Pope Benedict Reaches from Beyond the Grave to Claim ‘Gay Clubs’ Exist in Priesthood

Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges the crowd during an audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct.24, 2007. A January 2022 report faulted his handling of several sex abuse cases.

Pope Benedict XVI may have died a month ago, but is reaching beyond the grave to shade Pope Francis, according to The Telegraph.

“In a blistering attack on the state of the Catholic Church under his successor’s papacy, Benedict, who died on Dec 31 at the age of 95, said that the vocational training of the next generation of priests is on the verge of ‘collapse.'”

He also said gay “clubs” operate openly in Catholic seminaries, the institutions that prepare men for the priesthood, and that some bishops allow trainee priests to watch pornographic films as an outlet for their sexual urges.

“Benedict gave instructions that the book, ‘What Christianity Is,’ should be published after his death. It is one of a handful of recent books by conservative Vatican figures which have poured scorn on the decade-old papacy of Francis, who was elected after his predecessor’s historic resignation in 2013,” The Telegraph said.

“The existence of ‘homosexual clubs’ is particularly prevalent in the US, Benedict said in his book, adding: ‘In several seminaries, homosexual clubs operate more or less openly.'”

Benedict also claimed his books were targeted as being “dangerously traditionalist” by more liberal elements in the Church.

“In not a few seminaries, students caught reading my books are considered unworthy for the priesthood. My books are concealed as dangerous literature and are read only in hiding.”

In October, Pope Francis spoke out against church members watching porn, including nuns. “He made the remarks in October, saying that indulging in porn is a danger to the soul and a way of succumbing to the malign influence of ‘the devil.'”

Complete Article HERE!

Homophobic priest accused of trying to cure homosexuality…through sex with men

Msgr. Tony Anatrella.

By

A notoriously anti-gay priest in Paris will face trial within the Catholic Church over his self-professed attempts to “cure” homosexuality. His method: have sex with men.

Msgr. Tony Anatrella has a long history of campaigning against LGBTQ rights initiatives inside and outside the church. In 2005, he authored an article supporting a ban on LGBTQ people from serving in the priesthood. The following year, he claimed gay men raise “violent” children, and further supported a ban on same-sex marriage equality. He further described homosexuality as a “confusion of sex and feelings leads to a confusion of the realities and an impasse.”

Anatrella’s stance on homosexuality boggles the mind considering his decades-long history of sexual assault of other men. The National Catholic Reporter reports that allegations against Anatrella have circulated for more than 20 years. In 2006, a former seminarian named Daniel Lamarca claimed Anatrella sexually assaulted him during therapy sessions in the 1980s. Lamaraca, a gay man, had sought counsel from Anatrella over his own feelings of homosexuality. He claims Anatrella’s therapeutic approach was to insist the two have sex.

“I know details about Anatrella’s body that could only be known to someone who has seen him naked,” the man told reporters in 2006, adding that he tried to report the abuse in 2001 to church authorities but received no response.

More accusations against Anatrella surfaced in 2008, and again in 2016, leading to a reprimand by the church which banned him from practicing therapy, performing mass or preaching in public. Then, in 2019, a grandfather who attended a school where Anatrella served as a chaplain, accused the priest of rape. The victim claims that Anatrella forced him to have sex; at the time, he was just 14-years-old.

In an even more unusual move, at least one priest claims he has warned church leadership for years about Anatrella’s predatory behavior to no avail. Fr. Philippe Lefebvre has authored rebuttals and polemics against Anatrella’s teachings about homosexuality. He also claims Anatrella’s victims approached him personally for help.

“I told seven French bishops and the president of the Conference of French Bishops,” Lefebvre said. “I did not get any reply. Nothing happened. What happened is that, when my name came up in the press, I was told to be careful and not to criticize Tony Anatrella because he was somebody important in the Vatican.”

At the time of this writing, it remains unclear what when Anatrella’s church trial will begin and what charges he will face. Catholic trials carry strict secrecy requirements, and the details of them seldom are made public. As a psychotherapist, Anatrella, now 80, has authored more than a dozen books, mostly about the evils of homosexuality.

Complete Article HERE!

