Category Archives: God

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League states the following: Crimes of a sexual nature need not be reported to the police, just the legal department

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League states the following: Crimes of a sexual nature need not be reported to the police, just the legal department

Bill Donohue is at it again, defending the indefensible and claiming that crimes of a sexual nature need not be reported to the police, just the legal department. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Bill Donohue will willing violate FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS that say YOU MUST report these crimes to the police. In his latest diatribe in defense of Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell for not publishing the names of priests accused of a sexual offense in The Advertiser on August 23, 2014. This is the article:

From the link: https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/opinion/2014/08/23/bishop-deserves-praise-protecting-priets-identities/14500535/

Kudos to Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell for not publishing the names of priests accused of a sexual offense. His decision is identical to the one that the leaders of every other institution, public and private, have long come to: It is unethical to do so. Why should the Catholic Church be any different?

A reporter came to my office a few years ago asking me about this issue. Specifically, she asked how I could defend a bishop for not posting the names of accused priests on his diocesan website. I immediately asked for her boss’ name and phone number. She wanted to know why. “Because I am going to report you for sexually harassing me, and then I want to see if your name is going to be posted on the website of your cable news employer.”

She got the point.

I am the CEO of the Catholic League. If someone called me making an accusation against one of my staff members, I can assure you I would not call the cops. No employer would. I would do the same as everyone else: I would conduct my own internal investigation, and would only go to the authorities if I thought the charge was authentic.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League

There is a profound difference among an accusation, a credible accusation, a substantiated accusation and a finding of guilt. The assumption behind all three levels of accusations is that the accused is innocent, yet this seems not to matter much anymore, especially when the accused is a priest.

The leader of a professional victims’ group maintains that we need to know the names of the credibly accused priests in Lafayette so that parents can protect their children. Nonsense.

Of the 15 priests, seven are dead, five have moved away, and three are retired. None is in ministry. Moreover, all the accusations stem from alleged offenses dating back prior to 1984. In short, it is more than hype to suggest that kids are in danger — it is expressly demagogic, designed to whip up public sentiment against priests.

What is really sickening about this issue is that so many decent and innocent priests have had their reputations ruined by vicious accusers who remain anonymous. No one demands that we make public the names of the accusers, but somehow we are all supposed to know the identity of the accused.

Correction: Only when it comes to priests are demands made to publish the names of the accused.

The New York Times has a business ethics policy that reads, “Any employee who becomes aware of any conduct that he or she believes to be prohibited by this Policy or a violation of the law … is expected to promptly report the facts forming the basis of that belief or knowledge to any supervisor of the legal department.”

In other words, crimes of a sexual nature need not be reported to the police, just the legal department. If this policy is good for reporters, why isn’t it good for bishops? The best part of the Times’ policy says that those who make false accusations are subject “to discipline up to and including termination.” The bishops should adopt this policy immediately.

I am so proud of Bishop Jarrell for acting fairly and courageously.

— Bill Donohue is the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal must face trial: Kerala High Court

Rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal must face trial: Kerala High Court. The prosecution had argued in court that there’s ample evidence against the Bishop in the case and that the latter was simply trying to delay the proceedings. Both in the FIR as well as in the secret statement provided by the victim, there’s clear evidence of the Bishop’s acts, it said.
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rape-accused-bishop-franco-mulakkal-must-face-trial-kerala-high-court-6494465/

The Kerala High Court Tuesday dismissed the discharge plea of Franco Mulakkal, the deposed Catholic Bishop accused of raping a nun, ruling that he must face trial in the case.

The prosecution had argued in court that there’s ample evidence against the Bishop in the case and that the latter was simply trying to delay the proceedings. Both in the FIR as well as in the secret statement provided by the victim, there’s clear evidence of the Bishop’s acts, it said.

On the other hand, the Bishop, in his plea for discharge claimed that the charges against him were cooked up due to some personal grudges and differences the victim had with him. He claimed he was being implicated because he had questioned her financial dealings.

In March, the trial court in Kottayam had similarly swatted aside his discharge plea, directing him to face trial.

