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Why I am a Catholic
NY Post ^ | April 4, 2010 | CAROLYN E. DAVIS

Posted on 04/04/2010 3:57:33 AM PDT by Scanian

Sure, it was explained to me when I converted that the gate would be narrow, but I had no idea. Born “nothing,” I completed my adult catechism and chose to become a Catholic in 2000, to the thinly veiled displeasure of people close to me. Archbishop Fulton Sheen put it right when he said, “There are not over a hundred people in the US that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.”

Now the horrific replay of the 2002 clerical sexual-abuse scandals has again stirred up sadness, anger and the inevitable stream of negative postings on my social-networking feeds.

But there is zero tolerance for pedophiles in the Church today. And the test of moral credibility the Holy See is charged with really applies to the whole church — not just clergy but the whole mystical body of Christ.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: conversion; jesus; sin; spedophilia

1 posted on 04/04/2010 3:57:33 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; ...

Carolyn E. Davis

The Catholic Church is more than this scandal. I, for one, want to help serve with a church that has done more to help the sick, poor, hungry, suffering and forgotten than any other group in recorded human history.

Blessed Easter to Ms. Davis and all of you!

Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

2 posted on 04/04/2010 4:11:23 AM PDT by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: Scanian

One of the things nobody points out is that during the time the worst cases occurred, in the 1970s and 1880s, child molesting was punished in the secular world with virtually nothing but a few years of therapy. Even pedophiles who had murdered children were “treated” and released after 5 years or so, and of course went on to kill again.

And homosexual pursuit of adolescent boys by adult males (which was what most of the clerical cases were) was not punished at all and in fact people like Obama’s candidate for a schools administration post publicly expressed the opinion that it was just fine and even beneficial.

The Church should have held to its view of these things as sin and punished them firmly within its capacity to do so, which would have been immediate removal from the clerical state. But even then, the Church’s options for punishment are pretty limited and consist mainly in handing these people over to secular authorities - for what at the time would have been a trivial punishment, usually consisting of “therapy” at some lightly supervised residential place that was more like a resort. So we have to keep in mind that the secular world was not good on this issue, either, particularly when it involved homosexuals.

3 posted on 04/04/2010 4:12:09 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

My standard answer to people who rail about the Church is that pedophilia is not a Catholic doctrine. It does, however, fall into that of homosexuality, which has to abuse children in order to create new homosexuals.

The Church has been infiltrated in order to bring it down from within. What is ridiculous though, is many of the people who attack the Church support such perversions as homosexuality and the lowering of the age of consent, as well as removing children from being under the care and responsibility of their parents.

4 posted on 04/04/2010 4:21:25 AM PDT by kenth
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To: NYer
God is all just and all merciful.

This means no matter your faith,behavior or station in life,your afterlife will be exactly what you deserve.

Some of these theological naval-gazing threads are interesting,yet they are still infinitely irrelevant.

Live a good life then have a good life.

Pithy and correct.

5 posted on 04/04/2010 4:47:52 AM PDT by Happy Rain ( "Tyranny's End In 2010--Delivered From Hell In 2012!")
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To: livius
"One of the things nobody points out is that during the time the worst cases occurred, in the 1970s and 1880s, child molesting was punished in the secular world with virtually nothing but a few years of therapy."

That is just flat out not true. Are there instances where that did happen? Probably. But it was certainly not the norm.

6 posted on 04/04/2010 4:55:06 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: Happy Rain

Happy Rain going to be man who is guest columnist for NY POST next week. Happy Rain be Happy Writer.

7 posted on 04/04/2010 5:04:52 AM PDT by campaignPete R-CT ("pray without ceasing" - Paul of Tarsus)
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To: circlecity
Dear circlecity,

It is quite true.

Sure, folks whose crimes became public would be prosecuted, but most of these cases were hushed up by most segments in society, whether it was church (not just the Catholic Church), law enforcement, the medical establishment, the therapeutic establishment.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was studying to become a clinical psychologist. Laws were just then changing to require that psychotherapists report confessions of child sexual abuse on the part of clients to law enforcement. This was very controversial. I remember that my professors were pretty much all universally horrified at the idea that they would be required to report these cases to the police. Previously, this sort of thing was usually handled therapeutically.

The Catholic Church actually ran a center in suburban Maryland in part to treat molestor priests. This was out in the open. No one was hiding this fact. Everyone in the community knew what was the subject of therapy at St. Luke's. Including the police. I promise, the police never raided the place to gather up all the molestors in residence who were being treated.

