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Perpetual Abuse in the Catholic Church

CatholicChurch

Before I get to details, let me be clear that I am not trying to destroy the Church, and I’m certainly not criticizing individual Catholics, most of whom are decent human beings and good neighbors. (And the victims in this as well.)

The Church has a problem… a huge problem. Furthermore, the problem is very old and will never go away until its cause is removed. So long as the cause remains, the effects will forever follow. Scribbles on official papers have no chance of changing it.

Pittsburgh

By now you’ve probably heard about the big new scandal: Some 300 priests abused some 1000+ boys and girls in Pennsylvania. You can find the heroic report here.

I have to add, however, that the story has been given rather spotty coverage. Several major outlets covered it very little or not at all.

The report linked above did an excellent job of explaining how these things are covered up by the Church. It goes like this:

  1. Never say “rape”; say “inappropriate contact” or “boundary issues.”

  2. Assign fellow clergy members to make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work.

  3. Send priests for “evaluation” at church-run psychiatric treatment centers. Allow these so-called experts to “diagnose” whether the priest is a pedophile. Base these determinations largely on the priest’s “self -reports,” regardless of whether the priest has actually engaged in sexual contact with a child.

  4. When a priest is removed, don’t explain Tell his parishioners that he’s on “sick leave” or suffering from “nervous exhaustion.” Or say nothing at all.

  5. Even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses, although he may be using these resources to facilitate more sexual assaults.

  6. If a predator’s conduct becomes known to the community, don’t remove him from the priesthood. Instead, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser.

  7. Above all, don’t tell the police. Handle it as a personnel matter.

But these revelations, as disgusting as they are, are merely the most recent. (See other recent revelations here.) This has been going on for roughly a thousand years, continuously.

And so long as celibacy requirements remain, this will continue and nothing will stop it. Consider this, please:

  1. Celibacy weaponizes sexual urges. It also drives normal young men away from the priesthood, leaving a high percentage of damaged or corruptible young men in their wake.

  2. If the Church cracks down too hard on abusive clergy, they may run out of priests (there’s already a significant shortage in the US), and the continuation of the Church comes into question.

Like it or not, that’s the situation, and it has been this way since celibacy became required (in stages, from about 305 AD to 1139 AD). And it continues unabated. It will not stop so long as celibacy is required for Catholic priests.

And for those who didn’t know, celibacy was not promoted by Jesus. Furthermore, some of the apostles (including St. Peter) were married.

My Stories

I’ve been close to Catholics and Catholicism most of my life, and I’ve accumulated stories along the way. Since stories of this kind never receive public attention, I want to share them here.

The half-married priest

I used to live down the hall from a devout Catholic mother and daughter. And over time, I couldn’t help noticing that after Sunday services, a particular priest would come to their house for lunch. He’d also stop in certain afternoons… times at which the mother would be away for some hours.

Clearly, the priest and the daughter were a couple. In fact, they were a long-term, loving couple. I felt sorry for them. They were both decent people but were condemned to a life in the shadows, and they would never have a normal family.

This was, sad to say, one of the best cases, in which all the sexual activity was voluntary, even if potentially shaming and certainly difficult to reconcile with what these people called holy.

The seminaries of the 1970s

I knew a woman from a Catholic family whose younger brother decided to become a priest. After three weeks at the seminary, his mother went for a visit, whereupon he told her, “Get me out of here, now!”

Horrified, the mother, a devout Catholic who’d been very proud that her son would become a priest, said she couldn’t and demanded to know why.

“They’re all queers,” said the son, vehemently. The mother, doubly horrified, insisted that it could not be so.

“Take me to a doctor and have him examine me!” shouted the son.

The mother, to her credit, did take the boy to a doctor. Then she confronted Church officials and had the boy excused from the seminary, contrary to the rules. And if I recall correctly, the other children in the family got free schooling from then on.

No one was punished of course, and the matter disappeared.

The abuser with improbable connections

I had some business dealings with a former priest who was tried in a high-profile sex abuse case. But I didn’t know who he was at the time; I met him in my normal course of business and thought no more about it until someone alerted me to the fact.

Somehow, this man went directly from his parish to run a fairly large industry association… apparently with no experience in the industry at all.

How that could happen is an intriguing question.

It’s Always the Poor Kids

Before I conclude, I want to point out that the kids who are abused are nearly always from poor and/or broken families. Abusers don’t go after rich kids whose parents have the resources to fry them.

