Patterico's Pontifications

8/15/2018

More Than 300 Catholic Priests Sexually Abused More Than 1,000 Children, Grand Jury Finds “Playbook For Concealing The Truth”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:32 am

[guest post by Dana]

After a nearly-two year investigation by the Pennsylvania state attorney general, the horrific findings were released in a grand jury report released yesterday. The report includes documentation of sexual abuse at all levels, a widespread common practice to cover up the crimes against children in order to protect the guilty, and an utter and complete lack of even the most basic concern about young victims who suffered at the hands of those entrusted to guide and lead the flock. I mean, why would there be, given that the report notes there was a collective “disdain” shown for the victims. It is unspeakable in its evil:

Bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years, persuading victims not to report the abuse and law enforcement not to investigate it, according to a searing report issued by a grand jury on Tuesday.

The report, which covered six of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses and found more than 1,000 identifiable victims, is the broadest examination yet by a government agency in the United States of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report said there are likely thousands more victims whose records were lost or who were too afraid to come forward.

It catalogs horrific instances of abuse: a priest who raped a young girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils out; a victim tied up and whipped with leather straps by a priest; and another priest who was allowed to stay in ministry after impregnating a young girl and arranging for her to have an abortion.

“Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades.”

The report goes on to state that “the sexual abuse scandal has shaken the Catholic Church for more than 15 years, ever since explosive allegations emerged out of Boston in 2002, [but] even after paying billions of dollars in settlements and adding new prevention programs, the church has been dogged by a scandal that is now reaching its highest ranks,” including the Vatican, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro. No wonder Pope Francis is ignoring it :

On Wednesday morning, Pope Francis stood in the window of the apostolic palace looking over St. Peter’s square and blessed the crowds that had gathered for the Catholic celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. He talked about saints and heaven and sent his prayers to the victims of the bridge collapse in the northern Italian city of Genoa the day before.

But the pope didn’t mention the latest horrific news revealed about his church… “We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this,” the report began. But there was no sign Wednesday that Pope Francis was listening. He offered no prayer for the victims of his own churchmen who have been suffocated under a veil of complicity and shame for decades.

However, statements from officials at the various Pennsylvania dioceses involved in the report can be read here. It’s laughable to read the noble claims that safeguarding children is a priority of the church when one considers:

The grand jury said that while some accused priests were removed from ministry, the church officials who protected them remained in office or even got promotions. One bishop named in the report as vouching for an abusive priest was Cardinal Donald Wuerl, now the archbishop of Washington. “Until that changes, we think it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal,” the jury wrote.

Church officials followed a “playbook for concealing the truth,” the grand jury said, minimizing the abuse by using words like “inappropriate contact” instead of “rape”; assigning priests untrained in sexual abuse cases to investigate their colleagues; and not informing the community of the real reasons behind removing an accused priest.

“Tell his parishioners that he is on ‘sick leave,’ or suffering from ‘nervous exhaustion.’ Or say nothing at all,” the report said.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, whose office initiated the investigation, said in a news conference, “They protected their institution at all costs. As the grand jury found, the church showed a complete disdain for victims.”

Just one example demonstrating the vile, misplaced priorities of cchurch leadership and the absolute divorce from any moral and ethical behavior:

Untitled

Untitled2

Here is the portion of the report that is being referenced.

Also included in the report are these grand jury recommendations:

Eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for sexually abusing children. (Current law permits victims to come forward until age 50.)

Creating a “civil window” so older victims may now sue for damages. (Current law gives child sex abuse victims 12 years to sue, once they turn 18. Victims in their 30s and older fall under a different law; they are only permitted two years.) The grand jury recommends a limited “window” offering victims a chance to be heard in court for an additional two years.

Changing the abuse reporting law to clarify the duty to report abuse, requiring people to report abuse “while the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe the abuser is likely to commit additional acts of child abuse.”

Creating a new statue which states that no past or present nondisclosure agreement can prevent a victim from talking to police. (The grand jury accused the Church of using confidentially agreements to silence abuse victims from speaking publicly or to law enforcement.)

In reading the report, I can tell you it is disgusting, vile, and grim. And utterly heartbreaking. It continues to boggle the mind that such evil is not only allowed to continue and flourish, but that the very system of the institution itself enables it to do so. So many sick individuals finding a ripe setting in which to carry out their evil deeds, and fully aided and abetted by those who are allegedly meant to hold them accountable. It’s unbelievable, one would think, but as an 80-year member of the Catholic Church told me back during the Boston scandal: I don’t believe it happened. I just don’t believe it.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

99 Responses to “More Than 300 Catholic Priests Sexually Abused More Than 1,000 Children, Grand Jury Finds “Playbook For Concealing The Truth””

  1. Just unspeakable.

    Dana (023079)

  2. iceberg

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. Tip of, happyfeet. How many more states yet to be fully investigated by their AG’s?

