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The Unmitigated Gall Of Cardinal Mahony

A reader sends in this posting today from the personal weblog of Cardinal Roger Mahony [1], in which the retired archbishop of Los Angeles responds to current Archbishop Jose Gomez’s removing him from public duties (though Mahony will still be allowed to celebrate public mass). You will recall that Gomez took his action after church files became public this week, revealing that Mahony and his second in command conspired to hide child-molesting priests from law enforcement. From Mahony’s blog:

Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem.  In two years [1962—1964] spent in graduate school earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work, no textbook and no lecture ever referred to the sexual abuse of children.  While there was some information dealing with child neglect, sexual abuse was never discussed.

Shortly after I was installed on September 5, 1985 I took steps to create an Office of the Vicar for the Clergy so that all our efforts in helping our priests could be located in one place.  In the summer of 1986 I invited an attorney-friend from Stockton to address our priests during our annual retreat at St. John’s Seminary on the topic of the sexual abuse of minors. Towards the end of 1986 work began with the Council of Priests to develop policies and procedures to guide all of us in dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct.  Those underwent much review across the Archdiocese, and were adopted in 1989.

During these intervening years a small number of cases did arise.  I sought advice from several other Bishops across the country, including Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago, and then Bishop Adam Maida of Green Bay.  I consulted with our Episcopal Conference frequently.  All the advice was to remove priests from active ministry if there was reasonable suspicion that abuse had occurred, and then refer them to one of the several residential treatment centers across the country for evaluation and recommendation.

Blah blah blah. Shorter Roger Mahony:

1) Nobody told me how to deal with this;

2) I listened to the experts, who misled me;

3) other bishops did it too;

4) I established Procedures! And Offices! What more do you people want from me?

You could richly fertilize your garden with this stuff. You want to know about abuse under Roger the Dodger’s reign in L.A.? Start here [2], and here [3] you can find more. Mahony is one of the worst of the worst — and he got away with it. With particular reference to the recent file release, nothing — absolutely nothing — in Mahony’s self-serving blog post addresses, much less justifies, what we now know: that he and Msgr Curry knowingly and deliberately helped child-raping priests evade law enforcement [4].

This is not a matter of being clueless about how to deal with molester priests. This is not a matter of following bad advice from psychiatrists and other bishops. This is not a matter of bureaucratic procedures failing. This is a matter of Cardinal Mahony knowing that his priests committed sex crimes against children, and his helping them escape the police. 

He knew what he was doing. He just didn’t think he would ever get caught. I hope  there are some grounds to indict him. Then again, running a rat line to keep child-molesting priests out of the hands of the police is by no means a Mahony special [5].

I’ll give Cardinal Mahony this, though: he got in a solid lick on Abp Gomez. From his blog entry:

When you were formally received as our Archbishop on May 26, 2010, you began to become aware of all that had been done here over the years for the protection of children and youth.  You became our official Archbishop on March 1, 2011 and you were personally involved with the Compliance Audit of 2012—again, in which we were deemed to be in full compliance.

Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.

Mahony is right. Gomez has known, or ought to have known, for two years what was in those files. It wasn’t news to him that his predecessor had strategized to help child molesters outrun the long arm of the law. He only acted against Mahony and Curry after the rest of Los Angeles found out what Mahony and Curry had done — that is, when it became a public relations problem for him.

And there’s this [6], from the Boston Herald:

While Gomez’s decision to strip Mahony of his administrative duties and reduce his public role was unprecedented in the American Roman Catholic Church, Mahony can still act as a priest, keep his rank as cardinal and remain on a critical Vatican panel that elects the next pope.

More:

The Vatican’s former sex crimes prosecutor, Bishop Charles Scicluna, has said Canon Law provides for sanctioning bishops who show “malicious or fraudulent negligence” in their work, but he acknowledged that such laws have never been applied in the case of bishops who covered up sex abuse cases.

In the past, lower-ranking members of the church hierarchy who have spoken out about their superior’s handling of the clergy abuse crisis have been rebuked by the Holy See.

