Friday, December 11, 2015

Amazing Lawsuit

From Dec. 10, 2015 New York Post:
A Catholic priest swiped collection-plate donations to pay for drug-fueled sex romps with a heavily muscled S&M “master,” a new lawsuit charges.
Parishioners claim the Rev. Peter Miqueli has stolen at least $1 million since 2003 while leading churches on Roosevelt Island and in The Bronx, where he is currently pastor of St. Frances de Chantal in Throggs Neck.

Their suit alleges he used the money to act out unholy fantasies as a sexual “slave,” blowing $1,000 at a time on bondage-and-discipline sessions where a “homosexual sex ‘master’ ” — identified in court papers as Keith Crist — “would force Father Miqueli to drink Keith Crist’s urine.”

Miqueli also spent $60,000 in 2012 alone for “illicit and prescription drugs” he used with Crist, bought a $264,000 home in Brick, NJ, and paid $1,075.50 a month for his master’s East Harlem apartment, court papers say.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer Michael G. Dowd also said that Miqueli at one point had Crist living in the rectory at St. Frances de Chantal but that Crist had since been kicked out.

The suit, which was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Thursday, also charges that the Archdiocese of New York and Cardinal Timothy Dolan knew about Miqueli’s “illegal scheme” and did nothing to keep it from growing into “the monster it is today.”
 Do you think altar boys are safe in Father Miqueli's church?


StormCchaser said...

They probably are. Catholic institutions have instituted programs to prevent abuse, and these programs work. They are similar to those used by the Boy Scouts (who have the same problem) and a lot of other organizations. So unless the congregation isn't paying attention, the kid should be safe.

Frankly, I am very very tired of the child abuse accusations that continue to be used to condemn the Catholic Church. It is a huge organization and even at the worst, the actual events were quite rare. The campaign was driven by gay activists and others who hate religion, and magnified the problem way, way out of proportion. Ironically, around 85% of the "pedophilia" incidents were actually homosexual statutory rape. You can see why the gay activists want to make it look like something else.

Clayton Cramer said...

The study commissioned bt the Church some years ago found that 4% of priests active in the 1950s through 1970s had child sexual abuse accusations, and overwhelmingly same-sex. I suspect many others were not ever raised because of fear of bad press.

Actually most of the complaints I have seen were raised by victims.

Even statutory rape is a pretty serious problem when it involves someone who purports to be your intercessor with God.

StormCchaser said...

I agree it's a pretty serious thing, and it is good that the Church acted to attempt to stop it. Unfortunately, the US Church starting in the late '60s was caught up in the gay rights movement and decided to admit homosexuals to the priesthood. The reasoning made sense: priests are celibate, so who cares about their sexual orientation. The reality turned out to be different - an underground movement grew up in some seminaries where homosexuals justified breaking their vows of celibacy, and the results were grim. As a consequence, the Church will no longer admit homosexuals to the priesthood, although there are plenty of homosexuals in the priesthood.

This history does not, however, justify the continuous attacks the Church has suffered - especially when the same is true of any big organization that deals with children. Glenn Reynolds has started listing, almost daily now, new events where public school teachers sexually abuse students, for example - partly, I think, as counter to the establishment narrative that the Catholic Church is especially bad. As one who joined the Church after all of this blew up, I have been quite sensitive to it, and I deeply resent the almost knee jerk reflex by so many to mention Catholic priests every time child sexual abuse came up. I would bet that the same statistics apply to protestant priests and Jewish rabbis, but since there isn't a single large organization, those statistics are never gathered.

The fact is that predators will seek positions in organizations that work with children - something the Boy Scouts is now to learn the hard way.

The hard truth, though, is that there are many in the west who strongly desire to destroy the legitimacy of Christianity. The Catholic Church is the obvious target, as it is the largest Christian organization. The primary weapon, as it is so often in these sorts of progressive campaigns, is charges of hypocrisy. After all, the hypocritical religious leader is an easy target and somewhat of a cliche in our culture. Hence one reason I am so sensitive to these attacks is that they are part of the culture war against me, and also against you. Destruction of Christianity is necessary for progressivism to seal its triumph.

