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RC Clerical Pedophiles Revisited

DGS49

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Clearly, I'm beating a dead horse here, but apparently there remains quite an appetite among the news-reading public to read the endless stories about the kids who were (actually or allegedly) abused by Catholic priests (and others in similar positions), and what they and their lawyers are doing to "get even." Both criminal prosecutions and lawsuits. There is a new "headline" story in my local paper (the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) at least once a week.

When this "stuff" started coming out many years ago, I first just blew it off as exaggerated B.S. I had personally gone from first grade through twelfth in Catholic schools, and had never even heard a rumor about such a thing, even though the opportunities for it were countless. I was both a choir boy and an altar boy, so I was fairly close to that whole scene. And indeed, even in the ensuing years, the only hint of scandal that has come out about my own large parish or anyone who worked there was a weak claim by some old woman that a priest had kissed her against her will - a claim he vehemently denied.

But it happened elsewhere, on a fairly large scale. It is fairly undeniable that about 5-7% of the clergy (and probably teaching "Brothers") were credibly accused of everything from mild acts of abuse to full-on rape of kids - almost all boys.

But here's the thing: there are many aspects of this that get lost in the explosive nature of this evil, namely,
  1. The perp-Priests were evil, certainly, and deserve the most serious punishments and sanctions the law allows. And more. But THEY were the problem, not "everybody else."
  2. The perp-Priests did everything the could to conceal what they were doing from fellow priests and their superiors, because what they were doing was a gross violation of their fundamental obligations. They probably entered the priesthood for the main purpose of accessing vulnerable kids.
  3. The victims had every right to go immediately to the Civil Authorities and file a criminal complaint. I recognize that not many kids would have the balls to do this, but that avenue was always on the table for each and every victim.
  4. When these incidents were first apparent, the clerical superiors were not aware of some essential facts: This behavior is extremely harmful, even if there is no physical injury; Once a man is known to have done this, it is nearly a certainty that the behavior will continue unless the future opportunities are COMPLETELY removed. The Bishops didn't know these things until too late.
  5. The Catholic Church has always taught that any evil propensity can be "cured," with the grace of God. The Bishops (and other superiors) should not be judged so harshly for believing - at least in the first instance - that once the offending Priests had confessed their sins and promised to "sin no more," the problem was solved. This is why the priests were usually just transferred to a different parish and told to "stop it."
  6. The practice of "circling the wagons," and trying to keep this sort of thing quiet and within the Church is EXACTLY the same behavior as every other organization would have done at the time (60's and prior), and that includes other churches and synagogues, schools, Boys Club, Boy Scouts, etc. This was regrettable but normal behavior for such organizations, whether religious or otherwise. It probably still is.
  7. The Priests and Bishops at fault were uniformly impecunious, and thus, "judgment proof." So the only option for plaintiffs and their lawyers was to pursue the odious route of "vicarious liability," whereby EVERYONE BUT THE PERSON AT FAULT is sued for money damages, on the ridiculous theory that money solves everything.
  8. It makes no sense to punish insurance companies and Catholic alms-givers for the sins of a few (1 in 20) clerics who, unknown to anyone, grossly violated their vows, especially when,...
  9. The victims suffered no financial loss or physical injury.
So as with many things in life, the cure for this evil has been, arguably, more harmful than the evil itself. The entire organization - the Roman Catholic Church - has been nearly destroyed - all of its good works all of its benefits denigrated and much of it eliminated, in a Crusade to punish...what? 5% of its clergy? What about the 95% who dedicated their lives to service to God and their fellow man? Slandered, ridiculed, neutered. What about the people in the pews whose contributions are confiscated to enrich an army of lawyers and compensate ills that cannot be rectified with money?

It ain't right.
 

Moonglow

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Thank yous for your apologetic stance for child abusers and rapist..I am sure that God and Jesus appreciate your efforts. Not to mention the Devil...
 

Gdjjr

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The "church" is about the "church". Period. Religion is just the tool used to perpetuate it.
ALL religion demands a faith and rituals to proclaim that faith- SMH- with absolutely no evidence that "paying alms"/tithing does anything other than fortify "the church". Indoctrination is indoctrination regardless of where it comes from.
 

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