Nov 14, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 11/14-15/2020

Argentina, Catholic Conservative Seminary, Scientology, Legal, Agape Boarding School, LGBT

"Tension continues to grow over the Vatican-ordered closure of a diocesan seminary in Argentina's Mendoza region.

Last week, Bishop Eduardo Taussig released a letter to the faithful, trying to calm down the situation after hundreds of people gathered to pray the rosary in front of the seminary, but it backfired.

The closure of the priestly formation center in San Rafael, Mendoza, was announced in July. Taussig, who supported the Vatican decision to close the facility, traveled to Rome in October to further discuss the matter with the Congregation for Clergy and upon his return said the decision was made and not up for discussion.

Widely regarded as "traditional," the seminary was the formation house for dozens of diocesan priests in San Rafael, some of whom see no justification for the decision and who've publicly challenged it for months during their homilies."

" ... In a first interview with The Sun, Nicki Clyne revealed she still supports Raniere and the choices she had made, saying, "We made bold choices. I accept that. I was part of a group that really tried to uphold accountability, discipline, honor, & trust amongst women, which is something I think is important and needed.

"I think there were misunderstandings and things that are still misunderstood," Clyne continued. "And, obviously I'm being careful with my words because it's a very sensitive situation and this is the first time I'm speaking about it. Right now the most important thing is that the world knows that I am saying, 'I am proud of who I am and the choices I've made. And I believe that it was very positive for me.'"

" ... Church attorney William Forman argued that the plaintiffs' decision to sign the agreements prevented them from filing a lawsuit later and claiming they have a right to have their claims heard by a jury.

"Arbitration itself is a limitation on constitutional rights,'' Forman said.

But plaintiffs' attorney Marci Hamilton said the case dealt with the "fundamental right to exit a church'' and that forcing the women into arbitration would be tantamount to subjecting them to religious services against their will, all in violation of their First Amendment rights.

"They would be trapped in a dispute resolution system after they've been raped and left,'' argued Hamilton, who also said the arbitration agreements were one-sided in favor of the church."

" ... Patterson ... believes that he was sent to Missouri after he came out as gay his freshman year. It was tough for his dad, he said, to take that news and his son's choice to explore religions "that were more accepting to being gay."

At Agape, staff members made their attitudes toward homosexuality known.

"I remember them preaching: 'Don't burn the American flags, start burning fags,'" Patterson said. "That was the rhetoric used a couple of times. Then you are sitting there thinking, 'Do these people know?'"

He just waited for the day he could get out and go home."

" ... 'Mom, this place is crazy, you've got to get me out of here.'

Soon after, his parents went through a custody hearing to see who would be responsible for the teen. Patterson recalls speaking with the court mediator for four hours, telling him what life was like at the Christian boarding school.

That mediator, Patterson said, "told the judge it would be detrimental for my mental health to go back to Agape."

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