Catholic Orders that Help the Poor

April 15, 2015

Community of Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal

*Convent of San Damiano-718-829-9466

1661 Haight Avenue

Bronx, NY. 10461

*Our Lady of Guadalupe Convent-718-547-9840

3537 Bainbridge Avenue

Bronx, NY. 10467

*Mission of Our Lady of Angels

3808 West Iowa

Chicago, Illinois 60651



April 11, 2015

In light of this latest revelation about Cardinal Danneels, I am republishing my article on Cardinal Danneels.

The Nod to Sin Synod


“What’s Belgium famous for? Chocolates and child abuse, and they only invented the chocolates to get to the kids.”

From the movie, In Bruges 

The October Papal Family Synod, appearing more like the Nod-to-sin, inexplicably and curiously included a Papal Appointment to the Synod from Belgium, retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels.

During his 30 year reign from 1979-2010, as primate of Belgium, Cardinal Danneels oversaw the disastrous free fall of Catholicism in the once strongly Catholic country. Danneels presided over the precipitous secularization of Belgium which instituted abortion on demand, same sex marriage, and euthanasia. In June 2013, Danneels indicated his support for providing legal recognition for same-sex couples. He said “The Church has never opposed the fact that there should exist a sort of ‘marriage’ between homosexuals, but one therefore speaks of a ‘sort of’ marriage, not of true marriage between a man and a woman, therefore another word must be found for the dictionary. About the fact that this should be legal, that it should be made legitimate through a law, about this the Church has nothing to say.” Not surprisingly, under his episcopacy, religious vocations sunk to a historic low and church attendance dropped to a pitiful 6%.

Why would Pope Francis choose Danneels to be included in a select group of prelates for a Synod on the Family whose stated purpose is to explore a more robust Catholic evangelization? But there is even more disturbing behavior which raises serious questions about the Pope’s judgment in choosing Danneels to advise him on family issues and propagating the Catholic faith.

On April 8, 2010, the newly retired Cardinal Danneels received some visitors at his home. They were the relatives of the Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, Danneels’ close friend. At this meeting, the nephew of Vangheluwe described a long and sordid 13 year molestation by his uncle, the Bishop of Bruges. Cardinal Daneels advised the nephew not to go public with the sexual abuse. During the meeting, Danneels advised the young man not to “make a lot of noise” about the abuse he endured from his uncle bishop because Vangheluwe was scheduled to retire in a year anyway. “It would be better that you wait,” advised Danneels, while also urging the young man to forgive his uncle.

The conversation was tape recorded by the nephew and subsequently released to the press. Cardinal Daneels, the former head of Belgium’s Roman Catholic Church for 3 decades, could be heard on tape urging this sexual abuse victim to stay quiet and not disclose the abuse until after the bishop who repeatedly molested him over a span of 13 years could retire. After the release of the recording, Danneels did not dispute the authenticity of the conversation. A media firestorm was unleashed in Belgium, a country still reeling over institutional coverups of child sex abuse.

Bishop/Uncle Vangheluwe admitted to the sexual abuse of his nephew and stepped down from his post shortly after the April 8 meeting between his nephew and Danneels. Because of the statute of limitations law, the Bishop of Bruges was never charged with the crime. However, the plot continues to thicken.

The daily De Standaard newspaper reported that two former Belgian priests, Fathers Rik Deville and Norbert Bethune had personally informed Cardinal Danneels about Bishop Vangheluwe’s child sexual abuse several times between the mid-1990s and early 2000s. Father Deville told the Associated Press that he told Cardinal Danneels about a number of sexual-abuse cases. “The cardinal sometimes got angry and said it was not my job, that I should not get involved,” DeVille said.

Troubling, isn’t it that Pope Francis would select the disgraced Danneels for a prestigious Family Synod appointment after the Pope has verbally condemned bishops over the lingering global clergy abuse scandal? Francis exhorted the hierarchy that, “You don’t play around with the lives of children. The shame of the Church! But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity. Where was the Word of God in those scandals? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort.” Yes, precisely, Holy Father! Cardinal Godried Danneels served in a ‘position of power and comfort’ in his palace office for 30 years. And now, the retired Cardinal enjoys a position of power at the Family Synod.

