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posted
See this article
and this one from USA Today, 2/25/02.

OK, let's talk about this problem. and let's see if we can do it in a respectful way.

Obviously, this is a tremendous scandal and even a crisis in Roman Catholicism. No matter how faithful one has been to the teachings of the church, one is left asking some deep, soul-searching questions.

Like: how could this have happened? Does this tell us something about the lack of sexual integration of many of our priest? Does it indicate dysfunctional dynamics in the institution itself? How could men who receive the Body and Blood of Christ every day, who prayed the divine office, who are supposedly ministers of the Gospel: how could they have abused young boys and gotten away with it? How could the leadership of the church have allowed this to go on?

There are no easy answers to these questions! One thing I do know, having been something of an insider in several dioceses through the years, is that many bishops were told by mental-health professionals that this was a mental illness that could be corrected through therapy. They sent their priests to counselors, hoping to restore them to good health, and return them to ministry. Most of the time, as we all know now, sadly, it didn't work out! Counseling was recommended again, and it didn't work out. This is not to deny that there were cover-ups, poor handling of the situation, and other mistakes. It is to emphasize that many times the bishops were acting in good faith in following the recommendations of professionals who supposedly knew what they were talking about. We now see that the best course of action might have been to simply terminate the priests on first evidence.

This is a particularly sensitive issue for me, as I was dismissed from my duties as a lay minister in the church for the most petty of reasons twice during my career. There is clearly a double-standard in the church concerning how lay ministers are treated versus how priests are treated. Priests are given many chances where lay ministers are given none in many cases. The stories I could tell of lay ministers who've contacted me with experiences similar to my own! Frowner

Ok, that should start us off. Again, let's see if we can avoid anti-Catholic rants in discussing this issue. I'd like to see this forum contribute to some kind of healing, however small it might be.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil...

"Again, let's see if we can avoid anti-Catholic rants in discussing this issue. I'd like to see this forum contribute to some kind of healing, however small it might be."

I certainly hope this can be the case because if not it simply means that a lot of "others" are hiding their heads in the sand. Problems with clergy and sex are not limited to the Roman tradition unfortunately. Ya'll just seem to get more press. Frowner

This could be because of the celibacy issue or simply because there are more of you, or maybe even because in a lot of circles there is a great deal of predjudice against the Romans and against the churches in general.

Nevertheless whatever the tradition it is an issue that needs to be addressed and I thank you for having the courage to bring it up here and would like to join you in asking for civility, compassion, respect and gentleness on the part of all.

You are right when you say there are no easy answers. Our faith requires compassion for both abused and abuser... for saints and sinners alike but how do you live this out? How do you protect the victim and at the same time allow the victimizer forgiveness and healing.. especially in today's world? It is not a question that speaks only to this problem but to the greater problem of seeking justice for all which is one of the principles our country is founded upon. It is a question that many have been asking themselves in the wake of 9/11. So, I at least do not see this as a uniqely Roman issue at all.
I guess you could say for me, it is more of a Christian issue... and a rather big one at that.

"There is clearly a double-standard in the church concerning how lay ministers are treated versus how priests are treated."

Ah.. one of my buttons too. I blame the laity a lot for this one - me included. If you have a question of a "religious" nature and you ask a priest and a lay minister, or any non-ordained person - who do you tend to believe more readily? In the Episcopal church both Priests and Deacons are ordained and yet, the priest will be given more credibility than the Deacon, and the deacon than the laity. Why? Do priests have some secret knowledge that is unavailable to the laity? I think there may be a bit of gnosticism in the church and we as lay people are as guilty of perpetuating it as the organization.

Just some thoughts - no answers - sorry.
Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good post, Wanda. Thanks for your balanced comments. And you're right, this is much larger than the Catholic Church, especially if we include other forms of sexual immorality and irresponsibility.

Only, there is a sense in which the abuse of young boys by priests seems a lot more difficult to understand than an adulterous married minister or homosexual relationships between a minister and another adult. I know there is pedophilia as well among Protestant ministers, but I wonder what the percentage is compared to Catholic priests? Hard to know for sure, I guess.

I've added a couple of links to a couple of good articles in USA Today which prompted my opening post.

