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  #16  
Old Feb 24, '12, 1:00 am
Hokomai Hokomai is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

I think you need advice from professional people who work with sex offenders. Not all who look at images of child abuse are or become physical abusers. But I would not take any risks. Your father, to rehabilitate himself needs a professionally-run intensive course, followed by support from family within safety limits. If the course succeeds, he should accept these. By supporting him you protect both him and other children. Remember, too, that he is not just a man who looks at sexualised images of children. He will have done many good things, and have many good qualities.
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  #17  
Old Feb 24, '12, 2:49 am
Ellyakamommy Ellyakamommy is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Elizabeth Anne, you clearly love and honor your father, as the Fourth Commandment calls for. Are you aware that the Fourth Commandment also holds parents equally responsible for protecting their own children?

I think your instinct to talk to a professional that deals with sex offenders regularly is a good one.

If you aren't familiar also look into Gavin de Becker's work--two books especially--'The Gift of Fear' and 'Protecting the Gift'.

You mentioned that you have not decided about public, supervised visits. Are you aware of what 'grooming' is? It is building a false sense of trust between an abuser and a child to lower the child's inhibitions and prepare them for future sexual activity or molestation. Grooming can happen right in front of a parent, as can abuse. Did you know that it is often common for abusers to show a child images of child pornography prior to engaging in abuse? (please check the wikipedia article on 'child grooming' for references).

While a previous poster pointed out that your father is imprisoned for looking at child pornography, he was not imprisoned for actual abuse. That is true. It is also true that your father has an issue with appropriate boundaries and behavior or he never would have had the child porn in the first place. He also lacks transparency about his actions that have landed him in jail as he has not been forthcoming about why he is in jail, yet wants access to children. Someone committed to reforming himself would 1. be transparent and 2. self-impose limits on access to children. He may not be an abuser, but he is also not trustworthy enough to be granted the priviledge of knowing and interacting with your children.

So, I would discourage any and all conact between your father and your children. As you know, their safety supercedes honoring your father's desire for contact. And since you asked, I would also share the legally obtained, factual information you have with other family members so they can make an informed choice as yoru father is not being transparent. I would inform your father as lovingly, but firmly as possible that you know the true reason for his imprisonment, that you are establishing limits to his contact, and if you feel obligated, that you are sharing this information so parents can make an informed choice about the level of contact Grandpa/Uncle is having with their children.

No matter what his response is, know that you are not causing him pain and anguish, but that these are the consequences of deeply wrong pursuits he engaged in.

I do apologize if my tone comes across as harsh, in point of fact, my heart feels your anguish in trying to balance charity with responsibility. FWIW, a family member is cut off from all family gatherings and from meeting any of his neices and nephews as he refused to acknowledge his own actions when confronted with proof.

I pray that God grant you wisdom and discernment.
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  #18  
Old Feb 24, '12, 3:27 am
thomasf thomasf is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

If I were you I'd make sure everyone in the family knows. You don't necessarily have to tell them personally, but maybe an anonymous copy of the court record so they know as well. Especially if they had children themselves.

I would also confront him about this, don't wait for him to tell you. He might think he can get away with not ever telling you.
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  #19  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:01 am
fgh_123 fgh_123 is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

There are some mighty condemning responses here! Or are you saying forgiveness is only relevant in certain situations.

Naturally proceed with caution, but I would at least hear your father out on the matters. Who knows the story? If he was looking at genuinely hardcore filth and fully admitted he had a problem, then it would be natural to be wary and it would be the right course of action.

If however it was a question of being led onto dubious sites which contained said images, but that it was not his sexual preference then that's a different kettle of fish. Just a sample of the complexity of this issue.

Certainly not a blanket ban on your father without knowing all the details....
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  #20  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:04 am
newf newf is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellyakamommy View Post
Elizabeth Anne, you clearly love and honor your father, as the Fourth Commandment calls for. Are you aware that the Fourth Commandment also holds parents equally responsible for protecting their own children?

I think your instinct to talk to a professional that deals with sex offenders regularly is a good one.

If you aren't familiar also look into Gavin de Becker's work--two books especially--'The Gift of Fear' and 'Protecting the Gift'.

