T Nation

What is Wrong With Catholicism?!

Catholic bishops to toe line on sexual abuse

Rachel Zoll, Associated Press
June 17, 2005 C

CHICAGO – The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops will keep their pledge to protect children from sexually abusive priests as they revise their discipline plan for offenders, a key prelate said Thursday at a national church meeting.

Bishops overseeing a review of the three-year-old policy have recommended that dioceses continue permanently barring guilty clergy from all church work. Yet some Catholic leaders have been concerned that the punishment is too severe.

“No one wants to permit children to be abused in the church,” said Chicago Cardinal Francis George, who lead a team of U.S. bishops who worked with Vatican officials on the revisions. “It’s a source of great shame for all of us, a source of scandal for the faithful and for the world.”

The bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse spent months soliciting comment on the policy. “Overall there was definite expression that the ‘one-strike’ policy needs to be retained for now,” the committee wrote in recommendations presented Thursday.

Still, the panel noted that “many, perhaps a majority,” of prelates hoped that they could eventually allow men who are truly rehabilitated back into ministry – an idea victims vehemently oppose.

The bishops are expected to discuss and vote on the revisions today.

Church leaders adopted the discipline plan, called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, in June 2002, with the mandate that it be revisited after two years. The policy remained in effect though the review concluded later than planned.

Some Catholic leaders said the due process rights of priests were sacrificed in the process. They complained that the charter violated Catholic belief in redemption and forgiveness, and dictated a draconian, one-size-fits-all response for cases they said varied dramatically.

Studies commissioned by the bishops found more than 11,500 claims had been filed against priests over five decades. An Associated Press review found abuse has cost dioceses more than $1 billion in settlements and other expenses since 1950, and tens of millions of dollars in additional claims are pending.

The bishops’ committee has recommended leaving the original policy largely intact for five years. If maintained, guilty priests would not only be barred from church work but would also be prohibited from wearing priestly garb and celebrating mass publicly. The worst offenders could be forced out of the priesthood entirely.


It’s not my intention to imply that Catholoic worshippers agree with this article, but I am identifying Catholoic leadership and am thoroughly disguested with The Church as it exists today.

“They complained that the charter violated Catholic belief in redemption and forgiveness, and dictated a draconian, one-size-fits-all response for cases they said varied dramatically.”

This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard all week. The belief may be sound when applied to most transgressions, but having worked in law enforcement, I feel very comfortable making the statement that sexual offenders cannot be rehabilitated. I have no doubt that most psychologists will agree with this statement, while defense attorneys (rarely troubling with silly notions like truth and common sense) will probably disagree.

This reminds me of the church’s vehement opposition to the “notion” that the earth was not flat and not the center of the solar system.

I’m sorry, but at what point do you realize that your beliefs need to be revised?

Not to oversimplify the matter, but the Catholic Church in the United States is starting to fall apart due to lack of leadership. They might be simply trying to keep many priests, as seminary students are at an all-time low. I’m in St. Louis, and at least 7 churches that I know of have closed because they don’t have enough people attending to warrant assignment of a pastor.

I won’t take the bait on what else is wrong with Catholic belief and doctrine :slight_smile:

-Dan

A point of contention with you Pslave.

First I will agree that the Catholic Church has been heavily negligent in addressing the problem of sexual abuse by priests. Instead of being proactive and handling the problem, they effectively tryed to sweep it under a rug and pray it went away. It hasn’t and it probably won’t just go away, jsut as sex offending in the general population will probably never go away.

Priests molesting people has gotten big news of late becuase large groups of victims have come forward at once, and becuase of the whole stigma associated with it occuring through the church. But look at any other group and see how many of their members are sex offenders. How many stories of teachers molesting students have we seen in the last ten years.

And i;m not just talking about the female teacher-male student situation, but male teachers molesting female and male students. We had a case in a town near my home where a band director was accsued by a student and he confessed to molesting thirty boys over 20 years. My point is its not just the Catholic Church, its our whole sosciety that is getitng out of hand.