Peace to all,

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just wanted to add a few additional resources
for those interested in this topic:

Books:

"Lead Us Not Into Temptation" by Jason Berry

"Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis"
by A.W. Richard Sipe, an ordained Roman Catholic Priest


Articles:

"Sex, Shame and the Catholic Church" March 4, 2002
Newsweek

"Sex-related case blocked in Vatican" by Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, December 7, 2001, National Catholic Reporter (p. 7)

This last article brings up some interesting details about Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the 81 year old leader of the Legion of Christ, an order known for its "conservativism and loyalty to Pope John Paul II." Despite the fact that there are nine accusers of this man, the Pope holds him up as "an efficacious guide to youth." (p. 7)


Links:

Also, see http://www.thelinkup.com/stats.html
for statistics about pedophile abuse in the Church. The site also contains factual accounts of pending cases.
See http://www.thelinkup.com/headlines.html


tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Whew... maybe more info than I wanted, but maybe not more than I should have to say this but I am going to say it anyhow...
My biggest problem with all of this is why these priests, when the problem first surfaced whether through confession or accusation, were not placed in a position where they would have little or no contact with children and why did they not ask for this type of placement. Are there such positions within the Roman church Phil? Does the church USA or the individual parishes have policies about reporting and dealing with this? I know the Episcopal Church has a training program for clergy and laity but I don't know if they have a definite policy in place here. I know the UCC also has a training and a rather loosely worded policy concerning sexual misconduct by clergy and laity. I think before we begin judging we should gather some facts... and more than just on the number involved. Have there been other cases that have been handled "better" if that's the right word... maybe differently would be more suitable here?
One thing we must keep in mind is that these are people just as we are and only human... I am trying to keep the question "What would I do in their position?" in front of my face as we talk here. One thing I know is that it would be hard to believe something like this of a friend - a person we knew, loved and trusted as I am sure all of these men were - to many.

Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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First off, I don't think pedophilia has anything to do with celebacy, although there could be a corrolation between those who voluntarily choose a celebate life and those who have a warped view of sex. But I don't think that if the Church allowed non-celebate priests (which I think they should) it would make any difference. The problem is that the Church is so afraid of the bad PR that they have tried to handle these cases internally (and ineffectually because of a lack of understanding of pedophilia) or simply have tried to bury them outright.

Phil mentioned the leniency that full Priests get that lay ones do not (and I believe him). This is pretty typical behavior in any institution (like teaching!) where longevity or tradition are wielded like a hammer over other issues such as merit or purity of heart and intentions. There has to be tradition for it to be a religion or to be a Church, but I think any institution has to look at themselves and realize their core purpose. Once the institution becomes an end in itself you then have something to protect - which can lead to excesses.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"There has to be tradition for it to be a religion or to be a Church, but I think any institution has to look at themselves and realize their core purpose. Once the institution becomes an end in itself you then have something to protect - which can lead to excesses."

Brad, I think you may be on to something here. The institution itself becomes more important than its purpose. Or the purpose gets lost for some within the organization maybe. If we have no vested interest it is easier to seek the impartial solution.
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wanda, there are indeed assignments that could be given to priests which would not put them in much contact with kids. I'm not sure that this is the answer, however, as contact with youth is pretty difficult to get away from altogehter.

Let's remember that the Bishops and their staffs dealing with this issue turned to mental health professionals, who advised various forms of treatment, holding out the hope of healing and recovery. The treatments did seem to do some good in many cases. . . for awhile, then relapses occurred.

From Brad: The problem is that the Church is so afraid of the bad PR that they have tried to handle these cases internally (and ineffectually because of a lack of understanding of pedophilia) or simply have tried to bury them outright.

I'm sure there's some truth in that, Brad. It's the kind of situation that even the victims don't always want aired out publicly, however, even though the shame is not theirs. Same as in any corporation or institution, you try to deal with things "in house" without the press getting involved. There's a hanging question of what their legal responsibility was in some of these cases, given the requirement of teachers and other helping professionals to report child abuse to the State when they find it.