So, the poor are set up to be victimized yet again… by self-avowed “advocates for the poor.”

So…

I want to state the obvious one more time:

It is the celibacy requirement that’s driving the sexual abuse of poor, weak, and especially, young Catholics… and has been driving it for some 1,000 years. So long as this cause remains, its effects will remain. Period.

Celibacy had no root whatsoever in early Christianity. At this point it remains only because giving it up would diminish the honor of the Church.

And so, with each passing year, more children will be sacrificed (that is, destroyed) for the honor of the Church.

At what point do we start crying, “Moloch”?

* * * * *

As it turns out, history was never too hard to understand; they just told you the wrong story.

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* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg
www.freemansperspective.com

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  • Ed

    How about crying “Mysticism is evil”. It’s the underlying cause of the problems in human relations.

    • Paul Rosenberg

      Spirituality and faith are not evil. In fact, they’re often fonts of good. If you’ve not had the experience, no prob, but don’t paint millions of people as evil because they don’t agree with you.

      • Ed

        Being dishonest for any reason other than self defense is committing fraud. Fraud is evil. You and I are disagreeing for the same reason that others disagree. Because one or both of us is being dishonest. If you cannot prove something, it is false. No one ever has proven that “gods” exist.
        p.s. I love your stuff. That newsletter on The Philosophy of Jesus that you sent out a few days back was great.

        • Paul Rosenberg

          Okay, tonight I have time for responses:

          “Being dishonest for any reason other than self defence is committing fraud.”

          I suspect there are further exceptions, but that’s close enough for practical applications.

          “Fraud is evil.”

          Not to excuse fraud, but you’re making a hard all-or-nothing statement that seems unnecessary. Fraud is bad because of its direct effects, not because it fits a particular slot in our theories.

          “You and I are disagreeing… Because one or both of us is being dishonest.”

          Honest disagreements are everywhere. Most disagreements involve incomplete knowledge, different analysis, etc. That’s not dishonesty.

          “If you cannot prove something, it is false.”

          Not at all. The fact that lightning and the force giving matter its solidity are the same couldn’t be proved till recently. That doesn’t mean it was false for all those years. It was true the whole time; it just wasn’t provable.

          These sweeping, mechanistic rules are very seldom more than mostly true. That makes them tyrannical when applied to real, living things.

          “No one ever has proven that “gods” exist”.

          Why should they? They have no obligation to satisfy every critic. Their beliefs are their own, and they have every right to them.

          “p.s. I love your stuff. That newsletter on The Philosophy of Jesus that you sent out a few days back was great.”

          Gracias. :)

          Peace.

          • Ed

            I wasn’t clear enough. My bad. “If you cannot prove something, it is false.” should have been “If you cannot prove a claim, it is false.”

            My problem with letting people get away with unproven claims is that they can’t call out other’s on their unproven claims without being hypocritical. It has spread to a large portion of humanity accepting the claim that the “State” exists.

          • Paul Rosenberg

            “If you cannot prove a claim, it is false.”

            And what if it’s true, but you don’t have the ability to prove it?

          • Ed

            Then don’t make the claim. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion or theory.

          • Paul Rosenberg

            “There is nothing wrong with having an opinion or theory.”

            Then it’s okay for them to believe in mystical things?

          • Ed

            Only if the “belief” isn’t used as an excuse for interfering in someone’s life. It seems pretty nutty to believe in mystical things just for the sake of believing in mystical things.

        • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

          “Being dishonest for any reason other than self defense is committing fraud.

          Being dishonest for self defense is being dishonest.

          ” If you cannot prove something, it is false.”

          No one has ever proved there is no God, so, based on your assessment, the notion that there is no God is false, which means God is real. And, try as it might, science, so-called. has never discovered the origin of life, which leaves the theory that God is responsible for it intact.

          • Ed

            Do you have evidence of anyone ever proving a negative?

          • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

            Of course not. Nevertheless, and this is my point, the evidence that there is a God is as strong as the evidence that there is no God. But I’d guess atheists expend more energy arguing there is no God then believers spend trying to prove there is.

          • Ed
          • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

            Don’t worry, God won’t punish you for breaking them.

    • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

      Disagree, Ed. I think the underlying problem is violence. The Cristian Church, Catholics included, made a pact with violence when it was happily subsumed by the Roman Empire, and it and its hierarchy began to share in the lucre from Rome’s violent taxes. Of course going even deeper, the foundational problem was the departure of the Church and its doctrine from the teaching and example set by Jesus. For example, can you imagine Jesus embracing the violence of a just war or extortion through violent taxation as the Church has? I can’t.

