The Roman Catholic Church may someday have to consider ordaining married men in order to deal with the desperate shortage of priests, according to some participants at a Vatican synod that began its work on Monday.
While the possibility is still far off, the fact that it even surfaced on the synod's first working day was significant because the 1.1 billion member Church is grappling with ways of stemming the shortage in many areas of the world.
In the past few decades, some theologians have proposed the ordination of "viri probati," which is Latin for "tested men."
That term is Church shorthand for older, married men with families who are known to lead exemplary personal lives in their communities and have a solid background in Church doctrine.
The topic of ordaining "viri probati" was raised with a question mark over it in a speech by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice, whose role at the synod is to coordinate and summarize proposals for discussion by the more than 250 members.
"To confront the issue of the shortage of priests, some ... have put forward the request to ordain married faithful of proven faith and virtue, the so-called 'viri probati,"' he said.
Scola, who read his speech in Latin in the presence of Pope Benedict, did not say which bishops from which countries had suggested discussing the ordination of older married men.
He said the possibility of older married men becoming priests in the future would not detract from the validity of rule of celibacy for those entering the priesthood in the traditional manner at a much younger age.
But Scola indicated to reporters at a news conference afterwards that he was personally opposed to the idea.
Asked about his personal position, he felt the shortage of priests might be confronted by seeking "ways to redistribute the forces (of priests) among the different local churches."
The synod's official theme is the Eucharist, the sacrament in which Catholics believe a priest turns bread and wine into Christ's body and blood. Only priests can do this.
But their numbers are falling in western countries -- the United States went from 58,909 in 1975 to 42,528 while the total number of U.S. Catholics rose from 48.7 million to 64.8 million.
In that same period, the number of permanent deacons -- laymen trained to help out in the liturgy but not allowed to consecrate hosts or perform other duties reserved for priests -- has risen from 898 to 14,574 as the Church sought to ease the burden on its remaining priests.
"I think that anything that is connected to the mystery of the Eucharist will be discussed," Scola told reporters.
The shortage of priests in many parts of the world means some faithful cannot attend a Mass but often take part in a "prayer service" led by a deacon or a senior member of the community.
At such prayer services, communion hosts that have been consecrated by a priest are distributed to the faithful.
At a news conference, Bishop Luis Tagle of the Philippines said the situation in some parts of his country was dire.
"We should face squarely the issue of the shortage of priests," he said. "We rejoice in the gift of the priesthood but we still cannot cope."
Tagle did not say what his position was on the eventual ordination of married men to serve as priests.
One of the examples of the power of the Holy Eucharist not being discussed among the secular media (and what may not be realized by fellow Catholics) is the very real spiritual war that has been fought and is still being fought here in America with the Holy Eucharist. Jesus Christ Himself leads the way.
Perhaps the greatest reason for having so many priests per Catholic in the USA is for Christ's confrontation against the liberal heresy that would have easily swallowed up the last two presidential elections. All of those priests and all of those Holy Masses have had a terrific effect. The Holy Eucharist and solid Catholic teaching concerning Communion and being in a State of Grace has dealt a tremendous blow to Satan. Heretical liberals are still reeling in pain. If America had fallen to liberalism, her errors would have spread uncontrollably throughout the world.
This has to be the right answer because we know from Stalin's genocide against Catholics (especially Catholic clergy) resulted in a massive blow against humanity. If WW2 hadn't seen Stalin using the popularity of and preservation of the Russian Orthodox Church, he would have wiped them out along with the Russian Jews. Enough evidence points to such Stalinists' wickedness to make this conclusion inescapable. The Vatican suffered tremendous losses against Stalin, but the Church did not fail. She knew how to confront such a beast as America was slowing being infected. Wafers and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ was and remains the cure. Jesus Christ is risen!
IIRC, there are three levels in the Sacrament of Holy Orders: Deacon, Preist, and Bishop. Since Deacons receive Holy Orders, they are clerics (clergy.) They are not laity.
Permanent deacons are clergy. They have received ordination.
If you are a bishop and you have a shortage of priests in your diocese, it means that you have FAILED to do your job. Admitting this should be the equivalent of a CEO having to tell the share-holders that the company wasn't profitable again this quarter.
Bishops who can not generate enough vocations should be shamed into stepping down.
Personally I'd be far more comfortable knowing a priest was going home to his wife every night than wondering whether he's from a gay seminary which frequently overlooks the vow of celibacy in an affront to God and desecration of holy places. >>>>
There is a big problem with married ministers in the Protestant faith molesting children, marriage has nothing to do with it. Some married priests beat their wives.
Abuse is an equal opportunity infraction of moral and criminal law.
"CHURCH EVANGELIZERS PREYED ON LOW-INCOME KIDS.