I remember at the time that it was the universal opinion of folks that this was the best, most effective way to treat molestors. I remember that the views in my then-chosen profession were just beginning to change. Previously, it had been thought that pursuing criminal charges against molestors was damaging to the VICTIMS. It was often concern for the VICTIMS that caused different institutions in our society to come to confidential agreements, to avoid open, public criminal trials, to divert offenders to therapy.

Remember that it wasn't so long ago that to have been sexually assaulted was to have imposed on oneself a great mark of deep shame. Even today, newspapers don't usually publish the names of folks who have suffered sexual assault. It was a common belief that it was best for the victim to put the abuse behind him or her, and not expose victims to publicity or long, drawn-out proceedings that would daily remind them of their abuse.

That was the norm.


8 posted on 04/04/2010 5:14:59 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest

Well, during the 70’s and 80’s I both prosecuted and defended child molesters and what you say was NOT the norm in Indiana. When convicted they generally went to jail for a long time. I don’t have to rely on what “my professors” said, I was there in the trenches and I know what you say is not true.

9 posted on 04/04/2010 5:23:03 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity
Dear circlecity,

I didn't say that no one was prosecuted.

I merely said that most cases never became matters of law enforcement.

And in many jursidictions, law enforcement didn't exactly actively pursue every suspicion of child sexual abuse.

Otherwise, places like St. Luke's couldn't have existed.


10 posted on 04/04/2010 5:25:52 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: circlecity

There are many instances. If you look at sentencing, particularly in California, parts of the Pacific Northwest, and some of the Northeastern states, you will find totally trivial sentences for pedophiles who had even gone so far as to murder their victims. In the Idaho case of a few years ago, where a man kidnapped and sexually assaulted two children, torturing them and killing one before he was caught, it turned out that he had already raped and killed another child only a few years before. He had received “therapy” and a trivial sentence for this.

It is hardly the only case. It is only in recent years that even therapists are acknowledging that therapy does not cure pedophiles; and nobody is even discussing the real problem in most of the cases in the Catholic Church, which is not pedophilia but the pursuit by homosexual men of adolescent boys - something that is not even punished if the boy is technically over the age of consent, and generally ignored even if he isn’t. Remember Obama’s recent candidate for a schools position, who had even come out endorsing male adult/child sexual engagement. This was his public position during the 1970s, and was the position of many others at that time.

The real problem was that the Church ceased to rely on its defnition of sin and and substituted psychological definitions of morality. And at the time that most of the worst of the cases happened in the Church, it was governed by the psychological approach to child molesters (and no approach at all to homosexual males who chased teenage boys).

11 posted on 04/04/2010 5:34:12 AM PDT by livius
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To: sitetest

Now you are changing what you said. In your original post you said “child molesting was punished in the secular world with virtually nothing but a few years of therapy.” And I pointed out this is totally wrong. The secular punished child molest severely. Perhaps in the very narrow confines of the clinical acedemic world it was not reported to police, but then and now that was never how most child molesters where caught in the first place.

12 posted on 04/04/2010 5:34:15 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity
Dear circlecity,

“Now you are changing what you said. In your original post you said ‘child molesting was punished in the secular world with virtually nothing but a few years of therapy.’”

I didn’t say that.

I said some folks were prosecuted, most never went through the criminal justice system.

I also said that many were treated therapeutically with full knowledge of law enforcement, who did not attempt any criminal prosecution whatsoever.


13 posted on 04/04/2010 5:46:46 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest; livius

Very interesting. Thanks.

14 posted on 04/04/2010 5:53:31 AM PDT by bronxville
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To: Scanian; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

15 posted on 04/04/2010 6:04:12 AM PDT by narses ("lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi")
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To: livius

“One of the things nobody points out is that during the time the worst cases occurred, in the 1970s and 1980s, child molesting was punished in the secular world with virtually nothing but a few years of therapy.”

Sentences served for homicides in the US averaged slightly more than 2 years in the late ‘90s.

The indulgence of criminals is not limited to the pedophiles. It is general and it is entrenched policy.

16 posted on 04/04/2010 9:31:32 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (What is a slave, but someone robbed of his labor to sustain the idle?)
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To: sitetest
"I said some folks were prosecuted, most never went through the criminal justice system."

Please show me one shred of objective evidence that shows "most" people caught child molesting never went through the criminal justice system. I would very much like to see this and how that number is quantified. Who counted them and how did they do so?

