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Like everyone else 30 years ago, the Church failed to understand paedophilia

Some respected campaigners even regarded it as a civil right

By on Monday, 18 October 2010

Over the weeks before the papal visit, during which unprecedented attacks on the Catholic Church (as a supposedly endemically paedophile organisation) and the Pope in particular (as being allegedly guilty of repeated cover-ups of priestly child abuse) formed the most frequent articles of indictment used by the vicious atheist campaign against the visit, most of us could not imagine how it would ever prove to be the dazzling success that it was, or how the Holy Father would ever so gently reduce Dawkins, Tatchell et al to utter irrelevance.

The charges against Pope Benedict in particular had been seen by most of the media not to stand up to close examination. But that left the shame of the Catholic Church over child abuse by a tiny number of its priests, and the cover-up and the moving on by a number of dioceses of priests accused of this detestable crime.

I argued, some of you will remember, that the percentage of clergy involved is no higher than that in other religious denominations or in the population at large, with one notable survey emanating from Stamford University claiming that it was actually smaller (between three to five per cent of priests against eight per cent of males in the American population). That doesn’t make it any better for the victims of clerical abuse, of course: but we need to understand that the scandal is not that our priests are particularly prone to child abuse, but that we are all too representative as a sample of the population, when we should be setting an example to it.

Nor even is the accusation against some bishops, that they covered up the abuse and moved the perpetrators on, actually untypical of secular behaviour (cf for example, the American school system: though, again, it is not therefore in any way excusable). I have argued all this before, and those who want my evidence and arguments must go to my previous blogs on the subject.

There is one further point that needs to be made, however. Most of the cases of paedophile or (more often) ephebophile (teenage) sex abuse that have emerged over recent years took place decades ago, many in the 70s and 80s, when a very different view was taken by some of what we all without exception now know to be both a revolting crime and a sexual perversion particularly resistant to treatment or therapy. There really were some people who actually thought that paedophilia was a civil right. I was reminded of this by an accusation, made somewhere in cyberspace recently, against politicians supposedly guilty 30 years ago (I say nothing about whether this accusation was justified or not) of complicity in supporting paedophile organisations now long since dead.

Certainly at the time public support for paedophilia, though subject to hostile attack in the press, was not unknown. In the early 80s, the National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty), according to the Daily Telegraph, “wanted the age of consent to be lowered to 14 and incest decriminalised. It also defended self-confessed paedophiles in the press and allowed them to attend its meetings… Among the groups affiliated to NCCL were the Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation, whose members argued openly for the abolition of the age of consent.”

Nobody says that the response of the Church was in any way adequate. But it did know that paedophile and ephebophile behaviour were profoundly wrong. What the Church didn’t understand any better than anyone else did was its nature. As a result, too many bishops thought that a combination of penitence and therapy (which we now understand rarely works) was a proper response.

To the dreadful pain and lasting damage of too many victims, they were wrong, utterly wrong. But these were almost unimaginably different times. We have all, and not least the Church, moved on. We need to understand that.

  • W Oddie

    I don't care if you BUY it or not. “As far as I remember it” doesn't stack up against the undeniable historical FACT that there were still those seriously campaigning for paedophilia as a civil right. The fact that probably most people knew it was wrong doesn't change the facts that it was still possible possible to argue this view (as Peter Tatchell still does) or the FACT that our understanding now is more complete, or that THE SAME MISTAKES AREN'T BEING MADE NOW, at least in the Church, which is now actually well ahead of, say, the U.S.Education system. And to say that “These bishops who say we did not understand it then are talking rot – surely the facts are shocking enough in any era” is also entirely to miss the point and to display your gross ignorance and determination not to understand what is actually happening. The bishops are NOT saying it. I wish they were, because it's true: they don't defend themselves; I wish they would. And of course the facts are shocking: the Church has always been shocked. The bishops' mistake was to suppose that a paedophile can be changed and rendered harmless: nearly always wrong, as we now know. That's what has changed: then, the viability of therapy was generally accepted.

  • Bwaj

    Thank you Lnewington, however, most cases even outside the Church don't reach the court for years if at all. What about the child abuse cover up in areas like Islington and north Wales concerning the abuse of children in care homes. It is cases like this which make me mad because no-one acknowledges they occurred. All they are interested in is trying to make the Catholic Church to be the worst offender at this because they believe she will no longer have moral authority, however, those with that agenda are wrong – she is of divine origin and her moral authority is absolute so the clergy, religious and laity should not be afraid to condemn this sin for what it is both within the Church and outside it.

  • Prw52

    Seek help, Bwaj.

  • Joe

    Please do not say,”Pope reduced critics to irrelevance”, (Michael Brown or whomever flagged this on Spirit Daily) as that says all of the vulnerable people abused by priests through the age and their mothers are irrelevant. I am sure the pope himself would never imply any such thing.