Watch the Vatican. The Pope has the power to act against Mahony. Does he have the moral courage?

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94 Comments (Open | Close)

94 Comments To "The Unmitigated Gall Of Cardinal Mahony"

#1 Comment By Richard Parker On February 2, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

Thank You, Jeff Gill, for standing in front of the village mob with their torches.

You were an Honorable Man in 1981 and you continue to be One in 2013.

#2 Comment By Richard Parker On February 2, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

“But it always makes me wonder: why is it that abuse is bad in only certain melieux?” Why do we so rarely hear about Baptist youth ministers in the media except for one or two line comments with no follow-up?

Related question: Why is the Catholic Church so often the villain in film and TV productions?

I know why, but I won’t say. And most of you know why if you really think about it.

Hint: Who writes the scripts? If the RCC would come around on two issues, the heat would evaporate.

PS: Not Catholic or Baptist.

#3 Comment By CathMax On February 2, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

TAndrews,”Heather, your attempts to pin this on homosexuals is neither based on reality nor productive. Please stop. Isn’t it simply enough to do as Rod does and say you don’t care that you are being unfair, that, yes, science and medicine are right about this, but you want to be unfair because that is your version of Christian belief?

That, at least, would be honest. Your approach is not only dishonest, it is also hindering the rooting out of the evil-doers”

While it certainly isn’t entirely a homosexual problem, the fact is that the John Jay study showed that 82% of the abuse was males on boys, so I’m sorry but I have to disagree somewhat with your comments to Heather.

#4 Comment By Hunk Hondo(C.H. Ross) On February 2, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

Cardinal MaPhony’s blog doesn’t accept comments, so here’s what I would have posted to it it if I could have:
Your Eminence:
I don’t know how you contrived to enter my house last night, but the fact is evident. I found your heart in my cat’s litter box this morning.
Cordially,
C.H. Ross
Nashville, Tenn.

#5 Comment By Neildsmith On February 2, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

John E_o wrote “I’m good with letting the secular authorities take care of these folks…”

And so they did already. Somehow, though, that is not enough for you and Mr. Dreher?

Now that we are in the realm of the secular… the cardinal did nothing wrong. He was not necessarily obligated by secular law to do anything and even if he were, the statute of limitations has, presumably, expired on whatever crimes he may have committed 30 years ago. Take it up with your state legislature.

Mr. Mahoney has, I presume, confessed to his priest and received absolution. He and many others including Benedict XVI have expressed their sorrow and apologized. Mr. Mahoney has attempted to explain the terrible logic behind his lapse in judgement and, I’m guessing, wishes he had acted differently at the time.

And yet I wonder along with Jeff Gill (commenter) why so many refused to believe that this abuse was happening. Why were the victims and their families so hesitant to go to the police and report the crime? That, my friend, is a question the rest of us need to answer.

#6 Comment By Public Defender On February 2, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

Richard Parker,

What other organizations have:
1) had an institutional tolerance for child rape going all the way to the top and lasting for decades; and
2) worked actively and aggressively to protect child rapists; and
3) organized a smear campaign of vicious attacks on people they knew to be victims of child rape committed by high-level people in the organization?

And let’s stop the innuendo, which religious group are you sliming by blaming them for the institutional failures of the Catholic Church?

#7 Comment By Public Defender On February 2, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

Plus, although this crisis may cause some sick schadenfreude in critics of the Catholic Church, the people (other than the victims) who are despairing the most are probably Catholics who love the Church. And if this is causing people like Dreher (socially conservative, strongly Christian, respectful of religious hierarchy) to criticize and leave the Church, liberal critics are the Church’s least problem.

#8 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On February 2, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

Why is the Catholic Church so often the villain in film and TV productions?

Well they do wear distinctive clothing, so it’s really easy to reuse costumes and sets from production to production.

Hint: Who writes the scripts?

The script writers?

#9 Comment By sal magundi On February 2, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

“Why do we so rarely hear about Baptist youth ministers in the media except for one or two line comments with no follow-up?”

we, on the other hand, have heard plenty about baptists and methodists and other youth ministers too. and if you extended that from only “baptist” to “orthodox jews” you’d be treated to continuing coverage on the front pages including – yes – that of the new york times.

perhaps you need to read more media.

