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Lies, Common Scolds and Media Bigotry
NewsMax ^ | Wednesday, April 24, 2002 | Phil Brennan

Posted on 05/04/2002 4:16:48 PM PDT by history_matters

The Roman Catholic Church, my church, is being lied about, subjected to the obscene rantings of modern-day common scolds, and made a victim of some of the most overt examples of just plain bigotry I have seen in my long life.

During colonial times in New England, certain shrewish women notorious for their constant and unremitting harping about everybody and everything were accused of being "common scolds." Those harpies found guilty of the offense were sometimes tied to a chair attached to long poles and dunked like doughnuts in the nearest body of water until they were choking and sputtering.

What a splendid idea, certainly one worthy of revival in this day and age when our modern common scolds are being given free rein to vent their spleen to their cold heart's content, often on the op-ed pages of America's largest newspapers, or during certain panel shows on television.

Thoughts about this historical practice came to mind when I read pieces about the scandal by two of the nation's premier common scolds, Miss Maureen Dowd, and Bill Clinton's ever-worshipful acolyte at Newsweek, Eleanor Clift.

As reported by Zenit news agency, writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times on March 20 Miss Dowd lumped together in one paragraph "the church subsidizing pedophilia" along with "Taliban obliteration of women; the brotherhood of al-Qaeda and Mohamed Atta´s misogynistic funeral instructions; the implosion of the macho Enron Ponzi scheme."

Zenet further reported that Dowd "returned to the subject four days later, this time to comment on the reference to the sexual abuses made by John Paul II in his Holy Thursday letter to priests. She gratuitously alleged that the Pope 'did not write the letter,' to which she managed to avoid adding her own lines expressing what she thought the Pope really meant.

That didn't stop her on April 14 when Miss Dowd published a parody titled "The text [and annotated subtext] from a letter sent on Friday by Cardinal Bernard Law to Boston priests." Here are a couple of examples cited by Zenit of Miss Dowd's imagination gone bonkers:

* After Cardinal Law´s expression of condolence for the suffering of people, "Like many of you, I have had the ... painful experience of meetings with those who have been abused as children, as well as with their parents, spouses and other family members," Dowd added her own line to show what she thought the Cardinal was really thinking, "(Will they ever stop whining?)"
* His following words of sympathy, "The unbelievable horror of these accounts can only dimly reflect the awful and often ongoing pain of the reality," received this flippant remark from Dowd: "(Thank heavens Rome cares more about the third world. Who needs Boston when you´ve got Lagos?)"

Turning to Eleanor Clift, the Washington correspondent for Newsweek treated the magazine's readers to an expose of her limited - and distorted - grasp of the facts about the Roman Catholic Church in a "Web exclusive" article on March 29.

'Like the Taliban'

Readers, Zenet noted, "could have been justifiably confused as to her grasp of Catholic matters. First she compared the Church to Congress: "Congress has made some changes, and maybe the church can, too." Then the abuses were likened to the Enron scandals. A few lines later, Clift compares the Church to the communist parties of old, and then decides, on second thought, that it is really "like the Taliban."

Clift wasn't finished. "For good measure, she quotes an anonymous member of Congress [the article is full of anonymous quotes] as saying, 'Then I think about the pope – and how sclerotic and calcified the church is.' Not content with this, Clift affirms, contrary to all recognized historical knowledge, that "The papacy as we know it is a 19th-century convention." The article finishes with a gibe at the clergy: "The priesthood attracts sexually conflicted men."

An interesting observation from Clift, an unabashed admirer of one William Jefferson Clinton, certifiably one of history's most notorious "sexually conflicted men."

Clift, it appears, can be horrified by sex scandals in the clergy. In the presidency, however, when occupied by Mr. Clinton, anything, including rape, is just hunky dory with Eleanor Clift.

Does anybody have an old dunking chair available?

Then there is the matter of lies - outright lies being disguised as legitimate headlines such as those that refer to the "pedophile priest" scandal and to the victims as "children."

Not Pedophilia

Let's get this clear right now. The scandal, bad as it is, has little or nothing to do with pedophilia and little or nothing to do with children. The victims, as Ron Dreher pointed out in a recent National Review Online piece, were minors, some as old as 17, and they were victims of homosexual priests.

How old is 17? Well, when I was 17 I was a United States Marine headed for the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II. Had any priest or anyone else for that matter, then or earlier, ever tried to molest me I would have fondled his genitals with my right knee. Perhaps teenagers are less combative these days with all this conflict resolution nonsense being drummed into their heads.

