The Veil of Church Secrecy: The Right Ignores Pedophilia Unless Blaming Gays

A disturbing trend has emerged from the Right wing of this country. The “Moral Majority” has been trying to pin pedophilia on the gay community while at the same time, ignoring and enabling the actual occurrences of pedophilia.

In Philadelphia, a trial wrapped up yesterday against Monsignor William Lynn whose job it was to investigate and report abuse, who stands accused of massive cover-ups of child sexual abuse, including censoring the a complicit press.

Church observers believe the trial could embolden prosecutors in other jurisdictions to prosecute cover-ups and peel back the veil of church secrecy.
Blessington said the damage to the victims would be long lasting.
“He (Lynn) and everyone else who were protecting pedophile priests were murdering the souls of these children,” Blessington said.

The Catholic Church (whose dogma on birth control the entire conservative Right is now following) has consistently, repeatedly, and with no evidence of shame covered up ongoing sexual assault against children by their priests. The Church’s stance on this systemic pattern of abuse is to cover it up, ignore it, and when things get really bad, move the Priest. If busted in public with no way out, pay the Priest off. How does any of this help the children or address the very real problem of sexual abuse under the Catholic Church?

Snap Wisconsin reported:

In an email today (May 31) to Catholic leaders in the Milwaukee Archdiocese “chief of staff” Jerry Topczewski once again admitted that unrestricted payouts were made to priest sex offenders by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as a “signing bonus” to quietly leave the priesthood. The payments have now, according to Topczewski, been stopped…

And isn’t it time for Cardinal Dolan and his successor Jerome Listecki to acknowledge the deep moral wrong of taking Catholic charitable funds and funneling them to priest child molesters?

So, the Catholic Church is taking donations made from earnest Catholics and using it to pay off child abusers, when they should be using it to prosecute these abusers and set up a victims fund. Instead of prosecuting them, the Catholic Church lets them roam free, and indeed, work with children again in the secular community. Why? To save the reputation of the Catholic Church.

We never hear the Right discussing the implications of pedophiles on the loose, wearing the cloth of a “man of God”, and abusing their authority as a man of God in order to steal forever from children their innocence. We never hear them discuss the egregious, outrageous victim-blaming on behalf of the church, in an effort to save its reputation and defend abusers.

Recently a Kansas Pastor called for the killing of gays and lesbians. Pastor Curtis Knapp later “clarified” his comments by saying, “We punish pedophilia, we punish incest, we punish polygamy and various things. It’s only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption.”

There are so many things wrong with his statement it’s hard to know where to start, but start we must, for in this country alone, innocent children are being harmed while the media plays bow down to pretend-persecuted conservatives.

The only people being persecuted right now are the children, the gay community, and by proxy of association with the folks giving shelter to abusers, Christians who do not condone this behavior. Grown adult conservatives in positions of power are not being persecuted. Pastors like this fellow who call for the killings of gays are not being persecuted. Republican politicians who advocate the same policies as endorsed by the Catholic Church are not being persecuted.

So, to correct Pastor Killer, first, he is equating the consensual sex of grown adults with horrific sexual abuse. He may not agree with homosexuality, but it is not a crime and in no way can be equated to sexual abuse of children. This false equivocation is rather telling. Furthermore, polygamy is not widely prosecuted, and in fact, young girls are being held captive by polygamists in this country at this very moment. And no, actually, we do not punish pedophilia on par with its occurrence.

Statistically, the prosecution rate of pedophilia or incest in this country in relationship to its actual occurrence is abysmal. The problem starts off with the low reporting rate and then is made worse by grown adults, calling themselves men of God, ignoring reports made by children and their parents.

Those same men then systemically cover up the abuse and in doing, so enable further abuse of more children in addition to further harming those children who came forward.

In fact, Monsignor William Lynn whose job it was to investigate and report abuse, has been on trial charged with covering up sexual abuse against children. While it’s possible to believe that he did his job and was thwarted from above, it is time to start taking names and setting examples in this country. We must not continue to turn our backs on the children in order to protect the Church/Institution of Power behind the abuse.

Prosecutors portrayed Lynn as a keeper of the secrets who was obliged to compile the records and thought they would never see the light of day. Prosecutors allege that in failing to remove abusive priests from positions where they had contact with minors, Lynn put children in danger.

