NEW YORK: Catholic Church Has Spent $2M Lobbying Against Reform Of Child Molestation Laws

Last month I reported that soon-to-be imprisoned former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dropped his support for the reform of child molestation laws shortly after he began an adulterous affair with a lobbyist hired by the Catholic Church. Today the New York Daily News reports on how much the church has spent to oppose the proposed reforms. From their story:

Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.

The Catholic Conference, headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has used Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications to lobby against the Child Victims Act as well as for or against other measures.

All told, the conference spent more than $2.1 million on lobbying from 2007 through the end of 2015, state records show. That does not include the conference’s own internal lobbying team. Filings show the lobbyists were retained, in part, to work on issues associated with “statute of limitations” and “timelines for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses.”

While a far cry from the millions in lobbying top special interests spend in Albany each year, advocates for child sex abuse survivors say the $2.1 million spent likely represents a worthwhile investment to the Catholic Conference if it can continue to block legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil cases and open a one-year window to bring lawsuits for victims who can no longer sue under current law.

(Tipped by JMG reader Brandon)

RELATED: In March, openly gay New York Sen. Brad Hoylman co-sponsored a bill that both ends the time limit for molestation victims to sue and for the state to bring criminal charges against child predators. The bill faces an uphill battle in the GOP-majority New York Senate.

  • Sk3ptic

    We must DEFEND THE LONG TRADITION AND SANCTITY OF CHILD MOLESTATION!!!1!

  • Lovely. But no, tell me more about how you shouldn’t have to pay taxes.

    • bobbyjoe

      Seriously. How does an organization that hires lobbyists, for cryin’ out loud, (particularly for such odious uses) NOT have to pay taxes?

      • Because the IRS is far too underfunded and undermanned to actually investigate this, and if they even tried, Congress would shut them down faster than a leak of the DC Madam’s little black book.

        • Skokieguy [Larry]

          And let’s not forget what party cut funding for IRS auditors, who recover far more than the cost, so they are a revenue generator.

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    • David Walker

      Well, see, BrotherFlounder, in a very real, very true, very wondrous way, they ARE paying taxes, it’s just not called that. And $2.1 million is much, considering their income. However, the money DOES go to people in the government, as does tax money. So, you see, just as “child abuse” and “targeted youth counseling” may be different names for the same thing, so are “bribes” and “taxes.” Thus sayeth the lord.

  • hiker_sf

    To the good gay Catholics who tithe every week, this is what you are supporting.

  • Prion
    • StraightGrandmother

      A BILLION? My that is a lot of money, I’m going to go read that link. Thanks. A Billion, huh?

  • Prion

    ..,

    • The_Wretched

      Note the dove at the top, it’s to signify the ‘receiving of the holy spirit’.

      • Librarykid

        Are you sure that’s not the white swallow?

  • is this what anita bryant meant by “protect our children”?

    • His eminence Cardinal Dolan would look so much better with a pie in his sanctimonious face.

  • oikos

    Shameful. This firm, Mark Behan Communications, is located right here in my town.

  • bkmn

    Long past time to end the tax exemption for churches.

    • Sporkfighter

      There are a lot of people who are unqualified for anything but preaching. They will fight to their graves.

      • bkmn

        Like Tony Duggar PerKKKins, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Sandy Rios, etc., etc.

        • Sporkfighter

          All the way down to the local street preacher. There are millions of them.

  • William

    Lock them up, seize their assets.

  • shellback

    Please, tell us what the justification is for blocking reform of child molestation laws.

    • MickinDetroit

      not defending the church here, but nuisance law suits. and suits that are begun decades after anyone could reasonable rebut the charges. there is a reason we have statues of limitations. NY’s though is really really short.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    To the ‘good’ Catholics, what exactly would the church have to do to get you to:

    A). Support eliminating their tax-exempt status?
    B). Be charged under the RICO statute?
    C). Stop believing and supporting?

    Mass rape of children isn’t enough? What will it take?

    • Craig Howell

      “All that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.”–Edmund Burke.

    • John T

      But it’s traditional!

    • Cackalaquiano

      I’m ready for the anti tax-exempt movement to pick up steam, and I have a hunch it’s going to in the next decade (though not likely to be successful). The loud asshole Christians are really turning normal folks against them.

    • MickinDetroit

      1.2 billion Catholics… a couple of hundred priests rape a bunch of kids over a 50-60 year time frame…. reaction? defund them, take away tax exempt status and stop believing.

