Book Available Worldwide and as a Kindle eBook

Hello again everyone!

I’ll bet some of you are surprised to hear from me again so soon. While others are probably wondering, “what in the world does he mean by ‘hello AGAIN’?”

Last week when I sent out my rather breathless email titled: Help me celebrate the publication of my latest book!, I inadvertently sent it out using my publisher’s name and email address instead of my own. Apparently many of you dismissed the email as junk, because you didn’t recognize the sender’s name, or it automatically went to your spam folder where it languished and perished.

Allow me to briefly repeat last week’s announcement. I am delighted to announce that my new book: SECRECY, SOPHISTRY AND GAY SEX IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH; The Systematic Destruction Of An Oblate Priest, has been published.

But wait, there’s more good news.

  • The soft cover version of the book is now available on all the Amazon sites around the world — UK, France, Germany, Canada and Japan.
  • For all you really trendy folks out there, the Kindle version of the book is now available in the US and will be available worldwide by 07/6/11.

Like I said last week, I welcome your comments and thoughts. It’s been so heartwarming to hear from so many of you already. And remember if/when you buy the book on Amazon you are entitled to write a review. Reviews boost me in the ratings. And if I get a dozen good reviews I’ll be, in the immortal words of Marlon Brando, “a contenda”. 😉


Poland Complains to Vatican Over Priest’s Remarks

By VANESSA GERA Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland June 27, 2011 (AP)
A Polish priest and media mogul has sparked uproar in Poland by calling the country a totalitarian state that “hasn’t been ruled by Poles since 1939” — a statement many interpret as code for saying Jews are secretly running the country.

The Rev. Tadeusz Rydzyk, who has previously been accused of fomenting anti-Semitism through his politically influential, ultra-Catholic radio station Radio Maryja, made the comments at the European Parliament last week.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry sent a diplomatic note to the Vatican on Saturday accusing Rydzyk of “harming the image of Poland abroad,” the first-ever such complaint by the Polish government to the Holy See. The Vatican is the supreme authority for Rydzyk’s Redemptorist order.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told Polish news agency PAP on Monday that Rydzyk speaks in his own name and his statements do not involve the Holy See or Poland’s Church.

He did not say if the Vatican will offer a formal reply, according to PAP.

Jerzy Buzek, the head of the EU Parliament and former prime minister of Poland, has called Rydzyk’s remarks “scandalous and unacceptable.”

Rydzyk spoke during a seminar on renewable energy last Tuesday. His remarks went largely unnoticed in Brussels but have since sparked days of debate in Poland, with weekend talk shows and newspaper opinion columns devoted to analyzing the powerful priest’s words.

Poland is preparing to take over the rotating presidency of the European Union on Friday — which Warsaw sees as a chance to improve its image on the European stage.

“The tragedy of Poland is that Poland hasn’t been ruled by Poles since 1939,” Rydzyk said, according to Polish media reports on the speech. He added that, “this isn’t an issue of blood or affiliation,” but that those who rule Poland today “do not love in a Polish way, do not have a Polish heart.”

He also said Poland today is a totalitarian and “uncivilized country.”

Though he did not mention Jews by name, his language echoed that of anti-Semites who claim that Jews hold excessive power in Poland and that Polish Jews are not “real Poles” with Polish interests at heart.

The number of Jews in Poland today is tiny. There were 3.5 million Jews in Poland before World War II, but most were murdered by Germany during the Holocaust and many of those who survived fled anti-Semitic violence and prejudice after the war.

Michael Levi, the president of Beit Warszawa, a Jewish Reform community in Warsaw, said he considered Rydzyk’s language to be anti-Semitic since it comes in the context of his support for far-right politicians and anti-Jewish remarks his radio station has aired. It is “pure hate propaganda” that encourages extremists, Levi said.

Poland also is far from being a totalitarian state. After throwing off communism 22 years ago, Poland has joined NATO and the EU and stands as a model of democratic transition that has even advised the new Tunisian leadership following the recent revolution there.

Rydzyk runs a conservative media empire that includes the Catholic station Radio Maryja and the television station Trwam, both popular among some conservative, nationalist Poles.

He was at the center of a scandal in 2007 when he was allegedly caught on tape suggesting that Jews are greedy and that then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski was subservient to Jewish lobbies.

International Jewish organizations protested his comments at the time, and were also angered when Pope Benedict XVI held a private meeting with Rydzyk that year.

Methodist clergy vow to defy church…

200 Illinois Methodist clergy vow to defy church, bless same-sex unions

June 26, 2011|By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune reporter

More than 200 United Methodist clergy in Illinois have pledged to flout church policy and bless unions for same-sex couples, putting their jobs, homes and callings in jeopardy if couples take advantage of their offer.