It’s an interesting conundrum when we get to the part where the Right accuses homosexuals of being pedophiles (a long standing tradition with them) and yet stay silent on the matter of the Catholic Priests who culturally engage in pedophilia. Are they homosexuals according to the conservative Right? If so, why is the Right silent? Why is the Right adopting values pushed by the Catholic Church regarding birth control? Why are they in bed with the Catholic Church at all, if it is full of homosexuals and they deem homosexuality a sin?

If, say, a group of homosexuals were running a global institution that abused as many children as the Catholic Church, do you think the Right would be silent as Democrats stood next to them on stage, claiming the moral high ground with them? If the government had half the track record of the Catholic Church on sexual abuse of innocent children, would the Right be so complicit and silent?

The truth of the matter is that pedophilia, incest and child sexual molestation are not issues of sexuality. They do not stem from a sexual orientation, contrary to the hype pushed by the same religious fundamentalists as stand with the Catholic Church politically now. Just like rape, pedophilia, incest, molestation and sexual assault are acts of power-over an innocent, helpless child. They are acts of aggression, often stemming from a sense of powerlessness.

See, pedophilia is not an act of homosexuality. It does not come from being homosexual; it has nothing to do with homosexuality. In addition, priests do not just rape boys, they also rape girls.

The Right champion themselves as “pro family” and “pro life” as they ignore the rampant sexual abuse of children under their own wing, while they point their guilty fingers at the gay community.

The Right circles the wagons around abusers of children in this country, and they use the Church and the power of Corporations to do it. If there is a biblical theme to any of this, it’s that these folks are the ones Jesus warned us about – committing the most heinous of sins in His name – and those of us who remain silent are assisting it.

Priests are consistently abusing the power of their position to steal from innocent children all of their trust and faith, and yet we do not point the finger at them as a group. However, these same folks point fingers at the entire gay community in an effort to distract us from their own behavior.

This is ongoing child endangerment and conspiracy to endanger children, right under our noses. I don’t want to hear about how wrong these church leaders think the gay lifestyle is. I don’t want to hear one more moral judgment come out of their mouths until they take a stand for the innocent children under their own wing.

The value these religious fundamentalists (they come in all faiths) are living by is not one of family, but one of maintaining their own political and financial power on the backs of children.

Some will say to me, Sarah, you can’t paint the entire Catholic Church or all political religious fundamentalists with this brush. I say to them, it is systemic and on-going. If it were any other institution (other than defense contractors or the all powerful church), we would not stand for it. So why do we stand for this?

There are a whole lot of Christians and Catholics who do not support this behavior. The time has come to hold all of the alleged moral majority accountable; they must denounce these cover ups and put their money where their mouths are. Start legal and recovery funds not for the accused, but for the victims. Take a stand against victim blaming and cover ups. Be what you claim you are.

The communities of faith need to take a stand together, and collectively point their fingers at those who are demonizing others. Demand that they clean their own houses first. Demand that they protect the children of this country. Demand that they remove the log from their own eye before they go chasing imaginary splinters in others.

It is not the gay community that has so harmed innocent children systemically. It is the Catholic Church, among other institutions. Family values? Destroying children’s trust in the larger family community is not the action of those who value family. What they mean by family values is that they value the patriarchy in charge, and everyone else who gets in their way by having the bad luck to be abused sexually will be destroyed.

How dare religious leaders point their dirty, blood-stained fingers at others when their own houses are forever tainted with the theft of the one thing they claim to stand for: Family values. Do they even listen to the cries of families who lose a victim to suicide?

What unpardonable sins are they committing by lying to the public in order to protect their own power and position? Enough. If you stand for the rights of a fetus, you had better just as vocally stand up for the rights and protection of innocent born children.

Image: Australia Rally Against the Suicides of Clergy Sexual Assault Victims

14 Replies to “The Veil of Church Secrecy: The Right Ignores Pedophilia Unless Blaming Gays”

  1. Any organization can perform great good or great evil. Sometimes, they do both. The problem with ALL religions is that they hide behind the ‘free pass’ rule. It is the tacit understanding that no one should ever challenge religious beliefs or actions tied to those beliefs. All religions I’m familiar with promote the free pass notion. Anyone who challenges the ideology or actions of a religion is automatically evil! (You’re evil, Sarah) This free pass idea has been in place since the founding of religion itself and is so ingrained in culture that even the most shocking behavior by a religious person is met with silence lest we be accused of persecution. As religion continues to lose it’s grasp on people, the challenges to their ridiculous claims excusing moral lapses will increase. So continue being evil, Sarah. Little by little, the shameless evils present in religion will be exposed.