Anyway, here's what Ron Dreher wrote: "The first thing to understand about the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal is that it is not technically a pedophilia scandal. Despite the gruesome example of defrocked Boston priest John Geoghan, whose case started the tidal wave of revelations, the overwhelming majority of priests who have molested minors are not pedophiles – that is, like Geoghan, among the rare adults sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children. They are, rather, "ephebophiles" – adults who are sexually attracted to post-pubescent youths, generally aged 12 to 17. And their victims have been almost exclusively boys."

Dreher quotes New Jersey lawyer Stephen Rubino, who says that of the more than 300 alleged victims of priest sex abuse he has represented, roughly 85 percent are boys, and were teenagers when the abuse occurred. He cites Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, an eminent Catholic psychiatrist who has treated scores of victims and priest-perpetrators, as reporting that 90 percent of his patients were either teen male victims of priests, or priests who abused teen boys.

"I think we have to ask the question: Why are 90 percent to 95 percent, and some estimates say as high as 98 percent, of the victims of clergy [abuse] teenage boys? ... We need to ask that question, and I think there's a certain reluctance to raise that issue," said the Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," on a recent "Meet the Press."

The reluctance arises, no doubt, partly out of a fear of antagonizing homosexual anti-defamation groups, who resent the stereotype of male homosexuals as pederasts, Dreher explained.

"It's much safer to focus inquiry on the question of mandatory celibacy, or the issue of ordaining women," writes Zenit. "Yet it defies common sense to imagine that an ordinary man, having made a vow not to marry, is therefore going to be sexually attracted to boys. Indeed, suppose the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s had admitted married men to the ranks of the Catholic priesthood: Would a single adolescent boy molested over the past 40 years have escaped his fate? Similarly, if women had been ordained, would that somehow have made sexually predatory gay priests.

"The portrayal of the clergy as being infested by sexual deviants, as some reports have done, is also erroneous," Zenit charged, citing Father Stephen Rossetti, a psychologist, who countered that myth in an April 11 interview with CNN. He explained: 'The numbers we have right now suggest that about 1.6 to 2 percent of priests are sexually involved with minors sometime during their career. So what we see is this number is probably the same or maybe even less than in society. So it´s not really a ´priests´ problem.´"

Lack of Facts

Another charge is that the Catholic Church is more likely than other churches to have sexual abusers in its ranks, because of its celibacy requirement and its view of sexual morality. "But they have little hard data – nationwide statistics or scientific studies – to support their position," observed a March 10 article in the Washington Post.

In fact, Zenit quotes the Christian Science Monitor, which wrote April 5, "Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers." This information comes from national surveys conducted by Christian Ministry Resources, described as "a tax and legal-advice publisher serving more than 75,000 congregations and 1,000 denominational agencies nationwide."

P.C. Media

Now the national media know all these things. They are fully aware that this is not a pedophile priest scandal. They know that in all but the tiniest percentage of cases, the victims were not children. Yet they persist in mislabeling the crime and the victims, and they run like scared rabbits at the very mention of the homosexual aspects of the story.

Wrote Dreher: "For journalists, to confront the issue is to risk touching the electrified third rail of American popular culture: the dark side of homosexuality. Yet when we learn that the greatest crisis the Catholic Church in America has ever faced has been brought upon it almost wholly by male clerics seducing boys, attention must be paid to the man behind the curtain."

The mainstream media, almost exclusively composed in its upper, elitist ranks of paganistic Marxists, have showed their hand as bigoted anti-Catholics in other ways, mainly by seeking out so-called dissidents masquerading as Catholics such as one Francis Kissling of the misnamed Catholics for a Free Choice - an organization heavily financed by the abortion industry - for comment on the scandal they know full well will be hostile to the Church.

The other night, for example, CNN featured Kissling in a segment on the scandal. And on Monday night, CNN's Connie Chung presented the Rev. Richard McBrien, a Notre Dame theologian widely known as a man who dissents from Church teachings.

In an article written as far back as 1977, in the June 24 issue of The Guardian, McBrien revealed his agenda:

"Optional celibacy for priests, the ordination of women, policy-making authority for diocesan and parish councils, re-admission of many divorced and re-married Catholics to a sacramental fellowship, and a critical re-interpretation of Humanae Vitae — all of these are issues which, until resolved, will continue to impede the Church's progress toward effective reform and renewal."

