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Church in Ireland 'has lost all its credibility', says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has lost all credibility because of the child abuse scandal, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

timesonline Archbishop
© James Glossop/The Times
The Archbishop of Canterbury made the comments during an interview with Andrew Marr for the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week, to be broadcast on Monday
In a rare breach of ecumenical protocol, Dr Rowan Williams criticised the Catholic Church over its handling of the paedophile priests crisis and made plain his anger over the Pope's plans for a new ordinariate to tempt dissatisfied Anglicans over to Rome.

His comments will add to the cloud gathering over the Pope's four-day visit to Britain in September, when he is expected to give an address in Westminster on moral values in society. More than 10,000 people have signed a "Protest the Pope" petition on Downing Street's website against the £15 million cost of the visit, which is to be shared by the Government and the Church.

The Vatican's troubles mounted yesterday when Pope Benedict XVI's personal preacher likened the criticism of the Church over the sex abuse scandal to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.

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Catholic church hotline in meltdown over paedophile priests

An abuse hotline set up by the Catholic Church in Germany melted down on its first day of operation as more than 4,000 alleged victims of paedophile and violent priests called in to seek counselling and advice.

The numbers were far more than the handful of therapists assigned to deal with them could cope with. In the end only 162 out of 4,459 callers were given advice before the system was shut down.

Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn't prepared for "that kind of an onslaught." The hotline is the Church's attempt to win back trust in the face of an escalating abuse scandal that threates the papacy of German-born Pontiff Benedict XVI in Rome.

Cult

1963 letter indicates Vatican knew of endemic abuse in US going back to the 1950s

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© Daniel Ochoa de Olza/AP
Did someone say k-k-kult? In Zamora, Spain, "Penitents" take part in the Procesion del Silencio by the Cristo de las Injurias brotherhood, during "Easter Holy Week". WIth this kind of carry on, is anyone really surprised to learn that the Catholic Church embraces evil with open arms?
Los Angeles - A 1963 letter to then-Pope Paul VI indicates the Vatican was aware of clergy abuse in the U.S. nearly five decades ago.

In the letter, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, the head of a Roman Catholic order that oversaw treatment of pedophile priests tells the pope he recommends removing pedophile priests from active ministry.

The letter is a summary of the Rev. Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald's thoughts on problem priests that appears to have been requested by the pope after Fitzgerald's 1963 visit to the Vatican. Fitzgerald headed the New Mexico-based Servants of the Holy Paraclete.

The letter was among several hundred pages of Paraclete documents given to the AP by attorneys for California clergy abuse victims who obtained the document during litigation. The documents were first made public last year after attorneys pursuing clergy abuse claims in Los Angeles got them unsealed.

A message left with the Paraclete was not immediately returned.

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Africa May Have Lost £1 Trillion in Illegal Flows of Money

More than £1tn may have flowed out of Africa illegally over the last four decades, most of it to western financial institutions, according to a new report.

Even using conservative estimates, the continent lost about $1.8tn (£1.18tn) - meaning Africans living at the end of 2008 had each been deprived of an average of $989 (£649) since 1970, according to the US-based research body Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

The report says globally in recent years much attention has been focused on corruption - the proceeds of bribery and theft by government officials - and this only makes up about 3% of the cross-border flow of illicit money around the world.

Eye 2

Pedophilia in the Catholic Church: Coverup Operation at the Vatican?

Pope Ratzinger's Swan Song

global reseach Pope
© Unknown

Pope Benedict should do everyone a favor and resign. By hanging on, he's just making matters worse. Who does he think he's fooling anyway? Everyone knows that he was involved in the sex-scandal cover up. Does he really think that a few papal apologies will make a difference? He was in charge and knew everything that was going on. That makes him responsible. His best option now is to "man up" and face the consequences. He needs to arrange a press conference, tell the truth, and resign. End of story.

