Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

NEWS FLASH: His statement cometh.

“Categorically Deny.” Two words in issued while submerged in hot water scream another two words louder in the human vernacular than any other, “I’m guilty.”

Of course, that’s what Bishop Eddie Long‘s lawyers had to say late yesterday as he posted a well-crafted and certainly sincere statement to his website.

All I ask is for your patience as we continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges.

Eddie Long sans cleric outfit

Maybe it's a P90X before and after shot?

Well, that’s reassuring. Granted, this media feeding frenzy of him boinking armor bearers (my assumption on the armor bearers can be read here) and sending pictures of the Bishop all swolled in spandex (more on that in a moment) has the Christian nation in quite a kerfuffle. One famed and scarred preacher in particular (again, keep reading for that gem).

However, as a pastor, I suppose Bishop Long is only used to showing out on Sundays, so he will wait until then to visibly “categorically deny” these heinous charges:

I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so. However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time.

Again, that’s nice. I mean, if I was a member of his church, I would certainly feel fine about him waiting almost a full week to tell me he’s not guilty.

Before we throttle that crisis communications strategy, let’s review. Better yet, let’s allow ABC News to do that:

I’ve been around the Church for years. Decades even. And nowhere in my experience with consulting pastors do I see a passage of scripture that suggests rocking the UnderArmour to impress your sheep. Does that help them graze more effectively? Do you get more well-shewn Kashmir sweaters if the flock is exposed to the “gun show”?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Back to the statement.

Bishop Eddie Long is hemorrhaging over this alleged incident, and yet, he allows his attorneys to make public statements for him… and that’s supposed to make it all right?!

It’s bad enough he doesn’t care enough to immediately respond to this mess, he is having a gaggle of white folk talk noise to his highly not-so-white congregation. Yeah, that’ll do it. You dolt.

It is completely obvious why he “feels the Lord” telling him to wait until the Sabbath to respond? In all his years of impromptu preaching, even the verbose Eddie Long will need a ghostwriter for this message. It will caked with legalese and PR speak… you know, like any good Congressional representative busted for the same thing. (What? Too soon?)

There will nothing genuine about this retort because it didn’t come from him. The only that clearly did come from the Bishop are those pictures and the aggressive needs delivered by now four men.

However, he pleads for mercy and understanding… and patience… has earned Eddie Long one fan: Meet Ted Haggard.

The man who hand-led his family through a harangue of male prostitution, drugs and oh yeah, “categorically denying” it every step of the way has decided that what Eddie Long needs is his valuable endorsement:

Good times, Bishop Long. Good times. The more things change, the more they stay the same, no? But hey, we still have this:

Finally, as I have done for thousands of others over my decades of preaching, I ask for your prayers for me, my family and our church. On Sunday, at New Birth, I will respond to my congregation.

And the world brother. Because believe me, we will all be listening. You know, just the way your lawyers planned it.

(Oh, how I wish I had more time in my day to blog about breaking news like this…)

For years in the “Chitlin’ Circuit”, wayfaring Christian soldiers have heard the eerie whispers of Bishop Eddie Long’s desire to create his own army that marched under a different flag – a rainbow one that wisped gently in the wind.

Yesterday, FOX News in Atlanta broke the news and the mothership ran with the information.

Masonry Shout Out to Pastor Foster at GCM Watch

The prominent pastor of a 25,000-member megachurch [New Birth Missionary Baptist Church] near Atlanta denies allegations in a lawsuit that he coerced three young men from the congregation into a sexual relationship, his attorney said.

Lawyers for two of the men, now 20 and 21, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in DeKalb County Court against Bishop Eddie Long. The third lawsuit was filed Wednesday. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sexual impropriety.

Although church vernacular is not pointed out in this story, I have $10 that says these men were young, impressionable “armor bearers.” They wanted to be the apple of Bishop Long’s muscle shirt and would do anything to be that way. Evidently, and allegedly, they did.

Go to any black church and you will find an uber-zealous gentleman dressed in a pinstriped 10-button suit with square-toed gators bought from a swap meet and jewelry that crawls up the sleeve when faced with water. You’ve seen them? Yeah, these are “Armor Bearers”.