    Dana (023079)

  4. It’s systemic. God bless the trad-Cath community for calling evil what it is, but it is evident enough that this evil goes back much farther than Vatican II. I really don’t believe that Vatican II is the root or even the source of this evil; not if it can be traced back to the 1930’s and earlier.

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. Henry VIII, the Know-Nothings, Jack Chick, and Bill The Butcher deserving of a big general apology right about nau.

    To be fair, Michael Brendan Dougherty proves that National Review hasn’t excised all testosterone from their payroll yet:

    “Michael Brendan Dougherty

    Verified account

    @michaelbd
    16h16 hours ago
    More Michael Brendan Dougherty Retweeted University Bookman
    I think I can top this. Reform won’t happen until it is mortally perilous to be known as a Catholic bishop. The bishops will not change until there is sustained persecution of the Church. Until that day we’re going to get these disgusting paper shufflers.”

    Steppe Nomad (8539b1)

  6. Don’t bother the Pope about this, he’s trying to tackle global warming.

    harkin (ac902e)

  7. “Just unspeakable”

    Nah, there are a few words you can say:

    https://youtu.be/7Snw6qjlPSE

    Steppe Nomad (2e699b)

  8. The Catholic Church has been so careful to remove sexuality from its priests. But in doing so, it has all too often made their sexuality morph into an ugly, horrible, abomination. Instead of putting up with “dirty” sex, it has fallen into criminal sexual acts. The “celibacy” rule is a complete failure.

    Tillman (d34303)

  9. “the sexual abuse scandal has shaken the Catholic Church for more than 15 years,

    15 years, eh? Remind me again, when was the last Year Zero?

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  10. It is unspeakable in its evil…

    It is organized religion. Cut out the diddlin’ middle men; it’s good for the soul.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Like Rotterdam and huddersfield disco, how about that swinging prof tariq ramadan, who shared the black panther position on such matters.

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. @12. There was a typo; it’s supposed to read: ‘And God said, let there be blight.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. This hits close to home because my kids went to a Catholic school in their elementary years when a Pastor John showed up. The Church knew he had a history of being a child-diddler but they knowingly sent him to my kids’ school and did not inform the local parish of his past. The Catholic Church as a lot to atone for. Sixteen years later, I’m still furious at the stunt they pulled.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  14. God said no such thing, we aren’t fighting against men, but ‘powers and principality’

    narciso (d1f714)

  15. Football is a religion, too, and Penn State has been known to turn boys into men.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  16. 5 — in the meantime, who should cosplay R. Budd Dwyer as first act of atonement?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  17. yes yes it’s similar to rotherham but different in some very key ways

    this wasn’t a grooming exercise on anyone’s part, like how the pakistan muslims did in rotherham

    this was more of a public relations exercise that was badly mishandled, which is indeed very similar to the one the british officials mishandled in rotherham

    in rotherham and in the church a problem was allowed to fester for years and years because the gatekeepers of the information did not want the general public to understand the scale of the perversions that were being indulged in under their nose

    in that way this isn’t unrelated to the way that the CNN Jake Tapper fake news covers for the corrupt and perverted FBI

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. Remember when critics who complained about what was going on and lack of prosecution were called christaian hating atheists.

    wendell (032acc)

  19. The point is that want remarked about because of the ethnicity of the perpetrators, part of the wonders of living in a cosmopolitan country, like acid attacks.

    It can be said that sports media fame, et al can become idols

    narciso (d1f714)

  20. in rotherham the ethnicity of the perpetrators played a role much the same way the *gender* of the perpetrators has played in this ongoing ever-growing scandal in the church

    i think they have to start ordaining women

    i think that’s the only credible way forward

    this is not really a tough thought problem

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  21. Stray too far from nature and Mystery Religion becomes very scalable.
    Come down from the tree and build that temple with the bones of the victims.

    I might have gone another way.

    neal (2066a9)

  22. I doubt that anything of the Church creates this behavior. More likely is that the celibacy rule attracts people who think it will stem their preexisting urges. And it doesn’t.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  23. I am all at once livid, disgusted, and despairing. Today is a Holy Day of Obligation for us Roman Catholics (Assumption of Mary into heaven). It’s been more than three decades and the USCCB (U.S. Bishops)have flatly refused to clean house. They have almost always fought duly constituted criminal investigations. Many have flat lied under sworn oath.

    So…after Mass today, a priest related to me that a Bishop had a previously scheduled meeting with a few dozen priests yesterday. What was a main concern of the Bishop? Whether “zero policy” was correct, or if it was unfair. “Zero policy” is that upon any accusation, a Bishop must remove a religious from all public duties, pending investigation. Despite the new revelation of thoroughly wicked goings on in the American Church, this dandy is more concerned with the rights of religious and the inconvenience of filling labor holes, than in proclaiming a fumigation and cleansing of the Church, and his Diocese.

    I imagine he would have made a very fine senior officer for the Germans 80 years ago.

