Showing posts with label Resignation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resignation. Show all posts

July 9, 2016

Fmer Pope Benedict Says He was Not Pressure to Quit and Speaks of “Gay Lobby”


Former Pope Benedict says in his memoirs that no-one pressured him to resign but alleges that a "gay lobby" in the Vatican had tried to influence decisions, a leading Italian newspaper reported on Friday.

The book, called "The Last Conversations", is the first time in history that a former pope judges his own pontificate after it is over. It is due to be published on Sept. 9.

Citing health reasons, Benedict in 2013 became the first pope in six centuries to resign. He promised to remain "hidden to the world" and has been living in a former convent in the Vatican gardens.

Italy's Corriere della Sera daily, which has acquired the Italian newspaper rights for excerpts and has access to the book, ran a long article on Friday summarizing its key points.

In the book, Benedict says that he came to know of the presence of a "gay lobby" made up of four or five people who were seeking to influence Vatican decisions. The article says Benedict says he managed to "break up this power group".

Benedict resigned following a turbulent papacy that included the so-call "Vatileaks" case, in which his butler leaked some of his personal letters and other documents that alleged corruption and a power struggle in the Vatican.

Italian media at the time reported that a faction of prelates who wanted to discredit Benedict and pressure him to resign was behind the leaks.


The Church has maintained its centuries-long opposition to homosexual acts.

But rights campaigners have long said many gay people work for the Vatican and Church sources have said they suspect that some have banded together to support each other's careers and influence decisions in the bureaucracy.

Benedict, who now has the title "emeritus pope," has always maintained that he made his choice to leave freely and Corriere says that in the book Benedict "again denies blackmail or pressure".

He says he told only a few people close to him of his intention to resign, fearing it would be leaked before he made the surprise announcement on Feb. 11, 2013.

The former pope, in the book-long interview with German writer Peter Seewald, says he had to overcome his own doubts on the effect his choice could have on the future of the papacy.

He says that he was "incredulous" when cardinals meeting in a secret conclave chose him to succeed the late Pope John Paul II in 2005 and that he was "surprised" when the cardinals chose Francis as his successor in 2013.

Anger over the dysfunctional state of the Vatican bureaucracy in 2013 was one factor in the cardinal electors' decision to choose a non-European pope for the first time in nearly 1,300 years.

Benedict "admits his lack of resoluteness in governing," Corriere says.

In the book, whose lead publisher is Germany’s Droemer Knaur, Benedict says he kept a diary throughout his papacy but will destroy it, even though he realizes that for historians it would be a “golden opportunity".


September 26, 2014

Erick Holder Resigns Remembered for his work on LGTB and DOMA (defense of marriage act)



