96% of Children Who Report Sex Abuse Are Telling Truth

“What people need to know is that, according to the literature on the subject, if a child discloses abuse, about 96 percent of the time some sort of abuse did occur. That’s the figure—around 96 percent.” – Michael Stinson, director of prevention services at the Joseph J. Peters Institute, a non-profit mental health agency focused on sexual abuse.

Click here to read the rest of the article: “96 Percent of Children Who Report Sex Abuse Are Telling the Truth: Sorting myth from fact in a world with pedophiles” by Steve Volk, The Philly Post, Dec. 22, 2011.

83 thoughts on “96% of Children Who Report Sex Abuse Are Telling Truth

  1. I just read this on the Abuse Tracker, sent an e-mail to the author thanking him. The description about the groomng is exactly what happened to me. I do believe this article is one of the best I have read and will help to educate even those people who are still blind to the truth.

  2. I agree Kay, a very good article and the Joseph Peters Institute has a very good reputation in the Philadelphia area.

  3. I wish the story would have addressed a similar question – what percentage of adults who report being abused as children are found to be credible?

    1. I wish the story would have addressed the percentage of “credible” adults who deny the monumental and global issue of child sexual abuse.

      1. Thanks, haditCatholic, for you response. Actually, yours was not the response I considered negative; still, it is good to have a conversation v. a confrontation! May your new year be blessed!

    2. In CA with a one year SOL window and over 1000 abuse claims, three were false.

      Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.
      March 2007 – Revised July 2008 

    3. In CA with a one year SOL window opened over 1000 adult claims were filed : three were false

      Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.
      March 2007 – Revised July 2008 

      1. Patrick, lmulligan has provided great insight to us in the past, I hope you remember what has been shared and pointed out by mulligan’s unique position.

    4. I thank Joan for the informative response. By contrast, the negative responses to what I thought was a neutral but relevant inquiry are interesting. One’s “either/or” suggestion I am considering as my New Year’s resolution (at least the first part).

      1. lmulligan, I understood exactly what you meant with your inquiry about percentage of adults being believed . I value your past comments and insights. I think sometimes the problems with blogs is the same with email,people read something in the tone they want,not the tone it is written.The percentage of adults being believed to be credible is a legitimate question and I would wonder the same myself, since most abuse victims come forward as adults.One only has to read the comment sections of the local Philly papers to realize that adult victims disclosing abuse,are attacked on a daily basis

      2. Very sorry, lmulligan, for my impulsive, negative response. I read you wrongly. I value your insights, here.

  4. It is so important that these findings are highly publicized because too much emphasis in the Church has been put on the “poor falsely accused priests” when the reality is that, although some may be falsely accused, the great majority are rightfully accused. The hierarchy know this, otherwise they wouldn’t have covered up and moved them around. This transfers to any group who tries to focus more on taking care of the accused when the evidence is strongly against them. I think the tide in society is finally changing so that the empathy is focused in the right place….on the victims. I haven’t seen this change yet in the Church hierarchy, though.

    1. Hi Jackie,I was trying to find the link to send so you could read a Victorian paper article, ‘Students groomed by clergy’, by a former Catholic school teacher, but it’s been removed, I only have the cutting. In searching for that, I came across another, a Herald Sun story which is still on line, Abuse hush money. Archbishop Pell, is now Cardinal Pell.
      It’s an uphill battle.

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice if 96% of catholic bishops and cardinals told the truth about clergy sex abuse and assault.

    Mike Ference

      1. Hi Kay,

        It’s all about connecting the dots. My next project is researching and then analyzing the data as it relates to individuals committing suicide who have been sexually assaulted by priests and then determining how many of these priests presided over their funeral mass.

        I wrote about this subject several months ago. But as more and more victims come forward in western PA, this scenario is starting to stick out like a sore thumb. It also sends a chilling message when a victim commits suicide and his or her perp officiates at the funeral mass. This article raises lots of questions and makes us all think. I’ll keep you posted.

        Mike Ference

        1. Mike’s comment, & the study he will produce, should be required reading for all members of the USCCB, &, indeed, all who seek membership in the People of G-d. WWJD?

    1. I have come to collectively despise RC bishops, all the way up to the Bishops of Rome (past & present.) I do not trust them, and believe that the best action one can take to live a spiritually healthy life is to avoid them.

      BUT, to be fair, there must be decent bishops somewhere! Can anyone name some of them, and describe why a RC would view that bishop as being a sound spiritual guide?

