Monday, May 16, 2016

Priests Molesting Children Payment Plan

Some readers of Child Molestation is a Common Catholic Habit took exception with the title and said that priests preying on children is an exceptional not an ordinary pastime. The Altoona-Johnstown jury would not agree with this assessment nor would the other U. S. grand juries that have been convened to examine the subject of miscreant priests.

In addition to legal inquiries the press has long exposed wayward priests so it is difficult to maintain that child molestation is not a common Catholic habit.  Here are some examples.

For the Jesuits, a long road to accountability [Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer] Boston Globe 2012
Jesuits pay record $166.1 million in child abuse case CBC News [sexual abuse of Native American children]
Suit Says Jesuits Ignored Warnings About Priest [Fr. Donald J. McGuire] NYT 2011

Wherever there are priests there are some behaving badly and according to the Altoona-Johnstown grand jury some bishops have provided cover for their subordinates' criminal acts. The evidence of their culpability is contained in the Altoona-Johnston Grand Jury Report.

The Grand Jury concludes:
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was a location rampant with child molestation for decades. The widespread abuse of children was assisted by priests and bishops to whom the children looked for guidance and protection were also in an ideal position to victimize them.

....the Grand Jury observed; Bishops and priests who used the cover of their authority to hide the truth from the public. The offending priests knew there was no risk of exposure because Bishop James Hogan and Bishop Joseph Adamec were covering it up. By hiding their conduct rather than exposing it, the Bishops enabled child sexual abuse. p.130
From the Report: Father Dan O'Neil testified in July 2015 "that it was common knowledge that Fr. Thomas Carroll was molesting children." p. 32

The Grand Jury notes "the culture that the Diocese created. An active priest (Father Kovach), groomed and engaged in sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old boy and never expected anyone to report it. Father Kovach was unconscionably accurate. Business as usual in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown continued on." p.71

When testifying before the Grand Jury on November 18, 2014, Monsignor Philip Saylor testified that "under Bishop Hogan the threat to children within the diocese was so well known and institutionalized that there was both open discussion and procedure for the occurrence." p.75

There is evidence that two priests, Father Martin McCamley and Father James Bunn, sexually abused the same child.

Sexual Abuse Compensation Plan

Bishop Joseph Adamec created a compensation fund to pay victims for their sexual attacks. The church would pay $10,000-$25,000 for genital fondling outside of clothing, $15,000-$40,000 for fondling under clothes and masturbation, $25,000-$75,000 for oral sex and $50,000-$175,000 for sodomy.

Minimum/maximum payout amounts were affected by the number of times a child was molested, how long the abuse occurred, the age of child and whether the priest drugged the child with medication and or alcohol. To secure secrecy the church required the victims to sign confidentiality agreements and liability waivers. p. 120

Ii is not known whether sexual abuse compensation plans were standard operating procedure in other

Those reading international news reports would also be of the opinion that child molestation is a prevalent Catholic practice. Common does not mean that every priest is engaged in aberrant behavior but it does indicate that Catholic pastors have an unholy fetish of global proportions. Here are some examples— The '09 Ryan Commission established by the Irish government found that:
Sexual abuse was endemic in Catholic boys’ institutions. The schools investigated revealed a substantial level of sexual abuse of boys in care that extended over a range from improper touching and fondling to rape with violence. Perpetrators of abuse were able to operate undetected for long periods at the core of institutions. When confronted with evidence of sexual abuse, the response of the religious authorities was to transfer the offender to another location where, in many instances, he was free to abuse again. The safety of children in general was not a consideration. The situation in girls’ institutions was different. Although girls were subjected to predatory sexual abuse by male employees or visitors or in outside placements, sexual abuse was not systemic in girls’ schools

German Priests Carried Out Sexual Abuse for Years NYT 2013

Significant cases of sex abuse were exposed within Australia Archdioceses by the Royal Commission.

Top Vatican cardinal grilled about ‘absolutely scandalous’ sex abuse by priests that rocked Australia The Washington Post 2016

El Salvador Church suspends Father Delgado over sexual abuse BBC News 2015

Every time the media broadcasts child abuse the pope and his sycophants promise to do better but these are vacuous words. Women are the victims best defenders but they are denied authority and until they are elevated and are on par with men children will remain Catholic pawns. It is true and shameful that children are abused by parents and in almost every venue but the Catholic Church has a moral obligation to be better than the others.

