Columns Law & Court Opinion Thomas Reese: Signs of the Times

Timing is everything in Pennsylvania’s clergy sexual abuse report

Catherine Coleman Murphy, center, and Jack Wintermyer, right, protest along with others outside Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul before an Ash Wednesday Mass in Philadelphia on March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(RNS) — After a monthlong challenge by a few of those named in the document, Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has approved the release of a grand jury’s report on sexual abuse of minors in six Catholic dioceses across the state. The grand jury, convened in 2016, considered the cases of some 300 priests accused of being predators, as well as bishops accused of covering up the crimes.

The report, expected to be released any day, is not going to be an easy read, and at 900 pages will contain more information than many have time to digest.

Here are a few things that journalists and other interested parties should look for.

First, did the grand jury find any new prosecutable offenses?

The answer is probably no. The statute of limitations, which has protected many abusive priests from prosecution, has likely expired on many of the crimes detailed in the report. Nor is it likely that any bishops can be prosecuted for not reporting priests to the authorities, because that was not required by law until recently in most states.

Second, did the report find any priests credibly accused of abuse who are still in ministry or any bishop currently in office who kept a bad priest in ministry?

Again, the answer is probably no, thanks to the procedures the church put in place in 2002 for dealing with abusive priests. Accusations are now reported to the police and investigated by the accused’s diocese. If an accusation is judged credible, the priest is suspended while an investigation takes place; if it is substantiated, the priest is permanently removed from ministry.

If a bishop was in office before 2002, he might have kept a priest in ministry. Then the question becomes, did this priest abuse again?

Beyond these important questions, understanding the significance of the grand jury report will mean following the timeline. Dates will matter.

Pope Francis listens to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston and head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, during a meeting at the Vatican on Sept. 21, 2017. (L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

We know from the John Jay study of clerical abuse that the number of alleged abuses increased in the 1960s, peaked in the ’70s, declined in the ’80s and by the ’90s had returned to the levels of the 1950s.

These statistics are a surprise to most people because the press coverage was much later when the abuse victims came forward. Only the National Catholic Reporter was covering abuse as early as 1985. By the time The Boston Globe discovered it in 2002, the number of abuse cases nationally was way down.

Dates are also important because we know that most victims of abuse do not report it until years after the abuse took place. Although most of the abuse in the Catholic Church took place from the ’60s to the early ’80s, most of the reports came in the ’90s and later. It is hard to blame a bishop for abuse he did not know about.

Before 1985, bishops, like most Americans, were ignorant when it came to child abuse. The immediate response, when someone you knew was accused, was denial. Accusations were considered dubious even by the police.

In 1985, the first major lawsuit against a diocese took place in Lafayette, La., and soon insurance companies began telling dioceses that they would no longer cover child abuse. This wake-up call should have alerted bishops to the gravity of the problem, and some did begin to respond, some faster and better than others.

Others continued to move a priest to a new parish after he was accused of abuse. Yet others pulled priests from their parishes but returned them to ministry after “treatment.” Some were put into ministries that were supposedly “child-free.”

These bishops got bad advice from psychologists who told them the priests were safe to return to ministry. They also got bad advice from their chancery staffs, who were mostly priests, who felt protective of their own and often said, “Give him another chance.”

The Most Rev. Ronald Gainer, the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., discusses child sexual abuse by clergy and a decision by the diocese to remove names of bishops going back to the 1940s after concluding they did not respond adequately to abuse allegations. In his remarks at a news conference Aug. 1, 2018, in Harrisburg, the bishop also apologized to victims and said the diocese is posting an online list of 71 priests and others in the church accused of the abuse. Following the Erie Diocese, the Harrisburg Diocese is the second in Pennsylvania to get ahead of a roughly 900-page grand jury report that could be made public in August 2018. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has said the report found more than 300 “predator priests” in six of the state’s eight dioceses. (AP Photo/Mark Scolforo)

Between 1985 and 1992, the American bishops discussed sexual abuse behind closed doors at their national meetings at least five times. One old bishop told me that he got up at a meeting and pleaded with the bishops, “Don’t make the same mistakes I made.”

In 1987, the bishops’ conference recommended a five-step program for dealing with sexual abuse by clergy or church employees:

  1. Respond promptly to all allegations where there is reasonable belief that the incident has occurred.
  2. If the allegation is supported by sufficient evidence, relieve the alleged offender promptly of his ministerial duties and refer him for appropriate medical evaluation and intervention.
  3. Comply with the obligations of civil law on reporting the incident and cooperating with the investigation.
  4. Reach out to the victims and their families and communicate our sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being.
  5. Within the confines of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved, deal as openly as possible with members of the community about the incident.

Some bishops followed these guidelines. Others, such as Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, did not. The resulting 2002 Boston scandal led to the bishops adopting, with the approval of Rome, a zero tolerance of abuse — not a guideline, but binding on bishops. No longer would they risk returning a priest to ministry after “treatment.”

Any bishop who made mistakes prior to 1985 could plead ignorance; any bishop who did not follow the 1987 guidelines should have been removed from office. Sadly, not enough bishops acknowledged their mistakes, took responsibility and resigned.

The grand jury report will undoubtedly show that the church did a bad job dealing with abuse, especially in the early years, with disastrous results. This should be reported.

But journalists should read the report like they would read any other government document. What has been proved and what is just accusation? Would your editor publish these pages or ask for more information? Since the report is undoubtedly the work of many hands, is the quality of a high standard throughout?

This is especially true when it comes to naming names. Some of those who fought the release of the grand jury report objected because it “unconstitutionally infringes on their right to reputation,” as the court order put it. We must ask: Was the person convicted? If not, how many accusations were made? Are the accusations credible? Substantiated? What is the accused’s response?

And when it comes to a bishop, we must ask the Watergate questions: What did he know, and when did he know it? And what did he do?

Finally, the grand jury report is a wake-up call to other U.S. dioceses. If they don’t want a grand jury poking its nose into their affairs, they had better be more transparent. They should hire someone to do an independent and credible report, make it exhaustive, and publish it. People demand transparency. Either the bishops must provide it or the government will.

About the author

Thomas Reese

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest, is a Senior Analyst at RNS. Previously he was a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter (2015-17) and an associate editor (1978-85) and editor in chief (1998-2005) at America magazine. He was also a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University (1985-98 & 2006-15) where he wrote Archbishop, A Flock of Shepherds, and Inside the Vatican. Earlier he worked as a lobbyist for tax reform. He has a doctorate in political science from the University of California Berkeley. He entered the Jesuits in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1974 after receiving a M.Div from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

218 Comments

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  • Some of those who fought the release of the grand jury report objected because it “unconstitutionally infringes on their right to reputation”

    Since when has there been a constitutional right to [a good] reputation? We all have the reputation we deserve, one way or another, and the U.S. Constitution has nothing to do with that. These people live in thicker bubbles than I ever realized.

  • Pennsylvania’s constitution provides for a right to a good name, and its statutes provide for enforcing that.

    Btw, since when has there been a constitutional right to same sex marriage?

  • The two summary statistics that could shed most light on the abuse problem in Pennsylvania and in the rest of the Catholic Church are these:

    How many of the victims were males?
    And how many vitcims were post-pubescent?

    These data won’t be part of the report.

  • I had read the Grand Jury testimony when Bevilacqua was on the hot seat. It was quite horrendous. I hope this GJT is made available to all so that people can read it through to see, as best as the Diocese allowed, what was going on. The John Jay report is important, but lets face facts it was released in 2002 and we have learned much, much more since. The abuse crisis did not end with the JJR, and using it as the end point of all abuses is short sighted. There are still priests abusing, there are still people covering it up, and there are still many vicitms/survivors that have not spoken up. Let us use this momentum to force the RCC into REAL reforms and purge this church of its iniquity.

