When the church doors open, only white people will be allowed inside.
After permit approved for whites-only church, small Minnesota town insists it isn’t racist
City leaders said if they had turned down Asatru Folk Assembly, they would have faced an expensive legal battle.
When the church doors open, only white people will be allowed inside.
That’s the message the Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota, is sending after being granted a conditional use permit to open a church there and practice its pre-Christian religion that originated in northern Europe.
Despite a council vote officially approving the permit this month, residents are pushing back against the decision.
Opponents have collected about 50,000 signatures on an online petition to stop the all-white church from making its home in the farming town of 280 people.
“I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we’d like to keep the pressure on them,” said Peter Kennedy, a longtime Murdock resident. “Racism is not welcome here.”
Many locals said they support the growing population of Latinos, who have moved to the area in the past decade because of job opportunities, over the church.
“Just because the council gave them a conditional permit does not mean that the town and people in the area surrounding will not be vigilant in watching and protecting our area,” Jean Lesteberg, who lives in the neighboring town of De Graff, wrote on the city’s Facebook page.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Asatru Folk Assembly as a “neo-Volkisch hate group” that couches “their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity.”
Many residents call them a white supremacist or white separatist group, but church members deny it.
“We’re not. It’s just simply not true,” said Allen Turnage, a folk assembly board member. “Just because we respect our own culture, that doesn’t mean we are denigrating someone else’s.”
The group, based in Brownsville, California, says teachings and membership are for those of strictly European bloodlines.
The church was looking for a new church in the eastern North Dakota region when they came across Murdock. It’s unknown how many members they have worldwide or how many people will attend the new church.
“We do not need salvation. All we need is freedom to face our destiny with courage and honor,” the group wrote on its website about their beliefs. “We honor the Gods under the names given to them by our Germanic/Norse ancestors.”
Their forefathers, according to the website, were “Angels and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings, and, as sons and daughters of these people, they are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by centuries.”
“We respect the ways our ancestors viewed the world and approached the universe a thousand years ago,” Turnage said.
A small contingent of church supporters in Murdock said the community should be open-minded and respectful to all.
“I find it hypocritical, for lack of a better term, of my community to show much hate towards something they don’t understand. I for one don’t see a problem with it,” Jesse James, who said he has lived in Murdock for 26 years, wrote on Facebook.
“I do not wish to follow in this pagan religion, however, I feel it’s important to recognize and support each other’s beliefs,” he said.
Murdock council members said they do not support the church but were legally obligated to approve the permit, which they did in a 3-1 decision.
“We were highly advised by our attorney to pass this permit for legal reasons to protect the First Amendment rights,” Mayor Craig Kavanagh said. “We knew that if this was going to be denied, we were going to have a legal battle on our hands that could be pretty expensive.”
The Gay Parade was cancelled this year! Praise The God of Israel!
The NYC “Pride March” was canceled for the first time in its half-century history, along with all in-person events leading up to the annual June event, which draws millions of participants and revelers every year.
Heritage of Pride, the organization that runs the march, made the announcement Monday, shortly after New York Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the cancellation of permits for all large events for the month of June.
“This probably will not surprise you,” De Blasio said at a coronavirus briefing before announcing the cancellation of June’s Celebrate Israel, Puerto Rican Day and LGBTQ pride parades. The mayor promised these events would go on in some format “when it’s the right time.”
Prior to New York City’s announcement a number of other major cities across the U.S. had already announced they were canceling or postponing their pride events: Los Angeles postponed, San Francisco canceled and Seattle said it would “go virtual.” The European Pride Organizers Association has been maintaining an open source online count of pride events around the world that have either been canceled or postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Chick-fil-A has given in to the LGBTQ bullies to remain relevant in Modern Day Babylon, this makes me wonder just how “Christian” Chick-fil-A was in the first place.
Chick-Fil-A Surrenders To LGBT Bullies
Chick-fil-A surrendered to the mob (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
The once Christian owned Chick-fil-A announced “Beginning in 2020, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will introduce a more focused giving approach, donating to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education,” the company told the site. “We have also proactively disclosed our 2018 tax filing and a preview of 2019 gifts to date on chick-fil-a foundation.org. The intent of charitable giving from the Chick-fil-A Foundation is to nourish the potential in every child.”
