Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AP: John Paul's Legacy Stained by Sex Abuse Scandal

In this Nov. 30, 2004 file photo, Pope John Paul II gives his blessing to late father Marcial Maciel, founder of Christ's Legionaries Source
"John Paul's Legacy Stained by Sex Abuse Scandal" 

Associated Press


"Pope John Paul II is rightly credited with having helped bring down communism, of inspiring a new generation of Catholics with a globe-trotting papacy and of explaining church teaching on a range of hot-button issues as Christianity entered its third millennium.

John Paul and his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until very late in his 26-year papacy, even though U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See since the late-1980s for a faster way to defrock pedophile priests.

The experience of John Paul in Poland under communist and Nazi rule, where innocent priests were often discredited by trumped-up accusations, is believed to have influenced his general defensiveness of the clergy. The exodus of clergy after the turbulent 1960s similarly made him want to hold onto the priests he still had.

Pope Francis has inherited John Paul's most notorious failure on the sex abuse front — the Legion of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model. Francis, who will canonize John Paul on Sunday, must decide whether to sign off on the Vatican's three-year reform project, imposed after the Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children.

Yet the Legion's 2009 admission about the Rev. Marcial Maciel's double life was by no means news to the Vatican.

Documents from the archives of the Vatican's then-Sacred Congregation for Religious show how a succession of papacies — including that of John XXIII, also to be canonized Sunday — simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile and religious fraud."

Full text here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Polish Stereotypes: Stupid, Drunks, Anti-Semites, Humorless, Religious Zealots, Communists

Available at Amazon here
Brett sent in a link to a webpage by "Snarky Nomad" entitled "Six Big Polish Stereotypes that are Kinda Silly." The six stereotypes are that Poles are stupid, drunks, religious zealots, humorless, communists, and anti-Semites. You can read Snarky Nomad's blog post on Polish Stereotypes here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Brandeis, Bieganski, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and CAIR

Theo Van Gogh, Martyr
On November 3, 2011, I spoke about Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype at Brandeis University. I reported on that experience in this blog post. Given Brandeis' noble history, its resistance to American quotas on Jewish students in higher education and its establishment so soon after the Holocaust, I was proud and honored to speak at Brandeis.

Recently Brandeis was about to offer an honorary degree to one of my heroes, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. You can read my Amazon review of her book "Infidel" here.

CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, complained. CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper compared Ayaan Hirsi Ali to the Nazis.

Brandeis University caved. They rescinded their offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

It goes without saying that Brandeis University's cowardly capitulation is disgraceful and even frightening. One can't help but think of that sliding scale of appeasement so aptly encapsulated by Martin Niemoller: "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali lives her life surrounded by armed guards. She lives under constant threat of death because she has spoken plainly about Islamic gender apartheid. Ten years ago she made a short film, "Submission," with Theo Van Gogh about Islamic gender apartheid. A Muslim assassin named Mohammed shot Van Gogh, stabbed him, cut his throat, and, using a knife, pinned a note to his chest threatening to murder anyone else who spoke out against Islamic gender apartheid.

That is the thuggery that once noble Brandeis caved in to.


What does any of this have to do with Polonia and Bieganski?

I've been involved with Polish-Jewish issues for a quarter of a century. I cannot count the number of times I have heard Polonians complain about being stereotyped as brutes, about the distortion of WW II and Holocaust history, and about how the Polonian story is not told.

I have watched Polonians writhe in agony as wave after wave of stereotyping crashes over them: in the wake of "Neighbors," in the wake of "Fear," in the wake of films like "Schindler's List."

I have yet to see Polonians support each other, unite, organize, and act strategically to change things on a national scale.

Muslims have not been in the United States for a long time. Their presence here is largely a post-1965 phenomenon. According to Wikipedia, Muslims are less than one percent of the US population. Obviously, not all Muslims agree with CAIR.

Consider: in spite of a relatively brief presence in the US, in spite of their small population, in spite of not all Muslims being in agreement, CAIR is able to manipulate and demand the surrender of a large, prestigious, Jewish university.

Polonia can't even register its agonized outrage when heroes like Wladyslaw Bartoszewski and Maximilian Kolbe are maligned as anti-Semites, and when heroes like Witold Pilecki go unmentioned and unknown.

Polonia, please organize. Please read and act upon the blog post entitled: "The Crisis in Polonian Leadership, Organization, and Vision, which you can read at this link.

You can tell Brandeis University what you think of their cowardice on their facebook page, linked here.