A Religious Institution or Organized Crime?

priests

By now, everyone has read about the horrendous development in Pennsylvania concerning the Catholic church and the abuses of Priests with children that’s been documented in a 900 page Grand Jury report.

The report documents over a time period of 70 years, that more than 1000 children, boys and girls, were raped by some 300 priests. Of course, these abuses were covered up by the church itself and as usual, the offenders were just transferred out of the parish where the abuses occurred to another parish, where they continued their criminal activity.

What’s sad is that there is almost nothing that the State of Pennsylvania can do right now as most of the cases documented have exceeded the statute of limitations on rape or the offenders have died. In fact, only 2 of the 300 documented could today be prosecuted for rape and child abuse.

What’s worrisome is that the Grand Jury, in the report, states that the more than 1000 cases are probably not all of them and that the abuse may extend to 1000’s more. That’s just in a single state.

The Catholic Church has paid out 100’s of millions of dollars over the past few decades settling child abuse/rape cases. There have been a few (very few) that have actually been imprisoned. But to discover the extent of this abuse in a single state is more than horrifying.

We can do something about this however:

States should revise their laws on rape, ending any statute of limitation.. Rape meaning anyone, a child or adult, and legislate harsh sentences for those convicted, a minimum of 20 years in prison, a maximum of life.

The Federal Government should legislate an end to the statute of limitation on rape as well and in that legislation convince the states that refuse the above that it’s in their best interest by withholding federal dollars, highway funding always seems like a good incentive, if they have not passed this legislation within 1 year.

Lastly, I’d like to see the other 49 states attorney’s general impanel grand juries to investigate as Pennsylvania  has done. Let’s find out what the extent of this criminal activity is has has been.

Let’s open the curtains on these vampires that  prey on children.  They need to be shown for who they actually are: not a religious institution, but an organized crime family.

29 thoughts on “A Religious Institution or Organized Crime?

  1. I am a life-long atheist who never had any business with the Catholic Church (or any other church or religion.)

    But I still want to add these ideas in mitigation:

    1) Organizations react to problems in line with their accustomed, institutionalized behavior.
    For example, the entertainment industry blackballs people.
    The insurance industry fires people and escorts them off the premises.
    Nursing homes menace disruptive complaining patients with seeking custodial control over them.
    The banking industry notifies the police.

    The Catholic Church has no experience or precedent in taking police action against penitents.
    What the Church’s accustomed resort includes is penance and forgiveness, and that is what they typically did.

    2) The concepts 70 years (and more) ago regarding child molestation were not modern. There was an idea that the attraction was just between the priest and that one specific boy. This concept, much spread in literature (such as Lolita) allowed them to consider the problem solved when the priest was transferred away from the specific boy.

    3) Homosexuality is found among a majority of Catholic priests, including the supervisors. Estimates range from 70 – 90% of all Catholic clergy are gay. That seems to indicate that even the Pope is gay, as well as the culpable authority figures deciding on these cases.
    One priest told the Boston newspaper that “frankly, the inducement for me to join the priesthood is that I could live and work in an environment that did not have women.” (Some gay men feel disgusted and repelled by female genitalia.)
    All this makes me wonder if there was not a lot of sneaking sympathy by the other gay executives for the erring priest.

    4) The molestation (as in most cases of child molestation) was generally “age-appropriate.” That means that the genitals were not involved until adolescence. Most young boys were fondled or patted on their bottoms, or induced to touch the priest’s penis in games (“Look in my pocket for candy!”)

    The response to this was another misconception.
    The prevailing idea was that the child had no idea what was going on, so patting him on the buttocks during a swimming lesson did not do any harm.

    5) The idea of molesting little boys (and less commonly, girls) especially by covert pats and feels, is an indication of the psychosexual immaturity and arrested development of the culpable priests. The church did not consider this personality flaw as needing a police reaction.
    Instead, applicants for the clergy (and nuns too) need to be counseled to grow the hell up.

