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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Bishop Barres Uses Pulpit to Go Easy on Child Predators

I missed Mass this past Sunday, and with it, the latest missive from the Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of the Allentown Diocese, to his brothers and sisters in Christ. I'll have to miss Mass more often, especially after reading what his Majesty has to say.

Reader John is a better Catholic than I. He went to Mass, and provided me with a copy of the Bishop Barres' Bulletin. We're on a Crusade again, folks, so watch out!

We're not going after Islam because Trump is taking care of them. Nor are we going after the Jews because most of Europe is once again stoking the flames of anti-Semitism. We're going after innocent children.

The Holy Order is to urge state legislators to oppose any legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for child predators, many of whom wear that Roman collar like a wolf in sheep's clothing. Reason? It might cost money. Holy Mother Church might have to melt down a few golden candlestick holders.

John, who is a sinner like I, is dismayed.

"I found it notable that Bishop Barres would use his authority to send a letter like this, essentially urging parishioners to protect the church from civil lawsuits over past sexual abuse. I found it distasteful that he would put up as a defense that such lawsuits would take away funding from ministries that "feed the hungry and serve those in need". This seems particularly manipulative especially considering that the letter is silent about what the findings of past abuse investigations have turned up.

"As a long-time parishioner, I'd also note that I can hardly remember the last time that the Bishop took the time to send a two page letter urging the faithful to contact our representatives about numerous other important political and social issues."

When I was a kid, we had a summer place down the street from the Bishop's summer retreat at Beach Haven. My Dad, an irreverent and insensitive bastard of the first degree, would rise early in the morning and take Duke for a walk. He was our German Shepherd and a Lutheran who would shit all over the beach right in front of the Bishop's house, to the dismay of nuns and friars, and in violation of numerous laws and ordinances. (My Dad was very bad and is probably burning in Hell right now). His Excellency at that time was Joseph McShea. He caught my Dad one morning, and threatened us all with excommunication.

"Ah, go tend your flock," was my Father's reply.

That's what Barres should do, instead of making the Catholic Church look worse than it already does.


44 comments:

Anonymous said...

This Catholic bashing is unacceptable. You are disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Barres didn't shuffle kid touchers around. That was done by McShea and Welsh. Perhaps showing a list of the diocese's ministries to feed and clothe the poor and administer to the imprisoned would be instructive in understanding what's at stake with changing the law.

Anonymous said...

About 12-13 years ago the Diocese had a $28M fund drive entitled "Strengthening Our Future in Faith". Even though it was stated that the money raised would not be used to settle legal matters with regard to priests pedophilia accusations, it was widely felt this money was indeed needed for this purpose.
It's all about money. Innocent people were forever harmed and now the Diocese is trying to limit it's liability by hiding behind this proposed statute of limitations.
What I find ironic is every individual who steps foot in a Catholic school must now take (and pay for) a Diocesan sponsored course entitled "Protecting Gods Children". I find it amusing that parents, grandparents, etc. are required to take this course when in fact priests were the abusers.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

7:43AM
This is a serious subject you idiot.

Anonymous said...

Why was a statute of limitations enacted in the first place? Why do statutes of limitation exist at all?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"This Catholic bashing is unacceptable. You are disgusting."

I'm a Catholic (albeit it a bad one) and resent Bishop Barres instructing his flock on a matter this obscene when there are many more compelling issues that should be on the mind of a person who claims to speak for Buddy Christ.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" Perhaps showing a list of the diocese's ministries to feed and clothe the poor and administer to the imprisoned would be instructive in understanding what's at stake with changing the law."

The Catholic Church is in no position to make the "poor me" argument. Like I said, melt down a few candlestick holders.

Anonymous said...

Next he may take a page from the Book of Dolan and park the cash in the cemetery fund. The Holy Father is all about justice and mercy and BBar is all about the cash. No doubt his corrupt predecessor advised him on this matter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The comment at 7:43,which is libel, has been removed. This comment is being repeatedly posted by someone called "floots2" on Lehigh Valley Live. Yesterday, it took me nearly an hour just to flag the numerous repetitions of the libel. The person who identifies herself as "floots2" has complimented Gregory, has bashed Morganellii for not arresting Kelly Gross and claims that a LTCF permit requirement is unconstitutional. We all know who floots2 is.

Anonymous said...

Catholics make the best Catholic bashers. It's like self-hating Jews. Hate for both denominations is considered acceptable and even stylish.

