Kid, you’re on your own.
By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Mar 21, 2006
”And we still have a long way to go, but certainly the thousands and thousands of CORI checks and sex abuse training of our volunteers, and the training of the children has been a monumental task, carrying this out at the same time that our resources have been so limited.” Archbishop Sean O’Malley, Boston.
Talking About Touching continues to be taught in the Archdiocese of Boston, in contradiction to Catholic teaching about human sexuality and childhood development – and indeed common sense.
The issue in the abuse crisis – in the Church and also in society at large – isn’t the stupidity of children or their monstrous lack of awareness in wanting to avoid bad touches. Honestly, it’s hard to conjure up the mentality that, confronted with the astounding lack of truthfulness, willingness to take responsibility, and utter cluelessness to the real causes of the Crisis, sees children as objects of reform, as opposed to, say, seminaries, rectories, or indeed chanceries.
For those getting lost in the haze, I’m here to remind you that the Crisis is about men who abuse power over the weak; and other men, their bosses, who shuffle them around and cover up for them and even praise them for their otherwise stellar performance, marred only by a teeny-weeny thing like raping altar boys.
Regardless of the spin put on the program to placate uncomfortable parents, the fact remains that the vast majority of Catholic children who have the misfortune to be in contact with either Catholic schools or CCD programs are being subjected to what amounts to indoctrination for future sex abuse.
“The program has been adapted and modified for teaching in the religious education environment,” said Terrence Donilan, spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese. “It has been aligned with the archdiocese’s religious education curriculum guidelines and the Catechism to allow its principles to be taught in a Catholic catechetical framework.”
What he means is that now the program talks to kindergartners about “areas covered by a bathing suit” instead of using anatomically correct language. Reality check: the premises of this program, a Planned-Parenthood initiative, never could be acceptable or “aligned” to the context of five thousand years of Judeo-Christian child rearing, during which time workbooks were never employed to warn against sexual predators.
The archdiocese’s attempt to shoehorn TAT into some vague guidelines which in themselves have more reference to the District Attorney’s office than to the Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn’t hide the feebleness of the claim that it’s now acceptable. Notice Donilan doesn’t pretend that it started out as acceptable.
Sorry. The burden of proof of “alignment” with Church teaching is on anyone, even a bishop, or maybe especially a bishop, who wants parents to relinquish the formation of their children in this intimate area so crucial to their integrated development. Fr. David Mullen, the only priest in the Archdiocese of Boston I’m aware of who has challenged the Archbishop on this matter, directs his teaching to the parents, exclusively, in time-honored Catholic fashion.
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Posted by: -
Mar. 27, 2006 2:38 AM ET USA
the stupidity of children or their monstrous lack of awareness in wanting to avoid bad touches. Honestly, it’s hard to conjure up the mentality that, confronted with the astounding lack of truthfulness, willingness to take responsibility, and utter cluelessness to the real causes of the Crisis, sees children as objects of reform, as opposed to, say, seminaries, rectories, or indeed chanceries. top notch! Can't seem to get the message to parents who believe this ludicrousness.Thanks
Posted by: -
Mar. 22, 2006 9:26 AM ET USA
Where does passing the blame end?
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
Mar. 22, 2006 7:30 AM ET USA
Bishop Vasa, Chaput or Aquila in Boston would make a world of difference. And they're not part of the Irish backroom boys club. (No offense to non backroom boy Irishmen intended)
Posted by: Ignacio177 -
Mar. 22, 2006 3:04 AM ET USA
The TAT has the objective of covering legal backsides not of doing good or avoiding evil.
Posted by: -
Mar. 22, 2006 1:21 AM ET USA
Among the episcopacy, Bishop Vasa seems to have taken the only rationale approach to the program.
Posted by: Coco -
Mar. 21, 2006 7:38 PM ET USA
"want[s] parents to relinquish the formation of their children" This is the nub of the problem. Lay Catholics no longer understand that they hold the primary responsibility to educate their children, and as the holders of this authority they can CHOOSE to deligate education to others, but others cannot usurp their authority--even the Bishop cannot usurp a natural right, which is how our wonderful Church defines the right of a parent to teach his child.
Posted by: Fiducia -
Mar. 21, 2006 5:43 PM ET USA
I was stunned to see what is contained in the Boston Archdiocese's "Religion Curriculum Guidelines" ---- much content is indoctrination, but not in what I consider the basic tenets of our faith.
Posted by: -
Mar. 21, 2006 3:41 PM ET USA
Of course the media will call it pedophilia since calling it homosexuals abusing adolescent boys would be politically incorrect. So we're all pretending it's really child rape and are treating a sickness that's mostly imaginary. Thankfully the Vatican has come out with its instruction on active/activist homosexuals. Then again, it's up to the individual seminaries to implement it. The American Church hasn't exactly been famous for fidelity.
Posted by: -
Mar. 21, 2006 2:15 PM ET USA
What good is it to teach toddlers about 'touching' when almost all those abused are adolescent males, and almost all abusers are homosexual. Having sex or whatever with a 15 year old (legal in Austria, Germany, Holland etc) is not pedophilia.