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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 195639  
Subject: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abuse Date: 7/15/2007 6:55 AM
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Sad to hear of these stories. While I am not Catholic, and even often get in much debate with Catholics or about Catholicism, regardless these stories are a blow to the message of Christianity as a whole. I know-- Christ hasn't changed, His message hasn't changed, but I hate to see events like this.

I feel so sorry for the victims, anger at the perpetrators, yet know that Christ's sacrifice can cleanse any of them. Unfortunately, many people will focus on "man's deeds" rather than God's work as a result of this and similar cases.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070715/ap_on_re_us/church_abuse

NE
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Author: FULLERKZ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140222 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/15/2007 12:01 PM
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NE,


You have highlighted the essence of this case.


"I feel so sorry for the victims"


1)First we think of the victims and a process for healing the wounds. Let us hope they are compensated with a ratio more equitably than the 400 million the lawyers will likely bag.



"anger at the perpetrators,"

2)The guilty priests and those of the hierarchy who covered it up.



"yet know that Christ's sacrifice can cleanse any of them"

3-a)Forgive them as well those who have used this issue as an attack on Christianity.

3-b)Forgive the employees and employers in the MEDIA who have presented their version of history and definition of the word pedophilia. Most dictionaries I've encountered define pedophilia as adult action and desire to sexually abuse children. After further review I have concluded that the majority of victims were teenage males. The guilty operatives were sinful in their breaking of a vow to God of celibacy. The victims were not little girls or little boys for that matter. Nuns nor bishops nor maintenance crews nor deacons nor whatever were involved in the sinful act. Could it be that the sexual orientation of these priests were homosexual or bisexual?

In their holy zeal for political correctness could it be that a more convenient nomenclature for gay priest would be pedophilia. Brought to you by the same MEDIA who flushed a Holy Qur'an down the toilet. Do we see a pattern here? Does it involve monotheistic religion.?

Repeat something often enough, and people tend to believe it. I wonder where they learned that?

Replete with omissive editing, soundbytes, and digital alteration, we again have the MEDIA'S version of history. When will they just report the news with the truth, candidness, and integrity? Why must they continue their zealous efforts to divide the populous on not only religious but racial grounds as well. How come they didn't show the footage of unhyphenated Americans with African ancestry pulling truck driver Reginald Denny from the street and aving his life?


WARNING: To those who support this viewpoint, you may be labeled libelously as a homophobe. Be brave. You know in your heart and mind that you are not. Whether you decide to stand up to them or turn the other cheek is noble in heart. Like fuller, you may tend to support gay rights, even advocate civil unions, yet are against the sacrament of a gay marriage.


regards



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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140225 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/15/2007 12:56 PM
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NE,

I feel so sorry for the victims, anger at the perpetrators, yet know that Christ's sacrifice can cleanse any of them. Unfortunately, many people will focus on "man's deeds" rather than God's work as a result of this and similar cases.

The pathology that leads an adult to engage in this kind of behavior, and the fear that draws a child into it are both agonizing to witness. I recognize the perpetrators of this crime as children of God, and part of my own family in Christ, but I also know that their disease is progressive. Without early intervention and a lifetime of treatment, it is inevitable that a predator will need to be removed permanently from the general population.

This is what makes the church's offense so much more damning. Not only does the policy of denial create more victims, it actually encourages one time offenders to become lifetime predators.

The church bears a unique burden, but she does not bear it alone. The children who are wounded by this crime are stalked in schools, on sports teams, in neighborhoods, and most tragically, in their own families. The disorder is no respecter of gender, sexual preferance, or social status.

Here is one example of how the marketplace is responding to this pervasive, perverse reality...

http://tinyurl.com/2rm8s3

I am, by many people's standards, a big scary looking man. I am also a dog walker. It is chilling to experience the way children are completely disarmed and attracted by Molly when we are in the neighborhood. The fact that I am a complete stranger, often in pretty scruffy work clothes does not put them off in the least. This attraction is often exploited by predators, and I always warn the kids about being careful about approaching strangers. Still, it is a powerful example of how vulnerable they really are - and how important it is to educate them early.

I do not believe in raising children to be afraid, but we all need to balance compassionate with vigilance. We must pray. We must teach. We have to contain the perpetrators, heal the victims, and protect the children whose lives have not yet been touched by this crime.

Peace,
b

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140226 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/15/2007 1:37 PM
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FULLER

While I appreciate your passion, I am sorry to see so serious and personal a crime turned into an opportunity for an ideological stump speech.

The narrative is very familiar: "The liberal media will take every opportunity to cloak their libertine values under the cover of political correctness while never missing a chance to attack or embarrass the institutions and people whose conservative values are the bedrock upon which this country was built."

Thanks. Got it.

So while teens are being sexually abused and deeply damaged every day, our response should be to attack the "MEDIA" for their bias against monotheistic religion?

I don't know if you are a homophobe or not. I find the label less useful as time goes by. I am concerned that you have been seduced by the very tactics of redirection that have been employed to conceal the truth of sex abuse in the church for centuries. Bill Moyers didn't rape all these kids.

As far as the terminology goes, you are correct. The term for sexual activity with adolescents is hebephelia. The lexicon is as rich as it is disturbing.

http://tinyurl.com/2a9yme

The generic use of "pedophilia" to mean sex between adults and pre-adults is not unlike the common use of "schizophrenia" or "retarded." These terms have specific clinical uses, but in popular usage, they function as a kind of shorthand for people who have no need for clinical specificity.

We need to look this problem in the face, ugly as it is. The left/right rhetoric of talk radio and red-faced bloggery won't help any of the victims.

Peace,
b

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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140227 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/15/2007 3:03 PM
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The larger issue in this case is that it allowed the church to pay in money for these crimes, instead of the criminals going to jail, even if they were perverted priests. No one is above the law, and this reeks of money buying jail time. While I agree with compensation where appropriate, it should not prevent Federal authority putting these people in jail. As an individual, I could not have avoided jail if this were me perpetrating that crime. Why do they get special treatment-- just because it's "settled out of court?" Federal prosecutors should not let these crimes go unpunished. Compensation does not equal punishment, my opinion.
NE

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Author: FULLERKZ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140233 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/15/2007 9:55 PM
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Pennsy1tuckian,


Good response and grateful for learning a new word....Ephebophilia, also known as Phebophilia, Hebephilia, or Lolita Syndrome



http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Ephebophilia



"So while teens are being sexually abused and deeply damaged every day, our response should be to attack the "MEDIA" for their bias against monotheistic religion?"


Yes. That's what I do. It is not intended to lighten or divert the attention and effort designed to correct the problem. It is intended to expose how the news is often reported through a cacaPHONY of soundbytes, digital alteration,and omissive editing.


I peruse other significant boards on the Motley Fool and I am unconcerned with political fall out be it left or right. I am convinced that the problems we face here at home and abroad, including the priest scandal are magnificently effected by media in its many forms. So powerful is this phenomena in that it has vast geopolitical consequence, including driving especially young people away from divine spirituality or into propgandist danger. The nerve of this irrespondsible, unnacountable industry to further undermine Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. These are the same scaliwags that flushed the Holy Qur'an down the toilet. People died as a result.

Fortunately in America,and most of Europe,Asia and Australia we have modern telecommuncation infrastructure enabling a growing number of the populous to do their own homework when it comes to discovering the truth and interpreting current events. With the exception of Israel and Turkey, this is highly problematic in many countries of the Middle East and a motivating element in the perversion of Islam with obvious consequence.


Suggested Reading:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/imageviewer.asp?ean=9780641836046



"We need to look this problem in the face, ugly as it is."


Absolutely correct. And we start by defining and understanding the problem with a proper diagnosis in which the media can either facilitate or acerbate.

When I detect the latter, it will be exposed.


"I don't know if you are a homophobe or not."


Now you're smarter than that. Rest assured, I am not. For the sake of brevity, we will adress this issue at another time.














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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140234 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/15/2007 10:07 PM
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The larger issue in this case is that it allowed the church to pay in money for these crimes, instead of the criminals going to jail, even if they were perverted priests.

They are almost surely out of active ministry and receiving psychiatric treatment, which is what should've happened decades ago. Still, why put the expense of jailtime on the taxpayers' backs when the problem can be addressed through other avenues?

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Author: crassfool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140238 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 1:07 PM
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pennsy1tuckian added to your Favorite Fools list

crassfool

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140242 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 5:30 PM
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Bob,

The pathology that leads an adult to engage in this kind of behavior, and the fear that draws a child into it are both agonizing to witness. I recognize the perpetrators of this crime as children of God, and part of my own family in Christ, but I also know that their disease is progressive. Without early intervention and a lifetime of treatment, it is inevitable that a predator will need to be removed permanently from the general population.

This is what makes the church's offense so much more damning. Not only does the policy of denial create more victims, it actually encourages one time offenders to become lifetime predators.


That's all true, and we all now know it to be true.

Unfortunately, the situation was very different thirty years ago when many of the cases of sexual abuse by clergy were occurring. At that time, many psychologists and psychiatrists believed that the condition was curable with a few sessions of psychotherapy. In one of the more eggregious cases here in the Archdiocese of Boston, for example, the a psychotherapist wrote an official letter to the Archdiocese certifying that a "priest" with about sixty or seventy victims was completely cured and could safely return to full time unsupervised parish ministry. There was a genuine lack of literature on the subject of paedophilia in the professoinal journals at that time (though a large body of such literature subsequently appeared in the 1990's), so the archdiocese had no basis to believe that the psychotherapists who made such certifications -- and there were many of them -- were wrong. Alas, it turned out that the individual was not so cured. Even worse, the individual abused another fifty or sixty victims before the archdiocese began to receive reports of the new problems. In cases such as this, professional accountability most assuredly must extend to the psychologists and psychiatrists who issued such certifications.

The church bears a unique burden, but she does not bear it alone. The children who are wounded by this crime are stalked in schools, on sports teams, in neighborhoods, and most tragically, in their own families. The disorder is no respecter of gender, sexual preferance, or social status.

That, unfortunately, is very true.

I am, by many people's standards, a big scary looking man. I am also a dog walker. It is chilling to experience the way children are completely disarmed and attracted by Molly when we are in the neighborhood. The fact that I am a complete stranger, often in pretty scruffy work clothes does not put them off in the least. This attraction is often exploited by predators, and I always warn the kids about being careful about approaching strangers. Still, it is a powerful example of how vulnerable they really are - and how important it is to educate them early.

I do not believe in raising children to be afraid, but we all need to balance compassionate with vigilance. We must pray. We must teach. We have to contain the perpetrators, heal the victims, and protect the children whose lives have not yet been touched by this crime.


Above all else, we really need to get very serious about taking those who live by violence in any form out of society -- and I do mean permanently. This extends not only to sexual predators, but also to those involved in gang violence, mass murder, kidnapping, and other horrific acts. A sexual predator locked up on prison is not going to acquire new victims.

We also should require all those who have any felony conviction to register at the local police station whenever they (1) move to a new residence or (2) register at a hotel, "bed and breakfast," hostel, campground, or any other place where they intend to remain overnight (the latter could be accomplished on line from the facility's registration desk). Statistically, we know that people who have records of felonies are more likely to commit more offenses than people who have no such record. Thus, authorities should track the movement of such individuals.

Norm.


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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140244 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 5:54 PM
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<<
WARNING: To those who support this viewpoint, you may be labeled libelously as a homophobe.
>>

It never occurred to me that all the abused were boys, I assumed girls were abused as well.

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140245 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 5:57 PM
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NuclearElvis,

The larger issue in this case is that it allowed the church to pay in money for these crimes, instead of the criminals going to jail, even if they were perverted priests. No one is above the law, and this reeks of money buying jail time. While I agree with compensation where appropriate, it should not prevent Federal authority putting these people in jail. As an individual, I could not have avoided jail if this were me perpetrating that crime. Why do they get special treatment-- just because it's "settled out of court?" Federal prosecutors should not let these crimes go unpunished. Compensation does not equal punishment, my opinion.

First, I'm not aware of anything in the settlement that excludes criminal prosecution of the abusers if there's sufficient evidence to do so. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to prosecute these cases for several reasons.

>> 1. The victims often do NOT come forward because they think that their parents and other responsible adults simply will not believe them if they make such an allegation.

>> 2. When these cases do come to light, it usually is well after all physical evidence has been destroyed.

>> 3. In many of these cases, the victim represses his (or her) memory of the horrific acts for many years. When they do come to light, often in the context of psychotherapy, the recollection often is not sufficiently reliable to be credible in court.

>> 4. In many cases, the victims are reluctant to testify against their abusers because they fear that confronting their abusers in court, and especially cross-examination by their abusers' attorneys, will be quite traumatic.

>> 5. And in many cases, the statute of limitations -- an important legal safeguard intended to prevent a miscarriage of justice by prosecution of offenses after witnesses' recollectons of events have become distorted with the passage of time -- expires well before the victim comes forward with the allegations. (In one of the more notorious cases that arose here in Massachusetts, the statute of limitations did NOT expire only because the perpetrator left the Commonwealth and went to another state. Massachusetts law has a provision whereby time ceases to lapse on the statute of limitations while the alleged offender is not within the Commonwealth.)

