Dissident Female Catholic Bishop Calls for Pope to Resign over Sex Abuse Scandal

The following transcript comes from the liberal radio news magazine Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman. This is a program that I am pretty familiar with. It was a favorite prior to my returning Home. In general terms I respect the Democracy Now! team for not pulling any punches (most of the time) and treating all manner of authority with the same level of skepticism.

The guest, topic and tempo are all in line with the usual but since Ms. Goodman feels the need to seek the opinion of a “dissident female Catholic bishop” rather than asking a person like Fr. John Corapi, Sister Rosiland Moss, Fr. Vincent Serpa, Fr. Robert Barron, Johnnette Benkovic, etc. (Oh how I wish Mother Angelica were well enough to make a visit to this show if she would even consider it.)

Anyway, let’s go on to the review and commentary portion of this program. A point of disclosure, I made a formatting change (used all caps for Ms. Meehan) under “Guest” in order to distinguish my emphasis from the original text:

March 29, 2010

Dissident Female Catholic Bishop Calls for Pope to Resign over Sex Abuse Scandal

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The Vatican has denied a series of media reports alleging that Pope Benedict, before being elected pontiff, may have looked the other way in cases of abuse in his native Germany and in the United States. Last week, the Vatican strongly defended its decision not to defrock the Wisconsin-based priest Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused some 200 deaf boys in the 1950s and ’60s. The National Catholic Reporter says the Pope must be ready to answer questions and called the scandal “the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history.” [The National Catholic Reporter is one of those magazines not loyal to the Church. Just read and you will see. For a more balanced look check out the National Catholic Register and Jimmy Akin’s recent blog post concerning the Wisconsin scandal.]  We speak to Bridget Mary Meehan, spokesperson for Roman Catholic Womenpriests. [includes rush transcript]

Guest:

BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN, former Catholic nun who is now a spokesperson for Roman Catholic Womenpriests. In 2006, Meehan was ordained as a priest by three female bishops. She is now a bishop, though her ordination is not recognized by the Vatican. [First, “former” Catholic anything is a sure clue that this individual flirting with the Antichrist (1 John 2:18-23, 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 1:4-11). Second, referring to Ms. Meehan as a bishop is lunacy. It is made clear the ordination is not valid. The reasons for this are because she is a) female and thus unable to act in persona Cristi and b) those who “ordained” her were also invalidly ordained bishops. So if I were to go on Ms. Goodman’s show and claiming myself to the be the actual president of the US – would she refer to me as President Lozeerose, the unrecognized US leader?]

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the sexual abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church in both Europe and the United States that’s enveloping Pope Benedict XVI. As questions emerge over the Pope’s role in covering up clerical abuse, protesters in London called for his resignation. The National Catholic Reporter says the Pope must be ready to answer questions and called the scandal, quote, “the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history.”

The eighty-two-year-old Pope opened Holy Week at his Palm Sunday service in the Vatican without any direct mention of the scandal. [Because Holy Week is a celebration of Christ’s Passion not a place for remarks about any scandal.] But he did suggest he would not be, quote, “intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion.”

    POPE BENEDICT XVI: [translated] Man can choose an easy road, pushing aside all efforts. He can even fall to the lowest vulgar levels and sink into a swamp of sin and dishonesty. Jesus walks ahead of us and on a high path he encourages us towards that is pure and great, towards a life of truth, towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion, towards the patience of supporting others. [Right on B16!]

    AMY GOODMAN: The Vatican has denied a series of media reports alleging that Pope Benedict, before being elected pontiff, may have looked the other way in cases of abuse in his native Germany and in the United States. Last week the Vatican strongly defended its decision not to defrock the Wisconsin-based priest Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused some 200 deaf boys starting in the 1950s. Internal documents show Vatican officials, including Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—then the Church’s top doctrinal official, now Pope Benedict—knew of the allegations but didn’t act. [This is a misrepresentation of the facts and I would refer to Jimmy Akin’s post for clarification.]