Elimination of priestly celibacy is now being touted as the answer to priestly sex abuse of minors, which is about as an effective way of accomplishing this goal as changing your tires to fix a dead battery. There is simply no connection.

And the media know that. They should also know that the Pope has ruled out the ordination of women, and all the McBriens and radical feminists in the world are not going to change what is an immutable article of faith in the Roman Catholic Church. Change it and the church ceases to be Catholic. They don't like it, of course, so they'll continue to take advantage of every opportunity to use it to browbeat the Church.

The Real Crisis

Perhaps one of the most illustrative indications of media hostility to the Roman Catholic Church has been the speculation that the scandal will somehow destroy a Church that has withstood far greater challenges in its 2,000-year history.

News anchors are leading off their stories about the scandal by calling it "a crisis of faith." It is not. It is a crisis of confidence in the bishops who run the dioceses. The faith of the overwhelming majority of American Catholics is unshaken. They neither seek nor will accept changes in church doctrine. As a priest friend once remarked, "the Church has lasted for 2,000 years in spite of the bishops."

What many are demanding, in addition to changes in diocesan policies on sex offenders in the priesthood, is a return to the more rigid practices of the past. Their reaction to the scandal and the wave of hostility against the Church it has unleashed is a recognition of the fact that Catholics are, and always have been, at odds with the world. It has always been a matter of Ecclaisia contra mundi - the church against the world - which Christ told us is not his kingdom.

The great majority of Roman Catholics continue to receive the sacraments, which are valid even when coming at the hands of sinful priests. They recognize the difference between the structure and the doctrine they embrace. That may disappoint our critics in the media and elsewhere, but it's a fact they are going to have to recognize. You can kill us, but you cannot defeat us, because only our bodies are exposed to you; our souls are elevated to higher things and out of your reach.

In recent years, in a dimwitted and largely cowardly effort to get along with the world whose values and morals are the exact opposite of those demanded of Christians by Christ, the bishops have too often compromised with that world. They have not only allowed allegedly Catholic public figures to openly thumb their noses at such Church doctrines as opposition to abortion, they have welcomed these turncoats at the communion rail and publicly curried their favor.

If anything good can come out of the scandal it will be the reinvigoration of the Church contra mundi - what is was meant to be.

Eamus!


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: catholicbashing; catholicchurch; catholiclist; crimes; eleanorclift; lies; maureendowd; mediabias; religion
A First Saturday read ...



Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us.

1 posted on 05/04/2002 4:16:49 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: *Catholic_list
Indexing
2 posted on 05/04/2002 4:17:08 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: frogandtoad; Domestic Church; BlessedBeGod; saradippity; maryz; Jeff Chandler; ken5050; Slyfox...
A worthy read BUMP....
3 posted on 05/04/2002 4:18:03 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: Diago; .45MAN; Aquinasfan; Antoninus; aposiopetic; TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!; AKA Elena...
A humble bump....
4 posted on 05/04/2002 4:19:05 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: history_matters; patent; notwithstanding; JMJ333; Aunt Polgara; AgThorn; IM2Phat4U; toenail...
ping!
5 posted on 05/04/2002 4:20:03 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: history_matters
"sexually conflicted men."

Mr. Eleanor Clift is a member of that group.

6 posted on 05/04/2002 4:28:42 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: history_matters
I'm praying for those in the media, but I'm also praying for 'just a little war', oh please, just one little war....

I know, shame on me.

7 posted on 05/04/2002 4:30:33 PM PDT by Cap'n Crunch
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To: history_matters
I like most of the article, in fact, because I said almost the same thing on another thread the other day, that this scandal is being used as a vehicle for a larger attack on the Catholic Church as a whole, and by extension, all of Christendom.

Where the author stumbles is in his attempt (rightly or wrongly) to minimize the situation by haggling over semantics and the difference between boys under 12 and boys between 12-17. Trying to split hairs between pedophilia and garden variety boy-buggering to lessen the offense is not helpful.

IMHO, the Catholic Church just needs to take its lumps, be more careful who they ordain in the future, defrock child-molesting priests and hand them over to authorities (after the Church determines their guilt separately in a Church inquiry) and get on with it.

8 posted on 05/04/2002 4:32:57 PM PDT by wimpycat
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To: history_matters
What Eleanor Clift says about anything is irrelevant. The woman wouldn't last ten minutes in a Moslem country, for instance.

