How our priest addressed PA scandal helped


With all due respect, why does a priest have to teach parents to do this?

Most parents are naturally close to their children and very protective. In this day and age, they tend to be OVERprotective if anything.


Just being involved with your child will give you clues if abuse is happening.


I wish, I pray, that I would have been homeschooled. I could have avoided the sexual abuse, drug use, physical violence, and exposure to so much evil. That’s just me though, and I realize it’s harder today (because of single parent homes, both parents working, etc etc etc). Just my 2 cents, good on those who can homeschool. God bless.


If he sees lax parents, he should!

Our parish has a very large homeschool community involved in the church. If you are involved with your child in any way (and are not a homeschooler) you would see the signs of abuse. Parents can’t be all trusting either.


Thanks Matt. I’m not saying it’s the victims fault or the parents. I’m more concerned with folks who are overly trusting of not just priests but ANY adult. It seems to be a common theme on here whenever anyone talks about protecting THEIR child.


Yes, and do normal parents really need a priest to tell them to “be involved with their child”? It’s called “being a normal parent”.

There’s a reason why the abusers pick on kids from homes where the parents are absent, ill, dealing with substance abuse…and those parents aren’t going to be the ones listening to priestly guidance on “how to parent”.


Exactly, so it’s not abnormal for a good priest to say
“be involved with your child, people” there is nothing wrong if he says protect your kids from ANY adult. NOTHING wrong with that!


Yeah, overprotecting is still a better option than leaving a child with someone you trust, only to find out the worst. Some wrongs like sexual abuse can last a lifetime.

That is wht when I read of cases of Church people abusing children or teens or other adults, well why were they left alone in the first place? Sad that we cannot trust’ but that is the ways things are.

We are not omnipotent, therefore cannot know if someone is a predator unless unless there isa a proof of warning signs.


Great post. The tendency you describe, to disengage from our responsibilities and pay someone else to look after it, is pervasive in our world today, or at least in American culture.

Too many parents have handed over the upbringing of their children to third parties: preschools, nannies, schools, tutors, after-school programs, and perhaps worst of all, electronic devices – “Kid, here’s your smartphone. Now stop bugging me!”

Too many Catholic parents don’t instill faith at home by leading their children in prayer, reading the Bible, and talking about faith, morality, and the meaning of life. Many do not even bring the family to Sunday Mass. They enroll their child in Religious Education and consider the job done.

It’s not just parents. Few Americans engage in charitable service, public service, or military service. Rather, they give money to their favorite charities, elect career politicians, and put a “Support Our Troops” bumper sticker on the back of their car.

Many do not take care of their aging parents, but rather send them to nursing homes and look to the government to pay for it (while guarding the parent’s assets, their own hoped-for inheritance).

All of this seems to be the end result of decades (since World War II?) of putting the the self first, and neglecting our responsibilities to family, neighbor, society, and future humanity.

We can turn it around, but first people have to want to do so. It will take a lot of time and effort, and a lot of grace. Let us pray, but also remember that the Lord helps those who help themselves.


I am happy for you that your priest is expressing his thoughts and feelings
with the congregation. I will see if anything is mentionef this weekend at my
church, but I don’t have high hopes.


In fairness, medical science has advanced to the point where a person who is not themself a medical professional often cannot care for their parent’s illness in the home. My mother’s last illness required 24-hour care and IVs and all kinds of other things I simply could not do. Having visiting nurses coming into your home is sometimes an option, but not always, depending on where you live, the level of care needed, and whether your home is or can be arranged so that a visiting person can be coming in and out easily without creating other risks or issues for the rest of the family. By the time you get to the point of needing 24 hour care, the cost to have people come in is about on the same level as if you put them in the nursing home.

Also, if you are in a situation where the person has exhausted their government benefits, which can happen in the US fairly quickly depending on what they have, YOU are the person paying for the nursing home care for your parent, which means you need to work, as I did, in order to make sure the bills are paid.

I would caution you to please not make blanket generalizations about nursing home care, any more than you would make blanket generalizations about day care. I didn’t want to put my mother in a nursing home, and dealing with the nursing home staff and issues there took up a significant amount of my time - it wasn’t like I just parked her there and went on my merry way. I did it because I could not reasonably care for her medical needs at home. She was only in there a few months, at least I managed to keep her at home almost till the end of her life. And believe me that was not easy and required me to juggle a lot of things, and I was lucky that my job and other resources were available for me to do it as long as I did - many people are not so lucky or don’t have an understanding employer.


I am sorry. I apologize for my rash and uncharitable remarks concerning institutional elder care, government benefits for the elderly, and protection of family assets. This seems to be an impossibly difficult challenge for us today.


