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Catholic Church


A Church of England vicar shouted: ‘I’m from the Vatican, you’re f*cked’ as he brawled with police after a vodka-fuelled nightclub binge.

Parish priest Gareth Jones, 36, yelled: ‘I have diplomatic immunity’ as he punched, kicked, bit and spat at a police officer and a paramedic who found him passed out in his clerical frock on Charing Cross Road, in Covent Garden, central London.

When paramedic Ian Pollock gently shook the passed-out pastor at 2.30am to check he was alright, he awoke and growled: ‘I am going to f*ck you up.’

Jones threatened to attack Mr Pollock but was unable to stand up after downing three bottles of wine, several pints of beer, a number of gin and tonics and vodka during a binge of Biblical proportions.

The married father-of-one, who was ordained in 2006 and serves at St Mary and the Virgin in Great Ilford, northeast London, then lashed out and kicked the emergency worker twice in the leg.

Fearing for his safety, Mr Pollock mounted the violent vicar in the street in a desperate attempt to subdue him.

‘Two police officers on the other side of the road see what’s going on,’ said prosecutor Edward Aydin.

‘Mr Pollock, fearing an attack, positioned himself on top of Mr Jones to protect himself.

‘Mr Jones is still attacking the paramedic, he punches him in the chest then tried to bite his arms and is spitting on him.’

As the officers tried to hold Jones’ legs during the struggle, he kicked PC Andrew Fletcher in the left cheek before claiming he was from the Vatican embassy in a cunning attempt to avoid arrest.

‘He says: ‘I have diplomatic immunity’,’ said Mr Aydin.

‘The officer says ‘which embassy?’ and he says: ‘The Vatican, you’re f*cked.’

‘He is growling makes no attempt to respond to a caution and continues to shout that he has diplomatic immunity.’

He added: ‘I’m not sure if he has anything to do with the Vatican because he is with the Church of England.

‘There’s no relationship between those two religions.’

PC Fletcher had to put a leg strap around the vicar’s ankles before he was put in a police van and taken to Belgravia Police Station.

He told officers he had been drinking at El Vino and The George on Fleet Street before heading to a nightclub in Soho, adding: ‘I am utterly ashamed and sorry for any harm that I have caused.’

Today (Fri) he appeared at Highbury Magistrates’ Court wearing a black suit jacket over a white shirt and blue tie as he pleaded guilty to two counts of assault by beating.

The court heard that Jones has previous convictions for communicating a false bomb hoax, affray, possession of cannabis, fraud, criminal damage, and driving matters, all before he was 21 years old.

‘Mr Jones told me he had a misspent youth,’ said Dominic Hockley, defending.

‘He is deeply ashamed, he is entirely remorseful, it is a far cry from a man who in 2006 having been ordained as a pastor set up in Brighton and Hove the ‘Street Pastors’ who go acting with the police and with the paramedics looking after homeless drunks and those on drugs.’

Mr Hockley told the court that Jones had consumed around 53 units of alcohol before the incident and is seeking help to deal with alcoholism.

He said: ‘The drinking had moved on from social drinking with his wife to something far more devastating.

‘To say that this incident has been a wake-up call would be an understatement.’

Jones will have to face an ecclesiastical court which may impose a lifetime ban on him serving the church after his conviction.

‘It will mean that his position at his current church is in jeopardy and he will have to move out of the family home,’ said Mr Hockley.

‘This will have huge implications on his career, family life and his home.’

District Judge Robin McPhee ordered Jones to pay £700 in fines, £200 compensation to PC Fletcher, £200 compensation to Mr Pollock, as well as £85 prosecution costs and a £35 victim surcharge.

He said: ‘You have known for two years that you had a significant problem with alcohol which you told me.

‘Nonetheless you decided to go out and drink to the extent that you are found asleep in a doorway.’

He continued: ‘Both of these individuals are working in the public sector providing a service to the public, and in these circumstances not only were they providing a public service, but they were specifically coming to assist you.’

Judge McPhee accepted that Jones was remorseful and said he had ‘turned his life around’ after the  convictions from his youth.

