The Second CommandmentYou shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 
The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in sacred matters ... “The Lord's name is holy.” For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration ... Respect for his name is an expression of the respect owed to the mystery of God himself and to the whole sacred reality it evokes ...
Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment ... It is also blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce people to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death.”
(72. Ex 20:7; Deut 5:11.)
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church
U.S.C.C. Inc., 1994, p. 518.
What are the 10 Commandments? Laws that show us how to love
"God gave humanity the Bible to reveal His way of life—His way of love. The dos and don'ts of God's 10 Commandments show us how to apply love in every aspect of life.
Jesus Christ summarized all of God's laws in two great commandments.”'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40).
The 10 Commandments expand on these two great commandments, with the first four commandments telling us how God wants to be loved, and the last six commandments showing how to demonstrate love for other people.
The apostles also clearly illustrated the connection between the 10 Commandments and God's love.
Paul explained: “For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'You shall not covet,' and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:9-10).
John also wrote: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
Jesus taught that obeying the 10 Commandments is essential for entering into eternal life (Matthew 19:16-19). Why is this? Because God created these laws and they reflect His thinking. Disobeying the 10 Commandments shows a lack of love for God and our fellow humans.
Commandment breaking causes suffering and broken relationships. God, in His love and mercy, will not allow someone who refuses to obey these good laws to have eternal life. He doesn't want anyone to live forever in a miserable state, causing suffering for others and himself.”
Web (January 3, 2014
His Holiness Pope Martin IV (1281-85) "embroiled the papacy in a disastrous twenty-year-long war over Sicily; at one point, he excommunicated the whole island en masse.”
John II (535-36) was the first pope to change his given election name to that of Mercury, a pagan god.
Victor I (189-99) was African in origin and is known for a treatise he wrote — dice throwing.
Pope Boniface VI condemned as heretic the belief “In the power of man's innate will to seek God.” He was later "denounced at a Roman council held by Pope John IX in 898.”
John XII kept a stable of two thousand horses “Which he fed on almonds and figs steeped in wine.”
Calixtus III (1455-58) “Was famous for his nepotism, naming two nephews cardinal, one of whom dragged the papacy into the gutter when he later came to throne himself as Alexander VI.”
Paul III (1534-49) made his favorite bastard, Pierluigi, duke of Parma and Piacenza. He also approved the Jesuits and introduced the Index of Forbidden Books.
Benedict IX was "pope three times, from 1032 to 1044, from April to May 1045, and from 1047 to 1048.” Reason for this ungodly reign: He sold the papal seat for vast sums and then reclaimed it twice. He then handed the papacy "to his godfather, Giovanni Graziano, a Roman priest, who offered Benedict a pension.”
Sixtus IV (1471-84) was "extravagant almost to the point of bankruptcy.... He placed grossly immoral, generally lecherous, and inevitably incompetent relatives in high Church positions, bringing dishonour to his memory and decadence to the papacy.”
His Holiness John XII blinded his spiritual director and "castrated a cardinal, causing his death.”
Alexander XII (1691-1700) showered "favors on his family, mainly in the form of court appointments.”
Innocent X excommunicated anyone "caught using tobacco in St. Peter's,” a threat that lasted for decades.
It was forbidden to own a Bible on pain of death. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church tortured people who wanted to read the Bible in their native language.
Sanctitas Alexander VI, alias Rodrigo Borgia, tasted blood at the age of twelve when he murdered another boy by repeatedly plunging a dagger into his belly.
Pope John XIII (ruled 965-72), was the "son of a bishop and a descendant of the licentious Theodora. For his greed and nepotism he was driven from the city by the Romans, and when the Emperor restored him he wreaked his vengeance with a savagery which shocked all Italy. The body of the Prefect (Mayor), who had died meantime, was dug up and torn to pieces. His successor was suspended by his hair for a time, then led naked on an ass through the city.”
Catholics count him one of the "good Popes of the period, as he is not charged with rape and adultery.”
In November 1302 Boniface VIII issued the Bull Unam Sanctum ("Our Holy"), the most widely known of all papal documents, which claimed that human beings are the object of "papal plenitude of power, submission to which is said to be necessary for salvation.” He also interned the infirm Pope Celestine V in the castle of Fumone until death and brought "trumped-up charges against a southern French bishop, Bernard Saisset of Pamiers.”