    On Thursday, Gigi Budzinski said her father was one of the deaf boys who was molested by Father Murphy.

      GIGI BUDZINSKI: He hopes they do something. I believe somebody should be punished for this. His innocence was stolen from him, his childhood. He was very depressed. He was not happy. He couldn’t enjoy his childhood. Everything was stolen from him. And now he’s sixty-one years old, and he’s still fighting for this. [So was mine. But Faith in Jesus brings only good. “Let not your heart be troubled (Jn 14:1); trust perfectly in the grace which is offered you in the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pt 1:13). It is through His Divine Mercy and Love that I came to find some peace concerning my own abuse through forgiveness. There is a need for justice but not at the expense of losing one’s soul. That is the implication being made here. Hopefully, the man in question here has trusted in the Lord and it is only his daughter that is speaking for herself.]

      AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more on this story, I’m joined now from Tampa, Florida [Great. I grew up here and now there is another reason why I liken Tampa to tiny Babylon.] by Bridget Mary Meehan. She’s a former Catholic nun who’s now a spokesperson for Roman Catholic Womenpriests. [Woe to these people and their supporters. The same goes for those within the Church who abuse their authority. They will have lots of explaining to do.] In 2006, Meehan was ordained as a priest by three female bishops. She’s now a bishop, though her ordination is not recognized by the Vatican. In a recent article, she calls for accountability within the Church [As we all do.] and the creation of an independent truth commission. [I think that is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I trust them more than I do Ms. Meehan.]

      Welcome to Democracy Now!, Bridget Mary Meehan. How massive is this crisis right now?

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: Thank you, Amy. It’s very wonderful to be with you.

      AMY GOODMAN: How serious is this crisis right now for the Church?

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: This is very, very serious, because standards of accountability must apply from the top down. There needs to be an entire shake-up of the whole Catholic system. [Not an unexpected statement.] And we need to begin by truth-telling. Roman Catholic Womenpriests are calling for a truth commission, made up of the non-ordained, the victims, and people of integrity, to examine the crisis in its implications for Church structure, for renewal, for reform. [Here is where their personal desires become manifest. In any event, something like this would scandalize all further thus showing the true nature of the enemy.] And we believe that any structural change must include the end of mandatory celibacy, married priest, and women priest. [This is not Christ-centered. This is something that would oppose God.] We must really change the way the Church does business and become a more accountable, open, transparent and just Church. [No human is going to alter what God wants for His Church. She is already all of these things. But anything she does will never be enough to appease the unfaithful. That is why 1 John 2:19 comes to mind.]

      AMY GOODMAN: Can you lay out for us the scope of what is understood right now? What has happened in Germany, in Ireland, in Europe and in the United States?

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: The main thing that has happened is a betrayal of Catholics. [To a certain degree I agree. However, the Church herself has never let any true Catholic down.] Catholics have faith—have had faith in their leaders, that they were people of integrity. And what has happened is they have discovered that there have been case after case of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable youth that has been covered up. And the cover-up, unfortunately, goes all the way to the top. [Unfounded speculation.] It goes to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, of which Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, headed.

      And the Lawrence Murphy case in Wisconsin showed that the Vatican actually ignored the bishops of Wisconsin, who asked for a defrocking of Father Murphy, who, allegations said, abused up to 200 children. And Father Murphy went to Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote a letter to him appealing this proposed trial that would defrock him, and obviously he was allowed to continue his ministry for the next, I believe, twenty-four years of being with vulnerable children and continuing the abuse. [There is always more here. Again, check out the Akin post.]

