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  #16  
Old Nov 9, '11, 7:23 am
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Orogeny Orogeny is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThyKingdomCome View Post
I wasn't impressed with VIRTUS either when I took it 4 years ago. After their lip service to keeping an open mind about WHO is the typical abuser, their actual examples and videos depicted the abuser as that creepy looking guy hanging around the fence at the schoolyard. When in fact, the abuser is most likely to be a "nice guy" who gradually gains the trust of the children and even the parents, and who is able to make himself an important and trusted person in his victim's life.
You didn't see the two actual molesters in either of the two videos?
Quote:
I was disappointed, but not surprised that they couldn't give more useful information, and disappointed but not surprised that there wasn't a call for parents to therefore provide MORE SUPERVISION to their children, which is the real way to prevent abuse. There are improvements, but they are all bandaids, applied to a latch-key - someone else is responsible for my child - culture, and there doesn't seem to be a recognition of this.
I must be facilitating a completely different version of Virtus than people are discussing. We discuss parental supervision in every single session I have facilitated since 2005. We ALWAYS emphasize that parents are the primary protectors of their children.

Peace

Tim
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  #17  
Old Nov 9, '11, 7:44 am
PaulinVA PaulinVA is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

My problem with VIRTUS is that it was instituted for a specific reason and that reason is never once mentioned or acknowledged in the training.

It's disingenuous for the Church to require all employees and volunteers to go through this training where none of the molesters or potential molesters are in the role that the Church has had actual problems with.
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  #18  
Old Nov 9, '11, 7:51 am
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Orogeny Orogeny is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

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Originally Posted by PaulinVA View Post
My problem with VIRTUS is that it was instituted for a specific reason and that reason is never once mentioned or acknowledged in the training.
What reason is that?
Quote:
It's disingenuous for the Church to require all employees and volunteers to go through this training where none of the molesters or potential molesters are in the role that the Church has had actual problems with.
I don't understand what you are saying. Could you clarify?

Peace

Tim
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  #19  
Old Nov 9, '11, 7:54 am
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVA View Post
My problem with VIRTUS is that it was instituted for a specific reason and that reason is never once mentioned or acknowledged in the training.

It's disingenuous for the Church to require all employees and volunteers to go through this training where none of the molesters or potential molesters are in the role that the Church has had actual problems with.
So you wouldn't want to potentially help other children that maybe victims of abuse in the programs at your parish or school? Just because the priest sexual abuse cases didn't take place in your parish, doesn't mean that there isn't abuse occurring outside or inside the parish and it is our duty to protect the innocent as much and wherever we can. Why not go the extra mile to help those being abused, even if the cases in the media never occurred around you?
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  #20  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:00 am
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Corki Corki is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

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Originally Posted by Orogeny View Post
Sorry, Annie, but that is not true. Only professionals are required to report suspected abuse to law enforcement or CPS. Volunteers have only an obligation to report cases of observed abuse or if they are told by a child that they have been abused.

Peace

Tim
In our diocese volunteers are obligated to report suspected abuse too. The only difference is that professionals are obligated to go straight to law enforcement while volunteers are required to report it to the principle, DRE or pastor.
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"It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life." Pope Francis
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  #21  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:01 am
PaulinVA PaulinVA is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriceA View Post
So you wouldn't want to potentially help other children that maybe victims of abuse in the programs at your parish or school? Just because the priest sexual abuse cases didn't take place in your parish, doesn't mean that there isn't abuse occurring outside or inside the parish and it is our duty to protect the innocent as much and wherever we can. Why not go the extra mile to help those being abused, even if the cases in the media never occurred around you?
Patrice, I agree with you 100%. However, the training never mentions the priest abuse scandal at all. Frankly, that diminishes the impact of the training and reduces it's credibility.

And, yes, one of the priests in the parish where I grew up was a molester.
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  #22  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:07 am
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Orogeny Orogeny is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

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Originally Posted by Corki View Post
In our diocese volunteers are obligated to report suspected abuse too. The only difference is that professionals are obligated to go straight to law enforcement while volunteers are required to report it to the principle, DRE or pastor.
There is a difference between reporting to a DRE and calling the police. The law in Texas requires any suspicion of abuse by a professional be reported to police or CPS. There is no such legal requirement for volunteers.

