The Priest Scandal of 2000/ Questions

I was thinking about this subject today the Priest abuse scandals from a while back,

as I am Catholic and considering a religious life, and then started to compare it to the controversy with Obama and his abortion scheme that was infused into his health care reform…

Here is my thought process which leads to me questions, which i would hope a priest or someone with any credible knowledge may either confirm or answer for me or provide some insight too.

And here I go,

In my area, during the scandals, not one Priest in my town or rather the churches I go to on a regular basis, none of the Priests or Deacons during this time frame, ever mentioned or hinted at the issue that was current to the Church / America during this time frame.

And I was aggrivated, I mean someone any Priest or Deacon could have in my town written a letter to insert into the weekly bullitens addressing the issue and simply assure everyone that the matter is being handled and suggest maybe that people pray on the issue and that it will be resolved… anything !

But I suspect orders were given in my area to remain silent on the subject, and that is a question i now pose, is if anyone knows for certain if orders where given to not speak on the subject and why ?

Versus Obama and his infringement on religious freedom with regards to Abortion, in this instance the same churches in my town, now these Deacons and Priests are talking about another real threat/and issue and rightly so.


Why keep silent about a very big problem within the Church, and not on another ?

I wanted to address this locally to a priest in my area, but it may not be appropriate or may put the priest in an awkward position in some kind of degree, and that is not my intent to do so hence why I have not asked anyone locally.

Again this brings me to thinking what if I become a Priest, and I see something that needs to be addressed, and I was given orders to remain silent ?

I guess I run the risk of being kicked out of the Catholic Church because if it was me I cant play games like that, I do understand the seperation between church and state, and that the Church does not preach politics from the pulpit that is not what i am talking about, I am talking about scandalous issues with in the Church.

Now I wouldnt take away from the celebration of the mass, but leave any concerns i have written or addressed else where that do not detract from the mass…

In fact if I was Bishop I would be keeping an eye out for any misconduct and be prepared to deal with it legally and swiftly.

There will never be perfection with in the Human Realm of the Catholic Church, but we can always demand the truth from everyone that serves and to act with honesty and justice based on our beliefs and faith in Christ.

And some may say, well sheesh if there was to be a shake down and all the corrupt people with in the Catholic Church would be wittled down to a handful of people, then so be it. In my simple opinion ( which may be over simplefied ) a handful of the utmost honest and faithful would be stronger and of better service to the Catholic Church versus dozens upon dozens of corrupt individuals who keep everything running.

So does anyone know of any material on subjects like this, on what to do or what has happened when a Priest has had to speak up about something that was immorally wrong or unjust or illegal ?

In my opinion, you’re being kind of silly. The scandal was no worse than any other institution, such as public school districts or summer camps or what have you. Why should public school districts tell the parents that 4% of teachers are currently molesting their children? What would be the point? Parents would have assumed that 100% of teachers are doing it and teachers’ lives would have been ruined forever in witch hunts and false accusations.

If you knew your uncle once fondled some paperboy back in 1976, would you announce that fact at the next family Thanksgiving dinner? Is that what you wanted the Catholic Church to do? I honestly don’t understand your way of thinking here.

no i am not being silly, i am posing a question, and i think the question is rather clear. If you do not understand what I am getting at, I can not explain it any further than what I have.

I understand your wish for there to have been more overt attention paid to it, but I wouldn’t construe the silence as an active attempt to hide something. And I am positive that if you did choose to let the people know of some scandal, you wouldn’t be kicked out of the Church. I believe that there simply wasn’t a need to talk about it, as it really wasn’t some huge thing at the time. It was the sad abuse of innocent children, and the sad fall of many men, in which they damaged the trust that the Catholic people worldwide had in them, the priesthood, and the Church in general. It was a horrible tragedy.

I am also discerning a vocation in the priesthood, and pray that God will be with you in this time. God bless you.

The Church is a hierarchical organization. Orders come from the top down. Anywhere along that chain is subject to human error and foibles. If you chose to become part of the hierarchy you are subject to the chain of command.

OTOH - As a Catholic you are instructed to follow your conscious.

These two things can come into conflict. See the latest with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. They were following their consciences and were reigned in by the Church.

I agree the issue should have been addressed more publicly. It is/was a shameful thing but we also know the first step of forgiveness is confession.

Schools, like the Catholic Church, need to be accountable organizations. Each is entrusted with a level of personal care: schools, for the welfare of children and the Church for the welfare of our souls. They are not corporations, which typically can only cause indirect harm to other individuals. Schools and religious organizations are capable of inflicting as much harm as the good we typically expect of them when it comes to the care of those entrusted to them.

Thus, such entrusted institutions need to be accountable. In order to be accountable, transparency is essential, both as a deterent to members of the institution and to maintain trust with the public at large. The Church is held to the highest standards of accountability by many, as it is expected to be a beacon of Truth, ironically even by those who openly oppose it. This is a cross our Church is called to bear, and we as Catholics should be willing to bear it as well.

There is an old saying: “sometimes the cover-up is worse than the crime”. Right, wrong or indifferent, the Church will long be criticized for the manner in which these cases were handled, especially when the instances of abuse were in plain sight. Is that just or fair? It is not for us to judge, but one could honestly question whether in more than just an occasional instance, such matters were not handled particularly well by Church officials.