#10 Comment By M_Young On February 2, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

It’s strange to think how this could be going on at the same time when abuse hysteria was gripping LA, e.g. [7]

#11 Comment By Fred On February 2, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

Given that Cardinal Law remained on the powerful Congregation of Bishops, under the current pope, until his mandatory retirement at age 80, I don’t think we’ll see any action taken against Mahoney from Rome.

Under the current pope, Cardinal Law, while living in Rome under the protection of the church, also served on the Congregations for the Oriental Churches, the Clergy, Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Evangelisation of Peoples, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Catholic Education, as well as the Pontifical Council for the Family.

The last two are bitterly ironic, no?

#12 Comment By Consequences1 On February 2, 2013 @ 6:22 pm

CathMax:

While it certainly isn’t entirely a homosexual problem, the fact is that the John Jay study showed that 82% of the abuse was males on boys, so I’m sorry but I have to disagree somewhat with your comments to Heather.

And while you appear to be familiar with the John Jay study, you seem to have missed their conclusions.

[8]

There’s one of many links. This one presents the disagreements and the response of the researchers.

#13 Comment By Public Defender On February 2, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

M_Young has a good point. It shows what happens if we forget that sometimes innocents are accused. And if this scandal was just one incident or problems at one parish that got covered up, I could see a defense. But this was a systemic problem, and the Cardinal and other church leaders believed that at least some of the covered-up allegations were true. Yet they did nothing but protect the perpetrators.

The criminal justice system depends on cops and prosecutors honestly exercising good judgment. Sometimes they fail, and that’s where my role comes in. But for those outside the system, the main duty is to tell the police when you believe there is abuse. It’s not your job to screen the case for admissible evidence that can prove the suspect guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Let the professionals do their jobs.

#14 Comment By Thymoleontas On February 2, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

This man ought to be prosecuted, no question.

My questions is this: do we seriously think that this type of criminal behavior (I mean both the sexual assault of minors and the cover-ups) is just a problem of the Catholic Church?

I’m not merely suggesting that other churches have similar problems too. My assertion is broader than that.

To catch my drift consider this:

Tomorrow (Feb. 3) is Superbowl Sunday. How many of us know that it will be the largest human trafficking event on the planet, including the sexual trafficking of children?

Where is the media coverage? The moral outrage? The police activity? Instead we’re told that local police units are “not trained” to deal with human sexual trafficking…

It seems to me that the Catholic Church is a convenient scapegoat for a society that is unwilling to comprehend the magnitude of a problem, the depth of whose roots we fear to ponder…

#15 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 2, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

Appreciate that comment, it pushed me to read the data and I am very very alarmed. I am alarmed for two reasons:

1. The high number of accusations
2. The number of clerics accused
3. The seeming close proximity encompassing the accusations
4. A clear cause that something amiss is occurring in this community.
5. Of course I have not read the files, but it appears that those involved dealing with this matter — were overwhelmed. That does excuse the poor decision making — there are ways to handle, overwhelmind data.

But an accusation does not guilt make. Years from now, as these are tracked, I would be highly interested — where the locus is found.

Now I suspect the culprit is not some much the Preisthood, but the entire scenario plays out just as these accusations playout. The more I read, the more suspicious I am of the scope.

In expressing my thoughts, I am in no manner denying the personal pain of anyone involved.

[Note from Rod: Elite. Elite! In the Mahony case, we are not talking about disputed claims. We are talking about proven accusations. We are talking about priests Mahony accepted as guilty of child molestation, but wanted to protect anyway. — RD]

#16 Comment By shecky On February 2, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

Neildsmith:
And so they did already. Somehow, though, that is not enough for you and Mr. Dreher?

Umm… no. They didn’t. When it really mattered. This is why the Church is being so deservedly scorned today. The level of courage Mahoney had in talking to authorities, after hundreds of victims came forward, and in many cases, statutes of limitations had run out, must be a proud moment for the delusional factions of apologists.

