Skip to comments.Did John Paul II Solve the Pedophilia Crisis Before We Even Knew About It?
Posted on 03/08/2005 5:08:12 PM PST by dangus
The National Review Board of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops authorized in 2003 the publication of The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States: A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
On Page 28, in chapter 2.3, the study included a graph showing the number of incidents of pedophilia (including ephibophilia) and the number of priests involved in such cases in each year, from 1950 through 2002. The results are strongly contradictory to many of the false notions perpetuated by critics of the Catholic Church of both the left and right. The numbers contained in this article are somewhat round because they have been read from a graph, rather than a table.
Many false notions have greatly damaged the reputation of present leaders of the Catholic Church during the so-called "pedophilia" crisis. While there is much blame to be found, these notions cloud the truth, preventing the best possible response. Without claiming to know what that response is, I will debunk some of the false notions:
Notion 1: The pedophilia crisis was a fruit of the alleged modernism of Vatican 2.
Truth: The crisis was in full bloom before Vatican 2. It is possible that several false expectations of the what the spirit of Vatican 2 meant may have inspired a laxity of adherence to church laws may have abetted pedophiles, but the timing shows this could not have been a major cause. Vatican 2 went on from 1962 to 1965. By 1962, there were already about 390 incidents of abuse per year. In fact, the fastest growth in the number of incidents occurred between 1959 and 1960. Apparently the increase caught the attention of the Vatican: in 1961, the Pope issued guidelines recommending that homosexuals not be admitted into the priesthood because of the grave spiritual consequences of the burdens of celibacy on the sexually dysfunctional. (Please note that celibacy is much more than mere chastity.)
The number of abuse cases increased from 60 in 1952, to 360 in 1960, a 600% increase in eight years! Between 1960 and 1969, the number of cases increased slightly less than 100% in nine years. Between 1969 and 1980, the number of cases increased only about 10 percent. The vast majority of even these cases were perpetrated by priests who finished seminary long before Vatican 2 began.
[It is quite possible that the pedophilia crisis was much worse than we know in 1950. Any priest alive then would likely be dead by now, and their accusers may be reluctant to come forward to accuse someone when the perpetrator and most possible witnesses are dead.]
Notion 2: The Church failed to limit the pedophilia crisis until it was exposed by the media.
Truth: After 1980, the number of abuse cases dropped in nearly half in the next six short years. And in half again in the next five. And in half again in the next three. In fact, by 1994, the year the media was catching on to the story, the number of abuse cases had been cut by 90 percent. By 1987, there were fewer abuse cases than there had been in 1960. And by 1995, there were fewer abuse cases than there had been in any year in the 1950s.
Notion 3: The Pedophilia crisis was caused by the Catholic Churchs demands of chastity in the priesthood.
Truth: The amazing collapse of the number of annual pedophile cases demonstrates that the church can effectively maintain a celibate priesthood without resultant pedophilia. In 2002, there were still 30 reported incidents, and one may surmise that the number may drift up as new accusers step forward. Even one incident is not acceptable. However, that rate is far, far below rates of other non-celibate vocations that include substantial contact with children.
It is important to note that what is being called pedophilia in this context is not true pedophilia. While women in the general population are roughly three times more likely than men to have been sexually abused (citing Journal of the AMA, 278 (1997): 131-135), nearly four out of five cases of sexual abuse in this study were of boys. And most of the abuse was not of children, but of post-adolescent teenagers. Only 2% of victims were of children under age 5, nearly 80% were age 11 or older.
The second chapter of the introduction was supposed to be smaller type. It is a preliminary explanation, and is confusing to read in that it looks like it belongs to the main body of the article, not the preface. Can you please change it to font size=2?
What is ephibophilia? I tried two different dictionaries, and couldn't find definition.
probably because of misspelling. I think it's ephebephilia--sexual attraction to adolescents.
So this entire story is incorrect. The problem never was pedophilia, it was homosexual abuse. Chickenhawking. An integral part of the recruiting of the homosexual subculture.
The whole terminology of "pedophilia" was a media generated lie aided and abetted by a hierarchy overrun by active homosexuals.
This is supported by some of the 'allegations' now being raised in various dioceses by seasoned citizens. Unfortunately, the priests they accuse are now dead.
