Arts feature

A film that dares to suggest that paedophile priests may be capable of holiness

Damian Thompson admires a Chilean film about paedophile priests which, unlike Spotlight, dares to explore social and psychological complexities

26 March 2016

9:00 AM

26 March 2016

9:00 AM

A feature film about priests who abuse children is being released on 25 March. Which happens to be Good Friday.

Geddit? The sacrifice of the innocents. A conspiracy of religious hierarchs. Hand-washing by the secular authorities. I’m sure I can think of some more analogies if you give me time, but that’s enough to be going on with. Enough, certainly, for the distributors to boast that the movie is ‘controversially slated to be released on Easter [sic] Good Friday’.

As publicity stunts go, this isn’t subtle. But the film is. The Club, directed by the Chilean Pablo Larraín, sets out to perplex us from the first frame until the last.

It’s one of the finest films I’ve seen for years: a masterpiece of ambiguity that dares to suggest that the abuse of children by priests, though always morally repugnant, is psychologically and socially complex. If it wasn’t, the Church would have found a way to extinguish this fire long ago. As it is, nothing seems to work.

The Club takes us to the ends of the earth: a desolate fishing village in Chile where four disgraced priests live in ‘a house of repentment’, as the subtitles put it, where both ‘self-flagellant activity’ and ‘self-inflicted pleasure’ are banned. They are watched over by Sister Monica (Antonia Zegers, the director’s wife), a youngish nun who is atoning for her own sins.

We see her kneeling, as if in prayer, then realise that she’s helping an old priest vacate his bowels. He can barely speak, presumably the victim of a stroke, but we can’t work out whether he’s senile or indeed guilty of anything: he just pitched up at the house decades earlier.

Arguably there was a time when these retreat houses served some sort of purpose. They don’t work now that people know about paedophile priests.

The household disintegrates in the first minutes of the film. A fifth priest called Father Garcia (Marcelo Alonso) arrives, pursued by a drifter called Sandokan (Roberto Farías) who stands outside the house and shouts details — more explicit than you can imagine, unless you have a truly filthy mind — of the sex acts this priest performed on him.

[Alt-Text]


Sandokan gets a job in the village and hooks up with a local woman who reels back in disgust when she realises that he wants her to do what Father Garcia once did to him. Because, despite everything, Sandokan loved his abuser.

The plot of The Club is nasty in places, but the people and the landscape are so corroded by the elements that the viewer just shrugs: the suicide of a priest is less shocking than the killing of two greyhounds.

And nothing we see is quite so unsettling as the possibility that the priests and their guardian are still capable of holiness. It would help if we knew exactly what they’d done, but they’re not saying and neither is Larraín.

This is where The Club is uncomfortably true to life and other films about sex abuse by priests aren’t. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t even nominated for a foreign-language Oscar while Best Picture went, absurdly, to Spotlight, based on the Boston Globe’s devastating exposure of the nurture of paedophiles by the city’s archdiocese.

That investigation was a fine piece of work. It deserved better than Spotlight’s awful screenplay, in which reporters spent most of their time running between libraries and lawyers’ offices, pausing only for ritual expressions of watercooler irony.

This was Hollywood’s first big film about the Catholic abuse crisis, yet it gave us no more than a glimpse of the perpetrators. Given that the latter have cost the US Church $3 billion and unpicked some of the oldest fabric of American society, you’d hope for at least one convincing portrayal of an abuser priest.

Has any English-language drama risen to that challenge? In Doubt (2008), Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Father Flynn, a twinkly-eyed school chaplain in the Bronx who is driven out by the ferocious headmistress, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep). It’s a clever film based on a stage play by the director, John Patrick Shanley. The year is 1964. The sporty, mischievous priest sniffs a wind of change in the Church and likes it; the battleaxe nun is stuck in the past. Yet she’s the one who rescues the boys whom Flynn gets drunk on altar wine before seducing them.