“Our goal is to donate to the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration — faith-based or non-faith based,” it added.
Franklin Graham took to social media to outline that he personally called Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, who contended that the company had not changed because of pressure from homosexual advocates.
“I picked up the phone and called Dan Cathy. Dan was very clear that they have not bowed down to anyone’s demands, including the LGBTQ community,”
“They will continue to support whoever they want to support. They haven’t changed who they are or what they believe. Chick-fil-A remains committed to Christian values. Dan Cathy assured me that this isn’t going to change. I hope all those who jumped to the wrong conclusion about them read this.”
“Franklin, you have done a huge disservice by not doing more investigation into Chick-fil-A’s betrayal and capitulation to the LGBT agenda. While Dan Cathy may say the company has the same values, the company’s statements and actions tell a different story,” he wrote.
Staver noted that, as stated, Chick-fil-A dropped the Paul Anderson Youth Home several years ago, and that Covenant House International is active in its homosexual advocacy.
“Covenant House also proudly supports the New York City Gay Pride parade with its own float, banners, t-shirts, and hashtag #CovUnity. Covenant House is recognized as a national funder of LGBTQ causes,” he outlined.
“To save its own corporate skin, Chick-fil-A has thrown good, biblical, organizations under the bus and legitimized the false narrative of the LGBT activists.”
As previously reported, Chick-fil-A has repeatedly stated since the original controversy in 2012 that the company intends to “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
In March, the fast food chain created a post to address media reports that over $1 million was donated in 2017 to “three organizations characterized as anti-LGBTQ groups.”
“The work of the [Chick-fil-A] Foundation is committed to youth and education. The Foundation’s giving helps with economic mobility of young people by focusing on homelessness and poverty, education, and community revitalization, and is done with no political or social agenda,” it wrote. “The narrative that our giving was done to support a political or non-inclusive agenda is inaccurate and misleading.”
Chick-fil-A’s website outlines that its corporate purpose is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.
Looks like Chick-fil-A has given in to the LGBTQ bullies to remain relevant in Modern Day Babylon, this makes me wonder just how “Christian” Chick-fil-A was in the first place. When you profess to love God and holiness, your faith will be tested and you’ll either pass or fail. This is very sad and sickening and is a true mockery of Christianity. How many will be left standing faithfully in holiness when the Messiah returns? According to the scriptures, not many.
McDonald’s is another restaurant that jumped onto the LGBT bandwagon to remain relevant in the rat race…
In 2017 McDonald’s restaurants in Washington, D.C, situated along the “Capital Pride” parade route offered customers limited-edition “rainbow fry” boxes to celebrate the LGBTQ community and remind Americans that the Golden Arches is another icon major player and sponsor in promoting homosexual behavior across the nation.
McDonald’s Family Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., touted the 2017 Capital Pride parade theme, “Lovin’ Is Lovin,’” – an apparent offshoot of its popular “I’m Lovin’ It” tagline – as a way to publicize its longtime support and unwavering commitment to promote LGBTQ rights that run in opposition to its pro-family and conservative Christian clientele.
Pro-LGBT through and through
McDonald’s PRIDE Network Co-Chair Cathy Martin boasts about America’s largest fast food chain’s devotion to push the homosexual agenda with its billions of dollars in profits.
“The rainbow fry boxes are a fun way to show our support of the LGBTQ community, using one of McDonald’s most iconic and recognizable items,” the pro-LGBT activist expressed in a McDonald’s press release last week announcing the controversial fries. “However, these fry boxes are ‘small potatoes’ in the grand scheme of our commitment to this community.”
Martin, who also serves as vice president and general manager of McDonald’s Baltimore-Washington Region, says that the burger chain not only promotes the homosexual lifestyle to its patrons, but to its workers and the general public, as well.
“We are proud to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ community, including our employees, customers and beyond – each and every day,” she continued.
Beyond its restaurant doors and advertising campaigns, McDonald’s touts itself as an “industry and corporate leader with its Diversity & Inclusion policies” that have been geared to “support and protect the LGBTQ community” for 18 years, including:
Expansion of its non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation (1999)
Enabling domestic partners to be eligible for its benefits package (2004)
Establishing the McDonald’s PRIDE Network employee network (2005)
Updating its non-discrimination policy to include “Gender Identity and Expression” (2013)
And McDonald’s boasting over its anti-family agenda – despite the fact that it caters its menu to the family crowd – does not stop there.