  • Elise Harris provides a bigger picture of the abuse situation in the Catholic church (and other faith communities and secular institutions in her recent article “Lay woman’s saga illustrates clerical sexual abuse of adults”:

    “Although most attention amid the clerical sexual abuse crisis has been on minors, recent cases of priests and bishops who have taken advantage of vulnerable adults or those under their guidance also have come to light.

    One such case involves Theodore McCarrick, the 88-year-old retired Archbishop of Washington and Newark who resigned his post in the College of Cardinals following “credible and substantiated” accusations of sexual abuse of minors and multiple accounts of sexual misconduct with seminarians.

    A second example is a recent report by the Associated Press detailing accounts of religious sisters and nuns who have either been sexually assaulted or raped by priests or bishops, and who have chosen to speak out as part of what has been dubbed the Church’s own “#MeToo” movement.

    In addition to these sisters, a nun in India also recently accused a bishop of rape, charging that other members of Church hierarchy in the country, such as Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church in India, knew about it and did nothing.

    Yet another example, only now coming to light, is the case of Rachel Mastrogiacomo, who, at age 24, was raped in Satanic cult-like fashion by a Catholic priest as he celebrated a private Mass for the two of them. And, she says, when she came forward to the Church, they covered it up.”

    https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2018/08/04/lay-womans-saga-illustrates-clerical-sexual-abuse-of-adults/

    But a certain slice of right-wing Catholics deeply fixated on pinning the abuse situation on gay priests and making it about sexual orientation are already gearing up to force whatever findings we read in the Pennsylvania report into their sexual-orientation-explains-it-all-for-you mold. As if the stories of nuns abused by priests and laywomen abused by priests count for nothing at all — as if those human beings count for nothing at all.

    It’s all about the gays, or it’s about nothing.

    Go figure.

    Hate is a powerfully addictive drug, it appears.

  • “Hate is a powerfully addictive drug, it appears”

    It may be hate. But there may also be background fear involved – the fear that, in the end, their loyalty to the institutional Church was completely misplaced and will count for nothing. Best blame the gays, not themselves.

  • The reasons why the impression that “It’s all about the gays, or it’s about nothing” is quite simple:

    – 80% of the abuse cases involved male-on-male contact;

    – the evidence is overwhelming that some seminaries – more than two – were knowingly allowing homosexuals to be ordained contrary to Canon Law;

    – the evidence is overwhelming that this was condoned and facilitated by a group of bishops who themselves were homosexuals;

    – and these bishops – along with some of their fellow travelers – failed to obey Canon Law in dealing with abuse when it was detected.

    No one has suggested that NO heterosexual abuse occurred.

    No one has suggested that ANY program, Canon, or testing will eliminate every single potential abuser.

    What is being suggested is that if following Canon Law eliminates 80% of the potential problem, it should be followed.

    The only hate involved is everyone hates to see children abused.

  • Interestingly, I know a quite a few people who were adults before 1987 and would have known to do the right thing before a report was issued on how to behave appropriately with dealing with a sex abuse issue. Just another example that the RCC is not a great primary source for proper moral behavior.

  • To me, the two blend together in social dynamics of scapegoating: hate and fear blend together and become two components of a single reality. I think Mary Douglas’ classic little work Purity and Danger provides a very good job of describing how that happens, and of the underlying dynamics that feed fear which allows social groups to target minority groups in a hateful way.

  • For those who want to make the abuse situation in the Catholic church all about and only about homosexuality — because, let’s face it, these folks are homophobes consumed with prejudice who are using religion as the prop for their prejudice — the facts keep proving inconvenient. Especially now that we are hearing more of the first-hand stories of women abused by priests, who have found the courage to come forth due to the #MeToo movement, a development that proves very inconvenient for both church officials and homophblic layfolks who decided, from the outset, that scapegoating gay priests would “solve” the abuse crisis (and keep us from looking at the true extent of sexual abuse in the Catholic clerical system, abuse that involves female minors and adult females, in addition to abuse of males).

    Take the story of Rachel Mastrogiacomo, told a day or so ago in an article entitled “#ThemToo: Adults, the overlooked victims of clerical sexual abuse”: as the article notes, raised in a conservative Catholic family in Minnesota, Rachel Mastrogiacomo went to the ultra-right-wing Francsican university at Steubenville, and then on to Rome to study theology. There she met Jacob Bertrand, who was also studying theology and was a deacon who was later ordained a priest.

    He began grooming her, telling her of visions the Lord had sent him as he prayed of sexual activity with her. He then roped her into those activities during a private Mass in which he combined the rituals of the Mass with sexual activity.

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/religion/sd-me-adult-abuse-20180801-story.html

    As this article notes, and as Mary E Hunt told us in a recent article in National Catholic Reporter, the abuse narrative in the Catholic church has moved from a focus on minors assaulted by clerics to a focus now on adults who have been assaulted, and, increasingly, on nuns and laywomen assaulted by priests, whose stories are just being heard due to the #MeToo movement. This story is one of them. We will be hearing many more of them now, I expect.

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/catholic-trifecta-disgrace-next-step-abuse-saga-due

  • Perhaps instead of some sort of sham Chapter 11 bankruptcy settlement, the courts should demand a reorganization of management with an open and democratic system along with actions being transparent and administrators clearly accountable to the members.

  • The next Grand Jury should investigate the civil authorities responsible for pursuing child molestation cases within the Catholic Church. It would seem likely that district attorneys and police departments were conspicuously absent in examining complaints from private citizens about Father Chester the Molester.

    Is it not true that any DA could have investigated a local diocese in exactly the same way Attorney General Shapiro did in six dioceses at once?

    BTW, thank God for AG Shapiro and his predecessor, Kathleen Kane, who initiated the prior grand jury investigations into the Church. At least she did us this one good turn.

  • Re: “This is especially true when it comes to naming names. Some of those who fought the release of the grand jury report objected because it ‘unconstitutionally infringes on their right to reputation,’ as the court order put it.” 

    No one’s reputation is Constitutionally protected. Moreover, efforts to derail investigations — or the release of their results — have been applied by the Catholic Church pretty much everywhere, including countries other than the US, in which the US Constitution carries no force (even if it did offer “a right to reputation,” which it doesn’t). For instance, the Church in Ireland tried to terminate the Ryan investigation … and though it wasn’t able to end it completely, it did successfully prevent the naming of possible abusers so they couldn’t be prosecuted. 

    Re: “We must ask: Was the person convicted? If not, how many accusations were made? Are the accusations credible? Substantiated? What is the accused’s response?” 

    What, exactly, is different about these investigations compared with other criminal proceedings in which the accused are publicly named? Newspapers around the country every day are full of reports of allegations, investigations, arrests, etc. in which people are named as possibly having committed crimes, and for all sorts of crimes of varying severity. Are Catholic clergy investigated for potential child abuse somehow entitled to more secrecy than everyone else? If so, what’s the basis of that? The Middle Ages are over, and the notion that clergy aren’t subject to the prevailing criminal-justice system died with them — for good reason. 

    Re: “Finally, the grand jury report is a wake-up call to other U.S. dioceses. If they don’t want a grand jury poking its nose into their affairs, they had better be more transparent.” 

    Why should they, when people like the Reese happily pen articles justifying cloaking any such investigations behind an artificial veil of Catholic-clerical privilege? 

  • “The Middle Ages are over” – Not in the minds of the Holy Oligarchs of the Church and their loyalists.

  • The RCC is still fighting, with everything they’ve got, changes to statute of limitations that would allow victims to get justice. They are still hiding money and using bankruptcy laws to avoid paying victims.

    The RCC cannot be reformed. They are void of all morality and decency.

    You would sooner be able to reform dog shit.

  • What freaking difference does it make?

    Abusers knew that becoming a priest would give them access to their preferred victims and protection from scrutiny.

    The church by its behavior proved this right.

