Report reveals "causes" of Catholic sex abuse - Blame it on the Rolling Stones!

A report on the putative "causes" of sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church over the past 60 years has been released. The study, titled "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010," claims celibacy and homosexuality were not prime catalysts for mistreatment.

http://usccb.org/mr/causes-and-context.shtml

If pedophilia, homosexuality, and celibacy aren't to blame, what is?

Apparently many priests were unable to deal with the pressures of the "sexual revolution"  of the 1960s

I know this report is based on a study in the USA but it will come as a big surprise to Peter Tyrrell, a former resident of Letterfrack industrial school (1924-32), and who committed suicide by setting fire to himself on Hampstead Heath in 1967! During Peter's sojourn in Letterfrack he was subject to, and witnessed clergy who were "unable to deal with the pressures of the sexual revolution."

In the Institutions in Ireland during the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and the 1960s sexual violence was just one of the tools used to dominate us along with starvation, denigration, hard physical labour, extreme physical and psychological conditions, fear, religion......

From a Judicial Report in Ireland in 2009 - which investigated Institutions managed by Roman Catholic Religious Orders [Nuns and Brothers] - the investigation heard witnesses from people who were in these Institutions between the years 1914 up to 2000 ... most of the witnesses were from the period 1940s to the 1960s

Sexual abuse was endemic in boys’ institutions. The situation in girls’ institutions was different. Although girls were subjected to predatory sexual abuse by male employees or visitors or in outside placements, sexual abuse was not systemic in girls’ schools.  It is impossible to determine the full extent of sexual abuse committed in boys’ schools. The schools investigated revealed a substantial level of sexual abuse of boys in care that extended over a range from improper touching and fondling to rape with violence. Perpetrators of abuse were able to operate undetected for long periods at the core of institutions.

Cases of sexual abuse were managed with a view to minimising the risk of public disclosure and consequent damage to the institution and the Congregation. This policy resulted in the protection of the perpetrator. When lay people were discovered to have sexually abused, they were generally reported to the Gardai (Irish police). When a member of a Congregation was found to be abusing, it was dealt with internally and was not reported to the Gardaí. The damage to the children affected and the danger to others were disregarded. The difference in treatment of lay and religious abusers points to an awareness on the part of Congregational authorities of the seriousness of the offence, yet there was a reluctance to confront religious who offended in this way. The desire to protect the reputation of the Congregation and institution was paramount. Congregations asserted that knowledge of sexual abuse was not available in society at the time and that it was seen as a moral failing on the part of the Brother or priest. This assertion, however, ignores the fact that sexual abuse of children was a criminal offence.

The recidivist nature of sexual abuse was known to religious authorities.

The documents revealed that sexual abusers were often long-term offenders who repeatedly abused children wherever they were working. Contrary to the Congregations’ claims that the recidivist nature of sexual offending was not understood, it is clear from the documented cases that they were aware of the propensity for abusers to re-abuse. The risk, however, was seen by the Congregations in terms of the potential for scandal and bad publicity should the abuse be disclosed. The danger to children was not taken into account. When confronted with evidence of sexual abuse, the response of the religious authorities was to transfer the offender to another location where, in many instances, he was free to abuse again. Permitting an offender to obtain dispensation from vows often enabled him to continue working as a lay teacher. Men who were discovered to be sexual abusers were allowed to take dispensation rather than incur the opprobrium of dismissal from the Order. There was evidence that such men took up teaching positions sometimes within days of receiving dispensations because of serious allegations or admissions of sexual abuse. The safety of children in general was not a consideration.

Sexual abuse was known to religious authorities to be a persistent problem in male religious organisations throughout the relevant period.

Nevertheless, each instance of sexual abuse was treated in isolation and in secrecy by the authorities and there was no attempt to address the underlying systemic nature of the problem. There were no protocols or guidelines put in place that would have protected children from predatory behaviour. The management did not listen to or believe children when they complained of the activities of some of the men who had responsibility for their care. At best, the abusers were moved, but nothing was done about the harm done to the child. At worst, the child was blamed and seen as corrupted by the sexual activity, and was punished severely. In the exceptional circumstances where opportunities for disclosing abuse arose, the number of sexual abusers identified increased significantly.

For a brief period in the 1940s, boys felt able to speak about sexual abuse in confidence at a sodality that met in one school. Brothers were identified by the boys as sexual abusers and were removed as a result. The sodality was discontinued. In another school, one Brother embarked on a campaign to uncover sexual activity in the school and identified a number of religious who were sexual abusers. This indicated that the level of sexual abuse in boys’ institutions was much higher than was revealed by the records or could be discovered by this investigation. Authoritarian management systems prevented disclosures by staff and served to perpetuate abuse.

