Vatican diplomat implicated in child porn case served in Hong Kong

In Vatican City, Capella could face consequences in two disciplinary systems: Under church law, he could be defrocked as a priest, and under civil law in the Holy See, which is also an independent nation, he could face criminal penalties.

Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella has been recalled to the Vatican from his most recent posting in the United States, where he has diplomatic immunity

A Catholic Church official recalled to the Vatican because US investigators suspected him of crimes involving child pornography is a diplomat who has served the church in positions around the globe, including Hong Kong.

The diplomat in question is Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella. The church and US State Department and Justice Department officials refused to name the suspect on the record, but his identity was reported by the Italian news agency ANSA, then confirmed by The New York Times and The Guardian.

Capella, 50, has had a wide-ranging career in the church that brought him to the United States only this past year. Born in the town of Carpi in Northern Italy, he was ordained as a priest in 1993, pursued a degree in canon law and then entered the Vatican’s corps of diplomats in 2004, according to Associated Press. In that role, he was posted in India and then Hong Kong before another stint at the Vatican.

In 2008, according to a document from the Archdiocese of Milan, Pope Benedict XVI conferred the rank of “Chaplain of His Holiness” on Capella – a recognition of service to the church that bestowed on him the title of Monsignor.

In August, the State Department contacted the Vatican to say that US officials had turned up evidence implicating Capella in a child pornography case. At the Vatican embassy in Washington, Capella was one of four staff members with diplomatic immunity, protecting him from prosecution in America. The embassy on Massachusetts Avenue NW, near the US Vice-President’s residence, also employs about a dozen locally hired staff members, according to people familiar with the embassy’s operations.

The church transferred Capella back to the Vatican and said that it is investigating the case. A State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to remark more frankly about the case, said that the United States had asked the Vatican to waive Capella’s immunity so that he could be prosecuted here. The Vatican refused.

In Vatican City, Capella could face consequences in two disciplinary systems: Under church law, he could be defrocked as a priest, and under civil law in the Holy See, which is also an independent nation, he could face criminal penalties. The city state’s criminal law says people convicted of possessing child pornography face two years in prison and US$12,000 in fines, and those convicted of producing or distributing the images face steeper penalties.

Parish removes priest who asked middle school students during confession if they masturbated or watched porn

“I think he was trying to get them to really discern and be in touch with any sinful behavior they had,” McNeil said. “So I think it was a case of, from what we know right now, a case of trying to be too helpful.”

An associate pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church has been dismissed from the parish after asking middle school students during confession if they masturbated or watched pornography.

Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor and spokesman for the Archdiocese of Omaha, said the Rev. Nicholas Mishek, 26, is an inexperienced priest who was overzealous in his questioning and made a lapse in judgment. He has been removed from St. Robert Bellarmine, but the archdiocese will work with him to review the training he received in the seminary.

“There was this line of questioning that’s unacceptable, and he asked two questions that are particularly unacceptable,” McNeil said. “And parents reacted strongly, and should have, and we responded to that.”

 

Mishek was ordained in June and received a favorable report from the seminary, McNeil said. There are no prior complaints or incidents involving him, McNeil said.  

Parents at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic School received a letter Monday signed by Principal Sandra Suiter and the Rev. Steven Stillmunks, the parish pastor, outlining the incident that happened last week and the school’s response. The K-8 school is near 120th and Pacific Streets.

 

According to the letter, on Friday morning, a parent notified Suiter that Mishek had asked inappropriate questions of seventh- and eighth-graders during confession Thursday.  Several parents stepped forward with similar stories..

 

The letter states that during confession, Mishek asked seventh- and eighth-graders if they cheated, lied, watched pornography or masturbated.

It was later discovered that he had asked fifth- and sixth-graders “similar inappropriate questions” during confession Wednesday, though those questions were worded more vaguely, such as “have you ever viewed or watched inappropriate shows or videos?”

The letter says that within 10 minutes of the first parent complaint, Suiter reported the allegations to Stillmunks. He was traveling out of town but turned around to return to the parish and contacted the archdiocese.

By 1 p.m. that day, Stillmunks dismissed Mishek from his duties at St. Robert Bellarmine, a decision supported by Archbishop George Lucas, McNeil said.

“We are grateful to those parents who came forward and notified us in such a timely way,” Suiter and Stillmunks wrote in the letter. “Because of their quick response, we were able to take necessary steps immediately. We especially want to thank our brave students who knew this was inappropriate and voiced their concerns to their parents.”

Mishek did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The World-Herald.

A parent meeting is scheduled for tonight at the Mainelli Center at the church. Officials from the school and parish and the manager of the Archdiocesan Office of Victim Outreach and Prevention will attend.

Homeroom teachers talked to students in grades 5 through 8 to let them know whom they could talk to if they had any concerns or questions.  “In future days, additional conversations will take place with our students about the sacrament of reconciliation,” the letter said.  

McNeil said confession is not supposed to be an interrogation, and priests are trained to let whoever is confessing lead the conversation.

“There are parents who are Catholic who have experiences of their own with the sacrament of reconciliation who know questioning is not a usual or encouraged practice,” McNeil said. “The nature of those two questions, they thought that was a little personal and maybe too invasive.”

Students at Catholic schools may go to confession weekly, monthly or around holy holidays, McNeil said. Kids are often given a handout to prompt reflection, called the examination of conscience.

 

“I think he was trying to get them to really discern and be in touch with any sinful behavior they had,” McNeil said. “So I think it was a case of, from what we know right now, a case of trying to be too helpful.”

 

No decisions have been made about Mishek’s next assignment, and there’s no effort underway to remove him from the priesthood, McNeil said.

“There wasn’t a civil offense, not a canonical offense, not a criminal offense, none of that,” he said.

[written by Erin Duffy]

‘Satanic’ fake rosaries are bringing evil spirits into Catholic homes, says exorcist

A rosary crucifix confiscated during a recent case handled by Libera Nox. When the photo’s exposure is adjusted to make it dimmer using an image editor (R), the Iluminati insignia of the sun with its rays and the snake at the back of the Crucified Christ becomes visible to the naked eye.
[Photo by Philippe de Guzman]

An exorcist in the Philippines has warned against the circulation of fake ‘Satanic’ rosaries and crucifixes he said were designed to ‘deceive Catholics…so that evil spirits will haunt them’.

Speaking on the Diocese of Novaliches’ Radio Veritas programme ‘Hello Father 911’, Fr Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi, chief exorcist of the diocese’s ‘Libera Nox’ department, warned listeners to ‘be careful as the rosaries you might be using could actually be infested or cursed’.

According to the Philippines Catholic website CBCP News, Legaspi said the rosaries has been ‘prayed over’ by a group called the Illuminati and consecrated to evil, so anyone who uses them will be followed by evil spirits.

Another Libera Nox priest, Philippe de Guzman, said during the radio show that Satanic rosaries have emblems on them such as a snake wrapped around the cross, a pentagram or a sun with rays, an occult symbol.

Legaspi urged priests to bless religious items according to Catholic rituals. especially if its owners have experienced paranormal occurrences.

‘Not just a blessing, these items should be exorcised. Not just an ordinary blessing where water is just sprinkled – as most priests commonly do – but to use the Catholic ritual…that would frighten the demon away,’ he said.

He also warned about Masonic medals that are also in circulation, made to look like that of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception. A compass, which is the insignia of the Freemasons, can be found at the bottom.  [Story by Christian Today staff writer]

  • All that I have to say about this is that the Catholics problem is much bigger than tainted rosaries!