victim to allow the abuse to continue. Threats might include threats to harm the victim, their friends and/or their families.

REGINA: Whoa.

CATHY: This ultimately leads the victim in many cases to view the continued abuse as something they have chosen to allow as well as making them believe that by allowing themselves to be the victim they are protecting others.

They have it ingrained to them that if they tell mom, dad, the neighbor. That person will be harmed or killed and their sibling or friend will then face the same horrible thing they are going through.

In the first instance I can’t stress how unlikely that is to happen, mostly because these men generally have high opinions of themselves and feel that their word will always be taken against an accuser.

Unfortunately, the second is generally already happening, as it’s rare for a predator to only have one victim at a time.

REGINA: So they have multiple victims at once?

CATHY: Yes. The third reason these crimes go unreported — and this is especially true with men — is embarrassment. Most everyone is embarrassed to be the victim of a crime. This is true of a young man who is molested as well as the elderly couple next door who just got scammed out of their life savings.

REGINA: Makes sense.

CATHY: The fourth reason — and this addresses those situations in which someone has tried to report the abuse —  generation after generation has been raised to believe that there are certain people who can do no wrong: priests, ministers, doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers, firefighters.

REGINA: Okay…

CATHY: So there we are first in a situation where the victim believes they did something, it’s their fault, and then once they have the courage to come forward and say something, they get told that they imagined the abuse. This is ‘gaslighting’.

Plus, if they are older, they ‘wanted it’. Why? Mom and everyone in the parish really liked priest X. It’s been practice and still is in some places that if a diocese provides any kind of care and support to a victim they have them sign a non- disclosure agreement and never admit the fault of the priest or the diocese.

REGINA: What life issues do victims often face as a result of priestly predation? 

CATHY: Most commonly victims of priestly predation experience difficulty in forming relationships. They are likely to become withdrawn from family and friends. They generally develop psychological problems, such as depression, OCD, or oppositional defiance disorder.

It’s common for them to have drug and or alcohol addictions; these might have begun during the abuse because both are frequently used as both an aid to the abuse and as a reward.

A victim may continue to attend Mass, even when it is their choice, but the abuse often causes at minimum a reduced faith — often they completely lose faith.

They become angry and abusive themselves. This abuse often may not take the form of predation; it’s more common for them to because physically or mentally abusive to those around them. Suicide is fairly common; men commit suicide about 50 times more often than women.

How the Mc Carrick case tipped off law enforcement

REGINA: What does US law enforcement think of the career of Mc Carrick and was that the tip-off to this series of investigations?

CATHY: The career of McCarrick is a clear signal to LE that this is a systemic problem. Far too many people had first-hand knowledge of what was happening and turned a blind eye to the situation.

REGINA: Scary.

CATHY: His is a clear case in which others were complicit in his abuse of others and could have possible aided him in that abuse. Not only by covering up for him, but by procuring victims for him, supplying locations for the crimes he committed to take place, funds for his various travels.

REGINA: Terrifying, and infuriating.

CATHY: It’s extremely difficult to not be angry at how Mc Carrick was in many ways rewarded for his behavior. There are many aspects of McCarrick’s career that indicate it’s probable that he and other members of the clergy likely did and still do take part in a variety of crimes — included but not limited to embezzlement, money laundering, and multiple forms of trafficking.

REGINA: What’s law enforcement’s view of all this?

CATHY: It is because of this and the fact that looking at the histories of other criminally active priests it became apparent that the Church didn’t hesitate to move priest from state to state or even country to country if they thought it was the best way to protect him and the Church’s assets.

Mc Carrick’s career was a big tipoff as to how much the Church as a whole is covering for these men, and along with the PA report were ultimately the determining factor on the need for a Federal investigation.

Unfortunately in many of these past cases where the diocese ‘handled’ everything, law enforcement was never notified about the person, even after it was determined that the man was creditably accused.

Down & dirty drug trafficking in our rectories

REGINA: We have heard that LE is ‘mapping’ networks of predators. What sort of connections are they looking for?

