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Source: (consider it) Thread: Has Other Papal Shoe Dropped?
Golden Key
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I like Pope Francis. Mostly, anyway. He seemed so good that I found myself wondering when the other shoe would drop--because no one is perfect.

Well...

"Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander" (Assoc. Press).

I'd had mixed feeling about some of his ways of dealing with survivors of clergy abuse; but he also seemed a big improvement.

Then I heard that he asked Chilean survivors for forgiveness. I thought, "No, you don't get to do that--especially if you haven't done the necessary work of justice, of making sure it never, ever happens again, and if you resist turning abusers over to civil authorities".

Then this. Just before he left, he sort of did a u-turn, after ostensibly trying to help survivors heal. If the translation is accurate, then he was rather forceful about it. Are he and the bishop in question, Juan Barros, friends???

I checked out the SNAP Network site, and they made it their story of the day. (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

Hmmm...maybe I'll try to track down those shoes that fell off a ship into the sea, floated around, self-gathered according to left or right, and helped scientists study currents. Huge amount of shoes.

Then I'll start throwing them.
[Mad]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Chesterbelloc

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It's a fair response, GK.

Those of us who followed what happened about the clerical abuse scandal under Benedict XVI know how much he tried to tackle the problem head-on and make sure that those who were guilty were properly held to account. It was not the song that the MSM tended to sing (Benedict got stuck with a generally negative media image early on), but Pope Francis himself has repeatedly given Benedict due credit for his efforts; what work Francis has done has been on Benedict's foundation.

But things seem not to have gone universally well under Francis, despite his having had a much better reception from the MSM than Benedict did. How much this is any of Francis's fault is difficult to know.

Certainly when it comes to Bishop Barros, Francis seems genuinely to believe that Barros is guiltless of any wrongdoing and that the victims are wrong in associating him in any way with the crimes of Karadima (crimes which the Vatican acknowledged and disciplined in 2011).

Looking at it from what is presumably Francis's perspective, if he is certain from the evidence he has that Barros is indeed innocent and that any evidence against him is genuinely calumnious, then his actions in defending him seem right and proper. But who knows what information Francis is party to and what its source really is? Who knows whether what Francis knows really justifies his current reaction? He certainly seems fired up about the case, which could indicate anything from righteous indignation on behalf of a wronged Barros to fury that a questionable decision he made and which he now wants to slip quietly away is still coming in for stiff criticism.

It seems to me - but I'm not privy to the information that presumably Francis has access to - that a more plausible alternative to the victims' having outright lied about Barros's involvement in their abuse is that they were simply mistaken about his presense when it occurred. That seems to me - in my state of practical ignorance - to be not just the most charitable but also the most likely explanation. In which case, charges of calumny seem unnecessarily brutal insofar as they are directed towards the victims themselves (as opposed to those of their "supporters" who are merely advancing their own political agenda thereby, if there be any of such). Of course it remains possible that Barros might indeed be guilty as charged by the victims, regardless of what Francis (thinks) he knows.

In short - who knows?

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Twilight

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:


In short - who knows?

Well exactly, so wouldn't it be best for the Pope to remain silent about it? By accusing the victims of slander he's saying he does know, as if he was there. He was not, so he has simply chosen to believe one party over another without evidence either way.
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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:


In short - who knows?

Well exactly, so wouldn't it be best for the Pope to remain silent about it?
Quite possibly.

But he is being constantly called on this appointment, to be fair. He either backs down and sacks Barros or he has to be seen to have good reason not to.

I can't pretend to be in any position to judge whether he should do one thing or the other. But it is at least some kind of mistake, it seems to me, to accuse the victims themselves of slander (if that is what he meant to do here).

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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lilBuddha
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It doesn't matter who knows and it doesn't matter whether Barros is complicit as some victims think.
Francis handled this poorly and he is in the wrong. Regardless of Borros guilt.
Your flock is your first duty and he has failed them.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It doesn't matter who knows and it doesn't matter whether Barros is complicit as some victims think.
Francis handled this poorly and he is in the wrong. Regardless of Borros guilt.
Your flock is your first duty and he has failed them.

I'm interested by this response.

Supposing Francis did in fact have good reason to think Barros innocent of complicity in the abuse (I'm not sure what would constitute such reason, but, for the sake of argument...) - and suppose he also had good reason to think that Barros would otherwise make a good bishop to the people of this diocese. How then do you think he would have "failed the flock" by appointing Barros?

