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Virginia Saldanha: Bombay Bishop Fathers Child by Nun – By Michael Prabhu

Taken from mumbailaity.wordpress.com/…/virginia-saldan…

Virginia Saldanha: Bombay Bishop Fathers Child by Nun – By Michael Prabhu

Posted on March 20, 2012 by The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity
Dear Mumbai Laitytude/Association of Concerned Catholics of the Archdiocese ofBombay,
As you can see from records that I have reproduced CHRONOLOGICALLY below, your article ofMarch 9, 2012under the caption
“Gender sensitivity grows in Church- Then why is the Bishops name not being revealed”
is at least the FIFTH TIME [see serial no {5}] that the article by Virginia Saldanha has been published in the Catholic media inIndia over the past 21 months.
I second the question that you asked which is “If Virginia thinks so strongly about women why is she not revealing the name of the bishop who according to her fathered the child?
I also agree with you when you say, “Some persons use information in their possession for their personal gain and glory. Let’s hope that the name of the Bishop is revealed so that this statement is proved wrong.”
From the extensive research I have been doing on Ms. Saldanha, a “theologian” who has served in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) and in the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) in prominent positions for many years, I imagine that she would not be lying in so grave a matter which concerns the immoral acts of a bishop of her archdiocese and a nun who had to leave her congregation and become a cook after he impregnated and discarded her. There are a number of issues involved including that of abuse of clerical office/authority and of suppression of truth, leave alone the problem of the abuse of women and women’s rights.
Since the story is now around two years older than the “10-12 years ago” conversation of Ms. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala – also a supposed theologian — who is stated to have reported it to Ms. Saldanha, the guilty bishop might have retired or worse, become an archbishop or a cardinal by now.
If Ms. Saldanha’s allegation is true, it appears to me that there are grounds for a criminal investigation to uncover the identity of this bishop and bring him to justice while at the same time assuring justice to the victimised ex-nun.
If Ms. Saldanha cannot substantiate her allegation, then she is guilty of slander and bringing disrepute to the Church. Either way, Mumbai-ites must ensure that they get to the bottom of this. The longer this allegation remains unverified, even innocent bishops will be viewed with suspicion and distrust.
1) The ex-nun revealed her shame and ignominy to Gajiwala — who also militates for women’s empowerment and against gender violence — only so that the guilty may be brought to book. Instead Gajiwala has used that knowledge to their advantage, ensuring that Ms. Saldanha reported it to support their contention that there is gender violence in the Indian church.
Virginia Saldanha and Astrid Lobo Gajiwala are vocal on issues of women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality, which ultimately converge in their demand for the ordination of women as priests. See THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15 – PRIESTHOOD UNDER ATTACK, DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS – FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_B…
Do they refrain from confronting/exposing the bishop in question because they know that the bishops can make their lives miserable as they do some priests and lay persons who have stood up to them?
Or do they wield this secret knowledge like a Damocles’ sword hanging over the Church to extend the reach of their radical feminism through their influential positions?
It must be noted that Ms. Gajiwala — [read her blogs!]– is now on the editorial board of The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly ofBombaysince November 2011!!! The two women – and several other feminist nuns — are contributors to the New Leader,March 1-15, 2012and The Examiner,March 3, 2012.
2) As my records below show, though yours is the fifth internet forum that has carried Ms. Saldanha’s article in the past one-and-a-half years, few Catholic voices have demanded that an inquiry be instituted. Fewer still have seen through the feminist agenda of these lay women “theologians”.
3) The Archdiocese of Bombayis indisputably the largest propagator of institutionalised New Age [Interplay, vipassana meditation, yoga, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Christian Meditation (the WCCM and KRIPA ), to name some] and other error [the "Catholic" Alpha Course, etc.] among the around 170 dioceses in this nation. Learned “theologians” like Astrid Lobo Gajiwala and Virginia Saldanha have never questioned those in authority responsible for these errors. If they did, they would lose the platforms from which they are currently able to promote their feminist agendas. Or, it is just possible that they do not protest because they too subscribe to the New Age ideologies of these practices?
A. At regular intervals, this ministry receives information concerning the moral escapades and financial mismanagement of prelates, with requests that this ministry report on them.
However, this ministry as a rule restricts itself to reporting what is already in the public domain and then too in exceptional cases, and also only in instances of liturgical abuse, Hinduisation as opposed to inculturation, doctrinal error, New Age error, and the like.
So why the exception in making and publishing the report “Bombay Bishop Fathers Child by Nun”?
The report was in the public domain not once but five times [at least]; the original report was made by Virginia Saldanha, a former high-ranking executive of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, who “studied theology” in a Catholic seminary and lectures to Cardinals and bishops in India and overseas; and because as the source of her information she cites Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, who herself “studied theology” in the same Catholic seminary, also lectures on feminist issues to Church leaders, and is on the editorial board of The Examiner, the Bombay archdiocesan weekly.
Their having been in close proximity to the bishops of their archdiocese for about three decades, their report cannot be taken lightly or be dismissed as frivolous.

