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A new scandal is shaking the Aussie Church

Police are currently looking into alleged cover-ups involving three senior churchmen

By on Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Accusations of cover-ups and blame-shifting by the Catholic Church in its handling of allegations of child sexual abuse by priests have been front-page news in Australia. Newspaper headlines such as “Senior Catholic Priests in Child Sex Cover-Up Inquiry” point to claims that the Church has attempted to hide possible sex abuse within its walls rather than reporting it to the police.

Whether these cases will stand up is yet to be proved, but investigators in the states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria are currently searching for evidence that in many instances priests were merely moved on. This is not unique to Australia. There have been far-reaching repercussions from court cases involving cover-ups in Ireland, Germany and America.

Two dedicated investigations by the NSW police, Strike Force Lantle and Strike Force Glenroe, are currently looking into alleged cover-ups involving three senior churchmen, including a bishop and an archbishop.
An MP has renewed calls for a royal commission. Last April in Victoria, following revelations of 40 suicides of abuse victims by two priests, the state government initiated a parliamentary inquiry into the failure of the Catholic Church to protect children from sexual abuse.

All members of the hierarchy vehemently deny the allegations. But even if subsequent court hearings come to nothing, they are re-focusing attention on the many priests already jailed for paedophilia.

There are no official figures, but since 1993 the charity Broken Rites alone has supported 150 cases which ended in prosecutions and are currently aiding another eight court cases. They have also handled 15 cases that ended without convictions and 128 out-of-court settlements. The abuse was so extensive that Pope Benedict, when visiting Sydney in 2008 on World Youth Day, made a public apology to victims in Australia.

Whether mandatory celibacy has contributed to abuse is now much debated. One lawyer remarked: “Total denial of sexuality can have terrible repercussions. Pent-up sexual tensions sometimes find an outlet with the easiest available target – sadly this is often children.”

The fact that celibacy is a matter of Church discipline, not part of Church doctrine, has been emphasised in the recent revelations of 49-year-old Fr Kevin Lee of Sydney, who has been married to a woman in the Philippines for a year.

While in Australia I made inquiries into how all this will adversely affect congregations. The answer is that Mass attendance is now similar to that in Dublin, with less than one in five Catholics kneeling in pews each Sunday. But with 5.5 million Catholics – that is, 25.3 per cent of the population – the Catholic Church, despite the growth of Pentecostal churches, is Australia’s largest religion.

Along with diminishing churchgoers, the drop in the number of Australian-born priests continues. In the 2012 directory of Catholic priests in Australia once again the most common name is Vietnamese. There are 40 priests called Nguyen.

But one positive trend is the vibrancy of Australia’s Catholic schools – mostly run by lay teachers. With 650,000 students and around 21 per cent of all secondary school enrolments, they rank second after government schools. As non-Catholic admissions are kept at around seven per cent, parish priests are sometimes asked by Catholic parents who never got around to having their babies baptised to perform late baptisms on children aged between four and 11. These christenings are, alas, for expediency, not for faith.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    OUR POPE STANDS ACTIVELY FOR CLEANING UP THE CHURCH OF SUCH AND OTHER VICES.

    WHY NOT THE PEOPLE OF GOD PLAY THEIR ROLE AS A FAMILY IN THIS MATTER OF CLEANING THE CHURCH?  WHEN THIS IS NOT DONE NATIONS AND THE WORLD TAKE OVER. WHICH IS BETTER?

  • theroadmaster

    The sex abuse scandal has formed a dark shadow that looms large in relation to the Catholic Church in genera and the priesthood in particular.  The common pattern of denial and cover-up has been unearthed by investigative journalism and law-enforcement agencies across the globe in recent decades.The criminal acts of some priests and religious have scarred the victims psychologically for life and left a deep stain on the reputation of the  Church.   The present pope has striven manfully to tackle this scourge through a thorough updating of canon law penalties, meeting victims on overseas apostolic journeys, and issuing strongly worded condemnations of such acts

  • Murraymsc

    The pope has done nothing that he was not forced to do because of public outrage, negative media exposure and pressure in the civil courts.

