HSH emphases and [comments]
Clergy Sexual Abuse: Questions Remain
August 30, 2012 By Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap. www.hprweb.com
The original John Jay statistics state that the sex abuse crisis was the overwhelming work of a very small number of clergy, targeting young males as their victims … the one reform not addressed: screening out clergy candidates with same-sex attractions.
Bishop Cupich, and Dr. Karen Terry of the John Jay College, discuss findings at the USCCB Spring 2011 meeting
In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a 1.8 million dollar study, popularly known as the “John Jay study,” to uncover the patterns and causes of the sex abuse crisis since 1950. The National Review Board—the entity designated to implement the study—gave the first John Jay report in 2004. In this report, which describes the “Nature and Scope” of clergy sexual abuse, the board pointed out that more than 80 percent of the victims were teenage boys and young men.
This conclusion, in itself, should have been a solid roadmap for truly correcting the sex abuse problem.
Indeed, the bishops quickly responded. They issued guidelines for tough diocesan policies, such as  the immediate reporting of abuse to civil authorities, and  better oversight of children’s safety. [Note that both of these are after-the-fact ad hoc "fixes", neither of which address the real problem. Indeed, the response of the bishops was to cover up the real cause by emphasizing these other two points. These two points made them look nice, but that's not enough, and, indeed, is cynical if used to distract from the real problem, which Father Scanlon points out well.]
However, despite those good reforms, clergy with sexual abuse histories were still active in public Church ministry. In early 2011, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia revealed it was involved in yet another major “roundup” of sex abuse cases, a majority of them (82%) involving the original category of identified victims—male teens and young men.
Also in 2011, the Vatican called on bishops and local dioceses to develop comprehensive plans to stop sex abuse. It urged “an even greater importance in assuring a proper discernment of vocations.” Clearly, the Vatican still sees a need to encourage more thoroughness when screening priesthood candidates. [Indeed, this is despite comments of Pope Benedict (further below), which are devastating to the homosexualist-clergy crowd, and despite the document on the non-admittance of homosexualists into the seminary.]
These developments—still surfacing seven years after the original John Jay findings—suggest that reforms have not been wholly adequate. Why? I would suggest that, from the start, reforms concentrated on defensive measures—protecting young people from predators who may be lurking in the clergy. That is well and good. However, a more important question remains unanswered: why should the Church allow predators to be lurking among the clergy in the first place? [A distinction is needed here: It's not the Church; it's some few episcopal members of the Church.]
The fault is not with the original John Jay data. It pointed to the predator issue by identifying the overwhelming victim demographic as young men and male teens. Here are the statistics, in Part 4.2 of the study: “four out of five (80%) alleged victims were male,” [82%] and “the majority of alleged victims were post-pubescent (87.4%), with only a small percentage of priests receiving allegations of abusing young children.”
This statistic paints a vivid picture: the sex abuse crisis was the overwhelming work of a very small number of clergy targeting young males as their victims. This fact suggests one reform that has yet to be addressed: the Church must screen out clergy candidates with same-sex attractions. [But again, why is this being ignored? Is it that the Episcopal Conference as a whole is homosexualist? No. That's not it. It's that not taking care of that issue is a fact that is being towed in the wake of something more important to the bishops, which we will discuss below. Keep reading...]
At first, this reform appeared to be on the radar. In 2004, the National Review Board stated that while the sex abuse crisis had no single cause, “an understanding of the crisis is not possible” without reference to “the presence of homosexually oriented priests.” The board cited the data: “eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.” [This was before the rope was tightened up, during that time when that which was towing the homosexualist protection agenda was not yet fully understood and taken to heart.]
Dr. Paul McHugh, a former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a member of the National Review Board, put it more strongly. Quoted in an August 25, 2006 National Catholic Register editorial, he observed that the John Jay study had revealed a crisis of “homosexual predation on American Catholic youth.” [a quote almost never seen...]
But that warning soon disappeared from the public perception. The John Jay conclusions began to be explained as an “environment” problem. This new interpretation was made official in a 2011 John Jay report, “Causes and Context.” [Here comes the ideology. As with all ideologies, reality can never be bent to be consonant with one's idea of what reality ought to be. Instead, reality is what it is. But people try. The John Jay crowd turn into ideologists to the detriment of the country's youth. The John Jay crowd are now part of the problem, and fully back those who abuse youngsters, this because of their insistence on unreal ideology. Moreover, calling this a problem of environment means that no one is guilty, for the devil of the environment made them do it. Now, is that sick, or what? Is that an excuse for total idiots to abuse our youth, or what?]
