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On sex abuse, Francis - alas - sings a familiar tune

If there's an area in which Pope Francis has been a disappointment, it's in responding to the sex-abuse crisis. In most ways he strikes me as a hierarch who is unusually aware of how the Church is perceived by the broader world, and he has done a lot indirectly to repair the damage to the church's credibility that resulted from the sex-abuse scandal. But he has said and done little about the scandal itself, despite his refreshing frankness on so many other issues. And now that he has spoken about the issue, in the interview just published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, his take is not exactly encouraging.

Here's the relevant excerpt, as reported in Vatican Insider's account:

Speaking about the horrific abuse of children by priests, Francis said “the cases of abuse are terrible because they leave very deep wounds”.  Benedict XVI “was very courageous and opened a road, and the Church has done a lot on this route, perhaps more than all others”, he stated. He noted that the statistics reveal the tremendous violence against children, but also that the vast majority of abuse takes place in the milieu of the family and those close to them.  The Church is the only public institution to have moved “with transparency and responsibility”, he said; no one else has done as much as it, “but the Church is the only one to be attacked”.

Oh brother.

Francis is not the first defender of the church to speak as though it's obvious that sexual abuse is rampant in any organization you can name, and we just don't hear about it because the media hates the Church. There have been revelations of abuse and cover-up in other institutions: scouting, private schools, Hasidic communities. But it isn't just distorted perspective that makes the church's sex-abuse problems stand out: it's the scale of the abuse and the mishandled response, the persistence of the problem, and the lack of transparency and responsibility that has made the church's scandal such a mainstay in the media for so long. Then, too, there's the fact that the church is a church, which ups the conscience-shocking factor. And it's a church with a very strong, very visible authority structure, so when leaders commit crimes -- or fail to admit mistakes -- it reflects badly on everyone and everything.

If the church's leaders have responded with compassion, transparency, and a willingness to reform -- and some have, but not everywhere, and not consistently -- it was only after decades of foot-dragging and an understandable but regrettable impulse to downplay from the enormity of the problem. The extent to which the Catholic Church today represents a threat to the well-being of children is often exaggerated, and the subject of sexual abuse is exploited by people eager to discredit religion in general and Catholicism in particular. It's frustrating. But it's a situation we brought on ourselves, and complaining about it now is no way to fix things. And make no mistake: things haven't been fixed. I'm hoping the pope knows that, or will soon speak to someone who can tell him so.

Speaking of missed opportunities:

Asked why he doesn’t speak about the so-called “non-negotiable values”, particularly in the field of bioethics and sexual morality, Pope Francis stumped the interviewer by telling him, “I have never understood the expression ‘non-negotiable values’.  Values are values. Full stop! I cannot say that among the fingers of a hand there is one more useful than another. So I do not understand in what sense there can be negotiable values”.

If only he had thought to ask George Weigel about that when he met with him earlier this week!
Surely Weigel would have been happy to explain.

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I read your link and the above timelne.I'm still not getting it.Did Ratigan actually take PORN pictures of young girls or NOT?Was Murphy horrified at the prospect that he had-or that he could have or might? If Murphy knew he had -then Murphy knew Ratican had committed a crime and so he Murphy did do  the right thing in notifying the police.. Why should  Finn after talking to Ratican which was by right a private matter pre-emptively   notify the police that Ratigan had done anything illigal when he did not have evidence to support that claim?He was right to be looking out for Ratican as all he had was a principal saying he behaved inappropriately-which is subjective and Finn cannot just go call the polce based on someone saying that.That apparrently the law says he should have is to me rather chilling. Finn did take the matter seriously when [months later?] Ratigan admitted  liking porn pictures of young girls[pre pubescent or young teens, i wonder, which also is significant or should be in determining what a pedophile is,but that's another issue,Though if young teens then Finn may have factored that into his impulse to want to  look out for Ratican]..For which he was remanded to a shrink and removed from contact with children and prohibited from being around them Why should Finn tell theVincentians that Ratican was sent there because of his sex addiction to porn?I'm sure they probabaly realized that  he was sent there for a sex problem reason.. He Finn was looking out to do the least harm to Ratigan as Ratigan was, so far anyway deemed to be having a problem with porn involving young girls -but that was as far as it went.Had the principal caught him commiting a crime she would have called the police.So perhaps Ratigans claim that she was out to get him was true?Though she accurately perceived he was attrcted to young girls.Why should Finn second guess the shrinks assesment that Ratigan though attracted to children was not a danger to children?He was removed from being with them and that seemed suffiecient as the chancellors investigation was proceeding.It could very well be accurate that his problem stemed from lonliness and  he had anough sense and ethics to never harm a child.Unless i got it wrong-has he ever actually molested children?Taking a picture ,unless it IS porn is not illigal.Lewd is not porn.These distinctions matter when someone's freedom,there whole future   is on the line. Though it turns out he did posess illigal porn pictures  and that is why he's in prison.it still seems to pan out that Ratigan did not abuse children himself.Unless i'm wrong and Ratican actually TOOK PORN pictures of girls. Again if the principal had evidence of illigal pictures they should have called the police .Acting "inappropriately" warrants action and Finn took appropriate action[IMO] .There was no reason after talking to Ratigan to believe the principal more then Ratigan who said she had it in for him.The pictures had not surfaced.He was letting the chancery do their investigation.What was the hurry?I'm still not clear what child abuse he Ratigan engaged in that got him convicted[was it taking porn pictures, lewd,pictures, downloading porn pictures, actual physical sex abuse?]

