7 Shocking Takeaways from the PA Catholic Church Grand Jury Document

 

Today was a day that will forever change the face of the Catholic Church in America. The New York Times reported today:

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.

I’ve read a great deal of the report, and have pulled a few interesting parts out of the 1,300+ page document. What is shocking about this report isn’t just the scope, it’s the fact that all of this remained hidden after the Church was broken almost beyond repair by the early 2000 sex abuse crisis originating out of Boston after the Boston Globe broke the story open. This report is only about part of one American state, Pennsylvania. How many more tales of abuse are out there? How much innocence and faith has been stolen, and can the Church ever recover?

It’s clear that the scale of the abuse is massive, and it will take massive steps to correct.

On Facebook a priest named Seamus Griesbach from Portland wrote what he wants to see from the Church in response,

I don’t want to read one more statement from a bishop saying that he is “deeply saddened” by the latest reports of clergy sexual abuse and cover up. Really? Who is advising them on this wording? It is only making matters worse.

They need to make a complete and utter break from this despicable and horrendous behavior. How about a statement like:

“The sexual abuse of a child is an abomination. It is a complete betrayal of everything that Jesus is and everything that he taught. It is an act that even the most immoral of people recognize as detestable and depraved. The fact that Catholic bishops and staff were too cowardly or institutionally entrenched to eliminate this kind of behavior and abuse at the first inkling is a grave and reprehensible moral failure for which there must be real consequences. We will root out this detestable rot that has struck at the heart of our family of faith. We pledge to not rest until we have brought to light every misdeed and coverup. We call on the Holy Father to demand the resignation of any bishop in our midst who tolerated or overlooked immorality within his presbyterate or sought to cover it up. We pledge to react resolutely and transparently to any accusation of immoral activity that comes to our attention today or in the future. Finally, as an outward sign of our repentance, bishops will wear only purple vestments and remove their pectoral crosses for the coming year as a sign of our misery and shame over this grotesque and diabolical scandal that has so deeply injured and betrayed the faith of those entrusted to our care. We ask that all men and women of good will join us in this time of prayer and penance, asking God to have mercy on his sinful Catholic Church and to grant her shepherds the grace of true conversion and renewal in holiness of life.”

Here are seven key takeaways from the massive document, and this is only scratching the surface. The commentary in bold is mine, the text below is quoted directly from the document.

    1. Those involved believe in nothing. Not celibacy, not the sanctity of life. Nothing. 

      In another case, a priest raped a girl, got her pregnant, and arranged an abortion. The bishop expressed his feelings in a letter:”This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief.”But the letter was not for the girl.

      It was addressed to the rapist.

    2. This scandal is big. Bigger than the last and any before it. 

      This final section of the report is possibly the most important. It contains profiles of more
      than 300 clergy members, from all six dioceses we investigated. By comparison, estimates of the
      number of abusive priests identified since 2002 in the Boston, Massachusetts archdiocese range
      from about 150 to 250.

    3. The stories are heinous. 

      Even out of these hundreds of odious stories, some stood out. There was the priest, for example, who raped a seven -year -old girl – while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils out. Or the priest who made a nine -year -old give him oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water to purify him. Or the boy who drank some juice at his priest’s house, and woke up the next morning bleeding from his rectum, unable to remember anything from the night before. Or the priest, a registered psychologist, who “treated” a young parishioner with depression by attempting to hypnotize her and directing her to take off her clothes, piece by piece.

    4. And even when offenders left the Church, children still weren’t safe. And the Church didn’t care
      .
      Yet another priest finally decided to quit after years of child abuse complaints, but asked for, and received, a letter of reference for his next job – at Walt Disney World.
    5. This is far from a complete accounting of the abuse, sadly.

      We should emphasize that, while the list of priests is long, we don’t think we got them all.
      We feel certain that many victims never came forward, and that the dioceses did not create written
      records every single time they heard something about abuse. We also couldn’t fully account for
      out-of-state travel. Many priests who served in Pennsylvania also spent some of their careers in
      other parts of the country. If they abused children elsewhere, reports might have made their way
      back to diocesan files here. But we suspect that a lot did not.
    6. Despite turning over all of its records, reports the Church received are still missing. What else is the Church hiding, just in this small area of the country? 