      1.6 billion muslims… 3000 killed in NYC on one day by 9 of them…financed by Saudi Royals and trained by extremest, touching off a decade long war and countless others killed by terror bombings since by ISIS et al. Reaction? Islam is a Religion of peace and anyone says one bad word about Islam is a perpetrator of hate speech.

      • Schlukitz

        Interesting observation.

        I can’t wait to hear the responses you will undoubtedly receive.

        • Gindy51

          Selective reading, no doubt.

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        Removing the tax exemption would apply to all religions

        Terrorists bombed the towers, cloaking themselves in Islam. Sort of like how homophobes cloak themselves in religion. To be comparable, the bombing would have to be done by Imans or other actual members of the Islamic clergy.

        The rape of children done by people claiming to be Christian (like uncles, parents, teachers, etc.) isn’t even part of this discussion. We are talking about the rape of children by actual clergy members.

        Members of the Muslim community have been a significant help by providing intelligence to our and other governments fighting terrorism. This is the direct,polar opposite of the Catholic church actively covering up and lobbying against reforming laws to help prosecute rapists.

        The decades long war was a Bush mistake and is unrelated to any conversation about religion.

        To say a couple hundred priests is a bald face lie. And to use “diddled” really? It was and is rape.

        You’re proven yourself a troll in the past, so this is my only reply and I won’t reply further. But go ahead and reply and tell me why you have a coherent argument.

        • MickinDetroit

          i’m not a troll, just noting your selective outrage. and I should have said a couple thousand…that was typo.

      • nice strawman. this about american catholics. and if you think it’s “just a couple of hundred” rapes, you’re kidding yourself.

        • MickinDetroit

          I said a couple hundred priests..not rapes. IIRC in the US it;s something like 4000 over the last 40 years or so.

        • Tim Mueller

          A couple hundred would still be a disturbing amount.

      • Chucktech

        Problem One with Islam is the same as Problem One for the Catholic Church. They are both religions. And since anyone with half a brain knows that there’s no such silly assed thing as god up in heaven, religion is the refuge of simpleminded and bigoted and hateful and fearful sheep.

        • MickinDetroit

          totally agree. but you can say that about certain religions but not others.

      • Fyva Prold

        3000 is as many as gets killed by firearms every few months in US, but it’s a “price we’re willing to pay”.
        Also, over 100000 civilians died in Iraq as a result of US invasion, and millions displaced. And then the Iraq army was disbanded, and those thousands of trained people had nowhere to go but to join ISIS.

      • Joseph Miceli

        You do realize that playing the “Oppression Olympics” to justify Islamophobia is just muddy thinking, right?
        Both religions, to me, are worthless garbage that holds humanity back. Both need to be constantly watched to make sure they don’t get out of hand, but I’m not about to trivialize the crimes of the Catholics because Islam is so much worse. There was a time when Christianity was just as barbarous as Islam and it wasn’t that long ago.

        • MickinDetroit

          I’m just noting the selective outrage… and the excuse making for one vs. the other.

          • wmforr

            No, you’re playing the same game we played in elementary school. Went someone was caught by the teacher waterboarding another student, he would reply, “Well, Ahmed decapitates people, so I’m not as bad as him. That justifies me.”
            Sort of like the rapist whose defense is, “Cosby raped dozens. So my one little rape is nothing.”

      • YourNameHere

        Just pointing out that it was a couple hundred in one city.

      • ceeenbee

        I see. I guess that makes child rape okay.

        I guess you forgot about The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Witch trials, the aiding in escape of nazis after WW2 and probably another 1000 or so murders or wars started by the RCC.

        I’ve also tired of the bullshit argument that all liberals defend all Islam. We don’t paint every Muslim as an extremist terrorist just as we don’t paint every Christian as an extremist terrorist even though they exist.

        Religious extremism is always dangerous whether it be Christian, Muslim, the Jewish religion or Buddhists.

        • MickinDetroit

          no, it does not make child rape ok… what it makes, apparently, is the selective outrage over the atrocities committed by religious groups OK.

          Screaming that catholics should leave their religion over this is fine, frankly something I whole heartedly agree with. Tax it, remove any protections for them, and evict them from any public lands. My issue is in the same people will turn around and defend other evil, perverted, demented religions as being slandered by the acts of a few…acquitting the religion and it’s billions of adherents from any blame.

          • ceeenbee

            I think you are imagining those people. I don’t know a liberal person in the world who defended the radical islam terrorists who took down the WTCs. I think that is a red herring used a a talking point when a better argument is elusive.

