Healing what? Protecting whom?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 24, 2005

Still mitred, am I not?

Remember when the apostles James and John, the sons of Zebedee, commissioned a post-Judas investigative report on the causes of treachery? Neither do I.

Bishops also agreed to spend up to $1.5 million from a $20 million endowment fund to partly fund a massive study on the causes of priestly sexual abuse. The USCCB hopes to raise the remainder of the cost of the study, slated to cost between $3 million and $5 million, from private foundations.

Is there a single Catholic on the planet -- and I include the bishops' own mothers in the question -- who really believes the purpose of this study is to discover -- and not to camouflage -- the causes of priestly sexual abuse? Bishop Howard Hubbard's private investigator charged him $2.4 million to come to the conclusion that allegations of sexual misconduct made against him had "no merit" -- and nobody laughed. Here too we can be sublimely confident that the scholars whom the bishops commission will find the principal "cause" of sexual abuse to be insufficient attention to the notions of the scholars whom the bishops commission. Expect multiple appendices detailing improved reporting procedures, seminary screening for doctrinal rigidity, and recipes for Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats. In the same spirit of confidence, let me foretell some conclusions the researchers won't draw.

  • Apostolic pro-Nuncio Jean Jadot (1973-1980) significantly damaged the U.S. episcopacy by the appointment of young, gay-friendly bishops who formed a self-defense network still in force.
  • The institutional "occasion" of the crisis is not secrecy, but blackmail, in which secrecy is merely instrumental. A clergyman with dirt in his past -- whether hetero or homosexual in nature -- is blackmailable and incapable of acting against the crimes of other clergy except under duress.
  • Psychotherapists don't fix sins.
  • Too many individuals employed in priestly formation were and are in the business because they like to be around young men. This is not unconnected with the grossly defective instruction common in post-WW2 seminaries.
  • "Between men who want to have sex with adolescent boys and men who do not want to have sex with adolescent boys, the former are more likely to have sex with adolescent boys." (Richard Neuhaus)
  • Blackmail is not eradicated by systemic change or bureaucratic adjustment: firings (or firing squads) are necessary.

While Bishops Dupre and O'Connell are still refusing to testify about their own sexual abuse -- with their brethren at least tacitly consenting -- $1.5 million plus is going into the pockets of those who will almost certainly not tell us what Dupre and O'Connell can tell us about "the causes."

Trust restored, yet?

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 25, 2005 5:31 PM ET USA

    Correction: " Post WW II " is too early for the problem. Six + years of seminary life from 45 to 51 never revealed a single instance of deviant behavior or tendency. There were hundreds of classmates. Not one was queer. The problem began in the sixties, but from another perspective, someone may trace it all the way back to the 1890s. But for now, the beast surfaced in about 1965, in my opinion. That's 20 years post War. It wasn't WWII veterans who bear this awful burden. They were men.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Jun. 25, 2005 10:45 AM ET USA

    So, name a day & time: LET'S PROTEST!

  • Posted by: Eusebuis1 - Jun. 25, 2005 10:33 AM ET USA

    One of the problems is that the Vatican has accepted the insights from Bishops as always valid! "We assume that a bishop isn't presenting his private opinion but the faith of the Church, ... The bishop as such, after all, is also a representative, one who stands for a whole community." [quote of a response by Cardinal Ratzinger p. 91 in "Salt of the Earth," Ignatius Press, 1997. In theory this is correct; however, in America many bishops appear to believe man-man-boy sex is just great.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2005 11:37 PM ET USA

    Attention USCCB: Either tender your resignations (you know who you are) or face the following consequences: (1) Archbishop Fessio of San Fran (picture Jesuits jumping off cliffs like lemmings); (2) Cardinal Chaput; (3) Surprise apostolic visitations by your friend Pseudodionysius; (4) Suppression of Novus Ordo masses -- special permission of Rome required to celebrate (5) Surprise Latin exams on third conjugations by fellow in (3) (6) Tridentine mass 3 times a day

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2005 10:16 PM ET USA

    George Weigel, Michael Rose, Richard Neuhaus, Deal Hudson and others have ALREADY done a wonderful job of identifying the causes of the priestly sexual abuse. Why not save 3 - 5 million dollars and just read "The Courage to Be Catholic" or "Goodbye Good Men" or Crisis magazine instead?!? I don't think these people really want to know the truth.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2005 9:30 PM ET USA

    +Sean O'Malley on the "necessity" of this study: "...the findings will show that priests are not any more liable to abuse children than are other men in the general population." I kinda already know that, Excellency. Save your dough. "...We have a terrible image of the priesthood," he said, "that somehow priests have a greater propensity to pedophilia. I don't believe that." Image. Again. STOP IT!!! It's not the priests who've got the bad "image." Keep your money. Change your actions.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2005 6:49 PM ET USA

    As I seem to recall, Jesus had some very severe warnings about false prophets, false shepherds, millstones around the necks of certain stubborn sinners who scandalize the innocent, etc, etc. All in all, if I were a bishop or priest of among the laity with certain constant actions and subterfuges, I would certainly not want to meet Jesus. Leading me to believe that some of our contemporary shepherds and prophets do really believe in Jesus despite their rhetoric.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2005 5:27 PM ET USA

    The mere fact that the bishops approved spending so much money for this "study" suggests how morally/ethically bankrupt the USCCB is. Another delaying tactic to avoid admitting that homosexuality has become the dominant culture of the Roman Catholic clergy in this country? How pathetic these "successors to the apostles."

  • Posted by: - Jun. 24, 2005 5:22 PM ET USA

    << Bishops also agreed to spend up to $1.5 million from a $20 million endowment fund to partly fund a massive study on the causes of priestly sexual abuse. >> I think Diogenes and Newhaus should share the $1.5 mil because they have already pointed out the CAUSE quite well --- << "Between men who want to have sex with adolescent boys and men who do not want to have sex with adolescent boys, the former are more likely to have sex with adolescent boys." (Richard Neuhaus)

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jun. 24, 2005 3:21 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, you're right on target. Let's pray that the straight-orthodox-courageous bishops, few as they are, will nuke this new study & simply state, as you did, the findings that are so clear to us all. Indeed, my own mom & dad see the problem: priests & bishops who are gay or gay-friendly. For the sake of Christ & His Church, let's pray for actual reform, for a holy, thorough cleaning of the stables, beginning with the bishops exercising Can. 401-2. Saint Josemaria Escriva, pray for us.