Psychological make-up: .”.. he was impulsive to the point of imprudence and short-tempered to the point of uncharitableness.”
Died: In prison.
Cause of death: physical and mental deterioration.
Final destination: Lower Hell.
Pope Benedict XVI Fresh abuse claims in Pope's former Munich diocese
"Pope Benedict XVI's former diocese in Germany is facing daily allegations of physical and sexual abuse, the head of its new sex-abuse task force says.
'It is like a tsunami,' Elke Huemmeler told the Associated Press news agency.
She said about 120 cases had come to light so far in Munich, about 100 of them at a boarding school run by monks.
The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by scandals involving priests in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria and the Netherlands in recent months...
Ms Huemmeler spoke to AP as her newly-appointed Task Force on Sexual Abuse Prevention began work in the Munich diocese, backed by Archbishop Reinhard Marx.
Ms Huemmeler said she and colleagues had been 'shocked' when the first revelations of abuse cases at the Ettal monastery boarding school, run by Benedictine monks, emerged.
The diocese has not confirmed details of all the allegations, saying investigations are ongoing, the AP reports.
The Vatican recently denounced attempts to link the Pope to a child sex scandal in his former diocese.
The episode dates back to 1980, when he was archbishop of Munich and Freising, and known as Joseph Ratzinger.”
BBC, 19 March 2010
Ireland accuses Rome of role in promoting cover-up of child abuse
Dublin— The Associated Press
Published Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011
Ireland's government summoned the Vatican's ambassador Thursday for a rare face-to-face confrontation to respond to a report showing Rome secretly discouraged Irish bishops from reporting pedophile priests to police.
Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore met Pope Benedict XVI's diplomat in Dublin a day after Irish investigators found that the Vatican in 1997 encouraged bishops to reject the Irish church's tough new child-protection rules.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who didn't attend the meeting, called the Vatican's role in placing the church's own canon law above Irish criminal law “Absolutely disgraceful.”
The Associated Press
Ireland urged to investigate alleged torture of women, girls
Geneva— The Associated Press
Published Sunday, Jun. 05, 2011
“A United Nations panel urged Ireland on Monday to investigate allegations that for decades women and girls sent to work in Catholic laundries were tortured.
The panel said the government failed in its obligation to oversee the nun-run laundries “Where it is alleged that physical, emotional abuses and other ill-treatment were committee.” It has asked for compensation for the victims.
Human-rights groups say young women were abused after being sent to the so-called Magdalene Laundries, a network of 10 workhouses that operated in Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s. Many of the victims were teenagers who arrived as punishment for petty crimes or for becoming pregnant out of wedlock.”
The Associated Press
Catholic Encyclopedia concedes that “In all the departments forgery and interpolation as well as ignorance had wrought mischief on a grand scale.”
Political Maneuvering: Making Christianity Palatable to the Romans
200 - 500 C.E.
Christianity owes its large membership to the political maneuvering of orthodox Christians. They succeeded in turning Christianity from an abhorred minor cult into the official religion of the Roman Empire. Their goal was to create what Bishop Irenaeus called “The catholic church dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth.” 1 To that end, they used nearly any means. They revised Christian writings and adapted their principles to make Christianity more acceptable. They pandered to Roman authorities. They incorporated elements of paganism. Orthodox Christianity appealed to the government, not as a religion that would encourage enlightenment or spiritual- ity, but rather as one that would bring order and conformity to the faltering empire. The Roman government in turn granted orthodox Christians unprecedented privilege, enabling the Christian church to become the very sort of authoritarian power that Jesus had resisted.
Winning acceptance for Christianity was no small feat; Christians were not well-liked within the Roman Empire. Romans had easily incorporated new gods and goddesses into their pantheon with the hope of adding to their own protection and security. The 313 C.E. Edict of Milan, for example, granted everyone religious freedom so “Whatever divinity (is) enthroned in heaven may be well-disposed and propitious towards us and all those under our authority.” 2 Christians, however, believing theirs to be the one and only God, refused to allow Him to be worshipped alongside others. When they refused to profess loyalty to the Roman pantheon of gods, Christians were seen as likely traitors to the Roman state. For once Roman emperors began to represent themselves as divine, loyalty to the Roman gods also symbolized loyalty to the Roman state.