Cardinal Danneels’ clerical coverup over the Vangheluwe molestation dominated European and global headlines for weeks. Overnight, he became the European poster prelate for silencing victims of clerical child sex abuse. Surely, Pope Francis knew about this scandal. But the plot thickens even further.

The Belgian Police conducted a surprise raid on the Cardinal’s residence and office looking for documents relating to clergy abuse and questioned the Cardinal for 10 hours. Although the Cardinal was never charged, the Catholic Church’s own investigation commission issued a 200 page report on 10 September 2010. According to the report, the commission heard allegations from 488 complainants, concerning incidents that took place between 1950 and 1990. The report contained testimony from 124 people. Two-thirds of the complainants were men, now aged in their 50s and 60s. As head of the commission, Dr. Peter Adriaenssens, a prominent and respected psychiatrist, disclosed that Cardinal Godfried Danneels name surfaced in 50 cases, not as an abuser, but as someone who knew of the sexual child abuse by the clergy.Belgium’s new Catholic leadership, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard said he was committed to exposing abuse cases, “The time for cover-up is over,” pledged the new Archbishop.

But there are even more shocking revelations about this papal Family Synod member.

In 1998, a Catholic catechism textbook for Belgian children called Roeach 3 showed comic-book-style pictures of toddlers asking sexual questions and engaging in sexual play. The Belgian Catholic hierarchy, of which Danneels was the head, stated that the textbook was intended for adolescents, (as if that is a valid and Catholic justification) and that the pictures were meant to convey the idea that young children experience lust, a prevalent theory in contemporary psychology. Catholic parents were enraged and demanded that the Catechism be pulled from classrooms. Danneels repeatedly rebuffed the parent’s requests for meetings and removal of the book. Ultimately, the textbook was withdrawn after Catholic parents were required to seek personal intervention from the Vatican.

Will Cardinal Danneels’ sexualized approach toward child catechesis and his dismissive and arrogant attitude toward Catholic parents be reflected in the final Family Synod document?

It is unconscionable and baffling that a prelate who  allegedly covers up clergy child sex abuse, condones laws in direct violation of Church teaching, and allows the publication and distribution of prurient images and heretical teaching in a Catholic catechism for children provide advice and guidance to Pope Francis on the status of the Catholic family. What pastoral value and insight could Cardinal Danneels bring to the Synod’s understanding of the Catholic family?

It boggles the mind and rattles the soul that this Cardinal who oversaw the precipitous decline and destruction of the Catholic faith in Belgium, promotes the sexualization of children is providing expertise on the future of the Catholic family.

As a result of Danneels 30 year pastoral leadership over rampant clergy child sex abuse scandal, there were 13 suicides of victims of the clergy abuse. Inflicting and ignoring the criminal sexual abuse of children has deadly consequences and destroys families, it’s a nod to sin.

“But because of the choices I made, and the course that I put into action, that little boy isn’t here anymore, and he’ll never be here again. I mean here in the world, not here in Belgium. Well, he’ll never be here in Belgium either, will he?”  from the movie, In Bruges

Out of the Mouth of Babes

March 20, 2015


Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” ~Jonah 3

If you haven’t seen this video which has gone viral, watch it now.Here.

Mryiam spotted the famous television reporter when he appeared at the refugee camp housed in a mall in Kurdistan. She followed him around and wouldn’t leave his side as he interviewed to the refugees who had fled ISIS. Mryiam was determined to talk to the reporter. She had a message that she wanted communicated to the world. Finally, her turn came. The reporter could no longer ignore the little girl who held his hand and wanted to speak.

This 10 year old girl living in a strange refugee camp stepped up to the microphone and captured the world’s heart and attention. An unknown displaced refugee Iraqi girl with beautiful eyes and an engaging smile taught the world about faith in Jesus Christ. Amidst the utter destruction of her home, her city, and life as she knew it, Mryiam is joyful, forgiving and hopeful because God had protected her and her family. She harbors no ill will toward her oppressors, the barbarians of ISIS. She asked only for forgiveness for them.