    6) An unrecognized element of these abuse cases is alcoholism, also common among the clergy, including the sympathetic administrators.

    7) It is absolutely forbidden for confessors to reveal a single word of a confession, or even the existence of a penitent. This is a religious vow, and they must keep it in the face of law enforcement, prison, death, or anything else.
    That means that many or most cases could NOT be reported to the police under any circumstances. The most the confessor could do is to withhold absolution until the penitent made amends as prescribed by the confessor.

    8) Three hundred priests over 70 years works out to about FOUR CASES a YEAR throughout the entire state. This may not have been seen as a tidal wave of depravity, but more like a trickle of venial sins.
    The archbishop’s impression (as far as he was aware of the problem in the face of the privacy of the confessional) must have been a slow, small trickle of gay priests, drunks, of arrested development, who were harmlessly patting the bottom of a specific boy the priest had “fallen for,” one too young to even know what’s going on.

    9) Sins of the flesh are venial sins, not mortal sins, and penance is easy — recite two “Our Fathers” and two “Hail Marys” and you are good to go.
    Of course, you must also have a sincere resolution not to sin that way again, so eventually the priest is separated from his “crush” and sent to a new place.
    ———–

    It is my belief that most wrong-doers are not ravening and deranged animalistic criminals. (I suppose some of them are.)

    The Catholic Church should end this horrendous system of celibate, life-long clergy, which must necessarily attract many mentally ill men and women who will do damage to themselves and others..

    Just shut this creepy system down.

    • Here is a tenth reason for the Church to act as they did:

      10) As a matter of policy, causing a scandal is much to be avoided.
      The harm done to the Faithful by ruining their trust in the Church was felt to be far greater than the harm involved in downplaying a crime.
      It was better to hush up scandals such as embezzlement, drunkenness, lewdness, pregnancies, and so on than it would have been to make them public.

      The idea was that the damage done by driving away humans from their ONLY MEANS of SALVATION, of going to Heaven after death — that damage FAR FAR EXCEEDED the damage in lost money or mopping up after misdeeds.

      I doubt there are any cases at all of the Church’s turning a priest in to the police for any crime at all.
      I suppose there must be some cases, but I have never heard of any.

      • I’ve never heard of the Catholic Church willingly turning over any priest to law enforcement. Why would a criminal organization turn over it’s own members to law enforcement?

            • Oh come now, Jim.

              The function of words is not to obfuscate, but rather to elucidate finer and finer distinctions.

              I just know that you can distinguish between a group like MS-13, organized specifically to perform criminal acts (making it a criminal organization) compared to a group like the banking industry, which has members who are criminals, and whose behavior is hidden.

                • You can hardly maintain that banks, universities, churches, corporations, corner stores, political parties, law firms, Alcoholics Anonymous, psychiatric hospitals, Congress, private families — or any other group that ever had a person who turned out to be a criminal (which the group covers up) — is a “criminal organization.”

                  You lose credibility when you demonstrate that you allow your feelings to overrun your common sense.
                  It makes you sound like you are suffering from a generalized version of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

                  This national debate needs BETTER distinctions, not fuzzier ones.

          • It’s like referring to Penn State as a “criminal organization.”

            Neither the University nor the Catholic Church is analogous to the Mafia, an actual criminal organization.

    • As to your 8th point: The grand jury itself, in the document, and as I wrote, said there was a possibility of “thousands” more victims. The ones in the document were the ones that they were able to have testify. Why would they even mention that if it were not a possibility? I reject the idea that just because priests are gay that they are automatically pedophiles. I also reject the premise that well, it was okay at one time because the boys/girls were a little older.
      Rape, as far as I’m aware has for decades been a criminal offense and the church not reporting criminal activity by it’s own employees is no different than any other business (that’s what it is in actuallity). The law allows for the penitent confessional as being private and absolute whether it’s the Catholic Church or any Protestant demonination.
      Although I believe in religious freedom, these go beyond the act of being able to worship freely. It’s criminal conduct that would never be allowed to happen at any other business or instuitution.

