ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson on making Revelation and coming face to face with two of the Catholic Church’s worst serial paedophiles

ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson on making Revelation and coming face to face with two of the Catholic Church’s worst serial paedophiles

By Backstory editor Natasha Johnson

YouTube: Revelation is a ground-breaking documentary featuring interviews with a convicted paedophile priest and religious brother, survivors of clergy abuse and senior figures in the Catholic church.

Sarah Ferguson spends her working life wading through murky waters, tackling difficult, confronting and harrowing stories but none has tested her like the project that consumed her for the past year: Revelation — a three-part documentary investigation into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, in which she comes face to face with two of Australia’s most notorious serial paedophiles.

“I’m used to intense projects but this one has been more intense and more challenging than anything I have ever done,” says Ferguson.

“Throughout the long-running scandal of clerical abuse in Australia, there was one voice we hadn’t heard and that was the perpetrators.

“I wanted to ask them how they led their double lives and how the church enabled them, but how do you interview men whose crimes are so vile and disturbing, who’ve committed crimes against vulnerable children?

“It was a struggle not to let my revulsion at their crimes drag me off course.”

Ferguson sitting in prison visitors room surrounded by cameras and lights.
Ferguson preparing for her interview in prison with convicted paedophile Bernard McGrath. (ABC News)

In a series of television firsts, Revelation (airing weekly from Tuesday, March 17 at 8:30pm on ABC TV and iview), features in-depth interviews with an ordained priest and a religious brother convicted of historical child sexual abuse, and, with unprecedented access granted by the courts, films their trials as they unfold.

“Apart from an excellent US documentary in 2006, as far as I know, this is the only time it’s happened in the world — certainly, long interviews with child-abusing priests still in the priesthood we have never seen. And this is the first time we have seen their trials on camera,” says Ferguson.

Still shot face of McGrath.
Former Catholic brother Bernard McGrath is serving 39 years in jail. (ABC News: Revelation)

One of the interviews was done behind bars in a maximum-security prison where Bernard McGrath, a former St John of God brother, teacher and headmaster in residential schools in Australia and New Zealand, is serving 39 years for crimes against children.

“A prison warden brought McGrath into a secure room where we’d set up the cameras and he tried immediately to draw me into a whispered private conversation,” recalls Ferguson.

“I was prepared for this because one of his team had warned in court that he would try to manipulate me.

“I moved backwards on my stool, making him lean in and shifting the power balance.

“I was apprehensive, not because of who he was but because of the professional challenge of drawing him out.”

Ferguson also interviewed Vincent Ryan, a priest of the Maitland-Newcastle diocese who became known in the media as a monster.

He’d already spent 14 years in prison and was facing trial on new charges from men who had been altar boys in his church in the 1970s and 1980s.

Still frame of Ryan looking at camera.
Vincent Ryan is a Catholic priest who served 14 years in jail. (ABC News: Revelation)

“The interview went for hours across two days because the material was exhausting to both of us,” says Ferguson.

“Ryan looked at me at one point and said whatever we thought of him, he was sure of God’s forgiveness.

“I am not easily offended because it obscures critical thinking, but this outraged me.

“Not because it wasn’t possible according to his faith but because he had not earned it.

“He was so far from understanding the effect of his crimes that he was nowhere near forgiveness.

“They were both really difficult interviews because the nature of child abuse is something that perpetrators need to cover up — they’ve spent many years practised in deception, both deceiving themselves and other people.

“So even though they have been convicted, they don’t want to talk about what they did except on their own terms, they don’t want to talk about how the church enabled them, there is still a strong sense of solidarity towards the church.

“They told us more than they intended but their allegiances remain.

“After the interviews I was physically and mentally drained.”

Throughout filming, Ferguson was conscious of the confronting nature of the material and the impact on the audience.

“There is a risk in putting criminals like this on camera and the material has to justify the affront and I had to ensure the interviews had meaning,” Ferguson says.

“You have to be very conscious of what the effect will be on the viewer of hearing and watching a paedophile priest talking about his life, that’s right on the edge.

“But the moment of seeing the person themselves, the person who actually perpetrated these crimes, in their ordinariness, it is a revelation.

“It’s dark but it’s compelling and the experience of the few people who have seen the series is you can’t take your eyes off it, but it also leaves a lot to think about afterwards.

“This is this ultimate double life — you are standing up in church on Sunday preaching about morals and committing heinous acts before and after, sometimes immediately before and immediately after.

“How is someone capable of leading a life like that?”

Ferguson in church with stain-glass windows in background.
Investigating child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church has been the toughest story Ferguson has done. (ABC News)

Finding a suitable case, an accused — let alone two — willing to take part in the documentary, and navigating the legal hurdles to get cameras into court was an enormous task for Ferguson and the production team, particularly executive producer Nial Fulton, working with principal cinematographer Aaron Smith and researchers Sophie Randerson, Kate Wild and Alison McClymont.