  • David Armitage

    Blinkered rubbish. The gerontocrats thought they could get away with it. When they found they couldn't, they plundered the church's coffers, using the faithful's donations as though it were their pocket money. Have a look at Cardinal Levada's record. Before he became poacher turned gamekeeper, he used the liquid cash of American dioceses to drown the problem. Bishops cannot be trusted with the faithful's cash. The faithful think they are contributing to the good of the poor and spreading the gospel. The bishops have once more run the church into debt with their exhibitionism and personality cult of B16. If William Oddie had sat on the benches of moral theology lectures in any seminary over the last fifty years he would know that generations of bishops and priests knew exactly what was going on. He argues about percentages of priest involved in disgusting practices. The percentages are very low. But the percentage of bishops involved in cover ups is in the nineties. The Church is not an endemically paedophile organisation. Its hierarchy is endemically authoritarian, autocratic, secretive, in denial. The faithful are beginning to realise this, and William Oddiewould would be better employed lending them his pen.

  • Ted


    Absolutely fascinating! Thanks so much! No wonder some people advocate allowing priests to be married. What is also interesting is that the number of reported instances between 2004 and 2009 has been very low so zero tolerance is working very well.


  • Bwaj

    Rubbish – the majority of abuse cases took place long before 1980s – I accuse the secular press of lying if they say otherwise.

  • Bwaj

    Prw52 – nowhere did Vatican II say women could attend Mass with their head uncovered, it did not allow Communion in both kinds nor did it permit Communion in the hand. It also stated where the vernacular is used (in part) the faithful must be taught Latin so they can say or sing those parts in Latin which the laity say especially where there is a Mass where many believers are present who speak different languages (Art. 36 and Art. 54 in 'SACROSANCTUM CONSILIUM') and this same document in Art.114 states the official music of the Catholic Church is Gregorian Chant and polyphany.

    As for the abuse problem – many of these cases since Vatican II is because seminarians were ordained who had a deep-seated homosexual inclination – at least half to two thirds of those abused by priests were male and either pubescent or pubescent. As for those who claim to be made a pass at (or slightly worse) is not the same thing as being abused: at the age of 15 (or even over the age of 10) most Catholics know to engage homosexual acts is wrong so should have refused to take part so should have done as I did – refused and prayed that God would get them safely out of that situation (as I did). As for priests being moved: (i) bishops were told in the 1983 Code of Canon Law that they had to deal with the situation including removing from sacred orders those priests who had sexually abused minors under 16 (Pope Benedict increased this to age 18). No less culpable are those psychologists and psychiatrists who until 1990 told bishops that priests (but also others who abuse minors) can be cured. What shames me more than anything is the Catholic Bishops Conference daring to contradict the Holy See and the facts that most of these cases are of a homosexual nature and not paedophilia.
    Enough on this though.

    Referring to Vatican II please read 'Dei Verbum' on Scripture, 'Lumen Gentium' and 'Sacrosanctum Consilium'.

  • Ted


    Please explain your comment. It does not seem to be based on what I said. I am not disputing that the majority of the cases are from 1960 to 1983 or so. I mentioned that zero tolerance is working well because the number of cases that actually occured between 2004 and 2009 is very low, something like 24 if I recollect correctly. That is a tiny number which is fully supported by an extrapolation of one of the graphs in the John Jay report.

    However, the Richard Sipe website has some very interesting information. Is that what you are calling rubbish? Richard cites sources that say the number of molesting priests is more like 10% from some dioceses. Since the John Jay report cites 4% or a little over, does that mean that some dioceses are reporting 1% to balance those reporting 10% or is the John Jay report a massive case of underreporting? If not, then are the studies cited on Richard Sipe's website flawed?

  • W Oddie

    You don't attempt to refute a word I say: in what precisely am I “misinformed”? Unless you can specify a single fact you believe ISN'T a fact, this comment is worthless. You may not like the facts: but that is a different matter.

  • Bwaj

    Ted I have no intention of visiting Richard Sipe's website and that is the end of the matter. As for you – you have contradicted yourself. You claim the majority of cases occured between 1960 & 1983 (true) but then say the reason it is so low between 2004 and 2009 is because of 'zero tolerance' since 'THE JOHN JAY STUDY' (which began in 2004). No – there have been lower figures since the 1980s.

  • Greyghost

    The Ten Commandments are our guide. All excuses and rationalizations that dance around this basic standard simply refutes all justification of the reality of this violation of Natural Law. Like the congregation, the Church and it's Priests should be held to a higher standard.

    Forgiveness yes, support and justification no.