Men from a rural Baptist church known for its aggressive evangelizing of children are suspected of molesting as many as 22 boys & girls. The associate pastor, volunteer bus driver & a third church member are believed to have fondled some & raped others, ranging in age from 3 to 10, on church buses & property. Charges involving 10 victims were brought against Associate Pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 32, of North Sharon Baptist Church near Grass Lake, & volunteer Sunday school bus driver, church deacon Mark Foeller. Three other church members are being investigated. The suspects went to low-income housing projects or trailer parks in 4 counties, telling parents they would "take the children to church & teach them about God", according to Det. Robert Fitzpatrick, Jackson Co. Men would walk up to children in their yards, coaxing them with treats to come to weekend services or summer Bible school. Leonard was relieved of church duties involving children in August, after police started investigating him when a doctor reported suspected abuse in a child with a sexual disease. He also worked as instructor & gym teacher in the North Sharon Christian School, enrolling about 65 students. "
We have to keep our kids _safe_ from Baptist pedophiles!
* BRONSON MINISTER ARRAIGNED.
First Congregational Church minister David Covert Moore was charged with 5 counts of criminal sexual conduct of 4 children under the age of 15. In July he checked himself into Pine Rest Christian Counseling Services in Grand Rapids. Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot 8/29/92.
* AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN RAIDED. Deputies raided the home of Veterans Administration chaplain Rev. Donald G. Phillips, of Butler County, seizing 500 video tapes, movie equipment and restraints following a tip that he produced pornographic movies with young girls. The Baptist minister recently received the highest recognition awarded a VA chaplain, "the Award for Excellence in Chaplain Service". Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/19/92.
* BAPTIST VOLUNTEER CONVICTED.
Granite State Baptist Church volunteer David Kirsch, 39, of Salem, was convicted of sexually assaulting 6 young girls through the church from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Source: USA Today 9/25/92
* MINISTER & GIRLFRIEND INDICTED.
Trenton pastor Franklin Tucker, 37, Final Call Ministry, was indicted for molesting his girlfriend's daughters, 9 & 15. His girlfriend was indicted for forcing her daughters to recant the allegations to police. The abuse came to light when the 9-year-old told a school official, who contacted police. Source: Trenton Times 9/15/92.
* CIVIL SUIT: 11-YEAR-OLD MOLESTED.
A family in Dare County, North Carouna is suing Methodist minister Carl M. Eller for abusing their daughter, 11, as well as the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, a bishop and a reverend for knowing of his history of sexual misconduct but doing nothing about it. The family says she was molested when her father, a carpenter, was installing cabinets in the parsonage. Eller pleaded no contest to a charge of criminal assault on a female. However, the family said that in 1987 Eller had molested or made lewd comments to 4 women at his church, and forcibly kissed and touched 2 girls age 13. Three women had lodged formal complaints with the church, but the only action was to transfer him from Aurora to Hamlet. Source: News & Observer 1/15/92.
* BAPTIST PASTOR RESIGNS AMID SCANDAL.
Asheville Baptist pastor Michael R. Stewart, 34, of Oakley, resigned following his arrest in a prostitution sting. Stewart's name was among 400 on a full-page ad that month promoting family & traditional biblical values. Source:
* CHURCH SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE.
One of several girls who said Alva minister Rev. Robert Bruce Brigden molested her is suing the First Presbyterian Church for failing to check his background before hiring him. Allegations of sexual crimes were made at his former position in Kansas. Charges allege that he molested Alva church girls, ages 4 to 14. The church posted his bond. Source: _Tulsa Tribune
* PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER GETS 40 YEARS.
Rev. Robert Bruce Brigden was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting young girls in his congregation, convicted on 8 counts of lewd molestation & 1 count of rape by instrumentation involving a girl, 7. Bridgen, 57, was accused of molesting 11 girls, aged 4 to 14, during the 4 years he was at the Alva church. His congregation put the church up as bond, insisting he was innocent. He was placed in protected custody. Brigden blamed his arrest on a girl, 4, whose parents were the first to take the children's allegations seriously. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," Brigden wrote his wife about the 4-year-old, whom he described as "4 going on 400 years old", saying she invited him to spend the night in her bed, & was mad that he declined. Source: Tulsa Tribune 8/92, Tulsa World 9/3/92, _Daily Oklahoman_ 6/14/92.
* CHURCH VOLUNTEER CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.
Church volunteer Seven Jon Long, 41, was arrested for sodomy and taking pornographic pictures of young girls under 12 from Assembly of God Church in Rogue River, where he was a youth volunteer. He told detectives his pictures were art. Source: Daily Courier, Grants Pass, 4/17/92.
* CONVICTED PASTOR "RIGHT WITH LORD".
Rev. Virgil Carpenter, 48, pastor of Bible Missionary Church in Ontario, was convicted of sodomy & sexual abuse of a girl, 9, over a 1-1/2 year period. A jury convicted Carpenter of 2 felony counts of sodomy & 4 felony counts of sexual abuse. He faces 5 additional felony charges in 2 upcoming trials. "I'm really not worried," he told supporters who had gathered in the courtroom before the verdict. "I'm right with the Lord." Source: Corvallis Gazette-Times 10/11/92.
Why weren't these stories given national press coverage? Why is there a coverup of Christian pedophile ministers' crimes against America's children???
