Snapped

July 4th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Normally just some lovely photos of a couple having a romantic holiday.

The problem is that Monsignor Fernando Maria Bargallo is a Roman Catholic Bishop. Or he was, having now resigned.

He’s in pretty good shape for a 57 year old. Personally I think it is far better than priests have sex with consenting adult women, than choir boys.

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129 Responses to “Snapped”

  1. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    I wonder if he used a condom?

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  2. Todd Sisson (48 comments) says:

    hilarious! Oh the hypocrisy – at least he fell on his ‘sword’….

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  3. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    She’s reasonably tidy for a 57 year old too… I wonder how much catholic money Monsignor has squirrelled away?

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  4. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    DPF your last sentence is a real cheap shot.

    [DPF: Yep.]

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  5. Lucia Maria (2,652 comments) says:

    The problem is that there are a number of older priests who came into the priesthood at a time when it was thought that the Church would fall into line with the world and drop the celibacy requirement. They still haven’t quite got their head out that mentality.

    Personally I think it is far better than priests have sex with consenting adult women, than choir boys.

    The same could be said of any man, that it be better that he have a relationship with a consenting woman rather than boys.

    Far be it for me to imply that all men are rapists.

    [DPF: Sadly the proportion of Catholic priests who have sex with under age boys is far greater than the proportion for all men. And let us not start on the cover ups]

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  6. Ryan Sproull (7,360 comments) says:

    I think it was Father Thomas Merton who once commented that the Church would be very different if its hierarchy had mandatory poverty and voluntary celibacy, rather than the other way around.

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  7. tvb (4,554 comments) says:

    Well you know what the priest said about celibacy. At least it is better than no sex at all.

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  8. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    kowtow

    You’re darn right it was.

    Shall we talk about this news breaking in Sydney – the big coverup? Now the Bish is implicated.

    Lucia

    Stand easy. Longknives will handle this and no doubt with rather more honesty and credibility.

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  9. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Rules for Catholic priests #13346:

    You can kiss a nun once; you can kiss a nun twice; but you mustn’t get into the habit.

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  10. hj (7,165 comments) says:

    Philippines birth control legislation opposed by church

    Surveys suggest majority of public support family planning bill’s passage, but influential Catholic church opposes law
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/08/philippines-birth-control-legislation-church

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  11. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    dvm
    go for it.this pedofile thing is all wrong. I’m no defender of sickos or cover up.it is shameful and disgusting and the activity or lack of it is also wrong. Catholics don’t like it any more than anyone else does and our own hierarcy ha slet the victims down and the whole chuch.
    these guys should be hung out to dry.

    Having said that ,there is no shortage of anti catholic prejudice and the comment above was a cheap shot.

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  12. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Yes of course it is true, there is no evidence of priests having sex with choir boys. The Catholic hierarchy did not report abuse allegations to the civil authorities. Wonder why there is this cover up though, maybe god wants it this way.

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  13. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    Yes I agree,the last sentence was a cheap shot.

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  14. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    the comment above was a cheap shot.

    Just because it’s an easy laugh, it doesn’t make it less funny.

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  15. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    The way I see it, Muslims should admit that evil people do evil things in the name of the religion, just like Catholics should admit that evil men rape boys in the name of theirs. Just because the Catholic church covers these rapes up, doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Ever asked yourself why there is this cover up?

    Pure and simple, silly people who can’t admit the truth of the failings of their beliefs.

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  16. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    jonnobanks: It’s not the beliefs that have failed. God does not condone what these men have done.

    It’s the individuals who have failed … badly.

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  17. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    It’s the individuals who have failed … badly. By inventing god? And then raping boys, then covering it up?

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  18. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    kowtow (2,125) Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    dvm
    go for it.this pedofile thing is all wrong. I’m no defender of sickos or cover up.it is shameful and disgusting and the activity or lack of it is also wrong. Catholics don’t like it any more than anyone else does and our own hierarcy ha slet the victims down and the whole chuch.
    these guys should be hung out to dry.

    Having said that ,there is no shortage of anti catholic prejudice and the comment above was a cheap shot.

    Scott (983) Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Yes I agree,the last sentence was a cheap shot.

    Oh, look – it’s the fundamentalist brigade who looking back at any thread about homosexuals have no problem linking gay people to pedophilia or bestiality suddenly raging over making links to pedophilia when it’s a priest. Hypocrites.

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  19. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    james stephenson

    spoken like a true right footer.

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  20. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    jimmy smits
    read what i wrote.i’m not raging he got caught out. i’m pointing out DPF cheap shot.linking this ,latest,scandal ,to child rape. there is no connection.

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  21. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    Doesn’t seem like much of a story to me. Catholic bishop not celibate, after all?

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  22. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    there is no connection.

    Of course you’re correct, there’s no correlation at all. Relationship with a woman gets you defrocked, child rape gets covered up and the perp moved somewhere else to carry on.

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  23. Manolo (14,168 comments) says:

    It must be a Muslim conspiracy, claims Lucia.

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  24. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    jonnobanks:

    It’s the individuals who have failed … badly. By inventing god? And then raping boys, then covering it up?

    No to the first part, yes to the second and third.

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  25. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Jimmy Smits

    The point you’re missing is that all homosexuals are like that, but not all Catholics are like that. Its just the odd random one who has wobbled off G**’s railway tracks. Homos are unnatural deviants and condemned for all eternity; boy-bothering catholic priests in positions of significant control and influence are sinners and must repent. Homos can’t be trusted with adoption of children for fear of some close contact shower action, but single male priests can be trusted in positions (oh, did I really say that!) of control and influence over immature boys because they are charged with the celestial spirit.

    Highlighting these views and attitudes and alleging hypocrisy is nothing more than an anti-Catholic beatup.

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  26. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Inventing god is a failure in my books!

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  27. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    “The problem is that there are a number of older priests who came into the priesthood at a time when it was thought that the Church would fall into line with the world and drop the celibacy requirement. They still haven’t quite got their head out that mentality.”

    Lol…that is hilarious.

    How the hell do you get what is natural out of your mentality?

    The Catholic church is obsessed with Sex, be it with hot 57 year old chicks or Choir boys.

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  28. Don the Kiwi (1,811 comments) says:

    kowtow.