  • Bwaj

    As for Richard Sipe – I don't take the opinion of an apostate,with his own anti-celibacy agenda seriously, especially as he has left both the Catholic priesthood and being a Benedictine monk: 'A.W. RICHARD SIPE is a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor who earlier spent 18 years as a Benedictine monk and priest. …… He spent 18 years serving the Church as a Benedictine monk and Catholic priest.'
    Sipe according to the same website married in 1970 and has one son. Betrayal of vows leads to damnation.

  • Bwaj

    Celibacy comes from God and is commanded by Christ – St. Mtt:19.12 St. Lk:20.38 1 Cor:7 Rev:14.13

  • Bwaj

    'Study Finds that Among Teachers, Male Homosexuals are Most Likely to Sexually Abuse Students'
    (15 October 2007) 'SALT LAKE CITY, October 15, 2007 ( – A male homosexual was the teacher most apt to have sex with his pupils in a study encompassing 7 countries. Overall, 43% of teachers who made the news for having sex with their pupils over the last 27 years engaged in homosexuality. Homosexual teachers violated 1,925 (56%) of the 3,457 pupil-victims. Women were 11% of perpetrators, but a heterosexual female teacher was least apt to have sex with pupils. Sexual abuse incidents are frequently kept hidden by victims out of fear and shame and so the actual numbers of such teacher abusers are likely substantially greater. Lexis-Nexis was searched from 1980 through 2006 uncovering 902 teachers who were known to have had sex with pupils. Teachers who engaged in homosexuality constituted 63% of perpetrators in Ireland, 62% in New Zealand, 60% in Canada, 54% in Scotland, 48% in Australia, 47% in England, and 35% in the U.S. The figures are especially significant given that homosexuals at any one time make up only a tiny 3%-5% of the population. See the full study online here:'

    'Homosexuality and the Church Crisis':

    'Forgotten Study: Abuse in School 100 Times Worse than by Priests' (1 April 2010):

    'No Jail for Two Homosexual Rapist Teachers: One judge was keynote speaker at Lesbian and Gay Bar Association Dinner' (19 January 2006):

    'US School Districts Cover Up Teacher Sex Abuse with Confidential Agreements and Payouts' (19 February 2008) 'SALEM, Oregon, February 19, 2008 ( – An exposé by the Oregonian daily newspaper shows that US teachers who sexually abuse their students are often given a pass into other teaching jobs as a cost-saving measure. A search for the phrase “sex abuse cover-up” in the Google internet search engine produces news reports almost exclusively focused on the Catholic Church. But advocates for sex-abuse victims have long known that the problem of persons placed in authority abusing minors is far from being restricted to clergy. 'The Oregonian' reported yesterday that in some US school districts teachers found to be abusing students are being paid off with letters of recommendation, cash settlements and health insurance in confidential agreements, in return for a quiet immediate resignation. In the agreements, district officials promise not to tell potential employers of the teacher's past misconduct.'

  • Bwaj

    The following is about Kinsey, the 'father' of today's ideologies about sex: 'Stunner! Kinsey paid my father to rape me: Subject of 1940s 'research' goes public with horrific details of abuse by dad'

  • elleblue

    As an active Traditional Catholic and having worked with young people in the care of the courts I have to say that the Catholic Church is not the only institution that didn't understand sex abuse. All institutions missed the boat on this one.

    In fact society still doesn't get it when we allow sexual predators and peodaphilles out of jail knowing full well they will reoffend. There is no known, proven cure for this horrendous blight on society. Apparently children are still expendable?

  • Bwaj
  • Bwaj

    'Welsh children's homes in abuse shame' (15 February 2000): 'The North Wales children's homes' inquiry exposed a scandal which for 20 years allowed some of society's most vulnerable youngsters to be sexually, physically and emotionally abused by the very people supposed to protect them. Up to 650 children in 40 homes in Clwyd and Gwynedd were abused by teachers, carers and even the heads and owners of the institutions, the inquiry heard. ….. At least a dozen victims have committed suicide and countless others have led damaged lives, unable to cope in a world which totally betrayed them when they most needed help.'

    I won't quote further – however, while I utterly condemn abuse by Catholics and other Christians perhaps this will knock you into reality.

    In harrowing evidence, a seemingly never-ending stream of witnesses repeatedly broke down in tears as they recalled how they were raped, beaten and bullied by carers whom the world praised for apparently devoting their lives to the welfare of children.

    Boys and girls as young as ten were raped and sexually assaulted by male and female staff and used as sex objects by carers; youngsters were beaten and forced to lick the shoes of their attackers or cut grass with nail scissors.

    Children who complained had their home leave cancelled, suffered more beatings or were transferred to even harsher homes.

    At least a dozen victims have committed suicide and countless others have led damaged lives, unable to cope in a world which totally betrayed them when they most needed help.

    Now adults, many are still struggling to come to terms with the years of abuse they endured.

    Deprived of a childhood, their adult lives too have been blighted by broken relationships, crime and mental illness.