      • Yes, that’s correct. There were an unknown thousands of victims.

        But there were only 4 criminals per year.
        I shouldn’t have said “four cases.

        I meant that the church officials knew of only 4 errant priests per year.

                • You don’t simply divide the years into the number of priests involved. For instance, there may be a year when only 1 or 2 priests were known to be involved. There might be some years where a dozen or more. Its overall that 300 were involved over 70 years, not 4 per year.

                  • Yes, of course that’s the case, Jim my friend.

                    That is what is meant by “taking an average.”
                    It never even dawned on me that I would need to specify the word “average.”

                    I trust you did not think that I was claiming that Every year mystically exposed exactly four bad priests! It’s magic!

                    Or did you think that?
                    ——-

                    “Four molesting priests per year” is a statistic:
                    “300 priests over 70 years is an average of about 4 priests per year.”
                    ——–

                    May I ask you:

                    1) What difference does it make to you if we can show (as we certainly can) that in some years there were 0 molesting priests, but in other years there were 8; and in some years there were 3 bad priests but in other years there were 5?
                    What difference would that (undoubtedly correct) information make to you?

                    2) Why do I even have to tell you what “taking an average” means, or how to recognize this most common of statistics?

      • Of course being gay does not automatically make people pedophiles
        But these cases involve homosexual pedophilia, so that is the demographic I am discussing.

        In actual fact, I think the “sexual interest in children in general” and “in boys in particular” are symptoms of the stunted psychosexual development of the offenders.

        They have emotional delays — psychiatric disorders — which steered them away from a normal life with adult sex partners in the first place and into the priesthood with its (false) promises of celibacy as a resolution of their inability to experience normal adult psychosexual status.

        Most of the other priests are gay, so the false ideal of priestly celibacy is soon destroyed.
        An anonymous whistle-blower priest reported that seminary students regularly repaired to certain isolated book stacks in the library, where they stood facing the books as adult priests performed anonymous anal sex on them.

        The emotional adjustments of young students of the priesthood usually do end up changing after a while, and their sexual drive may become more conscious and more urgent while still exhibiting a stunted orientation. Children, unlike adults, do not have sexual expectations or the power to evaluate the competence of the molester.

        In Manhattan, Woody Allen is having an affair with an 17-year-old girl. He mentions to Diane Keaton that his wife left him for another woman.
        Keaton says, “Well, that explains the little girl.”

        Yes, correct. Psychologically damaged or stunted people may address their disabilities by choosing targets of their sex drive who are “safer” and easier.
        ——————

        Don’t forget too that a lot of pedophile priests must have been molested by priests themselves, making them both perpetrators and victims.

      • You said:
        “I also reject the premise that well, it was okay at one time because the boys/girls were a little older.”

        My reply:
        That is not what I said and it is not what I meant.
        I said that for victims who were young children, the molestation was non-genital and non-penetrating in either direction.
        Only if the priest’s specific victim was a teenager did the molestation consist of genital contact and penetration.
        This is typical of child molesters of any profession or relationship with the victim.
        ————–

        You said:
        “The law allows for the penitent confessional as being private and absolute whether it’s the Catholic Church or any Protestant demonination.

        My response
        Allowing for certain people to have privileged communication (lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, clergy, spouses) is not causing the secrecy.

        Privileged communication is protected by law, but the Catholic Church has kept the “seal of the confessional” intact for two thousand years, regardless of civil law. Priests are required to endure any punishment or consequence without ever revealing what they have heard — not because the law allows them to, but whether the law allows it or not.

        And by the same token, no civil law will ever convince a priest to repeat what they heard in a confessional, no matter what power the civil law has to make your lawyer, your psychiatrist, or your wife rat you out.

        The seal of the confessional is an oath sworn to God whether the civil law likes it or not.
        Priests have to say, “Okay, just kill me if you want to, but I AM NOT TALKING, no matter what you do.”
        ————–

        You said:
        “Although I believe in religious freedom, these go beyond the act of being able to worship freely.”