Clayton Cramer said...

I agree the Church has received enormous perhaps excessive attention, but moral superiority cliams have that effect.

Also, I rather doubt 4% of teachers have sexual abuse allegations.

StormCchaser said...

Moral superiority claims? Are you religious? Does your religion claim to understand moral truths?

Also - allegations? Guilty until proven innocent?

What do you have against my Church?

Clayton Cramer said...

StormCchaser: The Church claims to represent Jesus Christ and throughout its history it has done so as well as any institution of humans can. All Christian churches do. Any church that isn't teaching moral truths is just a country club.

That many of the allegations turned out to be true for many of the reasons you explained above is unsurprising. I think it is likely that many abuse cases resulted in no allegations because of shame and a reluctance to speak against the Church.

At the core of the Church's problems with this is the relatively modern requirement for clerical celibacy--an understandable but erroneous late 13th century innovation of the Cluniac reforms.

StormCchaser said...

I have seen no evidence to suggest the problem is greater with the Catholic Church than with others. It is a lot more visible, because it is a single huge organization, whereas protestantism is split among a zillion different churches, and in most cases even large denominations have much greater independence of individual churches. This means that the problem automatically becomes a lot more visible, given the way people perceive anecdotes. It also makes the Church by far the most tempting target for those who choose to defame it.

As for abuse cases resulting in no allegations, that's a hypothetical without any evidence. I am sure that a lot of people don't come forward, but that's true with abuse by any authority figure, not just Catholic priests.

I don't mean to assert that I can prove the problem is just as high in other denominations and related professions such as teaching, but I have not seen evidence to contradict such an assertion, while there is ample evidence of a movement to inflate the problem in the Catholic Church for political reasons.

Also, since most of the problem was with homosexual behavior, it is not clear what the celibacy rule has to do with it. Does this mean that the heterosexual priests were able to deal with celibacy just fine? It looks like it to me.

As an aside, not all priests in the RCC are required to be celibate, but the vast majority are.

Clayton Cramer said...

I suspect gay Catholics who were uncomfortable with it became priests as a way of avoiding the issue, but it still eventually raised its head. A straight Catholic gets married instead of hiding.

Do you think 4% of any group are molesters? The church moved molesting priests around. The priest who helped found North American Man-Boy Love Association threatened to expose impropriety es in the Boston Archdiocese, and so was transferred to a runaway teen shelter in NYC. When I lived in Santa Rosa, the molesting priest kept his job by threatening to expose the bishop's embezzlement of Church funds.

StormCchaser said...

I think you may be right about the motivation for a lot of the gay priests.

No, I don't think 4% of "any" group are molesters. Groups where males are in positions of power over children may very well have that high a level. Years ago a large national non-religious organization I was in was considering merging its youth program with the Boy Scouts of America, but decided not to due to their high level of molestation and attendant legal liability. Again, I assert that we hear a lot more about it in the case of the RCC because there are powerful groups out to destroy it, and that includes many in the media who are anti-religion. The RCC is their best target both because it is a single organization, and because it is unyielding on its sexual teachings. Of course it will be a "news" story when its own leaders transgress sexually.

The "Church" didn't move people around. Some Church leaders misbehaved. Like all human institutions, the Church has bad people in it, including in powerful positions, and it doesn't deny that. Remember, we are talking a period of over 50 years, with an organization with 60,000,000 members in the US, and with tens of thousands of priests. With that many people, it would be shocking if there weren't a lot of evil doers - whether molesters or thieves or whatever.

StormCchaser said...

One other comment on the Church's treatment of priests. If you will remember the late 60's into the '90s, there was a culture of therapy in the US. The Church, which already had a culture of redemption, bought into this. After all, the Catholic Church has more than its share of liberals who were into that sort of thing. I thought that therapy and religious reflection could cause these bad priests to get over their bad behavior. In many cases, obviously, it did not. So, sending a priest off to a year of some sort of therapy and spiritual redemption, followed by then assigning him into the field, was not necessarily an act of bad faith or a cover-up. This doesn't mean that bad faith and cover-ups didn't occur - of course they did.