I'm not committed to the idea that Francis has in fact handled this case well, prudentially, but I am more hesitant to doubt his pastoral intentions, notwithstanding their being horribly mangled by the circumstances (which you could argue Francis should have anticipated).

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It doesn't matter who knows and it doesn't matter whether Barros is complicit as some victims think.
Francis handled this poorly and he is in the wrong. Regardless of Borros guilt.
Your flock is your first duty and he has failed them.

I'm interested by this response.

Supposing Francis did in fact have good reason to think Barros innocent of complicity in the abuse (I'm not sure what would constitute such reason, but, for the sake of argument...) - and suppose he also had good reason to think that Barros would otherwise make a good bishop to the people of this diocese.

It is already causing consternation in the diocese and looks like, at best, a tone-deaf response. At worst, it could appear to be going several steps backwards towards complicity.
If Francis thinks Barros such an asset, he needs to clear up the questions first. Doing what he did cannot serve his purpose unless that purpose is to discount the people.

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mr cheesy
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I don't know - how could the Pope know for a fact that the accusations are slander?

I suppose the bishop might have been in Rome (or elsewhere) during critical times so that he can't possibly have done the thing. But even then I think it is quite extreme for a parish priest to accuse someone of slander, never mind the Pope.

In reality, I suspect that the reasons the Pope has for his comments are far less to do with something that can be verified like that and far more about the fact he knows and trusts certain individuals.

If that's the case, then I think it is quite an inappropriate thing to say. So at both ends of possibility, describing accusers as committing slander is a bad thing to say.

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arse

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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
In reality, I suspect that the reasons the Pope has for his comments are far less to do with something that can be verified like that and far more about the fact he knows and trusts certain individuals.

If that's the case, then I think it is quite an inappropriate thing to say.

I tend to agree.

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It doesn't matter who knows and it doesn't matter whether Barros is complicit as some victims think.
Francis handled this poorly and he is in the wrong. Regardless of Borros guilt.
Your flock is your first duty and he has failed them.

...and that's where the RCC's handling of alleged abuse by priests always seems to go wrong. Rather than protecting children, or thinking of the *entire* flock, it circles the wagons around the priests to protect them.

I think that one huge, tangled root of the problem is the idea that a priest experiences ontological change--on ordination, his very essence becomes different. ("Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.") Because of that, I think, RC clergy cover for each other; move offending priests around, rather than facing the problem, protecting kids, and turning the priests over to civil authorities; and generally act like they're still in Medieval/Renaissance Europe, having power struggles with the civil authorities at every turn.

I get that the idea of ontological change could be very affirming for a priest; but it's a trap, too. That's one heck of a lot of pressure. If you're supposed to be a special kind of new being, and you still have desires and impulses to sin, to make serious mistakes, to hurt people...and the whole structure of the church implies/says that you're above that sort of thing, what do you do?

If priesthood were simply seen as a job or calling, lived out by a regular human being, it might be much easier for priests, victims, and survivors to reveal secrets; for the priests to get help; and for the hierarchy to report priests to the civil authorities. If they would even put offending priests in long-term, residential psych care for pedophiles would at least be a step in the right direction, even if they avoided civil authorities--they'd at least be taking the situation seriously.

AIUI, there has been some psych treatment for such priests, now and then, in various dioceses. But it sounded like it was short term, and possibly not very good.

Ironic that an organization that's been judging the world's sins, for more than 2 millennia, can't manage to see its own. Maybe the RCC needs a confessor itself?


(Some of this may be slightly overstated. But this is Hell, and I'm angry.)

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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simontoad
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I haven't followed this particular matter until now. My first response is sadness that Chileans too have suffered abuse at the hands of priests. I suppose too that like in Ireland, Australia and the USA, among others, Chilean clerics in administrative positions have also protected accused pedophiles and moved them into other positions where they also had access to children.

In Australia, a bloke called George Pell created a much-lauded system of dealing with abuse allegations in the 1990's, called the Melbourne Response. This system funneled complaints of child abuse away from the Courts and into a church-run investigation and compensation system. It operated in a way that kept complainants quiet and kept the public in the dark as to the extent of the problem in my state.