The great irony is that the persecuted Christians throughout history often served as the most powerful witnesses of faith as the true evangelizers. The Second Century Christian Tertullian observed that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

In the bloody 21st century where Christians are being beheaded, crucified, raped and murdered for their faith, along comes a little Iraqi girl, by the name Mryiam meaning (not surprisingly) Mary, who teaches the world what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. This child speaks with the wisdom and joy of a saint. Her smile, the lilt in her voice, her palpable joy and pure soul are evident despite her status as a refugee who fled from Qaraqorosh, Iraq to avoid the blood thirsty rampage of ISIS.

The 6 1/2 minute video of has been viewed over 10 million times around the world, and has been translated in several languages, including Chinese. Mary of Iraq speaks boldly and lovingly to the world about Jesus Christ, her Christian faith of forgiveness for her persecutors, and profound gratitude to God for protecting her family.

Mryiam has been told that the world is hearing her powerful testimony. She now knows that millions of people around the world have watched the video and are moved by her faith. Now the question remains, is the world listening?

The final gift from Mary of Iraq is her song of praise for God. Her singing voice is as angelic as her smiling eyes. Amid the devastation and terrible suffering of Christians, a voice and message of love, hope and forgiveness surfaces for all the world to hear. A message of Christian joy. For centuries, people have been evangelized by martyrs and those persecuted for their faith. Through their witness and suffering, they speak of the powerful and consoling love of Christ for each one of us, despite the circumstances of our life and death. How miraculous that the new evangelization should appear in the words of a little 10 year old girl banished by terrorists from her home, her school and her Church in the heart of the ancient civilization of Ninevah.

And her name is Mary.

To help Iraqi Christians, go to Iraqi Christian Relief Council. Here

Elizabeth Yore is an attorney and international child advocate.

A Growing Problem: Sheriff, Activist Weigh In On Sex Trafficking in Lake County Sheriff

March 3, 2015

By Tim Moran (Patch Staff)
March 2, 2015 at 2:56pm

A Growing Problem: Sheriff, Activist Weigh In On Sex Trafficking in Lake County
The direct link between pornography and human trafficking is growing as technology advancements are being made, according to a local activist and officials with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

“Everytime I talk to a victim, it (pornography) was always used to lower their inhibitions and and served as a training tool for sex trafficking,” said Elizabeth Yore, a Lake Forest resident who spent 30 years in the legal field for child advocacy and now works as a consultant to help raise awareness of a problem she says has gotten worse and worse in recent years.

“More and more nowadays people are accessing prostitutes through the internet,” she said. “About 76 percent of the inner activity is on the internet through email or any other way of communicating electronically.

Yore – who has served as Special Counsel for Harpo, Inc. as Oprah Winfrey’s child advocate and was General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services – says the internet has essentially become “a marketplace for predators and human traffickers.”

“In the early 1990s, there was virtually no child pornography,” she said. “The adult book stores that had it were all shut down. The only way to transport it would be to send a VHS tape through the mail. Now, the internet comes and people have access to it at the click of a mouse. All the pimps can now collaborate on tactics to get these women.”

“Pornography is the cause of all of this,” Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said in agreement. “It all goes back to the movie, Risky Business – where you call from an ad you see in the newspaper and have an escort come over. Our research has shown that there’s a good chance that if you call one over, she is being trafficked.”

“I have worked human trafficking and missing persons cases all around the world and have found that some of these kids that are on the run as runaways are lured into prostitution at a high degree,” Yore said.

Some will be placed for work in strip clubs or escort services as young as age 12 or 13.

While the female victims make next to nothing for doing the work, it is the men that control them that end up profiting the most, Yore says.

“The girls often live in sleezebag hotels, sometimes with 6 or 7 other girls while the guys all have fancy jewelry, nice cars and live in mansions in the southwest suburbs,” she said, noting that with these cases piling up in communities around the world, human trafficking has ballooned into a $32 billion business.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department has been “all over this” issue for a long time, Curran said.