          • grada3784

            Maybe what you call selective outrage is just that more of us grew up Catholic than Muslim. So not only do we know more about Catholicism than Islam, but we’d be more inclined to see Catholicism’s warts than Islam’s.

            My fondest wish for Roman Catholicism is that they clean up this cesspool they’re so bent on defending for the past 500 years or so.

      • The_Wretched

        Problem 1 doesn’t excuse or relate to problem 2.

      • grada3784

        You do realize that the German word for bastard is Pfaffenkind, which means priest’s child or parson’s child. It dates back to around the Reformation.

        I wonder why.

    • YourNameHere

      Let’s be honest, most people only pretend to care about children.

      We act like children are property in this country.

    • CottonBlimp

      Really, protecting child rapists was already a step up from their previous history of protecting Nazi war criminals.

      Catholics and even non-Catholic Americans have the pathetic need to delude themselves that the most evil institution in human history is a force for good in the world.

  • Butch

    Isn’t Dolan the same one who hid a bunch of money in a “cemetery fund” so it couldn’t be used to pay settlements in sex abuse cases?

    • Yep, when he was either Bishop or Archbishop of Milwaukee. If I remember correctly, he also shuttled a child-molesting priest around to a couple of different parishes, but I could be mistaken on that.

      • Librarykid

        “shuttled a child-molesting priest around” That’s just like rotating tires on a vehicle.

  • zhera

    I can not fathom how anyone can have anything against this reform. What is their argument?

    And oh, how surprising that it it the religious crowd, along with GOP, who are fighting it. I’m so shocked, I think I must lie down for a bit.

  • olandp

    I’m so happy there are no longer any hungry or homeless people in New York so that the church can get on with Jesus’ real agenda, child rape.

    • kaydenpat

      Protecting child rape, no less.

  • Blake Mason

    Apparently Jan Crouch is dead…. http://www.wesh.com/news/trinity-broadcasting-network-founder-jan-crouch-dead-at-78/39800100… They say her upper vertebrae could deal with it any more.

    • shellback

      She didn’t die, she went “home.”

    • oikos

      She’s not high up enough on my list to merit a champagne toast to her death but I will have a shot of bourbon tonight to celebrate.

  • kaydenpat

    Absolutely disgusting. The mind boggles that this Church claims any moral authority.

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      And any time a church official or any anti-LGBT person is on the news to provide “balance” on any issue in the news, they should be asked exactly what you are saying.

      Mr. Perkins, you feel that allowing Trans men & women to use appropriate restrooms goes against the church’s teachings, but since the church has spent millions to prevent reform of child rape laws, why should the church’s opinion on this be given and credibility?

  • Todd E.

    Because…of course.

  • marshlc

    What possible spin can be put on this to make it palatable to Catholics?

    I come from a very strong Catholic tradition – my ancestors were persecuted for their religion, and it’s one of the main reasons they came to North America. My parents had several cousins who were nuns and priests, and when I was a kid often had priests over to the house. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in the convent kitchen, surrounded by gentle women in black robes. Going to church, praying the rosary, *being a Catholic* – this was a big part of my identity.

    And now, I think I could probably count on the fingers of my two hands the members of my extended family who are practicing Catholics – and I have more than fifty first cousins. Some of it is just changing times – nobody goes to church the way they did fifty years ago – but for many, the refusal of the church to really face and atone for their monstrous crimes is the end.

    No reasonable person, even those with great fondness for the rituals and beliefs that have been part of their culture for centuries, can any longer give moral authority to this organization.

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      Hence the reason for things like the Quiverfell movement and homeschooling. Keep people in the dark, uneducated, and unquestioning. Its the only way to replace those who turned away in disgust.

      • marshlc

        Yeah, but Quiverfull and homeschooling are not really Catholic – that’s very much more an evangelical Protestant thing. Catholicism is very hierarchical, which is kind of where the problem lies – the priest is more of an authority than the laity, so you send your kids to be taught by priests and nuns. Devout Catholic parents tend not to homeschool, because that would be saying they know better than Sister and Father at the parochial school.

        • Skokieguy [Larry]

          Yup, you’re right, well said.

        • Librarykid

          There is a whole lot of hierarchy, patriarchy and controlling access to information in the homeschooling and Quiverfull movements which put them on a par with the RC church.

    • Anyone still in the Catholic church doesn’t care. They can say they do, but actions speak louder than words. And don’t let the RCC tell you no one has left because that’s a flat out lie. They have lost a lot of members over this.