CATHY: LE is looking for connections between any known predator and others as well as groups already known to be involved in criminal activity. Such connections would be with organizations that traffic drugs, any type of human trafficking, prostitution rings, and organizations that launder monies.

REGINA: What sorts of drugs is law enforcement finding?

CATHY: The drugs most commonly found connected with predation, prostitution and human trafficking are Cocaine, Methamphetamine, opioids, Ecstasy, Flunitrazepam, Rohypnol, Temazepam and GHB.

The last four drugs are all classed as ‘date rape drugs’. They are very strong benzodiazapines and produce states that include memory lapses, and in some cases a coma that resolves somewhere between two and eight hours after the drug takes effect.

Something to note is that Meth is on a noticeable increase again recently after years of decline. It’s also being found laced with opioids, most commonly fentanyl.

Fentanyl can be fatal in even the smallest amounts. To give people an example of just how fatal Fentanyl is, if you put a little bit of table salt in your hand and pick out two grains — that is equal to the amount of Fentanyl that can kill an adult. 

REGINA: What telltale physical signs should we look for in people using Cocaine, Methamphetamine, opioids, Ecstasy, Flunitrazepam, Rohypnol, Temazepam or GHB?

CATHY: Someone losing a good amount of weight in a short period of time, or changes in their demeanor. That is, someone who is always friendly and outgoing might become short with others and seem more withdrawn.

Also the development of acne in someone who has always had clear skin, and/or discolorations of teeth– either a severe yellowing or even a grayish brown. Appetite loss when there’s no known reason for this to happen.

Some people using just about any of these drugs might become easily agitated for absolutely no reason. You might see odd behaviors, such as a sudden obsession with something, such as insects, especially human parasites. Someone always touching their nose or mouth.

People on cocaine will generally develop cold-like symptoms. Some people on meth not only develop the sores that look like severe acne and dental problems, they frequently develop a nearly-insatiable thirst.

Opioid abusers can lose weight, become extremely unstable in attitude, frequently lashing out at others for no reason. They also can cycle from being very tired to being very energetic in short amounts of time. 

REGINA: Any behaviors that should make us suspicious?

CATHY: I look for people who start having personality changes, such as mood swings, a kind of Jeckel and Hyde persona.

REGINA: And in a priest?

CATHY: Things I would be looking for if I was concerned my priest was involved in abuse is the same person or type of person being around the parish far more frequently that they should be.

It might be the same teenage boy who isn’t a member of the parish and who isn’t involved in a parish sponsored activity, or working in some way for the parish. This would also be applicable to a young man who is a parish member.

Many abusers have a specific type of person they seek out, this might not just be an age range. There’s probably a problem if someone notices a lot of young men who are blue eyed with blonde hair, or young men who are six foot tall or taller, really muscular, with brown hair.

REGINA: Wow, didn’t know that.

CATHY: Another thing that should be watched for is unidentified persons showing up in large numbers, appearing one at a time and staying only for a few minutes.

Often, too, people may find that they are unable to get in touch with their priest when they would normally expect to, such as emergencies in evenings, overnight etc.

Of special interest to Church employees:  Frozen pay and reporting wrong-doing 

REGINA: If and when law enforcement succeeds in establishing a credible pattern of criminality within the US Church, is it possible that all Church assets would be frozen?

CATHY: It’s not only possible, it is probable that much if not all of the Church’s financial assets within at least the US would be frozen. It’s also possible that the Church’s physical assets could be seized. 

REGINA: What would this mean for Church employees?

CATHY: Unfortunately for the employees of the Church having the Church’s assets frozen would mean that they would not be paid, their benefits would not be paid for. For the average Catholic this would also mean that their parish’s bills could not be paid.

REGINA: If employees of dioceses or other Catholic organizations suspect or know of wrongdoing, what should they do?

CATHY: If an employee is aware of or suspects that any member of the clergy or any other employee is involved in criminal activity that information should be given to the FBI as soon as possible.