“Finding priests or brothers willing to have their trial filmed was extremely difficult,” says Ferguson.

“In America there’ve been cameras in court for a long time, but not much in Australia, although that’s changing.

“But this was a new frontier, filming sexual assault trials.

“We had the support of the Chief Judge of the NSW District Court, Derek Price, and the Chief Judge of the County Court in Victoria, Peter Kidd, who, to their immense credit, got the arguments to bring into the public domain how these cases go through the system.

“They made it possible.

“The DPP in NSW and Victoria and three trial judges were all crucial parts of the process, along with barristers and solicitors.

“These are heavily protected cases.

“There is great concern in the system to protect the victims of child sexual abuse going to court, there are individuals you can’t identify but we found a way to tell the stories.”

Ferguson standing in front of camera in street in Rome.
Ferguson and crew filming in Rome. (ABC News)

Ferguson has also spoken to a number of survivors, including those who were abused by Ryan and McGrath.

She travelled to Ireland and the Vatican to interrogate church leaders and the final episode reveals the story of a man who has kept a shocking secret for decades.

The access the Revelation team secured is extraordinary but when you consider how reviled paedophiles are, how dreadful their crimes, and how adept they’ve been at concealing those crimes, it’s hard to comprehend why they’d agree to such intense public exposure and scrutiny of their actions.

“People will say that paedophiles often display narcissistic traits, I’m not a psychiatrist so I can’t say if that’s right or wrong, but perhaps that narcissism makes them want to talk about it,” says Ferguson.

“They say they want to make some kind of amends for what they’ve done by adding to the sum of human knowledge, you can believe it or not as you watch and decide if there is any truth in that.

“Over the years, though, I have found that some people want to talk about things they’ve done, even very bad things.”

Over her career, Ferguson has witnessed and reported on dreadful things — mass death from the Boxing Day tsunami, the suffering of abused women and children escaping domestic violence, the exploitation of the people smuggling trade, cruel treatment of cattle sent for live export.

All have left a mark, but none like Revelation.

“The experience of making this series has scored deep lines of sadness and understanding in me, of the crime, of the complicity of a powerful, self-serving institution and above all the ruinous consequences of child abuse on an innocent being who is ripped from childhood in that moment,” she says.

“I’ve spent my professional life understanding power and trying to give succour to the weak when abused by power but nothing before this took me so deep into human selfishness and suffering.

“But I believe that understanding is our best defence against a repeat of these crimes in the future.”

Revelation airs weekly from Tuesday, March 17 at 8:30pm on ABC TV and iview. Read more behind-the-scenes stories on ABC Backstory.

We greatly thank you for your on-going generous financial and enthusiastic personal support in appreciation for this site!

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Spain Charges 10 Priests in Country’s Largest Known Pedophilia Case

Spain Charges 10 Priests in Country’s Largest Known Pedophilia Case

Spain’s Catholic Church, which has long been accused of silencing cases of priests sexually abusing children, is starting to take a hard line against offenders, spurred by Pope Francis.

A judge in the southern city of Granada on Tuesday charged 10 priests and two Catholic lay workers with sexually abusing altar boys in their care, or being complicit in such acts, from 2004 to 2007.

It is the biggest and most serious paedophilia case involving members of the Catholic Church known so far in Spain.

The case was brought to light by a former altar boy, now 25 and a member of the Catholic institution Opus Dei, who wrote to the pontiff to say he had been molested.

Pope Francis called the unidentified man to offer the Church’s apology and in November the pontiff said he had ordered a church investigation into the case, saying it had caused him “great pain”.

The young man who wrote to the pope “never imagined the issue would take on the significance that it did,” his lawyer, Jorge Aguilera Gonzalez, told AFP.

“If it wasn’t for the pope’s intervention, it would still have been an important issue, but just one of many.”

Pope Francis has taken a tough stance on clerical child abuse since taking over in 2013 from Benedict XVI, calling it “the shame of the Church”.

The Catholic Church had huge influence in Spain during Francisco Franco’s 1939-75 dictatorship and for decades victims kept quiet about abuse “due to social pressure, the power of the Church”, said Jose Manuel Vidal, head of religious news website Religion Digital.

That explains why, unlike in Germany, Ireland, Mexico or the United States, until now no major cases of paedophilia involving priests have come to light in Spain even though abuse took place.

Nine percent of all sexual abuse suffered by boys between 1950 and 1970 was carried out by priests, according to a 1994 study by University of Salamanca psychology of sexuality professor Felix Lopez for the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The abuse often took place in boarding schools, as depicted in Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s 2004 film “Bad Education”.