Earlier this year, Jeffrey Toobin, the legal correspondent for The New Y(defeese of marriage act)order, profiled Attorney General Eric Holder — and reported that Holder would step down this year. He was right. Today, news broke that Holder will leave the Department of Justice as soon as President Obama finds a replacement.
Toobin has described Holder as having "two tenures" as attorney general. In a phone conversation today, he described them to me.
Ezra Klein: What's the single most important thing Eric Holder did as attorney general?
Jeffrey Toobin: I think throwing the weight of the Justice Department behind the cause of gay rights will be seen as enormously important. Announcing support for the lawsuit against the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] was the biggest specific item in that regard, but in every possible way, the Justice Department has committed itself to the idea that discrimination against gay people is unlawful. That's had enormous implications, and it will continue to reverberate as same sex marriage works its way through the courts.
EK: Has Holder been effective as attorney general?
JT: I see a real bifurcation in his tenure. I think during the first term Holder ran an inbox operation. He did what crossed his desk. He tried to close Guantanamo and it was a fiasco. He did a criminal investigation of the financial collapse which went nowhere. He struggled with Fast and Furious which occupied a lot of time if not importance. There were not a lot of accomplishments that first term.
But once President Obama was reelected and Holder saw the tremendous backlash against civil rights in the states that elected Republicans in 2010, he said, the hell with it. I want to be known for something important even if it gets criticism.
EK: Earlier this year, when you profiled Holder's struggle on civil rights, it seemed to be an open question whether he would be successful. Is that still true?
JT: The Shelby County decision, striking down Sections Four and Five of the Voting Rights Act, was a transformational event in the history of voting rights. It opened the door to really major efforts to limit the franchise. Now because they Voting Rights Act itself is effectively gone it's not clear that the Justice Department can do much about this. The Texas and North Carolina lawsuits are legally on questionable ground.
But I do think Holder deserves a lot of credit for saying if voting rights are going to die, we're going to do whatever we can to try to keep it alive. I think that's a very consequential attempt. Where it succeeds or not is far from clear.
EK: I want to go back for a second to Guantanamo and the banks. Part of the reason Holder is attorney general today is he impressed Barack Obama with a speech predicting a "reckoning" for the Bush administration's war on terror policies. Obama certainly took office amid widespread fury with the banks. But the Obama administration has been resistant to aggressive prosecution on the major issues that propelled them to office. And particularly on the war on terror, it seems to me that the Obama administration has taken a much more expansive view of the president's authority there than many supporters would have predicted.
JT: In every single speech Barack Obama gave when running for president he said he would close Guantanamo. Every single one. His failure to do so is one of the great failures of his administration. How and why that's failed is a complicated subject. But I think Holder bears a lot of responsibility for it. His announcement that he would try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal criminal trial in New York led to the political backlash in Congress that, through legislation, tied Obama's hands on closing Guantanamo. It was really a wall-to-wall disaster. Not all of it is Holder and Obama's fault. They had very important adversaries in this issue of closing Guantanamo. But he is the president, it was a major campaign promise, and he utterly failed.
EK: What about the war on terror issues that have emerged on Obama's watch, like Edward Snowden, or the prosecution of journalists like James Risen, or the decision to use drone strikes against American citizens living abroad?
JT: It is true that the Obama administration has not departed from Bush administration war on terror policies nearly as much as his supporters hoped. But I am inclined to view these issues one by one and I think some positions are more defensible than others. I'm not an Edwards Snowden fan and I think that they're perfectly justified in prosecuting him. The subpoenas to journalists are a different matter.
I think part of this is the Justice Department as an institution is devoted to aggressive enforcement of criminal laws. That continues from administration to administration. I think the occupants of the top offices get captured by that approach regardless of what attitudes they brought in. I think also that things look different when you are the people who are responsible for protecting the US in a very dangerous world. If you sit there in the briefings and you hear what the dangers are that it is a major challenge to the civil libertarian instincts you brought into office.
EK: What about the banks? There's been reporting that in 2012, the Obama administration's political team was pressuring Holder to prosecute some top bankers. But it went nowhere.
JT: The major unanswered question I have is every other major financial collapse in American history has led to major criminal prosecutions. The S&L Crisis of the 1980s, insider trading in the 1990s. And here we have the biggest collapse since the Depression and not one person of consequence is even prosecuted, much less goes to prison. Now, the people in charge say this is because, as Mike Kinsley used to say, "the scandal is what's legal." What went on at Lehman Brothers and AIG and all these places wasn't criminal. It had been vetted by lawyers. I think that is a very debatable proposition. I don't pretend to have the answer but it is a very strange thing that no one went to prison as a result of the 2008 collapse.
EK: This seems like the sort of thing where an attorney general who wanted to prosecute could have found ways to try to make the case.
JT: The challenge with white-collar prosecutions is always the issue of criminal intent. Did these actors know and believe they were violating the law in what they did? Otherwise it's not criminal. What Holder and his subordinates have always said is that the CEOs did not believe what they were doing was criminal. They were making bets that failed spectacularly but that's not a crime.
I am enough of a former prosecutor myself to know these cases are very hard to make against prominent people surrounded by lawyers who can say, "I consulted my lawyers before making any of these deals." But that doesn't explain why they didn't make a single one.
EK: Let's go back to Holder's work on LGBT rights. Back when Holder decided not to defend DOMA in court, I remember a number of folks who believed DOMA should be overturned, but also believed the DOJ has a responsibility to defend the laws of the federal government.
JT: Holder didn't just say that DOMA was unconstitutional. He said that no reasonable argument could be made that DOMA is constitutional. That is a very different thing. It is the job of the Justice Department to defend the laws of the United States. That's what the Justice Department does in virtually all circumstances in virtually all administrations. In a very small handful of cases the Justice Department says one of the laws is indefensible. But remember, this was a law passed in the 1990s with an overwhelming congressional majority and signed by Bill Clinton, a Democratic president. It was institutionally risky for Holder and Obama to say that this law was not just unconstitutional but beyond the pale.
I think history will vindicate them in a dramatic way. We appear to be approaching a moment where any law that draws a distinction between gay and straight people looks like a water fountain that says "colored only". I think Holder saw that and he got the Justice Department on the right side of history faster than others might have.
Updated by 

