Dawkins & Hitchens Copy Me

Arrest The Pope, well Game On. While I said it on the 10th March better late than never eh fellas? However I would like for this considered attempt to not become a divisive Dawkos & Hitchites vs. Teh Religious, this is not simply religion that has enabled the paedophile mafia, it is Conservatism, the most potent and dangerous mix of ideologies has been the Right & God (whatever the flavour). That it found its ultimate expression in the abuse of the most defenceless children is entirely in keeping with that mix, it is predation, privilege & greed. The Vatican privileges its priests above the rights of the laity, using god as the cover for rigid hierarchies, since the inception of the church  figures within it warned about this and the abuse of those under the church’s power. This is not news or a surprise and when it is presented as such that indicates immediately the dishonesty and bad faith being engaged in by the leadership. This arrest idea might fall to just being a gimmick, the law is not applied to the elite, but it should be a serious change in the institutional position of religion, the god trump card should not be used to create an exceptional para legal world where rights are dependent on what some man (and it is usually a man) says god told him was right.

And if they do get the Pope, then let’s make Blair the next target, deal? Take it away Beau Bo D’or

A Sorry Apology

Colm O’Gorman:- On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI published his letter to the Irish Church on the issue of child abuse. What was necessary seemed clear. As Pope, acknowledge the cover up by Roman Catholic Church of the rape and abuse of children by priests, take responsibility for it, and show how you will ensure it never happens again.

But the letter failed to do any of this. There was no acceptance of responsibility for the now established cover up, no plan to ensure that across the global church those who rape and abuse will be reported to the civil authorities and children properly protected.

The letter is clearly an effort to restore the credibility of a church rocked by the publication of three state investigations into clerical crimes and church over ups in Ireland. The Pope has seen all three of these reports.

Published in May 2009, following an eleven year State investigation, the Ryan Report detailed the full extent of the horrific abuse endured by children abandoned to the ‘care’ of the church.

It reported ritualized, savage beatings, endemic rape and sexual assault and the exploitation of children forced to work to enrich the bloated religious congregations charged with their care.

Disgracefully, the Pope used his letter and this issue to attack one of his favourite targets, secularisation. We are asked to believe that the secularisation of Irish society led to abuse and cover up. In fact, it is the secularisation of society that finally led to the exposure of the crimes of the church.

The most horrific abuse was perpetrated, not in a secularised Ireland, but at a time when Irish society was dominated, socially and politically, by the Catholic Church.

That the Pope appears to have wilfully ignored this established fact is a blatant and disgraceful deceit.

Some have reported that the Pope issued a heartfelt apology to victims of abuse. In fact the word ‘sorry’ appeared just once in a letter running to almost four thousand seven hundred words.

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Christianists & Empire

This passed me by at the time but his recent comments set me wondering and indeed, the current Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Matt Baggott is a born again christian and chairman of the christian police officers association and vice president of the National Association of Police Chaplains, hmmm.

He has a fondness for the Old Testament and recently wrote an article for Britain’s Christian Police Association (CPA) urging officers to become followers of the Prophet Malachi so “our prayers, attitudes and actions will bring many to the reality and hope of the cross”.

He is president of the CPA, an evangelical Protestant group that believes “the Bible is the inspired Word of God without error and is the only complete authority on matters of faith and doctrine”. In public, however, he is more given to management speak than biblical quotations.

He was born in 1959 in an affluent Christian family and attended a public school in Croydon; Axcell thinks it was Trinity School, a Christian foundation with high academic standards.

But

Bernard Greaves, a gay-rights activist and member of Leicester Police Authority, is equally positive. “I have a good, effective relationship. He knows I am gay and there is never any problem,” he says. “The police have an excellent hate crimes unit which is very supportive of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.”

Leicester is the most ethnically diverse city in the UK and is expected to have a non-white majority by 2011. Baggott and his force seem popular in all parts of the community. Hanif Aqbany, a Labour councillor, said: “We are delighted with the local police. They are approachable and accessible.”

He has been seen to be proactive in publicly apologising for racism, sexism & skiving when exposed by Dispatches. However-

He was staff officer to Sir Paul Condon, then the Met commissioner, for 18 months. As a chief superintendent, he was given the sensitive job of heading the team assisting the public inquiry into the force’s botched investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager stabbed to death in 1993.

The evidence against the Met was damning; it was found guilty of “institutional racism” and corruptly covering up mistakes. Baggott made one of his few PR mistakes when he said the fact that the killers shouted racist abuse did not prove the killing was racially motivated.

Although the gang that murdered Stephen is not disputed to have called out ‘What, what, n*gger?’, police claimed at various points during the inquiry that the attack on Stephen was not racist. CS Matt Baggott (who heads the police team at the inquiry) stated, contradicting police guidelines, ‘Words are not sufficient evidence of racial motivation.’

His reported charm and professionalism seem to have served him well and his affluent and christian background have cemented his establishment credentials rather than created an iconoclast. And after the mess of the Lawrence case he has at least known enough to at appear more concerned with ‘canteen culture’. Still, is having another religious person (and predictably of prostestant extraction) in the mix the wisest idea?