      • Ed

        The “Church” had to come up with mystical justifications for their “pact with violence”. Someone didn’t expose their lies. Shame, shame.

        • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

          Nothing mystical about distorting (perhaps even changing) the words in the bible to justify one’s self-interested agenda. Lawyers distort the truth incessantly. Certainly Alexander Hamilton dived into distortion of the Constitution when he represented the United States in Hylton v. U.S.–3 U.S. 171 (1796). Undoubtedly, I suspect some tried to expose the lies but were banished as heretics.

          • Ed

            Mystics distort the truth.

          • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

            They must be ;lawyers.

  • anarchyst

    As much as homosexuals vehemently deny it, homosexuality and pedophilia are inextricably linked. Almost all homosexuals have had their first homosexual “experience” introduced to them by an ADULT homosexual as pre-teen males. This, in itself constitutes homosexual pedophilia, which is criminal behavior in itself and is a way to destroy a pre-teen child for life.
    The so-called Roman Catholic priest “child abuse scandal” was actually homosexual pedophilia in action. Of course the “mainstream media” could not afford to offend the “homosexual community” by calling what it really was–thereby, the “play on words”, calling it “child sex abuse” rather than homosexual pedophilia–the true definition of their sordid behavior.
    I must play “devil’s advocate” when it comes to the Catholic church homosexual pedophilic priest “problem”…The Catholic church was “caught between a rock and a hard place” and had every right to be concerned about how many false claims would be made by those parishioners who belonged to the parish at the same time as this behavior was going on. Follow the money… Of course, there is (and was) absolutely NO EXCUSE for this homosexual pedophilic behavior…
    Sad to say, the homosexuals are at it again, encouraging the “psychiatric community” to change the definition of pedophilia from a psychiatric “disorder” to a mere “lifestyle”, not unlike what was done for homosexuality. Sick, huh??

    • Paul Rosenberg

      “homosexuality and pedophilia are inextricably linked”??? I’ve know plenty of homosexuals who didn’t prey on children.

      This is not a site that welcomes nascent hate. Go away.

  • anarchyst

    One area where the Catholic Church could improve itself involves celibacy, which is NOT Church “dogma” or doctrine. Celibacy was put in place during the middle ages in order to keep Church property from being inherited by family and relatives of priests and bishops. Celibacy was based on purely financial considerations–nothing more. It is interesting to note that Episcopal (Anglican) priests who convert to Catholicism can bring their families with them to the Church while Roman Catholic priests are denied marriage. That is a “slap in the face” to a Roman Catholic priest who desires marriage and a family.

    Another aspect of Catholicism that is in need of dire change is the admission of homosexuals to the priesthood “as long as they control their urges and refrain from sexual behavior”. This has been Church practice for quite some time now…

    There is a “lavender lobby” in the seminary system that rejects truly good heterosexual candidates for the priesthood while the homosexual pedophilic leaders of these institutions are only looking out “for their own kind”–pedophilic homosexuals.
    The Catholic Church is in need of a good “housecleaning” that includes bishops and cardinals. It would be interesting to see how many bishops and cardinals are part of the “lavender lobby”…

  • anarchyst

    The rate of incidence for sex criumes is about 1 %.
    That is Far less than that of Protestants, Rabbis, Boy Scout troopmasters or certainly Public School administrators. The leader in sex crimes against children is usually inter family related ie Step Fathers, Friends, uncles etc.
    The “mainstream media” (certain elements of the “chosen”) made a crisis, than brought suit against the centralized Catholic Church and in so doing, forever tarnished the clergy who was their archnemesis.

    Free Republic

    Pedophilia Only a Catholic Sin?
    August 14th, 2009 | Kevin Roeten

    Pedophilia Only a Catholic Sin?

    It turns out pedophilia is an incorrect term, and Catholics aren’t responsible for most of it.

    Shockingly, AP breaks out of their typical liberal mold and reports Insurance companies shed light on extent of sex abuse in Protestant churches, that sexual abuse of minors has been rampant. But in their statement, they indirectly say members of the Catholic Church are not the majority abusers.

    AP discusses the raw numbers from three companies that insure the majority of protestant churches in America (Church Mutual, Guide One, and Brotherhood Mutual), and typically receive 260 reports/yr of people under 18 being sexually abused. Compare that with ~228 credible accusations/yr against Catholic clerics since 1950 (documented abuse records).

