Episcopal Priest Gives Pre-Paid Gas Cards to Women Seeking Abortions

Anyone can be a church leader in Babylon today, Episcopal priest Reverend Katherine Ragsdale in a prime example of that!

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Episcopal priest Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, with her organization National Abortion Federation, will hand out pre-paid gas cards for women seeking abortions, according to FaithWire.

“Since there are a limited number of providers and states continue to impose additional restrictions, many women have to travel long distances to reach the closest provider who can help them,” NAF said in a statement. “And this situation will only worsen as the political environment continues to become more hostile toward abortion rights.”

Ragsdale, who is the Interim President and CEO of NAF, believes the initiative will provide more support for women “so that they can make, and act on, the best decisions for themselves and their families.”

The pilot program will run for three months and start in states that have waiting periods or other abortion restrictions, LifeNews reports.

The response comes in light of several states furthering restrictive abortion limits. States such as Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana have nearly abolished terminations and several other states are poised to do the same.

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Former Plymouth priest the Rev. Mally Lloyd married the Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, dean and president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, on New Year’s Day. The Rev. Lloyd, a former pastor at Christ Church in Plymouth, is now a ranking official of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

As the first lesbian to become a leader of an Episcopal seminary, Ragsdale has been no stranger to controversy.  World Magazine reported Ragsdale’s allegiance lies not only with pro-choice causes, but pro-abortion.

“Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done,” she said at a pro-abortion rally. “Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

She continued: “The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply [a] blessing.”

Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, the largest pro-life legal organization in the country, believes the pilot program doesn’t help women but abortion centers.

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Katherine Ragsdale Babylonian pastor

“This is a half-baked publicity stunt by NAF meant to create the impression that there is even a need for this,” she said. “Why doesn’t the abortion industry—dominated by a ‘non-profit’ that has over a hundred million in the bank—lower its prices instead? Because it’s all about profit for them.”

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~ Original Post Written By Mikaela Mathews | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor

Pastor Charged With Sexually Assaulting Unconscious Parishioner

“Pastor” Freeman said “We insert things into people” and “you don’t ask what happens [during deliverance]…

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 “Pastor” Meally Morris Freeman 

A Minnesota opportunist who calls himself a pastor sexually assaulted a 28-year-old woman after she became unconscious during two “anointing sessions”  and has now been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct that could land him in prison for 15 years and a fine of $30,000.

A criminal complaint against Meally Morris Freeman, the 55-year-old “pastor” of Grace Mountaineer Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota said the woman accusing him of criminal behavior saw him as a “spiritual father” when she went to him for spiritual guidance starting on Sept. 20, 2017, according to Fox 9.

In January, however, she told police that Freeman sexually assaulted her at the church which led to his arrest on Tuesday.

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She explained that during an anointing session at the church, the pastor anointed her with oil and advised her that she was in need of “deliverance” that would require a one-on-one session with him.

Trusting the spiritual guidance, the woman said she attended a one-on-one session with Freeman and he gave her small cups of ‘oil’ to drink. Soon after they began to pray, the woman says she lost consciousness…

When she woke up, the woman explained that her underwear was wet and there was oil on her stomach and near her breasts. The pastor told her he had “anointed all places, but that he didn’t see all places,” and informed her she needed a second session that would take place after Bible study that night. The woman said in their second deliverance session she became unconscious again but when she woke up this time her pants and underwear were hanging ripped at her ankles and her shirt and bra were pulled up over her chest.

She said the pastor, who was spraying a water bottle filled with oil on her private areas, also inappropriately touched her genitals and anus.

It wasn’t until she shared what happened to a friend that the woman realized she was sexually assaulted. 

The woman eventually confronted Freeman and recorded their conversation without him knowing. Freeman did not deny touching her genitals, but instead discussed the “deliverance process.” He admitted he anointed her breasts with oil and told her, “We insert things into people” and “you don’t ask what happens [during deliverance], you don’t go into details and that deliverance can be very tempting.”

The woman said at another meeting a church elder, Freeman and his wife [who should be arrested too] told her not to report the incident to police.

