Thursday, February 28, 2013

Father Scapegoat and the pedophile next door to the Church

The Lowell Sun reported on a Court Appearance of a young man who is charged with having child pornography. The man charged lives just around the corner to Saint Michael's, my parish. Numerous students from Saint Michael's School and the Robinson School walk back and forth to school each day. At the intersections closer to Bridge St, there are bus stops. Also from walking by this place of residence there are several children that live close by, if not next door.

The great majority of citizens in our communities are NOT PEDOPHILES, but we are unable to distinguished who is a threat and who isn't. Over the years we've characterizes pedophiles, as priests. We numb ourselves away from the severe gravity of the real problem, by simply telling ourselves stay away from the man dressed in black who is wearing a collar. "They're all pervs, because they don't get married."

The Anchoress addresses this in "Priestly Celibacy and Earthbound Thinking"
I do love my husband’s response to a woman who was carrying on to him about how celibacy was the whole cause and catalyst for our terrible scandals. He asked her, “have you had periods of your life when you’ve been celibate?” She said, “of course!” He then said, “and during those periods, did you feel like you wanted to have sex with kids?” She got the point.

In our culture that has severed sexuality from love and procreation, we have a secular culture that mocks not only celibate priests but bullies virgins, and even married couples who don't use contraception as being 'out of touch', as oppose to just respect the organic nature of human sexuality.

Then there is this from a lapse Catholic from Australia who is critical of those who paint Priests as pedophiles, even critical of those who monitor accusations against priests, but refuse to go after non-priests. In his community, the comic book store owner was a pedophile, but no one did anything. It was years until he finally got caught. Father Scapegoat Joe Dolce

However, in fact, family members are the ones most guilty of sexually abusing children. Experts disagree on the rate of sexual abuse among the general American male population, but Allen says a conservative estimate is one in ten. Margaret Leland Smith, a researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says her review of the numbers indicates it’s closer to one in five. But in either case, the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than these national estimates. The public also doesn’t realize how “profoundly prevalent” child sexual abuse is, adds Smith. Even those numbers may be low. Most child abusers have one thing in common, and it’s not piety—it’s pre-existing relationships with their victims. That includes priests and ministers and rabbis, of course, but also family members, friends, neighbours, teachers, coaches, scout leaders and doctors. According to federal studies, most abuse occurs at the hands of family members or others in the victim’s “circle of trust”.

I am not defending what has occurred within the Catholic Church, but critics of the Church are oblivious that the problem isn't just within the Catholic Church. This problem is everywhere, and now it is asked are you interested in breaking this cycle of sexual abuse or are you more interested in exploiting the sexual abuse of children for your own personal dislike of the Catholic Church?

The chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat, or sacrificial offering, and their public flogging, exile or death becomes the redemption for the larger group’s real unacknowledged problem that remains unaddressed and dormant. Until the next time.


  1. Nicely put.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  2. I know of two priests who had accusations from three decades ago come out to dog them. Eventually, unable to make a three decade old accusation stick, suddenly, a present day claimant appears and the priest is banished. My question focuses on the notion that pedophilia or teen rape or assault is far too nefarious a compulsion to sit dormant for 30 yrs. Have you ever witnessed what I describe occuring? Are certain priests scapegoated for some reason.

  3. I was speaking in the most general form, that people may assume that any priest in particular is a pedophile. But I've seen and witness a priest being accused, and his name paraded out in the news only to have the accuser to then be uncooperative. Meanwhile the priest is unable to publicly be a priest even after it being resolved and is later put on retired status even though otherwise he has been cleared.