What does it take for the scales to fall? 

Finn: “I regret and am sorry for the hurt that these events have caused.” Not that “my inaction” caused.

All was blamed on “process and procedures;” by whom is never specified in his statement. Two priests asserted that after his conviction, he denied he did anything wrong. I have the link to NYT 12-2-12, but worry about exceeding my limit here for links.

Maybe some interesting history:

By having a judge rule on the charge of failure to report, a trial requiring witnesses to testify was avoided. No chance for the IT person to testify about her deposition that she somehow recanted a month before the expected trial:  

“In her deposition, Creech recounted a meeting with Finn about the diocese’s response to the discovery of hundreds of lewd photographs of young girls on Ratigan’s laptop.

‘He did indicate that, you know, sometimes priests do things that they shouldn’t, and he said, you know, he said, ‘Sometimes boys will be boys,’?” Creech testified., Creech recounted a meeting with Finn about the diocese’s response to the discovery of hundreds of lewd photographs of young girls on Ratigan’s laptop.

“He did indicate that, you know, sometimes priests do things that they shouldn’t, and he said, you know, he said, ‘Sometimes boys will be boys,’?” Creech testified.”

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2012/09_10/2012_09_01_Morris_RecantedDeposition.htm

The Diocese paid $600,00 to the family whose two-year old daughter's crotch was a subject of Ratigan's photos. Are those being dispersed today on the internet?

See the Ratigan page on BishopAccountability to get an easy to follow timeline:  http://www.bishop-accountability.org/assign/Ratigan_Rev_Shawn_Francis.htm

The interchanges here are fascinating cameos of peoples' views. 

Ms. Caminer: " I read your link and the above timelne.I'm still not getting it.Did Ratigan actually take PORN pictures of young girls or NOT?

YES, Ratigan took porn photos on many occasions. Please excuse the caps; they seem necessary. Kudos to BishopAccountability for their invaluable resources and the time they spend to present countless cases in an easy-to-use format.

Read about each count in his indictment:

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/07_08/2011_08_10_Kendall_C...

Read the Ratigan page link I sent above and use the handy links to access the back-up pages on :

Kansas City

 In May 2011 investigators discovered a CD withpornographic images of a 3 or 4 year old girlaccompanied by a receipt dated 4-30-2004. The CD was in an envelope marked "S. Ratigan."

Easton

 Images of child pornography were found in May 2011 on a computer Ratigan had used while at this parish.

 Ratigan was accused in a Sept. 2011 lawsuit of taking pornographic pictures of a girl beginning in 2008. The girl was a student at St. Joseph's school; he often visited her and her family in their home between 2006-2011. Among other things, Ratgan is said to have posed the girl in sexually explicit ways while she was sleeping. Ratigan is said to have uploaded the pictures onto his computer, and then to the internet.

Kansas City

 Dec. 16, 2010 a computer repair person found child pornography on Ratigan's computer. The repairman told church officials, who gave the computer to the diocese's computer expert to review.

 Diocesan officials were warned of Ratigan's inappropriate behavior with children by St. Patrick's school principal in a five-pagememo in May 2010. This was a year before the diocese filed a police report. The memo included, among others, concerns about Ratigan's picture taking, his obsession with a fifth grade girl, and that a parent found a pair of girl's panties in a planter in the priest's yard.

 In a June 2011 lawsuit Ratigan was accused of engaging in sexually explicit conduct with a 2 to 3 year-old girl from 2006 to 2010.

