April 11, 2008

See, it really is "Penis Church" after all

England: An evangelical pastor who preached on the importance of fidelity is to step down after admitting adultery. Bishop Michael Reid told his congregation at Peniel Pentecostal Church in Brentwood, Essex, I confess that I have sinned by committing adultery. I recognise that I have failed in my duties and acted in a way that harmed the church. I apologise to my wife and family and all of you whose trust I have betrayed and ask for your forgiveness and prayers. According to the Daily Mail:

His wife of 36 years, Ruth, is standing by him and is understood to have accompanied him abroad to his other ministry, in the American state of Arizona.

Where he presumably thinks they do not have the internet, nor read newspapers.

Reid had already resigned as director of the Christian Coalition for Traditional Values, and is best known for his role in the campaign against Jerry Springer: the Opera. The only time he has featured in the Prattle is when a Peniel Church billboard in Edinburgh was creatively vandalised.

Update: He might not be doing much in Arizona after all, according to the Michael Reid Ministries home page:

Bishop Michael Reid tendered his resignation from the church board and stepped down from pastoral duties in the church. The reason is that he has sinned by committing adultery and he has unreservedly apologised for what he had done and has taken full responsibility for his actions.

Bishop who preached family values finally admits: I am an adultererDaily Mail, 10th April 2008; Pastor resigns post over adulteryBBC News, 10th April 2008; Bad "Bishop" resigns from CCTVMediaWatchWatch, 8th April 2008. See also Bishop Michael Reid Resigns over Sex ScandalBartholomew's Notes on Religion, 8th April 2008, for considerably more detail and analysis of this story.

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November 24, 2007

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, part blah blah blah

Religion seems to be a popular theme right now amongst child abusers. Here's a few recent stories:

  • Israel: An influential member of an ultra-orthodox Jewish group who fled to the US 20 years ago amid accusations that he sexually abused children while pretending to be a rabbi faces extradition to Israel. Israel May Extradite Sex Abuse SuspectAssociated Press, 19th November 2007.
  • United States: The Jehovah's Witnesses have settled nine lawsuits alleging church policies protected men who sexually abused children for many years. New evidence in Jehovah's Witness allegationsMSNBC, 21st November 2007.
  • Canada: A (now former) Jehovah's Witness elder has been jailed for the sexual abuse of a teenage girl he was supposed to be counselling. Jehovah's Witness elder gets three years for sexual exploitationCanada.com, 9th November 2007.
  • United States: A recently-deceased pastor who faced child abuse allegation admitted French kissing young girls. Pastor Bob Gray Admitted to Kissing Young GirlsFirst Coast News, 21st November 2007.
  • United States: Pastor accused of child rape ruled with an iron handSeattle Post-Intelligencer, 9th November 2007.
  • United Kingdom: A retired vicar who administered for the Church of England in Northamptonshire has been charged with sexual abuse of young boys more than 20 years ago. Former vicar in sex caseNorthampton Chronicle and Echo, 31st October 2007.
  • Australia: A child protection group has called on the Anglican Church to defrock a priest due for release from jail tomorrow after serving time for child sex offences.Call to defrock pervert priestThe Courier Mail, 7th November 2007.
  • United Kingdom: Thousands of files will be examined in an independent review checking for past cases of sex abuse involving clergy, the Church of England has announced. Church abuse case review outlinedBBC News, 26th October 2007.

And on the ongoing scandal in the Roman Catholic Church:

  • United States: A prominent Chicago bishop is suggesting legal changes that would shield Roman Catholic institutions from paying excessive damages in sex abuse lawsuits. Bishop seeks limits for sex abuse paymentsChicago Tribune, 9th November 2007.
  • United States: Former Quincy priest named in sexual abuse complaintMadison County Record, 14th November 2007.
  • United States: Child abusing priest was an all-round hypocrite—the respected clergyman — who on Sundays preached chastity and abstinence from alcohol — was himself an excessive drinker who engaged in sexual activity with other men. Liberatore trod a well-traveled path to abuseTimes Leader, ? November 2007.
  • United States: Defrocked Los Angeles priest in prison awaiting trail on a second batch of child abuse charges. Church authorities moved him from parish to parish whenever allegations came to light. Popular ex-priest hid dark sideSan Gabriel Valley Tribune, ? November 2007.
  • United States: St. Leo priest faces abuse allegationBaltimore Sun, 19th November 2007.
  • United States: The Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church has agreed to pay $50 million to 110 Eskimos to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests and missionaries in some of the world's most remote villages. $50 million for Alaskan abuse plaintiffsLos Angeles Times, 19th November 2007.