Thus, a district attorney often finds that he has no credible evidence, no credible accuser, and no credible witnesses, and an expired statute of limitations when these allegations surface. So much for criminal prosecution.

BTW, we really shoud NOT rush to extend statutes of limitations on sexual crimes against children in the current charged atmosphere surrounding these issues. Rather, we ought to pause for due deliberation and consider over what period of time the testimony of an accuser and the testimony of witnesses usually would be reliable. If that answer is different from the present statute of limitations, we could then make the appropriate adjustments to the existing law. A politically charged atmosphere tends to produce poor and ill-considered legislation.

Second, I should point out that sexual abuse of children usually does not violate federal law. Rather, like most crimes, it is punishable only under state law unless either (1) the act actually occurs on federal property or (2) the act involves transporting children across state lines.

Norm.


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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140246 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 6:01 PM
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<<
They are almost surely out of active ministry and receiving psychiatric treatment, which is what should've happened decades ago. Still, why put the expense of jailtime on the taxpayers' backs when the problem can be addressed through other avenues?
>>

Because their names will not be on a sexual predator list, they did the crime and should do the time.
Are you really trying to say that a pedophile that can compensate his victims and pay for psych counseling should not be punished for thier crimes? Are you in favor of M. Jackson going free too?


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Author: Wradical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140247 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 6:03 PM
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<<
WARNING: To those who support this viewpoint, you may be labeled libelously as a homophobe.
>>

It never occurred to me that all the abused were boys, I assumed girls were abused as well.

___________________________________________
Well, that's true.
But the majority were teenage boys, and some younger than that.


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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140248 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 6:04 PM
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Jason,

They are almost surely out of active ministry and receiving psychiatric treatment, which is what should've happened decades ago. Still, why put the expense of jailtime on the taxpayers' backs when the problem can be addressed through other avenues?

Unfortunately, there is NO cure for sexual predators and assertions that they can learn not to act on their desires are dubious at best. The ONLY way to protect children is to remove such individuals from society more or less permanently. The debate should be whether the appropriate way to remove such individuals from society is (1) life in prison with no possibility of parole, (2) exile to a remote island reserved exclusively for sexual preditors, or (3) capital punishment.

Norm.


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Author: lhaselden Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140249 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 6:14 PM
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<<
Well, that's true.
But the majority were teenage boys, and some younger than that.
>>

As I thought this is an issue of pedophilia not homsexuality. The priests may have had more opportunites with young boys, but any child might have been at risk.


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Author: FULLERKZ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140250 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 6:40 PM
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Ihaselden,


You'd be hard pressed to find cases of sexually abused girls, or even prepubescent boys. Of all the accounts I've read or seen or heard of the majority involved sexual abuse by priests of teenage males.

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Author: JavaRunner Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140251 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 6:40 PM
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The priests may have had more opportunites with young boys, but any child might have been at risk.
======================================================================

My belief has always been that this is not a solely sexuality issue. This abuse is about power and control. It is a sickness that this takes the form of sexual abuse of children. The problem is when we paint it all as one thing, when in fact it isn't. The majority of abuse cases were male to male. It is very easy to say this is a gay issue. The priests involved may, in fact not be gay. In an issue of power it is about control and not sexual gratification.

Charlie

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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140253 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 8:13 PM
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Norm,
While I partially agree with your reasoning, here's another perspective:
The victims may feel that way in reasons 1 and 4 because this is a high profile case involving the Catholic Church. If the perpetrator were John Doe living on the corner in the neighborhood, do you still think the case ends up this way?

In fact, reasons 2,3 and 5 may be less likely if it's a John Doe living on the corner, because I'd bet the kids would not supress this as much, might even tell mom or dad right away. That's why I think there's some perspective that should be given to this case, that is not.

Just my opinion, and I'm not saying they should get a different punishment than any other citizen because they're priests, but I don't see a real correction taking place in society or in that institution. I only see money moving hands.
NE

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140254 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 8:58 PM
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FULLER

You'd be hard pressed to find cases of sexually abused girls, or even prepubescent boys.

Here is some data from the study commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Deacons, by Karen Terry et al., prepared by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (Washington DC: USCCB, 2004)
http://tinyurl.com/32oq9q

The results of our study indicated that of all victims whose gender was reported, (Table 4.3.1) 81% were male and 19% were female.

The majority of victims are males between the ages of 11-17, and just over half (50.7%) of all individuals who made allegations of abuse were between the ages of 11-14. The average age of all alleged victims is 12.6.

http://tinyurl.com/2mcfof

If you look at Table 4.3.2 you'll see that nearly 23% of victims reported that the first instance of abuse was when they were 10 years old or younger.

Of all the accounts I've read or seen or heard of the majority involved sexual abuse by priests of teenage males.

Are the majority of victims reporting male? Yes. Is there a reason someone would be hard-pressed to learn about the 1 in 5 of the cases who are female or pre-pubescent? Also yes.

The commercial media, regardless of the "stream" with which it identifies itself exists for one purpose -- to sell advertising seconds. (or did you think Jeff Gordon really liked Pepsi that much?) They do whatever serves that end most efficiently. If Rush could sell more Select-Comfort beds reading from Mao's little red book, he would do it and do it well. If Olberman could sell more Ford trucks delivering self-indulgent bloviations condemning Hillary and Ted, he'd be bulging his eyes and flashing his teeth out of the right side of his mouth. Don't trust people who are paid to tell you lies so you will buy stuff! Enjoy the show if you wish, but don't confuse it with the world outside the screen.

The distortion/counter-distortion equation can never balance itself. The need is too urgent for us to wait to see who's the last guest standing at the end of the Springer show.

In matters of real importance researching peer-reviewed literature is more illuminating than the opportunistic revisionism of agenda-driven pop culture. (and keep an eye out for those peer's agendas as well!) Drudge may sell a lot more Visa cards than Karen Terry et al., but then that's his job. Working hard enough to uncover the facts is ours.

Peace,
b


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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140255 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 9:05 PM
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"Above all else, we really need to get very serious about taking those who live by violence in any form out of society -- and I do mean permanently.ou.."

Did you actually mean to say certin "sins" rather than violence? Violence in many contexts is not sin. Jesus was violent when he became angered and turned over the money-changer's tables, as example.

Having said that, a public stoning of priests would change them more than psychoanalysis. You will likely not agree, but then there are some who believe Christ came to "replace the law" and other who believe He came "to fulfill the law." Those are two different things, but we shouldn't debate it on this thread. My point, while intentionally trying to shock, is more toward today's lack of punishment, especially lack of public punishment, when that was clearly part of the law through both the Old Testament AND New Testament (remember the third try for Church discipline- bring offender before ENTIRE church??).

How sad it is that we soften our will and our discipline in the faith, myself included.
NE

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Author: FULLERKZ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140256 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/16/2007 10:20 PM
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pennsy1tuckian,


Good one. I like the way you do homework.

"The commercial media, regardless of the "stream" with which it identifies itself exists for one purpose -- to sell advertising seconds. (or did you think Jeff Gordon really liked Pepsi that much?) They do whatever serves that end most efficiently. If Rush could sell more Select-Comfort beds reading from Mao's little red book, he would do it and do it well. If Olberman could sell more Ford trucks delivering self-indulgent bloviations condemning Hillary and Ted, he'd be bulging his eyes and flashing his teeth out of the right side of his mouth. Don't trust people who are paid to tell you lies so you will buy stuff! Enjoy the show if you wish, but don't confuse it with the world outside the screen."

I detect a sense of humor too. I get most of my news late. Though early in the morning I peruse the websites of MSNBC(best organized),FOX, and CNN to stay abreast any emergent situations, I take to heart what I frequently view on C-SPAN(no omissive editing,soundbytes,and digital alteration, often live)and because they show all political spectrums in full regalia. I am fortunate to have 3 C-SPAN channels. Occasionally for humor, I watch the evening news where I prefer the beleagured Katie Couric. I've noticed that I could go back and forth from Brian Williams and Charles Gibson but the common agenda and redundancy creates insomnia and Katie is pleasing to the eye. These guys(and gals) are really struggling since the 1970's when their ratings were in the 80's percentile range to now below 30 percentile. You are absolutely right. The sponsors will gravitate to where there are ears and eyeballs.

regards



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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140258 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:47 AM
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Unfortunately, there is NO cure for sexual predators and assertions that they can learn not to act on their desires are dubious at best. The ONLY way to protect children is to remove such individuals from society more or less permanently. The debate should be whether the appropriate way to remove such individuals from society is (1) life in prison with no possibility of parole, (2) exile to a remote island reserved exclusively for sexual preditors, or (3) capital punishment.

If that is indeed the case, then prison probably is appropriate. Still, I haven't heard of any cases of these men hurting more children. It's obvious that this isn't the kind of crime that the threat of punishment will prevent. It requires treatment, as soon as possible. If the problem situation (pedophiles in regular contact with children) can be averted without resorting to prison, why pay for prison? What's done is done, and I'm confident that virtually every diocese, religious order, and seminary is being much more thorough in their psychological evaluations of candidates and ongoing priestly formation. It isn't going to be a problem in the future.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:54 AM
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Because their names will not be on a sexual predator list, they did the crime and should do the time.

That surprises me. I don't think that's right.

Are you really trying to say that a pedophile that can compensate his victims and pay for psych counseling should not be punished for thier crimes? Are you in favor of M. Jackson going free too?

I think the pedophiles (who are likely victims themselves) need to receive the counseling they desperately need to be healed. If prison is the only way to protect them from hurting more kids, then so be it. However, I think in most cases it's possible to keep them out of situations where they'll be around kids. Of course, having their names on the sexual predator list would be very helpful in achieving that end.

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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140260 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 2:08 AM
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"It's obvious that this isn't the kind of crime that the threat of punishment will prevent.."

Castration? Hard Labor? I completely disagree, but your context is skewed by today's "soft-handed" approach. I never saw one mention in the Bible condemning people who had made others eunuchs for whatever reason (and not all eunuchs were voluntary...).

"What's done is done, and I'm confident that virtually every diocese, religious order, and seminary is being much more thorough in their psychological evaluations of candidates and ongoing priestly formation. It isn't going to be a problem in the future."

I feel much safer now with your assurance of the future... Are you kidding?! Something I can't stand to see on Christian discussion pages--MAN's answer to problems. Psychological evaluations?? Since when does this "peer into the soul" of a sinner and proclaim, "He's FREE of sin, praise the lord Freud himself, let's have a Mental Revival...!"

Sorry, but you presented yourself as chaff in the wind, hope the wind didn't blow too hard, and I hope that label doesn't become you.
NE

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 9:51 AM
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Castration? Hard Labor? I completely disagree, but your context is skewed by today's "soft-handed" approach. I never saw one mention in the Bible condemning people who had made others eunuchs for whatever reason (and not all eunuchs were voluntary...).

I just think the question of imprisonment should be left to a case-by-case basis. At least in cases, it isnt necessary to lock them up to resolve the problem. Besides, I think a good number, if not most, of the men who committed these crimes are dead or living in nursing homes.

Is there really any point to locking them up? Who thinks to themselves, "I would molest this 8-year-old boy, but since I might go to prison for it, I'll just leave him alone." Any mind that even considers committing such an act isn't going to care about the threat of punishment. For all we know, it could even make the act more appealing, in a sick and twisted sort of way.

I feel much safer now with your assurance of the future... Are you kidding?! Something I can't stand to see on Christian discussion pages--MAN's answer to problems. Psychological evaluations?? Since when does this "peer into the soul" of a sinner and proclaim, "He's FREE of sin, praise the lord Freud himself, let's have a Mental Revival...!"

When did I say anyone is free of sin? If you've read Norm's posts about the great about of ignorance surrounding pedophilia during the 50s and 60s, we clearly have a greater respect for the complexity of the disorder, its symptoms, and how it should be treated. Why not take advantage of that knowledge? I'm not saying it's going to be a perfect -- nothing is, but every organization that puts adults in care of children is responsible for taking every reasonable measure to screen for these disorders.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 10:50 AM
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Something I can't stand to see on Christian discussion pages--MAN's answer to problems. Psychological evaluations?? Since when does this "peer into the soul" of a sinner and proclaim, "He's FREE of sin, praise the lord Freud himself, let's have a Mental Revival...!"
=======================================================================

Who said anything about freeing of sin?

While I would like to believe the affected institutions will work hard to stop abuse, it is never a 100% certainty. Nothing is. Best we can hope is that the number of cases will drop significantly.

Charlie

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140264 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 11:07 AM
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NuclearElvis,

Did you actually mean to say certin "sins" rather than violence? Violence in many contexts is not sin. Jesus was violent when he became angered and turned over the money-changer's tables, as example.

I clearly used the word "violence" in the context of crimes rather than sins.

Having said that, a public stoning of priests would change them more than psychoanalysis. You will likely not agree, but then there are some who believe Christ came to "replace the law" and other who believe He came "to fulfill the law." Those are two different things, but we shouldn't debate it on this thread. My point, while intentionally trying to shock, is more toward today's lack of punishment, especially lack of public punishment, when that was clearly part of the law through both the Old Testament AND New Testament (remember the third try for Church discipline- bring offender before ENTIRE church??).

