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Skip to comments.Vatican guilty of unholy compassion for paedophiles
Posted on 12/20/2009 3:22:36 PM PST by Alex Murphy
In 1922, the Vatican promulgated an instruction to do with what it called crimen solicitationis (the crime of solicitation within the confessional) and what it called the worst crime - the sexual abuse of children. The document was issued in Latin. No authoritative version was produced in English.
The document was circulated only to bishops and under terms of strict secrecy.
A new version of the guidelines was produced in 1962, but this, according to the Murphy Commission, was unknown within the Dublin diocese until some time in the 1990s.
Desmond Connell, the former archbishop, told the commission he had never seen the 1962 document, nor had he met anyone who had seen it.
John Dolan, the chancellor of the diocese and a monsignor, whose job is to ensure that the administrative records of the diocese are kept safe, said he didnt know that lurking in the very end, at the very back [of the decree crimen solicitationis], was a little paragraph on the worst crime.
He was unaware of the 1962 document until an Australian bishop discovered towards the end of the 1990s that it was still valid. Until then, he did not know of any guidelines by the Vatican on the issue of clerical child sexual abuse.
The Murphy Commission commented on how unusual it was, whereby a document setting out the procedure for dealing with clerical child sexual abuse was in existence but virtually no one knew about it or used it.
In 1996, victims of clerical abuse hounded the bishops into devising a framework document, setting out guidelines for dealing with allegations of abuse. John Dolan said: They [the authors of the framework document] did not feel Rome was supporting them in dealing with this issue ... they were meeting an onslaught of complaints, and Rome was pulling any particular solid ground that they had from under them.
The 1922 and 1962 Vatican instructions on dealing with allegations of clerical child sex abuse demanded absolute secrecy in the conduct of investigations. T he secrecy was so pervasive that, to some, it seemed to demand that the complaint also be kept secret from the state authorities.
Cannon 1341 states that the bishop is to start a judicial administrative procedure, for the imposition or the declaration of penalties, only when he perceives that neither by fraternal correction nor reproof, nor by any methods of pastoral care, can the scandal be sufficiently repaired, justice restored, and the offender reformed.
The Murphy Commission notes: This canon was interpreted to mean that bishops are required to attempt to reform the abusers in the first place." In Dublin, efforts were made to reform abusing priests by sending them to therapeutic centres. But, according to the commission, the archdiocese seems to have been reluctant to go beyond the reform process, even when it was abundantly clear that the reform process had failed.
But, more tellingly, the commission stated they could find very little evidence, particularly in the early decades of the commissions remit, of any attempt by church authorities to restore justice to the victims.
I t says the question of harm to the victims never seemed to have been considered by the archdiocese.
In considering whether a person is guilty of the worst crime, canon law states a person must have deliberately violated the canon law. In considering the issue of guilt under canon law, the Canon Law Society of Britain and Ireland has commented: Among the factors which may seriously diminish their imputability (guilt) in such cases (cases of clerical child sexual abuse) is paedophilia ...
Those who have studied this matter in detail have concluded that proven paedophiles are often subjected to urges and impulses which are in effect beyond their control .. .because of the influence of paedophilia (the abuser) may not be liable, by reason of at least diminished immutability (guilt) to any canonical penalty or perhaps to only a mild penalty, to a formal warning or reproof or to a penal remedy."
The commission says it finds it a matter of grave concern that, under canon law, a serial child abuser might receive more favourable treatment from the archdiocese or from Rome, by reason of the fact that he was diagnosed as a paedophile.
What all this says is that the issue is not just a matter of negligence or complicity in clerical child sexual abuse on the part of individual bishops - it is the culture of the Catholic Church, a culture shaped by the church authorities in Rome and transmitted and refined in dioceses.
A culture that hides the Churchs own guidelines concerning what it itself rhetorically said was the worst crime; that caused the Vatican authorities to pull the ground from priests who were trying to draft guidelines on abuse; that prioritises the abusers over the abused; that has been essentially indifferent to the harm caused to abuse victims; that regards paedophiles as objects of sympathy and compassion.
