26 April, 2010

How Catholics feel about the pedophile accusations

I think what most of are upset about is the lies and half-truths being spread by the media about the Church. The media is grouping pedophilia, corporeal punishment and homosexuality into an allegation of pedophilia. The occurrence of pedophilia is the lowest by a wide margin than any other church or adult group. Even family members and school teachers have a higher incidence of this crime.

What the press is calling cover-up is not the cover ups of crimes but of illicit and scandalous liaisons of homosexual priests and young adults. What he Church did was to send them to treatment for their homosexual perversion on the advice that they could be cured by the medical community. When they were declared cured by the doctors they were put back into ministry. Hindsight tells us the foolishness of this approach and the Church has not done this in decades. The Church has since purged itself of predatory homosexuals. Some of these who were treated did commit crimes later but no one that I can find was a pedophile that was returned to ministry. All of them were prosecuted by the civil authorities and lacitized by the Church. Pedophilia was not covered-up. The reason the civil authorities did not prosecute the priests that went to treatment is because no law was broken.

Much of the abuse being talked about is corporeal abuse (spanking) done by caregivers in Church run reform schools. In the past spanking was not a crime. I was spanked in public schools and I was not a problem child like the children in the reform schools. I am not saying this was right but that it was part of the culture 30 to 60 years ago. Back then if I got spanked at school I got an even greater spanking at home.

Then there is the problem of the press reporting this alleged abuse as if it is current within the Church when it actually occurred 30 to 60 years ago. The alleged perpetrators are often dead when these allegations are made. Usually they come forward after being enticed by attorneys doing these class action suits to make allegations on the promise of great financial gain. As a result less than 10% of the allegations have any merit and almost none of them have a living alleged perpetrator who can defend the claims against him.

Anyone sexually abusing children should be punished with the full weight of the law and of the Church. All victims should receive restitution. Everything should be done to ensure that children are safe in Church. The record shows that Pope Benedict has done everything possible for this end. The Church now is probably the safest place for children, even safer than their own homes. There are very few merited accusations against the Church in the last decade. My concern is that the focus on the scandal in the Church decades ago is diverting the attention from the fact that pedophilia and other sexual abuse is rampant and of epidemic proportions in secular world among teachers, scout masters, step-fathers and fathers and unfortunately extremely common in the Protestant sects. To these groups the Catholic Church is a shining example of how to deal with this problem and make all churches safer places for children like the Catholic Church has done. God bless!

In Christ
Fr. Joseph

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