      On September 1, 2016, the Grand Jury issued a subpoena to the Diocese for any and all records related to clergy or church officials against whom complaints of child sexual abuse had been made. Records received by the Office of Attorney General from the Diocese numbered into the thousands. The testimony of the victims was cross-referenced with the records of the Diocese. Internal Diocesan records do not contain any information from Julianne’ s reports to Weasel or Murphy. [Note: Julianne was a victim who came forward to the grand jury separately.] However, it is evident that, once Julianne made contact with the Diocese in 2002, the Diocese and its attorney, Thomas Traud, attempted to undermine and discredit Julianne and her family.

    7. It wasn’t just faith destroyed. Lives were as well. 

      During our deliberations, one of the victims who had appeared before us tried to kill herself. From her hospital bed, she asked for one thing: that we finish our work and tell the world what really happened. We feel a debt to this woman, and to the many other victims who so exposed themselves by giving us their stories. We hope this report will make good on what we owe.

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  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Annefy (View Comment):

    But they won’t. That’s the problem.

     

    And yet, here is the story of Bishop Gainer of Harrisburg Pennsylvania who is actually trying to address the shame and the coverups.

    I agree with the sackcloth and ashes. Public penitence. And criminal sentencing for those who deserve it.

     

    • #31
  2. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Unfortunately we live in a sick society.

    Sure, and the Catholic Church as an institution should be first on the front lines in this battle and it is not. I’m tired of seeing defenses along the lines of “what about the public schools!”

    It’s not a defense I’m just pointing out a pervasive sickness in Western and American culture. While working a vice car the vast majority of my arrests were married men in their search for sex. This sexualization of not just children, but adults as well is manifest in the number of subscribers to HBO, and all the other premium channels, including hard core porn from your satellite, or cable provider.

    These married men would cruise the streets, and proposition, elementary, middle school, and high school girls walking to school, or back home again. They would proposition pregnant women out walking with their children. America is sick, this sickness is prevalent in all churches, schools, public parks, on the streets, and in all professions.

    • #32
  3. jeannebodine Member
    jeannebodine
    @jeannebodine

    • #33
  4. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I’m just pointing out a pervasive sickness in Western and American culture.

    Is it really just Western and American culture? Or does it just seem that way because many of us are appalled by it whereas in other cultures it’s just accepted as normal? I’m thinking of the stories about how our troops had trouble working with the Afghanistan military since the rape of young children by the Afghan leaders wasn’t considered problematic in their culture. Women and children are treated badly in many places; the difference here is we expect better and are justifiably outraged by people who don’t live up to our higher standards. 

    Of course a big part of the outrage in this particular case is not just what happened but how it was covered up. The Church acted to protect itself from lawsuits and scandal at the expense of the victims. That is what makes this so infuriating.

    • #34
  5. Shawn Buell (Majestyk) Contributor
    Shawn Buell (Majestyk)
    @Majestyk

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    It’s not a defense I’m just pointing out a pervasive sickness in Western and American culture. While working a vice car the vast majority of my arrests were married men in their search for sex. This sexualization of not just children, but adults as well is manifest in the number of subscribers to HBO, and all the other premium channels, including hard core porn from your satellite, or cable provider.

    These married men would cruise the streets, and proposition, elementary, middle school, and high school girls walking to school, or back home again. They would proposition pregnant women out walking with their children. America is sick, this sickness is prevalent in all churches, schools, public parks, on the streets, and in all professions.

    Sorry, but not for nothing: Not one of the men accused in this particular scandal is married.  Well, except for the one priest who sham-married his victim and procured her an abortion.  The sheer, unadulterated hypocrisy and filthiness of the whole thing is simply unspeakable.

    And I’m sorry to say it Doug, but what I see above strikes me as a deflection at best, and whataboutism at worst.  “Yes, these Priests are bad… but what about Johns?”  They don’t call it “the world’s oldest profession” for nothing, and as bad as they may be, comparing those sad sacks negatively to pederast priests might be a bit too much.

