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Problem of Rampant Sexual Abuse Among Protestant Clergy ^

Posted on 06/15/2002 1:12:25 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper

Special Bulletin

Welcome! Catholic sex scandals dominate the news. Are we next?

A sample of our own scandals is below:

ALL denominations - 313 instances

Baptist Ministers - 59 instances

"Bible" Church Ministers (fundamentalist/evangelical) - 150 instances

Episcopalean Ministers - 31 instances

Lutheran Ministers - 23 instances

Methodist Ministers - 25 instances

Presbyterian Ministers - 10 instances

various Church Ministers - 13 instances

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; clergy; pastor; protestant; sexualabuse
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1 posted on 06/15/2002 1:12:25 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper
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To: big'ol_freeper, buffyt
No! It can't be! BuffyT and all the other ignorant, hateful Fundamentalist droids told me this never, eeeeeeeeeeeeeever happens in the Protestant world! Only in the Romish Papist world of the Whore of Babaloney!
2 posted on 06/15/2002 1:15:58 PM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: Catholic_list; father elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady in Blue
3 posted on 06/15/2002 1:18:08 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper
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To: Conservative til I die
Of course there are incidences of abuse in Protestant churches. All pastors are human and all humans sin. The question is and alway has been, in my mind, how do these people respond to this problem? Do they perpetuate a coverup, do they ignore it, or do they treat it in a Biblical way and admit their sin, repent and beg God's grace and forgiveness? I believe that God is refining and purifying His church in preparation for the trying times ahead.If these people are not held accountable in this life, they will surely be held accountable in the next life, and in case we forget, ALL sin is equal in the eyes of God.
4 posted on 06/15/2002 1:34:39 PM PDT by copwife
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To: Conservative til I die
This horrible behavior can be found in any denomination or organization and members should remove them ASAP when identified, but we are only hearing about the bad. There are a lot of good people out here. First the boy scouts were attacked and then the Catholics. Will Baptists or the YMCA be next? A lot of noise is being made about both. We can stand together and support each other or let the Christian haters divide and destroy us. Our choice.
5 posted on 06/15/2002 1:39:05 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: big'ol_freeper
Good find. This provides updated information.
6 posted on 06/15/2002 1:42:39 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: copwife
admit their sin, repent and beg God's grace and forgiveness...

That in addition to answering to the civil law. This is a "render unto Ceaser" thing no matter what denomination.

7 posted on 06/15/2002 1:43:47 PM PDT by Blue Screen of Death
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To: big'ol_freeper
313 cases for ALL these Protestant denominations?

It is not good, but I was expecting it to be much higher for it to be truly rampant. In any case, if a Protestant church covers up such cases, they get just as much blame from me as the Catholic Church. Apostates must be removed and I can't imagine a child abuser being anything but apostate.

8 posted on 06/15/2002 1:46:11 PM PDT by rwfromkansas
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To: CindyDawg
Standing together can't happen until the Catholic hierarchy stops protecting abusers. The Dallas meeting shows promise but it will take at least a few months to see whether they've turned the corner. Though, the continuing refusal to confront the homosexual problem in the priesthood may just lead to a third round of problems.
9 posted on 06/15/2002 1:47:36 PM PDT by LenS
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To: big'ol_freeper
I have always said abuse goes on in all religions, it's sad, but thats the way it is.
10 posted on 06/15/2002 1:48:31 PM PDT by Great Dane
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To: copwife
It happens whether the person is rich man, poor man, indian man or thief. While an important issue, it is not the main issue.

The issue is agenda driven----this will be used to reduce any religious organization as well as its leaders as irrelevant. [a la the Lions Club or the Junior League] Sure they do good things, but they are dispensible.

11 posted on 06/15/2002 1:48:52 PM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: rwfromkansas
To be fair, I will point out one thing: World Magazine, a Calvinist news publication, did a story on Protestant pastors having sex with people they are supposed to be counseling. This is a definite problem. Such pastors should be defrocked and excommunicated when it becomes known that they have committed such a horrendous sexual sin and abuse of their office. If they aren't, the church deserves to be put in the headlines like what is going on with the Catholics.
12 posted on 06/15/2002 1:50:21 PM PDT by rwfromkansas
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To: big'ol_freeper
This is something I've been wondering, -- is the percentage of abuse so much greater in the Catholic Church than other denominations? Or than in the general population? Ultimately it makes no matter. There should be zero incidents, when it comes to Catholic priests and bishops. 'Love' really does mean never having to say you're sorry, after all?
13 posted on 06/15/2002 1:52:02 PM PDT by My back yard
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To: copwife
No, all sin is not equal in the sight of God. Yes, a sin is a sin, and all sins separate us from God, but if you look in the Old Testament, various sins had diverse consequences. And it appears that those sins which involve hurting others are particularly abhorrent to God. For example, in the New Testament, those who would offend a child would be better off if they had a millstone hung around their neck and were thrown into the sea. That does not sound good. However, if you allow yourself to be jealous, envious, and so forth, these are not sins which necessarily affect another person directly, so there is not such a severe renunciation as the previous example. Even in the secular world, there is one punishment for murder, another for stealing.