17 posted on 04/04/2010 10:17:01 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: Psalm 144

I will say that things began to change in the early 90’s - after many people had been killed by repeat offenders.

18 posted on 04/04/2010 10:41:53 AM PDT by livius
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To: circlecity

Why don’t you go do your own research, since you are making these off-the-wall charges.

The problem is that many of these people DID go through the criminal justice system - which gave them a slap on the wrist.

I knew an older Spanish priest once who told me that if anybody had done anything like this prior to the 1960s, he would have spent most of the rest of his life in a monastic jail, and if he had gotten out before he died, he would never have considered doing anything like this again. The problem was that the Church handed over its justice system to the civil authorities.

The US may have been more lax than Spain, but the problem was that after Vatican II, the Church adopted the secular justice program of whatever State it was in. Once that changed and the Church stopped disciplining its own (which was met with cries of joy by the New York Times), the entire structure collapsed.

19 posted on 04/04/2010 10:46:46 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

There where’s the proof? My experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney shows just the opposite. I don’t have to rely on anecdotal and second hand evidence. Did some get off easy? Sure and those make the news but for every one of those there are dozens who went to jail for a long time. I know because I sent many there. Why can you cite nothing to back up your overarching claim? I need more authority than your own imagination.

20 posted on 04/04/2010 10:53:19 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

You’re from Indiana, right? Probably that was one of the more conservative areas. I lived in California, the Pacific Northwest and New York State during these horrible decades. And believe me, sentencing was scandalous. You may be too young to remember this - but I’m in my 60s and lived through it. I had young children at the time and I could not believe how lax the justice system was in dealing with pedophiles.

If you are making these charges, it’s up to you to prove them. The Church was doing exactly what the secular justice system was doing at that time.

As I have said, I think that was wrong and the Church should have relied on its old system (monastic jails, removal from the priesthood, etc.). But after Vatican II, the Church ceased to behave as the Church, something very much praised by the New York Times at that moment.

And this is the result.

21 posted on 04/04/2010 10:59:01 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius
None of my comments on this thread had anything to do with the Catholic church. Child molesting in the church did not constitute even 1 percent of overall child molesting claims in that or any other era. The charge was the the secular system didn't punish child molesters (in general) very severely during the 70's and 80's and nothing was provided to back up that assertion. The one making the assertion has the burden to back it up. And you can't because it isn't true.

You seem to be caught up in defending or rationalizing child molesting in your Church when that wasn't the issue I was responding to at all. I lived through it too and was part of the system so my response is based on personal experience of prosecuting and defending these cases. I'm not relying on a 60 year old memory of what I read in the newspapers.

22 posted on 04/04/2010 11:15:01 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity; livius
Dear circlecity,

“Please show me one shred of objective evidence that shows ‘most’ people caught child molesting...”

One difficulty here is with the word “caught.” I'm not sure that “caught” is an on/off switch type of word in this matter. There are degrees of “caught,” or rather, knowledge by third parties, and I suspect that by playing on the shading of meaning, on the ambiguous nature of things, etc., many abusers avoided being prosecuted.

If, by “caught,” you mean “someone has made a formal complaint to law enforcement authorities, and law enforcement authorities found the accusation credible,” then I suspect that my original statement is defeated almost tautologically.

But, if by “caught,” you mean that some party other than the offender and the victim are aware of the accusation of crime, then I think that my assertion is completely true, but is still impossible to prove in the way that you request.

In the past, there were folks strongly suspected of abuse, but because circumstances were ambiguous, or victims reluctant to come forward, or where organizations intentionally covered up, or organizations handled the matters privately, or private settlements were arranged, or accusers weren't believed because there was no physical evidence, abusers weren't prosecuted. Yet, in some way, shape or form, they were caught. And many of the perpetrators were forced to move on. By their nature, these cases would be difficult to quantify. Yet, as naive as I was in my youth, even I knew of a few cases like this.

The now-revealed documents of many Catholic dioceses show that there were several thousand abusers over the course of 50 years whose cases fell into one or more categories. Even among those where there was clear evidence of abuse, most of these cases were not prosecuted, even though many of the abusers received treatment.

Do you think that these same sorts of cases didn't play out through other American institutions? I've seen research that suggests that 12% of public school children are sexually abused by public school personnel. Do you think that nearly all these cases are completely unreported and that some signifcant number of them were not traditionally dealt with as mentioned above? I certainly don't see hundreds of thousands of public school teachers in prison.