Gay Irish priest says Pope Benedict’s homophobic teachings had ‘devastating consequences’

‘He labelled us disordered in our nature and evil in our love’

The body of former Pope Benedict XVI lies in St Peter’s Basilica ahead of the funeral.

By Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A gay Irish priest has spoken out about the late Pope Benedict XVI and the “devastating consequences of his teachings”.

Bernárd Lynch published a letter via We Are Church Ireland in which he said Benedict had a “hostility” to LGBTQ+ people and “most significantly to those living and dying with HIV/AIDS”.

Pope Benedict XVI was head of the Catholic Church from April 19, 2005 until he became the first pope to resign in 600 years, on February 28, 2013.

Benedict died on Saturday, December 31, aged 95.

Ahead of his burial yesterday, Fr Lynch, who is known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community and people living with HIV/AIDS, said Benedict, at the height of the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s, “forced our communities out of Catholic Church property all over the world”.

“He labelled us disordered in our nature and evil in our love,” Lynch said of a letter Benedict wrote in October 1986 when he was known as Cardinal Ratzinger.

That letter was “misleadingly titled” The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, and was published with the blessing of then-pope John Paul II, Lynch said.

He said the letter led to people with HIV being “blamed by the church for their disease” and as a result “many ‘good Catholics’ took their own lives”.

Lynch said such actions had wider impacts on those advocating for legal work and housing protection for people living with HIV/AIDS who were told their efforts “would be met with violence”, he said.

Lynch said it ultimately led to violent attacks and also came as justification for Christian families that were rejecting their “dying gay sons”.

The church’s strict policy against condoms “caused untold numbers of deaths and vast needless suffering” too, he said.

“After what I can only call the soul murder of so many sisters and brothers, I pray Benedict rests in the arms of our loving and forgiving God.”

In the letter, he also condemned Benedict for “his irresponsible way of dealing with the sexual abuse crisis ravaging the church”, among other issues.

Lynch has previously spoken out against Benedict who, as pope, visited the UK in September 2010

Lynch joined a number speakers at a protest at Hyde Park Corner, in London, against the state funding of the trip, as well as Benedict’s teachings on homosexuality, abortion and contraception.

Fr. Bernárd Lynch was born in Ennis, Co Clare in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1971. He went on to dedicate his life to advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in New York and London.

He rose to prominence during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and worked with communities directly affected by the crisis.

Lynch, who is now 75, also successfully campaigned for the introduction of non-discriminatory legislation in New York following the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic.

Lynch became the first Catholic priest in the world to have a civil partnership in 2006. He later married his long-term boyfriend Billy Desmond in 2017 following Ireland’s vote to legalise same-sex marriage in 2015.

Complete Article HERE!

Leading priests who disagreed with Pope Benedict admit it will be ‘very hard to mourn’ his death

Former pope drew strong criticism for Church’s views on homosexuality and women priests

Fr Tony Flannery says he suffered ‘at the hands of a system shaped and defined by Cardinal Ratzinger’.

By Sarah Mac Donald

Several leading Irish priests who clashed with Pope Benedict’s stance on key issues admit it will be “very hard” to mourn his death.

he issues over which they strongly differed range from women priests to the church’s teaching on homosexuality.

Censured priest Fr Tony Flannery, who was put out of ministry during the papacy of Benedict, said he had suffered “at the hands of a system shaped and defined by Cardinal Ratzinger”, so he “doesn’t really feel much regret at his death”.

The 75-year-old Redemptorist priest said he was “one of the Irish people whose life has been most significantly affected by his [Benedict’s] attitudes and his exercise of power”.

Fr Flannery has been forbidden to exercise his ministry as a priest since 2012 over his views on women priests and the church’s teaching on homosexuality and contraception.

He noted the impact of Benedict’s papacy, from 2005 to 2013, and his time as head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office on theologians, priests, religious and lay people who, like Fr Flannery, were punished for their writings on matters relating to church doctrine and various aspects of the faith.

“I wouldn’t even attempt to measure the negative impact his teaching and action had on LGBTQ people, and on those abused by priests and religious,” he said.

