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.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.