This disgusting so-called pastor Meally Freeman was arrested by Brooklyn Center Minnesota  police Tuesday around 4 p.m. and is in custody at Hennepin County Jail.

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This is an absolute mockery of God and His Kingdom…. Psalms 118:8 says It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man; it’s funny how Christians seem to overlook that verse.  If you need “deliverance” from sexual sins make a decision to live above all evil and  JUST STOP DOING IT, then you’ll be delivered! James 4:7~ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Many unfavorable “church” situations can be avoided if Christians would obey whats written in the bible instead of just reading it. 

 

California Episcopal Church Holds ‘Beyoncé Mass’ Where Hundreds ‘Worship’ With Her Songs!

“We have a community that is youthful and loving and looks to the world as a partner, not an enemy,” Reverend Jude Harmon said speaking to the crowd.

I guess Jude Harmon doesn’t care what God says about being “partners” with the world. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, now ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” James 4:4

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A “church” in San Francisco, California raised eyebrows with an event they called a “Beyoncé Mass.” With matters such as bibles being outlawed in California, this “church” has nothing better to do with it’s time than to pay homage to Beyonce. 
 
With hundreds in attendance, Grace Cathedral Church says the event is a chance for people to find God through secular music. Others calling it “evil,” saying they’re trying to substitute Jesus with Beyoncé.
 

“We have a community that is youthful and loving and looks to the world as a partner, not an enemy,” Reverend Jude Harmon said speaking to the crowd.
I guess Jude Harmon doesn’t care what God says about being “partners” with the world. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, now ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” James 4:4
 
Harmon says mostly in attendance are people of color and the LGBT community, including, “People on who other people’s narratives have been projected. Just to be honest, the church hasn’t been the best about lifting up those voices.”
 
To take things a step further, Rev. Harmon goes on to say that Beyoncé is “a better theologian than many of the pastors and priests in the church today.”
 
“That is not an exageration,” Harmon states.
 
The video includes examples of Beyoncé’s “religious symbolism” in her music and performances, from dressing as African deity’s, the Virgin Mary, and scenes in her videos that reference the Last Supper.
 
The event’s organizer, Rev. Yolanda Norton, told ABC7 News she uses Beyonce as a way to bring diverse groups together to talk about God.
 

 

Norton is an Assistant Professor of Old Testament at San Francisco Theological Seminary who teaches a class she calls, “Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible.”
“People think we’re worshiping Beyoncé, none of that is true,” she said. “This is a way to have different kinds of conversation.”
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During the service, Norton said in a separate interview, they use lyric’s from Beyoncé’s songs as examples of what the crowd’s prayers to God could be. She said the service focuses on empowering women of color and other minority communities.
“I’ve been asked time and time again, ‘Why Beyoncé?'” Norton preached to the crowd during the mass. “I believe she reminds us that you have to do your thing your way, you don’t do it on demand, you don’t do it for your oppressor, you don’t sing when they want you to sing…you sing when God calls you to sing.” 
 
Many even pointing out parts of scripture that they say rebuke this type of gathering, including 2 Timothy 4:3-4 and Galatians 1:8.
 
2 Timothy 4:3-4 
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
 
Galatians 1:8 
“Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.”

 

The U.S. Episcopal Church Amends the Terms “Husband and Wife” To Find Favor With the LGBT Community

Very soon traditional marriage vows will be outlawed and a thing of the past as the Episcopal Church in the United States leads the way in amending the terms “husband” and “wife” from its marital liturgy compromising the standard of God to find favor with the LGBT community.

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Very soon traditional marriage vows/ceremonies will be outlawed and a thing of the past as the Episcopal Church in the United States leads the way in amending the terms “husband” and “wife” from its marital liturgy compromising the standard of God to find favor with the LGBT community. Phrases related to “procreation” will also be deleted, to not offend those who do not identify as heterosexual despite what the bible they read each Sunday says about homosexuality.
 