“We’ve had some major stings on Johns for years now,” he said.

Ed Haras, deputy chief of the criminal investigations division, explains that the department will post female detectives at hotels and have the guys go to those locations – but will also have a male officer posted in a hotel and have a prostitute delivered.

Stings have occurred “all throughout the county,” Haras said. Usually 10 to 20 people are arrested over the course of two days, with operations recently taking place in Highland Park, Waukegan, Barrington and Lake Zurich.

Yore applauds the Sheriff’s department in Lake County and other areas where police have taken similar serious approaches to curbing the problem.

The stings help “slow down the supply and interfere with the demand side of this illegal activity,” she said.

“But we know they are all just a drop in the bucket when you think of the hundreds and thousands involved. It does, however, send a message that if you respond to these ads you may be walking in to a police sting.”

Many of those stings occur through Backpage, an internet site notorious for being a platform for illegal activity most commonly prostitution.

But it isn’t just the internet. Haras said the problem has existed long before the Internet was accessible to everyone, although it has made the issue “more mainstream” and “visible to the public.”

Yore says the old fashioned massage parlor, strip club and “gentlemen’s club” are still prime locales for trafficking.

“We look at various strip clubs, massage parlors and gentlemen’s clubs, all of which are potentially venues where this activity is ongoing under the cover of a legitimate business,” Yore said. “You’ll go in and find out prostitution is occurring and many of the victims are underage.”

Even with an increased number of stings and awareness events, like one planned by the Sheriff’s Department for the College of Lake County in April on the link between pornography and trafficking – law enforcement and activists are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to sex trafficking.

Yore points out one thing that could be done right away, however.

“We need to have more places for these women to go to escape this life,” she said, pointing out that there is only one location in the Chicago suburbs that allows for eight women to get vocational training and medical and psychological services.

“That’s only 8 beds for 16,000-25,000 women that need them,” she said. “No money is being put in to provide long-term care, and that is the real tragedy.”

As Yore points out, the industry is a lucrative one throughout the world, but it is close to home as well. This February’s ‘National Day of Johns’ prostitution sting that is usually held during the week of the Super Bowl netted 570 arrests around the nation, with 19 occurring in Lake County.

“It’s a big problem locally – though not in particular of one area,” Haras said, noting that sting numbers through the different Lake County cities, villages and towns seem to be on par with one another.

“No matter where you go, you’ll find a lot of undocumented people that are being taken advantage of and do not have the resources to get out of it,” Curran added.

‘How to Help’

“If the public sees suspicious activity – they should report it,” Curran said. “Families should also educate themselves on how to not become victims of internet crimes. Software is available on home computers to prevent predators from reaching your family.”

Yore agrees.

“If you see something that’s not right – maybe it’s a nail salon where the women are submissive and don’t speak English and all the money is being handled by one man – make a report,” she said. “Those are the kind of things that break things wide open, when the public can point out that something’s not right.”

Je Suis Catholique

February 23, 2015

“But I have weighed you, says God, and I have not found you wanting.
O people who invented the cathedral, I have not found you wanting in the faith.
O people who invented the crusade, I have not found you wanting in charity.
As for hope, it might be better not to mention that, because they have taken all of it.”

~~Charles Peguy, God and France, (1912)

Would the brilliant French poet, Charles Peguy still compose these imaginings uttered by God about France? How would the poetry of the devout Peguy capture the Catholic faith in post modern France? Surely, Peguy would notice the empty cathedrals, the greying congregation, and the apathy of baptized, but lapsed Catholics and the grim reality of Catholicism supplanted by secularism.

Will the terrorist massacres of Charlie Hebdo bring France back to its knees?

On January 11, 2015, over a million French marched through the streets of Paris, in protest against Islamic terrorism and in support of the 17 murdered and 22 injured victims. Throughout the country, the French marched together arm in arm, along its own Via Dolorosa, mourning the brutality of terrorism.

The anger of the French was palpable in the March for Unity. As far as the eye could see, the streets of Paris were choked with marchers carrying Je suis Charlie signs, waving French flags, in support of the victims. Among the marchers winding through the streets of Paris, were French citizens carrying oversize pencils symbolizing the murdered cartoonists who sketched for the satirical magazine. It was an impressive demonstration of unity and solidarity for the victims of terrorism.

