Am I the only one seeing the irony here?

Hey Rratzinger, that’s a good one, reality is important, I couldn’t agree more. But you forget a few more “realities” that you should mention:

How about not lying about condoms and AIDS?

Better yet, what about NOT COVERING UP THE RAPING OF THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD?

Yes, your concern is totally commendable! Thank you.

New technologies confuse reality and fiction: Pope

October 13, 2010 – 9:21AM

Incense smoke surrounds Pope Benedict XVI as he leads a solemn mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican January 1, 2010.

Incense smoke surrounds Pope Benedict XVI as he leads a solemn mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican January 1, 2010. Photo: Reuters

Pope Benedict XVI said today that the media’s increasing reliance on images, fuelled by the endless development of new technologies, risked confusing real life with virtual reality.

“New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality,” the pope said.

Priest blames girl for abuse

AN Ipswich priest who claimed he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl because she encouraged him has been sentenced to three months in jail.
SHAMED: Murray Alexander Moffat at court.

Rob Williams

AN Ipswich priest will spend the next three months in jail after admitting abusing a young girl.

Murray Alexander Moffat was an assistant priest at Sacred Heart Church at Booval when he sexually abused the girl from 1978 to 1980 – when she was aged between 12 and 15.

Ipswich District Court heard the victim, now aged 43, confronted Moffat last year while wearing a police wire and he admitted the abuse.

But he claimed she encouraged it and kissed him first.

“I made a mistake – you invited me,” Moffat told his victim in the taped conversation.

“I should’ve said no but I didn’t. I thought you wanted me to do that.”

Moffat, 64, apologised for any pain the abuse caused her.

“You were special to me,” he told the girl.

Crown Prosecutor Sarah Farnden said the priest told the girl she instigated the behaviour and it was “his mistake to allow her to do that”.

Ms Farnden said the priest was regularly allowed to spend time with the girl in her bedroom where he kissed and touched her.

In about 1980 the girl remembered her dad driving her to see an industrial fire at Bundamba with Moffat sitting in the front passenger seat and her behind him when the priest reached back and molested her.

The court heard Moffat gave the girl gifts including a pushbike and an Easter egg and said he loved her and wanted to marry her.

The girl approached the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane in 1995 to complain and it was referred to Queensland Police, but she did not take the case further.

The church sent Moffat on a “retreat” and he had five counselling sessions with a psychiatrist before returning to work a few months later.

Moffat pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent treatment of a child aged under 16.

He was sentenced to 18 months jail which will be suspended after he serves three months for an operational period of three years.

Defence barrister Gary Long said his client had no prior criminal history and was held in high regard by his parish, friends and members of the clergy.

Mr Long said Moffat now suffered a range of health complaints, including heart problems and diabetes.

The Archbishop of Brisbane, on behalf of the Archdiocese of Brisbane expressed deep remorse for the pain and suffering experienced by the victim.

The Most Reverend John Bathersby said he was deeply saddened by the grave abuse of trust and breach of pastoral care in the case.

“The Archdiocese offers a sincere apology to the victim,” the Archbishop said. “We credit greatly her courage in coming forward to speak with the police so that justice might be achieved.”

The Archdiocese confirmed Moffat had not been involved in any public priestly ministry since June last year and the Archbishop will initiate processes under church law to see if other penalties are called for.

Moffat’s authorisation to minister publicly or privately was revoked upon his conviction.

When asked why Moffat was not stood down in the mid-90s, an Archdiocesan spokesman said the matter was referred to police in 1995 and investigated but the victim chose not to proceed.

“In the absence of charges being laid but to ensure that Fr Moffat posed no risk in continuing to undertake his priestly duties, the Archdiocese had Fr Moffat professionally assessed by a psychologist,” the spokesman said.

"ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia" Seriously?

Seriously, Catholic Church? I’m not sure I follow. The celibacy requirement is stupid, priests should be allowed to get married – and why on earth do women need to be ordained to be permitted to marry these priests?

Hey, here’s a crazy idea: maybe, just maybe, if they were married they wouldn’t be abusing so many children. and perhaps pedophiles wouldn’t be so eager to be a part of such an organization that goes out of its way to protect them from the law.

But, “ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia” wow, you people really want to diminish the magnitude of the atrocities performed by your protegés.

I am utterly disgusted!