According to LifeSite News, the change aims to make the church’s marriage ceremonies more “gay-friendly.” Indeed, Gay and lesbian Episcopalians have been increasingly vocal in their complaints that the language of the current liturgy (the same liturgy that has been in effect for decades) is now considered offensive and exclusionary. Being a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the US Episcopal Church comes under the loose governance of the Church of England, and consequently the Archbishop of Canterbury.
According to the Telegraph, the Church of England’s Secretary General William Nye has been heavily critical of the change to such a sacred text and even threatened to cut ties with the U.S. church if it decides to introduce the new service as standard, and toss out the current wording in its Book of Common Prayer.
 
The drastic change would see the new service replace the phrase “the union of husband and wife” with “the union of two people.”Couples will still be able to opt for the most traditional “husband” and “wife” when making their vows, but this will not be included in the standardized version. In his letter, Nye urged that using the new language as standard would lead to a growing “pressure to dissociate” the Church of England from the U.S. Episcopal church, warning that conservative members would see any such change to marriage liturgy as “completely unacceptable.” Nye warned the Episcopal Church to avoid “irrevocably redefining marriage” through railroading their new liturgical language into Church proceedings.

However, many liberal members of the Church of England have voiced their support for the move, and hit back at Nye for speaking on their behalf.
 
“Thank you for leading the way on this important issue,” a group wrote in an open letter posted online.
 
“We are grateful that you have recognized that not all married couples can have children and that a gender-neutral approach will enable us to become a loving and inclusive Church for all. We still have a few problems to sort out over here with those who keep threatening to leave, but we know that your actions have given great hope to thousands and shown that the Church is not as homophobic as it can sometimes appear.  We therefore want to publicly ‘dissociate’ ourselves from Mr Nye’s initial response and are expecting ‘stringent consequences’ as a result of his actions.”
 
Another liberal faith organization affiliated with the Church of England penned a direct response to Nye following his published letter.
 
“You will be aware that your previously undisclosed letter to The Episcopal Church has been met with anger, frustration and disappointment by many across the Church of England, on whose behalf you presume to speak,” read a letter from OneBodyOneFaith, addressed to Nye.
 
In its “About Us” section, OneBody’s website reads:
 
“OneBodyOneFaith works for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual. transgender and intersex people in the Christian churches. We believe that human sexuality in all its richness is a gift of God gladly to be accepted, enjoyed and honoured as a way both of expressing and growing in love, and that it is entirely compatible with the Christian faith not only to love another person of the same sex, but to express that love fully in a personal sexual relationship.”
 
The head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has continued to affirm the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. With that being said, Welby made some controversial remarks in a November 2017 interview in which he stated that he was unable to say whether sodomy is sinful or not.
 
“You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through,” Welby told former Labour Party spin doctor Alastair Campbell in a candid interview at GQ Magazine.
 
“I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question,” he added. “I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question. Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.”
 
Welby continued: 
 
“I am also aware – a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition — that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman. Or, in various times, a man and several women, if you go back to the Old Testament.  I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are — the vast majority of the Church is — deeply against gay sex.”
 
Welby added: “I don’t think it is sinful to say that you disagree with gay sex. But to express that by way of hatred for people is absolutely wrong in the same way as misogyny or racism is wrong.”
 

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“This is why “the church” has lost it’s credibility and effectiveness in the community. The modern day church goes with the flow of the world instead of standing for and implementing an example of holiness as God requires despite who is offended by it. The actions of the Episcopal Church in the United States and it’s supporters is a blatant mockery of Christianity and the message of Christ. There is absolutely no fear of God in today’s church- the true gospel has been watered down, and commercialized and is in the hands of perverts masquerading as church leaders. Those who claim to be true lovers of God should come out of Babylon before it’s too late!” ~ Catherine Sutton/ Winston Salem, NC

Church of England Vicar Is Caught On Video Smoking From A Crack Pipe And Watching Porn

Mr Stennett Kirby, whose brother is a minister, can be seen snorting coke…

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The Church of England is said to be investigating after a newspaper published a video appearing to show a vicar from East London taking cocaine and watching explicit videos from his church owned home.

He is seen staring at a TV, apparently watching porn, and adds: “It f***ing turns me on when I have this and I watch that.” Stennett Kirby, vicar of West Ham Parish Church in East London since 2007, then makes a crude mouth action reference and refers to women in a lewd way.