That’s not so much of a paradox as you might think. Some of the worst monsters uncovered by the Globe were ‘go-ahead’ clergy for whom ‘the spirit of Vatican II’ encompassed camping trips with pretty boys. That’s not a theme stressed by Spotlight, which never explains why the ultra-conservative Cardinal Law of Boston sheltered hippy villains. Nor is it acknowledged in documentaries such as HBO’s Mea Maxima Culpa, which wheels on left-wing commentators to settle scores with the conservative Vatican.

Doubt doesn’t fall into that trap. We know that Flynn’s relaxed gospel is tangled up with his malignant desires. But that is as far as we can get. The mask, if there is one, is never peeled back. The priest’s charm is impenetrable, even when he is telling Sister Aloysius how guilty and conflicted he feels.

That charm is the hallmark of the conveyor-belt abuser, and it will never be better portrayed than by the much-missed Hoffman. The problem is that not all priests or brothers accused of sexual wrongdoing fit into this mould.

I’ve never met a textbook paedophile like Father Flynn, though I don’t deny they exist. But I have met gay priests who were sex pests after a few drinks; priests who were removed from their parishes after historic complaints, then brought back with a clean bill of health but no-smoke-without-fire muttering in the pews; priests accused of crimes but neither tried nor rehabilitated; priests caught with huge stashes of gay porn who, if they hadn’t been leering over it, might have been abusing children.

Who is guilty of what? Even if we knew, the narratives are too messy to attract funding for a big-budget feature film. There are no Oscars in paedophile ‘grey areas’.

And that suits the Catholic Church. It’s tired of investigating borderline cases and so terrified of the media that innocent clergy falsely accused by compensation-hunters are left to swing in the wind. The hierarchy would rather deal with monsters, many of whom are conveniently dead.

Hence the Vatican’s endorsement of Spotlight: Catholics have been positively encouraged to go and see the film. But The Club has received no such imprimatur. Sex abuse in Chile is the last topic it wants discussed right now. Last year Pope Francis appointed Juan de la Cruz Barros, a bishop accused of the concealment of gruesome paedophile crimes, to the southern diocese of Osorno; he’s also set up a tribunal to look into episcopal cover-ups but inexplicably failed to appoint anyone to it. But, hey, he’s a ‘reforming’ pope with ‘enlightened’ views on climate change. So Hollywood will leave him alone.

The Club (18, key cities) is released on 25 March.

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Show comments
  • carl jacobs

    I suppose a paedophile priest could be capable of holiness. And I am sure there are many who would assist him in that endeavor. Just so long as he is imprisoned while he makes the effort. The capacity for holiness doesn’t preclude the necessity of prison.

    And let’s not forget that the “paedophile” crisis in the RCC was in fact primarily a crisis of homosexual priests seducing vulnerable post-pubescent teenage boys. There are lots of people who want to bury that fact.

    I’m not Catholic, btw.

    • pobjoy

      I’m not Catholic, btw.

      But you are possibly the nastiest liar on the internet, notwithstanding.

      • carl jacobs

        I fear this may be a mistake but … what are you talking about?

        • pobjoy

          You saying that a priest can be holy, when you know that a ‘priest’ is a fiery self-immolated idiot whose furious self-hatred will warm the hands of demons. From a very long distance.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh for crying out loud. The concept of holiness in my comment was an empty vessel into which you may pour whatever content you prefer. I intentionally left it undefined.

            When I read the story, I wondered to myself “Why isn’t this guy in prison?” Because – capacity for holiness or not – that is where an adult who has s*x with a pre-pubescent child should be remanded, and preferably until he dies. I don’t care about “exploring social and psychological complexities.” I do however despise the pusillanimous castrated judicial system of Europe. That was my point.

            I could (if I so desired) put myself on autopilot, and without even thinking about it write a brief dissertation on all the errors and heresies and idolatries of Rome. I have done it many times. But this isn’t the time or the place for that kind of discourse.