I've seen studies that suggest that 8% of adult males engage in sexual abuse of underage minors. That's literally nearly 10 million people. Are you saying that nearly all of these cases are completely and totally unreported and nearly none dealt with as laid out above?

How many hundreds of public school teachers did you prosecute? Oh, you didn't prosecute hundreds of public school teachers? Then you likely missed the bulk of abusers in the public schools.

I know that St. Luke's in suburban Maryland openly treated hundreds of Catholic priests for child sex abuse from the early 1980s into the mid-2000s, and that in the early years, these men were not usually prosecuted. They were treated and often re-assigned to limited ministry (I remember that Cardinal Hickey, then-Archbishop of Washington, assigned one of these priests to be the chaplain at a maximum security prison in southern Virginia, but that's as far as that man got to being sent to jail), as laicization was not yet the norm for abusers in the mid-1980s.

This institute openly practiced therapy for child sex abusers, and actually worked with authorities to treat those who actually had been prosecuted. Thus, the authorities knew that St. Luke's was a place that treated abuser priests because they actually worked with St. Luke's on cases where there was criminal prosecution. Folks released on probation or parole often had to have on-going treatment at St. Luke's, and the civil authorities actually assigned much of the supervision and monitoring of these folks to St. Luke's. Nonetheless, when Ive reviewed the sex abuse records of the Archdiocese of Washington, prior to recent years, archdiocesan priests sent to such facilities often were not prosecuted.

Law enforcement in Maryland knew that there were abuser priests there because THEY'D SENT SOME OF THEM THERE THEMSELVES. Are you telling me that the Prince George's County, Maryland State's Attorney was unaware that there were other abuser priests there who were going unprosecuted?

Also, not being in the field, I guess you'd be surprised how many folks used to confess to these acts before the laws changed. That's why my professors were against mandatory reporting - because they saw a fair number of these folks, and by treating their confessions in confidence, they believed that they could do something to dissuade some of the perpetrators from further crimes, and if the laws were changed, the number of folks who would confess to these acts to their shrinks would decline.

Here's another piece of evidence. By definition, every girl under the age of consent who has become pregnant by someone more than a few years older than herself is technically a victim of child sex molestation. This population comprises literally in six figures.

Here's a clip from a wiki article on teen pregnancy:

“A review of California's 1990 vital statistics found that men older than high school age fathered 77 percent of all births to high school-aged girls (ages 16-18), and 51 percent of births to junior high school-aged girls (15 and younger). Men over age 25 fathered twice as many children of teenage mothers than boys under age 18, and men over age 20 fathered five times as many children of junior high school-aged girls as did junior high school-aged boys.”

A little back-of-the-envelope extrapolation suggests that just among the population of underaged females who become pregnant, there are many tens of thousands of adult men who have fathered these children. And yet, are not in jail for this crime. The hospital birth to a 15 year-old girl of her baby is significant evidence of child sex abuse. Are the district attorneys lining up to make these tens of thousands of cases?


23 posted on 04/04/2010 11:43:13 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Scanian
There were many that joined the Catholic Church last night at the Easter Vigil. Even some FReepers here on FR!!!!

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The journey back - Dr. Beckwith explains his reasons for returning to the Catholic Church
Famous Homosexual Italian Author Returned to the Church Before Dying of AIDS
Dr. Francis Beckwith Returns To Full Communion With The Church
laetare (commentary on ordination of married Anglican convert to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) Father Bill Lowe
Catholic Converts - Stephen K. Ray (former Evangelical)
Catholic Converts - Malcolm Muggeridge

Catholic Converts - Richard John Neuhaus
Catholic Converts - Avery Cardinal Dulles
Catholic Converts - Israel (Eugenio) Zolli - Chief Rabbi of Rome
Catholic Converts - Robert H. Bork , American Jurist (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Converts - Marcus Grodi
He Was an Evangelical Christian Until He Read Aquinas [Rob Evans]
The Scott Hahn Conversion Story
Interview with Roy Schoeman - A Jewish Convert
Church Is Still Attracting Converts [Jim Anderson]

24 posted on 04/04/2010 12:08:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: circlecity

Sorry, in the US justice system, the accuser has got to prove his accusation. And you can’t.

25 posted on 04/04/2010 1:21:27 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius
"Sorry, in the US justice system, the accuser has got to prove his accusation. And you can’t."

I'm not accusing anyone of anything and I didn't make the initial assertion. Now you're just rambling and making no sense at all. Give it up.

26 posted on 04/04/2010 1:55:58 PM PDT by circlecity
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