Troubled Newark reverend removed
Sex offender loses Shiloh Baptist post
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
A convicted sex offender from Florida who was hired as pastor of Newark's Shiloh Baptist Church has been removed from the position, a state official said yesterday.
Joseph Delmar, spokesman for the state Division of Youth and Family Services, said the church informed the agency that its leaders voted Thursday to remove the Rev. Chavalis T. Williams as pastor.
DYFS was involved because Williams, as pastor, was a board member of Shiloh Rainbow Academy, the church's day care center. The agency had warned the academy that Williams could not be allowed on the day care's premises.
"We have been informed by Shiloh that the Rev. Williams is no longer employed by the church," Delmar said. "Our concerns for the safety of the children have been met."
A number of church members said John Sabb, chairman of the church's board of deacons, informed the congregation of Williams' removal at a special meeting Monday night.
Sabb declined to comment.
In 1999, Williams, then known as Chavalis Bonsell, pleaded guilty to arranging for two teenagers to have sex in front of him and others while working at a facility for troubled teens in Jacksonville, Fla. At the time of his arrest, he was on probation after pleading guilty to an earlier charge of beating his wife.
After pleading guilty to charges of child abuse and using children in a sexual performance, Williams was sentenced to six months in jail and 30 months of probation.
Shiloh's leadership knew he was a registered sex offender in Florida and hired him in mid-March, provoking outrage among some members of the congregation. Many members of the church pressed the leadership to rescind his $45,000 annual contract.
Since being hired, Williams commuted from Florida and had only been at the church on two or three occasions, relying on associate ministers for Sunday sermons. He told the congregation he was planning to relocate to New Jersey.
Williams previously declined repeated requests for a comment on his past and could not be reached yesterday.
The controversy over Williams' pastorship divided the once close-knit church, which is on Davenport Avenue in the city's North Ward and will soon be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
The church's leadership and many members of the congregation strongly supported Williams, a 27-year-old known for his inspiring sermons. Leaders of the church were irate that some members had leaked his past to the media.
But another group felt the church had been taken in by a con artist. They said Williams denied that he was a registered sex offender in Florida when he was confronted by church members and appeared to be trying to collect his pay as pastor without living in New Jersey.
726 MINISTERS ABUSE CHILDREN (most are married clergymen)
Catholic bashing and pedophile priestshttp://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26955
Minister Rapes Teenhttp://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0530minister-sexcharge-ON.html
Lutheran minister asked to quit sexuality task forcehttp://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Midwest/11/27/priest.abuse.ap/index.html
Sex scandals also affect Protestant clergyhttp://www.freep.com/news/religion/prot5_20020405.htm
U.S. Protestants also facing sex abuse scandals
Expert: Frequency of abuse by Protestant clergy may equal that of Catholic priestshttp://www.thehollandsentinel.net/stories/040602/rel_040602027.shtml
Accusations filed against NY ministershttp://www.layman.org/layman/news/news-from-pcusa/accusations-filed-against-ny-ministers.htm
Protestant Clergy Abusehttp://polycafe.com/sacredfire/sacredfire-2002/3305.htm
Sex scandals also affect Protestant clergyhttp://www.reformation.com/CSA/HowthescandalsaredifferentforProtestants.htm
U.S. Protestants also facing sex abuse scandals
Expert: Frequency of abuse by Protestant clergy may equal that of Catholic priestshttp://www.thehollandsentinel.net/stories/040602/rel_040602027.shtml
Catholic clergy singled out, historian sayshttp://www.detnews.com/2002/religion/0204/13/a09-457640.htm
Sex abuse spans spectrum of churcheshttp://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0405/p01s01-ussc.html
A 14-year-old girl in foster care is raped and impregnated by Deacon Stephen Andrews of the Advent Christian Church in Kennebunk, Maine, a trusted figure. She gives birth. Andrews gets 5 years in prison, 3 of them suspended, despite the protests of the prosecutor.
Salvation Army Captain William Douglas is convicted of molesting, sodomizing and sexually terrorizing young Indian boys in a village in British Columbia. Douglas was acquitted of similar charges in 1985; the judge said he could not accept that a minister would lie.
Born-again Delaware preacher William J. Keichline, Sr. is commended by the legislature for running Mission of Care ministry for the homeless. As a landlord he assaults and rapes a girl for 3 years starting when she is 7, threatening to evict her family if she tells. He gets eight 20 year prison terms for rape, bondage and child pornography.
Included in the study were prominent clergy and evangelists who had made names for themselves through special ministries or "good works."
The profile of the typical minister charged with molesting children: a 45-year-old man (ages ranged from 24 to 80 at the time of arrest), with 4 to 5 named victims, most often boys in their early teens.
Of all the accused, 37% involved female victims, 58% male victims, and 3.2% children of both sexes. (In 1% of the cases, the sex of the victim was not identified.)
Charges for all 190 cases involved a total of 847 victims. Most ministers, however, were suspected of molesting many other children. Conservatively, the 190 clergy had at least 4,000 other victims, for a low estimate of an average of 21 victims each. These children were not included in charges for pragmatic legal reasons, because they had been molested in other cities and times, or because the statute of limitations had been exceeded. Some estimates were anecdotal based on investigations or confessions by the molester.
