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The Catholic Church must rid this pedophile problem

Uploaded: Aug 16, 2018
Appalling and outrageous! That’s my reaction to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report’s conclusion that more than 300 priests committed sexual offenses against thousands of young boys during the last five decades in this one state. The offenses, some quite detailed, are terrible, repugnant and sickening. Unfortunately, similar offenses have here in California and on the Peninsula.

Right after the Boston scandal of pedophiliac priests, as revealed in 2002 by the Boston Globe, and in the movie “Spotlight” that followed, I talked with a local pastor and said, “You live in a rectory with other priests. Didn’t you know if one of them was unusually interested in younger children? Did you think about doing anything about it?”

He looked at me for a couple of seconds, didn’t say a word, and then did a 180-turn to ask another churchgoer –“And how are you today?”

Anecdotal, I know, but he knew and other clergy knew and they didn’t – or couldn’t – take any action.

As a born-into but now fading-away Catholic, I feel entitled to criticize the sexual offenses and cover-ups by the Church for years. The sexual offenses against children are terrible, but the years of clerical conspiracy of silence is almost as egregious.

The offenses have to be punished, to say the least. Unfortunately, in the Pennsylvania report, the statute of limitations has run out on most offenders. Yet, to me, the bigger challenge is what to do about this problem.

The bishops have been reticent to act, perhaps because many of them are older and live in a clerical culture where they have been indoctrinated to protect “the Church” and all its priestly brothers, just like some other organizations do – police, governmental agencies, private companies, etc., who want to cover-up from public scrutiny any misdeeds that might have occurred.

What to do? I have four ideas as a start: 1) Write our call local bishops in Santa Clara and San Francisco dioceses to tell them they must discipline the priests in their dioceses. They must insist that any sexual offenses by clergy be immediately reported to the police for further investigation. These sexual acts are criminal offenses and must be dealt with accordingly. 2) What the Pennsylvania Grand Jury was excellent – a two-year intense study with subpoenas to collect church records. Why not have similar grand jury investigations in California – at the state level? And why can’t other states do the same? If they all do and come up with the same results, Americans could present convincing evidence to the rest of the world that we have to have government officials and church authorities crack down on these crimes. 3) Talk with state and national legislators to see what it would take to lengthen the statute of limitations for sexual offenses. In this case, many of the men who were violated are reluctant to go public until their later years. 4) Ultimately, for effective action within the Church, it us up to the Pope. So write a “Dear Pope” letter. Write letters to the papal nuncio in this country, to the editors of local, national and Catholic publications. Insist the Church take action. Keep on writing.

Any other suggestions?

And, as an alternative, Catholics may want to withhold some or all of their Sunday donations to the Church until the Church forcefully acts to rid this mess. Yes, money talks its own language.
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Comments

 +   15 people like this
Posted by They are all complicit, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Aug 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Appalling and outrageous. Yes. Surprising? Not at all.
And finally after days of silence , the Vatican trots out the pope, with his sweet smile, for the usual dog and pony show". We find this revolting, we stand behind the victims etc. etc. etc.
But let's be honest, all members of the catholic clergy are complicit in this" from the lowest priest all the way up to the pope. Remember when the pedophile cardinal involved in the Boston scandal died last year? He got a full Vatican funeral. The pope and his minions are all talk and no action. They circle the wagons and protect their own at the expense of the victims" the grand jury report shows that.
What needs to be done is the immediate resignation of EVERY member of the catholic clergy- from priest to pope. With reinstatement only coming after a thorough investigation of each and every potential pedophile. Since there will be a serious lack of clergy afterwards, the vow of celibacy will be gotten rid of and women will be ordained to be priests.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Born-Again Practicing Catholic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 16, 2018 at 7:16 pm

When priests, bishops and the pope begin to teach Scripture, in context and in its fullness, all church problems will be solved.

