If there was one crime in society that could be said to be the most perverse, it would surely be the sexual assault of an innocent
child's innocense and faith. So what is it that has caused the most elevated "teachers" in our community to perform the most
perverted crimes so frequently?
'Any average selection of mankind set apart and told that it excels the rest in virtue, must tend to sink below the average'. -
While there are many church clergy in the Roman Catholic Church who clearly defy this description, it would seem appropriate to
those clergymen who battle sexual repression and rigid dogma.
From a very early age the seminarian or novice clergyman is told to eradicate sexual thoughts from his consciousness altogether.
Internal dialogue on sex is discouraged so that many priests grow into middle age with no framework to hang sexual urges or
experiences upon. The number of pedophile priests who cited 'sexual naivete' as some sort of defence to their crimes in court
reports is astounding.
Some religious orders like the Mormons actually publish official instructions on how to avoid masturbation. 'Set a goal of
abstinence. Begin with a day, then a week, month and year....If you masturbate, colour that day black' (on a calendar). Under the
heading of 'Avoiding Temptation', leave the door partly open when on the toilet or in the shower and to 'wear pajamas that are
difficult to open', 'put on several layers of clothing that would be difficult to remove while half asleep', and 'In severe cases, tie a
hand to the bed frame'.
'Employ aversion therapy. To cancel out the pleasurableness (sic) of masturbating, associate something very distasteful with the
act. For example, imagine bathing in a tub of worms and eating some of them'.
Clearly these are extremist views and a form of mind control that is unacceptable to a reasonable adult.
The Catholic Church has quietly and belatedly admitted that attitudes like this around the training of priests can cause problems.
In December 1999, A Catholic Bishop's report called Towards Understanding, suggested that little or no training in the issues of
sexuality and celibacy could contribute to sexual abuse by clergy. However, the report also confirmed that the church had still not
accepted its responsibility in the epidemic of child sexual assaults by suggesting that there was no evidence that the incidence of
abuse of children was greater in the church than in the community at large.
This is clearly and demonstratably untrue. With over 1000 individual child sexual assaults by church clergy acknowledged in the
courts over the past 10 years, the nation's churches constitute the largest employer of pedophiles in the country by a very long
way. Of all sexual abuse cases . the number of children abused by Priests is over 15% and still unknown because of the secrecy
and probability that most victims abused by clergy do not come forward. covictions in the catholic faith and thier duty to God, as
well as the nature of the crime, places these types of victims apart from most Child abuse victims.
In fact this may just be the tip of the iceberg. Consider this.
A study conducted by Professor Freda Briggs, Russell Hawkins and Mary Williams at the University of South Australia found that
of 179 men who were sexually abused as children or convicted child molesters, 15 per cent nominated Catholic priests as their
Previous research conducted by journalist, Jason Bearry, in the US revealed that 15 per cent of all Catholic priests in the US had
sexually molested children in their care, but only a tiny proportion faced charges. According to other news sources, US Catholics
had filed suits against nearly 500 priests in less than a ten year period from 1993 and the church had already paid out millions &
millions of dollars to plaintiffs who could eventually number in the tens of thousands.
And not just in the United States. In 1992, ABC aired an episode entitled The Ultimate Betrayal that claimed at least 15 per cent of
Australian Clergy, sexually abused people in their congregation. I am currently researching britain as well.
Therefore, if there were 20,000 Catholic clergy in the United States. there could well be 3,000 child sex offenders in the church.
More worrying are recent reports from the US that hundreds of Roman Catholic priests have died of AIDS (more on that issue
posted in Albany's New Agenda) and hundreds more are living with HIV. previously an in depth Kansas City Star/Reuters' report
stated that 'priests were dying of AIDS at a rate at least four times that of the general population.' The report quoted estimates from
medical experts, priests and health statistics in drawing its analysis.
The fact that the Church officially outlaws gay sexual relations and opposes the use of condoms says much about the reasons for
such an epidemic.
The statistics and the evidence that we have on hand suggests that the problem is getting worse rather than better.
No other profession has a higher percentage in child sexual abuse statistics to anywhere near the extent that church clergy do.
Their response to increasing criticism on the issue is to point the finger at the sex industry in an attempt to shift their guilt. Sex
crimes and sexual depravity will naturally be found in an industry that deals in sex, they argue. So whenever prostitution or
censorship law reform is on the agenda, Bishops, Cardinals, suburban and country priests all step forward to condemn those
working in the sex industry as immoral and perverse. Politicians continue to bow to the church's so-called 'moral authority' and turn
a blind eye to the real facts about child sexual abuse within the church..
Which I will discuss more in depth, further on in this article.
Clearly there is something about the nature of the sex industry that diminishes child sexual abuse and there is something about
church culture that encourages it.
The job ahead for our legislators and community leaders is to conduct a formal inquiry to determine just what this 'something' is.
On the 6th of June, 1997 and again on the 27th May, 1999, the Eros Foundation wrote letters to the Roman Catholic Church's
parliamentary representative, Senator Brian Harradine outlining the problems of child sexual abuse in the church and asking him to
support an official enquiry. His silence was deafening.
Here in the Capital District, the church has responded to such requests reluctantly, yet has taken steps to open a dialogue, Such as
the Forum at the Albany Law School and one that is scheduled, and up coming at Siena College. I personally had the opportunity
to attend the first. and it would be in my opinion that Silence will and is going to prevail.