For interested parties provides a state by state database of publicly accused U.S. priests.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Child Molestation is a Catholic Custom

The 2016 Altoona-Johnstown Grand Jury Report coupled with numerous others conducted after The Boston Globe 2002 investigation regarding priests sexually harming children is damning: The jury's summary (p. 6 ) is as follows:
Over many years hundreds of children have fallen victim to child predators wrapped in authority and integrity of an honorable faith. As wolves disguised as the shepherds themselves—these men stole the innocence of children by sexually preying upon the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society and of the Catholic faith.
Each new grand jury revelation elicits an apology from the Pope and his legal counselors but it is likely that child molestation has been a priestly predilection since the founding of the church. Of course back then there were no media outlets and grand juries to advise so it is just a guess but there are substantive hints.

For instance canon law demands that each parish hide clerical misbehavior. By keeping damaging information under lock and key and by shuffling suspect priests from parish to parish bishops have been able to sidestep law enforcement and protect deviant priests from prosecution. This modus operandi is described in other grand jury reports. The canon law reference cited by the A-J Grand Jury is as follows:
Can 489 § 2
Each year documents of criminal cases in matter of morals, in which the accused parties have died or ten years have elapsed from the condemnatory sentence are to be destroyed. p.10

Can. 490 § 1 Only the bishop is to have the key to the secret archive.
The other way the Catholic Church has been able to avoid detection is by closing the ministry to women. Women may not be perfect supervisors but they would not tolerate the sexual injury done to children.

The Grand Jury noted that two prominent bishops were responsible for transferring molesting priests from parish to parish. They are James Hogan and Joseph Adamec. Bishop James Hogan served from '66-86 and was succeeded by Bishop Joseph Adamec who presided from '87 to 2011.

According to the Grand Jury hundreds of children within the diocese were subjected to genital fondling, were obliged to watch or allow masturbation, were compelled to perform or receive oral sex on or from priests and were anally raped. These violations were performed by more than 50 priests, most of whom were never punished because of statute of limitations.

The never ending question is when will Catholics demand change? Pope Francis says he sorry for the injuries and will institute reforms but words are meaningless without action and so far the pope has been immobile.

Only when women are elevated to positions of authority will children receive the protection they deserve.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Religious Liberty Claims are Nonsensical

The Little Sisters of the Poor vocations director, Constance Veit, explained in her NYT's March editorial, " Why We're Suing Obamacare , " that she and her order oppose the birth control insurance mandate required in the Affordable Care Act because all methods of contraception be it pharmaceutical or surgical are forbidden under Catholic doctrine.

Under the pretext of religious freedom deprivations, certain closely-held companies i.e. Hobby Lobby ( Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc.), and Catholic organizations i.e. Little Sisters of the Poor ( Zubik v. Burwell ) maintain that their beliefs were sullied by The Affordable Care Act. It was elastic reasoning that led the highest court to accept these claims for review because religious belief should play no role in state affairs. This prohibition—separation of church and state—is guaranteed by the constitution's establishment clause as interpreted by the Supreme Court. The five to four decision put forth by Chief Justice Roberts and Associates Alito, Thomas, Scalia (deceased), and Kennedy ( all Catholics ) in favor of the Hobby Lobby owners, damaged precedent, opened the door for more concessions and prompted religious liberty bills to flourish in regressive legislatures.

Georgia's House Bill 757 is an example of a law that would have allowed businesses and nonprofit companies to discriminate against same-sex, interracial, interfaith, and even unmarried couples. All the protesting party had to say is that certain conduct or social mores offend their conscience. Governor Deal vetoed the prejudicial bill

It is conscience shocking that Sister Veit and her order say that they are victims of religious injury yet they have done nothing to help stop the perennial problem of priests raping children. The Altoona-Johnston Grand Jury found that hundreds of children were molested by more than 50 priests in a 40 year time span. If the servants of Christ were to express their displeasure to Pope Francis and to the public then pedophilia would become a rare rather than a commonplace occurrence. Little Sisters of the Poor should read the Diocese of Altoona-Johnston Sexual Abuse Report and reflect that their silence has put children in harm's way.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Justina Pelletier and her Parents will have their Day in Court

The Boston Globe Justina Pelleter "medical child abuse" articles turned the custody case into a cause célèbre. Relentless media questions caused Judge Joseph F. Johnston, Justina's legal advocate, to return her to her parents after separating her from her family for more than sixteen months. Judge Johnston is not named in the malpractice lawsuit but his behavior during the custody proceedings was quite concerning .

The Pelletier family alleges that Boston Children's Hospital and four of its staff violated Justina's civil rights and committed medical malpractice when they challenged Justina's diagnosis and told the Department of Children and Families and Judge Johnston that Justina Pelletier was a victim of medical child abuse perpetuated not by her Tufts physicians but by her parents.

BCH employee Dr. Alice Newton , one of the defendants, was instrumental in persuading Judge Johnston that Lou and Linda Pelletier were unfit parents because they were medically abusing their daughter. Upon investigation Dr. Newton's abuse allegations were specious.