As I see it, the purpose of a sentence to imprisonment or death -- and here one could add novel sentences such as castration of male sexual offenders -- is specifically to prevent the offender from committing more violent crimes. Other means of punishment that are less burdensome to society usually are more suitable for crimes that are not violent in nature. Public censure most assuredly is one of them.

Alternative sentences (probation, community service, etc.) are quite common today. Unfortunately, the courts seem to err on the side of excessive use of such sentences.....

How sad it is that we soften our will and our discipline in the faith, myself included.

I'm not persuaded that this problem is the fruit of a loss of discipline in the faith within the Christian community. We are talking about how the secular government deals with violent crime rather than how a community of faith deals with wrongdoing by its members.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 12:17 PM
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NuclearElvis,

While I partially agree with your reasoning, here's another perspective:
The victims may feel that way in reasons 1 and 4 because this is a high profile case involving the Catholic Church. If the perpetrator were John Doe living on the corner in the neighborhood, do you still think the case ends up this way?


To #1, Yes in over 98% of all cases. In the book People of the Lie (which is a very worthwhile, if difficult, read), a Christian psychiatrist (M. Scott Peck, M. D.) discusses traits the very people who engage in this sort of despicable and horrifically evil behavior. One of the common traits of such individuals, regardless of the specific evils that they perpetrate, is the need for cover -- and the best cover of all is a position in society that puts them beyond reproach. Thus, such individuals maneuver into positions of great trust where they are well known and resepcted by the larger community that, in many cases, also facilitate access to potential victims. Positions of religious leadership -- ordained ministry, membership on church boards or councils, teaching Sunday school, choir, etc. -- are only one such possibility. Sexual predators are equally likely to hold high civil offices, positions of leadership in civic organizations, volunteer positions with youth groups (Scouting, Little League, etc.), work as school teachers, guidance counsellors, and principals, or even work in law enforcement. By way of example, we had one sexual predator in my hometown who was (1) a teacher in the public schools, (2) an auxilliary cop, and (3) a scout leader -- a solid triple, and all three provided access! He used his positions as a school teacher and an auxillary cop to recruit boys who got into trouble, either in school or in town, into his scout troop. I won't bother to discuss what transpired on that troop's camp-outs (that troop never participated in council activities, strangely preferring to organize its own), except to say that NAMBLA would be quite jealous. There were non-specific rumors of strangeness swirling around the school and the rest of the scout troops in town when I was in high school, but he didn't get prosecuted until after I graduated from college -- that is, about a decade later.

And to #4, Yes in over 99% of all cases. There are two sources of intimidation. The first is that there's usually a fear of physical harm because the predator is much bigger and stronger than the victim, often compounded by fear of even graver injury if the offender evades conviction. Unfortunately, most defense counsels also give the accuser the "third degree" during cross examination in the hope that some crack will discredit the accusation. Also, one must consider the duress that's inherent in testifying about a deeply personal hurt in a public proceding conducted in a very formal and stately setting that's totally foreign to the victim and thus intimidating in its own right. In many cases, victims also fear riducule from their peers if the facts in the crime become public.

In fact, reasons 2,3 and 5 may be less likely if it's a John Doe living on the corner, because I'd bet the kids would not supress this as much, might even tell mom or dad right away. That's why I think there's some perspective that should be given to this case, that is not.

In the case of a random neighbor, a lot depends upon the relationship between the families. In the neighborhood where I live, most of the neighbors know and intrinsically trust one another so an allegation that the neighbor up the street molested somebody probably would not have carried much credibility unless there were other allegations of abuse by the same individual circulating through the neighborhood's gossip networks. In neighborhoods in which most families are virtual strangers to one another, a lot more would depend upon the stature of the neighbor within the community and the accuser's penchant, or lack thereof, for fabricating tall tales.

Just my opinion, and I'm not saying they should get a different punishment than any other citizen because they're priests, but I don't see a real correction taking place in society or in that institution. I only see money moving hands.

I cannot speak more generally, but I know that there actually has been an overreaction to the situation here in the Archdiocese of Boston. I know a "priest" who has been suspended from all ordained ministry because of an isolated allegation by a person who seems not to be mentally stable, but with whom he had a dating relationship. The alleged incident occurred over twenty years ago, and several years before he went to seminary. That strikes me as being rather draconian.

Norm.


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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140267 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 12:32 PM
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Jason,

Still, I haven't heard of any cases of these men hurting more children.

In one of the most notorious cases here in the Archdiocese of Boston, there were about sixty or seventy victims when the problem first came to light. The archdiocese removed the "priest" from ministry and sent him for psychotherapy. A while later, his psychotherpists sent a formal letter to the Archdiocese certifying that he was cured and could return to normal parish ministry. The Archdiocese took the psychotherapists at their word and assigned the "priest" to a new parish. Some time later, another round of complaints began. By then, he already had another fifty or sixty victims.

This pattern, incidentally, is quite common among the worst offenders.

It's obvious that this isn't the kind of crime that the threat of punishment will prevent.

That, unfortunately, is the crux of the problem.

It requires treatment, as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the journals of psychology now report that there is NO possible treatment for this behavior.

If the problem situation (pedophiles in regular contact with children) can be averted without resorting to prison, why pay for prison?

Okay, I'm all ears. How are you going to keep predators away from potential victims without imprisoning them?

What's done is done, and I'm confident that virtually every diocese, religious order, and seminary is being much more thorough in their psychological evaluations of candidates and ongoing priestly formation. It isn't going to be a problem in the future.

Actually, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (in the United States) did a study back in the 1970's that reviewed the whole of seminary training and ordained ministry. The study concluded, at that time, that over 2/3 of the "priests" in the United States did not have adequate personal and/or spiritual maturity to carry out an effective ministry. The study went on to recommended a major overhaul of the entire process of screening candidates for admission and the entire program of formation in our seminaries. As a result of that study, nearly all dioceses and seminaries in the United States introduced very extensive use of psychological screening instruments and other means to weed out unsuitable candidates for ordination. The change seems to have been a tremendous improvement, too. In fact, nearly all of the instances of sexual abuse by clergy in the United States involve clergy ordained before about 1980 -- that is, before the new screening processes went into effect.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 12:34 PM
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Lawrence,

It never occurred to me that all the abused were boys, I assumed girls were abused as well.

The female victims are very few -- IIRC, less than one percent.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 12:37 PM
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Lawerence,

As I thought this is an issue of pedophilia not homsexuality.

Technically not. Pedophilia is sexual attraction to pre-pubescent boys. Very few of the victims were in that category.

Norm.


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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140270 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 12:40 PM
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Charlie,

My belief has always been that this is not a solely sexuality issue. This abuse is about power and control. It is a sickness that this takes the form of sexual abuse of children. The problem is when we paint it all as one thing, when in fact it isn't. The majority of abuse cases were male to male. It is very easy to say this is a gay issue. The priests involved may, in fact not be gay. In an issue of power it is about control and not sexual gratification.

Nearly all abuse of the human sexual faculty is about power and control, regardless of the ages and genders of those involved.

But the fact remains that nearly all of the reported cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy -- IIRC, over 99% -- were male on male, and thus homosexual.

Norm.


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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140271 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 12:47 PM
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"Who said anything about freeing of sin?"

I wasn't inferring they had to be "freed from sin," but was making fun of the Catholic Church's flawed process with psychiatry.

When you abdicate to psychiatrists for analysis of priests, you're asking them for man's opinion on the matter, rather than New Testament directed discipline. First, it's a one-on-one talk, then if no change two-on-one talk, then if no change, issue comes before the church, if no change the person is expelled. It's that simple, that's the discipline directed in the New Testament (Paul, right?).

Instead, we have this man-made silliness the Catholic church is attempting. Those priests should have been gone long ago, and put up on charges by the civilian authorities- the Church is at fault for not doing their part to push the priests out the door and into jails/civil punishment if necessary. Church decided to hide it instead. Shame on them, and their dogmatic ways.
NE

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Author: JavaRunner Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140272 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:29 PM
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But the fact remains that nearly all of the reported cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy -- IIRC, over 99% -- were male on male, and thus homosexual.
========================================================================

Sorry...sexual orientation is only piece of this puzzle...not THE piece.

Charlie

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140273 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:48 PM
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Norm,

This is the oft repeated story, but it is not correct...

But the fact remains that nearly all of the reported cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy -- IIRC, over 99% -- were male on male, and thus homosexual.

As I've already cited, the church's own study surveying over 10,000 victims found that around 80% of them were male.

I won't try your patience by dredging through the facts again. Here's the link. If you're interested.

http://tinyurl.com/2mcfof

Peace,
b

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140274 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:53 PM
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NE,

Do I misunderstand the situation? I thought that this was a civil settlement to compensate the victims for the church's liability in their attacks. This is the church settling, not the criminals.

Does this settlement mean that criminal charges will not be brought where rapists can be prosecuted? I'm not sure a citizen has the right to sign away the government's responsibility to prosecute criminals...

Peace,
b
(ignorant)

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140275 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:54 PM
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Pedophilia is sexual attraction to pre-pubescent boys. Very few of the victims were in that category.

Another popular misconception.

Op cit.

Peace,
b

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140276 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 1:55 PM
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The Archdiocese took the psychotherapists at their word and assigned the "priest" to a new parish. Some time later, another round of complaints began. By then, he already had another fifty or sixty victims.

What I mean is there haven't been reports (that I'm aware of) where victims came forward who were molested by someone who was already removed from ministry. Therefore, it seems that whatever action has been taken is preventing further abuse. Like I said before, most of them are probably dead or lying in a nursing home somewhere, so it's not like there are 500 inactive priests in L.A. living and working wherever.

Okay, I'm all ears. How are you going to keep predators away from potential victims without imprisoning them?

Seems like most them are allowed to live relatively normal lives, as long as they keep their names and addresses on the list of sexual offenders and don't have jobs that involve working with kids.

As a result of that study, nearly all dioceses and seminaries in the United States introduced very extensive use of psychological screening instruments and other means to weed out unsuitable candidates for ordination.

From how friends of mine describe it who are applying for seminary, "very extensive" is an understatement. :)

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 2:15 PM
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Norm,

This is the hardest part of the situation for me to wrap my mind around.

Unfortunately, the journals of psychology now report that there is NO possible treatment for this behavior.

Sexual predators are dangerous criminals who can not be allowed to live among anyone who is a potential victim - which means anyone.

These people do not choose to act this way. They are compelled to prey on others because of a disorder that cannot be changed by any therapy or treatment. Put a 30 year old sexual predator in prison for 50 years, and he will come out an 80 year old sexual predator and he WILL attack another victim.

On the one hand, society's safety demands that these people bear the consequences of who they are. On the other, they must pay for crimes that no act of will on their part could have prevented.

This is behavior that is outside any conception of sin that Jesus prepared us for. In Jesus' universe, people choose light or darkness. In the universe of the sociopath, there is no choice.

If they must be imprisoned or killed, it is not for the sake of their punishment or rehabilitation, it is for the safety of all of us and the ones we love.

Evil, criminal, despicable -- absolutely. But also tragic.

Compassion without pity is a hard trick to turn.

Peace,
b

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 2:53 PM
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<<
The female victims are very few -- IIRC, less than one percent.

Norm.
>>

Another post stated that the # was close to 20%.




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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 2:55 PM
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<<
As I thought this is an issue of pedophilia not homsexuality.
><
Technically not. Pedophilia is sexual attraction to pre-pubescent boys. Very few of the victims were in that category.

Norm.
>>

Another post said that most of the abuse began aound age 10 or 11 wich is pre-pubescent.
I do not think a pedophile is limited to boys.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 3:08 PM
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They are compelled to prey on others because of a disorder that cannot be changed by any therapy or treatment. Put a 30 year old sexual predator in prison for 50 years, and he will come out an 80 year old sexual predator and he WILL attack another victim.

This is such an emotional issue that I hesitate to even take part in this thread, but I have worked with many folks who have been convicted of sexual crimes over the years and you are mistaken.

The fact that a child gets molested sets off a lot of things for most of us. The nature of the crime, the age of the victim, and the fact that many people have some first hand knowledge of it through something that happened to either them or somebody in their family all work together to make it the worst thing that somebody can do.

I understand all that.

However, much of what has been said in this thread about sexual predators and child molesters is terribly inaccurate.

Despite the perception that you get watching tv, the recidivism rate of a sexual predator without treatment is about 20%, not 100%. And with treatment, that drops to about 10%. That doesn't make the crime any less horrible, but does mean that "he WILL attack another victim" is certainly not a valid observation.

The recidivism rate of a child molester without treatment is higher, up around 50%. But as awful as that is, it still doesn't mean that "he WILL attack another victim." It means that it is just as likely that he will not.

I don't claim to have the answer. I have a wife, children and grandchildren, and I want them to be safe. I've seen men get released from prison that I am sure were released on an unsuspecting public and immediately went on the prowl. I've also seen sex offenders go on an lead very normal lives after many years of incarceration. The answer is not as easy as shipping everybody off to a desert island to live out their lives, nor is it a certainty that they will re-offend.