  • maxmarley

    Can I enquire with respect if compulsory celibacy is a reflection of the clerical need to emulate Christ or is a device by the hierarchy to maintain clerical control of the priesthood, sisterhood and brotherhood?
    In light of the admission of married Anglican clergy to the Catholic priesthood, should we now consider priestly celibacy ‘a sacred cow’ , a high ideal managed by many but not by all ?

  • Realist

    If cardinals at their installation take a vow to conceal those things which might bring dishonour to the church then cover-ups and denials are to be expected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Clifford/641376480 Jason Clifford

    Benedict was actively dealing with this problem long before it became a popular cause with those who hate the Church.

    He acted not because he was forced to by public outrage or media coverage but rather because the love of God, Church and those who have suffered drove him to act.

  • paulpriest

    Upon researching those clerics who abused – very few had ever kept their vows in any regard; let alone attempted to maintain a celibate lifestyle.

    Introducing such speculation is far from helpful and a proven irrelevance given that a child is statistically more likely to be abused by a man under 25 or a relative/household member in a long-term sexual relationship

  • Mrscull

    don’t overlook the generational damage caused by these catholic hierarchy hiding paedophile priests 
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i8JBvgpHfM&feature=channel&list=UL

  • Stephen

    StephenPerhaps this will serve as a wake up call for all of the lukewarm Catholics in the UK and around the world.  “Christendom” is collapsing on YOUR watch!JabbaPapa
    Christendom collapsed in the Orthodox and Anglican Schisms, then permanently after Luther’s rebellion.Yesterday’s news … :-)Jabba, I wish this was “yesterday’s news”–unfortunately this article is dated 22 August 2012.  I guess the current crisis in society and the Church isn’t high on your list of concerns.  
    I was using the wider sense of the term Christendom but your note on history stresses my point further:  The Church failed to respond effectively to crises  in the past and it looks like the Church is doomed to repeat the same mistake today.  And what’s worse?  You and others seem perfectly content with that! 

    “So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit thee out of my mouth.” – Rev 3:16

  • Parasum

    I thought this was going to be something new. It’s a relief – in a way – to find that the scandal is one that is already well known. Abuse of minors, and consequent cover-ups, are deplorable – but not really news any more.

    “But with 5.5 million Catholics – that is, 25.3 per cent of the
    population – the Catholic Church, despite the growth of Pentecostal
    churches, is Australia’s largest religion.”

    ## That, of course, can change: in either direction. Laurel-sitting is never ever wise behaviour for a Church.

    “As non-Catholic admissions are kept at around seven per cent, parish
    priests are sometimes asked by Catholic parents who never got around to
    having their babies baptised to perform late baptisms on children aged
    between four and 11. These christenings are, alas, for expediency, not
    for faith.”

    ## This by contrast *is* shocking & scandalous. The short-sightedness of it is beyond belief; for all it is likely to do – not certain, but very likely, human nature being what it is – is to provide the Church with yet another “goodly fellowship” of unbelieving members. If the Top Brass in the Church want to do their bit to ensure more scandals in the CC, more falling away, more disgraces in it of every kind, all they need do is baptise into it people who care nothing for Christ. A Church comprised largely of unbelievers is quite what the Apostles were familiar with either. How can unbelievers evangelise, how can they share a faith they do not have ?

    And why are clergy profaning the sacraments in this way ?  Baptism is a holy rite that confers holiness to the glory of Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God. If the very men who of all in the Church should love & honour the sacraments, are prepared to dishonour them like this, is it any wonder that most Catholic children are apostates in the making ? Saints would rather die than tolerate profanation of the Sacraments: & have ! But for priests who are not persecuted to do this, is infamous :(

  • Parasum

     So why did he begin to act only in 2001 ? Why not in 1992, when this first blew up ? Or – why was the Vatican not active before 2001 ?

    A Christian Church would – surely ? – deal with the problem the moment it arose, & not in the evasive way that has characterised the Vatican.  Love, after all, anticipates being asked for help; it does not move with unwilling slowness, as has in fact happened. Is this too much to expect of a Church that has such a high estimate of its Christian excellence ? 

