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Switch to Forum Live View Your feelings and thoughts on the sex abuse scandal
9 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 8:31PM #1
angpuppy
Posts: 520
1.  When did you first hear claims of priests molesting children?
2.  Did you believe the claims at first?
3.  How do you think priests molesting children compares to teachers and relatives molesting children?  Do you believe it causes more harm on a child to be molested by a priest than it does to be molested by someone else?
4.  What are your overall thoughts on how common child molestation is in the world?  Do you believe its more common in the Church?
5.  How well do you think other organizations and society handles child molestations? Do you think there is more or less accountability?
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 9:39PM #2
Mareczku
Posts: 2,220
1.  The first I heard of this was the case of Father James Porter in Massachusetts.  He was a defrocked priest. 
2.  Yes, I believed it.
3.  I think it compares to teachers and relatives.  Probably being abused by a relative is the worst.  The worst is abuse by someone the person lives with.  Those kids are really trapped.  It also depends on what the person did, how long it lasted, etc.  Being abused by a priest pretty much kills a person's faith in most cases. 
4.  I have no idea how common this is in the world.  I don't even want to think about it.  It is so horrible.  It seems that most of the kids abused by priests were boys.  I think the number of girls abused was probably very low statistically speaking.  Probably much, much lower than in the population as a whole.  Most guys that are skirt chasers have no interest in the religious life so for women a priest is probably the safest guy to be around.  It seems that most sexual activity between priests and women was consensual. 
5.  I don't think the Church was any better or worse than other institutions.  In some dioceses things were better.  In other dioceses things were worse.  It seems that in some dioceses the bishops just let this stuff go on and really didn't give a crap.  As long as the priests were loyal to the bishops they got away with this garbage.  In places such as Boston, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Los Angeles and others the priests pretty much had free reign.  Perhaps with all the publicity things are better now. 

Peace - Mareczku
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 9:48PM #3
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,164

angpuppy wrote:

1. When did you first hear claims of priests molesting children?
2. Did you believe the claims at first?
3. How do you think priests molesting children compares to teachers and relatives molesting children? Do you believe it causes more harm on a child to be molested by a priest than it does to be molested by someone else?
4. What are your overall thoughts on how common child molestation is in the world? Do you believe its more common in the Church?
5. How well do you think other organizations and society handles child molestations? Do you think there is more or less accountability?



I will be happy to answer these later.  In the meantime, could you please share with us YOUR answers to these questions?

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9 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 9:58PM #4
newsjunkie
Posts: 5,750
[QUOTE=angpuppy;661071]1.  When did you first hear claims of priests molesting children?
2.  Did you believe the claims at first?
3.  How do you think priests molesting children compares to teachers and relatives molesting children?  Do you believe it causes more harm on a child to be molested by a priest than it does to be molested by someone else?
4.  What are your overall thoughts on how common child molestation is in the world?  Do you believe its more common in the Church?
5.  How well do you think other organizations and society handles child molestations? Do you think there is more or less accountability?[/QUOTE]

1. Can't recall exactly when -- it was years before I came back to the church.
2. Yes I believed it.
3. I think it's worse for priests to molest children because most children think priests are "holier" than the rest of us and are closer to God and are supposed to lead them to God.
4. I think the data show that molestation is more common among priests than the population as a whole.
5. I think schools handle it well -- the accused is suspended, the public is told right away. In our diocese, a recent abuse accusation (last fall) was kept under wraps for 2 months. I think the stonewalling that many bishops have engaged in would not be tolerated to the degree it has been if it was done by a school official or a person affiliated with boy/girl scouts or little league or what have you.

Why do you ask :)
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 11:21PM #5
Mareczku
Posts: 2,220
I spoke to a man who was a New York policeman.  He said that the public schools are worse.  The teachers unions there are very strong and they protect the teachers.  He told of an 8 year old being raped.  The teacher was susupended but the parents didn't want their child to go through the trauma of a trial since he was badly injured and traumatized.  The teacher was suspended with pay and let back in the classroom after a short time.  The man who told me the story said that the teachers stick together and protect each other.   

Peace - Mareczku
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9 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2008 - 11:35PM #6
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Mareczku wrote:

I spoke to a man who was a New York policeman. He said that the public schools are worse. The teachers unions there are very strong and they protect the teachers. He told of an 8 year old being raped. The teacher was susupended but the parents didn't want their child to go through the trauma of a trial since he was badly injured and traumatized. The teacher was suspended with pay and let back in the classroom after a short time. The man who told me the story said that the teachers stick together and protect each other.

Peace - Mareczku



In public school today I think it would be much more difficult for a teacher or any employee to get away with molestation or abuse of any kind. Teachers, aides, etc. do report abuse at school or if suspected in the home.

Private schools have their own codes, but their employees legally cannot break civil law.

discuss catholicism
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2008 - 12:22AM #7
jane2
Posts: 14,295
I've known about sexual molestation by Catholic priests for over twenty years. Andrew Greeley was writing about it in the mid-to-late eighties.