The 56-year-old former Bishop of Jalandhar diocese of the Catholic Church is accused of raping a nun, belonging to the Missionaries of Jesus, several times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam district. He spent 40 days in prison in 2018 after being arrested by a special investigation team of the police and was released on bail.

Kerala court cancels bail to rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal

Kerala court cancels bail to rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. The Kottayam Additional District Court Monday cancelled the bail of rape-accused Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal after he failed to appear on numerous occasions before the court despite several warnings.
By The Indian Express
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/kerala-nun-rape-case-bishop-franco-mulakkal-bail-cancelled-6503954/

Kottayam: Rape accused Roman Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal released on bail ,in Kottayam on Tuesday , October 16, 2018. Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested over three weeks ago on allegations of repeatedly raping a nun, was released from a sub-jail near here Tuesday, a day after the Kerala High Court granted him bail. (PTI10_16_2018_000158B)

The Kottayam Additional District Court Monday cancelled the bail of rape-accused Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal after he failed to appear on numerous occasions before the court despite several warnings. The court proceeded to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against him.

When the case came up for hearing today, the Bishop, through his counsel, informed the court that he would not be able to appear in person as he was on the primary contact list of a person who tested positive for coronavirus in Jalandhar in Punjab where he is currently based. Mulakkal is the former Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Catholic Church.

On July 1 too, when the case last came up for hearing, Mulakkal had excused himself by stating that he was located in a containment zone and therefore wouldn’t be able to travel to Kerala.

The special prosecutor, appearing on behalf of the police, informed the court that Mulakkal was lying and was simply attempting to delay the proceedings in the case.

Mulakkal, who was granted bail in 2018, is accused of raping a nun belonging to the order of Missionaries of Jesus several times between 2014 and 2016 at a convent in Kottayam district in Kerala. The 56-year-old was arrested following huge protests in Kerala and spent nearly 40 days in jail before he received bail. While he claims the charges are concocted, the rape victim and her colleagues in the order have stuck to their testimony. There are also allegations that he, through the Church, was going about intimidating witnesses and applying pressure on others to change their testimonies. This is the first time in India that rape charges have been framed against a Catholic Bishop.

Last week, the Kerala High Court dismissed the discharge plea of Mulakkal, insisting that he must face trial.

ChristoTaliban Racist Eric Metaxas: Christian Author Responds to Biden Gaffe with Over-the-Top Racist Tweet

Christian Author Responds to Biden Gaffe with Over-the-Top Racist Tweet
By Hemant Mehta
https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/05/22/christian-author-responds-to-biden-gaffe-with-over-the-top-racist-tweet/

This morning, Joe Biden said something stupid. (Surprise.) He claimed, perhaps jokingly, on a morning radio talk show with a predominantly black audience, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” And then, he apologized for it because it wasn’t funny, it wasn’t accurate, and what-the-hell-are-you-doing-Joe?

If you’re a Republican, that’s fodder for days’ worth of news segments. It doesn’t matter that Trump says far stupider things every day. It doesn’t matter that Trump says far more racist things every day. It doesn’t matter that Trump surrounds himself with and praises white nationalists. Who cares?!

A Democratic slip-up will always get more coverage than a Republican fuck-up.

All you have to do is shut up and let the Biden clip speak for itself.

Enter Christian author Eric Metaxas, a recently named “fellow” at Liberty University’s hilariously named Falkirk Center, who had perhaps the worst response you could imagine:

BREAKING: Just now Joe Biden tried & failed to walk back his “You ain’t black comment” by saying “Sho nuff you is fo shizzle ain’t black! Cuz Massa Trump be fixin to put all y’alls behinds back in chains! You done got yo sefs no choice in dis hyah. And that’s a FO sho fo sho!”

— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) May 22, 2020

What the hell…

This is why there’s no conservative version of The Daily Show. Conservatives aren’t funny or clever. Their response to a racist comment is to be waaaaaay more racist. Unlike Biden, Metaxas hasn’t apologized. That tweet is still up. He’s just retweeting supportive comments now.

But there are some interesting responses:

He is being racist

— Sailor Michael⚓✈ (@Megawatts55) May 22, 2020

So, this actually completely undermines whatever point you thought you were making, and instead just shows you mocking African American Vernacular English, which is worse than the point you initially thought you were making.