– Social change –

Spain has become an increasingly secular society since the country returned to democracy after Franco’s death in 1975.

Of Spain’s 33 million who declare they are Catholics, 61 percent say they are non-practising, according to a November survey by the state Sociological Research Centre (CIS).

“Now some bishops have changed, they have turned towards Pope Francis’s new era,” said Vidal.

“Others are lagging behind what the pope is asking for, which is total transparency and that paedophilia be considered by bishops themselves not just as a sin, as it has been up until now, but also as a crime,” he added.

While priests accused of abuse have often remained in their posts, the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, removed several priests linked to the case from their duties as soon as the scandal broke.

Still some voices, even within the church, called for Martinez himself to step down.

“Given that every day the opinion grows that he acted to cover up the alleged paedophiles, we think he should be removed,” Catholic group Comunidades Cristianas Populares de Andalucia said in a statement.

The archdiocese of Granada denied any cover-up and the priests accused over the alleged sexual abuse say they are innocent, according to their lawyer.

After the scandal broke in Granada, other victims of abuse have come forward with complaints and bishops have responded with a tough stance.

At the end of November, a 45-year-old man alleged he was abused in 1982 at a seminary in Tarragona in northeastern Spain when he was 11 years old.

After living with the secret his entire life, the man said he was encouraged to come forward by the paedophile case in Granada.

The Archbishop of Tarragona immediately launched an investigation, informed the Vatican and encouraged all victims to file criminal complaints.

The following month the diocese of Tui-Vigo in northwestern Spain abolished a religious order after its founder was accused of sexual abuse and detained by police.

“Things are changing,” said Juan Pedro Oliver, the president of children’s rights association Prodeni.

“But it is because of the attitude of the pope. I think if it was up to the Spanish Church hierarchy this would not be the case.”

Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous

Cover Image: August 2010 Scientific American Magazine
Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous

Religious leaders should be held accountable when their irrational ideas turn harmful

By Lawrence M. Krauss

A church tower in Budva, Montenegro.

Image: iStockphoto

Every two years the National Science Foundation produces a report, Science and Engineering Indicators, designed to probe the public’s understanding of science concepts. And every two years we relearn the sad fact that U.S. adults are less willing to accept evolution and the big bang as factual than adults in other industrial countries.

Except for this time. Was there suddenly a quantum leap in U.S. science literacy? Sadly, no. Rather the National Science Board, which oversees the foundation, chose to leave the section that discussed these issues out of the 2010 edition, claiming the questions were “flawed indicators of scientific knowledge because responses conflated knowledge and beliefs.” In short, if their religious beliefs require respondents to discard scientific facts, the board doesn’t think it appropriate to expose that truth.

The section does exist, however, and Science magazine obtained it. When presented with the statement “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals,” just 45 percent of respondents indicated “true.” Compare this figure with the affirmative percentages in Japan (78), Europe (70), China (69) and South Korea (64). Only 33 percent of Americans agreed that “the universe began with a big explosion.”

Consider the results of a 2009 Pew Survey: 31 percent of U.S. adults believe “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” (So much for dogs, horses or H1N1 flu.) The survey’s most enlightening aspect was its categorization of responses by levels of religious activity, which suggests that the most devout are on average least willing to accept the evidence of reality. White evangelical Protestants have the highest denial rate (55 percent), closely followed by the group across all religions who attend services on average at least once a week (49 percent).

I don’t know which is more dangerous, that religious beliefs force some people to choose between knowledge and myth or that pointing out how religion can purvey ignorance is taboo. To do so risks being branded as intolerant of religion. The kindly Dalai Lama, in a recent New York Times editorial, juxtaposed the statement that “radical atheists issue blanket condemnations of those who hold religious beliefs” with his censure of the extremist intolerance, murderous actions and religious hatred in the Middle East. Aside from the distinction between questioning beliefs and beheading or bombing people, the “radical atheists” in question rarely condemn individuals but rather actions and ideas that deserve to be challenged.

Surprisingly, the strongest reticence to speak out often comes from those who should be most worried about silence. Last May I attended a conference on science and public policy at which a representative of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences gave a keynote address. When I questioned how he reconciled his own reasonable views about science with the sometimes absurd and unjust activities of the Church—from false claims about condoms and AIDS in Africa to pedophilia among the clergy—I was denounced by one speaker after another for my intolerance.

Religious leaders need to be held accountable for their ideas. In my state of Arizona, Sister Margaret McBride, a senior administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, recently authorized a legal abortion to save the life of a 27-year-old mother of four who was 11 weeks pregnant and suffering from severe complications of pulmonary hypertension; she made that decision after consultation with the mother’s family, her doctors and the local ethics committee. Yet the bishop of Phoenix, Thomas Olm­sted, immediately excommunicated Sister Margaret, saying, “The mother’s life cannot be preferred over the child’s.” Ordinarily, a man who would callously let a woman die and orphan her children would be called a monster; this should not change just because he is a cleric.