The vicar and his pal also discuss hiring a follow and he says: “I wish I could. If I had money, I would. I’ve only got £10 left.” When his friend tells him he prefers prostitutes to having a relationship, unmarried Mr Kirby — on sick leave from work — agrees.

In a video released by the Sun on Sunday, the footage also apparently showed Rev Stennett Kirby talking about buying poppers which gives users a head rush from a shop in Soho.

(Purchasing poppers – a liquid which induces a head-rush high – is not a crime.)

Clear footage showed the 64-year-old priest sitting on his sofa, saying “I feel really good now” after reportedly taking cocaine.

The video also shows Rev Kirby, who has been a vicar of West Ham Parish Church since 2007, watching [allegedly] pornography with a friend.

The Church of England told the Sun on Sunday it was investigating the footage, while a spokeswoman told the newspaper: “We take this matter very seriously.”

In other footage Mr Stennett Kirby, whose brother is a minister, can be seen snorting coke. His pal says taking it off the back of his hand is easier. Seconds later Mr Kirby says approvingly: “That is good.” Our revelations bear similarities to the case of “Crystal Methodist” Paul Flowers.
The shamed minister and former Co-op Bank boss was suspended from the church in 2017 after he was filmed in a car counting out £300 to buy cocaine and crystal meth in a drug deal. Mr Kirby lives in a £1.5million house owned by the Diocese of Chelmsford.

Rev Kirby, who is unmarried, has reportedly been placed on sick leave.

A spokesman for the Church of England said: “We are taking this matter very seriously.

“Revd Stennett Kirby has withdrawn from all ministerial duties and a disciplinary investigation is already under way.”

SHAME

Catholic Bishop Resigns Over Claims Of Celebrating Mass With A Pedophile

“To date, clerical abuse victims here have been let down, not just by the church, but also by the authorities.”

John McAreavey resignation
According to Press Association, a Catholic bishop in Northern Ireland has resigned following claims he celebrated Mass alongside a priest he knew was a pedophile.

Dr John McAreavey was Bishop of Dromore. Diocesan secretary Fr Gerald Powell said he had resigned with “immediate effect”.

Fr Malachy Finnegan has been accused of sexual abuse by 12 people.

The bishop said: “Following media reports which have disturbed and upset many people in the diocese and further afield, I have decided to resign with immediate effect.

“I shall make further comment in due course.”

The former teacher at St Colman’s College in Newry from 1967 to 1976 is also allegedly linked to a catalog of physical and emotional abuse against pupils. He died in 2002.

Amnesty International has called for a public inquiry into clerical sex abuse.

Amnesty’s Northern Ireland director Patrick Corrigan said: “To date, clerical abuse victims here have been let down, not just by the church, but also by the authorities.”

Solicitor Claire McKeegan, of KRW Law, who represents a number of Fr Finnegan’s alleged victims, said she had received calls from numerous further witnesses since a settlement by one of her clients was made public recently.

She added: “The message is clear: victims demand a public inquiry into clerical abuse in Northern Ireland without any further delay.

“The victims and survivors deserve to speak about the horrific abuse that took place and be heard in a public forum tasked with sufficient powers to get to the truth.

“This case has brought to the surface yet another pedophile priest who was never investigated or exposed by the church or the police.”

Ohio Pastor’s Affair With Sunday School Teacher Leads To Assault, Robbery and Arrest

According to the police report cited by ABC13, the pastor’s wife told the victim’s daughter, “You wanna know why this happened? It happened because your mom slept with my husband.”

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 Anthony Morris (L) and Zelda Marie Morris (R) are accused of robbing a Sunday school teacher. (Booking photos via Toledo Police Department)

An Ohio church pastor, his wife, and daughter are accused of robbing a Sunday school teacher in the church at gunpoint.

Anthony Morris, 49, his wife, Zelda Morris, 46, and their daughter, Kamali Morris, 19, have each been charged with the first-degree felony of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, the Toledo Blade reported.