Most of the abuse is not necessarily of children (pedophilia) but of teens; in particular, post-pubescent teenage boys. There is also abuse of other men (like the seminarians expected to sleep with Cardinal McCarrick) and of WOMEN. In many cases, priests even father children. Some parishioners know about it, and stay quiet.

For an eye-opener, look up the story of "The Gilmore Girls", who wanted to become attorneys to represent all the children left fatherless by their "Father Daddies": clergy that choose to remain in ministry instead of marrying their mother and fathering their children, like grown up MEN would do.

I agree with what "They are all complicit" wrote, with the exception of ordaining women to the priesthood. Clergymen are ideally married, with children (to back that up, I cite: 1Timothy Chapter Three & Titus Chapter One). But women are to be commissioned as deacons, not to serve as priests. Mandated celibacy is wrong, and so is the ordination of women to the priesthood. Two wrongs do not make a right. Just follow Scripture. It's not that difficult.

You asked for other suggestions? Last I heard, Bernie Nojadera, who was the go-to person for the Diocese of San Jose under Bishop PJ McGrath for several years, was sent to Washington, DC to be the head Go-To Person for the whole nation, for the US bishops. How come there hasn't been a word about him since? Is it because he became an ordained deacon? He took a promise to "obey" his own bishop? I wonder....

Supposedly, the Diocese of San Jose was The Model diocese for the nation, several years ago. But I do not believe it deserved that recognition, or the rest of the country was really bad, so SJ stood out as good, by comparison.

How much money did it cost the diocese to SILENCE the survivors of the actions taken by Monsignor Alexander Larkin, Father Milton Walsh, Father Randy Benas, three local priests that continue to enjoy accolades? Nothing ever happened to them. They are praised, defended, the wagons of support encircle them.

Only Benas, whose actions the Sunnyvale Police Department insisted could be viewed as "rape" of a vulnerable woman, was put out of ministry. Or was he? Perhaps they sent him to Mexico, to a new group of unsuspecting people.

San Jose is as dysfunctional as the rest of the US dioceses, and those in Ireland, Mexico, etc, etc., throughout the world, including Italy, and specifically, Rome. There is a consequence for ignoring Scripture. We collectively pay the price, one way or another. Let the Buyer Beware.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:06 am

Thank you, Diana. Good comments and suggestions. I recommend reading a book called Keep the Faith, Change the Church by John Muller.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Disgusted with the pope, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 6:38 am

"The Vatican expressed “shame and sorrow" on Thursday about a scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report about clergy who raped and molested children in six dioceses and decried the abuse as “criminally and morally reprehensible.""

The above is a quote from a news report about the pope's "better late than never" comments over the latest sex scandal.
Is the pope telling us that they knew nothing about this!!!!! This is decades worth of sickening acts and the vatican knew nothing????
Who do they think they are fooling with these comments? I have to agree with the initial commentator about the vatican trotting out the sweet smiling pope and the dog and pony show.
These catholic clergy are vile. And then they have the nerve to lecture on on women's rights, gay rights, contraception etc. The vatican and everyone one of the clergy should know they carry no moral authority any longer and should refrain from lecturing us about what is right and wrong.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Curious, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Makes one wonder if some individuals become priests for the 'opportunities'.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

As Curious said, it is a good question and one worth asking.

In many traditionally Catholic countries, it was almost a given that at least one child should enter the church. A second son, was often the most likely, but a daughter becoming a nun was almost as likely. How much pressure was put on the younger siblings in a good Catholic family to enter the church if the older ones had not is something that has been wondered. Following on this train of thought, there is definitely a feeling that those who perhaps didn't seem to fit the traditional path to marriage at a young age may be a lot happier with being pushed towards the church for its celibate yet respectable lifestyle. So whether the priesthood attracted the type of person who would like to have access to younger men or boys or whether it was the celibacy itself that gave them the desire as well as the opportunity to interact with younger people is a good question. It must be said that nuns were also easy targets to these celibate priests as well as altar boys, choir boys, etc.