In the race for Alabama governor, an advertisement bankrolled by the state teachers’ union attacked candidate Bradley Byrne because he supposedly supported teaching evolution. Byrne, worried about his political future, felt it necessary to deny the charge.

Keeping religion immune from criticism is both unwarranted and dangerous. Unless we are willing to expose religious irrationality whenever it arises, we will encourage irrational public policy and promote ignorance over education for our children.

This article was originally published with the title Faith and Foolishness.


Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist and science commentator, is Foundation Professor and director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University (

Teaching Creationism Is ‘Child Abuse,’ Says Prominent Physicist

Teaching Creationism Is ‘Child Abuse,’ Says Prominent Physicist Lawrence Krauss (VIDEO)
By Deborah Montesano


Big Think, the online knowledge forum, released a video on Tuesday of theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss speaking on the idea of teaching creationism. In it, Krauss asserts that the notion of creationism defies reality and teaching it to children is tantamount to child abuse. The video is in reaction to Senator Marco Rubio who, in December, declared in an interview with GQ that he didn’t know how old the earth is. In Rubio’s words:

“I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians… I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.”

Wrong, says Krauss. Evolution is accepted reality, the basis for all biological sciences. For someone like Rubio, who is presumably both intelligent and educated, to take the stand that anything goes in education–that it’s okay for any belief to be taught regardless of reality–is a terrible error. In the following video, Krauss says:

“Allowing the notion that the Earth is 6,000 years old to be promulgated in schools is like teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That’s how big an error it is… The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it… To overcome a situation where a United States Senator can speak such manifest nonsense with impunity is vitally important to the healthy future of our society.”


Here’s the video:

Krauss isn’t the first person to insist that teaching creationism is a form of child abuse. Various atheist and rationalist groups have maintained the same thing. But people of faith, like Anglican priest and theologian David Jennings, of Leichester Cathedral, have taken that stand also. Last fall, when asked whether creationism should be taught in the schools, Jennings said in an open forum:

“There are some people who believe the earth is actually flat… But do we teach that, do we actually suggest that to young people?… Whatever people want to believe in the privacy of their own home, in the privacy of whatever religion they practice, they’re free to do that. But to teach young people things that we know are not true is tantamount to an abuse of young people.”

Last August, Bill Nye the Science Guy weighed in on the subject, also for Big Think:

“Denial of evolution is unique to the United States…I say to the grown-ups, If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe, that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future…we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

Here’s the video:

All of these men underline the point that we Americans are not only unique in our denial of science, but also in the degree to which that denial holds back our young people. As a society, we’re jeopardizing both our future and theirs. We battle over religious ideology–which seems to lurk behind every issue these days–rather than uniting to educate our young and insure that they maintain an edge when it comes to innovation and leadership in the world.

Why I Raise My Children Without God

Why I Raise My Children Without God
By TXBlue08
Why I Raise My Children Without God
 CNN PRODUCER NOTE     TXBlue08, a mother of two teenagers in Texas, blogs about raising her children without religion. She said she shared this essay on CNN iReport because ‘I just felt there is not a voice out there for women/moms like me. I think people misunderstand or are fearful of people who don’t believe in God.’ – dsashin, CNN iReport producer

     When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.

For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale—not unlike the one we tell children about Santa—to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.

And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.

Here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without God.

God is a bad parent and role model.

If God is our father, then he is not a good parent. Good parents don’t allow their children to inflict harm on others. Good people don’t stand by and watch horrible acts committed against innocent men, women and children. They don’t condone violence and abuse. “He has given us free will,” you say? Our children have free will, but we still step in and guide them.

God is not logical.

How many times have you heard, “Why did God allow this to happen?” And this: “It’s not for us to understand.” Translate: We don’t understand, so we will not think about it or deal with the issue. Take for example the senseless tragedy in Newtown. Rather than address the problem of guns in America, we defer responsibility to God. He had a reason. He wanted more angels. Only he knows why. We write poems saying that we told God to leave our schools. Now he’s making us pay the price. If there is a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves his children, does it make sense that he would allow murders, child abuse, wars, brutal beatings, torture and millions of heinous acts to be committed throughout the history of mankind? Doesn’t this go against everything Christ taught us in the New Testament?

The question we should be asking is this: “Why did we allow this to happen?” How can we fix this? No imaginary person is going to give us the answers or tell us why. Only we have the ability to be logical and to problem solve, and we should not abdicate these responsibilities to “God” just because a topic is tough or uncomfortable to address.