Good discussion so far. I see this topic has made the front cover of Time or Newsweek (can't recall which). It needs to be discussed.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil,
I did not mean reassignment in place of counseling, etc. but during as an attempt to minimize risk while correcting the problem if you will. I would be more willing to trust an institution that faces and deals with its problems squarely in a sensitive compassionate way than one who either denies the problem or reacts without compassion for all who suffer and I think both victim and victimizer are suffering here.
While they did turn to mental health professionals, they usually left them in a position that made further acts too easy. It would seem to be rather like sending an alcholic to aa meetings in a bar. Eeker
The thing I find hardest to understand is why they were left in place and why they themselves chose to stay in place. Why not a time of retreat and healing at a monastery or something? The reason would not have to be made public. Of course there is the legal side to be considered so this may not be an option.
I hate seeing it "exploited" by the media though. I don't think this helps anyone in the end.
Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The thing I find hardest to understand is why they were left in place and why they themselves chose to stay in place. Why not a time of retreat and healing at a monastery or something?


In some cases, Wanda, this was done, with a long break between assignments. The presumption was that pedophilia could be cured. Just as alcoholics can learn to live in a world where alcohol still can be purchased rather easily, so, too, was it thought that pedophiles could live in a community where there were children.

What I'm suggesting is that some of the mistakes made were based on a deep misunderstanding of pedophilia. Still, it's difficult to understand those cases where there were four, five, six or more reassignments with incidents left behind in each one. Relapsing into pedophilia is much more disastrous for the innocent boys than relapsing into alcoholism. No, some part of this just don't make sense! Frowner

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm wondering if Cardinal Law will be found guilty
as a co-conspirator in these crimes against children. Comments?

tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tee
I'm not sure he should - at least not in a court of law, not that I think he does not hold guilt here but these things do not happen in a vaccuum. There are probably a lot of people who strongly suspected that there was a problem and did nothing to address it. Working a little with abused women, it is often the case that while they try to hide the abuse, it is almost always suspected. The thing is we often keep our suspicions to ourselves for fear of embarassing or wrongly accusing or whatever. Sins of omission.
I'm not familiar enough with law to know if he should be charged or not but if you are going to charge him, I am sure there are others that could be charged as well. Where do you stop?
Tough call - tough topic. somedays it would be nice to be an ostrich.
Frowner

Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm not familiar enough with law to know if he should be charged or not but if you are going to charge him, I am sure there are others that could be charged as well. Where do you stop?

Wanda,

The difference between Law and the others is that
Law is the authority figure responsible, in part, for the behavior of his priests. He is also the one who had the power to stop it by immediately
taking a different course of action.

I saw a cartoon representing Law as a shepherd with his flock besiged by wolves with the designation of pedophile priests. In the cartoon, Law simply stands there and watches as the wolves
prey on the flock. What kind of shepherd does that?

Who are the authority figures in the Church accountable to? I would like to think to their
flock, among others. Isn't one of the thrusts of the Gospels the idea of service? To hear the Bishops say that they love children and, then, see them allow
pedophile priests to prey on their flock undercuts the credibility of the entire Church, imho.

I think it is time for the authority figures in the Church to be accountable to the people they
are supposed to serve.


Tough call - tough topic. somedays it would be nice to be an ostrich.
Frowner



Very tough issue Wanda! However, as long as we take an ostrich stance, I think the abuse will continue and authority figures will still try to use authoritarian methods to demand respect, instead of earn it.

Peace.

Tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tee,
"Who are the authority figures in the Church accountable to? I would like to think to their
flock, among others."

Accountability.... there are so many ways we are accountable... first we are accountable to God. Then, as Christians I believe we are accountable to each other. There is a difference between accountability and punishment though. I do believe he (Law) should be held accountable but I am not sure if he should be legally punished.
I am sure his ministry and credibility and the trust of his "sheep" has suffered greatly throughout all of this and I can't believe this doesn't "punish him" - maybe more than jail time could. Because of the effects of this on his integrity as a Bishop I do not see how he could continue to serve effectively in this position.

"I think it is time for the authority figures in the Church to be accountable to the people they
are supposed to serve."
They are - they serve our Lord first and through this service their flock. "Justice is mine" says the Lord and I am sure he will see that justice is done.

It is true that the church as a whole must address this issue and take measures to correct the policies and proceedures that allowed this to happen. If not, they too will suffer the same loss of credibility and trust as Law. The church as organization must recognize that they too will be held accountable to the One they serve, not only individually but collectively as organization.

Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Accountability.... there are so many ways we are accountable... first we are accountable to God. Then, as Christians I believe we are accountable to each other.