Methodists in the Northern Illinois Conference also called on the global church to impose no more than a 24-hour suspension for clergy who defy the policy.


Listen to those sinned against

An underlying theme of the shameful story of clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church has been the neglect of the victims. At last this is changing, and next year’s intense study of the whole issue being organised at the Gregorian University in Rome will mark a watershed in the way this aspect is treated. The proposed symposium has the support of the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, and will bring together experts and those with pastoral experience in the field.

So far there are no plans to include victims themselves, which would be a loss. It is not simply that they need to be heard as part of a possible healing process. The marginalisation of victims represented a mindset whose origins lay in traditions of Catholic spirituality that emphasised the avoidance of sin and the recovery of sinners through penance and repentance. That mindset implied that the real tragedy of an act of sexual abuse by a priest lay in the defilement of the priestly office by the commission of an act of unchastity, rather than a grave and possibly permanent psychological injury inflicted upon an innocent and defenceless child.

Those with that mindset, blinded by the lesser evil, could not see the greater. It meant the Church, in response to acts of abuse that came to official notice, gave priority to the treatment of the transgressor and forgot about the one transgressed. This was the very essence of the clericalist deformity of ways of thinking and acting in the Church that prepared the way for all the scandals of cover-up, denial and deception.

By no means everyone in the Church has learned this lesson. The Rosminian order has failed to respond adequately to reve­lations of sexual abuse at one of its institutions in Africa. One priest involved was one of the best-known Catholic priests in London, the late Fr Kit Cunningham of St Etheldreda’s, Ely Place. Before he died, he even returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace because he felt it had been awarded under false pretences. Those whom he had served and who had loved him in London have found it hard to believe he was capable of such crimes: perhaps the knowledge of his own depravity could have added to his sensitivity as a pastor; it almost certainly lay behind his heavy drinking. It was only the surfacing of some of his victims years later, however, that exposed his true history to public view. The Cunningham case confirms what a unique and essential service to the Church victims proffer, yet it is one that the Church has barely recognised.

One key speaker at the Gregorian event will be Baroness (Sheila) Hollins, the former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists who took part in the pontifical visitation of the Irish Catholic Church. She has played a central role in placing victims at the centre of the Church’s concern. She has said that in her professional experience, men who become child abusers were invariably abused themselves when they were children. This raises the question, urgently calling for further research, into how many priest abusers were themselves abused in childhood (but not necessarily by priests). If this import­ant link in the chain of causality has been missed, that is one more damaging consequence of marginalising the victims.

no theological reasons for excluding women from the priesthood

There will be women a priest «when God wills», for the moment it is better «not to raise the issue». But there is «no fundamental obstacle», from «a theological perspective», for women to say mass on the altar. It is, instead, a «tradition» that dates back from the time of Jesus. This was said by Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, seventy-five year old Patriarch of Lisbon, who has just been confirmed for another two years at the head of the diocese of the Portuguese capital.

Polycarpo released a lengthy interview to the monthly «OA», the magazine of the Portuguese Order of Attorneys. He explained that with respect to women priests «the position of the Catholic Church is very much based on the Gospel, it does not have the independence of a political party or a government. It is based on fidelity to the Gospel, to the person of Jesus and to a very strong tradition received from the Apostles».

«John Paul II – continued Polycarp – at one point seemed to settle the matter». Reference is in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (1994), one of the shortest documents of John Paul II, with which the Pope, after the decision of the Anglican Communion to open to women priests, reaffirmed that the Catholic Church would never do so.

«I think – said Cardinal Polycarp – that the matter cannot be resolved like this. Theologically there is no fundamental obstacle (to women priests, ed.), let’s just say that there’s this tradition: it has never been done otherwise».

When asked by the interviewer, curious of the affirmation made by the cardinal that there are theological reasons against women priests, Polycarpo replied: «I think that there is no fundamental obstacle. It is a fundamental equality of all members of the Church. The problem is a strong tradition that comes from Jesus and the ease with which the Reformed churches have granted priesthood to women».

The Patriarch of Lisbon also explained that he believed the demand for women priests is a «false problem», because the same girls that pose the question, when he retorts if they would be willing to become priests, shake their head.

The statements made by the Portuguese Cardinal are intended to cause discussions. A year after the letter of John Paul II a question was in fact posed (dubium) to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and secretary Tarcisio Bertone.

He wondered whether «the doctrine according to which the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women, proposed in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, was to be considered permanent, to be regarded as belonging to the deposit of fait». The answer, approved by Pope John Paul II, was «yes».

The Congregation explained that «this teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded in the Word of God written and constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church from the beginning, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium», and therefore «must always be kept, everywhere and by all the faithful, because it belongs to the deposit of faith».