    Tangential to this…a wealthy parish in a different Diocese with which I am very well familiar, for the very first time EVER, failed to tithe enough to fully pay the Diocesan Tax. The Diocesan Tax is mandatory and is assessed to each parish, based on head count, and other factors. It is, essentially, the mechanism used to find Diocesan operations for a year. Anyway, despite a booming economy, the parishioners refused to contribute as they had for many decades. I am well convinced it is directly related to the utter failure of the USCCB to address the ongoing scandals, and in some part to the jesuit Pope’s breaking of traditions and the Catechism. The Pope’s personal cover-up (and promotion!) for a South American abuser is another factor.

    I hope and pray this is finally the straw that breaks the USCCB’s back and we will finally have a searing examination of the American Church. As bad as the secular Swamp is (and boy is that bad) this evil within the hierarchy of the Church is orders of magnitude a greater evil.

    If you are reading this, I ask for a good thought, and if you are so inclined, prayers for the Faith and its faithful. Thank you.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  24. The “celibacy” rule is a complete failure.

    If you think celibacy is what drives priests to molest children, you are woefully uninformed.

    First, the percentage of child-molesting priests is about the same as the percentage of child molesters in the rest of the country. Second, the overwhelming majority of child-molesting men are married. Celibacy has absolutely nothing to do with this.

    Chuck Bartowski (bc1c71)

  25. The “celibacy” rule is a complete failure.

    Nearly all problems of human interaction involve sex or money. By taking vows of chastity and poverty the priest puts himself outside those games, allowing him to be seen as a neutral party.

    It’s not clear whether celibacy creates the pedophile, or whether the pedophile seeks celibacy as asylum.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  26. “I doubt that anything of the Church creates this behavior. More likely is that the celibacy rule attracts people who think it will stem their preexisting urges. And it doesn’t.”

    – Leviticus

    I beg to differ. I have spent the last four years litigating these cases – over eighty of them – and from reviewing thousands and thousands and thousands of pages from priest personnel files, I offer the following opinions:

    1) Most of the abusive priests didn’t believe they were gods among men until the Church taught them that they were gods among men.

    2) Most of the victims didn’t believe the priests were gods among men until the Church taught the victims that the priests were gods among men.

    3) It’s not directly about marriage or celibacy – it’s about not having children. If the bishops were allowed to have children, this crisis would never have spiraled out of control the way it did. The bishops tolerated and covered up sexual abuse because they only knew what it was to be a priest – not what it was to be a parent, to be responsible for a child. They empathized with the only experience that they understood. If they had their own children attending those parishes and those schools, they would have tarred and feathered any predators that slipped through their screening protocols.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  27. Whoops – the quote in my prior comment should be attributed to Kevin M, not “Leviticus.” Duh.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  28. Something a little less frenzied from the Daily Beast about pedophilia.

    He emphasizes what many outside the field might find difficult to accept: Pedophilia is “a medical condition, rather than a moral failing,” he said. “Nobody chooses to be a pedophile.”

    I’m guessing this includes Priests.

    felipe (023cc9)

  29. it’s just a weird culture they created from themselves and in which they’ve been ensconced for too long

    it reminds me of how weird and perverted google has become (google just did it so much faster)

    they need to act more like normal people and not so much like a child molester cover-up gang

    chop chop we need to move forward

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  30. If they had their own children attending those parishes and those schools, they would have tarred and feathered any predators that slipped through their screening protocols.

    this is a perspicacious and relevant comment

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  31. I sincerely hope that there is a special place in Hell for those who abuse children. Cassocks or not.

    Those who defend the abusers—no matter the flavor of faith or nonfaith—need to be held accountable.

    I find that this subject has a special resonance for those of those with children.

    Simon Jester (6783c2)

  32. 9 Tillman, a kid is twice as likely to be raped by a public school teacher as a priest. How does your theory on celibacy being the cause account for the facts? Or are you just church bashing facts be damned?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  33. “Many have flat lied under sworn oath.”

    – Ed in SFV

    It’s not “lying,” it’s “mental reservation.”

    Leviticus (efada1)

  34. What this says is that the Church needs to develop a way to screen prospective priests better, and a less, um, Christian attitude towards pedophiles in their midst.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  35. And Penn state and choate and St. Paul, what there excuse, at least one of those is episcopal, we ascribe evil deeds to the church, instead of the perpetrators.

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. It’s not “lying,” it’s “mental reservation.”

    or “purpose of evasion.”

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  37. Dammit Ed, now you made me feel guilty for schlepping off without visiting the “convenient” Chicago Loop Catholic church where I get my Ash Wednesday ashes.

    In your archdiocese – do the wealthy parishes have a “poor” parish that they assigned to share funds with. In many cases here it is a well-to-do suburban parishes assigned to a doddering low-attendance church in a changed ethnic white to black neighborhood, but what gets my goat is when a well-attended Hispanic parish in a place where there are enough of the long-term residents to benefit (through rents or through sale of the old property, or being the “it” Mexican neighborhood – Pilsen, my more like the Rust Belt South Chicago parish-attending self is talking to you!!!) from gentrification is a receiver parish.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  38. And those coaches aren’t celibate.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  39. the report says this is cultural and it lays out why they think that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  40. “i think they have to start ordaining women”

    Or, y’know, just going to a classic Biblical ‘husband of but one wife’ model

    Steppe Nomad (50c50c)

  41. public school teachers aren’t celibate either they’re actually very dtf

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  42. a kid is twice as likely to be raped by a public school teacher as a priest.