Peace

Tim
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  #23  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:07 am
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVA View Post
Patrice, I agree with you 100%. However, the training never mentions the priest abuse scandal at all. Frankly, that diminishes the impact of the training and reduces it's credibility.

And, yes, one of the priests in the parish where I grew up was a molester.
No it doesn't diminish anything. Sexual abuse occurs all around you on a daily basis, hate to tell you. Its EVERYWHERE. It could be within your own family and not know it if you haven't been informed enough to see it. It could be happening right under your nose. If the one good thing that comes out of the priest abuse scandal is that the common day volunteer is a bit more informed to help those being abused, than we as Cathlics have a duty to inform ourselves.
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  #24  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:09 am
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Orogeny Orogeny is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVA View Post
Patrice, I agree with you 100%. However, the training never mentions the priest abuse scandal at all. Frankly, that diminishes the impact of the training and reduces it's credibility.
Again, there must be a different version of Virtus out there than the one I attended in 2003 and have facilitated since 2005. One of the victims in the videos was molested by her parish priest. Both bishops in the videos address abuse by priests.

I don't know what else to say about that.

Peace

Tim
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  #25  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:40 am
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Our archdiocese uses Called to Protect. My impression upon watching it was this: Why is the general public not being taught these things?

The instances of child sexual abuse I am aware of from my childhood (that is, aware of now; I didn't remotely suspect it at the time) were some school friends who were sexuallly abused by an uncle and some much younger cousins who were sexually abused by teachers (female). Combine that with sexual abuse being perpetrated by at least two priests in our archdiocese at the time, and we have the whole gamut from male-on-female, female-on-female, female-on-male, and male-on-male.

Although it could be argued the priest was by far the worst, none of these crimes were really more worthy of prevention than the others, because all were instances of young victims being preyed upon by an adult they should have been able to trust. Our task is to keep the adults from preying without requiring the children to give up their ability to trust anyone. We will do that when the vast majority of adults who are trustworthy keep their eyes open and hold each other to rules that will deny opportunities to offend.

I saw no bias in our training with regards to the possible types of sexual abuse. If anything, the training opened my eyes concerning the possibility that children will sometimes sexually abuse other children--not as mutual sexual "exploration", which I knew about, but aggressively. The assailants lure their victims into bathrooms or into secluded places, and the victims are often too humiliated to report the assaults. This happens from a very young age all the way through high school. When you realize that this isn't just an issue of disordered sexual appetites, but also of cruelty or power struggles playing out in the sexual humilation of victims, it opens your eyes to a whole other class of possible offenders and victims.

What this training taught me was the equivalent of not leaving valuables in your car in plain sight, not leaving your windows open in hot weather, not giving your Social Security number or birthdate to someone who has no business having them, not being alone when you show your car to someone responding to a newspaper ad, and so on.

In other words, the Called to Protect training taught me common-sense ways to make our parish programs "target poor" environments. The goal is to make it hard, if not impossible, for a predator to "succeed."

This is why we need to know the basics of the disorders that lead to this kind of a crime: It keeps us from thinking we know what a predator looks like. Rather, we learn what a predator wants--opportunities for victim selection, opportunities for victim grooming, opportunities for an assault that can be perpetrated without detection--and therefore how to keep any kind of predator from preying on anyone.

Since I took the Called to Protect training, I have read about many young people being preyed upon. Most incidents were in inadequately-supervised youth sports. The vast majority were athlete-on-athlete and private-coach-on-athlete crimes.

Every adult ought to have training in the facts taught by these programs. I think it ought to be in Parade Magazine and Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal. Knowing what predators need in order to offend helps us to remove opportunities by which our children and young people can become victims. Also importantly, it helps us to protect ourselves from accusation by giving us an awareness of how to keep ourselves out of situations where an unfair accusations could be leveled against us because we gave ourselves and opportunity to offend.

Furthermore, we have to remember that the predators have their own kind of training, via chat rooms on the internet. They are learning from each other and getting affirmation from each other in ways that were never possible in the past. They are going to get more cunning and more bold. It is not enough to apprehend them after the fact. By then, some child's innocence has been shattered. We have to deny them opportunities to offend in the first place.
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  #26  
Old Nov 9, '11, 8:50 am
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Orogeny Orogeny is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasterJoy View Post
Our archdiocese uses Called to Protect. My impression upon watching it was this: Why is the general public not being taught these things?