“McDonald’s also has a rating of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index – the national bench-marking tool on corporate practices related to LGBTQ employees,” the press release announced before inviting the LGBT crowd to join its inaugural “gay” fest in the nation’s capital. “McDonald’s of Greater Washington, D.C. sponsored the first-ever Capital Pride Block Party.
Repulsive fries …
Not impressed with McDonald’s investment in the LGBT community, evangelist Joshua Feuerstein has had enough of its pushing the homosexual agenda and called Americans to fight back.
Besides his distaste for McDonald’s campaign that promotes the LGBT lifestyle, the ex-pastor condemned the burger franchise’s menu offerings and exhorted fast food fanatics to find another chain for their on-the-go cravings.
“I’m tired of corporations trying to influence our families like this – SHARE THIS and let people know to STOP EATING at McDonalds!” Feuerstein exclaimed. “Plus, their food is [horrible]. Really.”
Embracing homosexuals, rejecting families
Did you watch the above video? I can’t believe that this is a McDonald’s commercial. McDonald’s is another American icon that has jumped onto the LGBT bandwagon to remain relevant in the rat-race. There have ALWAYS been lesbians, gays and bi-sexuals among us- ALWAYS, why didn’t McDonald’s have the rainbow flag flying years ago? Why didn’t they openly support the gay community years ago? I’ll tell you why, it’s because it wasn’t socially accepted; being openly gay used to be a tabu which means McDonald’s would have lost billions of customers- that’s why! In other words, if it doesn’t generate dollars, it doesn’t make any cents, right McDonald’s? I’m glad that I actually dislike McDonald’s food. McDonald’s has firmly secured its seat in Babylon today!
Rev. Robert E. Morey, pastor of the church, confirmed Monday he denied communion to the former vice president because an public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.
The pastor of a South Carolina church refused Sunday to give communion to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden due to his support for legal abortion. Biden, who is Catholic, was campaigning in South Carolina when he stopped Sunday morning at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, S.C.
Rev. Robert E. Morey, pastor of the church, confirmed Monday he denied communion to the former vice president.
“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to Former Vice President Joe Biden,” Morey said, according to WPDE in Florence. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching. As a priest, it is my responsibility to minister to those souls entrusted to my care, and I must do so even in the most difficult situations. I will keep Mr. Biden in my prayers.”
During a Democratic debate in mid-October, Biden pledged to ensure abortion remains legal, even if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“I would make sure that … we codify Roe v. Wade,” Biden said. “The public is already there. Things have changed. … Reproductive rights are a constitutional right. And, in fact, every woman should have that right.”
Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – who later became Pope Benedict XVI – wrote a memorandum to U.S. Catholic bishops in 2004, explaining what they should do when a Catholic politician who supports abortion rights presents himself or herself for communion, Catholic News Agency reported.
A politician “consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” would constitute “formal cooperation” in grave sin, the letter said. Ratzinger was referencing Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which states that “those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
“[The] Pastor should meet with him,” Ratzinger wrote, “instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”
If the politician refuses to change, Ratzinger wrote, then the “minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”
“I will not bow down at the altar of the LGBTQ agenda nor worship their rainbow pride flag,” Rev. Graham said in reaction to Beto O’Rourke’s promise to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they do not recognize homosexual marriage.
Celebrated Christian evangelist Franklin Graham has taken issue with the Democrats’ extreme push of the LGBTQ agenda, saying he will stand with biblical morality.
“I will not bow down at the altar of the LGBTQ agenda nor worship their rainbow pride flag,” Rev. Graham said in reaction to Beto O’Rourke’s promise to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they do not recognize homosexual marriage.
“I’m going to stand with the Word of God, the Holy Bible, which is truth from cover to cover,” Graham added in a three-part tweet.
Rev. Graham, the son of “America’s Pastor,” Billy Graham, was reacting to CNN’s “Equality in America” town hall meeting held on Thursday, which focused on LGBTQ issues with 2020 presidential candidates of the Democrat party.
Beto O’Rourke “said churches, religious organizations, universities that don’t go along w/ same-sex marriage should lose their tax-exempt status,” Graham noted. “This gives you a clue of what the progressive, socialist-leaning Dem. Party would try to force on our nation if they win any election.”