      1. I am afraid I am at a loss to name any active bishops….although there must be a few….John the 23rd was good….

        My husbands comment resonates with your perspective and runs something like this …..Joan why do you sweat it about the bishops/hierarchy…no one pays any attention to them anyway.

        Easy for him to say, at 76, but if a local bishop was moving predator priests around, that could hurt his kids or arbitrarily closing schools that affected us, I don’t think he would be quite so sanguine.

    1. Charles -you are local right? I think the announcement on all the school closings next Friday Jan 6th, is really going to take people by surprise -an implosion of sorts is how I have heard it termed.

    2. The last sentence in Charles’ article says Chaput is interested in creating a “simple… frugal… and zealous…” archdiocese.

      “Simple” and “frugal” are intended to remedy the fiscal poor health of the archdiocese. On a hit-list are schools, parish churches, the archbishop’s residence, etc. Painful but necessary changes, presumably. This kind of pain can really preoccupy the minds and emotions of the faithful.

      “Zealous” is more complex in that it has to do with the faith, not the Church. “Zealous,” in the article, is associated with the particular kind of faith professed by Chaput. Catholics in Philly, who care about their faith, must explore the ideology of his faith, the various legions and groups that profess his faith, the last two popes’ aggressive agenda to disseminate his faith, his faith’s faith-position on Vatican II, his faith’s formidable prelates in the U.S. and around the world, and their influence and money.

      Catholics in Philly must not become so invested in the painful closing of schools and parish churches that they revert to being sheep in terms of their faith. The faith Chaput is on fire about has rocketed him up the hierarchical ladder, and has put him in extraordinary favor with the Vatican. In his faith, he is a Golden Boy.

      I’m praying that the faithful in Philly will inform themselves.

      1. Very provocative comment – one all who claim interested in the project Jesus started w/ His death & resurection should consider, including the good archbishop! That means investing some time in the different perspectives which have developed since Jesus left us, recognizing that those perspectives can sometimes differ, as they did w/ Peter & Paul (check the Christian scriptures). From my perspective, having studied church history, the perspective of the followers of Peter have prevailed to a greater extent than Jesus would have supported, over those of Paul (even though he was not one of the original apostles.

    3. Charles it should have been sold along time ago. I went to St. Joseph’s University which is right next door to the mansion and I wondered many times why one person needed to live in such a big house on so much property. In the years I spent walking past there I never saw him once. The place always looked deserted. I am very glad that Chaput is selling it but the question is where is the money going after it is sold????? Lawyers???????

  6. The Catholic church knew all this long before anyone else did.

    They knew about reports in the 40s or 50s or 60s or 70s when victims all thought they were the only one, and the Catholic church knew they were one of thousands or tens of thousands.

    They also knew long before anyone else that the louder you yell when a victim comes forward, the fewer other victims would come forward. The Catholic church knew before anyone else that these victims were some of the most sensitive people on earth, and that in a crowd of a hundred cheers, they could hear the few boo’s. That’s why the Catholic church needs quiet members of the congregation, and a few loud people that can boo.

    The Catholic church knows that if the statute of limitations passes, and the members of the congregation start valuing their eternal life more than the size of their church buildings, the members of the congregation might start to cheer so loud for victims to come forward that they’d drown out the ones that boo.

    The Catholic church loves money and power, and will lose both when the world figures out how much they knew about the horror of child sex and how hard they hid the fact that they are the world’s largest producer.

    1. On reflection, we have put so much of our focus on the “church” as a whole, yet the religious orders have somehow been bundled up with them. They have their own processes in Australia any way and are definately no better. A top Melbourne church litigator who was forced to represent a case, when the Francsican Order called their bluff, he wrote to the auxillary bishop, now a member of the Bishops Conference, afraid he was going to be reported to the Law Institute, never mind about his client who was paying his legal fees.
      That particular bishop by the way, runs the infamous diocese, where so many abuse victims took their lives, [26 and counting] stating the inquiry being called for wasn’t necessary.
      The Franciscan order exempt from episcopal governance for many centuries, Bishop Peter Connors 14 June 1996, therefore answerable to no one, especially when even legal council are afraid of them.

  7. Well, I didn’t expect to be back here on C4C after leaving as I did; with most declaring I was offensive to Catholics in my departing post. But, like others before me, I decided to return. (One contributer I know of left here at least 3 times within a month or so.LOL)

    This introductory post is to test whether or not I will be able to post at all.