        My response:
        You are misunderstanding the concept of the seal of the confessional.
        It has nothing to do with any law, transient and temporal, about “religious freedom” (a new concept if I ever heard one.)
        No law can allow a priest to keep — or force a priest to give over — the secrets entrusted to the confessional.

        It is an unbreakable oath sworn by priests TO GOD when they take their vows of holy orders, irrelevant to secular society and its laws.
        ———————

        You said:
        “It’s criminal conduct that would never be allowed to happen at any other business or instuitution.

        My response:
        Hahaha!
        Oh, like covering up crimes and crimes of sexual abuse doesn’t happen ALL THE TIME.
        Hahaha!

        But besides, the Seal of the Confessional has existed for two thousand years without regard for secular law.
        It is not caused or permitted/forbidden to exist because of secular law.

        The civil law exists because legislators in some times and in some places have judged that it is better for society to tolerate some privileged communication than it is to destroy attorney-client privilege or marital trust and intimacy, for example, or medical/psychiatric care, or a rapprochement with God.

        However, unlike the other cases, civil laws do not affect the vows that priests have taken for two thousand years not to reveal the contents or even the existence of a confession.

        The state can and does arrest, try, convict, imprison, torture, and kill priests for not revealing a confession.
        Including clergy in the list of privileged communication is just a way to prevent the government from prosecuting them. The priests don’t care if they are prosecuted or not — and they often are.

        That is because priests SWEAR TO GOD not to disclose what they hear, and regardless of what the civil law says or doesn’t say.
        Civil law does not figure into their OATHS TO GOD when they are made priests.

        Secular law is not what is “allowing” this secrecy to happen.
        It is happening because it is the unshakable practice of the Catholic Church and has been for two thousand years.

        Its motive is to reassure penitents of safety in confessing their sins.
        Otherwise, sinners would not confess.
        But they HAVE to
        because confession and penance are prerequisites for the forgiveness of sins.
        And the forgiveness of sins is the only way to enter Heaven.
        So mortals HAVE to confess.

        The eternal and omniscient nature of Heaven dwarfs the secular damage, no matter how great, of mere temporal sins committed in the field of time.

  2. I’d also like to see mandatory reporting laws like we have for medical professionals. The secrecy seems to be a contributing factor here, and it needs to go.

    • It is futile to have mandatory reporting laws.

      The privacy of the confessional is guaranteed by an unbreakable oath that binds the confessor.
      He is obligated to willingly endure arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, prison, torture, and even the death of himself or others without breaking this vow of utter silence.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_the_Confessional_in_the_Catholic_Church

      Confession and penance are the only route to salvation, in accordance with the interpretation of Jesus’s statements to Peter (“Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in Heaven, and whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven.”)
      https://www.biblestudytools.com/matthew/18-18-compare.html

      Without confession, necessary for the forgiveness of sins, every single person on earth (who are all sinners) will end up in hell for eternity.

      So it is critical that every single person confess their sins frequently.
      Because of the chance of an unexpected death, it is too dangerous to fancy that you can safely wait until you are on your death bed to get right with Jesus.
      (It is also too dangerous to wait until the teen years to get children baptized.)

      But frequent confession is possible only because the penitent is assured of complete, absolute, unbreakable secrecy, even when it comes into conflict with civil law.

      Priests have often endured even death at the hands of the civil authorities for refusing to break the seal of the confessional.
      https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/these-priests-were-martyred-for-refusing-to-violate-the-seal-of-confession-44847

      You can hardly believe that legislation like this would result in a parade of priests trailing down to the police station to rat out their penitents.

      1) For one thing, society has frequently decided that the good of the general public lies in exempting certain people from being compelled to reveal what they know about a criminal or his crimes.

      2) For another thing, such a law would be futile because people would just stop confessing their crimes if they saw that the priest intended to turn them in.