Convicted ministers averaged 5 victims each, with 133 ministers molesting at least 651 named victims.
Information on the marital status of Protestants, gleaned from newspaper accounts so therefore incomplete, showed that at least 43% were married. This would dispel the idea that celibacy alone triggers ministerial child molestation. Twelve cases involved clergy charged with molesting their own children, stepchildren, adopted children or foster children.
While many see therapy as a panacea for this crime, only about a third of the convicted ministers and priests had had some kind of counseling or psychiatric evaluation, mandated or otherwise.
The average age of priests charged last year with sexual abuse of children was 50 years. The range was 35 to 73 years.
The average Protestant minister was 46 years, with a similar range.
Lay Catholics and Protestants charged with sexual abuse were typically caught while in their 30's.
Many Previous Records
Shockingly, 11 out of 46 Protestant ministers charged in 1990 with criminal sexual abuse had prior convictions--almost a quarter of the cases:
All prior convictions were since 1985. Most of the men received light sentences enabling them to return to the pulpit--and continued sexual abuse of children--quickly. Churches are not only failing to check ministers' records, but in some instances are knowingly hiring convicted child molesters.
Five of the 23 nonordained Protestant church workers charged last year had had run-ins with authorities, including one discharged from the Navy for molesting boys.
In 22% of the cases, cover-ups shielding Protestant ministers were reported, in a variety of denominations. These included out-of-court settlements, defrocking a suspected child abuser but not notifying authorities about the abuse, "spiritual support," complicity, congregations applauding accused abusers, and telling reporters "The whole church knows he's not guilty," and "We're solidly behind him." "Satan can get his claws into anyone," said the friend of an Episcopalian rector accused of 73 counts of sodomizing and abusing mentally and emotionally handicapped boys before church functions.
The most blatant cover-up involved a Salvation Army minister who was permitted to keep his job and given continuing access to children after back-to-back arrests for sexually abusing children at the church.
BAPTIST VOLUNTEER PREYED ON GIRLS? Thomas Road Baptist Church in Phoenix failed to screen churchvolunteer John Herman Kuiper for a criminal record when it permitted him to drive a church bus & volunteer at youth events. Kuiper, who had been convicted in 1991 of a felony charge of 3rd degree sexual assault, was arrested in Phoenix for molesting 5 girls. As a church bus driver in Fort Collins, Colorado, he had received a deferred sentence for molesting a little girl, 5. Rev. Ken Adrian, church pastor, complained to media that the publicity was not good for his Phoenix church. Source: _Arizona Republic_ 11/4/92.
PASTOR GETS 13 YEARS FOR INCEST. Springfield Baptist Church pastor Jon L. Walker, 43, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for molesting a relative for 2-1/2 years, beginning when she was 13. Twenty persons pleaded for leniency, including the local NAACP president. Walter's defense was to accuse his wife of concocting the charges to get even with him because he had an affair with a young church member! Deputy DA Karen Gray said the letters of support were "a sad testimony to the fact that Mr. Walter's life has been a fraud". Source: _San Luis Obispo Telegram Tribune_ 8/5/92.
VICTIM SUES CONVICTED MINISTER. Rancho Cucamonga pastor John Marshall, convicted of sexually battering an ill man, 25, is being sued for $1 million by victim Kirk Judy, along with his church, the American Baptist Churches of USA & of the Pacific Southwest. The 6'2", 200-lb pastor overpowered the 5'6", 140-lb victim at a bedside counseling visit. He got only 2 years of probation. The suit alleges that Marshall had committed other crimes, & that the 2 Baptist groups should have known about them. Source: _Ontario Daily Bulletin_ 7/29/92.
ACCUSED PASTORAL COUNSELOR A PHONY. Port Charlotte church school principal Albert Joseph Clerico Jr., 47, charged with sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist by means of therapeutic deception, claims to be licensed by a nonexistent "scripturally based" group, National Christian Counselors Association & to have attended the nonexistent Carolina University of Theology. State investigator Robert Ford charged that Clerico "did cloak himself in the guise of Christianity & did represent to the female defendant that sexual contact" was part of the treatment. Clerico maintains his position as "pastoral counselor" exempts him under state law from charges. Police miked the victim & recorded Clerico making sexual advances, soliciting her comment on his graphic fantasies & telling her to perform oral sex. He was arrested after the 75-minute "counseling session". He has been suspended as principal of Community Christian School of First Baptist Church in Port Charlotte, & as minister of First Baptist Church, which operates the school. Source: _Sarasota Herald-Tribune_ 8/4/92.
BAPTIST YOUTH PASTOR NABBED. Youth minister-Sunday School teacher William Speaker, 21, of First Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs, was charged with a felony for sexually molesting a boy, 14, while chauffeuring him to church activities. Source: _Kansas City Star_ 8/21/92.
BAPTIST PASTOR GOES TO TRIAL. Indicted for 6 counts of aggravated sexual battery & 5 counts of sexual battery was Rev. George Walker, 64, of New Tazewell, who has pastored a number of area Baptist churches. He is accused of victimizing a female piano student instructed by his wife for 4 years. Source: _The Daily News_ Middlesboro, 12/24/92.