    Yes, there are people who are perverts and sexually deviant.  Granted.  The trouble with this narrative is that in general, rates of violent crime and sex crimes are at relatively low levels compared to where they’ve been historically.

    Yet, the Catholic Church in these Diocese has become what essentially boils down to (at this point) a gang.  A gang of men who groom and then rape their unwitting victims while presenting a face of false piety to the public at large.

    It would also seem weird to blame “Secularization” for this problem, when the truth of the matter is that these perverts and rapers all likely had advanced degrees in Divinity.  Yes.  Secularism is clearly the culprit in a bunch of men who have Doctorates of Divinity attacking the most innocent and vulnerable people among us.  They’re practically the least secular of all of us, having sworn marital fealty to a heavenly institution!  These men made mock of and got off on recreating blasphemous iconography in the form of child porn.  Desecration of their religion clearly played a part in their enjoyment of this debauchery.

    In fairness, that only serves to make the scope of their betrayal and heinousness of their crimes all the more evil.

    Much like a plug being pulled on a bathtub, who knows how much filth will come pouring out now that this particular boil has been lanced?  How many more Diocese are implicated in this, most recent iteration of an orgiastic, organized cover-up of abuser-priest-go-round?

    • #35
  6. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    This is Rotherham bad.

    No it isn’t. Not 1000 victims over 70 years, and not with the press and the law unafraid to investigate and talk about it.

    • #36
  7. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    It is good that posts on this horrific crisis in the Church are on the Main Feed here at Ricochet. We Catholics are filled with disgust and shame at what our priests and bishops have done at what they continue to do and what they seem to not want to do. I myself have written three posts on this an am glad that others are outraged as well – it is healthy to vent our anger. The Church must be held to a higher standard than others and our anger and calls for action and justice must continue.

    It would be nice and respectful to us Catholics if your anger and venting was done without so much ignorance of what the Catholic Church is and holds as doctrine and what the root cause of this crisis is. This has nothing to do with married priests or celibacy – it is a huge scandal of sin and lack of chastity in the priesthood, perpetrated predominantly by predatory homosexuals.

    Vent all you want. I will continue to do so as well. Bash me if you want. But at least take a few minutes to learn something about the Church while you are doing your venting and bashing.

    • #37
  8. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    I’m putting this here and on my own post, “A Quarter Century On”, from yesterday:

    if you want to defend, and rationalize,  and forgive, okay. 

    But,

    in the name of all that’s holy: 

    Get the children out.

    • #38
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    It is good that posts on this horrific crisis in the Church are on the Main Feed here at Ricochet. We Catholics are filled with disgust and shame at what our priests and bishops have done at what they continue to do and what they seem to not want to do. I myself have written three posts on this an am glad that others are outraged as well – it is healthy to vent our anger. The Church must be held to a higher standard than others and our anger and calls for action and justice must continue.

    It would be nice and respectful to us Catholics if your anger and venting was done without so much ignorance of what the Catholic Church is and holds as doctrine and what the root cause of this crisis is. This has nothing to do with married priests or celibacy – it is a huge scandal of sin and lack of chastity in the priesthood, perpetrated predominantly by predatory homosexuals.

    Vent all you want. I will continue to do so as well. Bash me if you want. But at least take a few minutes to learn something about the Church while you are doing your venting and bashing.

    Chastity exists so that lands would not be passed to sons, and increased the power of the Church in the lands it owned. Priests used to get married and have families. 

    • #39
  10. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    I’m tired of seeing defenses along the lines of “what about the public schools!”

    I’m not. I’m impatient that we don’t get answers to our questions about sexual abuse in the public schools, answers that might answer this question: Are there similar ways, in which it’s the social structure of the Catholic church, and the social structure of public school systems, that shelters and enables people who prey on children and adolescents.

    I mean what’s the point of imagining that the Catholic church wouldn’t have this problem if priests could marry, or if people afflicted with same sex attraction never became priests, or whatever, without first finding out more about the public school sex abuse scandals and the people involved.