    It’s the lack of prayer.

    Kevin M (5d3e49)

  43. What was a main concern of the Bishop? Whether “zero policy” was correct, or if it was unfair. “Zero policy” is that upon any accusation, a Bishop must remove a religious from all public duties, pending investigation. Ed from SFV (6d42fa) — 8/15/2018 @ 1:30 pm

    I am, also a Catholic, and you can be assured of my constant prayers for your intentions. It is a good thing we worship God alone, and not priests, or Bishops, or nuns, or any other person in “the church.” So when a human, even my parish Priest does the unspeakable, my faith in Jesus is not shaken in the least “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, .” For all Christians, it must begin with Jesus, and end with Jesus. Anyone putting their faith in humans and their agendas are always to be disappointed in the end. So despair no more, for our Savior is Jesus.

    I abhor the Zero tolerance policy of the Dallas Charter. It is non-canonical, and denies due process to Priests. If the USCCB had, instead, mandated the reporting and thorough investigation (by both civil and church authorities) of every claim, by every victim, then we would not have seen the rise (and fall) of such organizations such as SNAP and the rush to cash in on the paydays made available for the asking. Money is indeed the root of all evil. Give me a poor church.

    felipe (023cc9)

  44. the report says this is cultural and it lays out why they think that
    happyfeet (28a91b) — 8/15/2018 @ 1:52 pm

    Yeah, they aren’t very bright. All these allegations and no science to back them up.

    felipe (023cc9)

  45. @38 urbanleftbehind – My parish is a “poor” parish. Happily, we have just come under the auspices of an order and no longer have diocesan priests running it. Ironically enough, we had just this year finally become even with the Archdiocese as regards the tax, which of course we are still obligated to pay yearly.

    We have been the grateful recipient of the largesse of a certain Pastor of a rich(er) parish, but nothing “official.”

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  46. “In many cases here it is a well-to-do suburban parishes assigned to a doddering low-attendance church in a changed ethnic white to black neighborhood, but what gets my goat is when a well-attended Hispanic parish in a place where there are enough of the long-term residents to benefit (through rents or through sale of the old property, or being the “it” Mexican neighborhood – Pilsen, my more like the Rust Belt South Chicago parish-attending self is talking to you!!!) from gentrification is a receiver parish.”

    Absolutely and precisely analagous to China getting “poor country” postal rates, come to think of it:

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/trump-can-move-unilaterally-to-stop-us-subsidies-for-chinese-shipping

    Or rich Indian immigrants taking over gas stations and hotels around the country by taking advantage of ‘minority’ small business loans and set-asides and an inexhaustible supply of cheap labor from the subcontinent.

    WHY IS TRUMP SO POPULAR they ask, hollowly, as the ‘respectable’ managerialists and internationalists who hate him rape every common institution they get put in charge of, using tactics common to all of them.

    Steppe Nomad (0b659f)

  47. I doubt that anything of the Church creates this behavior. More likely is that the celibacy rule attracts people who think it will stem their preexisting urges. And it doesn’t.

    I agree with Kevin M, and I don’t have any significant quibbles with what Leviticus writes. Where I think the Catholic Church has gone gravely wrong is in their very simplistic notions of reconciliation. We know that many bad priests actually owned up to their deviant urges and were counseled by their pastors or their bishops to spend time in reflective prayer asking for God’s strength to overcome their weaknesses and to forgive their sins. This apparently was pretty much the rote response to the sexual abuse issue up until the late 1980s, and in far too many cases, that was the end of it.

    Some of the extreme cases were sent off to a rehabilitation center in Santa Fe where they were “treated” and, again, encouraged to spend time in prayer and reflection. But the Church made the grave error in believing that these measures generally “cured” those rouge priests, and they were far too quick to welcome them back to the fold. The Church wants desperately to believe that it’s always just a matter of confessing sins with a contrite heart, and that the sinner will repent and turn away from sin forevermore. But all too often, this attitude simply illustrates a very childishly naïve notion of human fallibility.

    JVW (42615e)

  48. As someone raised Catholic, I was always told that the pedophilia in the church had nothing to do with homosexuality.

    I have to balance that with the fact that I knew of three boys sexually abused when I was a kid and all were victims of gay men, though none was a priest or a brother.

    Some say that the church’s active recruitment of gay men when priest numbers were falling off is a part of the problem. I can’t disagree.

    harkin (ac902e)

  49. A very relevant, though apparently unmentioned part of this, is the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). Many of you non-Catholics may have heard of this from books or movies, but the reality of it is that, whatever is told to a priest during Confession may not be reveled under any circumstances.