In the 1990's, there were whispers that people had accused Pell himself of child sexual abuse, but nevertheless he was moved to Sydney and then to Rome, eventually taking up a position to do with the finances of the Church, wearing purple. When a Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in institutions asked him to testify, Pell refused to return to Australia, instead giving evidence from the Vatican. At around this time the allegation that Pell himself had sexually abused children re-surfaced and a fresh police inqury was instituted and charges were laid in relation to them. Pell returned to Australia this time, and is currently out on bail awaiting his trial. The details of the allegations are not known to me.

Who knows the truth of the allegations. Pell denies them, for what that's worth, but his appointment as Cardinal and as a senior figure in the administration of the church in Rome while those allegations were hanging over his head says quite clearly that the Catholic Church in the 21st century values its money and its reputation far more than it values the welfare of the people that its priests abused. Further, Pell's system for dealing with victims, established in the 1990's, relied on the loyalty and love of the victims and their families for the Catholic Church to accept insufficient compensation in return for their guarantees that the matters would remain confidential.

Pell is at best an avaricious and lustful person, the object of his desires being the accumulation of power and renown. He should not have been made a cardinal, and when Francis became Pope he should have banished him from Rome. At worst, he is guilty of child sexual abuse and should be jailed and defrocked.

When I hear about this Chilean appointment by Pope Francis, I think of Pell and his stellar career.

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Arethosemyfeet
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Is it that the church is worried about its reputation? Surely even the most brick-headed of Cardinals must have realised by now that being seen to shelter abusers is harming its reputation far more than admitting and dealing with the abuse. When the "paedophile priest" is an archetype in the popular imagination the ship has sailed on protecting the reputation of the church. It seems to me that the ongoing issue is more in the realm of disbelief that a particular individual could be guilty and simple case of protecting your own (which of course raises serious questions as to why the hierarchy sees priests, rather than all the faithful, as their own).
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Chesterbelloc

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For the record, Francis has just received some remarkably frank criticism for these comments from his top clerical abuse advisor, Cardinal O’Malley:
quote:
It is understandable that Pope Francis’ statements [...] were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator [...] Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.


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Barnabas62
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@ Chesterbelloc

That is a most unusual public criticism. Pope Francis made a bad mistake. Even if he was influenced by personal loyalty, which strikes me as much more likely than any other reason, he was unwise.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Chesterbelloc

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Agreed on all counts, Barnabas62.

It would not entirely surprise me if the pope were effectively to apologise for the calumny/slander comment in the near future.

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:


In the 1990's, there were whispers that people had accused Pell himself of child sexual abuse, but nevertheless he was moved to Sydney and then to Rome, eventually taking up a position to do with the finances of the Church, wearing purple. When a Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in institutions asked him to testify, Pell refused to return to Australia, instead giving evidence from the Vatican. At around this time the allegation that Pell himself had sexually abused children re-surfaced and a fresh police inqury was instituted and charges were laid in relation to them. Pell returned to Australia this time, and is currently out on bail awaiting his trial. The details of the allegations are not known to me.

Who knows the truth of the allegations. Pell denies them, for what that's worth, .

Indeed, the Catholic Church (it could have been Pell personally as well) was sued by a man who alleged that Pell had abused him when he was a boy. The plaintiff fixed the period of abuse vey definitely and by reference to other events in his life, and that of his family. That could not have been correct as there was irrefutable and totally independent evidence that Pell was out of Australia for much more than that period.

Now I a not saying that I have a good opinion of Pel's pastoral abilities, and he came across as totally uncomprehending at the Royal Commission. But here was one very definite allegation, legal action was taken and had to be withdrawn. We'll see what happens in the present criminal poceedings.

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Barnabas62
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Chesterbelloc

Golden Key's observations about unintended consequences of the Catholic doctrine of the priesthood intrigued me, because I can see parallel unintended consequences arising from the nonconformist Protestant understanding of the priesthood of all believers. It's a bit tangential to this thread, and it may deserve another thread in Purgatory, but before going down that road, I'd be grateful for some clarification.

My current understanding about Catholic doctrine is that it embraces, simultaneously, both the set-apartness of the priesthood and the continuing human frailty of the priest. One obvious illustration of this is that the efficacy of the sacraments is not affected by the frailty and fallibility of the administering priests.