A few more episcopal resignations, with a presumption that these settle the matter, is just a continuance of the culture of denial of the Catholic Churchs institutional and cultural complicity in the criminality of clerical child sexual abuse.
The Holy Roman and Apostolic Church is the problem.
You'd have to ask the moderator who issued the particular injunction at the time, as to what the reasons were for it. What I can tell you is that in the summer of '08, the FReeper in question posted over 50 threads about "sexual abuse by Protestant ministers" over a course of 20 days. 35 were posted in the Religion Forum, and 15 were posted in the News Forum. The poster received multiple warnings from at least one moderator, ignored those warnings, and received a suspension for a period of time. Threads in the Religion Forum about sexual abuse by any "person of the cloth" were being posted (by others) within two days of the incident, and the poster in question was posting new threads about sexual abuse to the News Forum within 30 days.
Now let me offer up these numbers for comparison. In the last 30 days, a Catholic FReeper has posted 14 threads about "sexual abuse by Protestant ministers", nine of which were made to the Religion Forum. And I have posted 8 threads about "sexual abuse by Catholic priests" in that same timeframe, four of which concern the current scandal in Ireland, and all of which are in the Religion Forum.
If so, would it not also be appropriate for Protestant posters to stop posting articles about sexual abuse by RC priests in the Religion Forum?
As another poster said earlier on this thread, clean your own house first, or as our Lord phrased it, "Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"
Maybe, as markomalley pointed out, you could post these articles in "General" or "News" or "Bloggers/Personal" instead of the Religion Forum.
So only post bad news about churches in the other forums, only good news about churches here? What was that you were saying about the "grave sin of detraction"?
See post #50.
The Cafe is now closed.
At some point, we got fed up with the hypocrisy, and some RC posters here started posting threads about protestant molesters.
That got them suspended, apparently.
The bias is glaringly obvious, and your obsession over this tit-fot-tat, to the point of actually counting the number of recent threads, is evidence of a very unhealthy spirituality on your part.
So I'll be happy to avoid your Cafe, Alex.
Also for the record, if Alex posts items of an institutional nature (i.e., something indicating an institutional issue going on), I, for one, don't really mind it. I think the Irish Church issues are appropriate topics to be discussed (I would hope that he wouldn't be so selective in his extracts, as I've pointed out on other threads). It would also be convenient if Alex would do a little more research before posting articles. For example, the document original is here and an unofficial English translation is here. (The document has been out in the open for years).
I have, though, expressed my concerns about his posting articles about 30 year old incidents with lawsuits being brought by ambulance chasers. But those articles are not the same as the ones he is posting about the Irish Church.
We may not like it but unfortunately, that stuff happened in the US (revealed and newsworthy about 5-10 years ago). And the stuff has come to light over in Ireland just recently. And, has been shown in this country, I'm confident that the truth will show over in Ireland, as well, that the tolerance of liberal, heterodox ideas allowed this camel to get its nose under the tent. Denying that is not going to change the facts. And I am also confident that the Irish Church will weather the storm just as the American Church did.
Alex has his reasons for posting this material. One of the rules of the Religion Forum is that we are not allowed to mind read. Therefore, I am not going to do so and assert what Alex's agenda is. If Alex chooses to do so, that's his privilege one way or the other.
Alex has, however, implied an agenda on my part (which I don't appreciate). He has accurately identified that I have posted stories on perverted Protestant ministers. What he has done though, by omission, is implied that this is the ONLY category of pervert I have posted about. I have also posted on Catholic ministers (IIRC, I was the one who initially posted the Father Cutié story a while ago, as an example), abusing psychologists, and most recently, abusing pediatricians. He has also grouped many threads I have started on a host of different topics under this umbrella of perverted pastors.
So Alex won't be confused any more, I will let you all know my agenda. The thesis I am supporting is that our society, in general, is utterly perverse and is going to hell.
