The most common way that it is made known to the Ordinary that a cleric
may have a sexual disorder such as pedophilia is for a parent of a
child to go to their local Pastor, Chancery official or the Bishop
himself and express concern or make an accusation against a cleric
for sexually touching or molesting their child. To date, this kind
of presentation has been the most helpful one for us all since usually
the parent is Roman Catholic and confused, concerned about the child
and also confused and concerned about the priest or cleric.
Another presentation may be simply an attorney calling the Chancery
and informing the Bishop that a criminal action has been filed or
a civil suit has been filed against one of his clerics. This is a
most distasteful and dangerous way in which the information can come
to the attention of the Ordinary. In general, and please make sure
you understand me here, it has been my experience that such presentations
come only when the Ordinary has already been aware of sexual misbehaviors
before and no action has been taken in the past except perhaps to
move the cleric to a new assignment.
The least common, but most helpful, presentation is when the cleric
himself comes to his Ordinary and admits that he has sexual difficulties
that could endanger himself legally as well as jeopardize the Diocese
as an entity. We have only seen this in the recent past where Ordinaries
have done workshops in their Dioceses educating their clerics and
administrators or schools abou the disease of pedophilia, incest,
physical child abuse. Clerics have come forward after such compassionate
presentations. and asked for help. It is for this reason, and many
others, that I would advise that every Diocese in the U.S. in the
next year have such a presentation done by an attorney, a psychiatrist
who is familiar with this disease (very few psychiatrists know anything
about pedophilia), and the Ordinary himself.

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