REGINA: Really? Isn’t that a bit extreme?

CATHY: It’s important that everyone understand that the Catholic Church is now being investigated as a criminal organization on the federal level. This includes all entities within the Catholic Church, not just the dioceses. It’s the goal of law enforcement to bring an end to all of the criminal activity within the Church on every level.

REGINA: What if what they see is not criminal per se? 

CATHY: It’s important for suspicious activity to be reported to law enforcement because most offenders are pretty good at concealing their activities.

It’s impossible for the majority of people to know what information law enforcement already has and even if law enforcement isn’t already aware of there being suspicious activity at a given location the information that one person has just might be the piece of information needed to completely connect a large part of this activity and allow the government to bring RICO charges, and be able to effect the end of a lot of the illegal activity within the Church.

REGINA: So you’re saying that people should leave the decision as to what is or is not illegal to the FBI professionals?

CATHY: Exactly. It’s also important that individuals not try to confront someone who is involved in criminal activities, because this can be very dangerous. Individuals need to be safe — turn over information they have and allow law enforcement to determine if there is or isn’t anything criminal going on and not try to make that determination on their own.

REGINA: Is it true that if they do not report wrongdoing, employees can be charged as accessories to crimes?

CATHY: If an employee is aware of a crime being committed, then yes, even if they are not a part of the crime, there is a possibility of their being charged as an accessory. If they have taken part in a crime, even if they aren’t truly aware that the activity is or leads to a crime, they could possibly be charged.

REGINA: Very scary for employees.

CATHY: That said, law enforcement in much more interested in finding and charging those who are active criminals. This is another reason why it is vital for anyone out there who knows anything related to these crimes contact the FBI office that is closest to them.

REGINA: How can people report wrong-doing?

CATHY: There is an FBI tip line, though the primary drawback to contacting this tip line is that the information you call with might that weeks to reach the correct investigator or might never reach them at all. An example of this is that the Parkland School shooter was reported to this line several times prior to the shooting in February. (Editor’s Note: The FBI also has field offices in major cities, which can be found HERE)

REGINA: If people know of priests accused of sexual abuse being re-assigned to parishes, what should they do? How about if they are re-assigned outside the USA?

CATHY: If anyone has information on a priest who is an abuser being re-assigned to another parish, different diocese or outside of the US it is extremely important that they report this information immediately.

Abusers simply don’t stop abusing once they start until they are either physically unable to abuse any longer and this generally means that they are arrested and imprisoned. 

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THE REHABILITATION OF THEODORE MCCARICK

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Doug Mainwaring

Doug MainwaringF


NEWSCATHOLIC CHURCHHOMOSEXUALITYFri Jan 4, 2019 – 8:20 pm EST

Is the Vatican trying to recast McCarrick abuse of teen as ‘consensual’?

 Archdiocese Of New YorkCatholicClergy Sexual AbuseHomosexualityJames GreinPope FrancisSt. Patrick CathedralTheodore MccarrickTimothy Dolan

January 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a shocking reversal, the Vatican reportedly indicated that it deemed the allegations of sexual abuse by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick against an altar boy, found to be credible by the Archdiocese of New York, to be “not credible,” essentially nullifying the grievous testimony upon which the Holy See’s case against the prelate was being built.  

The former altar boy, 16 years old at time the abuse occurred in 1972, had testifiedthat in preparation for Christmas Mass at New York’s venerable St. Patrick’s Cathedral, McCarrick sexually abused him in the Cathedral’s sacristy and then again a year later in a lavatory.

“The credible evidence has been dropped because the altar boy went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to solicit sex from McCarrick,” according to James Grein, another man whom McCarrick had abused as a boy. As a newly ordained priest, McCarrick had baptized Grein when he was an infant and then molested him repeatedly for 18 years beginning when Grein was just 11 years old.  

“He was 16 years old,” so “he was a consensual adult,” added Grein in his recent interview with Taylor Marshall. “There was no crime.”