Catholic Ping - Come home for Easter and experience Gods merciful love. Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list
This cannot be repeated often enough. It was Vatican II that allowed victims to start coming forward. They were largely ignored, or threatened, as was the Episcopal custom, as they had always been. But the audit trail likely goes back a hundred or more years.
The helping professions have always attracted homosexuals. Thus it has been, and thus it will always be.
It's a new class of sexual deviant created for the "sexual abuse/pedophile" crisis. While the numbers indicate that this largely was not true "pedophilia" as most people see it (pre-pubescent children), calling it what it actually was, homosexuality, goes against the prevailing agenda in the fantasy world of pop-psych and the media.
Well, that's my opinion.
ephebophelia- the attraction to post-pubescent adolescents
pedophilia- attraction to pre-pubescent children
Easy to claim, but difficult to prove. Its likely the abuse peaked in the 60s/70s due to the libertine morals of the sexual revolution. Homosexuals were actively screened out of seminary up till the 40s and 50s. Its the following cohort that has the highest rates of abuse. Rates "going back a hundred or more years" are most likely miniscule compared to after they opened wide the windows to homosexuals starting in the late 50s (thus necessitating the 1961 Vatican reminder on the subject.)
ephebephilia, or ephebophilia are both correct spellings.
How do you know this? I think this is wishful thinking on your part.
Rates "going back a hundred or more years" are most likely miniscule compared to after they opened wide the windows to homosexuals starting in the late 50s (thus necessitating the 1961 Vatican reminder on the subject.)
Perhaps, but, like a wife who turns the other way while a child is abused by the husband, this has been a systemic problem in the Catholic Church, and other Churches as well, but the victims simply never reported anything to anybody (as children never reported abuse by a parent prior to the 1970s).
Who would believe a kid over a priest?
Homosexuals have always been in the priesthood, and will always be in the priesthood, no matter what the Vatican says or does.
Ephibophelia is a sexual attraction to post-adolescent boys.
How does it mean the article is incorrect? I agree entirely with your all your other statements, and expressed most of them in the article. In fact, I specifically noted that the headline was following the media's incorrect usage of the term.
Oops.. I mean post-pubescent boys.
Thanks for the ping.
Thanks for pointing that out. I would simply delete any references to "pedophilia", such as in your sentence,
"incidents of pedophilia (including ephibophilia)
Ephebophilia is NOT a subset of pedophilia; it has nothing to do with it. It is more appropriately termed pederasty. But nowhere should you use the term "pedophilia" in your own writing about the crisis, because it perpetuates the myth that it was EVER related to pedophilia. Catholics need to reject this notion and terminology out of hand. It was NEVER about pedophilia, though the USCCB consciously decided to use this deceitful term. It has always been about covering up the homosexual nature of the vast majority of the abuse.
Don't cooperate in that deception.
Sinkspur, you're trying to support the argument, but your endorsement is a walking ad-hominem attack. Unfortunately, Vatican II did NOT allow victims to come forward; they didn't start coming forward for thirty or more years after Vatican II. And I flatly reject the notion that the priesthood is inherently homosexual.
From talking with priests who are spiritual directors and priest psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as retired priests. They will all tell you how homosexuals were screened out of seminary in the first half of the 20th century.
I think this is wishful thinking on your part.
Think whatever you like.
That's the main stream media and predominant pop culture view, and serves their anti-Catholic agenda well, doesn't it? There is no proof it has been a systemicc problem with the exception of notoriuos periods of history, such as the recent 1950s to 1980s, and other well known historical periods in particular areas at particular times.
But to flatly state is is and always was a "systemic problem" is to buy into revisionist and anti-Catholic histories, something faithful Catholics should be loathe to do.
Homosexuals have always been in the priesthood, and will always be in the priesthood,
Yes, man has sinned since Original Sin, even priests. This is news?
no matter what the Vatican says or does.
Or at least that is the hope of AmChurch...
That is flatly not true. I know, from personal experience in two dioceses that abuse victims approached bishops in the 70s and 80s and were bought off or told that, if they went public with their accusations, they would end up in court for defamation. The Robert Peebles case is the most notorious, and his victims began approaching Bishop Thomas Tschoepe of Dallas in 1979, two years after Peebles was ordained, and were told by diocesan lawyers that they were lying. And, Andrew Greeley wrote, in 1984, that the abuse crisis would cripple the Church. Even then, he knew the extent of the problem.