Two years earlier, Dr. Karen Terry, the lead spokesperson and coauthor of the John Jay study, offered this interpretation at the bishops’ November 2009 meeting in Baltimore. According to the account in the National Catholic Reporter, Dr. Terry inferred that the sexual orientation of the predators didn’t matter [And there it is.]. In Dr. Terry’s words, “It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior … Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature, but not have a homosexual identity.” [Huh? So, no matter what, if one is a priest, one will be likely to commit such acts, and just because the environment let one do this, right? What does that say about mothers and their children? And, in fact, a supporter of TCRRG thinks that most all mothers are pedophiles, you know, because of environment and access.]
Quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the National Catholic Reporter, Dr. Terry said the problem was that clergy “had access to boys” rather than because they had “a homosexual identity” or a “homosexual orientation.” [In other words, all clergy are likely abusers of youngsters (like the mothers mentioned above).]
But “access to boys” avoids one glaring issue: the data reveals that a very small contingent of clergy did most of the sexual exploiting, and they overwhelmingly chose same-sex victims. [Dead right, Father Scanlon. Dead right.]
Dr. Terry’s own interpretation notwithstanding, it is absolutely crucial to examine who these exploiters are. At the very least, it’s a cop-out to blame the crisis on the “field” of victims, and the implication is potentially dangerous: It suggests that future crises could be avoided if the Church bans “access to boys.” This inevitably would include banning: priests from all-male high schools; priestly vocation retreats; and any gathering designed to specifically encourage young men in the pursuit of a Christian way of life. These kinds of gatherings have raised generations of good Catholic men for centuries—and, rest assured, morally strong and healthy priests have never had any interest in sexually stalking young men at these gatherings. [That effect is, of course, known, and desired by those who hate the Catholic Church and the priesthood as much as Doctor Terry.]
Instead, we owe it to generations of Catholics to get to the heart of the issue, and examine what kind of man would sexually pursue post-pubescent males.
Before going further, let’s be clear: sexual predators come in both homosexual and heterosexual orientations. In either variety, sexual predation is evil, and homosexual behavior isn’t the only sexual sin, or the only problem. All sexual sins can gain strength unless the clergy formation process includes an emphasis on spirituality, prayer, and asceticism. But the data from the John Jay study strongly suggests that a homosexual influence in the clergy is a key factor in the sex abuse crisis.
And yet, this factor has been consistently ignored in the reform process. [And why is that?] In fact, in the John Jay report issued in 2011, homosexuality was definitively discounted as an issue. [The effect of their ideology.] The study cited “organizational” (and institutional) causes among the explanations for the sex abuse crisis. It concluded that perhaps the real causes are the result of “certain vulnerabilities” accompanied by “opportunities to abuse,” as in “access to boys.” [And there's the ideology itself, mindlessly following Doctor Terry.]
The second report did not suggest screening anyone from the seminary [since that would go very far in fixing the problem...]. Rather, the “Conclusions and Recommendations” suggested that the solution lay in “education,” “situational prevention models,” and “oversight and accountability.” [our new technological warfare, which, at any rate, people who want to sin can and will find a way around.] The report stated: “By regularly surveying priests, administrative staff, and parishioners about their responses to, and satisfaction with, the priests with whom they have contact, dioceses are more likely to be alerted to questionable behavior that might have been undetected in the past.” [Great! Through after everyone is worn out with this and sick of it, as is happening on a very deep level everywhere I've been, then what? What about the causes of this? Why are they not being dealt with?]
In effect, now all priests will be considered guilty until proven innocent! [Dead on target, Father. Dead on. That's what they want. But why?]More insidiously, the report calls for closer surveillance or “oversight” of the activities of all priests. According to a July 22, 2011 article in the National Catholic Reporter, this means “ensuring at least one adult is present whenever clergy and children (young men) are together.” Big Brother, welcome to the Church. [In fact, this kind of regulation cannot but be a preliminary step to outlawing the Church as such, with real and horrific persecution: "The Church continues to ordain those who, because they are clergy, will abuse youngsters." If that is really thought to be true, the Church cannot persist in society, but must be closed down altogether (which is what Fishwrap is all about). Are the John Jay crowd so stupid as not to know this? I wouldn't think so. But what about the bishops? Are they that nefarious? Instead, for the bishops, there is another reason, but it works hand in glove with the John Jay crowd's anti-Catholic ideology. Keep reading.]
Significantly, this second John Jay report was challenged by a top psychiatrist who treats sexually abusive priests. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons told the Catholic News Agency on May 20, 2011, that “he is ‘very critical’ of the latest findings because they avoid discussing important causal factors in clerical sex abuse cases, namely homosexuality.”
