(Post-Gazette) Vatican's new sex abuse rules called inadequate

“It’s a step forward. … It’s an acknowledgement that the problem is universal,” said Nicholas Cafardi, a law professor at Duquesne University, former chairman of the National Review Board that advises the U.S. bishops on the issue, and author of “Before Dallas,” a book on the canonical history of sex abuse in the church.

“But I certainly would caution that we had guidelines in 1992 in the United States, and guidelines on their own did not solve the problem.”

Each bishops’ conference has until May 2012 to write and submit guidelines to the Vatican.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology

20 comments on “(Post-Gazette) Vatican's new sex abuse rules called inadequate

  1. deaconjohn25 says:

    Americans of all peoples should understand that the micromanaging from above of local organizational entities (dioceses, states) is not something that can easily be done and wisely should be avoided because of different cultures, laws, or traditions followed in different places or regions.
    In fact. no matter how corrupt, inept, vile, or incompetent a state government in the U.S. might get– there are wise constitutional restrictions on what a president can do about it–actually not much.
    Unfortunately many have an image of the pope as one who can act as an absolute dictator without regard to local differences–like in some countries abuse victims are the ones treated as the criminal by local custom. There are some things we can do in America or the Western world that would be a disaster for abuse victims in other parts of the world.

  2. Larry Morse says:

    the question remains for the RC’s: what are you actually going to DO about the problem? Guidelines are just talk and paper. How do you stamp out this problem? Answer: never allow homosexuals into the priesthood. There IS no other control. Larry

  3. deaconjohn25 says:

    Larry–As I understand it on 2 or 3 occasions the Vatican has sent out directives that homosexuals should not be accepted into seminaries. I don’t recall the ins and outs of the directives but I know homosexual activists were furious at them and have made the Catholic Church one of their favorite targets because of the directives.

  4. Teatime2 says:

    deaconjohn, homosexuals may or may not be only part of the problem. Sexual attraction to children is a different animal. As in the case of this guy:

    And, also in Canada, the years that this went on:

    No, it’s way beyond homosexuals. There is some sort of culture within that church that allows this to fester and spread. Was this Bishop Lahey once an abused RC child or was he interfered with as a seminarian? Did he go on to become a bishop who had his own “secrets” so he blocked out Vatican directives? Multiply the experiences the world over, and over time, and you’ve got a serious, deep-rooted problem.

  5. Br. Michael says:

    How about some real data and real numbers. I believe that the problem is predatory homosexuals preying on boys. But the facts are omitted in the reports. It’s simply covered up. So what is the actual unfiltered data? Date that is clean and untarnished by agenda.

  6. Northwest Bob says:

    There has been plenty of heterosexual abuse also. Some reports claim this by far outstrips homosexual abuse. I would tend to blaim forced celibacy. This is answer the RC church does not want to hear so they keep looking elsewhere.
    NW Bob

  7. Paula Loughlin says:

    “There is some sort of culture within that church that allows this to fester and spread.”

    That is a grave and fale accusation. I don’t know why you are compelled to spread such vitrol about the Catholic Church but I say shame on you.

  8. Teatime2 says:

    Oh, I’m wounded, #7. Apparently, your Church is indeed looking for a culture to blame and have come up with Woodstock (see latest posted article here). I’m sure you’ll swallow that one hook, line, and sinker.

    Young men who were abused in seminary or prior are much likelier to be priests who abuse. That’s the subculture. The research shows that — you can deny it all you want. And the beat goes on. Putting the majority of the blame on homosexuals and “Woodstock” is a smokescreen but they probably know it will work with some of the true believers.

  9. Paula Loughlin says:

    The report was correct. Lack of sexual morality leads to immoral and even criminal behavior. But the responsiblity for that behavior lies solely at the hands of those who commit these sinful and criminal acts.

    There was a great deal of acceptance and encouragment of what used to be called “particular friendships” and yes the thriving homosexual subculture did have a major impact . It allowed the incubation of abusive behavior. I am not writing about true pedophilia here. So I am curious about your research.

    If you mean priests who abused young children were more likely to have been abused themselves I would agree as that is the general finding amongst abusers. But such abuse would have happened in childhood not in Seminary.

    I am sorry to read you are wounded. But perhaps you are being sarcastic and snarky which would be quite in keeping with your usual uncharitable self.

  10. Canon King says:

    A number of studies have indicated that some 86% of the “child-abuse” cases amongst Roman Catholic Clergy in the US involved adolescent males. The unfiltered data is that this is primarily a homosexual problem and that it is not “child abuse”.
    In any case, the guidelines issued by the Vatican are guidelines for further world-wide regulations. The regulations that are due by May 2012. The Vatican wants to learn how this problem should be approached in the many cultures and countries where the Roman Catholic Church exists. Suffice to say, that if the Vatican took the initiative and issued regulations without this consultation, there would be outcries from all quarters that the regulations were not effective, or reasonable, or… in this or that society.

  11. Teatime2 says:

    Canon King, the only problem with your number is that the Vatican used the age of 10 as the cutoff for “pre-pubescence.” That means they counted any victim aged 11 and older as an adolescent. (This is mentioned in the previous article.) It skews the statistics.

