Almost 1,700 priests and clergy accused of sex abuse are unsupervised

An Associated Press investigation found that those credibly accused are now teachers, coaches, counselors and also live near playgrounds.

Image: Roger Sinclair
Roger Sinclair was removed by the Diocese of Greensburg in Pennsylvania in 2002 for allegedly abusing a teenage boy decades earlier.Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office / via AP

Oct. 4, 2019,

By Claudia Lauer, Associated Press and Meghan Hoyer, Associated Press

Nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement, decades after the first wave of the church abuse scandal roiled U.S. dioceses, an Associated Press investigation has found.

These priests, deacons, monks and lay people now teach middle-school math. They counsel survivors of sexual assault. They work as nurses and volunteer at nonprofits aimed at helping at-risk kids. They live next to playgrounds and daycare centers. They foster and care for children.

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The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse, Then and Now

Current Events in Historical Perspective
Published by the History Departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University


The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse, Then and Now

Graffiti in Lisbon, Portugal of a priest chasing two children, from 2011.Editor’s Note:

For more than two decades, the Catholic Church has been reeling from sexual abuse scandals. Stories of predatory priests have emerged around the world. While some have attributed the abuses to problems in contemporary society, this month historian Wietse de Boer takes a much deeper look. He argues that the way the Church has responded to these outrages has its roots 500 years ago when the Catholic Church faced its first major crisis of sexual abuse.

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15 Of The Most Absurd And Unforgivable Things The Catholic Church Has Ever Done


Lea Rose Emery / Updated May 6, 2020

It’s hard out here for a pope. See, when it comes to religious history, the list of Catholic Church transgressions makes for pretty uncomfortable reading. Despite exalting virtue and kindness in its teaching, church leadership has spearheaded a long history of outright unforgivable Catholic actions.

You might remember some of these improprieties from school – the Inquisition, Joan of Arc, and the trial of Galileo should all ring a bell. But not everything here is medieval. Though Vatican violence goes way back, a number of disturbing episodes are from recent history. Some of this repugnant behavior comes from popes, some was church-endorsed, and some, most unsettlingly, was just straight-up regular church practice.

Dark church history contains scandal after scandal rife with every vice and taboo you can imagine. When the church was at the height of its power (at which point it was the most powerful organization in the Western world), it’s safe to say everything went to its head. Combine that with church leaders seeming to stubbornly resist adapting to changing morality and you’ve got a whole lot of unforgivable moments on your hands. 

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Newly Unsealed Vatican Archives Lay Out Evidence of Pope Pius XII’s Knowledge of the Holocaust

The Catholic Church’s actions during World War II have long been a matter of historical debate

MAY 5, 2020

Pope Pius XII
New research from the Vatican Archives sheds light on Pope Pius XII’s decisions during World War II. (Photo by Fred Ramage / Keystone / Getty Images)

Pope Pius XII led the Catholic Church during the tumult of World War II, but his silence on the fate of the millions of Jews killed during the Holocaust has clouded his legacy with controversy.

To critics, the pontiff’s refusal to publicly condemn the Nazis represents a shameful moral failing with devastating consequences. In his polarizing 1999 biography of Pius, British journalist John Cornwell argued that the religious leader placed the papacy’s supremacy above the plight of Europe’s Jews, winning a modicum of power—and protection from the rising threat of communism—by becoming “Hitler’s pope” and pawn. Supporters, however, say that Pius’ silence was calculated to prevent German retaliation and ensure the continued success of the Catholic Church’s behind-the-scenes efforts to aid victims of Nazi persecution.

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The Roman Catholic Church, the Holocaust, and the demonization of the JewsResponse to “Benjamin and us: Christanity, its Jews, and history” by Jeanne Favret-Saada

David I.Kertzer / Brown University


Following eleven years’ work, in 1998 a high-level Vatican commission instituted by Pope John Paul II offered what has become the official position of the Roman Catholic Church denying any responsibility for fomenting the kind of demonization of the Jews that made the Holocaust possible. In a 2001 book, The popes against the Jews, I demonstrated that in fact the church played a major role in leading Catholics throughout Europe to view Jews as an existential threat. Yet defenders of the church position continue to deny the historical evidence and to launch ferocious ad hominem attacks against scholars who have researched the subject. The anti-Semitism promulgated by the church can be seen as part of the long battle it waged against modernity, with which the Jews were identified.

Continue reading “The Roman Catholic Church, the Holocaust, and the demonization of the JewsResponse to “Benjamin and us: Christanity, its Jews, and history” by Jeanne Favret-Saada”

Witchcraft, Religion, and the State Apparatus: The Witch Craze Revisite / (Mohamed EZROURA FLHS –Rabat)

“. . . millions of witches, sorcerers, possessed and obsessed were an enormous mass of severe neurotics [and ] psychotics. . . for many years the world looked like a veritable insane asylum. . . .” (Gregory Zilboorg). 

“. . . the witch-craze was neither a lynching party nor a mass suicide by hysterical women. Rather, it followed well-ordered, legalistic procedures. The witch-hunts were well-organized campaigns, initiated, financed and executed by Church and State. . . .” (Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English) 

I. Introduction: The Apparatus and the Witch 

In the study of cultural phenomena, cultural studies has often focused on the notion of the Cultural 

Apparatus (C.W. Mills), or the Ideological State Apparatus (L. Althusser), as a motor of cultural change, a regulator of cultural maintenance, and even a powerful eugenic mechanism that the State deploys to discipline individuals and to shape them psychologically into obedient, docile citizens who can toil their whole lives trying to be good souls and prepare to inhabit paradise after death!

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What Were the Burning Times?

Facts and Fiction About the European Witch Hunts

Poganisam and Wicca

By Patti Wigington, Updated August 13, 2018

Medieval Young Lady

CAP53 / Getty Images

We’ve all seen the bumper stickers and the t-shirts: Never Again the Burning Times! It’s a rally cry for many born-again Pagans and Wiccans, and indicates a need to reclaim what’s ours — our rights to worship and celebrate as we choose. The phrase Burning Times is often used in modern Paganism and Wicca to indicate the era from the Dark Ages to around the nineteenth century, when charges of heresy were enough to get a witch burned at the stake. Some have claimed that as many as nine million people were killed in the name of “witch hunts.” However, there’s a lot of discussion within the Pagan world about the accuracy of that number, and some scholars have estimated it significantly lower, possibly as few as 200,000. That’s still a pretty big number, but a lot less than some of the other claims that have been made.

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Malleus Maleficarum, the Medieval Witch Hunter Book


The European Witch Hunters’ Manual

By Jone Johnson Lewis, Updated February 16, 2019

Inquisitors at a witch trial.

Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The Malleus Maleficarum, a Latin book written in 1486 and 1487, is also known as “The Hammer of Witches.” This is a translation of the title. Authorship of the book is credited to two German Dominican monks, Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. The two were also theology professors. Sprenger’s role in writing the book is now thought by some scholars to have been largely symbolic rather than active.

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How Irish women won the right to wote in 1918


Catriona Crowe, Mon, Dec 10, 2018

After decades of campaigning by the suffragettes, a 1918 Act gave a limited cohort of women the right to vote in parliamentary elections

Image courtesy of the National Print Museum

Image courtesy of the National Print Museum

A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Eric Hobsbawm, the late eminent left-wing historian, and took the opportunity to ask him what he believed was the most significant revolution of the 20th century. Without hesitation he answered: “Undoubtedly, the women’s revolution.”

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