    If the ratio of priests who abused boys, girls, nuns, young women, young men, the disabled, the elderly and whoever makes no difference whatsoever. This is nothing more than a reflection of which abusers found public celibacy appealing. Those abusers who chose the priesthood found a safe place to operate, regardless of their preferred victims.

  • Excellent response. I didn’t understand the whole argument line on this thread about gay / male-male, etc. Made no difference about the abuse and the cover up and the fact that bishops, even back before the “directives” in 1987, didn’t act morally.

  • It wasn’t “bad advice from psychologists”. But a confusion between deep-seated psychological tendencies and a notion of sin and redemption. All of which was complicated by a desire NOT to look at a culture of abuse and coverups going back 1000 years, and a desire TO BLAME gay men who has nothing to do with the problem forvthe culture of abuse that has flourished for centuries.

    The problem with scapegoats is that they are goats, not predators.

  • The scandal in Boston, where priests and bishops protected rapists and knowingly put children in harm’s way, made me realize that christianity was powerless. People surrounded by prayer and bibles and all things jesus were exactly like everyone else.

    Most people are good, some aren’t, and people in insular communities usually protect powerful insiders at the expense of the vulnerable and weak.

    I realized the claims of christianity simply weren’t true. Then I read the bible to try to make sense of it all, and it was all over.

  • Just becuase a man is molesting boys, even pubescent boys, does not make him homosexual, much less a gay man.

    As I have pointed out repeatedly to out resident homobigots, For decades, the Boy Scouts had a no gays in any position policy. For decades, they have an abuse problem, which they covered up into Roman Catholic style, including trying to Scape goat gay men for the crimes of the clergy, crimes which of been going on for 1000 years in the case of the church. For decades, they insisted that all scoutmasters should be heterosexually married, too, though it wasn’t an official policy.

    So who was doing the Molesting? Men whom Boy Scouts would describe as heterosexual, Men who would describe themselves as heterosexual, and then present themselves to their families, communities, and churches as heterosexual. Jerry Sandusky, a child rapist specializing in boys, is the perfect example of this.

    What this information indicates, obviously, is that the problem is not a black and white Problem at all, but a problem replete with gray gray gray gray gray. Once again, the sickness is not homosexuality, but Homo hatred.

  • ‘Before 1985, bishops, like most Americans, were ignorant when it came to child abuse.’ False, it was whispered about, not talked about. Back in the sixties people were more concerned about disobeying St. Paul, ‘Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth,’

  • you know what happens to child molesters in prison? People on the outside should consider behaving more like felons in jail and seek real justice.

  • Different causes.

    Anyone with a scientific mind…say a doctor looking at cancer in a patient..doesn’t stop and say “what freaking difference does it make what kind of cancer it is”.

    No, she analyzes, classifies, stages, properly goes to the depth to understand the proper treatment.

    No rational person looks at a set of data where more than 80% of the cases involve one set of variables..and less than 20% involve another set of variables and says “what freaking difference does it make”.

    Face it. You’re not as rational and intelligent as you think you are.

    More than 80% of the abuse cases today (via the 2016 USCCB report) are same sex abusers.

    No scientists runs from those facts.

    Get the homosexuals out of the seminary. They’ve shown they aren’t in control of themselves. Disorder is rampant.

    Look at the mess in the Chilean seminaries…look at the mess in the Honduran seminaries. Homosexual abusers.

  • See my response….rational people go to the depth needed.

    More than 80% of the abuse cases are same sex/homosexual abusers.

  • These cases are awful, but they are quite small compared to the number of cases of same sex/homosexual abusers of post-pubescent young men.

    Look at the Chilean mess, the Honduran Mess.

    McCarrick is just a sad but repuslive sideshow.

  • So are most of the boy scouts. So what?

    The men raped by other men in prison are also post pubescent. Homosexual men in prisons are seen as weak, not as rapists.

    In any case, YOU are one of the resident homobigots intent on scapegoating gay men for this very catholic problem. You are therefore a part of the problem.

  • No scientist looks at an 80+/20- % disparity, and dismisses it as hate in the observer!

    You’re not rational.

  • The term ‘pedaphile’ conceals more than it reveals.

    Activists don’t make good scientists.

    These abusers mostly are homosexual/same sex attracted. And they shouldn’t be in the seminary in the first place.

    The problem isn’t in the observers of these facts…it’s in the suppressers who hide and try to wash away facts like yourself.

    You’re just as bad as McCarrick’s protectors, attempting to shoo away the stunny and disgusting facts of these abusers.

    You should have gone to the Legionarires of Christ, with Farrell and Maciel…..”I see nothing, I know nothing”.

  • The age of the victims doesn’t matter. Sex abuse is sex abuse. Sexual orientation is not the determining factor for perpetrators. When you’re finished obsessing about homosexuality, you can start to become rational regarding a proper perspective on this issue.

  • The boy scouts had decades of abuse of boys, and they only allowed heterosexual men, preferably married with kids, into the organization. Explain that.

    A small percentage of people sexually assault other people. Abusers look for situations with (1) access to victims and (2) protection from being caught.

    The common thread is the willingness of the organization to protect itself and its powerful members and toss the weak and vulnerable under a bus. Abusers who joined the priesthood and abusers who became scoutmasters and abusers who became coaches and sports doctors have one thing in common – they wanted to sexually assault people and get away with it.

    There is no demographic immune or specially at risk. Gay men are no more likely to abuse children than heterosexual men. People who want to abuse children – straight or gay – choose jobs and activities that give them access to victims.

  • Your response characterizes the left’s flaccid response to the stunning data coming out of the seminaries world wide.

    The festering boil has been lanced.

  • It means it’s sexual abuse. Put a hold on your sexual fantasies and think rationally for once.

  • Not entirely, but if they are victims of sex abuse, yes. Actually, the 17-year-old victim suffers more in some ways.

  • There is doubt that most men who abuse boys are actually gay *but it makes no difference.*

    Abusers found a safe place in the catholic church to abuse children. You will not protect children by weeding out gays from the priesthood any more than you will protect gymnasts by weeding straight married men out of sports medicine.

    Abusers exist. Gay and straight, they are a small percentage of the population. Abusers will continue to find victims until organizations put the welfare of children and vulnerable adults over their reputation and self interest.

    This has zip to do with sexuality.

  • And here is the moral bankruptcy of your position.I ABSOLUTELY SEE WHAT IS GOING ON…

    in the church, the Boy Scouts, and Penn state…

    And I have called it out repeatedly.

    What I see is your deliberate conflation of gay men in general with the perverts, child molesters, homosexual hating homosexuals, AND same sex attracted predators who infest your church, not to mention the hierarchy that enables, protects, and obfuscates it.

    That is your entire desire— to conflate men like me with those perverts. I’ve never denied that some same sex atttracted men are a part of your very, very, very catholic problem. These are men that have never dealt with heir sexuality openly, honestly, courageously, and with integrity. They have never grown up. Instead, they chose to hide out in the priesthood, hoping that somehow the church, their guilt and shame, and the celibacy requirement would somehow save them from themselves. And not surprisingly, they found a whole bunch of other men just like themselves, whence you get your Cardinal McCarricks and your child molesting priests. They are liars and deceivers, they are used to lying and deceiving.

    And because they have never grown up, they are stuck back in their post pubescent years, as far as their sexuality goes. So no surprise who their victims are. And because they are male priests, no sane parent is going to leave them alone with their girls. So no surprise who their victims are. And because they have easy and private access to boys, it s no surprise who their victims are. And because people like you have “otherized” real homosexual people, and turn very human priests into untouchable and unreproachable figures, it’s no surprise that they are surprised when their priests turn out to be predators; they were looking for the flamboyant man in the rainbow hot pants, not the “respectable” priest wearing a black cassock.

    And because there are a pile of these same sex attracted, pedophilic, and otherwise sick predators hiding out on your church, which you have elevated into god’s vicarage on earth, it is absolutely no surprise who their victims are, that they find a large number of similarly situated men hiding out there, and who are willing to cover up the crimes both for their own benefit, to protect the church from a “scandal”…

    And to deflect attention from themselves and the church onto innocent gay men who despise the predators and are horrified by the abuse as any decent, sane, and moral person would be.