    There is no way to put the Church authorities in a good light. At best, some of them have behaved less badly than others. This mess is not nearly over, and won’t be until the CAs behave as though Christianity actually mattered. Saying sorry is not good enough. That may sound harsh, but these people are supposed to be our spiritual betters and our guides & our fathers in God. How can one possibly take them seriously, when they fail a test like this ?   :( 

  • Charlemagne

     Politically incorrect, I will offend both right and left: the pedophilia scandal is rooted in three problems:

    1st) the allowing of gay men into seminaries in large numbers since Vatican II. 90% of victims were boys; as you remember ancient Greek and Roman history, homosexuality and pedophilia went hand and hand. That’s undeniable historical fact.

    2nd) Pedophilia problems are statistically equal in non celibate religions and organizations like Protestantism and Judaism and even more prevalent in American public schools; again do to gay and other disturbed individuals being allowed into teaching positions and seminaries.

    3rd) It is the fault of those that are simply not good managers; religious leaders may often be well intentioned  but too spiritually focused to notice nut and bolt details of daily management issues such as child safety, PR, and dealing with authorities. The church has had very bureaucratic and sloppy management.

    The solution is a return to seminary standards of pre-Vatican II and better management.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

    Much better that the law of the country prevails so its probably time to calm down and to stop shouting and reacting to the reality that faces this religion. There is no other body on the face of the planet that has engaged to this extent in the abuse of children and then followed that with an ongoing cover up. The fraud of Catholicism is exposed for the world to see bringing fruit to the oft mentioned ‘the church has a lot to answer for’. Thankfully we do not get to gear the lamentations and special pleadings that included the morally bereft statements of the church having moral and ethical issues with something as these crimes are the peak moral and ethical failures any society could experience.

    The fear that Nations may be able to stand in their own right without the hypocrisies of the church and all it represents must be terrifying to an organisation that has focused on the mind control and the exploitation of entire populations for centuries. The franchise of the god owners is dead; all we have left to hear are the moaning lamentation of if only we had known.

    The world has known openly for 10 or more years; it is just that many Catholics are late to the understanding that children and the law come before your beliefs, your church, your property, your possessions and your doctrines and dogmas. It was a lousy play that flopped and failed once it had some light shone on it and is looking entirely incapable of getting up on its feet in those moral and ethical stakes it so often flaunted.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

     And that is your answer to the whole global spree of child sexual abuse and the subsequent cover up – sure that sounds simple enough for any 3 year old to understand – the problem you face is that 10 years see through that today.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

     Look like a royal stuff up from every angle – some screwed up that franchise deal. God most likely will withdraw his support shortly or at least take his money out of the controlling hands of the bishops as they have dirtied his image like no one else possibly could.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

    1st Blame the gay for their “decision” – this non-fact based position is not holding up well anywhere in the world.
    2nd this is the gay hatred and blame disturbed individuals when it was disturbed individuals who raped children and disturbed individuals who helped to cover it up and disturbed individials who continue to support the disturbed individuals who lead the church and the disturbed individuals who continue to follow its failed ways.
    3rd Repeating the few bad apples theory doe snot reinforce that fallacy.

    As to a solution how far back in history should we go as the church was very effective when it cut out tongues, pierced the orifices of and burned at the stake those who spoke out about these abuses. Perhaps some new more modern forms of torture say something like placing victims into mental institutions and drugging them or bribing and blackmailing politicians with the spin that this is a good work to do is too big a fraud to keep alive today.

    The church has only endured about 10 years of failure to adapt along with the development of a better society ; at this rate it may not make the next 10 years.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

     They have only had failure after failure after failure – moral failure, ethical failure, social failure, community failure, fails the country, fails men, women and children – other than that they have the ear of god and know exactly what needs to be done except that that too fails at every step of the way.

    It is safer and more morally comfortable the further away from the church we get. Children are safer, women are safer, society is safer and all we get to hear is more trust me from the church and its followers – not a high likelihood of that happening any time soon.