  • Bwaj

    'Clwyd: at long last the cover-up is over' (19 January 1997): 'At 10.30 on Tuesday morning, in the Flintshire County Council offices in Ewloe, a small North Wales village near Mold, Sir Ronald Waterhouse, a retired High Court judge, will open the long awaited Tribunal of Inquiry into Child Abuse in North Wales.
    The Clwyd inquiry, as it will be known, will hear the grim story of years of sexual and physical assault endured by hundreds of boys and young men in children's homes in the former Welsh counties of Clwyd and Gwynedd. Besides investigating how the abuse could have gone on for a decade and more without being stopped by council officials, the social service inspectorate, the Welsh Office, and most significantly, North Wales police, the inquiry is likely to hear claims that the abuse was systematic and organised by a national paedophile ring perhaps involving well-known public figures.
    Alison Taylor now has a reputation as a novelist, but in the mid-1980s she was the manager of a children's home in Gwynedd. It was there that she first heard tales of abuse from children who had been transferred from other homes in North Wales. Convinced that this was not fiction, Ms Taylor raised the issue with her superiors. Then in 1986, after nothing happened, she went to North Wales police with a series of allegations.
    An inquiry was begun but ground to a halt; and all Ms Taylor got for her pains was the sack, on grounds described as “a breakdown in communication with colleagues”. She sued Gwynedd for unfair dismissal and they settled out of court and paid her costs.

    “I think there was an expectation that I would go away, but I didn't,” she says. “I felt released from my obligations. But when I went to the Welsh Office, they didn't want to know; nor did the DSS, or the social services inspectorate. Early in 1991, I decided to put together all the information I had. Since getting the sack I had received allegations from well over 100 young people who had been abused while in care, and in the end I had a hefty dossier.”
    That was the dossier she took to the Shire Hall in Mold on a wet Monday evening in May 1991. The rest of the council building in the North Wales market town was deserted, but the occupants of the first-floor office near the council chamber were engrossed in a discussion that led to the exposure of a scandal unprecedented in the history of child care in Britain.
    The four men in the room had been presented by Ms Taylor with startling allegations of widespread and serious child abuse – principally sexual assault on boys and young men – by staff in children's homes in their own county, Clwyd.'

    Without downplaying any sexual assaults (or even attempted ones) girls and young women you will find the article states 'principally sexual assault on boys and young men' so we are referring to homosexual abuse not paedophilia – paedophilia is defined by the WHO as referring to pre-pubescents (those below the age of 10).

  • Bwaj

    I believe due to the unfair attacks on the Catholic Church, now, would be an excellent time to have a global crackdown on child abuse and child pornography whether it involves members of the Catholic Church, members of other Christian denominations, members of other religions or those working in the secular world. This is where I stand.

  • Bwaj

    Here is another case: ''I have known about Jersey paedophiles for 15 years,' says award-winning journalist' (2 March 2008)

    The time has come to stop beating about the bush, or claiming it is only a Catholic problem, it is in fact even worse outside the Catholic Church.

  • Bwaj

    'The whistleblower's story: Paul Harris and Martin Bright investigate how a 12-year-old saga of child abuse and cover-ups has returned to haunt Children's Minister Margaret Hodge' This is about the Islington scandal

  • Bwaj

    'Hodge vows to stay as Minister despite child abuse scandal' (6 July 2003):

  • Bwaj

    According to the contents page of 'THE BETRAYAL OF YOUTH', copied on to the website of 'Christian Voice', the following individuals wrote in this vile book: Clive Coliman, Richard Green, Warren Middleton, Liz Holtom and Kathy Challis, Eric Presland, Tuppy Owens and Tom O'Carroll, Fr Michael Ingram, Beatrice Faust, Peter Tatchell, Roger Moody, John Lindsay, Jeff Vernon,Steven A. Smith and Timothy d'Arch Smith

  • Bwaj

    I don't believe they did. In a lot of cases if you read the newspaper articles linked to you will find in many cases those who abuse the young work in these institutions. You are quite right – as there is no proven cure for child abusers they should be locked up for life – what makes me mad is the claim, which is totally false, it only occurs in the Catholic Church which it doesn't.

  • Bwaj

    I don't believe they did. In a lot of cases if you read the newspaper articles linked to my comments lower down you will find many cases that those who abuse the young deliberately work in these institutions.

    You are quite right – children and young people are not expendable – so because there is no proven cure for child abusers they should be locked up for life, whether in prison or a mental institution, however, what makes me mad is the totally false claim that child abuse only occurs in the Catholic Church when it doesn't and the excessive and untrue figures the media come out with.

  • Bwaj

    Referring to Mrs. Thatcher I hope and pray she recovers soon.

  • Bwaj

    Paul – read the newspaper articles I have linked to which support what I have written about abuse and 'cover-up' in childrens homes. This will shock you. It might also wake you up to reality – instead of claiming it is only a Catholic problem.