But I do know that solutions become more difficult to find when we hold on to inaccurate assumptions about what "they" are like.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 3:14 PM
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<<
This is behavior that is outside any conception of sin that Jesus prepared us for. In Jesus' universe, people choose light or darkness. In the universe of the sociopath, there is no choice.
>>

Actually, I think the grace of God can change anyone. Religion is not capable of changing a man, God is able.

Jesus did heal the sick but he also cast out demons. There seems to be some theology today that seems to ignore demons, like they are no more. I am not sure why this is. I do not consider a pedophile as being sick. If they are not insane then psychiatry is not a solution. Maybe they are not hosting a demon (or demons).
But God can change the most wicked among us. An alcoholic can stop drinking but remain an alcoholic, a pedophile can stop preying on children but he may remain a pedophile. Which is why they should stay away from children as an alcoholic should not be a bartender.






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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140282 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 4:36 PM
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"Does this settlement mean that criminal charges will not be brought where rapists can be prosecuted?"

The settlement is out of court (civil,my understanding), but also there's issues of statute of limitations and such that come into play. My point was that internal Church discipline- if followed, would have resulted in the priests being expelled from their church early on, at the least, and along with that the church could have recommended them for criminal charges to the state.

Rather, we have this cover-up and such, along with continued abuse through the years.

The government can only prosecute if they have the information, and years ago (in many cases) that information was known to the Catholic church. Think of it this way- if a university knew that some professor committed murder, would it be okay for the university staff to handle the investigation in-house and not tell the authorities? Of course not.

This is where I'm kinda peeved at the system- the church should be held more accountable for witholding evidence from multiple cases, not just this one.
NE

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Author: deputac Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140283 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 4:42 PM
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This is where I'm kinda peeved at the system- the church should be held more accountable for witholding evidence from multiple cases, not just this one.

I believe that part of the deal the archdiocese made in this settlement is that they would be turning over their internal documents regarding the priests and incidents involved. I am assuming that this information would be used by future parties to possibly prosecute any crimes that may still be prosecuted under the applicable statutes of limitations.

deputac


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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140287 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 5:01 PM
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"I believe that part of the deal the archdiocese made in this settlement is that they would be turning over their internal documents regarding the priests and incidents involved. I am assuming that this information would be used by future parties to possibly prosecute any crimes that may still be prosecuted under the applicable statutes of limitations."

deputac,
Even if so, why isn't the U.S. Catholic Church as an organization being investigated by the Federal Government?? If this were any other non-profit org, or small church group (remember the Davidians?), there would be FBI, IRS and who knows what other Government agencies raiding the Church's administrative buildings, forcing open all the files, all of them. Why is the Government turning a blind eye on this, because of the power and influence of this one organization?

Statute of limitations- what if that was part of the plan- hide information forever, or at least until the statute of limitations expired. In cases of hidden evidence in other crimes, the statute of limitations can sometimes be broached due to intent to suppress evidence.

NE


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Author: deputac Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140288 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 5:10 PM
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Even if so, why isn't the U.S. Catholic Church as an organization being investigated by the Federal Government??

Actually, my response was just a brief answer to your question regarding the future prosecution of these individuals, not so much a comment on the Church and how it has handled the situation.

Briefly, the sex scandal of this archdiocese I am sure could be prosecuted under some type of RICO statute, but sex crimes, especially against minors, are mostly handled by the state authorities. As for the Branch Davidians, there was a gun angle there, so the federal agencies had some jurisdiction. I am not an expert on federal criminal statutes, but that is how I would perceive the situation.

As for the statute of limitations argument you have raised, I have not read anywhere any evidence of the the Church authorities actively hiding information to avoid prosecution. If they were, I would fully support the prosecution of those individuals. But, the fact that files were maintained would lead me to surmise that this was not their original intent.

Just my two cents.

deputac



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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140289 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 6:45 PM
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wolferd1,

This is such an emotional issue that I hesitate to even take part in this thread, but I have worked with many folks who have been convicted of sexual crimes over the years and you are mistaken.

Your observation does not agree with my own study, but I find it encouraging nevertheless. It gives me hope to think that redemption is possible in this life, even for child molesters.

On the other hand, does your observation also suggest that the offending acts were not in fact compulsive, but were rather a reasoned expression of desire or even affection, however disordered that reasoning may have been at the time?

I don't intend to set up a false dichotomy here. I just want to understand better - and do some good when possible.

Peace,
b

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:02 PM
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Jason,

What I mean is there haven't been reports (that I'm aware of) where victims came forward who were molested by someone who was already removed from ministry. Therefore, it seems that whatever action has been taken is preventing further abuse.

In fact, there have been many such cases. The press simply has not reported very many of them. A person who is a sexual predator does not cease to be a sexual predator just because the local bishop removes him from active ministry.

I really believe that there is an agenda behind the major media outlets to take down Christian faith, if they can. Those who are behind that agenda believe that they can use sexual abuse by hundreds of numbers of active ministers to further that agenda if they simply hype it so that their readers or viewers cannot ignore it, and even more so if they can twist and distort it to give the impression that the institution tacitly enables, or even condones and promotes, such actions. Sexual abuse by somebody whom the institution has booted from active ministry, OTOH, does not further that agenda, so they don't bother to report it. Don't be misled by the absence of reports on such cases in the major media.

Seems like most them are allowed to live relatively normal lives, as long as they keep their names and addresses on the list of sexual offenders and don't have jobs that involve working with kids.

Again, don't be misled by the absence of reports. Sexual predators do not cease to be sexual predators. If somebody alleged to be a sexual predator is not looking for an opportunity to prey on more victims, the allegation is a lie and Satan is having his way by getting a very effective preacher and spiritual leader removed from active ministry.

From how friends of mine describe it who are applying for seminary, "very extensive" is an understatement. :)

Yup.

Norm.


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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140291 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:10 PM
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Lawrence,

Another post stated that the # was close to 20%.

Yes, but 20% of what? The post cited a source that said 20% of cases in which the report specified the gender of the victims involved female victims. The incidence of female victims is such an aberration in these cases that the reports make special note of that fact, whereas cases involving male victims are so commonplace that the reports of such predators often presume that the reader will know that detail. Also, statistically, the cases involving male victims typically have a LOT more victims -- often hundreds -- than the cases involving female victims.

But even supposing a figure of 20%, that's a five to one ratio -- still pretty badly skewed.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:12 PM
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Bob,

Me: Pedophilia is sexual attraction to pre-pubescent boys. Very few of the victims were in that category.

You: Another popular misconception.

Check your medical dictionary for a precise definition of the term.

Or just check the links in the first half dozen posts in this thread, one of which pointed to a web page that had actual definitions of the terms. (There is another term for sexual abuse of teenagers.)

Norm.


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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140293 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:13 PM
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Charlie,

Sorry...sexual orientation is only piece of this puzzle...not THE piece.

Yes, it is A piece, as opposed to THE (only) piece. Nonetheless, the statistics indicate that it is a very significant piece.

Norm.


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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140294 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:23 PM
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Lawrence,

I agree that God can change a person. God can heal a sociopath. God can remove cancer overnight. I think that these things have happened and will happen again. But events like these are supernatural and so rare that we call them miracles. Every sexual predator's broken mind requires a miracle allong the lines of the disappearance of an inoperable brain tumor in order to change. It is possible for God, as are all things.

But God is not so prodigal with miracles as we might wish.

For most of human history, people believed that what we call mental illness was the result of demons. When Jesus healed a person with a broken mind, it was natural for his observers, and for him to understand that a demon had left the person. That was what people thought happened. Again, it is possible that there really were seventy demons named Legion living inside a hermit by a herd of swine. The events of that day may have been precisely as the Gospel writers understood them to be.

But I've found that Demons, like miracles, are more subtle than that.

If they are not insane then psychiatry is not a solution.

I promise not to take that personally. I have an appointment Thursday morning and while my sleep is irregular and my moods still a bit extreme, I don't think I'm being treated for "insanity" per se.

But I know that a mind can break as surely as a bone or a tendon. While we understand the physiology of how bones and tissue mend themselves, the way the mind creates sense for itself remains a mystery in many respects. My understanding has been (though wolferd gives me reason to hope otherwise) that a mind can be broken beyond medicine's or even its own capacity to heal. I think that in many of the cases that have so racked the church, minds of both attacker and victim will not be restored to health in this life.

Is it possible for an addict to live a life of sobriety? Yes, thanks be to God. Is it possible for a child predator, a serial molester who repeatedly lives for the hunt and the conquest of helpless sexual partners to live a life of celebacy, or even of healthy adult sexual partnership?

I'll need to see some numbers on that.

Peace,
b

(wondering if maybe there is an important distinction between a child molester and a "sexual predator" that i don't understand yet. back to the lab...)

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140296 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:34 PM
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NuclearElvis,

When you abdicate to psychiatrists for analysis of priests, you're asking them for man's opinion on the matter, rather than New Testament directed discipline. First, it's a one-on-one talk, then if no change two-on-one talk, then if no change, issue comes before the church, if no change the person is expelled. It's that simple, that's the discipline directed in the New Testament (Paul, right?).

Whoa, boy, whoa! Slow down!

You are missing a couple very important details here.

>> 1. The scriptural procedure does not discount the fact that God often chooses to work through the healing professions. Indeed, when a member of the church acts out due to an addiction, or a psychiatric problem, or some emotional disturbance, there's nothing whatsoever in the new testament indicating that the leaders of the church should not refer that person to the practitioners of the appropriate healing professions for treatment of the condition. Rather, the true pastoral response to such conditions is precisely to refer those who bear afflictions to those who can treat them. And in at least some of the abuse cases, the result of the "one on one talk" was precisely that the offender went for such treatment.

>> 2. One pernicious aspect of this problem is that victims often do not come forward until several years after the abuse occurs. In the intervening time, the predator has abused many more victims. In several cases, there were seventy or eighty victims when the higher authorities received the first allegations of abuse. You really cannot expect those in authority to deal with a problem until somebody reports the problem. And many of the repeaters had another sixty or seventy victims before the authority received the first report of abuses that occurred after the first intervention.

So please get off your sanctimonious high horse.

Instead, we have this man-made silliness the Catholic church is attempting. Those priests should have been gone long ago, and put up on charges by the civilian authorities- the Church is at fault for not doing their part to push the priests out the door and into jails/civil punishment if necessary. Church decided to hide it instead. Shame on them, and their dogmatic ways.

Wrong. The fundamental responsibility to file a timely criminal complaint rests with the victim of a crime. In the case of a sexual offense, this includes getting prompt medical attention that can preserve evidence to support prosecution thereof.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:38 PM
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Bob,

As I've already cited, the church's own study surveying over 10,000 victims found that around 80% of them were male.

I won't try your patience by dredging through the facts again. Here's the link. If you're interested.


This study goes back well before the current round of incidents. It's very likely that inclusion of older incidents (1950-1970) and incidents involving adult victims may alter the statistics.

Norm.


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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140298 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 7:42 PM
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NE,

Statute of limitations- what if that was part of the plan- ...

I don't think so. If you read history, you find that hints and whispers about licentious clergy have always haunted the church.

I doubt there was any organized strategy to cover things up until the statute ran out. Rather, I think that things were handled the way they had always been handled -- it's just that no one ever expected thousands of victims to find the courage to speak out at the same time. Their combined voices turned a cloud of rumor into a tide of accusation against which even the church's edifice could not stand.

My prayer is that something more godly is built in its place.

and that the thousands of other institutions and organizations who routinely hide crimes behind a wall of secrecy for the sake of saving face before the press or the alumni or the stock-holders, I pray that they will quickly annd quietly learn from the hard lessons being taught to the church in America today, and take down their own walls.

Peace,
b

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 8:02 PM
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Bob,

Sexual predators are dangerous criminals who can not be allowed to live among anyone who is a potential victim - which means anyone.

Well, anyone in the particular demographic upon whom they will prey.

These people do not choose to act this way. They are compelled to prey on others because of a disorder that cannot be changed by any therapy or treatment. Put a 30 year old sexual predator in prison for 50 years, and he will come out an 80 year old sexual predator and he WILL attack another victim.

Here, I'm not convinced that "do not choose" is a fair characterization of the condition. Rather, I believe that they choose to act in this way because they obtain some sort of perverse gratification from it. The problem is that they perceive the gratification to be greater than even the worst consequences that society can (or at least will) bring to bear.

More fundamentally, though, there's an old joke about how many psychologists it takes to change a light bulb. The answer is, "One, but the light bulb really has to want to change." Factually, the reason why it is impossible to cure sexual predators is that people who are so bent on evil as to become sexual predators do not want to change. Rather, they are Peck's "People of the Lie" -- people who will game the system, pretending to cooperate with a program of treatment, in order to secure their freedom so that they can prey on more victims. They simply do not deal in truth, and their external lives are strictly a facade that they embellish constantly as a foil for their evil ways.

On the one hand, society's safety demands that these people bear the consequences of who they are. On the other, they must pay for crimes that no act of will on their part could have prevented.

This is behavior that is outside any conception of sin that Jesus prepared us for. In Jesus' universe, people choose light or darkness. In the universe of the sociopath, there is no choice.