God is not fair.

If God is fair, then why does he answer the silly prayers of some while allowing other, serious requests, to go unanswered? I have known people who pray that they can find money to buy new furniture. (Answered.) I have known people who pray to God to help them win a soccer match. (Answered.) Why are the prayers of parents with dying children not answered?

If God is fair, then why are some babies born with heart defects, autism, missing limbs or conjoined to another baby? Clearly, all men are not created equally. Why is a good man beaten senseless on the street while an evil man finds great wealth taking advantage of others? This is not fair. A game maker who allows luck to rule mankind’s existence has not created a fair game.

God does not protect the innocent.

He does not keep our children safe. As a society, we stand up and speak for those who cannot. We protect our little ones as much as possible. When a child is kidnapped, we work together to find the child. We do not tolerate abuse and neglect. Why can’t God, with all his powers of omnipotence, protect the innocent?

God is not present.

He is not here. Telling our children to love a person they cannot see, smell, touch or hear does not make sense. It means that we teach children to love an image, an image that lives only in their imaginations. What we teach them, in effect, is to love an idea that we have created, one that is based in our fears and our hopes.

God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good

A child should make moral choices for the right reasons. Telling him that he must behave because God is watching means that his morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It’s like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring presents. When we take God out of the picture, we place responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children. No, they won’t go to heaven or rule their own planets when they die, but they can sleep better at night. They will make their family proud. They will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people.

God Teaches Narcissism

“God has a plan for you.” Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic; it makes them think the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it doesn’t really matter because God is in control. That gives kids a sense of false security and creates selfishness. “No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me. He knows my purpose. I am special.” The irony is that, while we tell this story to our kids, other children are abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of God’s plan, right?

When we raise kids without God, we tell them the truth—we are no more special than the next creature. We are just a very, very small part of a big, big machine–whether that machine is nature or society–the influence we have is minuscule. The realization of our insignificance gives us a true sense of humbleness.

I understand why people need God. I understand why people need heaven. It is terrifying to think that we are all alone in this universe, that one day we—along with the children we love so much—will cease to exist. The idea of God and an afterlife gives many of us structure, community and hope.

I do not want religion to go away. I only want religion to be kept at home or in church where it belongs. It’s a personal effect, like a toothbrush or a pair of shoes. It’s not something to be used or worn by strangers. I want my children to be free not to believe and to know that our schools and our government will make decisions based on what is logical, just and fair—not on what they believe an imaginary God wants.

Christian Sadist Sean Harris | Christianity Is Child Abuse

Take a stand against child abuse

Most of you know the story about the NC pastor who encourages  parents to punch kids who show “effeminate” behavior and to crack their wrists and “butch” girls should be “reined in”.

American Atheist reports a protest against pastor Sean Harris tomorrow, May 6 in Fayetteville, NC.

Fayetteville, N.C. Police are expecting 500-600 people to attend our protest of the local pastor who told his congregation to ‘beat their gay kids.’ *shudder*

Are YOU too busy to take a stand against this monster? RSVP:

Are you too far away to attend? You can still help by sharing this and temporarily setting your facebook timeline cover photo to THIS picture:×3501.jpg

He is of course retracting what he had stated, but we know that he is just trying to save face in the media while still clinging to his bigoted beliefs. These people must be shown that we will not accept child abuse and discrimination in any way, shape or form.

Ill Papa Visits Mexico

Benedict Palpatine


Catholic Church



hate groups




papal perverts

evil empire

child abuse

sexual predators

Catholic fascism

religious fascists

Catholic crimes

papal dictators


papal bigots


papal Rome

papal parasites

Vatican billions

Nazi pope

Catholic Nazi

Catholic pedophiles

Hitler‘s pope

Hitler’s priests


Also via:-

Almost EASTER Holiday in the world and the Pop-ey meets vics of drug violence in Mehico!

Posted by

Derivative Work. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Po...

Derivative Work. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI since 2005) on May 10, 2003, during the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Stanislaus in Szczepanów, Poland. Picture taken by Janusz Stachoń and released under CC-BY license by Szamil ( (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Nazi Catholic Pope went to Mexico to meet victims of drug violence but I don’t recall him meeting with all those adults who were victimized by the Catholic pedophiles he sent out to do the Devil’s work back when the scandal broke in the Catholic church. OR SHOULD I WRITE, when victims began coming forward in droves and the police started listening to all of them. HUNDREDS of them.

So this Nazi Catholic Pope goes to Mexico and preaches against the evil in narcotics. Oh my! That must have been a short sermon for the old nazi unless he took his own pharmaceutics, he couldn’t have possibly said much to those poor people. Raped by their own people, by the Catholic Religion and the world. C’mon Americans have everything to do with these Mexican drug cartels in fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if our own Feds are involved up to their balls with these “drug dealers” in Mexico.

