Peter Roell

Peter Roell
Cathedral City, California, USA
June 13
Born June 13, 1948 at Green Point Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. Attended All Saints Catholic School, Brooklyn, New York; P.S. 78, Bronx, New York; Sts. Philip and James Catholic School (Class of 1962), Bronx, New York; Cardinal Spellman High School (Class of 1966), Bronx, New York; University of California, Berkeley, California (BA degree in Fine Art, 1969, MA degree in Fine Art, 1971). View art at: and


MAY 17, 2010 2:00PM

The Modern Roman Catholic Reformation

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What would Jesus do?

Are you as outraged as I am about the never ending revelations of priests and religious sexually molesting children over many decades and continuing today? 

Well, here is a sickening update, the Roman Catholic Church  feels that they were following the correct procedures by sending offending priests and religious for therapy, and once deemed cured, they almost always were reassigned.  I strongly suspect that these therapists, to whom these criminals were sent to for counseling, had the same relationship that the SEC has with Wall Street; namely, mutually beneficial!   

Roman Catholics are compelled to see the Old and New Testaments as the word of God, divinely inspired and without error.  Well those vile offenders should read the following passage from the New Testament and take the recommended remedial steps from Dei Verbum (Pope John Paul II):

Matt.18.6 ...but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

(Also see: Mark.9.42; Luke.17.2; Rev.18.21) 

The problem the Roman Catholic Church has always had with sacred scripture is that they strive to control it, especially its explanation.  Many scriptural passages, like the one cited above, the church leadership will submit that it is not what God is really saying.  So God does not know what he (or she) is saying?

Read it for yourself, do you need an interpreter to read your favorite literary work, newspaper or blog?

An offense against an innocent child is the most despicable crime imaginable and it should be a no-brainer that any offending priest or religious should be cast out of the church community immediately, turned over to the authorities, and only after that should forgiveness even be contemplated.  The Roman Catholic Church continuing to put up a proverbial blue wall protecting criminals at the expense of innocent lives is not what Jesus would do!

Vote in the only way any corporation understands; namely, do not attend Roman Catholic Church services, and if you must, at the very least, do not contribute your Time, Talent or Treasure until justice prevails.

 A Call to Action:

In most, if not all, individual parishes the overwhelming source of revenue to the annual operating budget comes from the weekly offertory collections.  Most parishes throughout the United States have their own operating budget and almost 100% of the annual revenues come from the weekly collections.  Also, most parishes’ weekly collections are taxed by the local bishop and constitute a significance source of income to the local diocese or archdiocese.  By withholding your weekly donations you can play a significant role in the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church.

The church will not reform on its’ own, that fact is abundantly clear by now.  Half-hearted apologizes begrudgingly given, and almost always far too little and too late are the norm.  They (the church leadership) are trying is the mantra of the faithful, but they are not trying hard enough!  If you love someone or something with all your heart do you not do everything in your power to reform their wrong actions or do you hide behind piety and obedience as the lives of countless innocents' are ruined forever! 

Is an offending priest or religious more valuable than an innocent child? 

Withhold your contributions and demand that every personal file containing a credible accusation of a sexual crime be immediately turned over to the local civil authorities for investigation and, any priest, religious, nun or staff member who is accused be immediately barred from all ministries, programs and services; and,  anyone convicted of a sexual crime against anyone regardless of age, be removed from the religious community and loose all financial support and benefits both short and long term.  Do not think that all priests and religious take a vow of poverty - most do not!  Most take a vow of obedience, but not a vow of poverty.  Check the watch, it may be a Rolex!

If you feel the need as a member of your faith community to continue to contribute you can restrict your gift to a specific project or projects so that it would not be part of the general operating budget of your parish and would not be taxed by the local bishop to support the work of the local church. Do you think this course of action is too extreme?  Well I think that it is a relatively weak first step! 

Whether you are a parent or not, image an innocent child being forcibly raped and sodomized by an adult in whom they have placed their confidence and to whom they have given their trust.  If you have any sense of justice in you at all, you cannot tolerate this behavior ever again.  It must be dealt with once and for all, not in half-hearted and ineffectual reactive manner, but proactively!