 Ratigan was accused in a November 2012 lawsuit of engaging a girl in sexually explicit conduct from 2009-2011, when the girl was 10-12 years-old.

Independence

 Ratigan was accused in a Nov. 2011 lawsuit of taking photos with his cell phone of a 10 year-old girl underneath the table while having dinner with her family in their home. Members of St. Patrick's parish, the family reached out to Ratigan after learning of his carbon monoxide "accident". They said the diocese asked parishioners to pray for Ratigan, but did not say that child pornography had been found on his computer, or that he had attempted suicide. Ratigan is said to have contacted the girl via Facebook, which led to the family inviting him to dinner.

 Ratigan was accused of having takenpornographic photos of a 12 year-old girl on Easter Sunday, 2011. Federal prosecutors in Aug. 2011 said Ratigan had vicitmized this same girl when she was 6 years old by photographing her crotch with her panties pulled aside.

 In an Aug. 2011 lawsuit, Ratigan was accused of taking sexually explicit photos of a girl attending an Easter egg hunt, that Ratigan hosted, on the Sisters' property in April of that year

Well you made the case Carolyn against Ratigan..That he uploaded the picture on the internet is pornography traficking.For that alone he deserves inprisonment. 

rose-ellen  --

And Bishop Finn was rightly convicted too.  Surely you must see now that a man who resists facts as pig-headedly as he has done should be removed from his position of trust so that he can't repeat his terrible mistakes.  

Agreed, Ann, but I am not holding my breath.

Finn has a bevy of legal and PR talent behind him who orchestrated it all very well for him. He continues the bishops' PR strategy developed early on --- by Binder Associates, as I recall, before Dallas in 2002.

I believe that psychiatrist was very carefully chosen; is not board certified if memory serves. I suspect he is certainly out of the mainstream of evaluation and treatment by any general understanding. I consider his inability to see through Ratigan is instructive.

What our AG found applies broadly to Finn and other dioceses: willful blindness, conscious ignorance and flagrant indifference to the dangers of abusers. Finn was focused on "saving Ratigan's priesthood" and his problem was "only pornography" to quote Msgr. Murphy about Finn's comments to him. That's the same Finn, who wrote a special paper on the dangers of pornography. And recall his comment to the IT manager that "boys will be boys."

No wonder those priests reported Finn told them after ihs conviction that he did nothing wrong. More disturbing is that he probably genuinely believes that of himself. IMHO, such limited capacity for insight!

Grant did an outstanding job of deconstructing the rationalizations of Finn and his supporters, but I am out of energy to find the link. The end, for me. Thank you to so many for commenting. I am very appreciate\ive for a note today from a priest who is a survivor currently in ministry. Bless him, and also those survivors and family members in Finn's diocese who came forward under such difficult circumstances.

Carolyn --

Thanks to you, dear one, for your many years working to correct these problems and for your courage in speaking out clearly when others didn't dare. 

If anyone here doesn't know about Carolyn's great work, check out this article in the Nashua Telegraph

Disco wins honor - NashuaTelegraph.com

www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/.../disco-wins-honor.html

 

"Snap out of it!"That's exaclty what in my fantasy I'd love to hear someone say to the now adult sex abuse club,I means " survivors group".I'd love to hear them being told that maybe their "post traumatic stress disorder" could be alleviated if they were to channel it by having enounters with today's children ,who are todays victims of wars, atrocities such as refugees have experienced,have been witness to, such as children in lthe Congo forced to become child soldiers,children in cancer wards ,children in North Korean prisons etc.yes it's right and good that justice be done  about their past  abuse and the church's crimes.it is being done and it is right that they have a voice in the reforms .However ,enough with this preocupation with their past with the way the church was corrupt then.Yes thanks to them and their courage in coming forward  reforms and a change of culture is taking place.The problem was so extensive that perfect justice, routing out every person who ever covered up ,is not necessary and makes us at this point  hateful if not  petty, and obsessivly vindictive. We all experience the powerlessness in the face of reality,of evil.That it happened to them years ago by the church  is a scandal and needed to be exposed and called  out for justice.Enough with cries for justice for every person who may  have done the wrong thingand covered up  in the past. Evil happens to day, to children,horrible atrocities are ongoing in many parts of the world,children suffer in cancer wards,children suffer  profoundly today   and it is their suffering their ongoing suffering  that these survivors should reach out in empathy to, in solidarity with.This preoccupation with being a survivor of past sexual abuse is inauthentic.

