Skip to comments.How could any Roman Catholic such as Joe Paterno not have heard of "rape and a man"?
Posted on 01/17/2012 12:37:52 AM PST by John Roco
By now, you've likely seen the interview with Joe Paterno printed in Sunday's Washington Post and conducted by their terrific and much-decorated writer Sally Jenkins. In it, she asks the former Penn State coach about his response to Mike McQueary's March 2002 report to him of alleged indecent activity involving Jerry Sandusky and a boy in a Lasch Building shower. This is the part of Jenkins' story that jumped out at me:
He reiterated that McQueary was unclear with him about the nature of what he saw and added that even if McQueary had been more graphic, hes not sure he would have comprehended it.
You know, he didnt want to get specific, Paterno said. And to be frank with you, I dont know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. So I just did what I thought was best. I talked to people that I thought would be, if there was a problem, that would be following up on it.
I spoke with Jenkins by phone on Monday afternoon, shortly after she completed a live chat for The Post. I wanted to make certain she didn't follow up that question, as appeared to be the case in the story, and she said she didn't. She admitted misgivings about not following up but said she felt pressed for time and wanted to touch on a number of topics in what she knew would be a limited time frame. It was, in fact, all of about 35 minutes over two days, she indicated in the chat.
Jenkins felt this was the most interesting part of the interview, too. Because it was clearly an attempt by Paterno to convey his Old World ignorance about the subject of child sex abuse.
The question is whether you buy his response.
On one hand, here's a Roman Catholic who claims his unfamiliarity in 2002 with the concept of child rape. Even a decade ago, was that plausible?
The Roman Catholic priest scandals had already been major news by then. In the very two months preceding McQueary's report to Paterno, The Boston Globe was in the midst of detailing daily and gruesome accusations that rocked everyone associated with the Roman Catholic church. Throughout January and February of 2002, the stream of new accusations just kept coming.
Catalyst to the series was the story of Boston-area Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, accused of rape and various other sexual abuse of children, was major news. He was defrocked in 1998, imprisoned in February 2002 and eventually murdered by an inmate after being sentenced to 10 years.
For a Roman Catholic to be oblivious to the concept rape of boys, given what was going on at the time, is hard to fathom.
On the other hand, there is the considerable issue of Paterno's age and the era in which he was raised. In that context, it is plausible that he could drift around such disturbing reports simply because it was not something men of his background acknowledged. McQueary himself has testified that he resisted being graphic about his account of what he saw in the Lasch showers because: You don't go to coach Paterno and go in great detail about sexual acts. That statement is, in itself, something of an acknowledgement of Paterno's heritage.
It's hard for people in their 20s all the way up to those who grew up during the sexual revolution and now are in their early 60s to imagine the mindset of someone Paterno's age when it comes to freely speaking of anything of a sexual nature. In their time, it just was not done./
That's part of the culture that allowed the hideous acts of child sex abuse to perpetuate in the first place. It wasn't exactly that people in that era tolerated them. It was just that they were preconditioned to turn a blind eye and certainly not to converse about them. Such acts were very literally unspeakable.
In that vein, here is Jenkins' take on that segment of the interview, offered as a response to a reader during her Monday live chat:
Q: Are we really supposed to believe that Paterno just didn't understand rape and a man? That he didn't understand that it was sexual? What were your follow-up questions to these statements?
SJ: This to me was the most provocative quote in the whole piece, and how you feel about it determines your view of Paterno. If there is one question I wish I had followed up better, it's that one.
Your feeling on his reply goes one of two ways: you either buy it or you don't. You either accept his portrait of himself as an old-world gentleman who couldn't cope with the issue, because he couldn't envision or address man-boy sexual assault, or you say, No one is that naive, no matter what generation they are from.
I've gotten hundreds of responses from readers and they are split right down the middle on this one. Some find it totally plausible, others don't. I bought it in the instant when he said it, as his tone when he said it was actually agitated and seemed sincere. I have a father Paterno's age who is pretty profane, and he recoils from this subject too.
But when I listened to the transcript later, I certainly wished I had followed up. Instead, I was focused on all the other questions I needed to ask him, too focused on my list instead of on what he was actually saying.
I've certainly been there. With Paterno and with other subjects.
Still, the interview is finally Paterno's side of the story, something we had not seen outside of Grand Jury transcripts.
It might be the only time we see a smidgen of his side, his own words, unfiltered, for the record. That alone, makes it worthwhile.
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Related topics: joe paterno, mike mcqueary, penn state football, sally jenkins, washington post
But it is really interesting how Joe being 'Roman Catholic' becomes the point- instead of the continuing and important investigation into male adult homosexuals who have a problem- with targeting male children in their vicinity- regardless of the institution these gay cultured people have joined: church, non-profit, foster family agency, adoption agency, school, etc.
Voice opinion- right now (1/16/2012 @ 10:23pm) on the front page of www.yahoo.com the 1st article is, "Why gay couples make great parents."
I buy it. The peculiar phraseology should serve as the stamp of authenticity. It’s not his religion, it’s his age. There was a time when no doubt these things occurred, but they were not spoken of.
Why? It's the same reason why people deny that homosexual males are about far more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexual males. (See for example http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/homosexuality_and_pedophilia.htm -- sorry if that's not a good source, it's late and I'm tired). In fact, the entire Catholic pedophile nightmare was actually a homosexual pedophile nightmare, but that is largely ignored.