  2. Bravo!! You are spot on! The sanctimonious piety that come from these religious moral authorities is so vile that I find it hard to describe how thoroughly disgusted it makes me to listen to their lies when they point those bloody, filthy fingers at others.

    Their faux concern for the fetus is always overshadowed for me due to their wreck less disregard for living breathing humans.

    This is one of many reasons why I will fight for separation of church and state until the day I die. For myself, my daughter and my granddaughter…these despicable false prophets must be exposed and rendered impotent.

  3. like any other religion we must expect that they have a normal group of people following that religion. When you speak out against a religion you are very seldom talking about these people. It is always the leadership of these religious unit’s that are doing the bad things. The leadership of the Catholic Church going back to the time when the pulps used to write letters for payment absolving people of sin and guaranteeing their right to have an have been a horribly corrupt religion. It’s very rarely you hear of a Methodist or a Baptist or other religion having a problem with child abuse.
    the Catholic Church is no different from the GOP. If you put blame on them they immediately point the finger at someone else. I have said it before, if the Catholic Church had come out against pedophilia years ago they would’ve been much further ahead instead of saving the secrecy of the church. I got news for you, there is no secrecy of the church. The law takes precedent over the church any day of the week and the sooner the Catholic Church figures that out the better off they will be. I will say once again that that church needs to be disbanded so I can shake itself off of the age-old absolutely insane incense burning hand waving lunacy they consider to be a band of brothers

  4. One problem with this… there needs to be a stronger emphasis that it is not just the Roman Catholics who are to blame – I hear as much of it coming from walkaways from the dominionist AND fundamentalist churches. Admittedly I have not heard stories of being raped or molested in a while… recently I haven’t been that active with other walkaways and not talked with them very much like I used to. That being said, I still regularly encounter news reports (always local) of preachers or ministers being arrested for pedophilia, or having kiddie porn, or something along those lines. I suspect that it’s a much bigger problem than anyone realizes.

    The reason why I’m saying that it encompasses more than the RC church (and yes, you did indicate that at times) is because if something like that isn’t emphasized, people tend to forget that point and think it’s only a RC problem. It’s not (as you know).

    This pedophilia problem is tied to a strong, top-down hierarchal structure. The more authoritarian and patriarchal, the worse the problem is going to be, especially when sexual repression is thrown into the mix. This fits both Roman Catholics and Fundamentalists/Dominionists… they are sexually repressive, patriarchal, authoritarian, with a top-down flow of authority in a hierarchy.

    If you ever hear a girl say that she was called a Jezebel by her church, there is a very high chance that she was raped by her minister/pastor and tried to get help (usually within the church because the members are programmed that way). That term, btw, doesn’t seem to be used with RC victims. It’s only with fundamentalists/dominionists that you find it.

    We all need to be aware of this stuff and keep our eyes out for signs that a young woman or man has been harmed. If they belong to one of those churches, don’t discount the possibility that they’d been raped or molested. I’m afraid that because of the legal protections that churches enjoy, not much can be done to prevent the problem, and we’ll always be playing catch-up. What is needed is to get them to loosen up the reins on the people a little bit, and for the authoritarian nature of those churches to be challenged and reduced. I don’t think that would happen. So the next best thing… keep alert for signs. Report anything that suggests pedophilia and make sure the authorities (NON-religious) investigate. Prison time for any offenders caught, along with being banned from having contact with children for the rest of their life. Most of all… publicize the guilty party, with an emphasis on the religious affiliation if the person is a minister in any fashion.

    We all can help in some way or another. We need to, otherwise we may be actually making the situation worse for the boys and girls/youth.

  5. That has always been my position, show concern first and foremost for the living breathing human beings and their rights, hopes and dreams and quit dwelling on the unborn. We as a species are in NO danger of dying out, 7 BILLION strong so why the distracting obsession with the fetus? We have important issues that affect the living and their quality of life. As an Atheist I have never had any dogmatic bias and able to judge on a pragmatic level and take the “Live and let live” attitude and embrace the ideal of making NO laws based on a particular church moral but rather on the premise of as long I do not interfere with the rights of other citizens I should be able to do as I please.