The snap "out of it" line was a respone to a previous post:page 1,march 6,11:37a.m.,by J. Jenkins.That's where I thought my above  post would appear. 

Rose-Ellen, you should go and listen to sex abuse survivors. 

 

Ms. Caminar - sorry, what you wrote is sad from many different stances.  Talk about lack of mercy, forgiveness, understanding, etc.

Sexual abuse by a cleric is also, at times, described as *soul murder* which is what some victims experience (whether you agree or not).

Your caricature of sexual abuse groups is also sad (do you believe everything that Bill Donohue states?).

So, let's apply your remedy to your own words and response - *Ms. Caminar, just get over it*

Doubt you will read this but page 15 highlights why your comment is both insensitive and ignorant:\

http://www.awrsipe.com/Philly_Grand_Jury/grand_jury_report.pdf

Ms. Disco - found the article about the psychiatrist, Richard Fitzgibbons.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/16/3270664/psychiatrist-who-examined-ratigan.html

He is a member of: 

Opus Bono Sacerdotii - the nonprofit organization provides services to accused and imprisoned priests, including financial, legal and emotional support.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/11/16/3270664/psychiatrist-who-examined-ratigan.html#storylink=

Ms. Caminar - as you say: "Enough with cries for justice for every person who may  have done the wrong thingand covered up  in the past.".   So, does this also apply to this group?

Finally, you say - "That it happened to them years ago by the church  is a scandal and needed to be exposed and called  out for justice.  This preoccupation with being a survivor of past sexual abuse is inauthentic."

- Ms. Caminar - it didn't just happen in the distant past;  it is still happening every day!!!  *Inauthentic* would be for victims to do what you advocate - you obviouly don't have a counseling background.

               

 

 

 

It's quite possible that the Holy Father has room to grow in his appreciation of the nature, scope and urgency of the sex abuse crisis.  I suppose some impatience on our part is understandable.

So what to do about this?  If I may, I suggest we frame our response in such a way that it's clear that Francis is *our* guy, and that we are stakeholders in his getting this right.  I don't think the right response on our part is to blast him for not measuring up to our standards, wash our hands of him and his papacy, and stomp off grumbling into the night.  Certainly, some people will react this way.  Without disputing that such folks have a perfect right to react this way, it seems to me that such a reaction essentially says, It's not our problem, it's their problem.  Francis and the church become them, rather than us.

I would guess that many of us, in adulthood, have had experiences with our own parents as they age, in trying to help them understand and cope with something that is difficult or puzzling in contemporary life.  Our parents can be fonts of wisdom on many, many topics and yet still not know how to turn on the HD channel for the football game, or know how to renew their drivers licenses online.  And so we help them, without loving them less, but recognizing that they have gaps and need our help.  That may be how it is with Francis on this topic.

Just my own line of thought.

 

Of course my" snap out of it "comment does not apply to abuse against children happening today.Whether clerical or anywhere else.That is my point; these adult  survivors should channel their memories of their traumatic past experiences by focusing on children today who are suffering from all kinds of evil including sexual abuse.That could bring them out of their neurosis as experinecing empathy for children suffering today  and working to stop it might replace there railing at their past,And  at the church for not having "brought to justice" every sngle person who in the past covered up..Of course an orgainization that helps prisoners or people awaiting trial is warranted.Clergy as well as laity.To not see the difference between an orgainzation that is helping people who are in prison or who face a trial that could convict them to life in prison, and an organization that irails about the fact that bad things happened to them long ago. shows disordered thinking. 

rose-ellen --
You need to take very seriously what William Faulkner famously said in his Nobel Priize speech: "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past".

Ouch, my tongue hurts from biting it; not taking the bait,.

 

Thank you, Jim P.

Robert Mickens wrote something hopeful.

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/1689/reform-rebuild-and-renew 

Jim P.,

I am by no means giving up on Pope Francis. He still seems like fresh air after a long time in a stuffy room. But I very much hope that he will hear about the negative reaction to this portion of the interview, and that he will take it to heart. I don't have a mandate to advise popes, but there are many people who have a solid understanding of what has been happening. I hope he will speak with them and read what they have written; then pray for guidance. And since he clearly likes to be among his people and bring what comfort he can to those who are suffering, I hope he will seek out some of the victims of abuse and listen to their stories and their anguish.

It is no good being defensive or trying to minimize what has happened. A great stain and shame has come upon the Church, and it has come from within. That must be fully owned and acknowledged.