Oddly, in this once Catholic country, no symbols of Christianity were visible in the crowd. The words, Not Afraid were spelled out with lighted votive candles. Ironically, votive candles that once burned brightly in French cathedrals, now serve as the secular symbol of protest. Here, in France, where the prayerful pilgrimage was founded, is now replaced by a Mass March which ends not in a March to Mass at one of the 16 Notre Dame Cathedrals, but ends when the media turns off their cameras and coverage.

Secular Europe finds temporary salve for its psychic wounds and anger in mass marches in its capitals. In October 1997, 350,000 Belgians took to the streets of Brussels to protest their corrupt and incompetent justice system that allowed a known pedophile to abduct and rape 6 young girls and murder 4 of them. The impressive and massive White March with Belgians dressed in white, carrying white balloons for the innocence of the children stunned Europe. For a brief moment, the usually placid Belgians demanded that their government institute child protection laws and reforms. Yet, like most secular protest marches, nothing changed in Belgium. The incompetent government survived a no confidence vote. Children returned to their lowly and insignificant status and known pedophile murderers continued to abduct, rape and kill children despite the demands of the White Marchers.

Secularism reigns in the once Catholic Belgium, as does the “catholic” Belgian King, who in 2014 signed a euthanasia law for terminally ill children, the first of its kind in the world. So much for the White March and its demand for laws that protect lives of children!

After the Charlie Hebdo attack, French President Hollande declared that the Islamic jihadists have declared war on France. In the last year alone, Belgium, France, and Denmark experienced Islamic terror cells wreaking murder, mayhem, and brutal violence aimed at innocent and unsuspecting citizens. Jihad has been waged against Europe.

Will the grim prediction of the French novelist and essayist, Georges Bernanos, who recognized the French apathy in the threat of Nazism in 1938, occur again with Islamic terror:

“Christendom created Europe. Christendom is dead. Europe is going to cave in. Nothing could be simpler.”

Bernanos’ dire prognosis seems to be unfolding in France and Europe as it faces another violent murderous ideology. While the fleeting euphoria of a massive march may temporarily quell anxiety among the populace, the reality of a France bereft of its Catholic faith, leaves it defenseless to fight the radical ideology of indiscriminate terror. Freedom is under assault by Islamic jihadism. Georges Bernanos describes the pathology of secularism, in one of his last essays entitled, Why Freedom:

“All humanity is sick. It is necessary above all to re-spiritualize man. For such a task it is time, high time, to mobilize all the forces of the spirit, in haste, cost what it may. God grant that the order to do this may come from my country, which is so humiliated today!”

Bernanos recognized that for generations, the French scoffed at the Catholic faith, and lost its soul, and its will to fight evil.

What will happen to France in the face of a violent and disenchanted Islamic extremist enemy which, like the Nazi Germans, now occupies France? Has Western Europe forgotten that in a mere six weeks the Nazi army conquered four countries? It can happen again and as quickly as before. The rampage of the cunning jihadists will continue unabated and largely unchallenged. They lurk, waiting for the opportune time to strike, in Parisian neighborhoods and throughout France, unleashing terror, not with an overpowering army, but with a handful of brutal ideologues, playing by their own set of murderous rules. This enemy has no uniforms, no generals, no rules of engagement and these warring occupiers have blended into French society as the elusive enemy.

France is on the verge of a bloody war for its soul. France needs a miracle.

Yet, the urbane and secular French cling to their pensions and paté, but not to their faith. According to a 2010 Eurobarometer Poll, only 27% of French citizens responded that “they believe there is a God.” This does not bode well for a country needing divine intervention to fight an enemy who is evil incarnate.

Are the French too cynical and sophisticated to pray? How do the French hope to defeat this evil scourge of terrorism? With pencils and placards? Resisting the violent Islamic jihadists with pencils and placards is like fighting the murderous Boko Haram with a 5 second social media hashtag campaign like #BringBackOurGirls.