      3) In addition, if the priests break that civil law, it would be quite difficult to gather evidence that they heard a criminal confession — impossible to bring charges or successfully prosecute.

      4) Furthermore, the priest does not know the identity of the penitent, so even if he were willing to report what he knows (which he is not), all he can say is “Hey! Someone committed a rape last week but I don’t know who.”

      5) And anyway, they DO NOT CARE what the civil law says.
      They have taken an unbreakable holy vow that contradicts any civil law — a vow to God Almighty, much higher than a temporal and foolish civil law.
      They are mortally obligated to ignore any such civil law.

      This all amounts to this:
      Go ahead and pass any legislation you want compelling priests, lawyers, doctors, psychiatrists, and spouses to testify.
      No matter who else will cooperate with civil law, priests just won’t.

    • You misunderstand the nature of the seal of the confessional.

      You seem to think that laws giving priests privilege is the cause of the secrecy, but that is false.

      Priests have sworn to God not to reveal the secrets of the confessional for thousands of years, completely independently of civil laws.

      In this case, the civil law prohibits law enforcement from the prosecution of priests who refuse to divulge confessions, but the priests’ vows persist no matter what punishments they must endure.

      No civil law gave the priests the requirement to keep confessions private, and no civil law can cancel that obligation.
      It is an OATH TO GOD, not a legal status.

        • Civil law can cancel the legal exemption to mandatory reporting laws, but so what?

          The Seal of the Confessional does not originate in civil permission and does not depend on it.

          1) The inviolable oath is taken when the priest swears to become a priest.

          2) This has been the Catholic practice for 2000 years, in all kinds of legal climates.

          3) The vow is unrelated to secular law. It is an oath made to GOD, and it is not under the control of the secular society.

          4) All the secular society can do is to prosecute the priests who cling to their holy oaths to God, and in fact the civil authorities have done so very often throughout history.

          5) Nevertheless, the priests still cling to their original oath.
          No punishment or consequence is sufficient to make them break their vow, and they are expected to suffer imprisonment, torture, death, and even the deaths of innocent others rather than abandon their vows.

          In other words, they will (and have) died for the penitent’s privacy.

          6) In practice, a failure to reveal a confession would be a really difficult crime to detect — unless they bug the confession booth and monitor the conversations.
          (But even then, the priest and penitent would just take a stroll outdoors.)

          7) It would also be a really hard job to secure a conviction because there are no witnesses except the two people involved.

          8 Even if the civil authorities tortured a revelation out of a few priests, the confessional as a source of insider information about crimes would then just dry up. People would just stop talking about their crimes to priests, who might rat them out.
          —————

          In discussing this topic, many people seem to be suffering from delusions about what the confessional signifies.

          They seem to think it is a question of law, requiring or excusing mandatory reporting of information that has come their way, like priests are operating under the same premises as a pack of Fake Profession “counselors” or something, or maybe school teachers.

          The Seal of the Confessional is absolutely unrelated to civil law.
          Civil law cannot permit it or forbid it.

          It is required by an OATH TO GOD of all priests, whether the civil law likes it or not.

          Priests don’t even THINK ABOUT the civil law when they take their vows.

          Did you think that the law granting priests “privileged communication” status is the reason that there’s not a steady trickle of confessors filing reports at the police station?

          Did you think that all we’d need to uproot all the pedo priests is removing the secular protection against prosecution currently granted to confessors?

          What exactly do you think would be the effect of mandating priests as reporters?

          Did you think that a priest’s relationship to a penitent is like a psychiatrist’s commercial relationship to a mentally ill person?
          ——————–

          Far from being intimidated by civil law, imprisonment, torture, or death, the plain fact is that priests can not break the Seal of the Confessional under any circumstances whatsoever.

          To do so would be to condemn for all eternity their immortals souls to the uttermost pits of hell.
          http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2008/12/04/can-a-priest-ever-reveal-what-is-said-in-confession/

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