    Yes, it may be a cheap shot, but its one that is common in the secular world – they think that all priests are doing is buggering choir boys, and that perception is gleefully pedalled by the likes of Farrar and all the others who salivate over things like this. To these people, perception is reality – but the truth is far from that.

    And I’m not defending deviant priests, or bishops who do not adhere to their vows and in betraying themselves, and the trust that vulnerable people put in them, and in so doing betray the whole Church. They are the lowest of the low, and it was a sad day that they were ever allowed to be ordained.

    The reality is, that chidren are far safer with priests than they are with school teachers, doctors, and member of their own extended family – the vast majority of molesters are generally males, either heterosexual or homosexual. Its unfortunate that so many people are happy to blame the crimes of a few individuals on the whole church. The Chruch does not support or preach this type of behaviour – the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organisation in the world. Out of the hundreds of thousands of priests throughout the world, the percentage of deviants is way less than in the general population- but lets not allow the truth to get in the way of a good Catholic bash.

    Personally, I take the ridicule and abuse on the chin. The Church does need to be held to higher account than society at large, because of the message it preaches. This is a clear demonstration of how the sins of a few are visited on many. We, as Catholics, just have to cop the abuse with humility and pray that these sorts of things will not happen again. They are the result of a lack of self-discipline and a loss of morality. We all – Catholic and otherwise – need to up our own efforts to personbally lead better lives.

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  29. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    ‘Out of the hundreds of thousands of priests throughout the world, the percentage of deviants is way less than in the general population- but lets not allow the truth to get in the way of a good Catholic bash.’

    Have you any evidence at all to back this up? No! We all know the Catholic Church covers up the rape of boys.

    Why don’t you defend the stance of the Catholic Church covering up child rape, instead of pretending that the Church ‘isn’t that bad’.

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  30. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    jonnobanks at 11:56 am:

    Inventing god is a failure in my books!

    meh … being unable to realise the truth that God has to exist for so many reasons is a failure in my books. But I won’t hassle you about your failure (in my mind) if you don’t hassle me about my failure (in your mind). Ok?

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  31. nasska (12,095 comments) says:

    Don the Kiwi

    You are standing up & saying what your church authorities have lacked the guts to. You accept what the rest of us instinctively know….that if anyone or any organisation sets out to dictate morals & sexual behaviour then they are going to cop charges of hypocrisy, in spades, if they are not squeaky clean.

    It is natural that anyone identifying as Catholic is going to be called to account for the actions of Catholic leaders…..it may not be fair but it’s human to do so. Regrettably, the typical Catholic reaction is to close ranks, fudge, obscure & point out that others fail also.

    They are your leaders…..put your boot on their throats & tell them what they need to do to deserve your respect.

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  32. Lucia Maria (2,652 comments) says:

    Schools cover up rape in New Zealand.

    Remember this story: Hutt Valley teacher quits amid sex abuse report

    Nine boys were chased down by a gang of older pupils during breaks, partially stripped and sexually violated with objects including a screwdriver, scissors and drills.

    The ombudsman’s report labelled the attacks “systematic pack assaults” and criticised the school’s response.

    Mr Chapman, who was in charge at the time, downplayed the seriousness of the attacks and did not alert police, child welfare agencies or victims’ parents.

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  33. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    don
    I agree we need to cop the abuse,no problem there.
    I am not prepared to allow prejudice pass unremarked. And na awful lot of the comments here come from libertarians who hate religion,plain and simple. Others come from homosexuals who hate the Catholic church in particular. Some seems to be from what might be termed the Anglo crowd who hate Catholicism for historical reasons. Some from atheists who hate all religion.
    One two may be from genuinely concerned folk,but they’re hard to spot among the sneering ,frothing mob……

    A theme that comes across strongly is hatred. They can cast themselves as moral due to the failings of the churh and thereby occupy the higher ground.
    One other point,this site has done a bit of work on Pius XII,so again I question motive.

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  34. Don the Kiwi (1,811 comments) says:

    There are a number of people who bash the Catholic church about the church’s stance on homosexuals.
    You may be interested to read what this homosexual catholic has to say – if you want to really know.

    http://mattfradd.com/2012/06/14/catholic-gay-and-feeling-fine/

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  35. Don the Kiwi (1,811 comments) says:

    nasska.
    12.14.

    Fair comment.

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  36. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    I don’t know what the statistics are as far as the percentage of deviants being way less than in the general population, so can’t comment on that.

    But in my opinion, any church member who commits a rape or child abuse is wrong, and should be punished.
    Any doctor who commits a rape or child abuse is wrong, and should be punished.
    Any teacher who commits a rape or child abuse is wrong, and should be punished.
    Any fireman who commits a rape or child abuse is wrong, and should be punished.
    Any lawyer who commits a rape or child abuse is wrong, and should be punished.
    Any farmer who commits a rape or child abuse is wrong, and should be punished.

    And so on.

    For that matter, any doctor who gropes patients should be punished.
    Any teacher who gets involved in a relationship with their pupils should be punished.
    Any lawyer who steals from clients, or is incompetent and gives bad advice, should be punished.
    Any farmer who neglects their animals should be punished.

    Anybody who does something wrong should be punished. And as Don the Kiwi quite rightly says, the Church most certainly should be held to account.

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  37. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    graham, that is more than fine. I am happy for you to believe in whatever you want.

    However, I am puzzled that some Catholics here are so quick to defend the church and say ‘ it aint that bad’ and ‘look others are child rapists too’ … and aren’t outraged that the church covers up child rapes, instead if sending them to jail, where these sickos belong.

    Where is the outrage??? Surely the god you believe in would not want to cover this up?

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  38. David Garrett (7,700 comments) says:

    Don the Kiwi; graham; kowtow: I have no reason to believe that any of you are other than good decent guys..and much of what you have written here is honest, and probably quite difficult to write…

    BUT (there’s always a but) the fact remains you continue to belong to an organization (there’s a nice neutral word) that is deeply corrupt and rotten to the core when it comes to sexual malpractice, and the coverups thereof. It’s not like it is historic and doesn’t happen any more – almost every week another story emerges of some filthy paedo who was exposed and then quietly moved to another parish…

    Unless or until the Big Kahuna in Rome comes out and says “We will find every paedo priest…every paedo who is exposed will be immediately ex-communicated and handed over to the relevant authorities. We will co-operate in every way with every investigation. We will never just move a paedo priest on”….Until he does that, you will continue to be tainted by what those who are supposed to lead you have done or not done.