And finally, a gratuitous bampot:

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October 23, 2007

Catching up

Some stories I missed, or didn't get round to writing about:

  • A woman who falsely accused her father of raping her as a child after undergoing recovered memory therapy on the NHS has reached an out-of-court settlement with Tayside NHS. The treatment is responsible for a number of claims of Satanic abuse, though this case had no such elements. Settlement for bogus abuse womanBBC News, 20th October 2007.
  • It seems that it's not only the Roman Catholic Church which has been covering up child sexual abuse by its clergy. The Church of England has a similar problem. C of E child abuse was ignored for decades The Daily Telegraph, 22nd October 2007. (Thank you to Andrew Ian Dodge.)
  • OMFG!!!!! A fictional character is a poof! That should upset the fundies even more. Rowling Says Dumbledore Is GayNewsweek, 19th October 2007. (My favourite quote from J.K. Rowling on the matter is in the BBC News version of the story: Oh, my god, the fan fiction.)
  • The case of a Christian magistrate who resigned because his bigotry restricted his ability to do his job has reached an industrial tribunal. Christian JP forced out over gay adoption cases, tribunal hearsThe Guardian, 22nd October 2007. See also WWJD?: Lies and Blackmail!Prattle, January 26th 2007.

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October 15, 2007

Suspended cleric blames Satanists

Vatican City: The case of Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, suspended from his high ranking post after he appeared to come out in a TV interview has taken a new and interesting twist.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, a capo ufficio, or section head, at the Vatican ministry responsible for the clergy, insisted yesterday he was not gay. He said he had posed as a homosexual to research a plot by satanists.

Sex, lies and videotape: turmoil at the VaticanThe Guardian, 15th October 2007.

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October 14, 2007

Unfunny clown

United States: An Illinois Christian clown has been arrested on charges relating to child pornography and sex tourism after a routine check of his computer on returning from the Philippines revealed pictures of naked boys, and clothed boys showing their genitals. A. Paul Carlock Jr., a.k.a. Klutzo, had an excuse though:

Carlock initially told investigating officers that the images on his computer and camera were photos he had intended to edit so they'd be appropriate to show at his church. He said the photos showed that the boys were too poor to afford clothes and that he photographed the naked boys because that's how they live, the affidavit said.

However, officials found one image marked as edited in which the only change was that the edited version had been enlarged, according to the affidavit.

Unfortunately, there was also something else suspicious about his computer:

Officials also allegedly discovered a program on Carlock's computer called Evidence Eliminator, which authorities said is marketed as being able to erase images from computers to the extent that investigators cannot retrieve them.

Now, it might be that he just wants to be sure that other Christian clowns don't see his confidential business documents, so police checked his house and found at least 21 other child pornographic movies. And, if that wasn't enough, it seems that boys at the House of Joy orphanage where he had worked cheering up the orphans has complained of waking up to find him in their beds fondling them.

Of course, he has left a trail online, and Novice Nun the Wiser OPI, has been busy. Let's start with his Amazon profile, where we can check out the items he has reviewed and his choice of tags:

Continue reading "Unfunny clown"

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May 31, 2007

From the fluffy bed into the fire.

United States: A Roman Catholic priest has received a four year sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy. The sentence is on top of a 14 year one he has already received for sexually assaulting two other boys. The priest, named only as "Evans" in the Rocky Mountain News told the court:

I am a believer in the power of touch. I believe it is very scriptural. Jesus often touched people he was not supposed to touch.

The boy had been sent to the priest for counselling after his parents found books on witchcraft in his bag.

Priest gets four more years for abuseRocky Mountain News, 31st May 2007.

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May 15, 2007

Dead fundies, and other news.

  • United States: Jerry Falwell is dead. As with Andrea Dworkin, I'll stick to my mother's advice about not saying anything if I have nothing nice to say. You may choose to do otherwise. US evangelist Jerry Falwell diesBBC News, 15th May 2007.
  • United States: Wiccan woman on the recieving end of Christian love. Diatribe possible hate crimeTimes-Union, 15th May 2007.
  • England: A Roman Catholic priest is on trial, accused of paying to have an 11-year-old girl groomed for sex. If he's found guilty, let's see how his church can blame this one on pooves. Priest 'paid for girl's grooming'BBC News, 15th May 2007.