Wanda, would you explain this perspective a bit further? What I am hearing is a separation between God and the other. Isn't it true that
we are accountable to God through our actions to one another? The not one, not two idea. What do you think? If we separate our accountability to God from our accountability to the other, that can allow for all sorts of destructive behavior.


There is a difference between accountability and punishment though. I do believe he (Law) should be held accountable but I am not sure if he should be legally punished.
I am sure his ministry and credibility and the trust of his "sheep" has suffered greatly throughout all of this and I can't believe this doesn't "punish him" - maybe more than jail time could. Because of the effects of this on his integrity as a Bishop I do not see how he could continue to serve effectively in this position.


Yes, I tend to agree that effective service is no longer a possibility with him. However, I also think this issue will add to the current polarization in the Church with a division between his supporters and non-supporters.

Wanda, if someone breaks the law, shouldn't they be punished? The damage done to those children and their families was enormous. Their lives were changed forever. They were betrayed by someone who they were taught to trust.

"I think it is time for the authority figures in the Church to be accountable to the people they
are supposed to serve."
They are - they serve our Lord first and through this service their flock. "Justice is mine" says the Lord and I am sure he will see that justice is done.


Wanda, here's where I hear that idea again.....the Lord first and through this the other....I think it's the Lord through the other because the Christ self resides in the other. Do you see how I am seeing it in another perspective?

It is true that the church as a whole must address this issue and take measures to correct the policies and proceedures that allowed this to happen. If not, they too will suffer the same loss of credibility and trust as Law. The church as organization must recognize that they too will be held accountable to the One they serve, not only individually but collectively as organization.

Accountability. Credibility. Checks and Balances. That is, imho, what the Roman organization portion of the Church desperately needs.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

peace, too.

tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I took a class on violence in the workplace and the instructor informed us of the statistical fact that the US Post Office is one of the safest work places in the country. This information surprised many of us, especially given the coverage that is received whenever a postal worker goes "off the handle."

I also heard the other day that women have a 1 in 2 chance of dying of heart disease, and only a 1 in 25 chance of dying of breast cancer. Again a fact that surprised me given the media coverage.

I am not suggesting that this issue is not an important one to the church, but its media attention might be exagerating the size of the issue. Along side of this abuse of power is that of counselors and their clients. There is also the much larger issue of child sexual abuse that takes place within the home.

I believe that this is all part of a much larger issue of a general disregard for the sanctity of human life. A person first has to be able to objectify another human and completely disregard their right to be treated as a human in order to justify sexual abuse, violence, murder, abortion, slavery, hazing, war, death sentences, etc..

When one lives in a culture that disregards the sanctity of human life and promotes inequality, should we be shocked when people act out in this way? The problem is not with institutions, but with human institutions built on the foundation of inequality. Others have mentioned how these inequalities play out in the Church.

This is an issue as old as humanity itself. We need to stop addressing the symptoms and work on healing the root problem.

One hope can be found in restorative justice, which addresses this issue by helping criminals see their victims as human beings through encounters with them. They have also found such encounters help the victims move pass the assault.

John
 
Posts: 38 | Location: Deerfield, IL | Registered: 07 January 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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tee...

I understand what you are saying about accountability. As Christians, we do "live out" our accountability to God through each other.
I think this question comes at us from two different dimensions perhaps... our duty - our responsibility as Christians and our duty - our responsibility to the laws of the world so to speak. Bishop Law had a "world" created set of rules to follow or not... like reporting to the authorities, following church proceedures, and all of that. But as a Christian he has a greater "law" to follow. Therefore I believe he is accountable first to God, and then to the state - "the people". Guess I didn't make this differentiation very clear. .. sorry.

"Wanda, if someone breaks the law, shouldn't they be punished?" If someone breaks the laws of the state, they should be punished by the state. This may be convoluted interpretion and feel free to call me on it .... but I think perhaps, "render unto Caesar .." may fit here. I think the responsibility of the church is not to punish here but to correct... to implement policies and proceedures and checks and balances and all of that so that this will not happen again, or if it does that it will be dealt with fairly and expeditiously.

"Wanda, here's where I hear that idea again.....the Lord first and through this the other....I think it's the Lord through the other because the Christ self resides in the other."