This type of scandal is going to pop up from time to time in any organization that has a self-perpetuating hierarchy. Eliminating the hierarchy merely contains the scandal to a smaller institution, e.g. a single church. The RC church probably should not be reorganized as a result of this particular dustup, nor should it's lay members all join the Methodist Church.

Transferring church property titles to lay church committees might help because this would eliminate real estate management from the local bishop's portfolio. This, in turn might enable him to pay more attention to the moral strength of the priests who work for him. (The Orthodox do this.)

9 posted on 05/04/2002 4:35:04 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: history_matters
Sounds like my brother in law!! But actually he has a new bishop who he likes and respects very much. And he has a new seminarian who he's calling his 'canary in the coal mine'. He's told this young man that if he gets ANY feeling that anything strange is going on to call him IMMEDIATELY and he'll call the Bishop!
10 posted on 05/04/2002 4:41:59 PM PDT by SuziQ
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
"sexually conflicted men." "Mr. Eleanor Clift is a member of that group."

Or was she was just weaned on lemons?
12 posted on 05/04/2002 4:49:41 PM PDT by Domestic Church
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: wimpycat
Where the author stumbles is in his attempt (rightly or wrongly) to minimize the situation by haggling over semantics and the difference between boys under 12 and boys between 12-17. Trying to split hairs between pedophilia and garden variety boy-buggering to lessen the offense is not helpful.

I agree with you here. It reminds me of the semantics used by X42 to prove he did not "have sexual relations with that woman."

IMHO, the Catholic Church just needs to take its lumps, be more careful who they ordain in the future, defrock child-molesting priests and hand them over to authorities (after the Church determines their guilt separately in a Church inquiry) and get on with it.

I agree with everything you say here *except* for only handling over molestors to the authorities *after* the Church determines their guilt.

A Church inquiry is fine for determining whether the priest should be defrocked.

But, just as molesting teachers aren't entitiled to a Union run "inquiry" before the police are called, so priests should not get the benefit of such a proceeding to get off the hook.

The Church should be forced to treat these cases exactly like any other person. There is no "freedom of religion" issue involved in reporting child molestation allegations. If a school has to report allegations and a therapist has to report allegations, the Church should have to report such allegations too.

It is up to the criminal authorities to determine whether the allegations are valid---it is not up to the Church to do so. Especially, since the Church admits that their determination of these allegations must include consideration of whether the priest was "notorious" and whether he is "sorry." Neither of these concepts are part of the criminal law.

After the priest has been convicted, the Church can hold their own inquiry as to whether he should also be defrocked. And if the courts find the statute of limitations has run, the Church should still hold an inquiry about defrocking the priest. Molesting priests should not be allowed to remain in the pristhood merely because of a criminal law technicality. In fact, because of the breach of trust involved, the Church should treat them just as harshly (if not more so) than the criminal justice system can.

But such inquiries should not be used to protect priests who might be buddies with the Bishop---or who might have some information the Bishop would rather not be disclosed. Both of those things have happened in the past and that is why the Church is in the trouble it finds itself today.

The police should be called as soon as any allegations are made against a priest.

14 posted on 05/04/2002 4:58:04 PM PDT by 07055
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To: all
My error on posts 11 and 13. They had nothing to do with the discussion.
15 posted on 05/04/2002 5:00:03 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: history_matters
A must read for later -- BUMP!
16 posted on 05/04/2002 5:03:41 PM PDT by AdA$tra
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To: history_matters
If anything good can come out of the scandal it will be the reinvigoration of the Church contra mundi - what is was meant to be.

We were better off anyway when we knew who the real enemy was and they thought of us as still potent.

The fact they think us toothless, IMHO, accounts for all the stroking we got in advance of the election and with the indulgence that was asking the Pope's opinion in advance of the inevitable ESCR decision.

I don't remember Bush's leaving his audience with the Pope and announcing (as he did after a meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans) that he felt he was "a better man" for the conversation.

This could explain why the homosexuality (and otherwise "enlightened" approach to all things sexual) is not a factor in the Catholic or Condit sex scandals and politicians still feel perfectly comfortable not only appointing open homosexuals (as did Clinton) but appointing them specifically because they are homosexual, as has Bush.

17 posted on 05/04/2002 5:04:46 PM PDT by Askel5
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To: Askel5
We are all supposed to cheer W, don't you know? He quotes from Catholics every now and then, and he went to see the Pope. Isn't that good enough? ... gag.