    • #40
  11. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re: #34

    The good possibility that this behavior would be covered up is what drew the people tempted to engage in it, I think.

    • #41
  12. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    if you want to defend,

    Are you serious? Who has defended the actions of the priests and bishops?

    • #42
  13. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):
    I’m tired of seeing defenses along the lines of “what about the public schools!”

    One other point about the differences between this and what happens at public schools: the scale of the cover-up. School systems are not an international organization. Nor are they run federally (despite the wishes of many on the left here in the U.S.) or even at the state level. School districts are often run at the county or sometimes even city level. Betsy DeVos has nothing to do with the hiring and firing policies at any individual school district. Are there scandals and cover-ups in some of these districts? Absolutely, but the effect of those is limited. The problems in the Catholic Church are wide and deep and the decision to cover these problems up at the expense of the victims was made or approved at high levels. That’s why the scandal is getting (and deserves) so much more attention.

    • #43
  14. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Chastity exists so that lands would not be passed to sons,

    What in the world does this comment have to do with the crisis of predatory homosexuals in the priesthood? This is a prime example of the ignorance I spoke of. Perhaps you can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church #’s 2337-2359 to see what the Church teaches. I will grant you, that Catholics fail at this at a rate that is probably similar to the rest of society, but that doesn’t diminish the teaching.

    I understand your anger. But don’t be ignorant.

    • #44
  15. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re: 44

    I think Bryan G. Stephens might have meant that the church insisted priests would not marry so that lands that belonged to the church would not be passed to sons. (I don’t know if there was or wasn’t a concern about lands. I did hear there was a concern that the job of being a parish’s priest would become hereditary if priests continued to marry.)

    • #45
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Chastity exists so that lands would not be passed to sons,

    What in the world does this comment have to do with the crisis of predatory homosexuals in the priesthood? This is a prime example of the ignorance I spoke of. Perhaps you can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church #’s 2337-2359 to see what the Church teaches. I will grant you, that Catholics fail at this at a rate that is probably similar to the rest of society, but that doesn’t diminish the teaching.

    I understand your anger. But don’t be ignorant.

    The Church did not always demand this. This is not being ignorant, this is being historically accurate. Where the apostles wrong for getting married? Were all those priests before the Church changed the rules wrong?

    We are talking about sexual crimes. Enforced denial of sexual energy is what is going on with Chastity. You cannot say there is no link between sexual crimes and the expectation of chastity. They are linked spiritually. Now, I am not saying they are linked in causality, but there is a link between them. It is not like the Catholic Church dreamed the idea up. Lots of faiths have had it before them. 

    There is clearly no rule against priests having wives in the bible. The Catholic Church can teach what it wants, and have the doctrine that it wants, and its members can follow what they want. I am fine with that. And, there is a spiritual link between things. 

     

    • #46
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Re: 44

    I think Bryan G. Stephens might have meant that the church insisted priests would not marry so that lands that belonged to the church would not be passed to sons. (I don’t know if there was or wasn’t a concern about lands. I did hear there was a concern that the job of being a parish’s priest would become hereditary if priests continued to marry.)

    Yes. that is exactly what I meant. 

    • #47
  18. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    I’m tired of seeing defenses along the lines of “what about the public schools!”

    I’m not. I’m impatient that we don’t get answers to our questions about sexual abuse in the public schools, answers that might answer this question: Are there similar ways, in which it’s the social structure of the Catholic church, and the social structure of public school systems, that shelters and enables people who prey on children and adolescents.

    I mean what’s the point of imagining that the Catholic church wouldn’t have this problem if priests could marry, or if people afflicted with same sex attraction never became priests, or whatever, without first finding out more about the public school sex abuse scandals and the people involved.

    Here’s something I’ve been wondering about:  I was raised very Methodist.  I saw the minister in the pulpit, at the church door as we left, and in confirmation class he talked at 6 or  7 of us and we all trooped out together.  Never, not once, was I or any of my peers alone with him.

    Methodist ministers usually only spend 2 years at a church, so I witnessed quite a parade of ’em.  For all I know some or all of those gents may have had the inclination, but none ever had the opportunity. 

    so….what is it about Catholic youth instruction that fosters the one-on-one intimacy during which these priests molest children? 