Tee... here I think we may disagree a little. Jesus tells us that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God. The second is to love thy neighbor. Perhaps, my problem with the way you see it is a continuation of the age old controversy between justification through faith or through deeds. Can we serve each other and not serve God? Can we serve others without seeing Christ within them? Can we serve each other, not out of love, but out of duty or self-interest and is it the same thing? I know a few atheists who would appear to be very good Christians, until you mention God. See what I'm trying to get at? Having a bit of trouble putting it into words.. Frowner
Thanks for making me try anyhow...

Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Tee... here I think we may disagree a little. Jesus tells us that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God. The second is to love thy neighbor. Perhaps, my problem with the way you see it is a continuation of the age old controversy between justification through faith or through deeds. Can we serve each other and not serve God? Can we serve others without seeing Christ within them? Can we serve each other, not out of love, but out of duty or self-interest and is it the same thing? I know a few atheists who would appear to be very good Christians, until you mention God. See what I'm trying to get at? Having a bit of trouble putting it into words.. Frowner
Thanks for making me try anyhow...


Wanda,

Thank YOU for your clarification and for making me think a little more about all this.....Here's a little more of what I was thinking about....
OBL could get away with the terrorist acts he committed because he obviously had a real separation in his mind between a distinct, distant God (Sky-God, if you will) and people.
Law and other people who commit or allow acts of enormous destruction to occur to others must have a similar distinction. Thus, they justify the destruction by acting as though they were actually serving the distant (Sky) God, rather than seeing the God within the people they are destroying. That's why that concept is bothering me and I needed to call attention to it. Now, I don't think that is at all what you were saying but that was, nevertheless, what I was hearing....Does this bring us any closer to agreement?

Another thing that is bothering me about this entire issue is the idea that some in the Church
like to say that there are absolutes....yet, when it comes to pedophile priests, what happens to the absolutes? We are told married couples using birth control is absolutely wrong. We are told the ordination of women is absolutely wrong. Yet, these people who pretend to know all the absolutes sure don't seem to have acted in a manner consistent with the idea that pedophilia is absolutely wrong. (I got this idea of the inconsistency of absolutes from an article I read in NCR.)

Anyway, I think it would be nice if Law could hear the detailed stories of the abuse committed by his priests and the effects it had on these children and, then, be given some time alone for a number of years, to think about it.

thanks Wanda,

tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Uraqt, I don't think this issue is about distorted God-concepts or moral absolutes or anything like that. It's about addiction, which never sees anything clearly, and codependent enabling, which is just as bad. It's also about ignorance of addiction and codependency. Catholic theology is alive and well despite these failings of some of its clergy and the codependent enabling of its Bishops.

This is not to say that those who are guilty should pay no consequences, however. It's my view that pedophile priests ought to be removed from the priesthood immediately, and turned in to the State as child abusers--same as we do for all other sorts of child abuse. I also believe that Bishops who have clearly covered up and mismanaged these cases should resign their office immediately--or be pressured to do so. They should also not be immune from lawsuits against them personally, rather than against their Dioceses, which will only put the people of that diocese in debt for years and year, if not bankrupt them altogether.

Just my two cents, which should not be taken as the position of Heartland Center, of course. I'm sure that's how they would treat lay people who were guilty of such offenses, so why not clergy as well?

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just my two cents, which should not be taken as the position of Heartland Center, of course. I'm sure that's how they would treat lay people who were guilty of such offenses, so why not clergy as well?

Indeed.....why not the clergy as well?

In an ideal world, Law is not above the law.......even though he is said to bring in millions of dollars in fundraisers for the Church.

tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although the discussion is about Pedophilia among priests in particular, I wanted to add a word about clergy and sex in general. Once a priest (not a diocesan in this case) gave me his definition of celibacy: as long as one was not emtionally attached to one particular woman, one was celibate, implying that a sexual relationship without emotional attachment or committment was perfectly alright! Amazing the rationalisations the mind can invent, isn't it? Would the same priest approve of such definition if it was practised by a lay person? I doubt it!

It is my personal opinion that there should be intensive learning and confrontation with sexual issues with the help of professionals in the field before a catholic priest takes his vows of celibacy, in order to avoid making a mockery of his calling as a priest. Such training is just as important as his study of philosophy and theology. He is to be taught everything there is to know about sexual behaviour, how to recognise and deal with his own self-deceptions and of those with whom he will come in contact with in the course of his ministry.