MEMO to those pastors instituting this “biblically based” model of discipleship: It doesn’t exist. In fact, after David’s reign in 1 Kings, the word doesn’t exist.

Back then, some tool carried the literal armor of a king. Now, a better dressed tool carries the “sword” of the pastor and doubles as the pastor’s bodyguard. Assistants are important. Pastors who answer to the “Executive” and “Senior” pastor are necessary for order in the house of God.

Ironic how he is rumored to act like a shady Catholic priest

However, getting a kid who is susceptible to brainwashing because of a Daddy complex to serve the “Mand of Gawd” (shout out to my man, IST) is nothing but abuse.

And so, we have this story about Bishop Eddie Long (this is CNN’s version).

A spokesman for Long told CNN on Wednesday that the allegations are “a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues.” Long “categorically and adamantly denies these allegations,” said spokesman Art Franklin.

“Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship,” the suits allege.

Rumors of trips to foreign lands, open access bedrooms at the church and ample in flagrante delicto are also alleged. And at what cost? Another preacher bites the dust.

You know, it’s getting to the point the only people you can believe discussing and ministering the Bible are folk outside of a pulpit.

Hey wait. I think we’re on to something… Hmmm…

Imagine: You are not one of those hypocritical nutbags who picket abortion clinic and fancies the occasional bombing, all under the guise of God’s love.

Instead, you are a nun… who is the administrator at a hospital… and one of your patients is 27-years-old, pregnant and about to die. The catch? The delivery of the fetus will kill her.

As children of God, we are taught to value life. Now, you either value the one dying on a hospital bed or the one said fainting soul is about to deliver.

Confused? Watch the tape from CNN:

Nevermind WWJD for now. What would you do?

The local Catholic diocese knew what they would do – they excommunicated the nun “automatically.” There’s the love of God for you. Keeping it classy, Phoenix Catholic guy:

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. The Catholic Church allows the termination of a pregnancy only as a secondary effect of other treatments, such as radiation of a cancerous uterus.

Listen, I despise abortion and I think most girls and women who get them flippantly do so without considering the grave consequences, the impending guilt and the fact that they are just using a doctor’s tool as after-the-fact birth control for a casual night of having fun in most cases.

Exception? Meet the golden rule. At least where narrow-minded Catholic bishops are concerned.

The battle for human life isn't always an easy one to explain

Sometimes, you just want to run head first into the sign, right?

Here lies a woman with her entire life in front of her, and with a cancerous uterus that is choking that precious life out of her. She is pregnant and if that baby is born, it will do so without her mother from day one.

Did Sister McBride make the right decision? Did she pay little regard for one life to save another? Do you even care because all you hear is “Blah blah blah… abortion… blah blah blah.”

On one hand, you have the hospital – a Catholic hospital – backing Sister McBride’s decision:

“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” hospital vice president Susan Pfister said in an e-mail to the newspaper [USA Today].

Then, we have head of the local diocese who could care less:

“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese,” Olmsted said in a statement sent to The Arizona Republic. “I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.”

Sister McBride had to make a split-second decision despite the scowl of her boss upstate. She didn’t have time to consult her Monsignor in a time of despair. She couldn’t say 18 rosaries before the baby time of gestation was up. The clock was ticking and two lives were in jeopardy.

She made a choice, and for that moment of sheer anguish, she was given her walking papers and kicked clean out of the Catholic Church. Nice.

Never mind the theological impunity Catholics believe they have to kick a child of God out of his or her home. It’s wrong, but blame anathema I suppose?

Would God ever disown a child who has accepted the blood of Jesus? No.

Believing this stance was probably too wussified, the Pontiff’s bible architects of the Middle Ages believed the Papacy should exercise the right to oust someone from the graces of the church because of a grievous slip-up. And the rest is history.

So, um, who is excommunicating all the predators inside the Catholic Church? No one, you say? Moving on…

Father Kevin O’Rourke, a canon lawyer at Loyola University in Chicago, is familiar with McBride’s case and say it is “very unusual” for a nun to be excommunicated. He says, “In order to have an excommunication be valid, the person has to act out of deliberate desire to violate the law…there has to be malice involved.” O’Rourke says there doesn’t appear to be malice involved in Sister McBride’s decision.