Anonymous said...

It's this hypocrisy that has sadly made me turn away from the church.

aTimeforChoosing1980 said...

What we don't know, by the way, is how many accusers are liars. Someone above asked why is there any statute of limitations at all: perhaps to avoid people coming out of the woodwork after 40 or 50 years to get a piece of the pie that politicians (yes, judges, too) like to spread around. No doubt there has been abuses, perhaps made worse by their promise to God.
But let's get equally (you should pardon the expression) aroused by the thousand-fold sexual abuses of minors by school teachers, coaches, councilors, janitors, etc who have roamed our public schools for decades. We only hear about them when there is some babe schtoopin some teenage boy.
And let's examine the real issue here: the role homosexuality plays in these cases. For too long good gay men thought they could protect themselves and others from their desires by enrolling in seminaries. But nature took over their lives and their prayfulness didn't win out. Why is there not a rash of 60-year old women claiming to have been abused by priests? Because this is more of a gay issue than a priest issue.

M.McShea said...

My first cousin once removed, his holiness, (His feces did not stink btw! lol) made my great aunt change her legal last name from McShea to McShay when after decades of physical abuse from her husband she had enough and was filing for a divorce in Phila.. The young ambitious monsignor with a fresh brown nose working for the Papal Nuncio in DC did not want any lowly female relative causing any scandal and ruining his chances for the bishop's hat in Philly. Great guy.

Anonymous said...

11:18 wants to equate homosexuals with child abusers and takes the old tired saw that there are schoolteachers et al who are abusers also and that by looking back at old cases there will be piling on. None to some of the forgoing may be true, but that does not excuse what the Bishops (including Welch when he was in Philly) were complicit and the fact that the Chaput Administration continues to spend millions on lawyers in an attempt to defend the indefensible . Jesus Wept.

Anonymous said...

People don't leave the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church leaves them. This letter is another in a long line of departures. The thought that calling to task a sect that shelters those who sexually abuse children is somehow bashing is a blanket of security for the abusers. In darkness there is evil, shine a light and let the evil be punished.

Bill Donahue said...

NY Times Abuse Story Omits Key Facts

April 5, 2016
Bill Donohue comments on an incomplete New York Times story:

On the front page of today's New York Times there is a story about priestly sexual abuse that occurred "long ago" in a western Pennsylvania diocese. The story's omissions are glaring. Here are some of them:

Readers never learn what "long ago" means. In fact, the cases of alleged abuse extend back to World War II.

Readers never learn why old cases of alleged abuse at one high school in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was sufficient cause for the local D.A. to refer these cases to the state Attorney General.

Readers never learn why a grand jury of decades-old allegations in the diocese was summoned, but no other institution, public or private, was probed. It simply cannot be that there are no old cases outstanding in any other institution in the state. So why the cherry-picking?

Readers never learn that the attorney who took the case in western Pennsylvania came from out-of-state, and that he has a tarnished ethical record.

Readers never learn that the two bills that are proposed to revise the statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases involving minors only apply to private institutions. Neither bill would affect the public schools, even though Pennsylvania public school teachers have the second worst record in the nation when it comes to raping students.
Other than that, the story was accurate.

M.McShea said...

Bill Donohue. Worth every cent of his $400,000 a year job with his boiler plate RCism defending the Bishops Males Only Club (wink,nod).
here

Anonymous said...

There's a simple reason statutes of limitation apply. The longer it is since a crime has been committed, the harder it is to prove guilt or innocence. With a 25 year old case, there is likely to be no hard evidence, and some witnesses are likely to have passed away or have a misguided memory of the facts. This is magnified for every year a case is delayed. Cases become a case of he said/she said, and verdicts become totally random, based on the emotions, feelings, and past experiences/prejudices of jurors, not the actual evidence. No institution(churches, schools, businesses, etc.) is willing to roll the dice on emotions, so most cases are settled financially, usually at the urging of insurance companies. Every settlement leads others to try to cash in, and legitimate cases are buried under cases filed by those who want to hop on the gravy train.

I'd actually be in favor of setting up a system where a judge hears cases that are outside of the current statute of limitations, and holds them to a much higher standard of proof than those filed in a timely manner. Combined with punishments for obvious fraudulent cases, handling things this way would ensure that those with legitimate cases, no matter how old, have a way to resolve them while also ensuring that random accusations without basis go no further.