    As for public schools, I’m suspicious of any adult who would choose to work with children, at  least of the men. 

    But at least public schools aren’t a same-sex environment.  It’s  human nature to form emotional attachments and anybody who has ever been in such an environment for very long,  or read about girls’  schools, boys’ schools, or sex- segregated prisons, knows that same-sex attraction  and emotional intensity will develop in those circumstances.  So: Catholic seminaries have it all. 

     

    • #48
  19. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re # 48

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    tommybdeepv (View Comment):

    I’m tired of seeing defenses along the lines of “what about the public schools!”

    I’m not. I’m impatient that we don’t get answers to our questions about sexual abuse in the public schools, answers that might answer this question: Are there similar ways, in which it’s the social structure of the Catholic church, and the social structure of public school systems, that shelters and enables people who prey on children and adolescents.

    I mean what’s the point of imagining that the Catholic church wouldn’t have this problem if priests could marry, or if people afflicted with same sex attraction never became priests, or whatever, without first finding out more about the public school sex abuse scandals and the people involved.

    Here’s something I’ve been wondering about: I was raised very Methodist. I saw the minister in the pulpit, at the church door as we left, and in confirmation class he talked at 6 or 7 of us and we all trooped out together. Never, not once, was I or any of my peers alone with him.

    Methodist ministers usually only spend 2 years at a church, so I witnessed quite a parade of ’em. For all I know some or all of those gents may have had the inclination, but none ever had the opportunity.

    so….what is it about Catholic youth instruction that fosters the one-on-one intimacy during which these priests molest children?

    It might be: what was it ? I haven’t read the report, but I’ll bet there were far fewer incidents after 2002. I’m interested to know in what years there were the greatest number of incidents, simply because, in 1974, when I was in high school, things had become delightfully informal and intimate. No one thought anything (or anyway, said anything) about teachers talking with a student alone in a room with the door closed. And then there were a few incidents and misunderstandings that had everyone way more businesslike again by the time a friend of mine was graduating  just three years later.

    As for public schools, I’m suspicious of any adult who would choose to work with children, at least of the men.

    That’s how I used to feel. But we’ve had a lot of cases, in the past few years, of  crackpot female teachers wanting to play Mrs. Robinson with adolescent boys.

    And we had, in Los Angeles, California—I think it was in 2010—child pornography, made in a public school with male and female children. I don’t know if the abusers were only men. But, even if they were, some women have to have known what was going on.

    • #49
  20. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Burr (View Comment):

    How can a person continue to support a corrupt Church? Priests seem to be self destructing the very idea of devotion to anything Holy. The pope is too busy fighting for the cause of global warming and virtue signaling to take action. The larger the institution the less it is capable of changing. This is exactly why we need a more active and speedy death penalty. Any mercy given this bunch evil people just allows this to continue.

    I can continue to support good priests and good parishes. Thankfully, good and holy priests have been the norm for me.

     

    • #50
  21. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    It is good that posts on this horrific crisis in the Church are on the Main Feed here at Ricochet. We Catholics are filled with disgust and shame at what our priests and bishops have done at what they continue to do and what they seem to not want to do. I myself have written three posts on this an am glad that others are outraged as well – it is healthy to vent our anger. The Church must be held to a higher standard than others and our anger and calls for action and justice must continue.

    It would be nice and respectful to us Catholics if your anger and venting was done without so much ignorance of what the Catholic Church is and holds as doctrine and what the root cause of this crisis is. This has nothing to do with married priests or celibacy – it is a huge scandal of sin and lack of chastity in the priesthood, perpetrated predominantly by predatory homosexuals.

    Vent all you want. I will continue to do so as well. Bash me if you want. But at least take a few minutes to learn something about the Church while you are doing your venting and bashing.

    Chastity exists so that lands would not be passed to sons, and increased the power of the Church in the lands it owned. Priests used to get married and have families.

    As Scott asked in an above post, why don’t you look into why the Church teaches what she does before you jump in to criticize? There are good reasons for a celibate priesthood. Why don’t you do some research on the subject before you weigh in?