Sunday school teacher Nickema Turner who had an affair with the pastor Morris claims she was at the St. Paul’s AME Zion Church in downtown Toledo, where Morris is a pastor, when she was violently assaulted and robbed. Turner alleges Kamali Morris grabbed her by the hair, and then both pastor Morris and his wife began to push and beat her, according to a police report.

Zelda Morris then allegedly emptied Turner’s purse and began taking some of the items.

Turner resisted and tried to recover some of her belongings, according to cleveland.com, and when it appeared she was getting the upper hand against her two female assailants, the pastor pulled out a gun and said “Bitch I’ll kill you”. It is alleged he pointed it at Turner’s face, according to the Toledo Blade, and made threats.

Two prescription bottles, a Taser, and an iPhone were allegedly taken from Turner’s purse. The iPhone was later recovered, with the screen broken.

The incident took place shortly before Sunday service was set to begin, it was reported, with witnesses on hand who later provided information to the police.

According to the police report cited by ABC13, the pastor’s wife told the victim’s daughter, “You wanna know why this happened? It happened because your mom slept with my husband.”

The three assailants then reportedly fled the church, while Turner was treated at the scene by Toledo Fire and Rescue crews.

The pastor and his wife have been arrested, police said, but at the time of reporting their daughter remained at large.

In a message on the church’s website, Morris describes St. Paul’s AME as “a family-focused, multi-generational ministry. We honor the traditions of the elders, but we are also intentionally contemporary in our Worship Experience.”

Pastor, his daughter, his mistress
 Left, The Pastors Daughter, Pastor Middle, The Mistress (Sunday School Teacher) Right

 

 

 

Kenneth Copeland Acquires New Gulf-stream V Jet, Paid For By “Donations” From His Followers/Church and Seeks $19.5M for Upgrades and Maintenance

… an additional $17 million is necessary to help maintain the new aircraft and urged donors to prepare to give that amount as well.

Thanks to the support of his deep-pocketed partners, Kenneth Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries has acquired a new multi-million dollar Gulfstream V jet that he says will help him do the Lord’s work and help him avoid having to contend with “demons” that travel on commercial airlines. 

Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but AV Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulf-stream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.

Copeland and wife

“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me. And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.”And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.

On the December 29, 2015, television broadcast of “Believers Voice of Victory,” hosted by Copeland and Jesse Duplantis, the ministers explained that private jets were important to their business to help them, among other things, pray in privacy as the Lord leads and avoid unnecessary demons.

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“We’ve got to have this! The mess that the airlines are in today. I would have to stop — I’m being very conservative — at least, 75-80, more like 90 percent of what we are doing. Because we can’t get there! That’s why we are on that airplane. We can talk to God!” Copeland said.

“Now, Oral [Roberts] used to fly airlines. But even back then it got to the place where it was agitating his spiritual. People coming up to him, he had become famous, and they wanting him to pray for them and all that,” Copeland explained. “You can’t, you can’t manage that today. This dope-filled world, and get in a long tube with a bunch of demons. And it’s deadly.

“I wanted to make that clear so the devil can’t lie to you and say, ‘See them there preachers spending all that money, just fat cats riding around.’ No, we’re not; we’re in business,” Copeland said.

According to Charlie Bollinger, Kenneth Copeland Ministries’ partner and volunteer, “the Holy Spirit confirmed to Brother Copeland that the Gulfstream V was the plane the Lord had set aside for KCM.” The ministry identified the seller of the jet as filmmaker Tyler Perry. The jet was purchased and “paid in full” during Thanksgiving week.

While the newly acquired Gulfstream V jet “is in outstanding condition and is an exceptional value,” Bollinger said it will need $2.5 million in upgrades to meet new FAA standards.

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“So, as Elite CX Team members, we need to set our faith NOW on receiving that additional seed so that we can sow it within the next three to four months, as the upgrades are completed,” Bollinger urged Copeland’s donors.

He further noted that an additional $17 million was necessary to help maintain the new aircraft and urged donors to prepare to give that amount as well.

Kenneth Copeland isn’t the first mega minister to ask his flock to pay for a private plane. 

