preacherman? Why did you do it?: preacherman?

By patrick on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 12:55 pm:

    So Spider....

    i've been with holding my inquisition about the recent events brought to light on the Catholic church, en masse it seems? (get Sunday's mass!!in MASSachusetts??!?! oh i kill me)

    Moreover, whats starting to get my blood boiling is that Cardinal Mahoney here in LA, someone of great clout in the church, apparently, is not turning over the names of confessed molester/priests to the police causing a big stink and frankly a huge injustice to those victimized.

    Being the most devoted Catholic i know, I ask you, what do you think of all of this?

    Has this tested your faith at all? I suspect not, but Id love to know what you think about it all.

By Spider on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 01:34 pm:

    Oh, man.

    I think it's appalling. I think the fact that priests who were known to molest children were dealt with by just sending them to another parish is mind-boggling. That is so evil I can't even think about it. Or when you hear about kids who had been molested by priests going to other priests for help and getting molested by them -- absolutely horrifying.

    I've heard people say very ugly things about the Church in general, because of this -- that it's a child sex cult and all Catholics are responsible for what has gone on. That's wrong.

    I don't know what else to say about it. I have no idea what can be done. I think men have been becoming priests as a way to escape their problems or to find a socially acceptable way to keep their problems secret. I would like to think that at least some of the men accused had become priests hoping that their vows would prevent them from hurting people -- I would really hope that no one has become a priest *in order* to hurt kids. Not only is that terrible just in itself, but also in the sacrilege. (Meaning, if a man became a priest for those reasons, he's guilty of sacrilege on top of all the other evil.)

    I think somehow the screening and training to become a priest should be more rigorous. I don't know how this could be implemented.

    This hasn't shaken my spiritual faith in God or Jesus at all, but it has shaken my human faith in the clergy.

    I went to a Good Friday service, and at the end I found myself wanting to look around at the congregation and all the priests and deacons around the altar (I went to the National Shrine in DC, so there were 20-30 priests up there), and think about how much love we all had for God and how good that is, but I couldn't do it. I wasn't sure of that. That made me feel bad, but I couldn't help it.

    There are so many good priests. I'm very close to two old priests from Italy, who lived in Rome during WWII, who hid Jews in their rectory during the war, who live exemplary lives. One I would call a living saint. It makes me choke up when I think about him, because he's so beautiful. I have no doubt in his goodness. I hope to God that people aren't questioning the goodness of him and men like him because of this.

    This goes for you, too. Please - not every priest is guilty of this. There are many good priests.

    During the Good Friday service, there is a moment when the veiled crucifix is unveiled and people (in our case, just the priests and deacons because of the size of the congregation) are invited to kiss the crucifix. I saw that most kissed the feet, but two kissed the knees. This puzzled me for a few moments, and then I remembered that it's traditionally "known" that when Jesus fell on his knees while he carried the cross to Calvary, he was making reparation for the sins of the clergy.

    It's frightening to me, too, that there are many people who think that all of this should still be kept private. I visited my parish's rectory a few days ago to take care of some business and the secretary, an old woman, started talking about this. She said she thought that "even if this is all true, why can't people keep it to themselves?" I didn't know what to say. I was stunned that someone could think like that. That's an evil, too.

    I've heard people say that one recourse would be to stop giving tithes until each parish or diocese makes public their records about local accusations. I don't know about that, though, because to my knowledge, a lot of the money from tithing goes to pay for the electricity in the church and other very pragmatic concerns. I don't know what good it would do to let those funds dry up.

    I don't know what to do about this. I've been praying.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 02:05 pm:

    there was a letter to the editors in yesterday's Times.

    A guy was asking if it wasnt time to rethink the crusty age old way of doing things in the Catholic church and start including women in leadership roles. As to how that could bring to an end what has transpired, Im not sure, but its a valid question.

    I don't doubt there are good priests, and I don't doubt there are bad ministers and preachermen from other religious sects either.

    it does make you wonder though, it there is any connection between the vow of celibacy and this?