It’s like taking an iphone to a….beheading.

Secularism banished God and faith from the public square and yet the public square is now the battleground of the new evil of jihadism. How does France defeat this barbarian and religious zealot without the power and intervention of God? Bernanos aptly describes the symptoms of secularism, in a speech entitled Liberté:

“This sclerotic hardening and stiffening of consciences, this drying up of the soul’s deepest wellsprings, is a universal phenomenon. I have been observing in my own country, among my own people….God is going away, God is withdrawing from us, and how empty and heavy at once he is leaving us. We have lost that interior freedom that was our inherited privilege…and it’s God we have lost along with it.”

Hopefully, France been brought to its knees. The nation was shaken by the despicable actions of only three people. Do not be fooled. More madmen are plotting in the shadows of Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon and Paris. France needs a warrior saint, like the young peasant girl from Domremy, Joan of Arc, who fearlessly led the French army to defeat the English army against all odds. Armed with her orders from God, fervent prayer and a fearless heart, Joan uttered these memorable words before battle, “I am not afraid, for God is with me. I was born for this!”

The question remains. Will France return to prayer and to her heritage as the eldest daughter of the Church? Is there a glimmer of hope, a recognition that the only way to defeat the barbaric rampage of evil is through a return to the Catholic Faith, the faith of the fearless soldier Saint Joan, to the faith of the many French Marian miracle shrines, to the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedrals, 16 of them which tower over the French landscape.

Replace Mass Marches with Marches to Mass

A massive street march makes for good television optics. Nothing more. Inevitably, the marches end, people return to their everyday lives, waiting for the next catastrophe. Lay down your clever Je suis Charlie signs and pick up your rosaries and crucifixes. Yes, take to the streets and march to mass, on pilgrimages, to your beautiful Notre Dame Cathedrals. Fill them, like you filled the streets of Paris during the March for Unity,

Shortly before entering World War I, as a French soldier, Charles Peguy wrote the moving poem, Presentation of the Beauce to Our Lady of Chartres, written during a pilgrimage in thanksgiving to Our Blessed Mother for answering his prayers to miraculously heal his young son of the deadly typhoid disease. As Peguy walked 3 days from Paris to the Notre Dame Cathedral de Chartres, he composed these stanzas which describe the power of Our Blessed Mother waiting at her Cathedral in Chartres to protect the warrior and vanquish the foe:

Sailing to your cathedral city thus we go,
A rosary of stacks emerges here and there,
As circular as tower, opulent and rare,
Like forts on a flagship, ringed against the foe.

You see us marching on, we are the infantry,
One step at a time is the most that we advance,
But two thousand years of the people and the Kings of France.

This is the stone without a stain, or fault.
Never was a prayer that carried greater weight.
And never was an argument that went more straight, And never taller line soared to a boundless vault.

And when we shall awake, at dawn tomorrow, It will prove a purifying resurrection,
The arms of your cathedral our protection,

Crippled by our journey, full of joy and sorrow.

France desperately needs to reengage its spiritual infantry to fight the evil of Islamic jihadism. Europe is on the verge of an epic battle with a relentless and barbaric enemy. The fight will be lost without its most potent weapon, the Catholic faith.

The final stanza of the poem, God and France by the warrior poet, Peguy, rings out an urgent and prophetic message for France:

“Now those Frenchmen, just as they are, are my best servants. They have been and always will be my best soldiers in the crusade. And there will always be a crusade.”

It’s time to start walking the pilgrimage to Chartres.

Elizabeth Yore is an international child advocate attorney who assisted the Belgian families of the murdered children during the White March. Formerly, she was Special Counsel to Oprah Winfrey, serving as her Child Advocate. Elizabeth was General Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Director of its International Division.

Listen to Liz Yore on A Closer Look with Sheila Liaugminas on Relevant Radio 2-12-15

February 13, 2015

No Shades of Grey-the Pornification of America

Sign the Petition to Boycott 50 Shades of Grey-Send a Message to Universal Pictures!

February 12, 2015


It isn't Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you


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Elizabeth Yore

Elizabeth Yore