Historical Context:

Since the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. the Roman Catholic Church has become increasing more irrelevant to the lives, both spiritual and temporal, of its members; however, since the first revelations of sexual abuse of children and young adults by clergy, religious and other church leaders, the Roman Catholic Church has consistently revealed itself as being diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Council of Nicea was convened by and directed by the Roman Emperor, Constantine.  Contrary to popular myth, Constantine did not convert to Roman Catholicism after his victory at the Milvean Bridge or even on his death bed as is popularly perpetuated by Church tradition.  Constantine’s primary purpose was to Romanize the early church to serve as an instrument of governance and control over the empire. 

For example, the institution and codification of ridiculous and very expensive vestments and paraphernalia which have no basis in the example or teachings of Jesus Christ were and are a means to that end.  That end is to set the priesthood above and apart from the people.  The example of Jesus was to live, walk, talk and be one with the people.  His ministry was by being present, not being above, separate or apart. 

Most outrageous of all is the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to be the interpreter of sacred scripture for its members. They filter the word of God to suit their own ends. Fully accepting the fact that the majority of people at that time (3rd century A.D.) were illiterate and needed symbols and signs, there is no valid reason other than a perverse sense of tradition and a need to control that it has endured and expanded into the 21st century. 

The present day Roman Catholic Church was established in its current form in 325 A.D. as a means of controlling as many people as possible with fear, superstitions, rituals and subservience.  Pray, pay and obey is a manta that has and still exists to this very day. Only God knows how long and how pervasive the raping, sodomizing, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and young adults has gone on within the Roman Catholic Church, but I trust that all would agree that the willful abuse of one innocent is unacceptable let alone hundreds, or thousands or hundreds of thousands!  Had the first time this vile and almost unforgiveable crime was committed, the precedent was set that the accused perpetrator was immediately turned over to the civil authorities, we may never have experienced these on-going and seemingly never ending outrages.

Here is a scriptural reference that seems to define the modern hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside, are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Matthew 23:25-28   

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As you stated, the bottom line is the money. The Church leadership will do what it has to to protect its income. So it creates programs to help the victims or to teach the children on proper touching, both great things to do but unfortunately both are a reaction to the action.
There should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to child molestation.
If you believe that the Church is not doing everything in its power to rid itself of these men, then the best way to be heard is to withhold your donations. Angry letters, phone calls, etc. are things that the Church will put up with as long as the donations are still coming in. Stop giving your money and they will take notice.
Imagine what would happen if everyone, in solidarity with the victims of these crimes, withheld their Sunday donation.
The Church is led by men, men who will make mistakes. Mistakes can be and should be forgiven but there should be consequences for the mistakes that they make. If you, as a priest, hid the fact that a fellow priest molested a child, then both should be removed.
Child abuse is not just a Catholic issue, as abuse can be found in any religion, but as a Catholic and a Christian it is your responsibility to speak for those who can't and you do that with your pocketbook.
Final thought: I would hope that most people don't confuse faith with religion. Continue to give glory to God and to pray for things like this end, regardless of whether or not you choose to call yourself Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, etc.
Great article Peter!
I could not have said it any better than LARAMFAN. In my email to you, Peter, it pretty much sums up what she/he so eloquently stated. Your article was excellent! Direct, accurate, and revealing. Ausilio
That quote from Matthew 18 has been going around in my head ever since hearing of this lastest wave of revelations. All of this whitewashing and hiding of criminals only casts a terrible shadow on the good men and women who serve people in the name of the church. I've known a few of them, and they deserve a better leadership, spiritual as well as legal, than they have gotten this last 60 years. Shame!
Child abuse is major issue concerning worldwide. It is not just a Catholic issue, as abuse can be found in any religion, (Muslim, Hindi, Taoism, etc) but as a Catholic and a Christian it is your responsibility to speak for those who can't. Even, you are not a christian but as an individual who has some heart and concerns with those innocence who is suffering.

Anna Marie
Blog:piercing oreille