The term for it is "cognitive dissonance" - an actual inability to see facts that would force one to shatter his or her world view to see. Sadly, it is all too common...
Were it the very first time he’d heard it alleged to have happened right under his nose, disbelief could be understood. But to view it the same way in retrospect? Fishy. And whether he was Catholic or not shouldn’t have mattered, because it was getting thrust into the public consciousness through the media.
Besides, it was “rape and a BOY.”
I see.. so Joe is a moron!... He may be a democrat as well..
Sorry for the double negative...
Unless he is channeling Homer Simpson.. with a half-hearted DOH!...
The rape of children is at least as old as the ancient Greeks; catholic priests didn’t invent it. If I hear of such a thing I don’t tell my boss, I tell the cops. Paterno, Sandusky and the rest of the monsters belong in jail first and then Hell.
Sounds like a rather pathetic defence of Paterno.
Paterno’s got 15 years on me, but sex was not talked about between parents and children when I was a boy. I went to the parish Catholic school and my sex education came from a priest, actually an Army Airborne chaplain. Boys and girls had separate classes starting in the fourth grade.
We went on several trips with priests - to the Passion Play, to the Maryknoll seminary, etc. - and there was NEVER any hint of sexual perversion. Did it go on? Maybe. Did it ever come out? Never.
So, I can understand Paterno’s response. I don’t approve, but I can understand.
Digging deeper, they might find Penn State personnel were forced to attend “desensitization” classes on the subject of homosexuality.
The purpose of these classes is to make abohrent homosexual nehavior seem “normal.”
Yhere is a big push from homo groups to normalizchild/ault sex-—homos favored practice.
I think he was referring to reape “of” a man.
He likely didn’t think about that as a possibility because most normal people don’t think that a man’s penis belongs up another man’s a*s.
Still, the alleged targets of such activity was boys, not men.
oops, targets ... were
The fact that he reported it to his superiors suggests to me that he did know more than he’s letting on, or knew enough to not ask any more questions. If he thought it was just “horsing around,” why didn’t he just go to Sandusky and tell him to stop “horsing around?”
I, too, had a pretty sheltered Catholic childhood - created and sustained by ADULTS. But when I went into the playground or spent my summers on hot city streets playing stickball, I certainly picked up a lot about sex from the other kids. Most of it wrong, of course, but I knew something was going on.
And for a guy who has spent God knows how much time in locker rooms, this is really hard to believe.
“There was a time when no doubt these things occurred, but they were not spoken of”.
JoePa could possibly get people to think that he didn’t know a man could rape another man or a child when he was a child. These crimes occurred when JoePa was older. Child molestation, rape and homosexuality in general is discussed in the media, on television shows, etc... He didn’t live in a bubble. I personally believe he is attempting to save whatever is left to his “legacy” by using the old “I am just a naive person due to my age” story.
I would say that all normal people don't think that is where it belongs but to infer from that, that it doesn't happen, is too big a leap. Blaming his supposed ignorance on any religious upbringing is also too big of a leap.
Yeah, homosexuality wasn’t spoken of in my childhood either but we did have sissy-boys which was basically the same thing. I remember once innocently (but angrily) calling my brother a “big queer” and my mother slapping me. I just meant he was a jerk but she thought I was implying something else, lol! The adults might not have been totally educated about homosexuality but they knew enough to know what was going on.
Mr. Paterno never told his kids not to take candy from strangers? Come on!
Many women are in denial about what homosexual men do together. They prefer to believe it’s all about cuddling.
I wonder why so many in the media and their followers are more interested in getting Joe Paterno than Sandusky.
Homosexuality and related perversions such as pedophilia have been around for thousands of years. Homo sex was a crime even into the last century. For some one living their life on a college campus to say they did not know about homo and child sex is just plain silly...............
Every writer who wants to attack Joe Paterno, and knows how the state of Pennsylvania has failed to hold Sandusky accountable in the past appears to have a moral obligation to go to Sandusky’s home and take care of the issue today.
So Paterno admits to being a senile, dodering old fool for the last 20 years eh?
“Paternos got 15 years on me, but sex was not talked about between parents and children when I was a boy.”
Every once in a while, among all of the HATE Paterno posts, I see a post that contains a reasonable thought.
I will agree with folks who say Paterno SHOULD have known better. I happen to think he, and MANY of his generation, have a huge blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse between a man and a boy. It is something a Father of a small boy can hardly think about. It is that terrible. I think Paterno couldn’t quite take the truth of it in. I would bet, to this day, he doesn’t believe a Priest could do something like this. The truth, when it comes to this subject, is hard to process.
I don’t think Paterno is evil. Sandusky is evil. Paterno is someone who stayed way too long. He is, and has been, out of touch. I blame his family for not seeing this. He should have been done coaching years ago. Who is surprised that an old man, who’s highest priority in life is football, handled this situation so poorly?
Anyone connected to PSU in a capacity over the past 10 years to remove Paterno, should themselves be removed.
What adult son or daughter will allow their half blind, half deaf, partially crippled, impaired thinking parent, to continue driving when it is no longer safe for them OR for the other people on the road?
Someone who knows better has to take the keys away.
Name ONE person at PSU who knew better? Paterno was an accident, a poor decision, a lapse in judgement, waiting to happen.