There is therefore, at least as I understand it, no justification in Catholic doctrine for seeing priests as somehow a superior human subset, and therefore entitled to special protective sheltering from the consequences of their sins. Such sheltering which has occurred historically and may still be occurring in some places today cannot in any way be justified doctrinally, whatever pragmatic or partial understandings may have been prayed in aid.

Am I right to believe these things? If so, I think there may be scope for a serious discussion elsewhere.

(I wish Trisagion was still around at this point!)

[ 22. January 2018, 11:13: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Barnabas62
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PS

Holy Orders seems to be a good link to.the doctrine and the principles. I read it as confirming my understanding.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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passer

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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Agreed on all counts, Barnabas62.

It would not entirely surprise me if the pope were effectively to apologise for the calumny/slander comment in the near future.

And so it came to pass. BBC link
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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Am I right to believe these things?

Provided my own understanding of the doctrine of sacramental character is not askew, you are indeed correct, Barnabas62.

If properly administered, three of the sacraments confer such an indelible seal or character on the soul: baptism, confirmation and holy order. Although this "marking-out" is guaranteed (and irrepeatable), the grace that accompanies it can fail to be taken up by the recipient and thus the intended sanctification can be lacking.

Imagine a person who successfully acquires from the Church the sacrament of order as a priest but who does so with nothing but evil intentions of misusing it - such a person would fail to benefit from the grace which the sacrament is intended to confer, even though he would have been validly ordained to that office. That people can receive these indelible seals upon the soul and still sin is clear.

Therefore, the doctrine does not in any way encourage a notion of the moral superiority of those who receive such characters. People are set apart as holy by them - which is why it is considered sacrilege as well as assault to strike a priest, for example - but not in such a way as to set them above due moral reckoning. Indeed, to do evil as a priest is compounded by the sacrilege one commits to one's own sacred character thereby. There is nothing in the doctrine which can properly be justified to withhold due moral process being applied to the bearer.
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I wish Trisagion was still around at this point!

Me too!

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by passer:
quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
Agreed on all counts, Barnabas62.

It would not entirely surprise me if the pope were effectively to apologise for the calumny/slander comment in the near future.

And so it came to pass. BBC link
How very gratifying!

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"[A] moral, intellectual, and social step below Mudfrog."

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Arethosemyfeet
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Unfortunately it reads like a nonpology "sorry you were upset" kind of statement.
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Lyda*Rose

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It not only reads like one it IS one. [Disappointed]

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Golden Key
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From what I understand: In everyday practice, RC priests are often treated as if they're better, more holy than everyone else. E.g., think of all the congregations where parishioners and hierarchs refused to believe that the priest would do anything like abuse.

Think of the hierarchs who *knew* what was happening, and just moved the abusive priests--sometimes, to other child-filled situations, *without* warning anyone.

I think there are only so many *possibilities*, or combinations of them:

a) Most RC clergy think child abuse is a wonderful thing.

b) RC clergy are so twisted around by the ontological change idea that they think they all have to cover for each other--rather than, say, caring about both the abuser and the child, being honest about the whole thing, getting help for both, and reporting to the civil authorities. No more excuses allowed.

I read once of a priest who used the words of the institution of the Eucharist while abusing. As in, "This is my body".

c) Celibacy seriously drives some people bonkers; and they think that if they're sexual with a child, it doesn't really count.

Kind of like the idea in some African cultures that a man can get rid of an STD by having sex with a virgin child.

d) RC clergy know so little about sex, and kids, and the world that they truly don't get the situation at all. In which case, they need minders 24/7, because they shouldn't even cross the street by themselves. Or go out at all.

e) RC clergy still think the emperor is trying to take over and control the church, so cooperating with civil authorities is anathema.

f) The priesthood attracts men who want access to children; or know they have a problem, and think celibate priesthood is the answer.

g) The RCC thinks child sacrifice is a good and necessary thing, because that's surely what they're doing.

And yes, other groups of people (secular and not) abuse. But they don't generally proclaim that they're God's representatives on earth. Particularly when Jesus said to protect children.

Millstone, meet neck. (And please, abusers, dont do that literally. Getting help and telling the truth will do much more good--and be better for your soul.)

