Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

“Complicit Clergy”? Incredible!

November 12th, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Note: on September 6th, we posted a warning against getting the USCCB involved in the sexual abuse matter with any presumption they would act at all. We cited heavily from The Ratzinger Report, about the weaknesses of National Conferences.

It would seem to be worthwhile to revisit that post here: to see just how awe-fully accurate was Pope Benedict in his assessment of the weaknesses of national conferences, in view of what just happened in Baltimore.  Also, lest it be lost in the shuffle, note too in the comments section below some information about what RICO is and what the future might look like with a RICO conviction.


Stunning news from the US Catholic bishops’ meeting in Baltimore:

The bishops of America’s 196 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses gathered in Baltimore on Monday morning, meeting for the first time since sexual abuse scandals rocked the church in the summer. They planned to vote on measures to tackle the crisis and prevent further crimes.

In the opening minutes of their meeting, the bishops heard a surprising report: Pope Francis had asked them not to vote on any of their proposals.

The pope does not want U.S. bishops to act to address bishops’ accountability on sexual abuse until he leads a worldwide meeting in February of church leaders, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, told the gathered bishops as the meeting opened Monday morning.

“At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items,” DiNardo said. He said he was “disappointed” by the pope’s directive.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of, called the last-minute order from the Vatican “truly incredible.”

“What we see here is the Vatican again trying to suppress even modest progress by the U.S. bishops,” said Doyle, whose group compiles data on clergy abuse in the church. “We’re seeing where the problem lies, which is with the Vatican. The outcome of this meeting, at best, was going to be tepid and ineffectual, but now it’s actually going to be completely without substance.”

Read the whole thing to see what the papal nuncio told the bishops this morning. Jaw-dropping.

Any illusions that Francis was part of the solution to this crisis should now be dispelled. He is the chief stonewaller. Archbishop Viganò told us so.

Read more at the American Conservative

OTHER ARTICLES (also see RICO discussion in Comments Section)

Church Militant’s “Baltimore Special Report”:

Lifesite News: “Vatican tells U.S. bishops to delay voting ….”


Additional Links:



13 Responses to ““Complicit Clergy”? Incredible!”

  1. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Earlier I tweeted the Diocese Of Rochester and the USCCB the following:
    @RochDiocese @USCCB DiNardo:”At insistence of Holy See…disappointed by pope’s directive” Ignore Pope?No!Yet assert,”Holy Father you really need to listen to God’s people, your children in the Lord.Holy Father, Please listen, other wise we all lose credibility.Are you listening??

  2. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    Last week I tweeted that the USCCB should invite Msgr. Charles Pope To the Baltimore Meetings. I was impressed with his Raymond Arroyo interview.

  3. raymondfrice says:

    This may be slightly off the subject but it is one of my pert peeves. Everyone is calling for prayers to ask God to help remediate this situation. Why hang this problem on God’s shoulders ???. God will resolve an issues if his supernatural powers are needed. He leaves the possible to us to do. The bishops should do the possible and ask God to step in if they can’t. This problem can be resolved if the whole Church (clergy and laity) engage in the problem solving!!

    PS: How can we reasonably expect for the cause of the problem (clergy) to be in a position to re-mediate it???

  4. Ginger says:

    I’m not sure why I just recalled the 1983 song Karma Chameleon.

    The single greatest threat to a Christian gay (oxymoron) is a Muslim.
    If the Church wasn’t so weighted with this…

    Sadly, already…in their corners and this time we are NOT the referee or judge.

    God is Supreme Judge.

    1 Cor 15:58

  5. Ginger says:

    In addition to what I just said:
    MSM doesn’t report it since the last presidential election but the threat remains and continues to grow.

  6. Mary-Kathleen says:

    Taylor Marshall ( @TaylorRMarshall ), a Thomist philosophy prof in Texas, tweeted this out:

    “Here’s an idea for Lay Catholics: find your bishop’s twitter handle and RESPECTFULLY tweet him and tell him how disappointed you are about USCCB direction on abuse. Tell him you live in his diocese. Do it now. Please RT”

    Bishop Matano is not on Twitter and does not have email (that is known).

    The DOR is on Twitter: @RochDiocese

    Fr. White’s email is:

  7. SamanthaGillenson says:

    @Mary-Kathleen, tweeted out the message!