Were this the case, it would provide moral absolution for their acts. I don't believe that there is no choice. Rather, there is a fundamental choice to pursue self-gratification at the expense of others. In the case of sexual predators, the self-gratification simply takes on a particularly despicable form.

If they must be imprisoned or killed, it is not for the sake of their punishment or rehabilitation, it is for the safety of all of us and the ones we love.

More fundamentally, the safety of others really is the only justification for imprisonment of anybody and most assuredly for capital punishment. There are plenty of other ways to punish those who don't pose a clear and present danger to the safety and security of others.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 8:04 PM
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Lawerence,

Another post said that most of the abuse began aound age 10 or 11 wich is pre-pubescent.
I do not think a pedophile is limited to boys.


Actually, another post cited pubety as being around thirteen. In fact, there's clear biological evidence to the contrary. It apparently can occur as early as age eight or nine, though I suspect that ten or eleven is more common.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 8:04 PM
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Norm,

I was not being clear.

The misconception to which I referred was not to your definition ot the word Pedophilia, but to the assertion that very few of the victims were in that category (pre-pubescent).

Very nearly half of the victims surveyed (reporting over 10,000 incidents of abuse) were under age 11 the first time they were abused.

Part of the popular mythology here is that homosexual priests were seducing teenage boys. That's surely true of a lot of the cases. But it is not the "nearly all" or "99%" or "every one I've ever heard of" that our culture represents it to be.

I have a theory about this -- for a scandal to be commercially successful, it has to be bad enough to make us wince, but not so bad that we change the channel.

We see Saddam's swinging feet, but not the snap of the rope around his neck.

We hear of bloody gloves and Nicole's sexual history and wide-eyed experts describe a head nearly severed from a body, but we never see photos of the wound.

People will stand for the mental image of a sixteen-year-old boy performing fellatio for a forty-year old man in a confessional or a dormitory. They will be outraged and offended, but they will not switch the channel. The image of that same man performing different acts on a nine year old girl would be a story not even Rupert Murdock would try to sell.

The people who leered as Jezebel's skirts flew up over her head as she fell to her death probably did not stick around to watch the dogs finish her off.

Some stories just don't sell papers.

Peace,
b



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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140302 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 8:12 PM
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I really believe that there is an agenda behind the major media outlets to take down Christian faith, if they can. Those who are behind that agenda believe that they can use sexual abuse by hundreds of numbers of active ministers to further that agenda if they simply hype it so that their readers or viewers cannot ignore it, and even more so if they can twist and distort it to give the impression that the institution tacitly enables, or even condones and promotes, such actions. Sexual abuse by somebody whom the institution has booted from active ministry, OTOH, does not further that agenda, so they don't bother to report it. Don't be misled by the absence of reports on such cases in the major media.

No, I don't think there's a media conspiracy. The media mainly wants to sell advertising, and they do that by reporting what we enjoy hearing. When a Protestant youth minister or pastor gets in trouble for molesting kids, it doesn't make for an entertaining story. But when it occurs within the Catholic priesthood, then you've got something. "Sin City" wouldn't be nearly as good a story if the corrupt Cardinal were replaced with the pastor of a mega-church. The Catholic Church carries with it this "air" of holiness, so corrupt Catholics simply make for a better story. That's all the news media is doing: entertaining us with "real life" stories.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 8:13 PM
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Wolferd1,

Despite the perception that you get watching tv, the recidivism rate of a sexual predator without treatment is about 20%, not 100%. And with treatment, that drops to about 10%. That doesn't make the crime any less horrible, but does mean that "he WILL attack another victim" is certainly not a valid observation.

The recidivism rate of a child molester without treatment is higher, up around 50%. But as awful as that is, it still doesn't mean that "he WILL attack another victim." It means that it is just as likely that he will not.

I don't claim to have the answer. I have a wife, children and grandchildren, and I want them to be safe. I've seen men get released from prison that I am sure were released on an unsuspecting public and immediately went on the prowl. I've also seen sex offenders go on an lead very normal lives after many years of incarceration. The answer is not as easy as shipping everybody off to a desert island to live out their lives, nor is it a certainty that they will re-offend.

But I do know that solutions become more difficult to find when we hold on to inaccurate assumptions about what "they" are like.


It appears that you are basing your statistics on criminal convictions of sexual crimes, which unfortunately do not correlate with reality as reliably as we would like. The recent rash of prisoners convicted of rape and other felonies being released after analysis of DNA from the crime scene, which was not available at the time of their trial, proved their innocense proves just how flawed our courts can be, and it may not reflect the actual number of prisoners who were wrongly convicted. In view of what the mental health professions now know about the dynamics of predators, I have to be suspicious of the convictions of those who do not repeat.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 8:46 PM
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NuclearElvis,

Even if so, why isn't the U.S. Catholic Church as an organization being investigated by the Federal Government?? If this were any other non-profit org, or small church group (remember the Davidians?), there would be FBI, IRS and who knows what other Government agencies raiding the Church's administrative buildings, forcing open all the files, all of them. Why is the Government turning a blind eye on this, because of the power and influence of this one organization?

Well, first off, there is no single organization called the "U. S. Catholic Church." Rather, the Catholic Church is a consortium of substantially autonomous organizations called dioceses, each headed by a bishop and legally a "Corporate Sole" with various separately incorporated member units called parishes. There are also religious orders that are separate from the diocesan structure, but also organized as loose federations of autonomus organizations variously called "provinces" and "abbeys" and "priories" under the jurisdiction of a "major superior," and each of these units is also a separate corporation formed under the laws of the state in which it is located or based. Anyway, each bishop has full authority to assign the clergy of his diocese in the manner that he deems best. Bishops of larger dioceses typically establish a diocesan personnel board to handle the routine reassignment of clergy, while bishops of smaller dioceses usually handle reassignments personally. At the national level, there is an entity called the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that is most comparable to the sorts of associations that many industries form to foster collaboration on issues of common concern, but the USCCB has no jurisdiction to intervene in individual dioceses.

Note, in this context, that the settlement whose announcement fostered this discussion is by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and not by the USCCB. The reason is quite simple. Responsibility for assignment of clergy within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles rests solely with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and its archbishop. Also, note that not every diocese has had major problems with sexual abuse by clergy.

Second, the treatment of the Branch Davidians by the U. S. Department of Justice was absolutely inexcusible. Nonetheless, the federal government got involved because the Department of Justice suspected violations of federal laws governing firearms. As I pointed out in an earlier post, sexual misconduct usually violates atate laws rather than federal laws. Thus, the federal government has no jurisdiction to get involved.

Statute of limitations- what if that was part of the plan- hide information forever, or at least until the statute of limitations expired. In cases of hidden evidence in other crimes, the statute of limitations can sometimes be broached due to intent to suppress evidence.

The authorities of each state can most assuredly investigate a diocese located therein if they believe that its administration was involved in covering up a crime. Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, I suspsect that an investigation of the Clergy Personnel Board would have provided evidence to indict some of its members, if they are still alive and the statute of limitations on their offenses has not expired. As it is, the Attorney General decided that the matter was not worth pursuing -- probably because of the applicable statutes of limitations on the likely offenses.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 9:03 PM
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Bob,

The misconception to which I referred was not to your definition ot the word Pedophilia, but to the assertion that very few of the victims were in that category (pre-pubescent).

Very nearly half of the victims surveyed (reporting over 10,000 incidents of abuse) were under age 11 the first time they were abused.


Again, the survey of your article apparently encompasses a much longer era than the recent problems. That fact may have altered the statistics considerably. Thus, you and I probably are not working off the same set of statistics.

Living at "ground zero" of the scandal in the United States (the Archdiocese of Boston), I have frequent personal conversations with people who are involved in it on many levels and direct first-hand information about the current situation.

Part of the popular mythology here is that homosexual priests were seducing teenage boys. That's surely true of a lot of the cases. But it is not the "nearly all" or "99%" or "every one I've ever heard of" that our culture represents it to be.

I have a theory about this -- for a scandal to be commercially successful, it has to be bad enough to make us wince, but not so bad that we change the channel.

We see Saddam's swinging feet, but not the snap of the rope around his neck.

We hear of bloody gloves and Nicole's sexual history and wide-eyed experts describe a head nearly severed from a body, but we never see photos of the wound.

People will stand for the mental image of a sixteen-year-old boy performing fellatio for a forty-year old man in a confessional or a dormitory. They will be outraged and offended, but they will not switch the channel. The image of that same man performing different acts on a nine year old girl would be a story not even Rupert Murdock would try to sell.

The people who leered as Jezebel's skirts flew up over her head as she fell to her death probably did not stick around to watch the dogs finish her off.


That's an interesting perspective.

The truth is that we live in a society that's afraid of unpleasant truth. We no longer close caskets in the presence of the family because that moment is quite poignant and often brings a very emotional reaction. We no longer lower caskets into graves and throw durt on top of it during funeral services for the same reason. We no longer tell terminally sick people that they have cancer, or that a loved one is dying, for fear that it will be too traumatic for them. And without the emotional release that such traumatic moments bring, many people end up carrying the grief and other emotions that could have, would have, and should have been released in those moments with them for many years after. We all would be better off if we would learn to deal with reality instead of trying to sugar coat it all the time....

Norm.


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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140306 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 9:14 PM
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Jason,

No, I don't think there's a media conspiracy. The media mainly wants to sell advertising, and they do that by reporting what we enjoy hearing. When a Protestant youth minister or pastor gets in trouble for molesting kids, it doesn't make for an entertaining story. But when it occurs within the Catholic priesthood, then you've got something. "Sin City" wouldn't be nearly as good a story if the corrupt Cardinal were replaced with the pastor of a mega-church. The Catholic Church carries with it this "air" of holiness, so corrupt Catholics simply make for a better story. That's all the news media is doing: entertaining us with "real life" stories.

Perhaps you are too young to remember the scandal of the televangelists that eventually sent Jim Baker and his wife to prison and discredited several others a couple decades ago, but I can assure you that the major media also has targeted Protestant leaders with high profiles for corruption in various forms on many occasions.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer in a telephone center of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. When I went to the training seminar, the teacher was very esplicit that we were not to solicit donations in any way. To emphasize the point, she described one of several calls that came in at the height of the scandal. After a volunteer told the caller for about the fifth time that no donation was necessary, the caller said, "Okay, I'll come clean. I'm an investigagive reporter for *name of major media outlet* and I'm doing an investigation on evangelical Christian ministries that fleece those cho come for their services...."

Suffice it to say that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association did NOT beocme a subject of that investigative report. Many other evangelical ministries did.

Norm.


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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140309 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 9:53 PM
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You know that feeling where you find yourself in such a nasty place for so long that you just want to stop what you're doing, go home, and take a bath?

I think I'm there.

I think that this subject is terribly important, and I recognize that unlike Norm, I have the luxury of stepping away from the epicenter whenever I like - but I have my own compulsive streak, and if I gnaw on this bone much longer, I'm going to lose a tooth in it - one which I will almost certainly need another day.

I found a link (this may be what did me in) to what looks to me like a pretty even-handed lecture on psychology/criminology and sex offender/predator behavior. The author is Dr Tom O'Connor from North Carolina Wesleyan. I have never heard of either the good professor or his school, but he seems to touch most of the bases.

http://tinyurl.com/yrqe4z

And now, as Robyn has so eloquently reminded me, I have a pretty girl to love, and that is a blessing to be savored with reverent gratitude.

Peace, Fools. Sweet dreams.

b

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140310 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/17/2007 9:56 PM
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Perhaps you are too young to remember the scandal of the televangelists that eventually sent Jim Baker and his wife to prison and discredited several others a couple decades ago, but I can assure you that the major media also has targeted Protestant leaders with high profiles for corruption in various forms on many occasions.

I've heard about Jim Baker, and I'm not saying Protestant churches aren't the subject of these scandals in the media, but when it comes to telling a good story, the Catholic Church usually makes for a better setting. I have to say though, a corrupt mega-church pastor isn't a bad idea either. I don't think anyone's done that yet...

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer in a telephone center of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. When I went to the training seminar, the teacher was very esplicit that we were not to solicit donations in any way. To emphasize the point, she described one of several calls that came in at the height of the scandal. After a volunteer told the caller for about the fifth time that no donation was necessary, the caller said, "Okay, I'll come clean. I'm an investigagive reporter for *name of major media outlet* and I'm doing an investigation on evangelical Christian ministries that fleece those cho come for their services...."

Suffice it to say that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association did NOT beocme a subject of that investigative report. Many other evangelical ministries did.


To play the devil's advocate, couldn't one say those reporters were just doing their job? They're going to do what they can to uncover a good story, and they're only doing it because we like to hear everybody's dirt. Ultimately, it's not the media that's at fault but the people who keep them in business. Follow the money... it comes back to the consumer... that'd be us :)

If anything, the Billy Graham Ass'n earned a short mention as one of the "good guys" in the middle of a long report on several bad apples. But again, hearing about what's good in the world isn't very entertaining.

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Author: NuclearElvis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140315 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 11:10 AM
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"You are missing a couple very important details here. >> 1. The scriptural procedure does not discount the fact that God often chooses to work through the healing professions..."