Despite the fact that the United States views a 16 year old as a minor, Canon law views a young person of that age as having reached the age of majority.  

“The Vatican is attempting to recast the molestation as somehow ‘consensual sex,’” noted Church Militant’s Michael Voris in a video report.  

Voris also pointed out that this echoes a notion promoted by Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in November, that consensual homosexual sex involving priests with young men is somehow not all that egregious.  

The Vatican’s apparent attempt to discredit and downplay the charges against McCarrick raises a “big red flag,” said Voris, who asserted, “The Vatican is more concerned with cover-up than the truth.”  

“Many are thinking that all of this is just one huge smoke screen,” said Voris, who suggested “Rome has no real concern about this issue, too easily adopts a ‘blame the victim approach,’ and is content to treat this scandal as just an ‘American thing’ that will be forgotten soon enough.”  

Because the initial case against McCarrick seems to be crumbling, Grein’s sworn testimony last week to Church authorities conducting the Vatican’s investigation into McCarrick’s long history of sexual predation may soon become the cornerstone –– and the last hope –– for any canonical action to be taken by the Holy See against McCarrick.

Though canon law may be lenient on McCarrick for his despicable sexual abuse of the altar boy in the sacristy of a St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grein’s abuse occurred during confession, which canon law views as a capital crime.

Grein explained that when he was a young boy, McCarrick, who was a close friend of his parents, brought him to a third floor bedroom in the Grein family’s house to hear his confession, far away from the others who were gathered on the main floor.  

McCarrick told Grein he wanted to “hear my sins of the mind and body.”

“And as he blesses me, he puts his right hand on my right shoulder and starts to bless me with Holy Water down my body,” recounted Grein, “and then he massages my genitals, and he kisses me there.”  

Because the sexual abuse began when Grein was just 11 years old, this is clearly a case of abuse of a minor that cannot be excused as consensual sex by higher ups in Vatican City seeking to protect the now-disgraced former cardinal.

According to Patrick Noaker, Grein’s attorney, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is considering charging McCarrick with three distinct canonical crimes based on his treatment of Grein when he was a boy: sexual contact with a minor; sexual contact with an adult, since the abuse continued for nearly 20 years; and perhaps most chillingly, soliciting sex from a penitent during confession (canon 1395 §1 and 2 and §1387).

Grein’s personal testimony confirms precisely why such an act by a priest or prelate within the Sacrament of Penance is a capital crime: “The biggest thing he did to me was he made me lose my faith in Jesus Christ, which condemns me to hell and death.”

“With Dolan’s original case against McCarrick apparently blown out of the water by Vatican investigators, (New York’s Cardinal Timothy) Dolan needs to put together case and to it fast, and it would have to be air-tight,” said Voris in his video report.

“And in James Grein, he has found such a case.”

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TWELVE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
AND OTHER CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL IN COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE

Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church?  This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility.  So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility.

If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals.  So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election?  His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question.  The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See.

His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms.  For example, Paragraph 76 states:  “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”

From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility.  If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself.

Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis.  While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity.

What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”).  The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words:  “.   .   .   knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.”  (“.   .   .   scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”)  [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent.

Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with:  (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff.

This is so because:1.  Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2.   Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3.  Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings.

Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred.  Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis.  These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.:  “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant  act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”.  While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them:  “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55]

No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them.  

Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff.  In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding.  Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis.  Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is:   “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.”  (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.)  In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae.  At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.”  

His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.  The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal. 

In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo.  No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis.  See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77:  “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76:  “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.”  [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76:  “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity.

 Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters.  The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.  Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government.  The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ.  After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ.  It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do.  Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation.  Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ.  Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”.  But, the fact that “The Church .   .   .  will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.  And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II.  The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake.  This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person  .   .   .   in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff.  Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals.  They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave.  They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation.  Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals.  If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals.  In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either.  (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal.  So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors.  Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here.  May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual.  If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election”  “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter.   May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de Plume
Un ami des Papes

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