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SEXUAL ABUSE BY CATHOLIC CHURCH

SEX PRIESTS AND SECRET CODES
  
Francis Beckett: "The fact, though Catholics refuse to face it, is that the Church had a culture of abuse like no other organisation" (2014)
 
Do not forget these points:
 
- The Church says she is not to blame when some clergy abuse children. This is the argument that bad individuals do not make a bad Church. The Church is to blame for it functions as a person - a corporation. The Church claims to be the body of Christ - it claims to be Jesus in some sense. It claims to be one person so its pretensions to innocence are insults to victims of its clergy. - It is inappropriate and unfeeling to say, "A few did it, so give the Church a break!"

- whether it is few or many does not matter: what matters is how unbelievably intolerable the crimes were. One evil act that is evil enough defines you no matter how much good you do otherwise.


The Church prefers people to worry about the clerical abusers more than the culture of secrecy that protected them - no bishop or priest blew the whistle.

The bigger problem is the cover-up and that means the Church has no business trying to make people reason, "Only a few priests did it. It is a good religion for things like that have to be expected."

-The Church has blamed the abuse on a few bad eggs - that is not an excuse when a religion claims to be God's only authorised hospital for sinners. A hospital that cannot handle never mind treat such a huge sin is not a hospital.

-The Church protects clerical abusers who tell her their sins and uses confidentiality as an excuse. But we know that we all have weaknesses - and any decent and feeling person will have a weakness for disclosing the sins that were whispered to them. In other words, a priest who, for the purpose of argument, shouldn't tell but does for he is so repulsed that he is impelled to is proving that he really cares. No priests have ever done it. Their lack of disgust sends an encouraging message to the abusers.

-The Church has blamed the abuse on a few bad eggs - in the past there was more than a few. Today, we can be sure that the abusing priests we know about are only some of the abusers. What about the rest?

-The UN refuted the Vatican's claim that it is not responsible as an employer or authority for what priests do unless they do it in Vatican territory and pointed out that the Church implied that it is responsible when it signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. So the Church needs to accept responsibility "not only in the territory of the Vatican City state but also as the supreme power of the Catholic Church through individuals and institutions placed under its authority". I would add that if an employer of a child abuser is responsible for letting that person abuse then an entity that claims the right to be obeyed as a moral authority has even more responsibility. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act determined incorrectly that the Vatican is not an employer of paedophile priests and so cannot be made to account for their actions. And the employer relationship is nothing compared to the spiritual and moral authority relationship.

-The Church claims to have cleaned up its act but has never turned over any priest or bishop to the police for child sex abuse.

- Nor have those priests and bishops responsible for covering up been sacked.

- The UN criticised the Church for keeping its archives secret with intent to protect the identities of sex abusing clerics.

- With such terrific support for the paedophile priest, who at worst gets weakly punished by canon law, the Church as a whole is enabling clerical sex abuse.

- The Church has not admitted to engaging in spiritual abuse against children. For example, to tell a child that masturbation is a sin that will be punished forever unless repented is bullying. As is the doctrine that it is a very bad sin to tell a lie or withhold a sin in confession or to fail to go at least once a year. It is even a sin for children to love their parents more than God!

- Remember Cardinal Pell's admission that priests are six times more likely to abuse a child sexually than average. 
 
The book, Sex, Priests and Secret Codes cannot be recommended enough. Though one of its authors, Thomas P Doyle, is a priest it thoroughly exposes the sexual corruption that is so much a part of modern Catholicism and has always been a part of Catholicism. Here is a synopsis of many of its salient points.
 
The bishops worked to cover up child sexual abuse by priests and this amounted to a conspiracy but not always a wilful one (Preface x). It says that though the Church never secretly gave out documents on the problem of solicitation, priests using the confessional to have sex with children and adults, this all changed in 1922 with a secret Vatican document that has been never been uncovered and also in 1962 with Pope John XXIII who approved a secret document on the subject (page 47). The sudden need for secrecy shows that the popes knew their documents were evil. The book says the Church never even published the 1962 decree in the legal bulletin of the Vatican Acta Apostolicae Sedis. Evidently the Church was extremely embarrassed by the document and knew what the world would have thought! It was sent to every bishop and religious superior in the world with the command to keep it only in the secret archives out of sight.
 