Let’s face it, human’s prey on other humans because, well, there are too many people alive today on this planet and we need to cut down the population. I got great ideas on how to do that but heyyy – I digress.

— Bonju

Alien Versus Predator

Alien Vs Predator! Sure they’re both monsters, but one claims god is on his side!

Catholic Morality: FAIL!

Catholic Sexual Abuse.

Catholic Child Abuse.

Catholic Sadism.

New Report Details Catholic Child Abuse In The Tens of Thousands – In Netherlands Alone!

New Report Documents Widespread Abuse in Dutch Catholic Institutions

The atheist blogosphere is understandably buzzing with news of Christopher Hitchens‘ death. Take whatever time you might need to deal with this loss, but please don’t overlook the other big news of the day: a new report detailing widespread child abuse by Catholic clergy and others associated with the church has been released by an independent commission in the Netherlands.

The report by the an independent commission said Catholic officials failed to tackle the widespread abuse “to prevent scandals.” The suspected number of abuse victims who spent some of their youth in church institutions likely lies somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000, according to a summary of the report.

The commission received roughly 1,800 complaints and identified 800 perpetrators, including clergy and lay people working with them.

Once again, I call on Catholics to stop supporting this institution.

Sadism and Religion Go Hand in Hand – The Culture of Religious Child Abuse

The culture of Christian child abuse

Since I know you readers are deeply interested in fighting the good fight for social justice in the bedrooms and parlors of this nation, I’m sure you’ve seen this horrible video:

This was posted by Hillary Adams, whose father is Judge William Adams, who is a judge for Aransas County, which is in the Gulf region of Texas. Adams admits that it’s him in the video, and in the style of abusers everywhere, is leaning on the “just a scratch” excuse, as well as skepticism-inducing claims that his behavior here is somehow out of character. (Compare to Cain’s statements this past week for another example of how this works.) No one is buying it, of course, since we all see with our eyes how hard he whipped his daughter with the belt. Additionally, since Hillary set the camera up in her room specifically to capture this, we have to assume a) that this had happened enough before to compel that choice and b) that she was getting really good at predicting when he would go off like this. Research into domestic violence shows that it’s not uncommon for victims to become well-attuned to when their abusers have a desire to whip the shit out of someone, and they do in fact get good at predicting it. This also belies the abusers’ claim that it’s a matter of “losing your temper”, but that they are in control of their emotions.

When something like this happens, it’s important to put it into context so people realize that behavior like this is not isolated or unusual, sadly. Jill has addressed how common it is for people with disabilities, who are often especially dependent on caregivers, to suffer abuse like this. Hillary has stated that Adams abused all his family members, but it seems he had a special hankering for whipping his only daughter, who happens to suffer from cerebal palsy, so we can see how it fits into this pattern. I want to add to this, and discuss abuse in the context of fundamentalist Christianity.

Now, I couldn’t find any religious information about Judge Adams, but he is a Republican, raising the chances to “high” that he’s an evangelical Christian. More importantly, if you watch the video—which I only recommend you do if you have the stomach for this sort of thing—one thing will really jump out at you if you follow the workings of the Christian right. Adams keeps using somewhat strange terms like “disobedient” and “submission”. For secular people, even those who have witnessed abuse, it’s really rare to see someone spell out their goals of inducing submission and obedience. (Or maybe not. I’m sure commenters have some thoughts.) Other language is employed, in no small part because abusers also have to enact a mindfuck on their victims, and convince them that the abuse isn’t somehow apart from the values of their time, which for secular people and moderate religious people include equality and individuality. But the words “obedience” and “submission” are flung around Christian right circles without any hesitation. When speaking to outsiders, they often try to play that awful-sounding language off as something not as bad as it sounds. Their schtick is to pretend that they’re just using archaic words for the funsies, but when they say something like “submission”, they don’t really mean submission. (Michele Bachmann tried this tactic when asked about her pride in being submissive to her husband.) But they do mean it. It’s impossible to believe otherwise, when you’re reading, say, James Dobson extolling the virtues of whipping your kids into submission, or Christian housewives on blogs discussing how much of a struggle it is to frame their legitimate concerns into a submissive framework where even asking questions can sometimes be seen as an affront to a man’s godly right to have the final say over household manners. They do in fact believe in a strict hierarchy of power in the household, and in fact, I would argue that fighting against feminist progress on the home front is their main organizing principle.