You mentioned that you have not decided about public, supervised visits. Are you aware of what 'grooming' is? It is building a false sense of trust between an abuser and a child to lower the child's inhibitions and prepare them for future sexual activity or molestation. Grooming can happen right in front of a parent, as can abuse. Did you know that it is often common for abusers to show a child images of child pornography prior to engaging in abuse? (please check the wikipedia article on 'child grooming' for references).

While a previous poster pointed out that your father is imprisoned for looking at child pornography, he was not imprisoned for actual abuse. That is true. It is also true that your father has an issue with appropriate boundaries and behavior or he never would have had the child porn in the first place. He also lacks transparency about his actions that have landed him in jail as he has not been forthcoming about why he is in jail, yet wants access to children. Someone committed to reforming himself would 1. be transparent and 2. self-impose limits on access to children. He may not be an abuser, but he is also not trustworthy enough to be granted the priviledge of knowing and interacting with your children.

So, I would discourage any and all conact between your father and your children. As you know, their safety supercedes honoring your father's desire for contact. And since you asked, I would also share the legally obtained, factual information you have with other family members so they can make an informed choice as yoru father is not being transparent. I would inform your father as lovingly, but firmly as possible that you know the true reason for his imprisonment, that you are establishing limits to his contact, and if you feel obligated, that you are sharing this information so parents can make an informed choice about the level of contact Grandpa/Uncle is having with their children.

No matter what his response is, know that you are not causing him pain and anguish, but that these are the consequences of deeply wrong pursuits he engaged in.

I do apologize if my tone comes across as harsh, in point of fact, my heart feels your anguish in trying to balance charity with responsibility. FWIW, a family member is cut off from all family gatherings and from meeting any of his neices and nephews as he refused to acknowledge his own actions when confronted with proof.

I pray that God grant you wisdom and discernment.
This is a very good post.

You really should NOT allow your dad to have any contact with your children.

Your extended family should be informed of the porn and jail so that they can protect their own children.

Most importantly, you cannot fix this mess. It is up to your dad to do that and he doesn't seem to be very willing at this time.
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  #21  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:14 am
Mijoy2 Mijoy2 is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

I go against the grain here. I see no reason your father cannot see his granddaughters under EXTREMELY controlled supervision. i.e. You are present each and every moment.
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  #22  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:34 am
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Gordon Sims Gordon Sims is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgh_123 View Post
There are some mighty condemning responses here! Or are you saying forgiveness is only relevant in certain situations.
Forgiveness doesn't mean acceptance. You can forgive someone for a crime, but there's no reason you should ever consider putting yourself or your children in a position to be victimized by that person.

Quote:
If however it was a question of being led onto dubious sites which contained said images, but that it was not his sexual preference then that's a different kettle of fish. Just a sample of the complexity of this issue.

Certainly not a blanket ban on your father without knowing all the details....
Despite a lot of pedophiles' claims to the contrary, kiddie porn doesn't mysteriously and automatically save itself on someone's computer (and, for the record, we both seem to be assuming that the images in his possession were on his computer and not physical photographs). A friend of mine does computer repair and was asked by a female friend to check out their family computer because it was running slow and she couldn't save any files. Right away, he found a hidden folder with something like 100 Gb of gay porn. When asked about it, her husband used that same argument: that he must have stumbled across some website accidentally and it created that hidden folder and saved those 30,000 images, not him. Common excuse, but it doesn't really happen. She needs to protect her family.

To the OP, in regards to telling the extended family, how would you feel if you didn't tell them and he victimized one of your cousins' children?
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  #23  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:28 am
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triumphguy triumphguy is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgh_123 View Post
There are some mighty condemning responses here! Or are you saying forgiveness is only relevant in certain situations.

Naturally proceed with caution, but I would at least hear your father out on the matters. Who knows the story? If he was looking at genuinely hardcore filth and fully admitted he had a problem, then it would be natural to be wary and it would be the right course of action.

If however it was a question of being led onto dubious sites which contained said images, but that it was not his sexual preference then that's a different kettle of fish. Just a sample of the complexity of this issue.

Certainly not a blanket ban on your father without knowing all the details....
Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to allow your own kids to be potential victims.