  8. militia says:

    Somebody missed a ‘big something.’ I am totally amazed that any Vatican attorneys, who specialize in understanding U.S. Law, would ever have signed off on Pope Francis’ interfering with the U.S. Bishops addressing the sexual abuse problem, by voting on a plan of action! Did they not understand the efforts made over many, many years to protect the Vatican from being the target of lawsuits? The Vatican made many arguments that they are not involved in the running and control of dioceses, except from a theological and faith-based perspective. To deliberately interfere in civil governance has just opened wide a door for lawsuits “to pierce the corporate veil” that has until now carefully protected the Vatican from being a target for such lawsuits and payment of damages. The Vatican just totally undid that protection by interfering in the very acts which the Vatican had heretofore maintained were not within its reach or purview.

    Well, there is something ironic about dismissing the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, an American Cardinal, who would have been sensitive to such matters. There is something ironic about avoiding even asking advice of parties who have studied and are informed. There is something ironic about speaking ‘off the cuff’ and making impromptu decisions which are not well considered. There is something ironic about the civil world being given the opportunity to administer God’s justice.

    Sit back and watch. This changes everything.

  9. Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    I believe militia’s 11/15/18 comment above regarding missing a big something is reported here:

  10. Diane Harris says:

    See Ticker re “Pope Blunders Church into RICO action.” What is RICO? R.I.C.O actually stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law enacted in the early 1970s that “provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.” Moving a sexually abusive priest from one diocese to another may well fit that bill, especially patterns of movement between parishes and dioceses, creating vulnerability of the Church to RICO convictions. The Vatican, however, has heretofore successfully argued their defense of the independence of the diocesan structure from control by the Vatican. But micromanaging what the bishops can talk about or vote on in their own Conference has seriously undermined that defense.

    Any lawsuit successfully prosecuted by government under the RICO statutes opens up the patrimony of the Church, even outside the US, to paying such claims; i.e. forcing sales of properties, treasures, furnishings, and liquidating most all financial resources, in place currently or received in the future. Certainly those financial assets would include “collections;” i.e. contributions by the laity, unless a protective mechanism is put in place, not by the Church, but by the laity, whose money it is anyway, until donated. For example, a direct payment by laity from its own fund to, say, paint a church or repair the furnace, or to buy candles, hymnals and vestments, are not particularly vulnerable to being liquidated, like a parish or diocesan savings account would be. Moreover, we should note that many insurance companies exclude payments for losses associated with a RICO conviction, so the parish and diocese, indeed the Vatican as well, would be on their own to generate resources to pay.

    It was Bp.Sheen who said the laity would need to save the Church in the 3rd millennium, and that may be what will occur financially. The mechanism is not new, it already has been in place even in the DoR under Bp. Clark where, in at least one situation, the laity pooled funds under a trust and held onto their donations until their local parish had a need for the funds. Sometimes a lay board of directors disperses the funds directly rather than through the Church, diocese or parish.

    Thus the laity protects its own financial resources and organizes to hold and dole out their contributions as needed for true religious and spiritual matters. This is not a new idea; it is one which has a history of great resistance and criticism when implemented in the last two centuries, but its time may have come again. In case of a RICO conviction, it seems inevitable that a lay trust organization, or a similar structure, will need to be re-implemented or else Catholics will see their contributions spirited away by the failures and convictions of too many prelates and clergy. It may not be too early to discuss and consider more protective measures for the Faith in churches and parishes led by good, holy priests.

  11. christian says:

    There was an article written on lay trusteeism in the Sunday Visitor by Fr. Kevin McKenna of the Diocese of Rochester. In the article, “Lay Oversight of Church Finances A new trusteeism or needed reform” he relays there is more transparency with lay trustees involved in church finances and there is more confidence among parishioners. He outlines a history of trusteeism in the Catholic Church in America. It is noted that some American church historians thought there were positive benefits to the lay trustee system.

    I like the idea of a protective mechanism put in place by the laity which would safeguard funds used for the maintenance and repair of the church.

  12. Ginger says:

    Are all the various religious orders and communities financially independent? Apart from the Church?
    Untouchable insofar as there are no pending lawsuits?

  13. raymondfrice says:

    “It is noted that some American church historians thought there were positive benefits to the lay trustee system.”

    One of the main benefits (?) of the trustee system was that the trustees could hire and fire a pastor and the parish owned the parish facilities, not the bishop. Archbishop Hughes of NYC came here in the 1840′ s to settle a dispute in the diocese of Buffalo which we were part of at the time) concerning St Joseph’s church’

    It is noted that some American church historians thought there were positive benefits to the lay trustee system.

    It is noted that some American church historians thought there were positive benefits to the lay trustee system.

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