          • pobjoy

            an empty vessel

            Oh, hah. Nothing you write here is without an angle.

          • carl jacobs

            What I write is who I am. I deliberately leave my comments open so that people can read them. If you think I have some kind of “angle”, then you should state your accusation openly. And then you should prove it.

    • pobjoy

      The crisis was not not to do with that. The crisis was that criminal acts on every continent went unreported to police by the Vatican and its senior agents, and criminals were even re-deployed. The UN wrote to the Vatican several months ago on this issue, and, afaik, has received no reply.

      • carl jacobs

        What was the RCC covering up? Homosexual priests seducing post-pubescent teenage boys. If there hadn’t been all those homosexual priests seducing vulnerable post-pubescent teenage boys, then the RCC wouldn’t have had anything to cover up. The propensity of the RCC to sweep scandal under the rug for the good of the church’s reputation would have remained unexposed. But this particular crisis would not have happened.

        There are many people who don’t want that truth mentioned because they want a) homosexuality isolated from the crisis and b) the entire sorry episode blamed on repressive RC sexual mores so the RCC can get on with justifying the sexual revolution. The true story doesn’t fit the desired narrative, so the true story gets altered to reflect the desired narrative. Hooray for post-modernism where truth is exactly what you want it to be.

  • Old Fox

    If paedophilia is regarded as an affliction and is recognised as such by the paedophile in question and strictly controlled, then other aspects of his (it’s usually “his”) personality can be considered. The danger with this sort of moral subtlety is that perfectly ordinary human attributes of kindness to strangers or animals are put into the balance against the perversion and torture of children. Whatever the impulses behind it, paedophilia involves acts which cannot be seen as anything other than brutal and damaging, surely? Those, therefore, who engage in it must be brutes; unless we say that the whole mind is so unbalanced by desire that they are not responsible for their actions – in which case, what of rape?

  • SunnyD

    Ask Father Todd Unctious

    • SunnyD

      or is it Cuntious?

  • Mike

    how many girls vs boys were abused? it always sounds like it was by far mostly boys and pre-teen ones.

    • Lepanto

      According to the (independent) Jay Institute report, it was almost all males and the great majority of these males were post-pubescent.

      • Mike

        that’s bc the abusers were probably mostly homosexual men. the liberal era brought this filth into the church it sounds like.

      • aspeckofboggart

        “majority…….were post-pubescent.”
        So that’s not that bad then.

        • JabbaPapa

          Of course it jolly well is — he’s pointing out what the nature of the crimes actually was, i.e. “Man-Boy Love” homosexuality.

          • aspeckofboggart

            That’s not what he wrote.

          • Lepanto

            Most of the offences in the US would be legal today in the UK. Make of that what you wish.

  • http://www.capaxdei-pax.com Ruah @ John 13:35

    Weren’t some of the greatest sinners eventually saints? I think of Augustine off hand- and the prostitutes and tax collectors o Jesus consorted with. Our faith teaches us that even those who have done great evil can, through God’s love and grace, be redeemed if they recognize their sin and fully repent (a repentance which I suggest should always include appropriate incarceration). It’s that mortal sin/reconciliation thing,yes? Some of the most compassionate and wise folks I have ever met have discovered to their horror and shame the evil of which they are capable- and thru repentance have become amazingly holy and humble people.

    • pobjoy

      Weren’t some of the greatest sinners eventually saints?

      It is not possible to prove that anyone was, or is, a saint; the apostle wrote that he did not even adjudge himself, but waited for divine judgement; so one cannot reckon to asssess anyone else, as far as holiness goes. Though one can say that those one knows to know the truth, but reject it, and die in that condition, will suffer in Hades for it. The only other thing that can be assessed is whether a person’s behaviour brings Christ into disrepute.The prostitutes etc. with whom Jesus associated were not acceptable if they failed to fully change their ways.Those who returned to evil were excluded from the church; not sent on ‘retreats’ or other supposed penances or improvements.