  8. drwho13 posted:gerald – I missed that; what was your offense?
    I will answer that while I am waiting for my last post to pass “moderation.”
    It is rather “lengthy” and I should have broken it in two pieces I guess.
    The answer is that I contended here that one cannot separate their “Catholic faith”
    off from the institution of the Roman Catholic Church. If one claims to be a Roman Catholic, then one’s faith is intrinsically “Catholic.” It is certainly not “Protestant” or “Bible believing” or
    Jewish etc. etc. it is Roman Catholic.That contention was not shared bycommenter’sntors here.
    It is all in the archives; the posts are still here.

  9. A P.S.: I note that if one clicks on my name above my posts you will be hyperlinked to
    my web site. The “SEARCH BOX” there should be of help to many since it goes back through
    over ten years of research on Catholicism and also contains a multitude of links to other valuable sources. Take a look!

  10. Gerald I think you upset people because you slammed some group on your way out the door and if memory serves correct,it wasn’t Catholics. Also we are monitoring the comments as things have gotten out of hand.You have posted links to your site many times and all who follow this site certainly would have visited or joined by now if they were interested.

    1. Your’s is a factual statement Kathy, as always I might add. I had temporarily forgotten the addition of the declaration that the opposition to Rome by myself and my site didn’t include sympathy for the “Gay movement” as seen in some “reform” elements.

      As to my post that is being moderated, I would hope that it would see the light of day so that the C4C bloggers can make their own judgments on what it contains. (Particularly the putting Fr. Tom Doyle’s views in the context of my own claims.)

    2. Gerald whenever a post is extremely lengthy or includes more than 2 links it automatically gets held for moderation -that is the system itself,not Susan or I pulling the post. Our concern at C4C is about the sexual abuse of children. We do not speak on women’s ordination,gay rights,married priests ….none of that is involved in our cause. Many people both orthodox and progressive within the Church have realized no matter what their personal politics,the safety of children is the first priority.

      1. I’m sure you would include their rights also, according to the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child.
        Shamefully, it was the International Humanist and Ethical Union who brought The Holy See, before the United Nations in September 2009. Their statement is still there to read.

    1. To be honest, I’m waiting to see how long it will take the Australian Attorney General, to investigate clergy members of a Recognised Denomination, escaping civil courts, found guilty through the dicy Melbourne Archdiocese Process, and still performing marriages as “fit and proper persons”. In Australia, the Catholic priest, acts not only for the church, but as a registered marriage for the state.
      The Baptist Churches of South Australia, make it quite clear in their protocols, that they monitor their minister’s making sure
      this is maintained.

      1. My comment should have read: In Australia, the Catholic priest acts not only as a minister of the church, but also as a registered marriage celebrant for the state.
        Just to make it clear.

  11. Am developing my link skills..I think… and just posted today’s Milwaukee Sentinel article (in it’s entirety) on the Philly Priests website, it’s a further discussion of the Father Connell /Peter Isely survivor priest story.

    According to Catholic News Service, Fr Connell paid for the ad out of his personal funds!


    Happy new year!

    1. Thanks Joan that’s great you posted it there. I know a few priests that are reaching out to people in their parishes but I think it is important that they make a public statement that things have got to change and children need to be protected better.

      1. Beth, it was YOUR suggestion to post the previous article that caused me to post this one. (after I figured out how).

        So the thanks go to you!

  12. Hi Kathy.

    While I understand that this site concentrates it’s efforts on discussion of the sexual abuse of children by the clergy, I think it’s also important to look at the tone and direction of the Church as a whole.

    Reading about and understanding that the Vatican is stacking the deck with ultra conservative bishops and that those bishops are ratcheting up the rhetoric (think: Dolan, Chaput, George(ugh)) is time well sent. Please realize that the bishops are using gay marriage, abortion, healthcare and this nonsense that the Church is being persecuted in America as a diversion; anything to change the conversation away from abuse.

    Just as the fight to expose the rape of children by priests (and the related efforts to change the SOL) got a boost from the attention given to the Penn State crimes (crimes against children but not by priests), so, too, the fight gets a boost every time someone hears the Message of the bishops and the tone in which it is delivered.

    Just a thought.

    1. Charles,

      What you write about regarding the diversion methods of the Bishops is exactly what Sr. Maureen wrote about in a post submitted just a few days ago. In it, she included the liturgical changes and the inquiry into religious sisters as other forms of diversion. She posted it, I believe, because she sees the big picture (the ultra conservative predilection and modus operandi of Bishops and the Vatican) greatly influencing the smaller one (the issue of sexual abuse, its victims, SOL, etc.). To ignore the big picture, while attempting to solve the smaller one, would be remiss.

