Cardinal Sin

Another week, another Catholic sex scandal. This one involves Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain.

O’Brien, who is due to retire next month, has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights, condemning homosexuality as immoral, opposing gay adoption, and most recently arguing that same-sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved”.

So you know what comes next, right? Sure you do. Cardinal O’Brien turns out to be a closet queen who has been secretly trying to sample the forbidden fruits under the frocks of his fellow clergymen — over whom he has near-total ecclesiastical authority.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien -1730693

So far, four priests have filed written complaints with the Vatican, alleging that they were sexually accosted by their spiritual leader. They did so before Pope Benedict announced his resignation, so this doesn’t appear to be an attempt to weaken the cardinal’s position in the notoriously intrigue-riddled 117-member conclave that is set to elect a new pope. The UK Observer has more.

UPDATE: Apologizing for “failures” during his ministry, the cardinal has resigned.

[image via Daily Record]

Fever Pitch: Soccer-Field Feud Leads to Murder

Around the world, riots and sectarian violence frequently break out over whose God is truer. If that fails, you could also hack and shoot at each other over something even more vital — like which religious tribe has first dibs on the local soccer field.

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Christians in central Nigeria could mourn their dead Sunday, February 24, after  the massacre of a Christian family while sectarian clashes killed one person and left churches, homes and mosques burnt, officials said. … Suspected Muslim attackers used machetes and guns to murder 10 members of the same Christian family in Plateau state, with half the victims under the age of six, the military and government confirmed. “A family of 10 were … murdered” by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, said Pam Ayuba, the governor’s spokesman, in published remarks. “Five little children including a two-month-old child were slaughtered.”

The violence in the central town of Wukari began when Muslim and religious Christian football teams argued over who had the right to a football pitch.

[image via Zazzle]

Witchy Woman

Irrationality and superstition just claimed another life:

A woman has been tortured and burned alive in Papua New Guinea after being accused of using sorcery to kill a young boy, local media report. The woman, a mother aged 20 named as Kepari Leniata, was stripped, tied up and doused in petrol by the boy’s relatives in Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands, said the National newspaper. She was then thrown onto a fire in front of hundreds of people. … In parts of the Pacific nation deaths and mysterious illnesses are sometimes blamed on suspected sorcerers. Several reports have emerged in recent years of accused people, usually women, being killed.

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When Ministers Worship (Teens and Preteens)

Alas: A lifetime of Bible readin’ wasn’t enough to dissuade these Reverends from attempting to bless various children with their saintly cocks. The stories are from just the last couple of days.

Everett, WA:

A Baptist minister from Everett was charged Thursday with commercial sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly arranging to meet a 16-year-old girl he was going to have sex with for a fee. John K. Lawlor, 54, one of the pastors at Everett’s First Baptist Church was charged in King County Superior Court with the crime after police said he made arrangements to meet with what he thought was a teenage girl and then drove to Seattle with $200 as payment along with condoms.

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Seattle, WA:

A minister and former foster parent who sexually abused at least 10 young boys was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison. Timothy L. Dampier, 39, pleaded guilty to a total of 22 counts involving ten victims between the ages of nine and 17 years old, according to prosecutors. Dampier had been involved in a number of Seattle-area youth programs at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, Ruth Dykeman Children’s Center, Ruther Child Center, Samuel House, Union Gospel Mission and Seattle Parks and Recreation. He also works as a minister at several Seattle churches, detectives said. … He also pleaded guilty to first, second, and third degree child molestation, sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of child pornography, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

La Grange, IL:

A La Grange minister has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor under the age of 13 earlier this month. Judge Edward Harmening ordered Donald Jung, 59, held in lieu of $750,000 bond; he was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. … Jung drove to Milwaukee to pick up three females and drove them back to his home in La Grange, prosecutors alleged. On the first night of their stay, a nine-year-old awoke when the defendant sexually assaulted her, said Assistant State’s Attorney Amari Dawson. The girl attempted to reach her mother by phone after the incident but was unsuccessful, said Dawson. The next night Jung repeated his actions, said Dawson. Jung dropped the females at their home. Afterwards the victim told her mother what happened. Dawson said Jung did not admit to the sexual assault but did tell police he raped the girl’s mother 22 years ago when she was 10 years old.

Rabbis Bless Children’s Orifices

It’s been a busy few weeks for the holy representatives of Yahweh. Aren’t you glad we have such upstanding men taking care of children’s spiritual needs?

Brooklyn, USA:

A rabbi from a prominent ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, was charged on Thursday with sexually abusing three teenage boys from a school he ran, in a case that is likely to shine yet another spotlight on a secretive community grappling with abuse allegations. The rabbi and leader of the school, Yoel Malik, 33, is accused of taking two of the boys to a local hotel for sexual encounters and rubbing another boy’s penis through his pants while masturbating in a parked car.

