Opinion

Clergy sex abuse: Why a national all-faiths inquiry is needed  

Catherine Coleman Murphy, center, and Jack Wintermyer, right, protest along with others outside Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul before an Ash Wednesday Mass in Philadelphia on March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(RNS) — Ten years ago, SNAP was the butt of the most outrageous criticism in its three decades of work on behalf of clergy sex abuse survivors.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was founded with a focus on Catholic clergy abuse. But as we expanded our efforts to other faiths, the worst name-calling came not from any Catholic official but from a Baptist official. Paige Patterson, a former Southern Baptist Convention president who, at the time, was head of a prominent Baptist seminary, labeled SNAP as “evil-doers” and said we were “just as reprehensible as sex criminals.”

It may seem odd to note the anniversary of such an odious aspersion, but at a time when survivor advocates have much to cheer about, it’s important that we not lose sight of how much work remains to be done in changing institutions and attitudes to make kids safer.

Too many survivors still face hostility when they attempt to confront religious leaders about clergy child molesters. The U.S. Justice Department has now launched an investigation into the sexual abuse of children and the cover-up of those crimes in the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. And because the Justice Department put every diocese in the country on notice that they should preserve all documents relating to sexual abuse allegations, there appears the possibility of a broader investigation into Catholic abuses and cover-ups.

This federal intervention is a significant and long overdue development. SNAP first asked for such a probe in 2003. So you can be sure we are applauding.

But what about other faith groups?

For example, how can we uncover the scope of the clergy abuse scandal in the country’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention? With a claimed membership of more than 15 million, it’s a faith group in which a lot of kids are at risk.

For years, the uncovering of the Catholic clergy abuse scandal has been fueled in significant part by the Catholic Church’s own documents. But Southern Baptist officials have long disclaimed any denominational obligation for record-keeping on clergy perpetrators, and so the relatively inexpensive investigatory tool of subpoenaing documents would likely be far less productive.

As evangelical sex abuse expert Jimmy Hinton so succinctly explained: “We’re passing people around just as much as the Catholics do — we just don’t keep record of it.”

Catholics and sexual abuse survivors protest in front of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on June 11, 2014. The group gathered in response to a deposition given by St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson. Photo courtesy Barb Dorris/SNAP

SNAP had been advocating for exactly that — a Baptist system of record-keeping and information sharing — when Patterson made that repugnant remark. We had delivered a letter to top Southern Baptist officials, urging them to create an independent review board to receive and assess reports about clergy sex abuse, to keep records on those reports and to inform congregations about credibly accused clergy.

It was a common-sense request aimed at protecting kids from church-hopping clergy predators. Yet Southern Baptist officials refused, offering up a glossy brochure of nice-sounding words instead. It appeared the Baptist officials had gleaned from the Catholic scandal not a lesson about the need to better protect kids but rather a lesson about the need to avoid record-keeping so as to better protect the institution.

Catholics and Baptists are hardly alone in their institutional failures. Thomas Doyle, the courageous priest who first warned Catholic officials of their looming scandal, told the terrible truth back in 2007 when he cautioned that “clergy sex abuse is a scourge that knows no bounds of theology, denomination or institutional structure.”

The number of children known to have been abused in the Catholic Church alone is staggering. For example, when a grand jury reported on its investigation of just six dioceses in Pennsylvania, it counted more than 1,000 victims and concluded there were likely many more.

If the victims in all the dioceses across the country could be counted, there would certainly be many thousands more. And if the victims in non-Catholic faith groups could be counted, the numbers would rise into at least the tens of thousands.

Indeed, based on insurance company data, some experts have posited that more children are likely being abused in Protestant churches than in Catholic churches, and as with Catholics, leaders’ responses have too often been abysmal. Time and again, we see revelations of church and denominational officials who chose child-endangering do-nothing responses and who allowed accused perpetrators to move on to new congregations rather than reporting them to the police.

What’s needed is a full-scale national inquiry akin to the one that was done in Australia — an inquiry that focuses on all faith groups and that not only subpoenas documents but also hears extensive testimony.

In a five-year study that experts describe as the “gold standard” of such investigations, Australia’s Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse assessed crimes against children in more than 4,000 institutions, including all religious organizations. It not only examined more than 1.2 million documents but also heard from 8,000 survivors in private sessions and from 1,200 witnesses in public hearings. Then, based on the common institutional patterns it uncovered, the Royal Commission made recommendations for how to make religious institutions safer for children, including recommendations for improved record-keeping and information sharing.

The pervasiveness of the problem and the high stakes of children’s well-being compel the need for such a comprehensive inquiry in this country also. Americans deserve no less. If we want our children to be safer, we cannot afford the comfortable delusion that this is an isolated problem of a single diocese, a single state, a single faith group or a single institution.

(Christa Brown is the author of “This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang,” and she serves on the board of advisors for the Child-Friendly Faith Project. David Clohessy is the former longtime director of SNAP, the largest and most active network of survivors of institutional sexual abuse, and he currently serves as SNAP’s volunteer director for St. Louis. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)

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  • The Australian Royal Commission is a perfect example of what is needed in the USA into all institutional sex abuse. It is good the Dept of Justice is getting involved in the Catholic church and it needs to investigate other religions also. Until this is done, kids are still not safe.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, [email protected], 636-433-2511

  • If the Australian Royal Commission is the “gold standard”, then gold and lead and manure must be selling at the same price.

    The way the so-called “Royal Commission” was constructed, there was zero due process, zero ability to respond to witnesses, and essentially no qualification for “experts” to testify.

    As a result there was a parade of the “usual suspects”, many of whom are now and were on the payroll of attorneys becoming wealthy suing Catholic dioceses, writing books excoriating the Catholic Church, and otherwise earning their bread and butter by drumming up business such as Thomas P. Doyle and Kieran Tapsell.

    The “recommendations” consist of ill-supported nostrums, such as attempting to tell the Roman Catholic Church how it should fashion its priesthood, which whitewashed the Anglican Church in Australia while kneecapping the Catholics. Those familiar with the long history of anti-Catholicism in Australia were not surprised.

    Fortunately in the United States churches are protected by the First Amendment from this sort of quasi-governmental meddling and intrusion.

    It is no surprise that the authors are SNAP officers, the first comment is also a SNAP operative, given the huge support priest chasing attorneys have bestowed upon SNAP.

  • Any ROYAL commission sounds like a lot of bosh. Those Royals — great in public morals, what? NOT. Are your commissions going to be like Henry VIII’s that got the monasteries closed down, while allowing him the leverage to establish a religion that fit his moral compass?