Christians held attitudes that did little to endear them to Romans. Bishop Irenaeus, for example, declared, “We have no need of the law for we are already far above it in our godly behavior.” 3 Accounts from around the year 200 reflect the dislike Romans had for Christians:
...they were 'the ultimate filth', a gang 'of ignorant men and credulous women', who 'with meetings at night, solemn fasts and inhuman food' made up 'hole-in-the-corner, shadow- loving crew', 'silent in public but clacking away in corners', 'spitting on the gods and laughing at holy things...'4
Yet, despite such an environment, Christians won not only acceptance but political prominence as the official religion of the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine in the fourth century.
The orthodox used politically expedient means to accomplish such ends. They designed an organization not to encourage spirituality, but to manage large numbers of people. They simplified the criteria for membership. The Catholic Church decided that anyone who confessed the Creed, accepted baptism, participated in worship, obeyed the Church hierarchy and believed “The one and only truth from the apostles, which is handed down by the Church"5 was a Christian. As one historian writes, such criteria suggest that "to achieve salvation, an ignoramus need only believe without understanding and obey the authorities...”6 The orthodox ignored the argument that a true Christian could only be identified by his or her behavior and maturity, not by simply going through the motions of ritual. Some Gnostic Christians, for example, insisted that Jesus had said, “By their fruits ye shall know them...”7 Baptism did not necessarily make one a Christian, they said, since many people "go down into the water and come up without having received anything.”8 The simple standards of the orthodox, however, made it much easier to garner a large following.
Orthodox Christians assembled the Bible not to bring all the gospels together, but rather to encourage uniformity. From the plethora of Christian gospels, Bishop Irenaeus compiled the first list of biblical writings that resemble today's New Testament around 180 C.E. By 393 and 397, Bishop Athanasius had a similar list ratified by the Church councils of Hippo and Carthage.9 By prohibiting and burning any other writings, the Catholic Church eventually gave the impression that this Bible and its four canonized Gospels represented the only original Christian view. And yet, as late as 450, Theodore of Cyrrhus said that there were at least 200 different gospels circulating in his own diocese.10 Even the Catholic Encyclopedia now admits that the “Idea of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning... has no foundation in history.”11
Beyond choosing from the many gospels and writings to construct the Bible, the Church edited its message with each translation. The Roman philosopher Celsus, witness to the falsification of Christian writings already in the second century, said of the revisionists,
Some of them, as it were in a drunken state producing self-induced visions, remodel their Gospel from its first written form, and reform it so that they may be able to refute the objections brought against it.12
The Catholic Encyclopedia concedes that “In all the departments forgery and interpolation as well as ignorance had wrought mischief on a grand scale.”13 Despite Church prohibitions against any further research into the origins of the Gospels, scholars have shown that all four canonized Gospels have been doctored and revised.14 While the Church claimed that truth was static in nature and had been revealed only once, it continually found cause for changing that truth.
Attempts at uniformity did not entirely succeed. Even the four canonized Gospels contradict one another. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus was an aristocrat descended from David via Solomon, whereas the Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus was from much more humble stock, and the Gospel of Mark says that Jesus was born to a poor carpenter. At his birth, Jesus was visited by kings according to Matthew, but according to Luke, he was visited by shepherds. And at Jesus's death, the Gospels of Mark and Matthew tell us that Jesus's last words were “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But according to Luke, he said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit,” and in John he says simply, “It is finished.”15 As the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail ask, “How can (the Gospels) be unimpugnable when they impugn each other?”16
Yet, it was the Church's insistence upon uniformity that appealed to the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine, a man who had his own son executed and his wife boiled alive,17 saw in Christianity a pragmatic means of bolstering his own military power and uniting the vast and troubled Roman Empire. The story is told of Constantine's dream which led to his acceptance of Christianity in which he saw a cross in the sky inscribed with the words, “In this sign thou shalt conquer.” While he person- ally converted to Christianity only on his deathbed, Constantine recognized Christianity as a means of conquering dissention within the Roman Empire and instated it as the Empire's official religion.