Now we have a new orthodoxy among our elite - that paedophilia cannot be cured, and that homosexuality isn't a disease. The former belief is probably correct. The latter is not, and furthermore the homosexual paraphilia can be curbed in some people, as history has shown through the ages.

Clayton Cramer said...

As I have pointed out, there is strong evidence that homosexuality is a symptom of sexual abuse. I would love to see a study showing what religion homosexuals were raised in. I would not be surprised to see a connection.

I don't have a strongly negatiive view of the Church. But any institution that preaches Jesus Christ needs to be better about handling child molesters.

StormCchaser said...

A correction to my comment just prior: "I thought" should be "It thought."

The Church *is* better about handling the problem. It got better starting in the '90s when the extent of the abuse became apparent. A major part of "getting better" is its "protect" program, similar to one we have in that unnamed non-religious organization I mentioned earlier. The idea is for leaders and laity in positions of responsibility have to attend regular training in how to spot potential abuse and what to do about it, and how to avoid setting up situations where abuse can be concealed. These are requirements - for example, you can't even give communion (eucharistic minister) to someone without having gone through the program.

Tthe fact that it is better is one reason I tire of criticism of it. The Church has had and continues to get constant criticism over mistakes it made that it has corrected, with virtually no public mention of the corrections. We enjoy watching police procedurals, and the paedophile Catholic priest is a standard, even trite plot line. It is almost always a Catholic priest, not a school teacher and only rarely a protestant preacher.

I am sick to death of the constant admonishments. Beating up on the Church about its past sins is, at this point simply reprehensible, given all the good the Church does and the very serious steps it has taken to reduce the problem. Your statement above that "it needs to be better" is one more of these admonishments that is not appropriate today, because it already *is* better.

StormCchaser said...

Re: homosexuality... it would be interesting to see that study, but even without it I highly doubt that Catholic sexual abuse is a major contributor. The vast majority of sexual abuse is from non-blood relatives, especially step-fathers. I wonder if there are studies correlating homosexuality to that.

Clayton Cramer said...


Non-blood connections: not just stepfathers, but also teachers, Scoutmasters, coaches, and often clergy.

I confess I have heard nothing of these efforts. The dominance of homosexuals in the Vatican hierarchy gets media attention.

StormCchaser said...

Yes, agreed - basically, people with access to kids. When I went through the training for that other organization, they discussed how people will seek out these organizations to get access. Also, I suspect some get in those positions without that intent, and succumb to temptation. In fact, I think a fair amount of that sort of abuse is not premeditated (at least, the first time) but rather a failure to resist temptation.

I'm not surprised you haven't heard about the Church's program. When it comes to the Church, the media is only interested in stories that bash it - the same way the same media likes to bash gun ownership. The Church doesn't make a big deal about the efforts to the public, but we hear frequently, at mass, that it is time for people to take or re-take the training. I had to retake it this year for the other organization, btw.

See .

I don't believe there is a dominance of homosexuals in the Vatican hierarchy, so maybe I am not seeing the same media. There was certainly the case recently where a Vatican official was thrown out for open advocacy of homosexuality. BTW, I would argue that the fact that a priest is homosexual does not mean that he will advocate for these policies - I think a lot of them truly are celibate and believe in the Church doctrine.

The western European, and especially German clerics are pushing for "liberalization" of the Church's teachings on marriage and family (which is where the teaching on sex comes from - homosexual behavior is no more of a sin than is adultery, btw). We hope these clerics fail. If they go too far, there could be a schism. A lot of the most dynamic parts of the church are in the third world, and they won't put up with that sort of nonsense. It is mostly the Europeans, and to a lesser extent some Americans who are out of line. However, the new pope is certainly a source of worry, but the church has survived bad popes before. He is clearly a leftist and a product of "liberation theology," but he also seems to be a very good man - just misinformed. If goes wrong on basic church doctrine, that will be different - that goes way beyond misinformed.

BTW, I was raised Presbyterian, and then went away from the faith for a number of decades. I cam back as a Catholic, after looking at the alternatives. I am glad that I did, as the US Presbyterian Church seems to have turned to mush and lefty feel-good-ism.