    But that is not your agenda at all. Your agenda is simple despite— and that is the kindest thing I can say about it. your desire is to demonize and scapegoat because of your despite. So much of bigotry is simply that: despite. Gay men like myself are the problem, in your universe, because we won’t accept the place you have assigned to us.

    And that offends you more than anything else.

  • So 80% of the abuse cases are between a male priest and a male over 16? I did not realize that.

    Rational people realize that what actually causes all these problems are the effed up psychologically damaging teachings on sex by the RCC (and most Christian religions). If there were a more rational, natural approach to sexual feelings you would not have the repression and lashing out and misdirected sexual feelings. Even marriage heterosexual Catholic couples rarely have a normal approach to sex.

  • More than 80% of abuse by priests was against boys. In the population as a whole, girls are far more likely to be abused.

    Golly gee willikers, I wonder if this is because the only people who become priests are people comfortable with never having sex with a woman.

    This is called self selection.

    If there are 900 straight abusers and gay 100 abusers in a population 50,000, some will choose to join the priesthood, some will become scoutmasters, some will become coaches. This does not change the total nunber of abusers. If all the abusers who like baseball end up as baseball coaches this does not mean that people who like baseball are more likely to be abusers. Duh

  • What a batch of bad logic and assumption. Care to trot off to get some data.

    “the only people who become priests are people comfortable with never having sex with a woman”.

    And having sex with men is free and open?

    LOL.. please edit for your reputation’s sake.

  • Fascinating…here is what the USSCB website says:

    “Among allegations received, most victims/survivors of abuse were 10-14 years old, 82% of victims/survivors were male, and most abuse occurred between 1960 and 1990, with a peak in the 1970’s. ”

    Do you lie for a living as well? You are very good at it online!!

  • Publicly, at least. According to reports, at most 50% of priests are actually celibate. The catholic church doesn’t seem to mind as long as they pretend and mouth the right words.

    But the types of people who would sign up for a lifetime of public celibacy are rather limited. Back when homosexuality was illegal, the priesthood was a good option for people who wanted to be respectable without pressure to marry. Now even that incentive is gone. I would never allow my kids, male or female, to be alone with,a priest.

  • Not sure how reliable those data are.
    50% not so bad actually especially if you consider even masturbation as an act against celibacy (more properly continence).

  • 82% (homosexual abusers) is higher than 80%. I’ll adjust my memory UPWARD. thank you .

    And boys become pubescent after 11 or so, today.

    No lies.

    Dodge the data if you might.

  • Most people do not consider having sex with a 10-14 year old okay…interesting that you do! Love that you were able to focus on the completely wrong part of the USCCB’s conclusion. They would be so proud of you! Hopefully what they say is true and there is a special place in hell for some folks..

  • Oh all homosexual is disordered…but just as a 13 year old boy in public school can engage in sex with his homerun female teacher..so can a 13 year old same sex attracted boy go along with a creepy McCarrrick.

  • And the person who is an adult and has sex with the 13 year old is different from the person who has sex with a 19 or 20 year old. You actually know that but insist on being dishonest. Again, remember the 8th commandment! You Catholics often forget that commandment when you start typing comments online I have noticed!

  • Just re-read you last line and LITERALLY laugh out loud! You gotta be kidding. You just dodged the data I present YOU from YOUR OWN SOURCE. Incredible!

  • No matter what label is put on it, the reality is the same – the Bride of Christ has been sleeping around. Is God happy that His daughter-in-law has made a fool of His Son?

  • Priests aren’t the bride of Christ…they’re men, some of whom give their all, and some who don’t.

  • let’s break down your last response.

    Is it true that more than 80% of priest abusers are homosexuals, same sex attracted? T or F?

  • F – they are attracted to young boys. That is not a normal sexuality. Who knows if they are homosexual or not. Just as has been pointed out to you by others, the BSA had many cases of sexual abuse by men on boys. Those men were heterosexual. So heterosexual or homosexual is not the issue here. If we keep discussing it with those terms we will never help the young boys and girls who suffer at the ends of religious leaders who have psychological problems with their sexuality (most likely significantly caused by screwy Catholic teachings on the matter to begin with).

  • Net: they are attracted to males…in the case of the “gay seminary debacle”….they are attracted to males whether the seminarians are 17, 18 or 23.

  • Ah yes – 17, 18, or 23 – normal sexual attraction – those are men. Not young males. If 80% of the cases were with 17, 18 or 23 year olds then we can say those are gay priests doing the inappropriate sexual assault.

  • false

    psychologists are clear on the dynamics of child sexual abuse. we’ve known for decades that pedophiles generally show no preference for male or female victims, and will almost always target whatever children they have the easiest access to, regardless of gender. there are hundreds of case studies of pedophiles (including clergy!) that showed clear preferences for adults, but abused boys and girls indiscriminately. this is all well known and studied and the lack of discussion of these facts calls into question the sincerity of those that attempt to scapegoat gay men.

    Is it true that priests generally have the most direct and unsupervised access to boys? T or F?

  • Your question was something I was thinking about too – when I was kid in Catholic school, the only time girls were near a priest was when he came to talk to the class or when he gave them communion. We boys were at the rectory frequently and in the sacristy if we were altar boys. I spent countless hours with priests. I have to say, though, that I was not a victim of any inappropriate behavior, just pointing out that you are absolutely right to say that priests have a ton of direct unsupervised access to boys. And those boys give them a lot of attention and love and, as we have seen with the defenses the priests often raise, that can cause problems with the wrong priest.

  • The longer the answer the fuzzier the thinking.

    It is true that 82% of the victims were male, assaulted by same sex attracted men.

  • Ditto that but with a strong dose of rigorous historic testing/studies of the NT. Said studies have concluded that there was no resurrection and that only 10% of the NT is authentic.

  • your refusal to accept the findings of scientists from all over the world on this topic is duly noted

  • Does Ireland’s? If not, why did the Church employ more or less the same argument, there, a decade ago? 

    Face it … they’re retreading old tropes and throwing them around, hoping someone gives a damn what they have to say. I’m not stupid enough to fall for it, and refuse to do so. 

    Also, I would like to know why Catholic clergy being investigated for possible child abuse are entitled to a much higher degree of secrecy than other kinds of people arrested for, accused of, or being investigated for, other kinds of wrongdoing? I want to know where this special privilege, that the OP asserted exists, comes from. 

  • False.

    82% of the abused were male abused by males, whether or not they were abused by same-sex attracted males is not stated.

    The statistics from psychological research and police investigations states that the majority of men who sexually abuse boys identify as heterosexual, not homosexual.

  • That isn’t what the data show, that is your leap of logic. Since we are discussing RC priests, all abusers are male. A large percentage of the abuse was male on male. The research and criminal data state that the majority of male abusers of boys are heterosexual, often married with children of their own.

  • So your argument is that males going after males is not same sex attracted.

    Sure.

    Lobotomy complete.

  • I love idiotic claims such as yours. A product of public school “edumacation”

  • An idiotic statement by someone who has backed themself into a corner, insult and name call the other party in the discussion.

  • If you look further, it isn’t The Church, but individual priests who have brought up the case of their reputations to the authorities responsible for releasing the report. I think that they have redacted the identities of those priests in the report that are imminently to release.

    All good questions, but better directed at the authorities in charge.