Have a blessed Friday.

— Bärí A. Williams (@BariAWilliams) May 22, 2020

Eric, this isn’t funny. This is the Twitter equivalent of Blackface.

— Karen Swallow Prior (Notorious KSP) (@KSPrior) May 22, 2020

Ummm….wow.

If I have ever seen a career destroying tweet, it is this one. Seriously, dude, either delete it or go burn a cross.

On the other hand – are you with some right-wing media group? Cause then this will just be found funny by your, shall I say, racist fans.

— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) May 22, 2020

When you accepted Trump as your lord and savior, did it come with a complimentary white hood? This is disgusting, no matter what point you were trying to make. You grieve God with this nonsense, but then, God was only a money-making tool for you, right?

— Susan Insufficiently Partisan Bagwell (@SweetieWalker) May 23, 2020

All of this comes just days after Metaxas claimed the only reason people were anti-racist was because of the Bible.

I guess that means he’s never read it.

ChristoTaliban Racists: After Backlash, Jerry Falwell, Jr. Issues Half-Assed “Apology” for Racist Tweet

After Backlash, Jerry Falwell, Jr. Issues Half-Assed “Apology” for Racist Tweet
By Hemant Mehta
https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2020/06/08/after-backlash-jerry-falwell-jr-issues-half-assed-apology-for-racist-tweet/

It took more than a week for Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell, Jr. to admit he’s an idiot. And even then it’s a half-hearted acknowledgment.

On May 27, Falwell tweeted this remarkably tone-deaf “joke” in an effort to mock a mandate by the governor of Virginia that people must wear masks in public spaces:

I was adamantly opposed to the mandate from @GovernorVA requiring citizens to wear face masks until I decided to design my own. If I am ordered to wear a mask, I will reluctantly comply, but only if this picture of Governor Blackface himself is on it!

Just hilarious…

Falwell was bringing up the governor’s blackface scandal out of nowhere — by using an image of a man in blackface and another wearing KKK garb — in order to own the libs.

It backfired. One Black professor resigned. Nearly three dozen Black alumni published an open letter demanding his resignation.

It took all of that — and who knows how much additional pressure in private — for Falwell to issue a pathetic nonpology today.

It took all of that — and who knows how much additional pressure in private — for Falwell to issue a pathetic nonpology today.

After listening to African American LU leaders and alumni over the past week and hearing their concerns, I understand that by tweeting an image to remind all of the governor’s racist past… I actually refreshed the trauma that image had caused and offended some by using the image to make a political point. Based on our long relationships, they uniformly understood this was not my intent, but because it was the result… I have deleted the tweet and apologize for any hurt my effort caused, especially within the African American community.

Oh boy… Here are the problems with that pathetic statement:

He’s still trying to explain his “joke.”

The only person he labels as “racist” is the governor, not himself.

He claims he only offended “some” people.

He suggests those critics from Liberty “uniformly” knew he wasn’t actually promoting racism… which would be more believable if they said that themselves, which they haven’t yet.

He deleted the old tweet, which is a convenient way to try to scrub it from the internet. Thank goodness people took screenshots. (That said, deleting it was one of the requests made by those Black alums.)

He apologizes “for any hurt my effort caused,” but doesn’t say he was wrong to begin with.

In other words, he’s sorry for the backlash, but not the principle of what he did. He’s sorry you don’t find him as funny as he finds himself.

He’s not resigning, of course. He sure as hell didn’t say that anything would change moving forward.

Bottom line is that Liberty is still a school run by a racist. Not just a racist, but a racist who didn’t even see a problem with tweeting out a racist picture, and who then blamed the world for calling him out on his racism.

Every student who goes there will be judged by Falwell’s actions, fairly or not, but his constant awfulness should at least make them ashamed of their degrees. If they’re not ashamed, then they’re just as morally bankrupt as he is.

