T Nation

False Clergy Abuse Accusations


#1

Where's the Media?

In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.

Counselor Steier has played a role in over one hundred investigations involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles.In his missive Mr. Steier relayed, "One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse" (capital letters are his).

...

"I have had accused priest clients take polygraph examinations performed by very experienced former law enforcement experts, including from L.A.P.D., the Sheriff Department, and F.B.I. In many cases the examinations showed my clients' denial of wrongdoing was 'truthful,' and in those cases I offered in writing to the accuser to undergo a similar polygraph examination at my expense. In every case the accuser refused to have his veracity tested by that investigative tool, which is routinely used by intelligence agencies."

Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/dave-pierre/2011/01/02/wheres-media-la-atty-declares-many-abuse-accusations-against-catholic-p#ixzz1AEp1Ab1o

And, to all those who said Catholic Priests (not a particular statement, but a universal one) are pedophiles...grovel in your bigotry.


#2

It is not just the clergy that are victims of false abuse accusations. Day care workers, teachers and most other professions that work with children face this.

When they accused it is page 1. When they are cleared it is page 29.


#3

Of course, they love scandal.


#4

Every single priest accused of child abuse passed a polygraph test? (which is inadmissible in court)

To those who lied, yes they can suck it. To the many who didn't, bend and flush.


#5

No, I believe the man is saying everyone of this man's clients took a polygraph.


#6

Then he should sue for slander or something similar, and look into having the charges dropped. I am not saying the entire Catholic church is filled with chi-mo's. But the ones who are should be tossed out ASAP. My main beef with the church was that it was protecting those who were child molesters.


#7

I don't think they were trying to protect the Chesters, they were trying to prevent scandal. However, they handled it wrong, but they are people just like you and me and they made a mistake, those that did will have to pay for it in this or the next life.


#8

There is a big difference between making a mistake and purposely covering up decades of child abuse.


#9

You don't think purposely covering up decades of child abuse is not a mistake?


#10

Would be interesting to see the statistics (proportion of child molesting priests to non-molesting priests) because right now, I don't know if the proportion in the catholic church is higher or lower, or the same as it is in the general population. It might be the same.

If it is higher, this could be due to the fact that molesters KNOW that they can get closer to children in this profession. But then the same could be said of teachers, child welfare workers etc.

The church obviously can't do much if they get conned by a molester and accept him into the church. That part isn't their fault, since they were deceieved.

HOWEVER, the handling of abuse cases (cover ups etc) is where I believe the church has messed up.

Does anyone have stats? I am guessing that there isn't a great difference in proportion of abusive priests in the cath church to another church etc. And if there is, it has nothing/little to do with the religion itself.

Could I make the argument that abstinence in cath priests makes them more like to do something inappropriate? Or is this a weak argument? I'm not claiming it, just mentioning it in case it has any veracity.


#11

Statistics say that three things, 1) clergy around the world have between 2-5% of their members that are pedophiles, 2) the Catholic Church's clergy has equal or less, percentage wise, numbers, as other religion's clergy, of pedophiles, and 3) statistically married men with children are more likely to be a pedophile compared to clergy.

However, this is put on the background that a majority of child abuse cases in the Catholic Church were of male children, from the ages of 11-14, by homosexual men. Of course there are outliers to these statistics, but I'm talking about the majority.

Yes, this could be the case I am not a psychologist/psychiatrist, but the background check on priests is heavy and the requirement is even heavier on priests than other professions.

Depending on where you are going, you have 30-75 pages of forms to fill out and an extensive background check with your Father, family, friends, parish, employers, &c. Before you enter into seminary you have to take a psych evaluations, and sometimes you have to wait up to a year before entering.

As well, you have to have an undergrad degree in order to go into the seminary, after you get into seminary you are looking at studying for a minimum of six years, up to 12 years of school. Afterwards, you're not guaranteed to be in any specific location or position, you might be asked to be a Canon Lawyer and to work in the front offices, or you might be asked to work out in the sticks at a monastery.

So, I'd say it be not really a good choice for a Chester, I mean you have at least ten years of school...and a crap shoot on if you're even going to be around kids. My good friend wanted to be a parish priest, instead he worked five years so far as a vocations director, he talks to young men (20-28) all day and a few women and of course couples thinking about marriage. Another friend of mine, wanted to become a Parish priest in his old parish...instead he's the right hand man for Bishop Olmsted here in Phoenix as a Canon Lawyer, he was deep in the St. Joseph Hospital deal in the news actually.