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Arethosemyfeet
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I'm not sure the RCC is unique in covering up sexual abuse. The form the coverup takes is shaped by the institutions but the notion of people resisting the idea of authority figures being abusers is widespread, as is the idea that people who are "normal" and behave commendably in other aspects of their lives can't possibly be abusers. I think the question of ontological change is a red herring - unless a person is noticeably weird what you usually hear from friends and neighbours is "I can't believe they'd do a think like that". Add a denial from the alleged perpetrator and it's a hop skip and jump from there to "they didn't do it; accuser must be lying/delusional".
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Barnabas62
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Golden Key

I doubt that you believe it is inevitable that people who voluntarily choose celibacy will fall into sexually abusive behaviour. That doesn't strike me as plausible, though there may be a legitimate argument about increased risk. I haven't seen stats about this, but anecdotally a high percentage of child abusers are also in an active sexual relationship with an adult. The pathological attitudes of abusers don't seem to be directly connected to how active they are sexually with other adults.

Personally I would argue that what is required is a much more rigorous check before ordination to ensure that there aren't abusive wolves masquerading as shepherds. And I think that applies regardless of any claimed calling to celibacy. In the UK, thanks to legislation, churches are required to have proper protective policies and prior vetting of folks doing children's work or youth work. Naive trust has been replaced by verification, risk avoidance and proper monitoring.

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Indigo
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
I'm not sure the RCC is unique in covering up sexual abuse.

Hmmm.... <<tries to think of a mainstream religion which hasn't been tainted by allegations of sexual abuse.>>

Fails.

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Golden Key
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FYI:

I specifically said that other groups abuse. Also that my list was of possibilities, and I emphasized it. I lean towards my original idea of the ontological problem. That didn't go over well. So I listed other possibilities.

If you can think of reasons that such a large and supposedly holy organization has permitted and covered up abuse, systematically, for a very long time, post them.

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Indigo
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
In the UK, thanks to legislation, churches are required to have proper protective policies and prior vetting of folks doing children's work or youth work. Naive trust has been replaced by verification, risk avoidance and proper monitoring.

Does this not merely mean that when abuse is uncovered, there is a rule-book at which to point, and someone to blame for not following it? Rather than prevention, blame apportionment, and corporate absolution?

And is there any way of policing the application of the rules? All we ever hear is that "This shouldn't have happened - we have rules about that sort of thing."

I'm not aware of any religious group issuing statistics which say that "We rejected X number of people for ministry as we deemed them unsuitable from an 'avoidance of power-abuse' perspective."

Fine words, but no way of measuring their effectiveness. "We can't share the names of people who have fallen foul of our protective policies screening and been rejected by us because that would be a breach of the Data Protection Act. We just send them on their way to try somewhere else."

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Barnabas62
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passer

There have been various pieces of legislation in the UK following the landmark 1989 Children Act, under which there was a duty of care for children placed on organisations and individuals. If it can be shown that a child has come to harm because of a failure to exercise that duty of care, the courts have the power to impose various penalties under civil, and in some cases criminal, law.

So organisations assess risks and establish policies which must be followed by those who work for them. Churches in the UK have been generally very good at doing that.

Churches can and do seek information from the police about new volunteers or employees working with children. In my church, which is pretty typical, folks are told in advance that in order to safeguard its duty of care responsibility, such checks are always made. The enabling legislation makes the care of the child paramount, overriding privacy issues.

Churches also establish other guidelines, such as inappropriate touching, avoiding being alone with a child in a room or a vehicle and provide training for new children's workers. Failure to observe these can lead to an employee losing their job, a volunteer being stood down.

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lilBuddha
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GK,

Positions of trust and authority will draw predators and will tempt the predatory to abuse.

Organisations will self-protect.

Some people believe that asking forgiveness removes not only the prior "sin," but the temptation to sin again. This will be more prevalent in groups that teach that all behaviours are choice.

There will be some individual variations, but I think those three things will account for the largest part of the RCC problem.

A note for the complacent, non-RCC: The only reason their scandal is bigger than yours is that their organisation is. This is in no way an excuse for the RCC, but a warning to the rest.

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Barnabas62
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The thing about the Children Act and its refinements is that it is an ongoing antidote to complacency. One minds have been opened to the personal significance of duty of care, you can't go back.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
The thing about the Children Act and its refinements is that it is an ongoing antidote to complacency. One minds have been opened to the personal significance of duty of care, you can't go back.

I would like to believe this. But ask a brown person how that works out in a practical sense.