(snip)

In other words, the Called to Protect training taught me common-sense ways to make our parish programs "target poor" environments. The goal is to make it hard, if not impossible, for a predator to "succeed."

This is why we need to know the basics of the disorders that lead to this kind of a crime: It keeps us from thinking we know what a predator looks like. Rather, we learn what a predator wants--opportunities for victim selection, opportunities for victim grooming, opportunities for an assault that can be perpetrated without detection--and therefore how to keep any kind of predator from preying on anyone.
Good! You get it!

Luckily, I think that you are in the large majority of people who take this type of training, whether it be Called to Protect or Virtus.

Peace

Tim
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  #27  
Old Nov 9, '11, 9:13 am
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Corki Corki is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

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Originally Posted by Orogeny View Post
There is a difference between reporting to a DRE and calling the police. The law in Texas requires any suspicion of abuse by a professional be reported to police or CPS. There is no such legal requirement for volunteers.

Peace

Tim
Agreed. However, it seems the OP was left with the impression that volunteers did not have the obligation to report. They probably do have the obligation but it's not a legal one but a policy one.
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"It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life." Pope Francis
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  #28  
Old Nov 9, '11, 9:49 am
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

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Originally Posted by Corki View Post
Agreed. However, it seems the OP was left with the impression that volunteers did not have the obligation to report. They probably do have the obligation but it's not a legal one but a policy one.
We can add moral obligation to that list.

This is unfortunately why Joe Paterno is in trouble at Penn State. He got a report and he did what he was supposed to do: report it to the people whose job it was to contact police in matters pertaining to possible crimes committed on the campus. Because the allegation that got to him was vague, however, he did not follow up on the matter.

In retrospect, knowing what we know now about the mishandlings that can happen with these things, Mr. Paterno should have called the administrator later and asked what had been done. If nothing had been done or if there was a cover-up going on, then he had a moral duty to make a call to the authorities himself in defense of the possible victim, even though he might have gotten into trouble with his superiors for doing it.

The problem was that Mr. Paterno unconciously made the decision that the report probably didn't have substance to it, so he was not concerned when he heard nothing more about it. With what we know about these matters now, in 2011, he ought to have made certain that the decision that the report had no substance was only made by someone who had actually done a real investigation into the matter. That didn't happen.

I don't know what Mr. Paterno knew about these kinds of crimes back in 1985, when he made the decisions he did, but I have always gotten the impression that he is an unusually decent and responsible man. There is a reason that Penn State has never been investigated by the NCAA for rules violations, and a reason his former players speak so highly of him. If he had known what I learned in Called to Protect training and what we have learned as a result of the difficult disclosures forced by the victims of abuse within the Catholic Church, I think he'd have followed up. By the accounts of prosecuters, some victims would almost certainly have been spared, if he had. If the athletic director at Penn State had had that training, the opportunity to abuse might never have taken place on the Penn State campus in the first place. When you know better, you can do better.

Ignorance is dangerous, especially ignorance that thinks that it knows. The victims of past crimes have insisted we look at some ugly truths about how these matters were handled in the Church. They have taken attacks for that. The least we can do is to learn from what they've insisted be brought into the light, so that we will have the knowledge to keep that light where it will do some good. Otherwise, the pain that the whole Church went through because of these disclosures will have been for nothing.

The disclosures will only do some good if we act differently in the future because of them.
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  #29  
Old Nov 9, '11, 10:35 am
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

I'm in our good Bishop Finn's diocese. I have attended the VIRTUS training. And, yes, to volunteer you have to accept to be a mandated reporter here. I can understand the hurt expressed in the OP, even if the facts aren't exactly correct.
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  #30  
Old Nov 9, '11, 10:50 am
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kmaaj kmaaj is offline
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Default Re: VIRTUS training: some thoughts.

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Originally Posted by nordskoven View Post
And here's the two-page confession in genuine Church-speak by an area pederast-priest, Fr. Bede Parry, ordained after caught preying on boys.
Fr. Bede Parry was ordained an Episcopalian priest. Please do not rely on SNAP or the Star for the facts. Same goes for the Ratigan/Finn case.

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Millstones all around.
Jesus never once said that those accused of offending the children will get millstones. Jesus DID say that for those who actually DO offend the children, a millstone is the better option. Read your scriptures with a little more attention to detail.

From a fellow MoKan, member of St. Therese in Parkville
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