April 9, 2010

THE unHOLY SEE-saw

Posted in Vatican tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:50 pm by Edna

THE unHOLY SEE-saw cc Edna Spennato 2010.

Photomontage made on 9 April 2010

Click on image to enlarge

Also published at Uprooted Palestinians.

New Allegations of Vatican Sex Coverups

Allegations have surfaced that the late pontiff John Paul ll blocked an investigation of a pedophile cardinal, promoted senior church officials despite allegations they had raped children, and covered up innumerable cases of sexual abuse of children during his 26-year papacy have cast a cloud over his path to sainthood.

The most serious claims concern Hans Groer, the Cardinal of Austria and a close friend of John Paul. Groer sexually abused an estimated 2,000 boys for decades, but was never hindered by Rome. The Groer affair became public in 1995 when former pupils of an elite Catholic school accused him of sexual abuse. Groer was never punished and some of his victims were offered “hush money” by the Church…

John Paul also faced criticism last week from Poland for protecting Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, who was accused of abusing trainee priests. Letters detailing the charges were sent to John Paul’s office and also to Ratzinger, but they were ignored…

Stanislaw Obirek, a Polish theologian and a former Jesuit priest, said: “I believe John Paul is the key person responsible for the cover-up of abuse cases because most of it occurred during his papacy. How can someone who is to blame for this be beatified?”…

Read in full here.

Pope’s immunity to prosecution may be challenged in Britain

Protests are growing against Pope Benedict XVI’s planned trip to Britain, where some lawyers question whether the Vatican’s implicit statehood status should shield the pope from prosecution over sex crimes by pedophile priests.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Downing Street’s web site against the pope’s 4-day visit to England and Scotland in September, which will cost U.K. taxpayers an estimated 15 million pounds ($22.5 million). The campaign has gained momentum as more Catholic sex abuse scandals have swept across Europe.

Although Benedict has not been accused of any crime, senior British lawyers are now examining whether the pope should have immunity as a head of state and whether he could be prosecuted under the principle of universal jurisdiction for an alleged systematic cover-up of sexual abuses by priests.

Universal jurisdiction — a concept in international law — allows judges to issue warrants for nearly any visitor accused of grievous crimes, no matter where they live. British judges have been more open to the concept than those in other countries.

Lawyers are divided over the immunity issue. Some argue that the Vatican isn’t a true state, while others note the Vatican has national relations with about 170 countries, including Britain. The Vatican is also the only non-member to have permanent observer status at the U.N…..

Read in full here.

Catholic church reluctant to release Canadian residential schools records

Study time at an Indian Residential School in Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, date unknown. Library and Archives Canada

Indian Residential School in Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, date unknown.

The Roman Catholic Church is balking at the release of Indian residential schools documents that name individual church members, insisting its concern is purely about respecting Canada’s privacy laws and not an attempt to cover up new allegations of abuse.

But the research director for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission says the denominations involved in residential schools are being unco-operative, and suggests the Catholic church in particular fears more abuse stories will come out against living members.

The Conservative government and the churches that helped run Canada’s Indian residential schools are sitting on mountains of archived material, but not a single page has yet been turned over to the commission…

“The TRC does not have a free fishing expedition. We are bound by the law,” he said. “The law does not allow us to deliver documents which are pertaining to individuals who are named in some documents…

Mr. Baribeau said regardless of how this debate ends, the commission will still receive 99 per cent of the documents it seeks from Catholic archives…

The commission’s research director, Trent University professor and historian John Milloy, described the situation far more bluntly in comments published recently in a Trent campus newspaper.

…With funding from Ottawa, the Roman Catholic Church ran more than 70 per cent of the Indian residential schools, which operated from the late 1800s to the 1970s….He said he has come across concern among Catholics that retirees living in church residences will be embarrassed.“There are former staff who live in community – brothers, sisters, priests and so on – and I know that some of the concern in the Catholic Church has been about the reputations and the kind of history related to people who are still living in community,” Mr. Scott said.

The churches’ promise to publicly disclose their private archives to the commission was considered a key victory by former students at the time of the 2007 multibillion-dollar out-of-court settlement between former students, the federal government and the churches that helped run the schools…

Read in full here.

Ireland Child Abuse Report Reveals Vatican, Police Cover-up Collusion

The Vatican refused to co-operate with an official inquiry investigating sexual abuse by clerics in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

The official Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin was published on Thursday. The investigation began in 2006, and covered the period 1975 – 2004.

The Commission’s brief was “to investigate how Church and state authorities handled allegation of child abuse against 46 priests”.

The inquiry condemned church leaders for covering-up abuse for decades.

The Commission examined complaints concerning over 320 children. Substantially more of the complaints related to boys. Of the 46 priests examined, 11 pleaded guilty to or were convicted in the criminal courts of sexual assaults on children.

The report revealed that all the Archbishops of Dublin in the period covered by the Commission were aware of some complaints.

However, it concluded that pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the Church’s reputation and the preservation of its assets.

All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities, the report said.