      This is one reason (out of very many) why the Vatican’s cult cannot possibly be thought of as Christian, because its leaders have been egregiously evil, and in every generation; it has fully fulfilled Peter’s prophecy of false teachers bringing Christ into disrepute (2 Pe 2: 1-3). Some Catholics, unaware of this record, have left the RCC immediately on learning of it. No Catholic who is fully appraised of Catholic history can be saved, and no knowledgeable person who accounts the Vatican as other than antichrist can be saved. There will be very many who will suffer on account of the Vatican; and on account of the media of today.

      • http://www.capaxdei-pax.com Ruah @ John 13:35

        Although we disagree about the Catholic Church, I can feel how deeply you care about Jesus and how much your heart aches for those you believe are following the devil. I imagine you pray for all of us who you say are not saved- and I am grateful for that– for all and any prayers that would ask I find Jesus ever more fully at the heart of my life. You wouldn’t spend the time to write this if you did not care deeply- and I appreciate that very much.
        May we both grow in Christ. Lord save us and guide us home. May we live from Your love and Your truth.
        Blessings upon you on the Holy Thursday pobjoy. We are approaching Easter- hallelujah!!!!

        • pobjoy

          Full of demons.

      • aspeckofboggart

        Hahaha!

        • pobjoy

          … and another.

      • JabbaPapa

        the Vatican’s cult cannot possibly be thought of as Christian, because its leaders have been egregiously evil, and in every generation

        bla-bla-bla-bla-pobjoy’s usual tedious anti-Catholic sectarian ranting-bla-bla-bla-bla

        HOW many times must it be pointed out to you that it’s a complete load of steaming old bollocks ?

        (DT meanwhile up to his usual muckraking “journalism”)

        • EmpressJadis

          “No Catholic who is fully appraised of Catholic history can be saved”. Well – I’m not fully up to scratch on Jansenism or the False Synod of Pistoia, so perhaps I am #slightlysavd

  • Numpty McTumshie

    Damian, how about an article how you as boss of the Catholic Herald group are offloading the 130-year-old Scottish Catholic Observer after a bust up with the Pope-Nat Scottish Bishops? The Speccy is pretty quiet about the whole business. You are looking for the best part of half a million for a title that’s hardly shifting the copies much any more. Looking to close it rather than sell?

    • EmpressJadis

      Is that not the publication that lets Lofty rant away at the pigeons?

  • Zalacain

    The writer of this piece seems to have completely misunderstood the film “Doubt”. One of the main points, is that Father Flynn’s paedophilia leads Sister Aloysius to doubt the existence of a God. He is stuck in the past, she represents the future.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    “It’s one of the finest films I’ve seen for years: a masterpiece of ambiguity that dares to suggest that the abuse of children by priests, though always morally repugnant, is psychologically and socially complex. If it wasn’t, the Church would have found a way to extinguish this fire long ago.”

    Why would the Marxist co-opted Vatican sabotage its pedophile operation, the purpose of the operation to destroy the Catholic Church, and soon bring about a fake schism. What was so difficult in informing a pedophile priest’s new assignment administrator to not allow the priest to be alone with children? Well that would have put the plug in the priest’s pedophile activities, drastically reducing the number of Catholic children molested.

    With the election of Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti as Pope in 1846 (taking the name Pope Pius IX), the Vatican was co-opted at the top position by what would soon become known as Marxists…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_IX

    …hence the embarrassing edicts on the (1) Immaculate Conception (1854)…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception

    …and (2) Papal Infallibility (1870)…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

    …both edicts placing their respective subjects on an even level with God’s omniscience! In fact in 1858, just four-years after Pope Pius IX declared Mary to be without sin, Mary took time out from her busy schedule and came down to Earth, informing Bernadette Soubirous…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernadette_Soubirous

    …that she, Mary, was indeed the Immaculate Conception, born without sin! What marvelous timing, huh!