It was Dr. Newton who for all intents and purposes kept Justina from her parents for eight months by incarcerating her in the hospital's psychiatric ward. Some physicians, including Dr. Newton, believe that separating somataform patients from their environment and parents will improve their symptoms. This was an extreme plan for a 14 year old child and especially so since there is scant evidence to support the efficacy of this punitive treatment.

BCH's response to the Pelletier accusations is typical boilerplate:
Boston Children’s Hospital welcomes the opportunity to vigorously defend the medical care it provided to Justina Pelletier. We are committed to the best interests of our patient’s health and well-being, according to the high standards we follow for every patient placed in our care.
It is likely that Justina Pelletier would still be a ward of the state if not for Lou Pelletier violating Judge Johnston's gag order and revealing the hospital's Kafkaesque practices.

During its investigation the Globe found disturbing similarities of other parents accused of medical child abuse by Boston Children's Hospital. The modus operandi: have access to critically ill children, the reputation to refute established diagnoses and the power to threaten recalcitrant parents with medical child abuse.

Why would a prestigious hospital want foster children with complex medical conditions?
There are two possibilities: the ability to conduct clinical research without parental interference and access to unlimited insurance coverage. Foster children are valuable commodities: Neither they nor their parents are allowed to say no to prospective research projects. Prior to the state
taking permanent custody of Justina in 2013 Justina and her parents asked that she be returned to Tufts for treatment. Judge Johnston said no.

The Boston Globe has provided the Pelletier attorneys with powerful ammunition. What will the discovery phase reveal?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mitch Mcconnell Speaks Nonsense

Shortly after Justice Scalia's death Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said "The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice."

McConnell expounded on his obtuse statement several days later by explaining that:
He [the president] has every right to nominate someone. Even if doing so will inevitably plunge our nation into another bitter and avoidable struggle, that is his right. Even if he never expects that nominee to actually be confirmed but rather to wield as an electoral cudgel, that is his right. But he has also has the right to make a different choice. He can let the people decide and make this an actual legacy-building moment rather than just another campaign roadshow.
McConnell and many Republicans refuse to comprehend that more than 69 million voters decided in 2008 to make Obama president. Their disbelief was compounded when almost 66 million voters returned him to the White House in 2012.

These votes illustrate that the majority of the American electorate trust their elected leader to make all sorts of critical decisions including sending names to the Judiciary Committee for consideration. It is the committee's responsibility to review the President's choices.

To deny a president this right shows the animus that the Republican party has for a black president. Black lives don't matter and neither do black presidential decisions.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Police use Black Citizens for Target Practice

August 9, 2014—Ferguson, Missouri—Michael Brown—Eleven Bullets

After the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent protests F.B.I. Director James Comey asked his staff to tell him how many black people are shot and killed by the police every year:
I wanted to see trends. I wanted to see information. They couldn’t give it to me, and it wasn’t their fault. Demographic data regarding officer-involved shootings is not consistently reported to us through our Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Because reporting is voluntary, our data is incomplete and therefore, in the aggregate, unreliable.
The FBI may not have exact figures but the deaths that are known are horrifying. If black lives matter the number of shooting deaths would be recorded.

Since Mr. Brown's death Americans have became aware that police officers in varying scenarios are indiscriminately killing black citizens. They know this because of dash-cam videos, citizens' camera phones and media reporting. Regrettably even when videos show "no cause" shootings, grand juries are reluctant to charge law enforcement when officers testify that they believed their lives were in danger.

For instance Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown (no video tape) persuaded the Justice Department and the Ferguson Grand Jury that he killed Mr. Brown because he was afraid that Mr. Brown was going to kill him. If Officer Wilson's testimony is truthful then why did Mr. Brown fight with the officer through the patrol car window without use of a weapon? This question coupled with Mr. Brown's death belies Officer Wilson's telling.

While pursuing Mr. Brown on foot Officer Wilson fired his weapon repeatedly, emptying the chamber of eleven bullets. Most of the shots entered the upper torso, the fatal shot Mr. Brown's brain. It is obvious from the bullet strikes that Officer Wilson intended to kill Mr. Brown for there were no shots fired to wound the suspect. A leg shot would have brought the suspect to the ground. For a review of the grand jury proceedings please read The Thirteenth Juror by Nelda Holder.

Michael Brown isn't the only case of black target practice across the country. Policemen in many cities have killed black residents under gruesome circumstances. Here are some examples:

November 29, 2012—Cleveland, Ohio—Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams—140 Bullets

Police shoot and kill Timothy Russell and his car passenger Malissa Williams. The reason given for stopping Mr. Russell: The failure of the driver to use a turn signal. Because a nearby patrolman thought he heard a gunshot [it was the Russell car backfiring], 62 patrol cars went in hot pursuit. When the Russell car was stopped, 13 policemen fired almost 140 rounds at the car. Certainly after their barrage Mr. Russell and Ms. Williams were dead but in a fit of passion or prejudice, police officer Michael Brelo threw himself on the hood of the car and covered the windshield with a spray of bullets from his Glock 17. Mr. Russell and Ms Williams were unarmed; each were shot more than twenty times. Some of the officers involved in the killing were fired but most not were punished for their behavior.