  • paulpriest

     I’ve said more than enough on these threads on clerical child abuse – I was merely stating my incredulity that someone was ludicrously attempting to link the issue with clerical celibacy

  • JabbaPapa

    In fact the VAST majority of the abuse cases are actually either statutory rape or forcible sex abuse of male adolescents by homosexual priests.

    This does not mean that there has been no paedophilia as such in the Church — there has been, and it constitutes the WORST of the cases, the ones which have grabbed the headlines — but facing up to these scandals requires accepting the truth of them, not hiding behind some pro-gay politically correct ideology.

    The church has only endured about 10 years of failure to adapt along with the development of a better society

    This is a caricature of the history of the massive paedophile scandal that has been raging throughout Western society since about the 1950s.

    Remember the 1970s, when the homosexual lobby wasn’t demanding “gay marriage”, but was demanding the abolition of the age of consent ?

  • JabbaPapa

    The requirement is to make a Vow of Chastity — this is compulsory for all priests, quite apart from the requirement of celibacy.

    The requirement of celibacy is no longer even 100% absolute — married clergy converting to become Catholic priests, if accepted, are granted dispensations of celibacy. And there’s a question if married deacons may in the near future be granted such dispensations also.

    The Vow of Chastity requires that no priest engages in sex outside of marriage, and that no unmarried priest may marry (unless granted a dispensation of celibacy, which hasn’t happened in around 250+ years or so).

    The reason for the compulsory celibacy is as a response to a massive financial corruption scandal in the 1500s-1700s — whereby some rich parishes, or even dioceses, were basically just taken over by some wealthy families, with the son of the priest or bishop going on to be married, ordained, then becoming himself te priest or bishop and thus treating the possessions of these parishes or dioceses as personal family goods, passed on from one generation to the next, and the priests and bishops in question basically just becoming another kind of aristocrat rather than being shepherds of people’s souls.

  • JabbaPapa

    So why did he begin to act only in 2001 ? Why not in 1992, when this
    first blew up ? Or – why was the Vatican not active before 2001 ?

    Cardinal Ratzinger began to be active towards rooting this scandal out of the Church in the 1980s.

    The root of the problem at the level of the Church as a whole was that the canon laws, written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, were in fact woefully inadequate to properly address the realities of child sex abuse in general — because the 19th and 20th century lawmakers were ignorant of the actual realities of what they were trying to deal with.

    They falsely imagined that child sex abuses in Western society were rare and unusual, instead of understanding that they are frequent and widespread.

    As such, authority to deal with such cases was considered to be in the purview of each individual Oridinary.

    The Bishops on their part were then required to deal with such scandals personally, despite having no training nor special competence or knowledge of how to do so in the proper manner — consequently, large numbers of them screwed up.

    The Vatican meanwhile, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Ratzinger personally, had NO legal authority whatsoever for the handling of such cases ; neither in canon law, because authority was defined as belonging to these bishops ; nor in civil law, because the Church obviously has no jurisdiction concerning crimes committed in whichever Country, but the police and judicial authorities of those countries have that jurisdiction.

    Ratzinger’s personal efforts bore very little fruit during the 1980s, but it did mean that when the scandals started to hit the Church itself in the 1990s (10 years after it first became apparent in society at large), Ratzinger himself was able to react with some speed, and actions did in fact start to be taken in the Church throughout the 1990s, even though (for some rather incomprehensible reasons) these actions were only made public in the 2000s — to wit, a binding directive was sent, confidentially, to all bishops in the early 1990s ordering them to report all cases of child abuse to their local Police ; ironically, this was a direct cause of the explosion of the number of reports of clerical child abuse during that decade ; but this directive was only enshrined as a canon law in the 2000s, because it took the Vatican lawyers 10 years to formulate new canon laws to replace the bad early 20th century ones.

  • JabbaPapa

    In fact, the ratio of paedophiles in ordinary Western society versus among priests specifically is something like 30:1

    Your next door neighbour is 30 times more likely to be a paedophile than your parish priest.

    (this ratio does NOT include homosexuals having sex with male adolescents, but concerns actual paedophilia ONLY)

  • JabbaPapa

    Rubbish.