  • the claim is truthful. your inability to grasp it is no problem of mine

    it is, however, a problem for the hundreds of millions of catholic children, who are at risk of being sexually abused because you and others like you refuse to acknowledge the basic facts necessary to protect them, all for the sake of your swollen, misplaced pride

  • Zero tolerance for any abusers would be a fantastic start where they are thrown out. Then I would make sure that any victims that have not come forward, will do so with out any hint of retribution. Then there are those who hid the abuses, they too should be let go. Those who spoke up and/or reported abusers should be noted and held as being defenders of the faith. Then there should be a yearly reaffirmation through a public venue that states clearly their commitment to end all abuses which should include a hell and brimstone announcement from the vatican that abusing another will mean being thrown out. All accusations will be made public so that every catholic knows who and what is being done about it. Then of course there is the matter of the grave evil committed against God/Jesus. There needs to be some public acknowledgement with public penance for ALL for a period of time. Reparations to God are mandatory. Then each and every priest, bishop, cardinal, pope needs to be revetted for adherence to their vows.

  • As one with a degree and license in psychology, yes, that is exactly what the data shows. Regardless at how incredulous you are about the “logic” of the findings, that is just it, that most men who abuse boys are heterosexual.

    If you were to study the types of sexual abuse that they boy report, it is aberrant for men of any sexual orientation. Such as the abuser masturbating while rubbing a boy’s bare feet on their genitals. Or intercourse from behind, so the abuser can ignore the fact that he is abusing a boy.

  • Re: “If you look further, it isn’t The Church, but individual priests who have brought up the case of their reputations to the authorities responsible for releasing the report.” 

    … all copying more or less the very same argument! Sorry, but I’m not buying that higher-ups within the Church can’t be behind such efforts, even if different individuals are propped up to press them. It cannot be a coincidence that the very same effort pops up, all over the world, any time this sort of thing is coming to bite the R.C. Church. 

    I said it before and will say again: I’m not stupid enough to swallow the trope that Catholic clergy being investigated for child abuse are owed a far-higher degree of secrecy than any other type of person facing an allegation. I simply do not — and never will. 

  • I read what Reese has written and think he thinks it is mostly a problem of the past and we need to focus on finding the few bad apples, every bishop should just go ahead and publish all info about past suspicions of abuse – and all will be well.

    What really needs to be examined is the organizational structure, doctrine and attitudes that caused every bishop just about everywhere to ignore the child abused, his/her family, any obligations to the safety and welfare of the larger community – all to protect the “son” who is the priest and the good name of the Catholic Church. Our faith, founded by and on Jesus, was no better than Penn State and the Boys Scouts in dealing with the evil of child sex abuse.

    What we need to do as Catholics is have a deep, heart felt examination of the authoritative structure and attitude of the Church, the all male hierarchy/all male priesthood, the elevation of the “ontologically changed” as intermediaries between God and the (now educated and responsible) serfs. The church needs the wisdom and the heart of the people, not just theologian, priests, and bishops.

    And we need to have a deep discussion of sex, sexuality, sexual expression, the evil of coercive sex and sex as an expression of power, sexual maturity, responsible sexual expression, sex as a human expression of love and commitment regardless of the gender of those involved, gender and identity, gender and roles in life, family, work, career, and calling. Oh, and add discussing responsible family planning that includes contraceptives because that is absolutely necessary in the real life lived by people today.

    Come into the reality of today and help us sort through anew issues that seemed settled, based on how we lived and what we knew, oh, 1000 to 2000 to 5000 years ago. Come into the reality of today. Or not and we will just do the best we can to figure it out without you. As we have been doing.

  • Line up 5 psychologists and ask them the most basic question about behavior, even something more suited for the scientific method like psychophysics, and you’ll get

  • That you say you have a degree and a LICENSE tells me that you went through the more soft-headed side of psychology (see my earlier point on the state of psychology, pretending it’s a science).

  • The “Catholic” abuse problems differs only from the Jewish abuse problem, the Church of England abuse problem, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America problem, and the public schools abuse problem in one aspect: 80% of the cases involved male-on-male contact.

    You need to address that as part of the “resident homobigots” shtick, and to this point and for months you have not.

  • 80% was male-on-male.

    By definition that is not heterosexual.

    What magical explanation do you have in mind, and what marvelous research with particulars?

  • It appears as though some abusers found a safe place, not quite as safe as public schools and Orthodox Jewish schools, but safer than it should have been.

    It turns out that the 80% who apparently were gay in Catholic Church, at least in the USA, should never have been admitted to the seminary, should never been ordained, and when found abusing should have been reported to the authorities forthwith.

    In the diocese were that occurred, Lincoln, Nebraska, for one, abuse was essentially zero, tolerance by the diocese was zero, there were zero suits, and the seminary was so full they had to build a larger one.

    It appears to have happened due to protection by bishops who themselves were homosexuals, a number of whom were found out, and their lieutenants in the seminaries and dioceses who were protecting each other.

    Solutions:

    Follow Canon Law as to ordination.

    Follow Canon Law as to abuse.

    Reveal and drum out anyone found to be engage in abuse.

    Turn the information over to the authorities.

    Yes, it does have more than zip to do with psychosexual maturity, which bears heavily on sexuality.

  • “According to reports” …

    Conveniently uncited.

    I would never allow my kids, male or female, to be alone with you.

  • I’m not going to knock my head against a brick wall such as you. You know and have an answer for everything, in spite of the stupidity that you show here.

  • There was a Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which mandates same sex marriage in 2015.

    It was not based on anything in the US Constitution but on some whimsies of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

    Since the ERA did not pass, the only mention of sex (gender these days could mean anything) is in the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

    “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

    “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

  • And the stupidity is that I maintain that men who seek to have sex with other males are same-sex attracted?

    Happy to be put into that category.

  • You need to cite the research beyond a bald assertion “that is exactly what the data shows”.

    It is certainly not exactly what the data I have looked at shows.

  • I don’t think anyone has conflated you as a Catholic preying on young males.

    You seem to be doing all the conflating.

    You have zero idea what is going with candidates the priesthood, the internal workings of any religion, little of the external workings of said religions, and appear to be venting.

  • Just because a man engages solely in homosexual acts, does not mean he is a homosexual?

    That’s a pretty zany assertion.

  • It should not have protected them from scrutiny.

    That only happened because there were people over them trying to avoid scrutiny, and doing what Canon Law requires – reporting them to authorities – might cause one of the abusers to squeal on them.

  • All they had to understand was Canon Law:

    – no homosexuals ordained

    – no people with significant psychological issues ordained

    – abusers are defrocked and turned over to the authorities

    – no substituting counseling for any of the above

    – Period.

    The dioceses who followed the rules had no problems.

  • “What we need to do as Catholics is have a deep, heart felt examination of the authoritative structure and attitude of the Church, the all male hierarchy/all male priesthood, the elevation of the “ontologically changed” as intermediaries between God and the (now educated and responsible) serfs. The church needs the wisdom and the heart of the people, not just theologian, priests, and bishops.”

    No, all it had to do was follow Canon Law.

    – no homosexuals ordained

    – no people with significant psychological issues ordained

    – abusers are defrocked and turned over to the authorities

    – no substituting counseling for any of the above

    – Period.

    The dioceses who followed the rules had no problems.

    I understand you’re itching to tell them like you think it is with your version of “the wisdom and the heart of the people”, but I’ve been reading it for quite some time and can assure the Church can live fine without it.

    Among the reasons why it can do without it is that will include:

    “sex as a human expression of love and commitment regardless of the gender of those involved” and “responsible family planning that includes contraceptives because that is absolutely necessary in the real life lived by people today”.

    In short, you simply want to closer with your axe to the Church’s teachings where you can do some real damage.

  • Read the First Amendment.

    To have “the courts … demand a reorganization of management with an open and democratic system along with actions being transparent and administrators clearly accountable to the members” would be a prima facie violation.

  • So your mind is made up and your fingers are in your ears?

    Is too much to hope that means you’ll cease posting on the topic?

  • “No one’s reputation is Constitutionally protected.”

    Of course it is.

    In Pennsylvania it specifically protected by the state constitution.

    At a Federal level it involves the right to privacy, the same right that Blackmun cited in Roe v. Wade.

    Kind of tough to find your ox gored by that, eh?