Healing Professionals?? We're talking about Sin here Norm, not a broken bone. This is where we hit a tangent, because it is not sanctimonious or pious to simply label sin as sin.

Your complete analysis is skewed and flawed as a result of your classification of this whole incident as "sickness."

You also said "Wrong. The fundamental responsibility to file a timely criminal complaint rests with the victim of a crime."

Is that for real? ANY witness or person with knowledge of a crime is expected to come forward and let authorities know. We know that the Catholic Church has hidden many of these cases. That's the fact Norm.

Me, sanctimonious? Hardly, I'm just pointing toward the truth of the matter, while there's obviously far too many excuses from others being made for the Catholic Church.
NE

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140316 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 11:32 AM
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Jason,

I've heard about Jim Baker, and I'm not saying Protestant churches aren't the subject of these scandals in the media, but when it comes to telling a good story, the Catholic Church usually makes for a better setting. I have to say though, a corrupt mega-church pastor isn't a bad idea either. I don't think anyone's done that yet...

Let's just say that if your objective is to discredit or undermine Christian faith, a denomination whose members represent over two thirds of the world's (at least nominal) Christian population is a great target. And so are those who have the means to communicate the gospel to large numbers of unchurched and uncatechized people.

To play the devil's advocate, couldn't one say those reporters were just doing their job? They're going to do what they can to uncover a good story, and they're only doing it because we like to hear everybody's dirt.

If you want to assess whether investigative reporters are doing their job or not, you first have to define their job. Here, I believe that their job is to report information accurately, objectively, completely, and without undue hype that might unfairly bias the listener. I'm not persuaded that the reporting on either sexual abuse by some Catholic clergy (statistically less than 1% of clergy, BTW) or the reporting on televangelists a few years ago meets this objective. Rather, much of it was very slanted by emphasizing details that made the targets of the respective investigation look bad while downplaying or suppressing evidence of responsible action, consistent failure to report significant background information of a contextual nature, and excessive hype focusing on the negative aspects of the respective stories.

Ultimately, it's not the media that's at fault but the people who keep them in business. Follow the money... it comes back to the consumer... that'd be us :)

If that were the case, many of the traditional major media outlets would be consolidating or going out of business for lack of readership or viewership while Fox News (which has the highest ratings of any national television news) and several supposedly second tier newspapers would be expanding by leaps and bounds with their growing viewership or readership.

If anything, the Billy Graham Ass'n earned a short mention as one of the "good guys" in the middle of a long report on several bad apples. But again, hearing about what's good in the world isn't very entertaining.

I agree that it was deserved. Unfortunately, IIRC, it didn't happen.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 11:32 AM
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<<
If they are not insane then psychiatry is not a solution
>>

I apoligize for the statement. What I was trying to say is that I do not know that a sexual predator is mentally ill. Some may be, but could others be rational? Not normal but no mental illness, nothing to treat.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 12:09 PM
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NuclearElvis,

We're talking about Sin here...

That's not so clear. One of the major criticisms of the Archdiocese of Boston is that, back in the 1970's, the archdiocese attempted to handle the despicable acts of clergy who were sexual predators as sins rather than as crimes.

Backing up a step, there's a fundamental difference between evil and sin, and it's entirely possible for an act to be evil but not sinful. In particular, the word "sin" implies that the offender has at least some ability to make a moral choice. That ability includes at least (1) some conscious awareness of the fact that he or she is committing the offending act, (2) some awareness that the act is intrinsically evil, AND (3) some ability to choose to act differently. Impairment of any of these -- for example, by drugs (including ethanol), by a state of fatigue, by habit, or even by a state of moral confusion may diminish moral culpability such that an intrinsically evil act does not constitute sin.

Your complete analysis is skewed and flawed as a result of your classification of this whole incident as "sickness."

Yes. Mental illness is by far the most likely cause of several of the impairments that I mentioned above. When a person commits such horrific acts, pastoral prudence dictates that one should at least investigate the possibility that mental illness might be contributing to the problem.

Is that for real? ANY witness or person with knowledge of a crime is expected to come forward and let authorities know. We know that the Catholic Church has hidden many of these cases. That's the fact Norm.

The operative word in your statement is witness. Sexual predators nearly always lure their victims to places where there are no witnesses, whether those places be a supply room or a bedroom or someplace in the middle of the woods.

In some states, the law NOW also requires certain individuals (typically medical providers, school teachers and officials, and in some cases clergy) with knowledge of predatory crimes of a sexual nature to report them, but that begs the question of what actually constitutes knowledge. Gossip and normal hearsay usually do not rise to that level, but a situation in which the victim "reports" a crime to such individuals usually would. Note, however, that such legal requirements do not override the burden of confidentiality imposed by a patient-provider relationship, which the U. S. Supreme Court has recognized as necessary for proper medical or psychotheraputic treatment under the tenth amendment, or by the "seal of the confessional," which the U. S. Supreme Court has recognized as a necessary element of the free execise of religion under the first amendment.

Note, BTW, that many states adopted laws requiring this reporting very recently -- that is, in response to the recent scandal. Those laws are ex post facto and thus constitutoinally barred with respect to incidents that occured before they took effect.

We know that the Catholic Church has hidden many of these cases. That's the fact Norm.

It would be more accurate to say that personnel boards in some dioceses may have concealed these cases. There was no universal policy of doing so.

And if there's evidence of improper concealment, I would welcome criminal prosecution of those guilty of such offenses.

Me, sanctimonious? Hardly, I'm just pointing toward the truth of the matter, while there's obviously far too many excuses from others being made for the Catholic Church.

No excuses here. I'm just trying to direct the blame where it belongs rather than on the whole.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 12:11 PM
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Lawrence,

I apoligize for the statement. What I was trying to say is that I do not know that a sexual predator is mentally ill. Some may be, but could others be rational? Not normal but no mental illness, nothing to treat.

True, but psychologists and psychiatrists are the individuals who are best qualified to ascertain whether mental illness is involved or not. Thus, referral of a sexual predator to these professionals is appropriate in any case.

Norm.


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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 12:17 PM
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psychologists and psychiatrists are the individuals who are best qualified to ascertain whether mental illness is involved or not.


By the same token, biologists are the individuals best qualified to ascertain how life evolves, and geologists are best qualfied to determine whether or not there was a global flood.

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140321 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 1:18 PM
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NE,

I've been contemplating a couple of the many excellent and thoughtful points you've raised.

Your complete analysis is skewed and flawed as a result of your classification of this whole incident as "sickness."

Sin and illness are often linked. It is a fundamental moral principle that sin leads to disorder and often disease. The relationship can work in both directions. My own depression has led me to make choices that were sinful - choices I would not have made without that illness - choices I have not made since I began treatment for it.

My illness does not absolve me from responsibility for my actions. They were sins.

God has used physicians, chemists, researchers, counselors, and other healers to treat my diseased mind, and I no longer make the choices I did before I was diagnosed.

We can call a sin a sin AND acknowledge that there is a physiological or psychological cause that can be treated to help a person make less sinful choices.

I'm just pointing toward the truth of the matter, while there's obviously far too many excuses from others being made for the Catholic Church.

It isn't really fair or honest to hang this entire burden on the neck of the Roman church. The church has a special mission, and her offense is more grievous because of her calling, but she is not unique. There is no excuse to be made for the assaults, or for any efforts to hide them, and the people responsible should face consequences - at the same time, the church is guilty of mirroring a culture, not of creating one. Sexual abuse occurs everywhere - at work, at school, at home, on the internet - and it is covered up everywhere. That is the way our culture behaves.

Some people in the church are guilty of following that policy, and it is natural for those who love her to defend her, just as you would never blame a child for defending a guilty parent. That too is the way our culture behaves.

The flaw, dear Brutus, is not in "their" church, but in ourselves. As k and ff have been preaching long and hard around here for a few days, fear results in unloving choices.

An abuser fears adult relationships and chooses to molest children.

A victim fears disappointing an adult or being judged and chooses to the truth.

An institution fears loss of respect or financial support and chooses to protect the abuser from public exposure.

And all of us fear the consequences of submitting to our own desires instead of the higher principles to which we aspire - and we choose that fear instead of love.

If we empower fear to rule our lives, we will choose actions that are destructive and unloving. We will fail at the very thing for which we were made - we will fail to love both creation and creator.

Gather up all the abusers and all the conspirators and throw them into jail and the sound of slamming cell doors will be like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Without love, our own fears will compel us to replace them ourselves.

I'm not saying there should be no accounting or punishment. I'm just saying that they won't do any good unless we change too.

Peace,
b

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 1:21 PM
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<<
If they are not insane then psychiatry is not a solution
>>

I apoligize for the statement.


LOL. No harm - no foul, Brother Lawrence.

Peace,
b
(doffing his Napoleon hat since 1904)

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 1:26 PM
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psychologists and psychiatrists are the individuals who are best qualified to ascertain whether mental illness is involved or not.


By the same token, biologists are the individuals best qualified to ascertain how life evolves, and geologists are best qualfied to determine whether or not there was a global flood.


Foul!

Ten yards for illegal use of a dead horse on FMNH. Put 5 seconds back on the clock and replay the down.

b
(looking snappy in vertical stripes)

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140324 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 1:56 PM
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Let's just say that if your objective is to discredit or undermine Christian faith, a denomination whose members represent over two thirds of the world's (at least nominal) Christian population is a great target. And so are those who have the means to communicate the gospel to large numbers of unchurched and uncatechized people.

I'm sure that's Satan's objective :) But the media just wants to make money. If airing a Jesus Hour every day at 6pm would draw in the advertisers, they would do that. Of course, then we'd be on their case for commercializing the Gospel.

If you want to assess whether investigative reporters are doing their job or not, you first have to define their job. Here, I believe that their job is to report information accurately, objectively, completely, and without undue hype that might unfairly bias the listener.

That's a good point, defining our terms. I think your definition applies to the reporters for C-SPAN and public television or radio, but the job of reporters working for FOX, CNN, and the major networks is to make money for the company. They make money by airing stories people like to hear, slanting them in whatever way is necessary to hold our interest, and using the Nielson numbers to sell advertising time.

If that were the case, many of the traditional major media outlets would be consolidating or going out of business for lack of readership or viewership while Fox News (which has the highest ratings of any national television news) and several supposedly second tier newspapers would be expanding by leaps and bounds with their growing viewership or readership.

That may be the trend, but the traditional networks still have enough viewers (and advertising revenue) that they haven't felt it necessary to make any drastic changes. There's plenty to go around, even if FOX is taking a larger share of the pie.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 2:24 PM
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<<
Backing up a step, there's a fundamental difference between evil and sin, and it's entirely possible for an act to be evil but not sinful. In particular, the word "sin" implies that the offender has at least some ability to make a moral choice. That ability includes at least (1) some conscious awareness of the fact that he or she is committing the offending act, (2) some awareness that the act is intrinsically evil, AND (3) some ability to choose to act differently. Impairment of any of these -- for example, by drugs (including ethanol), by a state of fatigue, by habit, or even by a state of moral confusion may diminish moral culpability such that an intrinsically evil act does not constitute sin.
>>

This is absurd. I understand the logic as religious doctrine and for legal punishments. God however can see to the heart of the matter. His judgments are just. He will show mercy to those whom he will show mercy and maybe he takes into account the things you state above and maybe he does not.
Sin does not imply any ability to make a moral choice. Sin occurs when you are tempted by evil and do it.
James 1:
14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.










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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 2:26 PM
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<<
True, but psychologists and psychiatrists are the individuals who are best qualified to ascertain whether mental illness is involved or not. Thus, referral of a sexual predator to these professionals is appropriate in any case.
>>

I think it is appropriate that the appointment be made with the executioner. I do not care if they are crazy or sane.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/18/2007 2:59 PM
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Ten yards for illegal use of a dead horse on FMNH.



Tell that to NukeElvis.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/19/2007 2:36 PM
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b,

I try to avoid writing long posts, and really try to avoid reposting on threads that seem to already have outlived their usefulness. But I am doing both here. My apologies in advance.

Your observation does not agree with my own study, but I find it encouraging nevertheless. It gives me hope to think that redemption is possible in this life, even for child molesters.

I don't know what your study has turned up, but there has been strong evidence for a number of years that treatment is effective for some offenders and that many offenders do not re-offend once they have been convicted and served time. Again, this is not to dismiss the destruction caused by a child molester. They can destroy lives. I am only pointing out that, at least for some of the offenders, change is not only possible, it happens.

On the other hand, does your observation also suggest that the offending acts were not in fact compulsive, but were rather a reasoned expression of desire or even affection, however disordered that reasoning may have been at the time?

This may be where one could somehow separate those who tend to respond to prison and/or treatment and those who do not seem to. There does not seem to be a single "model" for a sexual predator. Some were certainly abused in their past, but not all - and not all abused children grow up to be predators themselves. Some seen to be acting on a compulsion that they cannot control (and may well be evident in other areas of their life), while others seem to be very much in control and are able to plan and rationalize their behavior. This second group may be those who I would put in the category that Scott Peck talks about in "People of the Lie" that Norm has mentioned. I think in our efforts to simplify things we make assumptions about what all of "them" are like, or what their motivations or pathologies are. Life, and people, are never so simple.

