The Seventh Commandment"You shall not steal." The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods.
"You shall not steal.
The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods."
(185. Ex 20:15; Deut 5:19; Mt 19:18.)
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Catechism of the Catholic Church, U.S.C.C. Inc., 1994, p. 544-5.
Our Most Blessed Father Pope Benedict V ran away to Constantinople with the entire money chest of St Peter's after ravishing a young lass. His death came at the hands of an irate husband who stabbed him repeatedly, and the crowd then dragged the lifeless body through the streets before tossing it into a cess-pool.
These false prophets, though blessed with bountiful erotic pleasures and dictatorial plenitude of power, had their downside. The papacy was a high-risk devilish deathtrap. Many met ungodly deaths: some had their throats cut, others throttled in prison, poisoned during sumptuous meals, bludgeoned while still locked in coitus, or just stabbed to death in the midst of pulling out their phallus.
"Without question, these pontiffs constitute the most despicable body of leaders, clerical or lay, in history. They were, frankly, barbarians. Ancient Rome had noting to rival them in rottenness."
All crimes committed by pandits, monks, rabbis, and imams of all other religious institutions over the last two thousand years do not make even one per cent of accumulated papal sin.
Pope Leo X was a lavish spender and required a prodigious sum of money. The sin tax levied on thousands of registered prostitutes wasn’t enough. He increased income by boosting the sale of indulgences, especially cardinal hats. He struck gold in one brainstorming session — rescuing suffering souls in purgatory hell. For a fee, of course. Does the name Johann Tetzel ring a bell?
His Holiness John XII gambled away pilgrims' offerings during the day and paid for the sexual services of high-class ladies during the night by disposing the golden chalices from St Peter's.
When this Vicar of Satan finally died the treasury, which was empty when he took over, was overflowing. The hoard shocked even the affluent Florentine bankers. They counted 25 million gold florins, and there was an equivalent amount in gems and precious objects. Never had anyone seen so much. "The real heresy of John XXII, Christ's vicar and successor of St Peter, was that he burned the poorest of Christ's poor and died the richest man in the world."
Pope Gregory XII's first papal act, at the age of ninety, "was to pawn his tiara for six thousand florins to pay his gambling debts."
Pope Boniface VII just fled with the Church treasury to Constantinople, and never came back.
Gregory is one of the "good Popes" who, though less in number, are offered as an offset to the "bad Popes," and it is material to understand that, like his saintly colleagues, he did not use his power and virtue to promote civilization. He was a Benedictine monk of ascetic life and infinite credulity (see his Magna Moralia and Dialogues), yet a shrewd business man. He expected the speedy end of the world, which was not conducive to efforts to reform the appalling social order - the entire civilized world was then at the lowest level it had touched since the beginning of history - and the large landholders whom he persuaded of this left their estates and slaves (then almost the only form of wealth) to the Papacy. It became the richest owner of land (from 1,400 to 1,800 square miles) and slaves in Europe, and is estimated to have reached an income of about £400,000 a year (or five times that sum in modern values). He maintained in full the institution of slavery, which St. Augustine had found just, and the few cases in which Catholic writers quote him rejoicing over the manumission of slaves (not his own) are cases of men who had inherited money and promised to leave it to the Church."
Adrian VI singled out John XXII as a apostate of peculiar proportions. On August 7, 1316, in Lyons, the new pontiff named himself John XXII and "this fragile little monster was to last for eighteen tempestuous years more." A financial genius, he theorized that what a pope can give a pope can sell. And he marketed everything a creative Frenchman could think of. Forgiveness for every crime, no matter how heinous, had a price. Catholics could pay their way out of murder, incest, sodomy and a long list of offenses. The more Catholics transgressed, the richer his Holiness became.
Part VII - When In Rome
"A Son Should Love His Mother, But ..."
Claudius’s porcine successor, Nero, had a series of singularly unpleasant experiences with women. This may have had something to do with the fact that he was a feral, sadistic, sexually depraved lunatic—even if he never actually fiddled while Rome burned. Still, you would think he might have found some respect and affection in his heart for Agrippina the Younger, if not because she gave him life from her loins, then because she arranged the murder of his predecessor to make him Caesar.
But Agrippina crossed the line. She was his mom but she also reportedly became his lover, and, in that dual role, she developed into something of a nag. Nero did not take nagging well. According to Suetonius, Nero deprived his mother–lover of all honors and power before booting her out of the palace. After she moved, he sent people to her house to torment her with lawsuits and scream insults into her windows.