Now that we are in the realm of the secular… the cardinal did nothing wrong. He was not necessarily obligated by secular law to do anything and even if he were, the statute of limitations has, presumably, expired on whatever crimes he may have committed 30 years ago. Take it up with your state legislature.

This is a curious defense to make for Mahoney. I suppose he would also hold abortion is not wrong, on grounds that it’s permitted by secular law. Of course, the Church seems to hold itself to laws that are beyond the secular world. And Mahoney presumably subscribes to those laws.

Mahoney was not alone in this denial. The fundamental culture is still there. Causing scandal is a greater offense in the eyes of the Church than causing actual harm to individuals. It’s truly a pitiful state of affairs in church culture that has yet to be addressed. There’s no hope for the Church’s viability as an authority of any kind until it can remove the institutional blinder from its own eyes.

#17 Comment By Richard Parker On February 2, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

“…perhaps you need to read more media.”

I have yet to see (that I can recall) an evil Baptist youth minister in film preying on innocent underage young girls. I have seen many portrayals of evil Catholic clergy.

Having had some contact with Southern Baptist culture in my youth through family connections, many a young marriage has gone under with the local youth minister getting entangled with underage girls. It’s a standing joke that SB ministers tell among themselves. (As ‘family’ through marriage, they sometimes forgot that I was an “outsider”.)

If the RCC would reverse itself on it positions on homosexuality, full female priesthood, and married clergy, half the media vile against the RCC would go *poof*.

Married Lesbian RCC Priests would be Heaven to the screen writers guild. To me, human failure is everywhere. I have an in-born distrust of any village mob with torches.

#18 Comment By Richard Parker On February 2, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

@Public Defender

You miss one of the key points of Jeff Gill (as I understand him.) It was a different world in the 1980’s.

“) had an institutional tolerance for child rape going all the way to the top and lasting for decades; and
2) worked actively and aggressively to protect child rapists; and
3) organized a smear campaign of vicious attacks on people they knew to be victims of child rape committed by high-level people in the organization?”

Ummmmm, the US military?

The US military turned a blind eye and in some cases facilitated and protected the mass prostitution of under-age Asian girls with the troops not so long ago. Brothels full of young girls sold into virtual slavery existed just steps from US bases in many places all over the world.

#19 Comment By Jeff Gill On February 2, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

Excuse, please, PD, but I’m not seeing where I’m making this be mainly about money. My point is that there’s much piling on (in my opinion) over getting Scouting to open up their (as I see it being framed) “creepy secret files where they hid their lack of legal action” when it was the EXACT opposite: we kept those files because law enforcement wasn’t, and often still isn’t a sufficient defense against child molesters. Most molesters aren’t filed on, filings often don’t go to charges, charges rarely get to trial, and many trials end in a settlement of some sort, often to keep kids off the stand . . . and not a few molesters are taken to court, and end up acquitted even when everyone in the room knows something happened, but there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

So I’m expressing frustration with how the Scouting decision to HAVE secret files in the 70s, 80s, and 90s is being portrayed by trial lawyers seeking their release. We kept, intentionally, a record of hearsay, suspicions, and local opinion, because background checks only get you CONVICTIONS, which is still true. The pressure from legal folks is for youth serving organizations to rely on fingerprinting and background checks, and I frankly think that’s obtusely unhelpful for both the kids, and the organizations. But if we use a standard other than conviction to bar volunteers, you create a vulnerability to this kind of litigation, and I reserve the right to find those kinds of pursuit to be frequently disingenuous. Not all, I’m sure, but this whole “all secret files are evil cover-ups” attitude may actually CREATE hazard for youth more than eliminate it.

I hope I’m explaining this well, and I have read so little of the diocesan material comparable to the Scouting material I can’t speak to whether this is a fair comparison or not, and I could be entirely missing the malfeasance on Mahony’s and others’ part. But what I’ve read to start makes me wince, and it only felt fair to speak up and say why.