BAPTIST CONVICTED OF RAPING BOY. A jury convicted Baptist minister Edward Quakenbush, of New Testament Baptist Church, town of Wyoming, of raping & molesting a teenage boy in his church over a 4-year period, starting when he was 12. Members of his church & family sobbed & shouted at jurors & a police detective who testified that the pastor had confessed to the molestations. Quakenbush later denied confessing. Source: AP/_Daily Telegram_, Adrian, Ml 9/12/92.
CHURCH EVANGELIZERS PREYED ON LOW-INCOME KIDS. Men from a rural Baptist church known for its aggressive evangelizing of children are suspected of molesting as many as 22 boys & girls. The associate pastor, volunteer bus driver & a third church member are believed to have fondled some & raped others, ranging in age from 3 to 10, on church buses & property.
Charges involving 10 victims were brought against Associate Pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 32, of North Sharon Baptist Church near Grass Lake, & volunteer Sunday school bus driver, church deacon Mark Foeller. Three other church members are being investigated. The suspects went to low-income housing projects or trailer parks in 4 counties, telling parents they would "take the children to church & teach them about God", according to Det. Robert Fitzpatrick, Jackson Co.
Men would walk up to children in their yards, coaxing them with treats to come to weekend services or summer _Bible_ school. Leonard was relieved of church duties involving children in August, after police started investigating him when a doctor reported suspected abuse in a child with a sexual disease. He also worked as instructor & gym teacher in the North Sharon Christian School, enrolling about 65 students. Church members were not informed, even after the arrests.
In November, Gail Ganger, who lives 5 houses from the church, organized a Sunday morning picket after learning that the church secretary knew about the allegations, yet still recommended Leonard as a babysitter for her children. He & his wife Nadine had babysat for her 3 children 7 times since Oct. 1. About 2 dozen protesters carried signs saying "Close It Down." "The church knew about the allegations of child molesting, but nobody told me about it. This church should not be able to carry on business as usual," she said. "What a wonderful thing it is to be part of a church where adversity happens," said Rev. Bill Wininger, senior pastor. In January, Leonard was released after 72 days in jail after 10 charges were dropped over the objections of the DA by Washtenaw Co. Dist. Judge Thomas Shea, saying victims were either too young to testify or could not pinpoint the time of their assaults. Leonard still faces 2 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct charges. Although he resigned from the church, church funds are being used to help support his family & pay his legal expenses. The pastor said if he is acquitted, "I'm sure he would be welcomed back with open arms." Sources: _Ypsilanti Press_ 11/12/92, _Detroit Free Press_ 11/12/92, _Toledo Blade_ 11/18/92, _Jackson Citizen Patriot_ 11/16/92, 2/1/93.
AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN RAIDED. Deputies raided the home of Veterans Administration chaplain Rev. Donald G. Phillips, of Butler County, seizing 500 video tapes, movie equipment and restraints following a tip that he produced pornographic movies with young girls. The Baptist minister recently received the highest recognition awarded a VA chaplain, "the Award for Excellence in Chaplain Service". Source: _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_ 2/19/92.
BAPTIST VOLUNTEER CONVICTED. Granite State Baptist Church volunteer David Kirsch, 39, of Salem, was convicted of sexually assaulting 6 young girls through the church from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Source: _USA Today_ 9/25/92.
DEACON ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING 8 GIRLS. Victory Baptist Church deacon Daniel Eaves, 34, was arrested for sexually assaulting 8 girls, ages 3 to 14, at his Springfield home and during youth groups last year. Source: _Philadelphia Inquirer_ 4/25/ 92.
MOLESTING MINISTER-BROTHERS CONVICTED. Youth minister Don McCary, 48, was sentenced to 72 years of prison for molesting 4 boys at his Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. His twin brother Ron McCary, a Christian comedian and pastor, is in prison after committing aggravated rape on a boy, 6. Their older brother Richard McCary spent 2 years in the California prisons in the 1980s after conviction on 6 charges of child molestation. Explains sex offender therapist Deloris Roys, Don McCary "had a perfect camouflage ... For the person who uses religion as a camouflage, it gives them the mantle of being an OK or holy person. We all imbue religious people with the idea they wouldn't hurt us. They have instant authority, a power we don't have, a mantle of respect." Don McCary had been youth/choir director for 15 years at Central Baptist Church of Hixson, Tenn. He recorded lewd conversations with young boys and gave copies to his brother Ron in jail. Source: _Birmingham News_ 5/9/92.
$10 MILLION SOUGHT FROM BAPTISTS. Five civil lawsuits asking for $10 million in damages were filed against the Southern Baptist Convention for sexual assaults by convicted minister Donald McCary, of Chattanooga, sentenced in April to 72 years in prison for assaulting 5 boys. James Guenther, general counselor for the SBC in Nashville, shrugged off the suits: "We've probably had a dozen of these cases where a plaintiff has undertaken to show that SBC controls a minister." He says no SBC agency beyond the level of the congregation has legal or disciplinary authority over pastors. McCary's twin brother is also in prison for abusing children; their older brother is on parole for similar charges. Source: _Birmingham News_ 8/21/92.