    If you’re a pedo-priest, and you go to your superior for Confession, and you tell him that you’re a pedophile, then your superior cannot report you. It’s as simple as that.

    If you think it’s a shame, I agree with you. If you think it’s an accident, you’re naive.

    They used to screen priests for sexual deviancy. They don’t do that so much any more.

    Robert J Ritchie (e9063c)

  50. @ Ed from SFV:

    Tangential to this…a wealthy parish in a different Diocese with which I am very well familiar, for the very first time EVER, failed to tithe enough to fully pay the Diocesan Tax. The Diocesan Tax is mandatory and is assessed to each parish, based on head count, and other factors. It is, essentially, the mechanism used to find Diocesan operations for a year. Anyway, despite a booming economy, the parishioners refused to contribute as they had for many decades. I am well convinced it is directly related to the utter failure of the USCCB to address the ongoing scandals, and in some part to the jesuit Pope’s breaking of traditions and the Catechism. The Pope’s personal cover-up (and promotion!) for a South American abuser is another factor.

    I hope and pray this is finally the straw that breaks the USCCB’s back and we will finally have a searing examination of the American Church. As bad as the secular Swamp is (and boy is that bad) this evil within the hierarchy of the Church is orders of magnitude a greater evil.

    Are you then saying that, it will likely be a lack of monetary funds that will upend this rot and not the sheer amoral debasement and criminal acts being inflicted upon children? Unbelievable. And, if that is what it would take, that’s one thing (horrible – and telling- as it would be), but then what, the church officials will examine themselves and then what??

    Dana (023079)

  51. More fun: According to Patreon, “MasterCard required us to remove your account.”

    https://twitter.com/Patreon/status/1029551216886341634

    This could be Patreon b.s.ing Robert Spencer with a very managerial lie but it’s highly likely some Saudi bought himself a seat on the Mastercard board and started very capitalistically demanding that they police ‘offensive’ requests for Islamophobic money.

    THIS IS JUST CAPITALISM, THOUGH, WE’D TOTALLY BE BETRAYING OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE IF WE REGULATED COMMON CARRIERS LIKE MASTERCARD TO FORCE FREE SPEECH.

    Steppe Nomad (50c50c)

  52. With many recent seminarians being from eastern Europe, West Africa and s.e. Asia, what has the occurrence of deviancy been in comparison to older Western European and North American born priest cohorts (focusing in on a same age cohort)? If it is lower, is it attributable to better screening (at the country of origin), more Alpha hetero males due to lesser secular opportunities back home or informal networks (e.g Back page like redources) geared toward these populations to get over celibacy.

    urbanleftbehind (a14257)

  53. No Saudi but Julius genakowski of Obama’s fcc is on the board.

    Narciso (a6de9a)

  54. 3) It’s not directly about marriage or celibacy – it’s about not having children. If the bishops were allowed to have children, this crisis would never have spiraled out of control the way it did. The bishops tolerated and covered up sexual abuse because they only knew what it was to be a priest – not what it was to be a parent, to be responsible for a child. They empathized with the only experience that they understood. If they had their own children attending those parishes and those schools, they would have tarred and feathered any predators that slipped through their screening protocols.
    Leviticus (efada1) — 8/15/2018 @ 1:39 pm

    Someone said that every organization is made up of two types of people; those who believe in the organization’s mission, and those who believe in the organization, and that the latter type will attain power and promote those who are like-minded to power. I posit that the majority of the clerics in “power” in any diocese that handled a pedo , tailored their actions to protect their organization in order to preserve their power. This, I believe, is the explanation for the pedo crisis. Not a lack of children, or even a naive attitude toward reconciliation.

    felipe (023cc9)

  55. Not a lack of children, or even a naive attitude toward reconciliation. felipe (023cc9) — 8/15/2018 @ 2:52 pm

    I prolly phrased this poorly, JVW. I know this was not what you said.

    felipe (023cc9)

  56. The preservation of power was also at work during the formation of the Dallas Charter, because this unjust policy did much to forestall any investigations that would turn attention to the very decisions Bishops made in in the past to shuffle problem priests. So throwing money at the victims in exchange for silence worked in their favor, I would say. Not so much for the innocent priests caught in such a wide net thrown at them by SNAP lawyers.

    felipe (023cc9)

  57. I prolly phrased this poorly, JVW. I know this was not what you said.

    No worries. It’s shorthand for what I was trying to get across: a naïve attitude towards the efficacy of the traditional sacrament of reconciliation for priests with a serious character defect.

    JVW (42615e)

  58. The important thing is that they resolve to do better going forward.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  59. “I posit that the majority of the clerics in “power” in any diocese that handled a pedo , tailored their actions to protect their organization in order to preserve their power.”

    Used to be that all you had to do to get someone fired was prove an affair.

    Management solution: Hire managers who had already had affairs so you had something to hang over their head if they did things you didn’t like!