It's clear that the problem isn't going to go away. In the last week, three more incidents have surfaced adding more fuel to the fire. In Wisconsin, Father Lawrence Murphy abused as many as 200 boys at a Milwaukee school for the deaf. One of the victims, Arthur Budzinski, has been all over TV telling his story and blaming the pope. It's pretty heart-wrenching stuff, too. According to Budzinski's daughter Gigi:

"The pope knew about this. He was the one who handled the sex abuse cases. So, I think he should be accountable, because he did nothing."

Cult

Vienna Boys' Choir caught up in sex abuse scandals

Georg Ratzinger
© Alberto Pellaschiar/AP
Georg Ratzinger has admitted hearing of cases of ill-treatment during his time as director of the Regensburg choir
The most famous choir in the world has been caught up in the wave of paedophile scandals sweeping Germany and Austria, with eight former choristers denouncing their teachers in the past few days.

An open letter from the management of the Vienna Boys' Choir to parents expressed regret at the incidents, which were recounted by former singers now aged between 40 and 70.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, called yesterday for truth and clarity in investigating paedophile abuse not only in church institutions but everywhere within the educational system. "We all agree that sexual abuse against children is a despicable crime," she told parliament.

So far about 300 claims of sexual abuse have been made by former pupils of German church schools and of non-denominational boarding schools.

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Double car bombs kill 12 in Russia's Dagestan

Several of the dead are police officers. Putin denounces 'a crime against Russia.'

Double suicide bombings struck the strife-ridden Russian republic of Dagestan on Wednesday morning, killing 12 people and injuring dozens.

The attacks came as violent punctuation to this week's bombings aboard Moscow's subway, which killed 39 and stirred fresh fears that volatility in Russia's mostly Muslim Caucasus region is seeping deep into the rest of the country.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin again lashed out at militants, saying this week's bombings could be linked and calling for reinforcement of police ranks in the north Caucasus.

"I don't rule out that the same terrorists were involved," Putin told a government presidium in Moscow. "It does not matter for us in what part of the country these crimes have been committed, or who -- people of what ethnicity or religion -- have fallen victims to these crimes. "We see this as a crime against Russia."

Cult

Vatican Confirms Report of Sexual Abuse and Rape of Nuns by Priests in 23 Countries

The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.

Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.

Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter, a weekly magazine in the US, have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men.

The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese.

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Moscow Subway Bombings Kill 38 in Deadliest Attacks Since 2004

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© Unknown
Two female suicide bombers killed at least 38 people in attacks on downtown Moscow subway stations yesterday, including one near the headquarters of the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, in the deadliest terrorist assault on the Russian capital in six years.

Comment: Wow, the investigation wrapped up within hours: two female suicide bombers did it! That would certainly jog Russians' memories of the Beslan massacre where female suicide bombers were supposedly present.

The women belonged to groups linked to Russia's mostly Muslim North Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya, Federal Security Service Director Alexander Bortnikov told President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin. No one has claimed responsibility.

International condemnation was led by President Barack Obama, who telephoned Medvedev to pass on his condolences and offer help. Group of Eight foreign ministers condemned the attacks, issuing a statement ahead of a meeting in Gatineau, Quebec, saying they would continue to "collaborate to thwart and constrain terrorists."

Comment: Female suicide bombers? Really?
Eyewitnesses report the explosions as occurring when the trains came to a halt in their respective stations and passengers began to disembark. Novaia Gazeta notes that the explosions seemed to have been linked to either the opening or closing of the doors, so this may have been the trigger mechanism for the devices.



Cult

French priest avoids sex charges over claims he abused choirboy as Vatican struggles to contain paedophile crisis

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A priest in a town south-east of Paris was hit with sexual assault and child pornography charges after a 22-year-old former choirboy accused him of abuse, a prosecutor said.

A police search of his home also found pictures of a young parishioner.

The new case added to a wave of sexual abuse allegations made by church members across Europe in recent weeks that have put the Vatican on the defensive and fueled a growing sense of crisis.

Some of the cases have raised questions about whether Joseph Ratzinger acted aggressively enough against priests under his supervision as an archbishop and cardinal before he became Pope Benedict XVI.

French bishops said in a letter to the pope on Friday that they were ashamed of the 'abominable acts' of child sexual abuse by priests.