“They will create laws & ‘consequences’ that would punish those who don’t agree with them. This is a threat to religious freedom & free speech,” he said.
Last month, Rev. Graham came out against South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for his efforts to defend abortion and homosexuality as Christian positions.
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been speaking openly about his support for abortion, which he says is a woman’s right to choose. That’s a crock — No one has the right to choose murder,” Rev. Graham wrote to his eight million Facebook followers in response to a Townhall article on Buttigieg’s efforts to redefine Christian morality.
During an interview with The Breakfast Club, Mayor Pete said the Bible is ambiguous about when life begins, and, thus, Christianity allows for a range of positions on abortion.
“There’s a lot of parts of the Bible which talk about how life begins with breath,” the Democrat presidential hopeful said. “And even so, that’s something that we can interpret differently.”
Mayor Pete has also insisted that Christianity has no problem with same-sex marriage, despite the numerous biblical passages that condemn homosexuality as an abomination before God and the unbroken Christian tradition that treats homosexual practice as gravely sinful.
“Mayor Pete is trying to tell people that the homosexual lifestyle is okay with God and that abortion is okay,” Graham wrote on Facebook. “His brother-in-law is right when he said, ‘This is leading people astray and it’s very, very dangerous.’”
“God defines right and wrong, not us,” Graham concludes. “As Christians, we are to live by the standards He gives us in His Word. ‘I am the Lord, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.’ (Isaiah 45:5).”
Anyone can be a church leader in Babylon today, Episcopal priest Reverend Katherine Ragsdale in a prime example of that!
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.
As the first lesbian to become a leader of an Episcopal seminary, Ragsdale has been no stranger to controversy. World Magazine reportedRagsdale’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.
“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.”
~ Original Post Written By Mikaela Mathews | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor
We are living in a time where absolute mockery of God and His creation is blatant. There is no fear of God- No desire to be holy- and all sin is justified by taking bible scriptures out of context.
CINCINNATI, Ohio— An apostate assembly that identifies itself as “a loving and progressive faith community” held a drag queen story time last Sunday as the building caretaker dressed in drag to read a book in scheduled children’s time during the Sunday, June 16 worship service.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Dan Davidson dressed up as “Sparke Leigh” complete with a purple dress, makeup, high heels, and “a glitter beard” and stood at the Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church door greeting members and visitors and read to the congregation a story about homosexual politician Harvey Milk and the creation of the rainbow flag.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Dan Davidson had previously performed as a drag queen in Seattle, Washington before moving to Ohio and joining Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church, led by Stacey Midge. Davidson is a caretaker for the facility.
Last Sunday, Davidson donned a purple dress and high heels and applied a glitter beard as he presented himself as “Sparkle Leigh.” Following the song “God Welcomes All” by the church choir, Davidson took the stage to read the book “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag” to children and adults alike. Milk is considered the first openly homosexual elected politician in California and worked as a homosexual rights activist. Acquaintance Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag known today as the symbol for homosexual, bisexual and transgender pride.
“Harvey dreamed that everyone — even gay people — would have equality,” Davidson read. “He dreamed that one day, people would be able to live and love as they pleased.”
“Harvey and his friends planned marches to protest inequality and unfair laws. And just days before one of the marches, Harvey had an idea. … We need a symbol that shows who we are and how we feel. … Harvey knew an artist who could help — Gilbert Baker.”
Some in attendance held up their cell phones to reenact the San Francisco candlelight vigil for Milk, as mentioned in the book.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Mount Auburn Presbyterian is in the midst of celebrating Pride Month, and is decorated with pride flags and rainbow candles. One man told his “coming out” story during the service.
Davidson stood near the entrance at the end of the gathering and spoke to the people as they left.
Despite what laws are agreed upon or not, abortion is murder and murdering an innocent baby is wrong! The word “abort” is used instead of “murder” to make it more socially acceptable. Thou shalt not kill!
In an apparent compromise in a case from Indiana, the justices turned down an appeal that asked the court to reinstate a state law banning abortions sought solely because of the sex or disability of a fetus. But the court upheld part of the same law requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains.
The case, Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, No. 18-483, had been closely watched because it could have given the Supreme Court its first chance to consider the constitutionality of a state law restricting abortion since Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony M. Kennedy last year.