End the tragedy of the American Indian Reservation

End the tragedy of the American Indian Reservation
By Richard May
https://catholicphilly.com/2020/07/commentaries/end-the-tragedy-of-the-american-indian-reservation/

“We have no hope; it will always be like this.” — Lakota Sioux resident of Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota. ***

There are 7 million American Indians in the U.S., one-fourth living and dying on reservations under conditions rivaling third world countries. Most are Christian, many are Catholic. They are the poorest American ethnic group.

Pine Ridge is a microcosm of the worst of problems. Life expectancy is less than 44 years, 97% live below the poverty line, unemployment is over 80%. Most lack clean water and sewage, 40% lack electricity, addictions are rampant. Diseases – diabetes and cancer — are 800% higher than the national average.

The state of education is among the worst in the nation. Many schools are in need of repair with asbestos in the flooring and pipes, with lead-based paint and fire code violations. They lack basic supplies and fresh food.

The root cause of the economic situation is tied to the land, most held in trust by the federal government. They are the most regulated people on earth. Many only have the right to occupy the land. They do not own their homes and have little incentive or the money to repair them. How did it get this bad?

We must go back to the “doctrine of discovery” that first appeared in Spain, later adopted by the British, and then worked its way into the U.S. Constitution and federal legislation ever since. When the “New World” was being discovered, the question was: Who is to take possession of these newly discovered lands?

Acting under the international laws of Western Christendom, Columbus was to “take possession” of the land for Spain. These “laws” took shape from two papal bulls (1452 and 1493). The intent was to recognize and defend any Spanish claim and to bring the people of the new land to Christianity at a time when Islam was spreading across Europe.

The controversial 1452 bull, Dum diversas was written before Columbus without any knowledge of a new world or the existence of any indigenous people. Popes Nicolas and Alexander I did not intend that they should be mistreated or lose their land. Pope Paul III in 1537 (in Sublimes Dues) clarified that “Indians and all other people [discovered] are by no means to be enslaved, deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ.” Catholic social teachings have since repeated this stance.

Over time the driving force of this “doctrine” was money, later unfolding in U.S. Indian law and Supreme Court cases under Chief Justice John Marshall (1810, 1823 and 1835).

The General Allotment Act (1887) provided the means to take millions of reservation acres guaranteed to Indians and marked the beginning of misguided paternalism by the federal government toward Indian people that continues today. The Burke Act (1906) and the Reorganization Act (1934) and amendments to the Land Consolidation Act followed. Lands not fully owned by individuals were placed into a “trust” system wherein the government has final authority over land use.

The fractionated patchwork of land remaining with its restrictions is a major obstacle to housing and business development. Erosion of tribal powers to govern and manage their lands and resources continues.

The legal framework today is not only inconsistent with the Constitution but also with basic human rights, having adverse consequences for the Indians and their ability to correct the social and economic injustices.   Toward self-sufficiencytribes and their governments are trying to piece together their homelands through purchases, gifts and the return of government-held land. Indian cultures and languages are at stake when the land base is diminished.

“We have no hope. It will always be like this.”No hope leads to despair, and despair leads to many social issues such as suicide and widespread substance abuse. We must restore their hope that things will improve.

The reservation poverty issue touches the core of Catholic social teachings, as we find on the battlefields of pro-life and religious freedom. Responding to this social disparity is part of our Catholic identity and requires an effective social justice advocacy. Public awareness is crucial.

While credit has to be given to organizations such as Catholic Home Missions, charitable donations are just a Band-aid on the problem. A long-term solution requires major reforms at the federal level and begins with the church’s presence on Capitol Hill, supporting the tribes and pro-Indian legislation. It must become a national priority with all Americans engaged to solve it.

Toward this end, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Native American Affairs is now actively meeting with Native American leaders to listen to their concerns. The recent document “Two Rivers: A Report on Catholic Native American Culture and Ministry” provides useful data and the initial steps the church will now take.

Besides the church’s role in evangelization, it includes the need for education, and to put pressure on Congress to reform federal Indian laws governing reservations. You are encouraged to review its content.

Let us all become involved; and this begins with prayer.

I really love this asshole. It was the Roman Catholic Church that participated in the mass genocide of us Native Americans. It was the Roman Catholics who helped kidnap our children and forced them into their Christian Industrial Schools, where these Christians raped them, tortured them, brutalized them, starved them, and outright murdered them. And funny how this asshole Roman Catholic refers to this as evangelism huh?