Orthodox Christians dissociated Christianity from political insurgence. In all likelihood, they compromised the truth of Jesus's political involvement, holding Jews rather than Romans accountable for his death. The canonized Gospels conspicuously ignore the tension of increasing Jewish resistance to the Roman occupation of Judea during Jesus's lifetime. One exception is in the Gospel of Luke when it recounts how authorities "found this man [Jesus] perverting our nation, and forbidding [Jews] to give tribute to Caesar.”18 Less than 40 years after Jesus's death, that tension erupted into a violent war between the Roman army and Jews.
Jesus was probably engaged in the concerns of his time as both a political and spiritual leader. The term Christ, both in Hebrew and in Greek, was a functional title for a king or a leader.19 Given the political environment, it is far more likely that the Romans—not the Jews—killed him for his political activity. Crucifixion had been the standard Roman punishment for sedition and the cross a symbol of Jewish resistance to Roman occupation.20 Blaming Jews for Jesus's death was most likely a convenient means of obscuring Jesus's political involve- ment and dissociating Christianity from political rebellion.21
Once Christianity gained prominence, the orthodox allowed the Roman emperor to directly influence Christian doctrine. To settle ideological disputes in the Church, Constantine introduced and presided over the first ecumenical council at Nicea in 325. In his book The Heretics, Walter Nigg describes the means of 2.1 The Roman Emperor Constantine believed Christianity would provide a means to greater political and military power. This illustration depicts him on the eve of an important battle when he is said to have seen a cross in the sky with the words, “In this sign thou shalt conquer.” reaching a consensus:
Constantine, who treated religious questions solely from a political point of view, assured unanimity by banishing all the bishops who would not sign the new profession of faith. In this way unity was achieved. 'It was altogether unheard-of that a universal creed should be instituted solely on the authority of the emperor, who as a catechumen was not even admitted to the mystery of the Eucharist and was totally unempowered to rule on the highest mysteries of the faith. Not a single bishop said a single word against this monstrous thing.'22
Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History
Morningstar Books (July 1, 1995) pp. 14-22
Endnotes to Chapter Two - Political Maneuvering
1. Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels (New York: Random House, 1979) 100.
2. John Holland Smith, The Death of Classical Paganism, (New York: Charles Scribner, 1976) 49.
3. St. Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, translated and annotated by Josephy P. Smith (Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1952) 106. NOTES 191
4. Smith, The Death of Classical Paganism, 5.
5. Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, 21.
6. Joel Carmichael, The Birth of Christianity (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1989) 170-171.
7. Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, 104.
8. Ibid., 104.
9. Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail (New York: Dell, 1982) 364, 318.
10. Barbara Walker, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983) 467.
11. Ibid., 469.
12. Lloyd M. Graham, Deceptions and Myths of the Bible (New York: Citadel Press, 1975) 445.
13. Ibid., 445.
14. Baigent, Leigh, Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, 327-329.
15. Ibid., 317-318.
16. Ibid., 317.
17. Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987) 131.
18. Luke 23:2.
19. Baigent, Leigh, Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, 326-327.
20. Carmichael, The Birth of Christianity, 35, 177, 178.
21. See both Holy Blood, Holy Grail and Joel Carmichael's The Birth of Christianity for further discussion.
22. Walter Nigg, The Heretics: Heresy Through the Ages, Edited and translated by Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Dorset Press, 1962) 127. The quoted material is by E. Schwarz and is taken from the same page of text.
A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperor
Michael Farquhar, Penguin Books; (10) edition (May 1, 2001)
Part II - Six Royal Sinning
“Here Comes The Sun King"
Being royal required a certain faith in one's inherent superiority over ordinary men. Few monarchs lacked it. Next to Louis XIV of France, though, even the most self-enamored of sovereigns came off looking neurotically insecure by comparison. In fact, Louis refused to be grouped with other kings under the term “Their Majesties" because, he explained, from that there might be deduced “An equality which does not exist.”