    Then in 1917 the Marxist government in Portugal, in co-operation with the Vatican, gave us the next fake Marian apparition where Mary tells ten-year-old Lúcia Santos that if everyone prays to her, Mary, then there won’t be an even more terrible war in the future…

    “The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_F%C3%A1tima

    Anyone catch it? God isn’t omniscient in this Marxist drama, because Mary says there might be another war! That’s what happens when you leave it up to Marxists to write these scripts, they naturally get it all wrong due to their ignorance of theology, and in this instance God’s omniscience!*

    Mary continues, “To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

    See where Mary says, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted…”

    In other words, Mary is telling us there’s no need to wage war against the USSR because the Marxists who control the USSR will magically convert to Russian Orthodoxy! Cleaver, huh? And what happened on December 26, 1991? Marxist Mary was right! Bolshevism collapsed, and Marxists magically became Christians!

    The failed socialist inspired and controlled pan-European revolutions that swept the continent in 1848 taught Marxists and socialists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly, so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties/institutions…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/now-you-see-me-now-you-don-t

    The Vatican’s co-option took place two years earlier. That’s why not one political party in the West requested verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the ‘alternative’ media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    The fraudulent ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Marxists, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

    It gets worse–the ‘freed’ Soviets and West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested/de-mobilized the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior and police control the populations of the larger cities during the period of ‘Perestroika’ (1986-1991)!

    There can be no collapse of the USSR (or East Bloc nations) without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-mobilization.

    The West never verified the collapse of the USSR because no collapse occurred, since if a real collapse had occurred the West would have verified it, since the survival of the West depends on verification. Conversely, this proves that the political parties of the West were co-opted by Marxists long before the fraudulent collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depends on verification.

    The above means that the so-called ‘War on Terror’ is an operation being carried out by the Marxist co-opted governments of the West in alliance with the USSR and other Communist nations, the purpose being to (1) destroy the prominence of the West in the eyes of the world, where the West is seen (i) invading nations without cause; (ii) causing chaos around the globe; and (iii) killing over one-million civilians and boasting of torture; (2) close off non-Russian supplies of oil for export, thereby increasing the price of oil, the higher price allowing oil exporting Russia to maintain economic stability while she modernizes and increases her military forces; (3) destroy the United States Armed Forces via the never-ending “War on Terror”; the ultimate purpose of the aforementioned to (4) bring about the demise of the United States in the world, opening up a political void to be filled by a new pan-national entity composed of Europe and Russia (replacing the European Union), a union “From the Atlantic to Vladivostok”; which will (5) see the end of NATO.

    The following is a discovery I made in April 2015 regarding the fake collapse of the USSR, and what that fraudulent collapse proves about the institutions of the West…

    When Soviet citizens were liberated from up to 74 years of horrific Marxist-atheist oppression on December 26, 1991 there were ZERO celebrations throughout the USSR, proving (1) the ‘collapse’ of the USSR is a strategic ruse; and (2) the political parties of the West were already co-opted by Marxists, otherwise the USSR (and East Bloc nations) couldn’t have gotten away with the ruse.

    ZERO celebrations, as the The Atlantic article inadvertently informs us…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/12/20-years-since-the-fall-of-the-soviet-union/100214/

    Notice, however, the Kremlin staged anti-government demonstrations that took place in Russia (and other Soviet republics) in the years immediately preceding the ‘collapse’, yet ZERO celebrations after the ‘collapse’!

    For more on this discovery see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

    Schism within the Catholic Church…

    Marxists have planned schism for the Catholic Church. When schism does arrive for the Catholic Church, Marxists will naturally control both opposing entities. Marxists call this tactic of using false opposites the “scissors strategy”, in which the blades represent the two falsely opposed sides that converge on the confused victims, neutralizing true opposition. Now you also know what the pedophilia scandal within the Catholic Church is all about–a Marxist operation to weaken the moral foundation of the Catholic Church, thereby lessening its numbers and inevitably its influence.