According to the Commission, there was also collusion on the part of the police. A number of very senior members of the Irish police regarded priests as being outside their remit. There were some examples of them actually reporting complaints to the Archdiocese instead of investigating them.

The Vatican had refused to co-operate with the Commission, saying only that the request “had not gone through appropriate diplomatic channels”. A request for information from the Papal Nuncio also was ignored.

Following the publication of the Commission’s report, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland issued an apology.

Cardinal Sean Brady said he was deeply sorry and ashamed by the abuse the report had revealed…

Read in full here.

Vatican, Canadian church officials tried to keep sex scandal secret

A 1993 letter focuses on protecting the church’s image by preventing public knowledge of Bernard Prince’s abuse of altar boys…

The man Bishop Windle was writing about was then-monsignor Bernard Prince, now 75, a friend of the late Pope John Paul II who had just been posted to the Vatican as a high-ranking official working with missionary societies.

The year before Mr. Prince was sent to Rome, a man had complained to the diocese that the priest had molested him when he was a child…

In his letter to the papal nuncio, Bishop Windle cautioned the Vatican to avoid honouring Mr. Prince because it could anger victims and prompt them to contact police.

“The consequences of such an action would be disastrous, not only for the Canadian church but for the Holy See as well,” the bishop wrote…

It would only be in May, 2005, that a victim contacted the Ontario Provincial Police. Mr. Prince is now defrocked and serving a four-year sentence after being convicted in 2008 of sexually molesting 13 boys between 1964 and 1984…

More info here.

Church swamped by priest abuse claims

Norway’s Roman Catholic Church received so many email tip-offs about possible paedophile priests following revelations of abuse by a bishop that its computer crashed, a senior cleric said…

Bernt disclosed on Wednesday at the request of the Vatican that one of Norway’s former bishops, German Georg Mueller, had abused a choirboy in the early 1990s.

The newspaper said that its own research had in recent days uncovered nine sex abuse cases in the church…

Eidsvig said the church was aware of three cases in addition to Mueller and was ready to open its “secret” archives in which sensitive information on priests is held…

Read in full here.

Italy sees 130 priests investigated over abuse

Italian authorities have arrested, investigated or convicted 130 Catholic priests for sexually abusing children over the last decade, it has been claimed.

A report by prosecutors said that not one of the cases was referred to the police by the local bishop.

Sergio Cavaliere, a lawyer who has compiled evidence on the cases, said: “It’s an alarming figure if you consider that it’s only the tip of the iceberg, if you think about all the cases that haven’t shown up in the media or that haven’t gone to court.”

A prosecutor in Milan, Pietro Forno, who has won 10 convictions for paedophile priests, claimed that police suspected the existence of a “network of clergy who have a passion for minors”.

He said abusive priests had been shuffled between dioceses, where they were free to molest more children.

“It seems that some chose the priesthood with the aim of being close to children,” said Mr Forno, the head of a unit which investigates sex crimes…

Read in full here.

Former Catholic priest in Grand Prairie gets prison in child porn case

A former Catholic priest in Grand Prairie who pleaded guilty to downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children on a church computer in 2005 was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Tuesday…

…After the state case was dropped in 2006, Bagert was indicted in November 2008 and surrendered to federal authorities. He has been on supervised released ever since.

Bagert has left the priesthood and works as a traveling installer for hotel energy management systems.

Read in full here.

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March 18, 2010

Splitting the Sky Versus the War Criminals

Posted in George Bush, resistance, USA, war crimes tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:08 am by Edna

STS Versus the War Criminals cc Edna Spennato 2010.

Photomontage made on 17 March 2010

Click on image to enlarge

Also published at The Splitting The Sky Blog, Window Into Palestine, The Radical Press, Snippits and Snappits, Asu-USA Articles, Uprooted Palestinians, Zimbio.

On 17 March 2009 in Calgary, Canada, Splitting the Sky (aka John Boncore) was arrested and charged with obstruction (as he fully expected) when he tried to serve George W. Bush with a citizen’s warrant, and to arrest him to stand trial for war crimes and torture. In doing so, he sacrificed himself for ALL of us who are concerned with Truth, Peace and Justice. His trial took place on 8 and 9 March, and judgment will be passed on 7 June 2010.  He could face between 6 months and 2 years in prison unless we the people put pressure on the Harper government and let them know that we will not tolerate that.

His trial was closed down by the state after 2 days, though he was originally given 5 days to present evidence of war crimes and torture, as well as the involvement of the Bush regime in the events of 9/11, to justify his actions under the legal principle of “civil resistance”.

STS needs your support.

Updates on the trial at his home page and blog.

Listen to STS – Anthem for Dissent

Citizen’s Arrest of George W. Bush for War Crimes – The Trial of “Splitting the Sky”

by Prof. Anthony J. Hall

Who and What is on Trial?

When Splitting the Sky broke through police lines in his attempt to conduct a citizen’s arrest of former US president George W. Bush, the Mohawk freedom fighter pierced a thick wall of tyranny. He broke through a tight phalanx of state protection for the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the peace.