    Together with that information, it is known that the Catholic Church greatly outnumbers any specific Protestant denomination, and the data for Protestant churches is available only for the last seven years. Ever since the first sexual abuse cases had been reported, Catholics have had requirements: 1) police background check done on all volunteers–including priests, 2) a second person be present at all religious functions, and 3) all personnel involved with minors must take routine checks with “Protecting God’s Children”.

    Without a doubt, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the most despicable crimes and sins that man can perpetrate. But predators seem to thrive in an atmosphere where the base congregation is one of the most trusted organizations that exist.

    Philip Jenkins, in his 1996 book Pedophiles and Priests, [[link edited for length]], looked at the problem objectively and dispassionately. Jenkins (who is not Catholic) found that true pedophilia is extremely rare, and perhaps more common among Protestant clergy, and is even more common among married laymen.

    He found that in most sexual abuse cases (under the age of consent), the behavior is actually a variety of homosexuality. This sexual attraction with very young men that combine the charm of boyishness with sexual maturity is actually called ephebophilia. Pedophilia is really a psychiatric term meaning sexual interest in children below the age of puberty.’
    ————————————————————————————————————————————

    ‘The worst sex crimes against children is in the Jewish communities and protestant churches’
    Tomasi was not reserved with criticism either and citing data published by the daily Christian Science Monitor, which was founded a hundred years ago by the Christian Science Church, said that the Catholic Church cleaned its house, Jutarnji List writes.
    According to their figures the majority of the US child abuse cases happens in the Protestant churches and Jewish communities, says Tomasi.’

    —————————————————————————————————–

    MORE PROTESTANT MINISTERS GUILTY OF PEDOPHILIA THAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS, NEW RESEARCH REVEALS

    A Penn State historian, Philip Jenkins, has done an in depth research of pedophilia and sexual abuse among the clergy and has come up with some rather eye opening facts. It seems that while 1.7 percent of Catholic clergy have been guilty of pedophilia (or sexual abuse particularly of boys), a whopping TEN percent of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia!

    This is all the more interesting, notes Jenkins, since there has been NO media term “Pastor Pedophilia” coined at all!

    Jenkins theorizes that the media, proving the ‘point’ of the ‘necessity’ of sexual promiscuity, overemphasizes any instance of pedophilia found among the Catholic clergy since it can use this to criticize the entire idea of celibacy. But it is interesting that the NON Celibate Protestant ministers have a MUCH GREATER problem with it than the celibate Catholic priests!

    Protestant pastor pedophilia is not within the frame of our ‘social constructionists’ as Jenkins calls the media:

    “In the 1980’s, [Pastor] Leyva had abused perhaps one hundred boys in several Southern states, but few of us ever learned of it. Leyva had the distinction of being a Pentecostal minister and was, therefore, not within the ‘frame’ of those who were busy constructing reality. The same is true of the three brothers, all Baptist ministers, who were charged with child molestation in the 1990’s; the public learned little about this highly unusual series of cases because it was not deemed worthy of dissemination by those fixated on Catholic scandals.” [1]

    • Paul Rosenberg

      “228 documented cases”?? NO. Far less than rabbis? NO. Scoutmasters? NO. Protestant ministers? No, they usually go after adults.

      And certain members of the “chosen”?? You might as well have the guts to say “Jews,” and call them monsters.

      Take it elsewhere. We don’t traffic in hateful bullshit here.

    • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

      “Compare that with ~228 credible accusations/yr against Catholic clerics since 1950 (documented abuse records).”

      Hey, that was in Pennsylvania alone. Multiply it by the 49 other states where the Catholic Church operates. Tt is a pretty sad state of Catholic affairs when its defenders rely on the “others do it too” syndrome to justify its sins..

  • Lyndia Storey

    I worked for many years with sex offenders & the adults/children they offend. Offenders do not offend children because they lack an outlet for sex…. it is an issue of power and abuse of power……generally speaking, done by ones who have been sexually abused themselves. I don’t really agree with the celibate stance of the church but by changing it, they would probably attract men/women who have a healthier outlook on sex….(now it is pedophile heaven) not this skewed “being married to God”… come to think of it, isn’t religion in general one of the major problems in the world? All the rules, secrets and punishment they met out seem somewhat ridiculous to ones who want to live a loving and kind life.

    • Paul Rosenberg

      Hi Lyndia,

      I think frustrated sexuality really is a major component of this, but we can disagree and still be friends. :)

      I agree that dropping celibacy would definitely draw healthier individuals. I also agree on the craziness of all the rules.