Jones, of South Park Road, Ilford, northeast London, is said to be cooperating with Redbridge Alcohol Services and AA as he seeks help with his alcoholism.

source: Court News UK








Catholic Church pays compensation but won’t admit child abuse liability

© Kai Pfaffenbach

The Catholic Church is paying compensation to victims of alleged child sex abuse at its schools, but refuses to accept liability.

Leslie Turner, 66, was paid £17,000 in compensation in 2014 after saying two members of the Irish Christian Brothers order sexually abused him at a school in Sunderland in the 1960s.

Turner, a retired primary school teacher, alleges he was molested from the age of 12 by two teachers at St Aidan’s Roman Catholic grammar school between 1960 and 1967.

He decided to sue the Church after he was diagnosed with delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder in 2012, a condition which he has described as worse than the abuse itself.

After the abuse stopped it was actually worse than when the abuse was taking place,” Turner told the Guardian.

I tried to become invisible. It never occurred to me to tell anybody. When the head teacher has been abusing you, who do you tell? I put it into a cupboard in my head and I shut the cupboard door.

The Congregation of Christian Brothers settled with Turner before the claim was due to be heard in the high court. In doing so, the Congregation said it was unable to admit or deny the allegations and insisted it could not admit liability for what Turner says happened to him.

The Congregation said it would be “quite impossible” to investigate allegations dating from the 1960s, as both alleged abusers were dead.

Turner described the abuse he suffered at the hands of an English teacher and the school’s then-headmaster as so habitual it became “normal.”

He claims that Brother Norman Williams would habitually abuse him during English lessons at the age of 12, reaching up through his shorts and touching his genitals while he read aloud to the class. Turner says Williams would pinch his legs if he made a mistake.

Turner alleges then headmaster Brother Dennis O’Brien abused him in his office when he was 13. He claims the headmaster told him to say Hail Marys, and instilled a feeling of “great shame and guilt” when he became aroused

full story at RT









Yes, the Vatican Can Arrest People


The Vatican on Monday  announced the arrest of a Spanish high-ranking priest and a laywoman for allegedly leaking confidential documents to the authors of two new books that promise to expose more corruption and intrigue at the Holy See.

“Divulging confidential documents is a crime under the criminal code of the Vatican City State,” the Vatican remarked in a press statement.

Aimed at stemming  a new scandal — the first since the “Vatileaks” affair which saw Benedict XVI’s butler jailed for leaking private papal papers  –  the strict move shows a less known aspect of the Vatican.

Explainer: How Powerful Is the Vatican?

There is more than prayers in the tiny walled enclave within Rome.  As an independent state, the Vatican has its own judicial system, a 130-strong Gendarmerie (military force) in addition to the Swiss Guards (basically the Pope’s bodyguards) and can detain prisoners.

Under the Lateran Pacts, an agreement made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See, the Vatican was recognized as independent state, actually the world’s smallest by by area and population.

Until 2008, the Vatican accepted Italian law automatically. Now it examines laws passed by the Italian parliament before accepting them.

Pope Francis’ First Mass: Photos

Located just to the south of St. Peter’s Basilica, the papal jail is mainly used for pretrial detention.

The prison, currently accommodating Monsignor Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, the Spanish priest arrested on Monday, has held several guests lately — at least by Vatican standards.

Last year, during the Christmas holidays, a member of the Femen protest movement spent two nights in one of the cells after taking her  top off and  “kidnapping” the baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square.

Another cell was occupied during the same period by a man who climbed the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica in protest against European economic policies.

Perhaps the most famous inmate in modern times is Paolo Gabriele, pope Benedict’s personal butler .

He was arrested on May 23, 2012 for leaking  the sensitive documents that gave rise to the Vatileaks scandal and sentenced to 18 months in prison “in the name of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, gloriously reigning.”

In contrast to the usual arrangement  under which prisoners serve time in an Italian prisons, Gabriele served his sentence in the Vatican until he was pardoned by Pope Benedict on Dec. 22, 2012.

Vatican: Pope Does Not Have Brain Cancer

Life wasn’t easy for a prisoner of the Vatican, according to Gabriele.

He complained about a small detention cell inside police headquarters with scarcely room to raise his arms. During the first 15 days of his detention, lights were on 24 hours a day, he said.

full article at DNews








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