With his courageous act, Splitting the Sky announced the unwillingness of millions of global citizens to tolerate any longer the culture of impunity that places a small, interlinked global plutocracy above the law. By breaking police lines, the Attica brother and American Indian Movement activist scouted a route of liberation for those of us seeking to get out from under the weight of complicity in international crime committed in our name. We are all deeply implicated in the state terror permeating the 9/11 wars because it is our tax dollars that fund these imperial assaults.

Splitting the Sky’s action in Calgary highlights the abject failure of law enforcement agencies to do their job. It highlights the unwillingness of police and those who direct them to apply the law equitably and independently.

When he broke through police lines last March, Splitting the Sky built on the message of Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Baghdad journalist who fired his shoes at the departing US president. Al-Zaidi’s symbolic shot was seen and applauded around the world. By dramatizing the role of so-called law enforcers as protectors of international crime, Splitting the Sky highlighted that many millions of global citizens have seen more than enough evidence to understand that George W. Bush and his war cabinet are credibly accused war criminals.

If we lived in a world where the integrity of law prevailed over the power of money, political corruption and military might, the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bush syndicate of war profiteers would have been apprehended long ago to face charges in a properly constituted court of international law.

When Splitting the Sky presents himself this coming March to a provincial court in Calgary, Alberta to face a criminal charge for obstruction of justice, who and what is really on trial? Whose sense of justice was really obstructed?…

Read in full here.

A RadicalPress Exclusive Interview with Splitting the Sky, Gustafsen lake Defender

By Arthur Topham, October, 2000

“…Readers are bound to find it an exciting, informative, provocative, highly enlightening and spell-binding expose of a life of one of today’s foremost radical activists…

…As readers are about to realize Mr. Hill has led a most remarkable life; one fraught almost from the onset with challenges, dangers and responsibilities that the average person would cringe at the thought of having to endure.

For all of John’s trials though, he has emerged- tempered by the fires of life- as a leading spokesperson for native sovereignty issues and a living example of the persevering spirit of resistance that has kept the aboriginal people of this continent strong.

…In short it’s an abbreviated odyssey, an epitomizing epic of one man’s struggle to maintain his dignity and spirit in a world where native traditional values are no longer given the respect and honour that they once knew. John Splitting the Sky Hill’s story of how he survived a brutal prison system in New York state only to end up playing a major role in the Gustafsen Lake Stand off during 1995 will surely come as a major surprise to readers who only heard the one-sided reports that came from the corporate press during that time.

It’s a riveting tale with a message as relevant today as it was almost thirty years ago. Ed.)

Read in full here.

9/11 Truth is “Splitting the Sky”

by Peter Zaza

…John Boncore was born in Buffalo, New York on January 7, 1952. His Mohawk name, Dacajeweiah, translated into English means “Splitting the Sky”. From the age of seven he endured many years in New York foster homes and youth detention centres where he was ill-treated. Eventually he would become the only man convicted as a ringleader of the infamous 1971 Attica State Prison rebellion in upstate New York, in the course of which 43 inmates were killed. This event has inspired several movies — “Against the Wall” (1994) starring Samuel L. Jackson, and “Attica” (1980) starring Morgan Freeman — and documentaries including “Attica” (1974), and “The Ghosts of Attica” (2001). He was listed by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young of the Carter administration as the number one political prisoner in the USA in 1975.

Splitting the Sky founded an organization to unite all Indigenous Peoples into a great confederation called the League of Indigenous Sovereign Nations of the Western Hemisphere (LISN). In 1995 he was the Sun Dance Chief at Gustafsen Lake, British Columbia, during the Gustafsen Lake Standoff, which was precipitated by a rancher who attempted to evict the Sun Dancers from what he claimed was his property. The incident turned into a major protest against the occupation of unceded native land. Splitting the Sky was an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of the incident and was among those who raised the question of so-called “Aboriginal Title” under international law. Specifically, aboriginal title is enshrined under the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which is validated as an aboriginal right in section (35) of the Canadian Constitution.

On September 10th, 2001, Splitting the Sky and his family were checking out of the Marriott Hotel one block from the World Trade Center in New York. Had he stayed an extra day or two, as was originally planned, he and his family might have suffered the fate of 400 others at that location who lost their lives during the 9/11 tragedy. As if by some intuition, he and his wife decided to cut short their stay and get out of New York City. While many researchers for 9/11 Truth deal with the never ending incongruities and falsehoods of the government’s story regarding 9/11, or the various examples of forensic evidence proving controlled demolition, Splitting the Sky has studied the complex web of people and organizations he believes to be the authors of this crime. Through careful deconstruction of the financial entities involved, as well shining the light on those specific figures who occupy the principle seats of power within those structures, he follows the age old maxims of criminology which compel us to “follow the money”, as well as determine “who benefits”….

Read in full here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Highly recommended – Video footage from the night the trial ended, of a talk given by STS and Cynthia McKinney.

Cynthia McKinney Meets Splitting the Sky – Calgary, March 9th, 2010

14 part video playlist (90 minutes) at the above link will stream all 14 segments consecutively. Teaser:

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