But if you look at the history of Roman Catholic “evangelism” you will see it was evanglism on the pains of death. Roman Catholics slaughtered millions in butchery during their 9 Catholic Crusades of forced conversion programs against the Pagans.

They did the same to us Native Americans.

In Canada? The Roman Catholic First Nation Industrial Schools? Over 30,000 First Nation children died brutal deaths in those schools. Again, they were raped, tortured, beaten and brutalized, and outright fucking murdered.

How dare this asshole Richard May of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston would spew this kind of shit. How DARE he call what his Roman Catholic Church of butchers, murderers and genocidal shitstains on the underwear of humanity DARE call this evangelican of Natives? How fucking DARE he minimize all the horror, all the pain and suffering, all the murders of us Native Americans by this cult of demonic scumbag pieces of shit on the underwear of humanity.

The Roman Catholic Church helped to commit mass genocide against us Native Americans and now again? Just like in their rapes of hundreds of thousands of children? Play apologetics and stupid bullshit over what they did and continue to do to us Native Americans to this fucking day.

Australian cardinal won’t fight sentence if he loses appeal

Australian cardinal won’t fight sentence if he loses appeal
By Trevor Marshallsea AP
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-oceania/2019/05/australian-cardinal-wont-fight-sentence-if-he-loses-appeal/

Disgraced Australian Catholic cardinal George Pell will not fight for a reduced jail sentence if he fails in his appeal of his conviction for molesting two choirboys in the 1990s, a court spokesman said Monday.

The 77-year-old Pell — the most senior Catholic official convicted of sex abuse — was sentenced in a Melbourne court in March to six years in prison. He must serve at least three years and eight months of the term.

Pell will appeal his conviction next month. His lawyers have filed an application arguing it should be overturned on three grounds.

But the application does not include an appeal of the length of the sentence, Andre Awadalla, a spokesman for the Court of Appeal in Victoria state, told the Associated Press.

“The only appeal application filed on the matter is an appeal against conviction,” Awadalla said. “His lawyers haven’t filed an appeal in relation to sentence.”

In sentencing Pell in March, Victorian County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd acknowledged that there was a real chance that Pope Francis’s former finance minister could die in jail.

Pell was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict in December on one charge of sexual penetration of a child and four charges of committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child.

He was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old choirboy and sexually molesting his 13-year-old friend in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996, months after he became archbishop of the city. He molested the first boy again about a month later. One of his victims later died of a heroin overdose at the age of 31.

Pell’s appeal application is set down for hearing on June 5 and 6, with three judges to first decide whether he should be granted leave to appeal.

His legal team will first argue that the verdicts were “unreasonable” since the jury could not have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Pell was guilty based on the word of the surviving victim against “unchallenged exculpatory evidence” of more than 20 prosecution witnesses.

Pell’s lawyers are also expected to argue that Judge Kidd erred in not allowing them to use a video graphic in their closing arguments, which they said would demonstrate the offending that was alleged would have been impossible.

The third ground details an alleged “fundamental irregularity” in the trial in that Pell was not arraigned — asked if he pleaded guilty or not guilty — in front of the chosen jury.

If the judges accept the first ground, Pell’s conviction will be overturned and he will be released.

A new trial could be ordered if they accept the second or third grounds.

While Pell remains Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic, the Vatican has launched its own investigation into his convictions.

Catholic priest sentenced to prison for molesting teenager

Catholic priest sentenced to prison for molesting teenager
By AP
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2019/09/catholic-priest-sentenced-to-prison-for-molesting-teenager/

A Catholic priest who pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting a Northern California teenager for more than a year has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

KPIX-TV reports that Father David Mendoza-Vela, was sentenced Friday.

Prosecutors say Mendoza-Vela began molesting the boy in June 2016 when the victim was 14.

The 42-year-old priest was originally charged with 30 counts of lewd acts on a child. Twenty-five counts were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Mendoza-Vela, who has since apologized to the boy, must register as a sex offender and stay away from his victim for at least 10 years.