Now my issue of contention is this. You say you work in law enforcemtn and do not believe any sex offender can be rehabilitated. I also work in law enforecment, specifically juvenile probation and I handle juvenile sex offenders. Thye’re a specialized caseload and I’ve been doing it for 7 years now. I will agree you are less likey to rehabilitate an adult offender than a juvenile. The research shows this. Most of the therapists I work with, all PhD or LPC’s agree it will take an adult offender who has no major emotional or behavioral issues 4 to 5 years of therapy, depending on the nature of his or her offense.

What needs to be realized by the public at large when talking about sex offenders is that there is a long list of behaviors that can get a person convicted and labeled as a sex offender. Behavior that sometimes if common sense would prevail, should be punished, but not to the extreme that registering someone as an offender does. I’m not talking about true pedophiles or violent rapists or people like the young man in the dog story fro today.

What Im talkng about is your situation where you have an offense because of nature of age only. The common term is statutory rape. For instance, a 18 yr male is dating a 15 yr old girl. They have consensual sex. If he is three yrs older than her in msot states BAM, its a second degree felony. Hes a sex offender and has to register for the rest of his life. Now true, prosecutors have the power to dismiss and downgrade these cases, but in many instances they do not.

They do not wish to have it publicized that they cut a sex offender a break, because come election time, everyone will remember that. Now you have an 18 yr old saddled with a situation that will haunt him all of his life.

When we deal with sex offenders, the current reaction of kill him or cut his balls off needs to be tempered with some common sense and we need to realize what we are really going to do to someone by slamming them with this label. Sex offenders can in some cases be rehabed. Saying none of them can makes no more sense than sayign all drug addicts cannot be treated. Their is no diagnosable psycholgical disorder for sex offending behavior except for pedophelia. And yes pedophiles should be locked away so they can hurt no one. If possible, execution is a nice touch as well.

My main point: Don’t paint this group of criminals with a broad brush. Just like any other group of delinquent individuals some can be saved and some are beyond help. We need to have laws that find the balance to help those that can be helped and keep us safe from the ones that can’t.

Dan,

Thanks for the well-thought out reply. Thank you for pointing out the rather wide range of situations that fall under the umbrella of sexual predation.

The 15 and 18 year old coupling argument was particularly appropriate. I am sure that such is a common occurrence. At 18, I slept with a 17 year old. In my state, as long as there was no more than a 36 month difference in age, that was acceptable. I wouldn’t be at all surpised to find that even such a closeness in age wouldn’t be an appropriate defense in some states. The fact that laws change based on where we live is another problem.

I think, with the Catholic church argument, we should narrow our focus to the “typical” (and I hate that I can use that word) abuse scenario between a priest and a much younger juvenile. Read: pedophilia.

And, in the case of pedophiles, I stand by my argument – now slightly modified to include that specific definition instead of the broader sexual offender term – the Church must realize that rehabilitation is hopeless.

By the way, as a point of clarification, I am no longer in law enforcement. I worked as a part-time police officer for three years in Minnesota.

[quote]PSlave wrote:
This reminds me of the church’s vehement opposition to the “notion” that the earth was not flat and not the center of the solar system.

I’m sorry, but at what point do you realize that your beliefs need to be revised?[/quote]

please be careful which organization you label as “the church’s”. People will confuse this with the Church mentioned in the Holy Bible. I am and will always be against the franco latin church/“Roman Catholic church” for deviating from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is called the Orthodox Church. This one issue you raised against the franco latin church is one of many that have been raised throughout the centuries. That’s why people fled and became Protestant and Atheists or returned to pagan religions.

I don’t like to label a flock from the actions of a few but a lack of actions definitely shows something about the leadership. laters pk

It’s just interesting to me to see the use of the argument of the theology of forgiveness.

Historically and theologically, Parish priests were suppposed to be married, until this practice died in the west around 1200. Why-to give the pope total control over priests, and to save money. It costs a lot less to pay 3 parish priests without families to live in a rectory together than it would if they had families.

Also, no one has a right to be a priest and whoever claims that right (I saw the term due process) is not worthy.

A priest who molests can stay a priest, but they need to go to a secluded monestary. They should never be a parish priest again.

I have gone to Roman (catholic) schools from K through college. I have had perhaps 25 Roman priests who I knew very well and or had as teachers. 22 had clinical mental problems. I can think of only 3 who were normally socially adjusted people.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
.