BAPTIST CHARGED WITH INDECENCY. Charged with indecency for fondling a preteen girl in 1991 was Norman "Buddy" Wilcoxen, 60, former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Bastrop. Source: _Austin American-Statesman_ 10/17/92.
MINISTER PLEADS GUILTY TO ABUSING NIECE. Baptist minister Rev. Ernest Lee Rowsey, 51, of Wharton Missionary Baptist Church in Bim, pleaded guilty to 1 count of 1st degree sexual abuse, involving his niece. Originally, he was charged with molesting 2 nieces between 1976-1982, but they agreed to drop all but one charge against their uncle. The kids were molested for 6 years starting from ages 5 & 7. Rowley's sister also said he molested her as long ago as 1969, but at that time, child sexual abuse was a misdemeanor, & the statute of limitations has expired. Source: _Charleston Gazette_ 11/1/92.
SETTLEMENT SHROUDS BAPTIST CASE. A secret settlement was reached just before a civil suit went to jury against Moffett Road Baptist Church minister Henry Hobson, Mobile, for sexually abusing a girl, 14. Hobson admitted having sexual intercourse with the girl he referred to as an adopted daughter, once when she accompanied him on church "visitation". He admitted she "wanted out", but called her a "pleasant diversion". At first he denied her accusations and asked her to say she had lied, for "damage control". He resigned in April 1991 after a suicide attempt when the girl confided in the youth pastor about him. Attorney Robert Cunningham, Jr. told jurors that many church members shunned the 9th grader, blaming her. His attorney argued, "It certainly was not part of his job to have sexual intercourse with her, and therefore the church is not responsible," adding: "He thought it was better she learn about sex from him rather than some young boy at school." Source: _Mobile Register_ 2/12/93.
MORE CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST BAPTIST. Washtenaw Co. Dist. Judge Thomas F. Shea threw out 2 charges of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct against Baptist deacon Mark Foeller, leaving 6 counts of criminal sexual conduct. The deacon and bus driver at North Sharon Baptist Church is accused of raping a boy, 9, twice, at the church, which has a campaign to bus low-income children from 4 counties to its Sunday school and church camp. The dismissals follow earlier dismissals against assistant pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 33, originally charged with 12 similar counts. Judges dismissed all his charges, saying the alleged victims were either too young to testify or that their testimony was too vague. At least one family will file a civil lawsuit against the North Sharon Baptist Church and Leonard, according to Ann Arbor attorney Mark A. Hopper. "We will sue the church for negligent hiring and negligent retention of those workers." Leonard has been invited back to the church and is directing its music programs. A mother told a reporter she was "stunned" and "numb" by the judge's decision. Shea ruled that a 9-year-old could not testify about being raped in the church nursery, because she couldn't say on which day it happened. Source: _Jackson Citizen Patriot_ 2/5&18/93.
1991, England. Baptist Minister Ashby Breneman jailed for molesting 6 boys at his Christian Youth camp.
MOUNT KISCO, NY. Parishioners at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco yesterday were coming to grips with revelations that their former pastor was charged by the presbytery with sexually abusing eight boys. The eight charges, unveiled at the presbytery's regional meeting at Webb Horton Memorial Presbyterian Church in Middletown, outline abuse of boys under 18. Among the allegations are that Miller invited a child into the shower with him, that he had oral sex with a minor on numerous occasions over two years and that he made inappropriate sexual remarks and propositions. (THE JOURNAL NEWS, December 5, 2002)
HALN Reverend Young Key, 47 Gold Coast Presbyterian minister. Receives 8 year jail sentence after being found guilty in Brisbane District Court of rape, digital rape and indecent dealing with girl, aged 14, in 2000 at Nerang, south of Brisbane. Court hears Haln, who ran farm where visiting Korean Christians could work, seduced girl after offering to teach her English. (Queensland, Australia, 2002).
TRENTON, NJ. - Two adult males who alleged they were sexually abused as teenagers by a former Presbyterian youth minister have no right to sue the local church and its hierarchy because of the state's charitable immunity law, an appeals court has ruled.
The men sued the national Presbyterian Church, the church'sSynod of the Northeast, the Presbytery of Elizabeth and the Presbyterian Church at Pluckemin claiming they had been repeatedly sexually abused by their Presbyterian youth minister, Jeffrey Cheseboro. A lower court dismissed the case against the church defendants saying that they were afforded charitable immunity under state law. The appellate panel concurred.
"People don't realize this but if you send your child to a church-affiliated nursery school and they are abused by the teacher the only cause of action you have is against the abuser itself. The church is immune," said John Thatcher, who represented the plaintiffs in the case.
The way the law works, Thatcher said, if you are a member of a church and slip and fall on the stairs, you have no right to sue the church because you are a beneficiary of the church's "charitable purposes." A stranger,or nonmember, however, can bring a case, the courts have found.