That said, of course there are going to be people who somehow get into leadership in the church that are perverts. This is why churches need to be ever vigilant to not let this happen. And if it does, to deal with it appropriately. Yes, the person needs to be forgiven, but they should be immediately removed from their leadership role and not allowed to be in that position again. One strike and you are out. Period.
14 posted on 06/15/2002 1:53:15 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: Conservative til I die
BuffyT and all the other ignorant, hateful Fundamentalist droids told me this never, eeeeeeeeeeeeeever happens in the Protestant world! Only in the Romish Papist world of the Whore of Babaloney!

And here's the opportunity not to respond in kind. The Body of Christ in all its forms needs to stand together against the onslaught of sin, corruption, and glee of the press to overcome these problems. The BuffyT's of the world need to start to understand that. We cannot be drawn into the finger pointing with them.

15 posted on 06/15/2002 1:53:28 PM PDT by johniegrad
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To: My back yard
Well, the thing is, the Protestant world is divided into umpteen gazillion different denominations and synods, etc. and far less centralized. Thus, each individual denomination has few scandals, but they add up to a lot. And it's easier for reporters to cover one big organization like the Catholic Church. Finally, because of the greater degree of oversight, centralization, and control exerted by the Catholic Church, there's more OPPORTUNITY for a coverup. In many Protestant denominations there isn't much of a central control group that even has the foggiest idea of what would be going on regarding abuse in their churches.
16 posted on 06/15/2002 1:55:41 PM PDT by John H K
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To: My back yard
No...its actually quite a bit less frequent in the Catholic Church:

Clergy Scandal Is Widespread Miami Herald | April 13,2002 | Donna Gelrke-White

Posted on 6/11/02 11:29 PM Eastern by Lady In Blue

Distraught over her crumbling marriage, the Lake Worth woman went to her pastor for help.

She says he gave her counseling -- and that led to sex.

When she complained to his bishop, he told her she was to blame.

Now as plaintiff Jane Doe, she has a sexual misconduct civil lawsuit that last month the state Supreme Court said her denomination -- the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida -- must answer.

While headlines are breaking almost daily about Catholic priests, other religions are facing the same problem : What to do when their clergy are accused of sexual misconduct? From coast to coast, Protestant and Jewish leaders have been charged with sexual abuse -- some in high-profile cases.

In the last three months, local police have arrested two ministers -- both non-Catholic -- for sex crimes.

It's a false impression to think only Roman Catholic priests are involved with sexual abuse, says Dr. Gary Schoener, a Minnesota clinical psychologist and national expert on sex abuse by clergy members. In fact, he estimates two-thirds of the 2,000 cases he worked on during the past three decades involved Protestant ministers. Most involved religious leaders abusing women or teenage girls. The same is true for Catholics, except for the high-profile cases in the Boston Archdiocese and other dioceses where a few priests molested scores of boys.

''But Protestant cases are tougher to bring,'' says Schoener, who runs the Walk-In Counseling Center in Minneapolis. ``With the exception of the United Methodists, you can't charge a diocese, synod or bishop with failure to supervise or negligent retention of an offending minister because they don't employ the pastor -- the congregation does.''

Nonetheless, many religious organizations are requiring background checks and setting up procedures on how to handle abuse cases.

''This is something that all churches are having to deal with -- and we haven't in the past,'' says Mary Cox, communications director for Southeast Florida's Episcopal Diocese.

While she says she can't comment on the ongoing case -- church leaders haven't decided yet whether to appeal the state Supreme Court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court -- Cox notes the alleged incidents happened before the Episcopal church installed new policies.

''We were once very blind that this could all happen,'' she says.

That changed when a jury awarded a Colorado woman $1.2 million in a sexual misconduct judgment against the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.

