Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beyond Belief News- Vatican Supports Culture of Secrecy with Child Abuse

"Pro-tect?" Are you sure that is a real word?

"The Vatican's chief investigator (Monsignor Charles J Scicluna) has insisted that Ireland's most senior cleric (Cardinal Brady) has no case to answer over renewed allegations of mishandling of allegations against the paedophile Brendan Smyth"
"New evidence unearthed in a BBC documentary found Cardinal Brady had the names and addresses of children who were suspected of being abused, during a secret internal church inquiry in 1975."
- Irish Independant

Monsignor Charles J Scicluna (pictured above) defends Cardinal Brady's decision not to go to the proper authorities with this information because that was not his job at the time as he was merely the "note taker" for the church's investigation into abuse cases. 

Now before you get any ideas about what his job was in this investigation, let me clear that up for you.

"He was doing his duty (As "note taker")to investigate something that had come to the knowledge of the church and I think he fulfilled his duty well,"   "His to pass the information (that he gathered from interviews with the victims) to the people who are in authority"

It is not in the scope of his duty to report child molesters to the authorities?? 
It is not in the scope of his duty to pass on information to anyone outside the church officials?
It is not even in the scope of his duty to inform the PARENTS of the possibility that their children might be in danger? (he interviewed the children, but did not pass on the danger that he discovered during those interviews)

I am not sure what his responsibilities in the church are, but his responsibilities as a HUMAN are to protect children (and ANYONE for that matter).  To hide behind the letters of your job contract as a reason for not protecting the helpless from the clutches of physically and emotionally violent predators is cowardly and unethical.

What goes beyond this is that the Vatican accepts this without flinching.  They actually feel that Rev Brady fulfilled his duty as a church official, and that his lack of action shouldn't have any bearing on how the country views him as a leader in the church and a figure of self proclaimed moral authority in Ireland. 

"Father Brady referred all this information to the people who had authority and a duty to act."

Seriously??  Who gave the church the civil and legal duty to act as adjudicator in these matters? Do they really think that they have the power to withhold information like this until they make a decision on it? 
From where do they get the authority to circumvent the system of law so that they can decide on these matters?

I am absolutely incensed that they actually DEFEND a man who had first hand testimony from these children, including names, dates, times and addresses, and thought his only responsibility was to hand that information over to, not the parents, not the police....but his boss.

Sir, the mail room staff is raping the women in the secretary's pool. 
Did I tell anyone? Ummm, no..why? Ok, I'll leave it with you.

Vatican, let me help you with something.

You are not an authority.

You don't get to filter the evidence and make decisions as to who is and who isn't guilty of a crime. 
The police and the legal system do that nicely.

Well, um...most times anyway (how embarrassing.....)

You need to understand that you hold a position of trust, not just as an organisation, but as individuals.  Each priest, each reverend, each cardinal, and each person in the church (and in fact on the planet) has a responsibility to be true to that trust.  That means you can do whatever you need to do with information of abuse....once you have informed the families and the police.  At the point of discovery!  Not once it has filtered through your organization.  Each and every person MUST ask himself if he has done everything he can to protect those who trust in your desire to protect them.  If they don't, then they are as guilty as the rapist from that point forward, and you don't hold the members of your organization to that standard, then you are inviting this culture of silence to continue. 

And you become as bad as the rapist too!

You failed those people by not having those "people in authority" not act, and you failed them a second time by not admonishing then Reverend Brady for not taking it to the legal authorities or warning their parents.  THAT would be doing everything you can. 

Reverend Brady, I am not even sure what to say to you.  Your stupidity and willfull ignorance of your duty as a human being is astronomical. 

You said;

"It is a grave sin. If I was aware my failure to act had allowed or meant future children were abused, I think I would resign."

In retrospect you must see that if you had gone to the PROPER authorities (not your boss) and reported this, that those children would be safe. 

So by your own admitting, and since you must recognise now that your lack of action directly harmed those children, you must resign as the church leader of Ireland.

Sorry, I can't hear you over my sense of blind self importance.

The pain that those children went through was, in part, your fault.  It was your inaction that led to the predator being able to prey on those children again and again well after their pain should have been over.  They should have been able to breath a sigh of relief once they told you of their plight knowing that you would stop at nothing to see them safe.