A priest who molests can stay a priest, but they need to go to a secluded monestary. They should never be a parish priest again.

They need to be secluded in prison as a minimum punishment .Or the traditional bullet to the back of the head. Bless their soul.

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
mertdawg wrote:
.

A priest who molests can stay a priest, but they need to go to a secluded monestary. They should never be a parish priest again.

They need to be secluded in prison as a minimum punishment .Or the traditional bullet to the back of the head. Bless their soul.
[/quote]

Yes, yes, but after that…

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
pittbulll wrote:
mertdawg wrote:
.

A priest who molests can stay a priest, but they need to go to a secluded monestary. They should never be a parish priest again.

They need to be secluded in prison as a minimum punishment .Or the traditional bullet to the back of the head. Bless their soul.

Yes, yes, but after that…[/quote]

I believe they should have to eat their own dicks… After all, that’s what cannibalism… I mean Catholicism is all about!

OD

We had a priest from Phoenix who fled Arizona to the Vatican. Only to have the Vatican say they would not send him back for prosecution because our county Sheriff makes the prisoners wear pink underwear.

anyone read Guenon’s “Crisis of the Modern World”?
although he’s not catholic he made a very strong argument for the importance of the continued existence of the catholic church, and why it is so important for the future of christianity.

i dont feel like typing 3 pages of it and have no one read it, but if anyone is interested let me know.

[quote]pkradgreek wrote:
PSlave wrote:
This reminds me of the church’s vehement opposition to the “notion” that the earth was not flat and not the center of the solar system.

I’m sorry, but at what point do you realize that your beliefs need to be revised?

please be careful which organization you label as “the church’s”. People will confuse this with the Church mentioned in the Holy Bible. I am and will always be against the franco latin church/“Roman Catholic church” for deviating from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is called the Orthodox Church. This one issue you raised against the franco latin church is one of many that have been raised throughout the centuries. That’s why people fled and became Protestant and Atheists or returned to pagan religions.

I don’t like to label a flock from the actions of a few but a lack of actions definitely shows something about the leadership. laters pk[/quote]

Please take your little agenda back to your “Only One Truth” thread since it is misplaced here and completely diverts from the discussion at hand.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
It’s just interesting to me to see the use of the argument of the theology of forgiveness.

Historically and theologically, Parish priests were suppposed to be married, until this practice died in the west around 1200. Why-to give the pope total control over priests, and to save money. It costs a lot less to pay 3 parish priests without families to live in a rectory together than it would if they had families.

Also, no one has a right to be a priest and whoever claims that right (I saw the term due process) is not worthy.

A priest who molests can stay a priest, but they need to go to a secluded monestary. They should never be a parish priest again.

I have gone to Roman (catholic) schools from K through college. I have had perhaps 25 Roman priests who I knew very well and or had as teachers. 22 had clinical mental problems. I can think of only 3 who were normally socially adjusted people. [/quote]

Two quick thoughts:

  1. While everyone tries to tie the notion of the celibacy of priests to instances of pedophilia, there is nothing to actually show that being the case. The rate of pedophiles amongst Catholic priests is about the same as with clergy in any other faith. The problem with the Catholic Church was the years and years of cover-up or ignoring the problem by Church leadership. (That being said, I have never really been a believer in the necessity of priests being celibate).

  2. The forgiveness argument is really the crux of things, at least for the Church hierarchy. Since forgiveness/repenting and such is viewed as something available for anyone seeking salvation, it has then run over into the issue of how to deal with pedophile priests. I think it is misguided to view redemption in the spiritual sense as being the same kind as whether or not you can cure some from being a pedophile. Forgiveness is fine and a good thing… but that should not mean they continue to maintain the privilege of their ministry (or at the very least, as suggested above, they should be cloistered far, far away).

Kuz

[quote]Kuz wrote:
Please take your little agenda back to your “Only One Truth” thread since it is misplaced here and completely diverts from the discussion at hand.[/quote]

I have no agenda, just tired of hearing and reading ignorance. i don’t care what you think or believe just don’t spread lies. laters pk