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March 25, 2007

A close shave

Malawi: A witchdoctor's unconventional magic has resulted in a two year prison sentence, with hard labour.

People in Mulanje were going about their daily businesses but for two women and a 13-year-old girl all from the same family it was a morning of lifetime experiences. The three were having their pubic hair shaved with razor blades by a self proclaimed male witchdoctor who promised them the fortune of life.

One by one the three sisters were called into a bathroom a few metres away from their main house where they stripped naked before 21 year old Peter Harawara who sat there touching and shaving their private parts.

The women began to suspect something was amiss when he threatened them with death and demanded sex.

Continue reading "A close shave"

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February 14, 2007

French censorship.

France: A correspondent tells me a French science fiction novel has been censored, and it seems to be because the Roman Catholic Church doesn't like to be reminded of their failings. Denis Guiot, editor of young adult science fiction imprint Autres Mondes explains:

The editorial board of Fleurus/Mango Jeunesse has censored Nathalie Le Gendre's novel, Les Orphelins de Naja (The Orphans of Naja), which I had scheduled for a May, 2007 publication in the Autres Mondes line.

The book shall not be published.

The reason why? Nathalie's novel denounces pedophilia in a future Church, on a newly-colonized planet.

The editorial board doesn't want any trouble with the shareholders.

Granted, the line is put out by a publishing group otherwise known for its religious output, the number one publisher of missals in Europe, and such a book would surely look unsightly.

Unless the editorial board changes its mind--which is highly unlikely--I am thinking of quitting.

The Autres Mondes imprint is highly regarded, enjoying both commercial success and critical acclaim.

Censorship in France14theditch, 14th February 2007.

January 26, 2007

WWJD?: Lies and Blackmail!

United Kingdom: It came as no surprise that, while the Prattle was down, a number of interesting news stories would come to light, and that others would run and run. In particular, some religious organisations continue to be upset that same-sex couples have the right to be considered as adoptive parents, and will soon have to receive equal treatment in the provision of goods and services.

One church, in particular, is desperate for the right to be bigoted, even though their own members, and people perceived to be descended from members of that church, have been, and still are, on the receiving end of discrimination. Needless to say, the church which pretends to be so concerned about children is the same one that has a long-standing problem with pædophile clergy, and a history of covering up the child abuse committed by their priests (Prattles passim, ad nauseam).

So, what honourable tactics are being used by the men of God?

Continue reading "WWJD?: Lies and Blackmail!"

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December 23, 2006

Leading by example

Paedophile JesusMy Friend is was a Roman Catholic propaganda magazine aimed at children. So, does did their choice of image for their website's masthead fall foul of internet grooming laws?

Here's a screendump, in case they notice and change it.

December 17, 2006

Demonstrating moral authority

England: The Leeds diocese of the Roman Catholic Church has been accused of covering up child sex abuse by a priest.

In 1987, Father David Crowley was permanently banned from working as a priest in the diocese and sent for counselling after he encouraged sexual activity among boys and gave them alcohol. The then Bishop of Leeds, Rt Rev David Konstant, did not report the incident to the police, and the story proceeded in the traditional manner:

Within a few months Konstant helped Crowley to find a new post in Devon. He was made to sign a contract to restrict his contact with young people, but went on to abuse in Torquay and Barnstaple. Even though concerns were raised about his continued contact with young boys in the south of England, he was allowed to return to Yorkshire - despite Konstant's earlier pledge that he would never again work as a priest in the diocese of Leeds - and entered into another period of sexual abuse.

Paul (not his real name) was among Crowley's victims when the priest returned to Yorkshire. He was raped by Crowley as a 10-year-old altar boy. Over four years from 1991, Paul was subject to frequent sexual abuse by the priest who got other boys to perform sex acts on him. 'He wouldn't care what was happening,' Paul said. 'Even if there was a funeral taking place or a wedding, he would wait for his opportunity. Sometimes he would be very aggressive, pushing me down on the floor and assaulting me.'

Paul says he was traumatised at the time and it took him till 2004 to report the abuse. By this time, Crowley was in prison, serving an nine-year sentence for a string of sexual assaults on boys, and he admitted raping Paul. This time, the police decided another trial would not be in the public interest, so Paul decided to sue the diocese. Despite the circumstances of Crowley's move from Devon back to Yorkshire, the church is claiming that they knew nothing at the time and that their actions were appropriate.

