From Catholic Online:
St Francis' search for conversion led him to the ancient church at San Damiano. While he was praying there, he heard Christ on the crucifix speak to him, "Francis, repair my church." Francis assumed this meant church with a small c -- the crumbling building he was in. Acting again in his impetuous way, he took fabric from his father's shop and sold it to get money to repair the church. His father saw this as an act of theft -- and put together with Francis' cowardice, waste of money, and his growing disinterest in money made Francis seem more like a madman than his son. Pietro dragged Francis before the bishop and in front of the whole town demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir.
The bishop was very kind to Francis; he told him to return the money and said God would provide. That was all Francis needed to hear. He not only gave back the money but stripped off all his clothes -- the clothes his father had given him -- until he was wearing only a hair shirt. In front of the crowd that had gathered he said, "Pietro Bernardone is no longer my father. From now on I can say with complete freedom, 'Our Father who art in heaven.'" Wearing nothing but castoff rags, he went off into the freezing woods -- singing. And when robbers beat him later and took his clothes, he climbed out of the ditch and went off singing again. From then on Francis had nothing...and everything.
Francis went back to what he considered God's call. He begged for stones and rebuilt the San Damiano church with his own hands, not realizing that it was the Church with a capital C that God wanted repaired. Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the inside while outside heresies flourished by appealing to those longing for something different or adventurous.
We urgently need your leadership to make the Catholic Church the haven of the young, the poor and the neglected ones. Help repair the Church and make Her the true window of God's mercy.
Cardinal Pell: Poisoned power at the top of the Church
Last weekend's unprecedented Vatican summit on child sexual abuse was closed with a Sunday homily by Australian Mark Coleridge, the Archbishop of Brisbane.
"In sexual abuse," Archbishop Coleridge said, "the powerful lay hands on the Lord's… weakest and most vulnerable."
He could have been describing his fellow countryman, Cardinal George Pell, for there are few as powerful to have fallen from grace within the Roman Catholic Church.
Pell is certainly the most senior churchman to have been convicted of offenses against children.
His conviction confirms that the poison of sexual abuse has infected every level of the Roman Catholic Church.
Back in 2012, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard established a Royal Commission to inquire into institutional responses to child abuse in Australia.
It found that 7% of priests in Australia had abused children.
The charges against Pell emerged from Australia's rigorous inquiry into every institution that had access to children.
The state began a process that the church itself seemed incapable of managing – and now this 77-year-old ambitious Cardinal will swap the Apostolic Palace for a jail cell.
"Love the SINNER, Hate SIN,
Blame The VICTIM???"
In an investigation spanning 21 countries across six continents, the Associated Press (AP) found out that four of the 30 Catholic priests, involving abuse cases, were Filipinos.Here are snapshots of the cases:
Rev. Cristobal Garcia
Garcia was expelled from the Dominican order in 1986 after a nun told police that an altar boy had been found in his bed in a Los Angeles rectory. The priest left for his hometown in the Philippines in Cebu province, where he continued to serve and in 1997 was given the title of monsignor.
Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, media director of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said he had not heard about the Garcia case but that it should be looked into.
Garcia told the Dallas Morning News that he did have sex with the boys, but claimed he was the one who was "seduced and raped," a charge his accusers called absurd. A plaintiff, Paul Corral, said he had obtained a financial settlement.
Rev. Manuel Perez Maramba OSB (a.k.a. Father Benildus (Benildo) Maramba OSB)
The Diocese of El Paso has settled its third lawsuit involving alleged abuse by Father Manuel Perez Maramba, OSB, a Philippine priest who ministered at a New Mexico parish from 1976 to 1977. A portion of New Mexico was under the jurisdiction of the Texas diocese at the time.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported in 2009 that Manuel Perez Maramba is the professional name of Father Benildus (Benildo) Maramba. Father Maramba, a monk at Our Lady of Montserrat Abbey in Manila, is one of the Philippines’ most prominent musicians and liturgists. The former director of the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy, he compose the music for the papal Mass during the 1995 World Youth Day. According to the Tokyo Opera Association, which performed one of his compositions,
Maramba is one of the leading musical figures in the Philippines today and one of the most important musicians who emerged during the second half of the 20th century. After finishing his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano at the University of Sto. Tomas Conservatory of Music, he did further studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, obtaining his Master of Music degree at the age of 19.
His artistry developed and took form in all of the western world's most formidable musical institutions, namely; the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University where he received his Master of Music in Piano, Artist Diploma in Piano, Bachelor of Music in Composition and Teacher's Certificate in Theory; Yale University's School of Music for his Master of Musical Arts in Performance; the Kirchenmusikschule in Regensburg, Germany where he studied sacred music; and the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna, Austria where the studied piano, organ and harpsichord.
Father Maramba remains on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas.
A prominent canon lawyer, Father Maramba is also a member of the faculty of the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas. He serves on the National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal, according to the Philippine bishops’ web site.
“We tried to serve him with papers, but he managed to avoid them,” said S. Clark Harmonson, attorney for the alleged victim in the most recent lawsuit involving Father Maramba.
Rev. Santiago Tamayo
After Tamayo was accused of abusing Rita Milla in the Los Angeles area, the church urged Tamayo to stay in the Philippines and mailed him checks, court documents show.
Milla has maintained that she was molested by Tamayo at a church in Carson, Calif., when she was 16. After she turned 18, she said, she had sexual intercourse with Tamayo and he introduced her to six other priests who also abused her.
After she was impregnated in 1982 by another priest at a Los Angeles-area church, Milla said, Tamayo suggested she get an abortion, then devised a plan to send her to the Philippines to have the child.
Milla returned to California after giving birth to her daughter, Jacqueline. She sued the archdiocese in 1984, and won a $500,000 settlement.
Tamayo later went to the Philippines. In 2004, Milla's lawyer released documents showing the church mailed him checks. In three letters, church officials advised him not to reveal the source of the payments "unless requested under oath," noting that he was "liable for personal suits arising out of your past actions."
Tamayo admitted he had sex with Milla and publicly apologized years before his death in 1999.
Experts say the church is facing a crisis of historic proportion. "This is the type of problem that arises really once in a century, I think, and it might even be more significant," said Paul Collins, an Australian church historian and former priest.
It is feared that the church scandals could be the final blow on the laity whose commitment are already wavering. A growing number of the faithful demands the church to be transparent, fight against pedophiles and reconsider the rule of priestly celibacy.
Rev. Moises Alexis C. Javier
Javier was accused by two altar boys (one 18 and another 19 at the time) of molesting them in 2001-02 at a Catholic school about three hours west of Manila, in the Philippines.
Javier left in 2002. The former bishop of his diocese told the AP that Javier went to the U.S., where his parents and a sister live. "We allowed him," the former bishop said. "His mother got sick and he went there to take care of her."
Ryan Mau, the parish secretary at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rowland Heights, Calif., said Javier was the parish's associate pastor for two years, starting sometime in 2003. Javier died on Jan. 23, 2008.
The AP has copies of two letters sent in June 2002 by the lay leaders at the St. Columban parish in Olongapo to then-Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and other diocesan leaders about the alleged abuse.
Frustrated by the lack of action, one of the lay leaders, Olet Enriquez, e-mailed the Vatican in September 2003 to report the alleged sexual harassment. He said he got an unsigned reply telling him to take his case to the papal nuncio in Manila. He said he sent a lengthy follow-up letter to the same Vatican e-mail address in January 2004, restating the case, but never got a reply!