October 20, 2014—Chicago, Illinois—Laquan McDonald—16 Bullets

Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed Laquan McDonald. The police became interested in Mr. McDonald because of reports saying that he was carrying a knife and had been breaking into vehicles. At least eight police cars were on the scene when McDonald was confronted. Officer Van Dyke fired sixteen bullets into Mr. McDonald's body fifteen of then while he was lying on the pavement. None of the other officers on the scene fired their weapons but did corroborate Van Dyke's statement that McDonald had threatened him. The dash-cam video released months after the shooting because of court order showed that Van Dyke and the other officers lied about the events. At no time did McDonald pose a threat to anyone. Immediately after the video release Officer Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder.

April 4, 2015—North Charleston, South Carolina—Walter Scott—8 bullets

Police Officer Michael Slager was charged with murder after shooting Walter Scott in the back. A passerby used his cell phone to film the altercation and shooting. The video showed that Mr. Scott posed no danger to Police Officer Slager wheras the police said that Mr. Scott had grabbed the officer's stun gun and had attempted to harm to him.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

National Lottery needed for Clinical Trial Participants

Without public discourse or media involvement foster children were placed in experimental research studies twenty six years ago. The practice began at the urging of HHS Secretary Bowen who told state and local welfare agencies in 1989 that they should:
create systems to manage the participation of children in foster care in special medical treatment and experimental trials.
(HHS/ASPE, 1989, p. 60).

The Department of HHS provides limited data on foster children and no information on how many of these state-protected individuals have participated in clinical trials. Across the country, HHS has had access to approximately 400,000 foster children annually.

When asked how many state wards were engaged in federally sponsored research Dr. Young, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the subcommittee that:
We know that across the National Institutes of Health (NIH) there are a number of clinical trials ongoing and children participating, but I do not have numbers of children in foster care that might be in that group.
It is unlikely that Dr. Young did not have that information he was reporting on the appropriateness of foster children in clinical trials.

To avoid scrutiny the government is mute on the question of how many foster children enter research studies but much can be learned from the government's clinical trial website. It is a certainty that parents will not place their healthy children in experimental studies so where is the government getting its test subjects? The answer: from state welfare rolls.

The following are examples of children in vaccine and infant formula research that provide no favorable outcome to the participants. These children were assuredly selected from state agencies.

  • Clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerance and immunogenic response to Gardasil (human papilloma virus (HPV)) and rLP2086 vaccine in male and female test subjects, ages 11-17. There were 2,499 participants.

  • Evaluation of the safety of FluMist in children and adults. There were 63,061 enrollees.

  • The standard care for children with UTIs is a ten day regime of antibiotics. This study shortened the treatment period to five days.

  • Study to determine the efficacy and safety of CAIV-T compared to TIV. This exercise utilized 8,500 children.

  • The Swine flu vaccine safety test involved 1,357 children.

  • Investigational study to determine the safety of MenACWY Conjugate Vaccine when given to healthy children; 2,907 children participated in the study.

  • GlaxoSmithKline study of two doses of live attenuated HRV vaccines in 529 healthy infants.

  • A study to determine the safety of a new measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. The product was tested on 1,100, twelve to eighteen month old, children.

  • A trial to gauge the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of MCV4, Tdap vaccine and Bivalent rLP2086 vaccine when administered concomitantly to children ages 10-13. There were 2,677 children in the study.

  • An evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity of different combinations of A/H1N1 S-OIV (swine flu) vaccine in 784 healthy children.

  • A trial to determine if an experimental infant formula provides normal growth. Mead Johnson Nutrition expects to enroll 315 infants.

  • A study to evaluate the gastrointestinal tolerance of six experimental milk protein-based powered infant formulas in 270 newborns.

  • New Starter Formulas and controls were  tested on 297 infants.

  • Hydrolysate Formulas and control products were  fed to 195 infants.

  • Amino Acid Infant Formulas and control products were fed to 225 infants

  • Control and experimental formulas were fed to 424 newborns.

  • Investigational formulas given to 168 infants.

There is no need for government subterfuge. It is agreed that there is insufficient parent participation in clinical trials so foster children have been used to make up the shortfall. It is not fair that foster children like prisoners of the past bear the burden and risks of experimental studies. All Americans and their children should have to accept the promise and dangers of research by registering to be test subjects. Once on the registry, names would be drawn and those chosen would be placed in appropriate clinical trials.