Michael Prabhu from Chennai is one of the few catholic apologist’s who writes on various catholic issues in India.He has his own web www.ephesians-511.net on which he has written a number of articles on certain practices which are going on in the catholic church.His knowledge on those subjects is deep and profound.Readers are requested to visit his blog.Michael Prabhu’s email id is michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
{1} www.ucanews.com/…/women-are-also-…
Women are also victims of clergy sex abuse
UCANEWS.com UCA News June 18, 2010
The issue of sexual abuse of women in the Church inAsiahas been simmering beneath the surface for a long time. It is not a new issue. It has just never made the news before. But that must now be rectified.
Over the years I have become acutely aware that the problem is widespread. Many victims are crying out for justice, healing and support. But too often those cries for help are silent, made by the women victims to themselves alone.
That must stop.
For the women who have approached me already and for those I am yet to hear from, my pledge is simple. I will reach out to you with hope of justice and the path to recovery and peace.
No shortage of evidence
There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence of the scale of the problem which in some cases dates back many years.
Astrid Lobo-Gajiwala, a prominent leader in the women’s movement in the Church recently shared this story with me:
“I had gone for a family camp organized by Church personnel about 10-12 years ago. I wandered into the kitchen to meet the helpers and got into conversation with the cook.
When she came to know who I was she told me her story. She was a former nun who was forced to leave because she became pregnant. She was very, very bitter.
She said she had been working for a bishop and he was the father of her child, a boy, who was being looked after by a church run orphanage. The bishop continued in his position as shepherd of the flock.”
Brief public appearances