If you are so hell-bent on bashing this woman, then show me the malice in this story.

She’s not one of those twisted counselors who guide a 16-year-old girl away from parental reason just to have a “simple procedure.” This is a nun caught in a metaphysical tug-of-war and I don’t think you will hear any arguments from the woman whose live she saved as a result.

Yes, the agony of losing a child is beyond something to bare. Tell that to the girl’s parents who would have lost their daughter if the baby was delivered. No one wins.

The moral of the story is: there are no moral absolutes here. As Christians, we have to accept shades of gray, don’t we? Because if you can color this story in only black and white, I would like to introduce you to a spiritual box of 64 crayons and abruptly stick your head in the sharpener.

There is no right or wrong in situations like this. 50% of the people affected will be hurt and offended. And only one person gets blamed for it.

However, instead of cloaking the nun in the arms of a loving Savior, for whom she has dedicated her entire adult life; the Catholic Diocese would rather use said arms, wax WWE and clothesline the hell out of her.

Now that was a wrong decision. Think anyone is going to hold the Bishop accountable? Meh?

Sister McBride is taking her exile in stride by taking the high road – no comment, no post thoughts. Although she is no longer considered “Catholic”, she is still very much “Christian.”

And isn’t that what really matters?

In life, there are certain signs that are visible; yet silent that scream “Danger Will Robinson” as your brain begins to go into screen saver mode much more frequently. Things such as:

  1. Folk calling you at 7 p.m. and their first sentence is, “I didn’t wake you, right?”
  2. The term “Good Grass” now only applies when discussing the neighbor’s lawn.
  3. You pee every morning like clockwork at 6:30 a.m. – only you don’t wake up until 8 a.m.
The connection from church to gay isn't that far for some priests

I post. You decide. And possibly giggle.

Another is when you are successful, powerful, influential and suddenly… you hire a lawyer?! Really? Such is life for one Joseph “Pope B16″ Ratzinger, according to this article from Yahoo! and AP.

Everything is groovy at St. Peter’s Basilica. You know, the guys in funny suits harking to every whim, a nation at your disposal and a world as your footstool for those kicking red shoes (this ain’t Kansas anymore, B. Word. Up.)

Until one day, Il Papa gets a call that his righteous judgment is in question about a serial child molester who was never defrocked, much less punished by law. Oh, and you were the one at the helm when it happened over a period of one… or two… eh, decades.

And so, in a fit of divine inspiration and sublime panic, the Vatican realizes God isn’t enough protection for this ballyhoo:

But as the Vatican reels from a swirling clerical sex abuse crisis, the Holy See has turned to an unusual advocate: a tennis-loving, Saab-driving solo practitioner from Berkeley, Calif., whose obscure interest in sovereign immunity law and fluency in Italian landed him the job of the pope’s U.S. lawyer.

There’s a mantra in public relations that says, “Perception is reality.” So, which one is this?

Does the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church just need some legal advice or is there something to hide? Is he sweeping something under that big funny hat of his or just in need of a friend who happens to understand this enigmatic “sovereign immunity law”?

[His] latest project: defend Pope Benedict XVI against allegations that he personally, and the Vatican generally, turned a blind eye to decades of rapes and molestation of children by priests. The Vatican has vehemently denied such reports, saying the pope has done more than anyone to root out abusers.

“What is most important for people to know is that he does understand, that his heart is moved,” Lena said. “He has seen the files, he gets it, and indeed he got it long before most others did.”

Yet, there’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room wearing a nice, flowing robe, blinging with some gold-encrusted crucifix and that nice, silk beanie missing the twirling propeller. We know when confronted with a sinister man who sexually abused hundreds of deaf boys – and admitted it – the once Cardinal Ratzinger was more concerned about the media hit than the welfare of the acolytes.

To borrow a slogan, "They need hope and change."

And now? It seems the Holy See is still concerned about the perception instead of the reality.

I appreciate his recent tearful homily in Malta where the Pope said he would “seek justice for pedophile priests and implement effective measures to protect young people from abuse.” However, if you knew the Catholic Church had so many raging freaks on the down low, why not come out swinging the moment the black smoke billowed in the Vatican sky?

Is this apoplectic concern because you are tired of the madness, or just sick of being called out for it?