#20 Comment By Jeff Gill On February 2, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

I guess what I mean to separate are the lawyers who have been slogging along on these cases for kids, and the ones (again, I’ll admit to carrying a Scouting angle into this discussion which may or may not belong here) who have been in this for the last few years mainly to force the national organization to open up every last file, and have claimed that the existence of the files (our “ineligible volunteer files” or “black flagged adult registrants”) is proof of a coverup of some sort, and we’ll figure out what the cover up is once we have everything and publish it. I wince as I read how some of these “suspicions” were handled in 1962 and 1977 and 1983, but to trumpet these “kick the can” or “pass the trash” actions as equivalent to doing the same thing in 2012 simply doesn’t seem fair. And I appreciate PD noting that law enforcement often would not take your complaint in any form, so what were you likely to do a month later when a similar case came up? You’d skip that step entirely — and I know that some of the behavior that frustrated me in the 80s as a young adult leader was coming from guys who had probably done their best in previous years, been stymied by the authorities for decades, and just didn’t get it that they not only should, they could go to the officials and get a fair hearing.

#21 Comment By Charles Cosimano On February 2, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

“It is not resolved by denying the necessity for authority,”

But Rod, we deny that necessity all the time, in fact there is no reason to believe such a necessity even exists.

#22 Comment By Thomas Andrews On February 2, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

CathMax,
Nobody (at least nobody reasonable) would equate the fact that virtually all rape committed against women is done by heterosexual men as meaning that virtually all heterosexual men are rapists.
The question of whether gay men are pedophile has been thoroughly investigated and just as thoroughly debunked by every western country. Not just recently, but before the culture wars began.
Just as we do not equate a man abusing a girl with heterosexuality, so it is incorrect to equate a man abusing a box with homosexuality.
In fact, the attempt to portray the abuse of pubescient boys as homosexual not pedophile activity is one of the most despicable lies which many conservative Christians have told since the scandals first began to break.
Rod, this sort of thing only damages your side. I know you don’t want my granddaughter to have full civil rights, but I also know you are a decent man. May I be so bold as to suggest you tackle this topic?

#23 Comment By Erin Manning On February 2, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

Rod, just one point: when you write: “Mahony is right. Gomez has known, or ought to have known, for two years what was in those files…” etc. I think it’s possible that that’s not entirely the case.

Our former bishop here in Fort Worth, Bishop Kevin Vann (who is now in the Diocese of Orange), had our former chancellor (a married former Episcopal priest) start going through personnel files with a fine-tooth comb when Bishop Vann first came to the Fort Worth Diocese. It took time to discover several irregularities, and the most serious (involving a priest ordained even though there was a credible report of abuse of a minor in his life prior to ordination) led to immediate action: the priest in question was immediately removed from active ministry, even though there weren’t, as far as I know, allegations from his time as a priest.

The Dallas Morning News’ editorial on the story excoriated Bishop Vann for waiting over a year to remove this priest. In fact, the priest was removed as soon as the damaging information was discovered. Certainly the late Bishop Delaney must have known about this, but since he died the day before Bishop Vann was installed as bishop and had been seriously ill with cancer during the time when Bishop Vann served as coadjutor (which had only been for a couple of months, if I recall correctly), it’s doubtful that Bishop Vann had heard about the situation prior to its discovery in the files.

My point is that whatever was in the files in LA, Archbishop Gomez had to read them (and probably had to assign others to read them as well) in order to form a secure basis for action. Considering how unprecedented his step against Cardinal Mahony was, I’m sure he wanted to be certain of all of his information, timelines, etc. before he banned Cdl. Mahony from public duties. Even in the relatively small Fort Worth diocese it was a serious priority to Bishop Vann to go through the personnel files of every ordained priest in the diocese (and probably of lay employees, too), and yet it took him a considerable amount of time to complete the task, though aided by a man I know to be of absolutely sterling character who took the task very seriously. Given the horrible state of things in Los Angeles, the sheer volume of material to be read and discussed, and the importance of having solid facts about it all (not merely a “should have known” kind of thing), I don’t find the timeline here improbable at all.