  • Cuberly

    Well, if that ain’t a mighty ripe slice of evil. Monsters in every direction.

  • popebuck1

    Cue Bill Donahue calling us anti-Catholic just for reporting this in 5… 4… 3…

  • glass

    Dear jesus…

  • Paula

    Foul kiddiefuckers!

  • RainbowPhoenix

    I don’t recall Jesus saying that protecting rapists is more important than feeding the poor.

  • mikeinrkfd

    How anyone can support an organization such as this is beyond me. Tax them into oblivion!

    • Schlukitz

      Unfortunately, ignorance is rampant.

    • motordog

      It all goes back to fear…that’s the answer every time. People NEED to believe that there is a magical, eternal kingdom of light and happiness that will welcome and coddle them after they die. The idea that they will simply snuff out like a candle is too terrifying. So, they MUST build (and defend) this complicate fantasy to make themselves feel better. If they acknowledge that their precious priests are doing something so heinous, that their all-powerful, all-knowing gawd would all this to happen (especially for so long and in such numbers), that their church is in fact ‘evil’…the entire divine house of cards will tumble down, and the abyss will open beneath them. They can’t (they WON’T) allow that…so they put their heads in the sand and do (as they see it) what must be done…no matter who it hurts.

  • come on, NALTies! i’m waiting to hear from you. Catholics? people who tithe? Bueller? anyone?

    • DN

      Shhhhhhh! You’re going to light the Blacksignal!

      (to be fair, he has laid off a lot on his reflexive defense of religion here the past couple years)

  • delk

    Where’s that hand father? Let us prey.

  • lucadrian

    That money should have been for victim compensation, moral improvement, and spiritual catharsis.

  • Tell us again, how is this cult for the betterment of humanity and why we should allow religion to exist?

  • douglas

    Tax the shit out of these fuckers!!

  • William
  • Chuck in NYC

    Let’s just say that the death in 1983 of Cardinal Cooke, who helped implement reforms of Vatican II, put the Archdiocese of New York in the hands of three successive men who’ve implemented the conservative party line from Pope JP II and Pope Rat. I personally believe the middle of those three, Cardinal Egan, was a flaming closet case and possible closet liberal, but he was too much of a career church politician to buck the system.

    When I moved to New York in the 70s it seemed Cardinal Cooke was fairly warmly respected by the city at large in ways neither Cardinal O’Connor nor — especially nor — Cardinal Dolan earned. Dolan in particular is a man who non-Catholics pretty much put up with if not outright ignore. He was installed here for reasons of power, not reasons of roots.

    Unfortunately, this guy is still pretty young and could be in charge locally for another couple of decades. He’s a leader in anti-Pope Francis efforts internally. I view everything he says and does with suspicion. None of what’s being reported in this article should surprise any of us.

  • I left Catholic School to go to Luthern School in 6th grade. Best decision my parents made for me.

  • Ernest Endevor

    And here we see what’s behind all the anti-marriage equality nonsense: a way to rile-up the faithful to distract them from this.

  • CB

    In other words, the catholic church is willing to spend $2MM to support child abuse. Seems like the embodiment of corruption and evil to me.

  • It’s time to shame legislators. These bills are always an uphill battle. I wonder why. Are the legislators fighting legislation to protect the victims of rapists protect themselves or just close friends from prosecution? They need to be called out as rapist protectors until they vote for changes in the law.

  • Dot Beech

    I presume that we are talking about Two Million TAX EXEMPT dollars. Correct?

  • motordog

    And people STILL go to these shitbags, they STILL give them money, they STILL hold them up as subjects of respect…fuck them…fuck them all…religious figures AND the fucking enabeling sheeple that sleepwalk their cowardly asses into their ‘houses of worship’…

  • Meanwhile the Catholic Church receives hundreds of millions of US taxpayer dollars each year. A few years ago the Church’s haul in Faith-Based Initiative dollars was a whopping $1.5 billion per year. I hate to think of what the total will be this year. US taxpayers are forced to support the Catholic Church, which dives into politics to attack gay rights and women’s right to choose. And now we see what else the Church has been doing with our money – lobbying against laws that would bring justice to the numerous victims of predator priests which the Church has harbored and sheltered. And meanwhile the Church pays no taxes. This is proof positive that there is no god, because if there were, he would have destroyed this festering facade of false-sanctity!