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Golden Key
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Barnabas--

quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
The thing about the Children Act and its refinements is that it is an ongoing antidote to complacency. One minds have been opened to the personal significance of duty of care, you can't go back.

Respectfully, I doubt this. Ever had a rule imposed at work or school, any workplace or school, that people thought was stupid and unnecessary? People often keep to the rule just long enough for an authority figure to think they're doing it--then skip the rule as many times as they can get away with. Even if they could be fired, expelled, or otherwise get in trouble.

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Barnabas62
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My relevant experience is with children and youth workers. The proper response to the Children Act both on terms of policy and personal behaviour was an active topic at youth workers conferences. Much of this was underlined by a number of high profile cases.

Denial of need and complacency amongst church children's workers were not attitudes I found. Quite the reverse. Perhaps it's worth adding that I had over thirty years experience in church based children's and youth work, was responsible for developing the policies at my local church, and spoke at conferences about the significance of the Children Act. This experience goes back some 20 years, and I've been retired from Church-based youth for about 10 years, but I'm still in contact with a large number of church based youth workers and youth work and in my experience there is absolutely zero complacency amongst church leaders and youth workers on this topic.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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simontoad
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What's so disappointing to me is not that child abuse happens, or that the church has covered it up in the past, but that it continues to do so when the authorities, at least in Australia, are really starting to come the heavy on Church administrators.

That's what's so disappointing about the Pope's attitude to the bloke in Chile. Be compassionate, even supportive of your friend in private if you believe him falsely accused. But let the law take its course. One thing he might say to his mate is "These things are sent to try us"... We Catholics are supposed to LIKE suffering, and being tried unjustly should be a fantastic opportunity for spiritual growth.

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Human

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Golden Key
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This might be useful:

Bishop Accountability--Documenting the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.

I've only skimmed the front page, but it looks very informative.

FWIW, YMMV.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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Chesterbelloc

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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
But let the law take its course.

I haven't encountered any suggestion that the pope is not doing that, have you?

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
This might be useful:

Bishop Accountability--Documenting the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.

I've only skimmed the front page, but it looks very informative.

FWIW, YMMV.

It's a serious matter for sure, but ...

The 90s called, and they want their web designer back.

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Indigo
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
But let the law take its course.

I haven't encountered any suggestion that the pope is not doing that, have you?
I think that what the Pope recently said could easily be interpreted as attempting to interfere with the law taking its course. If the head of a politically influential worldwide organisation accuses complainants against his team of slander, that certainly smacks of "crooked Hillary" type behaviour, and much else of the Donald's modus operandi Twitteri.

The pope is between a rock and a hard place regarding his chum in Chile, and despite his position as Rock, and his recent elevation to infallibility on matters of doctrine, personal friendship must be difficult to set aside when it comes down to it.

Sometimes senior people can have instances of questionable activity or inactivity in their history, but they've "turned out alright" in the long run, and are making positive contributions within their organisations. When you're the person in charge, surrounded by an inherited team infused with Machiavellian intent, you need all the friends you can get.

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Indigo
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
This might be useful:

Bishop Accountability--Documenting the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.

I've only skimmed the front page, but it looks very informative.

FWIW, YMMV.

It's a serious matter for sure, but ...

The 90s called, and they want their web designer back.

/tangent
Imagine a website established in 2003 still using such an antiquated format.... oh.
/end tangent

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Barnabas62
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I agree, Chesterbelloc. For this Pope to be deliberately obstructionist on this issue just seems miles removed from his general pronouncements and behaviour. I am clear that he spoke unwisely and out of turn.

The experiences I related in my previous post did not include any conversations with Catholic children's and youth workers. On reflection, I'm quite regretful about that. I think the steps that large numbers of Protestant church leaders and youth workers took from the 1990s onwards reduced significantly the risks of abuse to children. That's not universally true of course. One of the pieces of advice I give to folks with children who are changing location and sussing out local churches is to ask to see their child protection policy. If it isn't written down and publicised within the church, you can't just rely on warm words.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by Chesterbelloc:
quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
But let the law take its course.

I haven't encountered any suggestion that the pope is not doing that, have you?
I haven't followed the matter closely, so he may indeed be adopting or endorsing a pattern of behavior prevalent in my country of our church administrators hiding crime, then seeking to limit its exposure, and then taking an obstructionist legal strategy once charges and compensation claims are laid. I'm not sure.