In 1995, lawmakers did amend the charitable liabilities law. They said that trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, servants or volunteers of charitable organizations were not granted immunity if they committed an act of sexual assault and other crimes of a sexual nature, but the charitable institutions themselves were.
The appeals court also upheld a dismissal of the case against Cheseboro. The court found that the two-year statute of limitations, which in most sexual abuse cases begins once a child reaches adulthood, had expired. AP 4/5/99http://www.join-hands.com/law/new_jersey_cheseboro.html
DALLAS - Six women have accused a retired missionary of molesting them 30 years ago in Africa, shortly before Highland Park Presbyterian Church hired him as an associate pastor.
Similar allegations by others forced Rev. Bill Pruitt, 87, to quit his mission job in 1970, say two of the women and a former mission official. All the accusers are daughters of people who worked with Pruitt in Congo, then called the Belgian Congo.
An inquiry stemmed from a 1998 complaint filed by several women against Pruitt, who was then retired in Dallas. Pruitt, who died in 1999, denied the allegations. No criminal charges were ever filed. Church officials received credible information that the missionary molested children, but took no disciplinary action.
Another accuser said she hopes publicity will lead other victims to get help. She said she felt powerless to complain when abused in the late 1960s in Congo's capital of Kinshasa, at a boarding school for missionaries' children where Pruitt worked as a dormitory supervisor.
Her parents, she said, "were 500 miles away" at a rural mission post. "There was no telephone or radio connection."
Pritchard said she was aware of at least 6 victims beyond the women who have spoken to investigators. Some were abused at the school, as she and the second accuser were, she said, and others were targeted when Pruitt visited mission posts. Because children were separated from their parents, Pruitt was like a father or an uncle, who charmed them with everything from toys to tricks to hypnosis, she said.
Her father, John Pritchard, said two girls from other families accused Pruitt in the late 1960s. Mr. Pritchard, then chief administrator for US Presbyterians' mission work in Congo, said he ordered Pruitt never to be alone with girls again and to quit his mission work. Pruitt, he said, did not respond to the allegations, "but his wife did. She was very strong in denying that such a thing could happen."
Mr. Pritchard said his daughter told him only recently that she, too, had been molested. Mr. Pruitt enjoyed a reputation as "a very gentle and compassionate man... one of the most loved and admired missionaries we have," he said.
A retired pastor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said his daughter was one of the two who complained in the late 1960s and is not part of the six coming forward now.
Pruitt was later hired by the Highland Park church, one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in Texas. Morning News 4/26/99
ELDRIDGE Reverend Graeme Alfred, 58 VIC Presbyterian minister. Appears in Melbourne Magistrates Court charged with 28 child sex offences, including 17 counts of indecent assault and 9 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, against 3 boys, aged 9 to 12, in 1981 at Presbyterian church and manse in northern VIC. Court hears assaults involved oral sex, talcum powder and showering with victims. (Victoria, Australia, 1998).
LOS ANGELES - Ronald Reagan's former pastor returned to active ministry two years after he was disciplined for sexual misconduct with 5 women. Presbyterian minister Rev. Donn Moomaw,66, accepted an interim position in a San Diego church after the presbytery had determined he had fulfilled all the requirements, including signs of full repentence. (7/27/97)
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 70 VIC Presbyterian training farm superintendent. Appears in Melbourne Magistrates Court on child sex charges, including committing unlawful sexual intercourse and indecent assault, against 3 boys, aged under 16, between 1954 and 1961 while head of Dhurringile Training Farm near Tatura, north of Melbourne. Court hears offences occurred in dining room of Presbyterian Church-run home, in showers, in one boy's bed and in car. (A MacLean; HS 960228; APP 960515) (Victoria, Australia, 1996).
CHURCH SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE. One of several girls who said Alva minister Rev. Robert Bruce Brigden molested her is suing the First Presbyterian Church for failing to check his background before hiring him. Allegations of sexual crimes were made at his former position in Kansas. Charges allege that he molested Alva church girls, ages 4 to 14. The church posted his bond. (Tulsa Tribune)
Alva, OK. MOLESTING MINISTER STABBED TO DEATH BY INMATES. Robert Bruce Brigden, former pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Alva, was stabbed to death by 2 fellow inmates of the Oklahoma State Reformatory while serving a 40-year prison sentence. He was convicted of rape by instrument, lewd molestation, and fondling of 11 girls, aged 4 to 14. (Dallas Morning News 6/14/94)
Former Minister Fatally Stabbed in Prison Cell brigden1.htm
LOWE Robert Arthur Selby, 57 Melbourne Sunday school teacher and Presbyterian church elder. Receives life jail sentence in Melbourne Supreme Court after being convicted of kidnapping and choking to death girl, aged 6, whose decomposed body was found in 1991 near Rosebud, south of Melbourne. Court hears Lowe, who attended Rowville Presbyterian Church, killed "for sexual purposes". Report says Lowe on two occasions waved Bible at courtroom, swearing he "never saw girl". Earlier, in 1984, Lowe was charged with exposing himself to schoolgirls at Glen Waverley shopping centre, Melbourne; in 1991, he was warned for indecent exposure at Croydon, Melbourne. In 1997, report lists Lowe as one of VIC's top 4 sex fiends. (Victoria, Australia, 1994).
