Friday, June 1, 2012

Lowlights & Highlights: June 2, 2012

The New York Times is reporting that Cardinal Timothy Dolan authorized payments topping out at $20,000 to sexually abusive priests in order to get them to leave the priesthood (or at least not contest being defrocked)...instead of doing the morally right thing and handing these priest over to criminal authorities.

But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll. 

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects. 
The newly revealed document is the minutes of a meeting of the finance council of the Milwaukee archdiocese from March 7, 2003, which Cardinal Dolan attended. The archdiocese was facing a flood of potential lawsuits by people claiming abuse, and the church’s insurance company was refusing to cover the costs because it said the church had been negligent. The minutes noted that “unassignable priests” — those suspected of abuse — were still receiving full salaries.

This is why I can't understand why anyone would give money to the Catholic Church. This is what those dollars go to: protecting abusive priests from the law instead of, oh, I don't know, helping the poor, sick, needy, and hungry. This is also why I do not understand why people believe this organization has any moral high ground whatsoever. They tell others how they should live their lives, what to do, what not to do, be honest, and so forth, only for stories like these (and there have been many) to come out against them.

The Catholic Church has zero moral credibility, ZERO!!!


On Thursday, I received the birthday present of having parts of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act ruled as unconstitutional by a Federal District Court, the highest court to rule on the law so far.

Now let's get real here folks. This does not mean that the law is now null and void, it does not mean that marriages of same-sex couples will now be recognized throughout the land. The court put a stay on the decision (meaning it is not yet in effect) and even if that had not happened, it would only have effected that particular federal district (most of New England plus Puerto Rico).

Essentially what the ruling said was that it was unconstitutional for the federal government to deny same-sex married couples the rights that opposite-sex married couples have in the states that recognize same-sex marriages in that particular federal district. These rights are things like taxes, spousal benefits, and so forth.

The stay that I mentioned was put in place because it is likely that the decision will be appealed by the United States House of Representatives (gee, thanks Speaker Boehner) to the United States Supreme Court. In other words, this law is one step closer to the Supreme Court, which is where most people on either side of the issue believed it would ultimately end up anyway. What happens there is anyone's guess. Hopefully SCOTUS will see this law for what it is: an unconstitutional tyranny of the majority that never should have been law. Keep your fingers crossed folks!

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