    • DN

      Hard to believe, but the Faith-Based Initiatives thing is over 15 years old. It turned my stomach then, and it still does now.

      One thing I hadn’t realized until looking it up just now… It was created by an executive order. Funny, but I don’t seem to recall conservatives losing their *minds* over that.

      • Good point.

      • Gianni

        There’s a reason you can’t recall anything on that point. It just never happened. Odd, isn’t it?

    • ConnieHinesDorothyProvine

      Just last night I watched Spotlight. Part of what it showed was how the priests got into the confidence of all these children before molesting them. There was basically an omerta with regard to all the pedophilia. After The Boston Globe published its reports, countless more people came forth (kind of like how after one woman exposed Bill Cosby, countless more women came forth).

      For the life of me I can’t understand why people stay part of the Roman Catholic Corporation. You were lucky to get out.

      • It took me about a decade to totally get over my former love for the Church. I had truly fallen into the trap.

        Spotlight was an amazing movie. I’m so glad these things aren’t being totally swept under the rug like they used to be.

        • ConnieHinesDorothyProvine

          A few years ago, Doubt also focused on this. Philip Seymour Hoffman played the questionable priest, Meryl Streep (affecting a New York accent) played the head nun, and Amy Adams played the novice nun. Really good movie.

          It was Amy Adams’s third of four movies in which her character’s idealism comes crashing down (along with Junebug, Enchanted and Big Eyes).

  • Gayer Than Thou

    I can’t imagine what other possible use a Christian denomination could find for two million bucks, so sounds legit to me.

  • Gindy51

    This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that NONE of this monstrosity of an organization believes one single word of their doctrines and tenets. Not One Single Word. They are all liars, thieves, and pedophiles (whether they did it or not, I lump enablers into the same slimy pit).

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    At this point, nothing surprises me when it comes to Child Rape Inc.™

  • djcoastermark

    I just can’t comment further, cripes, this pisses me off to no end.

  • Gianni

    I’m not really surprised that the church would want to protect the molesters to the grave. Would be terribly embarrassing to them to have old, retired priests, bishops, cardinals hauled out of the retirement home to face molestation charges from 30, 40, 50 years ago. Massive egg on the Catholic face. The church abhors any negativity laid on its doorstep.

  • This says everything about the Catholic Church’s priorities: It’s not the pedophiles among their clergy which are the problem, in their eyes, it’s the fact of being prosecuted for it.

    • William

      See the Louis C K video down the page.

  • ‘Tis past time to tax the RCC. If they are spending that much to meddle in politics, they are no long focused solely upon souls. And no, I don’t believe they ever were focused upon the betterment of man, but of amassing vile amounts of power and riches.

  • Christopher Smith

    Heaven forfend the sacred Catlick Church should have to answer for its actions.

  • Raymond Arsenault

    the cardinal is doing the devils work. He will be in Hell before long where he belongs. The church needs to be taxed.

  • JustSayin’

    Pist the names of thise opposing the bill, then tweet, text and hashtag the fuck out of them as supporters of pedophiles i suggest #PolPaidforbyKiddieDiddlers or #S/hesAFanOfDuggaring

  • grada3784

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. I’m amazed that the Catholic hierarchy hasn’t seen that this cesspool must be cleaned out once and for all. Not the drips and drops that have been done over the past 500 years, but a real cleaning.

    The hierarchy is protecting the church short term by dynamiting its foundations.

  • EqualityForAll

    They’re anti-LGBT, but pro-pedophilia. Sounds a little fucked up to me.

    • McSwagg

      In their minds, it’s all about getting first access to the children.

  • grada3784

    Some tidbits from the book Sex in History:

    The Crusades introduced to Europe the public bath, which became a convenient centre for assignations, though it was not until later that they became brothels as we now understand the term. Henry II issued regulations for the conduct of the “stews” (i.e. baths) of Southwark, which make it clear that they were houses of ill-Fame. (13) These regulations were confirmed by Edward III and Henry IV, and the stews remains until the seventeenth century. (254) Many of these stews belonged to the Bishopric of Winchester, the Bishop’s palace being near by — hence the euphemism “Winchester geese” and at least one English cardinal purchased a brothel as an investment for church funds. Some jurists argued that the Church was entitled to ten per cent of the girls’ earnings, but this view was not officially accepted; however, just as today, the Church did not draw the line at receiving rent from property put to this use.