Pope Benedict even visited some of these victims. According to the USA Today story:

“He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future,” the Vatican statement said.

I applaud that. I get that. But there’s still that lawyer thing. Out of nowhere is a simple man who probably smells of Chai tea, fresh ink and day-old Brut cologne. Yet, he is the appointed counsel for the Holy See… who is supposed to getting his counsel from our holy Father.

Lawyers provide protection, comfort and peace in the midst of a tumultuous storm, but is that necessary unless you are out in a boat amidst a hurricane? The Vatican certainly is getting pelted with a flurry of law suits, and rightly so. However, there is a demand for stronger action against these freaks who abuse innocent boys.

Please? Defrocking a priest is a slap on the wrist compared to the righteous judgment they deserve; yet that doesn’t even happen to some of these dudes with soiled collars.

There are good priests, phenomenal in their church and communities who watch this mess and know their names are stained because of the work of these dolts. Those bad seeds should be plucked out and exposed for the fools they are, but instead, their fearless leader gets legal representation.

It just smacks more of hiding than fighting… and in a time of despair, there needs to be some righteous indignation and holy fisticuffs coming from the Papal offices. Instead, we get a sinewy finger pointing in our direction as if it’s our fault.

Consider this story from USA Today and a report from the Pope demanding “We must repent.”

“I must say, we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word ‘repent,’ which seemed too tough,” ANSA [the Pontifical News Agency] quoted Benedict as saying. “But now under attack from the world, which has been telling us about our sins … we realize that it’s necessary to repent, in other words, recognize what is wrong in our lives.”

Sorry my brother but we need to repent daily for our sins… but this ain’t one of them. Enough posturing, blaming and running. People demand backbones from their leaders – not wishbones.

The Papal office is supposed to be the divine revelation of God. What the Catholic Church needs, nee should demand is for that office to become the divine representation of God as well.

And that is something not found in a legal brief or a courtroom. It comes with prayer, repentance and an earnest desire to hearken to the Spirit of God. If there is anyone on this planet who is capable of focusing on God’s will, it’s this guy. Church – and I mean all of us – we need to pray for the Pope as never before.

Lord Jesus, bring peace to this petulance. Bring hope for the hurting. Bring a solution for the suffering.

Whether you attend a Catholic Church, this guy needs our support because there are more than a billion ardent people looking to Rome for an answer and some action. They don’t need to see legal writ or spin control. They need action and an unction from Pope Benedict to put an end to this sardonic behavior, face the evil that it is and sick the legion of heaven on it.

Heck, I saw “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons.” I know that can happen. Perception is reality. Remember?

Okay, no more Mr. Nice HiScrivener.

The insolent negligence on behalf of the Catholic Church and even His now-apparent-not-so-Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is overwhelming. Any one seen the latest from the New York Times? No? Here’s the headline:

Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys

Courtesy: New York Times (He's the tool "praying")

Here’s the summary: Reverend” Lawrence Murphy was a priest in Milwaukee, Wis. who apparently had no business being a priest, much less around kids. This sinful derelict was worked as principal at the St. John’s School for the Deaf from 1950 – 1974.

Get that, DEAF kids. Murphy was ousted from that position when he was found as a crooked malefactor who “admitted to molesting at least thirty, and may have sexually abused more than 100 boys at St. John’s.”

He admitted to denigrating the lives of more than 100 boys to solely cop a feel. Priestly, ain’t it?

What happened to Murphy? Apparently no one asked and thanks to the old gray lady, we now know. NOTHING!

Who’s to blame for this unrighteous reprobate getting by for child molestation? Pope Benedict XVI.

Now before you get off claiming I’m a blasphemer and “touch not mine anointed,” this is reporting the facts. And, before you get all dexterous, think about this – some sleazy assistant principal who claims he’s a Christian at your son’s school gets handsy and your kid tells you about it. What do you do? Pray about it because you want to make sure God approves? Uh, not so much.

You grab the closest gun, vial of holy water and march straight to the school.

Now, say that same dude did it to 100, 200 or even 300 boys. Deaf boys. And the principal was told about this heinous act MANY TIMES and still did nothing to his assistant. Who are you mad at now? Hmmm… yeah, that’s what I thought. Back to the story.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

Classy. 300 kids who already can’t talk have to deal with nightmares of a so-called “man of the cloth” molesting them and these nefarious nitwits are primarily concerned about a negative PR hit.

