How our priest addressed PA scandal helped


Our parish priest mentioned ways you can tell if clergy is truly genuine and not a predator. He told us we should be protective over our children with ANY adults as well. And that he found that parents can be too lenient with their children and that they should never be lax in any situation with their child being away from them. I found this to be very reassuring. He wasn’t saying don’t trust the clergy but he was also saying that satan can be found lurking anywhere, that man is corrupt but not the Church and it’s beautiful teaching.

Are your parish priests speaking out against the sex abuse scandal in PA at mass? Can the Pope and Bishops speak out against this publically now? After such a large scandal can the Church just say they stand against this?
If there is evidence of this please show me because I haven’t searched the media a whole lot (easier to ask here).



This ticks me off. :rage:

Until the church stops making excuses and looking to lay the blame on either the victims or the parents NOTHING is going to change…it is time the church steps up and takes responsibility!


He didn’t lay the blame on the victims or the parents. What is he said was realistic. Our children are not allowed to spend the night anywhere without either parent there. This is common sense. Alter boy group trips with Fr. means their dad will be a chaperone! And etc. Camping trips with Boy Scouts at our church means their dad goes too. This is called common sense. Why does this anger folks?


Sorry, this sounds strange to me. There are, say, 12 boys go camping with a priest and also 12 dads of those guys? Really?
When I can´t trust myself or my children into the care of a man who gives me absolution and guides me spiritually, then something goes really wrong.


It doesn’t make me any less Catholic if I am being protective of my child. A priest shouldn’t have free reign on your children like that. He’s still a human being. What you said scares me.


I also agree it’s ridiculous to use the example of a few bad men to stop priests cultivating faith in the local male youth. How else will vocations pick up again? Priests shouldn’t be stigmatised because of such concerns.


Like it or not, our priest is a wonderful man. I respect him even more for helping parents understand that they need to be careful and not so open to Satan.


Our priest expressed sadness, shame, and anger in his homily on Sunday. He said a similar thing that human brokenness, not The Church, are the root of this evil. He described how when he is out and about in his clerical collar, he is surprised that more people don’t make rude comments. He also promised us he would talk more about it later.


You totally missed the point the poster was making.


Strange, sorry, this it what this sounds to me.
There´s a difference between free reign and trusting a child for a camping trip. When I was a child, our church group made a 4 days trip with two responsible adults- one priest, one lay woman. If such a thing is “free reign” for you, I´m sorry.
Over-protecting a child is also wrong, sad we need it rght now.


Thank you thistle. Our priest is a wonderful man he’s discussed this also with my husband and I out to dinner. He’s hurt by it.


Over protecting a child is also wrong? Is that your conclusion now? Laughable. Nobody in our parish agrees with you, not even our priest. At some point you have to think about what you are saying.


Would you please calm down? You don´t even try to understand my point. By the way, I´m not interested in how many people agree with me or not. “Laughable” is at best uncharitable. Poor image, all in all.
And yes, overprotection is wrong. If it´s necessary to watch a child 24/7 to make sure it doesn´t endures abuse, than I should get rid of the abuser. Not make this parenting style the norm.


Need to protect children in public schools as well, cause the sexual abuse of children there is exponentially worse than in the Catholic Church. Not making excuses for the Church, it’s disgusting what has happened. It happens everywhere children are left alone with adults. As someone who’s been through it, boy it really messes a kid up, and it never ever goes away. Keep your kids close, love them, and protect them. God bless.


Exactly! This is why our parish has a huge homeschool group. It’s what we do. Parents teach in these groups and etc.


Our priests also ask for parent chaperones on trips. it’s very reassuring and trains theses all trusting parents to be vigilant.


I realize most folks think homeschool is being “over protective” because apparently everyone is a psychologist now. Little do they know two family therapists at our parish who also homeschool their kids. We try to attend daily mass together. Unless you understand the homeschool community, most folks shouldn’t comment. As I said, our parish priest and the way they function is wonderful. I think more priests should talk about this scandal and help parents understand.


It doesn’t anger me, and while I’m going to go totally off point, (sort of) I think that getting the father’s involved in this serves a dual purpose.

Part of the problem we have had in general is that the rank and file laity has tended, over the years, to figure that just showing up for Mass was all that they needed to do. After Vatican II the laity was supposed to become more involved in the Church but by and large the rank and file, acclimated to just being provided for by the church, didn’t, and those who did become involved were often those who had an agenda of some sort. So the laity continued to just pass everything on to the Priest in a radically changing era, and the clerics either continued to figure they were running the whole show or found that the only people who were really interested in things had agendas that didn’t necessarily square with orthodoxy.

My Parish doesn’t have a Boy Scout troop anymore (it hasn’t for eons, the Scouts are dying here). But to find one that does where the Priest is not only involved but getting the regular parents involved. That’s not a huge thing, but it’s a good thing, and huge things are made up of a lot of little good things, quite often.


The priests, especially in PA where I spend a good amount of time, are very likely restricted by the bishop on what they can say. I know in all the affected dioceses and also in Philadelphia diocese, a letter was read at all Masses some weeks ago in preparation for this report coming out. The letter was written by the Bishop of the particular diocese and it had to be read just as he wrote it.

From a legal standpoint, it is not a great idea for a priest to be addressing this issue from the pulpit, other than to note that the parish has Safe Environment Policies in place to protect the children of the parish. Every parish I attend has had a Safe Environment Policy in place for a long time now, like years. About a third of those parishes would be even more attentive to it because they still operate elementary schools and have to worry about all the lay staff and teachers dealing with kids daily, not just clergy.

So this is not really a new thing and I can’t imagine any parent not monitoring their kids in this day and age when we hear about dozens of cases of teacher, coach, neighbor, and even relative abuse all day every day, not just clergy.

To be very honest with you - if my priest talked about “how you can tell a priest is a predator” I would either think he had been watching too many Law and Order episodes or I might be downright suspicious of his motives. The appropriate thing would be for the priest to bring in an expert such as a law enforcement officer and let him give the talk, not at a Mass but perhaps at a parents’ event.


Our parish has a huge homeschool community, they also have American heritage girls run there. Our priests always have parent chaperons. Parents here are what some on these forms would call over protective I suppose. But having parish priests who teach parents to be close to their children is amazing.

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