Spanking your children is therefore a big fucking deal to the Christian right. I would honestly say, reading their materials, that being able to whip your children at will is number two in their list of political concerns, right after abortion. Gay marriage was rising on that list for awhile, but it doesn’t seem to have the endurance that fears that the government is going to take their spanking rights away do. In fact, the Christian right has been successful at blocking the United States from ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Children. (We are the only nation besides Somalia not to ratify it.) Within Christian right circles, enthusiasm for spanking is really, really high. At Stuff Christian Culture Likes, the blogger describes the general pro-spanking attitudes:

They don’t feel that spanking is the same thing as hitting. They will defend it to their dying breath. Christian culture is very concerned that the government may take away their right to spank.

Pretty much all right wing Christian child-rearing manuals are paens to beating your children. And I mean beating. If confronted about this, fundies tend to backpedal and play off their obsession with spanking as if it’s the same thing as a mild pat on the ass delivered to a toddler who has tried to run out in traffic or something. But they lean on the “rod” talk in the Bible, which means they are big on using weapons to beat your children. James Dobson believes you should beat children with a paddle or a tree branch, which he has somehow managed to rationalize into “loving” behavior. And he’s probably the most mainstream! Other, less popular family “advice” books get even more elaborate when it comes to describing how to select the weapons to use against someone so much smaller than you. Now, that doesn’t mean that all or even most fundamentalist Christians whip the shit out of their kids like this guy did. However, once you’ve created a cultural expectation that abusing your children is not only acceptable but expected, you can expect people to take it to the next level. Outside of the cursing and the threats to hit her in the face, in fact, there’s not much in this video that falls outside of the Christian right prescriptions for “disciplining” a child.

Regardless of Judge Adams’ personal beliefs, Christian right ideas about family hierarchy and paranoia that the government is coming to take away their “spanking” rights (I hate calling it “spanking”, which allows people to equate it with painless bottom pats, which I still think aren’t such a great idea but can’t be meaningfully compared to whippings in any way) are the water that conservatives are swimming in when it comes to the Bible Belt. That context needs to be understood when looking at this video. It’s not enough to be angry with Judge Adams and call for him to leave his job. We need to look at an entire culture that teaches that beating your children is a good thing to do.

By the way, I want to quickly address the people who are all over internet defending Adams by saying, “I was whipped and I turned out okay.” Using the surival skills of victims to condone abuse is not okay. That’s like saying it’s okay to throw yourself downstairs because two years from now, that broken leg will be completely healed. The here and now counts as much as the later. A child is more than the adult they will become. They are a human being now, and their pain and suffering now matters.

via – it’s the eye of the panda, it’s the thrill of the bite.

Christian Child-Rearing Manual Leads to Child Abuse, Even Deaths

Christian Child-Rearing Manual Is A Frequent Factor In Child Abuse, Even Deaths
                By Susie Madrak

So many people were shocked by the video of that Texas judge hitting his child, but I wasn’t. I’ve been reading for a long time about the abusive child-rearing practices of extreme Christian fundamentalists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that girl’s father thought he was merely doing his duty and “raising a godly child.”

The books of Michael and Debi Pearl are frequently implicated in that kind of abuse. Here’s a heart-wrenching post from a reader over at the No Longer Quivering blog, started by a woman who left the fundamentalist Quiverfull movement:

When the Pearls’ methods failed, I got stuck on method a. Blame yourself.  I re-read To Train Up a Child. When I knew I had it right, I hit harder. Prayed harder. Did the whole disciplinary routine smiling from ear to ear and cooing like a dove. My babies acted freaked out by my grin (it was a lot like Debi Pearl’s vacuous, huge grin in the Tuchman interview) and were enraged by my efforts to “lovingly reconcile” with them after spankings. They kept up the fight. At this point, I think I would have admitted to myself that something was wrong with this whole child-training method and stopped torturing the toddlers all day to no avail. If you have to be cruel to get the Pearl method to work on some kids, it’s wrong. I had a husband, however, who was firmly convinced that Pearl was right. He went right for the b. and c. options: hit harder and blame the kid.

Options b. and c. are hard to do without getting angry. They are hard to do without leaving bruises, especially since Pearl discipline is cumulative: faced with entrenched rebellion, you are supposed to hit repeatedly and in the same areas. My ex-husband got angry with the kids for thwarting the Pearl method, but he remained coldly self-controlled. He also left bruises. A lot of bruises.

Why didn’t I stop him? I finally did, but early in my marriage I was paralyzed by fear and brainwashed by bad teaching. We both feared raising ungodly kids. We were looking for confirmation that some part of this system worked, and my ex-husband began to get results. The children flinched when he even moved. Cowered when he reached for a spanking implement. Had semi-seizures on the carpet following “biblical correction.” We got compliance with our wishes. Eventually, there wasimmediate and unquestioning compliance. My ex-husband had quelled the rebellion in three kids. He had created unfocused, freaked-out little robots who obeyed. The joy and the peace that was supposed to suffuse our home according to Pearl, we thought we could dispense with. Maybe it would come later; the Pearls are a little vague on where the peace and love should come into the process, just as they are a little vague on how you can keep “chastising” repeatedly with progressively increased force in the same places without leaving bruises.

