Salon.com: Closing arguments held Friday!

Again, another great alternative news source giving in-depth coverage of an ongoing sex abuse scandal, this time covering one of the largest diocese in America.

But hundreds of church documents aired at trial suggest there was little internal debate among Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and his top men on how to handle the complaints: Ask the priest if he did it. Send him to a church-run hospital. Tell the parish he’s on “health leave.” And unless he’s diagnosed as a pedophile, transfer him to another position.

There's just a snippet. Basically it outlines the defense of one of the leaders in said dioses and the final statements of the trial. He has been using the "should I take the fall for the entire church" and "I wasn't at the top of the chain of command" defenses, whereas the offense has been centered around "here's our evidence, would you like to see it" kind of thing. They, like most trials, have victims taking the stand. They gave the most honest testimonies of the trial.

From an earlier story.

"It's the idea that ... as someone who was under orders, the person had no choice as to what they could do," Hamilton says. "But it's not a defense to criminal charges because you're charged according to your actions, and his actions were clearly part of a conspiracy to cover up abuse and to permit these abusers to have access to numerous children."

He's not being charged with abuse, mind you. He's being charged with Conspiracy and child endangerment.

The above quote was from NPR.

While I'm sure this has been covered here before, the verdict will, if I'm not mistaken be reached later today.

Any thoughts?

Tags: Philadelphia, abuse, atheism, conspiracy, news, scandal, sex

Views: 159

Replies to This Discussion

My thought is that the catholic system is a government that regards itself as above any national laws, justifying itself as being answerable only to its god.  I don't know how many of them really believe in their god, or if they go along with the idea because that's the route they have chosen.  Unfortunately their unnatural obsession with sexual repression results in choosing as priests, some men who are at the fringes of sexuality, and they use the church's protection as a mean of access for their sick obsession.

I think it's more bothersome that catholics continue to support and follow their church when it is repeatedly shown, throughout history, to be a corrupt pseudogovernment that does not follow it's own guidebook (the bible), that disobeys laws, and continues to do power plays with secular goverments.  Although....  Im not sure that the bible forbids child molestation.  Actually, I think all of the biblical antisex laws refer to adults.  Maybe that's it - nothing in biblical law against child rape.

I would say there's an implied prohibition against raping boys.  The Bible technically only bans sleeping with a man, as you would with a woman, but that seems to me to be splitting hairs.  The Bible seems to be all in favor of raping little girls, though.  It definitely doesn't say anything against it, and it's implied by plenty of Bible passages.

In some Muslim countries, sex with little boys seems to be some sort of horrific work-around of the prohibition against homosexuality, taking advantage of the semantic con I mentioned before.  Bacha bazi are apparently a big problem in some countries like Afghanistan.

 

I think you're being a little too hard on the priests, though ... as wrong as that sounds.  Or perhaps I would say you're mis-categorizing them.  I don't think that most of them are pedophiles.  From what I've heard, most of them are gay to begin with, since the priesthood has always been a socially-acceptable closet for gay me to run off into.  The sexual repression then drives some of them into desperation, and the children become targets of opportunity.  It's possible that some started out as pedophiles, but many were turned into such by their social situation.
Specifically, you speak of the church drawing people from the fringes of sexuality.  I don't think that's generally the case, unless you count homosexuality as one of the fringes.

I don't think I'm being too hard on priests, but we can agree to disagree. Please don't misunderstand me - I don't mean that all, or most, or even 1/10 of priest are pedophiles. I also don't know if there is any data on how many priests are gay, but it does piss me off when people think that gay priests means priest pedophiles. I think most evidence is that a pedophile is a pedophile, not a pedophile is created by sexual frustration of a gay man. Why wouldn't that equally apply to sexual frustration of a straight man? I don't get it. As to the % of priests who are gay or straight or asexual, I don't think the vatican has published that information, so why assume? Anecdotal information ("that priest sure is effeminate") is not demographic information. Personally, I could hypothesize that if most priests are gay, they would be busy fooling around with each other, and the straight ones would be without a sexual outlet so chase children.

I don't mean that all, or most, or even 1/10 of priest are pedophiles.

