Monthly archives: April, 2010

Is The Pope Lying To Us? It’s Time For Benedict To Man-Up

I have to ask the unthinkable for a Catholic:

Is the Pope lying?

The New York Times has been relentless on their investigation of the pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church.

Here is the latest:

The priest, convicted of tying up and abusing two young boys in a California church rectory, wanted to leave the ministry.

But in 1985, four years after the priest and his bishop first asked that he be defrocked, the future Pope Benedict XVI, then a top Vatican official, signed a letter saying that the case needed more time and that “the good of the Universal Church” had to be considered in the final decision, according to church documents released through lawsuits.

That decision did not come for two more years, the sort of delay that is fueling a renewed sexual abuse scandal in the church that has focused on whether the future pope moved quickly enough to remove known pedophiles from the priesthood, despite pleas from American bishops.

As the scandal has deepened, the pope’s defenders have said that, well before he was elected pope in 2005, he grew ever more concerned about sexual abuse and weeding out pedophile priests. But the case of the California priest, the Rev. Stephen Kiesle, and the trail of documents first reported on Friday by The Associated Press, shows, in this period at least, little urgency.

The letter that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later pope, wrote in Latin in 1985, mentions Father Kiesle’s young age — 38 at the time — as one consideration in whether he should be forced from the priesthood. The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said it was wrong to draw conclusions based on one letter, without carefully understanding the context in which it was written.

“It’s evident that it’s not an in-depth and serious use of documents,” he said. Earlier Friday, Father Lombardi suggested that the pope would be willing to meet with sexual abuse victims.

But John S. Cummins, the former bishop of Oakland who repeatedly wrote his superiors in Rome urging that the priest be defrocked, said the Vatican in that era, after the Second Vatican Council, was especially reluctant to dismiss priests because so many were abandoning the priesthood.

As a result, he said, Pope John Paul II “really slowed down the process and made it much more deliberate.”

So what really happened? The NYTimes has Cardinal Ratzinger’s signature on the document.

Look, I’m tired of Vatican priests and bishops treating the pope as if he’s the victim. And frankly, this kind of talk is insulting to all of us:

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said it was wrong to draw conclusions based on one letter, without carefully understanding the context in which it was written.

“It’s evident that it’s not an in-depth and serious use of documents,” he said. Earlier Friday, Father Lombardi suggested that the pope would be willing to meet with sexual abuse victims.

Time for Benedict to man-up and speak for himself. The Vatican double-speak has to stop.

Betty Loren-Maltese Will Now Take Your Order

I don’t know what a "high-end pizza parlor" is, but Betty Loren-Maltese is working at one in Oak Park, and she’ll be happy to take you to your table, maybe even take your order.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese isn’t just a story. She’s a headline.

The feisty village chieftain, who spent seven years in a federal prison after a public corruption conviction, has dropped weight, shed the major eyelashes, looks ka-pow and begins a new career tonight: serving as the evening hostess at Salerno’s restaurant, a high-end pizza parlor on Roosevelt Road in Oak Park.

"The owner thought I needed a break and, in turn, it would be good for business," said Maltese, who now lives in a modest apartment in Evergreen Park she shares with two goldfish: "Priscilla and Elvis."

"I love animals, the landlord doesn’t allow pets, and I lost my dog, ‘Punky,’ when I went to prison," she said. "So I have goldfish — and I swear they are synchronized swimmers."

I once described Maltese as a piece of painted shrapnel with a sense of humor.

The paint is now pastel, but shrapnel peppers commentary on her conviction in 2002.

Her mission: "To clear my name and reunite with my daughter, Ashleigh Rose, who is now 13," Maltese said.

"To this day I maintain my innocence," she said. "How much more can they do? I’ve lost Ashleigh. I’ve lost everything I’ve worked for my whole life. And I continue to question the omission of evidence that could have found me not guilty."

I don’t know what to say here. Betty was found guilty. She served her time.

I wish her well.

But, wow, serving pizza?

Never saw that coming.

Are You One Of The Idiots Who Shot 16 — Including Two Fatally — In Span Of About Two Hours?

From the Sun-Times:

At least 16 people were shot — including two men who died and six people who were wounded in one chaotic Englewood incident — in a span of about two hours late Thursday into early Friday.

The first shooting occurred at 10:54 p.m. at 7900 S. Anthony Ave. In that incident, a 28-year-old man was shot in the leg, according to a South Chicago District police officer. The victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries.

At 11:15 p.m. officers responding to a call of a person shot and found a 30-year-old man shot in the 6400 block of South Paulina Street, according to police. Brian Moore of 720 E. 70th St. was pronounced dead at 1:38 a.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital Hospital, according to a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

At 11:50 p.m. a 21-year-old man was standing with a group in a parking lot at 7859 S. Cornell Ave. when a man and a woman approached. Someone in the group made an offensive comment to the woman and her companion shot the 21-year-old, who was struck once in the buttocks and taken to Jackson Park Hospital in “stable” condition, the South Chicago District officer said.

In the Bronzeville neighborhood about 12:15 a.m. ,a man identified by the medical examiner’s office as Jermaine Streeter, 27, was fatally shot. Streeter, of 3812 S. Michigan Ave., was pronounced dead at 1:04 a.m. at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

In the Loop, a woman told police she was sitting in Millennium Park near 201 E. Randolph St. about 12:30 a.m. when two males she did not know approached, according to a police report.

So it goes.

What a country, eh?

It Would Appear There Was No 8.0 Magnitude Earthquake in the North Atlantic – Or Was There?

Was there an earthquake in the North Atlantic, or not?

First there was this from ENEWSPF:

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred this evening in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 13 km, 84 km (52 miles) NE (55 degrees) of Higüey, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic; 109 km (68 miles) ENE (73 degrees) of El Seybo, El Seybo, Dominican Republic; 116 km (72 miles) NW (313 degrees) of Rincón, PR; 119 km (74 miles) NE (54 degrees) of La Romana, La Romana, Dominican Republic; and 209 km (130 miles) ENE (73 degrees) of SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic.

And then this, later on:

N.B. This event has been deleted from the USGS Web site. There is no more explanation as to why this event was originally reported.

Was someone at the USGS just having fun when the original email alert was sent?

Why did the USGS report an earthquake, a big one, in the North Atlantic?