In 2015 Creflo Dollars followers gave “donations” to buy him a $70 million G650.  At first his request for a $300 donation from each follower was met with outrage.  Later the church decided that the plane was necessary for Dollars “ministry work”. 

Dollar

 

And in 2016, Copeland and fellow televangelist Jesse Duplantis defended their use of private planes on Copeland’s TV show ‘Believer’s Voice of Victory’. On that show Copeland called flying commercial getting in ‘a long tube with a bunch of demons’

“Beyond the purchase of the Gulfstream V and its upgrades, remember that the overall Mission 3 goal is $17 million. By sowing the balance of those funds as the CX Team, we will be sowing toward: the construction of a new hangar, upgrading the existing runway, and purchasing special GV maintenance equipment,” he said.

Metro East Priest Arrested in Child Porn Case After Cyber Tip to Police

Hechenberger was charged with eight counts of possession of child pornography…

In MASCOUTAH,  Illinois,  A Metro East Catholic priest was charged Tuesday with 16 felony child porn charges, along with a count of meth possession.

rrr
 The Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, an associate pastor at several Metro East parishes, was charged with possession and dissemination of child porn images and possession of meth.The Rev. Gerald Hechenberger, an associate pastor at several Metro East parishes, was charged with possession and dissemination of child porn images and possession of meth.

The Rev. Gerald R. Hechenberger is an associate pastor of Holy Childhood of Jesus Parish in MascoutahSt. Pancratius Parish in Fayetteville and St. Liborius Parish in St. Libory.

Authorities got an online tip about Hechenberger and launched an investigation that included search warrants, online investigation and surveillance. A search warrant was served Monday morning at the Holy Childhood rectory. Several electronic devices were seized and Hechenberger was arrested.

On Tuesday January 9, 2018, Hechenberger was charged with eight counts of dissemination of child pornography, eight counts of possession of child pornography and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

It is unknown if Hechenberger produced any of the images himself, or if he has had any inappropriate contact with children directly, authorities said. Belleville police said parents or guardians to speak to their children if they had any contact with Hechenberger and immediately report any suspicious conduct.

Police said Hechenberger is the only person under investigation at Holy Childhood.

 

He was found in possession of several child porn images and videos that depict children younger than 13, police said. Hechenberger also had less than five grams of meth.

The Diocese of Belleville responded to Hechenberger’s arrest in a statement Monday. Monsignor John Myler, the media contact for the diocese, emailed the diocese’s statement to the Post-Dispatch but was not immediately available after charges were filed Tuesday afternoon.

“This is a very serious matter for Father Hechenberger,” the statement from Monday said. “At this point, the Diocese has no reason to believe that any parishioners are affected by this matter. The Diocese is awaiting an update on information from the civil authorities, and has assured them of the Diocese’s full cooperation. Beyond requesting your prayers for Father Hechenberger, the Diocese will make no further comment at this time.”

The Post-Dispatch reported in 2011 that Hechenberger abruptly took a leave of absence as priest at St. John the Baptist parish in Smithton. A letter circulated by the Belleville diocese at the time said he was taking the leave to address “very serious personal, pastoral and legal challenges.”The letter, sent to priests and deacons, didn’t directly state the source of the challenges. Myler could not be reached Tuesday to clarify what those challenges were or how they were resolved.

~ Reported By 

Erin Heffernan • 314-340-8145

@erinheff on Twitter

eheffernan@post-dispatch.com

This article originally ran on stltoday.com.

 

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was the Archbishop of Boston when unpunished sexual misconduct within the Catholic Church surfaced, has died in Rome

the victims of sexual abuse were outraged because it gave Law a second career and a golden parachute that allowed him to stay close to the center of power in Rome and serve as a member or adviser in several influential Vatican departments.

Reported by Phillip Pullella~ Reuters

Cardinal Bernard Law, the former Archbishop of Boston, who died on Wednesday, resigned in disgrace after covering up years of sexual abuse of children by priests and whose name became a byword for scandal in the Catholic Church. 

The Vatican announced his death just before dawn on 20 December 2017.

via FTP

The telegram of condolences Pope Francis sent to the dean of the College of Cardinals was unusually short and bland compared to those for other cardinals before.

