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If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Priestly Celibacy and Sexual Abuse



Dear Blog Visitors:

I am sure that many of you are aware of major news that was released yesterday, concerning a letter written by Cardinal Ratzinger (currently Pope Benedict XVI) in 2001. In this letter, Cardinal Ratzinger ordered church leaders to keep all cases of reported sexual abuse secret. Further news has been released that indicates the fact that when our pontiff was archbishop in Munich, he moved an abusive priest from one parish to another, whereby more abuse occurred.

For many years, I have maintained there is a strong connection between the policy of mandatory priestly celibacy and sexual abuse. Although I am not a psychologist, I have read with great interest the findings of reputable experts who have studied the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church. Many psychologists are in full agreement that when an institution requires celibacy of a person who may not be called to this lifestyle, the result can be sexual dysfunction, or even worse, acts of sexual abuse may emerge.

I continue to argue for a return to the traditional priesthood. By this, I simply mean that we must consider the fact that during the first 1,139 years of the church, marriage was normative for priests. When mandatory celibacy was imposed in 1139, it was because of financial factors, as opposed to reasons of faith.

I strongly believe that if married priests and women priests are allowed to serve alongside celibate priests, there will be a healthier clerical environment in the Roman Catholic Church.

Following this blog post, you will find a press release from SNAP, in which they listed cities where demonstrations will take place concerning the news story I described, in addition to responding to international sexual abuse cases that are only now coming to light.

In the video above, I try to make a strong case for a connection between mandatory priestly celibacy and sexual abuse. I hope you take the time to watch.

Peace to all,
Ray

PRESS RELEASE FROM SNAP

WHEN
Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 (See exact times below.)

WHERE
In front of chanceries, cathedrals, churches and government buildings in CA, CT, DC, FL, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NY, OH, PA, RI, TX, and WI. (See details below.)

WHO
Clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), along with their loved ones and concerned Catholics

DETAILS

Just hours ago, reports out of Germany claim the Pope himself knowingly allowed a predator priest to remain in ministry, where at least one other child was abused.

A few weeks ago, Vatican officials were forced to address the clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis that is spreading like wildfire across Europe. Scores of media accounts are appearing and hundreds of victims are coming forward in Germany, Ireland, Austria and the Netherlands. Just yesterday, the Pope met with the head of the German Catholic church over scandals breaking there. In Italy, law enforcement wiretaps have revealed charges of a gay prostitution ring using at least one seminarian and operated by two Vatican insiders. The Pope's brother is embroiled in a controversy over accusations of sexual abuse in a widely-known church choir which he headed for 30 years.

In Ireland and The Netherlands, the Catholic hierarchy is planning internal surveys about the numbers of predator priests. But American victims feel independent investigations by secular authorities (as was done in parts of Ireland and in the US by several grand juries) are much more likely to expose the corrupt church leadership and to deter future recklessness, callousness and deceit.

German and Austrian church officials are talking about revamping their internal child sex policies. But US victims believe church policies are essentially meaningless and that it's much more effective to reform outdated secular laws which bishops exploit to escape responsibility for hiding and moving predators.

Two weeks ago, the AP reported "While the focus of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church centered on the United States for several years, abuse scandals have in recent years (also) erupted in the Philippines, Poland, Mexico, Italy, Canada and elsewhere."

Exact locations and times:

CA - Rancho Mirage, Sunday, March 14 at 3:00 PM
Whitewater Park, 71-560 San Jacinto Drive (Major Cross streets are HWY 111 & Bob Hope Drive)
Contact: Dave Price, 760-219-3635

CA - Los Angeles, Sunday, March 14 at 10:45 AM
Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, 555 W. Temple St (at N Grand)
Contact: Carlos Perez, 818-723-8016

CA - Oakland, Sunday, March 14 at 12:00 PM
The Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison Street (Between 21st & Grand)
Contact: Melanie Sakoda, 925-708-6175

CA - San Diego, Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM
Cathedral of St. Joseph, 1535 Third (corner of Third and Beech)
Contact: Paul Livingtson, 619-677-7133

CA - San Francisco, Sunday, March 14 at 9:00 AM
St. Mary Cathedral, 1111 Gough Street (Between Ellis & Geary)
Contact: Melanie Sakoda, 925-708-6175,

CT - Hartford, Sunday, March 14 at 11:30 AM
St. Joseph Cathedral, 140 Farmington Ave (corner of Farmington and Sigourney)
Contact: Beth McCabe, 860-335-8187 & Kathy Rector, 860-384-4372

CO - Colorado Springs, March 14 at 9:15 AM
St. Mary Catholic Cathedral, 22 W Kiowa St.
Contact: John Murphy, 719-322-6597