And it seems that this is not the first time the diocese has been involved in covering up sexual abuse:

This is not the first time the diocese has been involved in a sex abuse scandal. Earlier this year, The Observer reported how it had covered up the criminal past of paedophile priest, Neil Gallanagh, and gave him a job in a school for deaf children, where he went on to sexually assault vulnerable young boys.

As Crowley was sentenced to nine years imprisonment in 1997, he will be free by now, even if he served the full sentence. I wonder in which diocese he's working.

Catholic church in new sex abuse rowThe Observer, 17th December 2006.

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November 9, 2006

Predictable outcome

The Vatican/France: When the Roman Catholic Church published a policy on homosexual seminarians last year, Monseigneur Tony Anatrella wrote an op-ed piece for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. He had quite a bit to say about pooves:

Saying that homosexuality results as a lack of plenitude and an immaturity of human sexuality, Anatrella went on to opine on the difficulty of the homosexual person to incarnate effectively this symbolic reality of spousal tie and spiritual paternity and that gay priests will need a special care, and regular interventions on part of the authority, and a life set in a constant medical and psychotherapeutic cure.

Well, according to Rocco Palmo, Anatrella is under investigation by the French authorities after allegations from a male patient:

According to the complaint, filed on 30 October in Paris, a French ex-seminarian named Daniel Lamarca said that, while being treated by Anatrella in 1987, he had sexual relations with the cleric, who Lamarca went to in the hope of curing him of his homosexuality. The patient was 23 at the time and spoke of bodily work therapy sessions with Anatrella that, according to the accuser, would progress into sex.

Palmo writes for The Tablet, a Roman Catholic newspaper.

Homosems, A Year OnWhispers in the Loggia, 8th November 2006 (thanks, Pastor Best).

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November 2, 2006

Oops.

United States: A man has claimed that he has had three year sexual business relationship with a male pastor. Nothing odd there, except the pastor at the centre of the allegations is Pastor Ted Haggard, a well-known opponent of lgbt rights. Escort Mike Jones also claims that Haggard took methamphetamine on a number of occasions.

Haggard, married with too many children, naturally denies the allegations.

Man claims 3-year sexual relationship with pastor 9News, 1st November 2006.

Update (3/11/06): Pastor Haggard has been put on administrative leave while the matter is investigated, and had admitted to some of the claims, although we do not know which ones. Meanwhile, MediaWatchWatch reminds us where we've seen him before.

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September 19, 2006

Grabbing the other one reveals the presence of bells

England: A former adviser to the Bishop of Oxford has pleaded guilty to posessing and making child pornography, though he insists the material found its way onto his computer by accident.

The pictures were found by detectives from the Hi-Tech Crime Unit, who raided his home in June last year. Most had been downloaded on the same day in June.

The unit had been tipped off by the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation, which discovered [The Rev Richard Thomas] Thomas's IP address - the unique address allocated to every machine connected to the internet - among a list of those using a chat page to download pornography.

Thomas, the former director of communication for the Oxford diocese, has previously pleaded not guilty to 17 charges of making indecent photographs and three of possession but yesterday at Oxford crown court he changed his plea to guilty to 10 counts of making child pornography and two of possessing it.

The remaining seven charges of making the indecent photographs and one of possessing them will lie on the file.

Thomas said afterwards that he had developed an addiction to adult pornography and the child images had been downloaded inadvertently.

He said that since experts had been unable to prove either way whether the images had been deliberately downloaded, it was the responsible thing to do to plead guilty.

Thomas' name might be familiar to some Prattle readers, as part of his job involves liaison with minority faiths, including speaking at a Pagan Federation event. This role has generated some controversy and suspicion about his motives, some suggesting that evangelism is the sole reason he would act in a friendly manner towards such people. This was before the Church of England thought of bribing people to come to church instead. To his credit, he has not suggested in his defence that he thought that Neopagans abused children and that he was researching the matter.

Bishop's ex-adviser faces jail after downloading child imagesThe Guardian, 9th September 2006.

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August 17, 2006

Another good Christian

United States: The leader of the Oregon Christian Coalition has admitted sexually abusing three underage girls in a recently released police report.