To Train Up a Child is a manual of progressive violence against children. Not only are there no stopgaps to prevent child abuse, the book is a mandate to use implements to inflict increasingly intense pain in the face of continued disobedience. The part about not causing injury is vague and open to interpretation, but the part about never backing down or shirking your parental duty to spank harder and harder is crystal clear. The Pearls’ teachings will lead, inescapably, to extremely strong-willed kids being abused and sometimes murdered by fundamentalist parents who are determined to “break” those children.  The Pearls’ defenders will say, “Oh, they took it to an extreme and should have known better.” If anyone knows better than to keep inflicting more severe discipline on an intractable child, they can only apply that knowledge by scuttling the Pearls’ sadistic teaching and being more reasonable.

Whenever I read stories like this, I think of a lovely young woman I once interviewed, someone who grew up on the streets with her schizophrenic mother. By the time she was 16, she was pregnant. Fortunately, by the time she was 18, she’d been taken into a new program for young mothers that essentially re-parented them: Taught them to budget, balance a checkbook, plan meals, discipline children. She told me she was deeply haunted by guilt over having hit her toddler: “It wasn’t that I didn’t care about her – I did. I hit her to make her behave. I thought that’s what good parents did, and I wanted to be a good parent.”

That’s the sad part of all this violence. For whatever twisted reason, religious or psychological, many parents still believe they’re only doing what good parents do.

Catholic diocese forced to deal with more allegations

– January 13, 2011

The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg is again being forced to respond to allegations of misconduct in its clerical ranks.

Thursday, a representative of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a news conference in front of the diocese’s headquarters to talk about a $75,000 settlement with an alleged victim of sexual abuse by a longtime priest. The group also spoke about alleged abuse by two other priests who are now dead. The three priests, the group said, all served at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa.

SNAP, which claims membership of more than 10,000 in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe, also addressed the ongoing controversy at the Cathedral School of St. Jude in St. Petersburg. Parents are upset about the way they say a priest handled the sacrament of confession with their children in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Diocese spokesman Frank Murphy confirmed a $75,000 settlement in July to man who claimed he was abused by Monsignor Norman Balthazar, who was working at Christ the King at the time of the abuse in 1980.

“We don’t know that anything did occur,” Murphy said.

“But yet they paid $75,000,” countered Martha Jean Lorenzo, the Tampa representative of SNAP, at the news conference.

“Given the cost of investigation and legal fees and you’re dealing with someone who wants to settle, it is easier to provide a settlement,” Murphy said.

Between 1996, when Bishop Robert N. Lynch took over the diocese, and 2006, the diocese paid out $2.8 million in settlements. Some of that was covered by insurance, Murphy said.

SNAP accused Lynch of keeping silent about allegations against Balthazar and the settlement. Murphy said that since the alleged abuse happened to an adult, not a child, the diocese did not have to make it public.


Horrific Haredi Child Abuser Guilty On All Counts

Elior Chen found guilty of all charges against him
Self-styled rabbi convicted of perpetrating sadistic attacks on the children of a couple who became his followers; sentencing at later date.
By DAN IZENBERG • Jerusalem Post

Elior Chen 2 Jerusalem District Court Yoram Noam on Tuesday afternoon convicted Elior Chen of all charges against him. Sentencing will be at a later date.

In the meantime the self-styled rabbi’s lawyer, Ariel Attias, has already said that his client is innocent that that he will appeal the lower court decision to the Supreme Court.

Chen was found guilty of perpetrating sadistic attacks on the children of a couple who became his followers.

Attias charged that Noam had not allowed him to question the children who were victims of Chen’s acts. He also said that he had been given only five weeks to read all of the evidence involved in the case, whereas it had taken the court five months to do the same.

Last week, four of Chen’s disciples were sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for taking part in the brutal attacks against the children, one of whom has been in a coma ever since.

On November 23, Jerusalem District Court judge Nava Ben-Or sentenced David Avraham Kugman to 20 years in jail and a one-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay NIS 200,000 in compensation to the children. Avraham Maskalchi and Shimon Gabai were each sentenced to 17 years in jail, a one-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay NIS 100,000 in compensation.

Roi Tzoref, who spent only part of the time during which Chen was in control of the children, was sentenced to 30 months in jail, six months suspended and ordered to pay NIS 10,000 in compensation.

The mother of the children, identified as M., has already been sentenced to five years in jail for her role in the affair. She turned state’s witness and testified against her former “teacher.”