Mired in scandal, is the Catholic Church an ‘organized crime’ group?

Pennsylvania Real-Time News

Updated Jan 29, 2019; Posted Sep 04, 2018

David Hickton, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is confident that federal anti-racketeering laws could be applied to prosecute the Catholic Church and/or dioceses for their role in the clergy sex abuse crisis. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The Catholic Church may be in the business of saving souls, but amid the spiraling clergy sex abuse crisis, one pioneering legal mind thinks of the church as an organized crime organization.

That’s the view held by David Hickton, a former U.S. attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Two years ago, shortly after the state Office of Attorney General released a scathing report on widespread clergy sex abuse in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Hickton sought to prove that the church was criminally responsible for the egregious crimes committed by priests on minors.

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WITCHCRAFT: EIGHT MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

HISTORIES

Detail from the 1508 painting ‘The Witches’

Witchcraft is an area of history that most people feel familiar with. From the Salem Witch Trials to the witches of Macbeth, the figure of the witch is embedded in our culture. The problem is that most of what we think we know is wrong. 

Professor Diane Purkiss debunks eight of the most common myths about witchcraft.A 1655 pamphlet illustration of witches being hangedIn England witches were hanged, not burned. This illustration is taken from a 1655 pamphlet by Ralph Gardiner© Bettmann/Getty

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Was there ever an execution where rain saved someone from being burned at the stake?

The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC History Revealed

Answered by Eugene Byrne

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Published: August 16, 2012 

St Thecla of Iconium (died early first century AD) was supposedly saved from burning by a miraculous downpour. Or there’s Lassi Didriksson, sentenced to burning for sorcery in Iceland in 1675, whose fire was put out by rain three times. The most famous rained-off burning wasn’t an execution, but a trial by fire in which the Italian preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452–98) would demonstrate his divine protection as the rain fell.

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5 facts you didn’t know about being burned at the stake

Author: DANIEL DE LORNE

Within the opening chapters of my book, Burning Blood, the witch Aurelia finds herself about to be burned at the stake.

‘Witch, you have been tried and convicted under the benevolent will of God. You are a consort of Satan and shall burn at the stake. Repent now and God may have mercy on your soul. Fail to repent and you shall writhe on that stake just as you shall writhe for eternity in the pits of Hell!’

The rough rope grazed her neck as it tightened, ready to take away her breath and leave nothing but an empty shell to cook in the flames. The cross danced in front of her face, with Christ’s tortured body hanging limply on it, the crown of thorns cutting painfully into his forehead.

‘Bring the flames and let that be the end of it,’ she intoned, her voice cutting through the rabble’s clamouring.

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The crimes of sorcery and witchcraft in modern Europe: several remarks  about the origins of their legal punishment and other particularities 

Hexe, Silhouette, Halloween, Böse

The crimes of sorcery and witchcraft in modern Europe: several remarks  about the origins of their legal punishment and other particularities 

María Jesús Torquemada 

Universidad Complutense de Madrid 

Since a man cannot live without miracles, he will provide himself with miracles of his own  making. 

Fyodor Dostoyevski. The Brothers Karamazov. 

Summary: 1. Foreword. 2. The starting point. 3. The Modern period. 4. Conclusions 

1. Foreword 

This subject, as everybody knows, has been approached from many different points of  view. Even the terminology about it seems to be confusing. Also the methodology used in  order to look into the matter varies depending on the different fields, periods, areas, etcetera. 

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The Vatican & the Holocaust: Pope Pius XII & the Holocaust

Jewish Virtual Library

By Mitchell Barth

Pope Pius XII’s (1876-1958) actions during the Holocaust remain controversial. For much of the war, he maintained a public front of indifference and remained silent while German atrocities were committed. He refused pleas for help on the grounds of neutrality, while making statements condemning injustices in general. Privately, he sheltered a small number of Jews and spoke to a few select officials, encouraging them to help the Jews.

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Germany was once the witch-burning capital of the world. Here’s why

QUARTZ

Wax dolls being given to the devil.

Protection against Satan and his witch-y minions was a hot commodity in early modern Europe.

By Gwynn Guilford

ReporterPublished January 24, 2018Last updated on July 24, 2018

In 1572, the killings began. That year, authorities in the tiny settlement of St Maximin, in present-day Germany, charged a woman named Eva with using witchcraft to murder a child. Eva confessed under torture; she, along with two women she implicated, were burned at the stake.

The pace of prosecution picked up from there. By the mid-1590s, the territory had burned 500 people as witches—an astonishing feat, for a place that only had 2,200 residents to begin with.

Why is it that early modern Europe had such a fervor for witch hunting? Between 1400 to 1782, when Switzerland tried and executed Europe’s last supposed witch, between 40,000 and 60,000 people were put to death for witchcraft, according to historical consensus. The epicenter of the witch hunts was Europe’s German-speaking heartland, an area that makes up Germany, Switzerland, and northeastern France.

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ITALY’S MYSTERIOUS, DEEPENING BANK SCANDAL

By Paul Lewis, Special To the New York Times

  • July 28, 1982

The apparent suicide last month of an Italian financier known as ”God’s banker,” who was found hanged beneath London’s Blackfriars Bridge, has added to the mystery of a major Italian financial scandal in which the Vatican appears heavily involved.

The cost to the Roman Catholic Church could amount to several hundred million dollars. The scandal centers on some $1.4 billion in unsecured loans made in Latin America by Banco Ambrosiano, Italy’s largest privately owned banking group, and endorsed by the Vatican bank. It is sending shock waves through the world of international finance and raising questions about current efforts to regulate the foreign operations of multinational banks. Unusual Outside Inquiry

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