    • #51
  22. Painter Jean Moderator
    Painter Jean
    @PainterJean

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Chastity exists so that lands would not be passed to sons,

    What in the world does this comment have to do with the crisis of predatory homosexuals in the priesthood? This is a prime example of the ignorance I spoke of. Perhaps you can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church #’s 2337-2359 to see what the Church teaches. I will grant you, that Catholics fail at this at a rate that is probably similar to the rest of society, but that doesn’t diminish the teaching.

    I understand your anger. But don’t be ignorant.

    The Church did not always demand this. This is not being ignorant, this is being historically accurate. Where the apostles wrong for getting married? Were all those priests before the Church changed the rules wrong?

    We are talking about sexual crimes. Enforced denial of sexual energy is what is going on with Chastity. You cannot say there is no link between sexual crimes and the expectation of chastity. They are linked spiritually. Now, I am not saying they are linked in causality, but there is a link between them. It is not like the Catholic Church dreamed the idea up. Lots of faiths have had it before them.

    There is clearly no rule against priests having wives in the bible. The Catholic Church can teach what it wants, and have the doctrine that it wants, and its members can follow what they want. I am fine with that. And, there is a spiritual link between things.

    No, the Latin Church did not always require celibacy, and of course the Eastern rites in communion with Rome allow for a married clergy. But both Jesus and St. Paul recommended celibacy, and there are good reasons for it that have nothing to do with property rights and so on.

    As for claim that there is a link between chastity and sexual crimes, well, that’s downright weird. Are you suggesting that, say, St. Paul and Jesus were repressed, sexual criminals in making? Mother Theresa?

    • #52
  23. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re:#48

    But at least public schools aren’t a same-sex environment. It’s human nature to form emotional attachments and anybody who has ever been in such an environment for very long, or read about girls’ schools, boys’ schools, or sex- segregated prisons, knows that same-sex attraction and emotional intensity will develop in those circumstances. So: Catholic seminaries have it all.

     
    Sexual attraction and emotional intensity will develop in a same or opposite-sex environment. But I think you’d probably have a greater number of people sexually attracted to others in an opposite-sex environment, because most men and women are more strongly sexually attracted to the opposite sex than they are to their own. And, I don’t know, but I think there’d be more rape in sex-integrated prisons than there is in sex-segregated prisons.

    On the other hand, people don’t volunteer to go to prison. It makes sense to me that seminaries would draw a number of men who might be inclined to be more sexually attracted to men or women. But who, in either case, want to be, and/or feel called to be priests more than they want a sexual relationship.

    It also makes sense to me that seminaries would draw a number of men who imagine they want to be priests because they’re attracted emotionally and/or sexually to men.

    And it also makes sense to me that the more unhealthy a seminary became, the more it would draw seducers and rapists. I think the same can be said about a sex-integrated environment.

    • #53
  24. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    NR has reposted a Rod Dreher column from 2002, which was four years before the pedophilia scandal he covered – and the Church’s failure to respond adequately – drove him from the Catholic Church into Orthodoxy.

    That failure persists to this day; culpable men still hold high office in the Church. Sixteen years. It makes me think of Talleyrand’s mordant remark about the Bourbons, restored to power after Napoleon fell:

    “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

    We can hope that that will change.

    • #54
  25. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    Re: 44

    I think Bryan G. Stephens might have meant that the church insisted priests would not marry so that lands that belonged to the church would not be passed to sons. (I don’t know if there was or wasn’t a concern about lands. I did hear there was a concern that the job of being a parish’s priest would become hereditary if priests continued to marry.)

    Yes. that is exactly what I meant.

    Well then you are talking about celibacy, not chastity. I have linked above in comment #44 what the CCC teaches on chastity. Celibacy is covered in the CCC in #’s 1579-1580, and 1599. And as I said in #37:

    This has nothing to do with married priests or celibacy – it is a huge scandal of sin and lack of chastity in the priesthood, perpetrated predominantly by predatory homosexuals.