So a chicken and egg question does seem fair.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by DianaDiamond, a resident of Midtown,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 4:12 pm

DianaDiamond is a registered user.

To Born Again Catholic --

Of course you are right that the clerics' sexual offenses did not only involve young boys, but also teens, young girls, and some women. I should have been more specific.
Sorry.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Stanford,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Money talks. I will now stop donations to my church, Bellarmine College Prep. and Santa Clara University. I think if every Catholic worldwide walked out of their parish and stayed away for one month, that might shake up the dear Pope. This vile behavior has been going on since the beginning. I can not, and will not belong to a church, organization, or business (and it is a business) that will Not punish their own. I'm ashamed that I drank the kool-aid for so long. I can't look a priest in the eye, let along have him give me moral advice. The excuse that priests are old and should be allowed to live out their lives being cared for in the nicest facilities is sickening to me. I think they all should be castrated. Call me crazy. I'm crazy for all the money I gave this sick, depraved church. If there is a just God, may he inflict the cries of all the victims on all the priest for eternity!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Rev. Beecham, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 5:50 pm

The venerable celibacy mandate as dictated by the Catholic Church is a major part of the problem when it comes to some priests having heterosexual affairs.

Forced celibacy is abnormal & abstainance should be by choice.

As for the perceived leniency of the Catholic Church regarding these dastardly acts by their representatives...one can simply refer to the procedural concept of repentence for their church members.

All is forgiven IF you confess, light a candle & toss some coins into the coffers.
Repeat offenses are acceptable if the repentence process is repeated.

Afterall, no one is perfect.




 +   3 people like this
Posted by Vasche LaMou, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

"The venerable celibacy mandate as dictated by the Catholic Church is a major part of the problem when it comes to some priests having heterosexual affairs."

The Catholic Church's rigid prohibition against birth control effectively closes the possibility for clandestine heterosexual affairs. Using birth control is a mortal sin. Priests are thus driven to male sex. Since adult males can refuse and make it stick, guess who that leaves.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 17, 2018 at 11:23 pm

The rapists got away because their superiors conspired to cover up the crimes, sometimes for decades. The conspirators need to be severely punished as well if we want to deter similar crimes from happening in the future.


 +   22 people like this
Posted by A Universal Problem, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm

This 'problem' is not only limited to the Church.

The Boy Scouts of America, US Olympic Committee & various athletic programs at colleges around the nation are also guilty of complicit cover-ups.

No one wants adverse PR making the rounds (bad for funding) ...thus the cover-ups.


 +   21 people like this
Posted by Classics Scholar, a resident of Atherton,
on Aug 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm

In ancient times, just about every culture partook in a practice called pederasty.

It was oftentimes a mentor-student homosexual relationship that provided a lasting bond between the teacher and pupil.

Web Link

As repugnant as this sounds today, pederasty was practiced for thousands of years and accepted by society.

Pedophilia on the other hand, is more predatory in nature & highly frowned upon in today's modern world.

Imagine some shifty lawyer using the ancient practice of pederasty as a defense in court...arguing the minor's 'consent' as the determining factor.

In which case, both the lawyer & defendant should be locked-away.








 +   5 people like this
Posted by 2 + 2 = Say What?, a resident of College Terrace,
on Aug 18, 2018 at 9:44 pm

From the Wiki article >>>
"On February 2, 1961 the Vatican issued a document, Instruction on the Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders, barring from the priesthood anyone who has "perverse inclinations to homosexuality or pederasty."


Trying to put 2+2 together here...if this mandate is to be interpreted as a pre-screening or preventative measure involving the priesthood, where & how did they go wrong?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by They are all complicit, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Aug 19, 2018 at 8:30 am

2+2" I was wondering when someone would try to blame this on homosexuals. Homosexuality has nothing to do with this" except for those that consider homosexuals to be perverts and child molesters. They are not.