Vatican Revises Abuse Process, but Causes Stir

Andrew Medichini/Associated Press

Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor, left, and Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi discussed the new set of norms issued on Thursday to respond to the worldwide clerical abuse scandal.

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican issued revisions to its internal laws on Thursday making it easier to discipline sex-abuser priests, but caused confusion by also stating that ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia.

The decision to link the issues appears to reflect the determination of embattled Vatican leaders to resist any suggestion that pedophilia within the priesthood can be addressed by ending the celibacy requirement or by allowing women to become priests.

The overall document codified existing procedures that allow the Vatican to try priests accused of child sexual abuse using faster juridical procedures rather than full ecclesiastical trials. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the changes showed the church’s commitment to tackling child sexual abuse with “rigor and transparency.”

Those measures fell short of the hopes of many advocates for victims of priestly abuse, who dismissed them as “tweaking” rather than a bold overhaul. The new rules do not, for example, hold bishops accountable for abuse by priests on their watch, nor do they require them to report sexual abuse to civil authorities — though less formal “guidelines” issued earlier this year encourage reporting if local law compels it.

But what astonished many Catholics was the inclusion of the attempt to ordain women in a list of the “more grave delicts,” or offenses, which included pedophilia, as well as heresy, apostasy and schism. The issue, some critics said, was less the ordination of women, which is not discussed seriously inside the church hierarchy, but the Vatican’s suggestion that pedophilia is a comparable crime in a document billed a response to the sexual abuse crisis.

“It is very irritating that they put the increased severity in punishment for abuse and women’s ordination at the same level,” said Christian Weisner, the spokesman for “We Are Church,” a liberal Catholic reform movement founded in 1996 in response to a high-profile sexual abuse case in Austria. “It tells us that the church still understands itself as an environment dominated by men.”

The reaction among American Catholics could be measured in some degree by comments from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, a top official in the group, called the document a “welcome statement” even as he took pains to praise the role of women in the church. “The church’s gratitude to women cannot be stated strongly enough,” he said at a news conference in Washington. “Women offer unique insight, creative abilities and unstinting generosity at the very heart of the Catholic Church.”

Still, the archbishop added. “The Catholic Church through its long and constant teaching holds that ordination has been, from the beginning, reserved to men, a fact which cannot be changed despite changing times.”

At a news conference at the Vatican, Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the Vatican’s internal prosecutor in charge of handling sexual abuse cases, explained the change on women’s ordination in technical terms. “Sexual abuse and pornography are more grave delicts, they are an egregious violation of moral law,” Monsignor Scicluna said in his first public appearance since the sex abuse crisis hit. “Attempted ordination of women is grave, but on another level, it is a wound that is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacramental orders.”

The revision codifies a 2007 ruling that made attempting to ordain women an offense punishable with excommunication. The new document said that a priest who tried to ordain a woman could now be defrocked.

For more than two decades, polls have shown that large majorities of American Catholics favor allowing women to be ordained as priests, despite the lack of support for it among church leaders. The latest poll of American Catholics by The New York Times and CBS News, released in May, showed that 59 percent favored ordaining women, while 33 percent were opposed.

“I think they see us as their worst nightmare and they’re doing as much as they can to stop it,” said Bridget Mary Meehan, one of five American women who say they have been ordained as bishops as part of a tiny movement of women in Europe and the United States who claim to have been ordained as bishops, priests and deacons.

The movement, called Roman Catholic Womenpriests, now claims that 100 women have been given ordination ceremonies as priests, deacons or bishops, and 75 of those are Americans, Ms. Meehan said.

At the news conference here unveiling the changes, Monsignor Scicluna said that rules on their own could not eradicate priestly abuse but that the church now had better tools to work toward that. “This gives a signal that we are very, very serious in our commitment to promote safe environments and to offer an adequate response to abuse,” he said. “If more changes are needed, they will be made.”

In addition to making the faster administrative procedures for disciplining priests the rule, not the exception, the new norms also added possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults to the list of grave crimes.

The Vatican also doubled the statute of limitations for abuse cases to 20 years from the victim’s 18th birthday. After that, a priest could be removed from the ministry but not defrocked unless the Vatican lifted the statute of limitations in the case, a right it reserves on a case-by-case basis.

Many victims have said they did not feel able to come forward until long after abuse took place.

Read more: nytimes.com