  • Bwaj

    I'll just quote some more of the article James:
    This paragraph follows from the claim 64% of Americans in a study erroneously believe Catholic priests abuse more than others:
    ' Yet experts say there's simply no data to support the claim at all. No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination, and only the Catholic Church has released detailed data about its own. But based on the surveys and studies conducted by different denominations over the past 30 years, experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. “We don't see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others.”
    Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums. “We don't see vast difference in the incidence rate between one denomination and another,” says Sarah Buckley, assistant vice president of corporate communications. “It's pretty even across the denominations.” It's been that way for decades. While the company saw an uptick in these claims by all types of churches around the time of the 2002 U.S. Catholic sex-abuse scandal, Eric Spacick, Guide One's senior church-risk manager, says “it's been pretty steady since.” On average, the company says 80 percent of the sexual misconduct claims they get from all denominations involve sexual abuse of children. As a result, the more children's programs a church has, the more expensive its insurance, officials at Guide One said.
    …… The only hard data that has been made public by any denomination comes from John Jay College's study of Catholic priests, which was authorized and is being paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following the public outcry over the 2002 scandals. Limiting their study to plausible accusations made between 1950 and 1992, John Jay researchers reported that about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active during those years had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Specifically, 4,392 complaints (ranging from “sexual talk” to rape) were made against priests by 10,667 victims. (Reports made after 2002, including those of incidents that occurred years earlier, are released as part of the church's annual audits.)
    ….. Most child abusers have one thing in common, and it's not piety—it's preexisting relationships with their victims. That includes priests and ministers and rabbis, of course, but also family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, youth-group volunteers, and doctors. According to federal studies, three quarters of abuse occurs at the hands of family members or others in the victim's “circle of trust.” “The fundamental premise here is that those who abuse children overwhelmingly seek out situations where they have easy and legitimate access to children,” he said. “These kinds of positions offer a kind of cover for these offenders.”
    ….. Priests may also appear more likely to molest children because cases of abuse come to light in huge waves. One reason is delayed reporting: less than 13 percent of victims abused between 1960 and 1980, for example, lodged a complaint in the same year as the assault. Two thirds filed their complaints after 1992, and half of those were made between 2002 and 2003 alone. “Offenders tend to be manipulative, often persuading children to believe that this is their fault,” said Allen. “As a result, the children tend to keep it to themselves. There are countless victims who thought they were the only one.” So what looks like high concentrations of abuse may simply reflect long and diffuse patterns of abuse that mirror those among all males.
    Allen suggests a final reason we hear so much more about Catholic abuse than transgressions in other religions: its sheer size. It's the second largest single denomination in the world (behind Islam) and the biggest in the United States. (Fifty-one percent of all American adults are Protestant, but they belong to hundreds of different denominations.) “When you consider the per capita data,” says Allen, “I don't think they have a larger incidence than other faiths.”'

  • Bwaj

    'Why Media Hype of Pedophiles in Catholic Church Helps Protect Pedophilia' (29 June 2010): 'Currently, it seems that for many people, Catholic priest is synonymous with 'pedophile'. We know that pedophilia exists in the Catholic Church. But media hype and public ridicule serves only one purpose: to provide shelter for pedophilia in other churches and groups.'

    'Boy Scouts lagged in efforts to protect children from molesters' (23 May 2010)
    'The Boy Scouts of America exposed kids to predators, report says' (1 June 2010)

    'Pedophile Pediatricians Remain in Shadows: Parents Fight Abuse in Delaware, but Many Other Cases Never Make it Past State Medical Boards' (CBS: 24 February 2010)

  • Bwaj

    Please read the following: 'A foster mother pays tribute to the Archbishop of Canterbury's compassion' By EILEEN FAIRWEATHER (27 January 2007)

  • David Armitage

    Doctor Oddie is misinformed and misguided.In the 70's and 80 the bishops were told over and over again what was going on. He quotes a reputable survey that estimates around only 3-5 percent of priest abusers. As there are 41,489 priests, that is a hell of a lot of abuse, with many priests serially abusing well into double figures!

    The French Bishops have just given out figures on pedophile priests, 9 are doing time, 50 have served time, and 45 are under investigation. One bishop has a suspended sentence for obstructing a judicial enquiry.

    The learned Doctor (of what)Oddie might use his new found Googling enthusiasm to check out Cardinal Bernard Law's antics in the 80's.Well within the cloud of unknowing of Dr Oddie. And Cardinal Levada now in charge of the former inquisition, holy office, sacred congregation An eminent canon lawyer on the nuncio's staff in the US, Father Doyle, was bumped off to be an airforce chaplain after warning the bishops of what was going on, and being ignored. An enterprising journalist, if Dr Oddie hgasn't the time, might find it worthwhile ringing round the curial offices to find the numbers of priests doing time, having served time and under investigation. I am not a vicious atheist. I am however profoundly disdainful of the way bishops are talking the talk. As long as they can they will abuse their authority, not only in the way they have covered up abuse, but in their whole governance of the church.