And as expected the pope is “shocked and outraged".he knew nothing about this. Neither did anyone in the Vatican. Every single member of the catholic clergy is guilty in this matter. They are all scum.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by 2 + 2 = Say What?, a resident of College Terrace,
on Aug 19, 2018 at 9:16 am

2+2??" I was wondering when someone would try to blame this on homosexuals. Homosexuality has nothing to do with this??"


Perhaps it does & it doesn't...depends on the individual situation (age of consent, wanted/unwanted advances etc.). Besides, a vow of celibacy was designed and intended to cover all the bases regardless of one's inclinations.

BTW...My point was in reference to the 'pederasty' part of the Vatican mandate as it appears the Church has opted to disregard this particular ruling.

How this mandate managed to get 'swept under the rug' is the real mystery.







 +   5 people like this
Posted by Easy to Understand, a resident of Stanford,
on Aug 19, 2018 at 9:57 am

> My point was in reference to the 'pederasty' part of the Vatican mandate as it appears the Church has opted to disregard this particular ruling.

> How this mandate managed to get 'swept under the rug' is the real mystery.


Too many cases to publicly acknowledge = an embarrassment for the organization.

Thus the cover-ups. Eventually 2 + 2 = hundreds of cases coming out of the woodwork.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Vasche LaMou, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Aug 19, 2018 at 12:49 pm

"I was wondering when someone would try to blame this on homosexuals. Homosexuality has nothing to do with this..."

Homosexuality is forced here by the church's ban on birth control. Sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin, and also using birth control would be a double mortal sin.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by The Pennsylvania Loophole, a resident of Los Altos,
on Aug 19, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Pennsylvania's statute of limitations currently prevents victims of child sex abuse from filing civil charges if they have already turned 30 years old, or filing criminal charges if they are over 50. Many of the victims identified in the report are in their 60s and 70s, and the oldest is 83.

As a result, a number of these priest/child abusers will be exempt from prosecution.


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Catholicism Inc., a resident of Portola Valley,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

>> (and it is a business)

This is a major part of the problem. Catholicism Inc. with its non-profit status is a multi-billion dollar global enterprise.

And like most corporations, cover-ups are often deemed necessary in order to preserve profit margins & revenue.

When the executive sector gets caught doing something underhanded, they are often replaced in an effort to restore PR & investor trust.

The Church is no different. As others have stated, perhaps the key is to replace the 'executive' wing of bishops, cardinals & the CEO himself.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by I Pay Them No Heed, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

>>>>These catholic clergy are vile. And then they have the nerve to lecture on on women's rights, gay rights, contraception etc. The vatican and everyone one of the clergy should know they carry no moral authority any longer and should refrain from lecturing us about what is right and wrong.

Some call it sanctimony.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 4:43 pm

Not to triviallize the topic, but is "Harold and Maude" now a banned movie? It features the statutory rape of a 15-year-old boy by a 60-year-old woman and is partially filmed at a Catholic church in Palo Alto (during May Fete parade, no less).
Just asking.
No particular reason.
i did meet a man from Menlo Park wearing a "Harold and Maude" t-shirt Saturday at Farmer's Market.

Don't get me wrong: I'm as anti-pedophilia as the next guy. And as anti- 17-year-old jail-bait as you can get these days.

But why did God create pedophile priests?

I wrote a letter to SF Chron just last week suggesting that "Animal House" the movie should be boycotted because of its apparent promotion of statutory rape. (There was a big screening in Oakland)

Hey, are we allowed to mention "G--" on this forum. I've already been bounced 100 times from here.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by We Are Who We Make Ourselves, a resident of Midtown,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

> But why did God create pedophile priests?

He didn't. They created themselves through their own sense of self-imposed depravity.

Note: An atheist Jew here...as dogma has its drawbacks.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

To talk about homosexuality, it must be remembered that in the lifetime of many of the priests who abused, the homosexual acts were illegal and criminal at the time many of these acts took place and at the time many of these priests entered the priesthood.

