Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

To live in peace with child molesters

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 10, 2003

Still more insight from the Rev. Stephen "Helping Hand" Rossetti on irrational prejudice toward child molesters (America, 9-9-95):

A Christian perspective suggests the need for society and church to take a reasoned response with an informed compassion and a willingness to delve into the complexities. But society hates and fears men who sexually abuse minors. We stereotype them; we claim they are all incorrigible; we wish to mark them as people not like ourselves. These men tap a deep well of fear and anger that goes beyond the facts of their crime. To reintegrate child molesters into our society will require us to face and overcome our own fears. To live in peace with child molesters will mean to let go of some of our own inner angers.

Well, to let go of our own inner angers we first have to get in touch with them, right? For starters, try this passage concerning the Rev. Gordon MacRae from the Report on the Investigation of the Diocese of Manchester issued by the New Hampshire attorney general's office:

Doe XIV described how, on one occasion in 1981 or 1982, MacRae brought him to the rectory in Hudson. Doe XIV guzzled some alcohol. MacRae then brought Doe XIV into the bedroom and made Doe XIV undress. He told Doe XIV he would no longer be his friend if he did not do it. According to Doe XIV, MacRae then left the room and another man, whom Doe XIV believed was a priest, came into the room and anally raped Doe XIV. A second man came in and had anal intercourse with Doe XIV as well.

In 1994, Judge Arthur Brennan found the evidence against MacRae for this incident and multiple other offenses "clear and convincing," found him wholly lacking in remorse, and sentenced him to 67 years in prison.

"Informed compassion" had a different response. Back in 1990, after MacRae's abuse finally came to light, and after he spent time in a residential treatment program run by the Servants of the Paraclete, the Servants of the Paraclete hired MacRae to be Assistant Director of one of its treatment programs, saying he displayed "a depth of consciousness and sensitivity to others and a very high degree of ethical concern."

Oddly, there remain a few skeptics who don't trust the Church's professional therapists to solve the problem...

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