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand in her discussion of spiritual blindness made pointed use of the President as someone who did not have any serious defect of vision but is totally blind in the most important moral and spiritual sense i.e., that right in front of him is the evil of abortion and commerce built upon the murder of children about which he does nothing of consequence and in the face of which he makes a bargain that is sheer parody of Solomon.

18 posted on 05/04/2002 5:17:27 PM PDT by history_matters
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To: Domestic Church
'Mr. Eleanor Clift..hey! I like that description..I've seen her on many shows and specifically recall her lambasting then Pres.-elect Bush during his campaigning...Since all that gibberish was for naught, and according to her ilks we do have a 'unelected' president, that, by the way is doing one splendid job despite being chosen by the supreme justices, as she would quote it....Now she along with the liberal media is on the bandwagon to undermine the Catholic Church. Let's hope she and her cohorts are confounded at every turn, as they were during the 'Florida fiasco'.
19 posted on 05/04/2002 5:27:59 PM PDT by ejo
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To: history_matters
Miss Dowd lumped together in one paragraph "the church subsidizing pedophilia" along with "Taliban obliteration of women; the brotherhood of al-Qaeda and Mohamed Atta´s misogynistic funeral instructions; the implosion of the macho Enron Ponzi scheme."

All of these 'Catholic in name only' Catholic-bashers are the very same ones who have pushed organizations like WomanChurch and Call to Action down our throats. These radical 'clubs' are the very ones which have endorsed gay and lesbian ministers, and which have brought us to this point of spiritual misery. Have they just forgotten their past endorsements or are they just attempting to cover their backsides just in case somebody does a Nexis search on them?

20 posted on 05/04/2002 6:03:21 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: wimpycat
You make a lot of sense, cat.
21 posted on 05/04/2002 6:32:42 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler
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To: history_matters
Eleanor Clift is part of the Kneepad groupies who live in a parralel universe from the rest of society.

I can't believe anyone listens to her anymore she is such a twit.

The problem in the church is Homosexuality run amok and protected by Stupid Old men who can't think straight and should have been put out long ago.

Law ,Egan, Mahoney, McCormack et al. don't have the brains they were born with and must be replaced with vital men with Courage,Backbone and are committed to lead the Church in line with the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

Now Law's latest caper should put him right up there with the most stupid and arrogant Idiots in the world.

22 posted on 05/04/2002 7:15:25 PM PDT by chatham
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To: 07055
Molesting priests should not be allowed to remain in the pristhood merely because of a criminal law technicality.

Pardon me for being picky--your response was outstanding and perfectly reasoned--except for this little sentence.

IMHO, the Bishops in USA have a little problem--they cannot simply 'defrock' a priest.

Priesthood and marriage in the eyes of the Church are 'forever.' Thus to 'defrock' a priest is a rather complex Church-judicial affair, similar to 'anulling' a marriage.

The solution was proposed (I think deliberately) by the Vatican's spokesman who referenced a 1961 document stating that homosexuals should not be ordained.

It seems that the Vatican is setting up legal grounds for 'nullity' of Ordination--homosexuality being one of them.

This has the effect of allowing Bishops to 'defrock' a priest with judicially-solid ground while at the same time NOT NECESSARILY 'defrocking' ALL homosexual priests--for example, the ones who maintain their celibacy.

Watch how this plays out.

23 posted on 05/04/2002 7:29:35 PM PDT by ninenot
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To: ninenot
Very interesting point. Yes, I think you may be right---there could be something in the works to get around the doctrinal problems of removing these priests. (Of which, I am obviously not an expert ;-)
24 posted on 05/04/2002 7:41:49 PM PDT by 07055
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To: chatham
I find it most interesting that the Christian churches that are the most vital and are experiencing the most growth are those with a basically traditional and conservative viewpoint.

The "liberal" demoninations are losing membership every year.

Why?

Well, many of these so-called churches have gotten so liberal and tolerant that belief in God is optional.

So, why bother going to Church?

I wish the Catholics would learn from this.