The Awareness Center, Inc._ Case of Rabbi Yoel Malik

Sydney, Australia:

A man under investigation for allegedly sexually abusing boys at a Sydney Jewish day school told police that senior rabbis knew of his actions but failed to report them to authorities, a newspaper reported. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Wednesday that the man told New South Wales police, who are investigating allegations that two men associated with the Yeshiva Centre in Bondi sexually abused children during the 1970s and 1980s, that he confessed to Rabbi PInchus Feldman 25 years ago, and was told to “take steps to avoid it.”

A Jewish rabbi in Manchester who is facing child sex abuse charges has gone on the run, sparking a police alert. Rabbi Todros Gryhaus is wanted by police investigating claims of sexual abuse in the Jewish community in Manchester. He was charged with indecent assault and sexual assault against children in December.

Queens, USA:

A Brooklyn rabbi and travel guide exchanged sexually explicit online messages with an undercover cop he thought was a 14-year-old girl, then set up a date with her in Queens, prosecutors charged Thursday Nathan David Rabinowich, 59, was arrested Wednesday night when he showed up for the pervy rendezvous, police said. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted of attempted rape and other counts.

An Explosive Trio

“Revenge for everything.” That was what motivated three wannabe martyrs to plot another Islamist massacre against innocents in England. The three, once hell-bent on ascending to heaven by splattering walls and ceilings with the blood of infidels, will have to wait some fifty or sixty years before claiming their rewards in the afterlife; for now, a one-way ticket to a maximum-security jail will have to do.

Allah's_perps

Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all from Birmingham, were convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of planning the attack. They were “central figures” in an Islamic extremist plot to set off up to eight rucksack bombs and possibly other devices on timers in crowded areas. Police believe it was the most significant terror plot to be uncovered since the 2006 conspiracy to blow up transatlantic airliners using bombs disguised as soft drinks. Khalid even boasted that the attack was “another 9/11” as “revenge for everything”.

Naseer was found guilty of five counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, Khalid four, and Ali three, all between Christmas Day 2010 and September 19 2011. For Naseer, from Sparkhill, Khalid, from Sparkbrook, and Ali, from Balsall Heath, this included planning a bombing campaign, collecting money for terrorism and recruiting others for terrorism. Naseer and Khalid also travelled to Pakistan for training, and Naseer helped others travel to the country for the same purpose.

Another report says that

In surveillance recordings, Naseer was heard talking about the possibility of mixing poison into creams such as Vaseline or Nivea and smearing them on car handles to cause mass deaths. The trio even pondered welding blades to a truck and driving it into people.

Good thing they were caught. Then again, it seems unlikely that these bunglers could have pulled off a major attack.

Surveillance operations helped uncover how the men worked as street fundraisers for Muslim Aid to raise money for their plot, which six other men have already pleaded guilty in relation to. But the plotters lost thousands through playing foreign currency markets and had to apply for loans. The competency of Naseer, an overweight unemployed pharmacy graduate nicknamed Chubbs; Khalid, whose father said he had a medical condition that would have prevented him from carrying out any attacks; and partially-sighted Ali as would-be suicide bombers was doubted, as they also failed to destroy a ‘recipe’ for homemade ingredients when a paper note did not burn.

They sound like they walked straight out of Four Lions, the very enjoyable 2010 British comedy about some extremely cloddish homegrown jihadists.

I’ll bet the judge isn’t laughing in this case, though. The trio faces life imprisonment.

The Legend of Horny Master

Nice to see such vitality in our senior citizens:

A 105-year-old Zen Buddhist master has been accused of sexually assaulting his female students during private teaching sessions. Joshu Sasaki, best known for being the teacher of artist Leonard Cohen, has allegedly groped and sexually harassed women across the U.S. for over 50 years. An independent council of Buddhist leaders recently admitted to ignoring years of accusations against the famously charismatic ‘roshi’. …

Nikki Stubbs, who spent three years studying under Mr Sasaki in the early 00s, said that when she spoke up about Mr Sasaki touching her breasts during private lessons and asking her to massage his penis, a monk told her ‘sexualizing was teaching for particular women’. His theory, she told the newspaper. was that ‘such physicality could check a woman’s overly strong ego’. Another victim, who has been kept anonymous, studied under Mr Sasaki at Mount Baldy Zen Centre in the 90s. She said Mr Sasaki would justify groping her during ‘sanzen’, private meetings, by saying ‘True love is giving yourself to everything.’

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Mr. Sasaki is in good bad company, it was revealed:

Such charges have become more frequent in Zen Buddhism. Several other teachers have been accused of misconduct recently, notably Eido Shimano, who in 2010 was asked to resign from the Zen Studies Society in Manhattan over allegations that he had sex with students. Critics and victims have pointed to a Zen culture of secrecy, patriarchy and sexism, and to the quasi-religious worship of the Zen master, who can easily abuse his status.