  • David Armitage

    Excuse me. 41,489 is the number of priest in the US.

  • Bwaj

    That is an outright lie.

  • Bwaj

    And that comment was meant for Dave Armitage.

  • David Armitage

    I challenge Bwaj to crawl from under his stone of anonymity. The Catholic Herald is amazingly tolerant of his eructations to the extent that one wonders whether he has some kind of laissez-passer. The problem is not so much the NUMBER OF pedophiles but of the abuse of authority and sheer lies used by the hierarchy from the Vatican down. As I write another priest has been dragged screaming and kicking back to Birmingham to be judged and sentenced for serial abuse in the 70's. At the time people's sensitivities were raw after Cannock Chase. By an accident of history, I worked in the area at the time, dealing with affairs of child abuse, certainly terrible, but small in comparison with the havoc the priest was wreaking.

  • John

    The Bishops mistake was to cover up serious criminal activity and move the criminals to pastures new where the cycle was repeated to the serious disadvantage of the millions of sheeple.

    I am sure that this would not have been acceptable behaviour in any age.

  • Bwaj

    Here's a question – should teachers who teach sex education be prosecuted for sexually grooming minors under 18 especially those minors who are pre-pubescent children? Also – should those in politics, the media, on TV, the radio and the internet or in the birth control / abortion industry who either teach, discuss, promote, incite pre-pubescent children, and all minors under 18, to experiment sexually be arrested for 'grooming' or promoting / inciting the grooming of children and minors under 18?

  • Bwaj

    'Tatchell blasted for call to lower age of consent' (The Christian Institute': 20 October 2010)

  • Bwaj

    No, Dave – I don't have a 'Laissez-Passer' (or 'special pass' – I had to look your fancy terminology up).

    I just speak God's truth which you don't.

    You ask me to reveal who I am – perhaps you should say who you really are as your agenda is obviously anti-Catholic.

    You claim the Catholic Church has been involved in 'cover-up': I say nonsense but I say other churches, organizations, even social services, councils and the police have in our country. I gave proof of this by linking to various newspaper articles which shocked me when I first read them.

    I gave you my definition of paedophiles and pedophilia – this is the official one in the 2007 edition of the World Health Organisation's 'International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems' which states in ICD-10 This book is sometimes known as 'THE GREEN BOOK'. Section F65.4 of that book states that 'Paedophilia' is: 'A sexual preference for children, boys or girls or both, usually of prepubertal or early pubertal age.'

    This is also the official definition given in 'THE JOHN JAY REPORT'.

    Inspite of this you persistently seek to deceive readers of this blog into believing most cases of 'paedophilia' occur within the Catholic Church when in fact this is not the case as 'THE JOHN JAY STUDY' reports. THE JOHN JAY STUDY' (and all other genuine studies) reveal most cases of actual and alleged clerical abuse concern abuse of pubescent and post-pubescent minors of the same gender. The fact that this is 'homosexual' abuse is often hidden by using politically correct terms like 'hephebophilia' and 'ephebophilia' – terms which are not in 'THE GREEN BOOK' so we are really referring to homosexual abuse of pubescent and post-pubescent minors.

  • Bwaj

    No, Dave – contrary to what you said: 'The problem is not so much the NUMBER OF pedophiles but of the abuse of authority and sheer lies used by the hierarchy from the Vatican down' the problem is the NUMBER OF pedophiles and the fact that they are allowed out of prison at all. The highest level of paedophilia occurs outside the Catholic Church – you know this – you have been given sufficient evidence and still refuse to listen to and speak the truth.

    I am troubled by your words 'The problem is not so much the NUMBER OF pedophiles but of the abuse of authority and sheer lies used by the hierarchy from the Vatican down'. This shows you are an anti-Catholic more intent to bring down the Catholic Church then you are with the 'the number of paedophiles' and 'paedophile cases' which occur outside the Catholic Church.

    I am troubled by your allegation 'the abuse of authority and sheer lies used by the hierarchy from the Vatican down' – there has never been an abuse of authority by the Vatican nor has the Vatican lied. On the contrary those who have criticized the Pope have lied and will be punished by Our divine Lord on the Last Day as they have lied about him to promote their own agendas.

  • Bwaj

    On the contrary John – there have even been police as well as MPs, councillors etc.,. involved in abusing children in childrens' homes. If you were really concerned about children being abused you wouldn't come out with rubbish to attack the Catholic Church and claim it doesn't happen elsewhere and to a greater degree. Also millions of sheep (i.e. people) were not involved.