And I flatly reject the notion that the priesthood is inherently homosexual.
Father Donald Cozzens, former rector of the seminary in Cleveland, sponsored a national study of seminarians in 1995. The results yielded that 30-40% of seminarians admitted to being homosexual. That, of course, doesn't take into account homosexual seminarians who would never admit it in a survey.
You can believe whatever you want. The fact is, homosexuals are drawn to the helping professions (especially the celibate Catholic priesthood) because they can hide there.
And how would they know this? Do they have access to diocesan files?
Homosexuals who don't want to be found out will not be found out. There were no "priest psychologists" in seminaries in the first half of the 20th century.
I can butcher the spelling in some pretty creative ways.
Surely you realize you are advancing the anti-Catholic cause with such unsupported opinions?
So, you are proving their "systemic" existence in seminaries prior to the 1950s, by their seeming nonexistence?
Peculiar logic, but it will be interesting to see how you provide concrete evidence for such a bold assertion...
Hey, no problem, I'm compulsive about spelling, I'm more to be pitied than censured, LOL!
Tell that to the men who lived, ate, and shared dorms with them for eight years. Talk to a few, 80 to 100 year old priests. ask them how many men were quietly "let go" from seminary because the men who lived, ate, and shared dorms with them for eight years could see through their charade.
You have a very myopic view, biased by your experiences of the latter half of the past century.
Your views do NOT reflect the reality that many men were actively screened out prior to seminary, and during training, and that it didn't take a psychologist or psychiatrist to recognize the peculiar neuroses and psychoses common to those afflicted with homosexual attractions.
These things are blatantly obvious to a spiritual, faithful and well trained seminary director or spiritual director.
Let me ask you something.
If you were a very Catholic young man who was attracted to males (and not to females, at all), how would you handle that?
Remember, you are a very Catholic young man in the 1920s (or 1930s, or 1940s, or, for that matter, the 1840s) whose mama expects him to marry and have children. The only thing that would please mama more would be for her fine young very Catholic son to enter the seminary.
And, if you entered the seminary, nobody would ask you why you weren't married, since you couldn't marry.
We are reading news stories today, in 2005, of teachers, scout masters, youth ministers in Protestant churces, who are ephebophiles.
Is it your contention that homosexuals seeking a haven in the helping professions (including the Catholic priesthood and Protestant ministry) is something that sprang, full flower, from the 1960s?
They were not obvious, in the 1950s during the papacy of Pius XII, to the "well trained" seminary officials who supervised Paul Shanley, William Porter, or John Geohagan, the most notorious ephebophiles in the history of the Catholic Church.
I cannot speak for another poster, but I have no doubt that men with a homosexual orientation have always been found among the Catholic clergy. The difference is that, before Vatican II, Catholic culture was one that frowned on sexual expression, but after Vatican II sexual expression was encouraged, even among the clergy, by crack-brained psychologists like Eugene Kennedy who felt that one needed to be sexually active to be "mature."
And if that priest remained celibate his whole life, never buggered any boys or slept with other men, I guess then yes, there probably were such men in the priesthood prior to the 1950s who slipped through the vigilance of the seminary and prescreening.
But we aren't talking about priests who remained celibate their whole life, never buggered any boys or slept with other men, are we? We are talking about sexually active homosexuals who buggered boys and engaged in homosexual behavior.
Of the latter type, you have no proof of their "systemic" existence within the ranks of the priesthood prior to the 1950s, except in small numbers, miniscule numbers compared to post 1950.
try to be honest, now.
Ah, but maybe they were. Some "progressive" dioceses started grooming a homosexual subculture in the 1950s, and it looks like the cases you indicate illustrate this fact. Boston would probably rank among the "progressives" of that time, given their go-ahead to JFK to distance himself from Catholic thought.
"Catholic culture" may have frowned on sexual expression, but people with nefarious intentions who could get away with "sexual expression" got away with it.
If you were a 12 year old kid in 1945, and Fr. Murphy, admired and saintly pastor in a 2,000 family parish, took liberties with you, just what would you do?
Who would believe you? Your parents? The remote and very purpled bishop Fanfani (who likely would screen you with a Vicar General or Chancellor or some other bureaucrat whose job it was to make problems go away)? The district attorney, who would be told by Bishop Fanfani that the kid was hallucinating?