In general instances of this trend, I will post those instances in the "general / chat" forum. For example, what possible religious significance would there be to posting about Christopher Evans, the youth minister recently indicted in Colorado for 10 counts of sexual battery and 10 counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, or Shane Garrett Horning, a youth minister from San Jose, California, who recently pleaded guilty to four felony counts of oral copulation with a minor, or Jeff and Alice Kilburn, of South Lebanon, Ohio, who were recently indicted for both having sex with a 16 year old boy who was participating in Jeff's youth ministry? Those don't teach us anything about any particular denomination's practices; they simply tell us that there are a bunch of perverts out there who are in youth ministry. Maybe it goes to show that all churches should have some more in-depth investigations of their people and keep their eyes on them, but that's about it. However, the audience in the "general / chat" forum is different than that in the "religion" forum. They recognize it for what it is...that they need to keep their eyes on their kids and be VERY careful about who they trust, even those who work in ministry. (Note: I think I posted one thread of this variety to the "religion" forum in error)
However, you will also note that I do occasionally post stories about Protestant ministers in the Religion forum. Why? Because the ones I post about, such as Ted Haggard or Tony Alamo, are far higher profile than the ones that are posted in "general / chat." And, since they are so widely known, we in the "religion" forum can discuss the material they preach and if it has some relationship to their abuse. (For example, I learned a lot about Tony Alamo that I never knew, as a result of posting the tales about him).
But what about the other ones? If you note, those other ones (the lesbian elected bishop in LA, the Evangelical Alliance in Ireland supporting gay "marriage," the Episcopals / Anglicans codifying their liturgies for same-sex unions, etc.) are all institutional issues where standards are being thrown to the four winds in the name of political correctness. And those institutional issues certainly belong in the "religion" forum. It should also be noted that I have also posted critical articles about my own religion, as well (though I wouldn't expect Alex to acknowledge that fact).
Having said the above, I intend to continue posting the volume of material I've been posting on the subject and will continue posting material WHERE I have posted. If the management has an issue with me taking up bandwidth like that, I'm sure they will say something.
My last comment on this thread is that I am an atheist who respects Christianity, and I guess being around so many atheists (I used to work in Cambridge, MA) and hearing their intense, blinding hatred when they thought they were speaking to "one of them," well, it has given me a good eye.
No one is denying the sins of the church regarding the hideous crimes of priests against children. But that's often--very often--used as a shield to protect religious bigots in their bashing. A lot of them have a certain glee at such stories, which makes them pretty awful people in my eyes. They seem GLAD on some level that these crimes happened, as it gives their own hatred and bigotry cover.
Some priests are monsters and they should be locked away forever. However, the same is also true of some police officers, some doctors, some teachers, etc. However, as evil as these men are, it is morally indefensible to denounce all members of a noble profession for the crimes of a few.
And I agree, it does seem as if there are some around here who are actually HAPPY about these crimes, if only because they believe it somehow validates their bigotry.
You miss the point. One swallow doesn't make a summer. If you want to make the case that ThePost.ie/The Sunday Business Post Online is somehow equivalent to the _Nation_ or some other leftist rag, please do so. Color me sceptical, however, given that it is a business paper.
And OF COURSE it wasn't an unbiased report. Browne's article is in the "Comment and Analysis" section.
...If you look at the other piece I excerpted, you can see the magazine's editorial bias....
What? You can determine a paper's editorial bias based upon one article found in what appears to be a section for opinion pieces? Wow -- you must be a genius! Al Gore had an op-ed on global warming published in the _Wall Street Journal_ back in March of '06 -- on the basis of just that one article, can you tell me what the editorial bias of the _Wall Street Journal_ is?
...You may blithely accept anything someone publishes at face value just because "every" newspaper has an agenda, but you'd be a fool to do so.
I will accept a news source with my usual skepticism unless it's proven to me that it is an unreliable source of information.
You have yet to prove that ThePost.ie/The Sunday Business Post Online is an unreliable source of information, either in general or in the case of the particular op-ed article by Vincent Browne (the one that Alex Murphy originally posted). I am NOT saying that you cannot prove the point; I AM saying that you have yet to do so.
That article wasn't satire. Please--show me the satirical part.
"That article"? Which article? The Browne piece is not satire, and I never said it was. The Garvan Grant essay entitled "What an achievement," which you excerpted in your Post #3, obviously IS satire-- unless you think Grant really wants to give the "Post Mortem Outstanding Achievement Award" to the great ape.