    By the way, when did the Vatican alert the world that the ‘collapse’ of the USSR (and East Bloc nations) is a fraud?! And when did the ‘liberated’ Russians throw out the KGB agent Quislings placed within the Russian Orthodox Church before the ‘collapse’ of the USSR! In fact, all religious denominations behind the Iron Curtain were so co-opted by Marxists, but those Marxist agents still control those religious denominations…

    http://sofiaecho.com/2012/01/17/1747052_eleven-out-of-15-members-of-bulgarian-orthodox-churchs-holy-synod-worked-for-communist-state-security

    http://www.novinite.com/articles/135799/Bulgaria%27s+High+Clergy+Infected+with+Ex-Communist+Spies

    For more on the general subject of Marxist co-option, see my blog…

    https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home

    ————————————

    * Marxists count on a non-thinking faithful, where even blatant lies are eaten up with relish by the faithful.

    Since 1981 there’s been an ongoing Marxist Marian apparition taking place in Međugorje, Yugoslavia (yes, I meant Yugoslavia). The scam is quite a money-maker for the Communists, it being estimated that 30 million pilgrims have come to Medjugorje since the reputed apparitions began in 1981…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2252122/Virgin-Mary-sightings-Are-Bosnians-hoaxers-living-saints.html

    I love the fake photo of the six “visionaries” posing as thought they’re looking up at Mary(!)

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/12/22/article-2252122-169F56BF000005DC-511_634x423.jpg

    The small boy, however, doesn’t seem to be interested with what Mary is telling them!

    • JabbaPapa

      Bloody loony

      • Sanctimony

        Christ…. not you again !

      • Sanctimony

        Takes one to recognize one….

      • JabbaPapa

        Comment by Sanctimony blocked.

        Comment by Sanctimony blocked.

        Still can’t hear you, troll.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    Damian Thompson are you still going? How’s the custard creams & rich tea biscuits ? Still not married then , I mean to a woman.
    Sorry I cant say I miss you on the Daily Shariagraph where you allowed all the decent posters to be banned by Kate Day.

    • Sanctimony

      Well, well… a rave from the grave… and a fellow exile from the Torygraph… who on earth is Kate Day? I would love to establish the identity of the instrument of my exile…

      Hoping that you might agree to a temporary truce or amnesty could you please advise me of anything you might know about the identity of Woman in White or JabbaPappa… They are one and the same and both are ferociously opinionated and didactic and have an opinion on just about everything they pontificate upon…

      I have no idea of their gender or circumstances, other than that they have experienced Marian visions and spend much time on their knees, crawling to sites of apocryphal Catholic miracles…

      • mahatmacoatmabag

        Happy Easter Sanctimony , I have no idea who Jabba Pappa is but I think he used to post on the Shariagraph on Thompsons blog but I have not heard of the ID Woman in White at all.

        Kate Day was the Telegraph’s Social Media and Engagement Editor , a militant man hating feminist / LGBT activist & was dismissed for manipulating the moderation system and using a number of identities including Fabian Solutions back when Thompson was comments editor. An unusually large number of posters were banned when she was active using the Fabian Solutions ID to post militant Atheist, pro-Labour , pro-EU, pro-multicultural, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel & pro-LGBT propaganda, anybody who posted a comment disagreeing with her usually got deleted straight away & a large number of ID’s were culled every time she was active .

        She has since had her Fabian Solutions ID banned but has been outed using other ID’s from time to time including her current one ‘girl power’ , fortunately she no longer has the power to ban readers ID’s although she is probably using multiple ID’s to flag readers comments in order to get them deleted.

        It was posted a number of times that Thompson & others at the DT let her get away with manipulating the comments section & banning readers for quite some time, I cant say how accurate that is except my own experience in having ID’s banned three times after an exchange of posts with her Fabian ID.