25 posted on 05/04/2002 7:50:47 PM PDT by 07055
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To: wimpycat
Where the author stumbles is in his attempt (rightly or wrongly) to minimize the situation by haggling over semantics and the difference between boys under 12 and boys between 12-17. Trying to split hairs between pedophilia and garden variety boy-buggering to lessen the offense is not helpful.
I can't speak for the author, but I often distinguish between true pedophilia and pederasty. They are very different in origins, treatment, etc. A true pedophile is very, very rare. That said, they have always been a problem. They were with us before this present crisis, and will be with us after it. All denominations have had this problem since its been recorded. The thing about it is, they are truly hard to screen for. I don't know of anyone who claims its easy to screen them out before they abuse a kid and get caught. They don't exactly admit their vice publicly. Also, as evil as it is, and as much as these men need to be expunged, they aren't truly the reason we have so many abusers today. They are a small percentage, though they are the most horrible and newsworthy.

Most of the abusers are pederasts. There is a close relationship between gays and a gay subculture and pederasty. When you allow gay culture to thrive in seminaries, as some Bishops have, you are going to wind up with large numbers of pederasts in your diocese. This is the case in Boston, which had a horrible gay subcultue in its seminary for years, and now is the focal point of the present crisis. Pedophiles like Goeghan would have been there anyway, but if the Bishop hadn't tolerated homosexuality in his seminary, we wouldn't be hearing numbers like 80+ priests being accused of these crimes.

This is why I distinguish between pedophilia and pederasty. Pederasty is easier to screen for. Cut the gay men out of the seminary, get rid of them, and never, ever, allow a gay subculture to florish. If the Bishops truly want to confront this issue, they can at least do this.

patent

26 posted on 05/04/2002 8:20:38 PM PDT by patent
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To: patent
I completely agree with you that there's a difference between pederasty and pedophilia, for the purposes of legality and psychological motivation, but seen in light of the great sin and breach of trust between priest and parishioner, (the shepherd and the sheep entrusted to him by God) I'm not making any distinction whatsoever.
27 posted on 05/04/2002 8:45:00 PM PDT by wimpycat
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To: 07055
I agree with everything you say here *except* for only handling over molestors to the authorities *after* the Church determines their guilt. A Church inquiry is fine for determining whether the priest should be defrocked. But, just as molesting teachers aren't entitiled to a Union run "inquiry" before the police are called, so priests should not get the benefit of such a proceeding to get off the hook.

I mentioned a Church inquiry because this scandal brings up the age old question, "who has authority over priests?" You know, the old Thomas a Becket/Henry II question. Who has ultimate jurisdiction over an erring priest, when he is acting as a priest? In some of these cases, there are merely accusations, some, many, or most of which may be false. I have no idea how real Church inquiries operate, but I think there needs to be some provision for the Church to determine whether or not they're going to "hand him over" to the authorities, or if they're convinced the priest may in fact be innocent, they can stick up for him.

We're not talking about a teachers union here. The Catholic Church isn't a business, and the priesthood is no mere career choice.

28 posted on 05/04/2002 8:54:24 PM PDT by wimpycat
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To: wimpycat
You know, the old Thomas a Becket/Henry II question. Who has ultimate jurisdiction over an erring priest, when he is acting as a priest?

I understand what you are saying. But, I think it would be a stretch to claim that any priest was molesting a child while acting as a priest. True, he had access and trust because he was a priest. But, it seems sacrilegious for anyone to claim that child abuse was in the course of his priestly duties---such conduct is the absolute antithesis of the vows of a priest.

While such an inquiry might make sense from a doctrinal point of view, I think past experience indicates that it is subject to great abuse from bishops whose strong inclination is to keep scandal quiet and who may be subject to blackmail based on their own transgressions.

Better to let the civil authorities deal with the criminal law aspects of such charges while the Bishop can deal with the canon law aspects.

29 posted on 05/04/2002 9:26:08 PM PDT by 07055
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To: history_matters
And we all thought the word Hypocrite applied only to Church members!
30 posted on 05/04/2002 9:31:41 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: 07055
But, I think it would be a stretch to claim that any priest was molesting a child while acting as a priest.
Nazi Germany had a great way of dealing with the Church when it interferred with their politics. They frequently arrested priests and charged them with pedophilia. Most of these priests didn't do anything other than act as a priest. The mere fact that a charge has been made does not mean the priest was actually molesting a child, we should not forget that, especially in the histeria that seems to be coming.

You refer to past history indicating abuse by Bishops of their authority to resolve these issues, but past history indicates civil authorities have used these powers illegitimately as well.

patent

31 posted on 05/04/2002 9:32:05 PM PDT by patent
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To: 07055
I understand what you are saying. But, I think it would be a stretch to claim that any priest was molesting a child while acting as a priest. True, he had access and trust because he was a priest.