      So what is happening is that the institutional church, in case after case, has ignored often the cries of the victims for justice. They have sided with protecting the institution from scandal and have conducted these secretive trials, beginning in 2001 [Just as secret as the Secret Archives. So secret that everyone knows about them. Yet I am sure that there is a measure of identity protection for all. This is the right of a sovereign nation and Church.], in the Vatican, these canonical trials, which the Vatican officials actually said they covered 2,000 or 3,000 cases, and 20 percent of those 3,000 cases they actually dealt with [Again, how do you know some much if they were secret?]. And a very small percentage of those priests, ten percent, I believe, according to their statistics, were even defrocked. So it was a very small number of priests have been punished. [“Defrocking, is just a one form of punishment. How about other sanctions and penance? Any information there?]

      And one of the other main things is, the Church has not really clearly said that the bishops should turn over these cases to the law enforcement to investigate. They said, “Well, we never prevented you from doing that,” but their guidelines did not tell the bishops, this is number one, turn over these cases to civil investigation. [As a invalidly ordained bishop she surely knows the reason why. It is obvious that prudence is necessary here.] And that should have happened, because justice for the victims should have been the top priority, because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s the moral thing to do, and it’s because, I believe, is what Jesus has called us to do, to be open, honest, fair and just, both to the victim and to the accused. [And scandal is always the best way of doing it.]

      AMY GOODMAN: You know, it’s quite remarkable. If a priest is discovered to be gay, he will be defrocked immediately, excommunicated. [I am no Canon lawyer but I am not sure that this is an automatic response. The only automatic excommunication, that I am aware of, is when an individual procures and/or facilitates an abortion – a direct act. That said, a “truly gay” priest would be unable to act in persona Cristi because Jesus was surely not gay – being God-man He is perfection of both natures.] But if he is an abuser of children, you see this record over and over of protecting them. I’m looking at your blog, Bridget Mary Meehan. [I did too and let me tell you that a mixture of anger, frustration and laughter welled up inside of me. Especially with a photo of a banner that said “Reclaiming our ancient heritage.” If it was so ancient then why wasn’t the Blessed Virgin Mary, ordained a priest, surely she was the most worthy of creatures?] You said, in the United States “the sex abuse scandal has destroyed the lives of victims and their families, bankrupted some dioceses and cost the Church over two billion dollars. Approximately two-thirds of sitting US bishops were alleged in 2002 to have kept accused priests in ministry or moved them to new assignments. Nineteen bishops in the United States have been accused of sexual abuse.” Why has what you’ve proposed, what you laid out at the top of this discussion, do you think this will start to deal with this issue? For example, the ordaining of women priests. [Good question. Why?]

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: Well, we already now have women priests. [Not truly Catholic of course.] We have Roman Catholic women priests in the United States. There are seventy of us in this community, and the community is growing all the time. [Let us pray for their conversion and acceptance of the True Faith – that they turn away from this grave sin.] We are setting out a renewed priestly ministry in which women are part of the community. It’s a circular model, a discipleship of equals, [Contrary to Jesus’ own words in john 13:14, “If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” The model is to serve and it is a hierarchical in nature because God is a God of order.] and accountable collaborative model where we see ourselves united with the people at the heart of the community and accountable to the people we serve. It’s not a hierarchical secretive system. [Antichrist – not the but an.]

      And bishops—and I’m one of the bishops in the southern region to serve our communities in that area of the country—our main job is to prepare qualified candidates and to communicate a renewed vision of priestly ministry that is in union with the people we serve. [The role of the bishop, whose position is the Fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, is spelled out in CCC 1555.] We do not have—we do not focus on titles or any of the—we don’t have any of this power [Truth will always come out from lies. Ms. Meehan knows she and her group do not have any authority to do these things.], and we’re not administrators. Our leadership circle is made up of others, and bishops will never be on or elected to the leadership circle of our community that do the administrative side. [So they just float around and do nothing?] So we’ve carefully structured ourselves to be a renewed kind of model that’s working within the community, not apart, not hierarchical, but part of.

      AMY GOODMAN: You have called—

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: And very much accountable.