        The DT BTW has announced the following :

        “We will soon be migrating all sections to a new online platform. As such, commenting will be unavailable until further notice. You can, however, continue to comment on and share any articles through our Telegraph Facebook pages, or via Twitter, in the usual way. ”
        So I expect my days of commenting on the DT are numbered as I neither use Facebook or Twitter on the plus side I haven’t seen Phil or Dax on there for years although MickyRoss turns up occasionally . Take care sunshine & I hope you will be voting for Brexit on 23rd June

        • http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.com/ ecclesiam

          Hullo, Mahatma. Kate Day is still around on Twitter, and now has a job which involves spending a lot of time in Brussels (yes, I know). I suspect that it wasn’t she who did the banning, but the semi-intelligent muddlerators (or Kandy men).

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            Greetings eccles & a happy Easter to you and family . Unfortunately Fabs is still around on the DT using a number of ID’s . Just mentioning her as well as replying to one of her posts can result in getting a comment deleted on the DT as happened to my ID on there just recently in a reply to another poster.
            ************

            The real EU flag > wayneandwaynetta • 20 hours ago

            Removed

            I have had lots of brushes with girlpower / fabs on here, I usually ask her if she enjoyed her summer vacation digging tunnels for Hamas in Gaza and my comments get removed

          • EmpressJadis

            Gosh – a hair salon re-union. I always thought Fabian was a clever spoof, she was so dire – but that’s before her pals from Maomentum proved that there are no depths of ignorance too great for Sparts to plumb

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            Hi Jadis, happy Easter to you & family. Long time no see, I am still posting on the DT as the real EU flag & Tom Phillips garden gnome & elsewhere as the Mahatma , Tom Philips & the real flag of Palestine. Here is where I usually post , not all websites use Disqus :

            1) http://www.thewhatandthewhy.co

            2) http://www.jpost.com/

            3) http://www.breitbart.com/londo

            4) http://www.spectator.co.uk/

            5) http://www.anorak.co.uk/

            6) http://www.foxnews.com/

          • EmpressJadis

            Oh lovely. I have been rather busy recently, but will drop in and annoy the muddleraters over Easter. Hope you are having a nice break. Have you heard of a chap called Leon Wolfson who is winding people up in a not very nice way in various publications?

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            Yes its a multi-ID anti-Semitic troll also posting as baruchfinkelstein, george schwartz & israel-goldberg . It uses all 4 on the DT

          • EmpressJadis

            Oh – Leon is the at the subtle end of his sockname spectrum, then

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            All his ID’s use a Jewish sounding name to fool the casual reader as to his agenda which is not always revealed in his initial comments on an article

          • EmpressJadis

            Hmm. Wonder if he is a regular, or a career-anti-semite

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            Its possible that his original ID was James Nash an anti-Semite ID that was banned on the DT back in Damian Thompsons time & then went
            ” underground ” using a series of false ID’s .

            Anyway its now 12:20 pm by me so I bid you good night, hope to see you around on the net more often.

          • JabbaPapa

            I confronted an atheist yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain why there is something rather than nothing. She said “Nothing to do with me”. A mealy mouthed reply.

        • RuariJM

          So – SHE was Fabian Solutions?

          A very annoying individual.

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            Happy Easter to you & family RuariJM. As far as I know from reading other readers posts on the DT Kate Day was Fabian Solutions , the ID vanished after she was fired from the DT but she is still posting on there using a number of ID’s including ‘girl power’ at present.

          • RuariJM

            Best wishes to you and yours as well, Mahatma!

          • JabbaPapa

            So DT employees were/are actively trolling DT comboxes using sockpuppets ?

            Despicable.