That's exactly what I meant, he had access and trust because he was a priest, and didn't just run into the kid in the grocery store while in his street clothes. When I say a priest molests a child while acting as a priest, I mean he most likely first encountered the child, and had continued access to the child, through his vocation, such as the various programs and activities offered by the Church. He was left alone with the child because, after all, if you can't trust a priest alone with your child, who can you trust?

But, it seems sacrilegious for anyone to claim that child abuse was in the course of his priestly duties---such conduct is the absolute antithesis of the vows of a priest.

What's sacrilegious is for a priest to engage in sexual activity with a person entrusted to his care--such conduct is the absolute antithesis of the vows of a priest. It isn't sacrilegious for me to claim it. These priests abused their vocation by abusing the weak and powerless.

If there is any distinction to be made about child molesting, I personally would put a child-molesting priest about on the same level of violation of trust as a child-molesting parent, spiritually, not legally or morally, speaking.

32 posted on 05/04/2002 9:53:47 PM PDT by wimpycat
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To: patent
Great response to Wimpy Cat,who wrote an excellent comment about the article,which was also good.

Your explanation of the critical need to separate pedophiles and pederasts due to the differences in "root cause" is information that should be disseminated widely and understood. Soon the bishops will set up procedures for selection of candidates as well as systems addressing the treatment and disposition of abusers. Without careful attention to the differences, the procedures and systems will fail. There are those within and without that would not be displeased with a bad outcome.

33 posted on 05/04/2002 10:24:54 PM PDT by saradippity
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To: 07055
Better to let the civil authorities deal with the criminal law aspects of such charges while the Bishop can deal with the canon law aspects.

If a student tells a teacher that he is being sexually abused by, say, a relative, isn't the teacher required to notify criminal authorities, even though the abuse didn't take place on school grounds? Why would the church be exempt from such laws, when teachers and doctors and such are required to follow them? Has anybody in the various lawsuits against the church accused them of violating these child abuse laws by not notifying law enforcement officials?

34 posted on 05/05/2002 12:33:45 AM PDT by NYCVirago
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To: NYCVirago
Has anybody in the various lawsuits against the church accused them of violating these child abuse laws by not notifying law enforcement officials?

In Massachusetts, the Church has not been covered by reporting laws. There is a bill in the legislature to change that. I think doctors, teachers and social workers are specifically required to report suspected abuse. I'm far from expert on the ins and outs, but that is the situation as I understand it.

35 posted on 05/05/2002 1:59:48 AM PDT by maryz
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To: patent
Pedophiles like Goeghan would have been there anyway, but if the Bishop hadn't tolerated homosexuality in his seminary, we wouldn't be hearing numbers like 80+ priests being accused of these crimes.

This is very true, but there is more to the Geoghan. Well, actually I did read that the seminary tried to get rid of Geoghan for "immaturity," but a monsignor uncle pulled strings and got him reinstated. He also left for a while because of a "nervous breakdown."

And it seems there was never a time when there was only a single allegation against him -- he was right out of the box with a charge of molesting seven children from the same family (siblings and cousins). I forget the year, but it was before 1984, when Law came to Boston. Geoghan remained in parish work (piling up complaints) until, I believe, 1993.

Even if pedophilia is hard to predict ahead of time, one would think there had been plenty of "red flags" in Geoghan's case.

36 posted on 05/05/2002 2:05:34 AM PDT by maryz
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To: 07055
Let's hope so.!
37 posted on 05/05/2002 5:54:26 AM PDT by chatham
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To: patent
Nazi Germany had a great way of dealing with the Church when it interferred with their politics. They frequently arrested priests and charged them with pedophilia. Most of these priests didn't do anything other than act as a priest. The mere fact that a charge has been made does not mean the priest was actually molesting a child, we should not forget that, especially in the histeria that seems to be coming.

Clearly, the people need to be vigilant to any abuses of religious freedom as fallout from this scandal. Hopefully, we now have stronger political institutions than were in place in Germany at that time.

I am hesitant to give any religion the right to avoid laws that apply to the rest of us. I feel the same way about churches that claim the right to use illegal drugs as part of their beliefs. And I would not shield Mosques involved with terrorism merely because of religious freedom.

True, there have been some abuses when reports of child sexual abuse are involved (I believe that our former attorney general Janet Reno has some first hand knowledge of that). But, such abuses don't argue that the reporting laws are broken beyond repair---just that we must be careful not to let hysteria take over.