    You’ve just been listening to anti-Catholic propaganda.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

     While you are pulling numbers out of your hat what percentage of those in the community who have abused children have had a Catholic or Christian education or upbringing?

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

     Any possibility that you could be pushing catholic propaganda? I guess not.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

    Why not write a paper on that as it would win you a few million and a Nobel prize if you could pull that one off surely. Any chance of basing that opinion on scientific fact?

  • joe

    nothing new here, nothing new…

  • Ezbs

    John, with all due respect, please don’t paint ALL bishops and ALL priests as guilty in the Church sex abuse problem. It is really really difficult for a priest to consistently carry out his vow of celibacy, and the MAJORITY do, heroically. Unless you yourself have had to carry out a vow of celibacy, don’t paint a cynical and malicious picture of our Clergy-it isn’t fair.

    Having said this, when I read that 40people committed suicide in Victoria Australia, because of abuse by priests as children, I am sick in my stomach. Truly sickened.
    1) I strongly believe that the screening process for entering the priesthood was extremely lax in the Catholic church decades past, and is not the case today- all are assessed psychologically prior to discern if they even have the personalities let alone are of sound mind, not to mention their intentions for entering. I know psychologists who undergo these assessments and have final say in their recommendations to the Bishops.
    2) I believe that the Church hierarchy was extremely naive and dismissive of the absolute horror of abuse on children. This is a terrible reflection of those that were in charge. Absolutely horrific, and I pray to God the perpetrators feel the true wrath of God on judgement day. I do not believe, as many have awfully stated, that the priesthood was used as a cover for continual abuse. This is defamatory and a lie.

    So, when talking about the Church abuse scandal, I believe everyone (whether you are Catholic or not) needs to look at things in perspective, with Catholics admitting the horror and bringing justice and truth to what happened- and whether you believe the Popes hand was “forced” into action, Pope Benedict is doing this currently.

    On the other hand, to those that don’t like the Church, please do not be naive and know that it s a FACT that abuse of children happens by family members (predominantly so), teachers, community leaders and also from those of other faiths MORE than what has occurred in the Catholic Church combined.
    I just think Catholic Clergy are held to a higher standard even by the secular sector of our society, and so are demonized more so. I know why I, a Catholic, hold them to a higher standard, but I’m not sure why those that don’t like the Catholic Church hold them to a higher standard, what their intentions are…
    But John, please don’t be fooled that it occurs more in the Church- I hear nearly weekly on the news of teachers that are under investigation for these very same crimes, here in Australia. I just think people need to start telling the truth.
    I also believe parents need to be more watchful of their children. Period.

  • ipindapay

    so what do you mean by this article as being published in the FB(Vincent Kabayan Perez) that they have to use condom in doing their lustful act.?…we are talking about RH Bill and why you include this article in your comment? what’s the connection of this article to RH Bill?

  • ipindapay

     I agree on your side Fr.

  • ipindapay

     I salute on your reply…

  • Jonathan West

    Both of the points in your first numbered paragraph first point are incorrect. I know of many cases of abuse that occurred before Vatican II, and certainly committed by priests who were ordained before Vatican II. 

    As for boys being predominantly victims, I suspect you are making the figures up to suit your agenda. There is a predominance of male victims over female but it is not 90%, it is more like 60% (the figures vary somewhat between different studies). A 60-70% predominance is explainable simply by the fact that girls tend not to be under the supervision of priests, and so there are more boys available to molest.

    As for homosexuality and paedophilia going hand in hand, I think you would be better advised to rely on modern studies of the situation as it is today rather than ancient Greek and Roman history. Child sexuyalk abuse is carried out by those with a sexual inclination towards children, their adult sexual orientation can be either way. For instance, Fr Kit Cunningham, whose abuses were uncovered last year, abused boys but was by all accounts cheerfully heterosexual.

    As regards your second numbered paragraph, I would welcome you explaining where you get your evidence for this.

    But I think your third paragraph is very much correct. As a result of this naivete and bad management, the Catholic Church’s policies and procedures for child protection for many years could hardly have been better at inflicting the greatest amount of harm on the largest possible number of victims had they been designed with that specific end in mind. This is the true scandal of the Catholic Church.