There is a lot which the Church can do, they have what is called a Canon court, which these cases can be brought to, to be figured out. However, they are just like other courts, it has to be proved that the priest has done something. As a side note, the court in the last 40-50 years has been horrendous when it comes to holding to Canon Law, and just this last Fall, Pope Benedict reaffirmed that Priests need to understand Canon Law, otherwise the other Canons go soft, which is obvious from the corruption, not of the Church, but those in the Church.

Yes, those in the Church messed up, they did not understand and hold to the Canon Law. Those that abused and covered up these horrendous crimes in the name of prevent scandal should be scourged from their positions within the Magisterium.

You're in the right mindset, it does not change, however Catholics should hold themselves to a higher standard. For us to be the same as other religious clergy is unacceptable.

No, I would say the amount of homosexual priests would though, I'll explain why a negative on the celibacy thing. This isn't some anti-homosexual attack, it is fact. Since the allowance of open homosexuals in the ranks of the priesthood, cases of child molestations positively correlates with the amount of homosexuals. As well, a large amount of proven child molesters that at one time were priests were found to be open homosexuals, or were found later to be homosexuals. As well there is other things that about homosexuals that don't necessarily go good with priesthood.

On the celibacy thing, statistically married men are more likely to molest their own children than priests are to do be pedophiles. However, even though the statistics for pedophiles is 2-5% of the priests, most of the priests that committed child molestations weren't pedophiles, but were attracted (as it was described to me) to male children who resembled their adult counter parts.

Now, does any of this excuse anything horrific that happened to these innocent children and families? NO. I say string'em up to the big oak tree, and cut 'em down at sunset. I have no tolerance for the attack on innocent and defenseless.


#12

Then you're not thinking.


#13

Okay, I'll rephrase, their primary, but mistaken, objective was to protect the Church from scandal. I've explained my idea on this several times so I didn't think I had to explain the nuance and figured the general statement was sufficient.


#14

Calling it a mistake is a massive understatement. It was a calculated and self serving act of evil.


#15

Okay, well that is an outrageous claim, want to back up that claim with proof?


#16

I'm not spiderman, but it's not really outrageous, you said this yourself above.

How is covering up child molestation, primarily for a self serving reason (to avoid a scandal as you say), not a calculated act of evil?


#17

Because avoiding scandal while taking care of the problem is not an act of evil. Preventing scandal and covering up a crime...two different things. Priests mean former, did latter. They did wrong and should be punished. You should probably read up on the situation before you talk, eh?


#18

Either way as Francis de Sales said, "While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal-who allow scandals to destroy their faith-are guilty of spiritual suicide."


#19

How the fuck did they take care of the problems? They didn't take care of any problems at all. They simply moved sexual predators from one place to another. Taking care of the problem would have meant reporting any offenders to the police. Rather than do that, they tried to cover it up to avoid any scandal. Their actions did nothing to serve the victims, yet did everything to serve themselves. Seems pretty self serving to me.


#20

Obviously your reading comprehension isn't up to par, let me...reiterate. I was speaking to Gambit...not you. He thought preventing scandal (loss of faith) was the same as covering up child molestation...I corrected Gambit by saying, "Because avoiding scandal while taking care of the problem is not an act of evil." I was countering your claim to Gambit of a calculated act of evil, which would constitute that they would have to plan in advance to commit the crime, instead all proof points to a reactionary crime. I never said they took care of the problem (they are now taking care of the problem in the last 10 years or so, but in the passed have not), I said they could have "prevent scandal or cover up a crime...two different things," Some meant the former, but instead did the latter.

I hope you'll be able to put your emotions aside and be logical and maybe your reading comprehension will kick in and you can discern that I'm not saying that the people that committed crimes had some noble cause, or did something noble. I'm not. My track record in this area is proven, I detest the dissenters of the Catholic faith and such atrocities as child molestation and wish that they'd be executed. However, just because someone commits a crime does not mean you or I have a pass to be ignorant of the facts.

Basically, stop being an emotional jerk and look at the facts of the case.