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  39. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    The Church does need to be held to higher account than society at large, because of the message it preaches. This is a clear demonstration of how the sins of a few are visited on many.

    That is a rather insightful comment Don reflecting, as it does, that your concern about this is the impact upon you. If I was a religious person, I would agree with your first sentence but for entirely different reasons. Those reasons would include credibility and demonstrating to non-members of the Church that it has something to offer in a spiritual context and is serious in not just preaching Christian ideals but also living them.

    Once again however, you, like a couple of the other usual suspects, let yourself and your faith down by making it all about you and attempting to rebut the criticism by benchmarking the Church’s poor behaviour against poor behaviour of others. So think about that the next time you have your little on-line cuddle to re-assure yourselves that it is just everyone else and you’re being picked on.

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  40. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    jonnobanks: I agree. The God I believe in would not want this covered up.

    David Garrett: I’m not actually a Catholic – I’m a member of the Anglican church (which is going through it’s own crisis at the moment, so I’m not too sure whether I will still be proud to call myself a member of that church in another few years – I’ll see how things pan out). So it’s probably not fair for me to comment on the Catholic church as such.

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  41. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    I’m certainly struggling to see the relvance of the ‘others are evil too’ argument that always seems to be trotted out when the evil doers among the Catholic clergy are exposed, or the coverups perpertrated by their superiors are exposed.

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  42. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    “Personally I think it is far better than priests have sex with consenting adult women, than choir boys.”

    You can read this two ways…..
    And the word ‘adult’ is superfluous.

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  43. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    In fact, the way things are going I may eventually find that I don’t agree with any of the mainstream churches, and just go back to calling myself a Christian. In fact I generally do refer to myself as a Christian, because at the end of the day I try to follow Christ’s teachings – not a particular church’s interpretations.

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  44. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    What DG says.
    Unfortunately many of those bound by the religious faith don’t see the need to speak up. Its more a case of “hear no evil, speak no evil”

    We, as Catholics, just have to cop the abuse with humility and pray that these sorts of things will not happen again. They are the result of a lack of self-discipline and a loss of morality. We all – Catholic and otherwise – need to up our own efforts to personally lead better lives.

    Well praying will stop fuck all. Silently muttering to yourself so no one else can hear is an acceptance of the evil because it allows you to condemn and justify in your own mind without ever having to front up, speak up and confront that evil, head on in a public way.
    In other words cowardice.

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  45. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Schools cover up rape in New Zealand.

    Catholicism: Hey, we’re not the ONLY ones fucking small boys up the arse, you know!

    What a great moral compass the mother church bestows…

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  46. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    The problem is that there are a number of older priests who came into the priesthood at a time when it was thought that the Church would fall into line with the world and drop the celibacy requirement. They still haven’t quite got their head out that mentality.

    No, the problem is that the catholic church systematically hides these criminals and prevents justice from being done.

    It is therefore difficult to separate the crimes of the paedophiles from the crimes of their church organisation.

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  47. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    DG, you know it’s funny. At first I gave you shit, because of my feelings about the downfall of the ACT Party. But the more I read of the comments, the more I agree with you.

    My only gripe I have with you, is that I wish you could ignore the fool. That would be awesome.

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  48. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    @ DPF

    “[DPF: Sadly the proportion of Catholic priests who have sex with under age boys is far greater than the proportion for all men. And let us not start on the cover ups]”

    I’d call bullshit on that.

    Evidence?

    Studies done in Chicago showed it was equal or lower than the population.

    But if you’ve got evidence, rather than cheap-shots, happy to see it. But i’m not going to hold me breath and will rack up your cheap-shot to your prejudice.

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  49. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    V2:

    Unfortunately many of those bound by the religious faith don’t see the need to speak up.

    And some do.

    http://anglicantaonga.org.nz/News/TIKANGA-PAKEHA/Beale

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  50. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    RRM

    Hey, we’re not the ONLY ones fucking small boys up the arse

    That is an outrageously disingenuous comment. It is well documented that the vast majority of these cases involve priests giving blowjobs.

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  51. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    v2 @ 1231, for a second there I thought there was something reasonable,at last, and then came the 3rd paragraph, more angry spluttering….

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  52. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    The timing is brilliant

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/7216441/Catholic-priests-accused-of-abuse-cover-up

    DPF agreed it was a cheap shot but it had the desired effect in terms of huffing and puffing in terms of defending the indefensible.

    Just to present my credentials – born in to Catholic family, altar boy for 7 years, went to Catholic schools for 15 years, taught by the Jesuits etc. and no I’m not a Catholic (please no comments around once baptised …)

    What distinguishes the Catholic church is almost an unrealised hypocrisy. The church is the ultimate source of truth and wisdom etc etc but any failings are the failings of the individual. However, the church has consistently, and in many cases illegally, covered up serious despicable acts. This is the act of the organisation not the individual. There is no defense of this.

    In terms of behaviour of the priesthood I knew of priests who literally are ‘saints’, individuals who almost make you want to be a better person by the behaviour but there was a surprisingly significant minority whose ‘failings’ (cue irony) made them utterly unsuited for the priesthood. The church does not deal to these.

    Examples such the long term and known abuse at Upholland (priest training college – friend of mine went there – then left as he didn’t fancy sodomy as a training tool), the priest who used to get drunk on his rounds and ran over two people on two separate occasions (being a good Catholic city the cops didn’t report it and the victims did not want make the church look bad – he had to mount the kerb to get one of his targets) spring to mind.

    The Catholic church is an organisation that has poorly served Catholics.

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  53. Longknives (4,953 comments) says:

    Well.well,well- Only a couple of days ago the resident Kiwiblog ‘Catholic Bashers’ were claiming that ALL Catholic Priests were child molesters who liked little boys. She looks well and truly female and safely over the age of consent to me!

    Top work Monsignor! Keep proving the bastards wrong…

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  54. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Longknives

    I promised Lucia a more credible response from the new Catholic moderator (see 11.17).

    That is exactly what we got. Well done.

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  55. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    It’s almost pointless arguing on a blog with people whose view of the Catholic church is informed by Hollywood, the MSM, and “a Catholic that I once knew at University”, and whose understanding of basic philosophical arguments is so very poor.