      AMY GOODMAN: You have called for a truth commission. What exactly would that look like? [Pray tell…]

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: Well, I believe that that should be made up now internationally of people from different countries [Huh?], and the non-ordained should be a big part of that, because in canon law, unfortunately, orders and powerful leadership, decision-making is connected. [Is this any different than civil/criminal law? But again, the Church and her laws are that of God. And I trust God more than any human.] So the Church has—does not have a role for the non-ordained in a leadership position that’s decision-making at the heart of our view of Catholicism. [This does not make sense. The non-ordained people have a very powerful role within the Church – its called Marriage. What they cannot do is take on the “royal” duties of the ordained priesthood which is something that Jesus conferred on a few – men.] That needs to happen. So it needs to be made up of a decision-making body of people, and especially including the victims from these different countries, and of ordained and non-ordained. And I’d like to see married priests and women priests be part of that truth commission.

      We have got to get to the bottom of the roots of this crisis. [Sin. Desire to please oneself and not God.] And the roots go to how we do ministry and where power is in this church. [God.] And power is in the hands of an all-male leadership hierarchy [God-willed] that protects itself rather than focuses on, you know, renewing the Church and living the Gospel with the people and doing justice for all. [She just turned into my teenage self. Truly Living the Gospel is not popular and/or easy.] The protection of children should be a very high priority [Always has been – including those yet to be born.], rather than protecting its own reputation.

      So all of this needs to be dealt with, and there needs to be structures [In this context it seems she is implying hierarchy, no?] of accountability put in, where people—if there’s a complaint, there is a set of standards and groups that will investigate that. But one of the first things one would need to do is turn it over to law enforcement [I am certain there is more to it than that especially when you consider the sovereign nature of the Church and the Vatican.], and that would be a principle. These kinds of things need to happen with our church in order to really be renewed. [Renewal is coming for sure! :)] We need a reformation, a new Pentecost [If you recall Christ sent the Holy Spirit for the original and only a validly ordained bishop (or with his permission a priest) can confer the sacrament (of Confirmation) on the faithful candidate. Happens all the time.], where we come together because we love our church and because we want to change it. [You love the Church because of the One Who built Her. Besides if you love something or someone, you do not wish to change them for if you do, they are not the same. Get what I mean?]

      And the bishops who have kept these pedophile priests in ministry should resign. [Yes they probably should.] In Ireland, they’ve taken leadership on that. Five priests—five bishops have volunteered to resign because of their role, and the Pope has only accepted one [Mercy, temperance and forgiveness.] of these resignations up to now. But that is, I think, an important thing for Catholics to do, call for the resignation of the bishops who kept pedophiles in ministry and a call for a renewed Vatican III type of new Pentecost for our church, [Oh how the devil loves to hear that.] where we truly deal with reform and reform of the structural, organizational part of our church.

      AMY GOODMAN: Bridget Mary Meehan, do you think that the—

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: That is eminent. And—

      AMY GOODMAN: Do you think the Pope should resign?

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: Yes, I think he should, because I think they’re in denial. Right now it’s sad to hear him—hear that speech that you played. [Not to dignify false scandal appropriate on Palm Sunday.] He should be owning his responsibility in this particular abuse, at the heart of it. Since 2001, he was the one who issued that letter calling the bishops to turn over all the cases of sexual abuse to his congregation in Rome under pontifical secrecy. And that was—that kept it under wraps, kept it secret. [A secret that is well known.]

      AMY GOODMAN: We have five seconds.

      BRIDGET MARY MEEHAN: The first thing the Church needs to do is to open up and be transparent and just for everyone. [She is. All you have to do is submit your will to God – through the Church.]

      AMY GOODMAN: Bridget Mary Meehan, I want to thank you very much for being with us, spokesperson for Roman Catholic Womenpriests and an [invalidly] ordained bishop serving in the southern region of US.

That is pretty much the gist of it. I am truly amazed at how ridiculous the enemies of the Church are. Let us all be careful not to fall in the same traps in her name and especially in the name of Jesus.

Let us all pray for the Pope:

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.
Amen.

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