  • The term “Royal Commission” is used in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia.

    Its powers are restricted to the terms of reference of the commission.

    Here is a list of all the Australian Royal Commissions over the years:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_royal_commissions

    What gives it the appellation “Royal” is that it formally created by the Governor-General, the representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. She appoints (rubber stamps) a governor-general to carry out her constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honors.

    This Commission, of course, was politically motivated due to various outcries, pressures, the usual stuff.

    On November 12, 2012, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her recommendation to the Governor-General the creation of a Royal Commission.

    And, of course, it was created (rubber stamped).

    It sounds a lot more important than it is.

    Here in the States we call this sort of thing a “select committee” and, as in Australia, looking back on their reports one is only struck by how far they generally miss the mark.

  • From what I have read, somewhere, recently – sexual abuse is also very high in schools.
    I see this more as an attack on the church, trying to lessen it’s credibility than to really be doing something productive.
    Child abuse is reprehensible and in all areas should be eradicated, but picking on churches will not do that.
    As pedophilia becomes more and more accepted in our society, and it is – “Intergenerational Sex” – new term, glossy name for pedophilia, more than the churches need to be evaluated.
    https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/12/22/is_pedophilia_a_sexual_orientation.html

  • Thanks! It’s still the old story. Should the Church be regulated by the Country? No. And you are right. That’s the way the founders wanted it, in the first Amendment.

  • Thank you. It is my belief that the Federal Grand Jury (which has issued requests for Church records after the the Pennsylvania grand jury report on Clerical abuse of children, seems to have gone nowhere) will probably issue it’s report in the June of election year 2020. They are interested in a very narrow but reprehensible area of child abuse, that involves no change on their part.

  • SNAP and some of its associates have tried to peddle an American version of the Royal Commission in the USA for more than the last couple of months.

    The article we’re discussing is a thinly-disguised tout piece for that effort.

    Fortunately for religion in the United States, but unfortunately for their effort, the sort of nonsense the Royal Commission engaged in would not be tolerated in this country, running headfirst into the First Amendment prohibition of government meddling in religion.

  • Yes. There ought to be a nation-wide inquiry, and no religious group ought to be spared.

    If no abuse is going on, then nothing will be uncovered. If there is abuse, and it is being covered up, that must be addressed.

  • How about the religion of the state which protects their schools and system by raising the level of proof to gross negligence or protect entirely from litigation by sovereign immunity?

  • The state can already prosecute any individual for child sexual abuse. They seek to make certain institutions, but not any state institutions liable for sexual abuse claims. This is unconstitutional.

  • I would recommend anyone read the report, which is available on-line, and NOT the press impressions.

    Just so everyone knows, the commission was the “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”.

    The final report is here:

    https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/

    Going to the Recommendations, I extract a few on the Catholic Church:

    Recommendation 16.8

    In the interests of child safety and improved institutional responses to child sexual abuse, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to:

    ….

    2. establish a transparent process for appointing bishops which includes the direct participation of lay people .

    (There is no rationale provided for this intrusion into the Catholic sacrament of Holy Orders.)

    Recommendation 16.10

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to amend canon law so that the pontifical secret does not apply to any aspect of allegations or canonical disciplinary processes relating to child sexual abuse .

    (This appears to have come from Kieran Tapsell, who is not a Catholic, nor a Canon Law expert, but wrote a book with a completely specious account of what the pontifical secret is.)

    Recommendation 16.18

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to consider introducing voluntary celibacy for diocesan clergy.

    (This also is made with zero rationale and despite the fact that every study celibacy has found no correlation between the discipline of celibacy and the occurrence of abuse. This is the thumbprint of the various Catholic dissident organizations who got involved in the Commission.)

    Recommendation 16.19

    All Catholic religious institutes in Australia, in consultation with their international leadership and the Holy See as required, should implement measures to …. include consideration of whether and how existing models of religious life could be modified to facilitate … shorter terms of celibate commitment, and/or voluntary celibacy (where that is consistent with the form of association that has been chosen).

    (My comments on Recommendation 16.18 apply here as well.)

    Recommendation 16.26

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should consult with the Holy See, and make public any advice received, in order to clarify whether:

    1. information received from a child during the sacrament of reconciliation that they have been sexually abused is covered by the seal of confession

    2. if a person confesses during the sacrament of reconciliation to perpetrating child sexual abuse, absolution can and should be withheld until they report themselves to civil authorities.

    (As a result of this also specious recommendation at least one Australian state passed a law purporting to void the seal of confession.)

    If you find anything even close to this level of intrusion into the Anglicans, please pass it on.

  • The former policy in China shows how the one about Bishop’s appointments will go over with the Vatican. But I really like the Pontifical Secret One. Did he get that mixed up with Fatima… He should write his own DaVinci Code novel…

  • This is one (but only one) of the reasons to be cautious about immersion in organized religion. Church is not required to be a person of faith, or to have a relationship with Jesus. Although Church can be positive, it can also be negative or an impediment to real Christianity. The abuse episodes are an egregious example of how fooling around in a group is not necessarily the best for one’s safety, one’s spiritual condition, one’s mental capacity, or one’s emotional well-being. There are other risks too, like having to defend someone else’s far-fetched doctrine—-or—–maybe poisoning your own spirit for long periods of time when you find yourself in the midst of the perpetual arguments about doctrine. Probably the ideal church life—–if you must have one—–is to visit a different fellowship each week until you have been to hundreds of different ones, joining none of them. (If you did that, you couldn’t pick ONE anyway.)

  • He now travels in the USA giving sermons, er…, speeches to groups like Call To Action.

    If you scan the witnesses you’ll see a large number of American dissidents apparently recruited by the Australian dissidents to gin up some “expert testimony”.

  • I of III

    I would recommend anyone read the report, which is available on-line, and NOT the press impressions.

    Just so everyone knows, the commission was the “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”.

    The final report is here:

    www(dot)childabuseroyalcommission(dot)gov(dot)au/

    Going to the Recommendations, I extract a few on the Catholic Church:

    Recommendation 16.8

    In the interests of child safety and improved institutional responses to child sexual abuse, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to:

    ….

    2. establish a transparent process for appointing bishops which includes the direct participation of lay people .

    (There is no rationale provided for this intrusion into the Catholic sacrament of Holy Orders.)

    Recommendation 16.10

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to amend canon law so that the pontifical secret does not apply to any aspect of allegations or canonical disciplinary processes relating to child sexual abuse .