But a local Police Department report released as part of a lawsuit said Beres readily admitted sexually touching one girl when she was 13 or 14 years old.

Beres also acknowledged sexually touching a 16- or 17-year-old friend of his daughter in 1976 or 1977...

In a telephone call with an investigator, Beres made admissions to three separate victims at three different times, the police report said. All involved underage females. The offenses ranged from kissing to touching the breast of an underage girl.

Beres insists that his intent was playful. Fortunately for him, a statute of limitations means he won't be charged in connection with the allegations.

Christian leader fiddles with kiddiesGay.com News, 17th August 2006.

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January 8, 2006

Gay sting minister resigns

United States: A pastor arrested earlier this week after he allegedly solicited sex from a plainclothes police officer has resigned from his church, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. Rev. Lonnie Latham only cited "personal reasons" in his resignation letter to the BGCO, and made no mention of recent events.

Meanwhile, P.Z. Myers received a fascinating comment from someone claiming to be a member of Latham's former church.

Pastor Accused Of Lewdness Resigns From ConventionChannelOklahoma.com, 6th January 2006; Tulsa Pastor Resigns From Church After ArrestKOTV, 6th January 2006. See also Pastor offers unique ministryPagan Prattle, 5th January 2006.

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January 5, 2006

Pastor offers unique ministry

United States: An openly homophobic pastor has been arrested and charged with offering to engage in an act of lewdness after he allegedly propositioned a male plain clothes police officer in a motel car park. The police officer was investigating complaints about male protitution when Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church, asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex.

The allegation is unfortunate for Latham, given what he claims to believe:

He has also spoken out against same-sex marriage and in support of a Southern Baptist Convention directive urging its 42,000 churches to befriend gays and lesbians and try to convince them that they can become heterosexual if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their 'sinful, destructive lifestyle.

According to other news sources, Latham claims he was 'pastoring' to the police at the time.

Anti-Gay Pastor Busted For Trying To Pick Up Male Prostitute Decoy365Gay.com News, 4th January 2006; Police: Pastor propositioned officerCNN, 5th January 2005.

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May 15, 2005

Georgia, Where Your First Girlfriend is a Mule

United States: Neal Horsley the kind of bloke that gives other Christians the sudden urge to convert to another religion.

He doesn't like women. He doesn't like homosexuals. He happily proclaims that murdering doctors who perform abortions is a fine thing and he has one of the world's ugliest web sites filled with the insane rantings of your typical ignorant bigot to prove it. This is the warm and fuzzy chap who not only fills his site with hate speech, but posts the names and addresses of doctors who, in his opinion, perform abortions and incites people to kill them. One of his idiot followers took Horsley's advice, killed two people and injured a further 150. Horsley was so proud.

But there is one thing that Neal Horsley does like, aside from insane murderers, that is.

In a recent Fox News radio interview, the less than intelligent Horsley was asked about his background, and he cheerfully admitted to engaging in homosexual and bestiality sexual activities. Yep, this self-avowed savior of our souls is into farm animals.

Continue reading "Georgia, Where Your First Girlfriend is a Mule"

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May 2, 2005

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385667

Australia: A former Anglican priest has pleaded guilty to a string of sex offences involving boys as young as 12. He had previously been jailed for similar offences back in 1994.

The offences occurred over a 20-year period while Daniels was involved with the Anglican Church in Tasmania, both as a priest and archdeacon and an active member of the Church of England Boys Society (CEBS)...

... In one case, some time between January 1, 1976 and December 31, 1977, a boy aged around 15 woke to find Daniels fondling his penis inside his pyjamas.

Daniels told the boy mutual masturbation was a natural thing to do between mates who cared for each other, Mr Stoddard said.

Years later when the pair were driving home from a church service in the Derwent Valley, Daniels forced the boy to perform oral sex on him, holding his head to stop him struggling.

Mr Stoddard said Daniels had told his victims not to tell anyone.

Former priest pleads guilty to child sex - The Daily Telgraph (Australia), 2nd May 2005.

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December 29, 2004

Christian pastor arrested on child sex abuse charges.

United States: An Arizona pastor has been arrested on charges relating to the alleged sexual abuse of a six-year-old Florida boy in 1996. According to the authorities, Robert Armand Enerson, a pastor at the First Assembly of God in Douglas, has admitted sexually abusing children in North Carolina and Michigan, and police are investigating to see if there are any further allegations.

