Catholic School Teacher Fired Because Abusive Ex-Husband Posed Threat to Students

File under: Ya gotta admire those Gospel-Lovin’ Catholics!

By Neetzan Zimmerman
A domestic violence victim has come forward this week after being fired from her teaching job at a San Diego Catholic school because she was deemed a liability for having an abusive ex-husband.

Carie CharlesworthEarlier this year, Carie Charlesworth and her four children were removed from Holy Trinity School after she gathered up the courage to disclosed her struggles with domestic violence to the school’s principal.

After what the second-grade teacher’s called “a very bad weekend with [her ex-husband],” the unidentified man arrived outside the school, prompting a lockdown.

She was subsequently put on “an indefinite leave,” and then formally terminated three months later.

Charlesworth’s letter of termination read, in part:

We know from the most recent incident involving you and Mrs. Wright (the principal) while you were still physically at Holy Trinity School, that the temporary restraining order in effect were not a deterrent to him. Although we understand he is current incarcerated, we have no way of knowing how long or short a time he will actually serve and we understand from court files that he may be released as early as next fall. In the interest of the safety of the students, faculty and parents at Holy Trinity School, we simply cannot allow you to return to work there, or, unfortunately, at any other school in the Diocese.

“I mean that’s why women of domestic violence don’t come forward, because they’re afraid of the way people are going to see them, view them, perceive them, treat them,” said Charlesworth after being informed that several parents were planning to pull their children out of school if she returned.

The San Diego Diocese Office for Schools has said it would not comment publicly “about personnel issues.”

Meanwhile, Charlesworth says the entire ordeal has caused her to lose her religion. “I have not been back to a Catholic church since this happened,” she said.

Her ex-husband, who was jailed on two felony charges back in January, is due to be released this month.

Complete Article HERE!

The Brilliant Charles Pierce: FOOLING ALL OF THE PAPAL

File under: I couldn’t have said it better myself…

By Charles P. Pierce

Well, it seems the kitty came leaping out of the burlap around the Chair Of Peter.roman curia

Pope Francis has admitted the existence of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican’s secretive administration, the Roman Curia, allegedly exposed during a leaks scandal, according to a Latin American Catholic website. Back in February Italian media claimed that a secret report by cardinals investigating the leaks included allegations of corruption and blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergymen, and on the other hand, favouritism based on gay relationships. “In the Curia, there are truly some saints, but there is also a current of corruption,” the pope is quoted as having said during an audience last week with CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women). “There is talk of a ‘gay lobby’ and it’s true, it exists. We have to see what can be done,” the 76-year-old pontiff is quoted as saying on the Reflection and Liberation website, which was flagged up by religious news agencies on Tuesday.

I would like to believe that this revelation will lead the pope to the conclusion that a vast, secretive bureaucracy modeled on a Renaissance court is anathema to spirituality and a positive breeder reactor for intrigue and criminality, and generally not at all what a certain wandering revisionist First Century rabbi had in mind, and that it’s time to blow up this absurd feast of fat things and get back to the basic message of the gospels.

I would like to believe that the overall reaction is not going to be, “Oooooh, scary gays are bad!”

But I am not betting on it.

Complete Article HERE!

The bishops’ big guns in Trenton

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

What if, during his recent travels with a couple of Catholic youth groups, the Rev. Michael Fugee had a relapse and groped another child? There’s no evidence that happened, but it’s a legitimate concern. There’s a reason prosecutors made him promise never to work with children again.

john_myers_newarkYears from now, what if a child says Fugee crossed a line?

As we speak, New Jersey’s Catholic leaders are spending big bucks to make sure the church, its bishops and, most importantly, its bank accounts can’t be held responsible for crimes committed on their watch.

Princeton Public Affairs Group is the most high-powered, high-priced lobbying outfit in Trenton. That’s whom the New Jersey Catholic Conference has hired to fight legislation meant to give victims of childhood sexual abuse the time they need to seek justice.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), extends the statute of limitations from two years to 30 years for victims to file suit against their abusers and the institutions that failed to protect them. That includes the Catholic Church, but it also covers all religious organizations, state and local governments, and schools.

The priest sex-abuse scandal has cost the Catholic Church $2.5 billion. Its interest in limiting the damages is obvious.

For some victims of childhood abuse, time is critical. It may take years before they can talk about it. When they’re finally ready, they should find a justice system that’s ready to listen.

If Catholic leaders get their way, many will be told they’re too late.

It’s not a new tactic. The church has lobbied states for stricter time limits for victims to sue their attackers and those who protected them. In New York, for example, the church helped stop legislation that opened “windows” for victims to sue for past abuse.

The priest sex-abuse scandal has cost the Catholic Church $2.5 billion since it broke a decade ago. The church’s interest is obvious. By hiring Princeton Public Affairs, it is pulling out the big guns. Vitale’s job just got harder.

Cutting costs might be good business, but trying to escape sins of the past by silencing victims is cowardly. Lawsuits are chances for those child victims, now grown, to have a voice. We have to be ready to hear them.

Complete Article HERE!