Then he set out to kill her.
Three times he tried poison, but she always seemed to have the antidote. He rigged her bedroom ceiling so it would collapse while she was sleeping, but someone warned her in advance. One time he had a boat sabotaged so it would fall to pieces and sink while Agrippina was sailing on it. Sure this plan would work, Nero happily accompanied his unsuspecting mother down the gangplank —kissing her breasts as she stepped aboard. She swam away from the wreck. Finally, he had her stabbed to death and exulted over her corpse.
Nero’s other relationships fared no better than the one with mom. He tried strangling his first wife, Octavia, on several occasions because she bored him. Finally he simply divorced her and later had her executed. Twelve days after the divorce he married Poppaea Salina, the wealthy wife of a Roman knight whom Nero had to kill to make room for himself. Though he doted on her, Poppaea also proved to be a pest. When she had the temerity to complain when he returned home late from the races, the emperor kicked her to death. She was pregnant. Considering his track record, Claudius’s daughter Antonia refused an invitation to become the next Mrs. Nero. She was charged with attempted rebellion and summarily executed.
Women! Who needed them anyway, especially when young men could fill the void quite nicely. Nero at one point had an adolescent boy castrated so he could take him as his wife. There was a wedding ceremony, complete with dowry and bridal veil. Then the emperor began squiring the unfortunate lad around Rome in the late empress’s clothes. Both men and women were lucky enough to participate in a novel game Nero invented. According to the rules, the frisky emperor would dress up in the skin of a wild animal and pace around in his cage. When the cage door was opened, he would bound out, run up to his playmates, who were tied up to stakes, and attack their private parts.
Eventually, even Rome’s notoriously licentious citizenry had enough of Nero’s nonsense. He was hounded into suicide. Savage and nutty as he was, though, this emperor deserves a little credit. He did banish all mimes from Rome.
Part I: Read Excerpts From "The Lust Emperors"
Part II: Read Excerpts From "Six Royals Sinning"
Part III: Read Excerpts From "Unholy Matrimony"
Part IV: Read Excerpts From "Mom Was a Monster, Pop Was a Weasel"
Part V: Read Excerpts From "Royal Family Feud"
Part VI: Read Excerpts From "Strange Reigns"
Part VII: Read Excerpts From "When in Rome"
Part VIII: Read Excerpts From "Papal Vice"
Part IX: Read Excerpts From "Death Be Not Dignified"
More Problems for Catholic Church in Florida
"Within a week, the Catholic Church in Florida has been rocked by the revelations of two more sexually abusive priests and two other priests who stole millions from the collection plate. Rev. Anthony Mercieca, now 69 and living on the Maltese island of Gozo, recalls touching former Congressman Mark Foley but not abusing him sexually. Mercieca seems incredibly unmoved by the damage inflicted by his nude romps in a Florida hot tub. The other abusive priest, Rev. Gustavo Miyares apologized last Sunday to his flock in Hialeah but not to his victim.
It seems to me that the church in Florida has more than a public relations problem. It has a corruption problem within its ranks. When clergy are no longer trusted with the flock's money or its children, the church as an institution is in grave danger."
Joseph H. Saunders, Attorney at Law
Stealing from God
"A new study indicates that theft of church funds is shockingly common. The problem is too much trust creating opportunities for temptation and sin
By Joe Burris
Originally published January 21, 2007
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians says that those who give to the church must do so willingly and freely, for "God loves a cheerful giver."
Yet even the most generous contributor might turn tight-fisted after discovering that the person entrusted to collect contributions to the church is often also the one who takes them to the bank and files the financial statements.
And that often leads to widespread embezzlement.
Even in church, temptation and opportunity can lead to shocking levels of sin.
Just ask the authors of a recent study by researchers at Villanova University. They found that 85 percent of Roman Catholic dioceses had discovered embezzlement of church money over the last five years - with 11 percent suffering thefts of more than $500,000.
Entitled Internal Financial Controls in the U.S. Catholic Church, the report concluded that most Catholic dioceses leave themselves open to theft because they trust the same volunteers or employees to handle both assets and financial records.
The study adds that because churches have small accounting departments, their employees often have little supervision by a qualified financial manager. "A fundamental tenet of internal accounting controls," says the report, "is to keep the financial record-keeping duties separate from those individuals that have access to assets, especially cash."