I'm going a step further.  I don't think that all priests who molest little boys are pedophiles, in the traditional sense of the word.  Or at least they didn't start out as such.  There are many cases where they were attracted to adults, but they were surrounded but pubescent boys all the time, and those boys became a target of opportunity.

There's a sick power game that the priests tend to play, using their position of authority and the religious guilt to keep the child shamed into silence.  That doesn't work as well on other adults.

 

I also don't know if there is any data on how many priests are gay, but it does piss me off when people think that gay priests means priest pedophiles.

That's part of my point.  The only difference that being gay makes is that they're more likely to go after little boys, rather than little girls, when they go bad.  There are plenty of cases of priests and pastors raping girls, too.  The boys just get more news coverage, because it's more shocking to our society.

Also, it seems that the pedophile scandals in the Catholic church lean more towards boys, and the ones in the Protestant churches lean more towards girls.  You get plenty of gay scandals in the fundamentalist Protestant churches, too.

 

I think most evidence is that a pedophile is a pedophile, not a pedophile is created by sexual frustration of a gay man.

That's just not true.  Lots of humans have fluid sexuality.  Think of the situational homosexuality that happens within US prisons.  Outside of prisons, those same guys would abuse any guy who made a pass at them.

Like I said, the sexual orientation just affects which sex of children the priest will go after, usually.

Except there's also a bizarre subgroup of pedophiles who would never think of having sex with an adult male, but they'll rape a boy.  I can't even begin to untangle the fucked up stuff that leads to that sort of sexual profile, myself.  I'm not qualified.

 

Why wouldn't that equally apply to sexual frustration of a straight man?

It does.  And there are many cases of pastors raping and impregnating little girls.  The much higher number of closeted, gay men in the Catholic priesthood just causes the Catholic problem be more about boys.

 

As to the % of priests who are gay or straight or asexual, I don't think the vatican has published that information, so why assume? Anecdotal information ("that priest sure is effeminate") is not demographic information.

There are sources outside of the church who have done studies on the subject.  There's always an issue of sample size, though, and there are other problems.  Their results are quite a bit higher than homosexuality in the population at large, though.

 

Personally, I could hypothesize that if most priests are gay, they would be busy fooling around with each other, and the straight ones would be without a sexual outlet so chase children.

There are cases like that, yes.  But think about what happens if you make a pass at a priest who isn't gay?  You'll be in a world of suck ... and not in a good way.  However, if the gay priest targets someone that can be pressured into silence, there's much less risk.

In the Catholic church, there isn't as much access for the straight priests to target female children.  The Catholic church is a bit gender-segregated.  There's a reason they call them altar boys.

I notice that both of you seem to be confusing sexual behavior with sexual orientation.  Just because they go after what is convenient has now bearing on what their sexual orientation actually is.  It is like a quote I found on the AVEN website, if you drop a bunch of straight men on a deserted island they will not become attracted to each other but, they will still get horny.

I'm not confusing them.  I'm just not differentiating between them.  Is a pedophile someone who is sexually attracted to children, or is it someone who has sex with children?  I don't see the need to separate the two.  If a priest is fucking children, he's a pedophile.  Why split hairs, if you're looking at pure definitions?

You should be able to see my distinction between orientation and activity, in my last post, even if I didn't specifically label them as such.  I specifically brought up the situational-homosexuality of prison sex, to refute something he said.  I think we are differentiating between orientation and behavior when getting into the specific motivations and situations of the priests.

I just think he's wrong in a few of his points, although I definitely agree with his frustration at the way that a great deal of the population equates homosexuality with pedophilia.  That's fucking stupid.  Gay men tend to be attracted to big, muscular guys, I imagine (I'm not even vaguely gay, so I'm guessing here).  So, it seems to me that they're less likely to be pedophiles than straight men, as a percentage of the respective populations.

You could differentiate between those who will change their behaviors in certain situations and those who won't.  For example, I would be the sort who wouldn't do anything of the sort.  In a single-sex environment, I would remain celibate, relying on masturbation.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, the organizer of one of my local atheism groups would remain celibate in a situation in which he was the only male.  He finds vaginas disgusting.

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