Justice Kennedy had been a cautious supporter of abortion rights, while Justice Kavanaugh’s limited record on the subject as an appeals court judge suggested some skepticism.
The modest move on Tuesday left for another day the consideration of state laws limiting abortion that were enacted, at least partly, to challenge Roe v. Wade. Such laws are being enacted at a brisk pace, including one in Alabama banning almost all abortions in the state, without exceptions for rape and incest, and others that bar the procedure after doctors can detect what the measures call a “fetal heartbeat,” which happens around six weeks of pregnancy.
The new laws are intended to give the Supreme Court an opportunity to reconsider Roe.
The court’s decision on Tuesday, issued without briefing on the merits or oral arguments, was unsigned and just three pages long. The court stressed that its decision on fetal remains was not a ruling about abortion rights.
In declining to hear an appeal on the law banning abortions sought for specific reasons, the court said it was expressing no views on the constitutionality of such laws. A split among lower courts is ordinarily required for Supreme Court review, and in this case, the court noted, there was no such disagreement.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor said they would have denied review of both issues in the case.
The Indiana law was enacted in 2016 and signed by Gov. Mike Pence, now the vice president. It prohibited all abortions, at any time during a pregnancy, solely sought based on the fetus’s sex, or because it had been diagnosed with Down syndrome or “any another disability,” listing conditions like scoliosis, albinism, dwarfism and “physical or mental disease.” The law also barred abortions sought because of characteristics like race or national origin.
The state law also imposed limits on the disposal of fetal remains, though it allowed mass cremations and did not impose any restrictions on women who disposed of the remains themselves.
A statement issued by Mr. Pence’s office on Tuesday said he “commends the Supreme Court for upholding a portion of Indiana law that safeguards the sanctity of human life by requiring that remains of aborted babies be treated with respect and dignity.”
“We remain hopeful,” the statement said, “that at a later date the Supreme Court will review one of numerous state laws across the U.S. that bar abortion based on sex, race or disability.”
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, unanimously struck down the provision limiting permissible reasons for having an abortion, though one judge said he did so reluctantly and only because he was bound by Supreme Court precedent.
In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court ruled that states may not prohibit abortions or place substantial obstacles in the way of women seeking them before fetal viability. Judge William J. Bauer, writing for the majority on the Seventh Circuit, said that ruling doomed the law’s restrictions.
“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,”
CHICAGO – Nearly 400 Catholic clergy members in Illinois have been accused of sexual misconduct, but church officials have only informed congregants of a fraction of those who have faced allegations, according to attorneys who represented clergy sex abuse victims across the USA.
A 182-page report, published by the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, includes the names, background information, photos and assignment histories of each accused clergy member.
“The danger of sexual abuse in Illinois is clearly a problem of today, not just the past,” the report concludes. “This will continue to be a danger until the identities and histories of sexually abusive clerics, religious employees and seminarians are made public.”
Anderson said he hopes the report will push church leaders to publicly identify hundreds more clergy who faced allegations.
The men named in the report worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield. Dioceses’ officials pushed back on the report’s findings.
The Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves about 2.1 million Catholics, said it “does not “police itself.”
“It reports all allegations to the civil authorities, regardless of the date of the alleged abuse, whether the priest is a diocesan priest or religious order priest, and whether the priest is alive or dead,” the archdiocese said in a statement.
Andrew Hansen, a spokesman for the Springfield Diocese, dismissed the report as “an impressive professional marketing brochure.”
He noted one of the priests listed in the report, Rev. Frank Martinez, had spent about six weeks in 1985 working as a hospital chaplain in the central Illinois diocese before resigning his position.
The following year Martinez, who was assigned to a parish in Buffalo, Iowa, was accused of propositioning a 15-year-old boy in an Iowa motel room. Martinez was removed from the ministry in 2004. In 2008, he was included on a list by the Davenport Diocese of 24 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.
“(The report) does not represent, as Mr. Anderson suggests, a thorough and diligent review of the publicly available facts, and it is highly misleading and irresponsible,” Hansen said.
The Rockford Diocese said in a statement it has not disclosed allegations against many of the clergy on Anderson’s list “because the accusations either have not been substantiated or are completely without merit.”Joliet Diocese officials also said that allegations against some named on Anderson’s list have not been substantiated.