And since external auditors focus on financial statements of the diocese, they have been less likely to detect theft at parishes.
"I was so taken aback; it had never occurred to me that there would be such embezzlement," said Charles Zech, director of the Villanova church finance research center and co-author of the study, which focused solely on the Roman Catholic Church. Zech said that of the 174 United States dioceses petitioned to participate in the study, 78 responded voluntarily, with most reporting incidents of theft.
"To my knowledge, with any denomination the underlying problem is the same - too trusting," said Zech. "No one thinks that a minister or priest will embezzle. No one thinks a volunteer will embezzle."
But they will, as the Archdiocese Of Baltimore and other church organizations have discovered.
In June of 2004 Victor George Puotinen pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft after stealing nearly $443,000 from the archdiocese and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Puotinen worked for Archdiocesan Central Services before moving to the basilica, where he handled parish administrative services.
Two years ago, Janice C. McIntosh, then principal of Glen Burnie's Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School, pleaded guilty to taking more than $60,000 over a decade from the fundraisers and other accounts at the school.
The Catholic church isn't alone when it comes to embezzlement: Ellen Cooke, former treasurer for the Episcopal Church, stole $2.2 million from the church's Manhattan, N.Y., headquarters in 1995.
• Two years ago, Judith Lynn Anderson, business manager at First United Methodist Church of Waukesha, Wis., was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $250,000 in church funds.
• Ron Durham, pastor of Abundant Life Church in Bangor, Maine, pleaded not guilty after being indicted on charges of stealing more than $100,000 in church funds two years ago.
• Robert David Keith, pastor of the Warren Hill Missionary Baptist Church in North Little Rock, Ark., was indicted by a grand jury on charges of stealing $11,000 from the church two years ago.
Churches "put too much faith and trust that people will do the right thing and don't believe they will do the common thing," said Zech, who added that churches that allow parishioners to handle money need to put safeguards in place without worrying about offending those workers.
"It's not that you don't trust them," he said, "you must protect yourself." "
"Catholic church pilfering prolific
Report: Embezzlement reported by 85 percent of dioceses.
By Genevieve Marshall Of The Morning Call
Parishioners were shocked when longtime Bath Mayor Elizabeth Fields was charged in November with stealing $9,000 in Sunday collections fromSacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, where she served as secretary.
But a recent study by two Pennsylvania researchers has found that 85 percent of U.S. Roman Catholic dioceses that responded to a surveyreported an embezzlement within the past five years.
Of the 78 dioceses that reported their financial information to Charles Zech and Robert West, 11 percent said they had been embezzled out ofmore than half a million dollars. Twenty-nine percent reported embezzlements of less than $50,000.
Police reports were filed in 93 percent of the cases where embezzlement was discovered.
"As faith-based organizations, we're very trusting of our people," said Zech, an economics professor and director of the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova University in Philadelphia.
"You wouldn't think a church person would embezzle, so we don't demand the internal controls," he said. "We figure that a lot of church workers would be insulted if you asked them to do the same things that are routine in the business world."
The study, believed to be the first of its kind to assess embezzlement in a denomination,attributes the high rate of embezzlement in the church to a lack of professionals in financial oversight positions, and an overly trusting attitude toward the people who handle church money.
The authors focused solely on Catholic dioceses, their area of expertise.But Zech said he believes the levels of financial mismanagement and misconduct would be similar in other denominations and nonprofit institutions.
Chris Cocozza, an associate professor of business at De Sales University in Center Valley, said he was "not surprised at all" by the report.
"This is no different than the crimes you see in a small business, a nonprofit or any other religious institution," said Cocozza, who teaches accounting at the Catholic university. "When you can't afford the financial rigors required by a giant like Merrill Lynch to keep track of every penny,things are going to slip through the cracks."
The problem of financial oversight within churches is compounded by the lack of expertise in accounting by the people handling the books, as well as the notion that "religious people don't steal," Cocozza said. Highly qualified chief financial officers are in demand and therefore more likely to seek the higher compensation offered outside the nonprofit sector.
The 15-page report, funded by the Louisville Institute in Kentucky, a program for the study of American religion, was released just before Christmas and first written about in the National Catholic Reporter. The article featured the embezzlement case at Sacred Heart in Bath.
Fields was secretly videotaped in the parish rectory placing rolls of money into her pocket after church officials suspected someone was altering collection tally sheets, according to court documents.