    The existence of this ‘jus primae noctis, also known in France as “jus cunni”, in England as “marchette”, in Piedmont as “cazzagio”, has been much disputed, but Ducange has provided detailed evidence and the best authorities now accept that it existed; (190) cases are even known where monks, being at the same time feudal lords, held this right — for instance the monks of St. Thiodard enjoyed this right over the inhabitants of Mount Auriol.

    He relates how, as priestly marriage was made increasingly difficult, priests were driven to content themselves with simple fornication — to the point where, in Germany, the word Pfaffenkind (parson’s child) was used as a synonym for bastard. It was said that in many towns the number of bastards exceeded the number of those born in wedlock, and the claim does not seem incredible if one judges from such examples as that of Henry III, Bishop of Liege, who was known to have sixty five natural children. So serious did the situation become that in many parishes — at least in Spain and in Switzerland — the parishioners insisted that the priest must have a concubine as a measure of protection for their wives.

    The influence of the clergy can best be summed up by the comment made by Cardinal Hugo, when Innocent IV left Lyons after a visit of eight years’ duration. In a speech of farewell to the citizens, he said:

    “Since we came here we have effected great improvements. When we came, we found but three or four brothels. We leave behind us but one. We must add, however, that it extends without interruption from the eastern to the western gate.” (154)

    It is in the eleventh century that one first finds the Franciscans extolling self flagellation as a penance; and it is at the end of the same century, when the practice of confession became generally established, that one finds confessors also imposing sentences of whipping. At first the priests used to do the whipping themselves, the penitents usually being entirely nude, and the penance being inflicted in a place attached to the church. To judge from illustrations, the victims accepted the penance in just the resigned spirit in which today people accept the verdict of a doctor; and penitents, stripped naked, awaited their turn for treatment as placidly as patients at a doctor’s clinic. In the twelfth century St. Dominic made the practice widely known, and established a scale of equivalents, 1,000 lashes being considered equivalent to the reciting of ten penitential psalms. But the danger of priests indulging their sadistic instincts soon became evident, and other methods were evolved, especially public processions of flagellants, nude from the waist up.

    That the clergy should break the rule of celibacy is no doubt understandable: what is more dreadful is that they were often prepared to use their supposed power of granting or with holding absolution for sin as a weapon to force a woman’s compliance — and what a weapon that was in an age when many believed that they would roast in hell without absolution! This frightful crime was, however, treated by the ecclesiastical courts with the greatest lenience, in line with their policy of treating fornication as a milder offence than concubinage, and absolution for it could be purchased for as little as 36 gros tournois. As an example of the fantastic lenience of such courts we may take the case of Valdelamar, tried at Toledo in 1535 for seducing two women and refusing absolution to a third unless she slept with him — and also accused of theft, blasphemy, cheating with bulls of indulgence, charging for absolution and frequenting brothels. His whole sentence was to be fined two ducats and condemned to thirty days’ seclusion in church, before being free, as Lea puts it, to resume his flagitious career.

    It was to reduce the incidence of such crimes that the confessional box was evolved. The Council of Valencia ordered it to be used in 1565, and in 1614 it was prescribed for all churches, though 150 years later the decree was still being ignored in many places. Unfortunately this invention created another evil: salacious laymen used to enter the box in order in hear confessions. This was regarded as a serious matter by the Church only if, at the end of the confession, they gave absolution: This amounted to usurping the prerogative of a priest and the penalty was being burnt alive. Theology also dominated consideration of sacerdotal offences: the Judges were more interested in discovering whether the attempt at seduction had been made before or after granting absolution than in protecting the women.

  • OSG

    Pure evil.

    The group that forbids it’s members from using condoms wants to make sure the abuse is proportionate to the resultant population boom based on some barbaric standard from 300 BCE.

    We dropped the whole vomitorium thing, you’d think you could lay off on the kid fucking or at least own up to it. PRETEND IT’S LENT OR SOMETHING.

  • Ninja0980

    Just a reminder that when anyone from the Catholic Church talks about how they oppose marriage equality because of the safety or concern of children, they are full of shit.
    They don’t care about children and they never have.
    It’s about bigotry and power and nothing more.

  • Pip

    Every time some charlatan screams about how God is going to rain down destruction on any city that throws a Pride parade, I keep in mind that the child rapist enabling capital of the world is still standing just fine in Rome. I think if something was going to get the full S&G treatment it’d be the Vatican first, since God gets pretty pissed about pederasty.

  • Orly

    Of course they have…

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  • Could these lobbyist firms be criminally charged as part of the conspiracy to abuse children, and to cover up the crimes?