    With regard to “hypocrisy” what do you mean? Can you really say Bishop XYZ is a hypocrite, so therefore the entire Catholic Church is hypocritical? Please. How about weighting it up against the hundreds of millions of selfless Catholics on the planet, and the millions of Catholics priests, monks and nuns, who have given up their lives to serve others.

    Further, if any of these critics bothered to engage their brain and read what the church teaches and how most churches have dealt with the sexual abuse issues or go talk to the local Catholic priest you’d be far more informed. But you won’t because you’d rather believe your prejudices are correct and justified.

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  56. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @longknives

    “Priests were child molesters who liked little boys.”

    While I have read a few of those stories, few of those ‘little boys’ seem to be prepubescent boys so I don’t know if you can call them child molesters. Especially because a great number of ‘enlightened’ countries have now set the age of ‘consent’ at 13-14 years.

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  57. Dick Gozinya (19 comments) says:

    Hey, dont blame the Catholics, blame the I-talians and her bikini

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  58. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    Er Dick, he’s Argentinian.

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  59. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    To Up tight catholic boys and wack job females…

    Stop being so bloody sensitive

    A bishop found a great set of tits, good on him, better that than a life a frustration and being lonely.

    And Lucia saying..The problem is that there are a number of older priests who came into the priesthood at a time when it was thought that the Church would fall into line with the world and drop the celibacy requirement….

    What an absolute load of rubbish, I’m 51 brought up catholic and at no time in all that time has there been any serious consideration given to priest marrying. I do know thye have lost many good guys because of this rule.

    lastly, sexual offending in the church has been rife, had a “Brother” in my family got covered up nicely, his punishment was taken out of the Hutt Valley and sent to Rome, ( personally i would have thought he Hutt Valley was punishment enough.)

    All organisations have freaks, whats really pissing me off is the Lucia’s pontificating – live your life the way you want- do not try and force your standards/ phobias/ superstitions on to others – her pontificating is the exact opposite of any christian view that I have come across.

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  60. Lucia Maria (2,652 comments) says:

    DPF,

    [DPF: Sadly the proportion of Catholic priests who have sex with under age boys is far greater than the proportion for all men. And let us not start on the cover ups]

    Your statement needs to be qualified. I would agree if you said, “Sadly the proportion of Catholic priests, in the West, who are accused of sex with under-age teenagers and children are far more likely to have sex with under-age boys than the general population.” That might actually be so because most of the sexual abuse that priests have been accused of has been against boys.

    However, in comparing the rate of sexual abuse in the population (mostly perpetuated by men, btw), it is far higher in the States at least for teachers (by a factor of 100x) than for priests. See the Shakeshaft Report for more information on this.

    The problem is with these constant cheap shots is that in the mind of most people, every Catholic priest is suspect. For the vast majority of Catholic priests who do not abuse boys, this is incredibly unfair. Especially since now that litigation has been underway for a while against the Church for historical sex abuse claims whereby the all the evidence to get a payout has been reduced to, oh he’s a priest, he must be guilty. Making it very easy for scammers to get money and for innocent priests to be found guilty.

    Have a look at this story: Los Angeles Attorney Declares Rampant Fraud, Many Abuse Claims Against Catholic Priests are ‘Entirely False’. It looks like a number of ‘victims’ have come forward just to claim a payout.

    What I find interesting is how differently child abuse is considering depending on who was thought to have done it. If a Catholic priest is accused, the pitchforks come out. For anyone else, even if that abuse is recent, the response is far more muted.

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  61. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    How I love this thread.

    Apart from the usual suspects (Lucia and Co) the rest of the left footers seem to accept that their church has issues that the vatican has continued to cover up for decades.

    Well done you lot. Now..if I could only open your mind to the fact that there is no sky fairy the world would be a much better place.

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  62. Lucia Maria (2,652 comments) says:

    What an absolute load of rubbish, I’m 51 brought up catholic and at no time in all that time has there been any serious consideration given to priest marrying. I do know thye have lost many good guys because of this rule.

    I heard this directly from a priest who was ordained in 70’s in NZ and that was his impression at the time. I’ve read other priests online who have said the same thing.

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  63. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    big bruv:

    And if only I could open your mind to the fact that God is real, the world really would be a better place.

    But I won’t hassle you about your failure (in my mind) if you don’t hassle me about my failure (in your mind). Ok?

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  64. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    graham

    Feeling a bit unsure are you?……Tell you what. provide me with one concrete piece of evidence that your God exists and I will sign up tomorrow.

    You have never hassled me about my logical conclusion as far as I am aware. All I have ever asked of those who lack the ability to think logically is for them to keep their middle eastern superstition to themselves. Sadly, Lucia and co refuse to do that.

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  65. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    Nope, not unsure in the least.

    I could explain to you the logical reasoning that has led me to believe in God, and that as far as I can see anybody who doesn’t believe in God is making a far bigger leap of faith than ever I have. I could politely request that you stop using terms such as ‘sky fairy’ and ‘superstition’ to cover up the fact that you lack the ability to put aside your pre-conceived ideas and prejudices and really think things through logically.

    But somehow, I don’t think either of us are going to convince the other, do you?

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  66. Longknives (4,953 comments) says:

    Big Bruv -“the left footers seem to accept that their church has issues that the vatican has continued to cover up for decades.”

    Issues? How in the hell is a bloke in his late 50s frolicking with a much younger woman in a skimpy bikini “Issues”??

    This is the kind of church I WANT to be part of- Jesus you Athiests are an uptight and boring bunch!!

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  67. Tauhei Notts (1,687 comments) says:

    Best Post; Nasska at 12.14.
    Second; Don The Kiwi at 12.00

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  68. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @graham

    I was taught at Catholic school that there is no proof of God’s existence and that the whole point was one needed faith.

    Even Thomas Aquinas later admitted that his proofs weren’t really proofs.

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  69. East Wellington Superhero (1,139 comments) says:

    @ big bruv

    “Apart from the usual suspects (Lucia and Co) the rest of the left footers seem to accept that their church has issues that the vatican has continued to cover up for decades.”