All of this is disturbing enough, but it pales compared to the cases of Buddhist monks right here in America who molest children, sometimes for months or years on end. What do their temples do when such abuse comes to light? Why, they take a page from the Catholic playbook.

The meeting took place at Wat Dhammaram, a cavernous Theravada Buddhist temple on the southwest edge of Chicago. A tearful 12-year-old told three monks how another monk had turned off the lights during a tutoring session, lifted her shirt and kissed and fondled her breasts while pressing against her, according to a lawsuit. Shortly after that meeting, one of the monks sent a letter to the girl’s family, saying the temple’s monastic community had resolved the matter, the lawsuit says. The “wrongdoer had accepted what he had done,” wrote P. Boonshoo Sriburin, and within days would “leave the temple permanently” by flying back to Thailand. “We have done our best to restore the order,” the letter said. But 11 years later, the monk, Camnong Boa-Ubol, serves at a temple in California, where he says he interacts with children even as he faces a second claim, supported by DNA, that he impregnated a girl in the Chicago area. …

A monk charged with sexual assault of a child in Harris County, Texas, also is missing. The charges came in January after a 16-year-old girl confided in her high school counselor that the monk had been having sex with her for months, according to the complaint. Sgt. William Lilly, of the Harris County sheriff’s office, said he visited the temple in search of the monk after the teen’s outcry and “just got the sense they weren’t going to help.” Days later, the monk’s attorney announced his client had fled and was believed to be in Cambodia. Where is the monk now? The temple’s president could not say.

The Chicago Tribune has more.

[image from Dim Sum Funeral]

Meth Priest

Need crystal meth? Dildos? Leather masks? Porn mags? Call 1-800-PRIESTS.

But seriously: Even by the perennially messed-up standards of the Roman Catholic church, Monsignor Kevin Wallin is, as they say, a piece of work. The New York Times explains:

One church worker told diocesan officials that parades of men were visiting Monsignor Wallin at the rectory at all hours. The diocese looked into it, and, as [church spokesman] Mr. Wallace said, “We heard enough to believe that he was engaged in sexual activity in the rectory.” Other church workers said he was also involved in cross-dressing, as were some of his visitors.

When his colleagues decided to look a little closer, they

…found a bag stowed in the rectory containing adult pornographic videos, sexual toys and leather masks.

Then things got weird. Like, all druggy and stuff.

[Wallin] was living in a snug apartment in a matter-of-fact two-story building in Waterbury, in a humble neighborhood of shoebox-shaped apartments. He was also renting the unit across the hall from him, where authorities said a confederate lived. This was his new demarcated principality, where law enforcement officials said he sold crystal meth. At least once, they said, he hid drugs in a magazine and made the exchange in a parking lot. An informant told agents that the priest was also an addict.

So Wallin at least wasn’t addicted to prepubescent cock, for a change. Good. I like a man who doesn’t bow to peer pressure.

SexDrugsandJesusChrist

New York drug enforcement agents got on to him from a New York drug distributor who said he met the priest at a party in early 2012 and began buying from him. The man became an informer. New York agents tipped off Connecticut agents, who enlisted help from the State Police. An undercover officer, according to authorities, made six drug purchases from Monsignor Wallin. …

Neighbors said men streamed into Monsignor Wallin’s apartment, many of them arriving in cars like BMWs and Corvettes. Sounds of sex could be heard. He stored cases of good wine in the basement, as well as glass pipes and bottles of butane. He was seen doing his laundry, which included lace panties and other articles of women’s clothing. Officials said Mr. Wallin was buying an adult toy store in North Haven called Land of Oz and Dorothy’s Place. Authorities suspect that he wanted to use it to launder drug money.

Through it all, the Bible kept exerting a certain, um, influence on Mr. Wallin.

Presumably to make the purchase, he incorporated a business called Rahab and Endor. Rahab was a woman mentioned in the Book of Joshua usually described as a prostitute. Endor may refer to the Witch of Endor, a sorceress identified in the Bible.

Wicked!

“You looked at him like he was God, practically,” said Charlie Hall, a Danbury parishioner who lives in a shelter. “But now you realize, he’s just human, like all the rest of us.”

Aye. I would hope that that’s his flock’s takeaway. Teaching them to see the man behind the curtain may be the best thing the Monsignor has ever done.

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Note 1: Kevin Wallin is innocent until proven guilty.
Note 2: The drug war is stupid.
Note 3: I don’t personally care whether priests make the beast with two backs, or with whom, and how, as long as their partners are consenting adults.
But if the allegations prove true, did Mr. Wallin break his priestly vows, and violate all Jesus-y decency he told his colleagues and parishioners he stood for? Yessum, that he did.