Occasionally the issue becomes public – at least briefly – before retreating beneath the surface again.
The first study of the problem was in 2000 when the Women and Gender Commission of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (www.amrsp.org) did research on the sexual abuse of women in the Church. They presented their partial findings to the Catholic Bishops.
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
In 2003 the CBCP came up with “Pastoral Guidelines on Sexual Abuses and Misconduct by the Clergy.” The final document was signed by Archbishop Quevedo, then president of CBCP onSeptember 1, 2003.
At that time I was Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India’s Commission for Women (www.cbcisite.com/Women%20Commission.htm) as well as the Executive Secretary of the Women’s Desk in the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences Office of Laity & Family.
Spurred on by thePhilippinessurvey, I began to investigate the issue inIndia. I found Indian sisters shy about talking about it so I approached a Mother General fromSwitzerland. She confirmed that it was an issue, but that congregations were asked to deal with the issue “in house”.
The drawback of this approach was that only the Religious sister concerned was “dealt with”, rather than the problem itself.
Prepared to speak out
Some sisters were prepared to speak out, although few appeared to hear them. When 26 Indian women theologians met inBangalorein 2002, they issued a statement saying:
“We raise our voice of concern and protest against the individual clerical abuse of women.
“We decry Institutional injustice to women that strips them of dignity and renders them powerless.”
But progress in addressing the problem was slow and frustrating. I worked with the then Executive Secretary of the Commission of Clergy and a woman theologian to produce a syllabus on sexuality, to be used in the training of seminarians.
It was rejected.
I feel the response to the issue was a questioning of the links between the women theologians’ group and the CBCI Commission for Women. They were subsequently de-linked in 2003.
Once again, the problem slipped back beneath the surface. But women’s voices could not be fully silenced and we continued to hear stories and the cries for help.
At a seminar for Religious, some years ago, I sat with a group of sisters to talk about the impact of patriarchy on women in the Church. One sister spoke about her experience as a nurse being summoned by the priest in the mission area as he was sick. When she was attending to him, he pulled her down on top of himself.
An elderly sister sitting by my side said to me: “Virginia, this is a big problem, something must be done about it!”
I agreed, but where to start? For a long time I was not able to do anything except raise the issue at various talks and discussions in the Church.
Hopeful signs
However, there were some hopeful signs that some men in the Church were prepared to address the problem. Calcutta Jesuit Provincial Father George Pattery, for example, raised it when talking to ucanews.com at the February 2006 General Body meeting of the Conference of Religious of India.
“The tendency is to silence the victims whenever complaints of sexual abuse are made. From now on, we will work to formulate a policy that will ensure justice for all within the Church.”
Montfort Brother Mani Mekkunnel*, national secretary of the Conference of Religious India (www.cridelhi.org/home.htm), a strong defender of women’s rights in the Church, also spoke of the need to chart a policy on sexual abuse of Religious within the Church. *a supporter of the feminist agenda; see CRI {2}
But the momentum only really began to gather over the past year or so. With the avalanche of child sex abuse cases in the Church coming to light in different parts of the world, women began asking, “what about the sexual abuse of women which is also a violation of women’s dignity, abuse of priestly position, and violation of the vow of celibacy?”
Sexual misbehavior
More women began to approach me personally.
In February this year, a Religious sister from Asialiving in the UKcontacted me because she had suffered from the sexual misbehavior of an Indian priest while he was in the UK.
He even boasted to her about his other sexual escapades!
Since then, I have been accompanying and supporting this brave and tenacious woman on her journey to bring justice and healing to herself and other victims of this priest.
As she has pursued her case of sexual harassment, she has found that the priest’s boasts were far from idle. Reports to the authorities came to light from when he worked inIndiaof his sexual misbehavior with many women, included sending inappropriate emails, betraying their trust and physical abuse.
In May this year I met with another victim of sexual abuse by a priest. She said that she had emotional problems and went to retreats organized by the priest, looking for counseling and healing. She was convinced by the priest that healing came from God in the form of his “loving touch”, which developed into a sexual relationship.
She later discovered that he had relationships with other women who also came to his retreats for counseling.
Time for action
More cases came to light during the East Asia Bishops’ Institute on Women (www.fabc.org/…/Final%20St_EA_B…) inTaiwan in May this year, where the issue of violence to women in society and in the Church was brought up.
A participant from Taiwan shared tearfully her own experience of sexual abuse by a priest while Sprout women’s group in Taiwan said that they have helped with a case of sexual abuse in the Church and developed a course for sexual harassment prevention in all the dioceses of Taiwan.
But the time for talk is over. We in the Church need to address this problem urgently.
First we need to acknowledge a problem exists. Then we need a survey to quantify the scale of the problem and then we need action – to bring justice and healing in existing cases and to do our best through education and policy to address this issue in future.
But most of all we must ensure that no more are women left to cry for help and not be heard. END
By Virginia Saldanha, former executive secretary of the FABC Office of Laity and Family. She can be contacted on womynvs@gmail.com and would like to hear, in absolute confidence, from any women who have suffered from sexual abuse in the Church.
NOTE: Out of 28 comments, 27 encouraged Virginia Saldanha, including the following from UCAN itself!
My name is Paddy and I work on the editorial team at ucanews.com. If you need to get in touch with Virginia, you can email me at gloria.tvpaddy@ucanews.com and I will make absolutely sure your message reaches her.
NOTE: Only one anonymous respondent saw through the subterfuge. He wrote:

§ The author’s email ID reveals more about the author than what is written here. “womynvs” evidently refers to “womyn” followed by the author’s initials. For the uninformed, the word “womyn is tied to the concept of radical feminism, the kind which will not tolerate the spelling “woman” because it has “man” in it. The earliest use of the term “womyn”, according to the Wikipedia essay, is attested in the Oxford English Dictionary as being the name of a 1975 “womyn’s festival” mentioned in a lesbian publication. It is absolutely essential to discern the rising strains of militant feminism within the Church from the real sociological/gender issues. Bishops beware! By “Guest”.
{2} www.religiousindia.org/…/women-are-also-…
Women are also victims of clergy sex abuse
Conference of Religious India [CRI] Bulletin, June 23, 2010
Virginia Saldanha, the former executive secretary of the FABC Office of Laity and Family, raises concern over the issue of sexual abuse of women in the Church in Asia.

{As in {1} above}
{3} ecclesiaofwomen.ning.com/…/women-are-also-…
Forum of Asian Catholic Women Theologians
Women are also victims of clergy sex abuse!

Posted by Virginia Saldanha on June 29, 2010 at 4:28pm in General Discussion
{As in {1} above}
{4} MangaloreanCatholics yahoo group digest no. 2060 July 8, 2010 [Owner/moderator Ancy D’Souza Paladka a.k.a. Salu Soz, a supporter and promoter of liberal issues]
19. Women are also victims of clergy sex abuse says Virginia Saldanha
Posted by: “Allwyn Fernandes” gloria.tvMangaloreanCatholics@gmail.com Wed Jul 7, 201010:48 pm (PDT)
Virginia Saldanha speaks up at last, says “Women are also victims of clergy sex abuse”.
{As in {1} above}
When people like Virginia Saldanha speak up, you know the wind has turned!!!
Better late than never, but better never late! It takes greater courage to speak truth to authority when authority is powerful. Now the bishops have been weakened considerably and people are developing the courage to speak up. But still, I am glad that Virginia has decided to speak up – she did not even reply to my email earlier giving her a specific case. Now she wants people to come forward and confide in her. By all means, Virginia, we will because, as you say, “That must stop.” Amen to that!
Bishops had better beware – nothing like women roused to anger. You have treated the complaints of victims shabbily for far too long. Allwyn Fernandes, Mumbai
{5} Your site, The Association of Concerned Catholics, mumbailaity.wordpress.com:

Posted on March 9, 2012
The below mentioned article {Gender sensitivity grows in Church Ashley D’Mello TNN} [not reproduced here- Michael] appeared in the Times of India issue ofMarch 9th 2012.
The article under it* is taken from the blog of Virginia [Saldanha].The link to the said article is also given.
If Virgina thinks so strongly about women why is she not revealing the name of the bishop who according to her fathered the child?
Some persons use information in their possession for their personal gain and glory. Lets hope that the name of the Bishop is revealed so that this statement is proved wrong.
Link to check authenticity: Women are also victims of clergy sex abuse!:
*{As in {1} above}
NOTE: Separate articles on Feminist Theologians to be released shortly at www.ephesians-511.net:
1. Virginia Saldanha and Ecclesia of Women in Asia: Vaginas, Orgasms, and the Ordination of Women as Priests
2. Astrid Lobo Gajiwala: Feminist Theology, Interreligious Dialogue, Hinduisation, and the Ordination of Women as Priests
3. The Indian Church’s leading Feminist Theologians and their supporters among the religious and priests.


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