    To II of III

  • II of III

    (This appears to have come from Kieran Tapsell, who is not a Catholic, nor a Canon Law expert, but wrote a book with a completely specious account of what the pontifical secret is.)

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should request the Holy See to consider introducing voluntary celibacy for diocesan clergy .

    (This also is made with zero rationale and despite the fact that every study celibacy has found no correlation between the discipline of celibacy and the occurrence of abuse. This is the thumbprint of the various Catholic dissident organizations who got involved in the Commission.)

    Recommendation 16.19

    All Catholic religious institutes in Australia, in consultation with their international leadership and the Holy See as required, should implement measures to …. include consideration of whether and how existing models of religious life could be modified to facilitate … shorter terms of celibate commitment, and/or voluntary celibacy (where that is consistent with the form of association that has been chosen).

    (My comments on Recommendation 16.18 apply here as well.)

    to III of III

  • III of III

    Recommendation 16.26

    The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference should consult with the Holy See, and make public any advice received, in order to clarify whether:

    1. information received from a child during the sacrament of reconciliation that they have been sexually abused is covered by the seal of confession

    2. if a person confesses during the sacrament of reconciliation to perpetrating child sexual abuse, absolution can and should be withheld until they report themselves to civil authorities.

    (As a result of this also specious recommendation at least one Australian state passed a law purporting to void the seal of confession.)

    If you find anything even close to this level of intrusion into the Anglicans, please pass it on.

  • Pennsylvania SB 261 was brought forward after the Grand Jury report to extend the time (statute of limitations) for suits. Two amendments were proposed in the House. One was to establish a fund for victims which gave sovereign immunity to the state. It was not passed. The other, was supposed to allow for suits across the board, but according to Senator Jake Corman, the proof for public entities was for gross negligence, making it harder to sue, them. This passed, and they promised to correct, so that there would not be “two classes of victims.” SB 261 appears to be dying, as it is still in committee, and was not voted on.

  • It’s really IS the establishment of a state religion — They’ve been down that road before. Oh well, the Church will still be here, when their particular movement is only a memory, unless the End Times are very soon.

  • Replying to your three-part reply:

    The whole document is tens of thousands of pages long and was created after five years of hearings and deliberations. It contains a total of 409 recommendations which aim to make all institutions safer for children.

    Recommendations to the Anglican Church of Australia and to all religious institutions in Australia are found in Volume 16 Book 1 of the final report (pages 72 – 82). These are available online as you note.

    Recommendations are just that, recommendations. They have no force in law.

    The Catholic Church has allowed the Chinese government to intrude directly in the appointment of bishops. The Australian recommendation for some level of transparency and lay participation seems a lot less intrusive than the Chinese arrangement.

    The new law (passed by the state parliament, not the Royal Commission) says religious ministers in the state of South Australia will have to report anyone who admits to child abuse, even if it’s in the confessional. That requirement applies to Anglicans as well as Catholics, and to all ministers for that matter. This is less serious for Anglicans because the Anglican Church had already given an exemption to the seal of confession in cases of child sexual abuse, but the law applies equally to all faiths. In addition, medical personnel, teachers, and other classes of professionals are mandated notifiers. This is a serious church-state clash, but triggered by serious and numerous incidents of abuse. The Catholic Church apparently intends to ignore the law. (https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2018/06/15/australian-bishop-seal-of-confession-cannot-be-ended-by-law-of-politicians/).

  • 𝙰𝚜 𝚙𝚎𝚍𝚘𝚙𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚒𝚊 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚜 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚌𝚌𝚎𝚙𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚒𝚗 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚜𝚘𝚌𝚒𝚎𝚝𝚢

    I don’t see pedophilia becoming accepted by society, ever, now or in the future. That sounds like fear mongering on your part.

  • “The Catholic Church has allowed the Chinese government to intrude directly in the appointment of bishops.”

    You know when you start reading about Catholic-China relations in a discussion about the “Royal Commission”, the party introducing it is low on ammunition.

    “The Australian recommendation for some level of transparency and lay participation seems a lot less intrusive than the Chinese arrangement.”

    Does it really?

    Are you speaking as a theologian conversant in the details of the Catholic-China agreement, the text of which is not available, or as someone invested in the Royal Commission wishing to put a fig leaf over it?

    The Commission was supposed to consider institutional responses to abuse.

    Since the Commission does not, perhaps you can explain the basis for lay participation in the selection of Catholic bishops within that context?

    “The new law (passed by the state parliament, not the Royal Commission) says religious ministers in the state of South Australia will have to report anyone who admits to child abuse, even if it’s in the confessional. That requirement applies to Anglicans as well as Catholics, and to all ministers for that matter.”

    So, this outrageous intrusion into the very fiber of the sacrament of confession by unelected goody-two-shoes, attacking the seal of confession, an obligation so serious that Orthodox and Catholic priests have died rather than violate it, to turn the confessional into an investigative tool of South Australia, is okay because it applies to Anglicans as well, who by the by had already scrapped it?

    Yes, the Catholic Church will disregard the law.

    Essentially what took place was that the Australian Commission vis a vis the Catholic Church, became a venue for every dissident group in Australia, who invited the participation of the major dissident groups from America to skew the report.

  • It was split into three because RNS has set their spam filter to eliminate large posts. The first attempt was one post and got filtered.

  • You are mistaken about the China situation. For years the Vatican was at loggerheads about the Bishops. Not Bishops in general, but Bishops in particular. Most of the questionable ones (whose teachings were incompatible with the Faith, or whose primary allegiance was to the state) have passed away, and the many Bishops who were in alignment with the Vatican are not being questioned. The Faithful (who are indeed faithful, as I have experienced first-hand) can only benefit. A Bishop who obeys laws made by the state in preference to Church Law has apparently broken his vows. Oh, by the way, in most Church – State affairs, confession is usually the first thing to go. It went back and forth in the Church of England, but by and large, humility is needed for that sacrament. The state’s attitude reflects little of that.

  • Thank you David and Christa. Such an important article. Yes, the church (across denominations) needs to be the focus of attention because the church is the only pervasive institution that claims to uphold and teach the culture’s moral values. I first heard from Victor Vieth that 98% of convicted sex offenders identify as religious. And I will never forget hearing Fr. Tom Doyle say, “The church creates, nurtures, protects and defends sex offenders.” I know this to be true from my own personal experience. We need to duplicate Australia’s efforts. They have charted a path. #TimesUp #churchtoo

  • They shouldn’t regulate churches, just keep children safe and punish clerics who abuse them. Simple rule of law.