We continue to pray for the Church and for all those who fell victim to abuse. We also pray for those discerning vocations at this time, that their calling comes with the strength to weather this environment. The priests and religious of this generation are the ones who will ultimately guide the Church through the healing process and restore rightful credibility, so we should afford them every prayer and latitude as they seek the final degree of wisdom needed to commit to a life of service in Christ’s Church.

It is important to remember that the Church has always taught settle your disputes among you and bring it public as a last resort. for accurat news on the 1960s-70s endophillia crisis and the innacuracies of the media in somewhat more recent events relating to that event.

God bless

Hope the article helps as it mentions the U.S. Church’s Safe Environment Program that was developed in 2002. Also, I do believe before even being accepted into Seminary, you would be interviewed and questioned a few times to rule out any possible pedophiles.,6485?content_source=&category_id=&search_filter=lessons+from+penn+state&search_headline=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=

The John Jay Study is also very revealing once you get into the real data.

John Jay Study Undermined by Its Own Data

Read more:

Great site. I wish I’d known about it before. I have a family member who loves to bash the Church, specifically over the abuse scandal. She throws fits if you quote articles but can’t provide a specific link. page number, date of publication, etc. (not that she feels she needs to document her own erroneous claims). I’ll be emailing her this link the next time the topic comes up.

I’ve seen this argument before, that most victims were post pubescent boys therefore not pedophilia.

The authors insist that homosexuality played no role in the abuse crisis, but their own data undermine this conclusion. For example, they plainly admit that “81% of the victims [between 1950 and 2002] were male,” and that 78% were post-pubescent.

Read more:

Since puberty in males is roughly until 19-

Adolescence is considered to be the period between ages 13 and 19. The adolescent experiences not only physical growth and change, but also emotional, psychological, social, and mental change and growth.

The victims wouldn’t be minors. It would be two men, albeit one a young man, engaging in sexual activity. Which is not criminal. Sinful but not criminal. If it wasn’t criminal it wouldn’t have been perused and there wouldn’t have been the charges and lawsuits.

Bill Donahue is attempting to twist the truth to suit his agenda and doing a poor job at it.

Pope John Paul II spent years apologizing for 2000 years of mistakes.One by one.

On 20 November 2001, from a laptop in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II sent his first e-mail apologising for the Catholic sex abuse cases

Where is the silence you are talking about?

Here is just one of them in the news.

“ “An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.” ”
—Pope John Paul II

He was our Pope…

HapPy i was able to be of help :smile::point_up::cool:

So far the replies have been interesting, but I don’t think the question posed by the OP has been really answered. A fiend of mine who isn’t catholic is asking the same thing and none of these replies will serve as satisfactory answers. Why is everything about it hushed up? I am in West Africa, mind you, so we don’t know exactly what happened. That didn’t stop the rumours spreading though, and he thinks that the fact that the priests know better about the scandal and are not saying anything shows they are trying to hide the truth: The Church is a fraud. The Church cannot have such scandals if it is really protected from error, and priests should be allowed to marry, he says. :frowning:

You could explain how a problem which mostly occurred in the US (and I think Ireland) has little relevance in West Africa. By the way, my family is also from West Africa (we’re Cameroonians). Where are you from?

You could also explain the steps the Church took towards making it so that such abuses could not occur again. They are almost a bit too strict, as we are finding it almost impossible for our small parish to set up any kind of youth program. There must be at least two adults at any function involving children, and one adult per 8 at any function in the church. A priest is not allowed to be alone with children at any time, etc. The average Catholic doesn’t know about these reforms either. I don’t think it’s purposeful lack of proclaiming it, but lack of looking for information that is readily available. You must also realize that children are present at church every Sunday, and it would be rather inappropriate to discuss it in front of them. I suppose since it was not a large number of priests who did it, and because the news was so active in spreading it everywhere, it wasn’t really stressed, seeing as one doesn’t really try to overstress any tragedy.

This question seems to address some of the internal politics of the Church. Some issues are given greater attention by the bishops than others, and we are called/expected to follow and support the bishops’ lead. This is not to say that we cannot speak up on other issues that should be addressed, but the preference is that we focus our efforts to the causes of the bishops.

I suggest keeping an eye on what happens with LCWR. These women tend to speak out on health care and human trafficking, and are being called to task by the bishops for not speaking out more boldly on issues that the bishops have emphasized (e.g. abortion). This might answer your question in time. Meanwhile, I refer you to St. Francis of Assisi: he so passionately spoke out against corruption in the Church that there was talk of excommunication; yet, when the pope had a chance to meet Fracnis and talk to him, they worked things out and Francis came away with the pope’s blessing.

Thank you. I didn’t know that. I will tell him, but after my last response where I explained that I didn’t think it was necessary to “overstress any tragedy” and added an article, he has not responded. I am from Nigeria. Good to know you are from my side of the world. You (Camerounians) speak french right? :smiley:

Yes, we do. There are English-speakers as well, though, and others speak indigenous languages. My family is one of francophones.

thank you silvergracie i think this is the best answer thus far, and everyone has had very interesting input, and very interesting about St. Francis of Assisi, i need to research ,more on him.

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