    But it’s not enough just to say “better management” without saying what management needs to be better at. And so, specifically in the context of child protection, let me describe what I would mean by that.

    The first thing to to establish the principle that the welfare of children must take absolute priority over the reputation of the church. The church must deserve a good reputation on this subject by actually doing a good job. To maintain a good reputation by fraud through covering up abuses is no use, and everyone in the church ought to be convinced of the fact that while the world might be fooled for a while, God will not be.

    Second, no person must be regarded as being above suspicion. That doesn’t mean that we all go round wondering who is abusing children, but it does mean that all allegations or suspicions do need to be properly followed up. There must be no saying “Fr X is such a holy priest he would never do such a thing” and so ignoring complaints about him when they are made.

    Third, all allegations need to be investigated by people who are trained to do so and who are independent of the setting where the alleged abuse occurred. In Britain, that means all allegations must be passed immediately to the local Children’s Services, who will bring in the police if necessary.

    Fourth, while high standards of proof “beyond reasonable doubt” are properly required before anybody is convicted or imprisoned for offenses, child protection must asses risk on the “balance of probabilities” standard, so while there may be insufficient evidence to convict somebody, it may well be sufficient to say that it is too much of a risk to leave that person in a position of responsibility over children.  

    These aren’t difficult principles to understand. They aren’t even all that hard to implement. But nothing will ever happen unless and until there is wholehearted acceptance that the welfare of the children must be the first priority.

  • Jonathan West

    While all Catholic priests who abuse are necessarily celibate, the fact is that there are married men who are regularly getting adult sex from their wives and who are also child sex abusers.

    So I don’t think that there is evidence to the effect that enforced celibacy of itself increases the risk of child abuse. However, in my view it is entirely possible that those who realise they have urges to have sex with children may sometimes flee into the priesthood in the hope that the combination of the respectability of the calling and the grace of God will cancel those urges.

    But the respectability and grace of God are things people will look for even if the clergy were allowed to marry, and so I suspect that changing the rules of celibacy will have little effect. The Church of England of course allows married clergy, and yet it has been having its own troubles with clerical sex abuse.

  • JabbaPapa

    Sorry — I *have* seen the statistical breakdown that would answer your particular question, but I honestly cannot remember the detail analyses.

    Briefly, I *think* that the statistics for Catholic abusers in general (lay + religious + clergy) are consonant with those of religious people in general — which is something along the lines of 10% or so fewer cases of child abuse (sexual + non-sexual) than in the averages for the general population.

    My memory of that particular study is however very foggy, so that whilst I am clear about the fact that the religious abuse children less frequently than the secular, I am entirely unsure as to the exact percentile difference — though I *do* remember that it is not some emphatically massive difference to the order of 30:1 for example…

    Oh, this concerns the major religions only, so that this data says nothing at all about minor sects nor cults etc.

    Oh, and my hat is a Stetson BTW !!! :-)

  • JabbaPapa

    I’m not the one posting rubbish as if it were factual.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

    Start telling the truth. That would be helpful with one small exception that the truth as requested is conditional upon believing as you believe.

    You lost me at “picture of our Clergy-it isn’t fair.

    Having said this, when I read that 40people committed suicide in Victoria”

  • theroadmaster

    You are seriously in error on this one.  He in 2010 considerably tightened up Canon law to ensure that guilty priests could not escape via legal loopholes.  He has on many occasions met with victims of clerical child-abusers and spoke  unambiguously against it.  During the obsequies of the Blessed Pope John Paul `11 in 2005, he spoke about the “filth” in the Church, which had infected the priesthood, which many commentators took as a reference to such developments, as child sex abuse.  The present pope, when head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, urged then then pope, John Paul 11, to hand him control of sex abuse cases, as many were being delayed by bureaucratic controls.  In 2006, pope Benedict XV1 removed the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, 
    Father 
    Marcel Maciel, from his position as a result of credible sex-abuse charges, in the face of insider opposition in the Vatican

  • theroadmaster

    The Catholic Church has in fact made considerably headway against the scourge of child-sex abuse in many countries through updating canon law and procedures,  In fact, it can be claimed with confidence that the global Church has in place best practice on this very grave criminal matter. What other organization of such size and influence has such policies in place.  One can argue about the timeline for the implementation of such procedures, but the fact that the Church is at the forefront, is very much to be lauded. But in saying all that, one should never forget the real victims in these terrible matters, namely those who suffered such horrific abuse as children.  They must be always be front and central, in respect to our thoughts.

