The largest Christian church in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. The organization has 1.2 billion members worldwide, 74 million in the U.S., or 24% of the U.S. population. Net worth is virtually incalculable. Search as I may, I couldn't find any reliable yearly income or net worth numbers for the single largest, religious institution in the world.
In the U.S., the 2001 annual revenue for the Catholic Church was estimated at $102 billion.
The point here is that the Roman Catholic Church is a behemoth, in yearly revenue generation, total assets and numbers of human resources.
I'm no lawyer, but what follows definitely looks like a gangland operation.....one which, had it been conducted by organized crime, would be cause for invoking the RICO Act. The RICO Act allowed law enforcement to charge a person or group of people with racketeering, defined as committing multiple violations of certain varieties within a ten-year period.
Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua
ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.
The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese's Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month.
They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him.
"a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him"....the memo proves that, now deceased, Cardinal Bevilacqua, conspired to cover up the evil done or suspected of being done by....35 priests, just in the Philadelphia area alone. Can you imagine how many children were violated, if 35 priests were implicated?
All that evil, unpunished. All that evil, covered up, kept hidden....by the highest representatives of the Church in Philadelphia.
Bevilacqua discussed the memo in a March 15, 1994, meeting with Molloy (Wm. Lynn's superior) and Bishop Edward P. Cullen, then the cardinal's top aide, the filing says. After the meeting, Bevilacqua allegedly ordered Molloy to shred the memo.
One week later, Molloy allegedly destroyed four copies, with the Rev. Joseph Cistone as a witness. "This action was taken on the basis of a directive I received from Cardinal Bevilacqua," say Molloy's handwritten notes.
But Molloy apparently had second thoughts. Without telling anyone, he took a copy of the memo, and his notes, and placed them in a portable, locked safe.
An investigation by the Church, itself, found that 35 Philadelphia-area priests were suspected of sexually abusing children. Yet, the highest leaders from the Church ordered that information destroyed.
That is what I would call wickedness in high places. Prosecutors should invoke the RICO act against this Catholic crime syndicate, indict everyone involved, and apply forfeiture laws to every asset the Philadelphia-area Church owns.
That will never happen, of course....because this is the Catholic Church. Religious institutions in America, and especially the largest Christian denomination, are often deferred to because they are led by men of "faith." I don't care whether all the men involved in abusing and covering up for child abuse were the most devout and faithful religionists in all of the solar system.....they deserve to spend the rest of their lives in a prison cell.
The frustration for me, when it comes to religious evil like this, (and most certainly, the Catholic Church is no Lone Ranger when it comes to perpetrating evil under the umbrella of faith), is the response by members.
While it is true that all of mankind makes mistakes, errors, does wrong things purposely....of all the thousands of people I have encountered over 62 years, I don't think I could name one who would condone or stand passively by while the cover up of multiple cases of child molestation was being ordered.
The best any Catholic employee could do in the Philadelphia conspiracy was tuck away a copy of the order to cover it all up. Not an act of bravery....or an act of defiance against the Mother Church...but rather, an ass-covering action, an "I didn't order the cover up" insurance policy, just in case the child abuse filth hit the public arena fan down the road, which it did.
But please, someone tell me how Catholic members in Philadelphia can continue to support their local Diocese? Would you take your family to a church whose leaders you knew pre-meditatively conspired to cover up for the abuse of dozens, hundreds, of children? Why would anyone contribute financially to an organization whose leaders, very obviously, deserve to be incarcerated for their crimes against children and/or the cover up of those crimes? How can a Catholic member in Philadelphia sit in church and not scream out at the top of their lungs in outrage over this evil?
Finally....if it is true...and it is...that anyone contributing anything to a known terrorist group....is guilty of aiding and abetting the crimes those terrorists commit....then why isn't that also true of Catholic Church members who continue to contribute to an organization whose officials and employees are known to be child molesters and accomplices of child molesters?