A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, the first time in the 25-year history of the church’s sex abuse scandals that the leader of an American diocese has been held criminally liable for the behavior of a priest he supervised.
The indictment of the bishop, Robert W. Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph by a county grand jury was announced on Friday. Each was charged with one misdemeanor count involving a priest accused of taking pornographic photographs of girls as recently as this year. They pleaded not guilty.
One misdemeanor!? That’s it? That’s all a priest gets for taking pornographic photos of girls? Unbelievable. But at least the charges have started flowing upstream. I thought the first upstream convictions in the US would come from the case in Philly that I mentioned recently, but GO KANSAS CITY!
Tonight we try something we haven’t done in a long time – Chrissy joins me on the podcast. We lit up a Perdomo Lot 23, sat outside on our deck, and talked about a lot of things including:
– Why comics are like classical music (I recommend reading DMZ and KICK-ASS) and admire the work of Aussie Ben Templesmith
– The head of Australia’s Reserve Bank is ANOTHER crazy Christian running the country
– The rise of Dominionism in Australia
– More evidence that evil oil companies are paying a small handful of scientists to oppose climate change
– The very small list of scientists who actually oppose climate change
– The very LARGE list of scientists who support climate change
If you enjoyed this show, you can stay in touch by following Chrissy and Cameron on Twitter or by joining our Facebook page.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
According to CatholicCulture.org:
Father Jim Denham, a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, will be sentenced next month on 29 counts of child sexual abuse. Twenty-seven of the 40 men who allege abuse by the priest are seeking a settlement with the diocese.
Sentencing for this reprobate has apparently been dragging on since JUNE 2009. I wonder what shady deals the Catholics are trying to pull in the background so they can save a few more bucks?
Keep in mind always that these incidents are NOT just “a few bad apples” – sexual abuse was systematically hidden and protected by Catholic leadership from the Popes on down for decades. Why haven’t we had a Royal Commission into Catholic sexual abuse in this country yet, like they did in Ireland? Especially as we know that many Irish priests were moved out there when they got themselves into trouble?
He may be an Anglican, but KRudd is “one of the boys” when it comes to protecting the religious establishments of Australia.
According to the BBC:
Australian PM Kevin Rudd has apologised to the hundreds of thousands of people, some British migrants, who were abused or neglected in state care as children.
(via BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Australia ‘sorry’ for child abuse.)
I know from my interview with Dr Wayne Chamley from Broken Rites that the Catholic Church are alleged to have been the main protagonist in this child abuse in Australia but the Federal Govt won’t hold a Royal Commission into the issue like the Irish government did. To deflect the issue, KRudd would rather just apologise. But there’s no justice in an apology. It boggles the mind why the leaders of this country don’t think that the Catholic Church should have to answer for its crimes like any other criminal organisation. As far as I’m aware, the Australian Sex Party is the only political party in this country that has a policy calling for a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse.
I wonder how many Mormons know Joseph Smith was put on trial for being a conman a few years before he founded the church?
The story goes like this:
“For several years preceding the appearance of his book, he was about the country in the character of a glass-looker: pretending, by means of a certain stone, or glass, which he put in a hat, to be able to discover lost goods, hidden treasures, mines of gold and silver, &c. Although he constantly failed in his pretensions, still he had his dupes who put implicit confidence in all his words. In this town, a wealthy farmer, named Josiah Stowell, together with others, spent large sums of money in digging for hidden money, which this Smith pretended he could see, and told them where to dig; but they never found their treasure.
“At length the public, becoming wearied with the base imposition which he was palming upon the credulity of the ignorant, for the purpose of sponging his living from their earnings, had him arrested as a disorderly person, tried and condemned before a court of Justice. But, considering his youth, (he being then a minor,) and thinking he might reform his conduct, he was designedly allowed to escape. This was four or five years ago. From this time he absented himself from this place, returning only privately, and holding clandestine intercourse with his credulous dupes, for two or three years.”
The above account is taken from the first published telling of events, written by Abram W. Benton and published in the Evangelical Magazine & Gospel Advocate in 1831, about 5 years after the events occurred (via Omninerd).
The LDS apologists I’ve read online (including the author of the article on Omninerd) tend to try to brush it off by saying “well back then money digging wasn’t unusual”, missing the point that he wasn’t tried for “money digging” per se, he was tried (as far as we can tell from the surviving records) for being a conman, that is, he kept pretending he actually could locate buried treasure using his supernatural powers when, in fact, as far as the records show, he was totally unsuccessful in finding any treasure.
It speaks about the man’s character. And this trial happened 6 years after Smith claims that he had been visited by Jesus. I’d like to ask Mormons to engage their critical mind and ask themselves: is a conman who was going around the country trying to scam money out of gullible people the kind of person that you would put your trust in today? If someone who was a known conman turned up today and told you that he’d been visited by an angel or Jesus, would you believe him?
Read more about Joseph Smith’s career as a hustler here.
In addition, there is plenty of evidence that a lot of Mormon rituals and symbols were copied by Smith from what he learned from the Freemasons. His father was made a master Mason in 1818, quite a few of the original Mormons were also Freemasons and Smith himself became a master Mason in 1840. According to “MORMONISM AND MASONRY” by S.H. Goodwin (1920), Mormon temple worship shares an extensive commonality of symbols, signs, vocabulary and clothing with Freemasonry, including robes, aprons, handshakes, ritualistic raising of the arms, etc. The LDS church was started during a time in the United States when there was a backlash against the Masons. Did Smith just transform the Masonic lodge into a church?
Anyone interested in Joseph Smith’s story should read the classic “No Man Knows My History” by Fawn Brodie published in 1945.
Huge news! Sarah Mac, who I interviewed on episode #352, emailed me tonight to let me know that Mercy Ministries has shut down all Australian operations!
I was looking back the other day and realised that it has been already a year since we did the interview.
I got some very good news today, Mercy Minitries Australia has shut down completely. Their statement is on their website.
I have been talking to some of the other girls since it has come out and we are all very relieved.
As I understand it ALL organisations have pulled out their support in the last few months, including Hillsong Church and Gloria Jeans.
This is such a great victory for all of us that were hurt and abused by Mercy, hopefully other countries will follow. (we can only live in hope).
I’m very proud of the small role this show played in closing Mercy down. If you missed those episodes, you can find them here.
It just goes to show you folks – we CAN make a difference.