      (In referring to the issue of sexual abuse, its victims, SOL, etc. as aspects of the smaller picture, I in no way mean to minimize these concerns. Indeed, they are my main concerns. But, I jeopardize attempts to affect them when I reflect on them in a vacuum.)

      1. Had it, and Charles too, I don’t think there is any question that Rome is sending very conservative, even Opus Dei bishops our way and their agenda is very much as you both describe it. But, somehow the child abuse issues don’t seem like a lesser concern, but rather the canary in the coal mine.

        Concerns for the protection of innocent children from clerical abuse strike me as profoundly fundamental, and institutions that have violated that responsibility have a designated location at the bottom of the sea encumbered by a millstone.

        When the International Community, whether it is Amnesty International, (who also did a devastating report on the Church in Ireland, In Plain Sight, as well as citing the Vatican for human rights violations relative to protection of children,) or The
        International Humanist and Ethical Union who cited the Holy See before the UN, in 2009, or the recent application to the Hague on similar issues….or Irelands Prime Minister who publicly castigated the Vatican …Somehow I think that child protection is a primary national and international issue.

        These international organizations are not going after the Church for rubrics changes, visitations of nuns, positions on healthcare et al.

        So, I think Kathy and Susan have it about right “the safety of children is a first priority.” In my view, the safety of all children, everywhere!

      2. Joan – “…the canary in the coal mine” is a good analogy. If the Church can’t get the child abuse issue right, and they can not, how can they credibility claim teaching authority regarding any moral issue?

        Charles points out that “…the bishops are using gay marriage, abortion, healthcare and this nonsense that the Church is being persecuted in America as a diversion…”

        “hadit” cautions us regarding the dangers of considering any of these moral issues in a vacuum.

        I believe that each of your points are valid, do not contradict each other, and if not used in a vacuum, complement each other. Furthermore, these points will be most devastating to the immoral leadership of the AD when used in conjunction.

        Catholic prelates have no valid teaching authority (other that that which they give to themselves) regarding the moral issues Charles cites, if they are unable to deal with the immorality of child sodomy, that Joan believes is the primary concern.

      3. The international organizations are not Catholic, therefore, they are not going after the Church for change.

        Kathy and Susan are not Kathy and Susan. They are Catholic Kathy and Susan. Their site is called Catholics4Change.

      4. No argument with Hadit, Charles or drwho13…except that the ICC proceedings were a joint SNAP and accommodating law firm effort and the Irish Prime Minister, a practicing catholic lambasted the Vatican publicly for it’s abusive behavior in Ireland…certainly a catholic flavor in these International critiques.

        But the canary in the sexual molestation coal mine for me, is the structural operations of the Church.

        Today, I down loaded both the ‘Dallas Charter’ and the canon law review of the “Essential Norms’ for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sex Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.” http://www.clsa.org/resource/resmgr/docs/sexualabuseguide.pdf

        I did this because I wanted to try and understand what was really going on in the US dioceses and what standard, dioceses were using to establish ‘credible’ accusations relative to clergy molestation. An issue that is quite relevant in the AD, at this time with somewhere around 26 suspended priests.

        In the Charter, Canon law 1717, calls for a ‘semblance of truth’ standard that Fr. Connell equated with normal US law. This seemed reasonable.

        Then I read the Canon Law review, cited above and found on pages 14, and 25, and a footnote on page 21 that the bishops are held by Rome to go beyond Canon law 1717 to Canon law 1608 et al and utilize a ‘moral certitude’ standard regarding ‘credible’ accusations to initiate internal Church process. This ‘moral certitude’ standard is incredibly high, apparently with no US law equivalent. Very very difficult to establish such certitude. And it is these ‘norms’ that the Vatican apparently uses to hold bishops accountable.

        So, what’s the point? I am not sure. But it suggests that accusations of priests who have been ‘credibly’ assessed by the
        Charter Canon law 1717, might well not be so assessed by bishops then utilizing the Essential Norms, Canon law 1608 ‘moral certitude’ standard and thus not held accountable, and perhaps passed on or back to another parish.

        I would welcome some canon law input on this one!

  13. Yes they did Joan, what took them so long.
    It was also after distinguished human rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson QC made his public denouncement on Vatican accountability for human rights abuse.
    The book most probably on a shelf near you, otherwise I guess you can read excerpts from it online.

    1. Joan – From my point of view US Criminal and Civil law has precedence over Canon law in every case. It’s problematic when an institution (RCC) develops the law, and also arbitrarily interprets the law it developed.