The Congregational authorities did not listen to or believe people who complained of sexual abuse that occurred in the past, notwithstanding the extensive evidence that emerged from Garda investigations, criminal convictions and witness accounts. Some Congregations remained defensive and disbelieving of much of the evidence heard by the Investigation Committee in respect of sexual abuse in institutions, even in cases where men had been convicted in court and admitted to such behaviour at the hearings. 

In general, male religious Congregations were not prepared to accept their responsibility for the sexual abuse that their members perpetrated. Congregational loyalty enjoyed priority over other considerations including safety and protection of children.

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"Unable to deal with ______"

The phrase,  clergy who were "unable to deal with the pressures of the sexual revolution.", really hits a nerve with me, as I see this theme worm it's way in many cases where children/teens were abused in-care, throughout the history of child placement.

For instance, back in 1950's and 60's, the Catholic Church, in Ireland, had it's own way of dealing with the pressures of the sexual revolution, via the Magdalene Laundries.  In those cases, the young unmarried women were forced to relinquish their babies immediately after-birth, and then suffer the consequences that go with living an "impure/unclean" life.  Their punishment was in the form of slavery; the working-theory being, if they washed the clothes of others, they can wash away their own sins.  Meanwhile, it must be noted not all of those "bad girls" were sluts and whores, as suspected or presumed.  Many were victims of rape.

Back to the above post...

The documents revealed that sexual abusers were often long-term offenders who repeatedly abused children wherever they were working. Contrary to the Congregations’ claims that the recidivist nature of sexual offending was not understood, it is clear from the documented cases that they were aware of the propensity for abusers to re-abuse. The risk, however, was seen by the Congregations in terms of the potential for scandal and bad publicity should the abuse be disclosed. The danger to children was not taken into account. When confronted with evidence of sexual abuse, the response of the religious authorities was to transfer the offender to another location where, in many instances, he was free to abuse again. Permitting an offender to obtain dispensation from vows often enabled him to continue working as a lay teacher. Men who were discovered to be sexual abusers were allowed to take dispensation rather than incur the opprobrium of dismissal from the Order. There was evidence that such men took up teaching positions sometimes within days of receiving dispensations because of serious allegations or admissions of sexual abuse. The safety of children in general was not a consideration.

Sexual abuse was known to religious authorities to be a persistent problem in male religious organisations throughout the relevant period.

And so the cycle begins, where predators go unchecked, and get protected because they are covered by a cloak of social/moral decency.  (As if  the word "priest" or "teacher" shall never ever be associated with "criminal" or "sexual predator".)

<coughing fit>

What saddens me is the inadvertent sexual discrimination, and role revulsion that results. (I mention this because I myself have been forced to become the victim's victim, back when I was a child.  No one can tell me abuse cannot be prevented.  It can.  It should, but it requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication.)  One of the problems I saw growing up had to do with angry biased opinions. The way I see it, if the same comfort/care/consideration given to abused/mistreated girl is not given to the abused/mistreated boy, (or vice versa), a gender bias may develop, adding new complications to an already difficult confusing situation.

Although girls were subjected to predatory sexual abuse by male employees or visitors or in outside placements, sexual abuse was not systemic in girls’ schools.  It is impossible to determine the full extent of sexual abuse committed in boys’ schools. The schools investigated revealed a substantial level of sexual abuse of boys in care that extended over a range from improper touching and fondling to rape with violence. Perpetrators of abuse were able to operate undetected for long periods at the core of institutions.

It's the word "systemic" that troubles me.  When this type of patterned secrecy and shame develops and builds, one must ask: what sort of sexual message is being sent to young (sexually active) males, as a result?

The modern-day RCC response to sexual development is one that makes me thank God I left the church when I did....

Just to show how biased the RCC has been and continues to be, in November, 2010, MSNBC published an article about the pope's opinion on the use of condoms, and how his suggestion and attitude reflect a sign of the times.  

Benedict said that condoms are not a moral solution to stopping AIDS. But he said in some cases, such as for male prostitutes, their use could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection."

[From:  Pope: Condoms to stop AIDS may be OK in some cases ]

As far as contraception goes, the pope does no condone the use of condoms.  In fact, he issued a statement for individuals/couples, which I found amusing:

"How many children are killed who might one day have been geniuses, who could have given humanity something new, who could have given us a new Mozart or some new technical discovery?" he asked rhetorically.