        • Sanctimony

          Thank you, Mahatma… I never suspected that of Fabian Solutions… well, well…

          I will most certainly be voting for Brexit but have a horrible, spine-tingling terror that there are too many apathetic or dyed-in-the wool, crusty old Tory farts who will bend the knee to Cameron along with those sycophantic, timeserving lickspittle members of his cabinet who are only interested in covering their own backsides…

          Happy Easter or Passover or whatever it is that you guys do…

          • mahatmacoatmabag

            In my family its Passover but I have both nominal Anglicans & Catholics in my extended family.

          • EmpressJadis

            I don’t think Cameron has many fans among the crusties in the local Conservative associations. More worried about corruption in postal votes arena.

          • Sanctimony

            I believe Labour are the past masters in postal vote corruption…

        • JabbaPapa

          Happy Easter Sanctimony , I have no idea who Jabba Pappa is but I think he used to post on the Shariagraph on Thompsons blog but I have not heard of the ID Woman in White at all.

          The ghastly stalking troll continues his moronic campaign of hate mail …

          Meanwhile, at my end : Comment by Sanctimony blocked. ; Comment by Sanctimony blocked. ; Comment by Sanctimony blocked. ; Comment by Sanctimony blocked. ; Comment by Sanctimony blocked.

          Qui vis pacem para bellum

          Happy Easter anyway, mahatma !!

          • Sanctimony

            Virgil had you beautifully and succinctly summed up, you ghastly old baggage!

            Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas…

  • Sanctimony

    The Blessed Damian Thompson has been remarkably quiet of late … perhaps he has been researching or editing his sequel to The Fix and we will soon be inundated with plugs for his new tour de force….

    Let’s hope he has an energy surge before too long …

  • JS

    – “I am told God lives in me, and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    • justejudexultionis

      Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a fraud and a hypocrite.

      • Sanctimony

        In fairness to the old bat, she freely admitted to both accusations… but the Catholic Church needs the occasional candidate for canonisation and she was championed by ghastly old frauds and windbags, like Muggeridge and Longford….

        Christopher Hitchens had the measure of her, as well as debunking and exposing the phony miracle that some squaw had posited as the cure of her stomach ache…

        Rather like the case for the canonization of Cardinal Newman… his obligatory miracle is some Catholic cleric whom the Boston diocese claimed cured his backache…. I thought that most cases of backache in the Catholic clergy of Massachusetts could be laid at the door of their violent sodomitic practices with pale young boys…

  • Sargon the bone crusher

    Personal perceptions of sexuality seem to be a kind of mental ‘island’, as is music. Prima facie then, the pedophile may be able to know – or think he or she knows – God.
    That would not stop me from cutting their reproductive parts off and putting them somewhere unmentionable if they assaulted any of my family.
    They can be as holy as they wish, but they would come to regret their actions if they harmed mine.
    Portsmouth Paediatricians need have no fear from me, however.
    Unlike the flatheads who live in that briney squalor, I do know the difference!

  • http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.com/ ecclesiam

    Hmm, any other good films on this Easter? Star Wars 8 (“The Force makes itself a cup of coffee”) or The Hobbit 4 (in which Peter Jackson dramatises the 2 blank pages at the back of the book, together with the advert for bile beans)? This one doesn’t look like good family entertainment.

  • MenAreLikeWine

    The thing about Doubt is that Father Flynn is both innocent and guilty. He both abuses and is falsely accused. The focal point of the story is the doubt.

  • Zalacain

    The Catholic church clearly creates an environment that makes paedophilia more likely. The Orthodox church obliges its priests to be married, making them much less likely to be paedophiles.

  • ChiGal

    Interesting article (although I remain unconvinced that child molesters are capable of holiness — regret, yes; but holiness, eh, probably not) except one inaccuracy: Bernard Law was in no way an ultra-conservative. Far from it, he was quite active in social justice causes. Which might explain why the media elite ignored the story for so long. As for the play “Doubt,” I never could quite take to it. It seemed to self-satisfied and manipulative to me. The boy’s mother especially was particularly unconvincing.

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