#24 Comment By Linda On February 3, 2013 @ 4:42 am

Consequences1’s said, “And while you appear to be familiar with the John Jay study, you seem to have missed their conclusions.” The link is not a neutral source, it is a link to a Catholic site that does not want to give up their long held position that pedophile=homosexual. The goal is to protect/salvage their reputation.

Apr 13, 2010
What causes sex abuse? Research conflicts with Catholic leaders

Results reported in 2009 suggested that access to young boys, not homosexual orientation, was largely responsible for the high percentage of male abuse cases. John Jay researcher Margaret Smith told bishops Nov. 17:

“We do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now … It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior. Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.

[9]

‘It’s opportunistic sex’ for Priest, just as it is in prisons, an available body

A ‘separate sexual orientation’

But NARTH’s claim that 35% of pedophiles are gay stems from “a flawed assumption” that men who prey on young boys also are attracted to grown men, says Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Frederick Berlin, an expert on sexual disorders.

I wonder how many of the married pedophiles actually enjoy sex with their wife. I am guessing that they do not enjoy it.

Married Boy Scout Leaders Sent to Prison (one of many examples)

November 19, 2012

A once-prominent Butler County doctor and Boy Scout leader is scheduled to report to prison next week to begin serving a sentence of six to 15 years imposed on him Monday for raping a teenage boy.

The brothers alleged Evanko molested them when they were younger than 16 and Evanko was the leader of Troop 10 in Butler, police said. They said Evanko gave them alcohol and showed them pornographic movies. Prosecutors said the assaults tied to the convictions occurred from 1993 to 1995 when the boy was 13 to 15.

My husband is not a sexual offender. I raised four boys with him. I trust him with everything,” Catherine Evanko, 59, said. “He’s the kindest man I know, and he’s my best friend.”

[10]

I can provide a long listed of married pedophiles that were never prosecuted due to the BSA cover-up. In one of the cases I reviewed, a Catholic Church noted that they wanted to keep it secret to protect their reputation.

#25 Comment By Public Defender On February 3, 2013 @ 5:55 am

Jeff,
All the “morals of the time” argument, even if true, don’t save the Catholic Church from responsibility for the Church’s systematic a blistering attacks on its victims. The Church was still wrong not to report abuse, but sliming people the Church knew to be victims is evil on a whole different level.

#26 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On February 3, 2013 @ 5:59 am

Charles Cosimano said :

But Rod, we deny that necessity all the time, in fact there is no reason to believe such a necessity even exists.

Charles, obviously you and I don’t recognize religious authority, but there are different kinds of authority present in a secular society. The police have the authority to arrest you if you break the law. A jury of your peers has the authority to determine if they believe you broke the law. A judge has the authority to set aside your conviction if they think it was made in error.

Now the tricky part is that moral authority is important too because not everything that’s legal is ethical. This is particularly tricky in a pluralistic secular society. However, there is a moral zeitgeist and it is usually pretty obvious when someone transgresses it. Generally it results in shame and social ostracism.

#27 Comment By Jim On February 3, 2013 @ 7:01 am

Please don’t blame the lawyers…..they just serve those who believe that money solves problems or that wealth should be preserved at all costs. The lawsuits are about money and may ultimately have salutary results….but their motivation on both sides is greed and the love of money.

#28 Comment By Anna Marie On February 3, 2013 @ 10:26 am

Linda
Are you suggesting that the label heterosexual or homosexual is a function of age and not a preference for male or female genitalia?
If the abuse of boys by men is opportunistic, (similar to what occurs in prison) then why do so many of these frustrated “heterosexual” men perform oral sex on their victims?

#29 Comment By Glaivester On February 3, 2013 @ 11:10 am

In fact, the attempt to portray the abuse of pubescient boys as homosexual not pedophile activity is one of the most despicable lies which many conservative Christians have told since the scandals first began to break.

I think the attempt to act as if 18-years-old is a natural biological cutoff so that all abuse before that age can be lumped into a sui generis pedophilia category with norelationship to the wider sexual culture is naive.

(a) Do you mean pre-pubescent? Attraction to people who have hit puberty is not pedophilia. So no, someone abusing a 13-year-old is not acting on pedophilia.