DC - Washington, Saturday, March 13 at 6:30 PM
Irish Embassy, 2234 Massachusetts Ave. N. WE
Contact: Becky Ianni, 703-801-6044 & David Lorenz, 301-906-9161

DC - Washington, Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 PM
German Consulate, 4645 Reservoir Rd. NW
Contact: Becky Ianni, 703-801-6044 & David Lorenz, 301-906-9161

FL - Miami, Sunday, March 14 at 10:30 AM
St. Mary's Cathedral, 7525 NW 2nd Ave
Contact: Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003

FL - Orlando,Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 AM
St. James Cathedral, 215 N Orange Ave. (at Robinson St.)
Contact: Robert Keane, 386-676-0298

FL - Palm Beach Gardens, Sunday, March 14 at 1:30 PM
St. Ignatius Cathedral, 9999N Military Trail
Contact: Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003

FL - St. Augustine, Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 AM
Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine, 38 Cathedral Place
Contact: Kristine Ward, 937-272-0308

FL - Venice, Saturday, March 13 at 4:15 PM
Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave West
Contact: Barbara Dorris, 314-503-0003

IL - Chicago, Saturday, March 13 at 1:00 PM
German Consulate, 676 N. Michigan
Contact: Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747

IL - Chicago, Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 PM
Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N Wabash
Contact: Therese Albrecht, 708-263-3050

IL - Peoria, Sunday, March 14 at 11:15 AM
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, 607 NE Madison Avenue (at Hancock St)
Contact: Jeff Jones, 815-985-9441

IL - Rockford,Sunday, March 14 at 10:00 AM
St. Peter Cathedral, 1243 N. Church St.
Contact:Kate Bochte, 630-768-1860

IL - Springfield,Sunday, March 14 at 9:30 AM
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 241 E. Lawrence
Contact: Jeff Jones, 815-985-9441

IN - Fort Wayne, Saturday, March 13 at 6:00 PM
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, 1100 South Calhoun
Contact: Therese Albrecht, 708-263-3050

IN - South Bend, Sunday, March 14 at 9:30 AM
St. Matthew, 1701 Miami Street
Contact: Therese Albrecht, 708-263-3050

KY - Louisville, Saturday, March 13 at 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. 5th St. (between Muhammed Ali and Liberty)
Contact: Colleen Powell, 502-479-0246

MA - Boston, Saturday, March 13 at 1:30 PM
Federal Building, 55 New Sudbury St.
Contact: Ann Webb, 617-513-8442 & Robert Costello, 781-414-1178

MD - Baltimore, Saturday, March 13 at 12:30 PM
Office of the Chancellor, 320 Cathedral Street
Contact: Dave Lorenz, 301-906-9161 & Frank Dingle

MI - Detroit, Sunday, March 14 at 10:30 AM
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, 9844 Woodward Ave
Contact: Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747

MO - Columbia, Sunday, March 14 at 11:30 AM
St. Thomas More Newman Center, 701 Maryland Ave., (corner of Turner Ave.)
Contact: Judy Jones, 636-433-2511

MO - St. Louis, Sunday, March 14 at 6:00 PM
St. Louis Cathedral, 4431 Lindell (corner of Lindell and Newstead)
Contact: Peggy Fitzpatrick, 314-845-9438

NC - Charlotte, Saturday, March 13 at 5:00 PM
St. Patrick's Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Road, East
Contact: David Fortwengler, 704-562-4529

NY - New York, Sunday, March 14 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Patrick's Cathedral, 5th Ave. & 49th St.
Contact: Mary Caplan, 917-439-4187 & Glen Echevarria, 646-763-4260

OH - Columbus, Sunday, March 14 at 11:15 AM-12:30 PM
Across the street from St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral, 212 E Broad St
Contact: Carol Zamonski, 614 447-2084

OH - Dayton, Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 AM
St. Joseph's Church, 200 2nd St.
Contact: Ginny Hoehne, 973-726-9360

OH -Toledo, Sunday, March 14 at 12:00 PM
Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Ave
Contact: Barbara Blaine, 312-399-4747

PA - Philadelphia, Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, 100 E Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, PA 19096
Contact: Karen Polesir, 267-992-9463

RI - Providence, Saturday, March 13 at 11:00 AM
Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, One Cathedral Square
Contact: Ann Barrett Doyle, 781-439-5208 & Ann Webb, 617-513-8442

TX - San Antonio, Saturday, March 13 at 1:00 PM
San Fernando Cathedral,115 Main Plaza
Contact: Barbara Boehland, 210-725-8329

WI - Madison, Saturday, March 13 at 9:45 AM
Diocese of Madison- Pastoral Center, 702 South High Point Road (at Donofrio Dr.)
Contact: David Clohessy, 314-566-9790

CONTACT
Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003), David Clohessy (314-566-9790), Peter Isely (414-429-7259)

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