      I believe Canon law to be arbitrary, because the Church by claiming Divine Authority, can do anything She wants with the law She developed, i.e., add to it, subtract from it, or ignore it. The fact that She claims to possess ‘Divine Authority’ halts all further discussion. How can one argue with God? Thus, the Church can and will do anything She pleases unless constrained, and here in the United States our law provides that constraint. That takes care of the problem arising from the ‘moral certitude’ standard of Canon 1608.

      For the above reason I come down on the side of SNAP. Never report child sexual abuse to Church officials; always go to the police.

      1. Drwho13, SNAP and other victim support groups are adamant about bypassing the Church and going straight to the police or Child Protective services et al, for just the reasons you mention.

        But what worries me are the situations throughout the country where, as in the AD, decisions about ‘credibly’ accused priests, (and the 2011 Grand Jury reports on at least 5 such examples) and questions the balance of 21 suspended priests as well, and yet the AD may well return these guys to parishes, possibly using the ‘moral certitude’ argument. How can parishioners in the AD have confidence in the AD decisions?

        Personally, I think it would be better for the AD to turn over all 26 cases to civil law sources and let them vet the situation.

        Should the AD do that, it seems to me that folks in the pew could have a ‘higher level of certitude’ regarding these priests!

        Just a thought!

      2. Joan,
        I’m all for turning everything over to civil authorities as well, since I know for certain the rcc’s rubric is broken.

        There can be no false sense of security about law enforcement either though. They are working within a system guided by the laws of the land. The laws of the land are not always “child-friendly.” Too many “credibly” accused priests (any offender) would skate free based on the laws of the land. Are criminal and civil laws better than canon law…of course, without question. I think we have to use whatever system is more stringent about the safety of children (which would automatically include justice for victims).

        Yet, even if those priests were turned over to civil authorities, unless there was a charge, they are “innocent” and could be returned to ministry as the AD sees fit.

        I guess what I’m saying is that I wouldn’t be comfortable with the AD’s assessment no matter what, but I don’t have much more satisfaction with civil authorities “stamp of approval” either. I want to know why they were removed from ministry in the first place! Sure, turn them over to civil authorities, but let people make their own decisions about why they would trust someone with their children or not.

        It will come down to parents actually being parents…when they ask questions, they are given honest answers. The moment the laity realized they were being lied to (consistently and repeatedly), there needed to be a revolt. As a parent, I had a serious problem with an entity responsible for children lying to me about what they had done (and are doing). Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me.

      3. SW, I always value your input and this time is no exception!

        Think you are right about the limitations of ‘civil authorities’ . However if these 26 Credibly assessed priests were turned over for a civil review, there might well be SOME charges.

        In the RESOURCES link for the 2011 Grand Jury report there are a number of appalling descriptions of at least 6 or7 of them and the Grand Jury was very concerned that the data they had uncovered was sufficiently egregious to keep all of these guys away from children. Now, some may be innocent as newborns, but I have a very uncomfortable feeling that the GJ was probably right a lot more often than wrong.

        No argument about parental responsibility, either!

        My last thought has a bit to do with the fact that I used to work in an arena that CHANGED laws. I think there is probably a huge amount of work that needs to be done in PA and many other places, to tighten up everything from mandatory clergy abuse reporting requirements to my favorite, some very stiff penalties for any ‘supervisor’ (this would include school personnel et al, and not just diocesan officials) who knowingly failed to report possible abuse or who knowingly passed on an abuser, thus ‘endangering children’. These guys should go to jail and stay there!

        Marci Hamilton made a really interesting suggestion about the use of federal law that would cut off …I think it was school funding…where the children were in unsafe environments. I would have to go find the suggestion, but if you would like, I could go search for it!!!!

        Happy New Year SW, and I totally agree with Kathy, I have learned a lot from you, too!

      4. Joan,
        I’ll go digging for some info about Marci Hamilton’s perspective specificallly about what you mentioned. (I’ve read a lot of her work).

        What a day it will be when those who know are held accountable! Only then will we see true changes that protect children. I don’t just want it for the rcc, but for any supervisor/administrator that has looked the other way. If they do not have a conscience about passing along pedophiles, or reporting questionable behavior to authorities, then perhaps they will care when it means they’ll live a life sentence right along with the victims they could have prevented.

        This would provide justice for victims AND protect more children.

        It would also put teachers/day care directors/ principals/superintendents in the hot seat if they knew they wouldn’t get federal or state assistance…talk about creating an urgency to LEARN more about sexual abuse of children and to EDUCATE more people about it too.