  • You mean Kathleen Granahan Kane who served as the 48th Attorney General of Pennsylvania from 2013 until her resignation in 2016?

    In August, 2015, she was charged with multiple offenses related to her position as attorney general, including a felony perjury charge, and an array of misdemeanors that included official oppression, obstruction, and related conspiracy charges.

    In September 2015, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended Kane’s license to practice law, the first such occurrence for a Pennsylvania attorney general.

    On August 15, 2016, Kane was convicted of all charges, including two felony perjury charges, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice and resigned the following day.

    Facing up to 28 years in prison she got a slap on the wrist of 10–23 months.

    And she’s your heroine?

  • You’ve been unable over the months to substantiate “a culture of abuse and coverups going back 1000 years”.

    But keep it up.

    The less credibility you have, the less effort it takes to point out your plentiful errors and calumnies.

  • Not necessarily, religious groups are required to do all sorts of things such as pay payroll taxes, conform to zoning and building codes, . Besides if a group files for bankruptcy the courts can order a number of actions including a reorganization that is what Chapter 11 is all about making changes while protecting the debtor to a degree.. Otherwise the dioceses would file under chapter 7 and totally liquidate the organization.

  • Well if you are going to go around being reasonable and thoughtful, then there is just no hope for you.

  • Pure irony from Bob Jose Arnzen there.

    Bob Jose, your fingers are far too often in your other orifices. No wonder your posts are typically so putrid and vicious.

  • Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca, you never look at data, nor at any other form of evidence. You just spew.

  • “With or without religion, good people can behave
    well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that
    takes religion.”

    Steven Weinberg
    Nobel laureate – physics

  • ” Shocking I say – shocking ! ”

    Crap.

    Priests are like a bunch of teen-age girls gossiping about the goings-on in another school.

    Reese, as do all RC priests, know and knew about the infestation of pedophile priests and bishops, who insisted on a code of silence, – since their days in seminary.

    Seminarians are admonished hourly : ” Do not bring shame or scandal upon the Church ! ”

    Reese is a fraud.

  • There were grand jury reports in 2005 & 2011.

    The RCC – blood-sucking whores –

    Grand Jury in 2005 and aftermath
    Cover-up by Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua” On September 21, 2005, nearly 10 years after the death of Cardinal John Krol, a grand jury, impaneled by Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, announced that Cardinal Krol was involved with the cover-up of a sex scandal against accused priests throughout the archdiocese, as was his successor 1988-2003, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Like the sex scandals in the Archdiocese of Boston, Krol and Bevilacqua transferred accused priests to other parishes throughout the archdiocese.”

    Grand Jury in 2011
    A
    second grand jury, in February, 2011, accused the Philadelphia
    Archdiocese, still under Cardinal Rigali, of failing to stop the sexual
    abuse of children more than five years after the first grand jury report
    had documented abuse by more than fifty priests.[15]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_abuse_scandal_in_the_Roman_Catholic_Archdiocese_of_Philadelphia

  • Necessarily “the courts … demand a reorganization of management with an open and democratic system along with actions being transparent and administrators clearly accountable to the members” constitutes establishing a religion.

  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State!

    Now that’s an unbiased source you’re leaning on!

  • While anti-Catholics are like a bunch of lesbian teen-age girls gossiping about the goings-on in another school.

  • No it is not declaring an official religion. it is just a reorganization under bankruptcy unless the court were to declare it organized crime syndicate and dissolve it.

  • No, it is establishing a religion.

    The First Amendment absolutely prohibits the government from determining the organization, rules, and canons of any religious organization.

    It may not favor this approach or that, or proscribe this approach or that.

  • Abuse is abuse – and it’s not solely a male-on-male issue. Neither is it about sexuality. Your agenda is to slam all gay men.

  • Exactly how are they supposed to identify who is homosexual?

    You can’t even admit your own homosexuality, so how is it that this will be accomplished among priests and seminarians who are celibate or at least discreet?

  • The number of abuse cases in Lincoln won’t ever be known accurately, because the bishop there refused to share his data. Hmm, wonder why that was? It’s not like Lincoln NB is some kind of Shangri-La. The bishop essentially lied. There are at least three known cases — that’s not “essentially zero”.

  • Bobbob and Tommy aren’t interested in understanding the nature of sexual abuse — their sole agenda is to slam all gay people.

  • What difference does it make whether they are “pubescent”???? This is your unholy sexual fantasy at work.

  • Pervs like you frame this issue of sexual abuse as if it’s a normal expression of sexuality. The victims certainly were not consenting, and the incidence of “same-sex attraction” is unknown among the perps.

  • So the child victims were consenting. See, you don’t understand anything about the nature of sex abuse. You’re too screwed up with your own perverted sexuality. As is the rest of your perverted Church.

  • “Activists don’t make good scientists.”
    —————–

    This is precisely you and Tommy’s problem — you’re activists of another stripe. Namely, anti-gay activists. That’s your sole agenda here.

  • In the self selected subset of the population that chose to become catholic priests, 82% choose male victims. By your logic, since 100% of abusers within the catholic priesthood were catholic, they will fix the problem of abuse by eliminating Catholics from the priesthood.

    Or maybe since most of the victims were altar boys, you can solve the problem by switching 100% to altar girls. Nonsense.

    In the US population, x% of adults will abuse children. Of that number some are catholic, some aren’t; most want to be married to a woman, some don’t; some prefer male victims, some female, some will abuse either; etc.

    The priesthood consists of catholics, unmarried and offers better access to boys than girls.

    Of the x% of abusers in the population, which ones will choose to become a priest?

    One CANNOT draw conclusions about the population as a whole by looking only at the small percentage of potential abusers who choose to become catholic priests. That is ignorant. Nor will changing the conditions of the priesthood eliminate abusers. That would merely change the type of abuser who chooses to become a priest.

    Only if the catholic church stops scapegoating and chooses to protect children rather than the organization will abuse in the catholic church be stopped. And based on evidence to date, that isn’t going to happen.

  • No I am a lover of marriage and the family; God’s plan, expressed in many ways, including in the very design of our bodies.

    but tks.

  • The study is precisely on Catholic priests…and the data show that 82% of the victims were males, indicating clearly that the priests were attracted to males…same sex attracted, ergo homosexuals.

    No one is trying to extend the data beyond the sample – like you’re implying.

    But the data cannot be ignored by anyone with a scientific mindset….the odds that those proportions (first reported in 2002 or so, confirmed in 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017) are due to chance are far slimmer than p 0.05, the typical threshold for social science.

  • You are extending the data beyond the sample.

    You are trying to get to the conclusion that gays are more likely to be abusers by focusing on a career choice uniquely attractive to abusers who do not want to marry.

  • ” The Middle Ages are over….”

    That period is the ” Dark Ages ” – the very dark ages.

    When the Church exercised complete and total domination over man, who was forced to live in filth and squalor – physical and psychological, while the Church hierarchy was building huge, extravagant, opulent palaces as their residences, with the resources extorted from the people – with a ” promise of eternal life in paradise ” sold to the brainwashed populace.

  • No. I am only and precisely focused on priests.

    Give up mind reading or even reading. You’re poor at both. Thin skinned too. Chip on your shoulders.

  • Many have tried, all have failed. People often do not recognize sin. This does not just occur in the Church. But only through Christ is true reformation possible. The state of PA just convicted a coroner for abuse. Yet the Attorney General did not label him a “predator coroner.” Nor has the AG instituted an investigation on the public schools where much abuse takes place. Is “real reform” bankrupting a diocese which serves many of the needy and people who would never dream of harming a child? Sounds like Henry VIII’s reform of the monasteries!

  • The great Middle Ages — The Rise of the Universities, the Hospitals, the idea of Natural law. Slowly coming out of the slavery of the Roman Villae system.