The first action, I think, must be to take every reasonable measure to assure that the abuse has in fact stopped and will stay stopped in every Catholic parish and diocese in the world. Only the pope has the reach to insist on that. Then let the Church's care for the abused be ungrudging and generous.

Within the Church, a careful and courageous examination of clerical culture is in order to see if some weakness in the selection or formation of candidates for the priesthood, or in the expectations placed upon them, has contributed to the problem. It certainly—but sadly—is past time to discard the naive assumption that it's okay to leave one child alone with one adult as long as the adult is called Father. And bishops should examine their motivations singly and in conference, paying special attention to the utter disaster that has come from trying to protect the Church by hushing up or downplaying sexual abuse.

Nothing is more important for the Church right now than dealing humbly and forthrightly with this great sin.

John  - right on, on every single point.

Carolyn, thanks for referring us to the Robert Mickens article.  It's more than hopeful.  Fwiw, the article seems to have moved to a different URL since you provided the link.  This one worked for me:

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/1689/0/reform-rebuild-and-renew

 

The past may not be dead but once the victims have been heard, their suffering acknowledged,the sins of clergy admitted and mea culpas expressed,once  many  abusers have been brought to justice[,not all of course but we have  statutes of ilmitiations for everything except murder,if we did not then anyone can say anything about anyone at any point and life would be made hell for everyone],the persistent need to uncover every possible past  abuser,as opposeed to current,of course, now proably old ,sick or dead,,every possible cover up, becomes no longer about sufferings of the past  and the legitimate need for justice but is now about inauthentic refusal to acknowedge reality.Tthe initial legitimate demads have been met; acknowedging the crimes, meeting with victims, apologies ,prosecutions and reforms.The victims' refusal to believe that the church has turned a new leaf, is inauthentic. It's ideological.Nothing will ever saitisfy these people because the sex abuse scandal is their life, it gives meaning to their lives, and whatever the church does to make amends cannot satify them because then they would have to cease that fight.It's hard to move on when your whole life has been about one thing;a monumental scandal,involving sex, power,abuse, cover up , the noble  David going up against the   Goliaths in the name of justice.Being a David is  noble.They want to be davids even when golliath is being dismantled and defeated. it's all they know.and all they want to know as that gives meaning to their lives;a ready made neverending war and they're the noble  warriors fighting  evil.The war is over ;the church has recognized and taken on the reality of its past crimes;it's criminal culure, against children but they refuse to admit that and will not rest till every person who they suspect covered up gets thrown out of office or prosecuted.That could mean just about everyone[ if you go fishing in a past  culture that has admitted it 's policy was to defacto cover up],a scorced earth policy  in the name of "justice",no mercy.The refusal to see that the war is actually  over in todays  reformed,contrite church heirarchy is self serving; inauthentic.

You state:

"..... but once the victims have been heard, their suffering acknowledged,the sins of clergy admitted:

Well, that's the point.....they haven't been heard even today.  Have you been reading about the archdiocese of St.Paul-Minneapolis and Archbishop Neinstendt.  Example - just this past month, diocese finally revealed a current priest who has been abusing for decades despite numerous victims coming forward (earlier excellent posts/timeline here at dotCommonweal via Grant Gallicho); have you been keeping up with the Australian Royal Commission that is in hearings right now - yesterday, Cardinal Pell admitted that victims had rights to sue, etc. but it had been quashed by the church and that victims had been silenced; one could go on and on and on

"......mea culpas expressed,once  many  abusers have been brought to justice...."

Again, mea culpas are meaningless if there is no accountability or responsibility - it is merely words.  Again, the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis is a prime example of meaningless mea culpas and that abusers have not been brought to justice.  Again, many other examples could be brought forward.

"statutes of limitations" - unfortantely, this only refers to criminal charges - then, we have civil suits; we have the church's responsibility to continue to protect children (no matter what the SOL is).  Your statement reveals real confusion on the various levels.

"....legitimate need for justice but is now about inauthentic refusal to acknowedge reality"  Obviously, victims are not going to feel like there has been any type of legitimate JUSTICE if folks merely dismiss the issues using SOL as the convenient excuse.  Would suggest that the inauthentic refusal to acknowledge reality lies more with many bishops and dioceses - not the victims.  (example - Pell finally admitting that victims can sue the church after 25 years of stonewalling - talk about inauthentic refusal to acknowledge reality)

"Tthe initial legitimate demads have been met; acknowedging the crimes, meeting with victims, apologies ,prosecutions and reforms."    Really, do you know how many of the 280+ current bishops have met with victims?  How many have publically apologized?  You do know that the 2002 US Bishops Child Protection Policy says nothing about the behaviors of bishops; refuses to hold them accountable, etc. Why have less than 25 US dioceses posted the names of all confirmed abusers?