He reiterated the church's position that abstinence and marital fidelity is the only sure way to prevent HIV.

The English publisher of the book, Rev. Joseph Fessio, said the pope was not justifying condom use as a lesser of two evils.

"This is not a justification," he said. Rather, "The intention of protecting the other from disease, of using a condom, may be a sign of an awakening moral responsibility."

I grew-up in a church where the nuns/CCD teachers taught us the priests were married to the church; their 'wives'/brides were Jesus Christ. That was difficult to understand, especially if/when father so-and-so was known require strange secret "quiet time" with his favorite alter boys, one or two at a time, behind closed doors, after church-hours.  One would think the spouse should dedicate his quiet alone-time to and with his wife/bride, and not have sexual relations with the neighbor's child. 

Hey, the pope's version of awakened morality may be more focused on male prostitutes than wives and their children, but at least he's almost somewhat hip to the risks and dangers of unprotected sex and STDs, like HIV.  

Question: Since the start of the sexual revolution, how many unwanted births and children born with birth defects (caused by an STD) ended-up on the steps of a church, children's home, or orphanage? 

Magdalenes

Many of the Magdalenes were victims of incest/sexual violence.  Many, many of their babies were sold on to American Catholics by the nuns - which helped enrich the nuns and the Church.  Much of this incarceration along with the many Industrial Schools also owned by the Church were really mini-enterprises.  Hard labour, deprivation of family life, lack of education, sexual exploitation - are precisely those that prevailed in the Magdalene Laundries and throughout the Industrial school system - essentially labour camps for women & children. The extraordinary list of services just one Industrial School provided:

 "Orders Received in Tailoring, Bootmaking, Carpentry, Bakery, Cartmaking, Smithwork. Also Wire Mattress, Hosiery, Hearth Rugs, Motors Repaired, Petrol & Oils Supplied."

Slavery and child slavery is how the Irish Catholic Church enriched itself.  And they were enriching themselves like this long long before the so-called sexual revolution happened. 

"enrichment"

While many religious groups may agree with the expression, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils", what I myself find staggering to see is the many different ways in which an individual religious group will try to amass - and keep - wealth, for itself.   It's not the raising of funds that bothers me.... it's the hoarding and the keeping that bothers me, especially when the "savings for a rainy day" is not being spent on the things needed by the people who could use "gifts and charity" when an overwhelming crisis hits, and help is needed, immediately.  I truly loathe the hiding and the secrecy... to which I must add... gee, can the victim of a poor adoption-plan find a more obvious biblical theme to follow?

Unlike with other charities, the Missionaries of Charity spend very little on their own management, since the organisation is run at practically no cost. The approximately 4000 sisters in 150 countries form the most treasured workforce of all global multi-million dollar operations. Having taken vows of poverty and obedience, they work for no pay, supported by 300,000 good citizen helpers.

By their own admission, Mother Teresa's organisation has about 500 locations worldwide. But for purchase or rent of property, the sisters do not need to touch their bank accounts. "Mother always said, we don't spend for that," remembers Sunita Kumar, one the richest women in Calcutta and supposedly Mother T's closest associate outside the order. "If Mother needed a house, she went straight to the owner, whether it was the State or a private person, and worked on him for so long that she eventually got it free."

Her method was also successful in Germany.In March the "Bethlehem House" was dedicated in Hamburg, a shelter for homeless women. Four sisters work there. The archtecturally conspicuous building cost DM2.5 million. The fortunes of the order have not spent a penny toward the amount. The money was collected by a Christian association in Hamburg. With Mother T as figure head it was naturally short work to collect the millions.

Mother Teresa saw it as as her God given right never to have to pay anyone for anything. Once she bought food for her nuns in London for GB£500. When she was told she'd have to pay at the till, the diminutive seemingly harmless nun showed her Balkan temper and shouted, "This is for the work of God!" She raged so loud and so long that eventually a businessman waiting in the queue paid up on her behalf.