    I am not for a moment arguing that “the Vatican” is without fault. All we’re asking for is some constant analysis of this issue. When it comes to sexual abuse issues we hear nothing about its prevalence in public schools in which it’s worse. We also get a ridiculous exaggeration of the extent to which these abuses occurred in the Church. There is never any acknowledgment that in places such as Ireland, civil authorities were part of the problem. Further to that, there is never any acknowledgment by critics that not only has the Church apologised at a local and global level, but systems have been in place for years to safeguard against these things happening.

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  70. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Is this a good time to mention the Hawking series just starting on the Discovery channel?

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  71. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    graham

    There is nothing logical about believing in a higher being.

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  72. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    slijmbal: I agree.

    big bruv: I don’t agree.

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  73. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    It’s sick to see the Roman Catholics come out in force and claim:

    1. The Catholic Church was not worse than others.

    2. We didn’t know, if we had known, we would have acted.

    3. They have procedures in place to prevent it now.

    The problem is not that there was a priest abusing a kid, the problem was the cover up. Just a few quotes. The Murphy Report:

    The Commission has no doubt that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Church authorities”.

    And:

    The structures and rules of the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up.”

    It’s the aided and abetted abuse that’s the problem. And very sad if people simply don’t want to admit that.

    Gerald Fitzgerald reported child abuse to his superiors in the 40s!!!! In 1957 he wrote:

    We are amazed to find how often a man who would be behind bars if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura animarum.

    It’s easy to go on. It’s the systematic nature of the abuse. Really Lucia, comparing cover up by a school, you think that has any weight? If the Ministry of Education that the cover up, that would be something. But your priests were raping children in every country.

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  74. cha (4,138 comments) says:

    Read it and shudder.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-silence/timeline/

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  75. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Personally I don’t understand why some make false sex abuse allegations against priests. Maybe they think that it is merely enough to make an allegation, who needs proof?

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/irish-broadcaster-faces-penalties-after-falsely-accusing-priest-of-rape/

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  76. Fost (84 comments) says:

    @ Lucia Maria

    To quote: “The problem is with these constant cheap shots is that in the mind of most people, every Catholic priest is suspect. For the vast majority of Catholic priests who do not abuse boys, this is incredibly unfair.”

    Have you considered as long as the Catholic Church continues to only take part in investigations when they are forced to – usually by it becoming news, we (the general public) can legitimately suspect all priests, as if one is an offender, the church hierarchy will have covered up rather than exposed their crime(s). In the same way there was a legitimate outrage about the entertainer that had name suppression as ‘he made people laugh’, the Catholic Church’s cover ups are seen in the same light.

    What has made it worse is their method of dealing with it in house only moved a sexual predator priest on to ‘new hunting grounds’ – there seems to be no consideration of protecting the vulnerable in the congregation from the priest, but seemingly only done to protect the church from negative publicity. Thus, unlike in most other churches, where the hierarchy is far less regimented, a sexual predator in service is outed and the effect localised, those in the Catholic Church are moved to another location, with no (or very lax) controls to prevent re-offending. I suspect you would be upset if a known sexual predator moved into the neighbourhood next to a school, but the Catholic Church hierarchy certainly appears to condone this action.

    The criticism (at least my one) is directed at the organisation called the Catholic Church – the bishops all the way to the Pope – that seem to continually deny there is any wrong doing until they have to have their collective faces rubbed in it – even as they know it is/was going on, often in the area they were responsible for, and even the cover-up arranged by the very same people.

    To make this ‘go away’ is easy, the Pope needs to get up and state:
    – that yes it has happened, and even now it does still happen,
    – but it is not acceptable any longer
    – ALL complaints will be handed over to investigated by the police, with full disclosure without withholding anything relevant.
    – ALL priests found to be a sexual predator will be defrocked and excommunicated,
    – but also the Catholic Church will be PROACTIVE – i.e. go through all their files, everywhere and all priest having confessed to a superior of sexual predatory activity will be ‘outed’ even without a complaint from the abused, and be defrocked/excommunicated. Given the number that has already come to light I would want to see a fair deal more – as I am sure there are any number that have gotten away with this sort of behaviour only because the victim is dead or does not want to make a complaint.

    For me personally, I believe the Pope (and at least a large majority of the other senior bishops) are too interested in protecting the Catholic Church than the preventing abuse and creation of more victims and we will not see anything even approaching this in my or your lifetime.

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  77. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    kowtow (2,130) Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    v2 @ 1231, for a second there I thought there was something reasonable,at last, and then came the 3rd paragraph, more angry spluttering….

    Spot on the money as usual.
    That’s why the Vikings kicked the Popes arse all the way to Rome. didn’t like the duplicitous bastards.
    and before you pick on me My Family have been some of the top in the Catholic Church in NZ. Fortunately some of us had a better upbringing and left the mafia.

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  78. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Many sex complaints against priests may be false or fraudulent…

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/attorney-claims-as-many-as-half-of-priest-abuse-accusations-are-fraudulent/

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  79. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @graham

    I now invoke Occam’s razor.

    If believing in God requires faith as opposed to proof then a universe that just is without the need for a prime creator is simpler than one that needs a prime creator who happens to also just exist. It is actually less logical to believe in God.

    It was a Jesuit school and we had a religious lesson every single day. We discussed this at enormous length with lots of priests with religious doctorates (Jesuits are the clever priests) and even they agreed any logical rationale for believing in God is less logical than not believing in God. That was the whole point. If it was more logical to believe in God that affected your free will and free will to choose is paramount in Catholicism. Any ‘evidence’ of God would undermine free will. It’s all down to faith.

    Mind you I was also taught if I die with a mortal sin on my soul I went to Hell no matter how good a person I had been. Missing mass on Sunday without good cause was a mortal sin. Trying to justify any religion and its rules and strictures on a logical basis is pretty much a losing cause except for the faithful.

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  80. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    slijmbal: You may have noticed, I generally don’t try to defend any religion. Religion is a man-made construct, and as such fallible.

    I believe in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit – who were around long before anybody made up a religion around them.

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  81. MrTips (103 comments) says:

    [DPF: Sadly the proportion of Catholic priests who have sex with under age boys is far greater than the proportion for all men. And let us not start on the cover ups]

    And your evidence for this is? Oh that’s right ………none.

    Meanwhile someone who knows what they’re talking about: http://www.psychwww.com/psyrelig/plante.html

    Man, its so hard to take you or Slater seriously on anything these days.