As a Chaplain I ran an intense program for sex offenders. I was told time and time again by the inmates themselves that they had abused tens or even hundreds of kids before they were incarcerated. You don't get sent to jail because you stumbled across a porn site. To go to jail for child porn you probably have thousands of images of the most sickening kind involving children on your hard drive or on hard disks. You probably also have a track record of sharing receiving and distributing those images. And the images will not be of girls who look old enough to be adult woman, but of children who look like children.

Sex offenders lie. They lie and offend and lie again. They lie to themselves and their families. 99% of the time they will not get caught. They have typically been abused as children. You cannot change their history, you can only avoid the same thing happening to more kids.

Forgive but never forget.

Respect the person, but protect your children.
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  #24  
Old Feb 24, '12, 7:46 am
Deo Gratias42 Deo Gratias42 is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElizabethAnne View Post

The other aspect is that I may have to cut ties with my father's entire family as a result of this. My father lives in the same area with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. If I have to keep my children away from him, they will likely grow up not knowing any of those other relatives. And a very big question, what obligation do I have to my cousins and their children to share the information that I have that they likelyhave not accessed themselves?
You don't have to keep your children away from him. What will end up happening is that he won't be permitted to be left alone with any children under a certain age (it's up to the courts to decide) or anywhere one might be. With regards to your family and your daughters, if you leave them with your in-laws, in order for him to be around your daughters, anyone they are with will have to know about his charges, and he won't be permitted to be left alone with them.

Your father has pretty much been charged with one of the worst crimes there is for an offender. The other people in jail will hate your father if they know of his charges. The correctional officers will hate him because of his charges. The police will hate him. I work in probation and my supervisor has told me that she has never had a sex offender not follow their probation order (I live in Canada, so most sex offenders get probation) because they are too scared to mess up.

You're father needs a lot of psychological and psychiatric treatment right now. He also needs a good support system who will help, encourage and motivate him to be diligent with his treatment and to remain positive that there is hope for him. I don't recommend shunning him, but I do recommend not being irresponsible with your children around him.
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  #25  
Old Feb 24, '12, 1:55 pm
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mandajane mandajane is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

As a survivor of two years in the 'care' of a pedophile, I'm going to go ahead and say my piece.

1) I would not let him near my daughters as long as they were in my care. I would inform him that I am aware of why he is in prison, and that I will not be allowing him around my children. I would tell him that I love him, and pray for him, but as a mother my primary responsibility is for the safety of my children.

2) I would tell anyone I knew who might bring their children around him. This includes your cousins and other relatives. I would sit down with them and a print out of the public record, and say - "I love my father, but, he plead guilty to possession of child pornography. Therefore, I have decided that he will not be permitted to see my children." I would inform other relatives of your choice, and that this doesn't mean that they will not be permitted to see your kids.

If your father objects, I would tell him that it is the condition for continued contact with you. If your girls ask you about their grandfather, until they are teenagers, just tell them that their grandfather loves them but cannot see them. Around the age of 15 or 16, I would tell them the truth, and tell them that if they choose to meet him after they turn 18, that's fine.

A lot of people blow off possession of child pornography as 'not a big deal'. In truth, it is a gateway. You go from looking at images of underage girls, to imagining the underage girls in your life participating in those activities, to acting like it. It's a slippery slope. Forgiving my rapist for what he did, and my mother for not realizing it was happening, was the HARDEST thing I have ever done in my life, and it took me a decade. I still bear the physical and psychological scars, and I will carry them for the rest of my life. It will be twenty years, this summer, since the nightmare ended, and I still wake up screaming. My past abuse changed my life, in a terrible way. I'm not telling you this out of a desire for pity, but so that you understand what you are risking for your daughters if you allow him to see them. All it takes is once.
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  #26  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:03 pm
Catherine S. Catherine S. is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandajane View Post
As a survivor of two years in the 'care' of a pedophile, I'm going to go ahead and say my piece.

1) I would not let him near my daughters as long as they were in my care. I would inform him that I am aware of why he is in prison, and that I will not be allowing him around my children. I would tell him that I love him, and pray for him, but as a mother my primary responsibility is for the safety of my children.

2) I would tell anyone I knew who might bring their children around him. This includes your cousins and other relatives. I would sit down with them and a print out of the public record, and say - "I love my father, but, he plead guilty to possession of child pornography. Therefore, I have decided that he will not be permitted to see my children." I would inform other relatives of your choice, and that this doesn't mean that they will not be permitted to see your kids.