Since Greeley and other Catholic sources from which I learned are/were reputable, I did believe it.

We've also learned over the years that this is one very old problem in the Church and has been written about for centuries: St. Peter Damien, for one in the eleventh century and others before.

The RCC does NOT hold itself to a higher standard and never has. Many of us have discussed this subject for years on the Catholic Discussion board.
An amazing amount of information is available there. Anyone who has not read Cherubino's story of life in a Trappist abbey should: not just about what was happening but about betrayal and cover-up.
***************************************************************************

Incest is a problem of major proportions here and around the world.

Not too long ago my youngest sister told me my beloved skating teacher was molested by her father as were her two sisters. I spent hours every week for ten years in the rink owned by her parents. I knew all those kids, including two brothers. My parents and I knew the parents--we bought my skates from them. I was floored when my sister told me. These people were pillars of the community and ran an excellent rink.

The brother of this man was very decent and was married in my parish church when I was a kid. My sister married his nephew and they later bought his restaurant. It's a big family and all were in business.

I don't know how one goes about eradicating incest.

My reason for inserting this is to indicate the sexual crimes are rampant.
When I did social casework I reported any child abuse I noticed to the child services division.
************************************************************************

I also don't know that comparing ordained priests of the Catholic Church with other groups has much validity. It doesn't for me. So many of us are still trying to understand the abuse and the cover-up within the Church: it was/is massive.

Until very recently women and children were considered chattel and considered non-important.
discuss catholicism
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2008 - 12:55AM #8
angpuppy
Posts: 520
Upon request:

1.  When did you first hear claims of priests molesting children?

In the 90's while I was in highschool.  I came across an anti-Catholic Protestant website condemning the Church on a number of issues and one of them was this issue.  It included articles from victims and newspaper articles.  I believe they did mention bishops trying to hush it up.

2.  Did you believe the claims at first?

I wasn't sure as the site I was on didn't seem reliable in other areas.  However it made me think about it in the abstract sense and whether or not it was possible to happen.  I figured that with such a large institution and with the sinful nature of human beings, it would be likely the Church would not be immune from it.  It would have no effect on the Truth or the Sacraments.

In regards to 2002, in the two years prior my relationship with God grew radically more personal.  The faith became less abstract to me, and I found a wealth of grace and spiritual growth in practicing my faith.  I transferred to FUS in the spring of '02 and had no high speed internet access.  The only TV access was in public spaces.  I primarily focused on homework.  I heard bits and pieces, but first just saw it as a confirmation that what I'd read before was true and then wondered why this was considered new news.  I felt I missed something and could only get people's reactions and anger toward it which seemed the primary focus of what news shows I was able to watch.  I asked about it, but I think the main difference was that people were more shocked than me.  It didn't shake my faith.  It was just a sad confirmation.


3.  How do you think priests molesting children compares to teachers and relatives molesting children?  Do you believe it causes more harm on a child to be molested by a priest than it does to be molested by someone else?

I think molestation is a terrible thing regardless of who does it.   What would make it more grevious on the priest and bishops is that they in addition have a vow of celebacy and chastity and are called to be models for us.  It is failure enough and gives scandal enough when they say use pornography or fornicate.  The fake that they've reached an all time spiritual low in the area of sexual morality causes scandal because people expect them to be leading a more sacramental life than the laity and thus with all those graces, how could they sink so low.  It can shake their faith in the power of the sacraments, in the entire Catholic way of life.  Their sins hurt more than just the child. 

Perhaps the motivation to move priests came from a misguided and wrongly thought out motivation to prevent the hurt from spreading beyond those being molested, trying to protect it from shaking the faith.  Its the same I saw in 02 when I found out some pro life friends of mine admitted to calling a abortion clinic to harrass whoever answered stating that they'd had an abortion and were traumatized over it.  My friends hadn't had abortions and did not understand that to lie about it would work against the movement.  They thought they were working toward good, convinced that the fact that people do suffer trauma makes it truth enough even if its not true in their individual case.  Its also the same thing that occurs when priest shy away from giving homilies that challenge people and affirm the Church's doctrines on uncomfortable topics.    Its the motivation that makes a priest more concerned about keeping Catholic numbers high than about actually attending to the spiritual needs of the faithful.

The fact this motivation is there isn't surprising.  I'm also not surprised as humans beings assuming that if the action were serious enough, they'd take action, but when the opportunity comes they don't.  I see it beyond priests.  I see it in the laity and outside of the Church.  Oh fine and dandy that we want to limit the number of children, but how many of us are willing to admit even to ourselves that with hormonal contraceptives and abortion, we're submitting to killing (or risking killing) our children for the sake of having sex when we want it as we want it?  We kill children so that we can be wreckless with out sexuality.  But really isn't all we're doing is taking a pill?  How can that be immoral?  Is there even a baby to kill and its not like I had sex with the intention of getting pregnant and isn't this a just circumstance to do this in?  Meanwhile numbers of the laity use the priest scandal to point the finger at the priests and then to find some loopy way to argue that the Church needs to change its teachings on sexual ethics to condemn what the priests did yet to endorse what the married laity are doing (I say this knowing that confessing abortion is so common that excommunication can now be lifted in the confessional by a priest rather than the bishop).