    Then the Sexual Revolution came, and the new Perfect Sword of Damocles was a gay lover. A bunch of very suspicious court cases and a well-funded media campaign later , and no one bats an eye.

    Who’s betting that the prevalence of pedos in positions of power and the push for pedo acceptance as ‘Minor Attracted Persons’ isn’t just another can’t-lose-keep-the-dirtbags-in-line-by-hiring-them management tactic that spread as ‘best practices’ in all industries until the original creators were replaced by the inhuman sociopaths they preferentially hired under the previous system?

    Steppe Nomad (62e901)

  60. Remember, if we interfere in these perfectly legal and private and American online retail monopolies turning into de facto speech and livelihood police, we’ll be KILLING THE DREAM of people who grew up just wanting to surprise-bankrupt people they didn’t like without any repercussions:

    https://freebeacon.com/issues/shopify-ceo-deletes-free-speech-commitment-company-purges-gun-related-retailers/

    “The CEO of major online retailing platform Shopify deleted a post detailing the company’s commitment to free speech this week as the company began purging gun-related retailers.

    Tobias Lutke, founder and CEO of Shopify, deleted a 2017 post titled “In Support of Free Speech” and republished it with an addendum in a new post, “In Support of Free Speech (Updated).” [lol] In the new post, Lutke declared the company’s previous commitment to allowing retailers to use the platform so long as they did not violate any laws because of the brand’s dedication to the principle of free speech “too idealistic and functionally unworkable on the fast moving internet.”[double lol] Instead, he said Shopify would no longer remain neutral on products legally sold through its platform and instead “will have to make decisions based on judgement.” The company did not elaborate on how it will make those judgements or respond to questions on their decision-making process or which of their more than 600,000 storefronts may be at risk of having their businesses shuttered.”

    If you stand against this then you stand with HITLER!

    Steppe Nomad (6f7585)

  61. Shopify is a Canadian firm, so their commitment to “free speech” was always going to tack whichever way the social justice winds blow.

    JVW (42615e)

  62. Shopify’s stock fell 3.8% in trading today, by the way.

    JVW (42615e)

  63. Shopify also does what I’m guessing is the lion’s share of its business in America, in a country that owes its own national security umbrella almost exclusively to America. Neither snow nor French nor leaf shall stop us from enforcing American free speech standards.

    Steppe Nomad (e3e022)

  64. “Some of the extreme cases were sent off to a rehabilitation center in Santa Fe where they were “treated” and, again, encouraged to spend time in prayer and reflection. But the Church made the grave error in believing that these measures generally “cured” those rogue priests…”

    – JVW

    You are correct that many, many predator priests were sent to the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs NM (near Los Alamos), and that they were encouraged to spend time in prayer and reflection. But the Church was not so naive as to think this cured them. There are numerous letters from the Servant General of the SoP, Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, communicating his understanding that priests who preyed on the young were generally *incurable* and recommending that they remain in permanent monastic settings where they had no access to children. Fr. Fitzgerald was issuing these warnings from the 1940s through to 1971, when he was essentially overthrown in a power struggle – by a former patient-priest named John Feit, who was convicted last year, in his 80s, for the sexual assault and murder of a young woman named Irene Garza.

    Leviticus (172c52)

  65. Many, many bishops knew from an early stage that they would endanger children by re-assigning priests with a history of abusing children to parish ministry – but they did it anyway, preferring not to lose the services of such priests.

    It was not a crisis born of ignorance. That is a myth.

    Leviticus (172c52)

  66. It’s not about pointing fingers it’s about how do we move forward

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  67. “The more things change the more they remain the same.” It’s now over 600 years since Martin Luther made his trip to Rome which so scandalized him. Among the activities that did so were ones having to do with sexual immorality. As I recall, there were those of the ecclesiastical hierarchy who considered themselves virtuous because they involved themselves only with women. And, now, here are all these many years later, ourselves scandalized by what has been (still is?) happening within the Church. What to make of it? I don’t know and I am deeply, deeply troubled.

    I was baptized, as an infant, at a Catholic parish. Within a few months, I was given into the care of someone else. As time passed, I was sent to a Lutheran Sunday School. When the time for confirmation came, they received me into the church through adult baptism. No one seem to know of the first one. Only much later in life did I learn of what had happened. I went through RICA. Afterwards, I was Confirmed and received first Hoy Communion. My joy was short-lived. And, it’s been downhill ever since. What with this sexual abuse scandal I am utterly dismayed.

    I just find it incredulous that there were few, if any, priests who were willing to take on this issue and expose what was happening. Perhaps, because of my lack of understanding of Catholic culture and the intricacies of the same, I missing something. But, it seems to me that mortal sin is mortal. And, if I am not to receive communion in a state of mortal sin, how in the world did these priests justify celebrating Mass in such a state?

    You can sign me,
    Disgusted and demoralized.

    Al (91b17f)

  68. For those who are interested, the website Bishop Accountability has a treasure trove of fascinating primary source docs on this subject.