      5. Relative to our discussion of ‘credible’ standards used by Church authorities with clergy accused of molestation and as an addenda to the post I meant to put here and sadly is at the end of the blog, I add another quote from the NCR April 22, 2012 article “Disparity in Definitions Dogs ‘credible’ accusation Standard, which mentions the AD behavior, quite critically:

        “Yet the Philadelphia grand jury faulted the archdiocese with setting the bar too high and thus endangering children. At times, what the grand jury called “abuse,” the archdiocese was calling “boundary issues.”

        The additional quote at the bottom explains that in the Milwaukee AD the first thing the diocese does after receiving an accusation is to go to the local district attorney, and place the priest on leave.

        Why do I doubt that the AD has NOT gone to the local district attorney relative to these 26 suspended priests…..I hope I am wrong and they have…it would be an interesting question to ask!

      6. I gave you a “thumbs up”, drw…but it’s anonymous, so I’d like to tell you, the claim “She acts on the Divine Authority of God”, really is disempowering. The faith I embraced never showed the God I grew up with, would hold so many to ransom.
        I can’t bear to think of how religious, both men and women have been exploited through the Vow of Obedience”: “the certitude of doing Gods will”, through their superiors or bishops.
        There those who HAVE spoken up, albeit privately but brought to subjection, whether it be abuse for some, or the ones seeking rescripts to take full responsability of their actions by due preocesses and refused, to prevent scandal and preserve the priesthood.

      7. Joan said, “it would be an interesting question to ask!” …to the AD?

        Herein lies a big consequence of the criminal and sinful behavior of the hierarchy…they can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

        I don’t believe you’d get an honest answer to that question. I don’t think the police will ever have a full picture of what the rcc has done behind closed doors. The truth has not come out because of a bishop, a priest, a cardinal or a pope…it’s come out because victims told their stories. NEVER will the church be forthcoming about what happened…they have too much $ and pride at stake to tell the truth. They only tell the truth when the courts demand it…and even that’s been optional.

        As recent as a year and a half ago, a parent could have asked the AD if their children were safe in the AD…and their answer would have been yes. Fast forward to a Grand Jury report and the suspension of over 2 dozen priests…how safe were the children?

        I’m thrilled to see parents (grandparents, etc.) upset that they’ve been lied to. FINALLY!

        Just a reminder: the priest who abused my husband is living free and clear in Ohio, credibly accused, removed from ministry, receives his pay from a diocese, no charges against the man…violated so many children. How safe are the children around him? Whose responsibility is it to protect the children if the criminal and civil law can’t touch the man and the church can’t properly “babysit” this pedophile?

        I go back to the rcc telling people why the priests were removed from ministry in the first place. Tell your people the truth!

        catholics in the pews seem to settle for so little.

  14. The “light” I saw is that the Roman Catholic Church has failed to deal with the “victims” because the spiritual damage [as described by Fr.Doyle] cannot be
    treated without a denial of “Catholic Orthodoxy” pertaining to the “ontological difference” after a priest is ordained. At least, this is the case practically, notwithstanding Roman claims that the powers of the priesthood operate through unworthy as well as worthy priests.

    Bottom line: Rome will never deal truthfully with the victims.

    The Church could be the people of God if , and only if, each member was in Christ through faith in the gospel (I Cor. 15:3, Eph. 1:13.)
    Fr. Tom Doyle wrote:

    “The concept of God, the nature of the Church and the identity of the priest mesh together to form a devastating source of trauma for abuse victims. They believe in a theistic God, that is, a God that is a super person with human emotions and reactions. This God actually does things in the lives of people. The Church is God’s special enclave on earth and its clergy are his personal representatives complete with some of his powers. He shows himself through the priests and bishops. If a cleric is kind it is often seen as God’s kindness manifested through him. If a priest is angry or somehow destructive to a person this is seen as a divine act, possibly to punish something the person did wrong.

    Far too many clergy abuse victims see their abuse as retribution or far worse, as a sexual assault by God. Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the oldest and largest victim support organization, SNAP said in a 2002 interview, Many of us feel as if we had been raped by God.”

    –Tom Doyle

    Me again:What Am I Saying?
    Sex abuse victims of Roman Catholic clergy will find no “healing” in the Roman church because the way to ‘healing” is Christ and His cross.

  15. Gerald, I removed some of your posts due to length. That does not mean break it down into several posts. As previously requested, please utilize links. People who subscribe to this blog and its comments should not be subjected to a misuse of these features. I apologize to others for the lapse in moderation. My daughter has been hospitalized at CHOP for a week. All is well now but I’m sure you understand the distraction.