    It is a pity that bishops did not in the past follow the norms in canon law from dealing with clerical-child sex abusers, as there would not be the global scandal that we have now.  

  • JabbaPapa

    This is an outrageous lie.

  • Rayosun

    Since you’re such a great believer in “the sacraments”, Parasum, what’s happened to requirement that Catholics be free of all mortal sins in order to receive communion, which I believe was taught to all Catholics when I was growing up 70 years ago and when I went through seminary thereafter?  
    I’ve never been outside of North America, but I wouldn’t be surprised if things are much the same in Australia as they are here.  These days most of the people in church on Sunday go to communion, even though almost NOBODY goes to confession any more! 
    1.  Has the Catholic Church eliminated its once lengthy catalogue of mortal sins? or 
    2.  Has the church abandoned its teaching that people who are in the state of mortal sin are not allowed to receive communion?  or
    3. Has the church abandoned its teaching that the faithful must GO TO CONFESSION in order to get back into the state of grace?   or 
    4. Has the clergy given up all hope of persuading the faithful to believe what the clergy tell them?
    So much for your great “sacraments”!

  • JabbaPapa

    1) No

    2) No, though many liberal Catholics have denatured the catechesis as they provide it

    3) No

    4) bad question — the Faithful are required to believe the teachings of the Church, not just those of the clergy

  • Rayosun

    Charlemagne, 
    Your “solution”  i.e. “a return to seminary standards of pre-Vatican II and better management.” is laughable, as is the suggestion by most conservatives that Vatican II was responsible for all these “rotten apples”.  As one of the THOUSANDS of priests who left the church after that council, the reason wasn’t the liberalism of the council, but the fact that the conservatives who have controlled “the Holy See” throughout most of Roman Catholicism’s history, were back in charge soon after the council’s closing bell.  
    if anything, most of the “rotten apples” were not  LIBERALS (who – like me -left the priesthood) but CONSERVATIVES, who either stayed in the church through the 60′s and 70′s or who were trained by such conservatives who controlled the seminaries.  
    Rev. Ray Dubuque, creator of http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/ which shows why the R.C. church is no place for those who are serious about following Jesus.

  • Rayosun

    I recently saw an online comment by a wacky conservative who claimed that it was liberal NUNS who had been in control of whch candidates were chosen or rejected by seminaries.  As a product of several different seminaries during those years, the only place for nuns in seminaries days was the kitchen and laundry!

  • http://twitter.com/socmed_superman Carla Kendall

    Its simple – the Catholic church isn’t God’s church.

  • http://twitter.com/socmed_superman Carla Kendall

    Wrong 3 times, but you use the standard Catholic lies:

    1) it isn’t a “gay” issue.  Its a child rape issue.  However, Catholics love hating gays, so blending in the “gay” comment confuses the small minded sheep.  This is a CHILD RAPE issue.  Ask God the next time you pray, if you do.

    2) NO ONE has produced or protected more child rapists (by percentage) in our lifetimes than the Catholic church.  Claiming otherwise is lying, or distorting the truth.  Ask God.