"The war is over ;the church has recognized and taken on the reality of its past crimes;it's criminal culure,...."   Again, reality shows that the war is far from over - - you sound like what the German chanceller said about Putin and Uknraine - "he is not in the real world"  Actually, would suggest that in the face of known facts, your continued denials and ignorance are the real inauthentic and self-serving statements. 

I do not support Bill Donahue I cringe when he speaks.I believe I do not lack mercy or understanding of victims.I know they suffer  now .I do believe however that their suffering today is not the result of abuse ,Though intitially the suffering was about abuse. It then became the lack of  being heard,their sheer invisibility as they were powerless and up against a formidable instituion. They had no voice.Reality was deniied by the perpetrators not by them..Once  the church acknowedged the  reality,their sins,the vctims wanted  accountability for the perpetrators.Those were  legitimate  needs that these victims had and for which they suffered at not having these autehtic needs met. Today however their suffering is not about that. it is more about the fact that  their role as victims crying our for justice is actually  being met albeit not perfectly becuse the crimes  was so extensive and covered so much time and place,  and they have not found a new role for themselves.The only way out of that is to cling to the old role;to tell themselves and the rest of the church that they will not rest till every abuser or every one who covered  up is hunted down and thrown out of office or prosecuted.But  that will not alleviate their suffering because that is no longer the reason they suffer. If every person were thrown out of the heirarchy they would still not be satisfied.They suffer today from being a warrior still fighting a fight when their opponent has surrendered.They cannot and will not see that because this fight gives meaning to them.The suffering is real but it is about their inability to stop feeding the beast.[their maginary enemy that continuously must be fought]].The beast has grown because they feed it.not because it wants to harm them.I do feel bad that they suffer,I think they would suffer less if they would channel their suffering to more contructive endevors like working with todays victims or working with the hierarchy for church reforms that interest them I think that's good psycholgy as well as living a Christ centered life.

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/bill-donohue-stands-his-man

You incessantly repeat your meme:  "I do believe however that their suffering today is not the result of abuse ,Though intitially the suffering was about abuse. It then became the lack of  being heard,their sheer invisibility as they were powerless and up against a formidable instituion. They had no voice.Reality was deniied by the perpetrators not by them..Once  the church acknowedged the  reality,their sins,the vctims wanted  accountability for the perpetrators."

Reality - you twist the facts just like Big Bill Donohue.

 

 

I'm sorry I'm being put in the same league with Donahue and His Catholic League whose  paranoid  gripes and greiviences against the secular culture from day one   I found even more petty,and inauthentic then todays sexual abuse survivors neverending gripes and demands of the heirarchy.Though if I tried I'm sure I could find that even  he can say something true too.

The fact that they've changed the culture by taking reforms so that going FORWARD these abuses and coverups will not be tolerated [turning over a new leaf] and the fact that there have been priests tried and convicted and bishops no longer presiding over a dioscese  and that  many met with abusers, and popes and bishops have expressed contriton and apologied, should suffice.So now it's about every bishop meeting every victim?You keep coming up with NEW demands.Which shows the warring nature of the survivors. When they apologize you don't believe them.Yet then demand more bishops apoliogize.The pope has just  spoken  out and you're raking him over the coals already.You complain about centralization yet demand every diocese have the same policy of publishing names of abusers.As if your conscious is the only one with any validity.And of course the published names can be gotten by anyone anywhere.Not all parisheners of all disocese have the same perspective you do about publishing bishops names.You want to dictate.Why would a policy about child protection going forward include anything about bishops accountability and failures of the past?And no document can reasonably ever say that going foward  one person automatically is /will be  responsible for another persons behavior.That demand itself highlights  the warring   nature of those making these  demands.Do you  want more trilals?Going back  decades?You're in the real world of the PAST and won't accept that yes there are bishops who covered up and because that was part of the culture of the time, are not going to be removed.The sins,the crimes  have been admitted to, The reforms are in the works and until a new crop of bishops come through the ranks, most likely appointed by the laity such as abuse survivors themselves,, there will be bishops with a past in place.We all have a past;as  people,as sinners  in the church The church is not the state.But if  I'm Putin you're the inquisition.Or the communist purges of China and Russia.[just kidding]IThey're not hiding behind the statutes of limitation,they're abiding by them.That shows mercy for the bishops yes.Once the criminal culture  has been admitted to ,that is appropriate.The church heirarchy has done that.That's what we the  church is called to do.Victims and abusers alike are called to be merciful.Our model is not the state.