    1. Susan,
      I don’t mind being cast as the “heavy”; that’s part of life.[All the thumbs down]I do however mind that a great deal of “space” has been expended here discussing
      the whys and wherefores of the “moderation” of my posts. Other posts are similarly long.
      It seems that moffensence” is that I have an opinion about the efforts of self-proclaimed “Gays” to “reform” the church in the direction of full acceptance of their way of thinking and living, and those who disagree are somehow free game for censorship and “moderation” here.

      1. Gerald ,I hope you realize that the thumbs down are from people reading the comments,not from us as moderators. This site is not to recruit people to leave the Church. This site is not a battleground for or against gay rights or any other type of issues. I will be honest,it upsets me that sometimes comments take away from the very immportant issue that we have identified. You have a forum for the type of discussions you want on your own site,it confuses me why you would continue to post comments here especially feeling that people are not receptive. Why take away from the important issue of victims and children? I realize some of your comments reference the abuse crisis,but most of your comments do not and it just leaves me confused. Gerald,I am not trying to sound harsh.I am just not understanding what you expect from this site.

  16. Charles and drwho.to infer that someone has taken the day off,sounds like that is referring to a paid position. Susan and I do not receive any money for running this site,we take no days off so to speak.A few times this week I had to contact Susan concerning some comments, while she was with her daughter in the hospital. Susan is the administrator of the site and I do my best to help her out but when comments need to be deleted or moderated, I can only forward that info to Susan, as I do not have access to delete comments. Along with Susan dealing with her daughter’s recovery,I was trying to spend some much needed family time over the holidays while also working on an important project dealing with child sex abuse education and awareness.We do not sit and moderate each comment as it is posted,who would ever have time to do such a thing and we have much more important work to do for the protection of children.

    1. Kathy – I am aware that this is not a paid position, and I’m certainly appreciative of all the work that goes into this blog. Thank you Susan and Kathy. The topics addressed here are serious, and my responses to them are always made with that in mind.

      Unlike my other posts, today’s response to Charles’ comment regarding a “day off” was only intended to add a little levity, nothing more. I thought it might make someone smile. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

      1. Dr. who. No worries. The problem with online conversations is that you can’t read tone. Kathy is a wonderful friend. Knowing what my week was like, she was coming to my defense. You had no way of knowing. Levity much appreciated.

  17. Kathy, you took my comment about a “day off” way too seriously. Originally I was going to lighten the mood and add a smiley face emoticon, but then could not figure out how to do it. I thought long and hard about the phrasing of the comment so that I would not tick anyone off – I mentioned no names and made no personal attacks; but I apologize to you if you were offended. My intention was to comment on the length and homophobic content of the previous three posts. (Remember: you had taken me to task only two days earlier for too many words instead of a link. So I was looking for some even handedness, That’s all.)

    For many of your readers the disgust with the Church does not begin and end with the rape of children by priests. That’s only one of many issues. True reform will only come when the Church is attacked from many directions at once – when the foundation is so weakened that it will crumble.

    It’s been said, and repeated, that the mission of this blog is strictly child protection. But that greatly diminishes, I think, what I have to say, and what Hadit and Gerald and drwho and Sister Maureen have to say. Each of us has at one point or another commented about the “bigger picture” only to be reminded to keep on topic. This blog’s “About” section welcomes those who are concerned about the moral authority of the church. But that concern opens a discussion reaching far beyond the rape of children by priests.

    So, with the greatest respect, is this blog a place for thoughtful discussion (moral, ethical, academic) on the issues of the day? Or, is it just for folks who can boldly declare (as Susan did on this blog) that they have “no problem with any doctrine of Catholic faith” and their only gripe with the Church is that it allows the religious to rape children with impunity?

    1. Charles, I’m sure there is no end to the discussions that could spin off from this. However, that is not my mission with this blog. I don’t for a minute confuse Doctrine with tradition. “Tradition” is intertwined with the clergy sex abuse case. I certainly don’t mind a comment that points out an opinion on that connection while keeping clergy sex abuse front and center.