    • #55
  26. Burr Inactive
    Burr
    @BrandonNance

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Chastity exists so that lands would not be passed to sons,

    What in the world does this comment have to do with the crisis of predatory homosexuals in the priesthood? This is a prime example of the ignorance I spoke of. Perhaps you can read the Catechism of the Catholic Church #’s 2337-2359 to see what the Church teaches. I will grant you, that Catholics fail at this at a rate that is probably similar to the rest of society, but that doesn’t diminish the teaching.

    I understand your anger. But don’t be ignorant.

    Chastity seems to attract a certain type of homosexual man to the priesthood.  Why Catholicism have such a stronger connection to a particular type of abuse?  Why is there so much tolerance for this within the church?

    • #56
  27. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Burr (View Comment):
    Chastity seems to attract a certain type of homosexual man to the priesthood. Why Catholicism have such a stronger connection to a particular type of abuse? Why is there so much tolerance for this within the church?

    Are you talking about chastity or celibacy?

    There is no tolerance for abuse in the Church outside of the apostate lavender mafia who perpetuate the cycle of abuse and coverup.

    Benedict XVI tried to deal with this in 2005:

    Homosexuality and the Ordained Ministry

    From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

    Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.

    Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter[8].

    In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”[10]. (my emphasis)

    Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

    Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem – for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

    Why men like McCarrick, McElroy, Wuerl, O’Malley, Mahony, Cupich, Tobin, Farrell, Lynch, Weakland, Paglia, Maradiaga, their lovable mouthpiece James Martin, Thomas Rosica, and far too many others who push the gay agenda in the Church or turn a blind eye towards it are allowed to remain priests is a great mystery and scandal.

    • #57
  28. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    I’m thinking a priest having, with a grown and consenting woman, a relationship that is inappropriate for a priest would feel himself to be every bit as much in a glass house when it came to calling attention to a priest who might be molesting children or teenagers. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, you also heard a lot of stories about priests leaving the priesthood for a woman. Maybe those were just the honest ones.

    • #58
  29. PedroIg Member
    PedroIg
    @PedroIg

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Burr (View Comment):
    Chastity seems to attract a certain type of homosexual man to the priesthood. Why Catholicism have such a stronger connection to a particular type of abuse? Why is there so much tolerance for this within the church?

    Are you talking about chastity or celibacy?

    There is no tolerance for abuse in the Church outside of the apostate lavender mafia who perpetuate the cycle of abuse and coverup.

    Benedict XVI tried to deal with this in 2005:

    [8].

    In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question[9], cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called “gay culture”[10]. (my emphasis)

    Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

    Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem – for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

    Why men like McCarrick, McElroy, Wuerl, O’Malley, Mahony, Cupich, Tobin, Farrell, Lynch, Weakland, Paglia, Maradiaga, their lovable mouthpiece James Martin, Thomas Rosica, and far too many others who push the gay agenda in the Church or turn a blind eye towards it are allowed to remain priests is a great mystery and scandal.

    I’m generally in agreement with you, Scott, on the undue influence of homosexuals within the priesthood, at least in the vast majority of cases unearthed recently in PA, Honduras, and Chile.  It’s important to keep in mind that in parts of Africa (and I’m sorry I don’t have the links) there’s been evidence (I don’t know how widespread) of priests raping nuns, keeping concubines, etc.  What seems to connect a lot of this is clericalism coupled with an institutional mindset that essentially has devolved into something resembling an organized crime syndicate on that part of the hierarchy.

    As far as chastity goes, as referenced previously in the CCC, all of us are called to live chastely, i.e. sexual relations proper to our state of life.  That includes married people as well as singles, clergy, and religious.  For married people, it also includes lifelong fidelity to one spouse (of the opposite sex).  For many, this “restriction” is now considered weird or deviant in the same way a celibate priest is.  And it’s now largely been done away with (at least culturally) in the Western world, in a way Martin Luther, I’m certain, would recoil at.

    • #59
  30. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re:# 59

    So, then something about the hierarchy, or social structure, more enables organized crime syndicate functioning, functioning that protects and enables people engaging in a certain sinful activity, once enough people who want to engage in that activity manage to get in ?

    • #60
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