  • Bwaj

    'Tatchell repeats call for lower age of consent' (2 September 2010) '‘Homosexual rights’ campaigner Peter Tatchell has repeated his call for the age of consent to be lowered to just 14. His position has been strongly rebuffed in the past, with one commentator saying that sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, “In a word, adults.” ……….. In an online article in 2009, Mr Tatchell wrote: “An age of consent of 14 might be more realistic and reasonable than 16. “If sex at 14 is consensual, and no one is hurt or complains, is criminalisation in the public interest? He added: “Some teens, and even young children, innocently and spontaneously explore and experiment at an early age. In most cases this causes them no harm at all.” But commentator David Lindsay, writing on The Daily Telegraph’s website, slammed these remarks saying “sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, physical and otherwise. In a word, adults”.
    In an outspoken letter to The Guardian in 1997 Mr Tatchell went even further, saying several of his friends had had sex with adults when they were aged between nine and 13. “None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy”, he said. Mr Tatchell went on to say that while “it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.”
    The letter, dated 26 June 1997, is reproduced in full below
    ROS Coward (Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, June 23) thinks it is “shocking” that Gay Men’s Press has published a book, Dares To Speak, which challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive. I think it is courageous.
    The distinguished psychologists and anthropologists cited in this book deserve to be heard. Offering a rational, informed perspective on sexual relations between younger and older people, they document examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike.
    Prof Gilbert Herdt points to the Sambia tribe of Papua New Guinea, where all young boys have sex with older warriors as part of their initiation into manhood. Far from being harmed, Prof Herdt says the boys grow up to be happy, well-adjusted husbands and fathers. The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.
    Peter Tatchell.'

    'Tatchell blasted for call to lower age of consent' (20 October 2010) 'Peter Tatchell has repeated his demand for a lower age of consent and also called for more explicit sex education, but his comments have been slammed by critics. Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live show, Mr Tatchell said lowering the age of consent should be combined with earlier sex and relationship education. But his comments were panned as “completely and utterly wrong” as the other guests on the BBC show expressed their disagreement with his position.
    Broadcaster and writer Jon Guant said it was “ridiculous” to consider lowering the age of consent to 14, adding that most people in the UK would agree. Mr Gaunt also strongly criticised Labour’s sex education approach, saying it had cost tens of millions of pounds, lasted many years, and more of the same just won’t work. He also warned there was a “danger” of young people being groomed if the age of consent was lowered.
    Mr Tatchell claimed on the programme that the current age of consent prevents teachers and youth workers from giving under 16-year-olds information about sex. The BBC show ran a text poll during the programme asking people whether the age of consent should be lowered to 14, and the idea was overwhelmingly rejected with 84 per cent saying “No”. On the show Mr Tatchell said he does not “condone” sex between adults and children. In 1997 the activist sent a letter to The Guardian in which he talked about the “positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships” and even said he knew cases of nine-year-olds for whom sex with adults “gave them great joy”.'

    If Peter Tatchell does not condone sex between children / minors and adults why did he not report the adult(s) who had sex with a boy named 'Lee' who was only 14 when he interviewed him for his article titled 'I'M 14, I'M GAY & I WANT A BOYFRIEND'
    'Fourteen year old LEE tells PETER TATCHELL about first sex, boyfriends, coming out, paedophilia, and why an age of consent of 16 won't help under-age gays like him.
    Lee is 14. He's been having sex with boys since the age of eight, and with men since he was 12. Lee has a serious problem. He wants a steady relationship and has been going out recently with a guy in his mid-twenties, who he met at the hairdressers. But in the eyes of the law, Lee's partner is a paedophile and Lee is a victim of child abuse. That's not, however, the way Lee sees it: “I want to have a boyfriend. It's my choice. No one's abusing me. Why should we be treated like criminals?”.
    I am sitting in the kitchen of a friend's house talking with Lee. Wearing a white T-shirt and combat trousers, his sophisticated gay image makes him look older than 14. He comes across as bright, articulate, sure of himself, and mature beyond his years. It's hard to imagine anyone getting away with taking advantage of him.
    We are discussing the new Sex Offenders Act. Lee is concerned. Under this legislation, which comes into effect next month, men over 19 who have consensual sex with guys under 18 are classified as dangerous sex criminals, on a par with the abusers of young children. After serving their sentence, they will be required to register their address with the police for a minimum of five years, and may have their identity revealed to the public.
    Fourteen year old LEE tells PETER TATCHELL about first sex, boyfriends, coming out, paedophilia, and why an age of consent of 16 won't help under-age gays like him.
    Lee is 14. He's been having sex with boys since the age of eight, and with men since he was 12. Lee has a serious problem. He wants a steady relationship and has been going out recently with a guy in his mid-twenties, who he met at the hairdressers.
    But in the eyes of the law, Lee's partner is a paedophile and Lee is a victim of child abuse. That's not, however, the way Lee sees it: “I want to have a boyfriend. It's my choice. No one's abusing me. Why should we be treated like criminals?”'.

