Saturday, August 18, 2018

Some People Should Stop Digging Before the Hole Collapses on Them

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:
How many of the 300 were probably guilty? Maybe half. My reasoning? The 2004 report by the John Jay College for Criminal Justice found that 4 percent of priests nationwide had a credible accusation made against them between 1950-2002. That is the figure everyone quotes. But the report also notes that roughly half that number were substantiated. If that is a reliable measure, the 300 figure drops to around 150.
Of course, substantiated means going back over accusations made in the 1950s, where many of the witnesses, victims, and abusers, were dead.
Myth: The grand jury report was initiated to make the guilty pay.
Fact: False. It has nothing to do with punishing the guilty. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh "Salacious" Shapiro admitted on August 14 that "Almost every instance of child abuse (the grand jury) found was too old to be prosecuted." He's right. But he knew that from the get-go, so why did he pursue this dead end?
Why did he waste millions of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of alleged offenders when he knew he couldn't do anything about it? Because he, and his predecessor, Kathleen Kane (who is now in prison for lying under oath and misusing her Attorney General's office) wanted to shame the Catholic Church.
Too old to prosecute doesn't make them irrelevant to understanding the damage done.  Shaming officials who assisted in hiding these crimes seems like a way to discourage repeating.
Fact: This is an obscene lie. Most of the alleged victims were not raped: they were groped or otherwise abused, but not penetrated, which is what the word "rape" means. This is not a defense—it is meant to set the record straight and debunk the worst case scenarios attributed to the offenders. 
Furthermore, Church officials were not following a "playbook" for using terms such as "inappropriate contact"—they were following the lexicon established by the John Jay professors. 
Examples of non-rape sexual abuse found in the John Jay report include "touching under the victim's clothes" (the most common act alleged); "sexual talk"; "shown pornography"; "touch over cleric's clothes"; "cleric disrobed"; "victim disrobed"; "photos of victims"; "sexual games"; and "hugging and kissing." These are the kinds of acts recorded in the grand jury report as well, and as bad as they are, they do not constitute "rape."
True: no penetration means it isn't rape.  But that list of covered-up offenses is hardly what most people think of when you say "in the Name of Christ."
There have been two scandals related to the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church. Scandal I involves the enabling bishops who covered it up. Scandal II involves the media cover-up of the role played by gay molesters. 
Let me repeat what I have often said. Most gay priests are not molesters, but most of the molesters have been gay. Not to admit this—and this includes many bishops who are still living in a state of denial about it— means the problem will continue. Indeed, there are reports today about seminaries in Boston and Honduras that are disturbing. How do I know that most of the problem is gay-driven? The data are indisputable.
He is right that this is overwhelmingly priests going after boys.  Heterosexual abuse is a minority of the offenses.  Still, blaming gay men and ignoring their status as priests and the role of the Church in covering up both secular crimes and violations of Christian standards is hardly a ringing endorsement of Christ's representatives on Earth.  Matthew 18:6:
"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Donohue should be looking for a way for the Church to make amends to these victims and make sure that the hierarchy that covered up these crimes never does this again.


  1. It obviously is not a matter of money. The Catholic Church could give each of the victims a million dollars, and they would not even notice the money lost. So it is a matter of once again, trying to hide their shame, just like many other governments do. Think the Armenian genocide, and how Turkey refused to allow it to be called that. To the point of political retaliation if need be.

    No, the Catholic Church is just trying to play a defensive strategy that involves sweeping their dirt under the rug, and hope that everyone forgets.

    The cause of Christ? To the Catholic leaders, that is secondary, if even that important. Number one is to maintain their grip on the wealth and power that the Catholic organization has amassed.

    I remember the verse " Jesus Wept." It was for such unbelief as this, that made His heart weary.

  2. The Boston archdiocese closed and sold many churches to pay abuse claims. The Church's wealth is less dramatic than widely believed.

  3. Donohoe's job isn't to fix the Church, it's to defend it. And, he is correct. The Church isn't the problem, but some big mistakes in the past certainly were. Greatest among them was admitting homosexual priests, and that is the point that Donoahoe is making.

    Those who wish to bash the Church rant against child rape, but the majority of this was homosexual grooming and statutory rape - crimes for sure, wrong for sure, but not nearly as horrible as pedophilia. But to listen to or read the mass media, one gets the impression that the Church as a whole condoned and covered up child rape.

    The Church as a whole has never, ever condoned this behavior. Good grief, priests having sex with *anyone* is a big no-no for the Church.

    Did some higher ups cover it up? You bet, and that is on them. Did the Pope cover it up? I have seen no evidence. Was the Church somewhat blind to this behavior - I suspect it was, having a bit too much faith in the priesthood. It has learned from this, and is continuing to learn.

    But, I resist a lot of these attacks because they seek to destroy the Church, and that is the Devil's work - whether it is the Catholic Church or Christianity in general (and take a look at the non-Catholic sects and you will find the same incidence of child abuse - it just doesn't make the papers as a giant story, because there are so many different protestant groups that any particular one doesn't have numbers as bit.

  4. Why did a grand jury and a state AG investigate cases too old to prosecute?

    I don't know of any evidence that Donohue doesn't spend any time looking for ways to identify and compensate victims, or that the state AG has put forth any initiatives to identify victims objectively.

  5. The leader of a group is always the one who is responsible. The Pope is both a spiritual leader and a leader of the Catholic Church in general. I will accept that there are a lot of sexual abusers in the Church as a whole, but the Catholic Church is the one that has been covering for their abusers for a long, long time.