If you want to make a case for executing all sex offenders or sending them all to a desert island on their first conviction, call me to the stand. I can give you many horrible examples of crimes committed by sex offenders once they were released from prison, having successfully completed their sentence and whatever treatment they took part in. I know their names, their addresses, and more about their crime than I want to know. It will make you angry and keep you from being able to sleep tonight.

But if you ask me if that is the case for all sex offenders, I will have to say no. Because I can also tell you about a lot of folks who have not re-offended. They have jobs, pay their bills, some have married, some go to support groups, but many have seemingly turned away from the demons that plagued them years earlier.

You know, offering opportunities for redemption is always a risk. Execute every sex offender who is convicted and no one will ever get caught more than once. They will never have the opportunity to ruin someone else's life, perhaps we will think we are safer. But is that who we want to be? If part of our faith is the declaration "While we were yet sinners . . . . ", aren't we acknowledging our own failings and that we have been given an opportunity for repentance and redemption? Are we not called to deal with others the way that Christ has dealt with us - even if there is a cost that comes with that? To be honest, I am not always sure how to answer that.

Bob, over the years we have had a prison choir that has sung in-house, at churches, and at public events that our ministry has sponsored. Note that we are a minimum security prison where things like this are possible and inmates can earn the privilege of going out on passes. On occasion our choir has included men who have committed some of the most heinous crimes you can imagine, folks who some would have executed or banished to the desert island years ago. But amazing things happen, and people respond to their music and their testimonies. My sermon seldom has such an impact on people. Sometimes you get the feeling that there is significant kingdom work being done and you just feel lucky that God let you go along for the ride. It can be quite humbling.

I guess I feel that many of our guys are the Geresene Demoniacs of our day. Many of them broke all the chains of discipline and upbringing that their parents or community had to offer until the only thing left was to banish them to live among the tombs. The people like that, they are out of site, out of mind, and no longer a threat to them or their life. So everything is fine. But my office happens to be among those same tombs, and I can tell you for a fact that sometimes things happen to those living among the tombs. In a variety of ways and through many different people, Christ comes bringing healing and redemption. But the people are still afraid. They like the status quo. There is less risk. The possibility that redemption is not only possible, but has already occurred, isn't something they want to include in their life.

Like I said long ago, I don't know all the answers. I want our children and families to be safe. I also know that people can change.

peace
Robert

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Author: wolferd1 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140341 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/19/2007 2:54 PM
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Norm,

It appears that you are basing your statistics on criminal convictions of sexual crimes, which unfortunately do not correlate with reality as reliably as we would like.

I have worked with many sex offenders in the past 12 years or so. Names, families, crimes, who has been rearrested, who hasn't. I suspect I have a pretty sold grip on reality. This is not some kind of abstract idea or discussion, it is real people who I know and see regularly.

In view of what the mental health professions now know about the dynamics of predators, I have to be suspicious of the convictions of those who do not repeat.

You seem to be saying that if a predator does not attack another victim once they are released then you suspect they were wrongly convicted in the first place. Dismissing data which does not fit in with the conclusion you want does not make that conclusion valid.

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140348 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/20/2007 1:27 AM
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Ten yards for illegal use of a dead horse on FMNH.

Tell that to NukeElvis.


I know, it's a drag. The guy who throws the second punch always gets flagged.

What can I say? You let a flashy rookie get into your head. Just be glad it wasn't a Sunday night game. Madden would have done five minutes on how Bret Favre never gets rattled.

Please restart the clock and resume play.

Tweet.

b

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Author: pennsy1tuckian Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140349 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/20/2007 1:37 AM
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Robert,

I'm blessed to know you, Brother. Thank you for your insights.

Peace,
bob

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140405 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 7/23/2007 12:24 PM
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wolferd1,

I have worked with many sex offenders in the past 12 years or so. Names, families, crimes, who has been rearrested, who hasn't. I suspect I have a pretty sold grip on reality. This is not some kind of abstract idea or discussion, it is real people who I know and see regularly.

I'm not questioning either your experience or your account of historical fact. I'm simply suggesting that something other than a cure might explain the fact that some people convicted of offences do not commit additional offences following their release from prison.

You seem to be saying that if a predator does not attack another victim once they are released then you suspect they were wrongly convicted in the first place. Dismissing data which does not fit in with the conclusion you want does not make that conclusion valid.

Far from dismissing the data, I was questioning your interpretation of the data.

Fundamentally, some poor shmuck wrongly convicted of a sexual crime is between a rock and a hard place.

>> If he maintains his innocence, he probably serves his full sentence and, at least in some states, faces a high probability that an administrative board will determine that he is "still dangerous" at the end of his sentence and commit him to a state hospital for the criminally dangerous.

>> If he "plays the game" with the psychologists and others who "treat" him by admitting that he did the act, perhaps making up some wild tales about the overwhelming urges and deviant desires of his youth that could have triggered the crime, and then over time talks about how he feels less and less of those urges, he gets to a point where he's deemed not to be dangerous and thus eligible for parole.

So the system provides a LOT of incentive for somebody who is wrongly convicted to fein a problem and a "cure," and he does not have to fool very many people in the process. He has to fool only a couple "shrinks" who have taken jobs with the state's department of corrections that pay at the bottom of their profession....

Norm.

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140971 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/8/2007 11:18 PM
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Norm,

I've been reading Fr. Stephen J. Rossetti's "The Joy of Priesthood" and just came across some information that reminded me of this thread about the sex abuse scandals and the LA Archdiocese's settlement. While I felt like pedophilia must be treatable, I didn't have any data to back up the claim. I don't want to come across trying to prove my point just for the sake of being right, but I thought these statistics were encouraging nevertheless. Fr. Rossetti is president of the St. Luke Institute, a treatment center for clergy and religious suffering from psychological illness or personality disorder. The book is mostly about what makes a healthy priest and the common pitfalls they get into, but he also talks about the common problems that are treated at St. Luke's and addresses the abuse scandals.

He says 368 priests were treated at St. Luke's from 1985 to 2004 and only 16 of them relapsed after treatment, or 4.3%. That includes rearrests, self-reports, complaints, and information from religious superiors and supervisors. The book was published in 2005, so I suppose there might be a few more from the end of that time span who might have relapsed since then, but I found it encouraging to know that the success rates are that good.

The book is pretty good too. His intended audience seems to be priests, and I picked it up because I've been discerning about going to seminary for diocesan priesthood, but I think anyone who works with priests regularly would find it helpful to understand some of what could be going on in their heads. :)

Jason

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140981 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/9/2007 1:43 PM
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Jason,

He says 368 priests were treated at St. Luke's from 1985 to 2004 and only 16 of them relapsed after treatment, or 4.3%. That includes rearrests, self-reports, complaints, and information from religious superiors and supervisors. The book was published in 2005, so I suppose there might be a few more from the end of that time span who might have relapsed since then, but I found it encouraging to know that the success rates are that good.

I'm not persuaded that these statistics really are what you would like them to be, partly because I'm not sure what conditions are included in the figure of 368 priests (there's a tendency to lump all sexual issues together, so they might not all involve minors) and partly because bishops and religious superiors generally have ensured that priests treated there have not had opportunities to repeat their misdeeds after they have left. I have personal knowledge of one former major superior of a religious community who probably was one of the 368. The St. Luke Institute treated him for a combination of alcohol abuse and sexual abuse of young men (ages roughly 18 to 40 at the time of the abuse) who were members of his religious community. After his treatment (around 1987), the new superior of his community arranged his appointment and assigned him as a resident chaplain to a community of women religious for the rest of his active ministry. In that position, he had both fairly constant supervision by the superiors of the women's community and very little access to young men. Thus, he basically had no opportunity to repeat. He returned to his own community only when his health failed to the point that he could no longer continue in active ministry. Then again we're talking about a situation in which the man had no escape from supervision. Ecclesial authorities can make arrangements like this for the relatively small numbers of sexual predators among the clergy, but I'm not persuaded that it's practical for civil authorities to work out similar arrangements for the larger number of sexual predators in the general population, and I understand that the St. Luke Institute works with the bishops or superiors to ensure that those treated for this type of problem receive similar assignments.

That said, I do not want to detract in any way from the outstanding record of the St. Luke Institute in the treatment of many addictions. Indeed, the St. Luke Institute is one of only a few treatment centers for serious mental illness that has an outstanding track record. The critical element of that record is its programs, which usually include six months of intense residential treatment before a patient transitions to outpatient therapy and returns to normal life. For conditions such as alcoholism and drug addictions, the residential treatment typically includes a month of detoxification and five months of confronting and resolving the major issues that led to the addiction so that the issues that caused the addiction are no longer significant when the patient leaves the facility. By contrast, most drug and alcohol programs have only thirty (30) days of residential treatment, after which the patient returns to normal life without first resolving the major issues that caused the addictive behavior. With those issues remaining unresolved, nearly all patients revert to their preferred addictive behavior soon after release.

BTW, I believe most health insurance companies engage in false economy by limiting in-patient treatment for addictions to thirty days due to the high recedivism of the standard approach. Yes, the cost of six months of residential treatment is quite high, but the experience at the St. Luke Institute indicates that it really does work.

The book is pretty good too. His intended audience seems to be priests, and I picked it up because I've been discerning about going to seminary for diocesan priesthood, but I think anyone who works with priests regularly would find it helpful to understand some of what could be going on in their heads. :)

The issues that confront parish clergy are astounding. I thought I had heard everything until I took a course in canon law. When we got to the subject of decrees of nullity for marriage, the professor -- who also was a member of a tribunal -- described a couple cases in which he had been involved. In one case, the bride walked into the back room during the reception and found the groom and the maid of honor engaged in an adulterous act. In another case, the bride discovered several months after the wedding that all of the other members of the wedding party had held a party full of sexual activity on the evening before the wedding, in which the groom was a major participant, and did not even invite the bride. That, I am sure, is barely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And people wonder why many parish priests resort to strong drink....

Anyway, the unfortunate fact is that parish priests are dealing with people in very difficult circumstances on a daily basis because they are at the front lines of ministry. If I were a bishop, knowing what I know now, I would establish a very strict policy of mandatory one year sabbaticals between assignments for all presbyters of the diocese, with first priority of the sabbatical being to deal with the baggage acquired during the previous assignment so that they would not bring that baggage to the next assignment. Such a policy would alleviate many of the problems that many parishes and many dioceses now face.

FWIW, I have become aware that monastic religious orders do a much better job of taking care of their presbyters than most dioceses. Most monasteries are very careful to ensure that their members who serve in parish assignments return to the monastery between such assignments for long enough to deal with whatever baggage they might have acquired. The result is much healthier for both the priests and the parishes that they serve. If you are interested in pursuing ordination, let me encourage you to check out monastic communities, which actually are quite diverse.

BTW, each monastic community has its own personality, daily schedule, and lifestyle -- and they can be quite diverse. If you want to get some sense of the diversity, try visiting the following communities.

>> St. Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN (http://www.saintmeinrad.edu)

>> Our Lady of Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, MA (http://www.glastonburyabbey.org)

>> St. Benedict's Abbey, Harvard, MA (http://www.abbey.org)

These three houses, as different as they are, are united members of the same congregation of the Benedictine order!

Norm.

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 140994 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/10/2007 12:14 AM
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I'm not persuaded that these statistics really are what you would like them to be, partly because I'm not sure what conditions are included in the figure of 368 priests (there's a tendency to lump all sexual issues together, so they might not all involve minors)

He specified that all 368 were "priests who have sexual interest or attraction to minors" and relapse was defined as "sexual touch of a minor". He also explains that nearly all of them are placed in ministries that limit their exposure to children and can be supervised.

The issues that confront parish clergy are astounding. I thought I had heard everything until I took a course in canon law. When we got to the subject of decrees of nullity for marriage, the professor -- who also was a member of a tribunal -- described a couple cases in which he had been involved. ... And people wonder why many parish priests resort to strong drink....

Maybe it's because I'm only reading about these issues, but why would they bother a priest? It's not like Catholics are known for moral behavior. For some reason, it seems that I tend to enjoy the company of non-Christians more than Christians. That's part of the reason I'm leery of religious communities... I'd have to be around a bunch of religious people all the time! :) However, with diocesan priesthood, it seems that you have to be more intentional about building relationships, or else you end up either spending too much time alone or keeping yourself busy with ministry stuff that doesn't involve deepening any relationships. The nice thing is that most of my family and friends are within a three hour drive, so that would be very helpful.

Thankfully, seminary is another step in the discernment process. I have some friends who are considering the Dominicans (they serve a couple of parishes in the area and seem to be drawing a good number of vocations), and it's comforting to know that I could join an order if diocesan isn't right for me.

The St. Meinrad Archabbey is one of the two seminaries that the Archdiocese of Louisville sends seminarians (the other is St. Mary's in Baltimore). I went up to St. Meinrad for a retreat back in March to learn more about the theology program and actually liked it, considering it's in the middle of nowhere.