It may well be that the priesthood did attract homosexual men because they thought that the church would give them the opportunity and the confidentiality to have a homosexual relationship with another man (meaning adult male) without fear of recrimination. It is a fair comment to say that homosexual males were attracted to the priesthood but that does not follow that they had their sights set on younger males and children.

When something is illegal, it means that it has to be done in a clandestine fashion. Homosexuality is no longer illegal, I would imagine that less gay men are now attracted to the church.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Justin, a resident of Midtown,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 5:48 pm

The Catholic Church's main problem in this area is NOT pedophilia (prepubescent)...it is male homosexual statutory rape (post pubescent). Until this essential point is understood, there will be no solution.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Seriously?, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Aug 20, 2018 at 9:55 pm

>> The Catholic Church's main problem in this area is NOT pedophilia (prepubescent)...it is male homosexual statutory rape (post pubescent). Until this essential point is understood, there will be no solution.

Criminy. The abuse involved children/minors below the age of consent and that's considered pedophilia by most people (including the law) regardless of whether they were prepubescent or post pubescent.

There are no 'essential' points to be considered here. And the 'solution' is to prosecute & imprison all offenders.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by They are all complicit, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Aug 21, 2018 at 6:59 am

"The Catholic Church's main problem in this area is NOT pedophilia (prepubescent)...it is male homosexual statutory rape (post pubescent). Until this essential point is understood, there will be no solution. "

And once again an apologist for the pedophile clergy tries to turn this into a "homosexual" matter. the poster (justin) has appeared on TSF for years making that claim (under different names).
The pedophile priests are perverts that have been taking advantage of children for centuries. Enough is enough.
People who waste their money donating to the church need to cut off all donations now. All clergy must resign pending investigation. Guilty clergy need to be castrated and imprisoned.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community,
on Aug 21, 2018 at 2:01 pm

"The pedophile priests are perverts that have been taking advantage of children for centuries."

Perhaps it's part of the Church culture?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Old habits Are Hard to Break, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on Aug 21, 2018 at 5:19 pm

>"The pedophile priests are perverts that have been taking advantage of children for centuries."

>"Perhaps it's part of the Church culture?"


Apparently so. The Pontiff has identified it as such...'culture of abuse and cover-up.'


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Just Google It, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 22, 2018 at 1:26 pm

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church.

Google 'Eastern Orthodox Church Scandals' & you will find that both denominations are plagued by this problem.

>"Perhaps it's part of the Church culture?"

Yes.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Evil church, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 22, 2018 at 1:51 pm

This is not the only act of malfeasance by this gang. Read up on the magdalene laundries. Read up on how the Vatican helped nazis escape to south America after WWII. They are an organization that had a history of criminal acts.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Shaking Head, a resident of Professorville,
on Aug 22, 2018 at 2:37 pm

"They are an organization that had a history of criminal acts."

Let's not forget the Spanish Inquisition and the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre as well.

How do they keep getting away with this stuff? It's been going on for centuries.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Human culture is rotten, a resident of Woodside,
on Aug 23, 2018 at 11:42 am


The church, boy scouts, boarding schools, elite sports, cults, human trafficking...

Child/teen Rape is part of HUMAN culture and the primary offenders are people in some level of power: religious, coaches, teachers, gangs, institutions.

Human culture is rotten to the core. Don't trust anyone. Sorry, it's true.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by The Same Here, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Aug 23, 2018 at 1:50 pm

>>>Human culture is rotten to the core. Don't trust anyone. Sorry, it's true.

I trust and prefer the company of my two dogs over people any day of the week.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Ann Stokman, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove,
on Nov 12, 2018 at 11:20 am

Appalling and outrageous! I could not agree more that the Catholic Church must rid itself of this pedophile problem. As a life long Catholic it is starting to get old.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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