The book gives evidence from the letter of Bishop Francis Leipzig from Washington that the 1922 document decreed that if a priest or religious abused a child sexually only the Holy Office or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should deal with it (page 48). My comments are thus, why this congregation which had to do with doctrine not discipline?Clearly the Church believed this congregation should take care of it for its job was to keep giving the world a good impression of the Church even if it was false - the Church knew how scandal in the Church weakened and often took away the faith of believers. The purpose was not to serve justice but to keep up the appearances for the sake of the doctrine of the Church.
 
The Vatican knew it was evil to demand that the cases be dealt with a body in Rome. Yet it demanded it to prevent objectivity and to make sure the Church would be able to cover it up and distort the evidence. It is absurd as having a court in Australia dealing with a crime committed in Ireland. It isnít even fair. And secondly, the Vatican knew that the Congregation wasnít fit to deal with the complaints for it had no legal or psychological competence Ė its role being purely theological. The 1962 Church law demanded a secrecy in relation to abuse cases involving solicitation that never was known in the Church before and which didnít fit the 1917 canon law which demanded no more than secrecy when it was necessary to protect reputations and then within reason. Page 50 tells us that the evil 1962 document was upheld as valid and in force until May 2001 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I would add that the Congregation then was headed by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI and probably the future Pope St Benedict XVI. The Congregation issued Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela which stated this and was also sent to every bishop in the world. The Congregation keeps the information it has in secret archives that no outsider can get access to (page 54). No doubt this contributed to many victims failing to bring their abusers to justice successfully. Each diocese is ordered to keep its records of abuse under lock and key and only the bishop has access to them (page 54, page 135).
 
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles lied under oath that he knew of no priest between 1962 and 1985 who broke his vow of celibacy and when he was shown documents he had written to the police proving that he knew of clerical sex abuse in 2004 he pretended that he had forgotten about this (page 179). Page 191 tells us that the 1917 Code of Canon Law forbids taking the clergy to a civil court.
 
Saint Pius X declared in 1906 that the pastors have authority over the flock and the flock must allow themselves to obey and be led with docility by these men (page 240). Canon 119 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law say that the faithful owe reverence to the clergy and if they donít give it then it is a sin of sacrilege. The Council of Trent said in its Catechism that bishops and priests are greater than the angels and are gods for they have the powers of God and they surpass all earthy dignities (page 237). This glorification of the priest and bishop was very instrumental in getting the victims they abused to be silent. Who would dare accuse such gods? The victims were left blaming themselves.
 
In page 211 we read that in 1980 that a Catholic priest conducted a study of fifty homosexual priests and found that only 2 of them were not having sex at that time. 11 of the participants had 500 or more sexual partners. 9 of them had fewer than 10. And 49 of them said that they were not going to stop having gay sex. 40 to 50 per cent of priests are homosexual and the majority of them are having sex (page 211). About 70 to 90 per cent of the victims of child abusing priests are boys which shows that priests more than any other category tend to go for boys (page 211)..
 
Page 271 says that a high 7.6 per cent of the priests of the Boston Archdiocese were child sex abusers. Obviously the real figure has to be much greater for many paedophiles get away with their crimes. Now the figure is given as 10 per cent. My comment is that these figures do not include priests who abuse adults so the percentage of abusing priests is frighteningly high. 24 per cent of the priests of Tucson Arizona in 1986 were sexual abusers (page 271). 56 of 710 priests of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1991 were sexual abusers. Los Angeles admitted it had records of abuse relating to 244 priests between 1930 and 2003 (page 271). The real figure would have been very much higher. The records prove what a liar Cardinal Mahony is. Over half the parishes in the archdiocese of Los Angeles have a sex abuser priest involved with them. My comment is that when these figures are so high in America they are bound to be higher in cultures where the Church has far more power such as rural Ireland and Poland. It would be foolish to think that the Los Angeles problems are unique to Los Angeles. If that archdiocese is rotten then it should be typical for every archdiocese.
 