New book alleges indiscretions in the Philippine Church

A book launched on Friday is set to send shockwaves through the Philippines Church, with serious allegations about the behavior of bishops and clergy.

“Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church,” describes an institution cloaked in secrecy.

Aries RufoIt claims that Church leaders have been concealing wrongdoings committed by bishops and clergy, including sexual misconduct, financial mismanagement, and corruption, for many years.

Author Aries Rufo, who researched the book over 20 years of covering the institutional church as a journalist, said he does not intend to destroy the reputation of the country’s bishops and priests.

“Are we out to destroy the Church? Of course the answer is no. How can one book destroy a Church that has been in existence for more than two thousand years?” Rufo said.

He said he has dedicated the book to “those who remain steadfast in their faith yet ache for reforms within the Holy Mother Church.”

Among its revelations, the book recounts how protégés of the late Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila committed “indiscretions involving the opposite sex.”

Former Manila auxiliary bishops Teodoro Bacani and Crisostomo Yalung were both promising prelates before their fall from grace.

Yalung, who was 47 when the scandal happened, fathered two children with a 23-year-old woman. He later escaped to the United States where he now resides, after failing to account for millions of pesos of Church funds.

Bacani resigned as Bishop of Novaliches in 2003 after being accused of sexual harassment by his personal secretary. He denied the accusations but admitted making an “inappropriate expression of affection.”

He retains his episcopal office and continues to say Mass in the Archdiocese of Manila.

“Their cases are a microcosm of how Church superiors handle cases of sexual dalliances involving prelates – a conspiracy of silence on the pretext of an internal Church investigation,” says Rufo in the book.

“They show a Church which put its blind trust on its erring members, amid the mounting evidence and calls by lay leaders for an immediate investigation; a Church that was more concerned in protecting the privacy of its erring members than the welfare of the victim or victims; and a Church that was quick to condemn the other party as guilty, yet just as fast to absolve its erring member.”

Marites Danguilan Vitug, publisher and editor of the book, called it “the first of its kind” in the country and an attempt “to bring some air and light into a musty place, where there’s so little circulation and transparency.”

Vitug noted that the Catholic Church is one of the most impenetrable and least scrutinized institutions in the Philippines.

“In raising these issues about the Church, we want to encourage an open discussion that, hopefully, will lead to a more discerning public,” he said.

Complete Article HERE!

Iowa View: 1 man, 1 woman isn’t the Bible’s only marriage view

Written by:  Hector Avalos, Robert R. Cargill and Kenneth Atkinson.


The debate about marriage equality often centers, however discretely, on an appeal to the Bible. Unfortunately, such appeals often reflect a lack of biblical literacy on the part of those who use that complex collection of texts as an authority to enact modern social policy.

redefining-marriageAs academic biblical scholars, we wish to clarify that the biblical texts do not support the frequent claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only type of marriage deemed acceptable by the Bible’s authors.

The fact that marriage is not defined as only that between one man and one woman is reflected in the entry on “marriage” in the authoritative Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000): “Marriage is one expression of kinship family patterns in which typically a man and at least one woman cohabitate publicly and permanently as a basic social unit” (p. 861).

The phrase “at least one woman” recognizes that polygamy was not only allowed, but some polygamous biblical figures (e.g., Abraham, Jacob) were highly blessed. In 2 Samuel 12:8, the author says that it was God who gave David multiple wives: “I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom. … And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more” (Revised Standard Version).

In fact, there were a variety of unions and family configurations that were permissible in the cultures that produced the Bible, and these ranged from monogamy (Titus 1:6) to those where rape victims were forced to marry their rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and to those Levirate marriage commands obligating a man to marry his brother’s widow regardless of the living brother’s marital status (Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Genesis 38; Ruth 2-4). Others insisted that celibacy was the preferred option (1 Corinthians 7:8; 28).

Although some may view Jesus’ interpretation of Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:3-10 as an endorsement of monogamy, Jesus and other Jewish interpreters conceded that there were also non-monogamous understandings of this passage in ancient Judaism, including those allowing divorce and remarriage.

In fact, during a discussion of marriage in Matthew 19:12, Jesus even encourages those who can to castrate themselves “for the kingdom” and live a life of celibacy.

Ezra 10:2-11 forbids interracial marriage and orders those people of God who already had foreign wives to divorce them immediately.

So, while it is not accurate to state that biblical texts would allow marriages between people of the same sex, it is equally incorrect to declare that a “one-man-and-one-woman” marriage is the only allowable type of marriage deemed legitimate in biblical texts.

This is not only our modern, academic opinion. This view of the multiple definitions of “biblical” marriage has been acknowledged by some of the most prominent names in Christianity. For example, the famed Reformationist Martin Luther wrote a letter in 1524 in which he commented on polygamy as follows: “I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not oppose the Holy Scriptures.”

Accordingly, we must guard against attempting to use ancient texts to regulate modern ethics and morals, especially those ancient texts whose endorsements of other social institutions, such as slavery, would be universally condemned today, even by the most adherent of Christians.

Complete Article HERE!