    Leviticus (172c52)

  69. @51 Dana – Yes, indeed. The only thing the Bishops and the USCCB understand is money. They have counted upon the fact he literally lord it over the laity in every way, with the Gospel conferrence of power by Jesus, Himself. The Vatican is the ultimate in this conceit.

    They have also used assurances of layers and layers of learned and wise men to ensure things were proper in all respects. This is precisely as big media justifies horrendous breaches of core journalistic principle and practice.

    Truth suffers immensely.

    If the laity have finally had their fill of this rot, the USCCB will be forced to at least partially reform in some genuine manner.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  70. “in the fact THEY lord it…” apologies for the poor edit.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  71. This would not have happened in the Greek Orthodox Church. Not only because (with very few exceptions) our priests are married with children. Because the parishioners own the churches. We “rent” priests and bishops from the Patriarchate to minister the sacraments. In other words, we hire and fire the priests, and the bishops have spiritual authority but no administrative authority. They cannot make us keep a bad priest and word will get around about the reasons why he was fired when other parishes look to hire him.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. no offense but the people here what are treating pennsylvania as a revelation aren’t really good at what we in the intelligence community call “pattern recognizering”

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  73. There are numerous letters from the Servant General of the SoP, Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, communicating his understanding that priests who preyed on the young were generally *incurable* and recommending that they remain in permanent monastic settings where they had no access to children.

    Fr. Fitzgerald was, of course, correct in his assessment, but my point is that he was only one priest and he was overruled by the general consensus that these pedophiles had been cured. When I say “the Church,” I am generally referring to the entire body and hierarchy of pastors, bishops, archbishops, all the way up to the Pope. Because of the ingrained belief in repentance, most of that hierarchy was willing to believe in redemption. That’s the crux of the problem in those ridiculous reassignments.

    JVW (42615e)

  74. And, if I am not to receive communion in a state of mortal sin, how in the world did these priests justify celebrating Mass in such a state?

    From my casual knowledge of the Inquisition, one of the heresies you could be burned for was saying that a priest had to be in a state of grace to minister the sacraments. Ex opere operato!

    nk (dbc370)

  75. this new pope we got is kinda squirrely Mr. JVW

    but he comes from a culture where child molestation is much more accetpted

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  76. JVW – I would almost bet my soul that the crux of the matter was, and remains: Too few bodies, for too many slots. Vocations. Vocations. Vocations.

    Then, when the breadth of the scandal became known 25 (15? 10?) years ago, the issue became plausible deniability. How could the USCCB hope to retain their power and position if their broad treachery became known?

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  77. Here is an extensive array of primary source documents detailing just how much Church officials knew about the crisis, beginning in the 1940s.

    Leviticus (172c52)

  78. *accepted* i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  79. beginning in the 1940s

    lol this has been going on for millennia

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  80. The documents in the linked collection begin in the 1940s, feets – that’s what I was referring to.

    I know the Church’s problem goes back waaaay further than that.

    Leviticus (172c52)

  81. got it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  82. Ed from SFV, thank you for your thoughtful response. I would like to ask, as I am genuinely curious, what keeps you in the church in light of the latest revelations? I understand faith, tradition and commitment, but if a system is so sick and diseased, at what point does being a part of that tradition become no longer tenable? When does faith began to suffer by staying within the confines of a corrupt church? Can you separate the two?

    I think these things are true: The Catholic church provides a hiding place for those who have a predilection for children as well as providing an environment in which they can exercise their depravity with little fear of any consequences. They can fill vacant positions in the priesthood with warm bodies, drawing in devotees, which then in turn brings in the tithes they need to keep the system going, as well as monetarily benefiting those in power. All of these things can be simultaneously true.

    The system is rotten from the top down. I fail to see how any self examination, or investigation or anything that is self-accounting would beget any change. Because the very corrupt and sick individuals at the top are the very ones that would be overseeing such an investigation. From the outside looking in, I think the entire structure needs to be gutted. Too many people are benefiting financially from the way the arrangement is now, and too many sick individuals know they can find refuge. As long as the structural hierarchy remains, and the same corrupt individuals are sitting in positions of power, then nothing anyone does or says to try to implement change will have an effect.

    Dana (023079)

  83. I would almost bet my soul that the crux of the matter was, and remains: Too few bodies, for too many slots. Vocations. Vocations. Vocations.

    I would have guessed that too, but a book published 15 years ago made the claim that lots of young men with religious vocations were being rejected by seminaries because they were considered “too doctrinaire” to be priests. This was a controversial book, and of course there has been a significant amount of pushback with respect to its thesis, but it’s a very provocative thought.

    JVW (42615e)

  84. Dana – It goes to the Gospel where Jesus tells us the Church will be imperfect. Yet, He, directed by his Father, established Peter to head it and to give it the best possible foundation.

    Through the centuries, the good which has resulted from the existence of the HRCC (Holy Roman Catholic Church) can not be ignored. The miraculous? If the HRCC were intrinsically evil, would be impossible.

