Friday, August 17, 2018

Vatican tells Catholic priest abuse victims: 'The pope is on their side'

In its first statement on the Pennsylvania sexual abuse report, the Vatican said it must "learn hard lessons from its past."

by Alex Johnson / Aug.16.2018 / 8:36 PM ET

Pope Francis waves to pilgrims from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square during a celebration of the Feast of Assumption at the Vatican on Wednesday.Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images

In its first comment since a Pennsylvania grand jury detailed allegations of rampant sexual abuse in parishes across the state for decades, the Vatican on Thursday said it felt "shame and sorrow" and told victims: "The pope is on your side."

The Vatican chose to wait two days to react to the 1,356-page report, which alleged that 301 "predator priests" abused more than 1,000 children in six of the state's eight dioceses. Wednesday was the Feast of the Assumption, an important Catholic celebration and a national holiday in Italy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Origins of Our Second Civil War

By Victor Davis Hanson

July 31, 2018 6:30 AM


A Trump supporter holds an American flag at a rally in Madison, Ala., February 2016. (Marvin Gentry/Reuters) 

Globalism, the tech boom, illegal immigration, campus radicalism, the new racialism . . . Are they leading us toward an 1861?

How, when, and why has the United States now arrived at the brink of a veritable civil war?

Almost every cultural and social institution — universities, the public schools, the NFL, the Oscars, the Tonys, the Grammys, late-night television, public restaurants, coffee shops, movies, TV, stand-up comedy — has been not just politicized but also weaponized.

Donald Trump’s election was not so much a catalyst for the divide as a manifestation and amplification of the existing schism.

We are now nearing a point comparable to 1860, and perhaps past 1968. Left–Right factionalism is increasingly fueled by geography — always history’s force multiplier of civil strife. Red and blue states ensure that locale magnifies differences that were mostly manageable during the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, the Bushes, and Clinton.

What has caused the United States to split apart so rapidly?

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DNC's Tom Perez Headed Soros Group Lobbying for Illegal Alien Voting Rights

AP/Getty Images
JOHN BINDER 9 Aug 2018

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman, Tom Perez, previously headed an organization funded by globalist billionaire George Soros that lobbies for giving illegal aliens and noncitizens the right to vote in American elections.

Perez, who now heads the DNC, gloats on his website about his work with the Soros-funded “CASA De Maryland” organization, which most recently successfully lobbied a local Maryland town to extend voting rights to illegal aliens and noncitizens.

“In 2002, Tom started as board president at CASA de Maryland, an organization that provides services to immigrants,” Perez’s website notes. “Under his leadership, CASA experienced monumental growth – from the basement of a church to a $7M headquarters that opened without a lease – and grew from a service provider to one of the largest immigrant advocacy organizations in the country.”

10 Ways To Prep When Real Life Gets In The Way

MONDAY, JULY 23, 2018

Life just gets crazy sometimes. You have places to be, people to see, kids in activities, work to do, and the never-ending to-do list to conquer. Summer always seems to be particularly busy even though school is (usually) on a break and you have more freedom to do what you want.

However, in all of life's busyness, prepping can sometimes get put on the back burner. We want to prep, but we have so much on our plates that we don't think we have time right now to prep. Even though hardcore preppers will cringe when I say this, sometimes that is okay to put prepping to the side for a little bit. We all have times in our lives that we are just plain overwhelmed with priorities and responsibilities. We need to cut ourselves some slack.

Now maybe you are getting a little antsy knowing you need to pay attention to your preps and need to practice those skills. You are just not sure when you are going to have time.

How can you prep with when real life gets in the way? As always, I have some suggestions.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese responds to grand jury investiga...

Chile police raid Catholic church HQ in sex abuse investigation

Marist Brothers accused of dozens of cases of abuse

‘The impunity of the Chilean hierarchy has ended’

Associated Press

Tue 14 Aug 2018 13.20 EDTLast modified on Tue 14 Aug 2018 14.28 EDT

Chilean authorities have raided the headquarters of the Catholic church’s Episcopal Conference as part of a widespread investigation into sex abuse committed by members of the Marist Brothers order, prosecutors said.

The raid by investigating prosecutors and Chile’s equivalent of the FBI took place at one of the most important buildings of the Chilean church in the capital, Santiago. Prosecutor Raul Guzmán, who confirmed the raid, is investigating more than 35 accusations of abuse committed against former students at schools run by the Marists, who are religious brothers, not priests.

“The impunity of the Chilean hierarchy has ended. In Chile, we’re seeing what happens when the Catholic church is treated as an ordinary corporate citizen,” said Anne Barrett Doyle of the online abuse database

“Prosecutors in Chile have raised the bar for civil authorities in other countries. The children of Chile will be safer, survivors more likely to find justice, and the church ultimately stronger.”

Church authorities had no immediate response to requests for comment.

Pa. Catholic Church sex abuse report names hundreds of priests, accuses leaders of cover-up: 'They hid it all.'

Pa. Catholic Church sex abuse report names hundreds of priests, accuses leaders of cover-up: 'They hid it all.'

Jeremy Roebuck, Angela Couloumbis, Liz Navratil

Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 3:06 PM

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro releases the findings of a two-year grand jury investigation into clergy abuse at six of the state’s Roman Catholic Dioceses.

HARRISBURG — Top Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania routinely covered up child sex abuse by hundreds of priests, involving more than 1,000 victims over seven decades, according to a long-awaited grand jury report released Tuesday.