It is my contention that homosexual priests preying on young, trusting, never-tell-a-soul adolescents have been a problem throughout the Church's existence. The Church has now been forced to admit and address the issue.
I'm all in favor of ridding the priesthood of active homosexuals, or active heterosexuals, for that matter.
Just what would that do the priesthood, in terms of numbers?
But other than your fevered imagination, on what concrete facts do you base this baseless contention?
I don't doubt it. But I think the incidence of it was far greater in the period after Vatican II, because of changes occuring both in the Church and in the broader society. There is no doubt that it is harder to live a life of chastity now, when the society is hypersexualized and those abstaining from sex are portrayed as freaks (even within some quarters in the Church), than during an era when chastity was considered a virtue and "virgin" was something other than a term of abuse.
None. But, if you have concrete facts to refute it, I'm all ears.
I just don't think that the sexual abuse crisis sprung, full bore, in 1965, due to Vatican II.
Those who abstain from sex for the sake of the Kingdom are to be admired and held forth as examples as contrarians for the Gospel. I know several priests who fit this model, and they are truly men of God in their mission.
In their candid moments, some of them will tell you (as they've told me) they are often lonely, and they long for one person who will simply indulge their desire to be held and told they are wonderful human beings.
No sex, mind you. Just be held, and admired, and told they are simply indispensable in someone's life.
I've heard that from good priests, who miss what they've given up.
But, I tell them, that's what "giving up" means. When you marry, you give up everybody but the one you marry. It's no trick to make love to 1,000 women. It is quite an accomplishment, however, to make love to the same woman, 1,000 times.
Answering a call to celibacy is a decision that must be made before one can answer a call to priesthood, in the Latin Rite. I'm just not sure that's what the Good Lord is demanding of His priests today.
Fr. Greeley (even though you don't address him as such, I believe he is a priest) knew about all this since at least 1984? He should be thrown in prison for his part in the coverup for the rest of his natural lifed. It is sickening that he has been abetting criminals likr this for years.
Greeley warned the bishops in 1984, NCR warned the bishops in 1984, and The Wanderer warned the bishops in 1985.
If the bishops ignored three warnings, whadda are you gonna do?
I can only go by the info in my neck of the woods, but my answer to "Who would believe a kid over a priest?" would be plenty of people --- like parents, cops, lawyers, judges and other priests. So many cases were legally settled, many were brought to the attention of the chanceries and quietly squelched, lots of cops looked the other way. If no one believed the kid over the priests there'd be no sense in moving the priests around. Least that's what happened in most of the cases here in Boston.
When you have knowledge of criminal activity it's nowhere near enough. The bishops are not part of law enforcement. Fr. Greeley would not be shielded from criminal charges no matter what he told the bishops.
I don't think the Good Lord ever 'demanded' it, yesterday or today. He did make a good case for it though, same argument holds true for the guy in 150 AD or 2005 AD. Can you give up all for the sake of the kingdom? Some can, some can't.
Take it to the Boston Globe! ;-) (who gave years of free adoring press to Fr. Paul Shanley) ---> some stuff you just can't make up!
The Good Lord never demanded celibacy. He just asked those who can accept it to accept it.
Those who can give it up for the sake of the Kingdom are not giving it up, or they're hedging their bets.
They're young, colleen, not a senior citizen like me, who would not hesitate to accept a call, as long as my wife could come along.
"It is my contention that homosexual priests preying on young, trusting, never-tell-a-soul adolescents have been a problem throughout the Church's existence.
But other than your fevered imagination, on what concrete facts do you base this baseless contention?"
Unfortunately there is good evidence that pederasty has been a long-standing problem. If it wasn't, why would the Fathers of the Council of Elvira (300 A.D.) have felt the need to address it?:
"Canon 71: To defilers of boys communion is not to be given even at death."
Their solution wasn't to weaken the discipline of celibacy, however. On the contrary they strengthened it.
"If you were a very Catholic young man who was attracted to males (and not to females, at all)...in the 1920s (or 1930s, or 1940s, or, for that matter, the 1840s"
There's a LOT more of that now, because there are a LOT more predators with easier access to pre-adult males. That means that SSAD is being transmitted with greater frequency now than in earlier decades.
Even Camile Paglia admits that you'd have to be blind not to see that there are a LOT more SSAD sufferers today than before.