    As a conservative, I take great comfort that the HRCC is, and always has been, the most true in its principles and in its scholarship discerning Truth.

    I will fight anyone when it comes to being more cynical of mankind and human nature generally. We suck. The genius of the U.S. Constitution is that it is all about protecting the weak from the impulses and conceits of the strong. But, America is in collapse, nonetheless.

    I am unaware of any human institution of any core importance which has not been thoroughly corrupted. Yet, we must have some order. In terms of religion, we can not afford the chaos of confederate and individualized communities. Look at Islam. There simply must be a widely respected authority/apparatus over core and Good principles.

    The most sacred function of a Catholic priest is to lead in the consecration of hosts and wine into eucharists, the body and blood of Christ. What I almost always think, at least in passing, during the process, is that it is NOT the priest who makes this happen. It is GOD HIMSELF who infuses Himself. Or not.

    I just can’t claim such specialized knowledge of His will that I reject the Church He personally established. I don’t get why so much evil is allowed to continue in His name. Then again, I am not entirely sure about the point of being created with Original Sin and that we are put in this realm purposefully to kill our self (ego) and to care mostly (only?) about the next realm.

    So…I find meaning and take comfort and yes, joy, in serving within my parish. If He wants to use me for some greater fight/cause and overturn the tables of the moneychanging USCCB and the Pharisitic Vatican, I would relish the opportunity.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  85. Leaving the Church Jesus founded has always been a thing. Even Jesus Himself did not stop people from leaving Him when the following happened:

    53Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. -John KJV

    Then:

    60Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? -John KJV

    Finally:

    66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. -John KJV

    I am with Peter; Jesus is the reason I stay in the Church.

    felipe (023cc9)

  86. Exactly, recall the devil is a ravenous lion , he will use any tool to draw away God’s flock,

    Narciso (d1f714)

  87. JVW (42615e) — 8/15/2018 @ 6:43 pm

    I personally know several priests who experienced difficulties during their seminary formation because they were so faithful to Catholic Doctrine. They were accused of being “rigid.” That is, they would not go along to get along. What kept them from being “kicked out” was the fact of their sharp minds and scholarly work, which caught the attention of the Bishop.

    The gatekeepers at the seminaries had their own agenda. There really is a gay lobby in the church.

    felipe (023cc9)

  88. How can that be if the doctrine is sound, now there are aberrations like Charles Curran fundamental option, that I was introduced to in high school, thankfully he was banned.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  89. nk (dbc370) — 8/15/2018 @ 5:23 pm

    That is very interesting, nk. I did not know that. Thank you for that info.

    felipe (023cc9)

  90. Well, there is Tradition (big “T”) and tradition (little t”) Big T things cannot be changed (male Priests, Wheat bread for hosts, Fermented wine of not less than 14% alc). Little t things can be changed to accommodate differing cultures (garments, hymns, processions). The problems arise when seminaries try to, ever so slightly, move the big T things toward the novel by introducing erroneous interpretations of Scripture, if not outright ignoring it. Like illicit reception of the Eucharist by certain individuals.

    felipe (023cc9)

  91. Here’s another perspective though:

    http://www.hughhewitt.com/religion-sex-scandal-redemption-and-justice/

    Narciso (d1f714)

  92. Not a Catholic. Had many discussions with my devout uncle on the corruption within his church. I hope people can find Christ and not lose their way due to this infiltration by enemies of Christ.

    NJRob (b00189)

  93. the drama drama drama about this is so silly

    this is how it’s ALWAYS been

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  94. Perhaps, pikachu, but men and women need the word if god preached more aggressively now, and this is certainly an obstacle.

    narciso (d1f714)

  95. not if you’re Lutheran

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  96. Nate Ogden (223c65) — 8/15/2018 @ 1:44 pm

    You have any proof of that claim or just making it up?

    My point is that celibacy obviously doesn’t work. What more proof do you need?

    Tillman (d34303)

  97. Eastern Orthodox Catholic priests can be married, and we’re not hearing tales of rampant sexual abuse there, nor with other protestant denominations. This is a uniquely Catholic problem, and it’s been buried by a corrupt hierarchy for decades. No longer.

    Paul Montagu (b566df)

  98. we’re not hearing tales of rampant sexual abuse there,

    So if you don’t hear about any abuse, there must not be any? The media is not looking to destroy the Orthodox Church, they have eyes only for the Catholic Church.

    This is a uniquely Catholic problem

    No, it is not. Abuse of minors occurs everywhere there are targets, more so in public schools. what is unique is the disproportionate attention the Catholic Church receives in the media.

    and it’s been buried by a corrupt hierarchy for decades. No longer.

    Totally agree, except no human ever gets to the bottom of this kind of corruption. Only God’s intervention – maybe 40 years in the desert- would do it.

    By the way, Pope Francis addressed the issue. Here is a fisking of the Pope’s letter by a Priest I respect.

    felipe (023cc9)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.3793 secs.