An affidavit prepared by Polk County investigators alleges that Enerson molested a boy repeatedly for about a week while serving as a pastor at the New Life Assembly of God in Wahneta, Fla., in 1996. The accuser, now 15, said Enerson entered a bedroom where the boy was playing video games and stroked the child's penis, according to the affidavit.

In an interview with investigators in Douglas, Enerson reportedly said he had touched the boy's penis on at least two occasions, although possibly more, and had the boy touch him, according to the affidavit. Enerson also told detectives the child was hiding under the bed at one point and he pulled him out to touch his penis, the affidavit states. The boy told investigators he was intimidated by the size of the burly pastor, who weighs about 250 pounds, according to records.

In the affidavit, Enerson also was accused of having oral relations and masturbating a boy over a span of seven years, from age 10 to 17, in North Carolina. Enerson also reportedly told detectives he rubbed a Michigan boy's penis an unknown number of times, according to the report.

His church is not answering the phone right now, and did not reply to messages left by journalists on their answering machine.

Ariz. pastor held in Fla. sex countsArizona Republic, 29th December 2004.

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November 4, 2004

Pastor Caught at Club with Drugs

Australia: A 60-year-old religious minister was caught with drugs at an inner Sydney nightclub. Looks like he went on a bender after both his church and his wife dumped him. No word on why he was dumped.

Kevin Arthur Caulton pleaded guilty at Downing Centre Local Court to one count of possessing a prohibited drug, an ecstasy tablet stamped with a yellow smiley face.

Caulton, a repressed Uniting Church minister and hospital chaplain, was at the Exchange Hotel's Phoenix Bar on Oxford St, Darlinghurst, on October 3 when it was raided by police with sniffer dogs at 1am.

And the lesson, boys and girls, is that religion causes repression, is bad for you and will only lead to you doing stupid things.

Continue reading "Pastor Caught at Club with Drugs"

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October 19, 2004

The usual.

Sri Lanka: A Christian cleric has been arrested in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of eight boys.

The suspect who belonged to the New Order Christianity Gathering in Kaluwarippuwa in Katana had allegedly sexually abused eight boys between the age of 12 and 18, a NCPA spokesman said....

The arrest was made on the night of October 15 by the Special Police Unit with the assistance of neighbours while the suspect was in hiding.

The suspect had rented a house at Kaluwarippuwa where he had been conducting religious activities connected with the New Order.

He is alleged to have invited children to his residence on the pretext of "conducting classes" but employed them in his farm to look after pigs, dogs and other animals.

According to NCPA officers the children were fed with rotten vegetables meant for the animals.

The priest is also alleged to have forced the children to take liquor and also shown them phonographic [sic.] films before sexually abusing them.

Interestingly, the complaint against the mushrooming sect came from the Bishop of Mannar, and it will be interesting to see whether the allegations or true, or the work of a jealous mind.

NCPA cops nab child abuse cleric - Daily News, 19th October 2004.

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September 17, 2004

New child protection policy ignored by church

England: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster has been accused of betraying the trust of worshippers at a Kentish Town church, after a priest was jailed for abusing two boys. Father William John Hofton was allowed to continue as a priest after he was convicted of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old youth, but his new parish was not informed of his history.

The parishioners claim the failure to tell their lay child protection representative casts doubt on the Church's new child protection policy.

The policy is based on a 2001 report by Lord Nolan into sex abuse in the Church, which gives guidelines on how to ensure children's protection.

One such recommendation is the appointment in each parish of a child protection representative.

The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales insists the guidelines were followed in William Hofton's case.

Parish 'betrayed' over sex priestBBC News, 17th September 2004.

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September 14, 2004

Televangelist Tries to Gag Gay Lover

United States: I love a story about televangelists getting caught with their pants down. This time it's Paul Crouch, founder of the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, who has called out the big guns to try and prevent a former employee from spilling the beans about a sexual encounter he had with Crouch eight years ago.

Crouch, 70, is the president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, based in Orange County, whose Christian programming reaches millions of viewers around the world via satellite, cable and broadcast stations.

The source of the allegations against him is Enoch Lonnie Ford, who met Crouch at a TBN-affiliated drug treatment center in 1991 and later went to work for the ministry.