Yes, it is awful. I would hope you would not have to be in the position, but I was constantly second-guessing myself as to whether I was doing the right thing for my mother. I just couldn’t see any other way. I was afraid if I tried to keep her at home I would do something wrong and be responsible in some way for her becoming very ill or dying. I still have times when I wonder if I did things right and have cried in the confessional about it and everything else.

My brother-in-law had to similarly put my in-laws in the nursing home because their benefits would no longer pay for care at home, his mother had Alzheimers also and needed to be watched 24 hours a day and he needed to be at work every day to continue supporting his children. These decisions are never easy. Most of us do care very much about our parents and just want them to be well taken care of. In olden times, the parent would likely have died long before things reached “nursing home” point because it happened in our cases after many hospitalizations, surgeries, serious illnesses etc.


If I were a parent, I’d be uneasy allowing my child to do anything with a priest, minister, scout leader or teacher, where there was no other adult chaperones present.

This scandal has removed any moral credibility the Church had in the eyes of the world.
When the Church speaks out on a moral issue, the general public just roll their eyes.

Then we wonder why young people want nothing to do with religion.



Except they actually do.

Young people are frustrated, I think, that an old guard holds on to everything. These scandals have their own horrific set of dimensions, but included among them is that a generation that came into power decades ago in everything just will not let go.

It’s up to laity, and frankly the young laity, which is more orthodox than those who rose up in the 60s and 70s, to do something about this. As with American politics, it’s become evident that otherwise a generation that came into its own in the 60s and 70s, and which really has messed things up, isn’t going to do that voluntarily.


Not to sound dismissive, but they will be the “old guard” themselves soon enough. Meanwhile, they can be the change they want to see in the Church.

The generation that came of age in the 60s and 70s is now in their own 60s and 70s. Soon they will pass away.

I have to laugh when I see someone complaining about 40-year-olds being “baby boomers”. A 40-year-old today was born in the late 70s. That’s way past even GenX.


The Church isn’t entirely responsible.



This is about predators…pure and simple…not someone who dropped their kid off for an innocent occasion and a weak “man” succumbed to his sin in one terrible moment…

This is about the malicious grooming, manipulation and perversion that was enacted upon young, some very young children and well known and tolerated BY THE CHURCH!

Are you kidding me? The Church KNEW/KNOWS about this issue, has for decades and has done nothing.
They have moved the priest, offered zero support to victims and denied denied denied…
Is it the children fault? The parents?

This is the Church’s mess…it IS responsible…it is responsible for it’s employees and it is responsible for the treatment of the victims and for prosecuting the offenders, not moving them from parish to parish or to a “retirement home” for the predators to spend their days…while the victims carry this pain with them forever!

The OP meant well, but we have to start viewing this systemic issue much differently if we want to help and grow…help the victims and grow the church…it is time for the church to take responsibility and offer no more excuses.


That’s the very point.

As a GenXer, I’ve gone from being young to Middle Aged in the shadow of a generation that came into its own, as a generation, quite young, had things changed to fit its views, and has stayed in the driver’s seat ever since. I’m now enduring their lectures about Millenials and how Millenials are lazy and how they don’t appreciate their elders, while I’ve also seen (contrary to the views the press so often gives us about the young and the old) an absolute refusal in many instances by the Boomers to yield control of anything to younger generations. Indeed, to use a national example once again, it absolutely stuns me that in the last election the candidates that the two major parties offered were way up in years and quite elderly in comparison to candidates of prior generations (usually).

You are right that the generation that’s now in their 60s and 70s is even now passing away, but there’s also every reason to believe that they’ll stay in the drivers seat, uniquely, their entire lives. So they’ll be a generation that stepped into prominence in their late 20s and just stayed there.

If this seems unrelated to the Church, it isn’t. There are parishes out there where younger people are seeking a more traditional Mass that their grandparents and great grandparents would have recognized but are frustrated in those efforts by older Boomers who still see things through 1970s colored glasses.

One of the odd things about Millenials is that rather than being radically new in their outlook, their outlook is actually a lot like those of generations that dated back to World War One and earlier. Indeed, to me, they look a lot like the WWI generation in a lot of ways.


I was at the very tail end of the boom or the start of whatever came next, depending on what you read. I hated boomers too. Old hippie pains in the neck.
But I don’t see them continuing to rule the roost as they age out and die. The only reason they still have much of any control is that the parishes often have old priests because new ones haven’t stepped up. And there are a good many old traditional priests, especially if they emigrated to US from somewhere else. As young people step in and fill the pastoral slots, these churches will be shaped by a younger generation.

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