Ordained in 2013, he was most recently assigned to the ministry at Fremont’s Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

He was placed on administrative leave after his March arrest.

Louisiana priest convicted of molestation released on bond

Louisiana priest convicted of molestation released on bond
By AP
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2020/04/louisiana-priest-convicted-of-molestation-released-on-bond/

OPELOUSAS, Louisiana — A former Louisiana priest convicted of molesting an altar boy was released from jail on bond over coronavirus safety concerns.

Michael Guidry, 77, was released Friday nearly a year after he pleaded guilty to molesting a 16-year old boy after giving him alcohol in Guidry’s home, The Advertiser reported. The victim said in a civil lawsuit that he woke up one day in 2015 after doing chores in Guidry’s home and found the former priest molesting him, The Advocate reported. The victim told authorities about the molestation when he was an adult, four years after it happened.

Guidry, who served as the priest of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow, was then sentenced to 10 years in prison in April 2019, KATC-TV reported.

His release on bond from St. Landry Parish jail comes amid objections from state prosecutors after his defense attorney, Jane Hogan, requested an emergency appeal hearing because of the virus outbreak. Guidry had been awaiting another sentencing hearing after a request to reconsider his 10-year sentence was denied by a judge in September, KATC-TV reported.

Kevin Bourgeois, a volunteer at a New Orleans nonprofit group for survivors of clergy abuse, told KATC-TV Guidry’s release on bond sends a message to survivors that “their life is not as important as this sex offender’s life.”

Judge Alonzo Harris, the same judge who sentenced Guidry last year, had set the bond for Guidry. During that sentencing, the judge said “there are some things in life you just can’t tolerate and one is sexual abuse on our children by priests.”

Guidry will be placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor while on bond, and the court has also instructed him to not make contact with the victim.

Tommy Guilbeau, a defense attorney that is not involved in the case, said while it’s “highly unusual” for a felon convicted of child molestation to be on house arrest, not releasing them at this time would be “condemning them to die in a petri dish of COVID-19.”

The victim’s parents and siblings told the court last year that the abuse caused chaos and pain in their family. The family declined to comment to KATC-TV due to a gag order.

The AP does not usually name victims of sexual assault.

Abuse victim of Opus Dei priest wants case to be acknowledged

Abuse victim of Opus Dei priest wants case to be acknowledged
By Ines San Martin
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2020/07/abuse-victim-of-opus-dei-priest-wants-case-to-be-acknowledged/

ROSARIO, Argentina – On June 30, Father Manuel Cociña, a Spaniard, became the first priest belonging to the personal prelature of Opus Dei to be found guilty and sentenced by the Vatican of sexual abuse. He has 15 days to appeal, though sources have told Crux he’s not planning on doing so since appeals usually end worse for those found guilty.

Cociña, 72, was found guilty of molesting one young man, who was 18 when the abuse began in 2002. He’s been sentenced to five years of suspended ministry. He’ll have to spend the time in prayer in the residence where he lives, and after that, when he’s allowed back to ministry, he won’t be able to have contact with people under 30.

His victim was an Opus Dei member at the time of the abuse. Today he lives in Chile, is married, and remains a Mass-going Catholic. He spoke first with a Spanish news outlet and then with Crux, not out of “animosity towards the Church, nor the Work,” he said on Wednesday, using the colloquial term for Opus Dei, which is Latin for “Work of God.”

“What I want is for my case to become public so the Catholic Church in Spain, and Opus Dei there, can move forward in abuse prevention and transparency, as has happened in Chile,” said the survivor, who will be called “Lucas” to protect his identity.

“Eight years ago, the Catholic Church in Chile blew up because of the Karadima case,” Lucas said. “Maybe the same can happen here.”

The reference is to Fernando Karadima, the country’s most notorious pedophile priest, who was expelled from the priesthood by Pope Francis after the Vatican sentenced him to a life of penitence and prayer.

When Francis visited Chile in 2018, he accused Karadima survivors – James Hamilton, Juan Carlos Cruz and Jose Andres Murillo – of “calumny” for asserting that Chilean Bishop Juan Barros, a protégé of Karadima, had covered up for his mentor.