After Ford threatened to sue TBN in 1998, claiming that he had been unjustly fired, Crouch reached a $425,000 settlement with him. In return, Ford agreed, among other things, not to discuss his claim about a sexual encounter with the TV preacher.
Continue reading "Televangelist Tries to Gag Gay Lover"

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Get thee from a nunnery: Italian Sister in illicit affair

Italy: It seems there's something in the water in Montevergine that leads the clergy to follow their hearts. In 2002, Father Vitaliano della Sala got the boot for attending a gay pride march in Rome. But this week Sister Pompea has run off with a monk ten years her junior.

A mystical crisis, said the mother superior, that has obliged the nun to remove herself for an indefinite period and stay with her familiars. That was the explanation for Sister Pompea disappearing from her convent in Montevergine, east of Naples in Italy.

Her absence was noticed when she failed to arrive for teaching duties at a nursery last week.
Continue reading "Get thee from a nunnery: Italian Sister in illicit affair"

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July 30, 2004

It's not only the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Malawi: A Catholic nun and a priest have received suspended sentences after they were caught having sex in an airport car park.

The 43-year-old priest and 26-year-old nun were caught in the act in a tinted saloon car parked at Lilongwe International Airport.

It was a bizarre spectacle, the public alerted airport police after noticing the car shaking in a funny way, police spokesman Kelvin Maigwa told the BBC.

The nun accepted responsibility for her actions, but the priest blamed an imaginary enemy:

The nun tearfully told the magistrate she regretted her brief lapse in judgement, while the priest said that as a man of God he accepted Satan had tempted him.

Malawi clerics caught canoodlingBBC News, 29th July 2004 (Thanks, Novice Nun the Wiser).

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July 7, 2004

Diocese declares bankruptcy

United States: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Potland, Oregon, has gone into chapter 11 bankruptcy immediately before the start of the trial of a priest accused of molesting 50 boys. The move protects the diocese from its creditors, but gives the courts control of much of its financial affairs. The decision has caused some raised eyebrows:

But Jim Devereaux, one of the plaintiffs who has filed a lawsuit against the Portland church, says he is suspicious of its reasons for filing for bankruptcy.

I think they would have met us in court today, if they'd been facing up to their responsibilities. I think this is just another corrupt tactic of the Roman Catholic Church archdiocese of Portland, he told the BBC's World Today programme.

Sex claims 'bankrupt US archdiocese'BBC News, 7th July 2004.

Note: That should be Portland, but the typo is funny, so it's staying.

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June 20, 2004

Paedophile Taskforce Nets Ministers

Australia: The great unwashed are always making claims about Scoutmasters being secret kiddie fiddlers. Not in Adelaide, where the cops netted two former Anglican ministers, a former Salvation Army officer, a former junior surf lifesaving coach, two former leaders of the Church of England Boys Society and nary a Scoutmaster in sight.

Two former Anglican ministers and a former Salvation Army officer are among nine people arrested over several days for child sex offences by a South Australian police taskforce.

Those arrested also include a former junior surf lifesaving coach and two former leaders of the Church of England Boys Society.

The first of the nine arrests was made last Thursday by the South Australian Police paedophile task force as part of their investigations into child sex abuse claims within the Anglican Church in Adelaide.
Continue reading "Paedophile Taskforce Nets Ministers"

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June 14, 2004

Priest Publishes Memoirs of his Sex Romps

Argentina: Father Mariani has gotten the grand poohbahs in frocks off-side with by publishing his memoirs of sex romps as a priest. The church may be miffed, but the book has almost sold out, proving the old maxim that sex sells.

A 77-year-old Roman Catholic priest in Argentina has published his memoirs recounting sex with women and a frustrated gay liaison, angering Church officials.

The autobiography No Beating About The Bush. The Life of a Priest, tells of the life and loves of Father Jose Mariani in a posh parish in Cordoba, Argentina's third biggest city where he has been a priest for 53 years.

I could hear my heart beat in ecstasy before the beauty of the body offered before me. I smothered the body with the sweat of my skin, Mariani wrote in the book about having sex with a woman.
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June 1, 2004

Anglican Archbishop Won't Resign

Australia: The Anglican Church in Adelaide has had the wind put up its skirts after an independent inquiry into its habit of not only turning a blind eye to kiddie fondling priests, but actively protecting them from prosecution, was released. The head sherrang has made a weak apology, but refuses to resign.

An independent inquiry into the Anglican church's handling of child sex abuse allegations in South Australia has found the church was uncaring towards victims.