Now, Episcopal Life, the denomination's monthly newspaper, reports that background checks are encouraged for all clergy and church volunteers, and that dioceses adopt sexual misconduct policies and follow procedure manuals, which the Diocese of Southeast Florida now has in place.

All religious groups have certain responsibilities -- and can be held accountable in civil courts, says Yale law professor Peter Schuck. ''They do have an obligation to hire and supervise people with care,'' he says.

In the 1980s, the New Jersey Supreme Court found a house of worship could be held liable for negligent hiring or retention, noting the danger of ``exposing members of the public to a potentially dangerous individual.''

''I think the time has come when society needs to recognize that simply to be ordained is not a license to prey,'' says West Palm Beach attorney Gary Roberts, who represents Jane Doe in Lake Worth.

He added that he is handling another case involving an Episcopal priest in Central Florida accused of molesting a boy at a party.

Religious groups are beginning to conduct their own investigations when sexual allegations surface.

An internal investigation by the Orthodox Union of rabbis, for example, found ''profound errors of judgment'' in its handling of allegations against New Jersey Rabbi Baruch Lanner, who is scheduled to go on trial Monday on charges of criminal sexual contact with two teenage girls.

And many religious groups have installed safeguards -- even without allegations arising in their own congregations.

Since the mid-1990s, Kendall United Methodist Church has required two teachers to be in each Sunday school class for children, said Mary Susan Ward, the congregation's minister of Christian education.

Background screenings are conducted for all paid staff and many volunteers, she said.

Despite measures like this, clergy abuse cases continue to surface.

A Southern Baptist minister, Fernando Garcia, made 26 videotapes of himself abusing numerous children before an 8-year-old boy came forward in Greenwood, S.C., two years ago. He recently began a 60-year prison sentence for sexually abusing 23 children.

Closer to home, Boca Raton Rabbi Jerrold Levy was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison for having sex with a 14-year-old boy he met over the Internet.

The United Methodists have a case before the Florida Supreme Court to resolve whether the denomination can be held accountable for a volunteer at a Pensacola church who allegedly sexually harassed a female staffer.

And just recently, police in South Florida accused two non-Catholic Christian leaders of sexual misconduct.

Last month, Miami police arrested the Rev. Misael Castillo, 41, the pastor of Iglesia Bautista Jerusalen in Allapattah, after officers said they found him naked inside a parked van having sex with a 17-year-old boy. He was charged with having unlawful sexual acts with a minor and released on a $15,000 bond. Castillo will be arraigned May 6.

Castillo has resigned from the church, said the Rev. David Cleeland, executive director of the Miami Baptist Association, a 280-church organization to which Iglesia Bautista Jerusalen belongs.

In January, youth pastor Monte Vaughn Benjamin of the nondenominational A Place Called Hope was charged with molesting two boys, 17 and 14. He has pleaded not guilty and a trial date is set for May 13.

Benjamin has told church leaders he is innocent. He has been relieved of duties until court proceedings and the police investigation are final, according to a church statement.

For their own protection, religious leaders must institute rules -- for example, not meet alone with children or adults -- to avoid any appearance of wrongdoing, said Fort Lauderdale attorney J. David Bogenschultz, who has represented some pastors.

''It's a shame,'' he said. ``It's the cost of doing business. You are in harm's way -- you have to protect yourself.''

The Herald wire services also contributed to this report.

17 posted on 06/15/2002 1:56:14 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper
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To: big'ol_freeper
You missed "an Arkansas Governor!" And "a prezidente!"
18 posted on 06/15/2002 1:58:36 PM PDT by Brian Allen
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To: My back yard
My guess is that there is more of this in the Catholic church than in Protestant churches, but less than that in the general population. The Catholic church does not necessarily adhere to Scripture as their one source of authority. Too many traditions for that to happen. So that opens things up for certain types of behavior to creep into the Catholic church. Not all Protestant churches hold scripture as their only source of authority, either, but the percentage that do is probably decently high. Also, since the general population includes people who have little consciousness of Biblical values, there will be a higher incidence of this behavior there. This is just common sense. My opinion. Maybe someone has statistics, but I normally do not trust statistics since they can be easily twisted.
19 posted on 06/15/2002 1:59:32 PM PDT by DennisR
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To: big'ol_freeper
BTTT Chesterton said that the doctrine of Original Sin is the only doctrine for which we have any empirical evidence.
20 posted on 06/15/2002 2:00:23 PM PDT by Dajjal
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