For most of his seventy-two- year-reign (from 1643 to 1715, the longest in European history), Louis worked methodically to have all the glory and prestige of France embodied in himself. “I am the State,” he proudly declared—even if the state needed six-inch heels to look taller. As an absolute monarch, Louis dictated nearly every facet of French life according to his own rarefied vision of how it should be. Nothing escaped his attention, from the national religion to tree maintenance. He even mandated a twenty-five-step itinerary to be followed by visitors to the gardens of Versailles. It was all about Louis.
Under him, there was no room for opposition. He and he alone decided what was good and what was right. “The subjugation of a monarch to the law of his people,” he said, “Is the last calamity which can befall a gentleman of our rank.” Laws were initiated, aggressive wars pursued, and art and literature commissioned—all designed to make Louis look good. “My dominant passion is certainly love of glory,” he once admitted.
For the royal emblem, Louis XIV adopted the sun because, as he explained in his Memoirs, “The unique quality of the brilliance which surrounds it, the light it communicates to other heavenly bodies which compose a kind of Court around it, the just and even allotment of its light among all the various tropics of the world, the good it does everywhere, endlessly producing on all sides life, joy, activity, its uninterrupted movement despite an always tranquil appearance, its constant and invariable path, from which it is never drawn or diverted, is assuredly the most beautiful and vivid image of a great monarch.”
The “Sun King" put himself on dazzling display at Versailles, where in 1682 he permanently moved his court and the seat of government. The palace itself was designed to be a glittering reflection of its most regal inhabitant and everyone was welcome to come and observe him in his daily, unwavering routine. Onlookers were on hand every morning when the king arose, got dressed, and shaved. At meals, they could marvel at his dexterity with an egg as he clipped off the top with just one quick stroke of the spoon. A very privileged few even got to watch him as he sat perched on his other throne when nature called. “What price does even the most repulsive thing that comes from the king have in this country?” asked a shocked visitor from Italy after observing this unusual access.
The writer Jean de La Bruyere described how Louis worshiped at Mass under the adoring gaze of his subjects: “The great of the nation meet each day at a certain time in a temple called church ... they form a vast circle at the foot of the altar, standing with their backs to the priest and the holy mysteries, their faces lifted toward their king, who can be seen kneeling at a tribune ... one cannot help noticing in his usage a sort of subordination; for the people seem to be adoring the prince, who is adoring God.”
Louis XIV was a genius at making Versailles appear to be the pinnacle of prestige and honor for the thousands of nobles who lived there, with himself as the radiant center of it all. In this way the king utterly obliterated their ancient power by having them chase the artificial gold that he created and dangled before them. The once mighty aristocracy fought for the honor of cramped rooms, handing the king his shirt in the morning, holding a candle for him, or accompanying him on a hunt.
Louis created hundreds of meaningless posts that the nobility were eager to snatch up at enormous costs, yet even he was surprised at how successful this venture became. “Who will buy them?” the king once asked his Minister of Finance, Desmarets, who wanted to create even more artificial offices. “Your Majesty ignores one of the finest prerogatives of the king of France,” Desmarets replied, “Which is that when a King creates an office God instantly creates a fool to buy it.”
A rigid and highly nuanced code of etiquette flourished at Versailles, designed to flatter the nobility into worshipful and grateful complacency. People were thrilled to be granted the privilege to sit in the king's presence rather than stand, or to have him doff his hat at certain angles, which designated various levels of favor. “He substituted ideal rewards for real ones,” wrote the Duc de Saint-Simon, an avid court observer and participant, “And these operated through jealousy, the petty preferences he showed many times a day, and his artfulness in showing them.” One of the most coveted marks of favor was an invitation to the king's more intimate residence at Marley. According to Saint-Simon, “It was a crime not to ask for Marley either always or often, although this did not mean they would obtain it.”
While Louis operated using an elaborate code of flattery toward the nobility, he demanded it for himself as well. He was surrounded by a sea of sycophants as a result. “Soon after he became master, his ministers, his generals, his mistresses and his courtiers noticed that he had a weakness for, rather than a love of, glory,” Saint-Simon wrote. “They spoiled him with praise. Commendation and flattery pleased him to such a point that the most obvious compliments were received kindly and the most insidious were relished even more. It was the only way to approach him, and those who won his love knew it well and never tired of praising him. That is why his ministers were so powerful, for they had more opportunities to burn incense before him, attribute every success to him, and vow they had learned everything from him. The only way to please him was submissiveness, baseness, an air of admiring and crawling toadyism, and by giving the impression that he was the only source of wisdom.”