Fr Roy Donovan, of the Association of Catholic Priests, said he found it “very hard to mourn” for Benedict and remained “very angry” over his pontificate and his time as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF).

Referring to Benedict’s negative comments on gay people and his silencing of those with whom he disagreed, Fr Donovan asked: “What was he afraid of? Why did he need to adopt an approach of circling the wagons? With his intellect, why could he not listen and debate opposing views?”

His comment was echoed by Fr Iggy O’Donovan. He said that the German pontiff, who died on Saturday, had led a “McCarthy-type purge of fellow scholars”.

He said: “It was on his watch at the CDF that [theologian] Hans Kung, his one-time colleague, was stripped of his right to teach Catholic theology. Think of [Leonardo] Boff and [Gustavo] Gutierrez, the liberation theology scholars. Our own Fr Sean Fagan was hounded to his death.”

Fr O’Donovan said that the staunchly traditionalist theologian who succeeded John Paul II was “brilliant” but had inflicted great damage.

Separately, the reform group, We Are Church Ireland, has described Pope Benedict as “a highly contradictory theologian who shaped the Roman Catholic Church for decades in a backward-looking way like no other post-conciliar church leader”.

In a statement, Colm Holmes said Benedict, whose funeral takes place on Thursday, had left “a climate of fear”.

Meanwhile, the Vatican has revealed that Benedict’s last words were “Lord, I love you.”

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, Benedict’s long-time secretary who lived in the Vatican monastery where the former pope took up residence after his 2013 retirement, said a nurse heard the late cleric utter those words about 3am on Saturday.

He died later that morning about 9.30am local time.

“Benedict XVI, with a faint voice but in a very distinct way, said in Italian, ‘Lord, I love you,’” Archbishop Gaenswein said, adding that it happened when the aides tending to Benedict were changing shifts.

“I wasn’t there in that moment, but the nurse a little later recounted it,” the archbishop said.

“They were his last comprehensible words, because afterwards, he wasn’t able to express himself any more.”

Complete Article HERE!

When words hurt instead of heal

— What never to say to someone who has survived abuse by Catholic clergy

As the daughter of a clergy abuse victim-survivor and a lay person who works for the Church, Jerri von den Bosch speaks often with fellow Catholics about her family’s experience with the abuse crisis.

by Guest

In June of 2021, I wrote 10 Things Never to Say to Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse that covered some of the hurtful things people sometimes say to clergy abuse survivors. Included were some more supportive things they might say instead. Many people read it and several clergy abuse survivors, including my mom, responded with additional things that they have heard from Catholics and would add to the list. I believe that most people who say these things are well intentioned; they are just not aware of how to walk with someone who has experienced trauma. So I present 6 Things Never to Say About Clergy Abuse Survivors, along with some things that you, as a supporter of abuse survivors, can say in response.

TRIGGER WARNING: Some of these items may be tough to read if you are a trauma survivor. Please take care of yourself.

1. “These people just want the Church’s money. This prevents the Church from helping the poor!”

This statement often crops up when there is news about a settlement between the Church and abuse survivors. As the daughter of a clergy abuse survivor, a friend to multiple survivors, and a survivor of trauma myself, I can tell you that almost no one would lie about their trauma in an attempt to get rich. Ask yourself: “Would I accuse someone of rape, sit through multiple depositions and interviews with lawyers, pay a lawyer upfront to represent me, and drag an individual’s name through the mud— all to get some cash?” Few people have the financial means or energy for this.

Next, I would like to put on my theologian hat and invite us to consider who “the poor” are. The Old Testament uses the word anawim (ah-na-weem) multiple times. It is a Hebrew term that means “the poor and lowly ones.” The Hebrew people applied the term to those who were financially insecure, as well as the widowed, the orphaned, and anyone who had lost their human dignity to earthly trials. These are the people God wants the Hebrews–and the Christians–to care for most. I would argue that survivors of abuse are the epitome of the anawim. They are oppressed, victimized, and orphaned from their Church.

IN RESPONSE, SAY: The people that the Church has hurt do fall under the theological definition of “the poor.” It’s important to help them.

2. “Can’t they just move on? It happened so long ago!”