  • A criminal psychologist who believes that pedophilia is a sexual orientation, lists of organized pedophiles and an effort to one day make pedophilia mainstream, but not one of those links supports the premise that pedophilia is becoming more accepted by society.

  • Since when is pedophilia accepted in society??? There is so much evidence against the churches, but people like you stubbornly refuse to see it.

  • “Thomas Doyle, the courageous priest who first warned Catholic officials of their looming scandal, told the terrible truth back in 2007 when he cautioned that ‘clergy sex abuse is a scourge that knows no bounds of theology, denomination or institutional structure.’ …

    What’s needed is a full-scale national inquiry akin to the one that was done in Australia — an inquiry that focuses on all faith groups and that not only subpoenas documents but also hears extensive testimony.”

    This is excellent. Thank you, Christa and David, for pointing us in this direction.

  • Good grief, Mark Connelly, I don’t know you but you sound like a paid troll. I know some of the lawyers and SNAP activists you seem to be going after here and they are the most humble, dedicated, compassionate people I know and their last concern is money or power. They and I simply want to end this abominable epidemic, pandemic and public health crisis so that what happened to us doesn’t happen to others. They are working hard without any payback except knowing they have followed their hearts and consciences to protect children and vulnerable adults from predatory clergy and church workers.

  • Good grief, Barbra Graber, which do you work for: SNAP or one of the law firms getting fat and happy suing for events 20, 30, 40, or more years ago?

    My comments have been aimed at the Australian Commission, which by any fair standard was a sham, but since you bring up SNAP:

    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-moed-4_15-cv-01008/pdf/USCOURTS-moed-4_15-cv-01008-10.pdf

    “… the Court will direct that it has been established that the SNAP defendants conspired with one another and others to obtain plaintiff’s conviction on sexual abuse charges and that they entered into this conspiracy due to discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race and national origin. “

    and so on.

    Continue?

  • The status of this is about where the LBGT grooming propaganda campaign was roughly twenty years ago.

    Once the idea that laws are not passed to build a society, that the Founders were Libertarians, that any law which comports with a religion is suspect, and that orientation trumps all else, the stage is set.

  • In the United States the First Amendment prohibits something along the lines of the Australian Commission, which intruded into the sacramental system and internal discipline of the Catholic Church.

    Thomas Doyle is no longer “father”, having removed himself from the Catholic Church, the Dominican order, and otherwise made it clear that he abandoned his vocation.

  • What direction, a government-sponsored Inquisition in violation of the First Amendment?

    The fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the Justice Department all have functioning prosecutorial systems in place and functioning.

    Btw, Thomas Doyle is no longer a Catholic priest.

  • “The churches” – all 1,500 to 3,500? Specific ones?

    Or is this just a general condemnation of religion?

  • And my reply was to “I don’t see pedophilia becoming accepted by society, ever, now or in the future. That sounds like fear mongering on your part.”

    Much the same thing was being said about the LBGT agenda a mere two decades ago.

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

  • And those laws are already in place. That is what most people want. What this organization appears to be going for is money for victims, via civil suits. The Church has some money. Most individual priests don’t have as much. Similarly, individual teachers could be sued. But if it is possible to sue a school district, more money can be given for the care and counseling of the victims. Most criminal cases — involving punishment are off the boards. We’re going back 30 years here.

  • Not pedophilia, per-se, but some pretty horrific child-on-child violence resulting in suicide etc., is euphemistically called bullying in our society. Sometimes these abusers have been abused themselves, with no priest in the picture.

  • Sadly, you believe that being a pedophile is equal to being a member of the LGBTQ community of human beings. I don’t.

    Being LGBTQ is in no way harmeful to individuals or to society. Pedophilia is harmful to children. Period. End of discussion. Pedophilia will never be accepted by society.

  • The church should be the first to out the abusers within the church:
    1Pe 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God;Eph 5:8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light–
    Eph 5:9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
    Eph 5:10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.
    Eph 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
    Eph 5:12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly;
    Eph 5:13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
    Eph 5:14 for everything that becomes visible is light.

  • The comments were about the propaganda push to legalize pedophilia, not a real or imagined equality of the LGBT behavior to pedophilia.

    Legalizing certain aspects of LGBT behavior is harmful to society.

    The same is true of pedophilia, except that (and the arguments are already forthcoming that this is untrue) it is impossible to find any exceptions.

    Let’s stick to what is being discussed.

  • Any group that systemically facilitates felonies can be investigated.

    While individual school employees commit crimes. There is no indication school districts around the country systematically cover up child abuse or protect child rapists.

  • And often many pedophiles have been abused as children themselve. Which would be evidence against the idea that pedophilia is a natural orientation, as argued by a link above from Bob A/Mark C.

    One example, the adopted son of convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky. He was molested by Jerry and then went on to molest little girls himself.

  • You mean how christians slur and ostracize LGBT, leading to much higher suicide rates.

    Yes. That bullying should end.

    Starting with you and your ilk.

  • What about RICO?

    RICO does not provide for anything like the Australian Commission.

    RICO arms Federal prosecutors.

  • Well, no. But it doesn’t matter. Obviously there is enough malice within the church that any honest program of disclosure would be used by some as a further means of oppression and destruction of others. So I am not advocating a search for sinners, but if those who are caught abusing children and other vulnerable people they should be turned over to the authorities to be prosecuted. Forgiveness and reconciliation can also be practiced alongside prosecution. The main thing is that the abusers need to be separated from their victims and other vulnerable ones. It is wrong to drive the fox out just to send it to the next hen house.

  • How stupid can you get?

    (That is not meant as a challenge.)

    It is christians who cannot comprehend consent. Children cannot consent. Sex without consent is wrong, even though your imaginary friend was too focused on tattoos and firewood collection restrictions to bother with forbidding sex without consent.

    Sex between adults and children harms the child. Harming people is wrong. That is why it is illegal.

  • I have NEVER argued that pedophilia is a natural orientation.

    Btw, I have NEVER argued that any form of the LBGT behavior stems from a natural orientation either.

  • I admit that amidst the gravity of this situation, when I first heard this, I had to laugh. It was grouped with an accusation of transport of young people for nefarious reasons by the Bishops across state lines. I had a picture of mine (he’s kind of mousy and earnest) taking charge of the convoy to Appalachia, ostensibly to help build and repair homes. He takes the wheel, brandishing a whirring power tool, chuckling ferociously. He is pursued by law enforcement. God, can we bring these young people home, safely? Seriously, when do the Bishops find the time for all this evil? Please stop the madness.