You decided to look the other way as a human being, and just passed it on for someone else to handle.

I am not saying that those who had the information after you are not responsible as well, but they are not in the spotlight (however much they should be).

The fact remains that you made a terrible, immoral and unethical mistake in betraying those children with your willful inaction, and it is such a grave one that your moral and professional credibility may never recover.

But more importantly (because I don't actually care about your worthless credibility) it is one from which the victims of your inaction may never recover.

UPDATE-Cardinal Brady issues an apology

This apology came on the heels of an outright refusal to apologize publicly.  So why the change of heart?  It's pretty plain to me that the sudden sorrow over his forgotten responsibilities is disingenuous and self serving.  Protecting himself and whatever image he has left after he has landed in hot water.  Even NOW he can't say that HE did something wrong.  Just that he is sad that something didn't happen. (here's a hint Cardinal... something didn't just "not happen", it didn't happen because you MADE it not happen.  Shame on you.  Here is the quote.

"I regret very much that [the parents] weren't [informed]"

Not, "I am sorry that I didn't inform them".  No personal responsibility even now, with all the facts laid bare. 

I could rant about this for hours, but I think that Tim Minchin said it far better than I ever could.

"If you covered for a single motherfucker who's a kiddie fucker,
Fuck the motherfucker he's as evil as the rapist"

Nuff said!

Watch the video here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ironic Creationist Quotes- Rev Kevin Flynn

Irony?  Isn't that when OTHER people say things that are contradict their own points?

"The point is that atheists have erred in what they are talking about when they attack Christianity. I agree with atheists who scorn crude or superstitious versions of Christianity."

Yes Reverend, but I think that where we disagree is that it is ALL superstitious.  As soon as an attempt to describe the forces that created the universe stops being superstitious, it becomes SCIENCE.

 Billy the Bookworm says that "Superstition" is a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, ocurance, proceeding, or the like. (1)

Anything that is perported intellectually without reasonably objective supporting evidence is, by definition, superstition. 

Sorry Reverend but your religion is no more or less superstitious than those who believe that a spaceship is coming to gather up the chosen from behind a meteor....

.....on second thought, I have changed my mind.  It IS more superstitious than that, because at least THAT claim can be verified or debunked with the proper tools. 

What Christianity provides is the ultimate superstitious snow job.

All the answers, but none of the explanations.

Believe in the Word contained in the Bible.  How do you know that word is true?

It says so on page 421
 If the only evidence that you can provide would also support any of the other tens of thousands of gods (and possibly a few other literary fictional characters as well) then you can hardly call YOUR belief anything BUT superstitious.


.....maybe YOU can.

And that my friends, is irony.

Rev Kevin Flynn is an Anglican priest and director of the Anglican studies program at Saint Paul University.

1- Superstition definition found at

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quote of the Week-The Amazing Randi

"There exists in a society a very special class of persons that I have always referred to as the Believers.  These are folks who have chosen to accept a certain religion, philosophy, theory, idea or notion and cling to that belief regardless of any evidence that might, for anyone else, bring it into doubt.  They are the ones who encourage and support the fanatics and the frauds of any given age.  No amount of evidence, no matter how strong, will bring them any enlightenment.  They are sheep who beg to be fleeced and butchered, and who will battle fiercely to preserve their right to be victimized."   -the Amazing Randi

Well said Mr Randi!

They are party to their own vicitmization because they fear what it would mean for their world if they were accepted that they were wrong.

Evidence, science and logic are the only ways that we have to assess the nature of reality, and if you can't satisfy the requirements of those tools, then maybe you should look at your belief.

But what is sad is that they fight for the right to be fooled and led down the path to delusion, misinformation, manipulation, slavery and unsupported views.  Their respect for that "right" becomes more important than their respect for the truth about the universe.

You're the man Mr Randi!  Keep up the good work, and spread the love of logic and evidence.  The world is FAR more interesting and magestic than we give it credit for.


Atheist Haiku of the Month-May 24 Edition

Don't fret about "god"
On your wild party weekends
Worry about you

HAVE FUN EVERYONE!!  And remember, if it doesn't hurt anyone, then it is no one's business what you do!