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/10/2007 12:50 AM
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Jason,

Maybe it's because I'm only reading about these issues, but why would they bother a priest? It's not like Catholics are known for moral behavior. For some reason, it seems that I tend to enjoy the company of non-Christians more than Christians. That's part of the reason I'm leery of religious communities... I'd have to be around a bunch of religious people all the time! :)

Most people who "make it" in religious life are not people who act overly religious. Rather, the fact of commitment to the religous life has a way of cutting through that facade.

However, with diocesan priesthood, it seems that you have to be more intentional about building relationships, or else you end up either spending too much time alone or keeping yourself busy with ministry stuff that doesn't involve deepening any relationships.

There's no doubt that the absence of a personal support network is a major fctor in the relatively high proportion of problems among diocesan clergy. Nonetheless, you also can't dismiss the fact that monastic orders pull their people back to the monastery for a year or two between parochial assignments in this regard. If the individual is starting down the path of addiction, it usually becomes readily apparent to the community during this period so the superiors can work with the individual to address the underlying issues before the problem becomes serious. With diocesan clergy, problems often go unnoticed for three or four assignments until it becomes apparent that the individual is no longer functioning sufficiently to conceal the dysfunction from a visitation.

The St. Meinrad Archabbey is one of the two seminaries that the Archdiocese of Louisville sends seminarians (the other is St. Mary's in Baltimore). I went up to St. Meinrad for a retreat back in March to learn more about the theology program and actually liked it, considering it's in the middle of nowhere.

Yes, St. Meinrad is midway between Siberia and Santa Claus -- but that's not so bad. In fact, the Greek word for "nowhere" is Utopia....

And FWIW, there's actually plenty to do in the vicinity and essentials are quite readily available. There's also a great selection of restaurants within a half hour of campus, including my personal favorites -- the Schnitzelbank on the south side of Jasper and the Patio on the east side of Tell City.

Norm.

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 141007 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/10/2007 11:56 AM
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With diocesan clergy, problems often go unnoticed for three or four assignments until it becomes apparent that the individual is no longer functioning sufficiently to conceal the dysfunction from a visitation.

Do you see any dioceses addressing this problem? I know of four priests here who are roommates at a centrally located rectory. Of course, they don't see each other a lot, but they at least have some semblance of community life. I think I would want a similar arrangement and would like to see dioceses encouraging that. Also, Archbishop Kurtz seems very supportive of priests and vocations.

Fr. Rossetti conducted a survey of priests for his book and one of the stats that concerns me is that only 88.0% of priests reported having been to Confession in the past year, and about 60% within the past three months. While my expectations of the laity aren't so lofty, how is that even one priest isn't meeting the Church's minimum obligation and that virtually all aren't going more frequently? It's no wonder they have issues.

Yes, St. Meinrad is midway between Siberia and Santa Claus -- but that's not so bad. In fact, the Greek word for "nowhere" is Utopia....

It's also an easy drive to Louisville and my hometown of Paducah, Ky. On the other hand, St. Mary's has a couple of nearby ballparks and would make for a nice change of scenery. Fortunately, that's one decision that will be made for me, so I don't have to agonize over it :)

This might be a silly question, but do the Benedictines staff parishes for dioceses, like the Franciscans and Dominicans do?

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/10/2007 4:20 PM
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Jason,

Do you see any dioceses addressing this problem? I know of four priests here who are roommates at a centrally located rectory. Of course, they don't see each other a lot, but they at least have some semblance of community life. I think I would want a similar arrangement and would like to see dioceses encouraging that. Also, Archbishop Kurtz seems very supportive of priests and vocations.

Not very effectively. The problem is that, in many places in the United States, the common rectory that serves four or five parishes has only one resident priest. He typically gets to each parish every two or three or four weeks, and the parishes make do with the "Order of Celebration of Sunday in the Absence of a Priest" on the weeks when he goes elsewhere.

Incidentally, there's a very scary component to the publication of an edition of the "Order of Celebration of Sunday in the Absence of a Priest" for the dioceses of the United States has a very scary component. Consider what will happen in parishes where a competent lay minister leads very moving and meaningful service that really touches peoples' hearts and then, on the fourth week, Fr. Indifferent shows up, leads a very poorly prepared and executed celebration of mass during which he preaches a homily that's totally irrelevant to the congregation, leaving most parishonners questioning why they even bothered to show up. In such a scenario -- which undoubtedly has already happened in some parishes -- it does not take long for the people to start preferring the substitute service led by the competent lay leader over the poor celebration of mass led by an inept pastor. If you decide to study for ordination, I implore you in the strongest terms to give your courses in litugy and sacraments, in scripture, and in homiletics the attention that they deserve.

Fr. Rossetti conducted a survey of priests for his book and one of the stats that concerns me is that only 88.0% of priests reported having been to Confession in the past year, and about 60% within the past three months. While my expectations of the laity aren't so lofty, how is that even one priest isn't meeting the Church's minimum obligation and that virtually all aren't going more frequently? It's no wonder they have issues.

The church's precept is to celebrate sacramental reconcilliation at least once per year if one is conscious of serious (mortal) sin. If one is not conscious of mortal sin, confession is not required.

It's also an easy drive to Louisville and my hometown of Paducah, Ky. On the other hand, St. Mary's has a couple of nearby ballparks and would make for a nice change of scenery. Fortunately, that's one decision that will be made for me, so I don't have to agonize over it :)

That's technically true, but you probably have some input into the process.

In any case, there are ballparks with professional teams in Louisville and Indianapolis, too... only an hour or so away....

This might be a silly question, but do the Benedictines staff parishes for dioceses, like the Franciscans and Dominicans do?

Some Benedictine monasteries staff parishes and chaplaincies and other Benedictine monasteries do not. In the Benedictine order, each (arch)abbey or independent priory is an autonomous community, the (arch)abbot or prior of which is that community's major superior, so staffing of parishes is subject to an agreement between the (arch)abbot or prior and the (arch)bishop of the (arch)diocese to which the parish belongs. IIRC, Saint Meinrad Archabbey staffs quite a few parishes in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, the Diocese of Evansville, the Diocese of Owensboro, and possibly the Archdiocese of Louisville.

I should also mention, in this context, that most Benedictine monasteries do assist in parishes on weekends even if they do not staff parishes. Saint Meinrad, for example, dispatches two or three carloads of ordained monks to the Indianapolis area for weekend assignments.

BTW, if you like "high church" liturgy, pay a visit to St. Meinrad for either mass or vespers on a major solemnity or a major community feast. There is not a cathedral liturgy anywhere that can come close!

Norm.

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 141020 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/11/2007 1:26 AM
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If you decide to study for ordination, I implore you in the strongest terms to give your courses in liturgy and sacraments, in scripture, and in homiletics the attention that they deserve.

No worries there... honestly, I often leave Sunday Mass thinking I could've preached a better homily. Then again, I'm sure it's harder than it looks. I came from a Baptist church with several pastors/elders who were excellent preachers, so being used to that, I don't usually feel challenged by homilies. Therefore, that's one thing that would be very important to me.

The church's precept is to celebrate sacramental reconcilliation at least once per year if one is conscious of serious (mortal) sin. If one is not conscious of mortal sin, confession is not required.

That's true, but it's only the bare minimum. Shouldn't our priests be shooting for holiness, instead of just getting by? The pope receives the sacrament every week or two, and I seriously doubt he's confessing mortal sins.

In any case, there are ballparks with professional teams in Louisville and Indianapolis, too... only an hour or so away....

Well, AAA teams... doesn't compare to visiting all the East coast ballparks and seeing the Cubs when they're in DC or Baltimore :) Still, that's just a fringe benefit, definitely not an important factor.

BTW, if you like "high church" liturgy, pay a visit to St. Meinrad for either mass or vespers on a major solemnity or a major community feast. There is not a cathedral liturgy anywhere that can come close!

I'll have to do that sometime... by major community feast, are you talking about Hold Days of Obligation?

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Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/12/2007 11:23 PM
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Jason,

No worries there... honestly, I often leave Sunday Mass thinking I could've preached a better homily. Then again, I'm sure it's harder than it looks. I came from a Baptist church with several pastors/elders who were excellent preachers, so being used to that, I don't usually feel challenged by homilies. Therefore, that's one thing that would be very important to me.

Good. There's nothing better than to hear that a pastor has his priorities straight!

That's true, but it's only the bare minimum. Shouldn't our priests be shooting for holiness, instead of just getting by?

Yes, of course. OTOH, there's also a presumption behind the precept that may or may not be true in fact. Specifically, the precept presumes that the celebration of the sacrament is one's primary source of spiritual direction and guidance. In reality, many people -- clergy and religious included -- now receive spiritual direction on a regular basis from religious and laity who have proper training, but who cannot grant sacramental absolution. Such clergy legitimately may not feel the need to celebrate the sacrament itself as frequently.

OTOH, there are some -- aye, too many -- clergy who do not seek such direction at all, and that situation is truly deplorable.

Well, AAA teams... doesn't compare to visiting all the East coast ballparks and seeing the Cubs when they're in DC or Baltimore :)

And that's precisely where you'll see a lot of budding talent.

I'll have to do that sometime... by major community feast, are you talking about Hold Days of Obligation?

Well, not exclusively. The Easter Triduum and the solemnities of Christmas, Ephiphany, Ascension, and Pentecost -- three of which are now celebrated on Sundays in Indiana -- obviously stand at the head of the list as occasions of celebration in grand style. Other solemnities may or may not merit the full regalia, depending upon their relative importance. There are also occasions of special significance to a specific monastery that would merit pulling out all the stops, though these occasions do not appear in the general calendar of the Roman Rite. Generally, these celebrations include (1) solemnities of particular significance in the particular liturgical calendar of the order or the monastic community, some of which may rank as lesser feasts in the general calendar, and (2) special occasions such as masses of monastic profession, ordination, anniversaries of monastic profession and ordination, and Christian burial of a monk. At Saint Meinard Archabbey, some of the proper solemnities are the Solemnity of St. Benedict on 21 March, the Solemnity of Our Lady of Einsiedeln on 16 July, and the Anniversary of the Rededication of the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, which, IIRC, is toward the end of September.

FWIW, monastic communities that staff parishes do face awkward situations that other Christian communities do not face. Basically, the members assigned to staff parishes have to be in their parishes to celebrate mass with the people of the parish on Sundays and major holy days in the general and diocesan calendars. Thus, they cannot return to their monasteries on these occasions. Thus, the proper solemnities also become the only occasions when the entire community can gather to clebrate a special occasion -- especially when such occasions fall during the summer, when members who are studying elsewhere are also home. At Saint Meinrad Archabbey, the Solemnity of Our lady of Einsiedeln on 16 July, inherited from the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland, which is St. Meinrad Archabbey's mother house, has taken on this role.

Norm.

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Author: Haise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 141054 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/13/2007 10:01 AM
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I'm sure anytime during Advent or Christmas would be a nice time to visit St. Meinrad, especially if we're lucky enough to get some snow. :) Christmas itself isn't very convenient since I'll be with my folks, but Epiphany would be good.

Speaking of big celebrations, Archbishop Kurtz will be installed this Wednesday afternoon, the Feast of the Assumption. The venue only seats about 5,500, so we'll have to get there early.

And that's precisely where you'll see a lot of budding talent.

Yeah, I somehow became a Cubs fan during college and wanted to see Wrigley, and my roommates were Reds fans, so we drove up to see them play. The funny thing was, due to some injuries on the Reds that season, they called up several players from the Louisville Bats (Adam Dunn is one name I remember offhand from that crop). So we drove five hours to Chicago to see the Cubs play what felt like our hometown AAA team. And in true loveable loser fashion, Cubs lost, 1-0. :)

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Author: rev2217 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 141058 of 195639
Subject: Re: Archdiocese of L.A. to Pay $660 Mill for Abu Date: 8/13/2007 11:21 AM
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Jason,

I'm sure anytime during Advent or Christmas would be a nice time to visit St. Meinrad, especially if we're lucky enough to get some snow. :) Actually, any time is a good time to go there. Nonetheless, the Sundays of the privileged seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter do not rate pontifical celebrations.

Christmas itself isn't very convenient since I'll be with my folks, but Epiphany would be good.

JTOL, Saint Meinrad Archabbey really would pull out all the stops for midnight mass on Christmas, but be sure to call to check on the schedule before you go there. The abbey where I normally worship combines the solemn vigil ("Office of Readings") with mass of midnight in a single service that starts around 9:30 or 10:00 PM and usually ends around midnight, but community so Saint Meinrad Archabbey may or may not do something similar. Perhaps you could make midnight mass there and still spend the day with your family.

And in any case, Saint Meinrad Archabbey most assuredly would pull out all the stops for Epiphany, too.

Yeah, I somehow became a Cubs fan during college and wanted to see Wrigley, and my roommates were Reds fans, so we drove up to see them play. The funny thing was, due to some injuries on the Reds that season, they called up several players from the Louisville Bats (Adam Dunn is one name I remember offhand from that crop). So we drove five hours to Chicago to see the Cubs play what felt like our hometown AAA team. And in true loveable loser fashion, Cubs lost, 1-0. :)

Which proves that the difference in talent between AAA and the major leagues is not all that great....

Norm.

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