    I saw one editorial letter that basically asked "why is there talk of pedophilia? Its not a matter of pedophilia as much as it is homosexuality". At first I was like, ohhhh shit, here we go. But then he said something, that I, while having no concrete evidence, have heard this before, that a majority of the victims are boys. Why is this? Still doesnt support his claim that its a homosexual matter, because homosexuality doesnt cause one to diddle little boys however, why are the victims mostly boys?

    so many questions.

    I believe all priests who know of others who have committed this crime should come forward and face the music. it will be painful and awful for so many who did not committ the crime, but perhaps this could be one of this defining moments where the Catholic church is at a T intersection, and can make a left or a right, one way being for the better in the long run.

By eri on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 02:52 pm:

    I have heard of this whole thing long before now. Thought it was common knowledge until I saw it on the news recently. I have always had a lot a questions on this topic also. I have always wondered if pedophelia had something to do with the vows of celibacy. I do think that those who did commit those crimes should be known. I don't think keeping it a secret will help anything or anyone. Heaven knows that these kids deserve some kind of justice. I am also afraid that it will turn into another "Salem witch trial". There are some priests who are committed and don't deserve to be blamed for something they didn't do. There are also some priests who need to be committed.
    It is horrible.

By Spider on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:01 pm:

    Celibacy does not cause pedophilia. Ask any man who -- because of injury or other circumstance -- has been celibate for a year or years.

    Those men were pedophiles before they entered the seminary.

    Pedophilia and homosexuality are not related. I can give you cites for such a statement, but that will have to wait till after work.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:17 pm:

    there is no need spider, i agree on all points, especially homosexuality and pedophilia. Most pedophiles identify as straight.

    My question is this....why the predominance of sexual abuse in the Catholic church?

    Is this just a myth? Sure, there's no *known* link between celibacy and sexual abuse.

    Your implying that perhaps they had problems before hand, leading them, one way or another to the Catholic church.

    If thats the case, what is so appealing of the Catholic church that perhaps appeases those with pedophilia problems to begin with?

By dave. on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:26 pm:

    "I've heard people say that one recourse would be to stop giving tithes until each parish or diocese makes public their records about local accusations."

    the church is using this money to fight litigation against these charges. that would bother me, knowing my tithe was going towards covering up all this mess and fighting settlements for the victims. is the church acting on behalf of it's members in this case?

    i suppose it's not much different from tax dollars paying for goverment cover ups.

    how do people feel anything but despair in these times?

By Spider on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:31 pm:

    The same reason that makes it (or made it) so appealing to men who are gay -- if they don't want to publicly come out, here is a good profession for them to go into, where they won't be expected to get married, and where they can keep their sexual orientation private.

By Spider on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:33 pm:

    Dave -- you know how hard it is not to despair.

    I rarely give tithes anyway. Since I don't really have a parish that I feel responsible to, I only give to collections that are for a stated charity or purpose. I'm cheap that way.

By dave. on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:40 pm:

    i mis-spelled its. whoa is me.

By patrick on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 03:44 pm:

    ", here is a good profession for them to go into, where they won't be expected to get married, and where they can keep their sexual orientation private."

    sure. logical enough. but then why the predominance of CHILD abuse cases. Why are the CHILDREN being molested at a mad-scary rate as opposed to adults? Is it fear that adults will do the adult thing and tell?

    If so, there is a connection between the self-imposed celibacy, homosexuality and the pedophilia that results.

By Spider on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 04:09 pm:

    There must be also plenty of cases where priests had affairs with grown women. Did you ever see "The Thorn Birds"? But those cases aren't in the media spotlight because that's not illegal.

    Priests are around kids a lot. They're trusted figures. They often teach high school. (Actually, too, I just read somewhere that most or many young people who were molested were over the age of 13.) People see them behaving in a reserved way around women, so they assume that they've mastered their sexual feelings, so they feel safe around them.

    You've got the direction of causality mixed up, Patrick. Being a priest doesn't make you a pedophile. But you might become a priest if you're already a pedophile.

    Also, like I said, I would imagine that there are men who feel pedophiliac tendencies and are horrified at themselves. They might think that becoming a priest will give them the spiritual strength to master their urges and will put them in a place where they feel compelled to resist those urges.