  • One of her famous quotes about those opposing her: ” Revenge is a dish best served cold…”

  • Actually it is only the most recent of the 15 cases decided by the USSC regarding marriage and the rights of those who chose to enter marriage dating back to 1888.

  • You make truth statements all the time and don’t always provide citations. I’ve stated the truth, you come up with research that refutes what I say.

  • If it is a brick in the wall I do.

    Since your research is non-existent, it’s a bit hard to prove it doesn’t exist. Proving negative is always a problem.

    There really isn’t much research, and your profession has done what it can to make there isn’t by removing homosexuality from the DSM.

    What does seem to be the case is that male-on-male abusers of non-adult males are not interested in adult males:

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

    This of course does not make them heterosexuals.

  • But not in terms of regulating marriage, per se, but marriage incidental to some other bona-fide constitutional right (e.g., race). In Obergefell v. Hodges Justice Kennedy invented a new right, apparently the right not to be lonely.

  • However, as the linked paper states, it doesn’t make them homosexuals either. Oft times their molestation isn’t associated with sexual orientation, it is aberrant, a paraphilia.

    It is also interesting that the later part of the linked paper, the section addressing the charlatan, Paul Cameron, states that; “Cameron’s claims hinge on the fallacious assumption that all male-male molestations are committed by homosexuals.”

    BTW, the DSM is controlled and published by the field of psychiatry, not psychology.

  • So, what you’re saying is that tiny bit of evidence available leaves the question open.

    I agree on that very narrow issue.

    The assessment of Cameron, however, isn’t supported by the research provided in the article itself, just like your claim is unsupported by significant research.

    Yes, the DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association, which had 100 psychiatrists on the DSM 5 Task Force, along with 30 psychologists, some social workers, and so on.

    No, that evasion is not going to fly.

    https://www.psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Practice/DSM/APA_DSM_People-Behind-DSM-5.pdf

  • It’s funny how you discredit your source when you don’t agree with what it says.

    Although this conversation lacks the insults and such that others have, it’s still like banging one’s head against a wall and is becoming boring. We disagree, as we usually do.

  • I gave you a source on the adult males on minor males, and it didn’t support your conclusion.

    You can either back it up with whatever you thought was incontrovertible, or drop it.

    Were I you I’d drop it.

    Yes, colliding with someone who not only can gather facts, but understand and organize them is somewhat disconcerting for you.

    How does that make you feel?

    Can we dialogue about this?

    Let’s bring it back into the room.

  • Interesting, but not much in the way of evidence.

    Gene Abel’s “evidence” in a popular magazine, not even Psychology Today, is the fact that he has written previous articles and agrees with himself.

    A. Nicholas Groth also agrees with things he wrote 30 years ago and book he wrote. Super evidence.

    David, do you agree with yourself?

    I do believe this is the kind of stuff you were calling “research”.

    It isn’t.

  • Yes, they should all be bankrupted. The RCC isn’t the only agency that helps people — and in this case, they have done irreparable and permanent harm to so many. Your excuses for this travesty are pointless and disgusting.

  • No, you’re a self-loathing dysfunctional closet case. No one but messed-up closet cases would pathologically obsess so often about homosexuality and “pubescence”.

  • Why are atheists so angry all the time? Or up and down like yo-yo’s?

    Cranks.

    Something is missing in them.

  • And by the way, this article has to do with the Church, and not public schools or coroners. It’s good to know that you and your Church have so lowered the bar so that it is no better than other agencies. Your “Church” can no longer claim an ounce of meal authority.

  • The destruction of all of Man’s social and cultural advances in 100,000 yrs – the destruction of ancient societies and cultures, ancient religions, ancient temples, ancient manuscripts and libraries, the Classical World and it’s arts, medicine, science and literature – and the torture, murder and enslavement – physical and emotional – of hundreds of millions of citizens of the world who wouldn’t worship as the Church dictated.

    Not just the ” Dark Ages ” but the ” Blackest Ages ” Man has ever been cursed to endure.

  • That was what was so unctuously condescending about Obergefell — I seriously doubt any lgbts were any “lonelier” before that decision than after it.

  • Exactly — the time when progress began to shift from the benefit of the elite few to the benefit of ordinary people no longer under the heel of crushing imperial taxation.

    The Romans were the unparalleled masters of torture, murder and enslavement — fully one third of the population of Europe was enslaved under them. I only WISH we could take credit for the destruction of that beast.

  • This is what the left’s argument has devolved into: accusing others what they themselves are.

    Freud-lite. (i.e., lite-lite).

    What intellectual poverty.

  • The term “Dark Ages” is not used by historians because …. wait for …. they were not the dark ages.

    Among other things the period did not mark “the destruction of ancient societies and cultures, ancient religions, ancient temples, ancient manuscripts and libraries, the Classical World and it’s arts, medicine, science and literature – and the torture, murder and enslavement – physical and emotional – of hundreds of millions of citizens of the world”. In fact at the time there were not “hundreds of millions” of humans in the world.

    The population barely cracked 200 million.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Ages_%28historiography%29

    http://worldpopulationhistory.org/map/718/mercator/1/0/25/

  • Wrong. I am not what YOU are. I am not closeted, and I’m not dysfunctional or self-loathing. And it’s not “the left”. It’s established research. You’re obsessed, and it’s pathological, related to your unresolved homosexuality.

  • I may have other a long list of other defects, but being a back scratcher isn’t on my list, praise God.

  • Sin is sin. The Devil has done harm to many. Guess what? Even if all of them are bankrupted, the Catholic Church will go on, until the end of time. Sin will then be finally conquered.

  • Thank you very much. I am so tired of hearing that period vilified! The Church CAN take credit for this slow rise from slavery. According to Hilaire Belloc, although there was no resistance to slavery in Roman times by the Church, the very nature of slavery, was such, that it was considered a betrayal to a fellow Christian, to put that person into it. Slaves were assured of salvation as much as free. An early pope abolished the Roman law that marriage was not permitted between former slaves and free. Slavery was largely a matter of going into debt in Roman times. With the collapse of communications, the slave trade collapsed from foreign parts. People became set in one place, on the land. The slave became a serf, the serf a freeman. Slow but sure.

  • The CHURCH kept the ancient manuscripts. Nobody else did. The Church has always preserved what is good from pagan cultures.

  • Child sex abuse is not “sin”, but a goddamned crime. One of the worst. No, the RCC will not “go on”; Just like no one worships Zeus any more, or a host of other gods, the RCC will fade away. The sooner the better.

  • Because of the constitution, which allows you to say what you wish. The blessings of liberty were based on Natural Law. The founders of this nation were well-versed in that idea, which was enunciated by Aquinas. The PA constitution protects people who have not been convicted of criminal activity. That includes Catholics. MANY of the priests cited in this report are DEAD. The Just Judge of all the world, has judged them. Who are you to judge the living, particularly the many many of us who find abuse of children reprehensible and repugnant?

  • Some sins are crimes, Some crimes are sins. This one is both. Your attitude, I believe, is that of the Attorney General. And yet, he appealed to the Pope. Maybe he should have read the PA constitution a little better.

  • You find abuse of children “reprehensible and repugnant”, yet you can’t help but defend the organization responsible for it? No moral compass.

  • Where does your moral compass come from? You see, the head of the Church is Christ. He never sinned. His death on the cross paid for the sins of the whole world. He bled and died because of this abuse. The Church is the only way that sinners, all sinners — liars, thieves, gossips, etc., etc. can acknowlege their sins, do Penance, resolve to reform, and come to their eternal home. You benefit from the Church. Even if you don’t know it, your moral compass, that saves you from this sin, is Christ.

  • You’re full of a never-ending stream of sanctimonious BS. Why couldn’t your “Christ” save millions of children from abuse at his followers’ hands? Is this how I “benefit” from your pedophile community? The Church has no moral compass, never did. Doing the right thing does not require your “Church” for guidance. The example your Church has chosen is anything but moral.