Seriously!? By the 70s, priest and child abuse were as much of a tandem in the headlines as Sonny & Cher; yet, no calls to parents, no punishment for the priest and no public apology. Nothing. Instead, then Cardinal B16 sat on his blessed assurance and looked for the closest Persian rug to sweep ol’ Murphy under.

Evidently, that broom was busy for the next 20 years…

In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger failed to respond to two letters about the case from Rembert G. Weakland, Milwaukee’s archbishop at the time. After eight months, the second in command at the doctrinal office, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, now the Vatican’s secretary of state, instructed the Wisconsin bishops to begin a secret canonical trial that could lead to Father Murphy’s dismissal.

Two years later, God finally intervened and Murphy died… still a priest! Good riddance, but as a certain book Il Papa has read declares, “God is not mocked… a man sows what he reaps.”

News came out following this tool’s death that Murphy has been accused of soliciting sex from children in the confessional and in the middle of the night in their dormitory or his bedroom… for more than 20 years.

You cuss at a referee in sports, you will be suspended. You do drugs on the job, you are fired. You molest and abuse more than 300 kids over a span of two decades, no defrocking (removal of priestly duties and that dirty collar), no nothing. If you’re a crook, I know where you can get a gig.

Father Murphy not only was never tried or disciplined by the church’s own justice system, but also got a pass from the police and prosecutors who ignored reports from his victims, according to the documents and interviews with victims. Three successive archbishops in Wisconsin were told that Father Murphy was sexually abusing children, the documents show, but never reported it to criminal or civil authorities.

Did Murphy have pictures of other priests? Something on tape? Tell me he was this master spy who could take down the Papacy with the dirt he had, which is why he went away without a spank on the wrist – much less handcuffs.

As to why Father Murphy was never defrocked, he [Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi] said that “the Code of Canon Law does not envision automatic penalties.” He said that Father Murphy’s poor health and the lack of more recent accusations against him were factors in the decision.

His health?! Who the hell cares about his health after he damaged the mental health of more than 300 kids who, up until Father Pervert got in touch with them, loved God and wanted to worship him. Now how’s their relationship with Christ? You think they blame God for the nightmares? Just a skosh.

His health. Kushite, please!

Listen, as a child of God and someone who works with the media, I clearly understand the Church is under attack. Name the denomination or religion and I’ll show you a story:

  • Catholics – Child Abuse
  • Episcopalians – Openly gay appointed Bishops
  • Baptists – Pastors who make Glenn Beck look tame
  • Mormons – Holy underwear and multiple marriages
  • Pentecostals – Old fashioned and starving kids
  • Evangelicals – Um, Ted Haggard, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Pat Robertson and so much more…

What do all of these groups have in common? Jesus Christ! All claim to follow him and none are doing a great job. Every time there is a headline that makes the planet scoffs, who gets the blame? Father Murphy? These idiots in pulpits? Nope. God.

The world is still in God's hands. Praise the Lord.

Ultimately, the question always comes from a good-minded Atheist, journalist or Christian, “Why are these bad things happening in the church under God’s nose, and why does he allow them?”

Answer: I have no clue, but I can assure you for each one of these sinister dealings, there are millions of well-intending, spiritual-living, God-adoring people who negate this news on a daily basis. The only problem is these folk don’t have the headlines so people go on blaming God despite the righteous works of many.

There are wolves in wool everywhere and it is up to us – those who love God unashamedly and unabashed – to stand up, speak out and shut down the negativity with God’s work. Pastors, evangelists, teachers and lay people – we need to unite and crush the works of the enemy. Where is it happening? Everywhere. So how can you help? Fervent prayer.

You know things are getting bad when kids are dying on the inside and the only concern is, “How is this going to affect our reputation?”

Somehow, the Lord is in control and despite the ire of the enemy and the obvious victories he is earning, God will have the final say.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all. (1 Chronicles 29-11 AMP).

Until then, let’s do a better job Church and slam the frock out of any demonic force that tries to get in our way. As for the Pope, enjoy the PR. According to Google, you are getting a lot of it.