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  82. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @graham

    I was just pointing out that your statement it is more logical to believe in God or a higher being was incorrect IMHO

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  83. David Garrett (7,700 comments) says:

    slijmbal: Just to clarify things…Lucia helpfully informed us recently that missing mass on Sunday without a sufficient excuse is STILL a mortal sin…but it’s a bit like the death penalty….they can only hang you once…

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  84. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    cha

    You are not helping any prospect of reconciliation here.

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  85. chiz (1,174 comments) says:

    Besides covering up child abuse, there also examples like this. An indian skeptic discovers that water coming from a statue isn’t holy water, but is instead just coming from a leaky drain. Now the church has laid charges against him for “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community”.

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  86. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    From memory

    pornography, lying, masturbation, gluttony, alcoholism (quite a few priests I knew would be guilty of this), homosexuality (should I mention priests?), sex outside of marriage (priests?), divorce and greed were all mortal sins. Using a condom may also be a mortal sin – need to check that one. The pill definitely was.

    You’re all going to Hell.

    Just checking. Do heathens i.e. non-Catholics still go to Hell?

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  87. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    slijmbal

    Yes we do, but only when we die. Whereas Catholics have to live there as well.

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  88. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    slijmbal at 3:58 pm:

    That’s fine – your implication that it isn’t logical to believe in God or a higher being is the one that’s incorrect, in my humble opinion. I personally don’t see how anyone who is reasonably intelligent, observant, and able to consider all aspects of the world and indeed the wider universe that we live in objectively and without prejudice, can not believe in some higher being. But there you go.

    And as I said to big bruv – somehow, I don’t think either of us are going to convince the other that they’re wrong.

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  89. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Just put your lips around this and give me 20 Our Fathers…

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  90. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @graham

    “I personally don’t see how anyone who is reasonably intelligent, observant, and able to consider all aspects of the world and indeed the wider universe that we live in objectively and without prejudice, can not believe in some higher being”

    mmm that really is a nonsense statement as many intelligent, observant etc people don’t believe in a higher being. The fact you don’t see how they couldn’t says more about your faith and world view than other people’s beliefs.

    What you are really saying is you believe (you have faith) and don’t get why others don’t

    I actually gave a justification why it is less logical to believe in a higher being – you just stated I am incorrect.

    You’re right in that I have no expectation you will change your opinion – this dialogue is really for 3rd parties.

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  91. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    chiz (465) Says:
    July 4th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Besides covering up child abuse, there also examples like this. An indian skeptic discovers that water coming from a statue isn’t holy water, but is instead just coming from a leaky drain. Now the church has laid charges against him for “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community”.

    So that’s where the Hori’s learnt from. :lol:

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  92. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    How can anyone beleive a culture that allows a person to commit heinous offenses of all kinds, roll into the confession box, bare their sinns, pay the Church and roll on out and committ the same offemnses again and agin until the next confession.

    What sort of moral bullshit is that behavoir.

    And don’t even begin to tell me it doesn’t happen because it sure as hell does.

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  93. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    V2
    As you are from top Catholics you should be able to answer those dumb arse questions you pose @649.

    mr tips @354 good on you. Like I say ,prejudice.

    seamus mac stephen:

    Argie? Nope, they might all be “dagos”. But I reckon there’s no ethnicity that’s Argentinian …judging by his name he’s an Eyetie.

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  94. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Lucia
    July 4th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I heard this directly from a priest who was ordained in 70′s in NZ and that was his impression at the time. I’ve read other priests online who have said the same thing……………………………………………..

    So Lucia you are saying this wet brain that spoke to you joined up because he had heard a rumour that after a couple of years priest would be able to marry, and thought he’d just get a head start on his training….dear oh bloody dear. This would be the same 70’s where a school friend left the priesthood because he was so bloody lonely and could see no end in sight to this loneliness because he was never going to be able to marry.

    There are millions of catholics ( and muslims and buddists, my favourites, ) out there who find comfort in their beliefs, good on them they don’t bother me with their beliefs and I don’t bother them regards them- I have a belief system as well, but its mine ,its not something I have to share with the world to validate that belief system.

    The only thing I do know that your vanity in your pontificating is very very unchristian and boring as all batshit

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  95. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    graham

    I personally don’t see how anyone who is reasonably intelligent, observant, and able to consider all aspects of the world and indeed the wider universe that we live in objectively and without prejudice, can not believe in some higher being.

    That’s trowelling it on a bit thick. Stephen Hawking is only one example of someone who likely to meets all those criteria yet indicated his personal disappointment at the notion of a divine creator being disproven.

    Ultimately that’s why it can only be about faith. Those who have it won’t ever be able to prove the existence of the devine being, whereas the boffins can prove the absence of one (assuming one is able to understand what they are talking about).

    That’s it right there: faith or no faith. (heaven or damnation :D )

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  96. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    oh look all judges are sickos

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/330625/Fury-as-soft-judge-lets-youth-who-sexually-assaulted-girl-5-go-free

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  97. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    kowtow

    the judges only problem has been a life times exposure to the Labour Party

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  98. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    That’s right kowtow, go on and remind us that it’s not just catholic priests that are the molesters. That makes it all right.

    Seriously, is there any other institution with a worse record of abuse, denial and cover ups than the catholic church?

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  99. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    oh look the police and social services ignored this…….doesn’t matter they’re not fucken catholics

    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/police_vow_to_learn_lessons_over_child_sex_grooming_prosecutions_1_3990400

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  100. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    milktitties

    As a human institution it will be full of the whole gamut of human experience,from the very worst to the very best.

    You just keep focusing on the very worst,and that’s what makes you and the rest of the bigots here what you are ,narrow minded arse holes.

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  101. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,495 comments) says:

    It isn’t a cheap shot at all. It’s hilarious because the Catholic church is full of sexual depravity. Be it from their immeasurable pleasure of raping little boys to the rather odd practise of “corporal mortification” that the hardliners love to use. Considering they love their boys, and consider women to be 2nd rate within their flock, it’s ironic that our resident jesus basher, Lucia Maria is so hardline in her support of them.

    The sad thing isn’t that the cathoilics like their buggering, it’s the practise of them covering it all up and denying it. What’s worse is that in their world, all they need to do is ask another priest to forgive them and it’s all forgotten in their eyes. A sick sick sick religion that makes them as bad if not worse than radical muslims.