Francis said he was praying that the merciful God would “welcome him in eternal peace.” The pope did not mention that Law had been Archbishop of Boston and a brief Vatican biography made no mention of the circumstances of his resignation 15 years ago.

Law was Archbishop of Boston, one of the most prestigious and wealthy American archdioceses, for 18 years when Pope John Paul reluctantly accepted his resignation on Dec. 13, 2002, after a tumultuous year in church history.

Bernard Law

A succession of devastating news stories by Boston Globe reporters showed how priests who sexually abused children had been moved from parish to parish for years under Law’s tenure without parishioners or law authorities being informed.

“No words can convey the pain these survivors and their loved ones suffered,” SNAP, a victims’ group, said.

“Survivors of child sexual assault in Boston, who were first betrayed by Law’s cover-up of sex crimes and then doubly betrayed by his subsequent promotion to Rome, were those most hurt,” SNAP said in a statement.

Law’s resignation sent shockwaves through the American church and had a trickle down effect around the world as the cover-up techniques used in Boston were discovered to have been used in country after country.

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The story of how the Globe team brought the scandal to light in a city where few wanted to cross the politically powerful church was told in the 2015 film “Spotlight,” which won the Oscar for Best Picture.

The situation in Boston turned out to be the tip of an iceberg of abuse and its cover-up, where churchmen preferred protecting the reputation of the institution rather than the innocence of children.

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Thousands of cases came to light around the world as investigations encouraged long-silent victims to go public, shattering the church’s reputation in places such as Ireland, and forcing it to pay some $2 billion in compensation.

 

“As Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Law served at a time when the church failed seriously in its responsibilities to provide pastoral care for her people, and with tragic outcomes failed to care for the children of our parish communities. I deeply regret that reality and its consequences,” Law’s successor in Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, said in a statement.

Six months after his resignation, the Massachusetts attorney general’s office announced that Law and others would not face criminal charges.

After a period in a monastery in the United States, Law moved to Rome.

 In 2004 Pope John Paul appointed him to be archpriest of the Rome Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the four major basilica’s of Christendom, whose gold leaf ceiling is said to be made from the first batch of the precious metal Columbus brought back from the Americas. He is likely to be buried there.

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In relative terms it was an immense fall from grace. Such posts are symbolic and ceremonial. But the victims of sexual abuse were outraged because it gave Law a second career and a golden parachute that allowed him to stay close to the center of power in Rome and serve as a member or adviser in several influential Vatican departments.

He also maintained the rank of cardinal and participated in the conclave that elected Pope Benedict in 2005.  Before he became ill, Law was a regular on the diplomatic circuit, attending receptions, including many in the gardens of the US Embassy to the Vatican.

While Law was an awkward presence at US receptions for a few years after his resignation, at Italian events he was treated with the same effusive obsequiousness bestowed on all cardinals – something Law appeared to enjoy.

 He always declined to talk about events in Boston. “I’m retired from that,” he told a reporter at one reception.

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 Photo credit: The Boston Globe via Getty Images 

Cardinal O’Malley, Law’s successor, heads a Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on how to root out sexual abuse in the Church.

But the credibility of the commission, which was formed in 2014, has been hurt by the resignation of two high-level lay members who have accused the Vatican of dragging its feet.

 The terms of most members expired recently and it is not clear what Pope Francis will do with it.

Last September, Francis, addressing the commission, said the Catholic Church had moved too slowly to confront abuse.

“When consciousness arrives late, the means to resolve the problems also arrive late. I am aware of this difficulty but it is reality and I say it plainly: We arrived late. The old practice of moving people around and not confronting the problem made consciences fall asleep,” the pope said.

Law was born on Nov. 4, 1931, in Torreon, Mexico, the son of a US Army official and a musician. He graduated from Harvard University and was ordained a priest in 1961.

His first assignment was in Mississippi, where he received death threats for championing civil rights. As bishop of Springfield–Cape Girardeau in Missouri, he opened a home for battered women and a center to help Vietnamese boat people.