The inquiry was conducted by retired Supreme Court justice Trevor Olsson and social work lecturer Donna Chung, after claims that a former youth worker abused up to 200 boys.
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May 14, 2004

Boston Nuns Assaulted Children

United States: The social attitudes of times past have once more risen to bite the Catholic education system in the arse. This time it's nuns who are in trouble.

Nine former students of a now-closed Massachusetts school for the deaf filed a lawsuit on Tuesday saying they had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the Roman Catholic nuns who operated the institution.
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Drunken Priest Shoots Mayor Dead

Mexico: Some times you just can't improve on a header, and this one says it all. There's nothing like a religious festival to bring out the inner psychotic in the local vicar.

A Catholic priest shot to death the mayor of a town in western Mexico early on Wednesday after the pair got drunk and began punching each other during a religious festival, state officials said.
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May 6, 2004

Pastor convicted of indecent assault

A London pastor has been convicted of two counts of indecent assault against a woman in his congregation, plus one attempted sex assault and perverting the course of justice. Pastor Douglas Goodman was cleared of two counts of indecent assaults, and the jury could not come to a verdict on a further seven indecent assault charges, or on one rape charge.

Courtenay Griffiths QC, Goodman's defence barrister, was presumably trying to claim that the attacks were consensual when he compared his client to Bill Clinton and John Major.

Pastor convicted of sex attacksBBC News, 6th May 2004; see also Pastor's wife casts spell on husband's accusorPagan Prattle, 7th April 2004.

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April 28, 2004

A Priest, A Nun, A Satanic Ritual, Sex And Murder: Perfect Tabloid Fodder

United States: It's funny how Americans seem quick to point the finger at the old Satanic ritual, perhaps they still need to believe in a reason for murder and stark, raving loony hasn't yet entered the local lexicon.

Depending on whom you believe, Gerald Robinson is either a quiet, somewhat remote, balding cleric who has faithfully served the Catholic Church for the past 40 years, or a sexual pervert and participant in bizarre Satanic rituals who killed a 71-year-old nun and covered up the crime.
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March 20, 2004

Wired Vicar Caught With Pants Down

United Kingdom: The good Father Bob has been suspended after shocked parishioners reported that a naked picture of him had been posted on an internet dating web site.

The picture allegedly shows Fr Bob Locke, 41, the Anglican vicar of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, and invites contact from women for sex.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Gladwin, suspended the married clergyman while the unsettling allegations are investigated.
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March 8, 2004

Randy Rector Given The Boot

United Kingdom: A married rector has been disqualified from practising as a priest after he admitted getting his leg over with a woman in his parish.

Mr [Simon] Oberst, a Cambridge graduate who lists his hobbies as singing and music, admitted that he had made advances to two women in his parish. One refused his approaches, the other accepted and an affair followed.
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March 6, 2004

Were they covered against acts of God?

United States: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has sued its insurer because it has refused to cover them for the massive payments made to victims of clergy abuse.

Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co. claims that the church's $85 million settlement with 522 victims of clergy abuse was a voluntary payment and that the company was not obligated to contribute, The Boston Globe reported in Saturday's editions.

The church has had to close several churches and sell historic buildings to cover the cost of compensating its victims. Boston Archdiocese sues insurers over sex abuse casesTri-City Herald, 6th March 2004.

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January 4, 2003

Worried about gays adopting?

The leaders of a Kansas City Church have been charged with the murder of their adopted 9-year old son and of abusing their three other adopted children. Neil E. Edgar and Christy Y. Edgar are pastors of God's Creation Outreach Ministry which teaches that children should be subject to strict, physical discipline. Their son, Brian, died on December 29th.

Wyandotte County Coroner Alan Hancock said in an interview that Brian's mouth had been taped shut and that something like a sock had been stuffed in it. He said there were signs that Brian had vomited and that he had been bound around the chest with a belt. The boy died of asphyxiation, Hancock said.

This is about as bad (a case of child abuse) as any of them, Hancock said.

The autopsy, he added, showed that Brian had been dead for several hours before being brought to the hospital. The autopsy also found bruises on his cheeks and old marks on his wrists and ankles, suggesting he probably had been bound with a rope in the past.

A few years ago, a member of the church was convicted of using a stun gun against a child. Church leaders charged in murder of adopted sonKansas City Star, 1st January 2003.

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