Pookah said...
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Pookah said...
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Anonymous said...

The writer above is not 'trying' to equate homosexuals with child abuse; just homosexual priests and homosexuality. I remember in a Catholic High School in an another state in another time the chatter about Father this or Brother that being "queer"...the term of the time. Invariably the kids they were believed to be messing around with were, in fact, gay. That excuses nothing, but makes the belated claims suspect. I saw first hand those kids playing up to the clergymen. Both were weak and did evil things, However, claims that that behavior made someone become gay, as was alleged by some in the Sandusky scandal, is ridiculous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:36, All very valid arguments, which should be made in a secular setting, and not bc of the dictates of Holy Mother Church.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't seen Spotlight, please do. A great flick and not heavy-handed. Will provide insight into what went on during the McShea/Welsh era.

Anonymous said...

When I was a child the priest at our church in Bethlehem molested the young women students.
Should we target heterosexuals?

Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church is still operating the worlds largest pedophile operation . What is it about the Catholic Church that attracts so many weirdos?

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I have just passed the jewish community center in allentown and there is a sign that reads somthing to carnival classes being available¿
The church is and allways has been a great part of the circus, this topic is more about institutional sex crimes and not oreintations of deviant styles¿!)$
Jump over to the other blog and there is no mention as to the institutional sex crimes commited against childlike adults¿¡ These crime are and have commited and ommited by local opperatives of the STATE because of fear of loss of funding said opperations¿¡
Now these very same people have turned that particular in hospital treatment into a circus sideshow too¿¡!) The grant grab specialist now hook it up with criminal recidivism that is a STATE insurable peril¿¡
redd registered Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Catholic bashers have at it. No doubt we'll soon see the references to all the Brooklyn rabbis who have been convicted of diddling the little kids. Oh you missed that? Can't be the media cover up, can it?

Unknown said...

Try and provide a morsel of truth or support to validate this.

Unknown said...

You are welcome to return. The Church needs you to return and help victims. Also, the Church needs you to help it the rid the scorn of this tragedy and return to its mission.

Unknown said...

Please provide even a shred of truth to validate your claim

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no way of knowing whether this is true, but here's a morsel supporting the comment at 8:49.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_abuse_cases_in_Brooklyn%27s_Haredi_community

Anonymous said...

"I'm a Catholic (albeit it a bad one) and resent Bishop Barres instructing his flock on a matter this obscene when there are many more compelling issues that should be on the mind of a person who claims to speak for Buddy Christ."

There is nothing wrong regarding what Barres is doing. His job, the same as the Bishop of any diocese, is multi-faceted in regards to spiritual matters, financial matters and political matters. From time to time he needs to make statements regarding things that effect his diocese. It would be highly irresponsible of him to sit back and say nothing and you're ignorant and blind to what his job entails if you think otherwise.

Regarding his statement, his own words are that he is "asking you to consider" which is a far cry from mandating, forcing or even instructing anyone to do anything. His statement is not a Papal Bull or a fait accompli. He's putting it out there for people to consider and whether you choose to do something about it or not is 100% up to you.





Bernie O'Hare said...

First, when you comment hear, I hate huge gaps at the end. I will delete comments like that even if there is no personal attack So watch for that in the future. Second, I resent any cleric who even suggests that I contact anyone in the state legislature or Congress about anything. Third, having made the decision to instruct us on seclar matters, I am appalled he would pick child abuse as his hot button issue, especially given the problems going on in his own Diocese. His cathedral is in the middle of a sea of poverty, and he's worried about priests getting sued. Plenty wrong with that picture.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Democrats routinely campaign in black churches while Republicans stay away from all churches, lest they endure the wrath of liberals like you. I'll await your post on black church leaders intermingling regularly with politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let me get this straight. Your defense to Barres' meddling in government is that "black" churches do it? Republicans stay away from Churches? The reason Scott Ott did so well in his first run for Exec is precisely bc many evangelical "Christitan" churches (and that word definitely needs quotation marks) was actively pushing his campaign. I had stories about it. The Catholic Church is outrageous for this sort of thing, right down to telling people who to vote for in parish bulletins. As for "black" churches, I find they often deal with matters of social justice. I could put up with the Catholic Church complaining about its poor priests being prosecuted if it actually gave a shit about the poor. Any church that permits a candidate from just one party to campaign is violating its nonprofit status.

Anonymous said...

"Second, I resent any cleric who even suggests that I contact anyone in the state legislature or Congress about anything."