Only a few bishops have looked for forgiveness for covering up and ignoring complaints (page 273).
 
The pope is certainly the richest man in the world. Though he doesnít own Church property he has the right and authority to sell property anywhere in the world (page 253). The power to sell property is more important than actually owning it and we recall what Christ said about the rich. He said that they need a miracle from God to get into Heaven. He said that it is impossible for a rich man to be saved but with God it is possible. He was not thinking that God could save a rich man who holds on to his wealth! If he was then he could also say, "A whore cannot get into Heaven but God can make it possible!"
 
This is the oath Cardinals have to take. ďI cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to remain from this moment and as long as I live Ö never to reveal to anyone whatsoever has been confided to me to keep secret and the revelation of which could cause damage or dishonour to the Holy ChurchĒ (page 205). So Pope John Paul II and the dreadful Pope Benedict XVI took this oath to cover up child sex abuse by priests and bishops and religious when they became cardinals. It is no wonder that in 2002, a judge who was a member of the Holy Roman Rota, the top court in the Church, wrote that bishops should not report the abuse of minors and so on by priests to the civil authorities and it is stated that the Vatican approved of this stance (page 205).
 
The statement on page 198 says it all. It tells us that despite there being complaints and evidence that many priests were abusing minors these same priests ended up being promoted in the Church (page 198-199). Evidently they were being rewarded. The book gives some accounts of sexual abuse being known and the Church pleading with the family of the victim and even the military not to prosecute the priests who were guilty of these crimes (page 195).
 
The Church enables the culture of clerical abuse by making impressionable and young people feel horrible about sexual activities and even tells them they are such sinners that they deserve to suffer forever in Hell. Naturally the abuse victim is going to feel it is her or his fault when the paedophile priest comes along. Abuse victims tend to blame themselves and believe the abuser when he tells them they should. Religion and Hell only make this problem worse. They make people too hard on their sexual sin or what they mistake for sexual sin.
 
The book shows us that the Roman Catholic leadership is virtually a paedophile ring composed of paedophiles and their collaborators. The book explores how when complaints arose about priests and bishops in relation to the sexual abuse of minors the accused were moved around and allowed access to children and how everything was covered up to the extent that even files and records of the complaints were destroyed. The Church leaders were actually worse than the perpetrators of the abuse for they abetted them and gave them new opportunities and supported them all the way.
 
A child will not understand stuff about Godís mysterious ways. There is no doubt that when a child believes that God let some man abuse or rape it that the child believes that God wanted this. The child will feel too guilty and worthless to do anything to stop the abuse. There are scores of thousands of cases where children have believed that the men raping and sexually assaulting them were doing the will of God. That the children believe this so easily shows that belief in God is propagated not out of concern but to please society and some eccentrics in dog collars and to fit in with the sectarian neighbours.
 
An atheist child abuser canít tell a child that God will get the child if he or she tells. A religious one can. It is better for the whole of religion to collapse than for anything to exist that can be used to encourage the abuse of a child.  
 
 
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CATHOLICS ARE ASKING, Tony Coffey, Harvest House Publishers, Oregon ,2006 
Breaking the Silence, One Garda's Quest to Find the Truth, Martin Ridge, Gill & Macmillan, Dublin, 2008 order from Gill & Macmillan, Hume Avenue, Park West, Dublin 12
PAPAL SIN, STRUCTURES OF DECEIT, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000
Putting Away Childish Things, Uta Ranke-Heinmann, HarperSanFrancisco, 1992
The Womb and the Tomb, Hugh Montifiore, Fount Ė HarperCollins, London, 1992
Sex, Priests and Secret Codes, Thomas P Doyle, A W R Sipe and Patrick J Wall, Volt Press, Los Angeles, California, 2006
Son of Joseph, The Parentage of Jesus, Geoffrey Parrinder, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1992
God Is Not Great, The Case Against Religion, Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, London, 2007