England is one of the few countries where the sisters allow the authorities at least a quick glance at their accounts. Here the order took in DM5.3 million in 1991. And expenses (including charitable expenses)? -- around DM360,000 or less than 7%. Whatever happened to the rest of the money? Sister Teresina, the head for England, defensively states, "Sorry we can't tell you that." Every year, according to the returns filed with the British authorities, a portion of the fortune is sent to accounts of the order in other countries. How much to which countries is not declared. One of the recipients is however, always Rome. The fortune of this famous charitable organistaion is controlled from Rome, -- from an account at the Vatican bank. And what happens with monies at the Vatican Bank is so secret that even God is not allowed to know about it. One thing is sure however -- Mother's outlets in poor countries do not benefit from largesse of the rich countries. The official biographer of Mother Teresa, Kathryn Spink, writes, "As soon as the sisters became established in a certain country, Mother normally withdrew all financial support." Branches in very needy countries therefore only receive start-up assistance. Most of the money remains in the Vatican Bank.

[From:  comment, Mother T  ]

If man (and woman) were created equal in importance, in the eyes of God, I have trouble seeing how hierarchal systems (spelled: favoritism) can be justified as being "good" in religious institutions/practice.  When is one who does not pay for goods or services rendered a thief, a barterer, or a saint?  The bible itself teaches readers one should render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and yet what a slippery-slope of ethics and morality one can be on, if one deliberately chooses to live "under the name of God", accepts and lives off the goodness and donations of others, and yet chooses to turn a selectively blind eye and partially deaf ear to human suffering!

That shit poorly-timed turning of the cheek just makes no good decent sense to me. 

<suppressing the venom I'd love to spew>

There is an easy-to-read graphic titled, "The Almighty Dollar", and it's interesting to see, in graphic formation, how wealth is distributed within individual religious sects found in America.  But more interesting to me is public perception.  Yahoo answers addresses the question, what is the richest religion?  I did my silent smirky laugh when I read the following reply:

Roman Catholics. Vatican is one treasure trove of artwork worth billions. Latter Day Saint will fast catch them though will millions ensnared donating anything up to 25% of their income to their chosen cult.
Acquisition, child labor, slavery, forced donations, brainwashing, gender bias, suppression, submission, a little repentence coupled with sacrifice ("give until it hurts"), and serve all of those teaching examples with a side-order of GUILT...., it's no wonder so many victims of self-serving leaders (with large private bank accounts) develop a distaste for anything that resembles organized religion, and choose to favor agnosticism or atheism over anything that generates a whiff of anything that resembles/mimics a "spiritual essence".  (Man's hand sure has a way of stinking and staining things, doesn't it?).  I find the lack of trust and faith in man prevents many from developing a sense of trust and faith that is much much bigger and better than mere mortals.
Such is the consequence to man's inhumanity towards man.  But there's more to the repulsive nature of arrogant religious-types who think they are above the law because they side-saddle with God and claim everything they do is ".... in Jesus' name". 
Even as a child, I would get so angry at the priests at my church for their obvious lack of transparency, the many contradicting messages they would send, and their arrogant sense of entitlement each and every time they would claim to live simple humble lives, but would wear gowns of gold and get most of their their needs (housing, food, entertainment) for free.  They did not live like paupers... or like Jesus.  They lived like local heroes or Kings... and on some level, they must have known this!
Because of their example, I found myself questioning them, their actions, myself, and my own reactions all the time.  After a time of close observation (a couple of decades, at least), I learned I was not as sinful or as bad as many of my instructors/teachers would like me to think or feel.  [Their guilt, their crimes are theirs, not mine.]   I have also learned the difference between acting "God-like" and remembering God's patience and love.... especially around those who do not know better, and still need to be taught.... like children.
We now live in a day and age where various groups/organizations are being asked to offer their apologies, and offer a form of (financial) restitution to the victims of terrible crimes within a specific group/organization.  Had these groups/directors refrained from inflicting pain and deprivation as their "preferred" method to teach forgiveness and love, all their hoarded amassed money (donated wealth) would not have to be collected from various banks around the world, and pay for sins that have passed. 
There's an irony to this waste and limited sharing, as it is seen so often in certain types of religious communities. Arrogant unapologetic rulers in hierarchal systems have yet to feel the wrath, the pain, and the punishment that goes with deliberate self-service and disobedience.  All their pontifications and sermons about serving the poor, teaching humility, showing generosity, and all the benefits that go with sharing and caring may, in-fact, lead many an arrogant man/woman to a life worse than your average ordinary every-day hell-on-earth.  Only God knows what will humiliate and shame these types of people to tears.
 
Stuff like that... good sweet slow-moving justice and righteousness (in correct [God-pleasing?] context)....it puts a big smirky smile on my face, knowing all will be addressed, in due-time.

Pound Pup Legacy