  6. The reason you don’t see child abuse among other christian churches, at least seldom is because those sects allow their clergy to marry. By not allowing priests to be married you are statistically drawing from a group that does not desire other adults sexually in the first place. Naturally a percentage WILL be pedophiles.

  7. Methodist… not very often, although I have read articles. Baptist… definitely, including some of the most horrific tales of abuse and betrayal (one young lady I was IRL friends with caught a STD as a toddler, and is sterile because of it. The (Southern Baptist) church supported the perpetrator and blamed her… a little toddler. In spite of that (and the medical evidence AND the guy going to prison), the church still is supportive of the pedophile, because after all he was an ordained minister and popular.

    I’ve heard it in Episcopal churches too… especially connected with the “Homes” for Native American youth. I knew one victim of that tragedy, who had come out in public about being raped and abused. The Anglican church in Canada has a big lawsuit against it for that very reason. You’ll hear about things like that if you talk to western Native Americans, who were more likely to be sent to one of those “homes” than eastern (for several reasons, including that most of us have been assimilated more than they had).

    It’s a lot bigger problem than most people realize, and part of the reason why I’m so hostile towards fundamentalism and dominionism.

  8. Actually, I think the RC church only gets more press.

    It’s hard to say, of course – there are more reported incidents with the RC church and that could be BECAUSE people have heard it’s going on. The thing that bothers me is that there are organizations that were set up to help the victims of priests. I know that they also accept victims of non-RC “ministers” (communicated with one of the leaders some time back), but most people don’t know or realize that… and there is nothing specifically for non-RC “minister” victims (but not because there isn’t a need).

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find out a significant number have kept the damage and problems hidden – people generally think they’re all alone in dealing with stuff like that and are flabbergasted (and horrified) to learn that others have too. It was a revelation for me to learn that what I went through wasn’t unusual… and that was 24 years after I’d walked. I didn’t even come close to the horror that the sexual victims experienced. That sort of delay in learning you’re not alone is also fairly common.

  9. The key word here is ‘religion’. True believers in Christ are not followers of a ‘religion’ they are in a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Father. If, you are in that relationship you will know it and nothing and no one can, or could, legitimize it. Religions are just traditions and rituals from whatever culture you come from, one could be ‘religious’ by the World’s standards and not even be close to a follower of Jesus. These denominations are the corrupt whores of Babylon and will receive their reward from God later…In this life we must hound them to the gates of Hell and never give them a moments peace. They are the True Evil.

  10. You know, you sound just like the dominionists I remember, who said that very thing. In fact, it’s almost a quote.

    The same ones that I’m still dealing with problems from – over 30 years later.

    Please think about that.

  11. Wow…very well written and in my opinion, right on target.

    It would seem to me that in general, those who “claim” that others are performing a sin, are actually performing the sin themselves and just trying to get people to look the other way.

  12. I feel the same way about the Catholics and other Christians who stand by and say nothing while members of their church abuse kids as I do about the conservatives who remain in the GOP and watch their politicians run this country into the ground because of their greed. I feel their silence gives consent to the acts. Those who are really concerned about standing up for what is right do not sit quietly by, witness the abuse, continue supporting the group/organization/political party, and pretend that nothing wrong is happening. I was raised a Baptist, but I left organized religion because of the lying and hypocrisy. I’ve always wondered why a person would continue to associate him/herself with a corrupt group of individuals, and the only conclusions I’ve reached are that they either don’t care about the corruption or they feel that the end justifies the means. IMHO, real Christians don’t put up with this type of Bull Stank. They’d be calling these priests, bishops, cardinals, pastors, and other abusers on the carpet and withholding their financial support. I don’t fear LGBTQ persons, but I do fear corrupt individuals in the Catholic Church and other churches, and corrupt politicians. I worked with quite a few LGBT persons, and none of them ever abused one of their students. None of them. In fact, they worked their butts off to make sure their students learned as much as possible, just like I and many other teachers at the school. Some conservatives demonize LGBTQ persons in an attempt to deflect from their own bad behavior, and it needs to stop.

  13. Since the Mormon church took over BSA, they too have protected their pedophile “scout leaders.” The most prominent cases came out in Oregon but you can bet they’ve happened across the rest of the country. They’re still protecting those files, just like the RCC still are.

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