If your father objects, I would tell him that it is the condition for continued contact with you. If your girls ask you about their grandfather, until they are teenagers, just tell them that their grandfather loves them but cannot see them. Around the age of 15 or 16, I would tell them the truth, and tell them that if they choose to meet him after they turn 18, that's fine.

A lot of people blow off possession of child pornography as 'not a big deal'. In truth, it is a gateway. You go from looking at images of underage girls, to imagining the underage girls in your life participating in those activities, to acting like it. It's a slippery slope. Forgiving my rapist for what he did, and my mother for not realizing it was happening, was the HARDEST thing I have ever done in my life, and it took me a decade. I still bear the physical and psychological scars, and I will carry them for the rest of my life. It will be twenty years, this summer, since the nightmare ended, and I still wake up screaming. My past abuse changed my life, in a terrible way. I'm not telling you this out of a desire for pity, but so that you understand what you are risking for your daughters if you allow him to see them. All it takes is once.
God Bless You Mandajane .
Thank you for sharing with us.
.
Although there is a fair bit of fluff on this thread, most people do not blow off prossesion of child pornography anymore (lady on the plane) and many of the professionals aware of what is going on in terms of these terrible crimes against children are beginning to take a much harsher stand.....
.
Utah Professor Charged With Watching Child Porn On Flight To Boston
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/11/28/utah-man-charged-with-watching-child-porn-on-flight-to-boston/
State police spokesman David Procopio issued this blistering statement about the arrest......

In the view of the State Police, child pornography is a form of child sexual abusenothing less. Those who possess it a crime unto itself foster an evil network that sexually abuses and exploits children irreparably.
Stopping child pornographers is a critical part of our mission to protect children. Along with our federal and local partners, we execute dozens of warrants related to this wicked crime each year. One hopes there is a special place in Hell for the evil people who make, trade, and possess child pornography. Until they get there, we are committed to putting them in jail.
.
Hell is where these people will go if they do not at some point Repent from the deepest part of their being and ask God to forgive them.
For it is only God's forgiveness that can free them and keep them out of hell not ours.
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  #27  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

I admit my view of people 'blowing it off' may be colored by my experiences. Since I am a very vocal activist on this subject, and serve as an advocate for other survivors, I often find myself dealing with people who think it's no big deal, and that I, and other activists, are overreacting to those who merely possess it.
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  #28  
Old Feb 25, '12, 6:34 am
Castello Castello is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Please, go speak to your priest about this - also talk to the Director of Religious Education at your parish and ask if you can sit in on the Virtus "Protecting God's Children" training sessions that they do.

Prayers for your family.
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  #29  
Old Feb 25, '12, 10:01 am
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Allegra Allegra is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

You cannot allow your father access to your cchildren and you have a responsibility to let your other relatives and family friends know. Perhaps when your daughters are grown, they may want to have a relationship with him, but until then, you first responsibility is to protect them.
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  #30  
Old Feb 27, '12, 6:37 am
ElizabethAnne ElizabethAnne is offline
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Default Re: Father inprisoned for pornography possession

Hello all,

Thank you very much for your replies so far. I appreciate the range of opinions and it has been helpful for me in my continuing process of discerning what to do in this situation.

I want to explain that I have zero contact with my cousins. I see them only when I go to visit my father, which is unlikely to happen again anytime soon. I don't ever talk with them outside of those family gatherings.They all know my father is in jail, and I have absolutely no idea what else they may or may not know. They all live at least halfway across the country from me. I do not even have addresses or phone numbers for them. I could probably obtain information for most of them, and I'm willing to inform them, no matter how awkward and strange such an interaction would be.

I know for certain that I have relatives who would not be able to respect my decision to keep my children away from my father. If I went to visit without telling him, there are some that would probably inform and invite him. My grandmother, his mother, definitely would, and my strongest links to that part of my family are my father and grandmother. There have always been some worrisome family dynamics present, and with this latest revelation about my father, I'm concerned about having my children around any of them.

mandajane, thank you very much for your response. I want to assure you that I take his crimes very, very seriously. I am not open to the possibility of leaving my children in his "care." Honestly, I wouldn't have been doing that even if all this hadn't happened because of previous history.
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