    2. Charles, in fairness you did not know the back story of what Susan has been through this week when you made your comment. My reaction was defensive because I did know, you didn’t, that is understandable. Under ‘normal” circumstances I would have had no reaction to such a comment and realize now that you did not mean it with any malice.
      I want to touch on a few things you mentioned. The focus of the site is about the abuse of children and treatment of victims. I think that although we don’t focus on other issues we have posted blogs that deal with the issue of clericalism that is tied into so much of what has happened within the Church. We don’t get into other issues for a variety of reasons. The first is that other organizations are involved in those issues and it involves adults who can speak for the various issues they believe are important. Victims have not had a voice and children cannot defend themselves.
      Over the past few months I have been in meetings ,conference calls,protests,with many Catholics and I have no idea what their political beliefs entail or whether they attend mass or anything of that nature. it is simply a group of people who have taken the cause of victims and children as their main focus .
      I think there is a value in focusing on one issue and we have been able to draw support locally and receive a large internet following by focusing on this issue. I can’t speak for others but to me this is the most important issue right now in the Church. I realize others may feel differently and think our approach is too limited but we have met with success in a variety of ways and will continue this route.
      I am not saying we are right, just trying to answer your question as to the direction or focus of the site.

  18. lpmulligan posted in reply to hadit:”Very provocative comment – one all who claim interested in the project Jesus started w/ His death & resurection should consider, including the good archbishop! That means investing some time in the different perspectives which have developed since Jesus left us, recognizing that those perspectives can sometimes differ, as they did w/ Peter & Paul (check the Christian scriptures). From my perspective, having studied church history, the perspective of the followers of Peter have prevailed to a greater extent than Jesus would have supported, over those of Paul (even though he was not one of the original apostles.”

    Thank you for that lpmulligan! A refreshing comment, and it certainly
    is in harmony with Paul’s command in his second letter to Timothy:
    2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  19. I meant to cite the NCR April 22,2011 article, “Disparity in Definitions Dogs ‘credible accusations’ Standard” relative to the discussion we have been having about the AD’s handling of the suspended priests and the notion that law enforcement would be a desirable first evaluator.

    Turns out that, there are places that do just that: See citation from NCR article mentioned above relative to a priest about whom abuse allegations have been made:

    ” The initial investigation is very quick, said Fr. Michael Sullivan, a canon lawyer and priest in the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese. “That’s to make sure that if the priest is somebody who has done this or is likely [to] have done this, they’d be able to remove him in the most immediate time as possible.”…
    In Milwaukee, for example, the first steps the archdiocese takes after an accusation is to go to the local district attorney’s office and place the priest on leave, Connell said. The police review the matter and determine if they can pursue it or not. The archdiocese has its own investigator (typically an experienced outsider, such as a retired police officer) start a preliminary investigation.”

    Has this been done in the AD?, ie has the AD “gone to the local district attorney’s office? As a first step? why do I doubt this?

    The whole NCR article is extremely timely on this subject and mentions the 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury critiques …..

  20. drwho13,

    Somewhere, in one of your posts, you invited us to name one, good bishop.


    Instead, would it be acceptable to you if I named one, good, former bishop, where, in naming him, I name one bad bishop and one bad pope? (You can stop panting.)

    Former Bishop William M. Morris of the Australian diocese of Toowoomba.


    (The contents of this post meet the rules and regulations of this site in that the bad bishop and the bad pope, who were bad to the good, former bishop, are the same bad bishop and bad pope who are obstructing the passage of new SOL legislation, ignoring the rights of sexual abuse victims and, generally, obstructing justice in PA. thanks to their “priorities.”)

    1. haditcatholic, one of the things that many may not be aware of, is that Bishop Morris set a brave precedent by dealing with the rape of thirteen girls at a Catholic school, whereby the principal with some input from Archbishop John Bathersby, never reported it to the relevant authorities.
      Bathersby was seeking retirement, and was no doubt biding his time so it would have been another’s responsability.
      I say this without getting into other church politics which are varied and many. “Vatican punishes crusader against school sex abues: The Australian National affairs.

    2. haditCatholic – Thank you for the link, and thank you for keeping your post within the rules and regulations of this site.

      That editorial nailed it! The fact that he is a former bishop is perfectly acceptable. In fact, the means by which he became a former bishop adds to his credibility.

  21. Kathy Kane, You posted:”Gerald,I am not trying to sound harsh.I am just not understanding what you expect from this site.”
    Let’s go back and look at what transpired. I made the remark in the post I departed “I don’t agree with the “reforms” pushed by “Gay groups” directed at the Roman Catholic Church.” On your site this was received as “offensive” by some and Charles called my post “homophobic.”

    So then, “what I expect” is that the impression would not have been left on the site that –
    1. Any objection to “Gay” advances is automatically “offensive” here.
    2. That you and Susan need to virtually apologize for not having moderated my “homophobic” and “offensive” posts.
    As to why I post here: I believe I give answers to the oft expressed question here: “Where can I turn if I leave the Catholic Church?”

    So, there you have it.

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