And the ranks of the obsequious were legion. There was, for example, the subject who responded, when Louis asked for the time: “Whatever time Your Majesty desires.” Or his son, the Duc du Maine, who said to his father after a long military campaign, “Ah, Sire, I will never learn anything. My tutor grants me a holiday each time you win a victory.” Then there was the Superintendent of Buildings, the Duc d'Antin, who placed wedges under the statues at Versailles so the king would notice they were askew and d'Antin would get the chance to praise him for his keen perception.
The aura of majesty was so intoxicating that basking in it took absurd forms. When Louis suffered from a fistula, a deep ulcer of the rectum that required surgery, the ailment became ultra-chic and those fortunate enough to share the operation du Roi were much envied. The surgery carried so much prestige, in fact, that men without fistulas begged and bribed doctors to perform the procedure on them anyway—an entirely new spin on the fine art of kissing ass.
From Publishers Weekly
In another royal exposé, Farquhar, a writer at the Washington Post, duplicates some of the ground covered in Karl Shaw's Royal Babylon, such as Peter the Great's delight in administering torture (he had his son lashed to death) and the way Britain's Queen Mary cajoled her subjects into giving her their household treasures (“I am caressing it with my eyes,” she would coyly coo). Written in a provocative tabloid style (with headings like “We Are Not Abused. We Are Abusive,” “A Son Should Love His Mother, But...” and “All the Holiness Money Can Buy"), Farquhar publicly washes the dirty laundry of not only European royalty, but also of Roman emperors and popes. Murderers and torturers who slept with their siblings (and other relatives), the emperors of Rome excelled at corruption. The maniacal pedophile Tiberius Caesar (A.D. 14-37) left the corpses of his many victims to rot on the Gemonian Steps, which descended from the Capitol to the Forum, or alternatively enjoyed watching them being thrown from a cliff (“A contingent of soldiers was stationed below to whack them with oars and boat hooks just in case the fall failed to do the trick"). Many popes were no better. Not content with just rooting out Christian heretics by launching a bloody crusade against the Cathars in southern France, Innocent III (1160-1216) declared himself ruler of the world. He sacked Constantinople and massacred every Muslim he could find. Like Royal Babylon, this gossipy string of anecdotes is a popularized rather than an authoritative history and perfect for travel reading.
Pope's involved in shady business
ROME — Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Valentino are facing an unlikely competitor in Italy's crowded fashion scene: the pope is about to bring out a line of designer sunglasses and clothing. “These are no ordinary pair of sunglasses,” says the hype for the range's official launch next month... . The enterprise, which involves other southern Italian companies, is the latest in a growing list to feature the pope. Other products will include signed leather items, jumpers and T-shirts.”
London Daily Telegraph, August 29, 1998
“The Irish government has launched an inquiry into allegations of abuse at so-called industrial schools, where children were detained if their parents were deemed too poor to look after them, or if they stole or played truant.
The 52 schools, run by Catholic religious orders and backed by the government, closed in the 1970s.
Campaigners say the priests and nuns subjected most of the children in their care to physical or sexual attacks.”
BBC, Wednesday, 19 July, 2000
“A priest jailed for child sex abuse in 1997 is to be freed on Thursday, the Catholic Church has said.
Father Michael Hill has served three and a half years of a five-year sentence for nine attacks, including one on a boy with learning difficulties at the Gatwick Airport chapel.
The Church came under fire when it was revealed Father Hill had been allowed to work as a priest in 1985 at Gatwick, although his licence had been revoked due to concerns over his behaviour.”
BBC, Thursday, 7 September, 2000
More Irish bishops 'must quit'
The Catholic church in Ireland has been rocked by the abuse scandal
The remaining Irish bishops named in a report which exposed how Catholic leaders concealed child abuse must resign, a victims group has said.