Three months later, and after sending two top-notch investigators to Chile, the pontiff made a 180 degree turn.

He summoned all of Chile’s bishops to Rome,and they handed in their resignations; he publicly apologized to survivors; and he began purging the Chilean church, with several bishops replaced in less than a year, some removed from the priesthood, and several famous priests expelled for having abused minors.

Lucas, who decided to lodge a formal allegation against Cociña after the pope’s visit, believes much has improved since then. In Santiago, the country’s capital, there’s an office that tends to victims, OPADE, and protects those who make allegations. In his own case, they’ve covered his bills for both legal counsel and a psychologist.

“Everything is support and transparency,” Lucas said regarding his experience in Chile.

In Spain, however, he said he’s struggled. He first spoke to his spiritual director about the abuses almost a decade ago, yet Crux has confirmed that Cociña was transferred several times even after the allegation was made against him.

Cociña worked in high schools, seminaries and was even the rector of the Basilica of San Miguel, run by Opus Dei in Madrid. He was transferred to the basilica in 2002, a date Lucas remembers because it was “after the canonization of Escriva,” meaning, after the founder of Opus Dei was declared a saint earlier that year.

Two years later, Cociña was “quietly transferred” to Galicia, a province in northwestern Spain. Lucas said that move is especially worrying because “it happened after Boston,” meaning after clerical abuse allegations blew up in the United States.

“What enrages me is that this man has been abusing young men for 30 years throughout Spain, and the Work moved him from one place to the other,” Lucas said. “He’s been condemned for my case, because I’m the one who’s formally charged him. But this is not about my case, it’s about his life. And the lives he might have ruined.”

After Lucas made his allegation public in 2019 by speaking with a Spanish journalist, Opus Dei released a statement, acknowledging that in August 2018, the prelature in Spain had received from Chile an accusation of sexual abuse against Cociña.

The statement also said that less than a month later, and at the direct order of Monsignor Fernando Ocariz, the head of Opus Dei, a preliminary investigation was ordered. By Oct. 1, 2018, the priest had been restricted in his pastoral ministry, being banned from talking to people under 30, and restricted to the center where he lives.

By December 2018, the file was at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that handles allegations of sexual abuse by priests. It was this office that ruled on June 30 that the priest had been found guilty.

The sentence was communicated to Lucas, but no formal statement has been made. Furthermore, a representative of Opus Dei reportedly told Lucas that no statement should be expected, because his case “wasn’t that big … Cociña is no McCarrick or Karadima,” meaning, ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Washington archbishop found guilty of abuse and removed from the priesthood by Francis.

“I’m very glad with the fact that there’s a sentence, because it means that what happened is finally acknowledged,” Lucas said. “At times, I felt I was crazy, that I was making it up. The sentence is small: Five years suspended and five more years locked in his center. But I haven’t seen the sentence, and I’ve received no institutional call from Opus Dei confirming it.”

“The person who told me was the man appointed by the prelate, who’s a lovely person and who’s been nothing but helpful and forthcoming, but who told me ‘This is canon law, you don’t have a right to the sentence, nor right to know who said what’,” Lucas said.

“The accused and I are not on even footing: I notify the Church of the abuse, and it’s the Church [Opus Dei] that canonically makes the accusation [to the CDF],” he said. “I know there are other accusers in the case against Cociña.”

Lucas has filed no civil complaint because of the statute of limitations.

What he’s been told is that sentence is 16 pages long and that it does, in fact, include other people who were reportedly molested by the priest.

“I’m not going to change canon law,” Lucas said dejectedly. “But what I want is for Opus Dei to release a statement saying ‘this person has been found guilty,’ as they did when the allegation was made.”

“I want a statement to be made, not because I’m obsessed with this story being in the media, but because some people know who I am. There are people in Spain who know I made the allegations, and I want for it to be publicly acknowledged: I didn’t lie, I’m not a crazy man who did this out of hatred of the Work.”

Cociña has 15 days to appeal the sentence, and until he formally decides not to do so, the sentence is not considered definitive. Until then, Opus Dei cannot publicly address the issue.