JURY ACQUITS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. A Louisville jury of 6 men & 6 women found in favor of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a $5 million sexual-harassment suit brought by Janet Gellhaus. The employee claimed her superior Nagy Tawfik sexually harassed her, pressuring her into a sexual relationship by threatening to fire her. Church attorney Michael Valenti, apparently conceded the relationship when he said after the acquittal (shades of the U.S. Senate): "The lesson should be you need to immediately tell people about it, you need to immediately investigate your rights, you need to use some common sense & say 'no'." Source: _Presbyterian Outlook_ 9/7/92.
PRESBYTERIAN REFORM URGED. The Presbyterian General Assembly, meeting in Baltimore in June, voted 446-78 to recommend abolishing the statute of limitations for reporting sexual misconduct by clergy. The church, citing critical proportions, has a 3-year time limit for reporting sexual misconduct by church officials. The vote must be ratified by 2/3 of the church's 171 regional presbyteries. It also voted 491-26 to establish a policy on sexual misconduct, advising local churches to set up "sexual misconduct response teams" & notify secular authorities "when appropriate". The adopted policy said there is evidence that "10-23 percent of clergy nationwide have engaged in sexualized behavior or sexual contact with parishioners, clients, employees, etc., within a professional relationship". Source: AP 6/12/92.
NUDE MINISTER CONVICTED. Rev. Bruce Rentz, found guilty of indecent exposure after a state trooper saw him jogging naked and chased him to his home, has resigned as minister from Greenbush Presbyterian Church. He was ordered to perform community service, pay a $50 fine, and get counseling. Source: _Union News_ 5/14/92.
PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER GETS 40 YEARS. Rev. Robert Bruce Brigden was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting young girls in his congregation, convicted on 8 counts of lewd molestation & 1 count of rape by instrumentation involving a girl, 7. Bridgen, 57, was accused of molesting 11 girls, aged 4 to 14, during the 4 years he was at the Alva church. His congregation put the church up as bond, insisting he was innocent. He was placed in protected custody. Brigden blamed his arrest on a girl, 4, whose parents were the first to take the children's allegations seriously. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," Brigden wrote his wife about the 4-year-old, whom he described as "4 going on 400 years old", saying she invited him to spend the night in her bed, & was mad that he declined. Source: _Tulsa Tribune_ 8/92, _Tulsa World_ 9/3/92, _Daily Oklahoman_ 6/14/92.
PRESBYTERY REMOVES PASTOR. The Pittsburgh Presbytery removed the associate pastor of the prominent East Liberty Presbyterian Church on charges of sexual misconduct. Rev. Howard Eybers, 43, is accused by 3 women of making sexual overtures. Source: _Pittsburgh Post- Gazette_ 3/7/92.
TASKER Donald Gilbert, 61 Melbourne trainee Presbyterian minister and school teacher. Receives 6 year jail sentence in Melbourne County Court after being convicted on 29 child sex charges, including 12 counts of indecent assault, 5 of attempting indecent assault, 7 of gross indecency with aggravating circumstances and 5 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse with aggravating circumstances, against 4 boys, aged 5 to 11, between 1986 and 1991 at Melbourne home and suburban swimming pool. Court hears Tasker, of Croydon, abused his victims after volunteering to become surrogate parent with Melbourne community welfare agency. (Victoria, Australia, 1992).
A federal sting operation to find child pornographers/molesters yielded 6 arrests in Philadelphia, including Presbyterian minister JOHN MCVAY, 53. He allegedly solicited sex with 2 girls ages 9 and 12. He was charged with criminal solicitation to commit involuntary deviant sexual intercourse. He also sent a 15 year old girl obscene material and a letter soliciting sex. (Intelligencer-Record, 3/10/89)
Woman sues Presbyterian church for negligence: The Tulsa Tribune reported that one of several girls who said a Presbyterian minister molested her is suing the church for failing to check his background before hiring him. Allegations of sexual crimes were made at his former position in Kansas. Charges allege that he molested the church girls, ages 4 to 14. The church posted his bond.
With all due respect, please share your evidence of a "big" problem in Protestant-ville with sexual abuse of children......However, I have not heard of very many instances of Protestant abuses...I look forward to your evidence.
By the by...I don't think people in general give two hoots if it's a Catholic or Protestant clergyman doing those disgusting things with children...I can say I don't care if they are of any denomination or of none, anyone who abuses a child physically, mentally or sexually is subhuman...
Thank you. >>>>>>
Do you feel better now showing that it's not just Catholic priests who do these subhuman things? Does that justify the priests that have done the disgusting things to children? I find no joy in seeing a list or Protestant ministers anymore than I see in Catholic Priests! Both are sad to read... >>>>>>>>
You asked for it and I answered. Guess you weren't really "looking forward" to my "evidence" as you previously stated. Feel? I don't "feel" better or worse, I just answered your question, that's all.