“The list includes a number of priests, living and deceased who, at one time or another provided some ministry within the Diocese of Joliet at some point during their priesthood, but are not priests of the Diocese of Joliet,” the Joliet Diocese said in a statement.
Rockford Diocese officials said they were unaware that one former priest named on the list, Rev. Ivan Rovira, had been found to have committed sexual abuse of a child after he left Northern Illinois in the early 1970s. The Brownsville, Texas Diocese earlier this year placed Rovira on its list of “clergy with credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.”
Rovira admitted to Brownsville Diocese officials in 2002 that he had sexually abused a boy during his time working in Texas. He was forced to leave the ministry, and later fled to Mexico, according to the Anderson report.
“Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list, and the list covers the time frame of 1908, when this diocese was established, to the present,” the Rockford Diocese said in its statement. “An allegation against a priest who had an assignment in this diocese but belongs to a religious order or other diocese is referred to the religious order or other diocese to which the priest belongs and is under its jurisdiction.”
Attorneys culled the names of the clergy named in the report from legal settlements and news reports detailing claims of child sexual abuse. Although lawsuits were filed involving many of the alleged perpetrators, the majority of the claims against the individuals were settled, according to the report.
“We’ve chosen to reveal this information, because the Catholic bishops and religious orders who are in charge and have this information . . . have chosen to conceal it,” Anderson said.
The six Catholic dioceses of Illinois released the names of 185 clergy members who church officials determined were credibly accused of sexual abuse. The Anderson list includes those who were identified by the Illinois dioceses and more than 200 additional priests and deacons.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who left office in January, issued a preliminary report in December that found there are at least 500 clergy from Illinois’ dioceses who have faced allegations of abuse. The church has not publicly acknowledged or thoroughly investigated those claims, Madigan’s report found. She did not name those accused of misconduct.
Madigan launched her investigation in August after a landmark Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed claims against more than 300 “predator priests” who had abused at least 1,000 victims over roughly six decades. The former Illinois attorney general said her office was flooded with hundreds of emails and calls from people alleging they were victims of abuse by clergy in Illinois in the aftermath of the Pennsylvania report.
Madigan is one of at least 14 state attorney generals who have confirmed investigations or reviews after the Pennsylvania report. Madigan’s successor, Kwame Raoul, said before he took office in January that he was committed to continuing the investigation.
“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said.
Weeks after Madigan released her report, Anderson, along with other attorneys and clergy sex abuse survivors, launched the “Fight for 500” initiative calling on the Illinois dioceses to release the names of clergy.
The list published Wednesday includes priests and deacons whose affiliations in some cases date back decades. Many of the accused have died.
The report notes the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled a civil lawsuit in 2007 alleging the Rev. Robert Boley accosted a young girl in the 1980s. Boley moved to a Chicago parish in 1989 and also served at parishes in Darien, Ill., Englewood, N.J., and Louisville, Ky.
“As of 2007, it was believed that Fr. Boley was residing at the Carmelite House in Joliet, Illinois, and working in their archives,” the report says. “Fr. Boley’s current whereabouts, status as a priest, and whether he has access to children are unknown.”
In another case, the report says David Stalzer, an ordained priest in the Joliet diocese, faced a civil lawsuit in 1993, in which he was accused of child sexual abuse while he was working at a diocese parish.
“It is believed that Fr. Stalzer returned to active duty later that year under supervision and purportedly with limited contact with children,” according to the report.
The suit was dismissed in 1994 after the accuser dropped out of sight, according to the Joliet Herald-News. Stalzer died in 2001.
The list includes one priest who is in active ministry, Anderson said.
The priest, who is assigned to a parish on Chicago’s North Side, was temporarily removed from his position in December 2013 after the archdiocese received reports of him molesting a child at another Chicago-area parish where he worked 20 years earlier.
The Chicago Archdiocese reinstated the priest into active ministry months later, after law enforcement found insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
Days after he was reinstated, another man came forward and said he saw the same priest molest a teenage boy at a suburban fitness center. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation, but the claim was never substantiated no charges were filed.
Anderson defended putting the priest on the list even though authorities had not corroborated the allegations.
“(He) may be innocent, but given the fact that are two public allegations that have been made against him, we feel and believe that it needs to be publicly disclosed as somebody whohas been publicly accused and not adjudicated,” Anderson said.