38 posted on 05/05/2002 5:58:54 AM PDT by 07055
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To: history_matters
Glad you are still here

As reported by Zenit news agency, writing an op-ed piece in the New York Times on March 20 Miss Dowd lumped together in one paragraph "the church subsidizing pedophilia" along with "Taliban obliteration of women; the brotherhood of al-Qaeda and Mohamed Atta´s misogynistic funeral instructions; the implosion of the macho Enron Ponzi scheme."

Having been called "talibornagain" right here on FR I understand that the slander of the church has to do with a society that is so irreligious that they can not seperate a murderous cult and a faith that seeks to glorify God...it is a sign of the times..today it is the Catholics..not long ago it was Evangelical Protestants (remember Swaggart and Baker) and when they are done with you all watch for the Reformed church to get it. The devil (aan old fashioned concept) loves to slander the church..

39 posted on 05/05/2002 6:06:44 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: history_matters
"If anything good can come out of the scandal it will be the reinvigoration of the Church contra mundi - what is was meant to be."

That is the shining truth of my faith! I believe that the Church will do more to root out this horrorible disease
more so than our secular society is willing or inclined to do. In God We Trust!

40 posted on 05/05/2002 8:26:36 AM PDT by harpo11
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To: Askel5
I don't remember Bush's leaving his audience with the Pope and announcing (as he did after a meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans) that he felt he was "a better man" for the conversation.

From the press conference following the private meeting:

Thank you again, your Holiness, for your kindness, and the honor of this meeting.

I attended a talk given by Deal Hudson about Bush and Catholics. Hudson is Bush's liason with the Catholic community and went to Rome with him last year for the meeting with the Pope. Bush may not have made an informal public comment about his meeting with the Pope, but he did tell Mr. Hudson how impressed he was. (I don't recall the exact quote, but when a tape of the talk is available, I will post the quote.)

41 posted on 05/05/2002 9:02:25 AM PDT by ELS
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To: history_matters
Thanks - I knew this - but I needed to hear it again. Any Catholic Diocesan newspaper who publishes Mc Brien now should receive his quotes - and asked by faithful Catholics to cancel his column.

The dissidents indeed know -- that their time is limited.

We need to return to one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

42 posted on 05/05/2002 8:08:02 PM PDT by victim soul
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To: history_matters
When I lived in Southern Illinois, almost every priest in the Belleville diocese was exposed as having sexually abused young males. They were not prosecuted. They were wisked away for some sort of "therapy" and reassigned after their therapy. I assume the families were paid off in some settlement. This has been going on for centuries with the full knowledge and approval of the pope and the church heirarchy. Even now, the RCC and the Pope will not show these perverted reprobates the door the minute they are proven to have sexually molested a child or adolescent. They are going to wait until its a proven "notorius of behavior." Imagine all of the abuse cases that never see the light of day in other countries because of the culture, or even in America because the shame and embarrassment the victim would feel if it became public.

A celibate priesthood is both unnatural and unscriptural as a requirement for ministry. If, however, someone chooses that lifestyle, then that is fine. There were no priests (as a special church office) in the New Testament as there had been in the Old Testament--and the bishops-pastors-elders were commanded to be married [Old Testament priests were married also]. We need neither a priest nor a pope. Christ is our high priest and all believers are priests who can go directly to God with their prayers and confessions of sin.

Hebrews 7:22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant. 23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, [who] [is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, [appoints] the Son who has been perfected forever. 8:1 Now [this] [is] the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest , who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 1 Timothy 2:5 For [there] [is] one God and one Mediator between God and men, [the] Man Christ Jesus,

Rev.1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him [be] glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood , to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame." 7 Therefore, to you who believe, [He] [is] precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," 8 and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. 9 But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood , a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once [were] not a people but [are] now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife , temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, [and] [commanding] to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

1 Timothy 2:5 For [there] [is] one God and one Mediator between God and men, {i.e.:not Mary}[the] Man Christ Jesus,

43 posted on 05/05/2002 8:39:25 PM PDT by razorbak
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To: history_matters; NYer; sandyeggo; AKA Elena; american colleen; JMJ333; Lady In Blue; ...
A bump for an older thread posted by my father.

Bernadette.

44 posted on 12/01/2002 9:35:35 PM PST by Siobhan
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To: Siobhan
A worthwhile read ... again, Bernadette! Thanks!
45 posted on 12/02/2002 6:12:15 AM PST by AKA Elena
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