    Other medical and psychological associations do not consider 11-year-olds to be adolescents — they’re pre-pubescent children. But what bothers me about all of this is it seems to try to minimalize or excuse the abuse of teens. Or is it trying to re-package the problem in their search for a real explanation? I don’t know.

    Paula, I confess that I’m not wounded. Rather, I’m incredulous that you’d jump all over me for wondering about a culture within the Church that allows this to happen when your Church is searching for precisely the same thing.

    And your personal attacks won’t wound me or keep me from wondering about this issue and speaking up. My son, when he was 10, was targeted by one of these predators, only I didn’t know the priest was a predator at the time. It just seemed odd to me that the director of vocations would be taking an interest in a 10-year-old boy and inviting him to discernment gatherings. I put a stop to it. Several years later, the local minor seminary was closed down and this priest was removed. He had indeed been abusing.

    I’m sorry for the victims. I’m sorry that other mums didn’t question why boys so young were being approached. But, for too long, that was part of the culture — that whole notion that the priest serves in the Person of Christ and is the conduit between the people and Jesus. Thus, the priest should be obeyed and not questioned, according to traditional Catholics, particularly of some ethnic groups. Misuse of that claim empowered the perverts.

  12. Paula Loughlin says:

    Teatime it seems I misunderstood your intent and meaning. Bottom line is that lax application and adherence to the rules of sexual morality that have been held by all Christians (until recently) has lead to an acceptance of sexual behaviors which encourage the satisfaction of desire at the expense of others. When it involves adults it is bad enough and against Christian dignity. When it involves minors it is criminal and a huge offense against the Holy Spirit.

    That this culture found acceptance within the Church is shameful and shows the vulnerability that all men have to sin and the temptation of the world. But the Church has a greater responsiblity to resist the world, the flesh and the devil. It failed and because of this failure many were injured and permanent harm was done.

    But is it because of Catholicism that the abuse happened? No and that is what I thought you were saying. I find it ironic that the very culture (liberation of sexual behaviors) that contributed to this crisis is the same culture that is lauded by the elites of our society.

    I don’t think the above applies to abuse done by true pedophiles. Even the strictest adherence to moral teaching in the seminaries would not have made a difference in their seeking out victims for their foul perversions. They simply go where the victims are and use every means available to obtain their goal. Only their complete removal from access to children would have stopped them. (Jail comes to mind). That so many believed otherwise is what angers me so much.

  13. Paula Loughlin says:

    P.S. I wish more parents had been as suspicious as you had been. You are right that too many believed priests were somehow beyond the full diligence we would apply to other adult males exhibiting such behaviors. That you acted on your very well justified feelings is a testament to your love for your son. I am very glad that no harm came to him.

  14. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    If anyone here thinks that sex abuse is unique to the Catholic Church, I’ve got news for you.

  15. Paula Loughlin says:

    Bookworm. What truly alarms me is the increased acceptance of the sexualization of children I see more and more. I shudder at a society that does not understand it is not enough to condemn abuse you must also condemn institutions such as Planned Parenthood that believe elementary grade children should be taught about masturbation. Instead society believes children are ready to handle sexual behavior as long as it is in the context of “safe” behavior not realizing that there is no such thing as safe sexual behavior for a child. If our sexuality is not grounded in the teaching of Scripture we are vulnerable to abuse and heartache.

  16. Br. Michael says:

    Do I have this right: The RC has an all male priesthood. According to Canon King 86% of the persons abused were male. So we have male on male sexual behavior. I fail so see how the report could say that homosexual behavior was not a factor when it clearly was. It would appear to be the usual whitewash of homosexuals to further the gay agenda.

    And the argument over technical definitions of “pedophilia” is also bogus. Men in positions of power and influence sexually prayed on boys and young men and that is reprehensible.

  17. Larry Morse says:

    Fpr the RC’s, the problem started in the seminaries. When this scandal first blossomed big time – 30 years ago now? – there were a number of books written. This I remember, that there were entire seminaries stocked with homosexuals, both as teachers and students, and that heterosexuals, in many seminaries, complained bitterly that they were being harassed to participate in homosexual practices.
    Incidentally, Br. Michael simply has to be correct. Men who are sexually attracted to other males are homosexuals – irrespective of age. Larry

  18. deaconjohn25 says:

    Let’s face it–our hedonistic culture does not want to accept the fact that its embracing of all sorts of sexual expression outside traditional marriage has caused–and will continue to cause– great evils to blossom in all sorts of ways and places in our country.
    And there will be all sorts of efforts to cover this up–including shifting around definitions of what is what–like trying to come up with definitions of male on male sex as something other than homosexual sex.

  19. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    What a depressing read this Post Gazette article is – there is no evidence the US Catholic church has really taken onboard how its actions have led to the escalation of the problem [such as by not taking action and by moving problem priests elsewhere] and no evidence that they have the will to put in place the rigorous procedures and checks, including discipline for those who flout them to really raise their game. Too much left to the whim of local bigwigs.

    #11 Teatime, thanks for sharing that, it is truly shocking.

  20. Larry Morse says:

    PM: Who is Nick Holtam whom I should be no-ing? Larry