  • “How stupid can you get?”

    I am not sure, but I ask myself that question every time I read one of your posts.

    Just for your information, the same folks who removed homosexuality from the DSM are ginning up a construct that children are psychologically capable of consent.

    It’s coming.

    Fortunately those of us who watched the prior propaganda campaign now know how to defeat it.

  • A murderer in the church would, of course, be turned over to the authorities. So in the same manner should abusers.

  • Priests have been arrested in the past, present, and will be in the future, for doing rotten things. Who is keeping these abusers under wraps?

  • One case I remember is of a priest who showed someone in the Rectory Office, that he was viewing child pornography. The office worker turned him in. That sounds like what you are advocating. But I’ll give you an example of malice. What if a family member was suspected of abusing a child, and then blamed it on the local priest?

  • Clericalism has been recognized as a serious problem, notably even by the Pope. (https://cruxnow.com/church/2016/04/27/pope-blasts-clericalism-says-clock-has-stopped-on-hour-of-laity/). One possible and obvious solution is providing some sort of modest voice somewhere, somehow, for the laity. The Australian government also made a public recommendation for more transparent policies in selecting and promoting leadership, which many Australians would find reasonable in light of the scandals and which you find outrageous. The recommendation has not been implemented either voluntarily by the church or by the Australian government. Meanwhile, the Chinese government intruded in a way that is so controversial and so secret that its text is not available. Why is the text being kept secret? Can you tell me what the Chinese agreement entails? It does not take a trained theologian to spot differences between Australia and China regarding church-state relations. If you or any church prefer the Chinese way to the Australian way, please let me know. The Royal Commission did have the right to make recommendations in the wake of widespread scandal affecting Australian children, did it not? Calling for more transparency is reasonably related to the problem of the institutional handling of abuse.

    As for exempting child abuse from the seal of the confessional, the Catholic Church has signaled its intention to ignore the law. No cases have been brought under the law. Given that secrecy is involved, it is possible no cases will ever be brought. So the law may be reduced to a symbol of where priorities lie both for the Catholic Church and the people of South Australia regarding the protection of children.

  • Couldn’t answer correctly? Going to see if anti-catholicism will get you through this problem? As to what you say. The Church does not teach that. No,”Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. (CCC 2358)”

  • The Royal Commission was not limited to faith groups. Secular institutions were not exempt from investigation, nor should they be. Not only do secular institutions have their own huge scandals, but exempting them from scrutiny would be rightly recognized as an assault solely against religious institutions.

  • It is my understanding that the Justice Department determined that there was no “group that systemically facilitate(d) felonies” and moved on.

    Do you have bona fide information to the contrary?

  • Sandusky claimed he was molested as a child, himself. Mark is defending himself below, and I will be upvoting him.

  • I provided an article in which a psychologist argued that pedophilia is an inherent orientation.

    I don’t mind responding, but I don’t particularly wish to respond to your imagination.

  • It apparently began as an effort to assist the abused.

    It then morphed into an adjunct to a handful of law firms, receiving monies from them and lobbying for repeal of statute of limitation laws.

    It then attracted the various Catholic dissident groups, and became a lobby for married priests, approval of LBGT relationships, and so on.

    There is a trail of lawsuits involving SNAP and some of its more egregious shenanigans.

  • It is sad how poorly you both read.

    I did not say that Mark argued in favor of pedophilia being natural orientation. I said that pedophilia being a natural orientation was argued in a link that Mark supplied.

    Sheesh!!!!!

  • But we’re getting off the point, aren’t we? Is there only one type of bullying? is there only one type of child abuse? Are these all conducted and furthered by only Catholic priests? Come on. You know the answer. It is “no.”

  • Some behaviors have been characterized as serious problems, some of which go by the name of “clericalism”.

    In the instant situation, the Australian Commission, its charge was to investigate institutional responses to abuse, not wade into a theological and sociological consideration of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

    Providing “some sort of modest voice somewhere, somehow, for the laity” was not its charge.

    It got into the Report because the Commission became an out-of-control circus in a country renowned for its historical anti-Catholicism.

    “The Australian government also made a public recommendation for more transparent policies in selecting and promoting leadership, which many Australians would find reasonable in light of the scandals and which you find outrageous.”

    So, what you’re saying is that due to popular demand, the Australian Commission inserted some unsupported church governance recommendations to appease what it perceived to be its audience.

    I completely agree.

    “It does not take a trained theologian to spot differences between Australia and China regarding church-state relations.”

    I assume you’re referring to the differences in style of governments interfering in the religious affairs. I certainly hope you’re not advocating government interfering in religious affairs ala the Church of England under Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

    The notion that the State can turn the confessional into a government listening post is abhorrent.

  • I didn’t deny the churches whatsoever, but, it is also in schools, sporting events, so quit picking on the churches

  • did you read the link? As I believe I stated elsewhere, do some research on “intergenerational relationships”. You’ll see what I was talking about.

  • In rereading it I cannot agree that you “said that pedophilia being a natural orientation was argued in a link that Mark supplied.”, but if that is what you intended, the matter should end here.

  • The article pointed out that Protestant denominations keep them “under wraps.” That’s what I was referring to.

  • The USA is “One Nation Under God..” GOD clearly teaches that sexual relations are ONLY permitted between a man and a woman legally and lawfully married to each other. Any other sexual activity is an ABOMINATION to God that leads to the fall of people and societies into hell…”In God We Trust.”

  • They claim to hold the moral high ground, judge others, and then treat helpless children that way? Then use their position to deny and smear victims, not much comparison really. Hypocrisy alone puts the church down low on anyone’s list. Unless you are one of the faithful, who are part of the reason this has gone on so long.

  • Kathy, you have an idea about Christians that is a fallacy. Christians are no better than you, nor do they claim to be. We are just forgiven when we confess our sins. What about you?

  • I should have been more specific. I was referring to the clergy when I said they presume to hold the higher ground. I was born, raised and educated Catholic, as well as clergy in my own family. Very superior in their own minds. Problem was, not just in their minds , Too many give them the benefit of the doubt. That’s how this disgrace has gone on so long. I have not believed in gods in many year, if confessing makes you feel better, then confess. I know religion can be a powerful delusion.

  • I know that you sound hateful and lost. Not all Christians are as you describe. I normally find that people who see Christians in such a manner suffer from a low self esteem which is not unusual being reared by people who see themselves better than others. But, all Christians are not like that.