Uh, I wasn't talking about Vincent Browne's op-ed. I was talking about the short story about the novelist getting a bad review. I'll copy the link for you, but it's, like, right there on the site.
No. I was responding to your Post #3, where you quoted from the satirical piece called "What an Achievement" by Garvan Grant. That's what you were talking about. You referred to, but didn't name the short story by Gerard Donovan in your post #16 -- which I have mentioned now for the first time.
Are you now saying that you didn't write post #3? If so, that's a fascinating claim.
(Of course, since that's fiction, and you claim the other is satire, maybe this article is meant to be "satire," too?)
Let's see -- the Browne piece is an op-ed commentary on the Murphy Commission's report on what he sees as the relationship between paedophile priests in Ireland and the Vatican; Garvan Grant, who apparently fancies himself an Irish Al Gore, has a poorly-written satirical piece; and Gerard Donovan has a short story. I'm having no trouble distinguishing these texts from each other, and am surprised to see that you are not able (or willing) to do so.
You're spinning like a top, and it does you no credit. Why not just admit to the type of publication excerpted from?
OK, I admit it: Alex Murphy excerpted from an online Sunday BUSINESS paper. There, I said it -- I cannot take it back.
...Because it would reveal you have an agenda, too, and the petulance over 'Catholics' posting things you don't like is obvious--you REALLY think that a single person on FR is unaware of the Catholics' priest pedophile problems, and you're simply trying to share more knowledge?
Yes, I admit I have an agenda: the exposing of falsehood and nonsense where I find it. Such "nonsense" includes the making of unsubstantiated and confused assertions that a news-source is unreliable, especially when such "source criticism" is being offered in the place of a serious attempt to come to terms with the Murphy Commission report.
Do you really think that all Freepers are conversant with the contents and the context of the Murphy Commission report and the resulting scandal in Ireland?
I have little respect for ostriches who hide their heads in the sand. I go to Roman Catholic sites to get their perspective and news on euthanasia and abortion, and I've noticed that there's not much tolerance for the way that bishops and others have dealt with this paedophile priest foulness there either.
I don't have a dog in this fight, and it's obvious what's going on to me. There's not a thing wrong with your having your position, but please don't post something like this post I'm replying to again--I don't care if you think I'm an idiot, but please don't talk to me like you think I am, because I'll rip your obvious bunk apart every time, ok?
I find my posts #6 and #20 to be innocuous, to say the least. If you feel that I am indulging in personal attacks, you can always ping the Moderator.
Jimmy Swaggart and Ted Haggard?
If it had only been a matter of RC priests in Ireland soliciting adult prostitutes and taking illegal drugs, I doubt there would have been something like a Murphy Commission as a response.
Trouble is that we are having problems with trying to discern what the Murphy commission actually is and said.
Not my spelling. I copied and pasted from the article.
There are a bunch of people either within or on the fringes of the Church who are heinous sinners and have done great harm to others. I've never denied that, and neither have the serious Catholics.
I'd check the meds first before blurting this out to the world. Point the first: it is a quote from the article. Point the second: I am a lifelong Catholic and know how to spell Canon. Point the third: there is a certain absurdity to the article which claims secrecy, yet it went out to every individual above the rank of priest in both East and West.
Thank you for your spelling and Google search tips, though I think that I shall make it quite adequately through my Internet searches without your most excellent advice.
Do you have the balls to tell me this? Tell you what, I'll take a powder while you see if you (grape) shot your load. It may be more honoured in the breech, but we must barrel on.
Part II is only 478 pages long! Altogether, about 682 pages.
Stop including me in ANY of your postings.
You’re an anti-Catholic bigot,
and although Free Republic gives you Free Reign,
I do NOT want to hear from you ANY time about ANYTHING.
Go get your jollies somewhere else with someone else.
Thanks. I'll give it a look.
Both sides were posting sex abuse articles about the other - some very old. It was a flame war being conducted by article posting and BOTH sides were instructed to stop it.