    3) Its not that they aren’t good managers.  THey are brilliant at managing money, and managing the psycology of the small minded.  THe problem is that they don’ tfollow the 10 commandments and What Jesus Would Do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/June-Annette/100002512810544 June Annette

    MEMO to ROMAN CATHOLICS .
    . The Roman Catholic “church” is a TEMPLATE FOR CHILD PREDATION

    The “hierarchy” of the unholy
    Roman Catholic “church” would have us believe that they
    have reformed and that their “church” is now a model for
    child protection. Yet the so-called child safety measures that have
    been implemented fail to address the root cause of clergy abuse,
    which emanates with the so-called “princes of the church”
    themselves. The truth is . . the RC “church” is no model for
    child protection but rather a template / model for child predation.
    That’s because aberrant sexual behaviour is the example the
    bishops themselves set for their priest understudies. They both
    sanction and practice sexual depravity themselves. They set the
    standard and the priests (who don’t know any better) think it is
    perfectly acceptable and normal to do likewise! Sexual perversion is
    thus the norm in RC hierarchy circles and so the abuse of children by
    RC clergy will continue unabated in the unholy Roman Catholic
    “church”! 1) Richard Sipe,former Roman Catholic priest explains: “This sexual
    aberration is not generated from the bottom up – that is only from
    unsuitable candidates – but from the top down – that is from the
    sexual behaviors of superiors, even bishops and cardinals. Bishop
    Thomas Lyons, now deceased, who was an Auxiliary in the Archdiocese
    of Washington D.C. groomed, seduced, and sexually abused a boy from
    the time he was seven years old until he was 17. When that boy grew
    into manhood he in turn abused his own child and young relatives.
    When I asked him about his actions he said to me, “I thought it was
    natural. Father (Lyons) told me a priest showed him this when he was
    growing up.” A pattern was perpetuated for at least four
    generations.

    Citation: 1) Source / Website: richardsipe.com / Priests,
    Celibacy, Sexuality & the Catholic Church Article Online:
    Open Letter of author Richard Sipe to Benedict XVI / Link:
    http://www.richardsipe.com/Docs_and_Controversy/2008-04-20-Statement_for_Pope.html

  • Rayosun

    I ask “Parasum” a question and “JabbaPapa” answers. Is this an instance of one person with several profiles (so that he can vote for and back up himself) ?
    In any event, my suspicions are confirmed.  Nothing has changed in what the Catholic Church TEACHES, but what HAS CHANGED is that even the Catholics who are still in the pews aren’t BUYING what their church leaders are teaching.
    Most of these people are too old to start on a new and different religious road.  But when these “loyal” Catholics are gone, they’re not going to be replaced with new blood.   

  • Parasum

    “This is a caricature of the history of the massive paedophile scandal that has been raging throughout Western society since about the 1950s.”
     
    ## Then why is one line of defence this, that the Vatican & the bishops did not understand paedophilia was a sin, or did not know it was incurable ? What far distant planet were they living on, to miss what the laity could see ? Or are the bishops so out of touch that their guidance is worth less than that of a moderately intelligent child ?
     
    Your analysis is another nail in the coffin of the zombie called Catholic Bishops’ Credibility.
     
    STM the Church has endured 60 “years of failure to adapt” not 10 – what were the bishops – those who didn’t frequent rent-boys,like at least one Cardinal, or knock up married women – doing all that time ? That’s right: exposing minors to molestation AKA acting as pimps (fair enough: they prostitute everything else in the Church, so why stop at minors ?); and re-cycling Father Ped O’Phile from parish to parish and diocese to diocese, with no rubbish about giving his new consignment of “meat” any warning about his previous behaviour. And Catholics are expected to respect such people !
     
    Nobody could ever make this stuff up – it’s beyond parody. And the Pope has this lunatic fantasy of a New Evangelisation ! 

  • Parasum

    1980s ? First time I’ve heard that. The date that is often quoted by his defenders is 2001; though some mention some case from (IIRC) 1996. If he deserves credit for acting as early as the 1980s, so much the better. It would be nice to have more details *if*they are available. Thanks for taking the trouble to write a detailed answer.

  • Parasum

    Most paedophiles aren’t ordained to function as “other Christs”. The only people even remotely as bad as Catholic priestly paedophiles, are lay Catholic paedophiles.

    People who act as these predators and their bishops have, cannot possibly have any belief in God. To molest a minor, violate a sacred oath, *and* commit sacrilege, all in one action, is quite an achievement. These people dishonour their ordination and trample on the priesthood. To say nothing of the harm they do to those they molest. They had better hope there is no God.