Why? He's only making a suggestion. If there was some kind of heavy handed verbiage associated with it that's one thing. But nothing like that was ever written or will be written. If you don't like it, it's a no brainer, you simply ignore it like 99.9% of people will do and move on. There's no need to be "appalled" over what is in essence, nothing.

"Third, having made the decision to instruct us on seclar matters"

Wrong. His job is to lead the diocese in every way and that includes matters that are secular, financial and political. It's not rocket science. Maybe you think that the job should only focus on secular matters but that's on you and not based in reality as that job has always as much about money and administration as it's been about "leading the flock".

"His cathedral is in the middle of a sea of poverty,"

I'm not sure what you're getting at other than a cheap and irrelevant dig? The cathedral was built before Barres was born. I'm not quite sure how he had any say in where it was built. The diocese gives millions to the community every year via Catholic Charities.

"Plenty wrong with that picture"

Again, not really. He's trying to get out in front of an issue that would be a witch hunt boondoggle that likely gets nowhere. Bringing back potential cases that are 30, 40, or even 50 plus years old is asinine. No doubt in a lot of cases the priests who should have been held responsible are dead. The Bishops who engaged in the cover ups and should have been held responsible are dead. Just like a lot of the victims are dead.

Very few stand to benefit except for lawyers, people who will be anti-Catholic no matter what happens and glorified pot stirrers such as yourself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe I've already made my case. If you want to be led around by the nose, that's on you. I have my own opinion on extending the S/L, and happen to oppose it. But i am very resentful of the Catholic Church getting itself involved in this issue, especially since it created much of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I just redd that people are retiring to theme parks in florida to futhure incubation of pedipillia¿¡

Anonymous said...

"I believe I've already made my case."

You can believe what you want but clearly you haven't. A good portion of your comments come across as biased and misinformed with heavy touch of wanting to do nothing except stir the pot of blatant sensationalism with comments such as "many of whom wear that Roman collar like a wolf in sheep's clothing."

That type of comment should get you sued for slander as it clearly implies that most priests in the diocese are predators which is not the truth. You have any stats to back up that claim regarding current priests in the diocese? Last I checked, The Holy Order as you call him as been very transparent about not hiding anything regarding abuse since he took office. I'm not saying that there's not a priest currently in ministry in the diocese who isn't potentially hiding something, but to say "many" is an exaggeration that is more like a blatant lie.

"If you want to be led around by the nose"

No one is being led. I've read the document and if Barres wants to write that he can. The part you keep missing which is evident by your sensationalistic headline is that he's not using his pulpit to do anything. Sure his words carry more weight than yours or mine because of his position but again, what he wrote is nothing more than his opinion which he is NOT forcing down anyone's throat Catholic or not. Using his pulpit would be for matters of doctrine of which, duh, this is clearly not. If you don't like it, don't do it, don't listen, period, done.

"But i am very resentful of the Catholic Church getting itself involved in this issue, especially since it created much of the problem"

Again, try some context. Yes "The Church" created much of the problem but the part that you skip over is something I mentioned in my last post. I would assume that the overwhelming majority of cases that relate to the Allentown Diocese would involve priests that are either dead or at best are very elderly and primarily two Bishops who are both dead. How is suing the current Bishop, the current diocese or current diocesan leadership going to solve anything for the sins of what happened generations ago when they likely had nothing to do with any of this?


Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe it ws incredibly tone deaf for the Bishop to stake our any public position on this subject, to say noting of the obvious coercion behind a letter to parishioners. You can dress it up however you like, but the facts are that the Church is still in the middle of a child abuse scandal asnd now is trying to limit its liability by using their sheep to bleat at state reps. Fortunately, most people hhave stopped going to church except at Christmas and Easter. You have already demonstrated your own unwillingness to follow principles of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. One of those principles is honesty. I would expect a good Catholic to say who he is when defending the Church. I allow anonymous comments, and you have made only minor personal attacks so far, but I would expect a good Catholic to be upfront on this issue and own his words. By the way, I am being a good Catholic when pointing to the very obvious hypocrisy here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are going to have to ID yourself if you wish to continue this conversation.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

You will have to ID yourself if tyou wish to continue. This is a matter of respect. If you want me to engage you, at this point you have an obligation to ID yourself and take responsibility for what you write. You are taking far too much of my time without the courtesy of dsaying who you are. Sorry.