September 11, 2013

House of Commons Nigel Evans Who Came Out in 2010 Resigns

  • Nigel Evans
  • Nigel Evans: "I will robustly defend my innocence"
  •  Conservative MP Nigel Evans has resigned as Commons Deputy Speaker, after being charged with offences including sexual assault, indecent assault and rape.
  • Mr Evans is accused of eight offences in total dating between 2002 and 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
  • There are seven alleged victims.
  • The 55-year-old MP for Ribble Valley denies any wrongdoing and pledged to continue to represent his constituents from the backbenches.
  • 'Continue to work'
  • In a statement to reporters after being charged, he said: "May I reassure everyone at this time that I will robustly defend my innocence.
  • "I have today answered bail following complaints I have said were incredulous.
  • "Whilst I am saddened that this case has not been closed today, I am certain of two things: firstly that I am innocent, and secondly that my innocence will be demonstrated.
  •  Quote:

  •  We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute”
  • Keir Starmer
  • Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales
  • "Having informed my fellow deputy Speakers Lindsay Hoyle and Dawn Primarolo, my association chairman and staff, I can confirm I will now resign as deputy speaker.
  • "However, I will continue to work hard for the people of Ribble Valley from the backbenches where I first started my political career in 1992."
  • 'Media interest'
  • He pledged to do his best to tackle local problems such as the "crisis of extra house-building" and cuts to rural bus services.
  • Mr Evans finished: "I appreciate that this case will create a great deal of media interest, but after today I will not be making any further comment until after the case concludes."
  • The director of public prosecutions for England and Wales said the decision to charge Mr Evans had been taken after careful consideration.
  • Keir Starmer added: "We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute.
  • Continue reading the main story
  • Nigel Evans' career
  • Vice-chairman of the Conservative Party from 1999 to 2001
  • Promoted to shadow Welsh secretary in 2001 for two years
  • Elected as one of three Commons deputy Speakers in 2010
  • Later that year he came out as gay, saying he was "tired of living a lie"
  • Resigned as deputy Speaker in September 2013 after being charged with offences including sexual assault, indecent assault and rape
  • Has been MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire since 1992
  • "Lancashire Constabulary has therefore been authorised to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims."
  • Mr Evans is expected to appear before Preston Magistrates' Court on 18 September.
  • The two indecent assaults are alleged to have been committed between 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2004, the five sexual assaults allegedly happened between 1 January 2009 and 1 April 2013, and the alleged rape between 29 March and 1 April 2013.
  • Mr Evans, from Pendleton in Lancashire, answered bail on Tuesday having previously been arrested in May and June.
  • He was re-arrested and interviewed by detectives throughout the day before being charged in the evening.
  • In May, Mr Evans dismissed the original allegations against him as "completely false", and said they had been made by two people he had "regarded as friends".
  • He was elected as one of three Commons deputy Speakers in 20.
Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans has said he is "overwhelmed" by the support he has received since being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.
The Conservative MP, who denies any wrongdoing, said he had gone through the "worst two days of my life", but added that he was back at work.
Mr Evans said he would be in the Commons for Wednesday Queen's Speech.
He was questioned by Lancashire police on Saturday.
Mr Evans, facing allegations he raped a man and sexually assaulted another, has asked to be excused from chairing debates on the Queen's Speech.
'Fantastic support'
Making a statement on College Green, near Parliament, he said: "I've been in work since half past seven this morning getting on with looking at many of the emails that have come in, not just from constituents but from throughout the world, giving me support and sympathy for what I'm alleged to have done.
"I'm overwhelmed with the number of colleagues who have come up to me as well who are basically, you know MPs don't shake hands, well I have never shaken so many MPs' hands as I have today, and giving me support, which is really helping me to get through this."
Mr Evans said he was continuing work for his Ribble Valley constituency, which had shown him "fantastic support" over the "worst two days of my life".
He said he was having "just a few days off chair duty" but would continue having his regular meetings with Commons Speaker John Bercow.
Mr Evans' solicitor has already said the MP does not intend to quit as deputy speaker or as an MP.
The 55-year-old was questioned on Saturday about the alleged attacks on two men between July 2009 and March 2013 in Pendleton, Lancashire, and bailed until June.
Mr Evans, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992 - who came out as gay in 2010 - was elected as one of three Commons deputy speakers three years ago.

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