The nearly 900-page document – the product of what may be the most comprehensive examination to date of clergy sex abuse across a single state – accused church officials in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses of routinely prioritizing their institution over the welfare of children.

More than 300 accused priests were singled out – though some names remained redacted amid an ongoing court fight over the accuracy of the report’s findings and the damage it could cause to the reputations of some identified within it. Dozens of church superiors were also named as complicit, including some who have risen to prominent national postings.

“All of [the victims] were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all,” the report says. “Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible not only did nothing: They hid it all.”

>>READ MORE: Read the full grand jury report

The report arrives amid a new wave of accusations that have upended Catholic congregations across the United States and resulted in the resignation of one cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, formerly the archbishop of Washington.

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Egypt: Defrocked monk charged with killing Coptic bishop

11 August 2018


Getty Images
Egypt's Christian minority are mostly members of the Coptic Orthodox Church 

Prosecutors in Egypt have charged a defrocked monk with the murder of a Coptic Christian Bishop at a desert monastery.

Bishop Epiphanius, 64, was found dead in a pool of blood at Saint Macarius Monastery in Wadi Natroun, north-west of Cairo, on 29 July.

Wael Saad, who had been a monk at the monastery, reportedly told prosecutors he used an iron pole to bludgeon the bishop to death.

The possible motive is not yet clear.

The murder of Bishop Epiphanius shocked the Coptic Church, whose adherents make up about 10% of Egypt's population.

Wael Saad, who as a monk was known as Isaiah al-Makari, was stripped of his religious title following the bishop's death.

The church initially said it was because he had been investigated over long-standing violations of his duties.

Egyptian Copt: 'I feel so scared'

Prosecutors in Alexandria say he was formally charged on Friday and placed in detention pending further investigations.

In the wake of the bishop's death, the Coptic Church instituted a crackdown on clergy behaviour and froze the recruitment of new monks for a year.

Monks were ordered to close their social media accounts and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II also closed his official Facebook page.

Correspondent say the measures suggest dissent within the Coptic Church that could be linked to the bishop's murder. The Church has not commented.

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Sex abuse scandals continue plaguing Catholic Church

Updated 7:10 PM; Posted 7:10 PM

Pope Francis celebrates a Chrism Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Thursday, March 29, 2018. During the Mass the pontiff blesses a token amount of oil that will be used to administer the sacraments for the year. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

By The Washington Post

With revelation after revelation, a new wave of sexual abuse scandals is rocking the Roman Catholic Church and presenting Pope Francis with the greatest crisis of his papacy.

In Chile, prosecutors have raided church offices, seized documents and accused leaders of a coverup. In Australia, top church figures are facing detention and trials. And in the United States, after the resignation of a cardinal, questions are swirling about a hierarchy that looked the other way and protected him for years.

The church has had more than three decades - since notable abuse cases first became public - to safeguard victims, and itself, against such system failures. And, in the past five years, many Catholics have looked to Francis as a figure who could modernize the church and help it regain its credibility.

But Francis' track record in handling abuse is mixed, something some outsiders attribute to his learning curve or shortcomings and others chalk up to resistance from a notoriously change-averse institution.

Analysts who have studied the church's response to sexual abuse, and several people who have advised the pope, say the Vatican has been unable to take the dramatic steps that can help an organization get out from under scandals - and avoid their repetition.

'Unite the Right' march triggers tension, Antifa clashes, hundreds of counterprotesters

1 hour ago


White nationalists and counter protesters march in DC

Peter Doocy reports that police are shutting down demonstrations due to severe weather.

Hundreds of counterprotesters, including Antifa, confronted a group of white-nationalist demonstrators Sunday at the so-called "Unite the Right II" march toward the White House -- and many pushed back as officers tried to clear the area in the evening, triggering scuffles.

A passing thunderstorm forced the far-right demonstrators to break down their rally stage in Lafayette Park near the White House prematurely, but as police escorted them from the area, reports of Antifa resistence emerged. Some 200 anti-fascists, many of them wearing black masks, confronted police about a half-mile from the White House as officers shoved them back, The Associated Press reported.

Other reports suggested counterprotesters hurled fireworks as police tried to clear the way for "Unite the Right" activists to leave the park. Eventually, many of the Antifa members packed in to vans as police escorted them away.

Hours earlier, the white nationalist rally participants -- a couple dozen in all, according to estimates -- gathered at a subway station in northern Virginia and traveled into the nation's capital via train before disembarking in Foggy Bottom near the George Washington University campus. Police officers cleared a path through the counterprotesters for the group to march through on their way to Lafayette Park outside the White House. The far-right rallygoers marched in the middle of the street, surrounded by a phalanx of police, while counter-protesters heckled them from the sidewalks on either side.

'Unite the Right' organizer Jason Kessler. (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

While the far-right group held its rally in Lafayette Park, Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters marched in the surrounding streets. At one point, an eruption of smoke emerged near the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.

There were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries.

When the far-right group arrived at Lafayette Park, another large crowd greeted them with boos, cries of "shame," and chants of "Nazis go home" and "you are not welcome here."

Counterprotesters rally in Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. Sunday. (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

"Unite the Right" organizer Jason Kessler said he expected 100 to 400 people to participate in the Lafayette Park event. However, their numbers appeared to be far fewer than that.

Some leading figures in the U.S. white nationalist movement said they would not attend or encouraged supporters to stay away.