  • Bwaj

    Peter Tatchell in his letter to 'The Guardian' (26 June 1997) claimed while: '”it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.”'

    I do not know where he gets that idea from. Perhaps he should tell that to the family of Jason Swift who was murdered in 1985 when he was 14!!!!!

    Peter Tatchell wrote a chapter titled 'Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent' for the 1986 book 'THE BETRAYAL OF YOUTH: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People'.

    Peter Tatchell in his 26 June 1997 letter to 'The Guardian' defended the publication by 'Gay Men's Press' of 'Dares to Speak: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Boy-love', calling it's publication 'courageous', whereas I consider the publication of 'THE BETRAYAL OF YOUTH' and 'DARES TO SPEAK' filth and illegal.

  • Bwaj

    According to Colin Hart, Simon Calvert and Iain Bainbridge in 'HOMOSEXUALITY AND YOUNG PEOPLE: A report' ('The Christian Institute': 1998) which was published to warn about the dangers of homosexuality to young people on p.44 states: 'Most controversial of all, in 1997, Tatchell wrote to The Guardian welcoming the publication by the Gay Men’s Press of 'Dares to Speak – Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Boy-Love.' This is a book which deliberately sets out to justify paedophilia. In his Guardian letter Tatchell, says the book is “courageous” to challenge the assumption that all sex involving children is abusive. He refers to, “the positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships” and concludes, “ is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful.” Even a cursory reading of Dares to Speak should sicken every rightthinking member of society. Yet it appears that Tatchell is happy to associate himself with the book which endorses paedophilia and incest. Dares to Speak is a compilation of articles from Paedika: The Journal of Paedophilia, a Dutch publication that 'sponsors research on paedophilia'. This journal argues for the acceptance of sex between men and boys. The front cover of Dares to Speak says, “What was Oscar Wilde imprisoned for a hundred years ago if not the love of boys? Today once more, the “love that dares not speak its name” is despised and rejected, as if the sexual mores of classical Greece, medieval Japan or Islamic civilisation could be adequately comprehended under a heading such as ‘child abuse’.” The book redefines paedophilia by giving it the label “intergenerational sex.”'

    You will remember I hope that the subheading for 'THE BETRAYAL OF YOUTH' is 'Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People'.

    In light of what I have just quoted perhaps 'THE BETRAYAL OF YOUTH' should really have been subheaded 'Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Paedophilia and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People'?

  • Johnmckeating


    I was brought up in Ireland in the 1950's and 1960's

    I had the misfortune to be 'educated' by Catholic nuns and de La Salle Christian brothers.

    Most of them were ok, but some of the older ones were sadistic perverted bastards. They were Catholic but not Christian.

    One ageing Brother abused several of us 6 year olds. (nothing serious only touching and feeling at the front of class under the pretext of marking work.

    After compaints he was moved somewhere else and we were told not to say anything to anybody.

    Cover up procedures were very thourough even then.

    These holy people are supposed to believe that god sees everything and can even read their thoughts.

    I dont believe that the abusers, the bisops and the hierarcy up to the Pope believe in god, otherwise

    they wouldnt have sacrificed all those poor children.

    And Bwaj, I didnt claim that it doesnt happen outside of the Catholic Church, which of course it does.

    But this post is headed “Like everyone else 30 years ago, the Church failed to understand Paedophilia”

    I know for a fact that 50 years ago the Catholic Church understood abuse and Paedophilia very very well as you would expect after 1,700 plus years of experience.

    And all this in the name of god.

    Your god is one of 4,000 and the only evidence is an old book written by ignorant men and edited over the years by slightly less ignorant men.

    I therfore have to agree with the Bishops. There is no god, only sheeple to lie to, extort money from and abuse.

    But luckily, the enlightenment is continuing with the Internet, which is the final nail in the coffin.

    The Sheeple are being educated and are becoming thinking people.

    But I see that in the last 100 years or so that the number of Catholics in Africa has increased from 1 million to 100 million. Fresh victims galore.

  • John


    I doubt very much that the young rape and abuse victims will feel better about their experiences no matter what word you use to explain to them why a 'holy' man sodomised them and then the Bishop threatened to excommunicate them and their families if they didnt keep quiet. Evil men, both of them.

    I think men of the Devil would be more appropriate. (except the devil doesnt exist either, again no evidence)


  • Gordon

    Have we moved on though? Just read a release out of the California USA area. Attorneys there just released thousands of documents hidden away for years. These documents clearly show decades of concerted action to hide info. and priests while allowing children to continue to be victimized!

    Just found a blog in the U.S. called-'BISHOP ACCOUNTABILITY, lets all have a look… blessings… Gord

  • Bwaj

    Tripe and media lies