Don't medical doctors go through training to deal clinically with the human body and aren't there rules of conduct that prevents a doctor from misusing the power that he has over an emotionally vulnerable patient? Would the medical profession or the lay person easily tolerate a doctor who violate such rules?

Some of the reading that helped to gain clearer insight into sexual matters are:
C.S.Lewis's essay on sexuality
D.H. Lawrence's epilogue (essay) to
'Lady Chatterly's Lover'
Patrick Carnes' work on sexual addiction
Erich Fromm's views on sexuality
Carl Roger
Eugene Drewermann's (German Catholic (ex?)Priest and Psychoanalyst) book -
'Wege and Umwege der Liebe'
 
Posts: 158 | Registered: 14 February 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by priya:
Although the discussion is about Pedophilia among priests in particular, I wanted to add a word about clergy and sex in general. Once a priest (not a diocesan in this case) gave me his definition of celibacy: as long as one was not emtionally attached to one particular woman, one was celibate, implying that a sexual relationship without emotional attachment or committment was perfectly alright!.....

priya,

I once heard a priest define celibacy as simply
'not being married.' The implications in this definition, as I heard it, did not even exclude
emotional attachments. It simply excluded the formalities of the Sacrament of Matrimony. I am guessing that many priests subscribe to this definition.

Takes all kinds......

tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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uraqt and priya, those are some sorry stories about priests' definitions for celibacy, for sure. Awfully self-serving!

Just for the sake of correction for those who may not know, however, that's not what the Church teaches. Celibacy means no sexual involvement.

That said, somewhere in all of this, adults who become sexually active with priests need to take some responsibility for their behavior. Even accepting those priests' definitions, what is being invited is presumably sex outside of marriage, which is also considered wrong in any religion, and which any adult knows. Any rational adult who gets sexually involved with a priest is thus doing something that she or he knows to be prohibited, no matter what the priest says about celibacy. This is all quite different from pedophilia.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just for the sake of correction for those who may not know, however, that's not what the Church teaches. Celibacy means no sexual involvement.

Phil,

I know this is temporarily off-topic for the pedophile message area. However, your definition has brought up several questions for me.

Although Clinton had oral sex with Monica, he maintained that he was not having sex. I also remember reading an article in USA Today, I think,
about many teens having oral sex and not considering it sex at all. So, what exactly is considered sexual involvement?

That said, somewhere in all of this, adults who become sexually active with priests need to take some responsibility for their behavior. Even accepting those priests' definitions, what is being invited is presumably sex outside of marriage, which is also considered wrong in any religion, and which any adult knows. Any rational adult who gets sexually involved with a priest is thus doing something that she or he knows to be prohibited, no matter what the priest says about celibacy. This is all quite different from pedophilia.

That is considering that the person the priest gets involved with is married. What about the single woman, nun, or gay man involved with the priest? How would sexual involved be defined in those cases?

I think this is a gray area that needs concrete specific acts mentioned in order to clearly state exactly what is prohibited. I don't think statements like 'sexual involvement' is enough.

Oh....and Phil, one other thing......if an adult is involved with a priest in a couseling situation and the priest uses the couseling situation to seduce the person, everything is changed. The situation can now be compared to incest. So, it all depends on the situation, not necessarily the
age of the persons involved. Adults can still be victims. This is simply not pedophilia.

thanks

tee
 
Posts: 203 | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Although Clinton had oral sex with Monica, he maintained that he was not having sex. I also remember reading an article in USA Today, I think,
about many teens having oral sex and not considering it sex at all. So, what exactly is considered sexual involvement?


LOL, uraqt. The Bill Clinton lexicon on sex and many other issues is a strange one indeed! Wink

I think sexual involvement happens whenever there is voluntary contact with the "private parts" of another. Obviously, that includes oral sex.

What about the single woman, nun, or gay man involved with the priest? How would sexual involved be defined in those cases?

Same as above. Celibacy prohibits priests from becoming sexually involved with another--male or female. Same goes for nuns. Lay people aren't supposed to be sexually involved either until they marry. Don't know where this leaves gay men--big social issue, obviously.

Oh....and Phil, one other thing......if an adult is involved with a priest in a couseling situation and the priest uses the couseling situation to seduce the person. . .

Highly unethical for any counselor to do this, not just a priest.

Phil
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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