I'm not saying this to condemn those who've had abortions.  We need to be merciful to sinners, and that means all sinners, including child molesters, rapists and murderers.  The scandal should cause us to get on our knees and pray for our priests and bishops, that both will find that will to speak up and take action when doing so is embarrassing, will have a backlash and tons of criticism.  For  make no mistake, even if the bishops hadn't been moving the priests enough and each case went public right away, it'd still cause scandal and both the bishops and the priests would be criticized.  The very fact we are attacking our leaders, scrutnizing their every move, and treating them all as criminals when not all of them are increases the temptation our leaders to hid things!  You've gotta have guts, because as soon as we as laity see a hint of wrong doing, we attack them like wild dogs!  I mean really, its much like if your boss at work expected you to do a horrible job, constantly suspected you of wrong doing when you were innocent, made you feel terribly on edge.  Exactly how tempted under those cercumstances would you feel to cover up a slip up that was out of your control but still a part of your responsibility?

BE MERCIFUL!  Mercy is not pretending a sin isn't wrong or evil.  Mercy is difficult, hard to give, a huge challenge.  To forgive someone, you have to first admit that there is something to forgive and that the person you are forgiving does not deserve your mercy.  Mercy is something God gives us freely without reserve, thus we must learn to give mercy freely and without reserve.

4.  What are your overall thoughts on how common child molestation is in the world?  Do you believe its more common in the Church?

I personally know 6 people who were molested as children.  I know 1 person who who was raped by their college professor, but I suppose being raped by a much older professor while you're a young college student isn't quite the same thing as being molested by an adult as a child.  I don't personally know anyone whose been molested by a priest.  They were all molested by relatives, their best friend's parent or their babysitter.  And this isn't something we typically confide in just anyone.  These are deep secrets that the majority of the world never gets to know about us.  I've known other people who've alluded to having it in their past, but I wouldn't be able to say for sure.  So that being the case of my experience, I personally believe child molestation is VERY common.  I believe the most common form of child sexual abuse is incestual.  I think the priest scandal is only a reflection of the culture as a whole.

5.  How well do you think other organizations and society handles child molestations? Do you think there is more or less accountability?

No.  I believe its a rare care when someone is actually caught and convicted.  I believe its just as common for teachers to move around from school to school.  I think people tend to not want to convict people on lighter accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct.  We tend to want to give people a chance because we know that this accusation could ruin their life.  Thus I think there are a lot of warnings given, a lot of lack of communication.   I think the same temptation a victim has to give their perpetrator a chance is about as strong as those who are less directly involved.  Granted I believe the less directly you are involved in a situation, the easier it is to take action.  Granted I think that's because the less directly involved we are, the more we feel the majority of the responsibility is on those more directly involved.
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2008 - 8:36AM #9
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277
1.  When did you first hear claims of priests molesting children? 
I don't remember.  I do remember that a friend's brother killed himself once the thing hit the papers big and our bishop was named.  He'd been a priest here and this man had been a server at the time.  He was one of 3 who came out against the bishop.  When the b was allowed to retire without disgrace or punishment it was more than my friend's brother could take.
2.  Did you believe the claims at first?
Nothing surprises me any more. 
3. How do you think priests molesting children compares to teachers and relatives molesting children? Do you believe it causes more harm on a child to be molested by a priest than it does to be molested by someone else?
I don't think it was as widespread as teachers or relatives because teachers and relatives have far more access.
No, I don't believe it causes more harm.  I think a family member causes more harm because blood is supposed to be willing to kill and die for blood.
4. What are your overall thoughts on how common child molestation is in the world? Do you believe its more common in the Church?
I don't know how common it is.  I do not believe it is more common the the Church.  I believe it's less common now, because of the scandal and parents not having that "The priest is perfect" attitude.
5. How well do you think other organizations and society handles child molestations? Do you think there is more or less accountability?
I don't know.  I think people are more careful.  But, a molester is going to be more careful too.  So... I just don't know.
James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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9 years ago  ::  Aug 04, 2008 - 10:59PM #10
Mareczku
Posts: 2,220
When I read some of the letters that Cardinal Law wrote to priests that abused kids I was struck by how kind and respectful he was.  Even though the men did horrible things because they were priests Law saw Christ in them.  By way of contrast, it is obvious that he did not see Christ in the children and those abused.  I think this is how so many were abused.  The priests and bishops did not see Christ in these children.  They did not see Christ in them.  Surely most of the priests were disturbed but many of the bishops did not give a crap about the kids.  Many bishops were more interested in protecting the reputations of their priests.  Why?  Because they saw Christ in each other but not in the kids.  Boston is a worst case scenario.  This city has pretty much lost a whole generation of children.  They were driven from the Church and in many cases their families went with them.  It seems that Boston has a good Archbishop now but how long will it take to bring back all the abused and wounded into the Church?

Peace - Mark
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