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  102. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    oh look comrades the Chinese tie up their children in orphanages and let them die,but thats OK cos the catholics bugger theirs.

    Let’s just talk about those left footers cos or some strange reason we hate Catholics

    http://www.taliacarner.com/thedyingroomsspecialreport.html

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  103. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Viking2, don’t foregt the sale of indulgences and the Sistine Chapel. How can anyone defend that???

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  104. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Kowtow, do you have the same attitude towards the Chinese, and the Free Trade Agreement?

    Or are you only pointing the finger, cos you are embarrassed of the Catholic Church and need a distraction?

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  105. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    Hey kowtow, we all know there are plenty of evil people and institutions in the world, but you will just have to resign yourself to the fact that the catholic church are at the top of that particular tree.
    Well, right up there with the scouts:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scouting_sex_abuse_cases#United_States
    Ooops, there I go, just like you.

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  106. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    jonnowanks

    How can anyone defend that?

    I think you should be referring to St Peters Basillica,not the Sistine Chapel.
    In respect of ST Peters and indulgences just look at the fucken building you prick,it defends itself,it is part of western culture aand history. Built on the back of peasants hard work and sacrifice,like the rest of the west, Problem? or are you a fucken communist?

    Look at any building from the old days and it’s built on one form or other of “exploitation”

    p.s no one would defend the selling of indulgences today.so fuck off and find a bugger or two,

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  107. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    milky,jonno

    read back wankers.

    I make no excuses for the appalling behaviour of clergy and hierarchy.

    I don’t agree with you about top of tree.

    Don the kiwi at 1200 puts it most eloquently.

    specifically ,All human institutions have their problems, some more than others. I am not seeking to deflect from the disgusting homosexual and pedofile behaviour of clergy and hierarchy cover ups. I am pointing out the bigotry of a cabal of kb commentators and indeed host who jump on every opportunity to highlight specifically Roman catholic abuse,That is bigotry.

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  108. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    oh look nutters in Aotearoa were abused,who cares,the fucen whacko Catholics can be focussed on

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1206/S00314/govt-indifference-to-institutionalised-abuse-filmmaker.htm

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  109. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Kowtow, no, I am referring to the Sistine Chapel, which was also built on the money raised from the sale of indulgences.

    Please calm down, no need to get angry. What’s up, a bit precious about defending the wrongs of the Catholic Church. Must be nice to be so angry and still have faith. Are you going to go confess and tell god how sorry you are about getting so flustered when you get behind a computer screen?

    ‘find a bugger or two,’ sorry, I am not priest.

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  110. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    jonobwanks
    Not sure what u’re gettin’ at there about the chinese.
    Tell ya what though,national and Labour were a bunch of lying bastards saying the Celestials were a free open economy.But of course we were first and got some diddly little advantage from the Commos,not sure what though.
    I reckon there’s alot of people in the Nats who got something pout of it though.
    Fancy doing business with the genocidal commies who literally hang their orphans out to dry
    but that’s OK we can ping the left footers.

    And Catholics are called hypocrites?

    Remember you heard it from kowtow.We kt to our coom Chinese masters and Wellington is full of it, But lets ping the fucken Catholics.

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  111. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    You seem like a sad old man, Kowtow. Why so angry? Why so rude? Does god want you to be this angry? Have you even read the bible? Do you even understand the messages behind you religion?

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  112. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    kowtow

    Extremisim brings it out and when you have a self appointed spokesman in Lucia talking also sorts of horrible crap and lets be honest some of her stuff is totally fucking out there, you will bring out severe critisim.

    Now I am a Catholic, a very poor one mind you and but I am totally totally opposed to 99.9 % of anything she writes here and on NZ Conservative she gives catholicisim and all western religions a bad name.

    She is totally unchrisitian in the majority of her views. Her fundlementalist thinking is sad and abhorrent at the same time .

    The Catholic church in its covering up has made itself an easy target and it fucking deserves every bit of shit that comes it way. The catholic Church administration as opposed to a branch of western religion is bloated and corrupt.

    So don’t be so bloody sensitive regards comments made, Kiwi Blog will move onto the homos’ or the rag heads or the fat or the socailist by the end of the week.

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  113. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay, finally some sense…

    Like I said, I think god is made up, but I don’t care if you believe it. I just think it is sad that some Catholics as so quick to defend the wrongs of the church, and some here are so aggressive to those that criticise these wrongs. It doesn’t seem to me that these so called Catholics are good at following the teachings of their faith.

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  114. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    PEB

    I don’t see myself as being sensitive. I’m taking a stand against bigotry.Most of the arseholes who regularly post here pretend to be about equality,that’s a lie.They are like adolescent teens who jump in at every opportunity to point out only the wrong ,it’s neither balanced nor considered. At no point have I ever and never will I condone or defend the disgusting shit that has happened in the church.Read wot I’ve said,you won’t find it!

    But this site and it;s host is generally anti catholic.PiusxII a case in point. Many of the regular posters here are bigots.I’m not going to let that pass.
    So a bishop bonks a bird,what the fuck has that got to do with choir boys?

    I don’t make a secret of being RC,I’m no saint,few are.And like yorself nor am I a regular. But fuck me I’m not going to leave the field uncontested.

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  115. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    slijmbal at 6:09 pm:

    I actually gave a justification why it is less logical to believe in a higher being – you just stated I am incorrect.

    Fair call. Ok, here is one of the justifications I would give as to why it is more logical to believe in a higher being – it’s basically in creation all around us – or, if you like, nature, the Universe, life, and so on. I look at the incredible delicacy and intricacy of a flower, or a leaf, or the fur on a cat. The power and majesty of a lion, or a cheetah. The amazing adaptiveness and uniqueness of animals and creatures such as, say, bar-headed geese which are specially adapted to fly at extremely high altitude. Then multiply all that uniqueness, delicacy, intricacy, power, majesty, and awesomeness out millions upon millions of times to include all plant, marine, and animal life on the earth, and then out infinitely more throughout an infinite Universe which (I believe) is almost certain to contain life elsewhere, even if it is just basic organisms. Even if there is no life elsewhere, I still marvel at the scope and breadth of the Universe, and all the wonders that science can only begin to glimpse with our limited technology.

    I cannot believe that this all just “happened”. Evolution could account for some of the adaptiveness and uniqueness, sure. The Big Bang could possibly be a starting point – but only a start, and no more.