    My brother went to a Catholic high school and had a young priest as a religion teacher. My brother is an atheist, and this man got him to enjoy religion class because he was such a good teacher and person. Fr. Kevin has had dinner at our house a few times, and on one occasion we got on the topic of marriage. He told us that after he was ordained, he met a young woman that he found himself quite attracted to, but he took the vow that he made to God very seriously and wasn't tempted to break it.

    Celibacy is a hard vow to make, but it can be kept successfully, and it **does not** turn you into a pedophile.

    Look at guys in prison. They may have homosexual sex, but does that make them gay? Does that make them prefer men over women, if they were straight when they went in? Does marriage to a woman make a gay man straight? Sexual preference doesn't work like that.

    And, people molest children for a variety of motivations. Forensic psychology divides perpetrators of child molestation into four categories, only one of which involves an inherent preference for children over adults.

By Nate on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 05:27 pm:

    priests are human.

    if you look at the good that catholic priests have done over the past 100 years it far outweighs the boydiddling of a few priests.

By eri on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 05:55 pm:

    I knew of Catholic priests that were sincere in their faith. Same with Nuns. I have also been extremely afraid of some of them. It is more than just a few who have committed these acts. These are atrocious acts not to be taken lightly. It isn't something that can be belittled. There are a lot of priests who are pedophiles. The church was aware of it and simply transferred them to different parishes and paid off the families. I knew about this when I was a kid. This isn't news to me. It kind of makes me wonder about the heirarchy of the church because by just transferring them somewhere else they put these men in positions to do it again, and knew that. In a way it was like they were condoning this behavior. It sickens me. And the priests have been doing this for the past 100 years. This is nothing new.

    That is one point. The other is that there are good Catholics out there. There are priests who are there because of their "calling" and they are wonderful people. Some priests and churches have done wonderful things, but on the flip side their work is made a mockery by those who use the church to hurt others.

    Something needs to be done, but I don't know what yet. I just haven't come up with an answer that will protect those who haven't done wrong while punishing those who did.

    I do have serious doubts about the celibacy issue. Like you said. In prison men have sex with men, because that is what is available, what they have access too. Catholic priests have ready access to young impressionable altar boys, and other men, but mostly children. Doesn't that in itself show that if a priest takes a vow of celibacy and then can't deal with it as he should (we are all human) that his inclinations would be to go to where he has easiest access in the form of molesting children?

    I don't think celibacy should be mandatory to be a priest or a nun. I think that they should be held to the same standards as they expect us to be. Meaning, no sex before marriage, and things like that. Celibacy is a commitment you have to make over and over every day and should be a choice, and a choice that can be changed as it is for each of us. We are all human.

By Fetidbeaver on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 07:55 pm:

    Parish Rectory? must be the place where they take little boys for rectal sex.

    we had a priest arrested recently for manufacturing and distributing ectasy.

    *sniff* i feel so proud

By Czarina on Tuesday, April 2, 2002 - 11:40 pm:

    I disagree with Nate. Nothing undoes boydiddling.

    The Catholic church has been aware of this problem for years.They just keep covering it up,and moving the priests around.

    They should ALL be hung by their rank testicles.The cover-er-uppers are as guilty as the diddlers.

    Celibacy is not the norm.Coupleing is.

    I have always been VERY suspicious of this lot.I keep my eye on them,and always have.Celibacy is a very odd choice.

    There undoubtedly are are a few sincere/diddlefree priests around,but they are far outshadowed by the heinous diddlers.

By patrick on Thursday, April 4, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

    here's flaming opinion of LA's Cardinal Mahony, "the premier Roman Catholic cardinal in the United States", and his reluctance to give LAPD the names of admitted pedophiles.

By Nate on Thursday, April 4, 2002 - 10:01 pm:

    men who are not priests diddle boys and their wives protect them. wives are evil.

    the catholic church isn't a big, well organized molestation fighting machine. it's a bunch of fairly autonomous collectives.

    at least on the diddling front. at least it was.

    i'm much more concerned with the effect of the philosophy of the christian right on their children.

By agatha on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 02:13 pm:

By J on Monday, February 16, 2004 - 03:20 pm:

    And I thought that the Good Shepard home for girls was bad,at least I wasn't molested or beat.That is so wrong.

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