Although the Villanova survey didn't ask the dioceses who committed the embezzlements, Zech said most were discovered by a parish priest, followed by the parish bookkeeper, an internal auditor, and the parish finance council.
That led Zech and West to conclude that most of the reported thefts were by lay people.
"It's the people counting and depositing the money who usually skim off the top," Zech said. "It's not a sophisticated theft. A few hundred bucks here and there, but over time it adds up." "
Sinead Oconner An Open Letter From Sinead O'Connor Regarding the Crimes and Coverup of the Catholic Church
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
A little known fact is that until 2001 there were explicit rules in place, issued by The Vatican, to every bishop in the world, on how to deal with allegations of abuse. These rules included a vow of the utmost secrecy under threat of excommunication, to be sworn by clergy receiving complaints and sworn by victims.
The document states these matters must be "restrained by perpetual silence". In 2001 then Cardinal Ratzinger, sent another set of instructions to every bishop in the world, stating that allegations were to be dealt with "exclusively" by the church and were subject to "The Pontifical secret", which means one risks excommunication by discussing matters of abuse outside of the church.
I also have the text of the oath sworn by clergy and victims.
The Vatican strategy, as shown in Saturday's letter from the Pope to Irish catholics, is to sell the Irish catholic hierarchy down the river, by making it seem they were acting independently of The Vatican when they covered up abuse.
That is a lie. And in fact, the letter is a thesis in the fine art of lying and betraying one's own people.
The fact that the Irish hierarchy are allowing themselves to be sold down river and are leaping in front of bullets for The Vatican, makes me wonder if they themselves are living under abusive and bullying circumstances.It seems to me the hierarchy revere and fear The Vatican more than they fear the God they are supposed to believe in.
Why are they not telling the truth? Which is that they, like nazis, were following explicit orders.
That fact does not exonerate them, but is something we all need to understand.
I know an old man who lately has gone a bit dotty. He has money, but has been caught three times stealing small items from his local supermarket. Last week he was handcuffed, arrested and spent a day and a night in jail. Meanwhile not one member of the clergy the world over, who were involved in following Vatican orders to cover up, have even been questioned by the police, as any of the rest of us would be if we knew of such crimes and covered them up.
Neither has The Vatican been the subject of any criminal investigation. The Pope's letter repeatedly suggests that for the the healing of victims and our nation, we should return to the church, and claims the church is the only avenue through which we may conduct a relationship with Christ.
That, in my opinion, is blasphemy.
Why should we remain in, or return to a relationship with an organization which has so little respect for its victims or the rest of us, that they are lying to our faces and treating us like half-wits? Which we are if we let them get away with it.
We are in an extremely dysfunctional relationship with an organization which is actually abusing us.
Three weeks ago we were told by the bishop of Ferns, that it was our "God given duty" to help the church pay their legal bills and compensation to victims!
We were told it would be "unchristian" of us not to do so.
We were told it would be "in the interests of the future welfare of children" for us to cough up, along with all our little old ladies and gentlemen.
This is abuse.
All of us know someone who is or has been in an abusive relationship. We would rightly advise our loved ones to get up and walk away. What victims deserve, the world over, is a full confession from the Vatican, that they ordered the cover up. And that they are now trying to cover up the cover up.
The only way the victims or the rest of us will get that confession is by boycotting them in order to bring them to their knees. And refuse to go to mass until they fully confess.
If they don't confess they are finished. It is only a matter of time. Confession is their one slim chance of survival.
The fact is, we don't need them to get to God, or to have a relationship with Jesus. We never did need them. And the beautiful position we are now in, is that they need us.
We should illustrate this fact, all caring catholic people, by boycotting them until they confess and show palpable remorse and respect, to God and to their victims.
Institutional Dutch Catholic abuse 'affected thousands'
"Tens of thousands of children have suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions since 1945, a report says.
The report by an independent commission said Catholic officials had failed to tackle the widespread abuse at schools, seminaries and orphanages...
Bert Smeets, an abuse victim who attended the presentation of the report, said it did not go far enough in detailing precisely exactly what happened.
"What was happening was sexual abuse, violence, spiritual terror, and that should have been investigated," Mr Smeets told the Associated Press news agency. 'It remains vague. All sorts of things happened but nobody knows exactly what or by whom. This way, they avoid responsibility.' "
BBC, 16 December 2011