Of course, anything critical of homosexuality offends modern standards, even the standards of some within the Church. But those are not the standards of the Catholic Church, and her teaching. Pope Benedict XVI, for example, says in his recent book, “Light of the World,” that one of the “disturbing problems” in the Church today is that “homosexuality exists in monasteries and among the clergy.” He goes on to say that “homosexuality is incompatible with the priestly vocation.”
The Pope’s statements are backed by the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (#2358), and other documents which declare that homosexual behavior is “objectively disordered.”
The question is: will objective data, like the John Jay study, be interpreted by Church standards, or by other standards? [By other standards. But no longer much of anything about promoting homosexuality by this or that bishop. Instead, there is something else...]
So far, the answer is unsettled. Unfortunately, what should be the Church’s primary concern seems to be currently off the table. Instead, the study’s new direction and warning about “access to boys,” carries a subtle, but troubling, challenge to the Christian formation of young men—including the male-only priesthood.
When it comes to “access to boys,” the Church should have only one goal: to protect every young man who has discerned a call to religious life, and any male who sees, in priests and deacons, worthy role models of Christian values. For now, this vast demographic of human souls is still vulnerable to sexual targeting within the very walls of the Church.
We must face facts. The data overwhelmingly identifies the main victims of the sex abuse crisis as young men. Furthermore, what critics call “access to boys” is a natural consequence of Church life, and the male priesthood. Therefore, true reform should not be to question “access to boys,” but to reconsider, with compassion and wisdom, whether clergy roles are appropriate for any man who finds “access to boys” a sexual temptation.
Until this human problem is addressed, we cannot expect a complete solution to sexual predation within the Church. [All great points, Father Scanlon. We applaud your insight and fortitude. But, however dead on target you've been, there is still something missing. Why it is that homosexualists are ignored among the clergy in some places? I've got another idea about this:
A complementary analysis, by Father Byers: It’s only a hypothesis, but one which, I think, is well founded. I think you would be able to investigate and ratify whether there was any lobbying of the John Jay crowd by The National Catholic Risk Retention Group (TNCRRG), such that the John Jay crowd morphed from being a provider of a dispassionate study to the promulgator of an ideology mirroring that of TNCRRG.
TNRCCG retains, as a service to participating (Arch)Dioceses — and as it’s name might suggest — the risk of having one’s priests accused of sexual misconduct. The (Arch)Bishops pay into the group, and the group assists in an appropriate response to an accusation, not on behalf of the priest, who is irrelevant, but on behalf of the shareholding (Arch)Bishops.
The response is determined by the assumption that:
- all priests are guilty
- that every accusser is correct
- that every accuser should be given full control of the process
- that no priest should receive due process of justice
- that an out of court, but actually immediate settement should be made
- that lawyers, if at all possible, not be involved.
So, that kind of sounds like the more recent John Jay and Doctor Terry anti-Catholic ideology, right? Yep. But with the end of saving money. Even if fifteen priests who are innocent of the charges are immediately removed from the priesthood, and settlements are made, even knowing that the priests are innocent, this saves more money than if even one litigated claim were to be successful in court.
Saving the assets of the Church over against justice is the avowed policy of TNCRRG. You can read about it yourself in the series called The Judas Crisis on the sidebar of http://holysoulshermitage.com For instance, try this rather hardhitting article.
But Father! But Father! What about the ideological replacement of homosexualist clergy being the problem with environmental conditions and access being said to be the proplems (in an effort to protect the homosexualists)?
So glad you asked. The National Catholic Risk Retention Group and VIRTUS® are one and the same. VIRTUS® is protective of homosexualists. You can read about that as well in The Judas Crisis series, here, in fact.
So, what’s the point?
So glad you asked. Once the (Arch)Bishops delegated their chancellors and Vicars General and anyone else to oversee the implementation of the Dallas Charter, things fell apart. The one leading the way — and demanding lockstep submission to policy — is TNCRRG. For TNCRRG, it’s all about money. The (Arch)Bishops, following their lead via their chancery cronies, get to say that they did their best. They did what could be done. They’re nice.
But what about the children? What about the homosexualists among the clergy? Surely, if 82% is any kind of indication (and it is), then homosexualists among the clergy is a problem, and a problem that needs to be fixed. Now.
As long as the (Arch)Bishops (besides almost all relgious in America) use TNCRRG and VIRTUS®, our youngsters, particularly boys, will be subject to risk. The National Catholic Risk Rentention Group couldn’t care less about lowering any risk for our youngsters. “Risk” refers to bank accounts. It’s time for a change of policy. Now.