Sunday, May 22, 2011

Roman Catholic Church issues John Jay report on Priest sexual abuse. Imposing morality on DNA is a disaster waiting to happen.

By Maurice Lacunza
Karen Terry, spokesperson for the Catholic Church, gave an interview on May 18, 2011 and she read off a list of about 8 or 9 things regarding the causation of priest sexual abuse. The whole thing smacked of a whitewash and a very cleverly worded and intelligent denial of responsibility. If you want to read it and watch the video yourself, go to MSNBC Catholic Church Explains Why Priests aren't Pedophiles.

In essence she cites a laundry list of reasons that priests are no different than any other ordinary sex offender. She explains the difference between having sex with a child who is 10 years old and younger versus having sex with a child that is 10-13 or a child that is 13 years old or more. She claims that the majority of sexual offenses were with children that were post-pubescent or adolescent. Thus, they are not pedophiles according to the standards of the report. Also, these offenders often had dysfunctional adult sexual relationships which proves that they are not pedophiles. Another controversial point is that the 60's sexual revolution caught the priests off guard. They didn't know how to handle their own sexuality and vow to abstinence in the face of a cultural shift in sexual mores and values. The indication is that it really isn't their fault when society was out having fun, what were they suppose to do? They were confused and thus reached out for a little sexual something something with available partners: the children in their parishes. Last, the study says that the incidence of child sexual abuse by priests has been on the decline. She says that the majority of the cases happened before the 1990's and so the problem is a cultural phenomenon not a sticky churchy problem.

Here is my problem with this study. First, I recall when I entered the field of psychology there was a noticeable upward tick in the incidence of child abuse. Most observers credited it to the improved reporting laws that were in motion across the country. So we would expect then to see an increase in reporting of older sex abuse cases and also reveal new ones. The priest thing didn't just happen because of a sexual revolution in the 1960's rather it was underground the entire time. It came to light because of improved reporting laws and the willingness of victims to come forward against their churches. Civil and criminal lawsuits against the Catholic Church also raised awareness and thus newly reported cases. If there is a decrease in priestly abuse, it is because they are scared of getting caught. The light is shining on them and a wise abuser would likely back off or get more creative in who he targets.

The claim that there is a decrease was not backed up with actual statistics. If the number decreased from 35% to 32%, I wouldn't be impressed. But we don't know the actual numbers. When Karen spouts off all the reasons why priests aren't actually pedophiles, I am left feeling icky and whitewashed. The Catholic Church needs to take off their boxing gloves and deal with their problem. Denial and defensiveness will only drive people away from the church.

In my opinion I think that the Catholic Church sets itself up for sexual misconduct because they have rules of celibacy for priests. This flys in the face of human sexuality- God made humans to be sexual amongst other traits. When you try to deny with your mind the physical properties of your natural functions, you will fail. I am sure that every single priest has masturbated or expressed his sexuality in some form or another. The human condition, coded by our DNA, insists on sexuality for the sake of the survival of the species. To impose celibacy disguised as morality on sexuality, is a trainwreck waiting to happen.

Let priests express their natural God given sexuality and you will see less abuse in the category of clergy.

No comments:

Post a Comment