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Human

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Golden Key
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Pope Francis spoke out today--rather forcefully, reportedly--about fake news and truthful journalism.

If you take that in the context of what sparked this thread...

From the little bit I've heard so far, that *is* the way some people are taking it.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
This might be useful:

Bishop Accountability--Documenting the sex abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church.

I've only skimmed the front page, but it looks very informative.

FWIW, YMMV.

It's a serious matter for sure, but ...

The 90s called, and they want their web designer back.

FWIW: Actually, I prefer that kind of layout to many current ones. I can see clearly a list of what's there.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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passer

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As a slight aside, my wife was at a Child Protection and Abuse Detection conference this week, which included among the speakers some senior ex-police officers with international experience. Much of the content was restricted and covered by non-disclosure agreements as real cases were discussed, but a couple of things she shared with me were that Australia is regarded as being at the forefront in investigating, analyzing and addressing these issues, and that the demography of the perpetrators can be broken down in terms of numbers to:

1. Clergy.
2. Sports and music professionals (coaches, trainers etc.)
3. Teachers, paediatricians, and medics.

No real surprises there, and I suppose that the reason the clergy are (apparently way out) in the lead is because more attention has been focused on them in the last decade or two, and that attention is only now switching to the other occupations where children are left unsupervised with adults.

On a hand-count amongst the attendees, the number of parents who actually bother to check out the person(s) to whom they entrust their children for tuition was embarrassingly low, which raised the question of the real-life value of the DBS (criminal record) checks.

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Barnabas62
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Thanks passer. Good stuff.

Maybe parents don't check because they think 'the system' should?

Whereas I think both should, hence my observation about joining a new church. Fighting against complacency and automatic thinking can be a struggle. Parents can keep 'the system' on its toes.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by passer:
I suppose that the reason the clergy are (apparently way out) in the lead is because more attention has been focused on them in the last decade or two, and that attention is only now switching to the other occupations where children are left unsupervised with adults.

I don’t agree. Not completely. One of the reasons the clergy are out ahead is because people will put more trust in clergy because God. The whole concept that clergy are chosen or choose the profession because of God is going to bias towards trust. To varying degrees, the same could be said for gurus, spiritual and philosophical guides/teachers as well.
Most occupations are not going to get the same level of trust.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by passer:
I suppose that the reason the clergy are (apparently way out) in the lead is because more attention has been focused on them in the last decade or two, and that attention is only now switching to the other occupations where children are left unsupervised with adults.

I don’t agree. Not completely. One of the reasons the clergy are out ahead is because people will put more trust in clergy because God. The whole concept that clergy are chosen or choose the profession because of God is going to bias towards trust. To varying degrees, the same could be said for gurus, spiritual and philosophical guides/teachers as well.
Most occupations are not going to get the same level of trust.

Which point raises the inevitable question of abuse within families which for all kinds of reasons might remain forever hidden and unreported.

When a child is murdered, eg, it is almost always by a parent/step-parent. A 2015 Yougov report put its Under-16s homicide rate as three-fifths perpetrated by family. One has to wonder how much sexual abuse (as well as other forms of abuse) have been and is carried out in the completely unregulated privacy of the family home, by the people that a child is taught not only to trust utterly, but to love unconditionally, from the moment s/he's born.

It's purely anecdotal, I know, but during my years as a Samaritan volunteer almost 100% of the people detailing experience of abuse as a child were speaking about their own parents/step-parents.

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passer

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I don't disagree, and also to be taken into consideration should be that clergy are almost universally part of a structured organisation, with an established and addressable hierarchy, and within those organisations their movements and whereabouts are recorded, and those records exist.

Whether or not a higher level of trust is afforded them (and I agree that it largely is), it is less straightforward to track the non-clergy perpetrators - not impossible, but not so easy.

The greater challenge is with the internet. If a priest abuses a child, the head of their church is deemed to have some level of accountability with regard to it, but if an online paedophile, or as seems more prevalent, an online hebephile should succeed in their endeavour, there doesn't seem to be any way to assign accountability to the provider of the vehicle by which they committed their crime; Facebook, Google and Youtube, and other platform providers like app creators can't prevent convicted perpetrators from just logging on with a new ID.

An imminent solution doesn't seem likely. We live in interesting times.

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