      Peace.

  • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

    You have identified a symptom of the underlying disease, which may have begun as early as the middle of the second century when Justin Martyr coddled up to the emperor and his son to relieve the persecution of believers by distorting the clear message of Jesus in what is known as his First apology. He told the emperor Christians would make good Roman citizens and faithfully pay their taxes, citing Jesus cryptic response to the question of paying taxes to Rome. Anyone who reads the account of the “render-unto-Caesar” incident in the gospels of Matthew (Ch. 22), Mark (Ch. 12) and especially Luke (Ch. 20), should be able to discern that Jesus did not endorse paying Caesar tax when he said “give Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” which was in effect saying, “give Caesar nothing.” When the Church was subsumed by the Empire in the early Fourth Century the wisdom and way Jesus taught and practiced went out the Church’s stained glass window in return for a share of the lucre of Roman taxes.

    • David Patton

      Jesus’ response to the question of whether taxes should be paid to Ceasar, or any other government entity, is not “cryptic”. What may have been “cryptic” to some Christians is the rendering of what is due to God. Jesus paid the temple tax and demonstrated that His people are free since their provision is from God Almighty(coin in fishe’s mouth), not the world system. Provision is from God, and obeying the law of the land is not obsolete or irrelevant. Romans 13

      • http://www.jesus-on-taxes.com/ Ned Netterville

        David, I posted the following response to your comment, but someone blocked it or otherwise took it down. Was that you? Anyway, here it is again.

        David, thanks for engaging.

        Actually, you are right. Jesus’ answer wasn’t at all cryptic, which means “having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure.” Jesus said what he meant and he meant what he said, and his words need no interpretation and can be understood by a child in the 4th grade or higher. Unfortunately, for many orthodox Christian exegetes, his words were indeed cryptic, for the vast majority of them misinterpreted “give (render, or give back) to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” to mean, “you should pay your taxes.”

        Anyone with eyes to see knows, “give Caesar what is his,” does not mean “pay Caesar’s tax.” Quite clearly, if his simple statement needs elaboration than it is this: “If you have anything in your possession belonging to Caesar, give it back to him. If you have nothing that is Caesar’s, give him that, to wit: nothing! No one in the Roman Empire ever had anything belonging to Caesar. Tiberius Caesar was a thief of the highest order. Everything he might claim to own had been stolen through violent conquest, violent plunder, violent enslavement, or violent taxation. Jesus plain statement of how one is to treat the property of others in one’s possession, in fact served to condemned the Empire and its violently collected taxes. But to the deceitful spies who were sent to “trap him in his words,” and who were fully expecting him to condemn Caesar tax for the theft that it was (is), his words completely befuddled them, as they have also befuddled his orthodox interpreters: See: https://jesusontaxes.libert

        Regardingthe Temple tax, Jesus most assuredly did not pay it. Reread Matthew 17–carefully. Does it say Jesus paid the Temple tax? If after reading it you still believe he paid the tax, quote me the verse or verses that say he did. For insight into Matthew 17 and the tax, see:
        https://jesusontaxes.libert

        Regarding Romans 13, do you know what “irony” is? Check out these articles
        https://jesusontaxes.libert
        https://jesusontaxes.libert

        The article at the last link will also explain what Jesus meant when he added, “And give God what is His.”

  • David Patton

    The Roman Catholic organization does not represent the true Church of Jesus Christ.
    The R.C. organization is a religious organization that is founded on, and governed by, the traditions of men, not the Word of God.
    Jesus in John 3, and Peter in 1Peter 1 taught that a person must be Born Again by faith in Christ alone; nothing added. Read Galatians.
    Man made religion, no matter the label, always produces the fruit of corrupt human beings that are looking to works, instead of repentance, for salvation.
    Luther was, and still is right.

  • john

    So now we’re blaming this on celibacy.How idiotic.How the hell does being celibate turn you into a child molester.The problem is not celibate priests,but priests who never had any intention of being celibate in the first place.Since the 1930’s the church has been infiltrated by homosexuals.Most of the problems in the church are do to homosexual priests seeking teen age boys.There have been books,and articles written on this.Do the research.At this point these homosexual priests are through out the church,and at the highest levels.They protect,and promote each other.Wake up,and get a back bone.Say what the real problem is.

    • Paul Rosenberg

      The problem existed LONG before the 1930s.

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