NY Bishop Rape Shames Abuse Victims: Boys Are ‘Culpable’ For Their Actions At 7 Years Old

By Charles Topher - Church and State (website challenging religious privilege in public life)
Bishop Robert Cunningham of the diocese of Syracuse, NY doesn't think priests should take all of the blame for decades, if not centuries, of sexual abuse against young boys. According to Cunningham, the "age of reason" in the Catholic church is seven, so those boys are culpable for their actions.
The shocking statement came during testimony that was recently released from a deposition for a federal lawsuit. Charles Bailey, a survivor of a priest's abuse, asked then-Bishop James Moynihan whether the church held children victims partly responsible for sexual abuse from priests . "(Bishop) Moynihan said that right to my face – 'The age of reason is 7, so if you're at least 7 you're culpable for your actions.' That kind of floored me," said Bailey.
Obviously, the sentiment isn't something one Bishop believes, but a broader excuse used to cover for the guilt of sexual predators.

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Vatican Influence on the U.S. Presidency

By Stephen D. Mumford, DrPH
This article is published in Church and State, website which challenging religious privilege in public life:
Many Americans are victims of the illusion, carefully crafted, that the Catholic bishops have no significant influence on American presidents. No doubt the degree of influence differs from one president to the next. But they all feel and respond to this influence.
The National Catholic Reporter, a major national Catholic weekly newspaper, published a most revealing report in its December 29, 1989 issue. Doug Wead, special assistant to President Bush, was interviewed and quoted as saying: "He [President Bush] has been more sensitive and more accessible to the needs of the Catholic Church than any president I know of in American history."
Wead indicated he felt that Bush's relationship with the American Catholic leadership was much closer than Reagan's had been: "We want the Church to feel loved and wanted, and we want them to have input." This relationship was maintained through five U.S. cardinals: Bernard Law, Joseph Bernardin, Edmund Szoka, John O'Connor, and James Hickey.

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US Priests Accused of Sex Abuse Get a Second Chance by Relocating to South America

By Will Carless
TowleRoad — The Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a yearlong GlobalPost investigation has found.
Reporters confronted five accused priests in as many countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. One priest who relocated to a poor parish in Peru admitted on camera to molesting a 13-year-old boy while working in the Jackson, Mississippi diocese. Another is currently under investigation in Brazil after allegations arose that he abused disadvantaged children living in an orphanage he founded there.
All five were able to continue working as priests, despite criminal investigations or cash payouts to alleged victims. All enjoyed the privilege, respect and unfettered access to young people that comes with being clergy members.

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Religious Fundamentalism: A Side Effect of Lazy Brains?

The Daily Beast - Insights from neuroscience suggest that the brain tends to automatically accept rather than reject beliefs, oftentimes independent of how logical they might be.
If there is anything that global news has shown us in the past couple of years, it's that fundamentalism is on the rise and more pervasive than ever.
Fundamentalist beliefs have driven countless beheadings, bombings, and execution-style murders by terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in the last year alone. At a time when religious extremism is running rampant in large areas of the world, and steadily growing in virtually all others, finding effective ways to fight it at its core is in the interests of all free nations.
Although many complex causes of fanatical fundamentalism have been identified by a wide range of disciplines, a growing body of evidence from the field ofneuroscience suggests one major contributing factor: Brains generally accept beliefs because they have to work much harder to reject them as false.
Beliefs and the Brain
Scientific research investigating the neural underpinnings of belief got its start as recently as 2008, when popular author and neuroscientist Sam Harris began a series of brain imaging studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. The concept was simple: How is the brain activated differently during a state of belief compared to a state of disbelief?

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Crane collapse kills 107 in Mecca Grand Mosque

According to Aljazeera, Accident which also injured more than 230 people, just weeks before Hajj pilgrimage, blamed on violent thunderstorms.
At least 107 people have been killed after a crane toppled over at Mecca's Grand Mosque, less than two weeks before Islam's annual Hajj pilgrimage.
In addition to the deaths, 238 people were wounded in Friday's disaster, according to Saudi Arabia's Civil Defence Authority.
The Saudi Press Agency quoted a spokesperson for the two holy mosques as saying that the crane was brought down by strong wind and heavy rain.
Pictures circulating on social media showed pilgrims in bloodied robes and debris from a part of the crane that appeared to have crashed through a ceiling.
Other pictures showed queues of Saudi men volunteering to donate blood for the injured.
"All those who were wounded and the dead have been taken to hospital. There are no casualties left at the location," General Suleiman al-Amr, director-general of the Civil Defence Authority, told Al Ikhbariya television.

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UP DATE: Following this morning's hearing, Kim Davis has been taken into custody by U.S. Marshals for contempt of court.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, not known for shying away from hot-button religious culture war battles, "visited by phone" with Rowan County, Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis yesterday, according to a statement issued by his campaign. "I let her know how proud I am of her for not abandoning her religious convictions and standing strong for religious liberty," the former pastor, Arkansas governor, and now two-time presidential candidate said in a statement. Arguing that "the Supreme Court cannot and did not make a law," but only a "ruling on a law," Huckabee maintained that "Kim does not have the Constitutional authority to issue a marriage license to homosexual couples."
Davis will be in federal court later this morning, for a hearing on whether she should be held in contempt of court. Translation: federal courts do indeed have the authority to decide whether Davis is obligated to issue those marriage licenses.

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Iraqi woman kills ISIS commander who forced her into sex slavery

Acoording to RT, An Iraqi woman has taken revenge on the Islamic State commander who forced her into sex slavery, killing him near the city of Mosul.
The woman killed a senior commander known as "Abu Anas" three months after he forced her to marry several men under his command, Kurdistan Democratic Party spokesman Saeed Mamouzini told al-Sumaria TV.
The commander was killed on Saturday in the Tal Roman district, west of militant-held Mosul, according to Mamouzini.
There is no information on how the militant was killed or what has become of the woman, who some reports say is a member of the Yazidi-Kurdish minority.
According to the ABNA news agency, the report emerged just days after an unspecified number of "non-Iraqi" women were transported into Mosul for use as sex slaves, under a direct order from the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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ISIS militants who caught HIV from sex slaves ‘forced to become suicide bombers’

According to Metro, Islamic State militants who contracted HIV from sex slaves will be forced to become suicide bombers, it has been claimed.
At least 16 members of ISIS are said to have tested positive for the virus after raping two Moroccan women held by the terrorist who had the disease.
They are now being held in quarantine after being diagnosed in al-Mayadeen city in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, reports indicate.
'IS leadership is planning to assign suicide attacks for its militants who are tested positive with AIDS,' a civil rights activist told ARA News.

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