The fact that they've changed the culture by taking reforms so that going FORWARD these abuses and coverups will not be tolerated [turning over a new leaf] and the fact that there have been priests tried and convicted and bishops no longer presiding over a dioscese  and that  many met with abusers, and popes and bishops have expressed contriton and apologied, should suffice.So now it's about every bishop meeting every victim?You keep coming up with NEW demands.Which shows the warring nature of the survivors. When they apologize you don't believe them.Yet then demand more bishops apoliogize.The pope has just  spoken  out and you're raking him over the coals already.You complain about centralization yet demand every diocese have the same policy of publishing names of abusers.As if your conscious is the only one with any validity.And of course the published names can be gotten by anyone anywhere.Not all parisheners of all disocese have the same perspective you do about publishing bishops names.You want to dictate.Why would a policy about child protection going forward include anything about bishops accountability and failures of the past?And no document can reasonably ever say that going foward  one person automatically is /will be  responsible for another persons behavior.That demand itself highlights  the warring   nature of those making these  demands.Do you  want more trilals?Going back  decades?You're in the real world of the PAST and won't accept that yes there are bishops who covered up and because that was part of the culture of the time, are not going to be removed.The sins,the crimes  have been admitted to, The reforms are in the works and until a new crop of bishops come through the ranks, most likely appointed by the laity such as abuse survivors themselves,, there will be bishops with a past in place.We all have a past;as  people,as sinners  in the church The church is not the state.But if  I'm Putin you're the inquisition.Or the communist purges of China and Russia.[just kidding]IThey're not hiding behind the statutes of limitation,they're abiding by them.That shows mercy for the bishops yes.Once the criminal culture  has been admitted to ,that is appropriate.The church heirarchy has done that.That's what we the  church is called to do.Victims and abusers alike are called to be merciful.Our model is not the state.

The story in 2002: going forward from the Dallas charter, these abuses and cover-ups were not going to be tolerated. 

Taking stock of reality twelve years later: (1) if a bishop chooses to not tolerate abuses and coverups, then they are not tolerated. (2) If the bishop commits abuse, then it is not tolerated by the Vatican and he is suspended. (3) If the bishop tolerates abuses and participate in coverups, then nothing happens.

Example of (3): Bp. Finn. Moreover, Bp. Finn wrote an incendiary letter against porn, then covered up for a priest guilty of porn. Bp. Finn said he was sorry etc., then said in private that he had done nothing wrong. Bp. Finn was tried and convicted of coverup, then the Vatican left him in charge of his diocese. Bp. Finn is an examplary case that a new leaf has not been turned and that bishops have expressed contrition but not been actually contrite.

Rose Ellen, you do not appreciate what PTSD is.  It is a brain injury and when triggered, has more to do with a convulsion (involuntary) than thoughts and/or feelings.  It is NOT a psychological disorder---it is neurological.   "Snap out of it," does not compute in such a universe.  "What's going on?" and "How can we help?" are functionally responsive questions.  

I had a relative, an academically brilliant and socially promising young man, who fought in WWI. We don't have the details of his war experiences, but shortly after the war one day he got his gun out and started shooting at Germans on sight. He then spent the next 50 years of his life (until his death) with a round-the-clock nurse. I knew him a little when he was old and I was a little child. If his wife had only thought of telling him to "just snap out of it" -those memories from the now distant past-, she could have spared herself and himself a lifetime of suffering!