Without any engagement on the issue the church is isolated and will continue to make the mistakes of its past. The prosecution of
over 450 sex crimes against it's clergy in 10 short years is overwhelming and damming evidence. The number of victims and cases
continually seems to rise and silence is embedded in thier thought process for putting an end to this crisis by hiding behind the 1st
amendment and separation of church and state.
It is the responsibility of government now to impose that engagement for the good of the community and the good of the church.
Based upon the situation here in New York, in addition to those in other cities and areas that I am aware of, let's consider the pro-
active stance that law enforcement and county/district attorneys are taking in Arizona to be an exception and not the norm. With
the possible exception of Los Angeles, Boston and a few other cities, I am being informed by contacts around the country that the
law enforcement "establishment" is by and large, very reluctant to take on the Church in the form of a local diocese.
Some of that reluctance is of a practical nature due to local laws and statutes which tie the hands of prosecutors. A prime example
of that is "clergy shield" laws that are prevelant in many states and municipalities.
Tragically, there is also a reluctance to pursue and prosecute in other areas due to nothing short of political pressure, corruption,
conflicts of interest and related influences.
Please keep in mind that in many of these other areas and cities, the local establishment of law enforcement was (and perhaps still
is) complicit in assisting in the cover-up and concealment of clergy abuse crimes for decades !!
As criminal as that is and sounds, those members of law enforcement, district attorneys and prosecutors justify their actions or in
this case, "non" actions as being for the overall good of the local community. Here in Albany, many of these professionals are
Catholic themselves or have very strong ties to the local diocese in question. Currently here there is a case, actually several
pending before the Supreme court; The Judge who is presiding over all three cases has publicly stated that he is Catholic and goes
so far to say that his wife is also catholic and teaches for a catholic institution. Is there bias here ?; I couldn't say, but one could
speculate. It seems all over the country, the decks are stacked against victims, there is no justice in the Church and very little can
be found within the laws and courts of this country for this type of abuse that is and has been taking place at an alarming rate in
this country. They view their local diocese and Church as being an integral part of their communities and agressive prosecution of
clergy abuse crimes and related cover-ups as being ultimately detrimental to them.
With much arm-twisting and pressure, lobbying and politics, they are made to "realize" that the stability of their communities and
cities are to a large degree dependent upon the stability of the local diocese.
They seem to believe or buy into the idea that aggressive and visible prosecution can and will affect the stability and health of
Catholic institutions such as various charities, educational institutions and social agencies that pick up the slack and burden that
local governments cannot provide. Going so far as to provide these organizations with federal funding and turning there cheeks to
wrongdoing and not recognizing any accountability. Here in Albany the Catholic Charities Organization which recieves federal
funding has been instrumental in secretly paying off a victim of Clergy abuse on behalf of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.
Was there wrongdoing ?, are they looking into it ?. Not at all. It seems to me that local taxpayers have a right to question
government, and demand accountabilty. Not so much for the actions of this organization, but why taxpayers are footing the bill.
Ok, so the money was "reimbursed" according to the Albany Catholic Diocese, but what about the actions that took place. What if
it was not publicly acknowledged or revealed. Would this have been common practice ?. Was the money reimbursed ? WHERE
OTHER VICTIMS SECRETLY PAID OFF ?, Why would the Lawyer who is representing the Diocese allow himself to sit on the
Board as a Trustee for Catholic Charities taking part in such questionable actions. Aren't there any ethics here ?
I would expect that with the increased emphasis on the federal funding of faith-based initiatives in social charities that reluctance
will only deepen.
Last but certainly not least is the fear that by aggressively pursuing and prosecuting clergy abuse crimes they may lose the
support of Catholic voters or be viewed as being "anti-Catholic" or being a Catholic "Basher".
These beliefs, fears and convictions also still extend to the news media in many cities as they too drag their feet in covering this
horrifying holocaust of decades long cover-up's and concealment of crimes against children.
Personally, I have met and worked with over the last few years several who were and still are highly qualified and motivated to
expose and disclose the true depth and pervasiveness of these crimes and corruptions which extend even to many members of the
American Hierarchy within the Church.
More often than not, these same reporters and journalists have seen their efforts thwarted and stories killed by editors and
producers who succumb to the same pressures that law enforcement and prosecutors have.
For example, here in Albany, New York, there are approximately four Television Stations and three Local News Publications that
attract a large listening and reading audience.
Out of these 7, only ONE has given any meaningful attention and exposure to the clergy sexual abuse crisis as it has been exposed
over the last twelve months. Only ONE !!!!!
Clergy Sexual Abuse, rape, etc. are not issues that should be coveted by politics, measured by ratings or hidden from the public.
These are crimes inflicted on innocent children by people of a great higher expected respect and standard. These are people whom
we trust everyday to deliver Gods word and look out out for our well being and our children.
Hopefully, it will not take another two to three decades before the tide finally turns for us here in the Empire State of New York.
I put this site together with a compassion for all victims as well as a compassion for the Catholic Institution. We need change and
we need acceptance, accountability and forgiveness. Some of this site cleary shows the magnatude of this scandal and other parts
mock the heirarchy of the Church, the laws and the silence.
Intent on grasping for and welcoming all of the above.....I hope it serves it's pupose.
Your Webmaster & Survivor