If you have never experienced trauma, it might be hard to imagine why a survivor can not just “get over it.” Science reveals that living through traumatic events can rewire our brains. This is especially true for children who experience trauma at a time when their brains are not fully developed.

Most survivors I know would LOVE to move on from their trauma and from painful symptoms that include depression, stress, and mood swings. But it can take years of therapy and tremendous support from loved ones to heal from trauma and get to the point where it does not affect their everyday life. For example, my mom, a survivor of child sexual assault by multiple priests, still has episodes of PTSD today, 50 years after her abuse, despite having a great psychiatrist and a supportive family that knows her triggers. I would really love for her to never have another panic attack, but I know from experience that they are part of her healing journey. Many survivors say that they carry the effects of their trauma with them daily, decades after the initial abuse.

I would also like to add that this is not just a historic problem. We know from our work walking with survivors that abuse by Church leaders is happening today, so it is important to continue to work to prevent and stop it.

IN RESPONSE, SAY: The effects of trauma can last a lifetime for victim-survivors. We must continue to address the trauma that took place in the past, as well as the assaults that continue to happen.

3. “Why didn’t they fight back?”

I am sorry to tell you that we have also heard many stories of church leaders suggesting that victims are at fault for not fighting harder against the abuse they experienced. It is important to point out that “fight or flight” is an outdated model of how our brains are wired to protect us in response to harm. Most psychologists now believe that humans respond to threats with “fight, flight or freeze.” Many victims–adults and children alike–are so terrified that they find it safer to disassociate from the assault and wait to flee when they feel safe again.

IN RESPONSE, SAY: The situations they were put into sound absolutely terrifying! It isn’t fair for us to judge how they responded to a threat.

4. “They must have done something to trigger his behavior!”

This is a common form of victim-blaming, along the same lines as asking a woman “Well, what were you wearing?” after she has experienced rape. The reality is that the person who committed the crime is the culprit. Period. This victim-blaming tactic takes advantage of the fact that victim-survivors often agonize over the details of the incident trying to figure out what they did wrong. Truly, victims of sexual assault do not need your help playing the blame-game. They are already experts at it.

IN RESPONSE, SAY: They didn’t do anything to deserve this!

5. “After it happened the first time, why didn’t they learn their lesson? Why didn’t they get help? Why did they go back?”

In many cases, there is a simple answer to these hurtful questions: “They were scared.” Sexual assault is not easy to reveal to others. Victims can feel intense shame and be silenced by it. Perpetrators also may threaten their victims with statements like, “I’ll tell everyone what a bad person you are!” One of my mom’s abusers told her: “You’re a troublemaker. You’re trash. Nobody would ever believe you.” Perpetrators will often threaten violence, physical and verbal, to keep a victim quiet.

IN RESPONSE, SAY: The dynamics of abuse prevent most people from reaching out for help, and statements like this one make it even harder for them to tell their stories.

6. “They were abused as an adult? But that is not really abuse!”

I am really proud that Awake Milwaukee has brought attention to the problem of abuse of adults by church leaders. Honestly, before I got involved with Awake, I did not understand what a widespread problem the abuse of adults is, despite the fact that I am an adult survivor of domestic violence. It is easy for people to understand that a child feels powerless during an assault. For some, it is harder to show the same empathy to adults. Many people believe that an adult should have known better. This fails to acknowledge the power differential that exists between a priest (often viewed as a representative of God) and a parishioner or other Catholic. When the victim expects that they can trust a person and that trust is broken, they do not always know what to do next. To further complicate matters, parishioners often take the side of the clergy person. They assert that the survivor was the temptress and the priest was the victim.

IN RESPONSE, SAY: Children and adults both have equal dignity and their assaults are both serious crimes that were not their fault.

It all comes down to this: If someone shares with you that they have been abused, please remember that the most important words you can say are, “Thank you for sharing this with me, I believe you, and I am here for you.” It is that simple. Survivors do not need you to change the world, but they are looking for people willing to help them shoulder their pain, even for a little while. And if you feel at a loss for words in the moment, sometimes “I believe you” is more than enough.

Complete Article HERE!