I believe PTSD exists for experiences of physical violence such as  of war, or of  any situation of prolonged extreme non physical,psychological abuse. I do not believe PTSD exists for childhood experiences of sexual contact.Excluding [violent] rape of course.Though sexual molestation  is experienced as traumaic to a child, once a child reaches adulthood and is awakened sexually him/herself ,the previous nameless, experience ,that lacked context, understanding ,words ,is recognized .The now  awakened  sexual adult can look back on the experience and be angry at the deceitful abuse by a  perverted adult that violated him/her.And angry at the powefful instituion that  added insult to injury by refusing to recognize there was a  victimi That is cause for legitimate anger and rage against such people and the  system and drives victims  to want  justice .But that is not PTSD.The memry of the experience itself is remembered as having been  traumatic but i do not believe it is activated as real flashbacks on par with a PTSD response that causes mental illness.The memory  now has a context  for the now adult victim,a mitigating of the experience;what was then namesless and beyond the pale of the childs normal world,,now is given words ;the perv was getting off sexually .he's  a perv"a dirty old man" meme, I was his victim.The now adult   knows what that experience means,is;sexual gratification.That is different from the abject  horror of purely physical violence people experience in war ,accidents even, and violent abuse, including [violent ]rape.There is no mitigating experiences of physical violence,no ;this is about that;It's irriducible.In childhood sexual molestation what was happening,even though it was wrong and traumatizing it has context; sexuality, which the now adult recognizes and is not horrified of.Sexuality perhaps is also irriduclble  but it is not abject horror like physical violence iinherently is. If  they claim they are experiencing PTSD about it, it is because of other mental illnesses.That's my take .I don't care what the shrinks say about it.We're all psychologists if we live long enough.And we all experience flash backs of experiences that for whatever reason impacted us. We all can have visceral responses[neurological as you say] that are the result of past experiences.That's part of living.But yes; "what's goin on,how can i help" is always appropriate to any suffering .

Gee whiz, rose-ellen, I'm 83, and that's not what my non-academically certified psychology has taught me. What qualifies your experience as superior ro that of most other old people, the old, highly experienenced law enforcement officers, social workers and journalists, not to mention all those parents of abused children? You must have known many adults who were abused as children. How many confided in you enough to make you deviate from the (according to you) so-called
experts? Tell us the facts.

Rose-Ellen, here is a page that might be an interesting read: http://www.snapnetwork.org/what_to_do_when_your_priest_is_accused_of_abuse

Excerpts:

1) Remain open-minded. 

2) Pray for all parties involved. 

3) Let yourself feel whatever emotions arise.

4) Remember that abuse, sadly, is quite common.

5) Don't try to "guess" or figure out who the accuser is.

6) If you do know the victim(s), protect his/her confidentiality.

7) Understand that abuse victims often have "troubled" backgrounds (i.e. drug or alcohol problems, criminal backgrounds, etc.)

Instead of undermining the credibility of accusers, these difficulties actually enhance their credibility. (When someone is physically hurt, there are almost always clear signs of harm; so too with sexual abuse. The harm is reflected largely in self-destructive behaviors. One might be skeptical of a person who claimed to have been run over by a truck but showed no bodily injury. Similarly, one might be skeptical of an alleged molestation victim who always acted like a "model citizen.")

8) Don't allow the mere passage of time to discredit the accusers. 

9) Ask your family members and friends if they were victimized.

10) Mention the accusation to former parishioners and parish staff now living elsewhere.

11) Contact the police or prosecutors. 

12) Don't allow other parishioners to make disparaging comments about those making the allegation.

Remember, the sexual abuse of children has terribly damaging effects. As a Christian, you want to help prevent such victimization. And you want anyone who is in pain to get help as soon as possible. Critical comments about those who make allegations only discourage others who may have been hurt. Such remarks prevent those who need help from reaching out and getting it. Show your compassion for abuse victims. Tell your fellow parishioners that hurtful comments are inappropriate. Remind them that they can defend their priest without attacking his accuser.

13) Educate yourself and your family about sexual abuse. 

14) Support the accused priest PRIVATELY.

15) Don't be blinded by the pain you can see.

16) Try to put yourself in the shoes of the alleged victim.

17) Use this painful time as an opportunity to protect your own family.

18) Turn your pain into helpful action. 

19) Keep in mind the fundamental choice you face.

20) Ask your pastor to bring in an outside expert or a therapist who can lead a balanced discussion about sexual abuse.

21) Urge your bishop, pastor and other diocesan or parish employees to follow these guidelines too.

 

How much cash do you need?

  You are correct.  Words alone mean nothing as long as these multi-million dollar cash awards are dispensed.  You want this scandal to end?  Stop giving these people money!

If the Pope cannot defend the Church, it's time to appoint a new one.   The only way that this "Scandal" will end is when the Church stops giving these people money. 

I've always admired Carolyn Disco and VOTF members who contnue to "keep the faith" while trying  to "change the church."

After several years in VOTF, I left the church becaue I was tired of being angry.  My faith in God is stonger than ever thanks to  retreats and daily meditation practices, but I don't ever want to belong to an "institution" again.

I'm praying for Francis but agree with Tom Doyle's opinion piece in NCR -  the last  thing clergy abuse victims need is another commision led by a bishop. 

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