  • Did you read my response? And if anyone sounds hateful, it is you. Let’s drop this, now. I am no fan of enablers.

  • The question is not whether you believes in a god or gods.

    The question is whether a god believes in you.

  • The title of the Commission was “The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”.

    The Letters Patent which laid out the Terms of Reference (the charge in legal parlance) are found here:

    https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/terms-reference

    A read of the Report itself with a copy of the Letters Patent at hand would lead a reasonable person to conclude the Terms of Reference were “Have at it!”

  • Still not buying what article is really selling. It said something to the effect that the denominations learned it from the Catholics. Hey, Jim, I think SNAP thinks they are pretty slick. Like politicians with other motives, who say it will be “helping our kids,” when it actually does something quite different. Most Americans love their children. That is a good thing. Shame on those who try to wreck the good that religions do to help children, by calling these acts a pandemic, and using government to harass churches.

  • Kathy, they have been brought very low by this. It is extremely hard for the many who have never dreamed of such a thing. But they have learnt something, I think. Not to believe everyone who says they are for children. I believe in one who came as a little Child. Christmas is on the way, maybe this is the year you will come back to the crib –of God made man. Joy is here, in the midst of darkness.

  • Or Spanish Inquisition or St. Bartholomew Massacre, etc.?

    For the record, Royal Commission in the British Commonwealth countries would the equivalent of a Federal or Congressional investigation in the US

  • “Australian Commission, which by any fair standard was a sham”

    I strongly disagree and ask you to provide proof to back your assertion. Australia is one of the world’s better governed countries with a free press, the habits engendered by English common law, and a national sense of fair play (fair dinkum). I know a lot of Australians, and a finer people as a whole you will be hard pressed to meet, I was in Australia for two years, including when the Commission was active.

  • Yes, but it seems the activities of church administrators covered things up and local officials were reluctant to take on the power or a large and influential institution. In Australia and in this country the government through grants and other programs pay churches to provide various social services. The government has every right to see that civil law is followed and no religious group acts above civil law. This is a hard concept especially for the Roman Church.

  • Why should there be a Federal investigation? If there is evidence of a crime, charge them, and haul them into court. You can’t just go digging, hoping you’ll find something. The Founders would be rolling in their graves.

  • Australia anti-Catholic? Ha!. Australia compels all taxpayers to support Catholic and other church-run schools.

  • “an out-of-control circus in a country renowned for its historical anti-Catholicism.”

    This is an unsupported assertion. In modern times Australia has had five Catholic prime ministers, hardly a sign of current anti-Catholicism. Henry VIII is not coming to Australia.

    Child abuse is abhorrent, as is an institutional response that has been scandalous and criminal. There is considerable evidence that the response to child abuse was a longstanding institutional failure. It is therefore reasonable to question the governance of the institutions and make recommendations to them.

    There is no evidence that South Australia is turning the confessional into a listening post or that the law will or can be enforced. The law in South is thus only a symbolic statement by the South Australian government of the priority it places on protecting innocent and vulnerable children. It is a priority the medical, police, teaching, and other professions and other churches can live with.

    Australians are an easy going people, not given to excess, but scandal after scandal, outrage after outrage, horror after horror, duly documented under oath, could not be ignored. Australians rightly felt a duty to protect their most vulnerable citizens from further abuse.

  • Not only is it not an unsupported assertion that it was a circus, I have provided multiple citations to the issues with the report.

    Anti-Catholicism in Australia really took off with the Irish immigration, which tied two of the favorite things Anglicans of the time liked to bash: Catholicism and the Irish.

    http://www.themediareport.com/2012/11/19/australia-2012-anti-catholicism/

    Stating that “In modern times Australia has had five Catholic prime ministers” is rather like an American stating that with the election of Barack Obama and the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court racism is clearly not a problem.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=37b78cf4-96b1-460d-a2eb-85b15c93f987&subId=516260

    “Child abuse is abhorrent ….”.

    No one has argued with that.

    That the “institutional response that has been scandalous and criminal” would have better been handled by law enforcement, which as I understand it is in full force and vigor the entirety of Australia.

    “There is no evidence that South Australia is turning the confessional into a listening post or that the law will or can be enforced.”

    The law speaks for itself. The fact it was passed is abhorrent and signifies the complete of respect for Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

  • I have been slowly providing proof.

    Yes, I believe anyone who reads English knows you strongly disagree.

  • Uh …. no.

    The First Amendment is in fully operation, and that’s what precludes something like the Australia Commission.

    Justice Scalia’s position was that when the Constitution is silent, the Supreme Court should be silent.

    For example, although a devout Catholic (his son is a priest), his position was that abortion involved no Federal issue. It was a matter for the states.

    Your article represents Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) as Scalia’s, but four other justices made up the majority.

    The decision merely reiterated Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878), that held that religious duty was not a defense to a criminal indictment. The subject in that case was a bigamy charge against a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of the latter-Day Saints.

    There is essentially no nexus between that and an Australian Commission style intrusion since the 1990 case reiterates the absolute prohibition against intrusion into religion itself.

  • There is no “Roman Church”.

    There is a Catholic Church, sometimes called the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish it from other Catholic churches such as the Old Catholic.

    The Australian Commission did not ensure that no religious group acts above civil law. It was not a judicial inquiry like a Grand Jury.

    Catholic Canon law provides for compliance with civil law except when, as with the seal of confession, it violates a fundamental divinely provided theological mandate.

  • Maybe there is a higher suicide rate because they are confused and gender-choice enablers in society push them to be something they are not.

  • No, nobody is under a god in this or any nation.

    And sexual relations are quite varied here in this nation. More than 95% of people have sex outside of marriage….So thankfully, Hell is imaginary…all that abomination sex — leads to bliss, not Hell.

  • If there was actual EVIDENCE of facilitating felonies, why couldn’t certain Sees be charged with anything? Sending it up to the Federal Level isn’t going to make these felonies magically appear. These records from the diocesan offices themselves have been sifted through, already. One example, that the Grand Jury gave of collusion was pitiful. A priest had been removed from ministry, convicted, and sent to a mental facility in another state. A person on the diocesan staff, apparently heeding the Lord’s dictum to visit those in prison, had written to him. This person, who I figure is probably dead (1/3 of the priests in the report are also dead), was not called upon to testify to the systematic cover-up that was reported. And about the school districts — PA Senator Toomey recently (much more recently than most of the abuse reported in the report) co-sponsored a bill with WV Senator Manchin which addresses such a problem. The particular case resulted in the death of a child:
    http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=news&id=1490

  • 1000’s of children, sexually abused by pedophile priests, MIGHT NOT agree with you that “abomination sex leads to bliss, not Hell”…sexual ABUSE is never bliss for the person being abused. You are a liar, deceived by the GREAT liar, Satan, who FALSELY teaches that there is no hell, no Satan, no God, and no heaven.