  • Yep. And that sure didn’t happen anywhere else EXCEPT Christendom. Slavery was the universal default setting of pre-Christian civilization. Indeed, it hasn’t even disappeared yet in many places.

    I also gather from his assertion about the destruction of “libraries” that he buys the pop myth about Christians burning the library of Alexandria — which was destroyed before Christ was ever born.

  • At best, some 10% of the manuscripts were preserved by the Church. The rest were either destroyed or intentionally left to rot.

    The Pagan Classical World gave humankind the greatest societal, cultural, scientific and governmental advances ever known. The Church destroyed that golden period.

    How many scientists/mathematicians/physists/astronomers/cosmologists can you name for the 1000 yrs from the Church’s ascension to total power in the 5th, century to the Renaissance a thousand yrs later ?

    Those who didn’t suffer the same fate as the auto-de-fe of Giordiano Bruno ?

    ” He was hung upside down naked before he was finally burned at the stake.[34][35] His ashes were thrown into the Tiber river. All of Bruno’s works were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum in 1603. ”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno#Imprisonment,_trial_and_execution,_1593%E2%80%931600

  • “At best, some 10% of the manuscripts were preserved by the Church. The rest were either destroyed or intentionally left to rot.”

    Hogwash.

    “The Pagan Classical World gave humankind the greatest societal, cultural, scientific and governmental advances ever known.”

    Along with slavery, mass exterminations, and profligate debauchery.

    One grows tired of it, patrick.

  • Why didn’t your invading pagans save the other 90%? So there’s paganism and paganism, huh? St. Patrick, for whom I suppose you are named, was taken a slave into Ireland by some of the less-classical types. After a miraculous escape, by the grace of God, he performed works that should even now puzzle physicists. Similarly, Francis of Assisi’s knowledge of creation and that of Hildegard of Bingen, continue to astound. Finally, the deductive logic and proofs of Thomas of Aquinas, reconciling the pagan systemology, to that of revelation, show the roots of these sciences in the modern world. Christ and his Mother were the only sinless people in the Church. However, you have some other bone to pick, if you deny the Church kept knowledge alive during the Middle Ages.

  • I have noticed that when those I discuss with, get down to my moniker, they are having a hard time refuting what I am saying. All the same, I will not make you complicit in what I believe the Attorney General is up to. I think you are just willing to say it, with no power to back it up.

  • I repeat, where does YOUR MORAL COMPASS come from? If it is the law, I predict that in 20 years, this sinful action will be legal between minors. Just as it is hidden, now by the word “bullying,” in the schools. It will still be a sin, but you will turn around 100% in your concern for children hurt by such despicable acts. Perhaps you could give me your moral compass view on bullying — the new kind — not the stealing of lunch money.

  • I went to public school, and there was taught that the Church saved the records. I am old, so when did this new pop myth come into play? Thanks!

  • It mostly started around 1980 when Carl Sagan in his book Cosmos spun a tale, accompanied by imaginative illustrations, about a Library of Alexandria, the ultimate storehouse of classical learning, filled with thousands of scrolls written by all the most famous classical thinkers — all burned in the late 4th century by Christian mobs bent on eradicating paganism. Classical art and wisdom lost forever, civilization set back a thousand years, boo hoo hoo.

    Except that by the late 4th century the Library of Alexandria had not existed for about 400 years. It was destroyed by the armies of Julius Caesar during his wars with Pompey. No classical writer makes any reference to the Alexandrian Library existing after that, although one who visited Alexandria and the Serapeum temple in the 4th century (before the incident in question was supposed to have happened) stated that great libraries HAD existed there — in the past.

    Sagan appears to have borrowed this story from Edward Gibbon, an anti-Christian historian of the 18th century who invented the tale out of whole cloth based on a single 4th century statement by Paulus Orosius about some pagan temples having “book chests” which had been “plundered” (not destroyed) by Christians. Whatever book chests these were, and whatever (still standing) temples they were in, they of course had nothing to do with the Library of Alexandria.

    Cosmos was a popular book, and many God-haters swallowed the tale as gospel, and hence the modern pop myth. Sagan should have stuck to his star-stuff, for a historian he was not.

  • Present-day medieval historians, most of whom are on the left politically, do not believe these caricatures. They dislike the term Dark Ages, even for the the first few post-Roman centuries when things in Western Europe (but not in Byzantium) really were rather dark. (The in-vogue term for that era is “late antiquity.”) They would consider using the term Dark Ages for the later Middle Ages to be absurd and stupid. Your stereotypes are behind the times.

    (Classical civilization, by the way, ran out of gas two or three centuries before Rome fell. After 180 at the latest there are very few Greek or Roman pagan authors of genuine value.)

  • I don’t know where my moral compass comes from — but I do know it wasn’t from the Church. I don’t tolerate bullies, and I never did. I don’t know what you think you are getting at here. I only know that you’re giving BS excuses for heinous crimes committed against children.

  • An organization posts a job description for young celibate males and then wonders why they fill the jobs with homosexuals. This child abuse has been going on for over 40 years and the Church has failed to stop it. So why do people continue to support the Catholic Church? They are willfully ignorance sheep that don’t give a damn. It’s that simple.

  • It is not “anti-Catholic” to expose such crimes, committed by men who supposedly stand in the place of Jesus. You’re a loser to the core. Try writing a coherent sentence.

  • I will give you one example of a priest listed in the report. When the allegation was made, as per diocesan regs, the District Attorney was notified. No criminal charges were pressed, because there was no case. This Priest, who was never noted for his willingness to accept humiliation, WAS CITED IN THE REPORT FOR GETTING ANGRY AND PROMISING IN A STRONGLY-WORDED MANNER TO FIGHT THE SUCH CHARGES. The Attorney General received the notes of his Church hearing that were given by the Diocese, in cooperation with the Grand Jury. The Diocese found that the poor man who gave testimony against the priest, showed signs of having been sexually assaulted. But the point is, THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT THIS PRIEST DID IT. There was evidence against it. This Priest was removed from ministry and remains that way. The Attorney General cannot prosecute this case because there is no evidence. This Priest’s “CRIME” that the report exposed, was getting angry? How would you feel if you were accused of this despicable thing and had not done it? The Attorney General was irritated that some named in the report were able to get legal counsel, and fight to have their names redacted. We’ll see who are the losers. Justice will ultimately be done.

  • Boo hoo. Imagine being an actual victim and not believed. Many victims were denied justice. False accusations are few and far between. Most perps deny, deny, deny. As do their bishops. I was accused of seducing the priest who abused me, even though he admitted it occurred.

  • May I ask if the priest you told me about was brought before a civil court, a criminal court, or a diocesan hearing?

  • No, statute of limitations was expired. The diocese knew from the time it occurred, 42+ years ago, that it occurred. They did nothing except issue threats to me.

  • Now I understand the way you were writing before. You think if you cannot get justice, perhaps others who suffered abuse, can, right? What I do not understand is: A person who has suffered injustice — doesn’t care if someone else suffers injustice? All priests, sees and Catholics are not the enemy. The Devil is. Christ himself was unjustly accused, and threatened, both from the
    religious authorities of his time and by the Roman procurator. Save yourself from the Devil’s revenge trap which will bring no peace. The Suffering JESUS is holding out his bleeding Hand to you from the cross. Nobody can stop you from taking His Hand. Not any judge, not any priest, not any diocese, not any Tired Catholic. Yesterday, a prayer for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary time, showed me a good thing about you, if you can reach out and take it: “Father, in heaven, the perfection of justice is found in your love and all mankind is in need of your law. Help us to find this love in each other that justice may be attained through obedience to your law. We ask this through Christ our Lord.”

  • I don’t hold anyone accountable for what happened to me except those directly and indirectly responsible. And that includes many other priests, two bishops and the parishioners who defended the perpetrator, even after he publicly confessed.

  • It may comfort us both to remember that as St. Paul said, where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. Sincerely, the Tired Catholic.