What would Jesus Christ say if he could see the church today?
What would Jesus say if he saw a long parade of cardinals in red watered silk cassocks and lace robes? Would he think they were vested appropriately as successors of his apostles?
He told his 12 Apostles to take nothing for their first journey except a walking stick and a single tunic (Mark 6:8-9).
Do these men travel in the spirit of the first apostles….? or in the spirit of Renaissance nobility?
What would Jesus say if he heard bishops addressed as “Your Eminence” or “Your Excellency”?
Didn’t he tell his followers not to be like the Pharisees, who demanded titles of honor like “rabbi,” “teacher,” “master” or even “father” (Matthew 23:8-10)?
What would Jesus say if he saw cardinals in long silk capes parading to seats of honor at ceremonies and styling themselves as “princes” of the church? Jesus criticized the religious leaders of his own day who demanded seats of honor in synagogues and who “widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels” (Matthew 23:5-6).
What would Jesus think if he saw the enormous treasury of paintings, sculpture, jewels, architecture, vestments, books and precious antiquities accumulated over the centuries by the church? He told us not to store up treasure on earth, where moth and decay destroy and thieves break in and steal, but rather to store up treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19).
What would Jesus say if he realized his church claimed to be a sovereign nation among nations with all the rights and privileges of a nation state, granted by the notorious fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in 1929 in the Lateran Treaty? Jesus said his kingdom was not of this earth (John 18:36).
What would Jesus say if he knew that over 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse against children were made against over 5,000 priests in the United States between 1950-2019, and that the Church has paid these victims in excess of $2 Billion dollars.
The crimes against children by these Catholic priests are horrific and unforgiveable.
Abuse perpetrated by clerics, both within and outside of the Catholic Church, is especially awful since we hold these individuals to a much higher standard of behavior and trust.
And in the eyes of a child and others, clerics are representatives of the divine, the most holy, and of God. The spiritual damage adds to the psychological and physical damage suffered by these victims.
Jesus used a child to teach His disciples that childlike faith is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. At the same time, He said that the Father has concern for all of His “little ones” (Matthew 18:1–14).
In that passage, Jesus says, “But whoso shall offend one of these “little ones” which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 )
These crimes against “these little ones” were often committed with the full knowledge of the Catholic church’s leadership, that either failed to take appropriate action or, at worst, effectively aided and abetted further abuse by predators.
Therefore, in the eyes of the law, the church is held liable in civil court for damages, regardless of whether the abusive priest has been criminally charged, died, or left the country.
In this Insider Exclusive, “Justice in America” Special Network TV Expose, our news team goes behind the unbelievable and salacious headlines to meet with Michael Fiumara, Founder & Owner, Fiumara and Milligan Law, PC
To discuss how he and his law firm successfully settled numerous clergy sexual abuse cases against a former priest, Father Francisco Xavier Ochoa, and his former parish, the Santa Rosa Archdiocese, for $5 Million dollars.
Father Ochoa held himself as an authority as “God’s Representative on Earth,” to these devout families and their children who were sexually victimized. The survivors and victims ranged in age from 10 to 26 years old and covered two generations that made representation more challenging and difficult.
Ochoa is the 17th priest from the Diocese of Santa Rosa to be accused of molesting a total of 62 children. In all, the Diocese has paid or promised to pay dozens of people $20 million since 1990.
Michael’s expertise and advocacy in the area of Childhood Sexual Abuse, is the reason he has been joined in the fight to seek justice for survivors by a leading North Bay Child Advocacy champion, former State Senator, Noreen M. Evans.
Michael also explains why he fights with such unbelievable passion and grace to get dignity and justice for “these little ones”, Jesus so aptly named.
You can reach Michael Fiumara @ Fiumara and Milligan PC, https://fiumara.com/santa-rosa/ and 707-571-8600