  • The Australian Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse examined sexual abuse in a variety of institutions, both religious and secular. It wasn’t just an inquiry into the Catholic Church. It was the most thorough investigation into this issue and its findings are worth noting both in Australia and elsewhere.

  • Apparently, you’re not adult enough to understand the difference between adult sexuality and sex abuse.

  • I do believe you are the confused one. Casting judgment on LGBT people is just another form of bullying.

  • You are most wrong in claiming that LGBT people support pedophilia. You’re not just a bigot, you’re a goddamned hateful bigot.

  • Your comments on just about anything are entirely without merit.

    You’re an anti-religionist anti-Catholic flamer.

  • Since I did not claim “that LGBT people support pedophilia”, not only are you in error, you can’t read simple English, along with being an anti-religion anti-Catholic flaming bigot.

    Anything else on your mind?

  • I just read an article written by the parents of gender confused kids who say that schools, therapists and (some) parents are incorrectly declaring kids to have gender identity confusion instead of other mental health or social issues.
    Maybe these kids harm themselves because they are being pushed in a direction they know they shouldn’t go.

  • “Gender identity confusion” is a mental health issue, typically one that is met with denial and bullying — as you are doing here.

  • What causes gender identity confusion is the stress brought on by denial and bullying, and pressure to be someone they are not. So no, we do not agree.

  • Yeah, I know; the teachers, therapists and social workers trying to change a kid into something there not. That what these parents were saying.

  • That’s BS. Kids are not recruited into gender change. Just like kids are not recruited to be gay. You’re ignorant and you’re biased. Kids can show gender differences as young as the age of three. Read something informative for once instead of the right-wing propaganda you’re accustomed to.

  • No, the reason you are an anti-Catholic is they propose spoiling your fun. It’s the same reason you hate the Southern Baptist Convention and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plus most evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims.

    Let’s not pretend to dignify it.

  • I urge readers to read the link I posted. If religious duty is not a defense in a criminal indictment, as you state, then not breaking the seal of the confession (a priestly religious duty) when a state law requires disclosure in sex abuse cases is likewise not a valid defense, and such a law would be constitutional under current precedent as long as the law is neutral and generally applicable, i.e. applied to all religions as well as to medical professionals and others with a duty to report abuse.

    Scalia’s opinion (he wrote it and provided the key vote) caused Congress to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but it is a law, not a constitutional amendment or a new precedent, and it doesn’t apply to states.

    Religious freedom was not successfully invoked to quash the Pennsylvania AG’s investigation, nor could it be successfully invoked to prohibit a Congressional investigation or other state investigations.

  • “Abuse in public schools is the hidden national shame.”

    Agreed, and a national investigation would be justified.

  • In 1985 the New South Wales State Labor Premier, Neville Wran, hosting an official dinner for the President of Ireland, joked that he presided over the world’s second most Catholic Cabinet.

    In Australia, the Catholic Church, along with other religious organizations, has a tax free status. All of its investment earnings are tax free: it does not pay rates for its property, it does not pay land tax, and there is no capital gains tax on the sale of assets. Yet it is not a corporation, which would thus provide clergy abuse victims with a legal entity that could be sued.

    These are not signs of general anti-Catholicism, a charge which you have not proven.

  • I urge all persons interested to read the patent, the testimonies, and the qualifications of the distinguished commissioners. This was not a rush to judgement. It took five years to assemble the data and case studies. This was not a circus. It was dead serious.

  • The Warren Commission, the Challenger Disaster Commission, the 9-11 Commission, etc. did not have the due process procedures that you are asking for, nor do Congressional hearings, nor does the current Royal Commission into banking and financial services.

    The procedures you want are for trials, see the conviction of Archbishop Wilson and a possible trial involving Cardinal Pell.

    I have seen absolutely no evidence that the Anglican Church was whitewashed. On the contrary, as I have posted, the commission uncovered and disclosed scandalous abuses by Anglican institutions and made numerous recommendations to the Anglicans, as well as to other churches, secular institutions, and to the government itself.

    The commissioners were distinguished, highly educated, and experienced, including two noted jurists, a senior police commissioner, a Rhodes scholar/businessman/state Senator, a lawyer widely experienced in public policy, and a professor/child psychiatrist. And your qualifications are?

  • Any shenanigans (or child abuse) perpetrated by SNAP Australia? It is hard to imagine more “egregious shenanigans than the rape of children followed by coverups.”

    Here is the link to SNAP Australia: http://www.snapaustralia.org/

    Here are some stories in the Australian press about their work:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/undeniable-the-people-behind-the-child-abuse-royal-commission/9222566

    https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5708963/vile-and-unjust-nsw-parliament-abolishes-catholic-abuse-defence/

  • Is this the Mark Connelly Show? Co-hosted by TiredCatholic? As far as I’m concerned, both of them are full of it; that’s why I blocked them.
    Shortened the comment section considerably.

  • Were the shenanigans perpetrated by a government-funded and sponsored entity, as the Australian Commission was, then they would be even more offensive.

    I am sure you’re very happy in your beliefs.

    I appreciate the SNAP website – from the first page of it I found this article:

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/sex-abuse-royal-commissioner-says-it-s-time-for-churches-to-account-for-their-cash-20181009-p508oj.html?fbclid=IwAR2bV98D1scjdPiQQg4HiiKaHzVje4OioswVEEH9quy5q-gNEaO3l_hkLps

    “All Australian churches should be made to open their books to account more thoroughly for their billions of dollars in assets and revenue, a member of the child abuse royal commission has said.”

    “Robert Fitzgerald AM, one of the six commissioners who oversaw the five-year royal commission, will call on Wednesday for the scrapping of special exemptions that have until now allowed half of church charities, including much of the Catholic and Anglican church networks, to avoid financial reporting to the charities watchdog, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.”

    So, 16 2/3% of the Royal Commission is an even-handed sort of chap with no axe to grind, and I am the Queen of Romania.

  • I comment on one of the commissioners in another post.

    He makes it clear he arrived at the Commission with an agenda, and proceeded to implement it.

    The Commissions you mention were – for the most part – political whitewash attempts.