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  116. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    jonno are you thick or what?

    where have i defended any shit?

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  117. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    Now off to bed for me – I, unlike TGM ™ have work in the morning. :)

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  118. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Yikes. Melt down alert.

    Simmer down old thing. You’re only getting agitated because you just can’t see the point.

    “There are none so blind as a left footer with his tits in a tangle”

    St thedavincimode

    4 July 1132 AD.

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  119. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Well, no I aint thick, I choose what. You are defending the church, by claiming others are just as bad.

    ‘But fuck me I’m not going to leave the field uncontested.’

    Why so angry, god wont like it… lucky your religion says you can be so angry and still say sorry at the end and ‘get in to heaven’.. must be nice.

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  120. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    How dare you claim that copyright graham, you god-fearing bastard.

    Gimme back my copywight.

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  121. jonnobanks (148 comments) says:

    Just for Kowtow…

    http://humortrain.com/post/26483585667?ref=nf

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  122. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    dvm
    with tits like hers (the bird in the photo) you could be blind and it wouldn’t matter.As long as you’re not a Muzzie with your hands cut off.

    Now there’s a culture that understands punishment.

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  123. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    Still at it kowtow? Now it’s muslims who are worse, is it?

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  124. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    Now there’s a culture that understands punishment

    Not as much as Florida where an 18 year old armed robber has only recently got 162 years without parole for his first conviction. By all accounts he isn’t very happy.

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  125. mikenmild (12,355 comments) says:

    He still has his hands though, doesn’t he?

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  126. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    milktits

    ok for dpf to make joks about pedofile rape( which is a crime),but i can’t mention alegal sanction in the muslim world?
    That;s another tactic isn’t it, Shut the right wing catholics down.

    oh well dvm,
    good to know you’re a crim hugger, violent crime is a big issue there. any details?

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  127. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,495 comments) says:

    PaulEastBay – banged it right on the head. Lucia Maria is the most hateful nasty christian I have ever had the misfortune to read. Her blog posts border on obsessive about “sexual behaviour” and homosexuals. She and her mates are not right wing, they believe that the church is the one that must be followed – just as the state is boss for the left.

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  128. graham (2,348 comments) says:

    thedavincimode at 9:39 pm

    Sowwy :(

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  129. Fletch (6,528 comments) says:

    Geee, how did I miss this thread yesterday?

    Brendan O’Neill has a very good article at spiked! about how the numbers of abused is greatly inflated by the media in both America and Ireland. I agree that any abuse is wrong, but so is inflating numbers.

    The term ‘paedophile priest’ has become such a part of everyday cultural lingo that most people, when they read in last week’s relatively respectable UK Independent that ‘over 10,000 children have come forward to say they were raped [by Catholic priests]’, would probably think, ‘Yeah, that’s possible’. But it isn’t true. The Independent was referring to a study commissioned in 2002 by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was published in 2004 under the heading ‘The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States’. This study covered the period of 1950 to 2002, and it did indeed find that 10,000 individuals in the US – 10,667, to be precise – had made allegations of sexual abuse against priests (against 4,392 priests in total, around four per cent of the 109,694 Catholic priests active in the US between 1950 and 2002). But this doesn’t mean that these 10,000 ‘[came] forward to say they were raped’.

    The 10,667 made various allegations, ranging from verbal abuse (being forced to indulge in sex talk) to being shown pornography to being touched by a priest over or under their clothing. Then there were the more serious allegations, which included being coerced into mutual masturbation, oral sex and, in some instances, rape. Yet where 3,553 of the individuals claimed to have been touched over their clothing and 3,981 to have been touched under their clothing, a smaller number claimed to have been subjected to what is described in the report as ‘penile penetration or attempted penile penetration’, that is rape or attempted rape; 990 boys and 213 girls made this allegation – a total of 1,203 individuals, not 10,000.

    Moreover, if we are serious about such Enlightened ideals as justice and equality before the law, then we have to accept the fact that not all of these allegations were ultimately proven to be true. Out of the 10,000-plus allegations made against priests in America, 3,300 were not investigated at all because they were made after the accused priest had died (surely even the most riled anti-pope commentator accepts that a man who is no longer around to defend himself cannot be convicted of a crime). Of the 4,392 priests in America who were accused of sexual abuse in the period of 1950 to 2002, 1,021 were investigated by the police, and of these, 384 were charged, of whom 252 were convicted. So around six per cent of all American priests who had allegations made against them were finally convicted. (Of course there are many reasons for this relatively tiny number of convictions: some alleged victims were pressured to keep quiet; some (25 per cent in the US) didn’t make their allegations for more than 30 years after the alleged incident occurred; and in some instances there was just a lack of evidence.)

    So nothing like 10,000 individuals in America ‘say they were raped’ by Catholic priests. In truth, 1,203 made this allegation. And not all of them resulted in a conviction. Every allegation of rape should be treated seriously, of course, but what happened to the idea of innocent until proven guilty? How did a complex US report about all manner of allegations against priests come to be translated in the words of the Independent into the idea that ‘over 10,000 people have come forward to say they were raped [by priests]’? Because in the outlook of certain sections of the intolerant New Atheist lobby, everything from sex talk to fondling to being shown a porn flick is ‘rape’ – if it’s done by a priest, that is – and every priest is guilty of what he is accused of despite the question of whether or not he was convicted in a court of law.

    Read the whole thing –
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/9548/

    And yes, as Lucia said, The Shakeshaft report commissioned by the US Education authorities in 2004 showed ” “… the physical sexual abuse of students in [public] schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by [Catholic] priests.”

    There has been a lot of criticism about priests being moved away to other parishes wehere they can abuse again, but the same thing happened in schools –

    In 1994, Shakeshaft published a report based on a four-year study of 225 sexual abuse complaints—184 in New York State and 41 in other states—against teachers made to federal authorities from 1990 to 1994.[3] She found that “All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.”

    In 2004, Shakeshaft published Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature for the United States Department of Education.[2] The report indicated that nearly 10% of U.S. public school students, or 4.5 million students, had been the victims of sexual harassment, rape or sexual abuse. The review described the prevalence of educator sexual misconduct, offender characteristics, targets of educator sexual misconduct, and recommendations for prevention of educator sexual misconduct.[2]

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