On Wednesday the Bishop of Kildare said he would stand down, which came after the resignation of the Bishop of Limerick.
Maeve Lewis, chief executive of the One in Four group, said the resignations of three more bishops are “Inevitable.”
She said they should go quickly to avoid more damage to abuse survivors.
BBC, 24 December 2009
Belgian Cardinal appears at trial of priest accused of paedophilia
The head of the Roman Catholic church in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, has made an unprecedented appearance in court in connection with the trial of a Catholic priest charged with sexual abuse of children.
The priest, Andre Vander Lijn, denies the charges but has admitted to kissing one child on the lips.”
BBC, Monday, February 9, 1998
Cardinal Keith O'Brien 'blocked church sex abuse report', says archbishop
“The former archbishop of Glasgow has said Cardinal Keith O'Brien blocked a report into sex abuse in the church.
Writing to the Tablet, Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow Mario Conti said Cardinal O'Brien, who has admitted sexual misconduct with other priests, prevented the investigation.
Other Scottish bishops had agreed the inquiry should go ahead.
However, the Catholic paper's deputy editor said the church should have proceeded with an audit anyway.
Elena Curtis said: “Cardinal O'Brien was one bishop and there would have been no reason why the other bishops couldn't have proceeded with an independent audit without him.”
BBC, August 24, 2013
Canadian archbishop accused of sexual abuse
Tuesday, Oct. 05, 2010
"One of Canada's highest-ranking orthodox officials is being investigated by police and his own church for allegations of sexual misconduct more than two decades ago.
Victims advocates say the allegations against Archbishop Seraphim Storheim relate to his time as rector of a Winnipeg church and concern two young boys.
The 64-year-old archbishop, who leads the Archdiocese of Canada in the Orthodox Church in America, took a three-month leave of absence from his duties, effective Oct. 1.”
Globe and Mail Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010
"A Global Scandal
Although the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church in the US has received the most media attention, similar cases have occurred in other countries.
Most of the cases centre on Europe and Latin America, where the Church remains a pillar of the established order in many societies.
The countries involved include:
Australia: Australia's most senior churchman, Sydney Archbishop George Pell, was forced to admit offering thousands of dollars to the family of alleged child victims of sexual abuse by priests.
From our archive: Bishop admits abuse money offer
The Church has publicly apologised to British and Maltese child migrants who suffered physical and sexual abuse in religious institutions between the 1930s and 1960s.
From our archive: Australian church apologises to child migrants
Austria: The Church has admitted that accusations of paedophilia levelled against its former head, Archbishop of Vienna Hans Hermann Groer, are substantially true.
From our archive: Austrian bishops label cardinal a paedophile
France: In 2001, a court gave a three-month suspended sentence to Bishop Pierre Pican, who was accused of covering up for a paedophile priest.
From our archive: Bishop convicted in paedophile case
Ireland: Bishops have backed a wide-ranging investigation into child abuse over the past 60 years after more than 20 priests, brothers and nuns were convicted of molesting children. The Bishop of Ferns resigned following heavy criticism of his handling of sex abuse allegations.
From our archive: Irish cardinal 'regrets' abuse
Poland: The hint of scandal has even reached the Pope's native land, where a Roman Catholic archbishop has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians and priests. He denies the allegations.
From our archive: Polish archbishop 'molested students'
South Africa: The head of the Church has admitted that about a dozen priests have been accused of sexually abusing children, but that the cases happened "many years ago.”
From our archive: South Africa's Catholics admit sex abuse
UK: The Church in England and Wales has set up an independent committee to advise it on how to stop sexual abuse after a number of cases involving paedophile priests. The Archbishop of Wales resigned after criticism of his handling of paedophile cases.
From our archive: Catholics tackle paedophile priests
Brazil: Church officials in the world's largest Roman Catholic country have admitted that paedophilia is a problem. “The problem of sexual appetite is one that afflicts every human being,” said Bishop Angelico Sandalo Bernardino.
Mexico: The Church has been accused of covering up cases of sex abuse and even paying money to silence the victims. One cardinal was lambasted by the country's press after suggesting that the church should not wash its "dirty laundry" in public.”
BBC, 23 April, 2002, A Global Scandal
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