    No one today takes the Warren Commission at face value.

    The 9-11 Commission swept under the rug the fact that American intelligence was aware an attack was immanent, to the extent that actual plans had been found, and that the FAA had refused to spend the money Congress appropriated to increase security for a number of years because it might negatively impact airlines’ profits.

    Nor did any of them delve into religion and the internal governance of churches.

    The history of the 20th century is rife with oppressive regimes fully staffed and supported by individuals who were distinguished, highly educated, and experienced, including jurists, senior police officials, scholars, businessmen, senators, lawyers, and physicians including psychiatrists.

    I am sure you are very pleased with the Australia Commission.

  • A quick review of the major oppressions of the Catholic Church in the 16th century indicates that all the perpetrators were, at least when they began, Catholic.

    Yes, I think anyone reading your posts believes you’re a big fan of the Australia Commission.

  • I believe your analysis is correct.

    Btw, so did the United States Congress.

    On November 16, 1993 it passed he Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488, codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), that “ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected.” The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (!) (D-NY) on March 11, 1993. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Ted Kennedy (D-MA) the same day. A unanimous U.S. House and a nearly unanimous U.S. Senate (there were three opposing votes) passed the bill, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

    Try piercing the veil of confession and see what happens.

    The Attorney General’s Grand Jury in Pennsylvania differed from the Australia Commission in that:

    – it was under his purview in State of Pennsylvania in investigating crime, grand juries being an everyday occurrence;

    – the Grand Jury could actually hand down indictments if the evidence supported them – and it did not;

    – the Grand Jury did not take it upon itself to recommend changes in theological or canonical affairs and arrangements in any religions.

    But I do understand you’re fascinated by and an admirer of the Australia Commission.

  • SNAP has done terribly difficult work. It’s unfortunate that such an organization is necessary. Mother Teresa said “we think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Actually, children who are actively abused by individuals and institutions who claim to be their protectors are the most abused of all.

  • SNAP has been involved in multiple lawsuits:

    “… the Court will direct that it has been established that the SNAP defendants conspired with one another and others to obtain plaintiff’s conviction on sexual abuse charges and that they entered into this conspiracy due to discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race and national origin. “

    url at https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/clergy_sex_abuse_why_a_national_all_faiths_inquiry_is_needed/#comment-4198152028

    which ultimately caused both its founders to resign.

    The situation today is quite different then it was when SNAP was founded and morphed into quite a different entity than it was when it began.

  • Ah, I am so refreshed after my day’s break. However, if you have unblocked me now, I am sure it will bring on some fatigue for me, if you dare to address the situation. It is usually the media’s job to block any criticism of SNAP. But thank goodness, Mark Connelly & sandinwindsor also had the gumption to stand up for the truth.

  • Thank you for so clearly contrasting this with the actions of the Grand Jury in PA. However, as you probably are aware, there were affects which I think were fully intended by PA AG Mr. Shapiro and the media who reported on it:

    1. The general public was shocked and called for new laws, thinking that Catholic Priests were somehow immune to the criminal laws governing this type of abuse.
    2. Politicians who were Catholic tried to distance themselves from the Church.
    3. The Church was roiled right before the elections, and leadership unable to address other issues of concern.
    BUT there were also affects which were not intended:
    1. Catholics were horrified, but then realized that the some were using this to further an anti-Catholic agenda.
    2. Some politicians realized the unconstitutionality of legislation pushed through, and stopped it, although they stopped short of allowing their own institution (the state) to be affected by the result.
    3. People named in the report, cited their right under the PA Constitution, to not have their reputations tarnished without due process, delaying the report from coming out in June of the election year.
    Thank you again for your information on the recommendations resulting from the Australian Commission. Do you think your Bishop is aware of this? If I were a Bishop and did not know it, I would be very glad to get this information. In any case, no doubt the Holy See is aware, and it is good that there will be meetings on this next year.

  • Yes, Mr. Shapiro is a very ambitious poltitican looking for stepping stones for his ambitions.

    The public is completely unaware the largest perpetrator of abuse is public schools, which for a variety of reasons are almost immune to attack.

    The media has made big bucks singing the priest abuse chant.

    Politicians who are Catholic having been distancing themselves from the Church since Al Smith lost in the ‘20s.

    Our bishop is relatively young. We have had zero cases of abuse that were not detected and promptly dealt with, zero lawsuits, and little effect in the parishes other than insistence that we get nothing but the best from our seminaries.

    Most folks seem to realize that out of twelve apostles, one was a traitor, and that until the Second Coming good must stand in vigilance against evil, even in the Church.

  • Good! I trust that your Bishop is not WSMcKnight of Jefferson City Missouri, who apparently posted the following tweet: “History proves that we bishops are not capable of policing ourselves adequately on the issue of clergy sexual abuse…” which was picked up by the alert Mr. Shapiro. I don’t have twitter, but do you suppose this Bishop just is twitter-happy? Maybe he wants to be made Archbishop of the New American Catholic Church? Hasn’t read about Australia, yet? Really thinks the laity can help with this?

    https://diojeffcity.org/bishop/making-connections/usccb-meeting-work-to-be-done/

  • A very sad story. Well, the Church goes on. I just had the opportunity to attend a confirmation, and it was a joy to see our young people talking to our Bishop. The Spirit will not be contained.

  • Indeed Mother Teresa is right. That is why the unborn child who is in danger of abortion is faced with an abuse that cries out to heaven.

  • i find nothing inherently unreasonable in scrapping these special exemptions, exemptions that are not available to other charities.

  • The Roman Catholic church and the Catholic or Universal Christian Church are two separate entities. Those loyal to the Pope of Roman are Roman Catholics. Those loyal to Christ are Catholic which includes many in the Orthodox , the Calvinist, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, Baptists and other churches with Christ as their head.

  • Yes especially in states or countries that require professionals to report sexual abuse. They are liable if their job is to protect the congregants or is it to protect a 1600 year old morally bankrupt institution?

  • Good for you.

    Here in the USA those exemptions are based on the First Amendment.

    In further research I find the Commissioner in the article is a long-time critic of the Catholic Church, although Catholic.

    Here in the USA he would be a member of a group like Call To Action.

  • The Church is not just an institution to gather congregants for a nicey-nicey service once a week. Nor do most priests and bishops spend their time on evil courses. It deals with sin. Our nation can no longer deal with true evil. It pushes away morality and tries to pin this travesty on Catholics alone. Therefore, it is good to reflect that Christ is truly King. As the song says, “Great God our King.”

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