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Fuck tha Pope

While Benny continues to attack people for…um, well having human rights and sexual abuse remains covered up from the Vatican on downwards, here is an example of the fine sort of priest Benny apparently still thinks should be in the Church- Christian von Wernich. Hell you remember him, he worked with the fascist dictatorship in Argentina to torture and murder people, well even though he was finally jailed for his activities he is still a priest and saying mass (note the veil of silence familiar from the Church’s approach to its child rapists), via Lillie Langtry @ Memory in Latin America

(IPS) – More than two years after he was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity committed during the 1976-1983 dictatorship in Argentina, former police chaplain Christian von Wernich has not been penalised by the Catholic Church.

IPS found out that the 71-year-old priest even celebrates mass in prison.

Von Wernich was sentenced on Oct. 9, 2007 by a court in the city of La Plata, 57 km southeast of Buenos Aires, as an accomplice in the murders of seven members of the Peronist guerrilla organisation Montoneros, which was active in the 1970s, 31 cases of torture, and 42 cases of deprivation of freedom during Argentina’s dirty war.

According to human rights groups, 30,000 people fell victim to forced disappearance during the military dictatorship.

The Cámara de Casación, Argentina’s highest criminal appeals court, upheld von Wernich’s sentence in 2009.

As chaplain for the notorious Buenos Aires provincial police, von Wernich held the rank of inspector and frequently visited the regime’s secret torture camps, encouraging political prisoners to provide information in order to avoid being tortured.

Catholic Church leaders have kept mum on the case of the first clergyman accused and convicted of genocide. One Church source who spoke to IPS on condition of anonymity said von Wernich holds mass in Marcos Paz prison, 50 km west of Buenos Aires.

“There will definitely be a penalty,” the source predicted, although he said what form it would take would depend on von Wernich’s superior, Bishop Martín Elizalde of the Nueve de Julio diocese.

Priests involved in progressive ecclesial base communities, which follow liberation theology, at the other end of the spectrum from von Wernich’s far-right views, preferred not to comment on the case.

Von Wernich’s parishioners in Marcos Paz are a unique lot. The priest shares the prison with dozens of former torturers, including high profile participants in the dirty war like ex-Navy Captain Alfredo Astiz, also known as the Blond Angel of Death, and former Navy Captain Jorge Acosta, alias “The Tiger”, who was head of intelligence at the Naval Mechanics School (ESMA), the regime’s most notorious torture centre.

Other fellow inmates are former police chiefs Luis Abelardo Patti and Miguel Ángel Etchecolatz.

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And sign this-

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ask the Catholic Church to pay for the proposed visit of the Pope to the UK and relieve the taxpayer of the estimated £20 million cost. We accept the right of the Pope to visit his followers in Britain, but public money would be better spent on hard-pressed schools, hospitals and social services which are facing cuts.

Sign Here.

Happy Holydays

Do You Still Believe In...?

Catholic Child Abuse in Ireland Greywashed

(Reuters) – Priests beat and raped children during decades of abuse in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland, a report said Wednesday.

Orphanages and industrial schools in 20th century Ireland were places of fear, neglect and endemic sexual abuse, the report said.

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, established by the government in 2000, blasted successive generations of priests, nuns and Brothers for beating, starving and, in some cases raping, children in Ireland’s network of industrial and reformatory schools between the 1930s and 1990s.

The religious orders investigated in Ireland include the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge who ran Dublin’s Magdalene Laundry — the subject of the 2002 film ‘The Magdalene Sisters’.

Also investigated were the Christian Brothers, who delayed proceedings through a successful court action defending their members’ right to anonymity.

The action led to the commission dropping its original intention to name the people against whom the allegations were made and only those who have already been convicted can be mentioned in the report.

The commission, originally set up for two years, was also delayed by what it described as the “adversarial and legalistic” approach of religious orders and by the resignation of its first chairwoman Justice Mary Laffoy a year later after a clash with the Department of Education.

(AFP)- “There is nothing by way of justice in any means significant in this report, nothing,” said John Kelly of the Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) group, adding that victims of abuse “will also feel that the scars are still left open.”

“The state doesn’t want the world to know… that it abdicated its responsibility,” he added, saying survivors felt “deceived and cheated.”

I went a Christian Brother school in the UK, but it wasn’t a boarding school (thankfully), I got hit but no rape. What has been pointed out in coverage of the report is the huge number of people who after being abused left Ireland, the suggestion is they no longer felt safe in a country that colluded with the Church in covering up and thus enabled the abuse to continue. This report is a faltering step forwards but clearly the religious orders are not approaching this with contrition and the government has not stood up to them. Trying to present this as a closing chapter in the history of the abuse and torture would be a dishonest attempt at continuing the cover up under the guise of recognising it was wrong and then making insulting recommendations such as

… a memorial should be erected to all the victims of abuse in institutions and recommended that national childcare policy be reviewed on a regular basis.

Er, no. There need to be prosecutions and the Church has to compensate victims while the government provides the healthcare to help them. I’m sure St. Peter’s would fetch a nice sum even in a depressed housing market.

Homo Sapiens

Closeted hypocritical homophobe Pope Benny does it again-

Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.

Incidentally is there not some easy neologism for the obviously gay yet publicly rabid homophobic person? So you could say,”Hey that Pope Benny he’s a _____” (lousy date?). And anyway this-

Men significantly outnumbered women in the “out-of-Africa” migration some 60,000 years ago that eventually populated the rest of the world, according to a new study.

C’mon, men outnumbering women? That means our ancestors were all about the drag and ass fucking!