(b) There is nothing “naturally perverted” about being attracted to people who have hit puberty, rather, it is “socially perverted” to allow one’s self any indulgence* in an attraction to underage post-pubescents; that is, it is perversion only in the sense that you are allowing yourself to flout a taboo that has reasonably good reasons for existing; it is not that the attraction itself suggests a disordered psyche**. I say this because plenty of societies have allowed people to get married and become sexually active as soon as they entered puberty; therefore, there is no reason to assume that there is any reason why the average heterosexual man would not be attracted to any post-pubescent girl if society were to allow it, whereas attraction to a pre-pubescent girl would still be creepy, as it flouts natural ideas of sexual maturity. (Which would imply that if homosexuality largely parallels heterosexuality, that last sentence would be true if we substituted “homosexual” for “heterosexual” and “boy” for “girl.”)

(c) Therefore, it makes sense why someone might not want a homosexual man overseeing their teenage sons on a camping trip, just like they would not want a heterosexual man overseeing their daughters – as the taboo against adult – post-pubescent minor is largely societally determined, it is not a good thing to put someone is a situation where nature might re-assert itself.

(d) I question why priests who abuse adolescent males are automatically assumed to be something other than homosexual. It seems to me that the general goal here is to redefine all negative or abusive homosexual activity as something other than homosexuality, in order to make homosexuality look better.

*By indulgence, I mean doing anything to make that attraction seem acceptable, which would include, e.g. allowing yourself to fantasize about it.

**Put another way, any person who has hit puberty is biologically ready for sex; the only reason to look at sex at that age as inappropriate is because society has decided that it produces a better culture to try to delay sex until several years after puberty. This is not to say that such taboos are bad, indeed they are usually good for society; but rather that like taboos against adultery they require suppressing the sexual nature of the majority rather than suppressing a deviation from the sexual nature of the majority (like pedophilia taboos), and so the risk of a “normal” person falling into breaking the taboo is much greater.

To give an example, if the age of consent were 13, most men would probably be able to start thinking of 13-year-olds as potentially sexually attractive. That they do not requires the culture specifically to work against the idea. If it were 5, I doubt that most men would feel the same way about 5-year-olds.

#30 Comment By Glaivester On February 3, 2013 @ 11:13 am

Linda – I can’t help but wonder how many married men are closeted homosexuals. If I listed the fact that someone was married as proof that they couldn’t be gay, that would be shrugged off as an example of someone in the closet. But when his homosexual activity involves underage males, or is otherwise abusive, somehow suddenly the notion that such a closet exists disappears.

Because of course, homosexual acts that are abusive are always somehow completely disconnected from homosexuality.

#31 Comment By Consequences1 On February 3, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

Linda

The link is not a neutral source, it is a link to a Catholic site that does not want to give up their long held position that pedophile=homosexual.

Yes, I realized that. I picked a site that laid out CathMax’s probable positions and included some responses from the researchers to those positions. This was more to benefit someone who might wonder if CathMax was onto something. I’ve long given up pointing out the actual John Jay study to those who cling to their lies. They know what they’re up to.

#32 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 3, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

Re: Therefore, it makes sense why someone might not want a homosexual man overseeing their teenage sons on a camping trip, just like they would not want a heterosexual man overseeing their daughters – as the taboo against adult – post-pubescent minor is largely societally determined, it is not a good thing to put someone is a situation where nature might re-assert itself.

I think this is very true, yes.

#33 Comment By Consequences1 On February 3, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

Because of course, homosexual acts that are abusive are always somehow completely disconnected from homosexuality.

The same disconnectedness occurs with heterosexuality, no?

#34 Comment By Linda On February 3, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

Anna Marie says:

“Linda
Are you suggesting that the label heterosexual or homosexual is a function of age and not a preference for male or female genitalia?

The labels heterosexual or homosexual are a combination of both (adults, not children). As with most human behavior there will be a range. I suppose there are people that would do any sexual activity with anyone, like every age and any sex, but I think it would be the exception not the rule.

Pedophiles like children. Pedophiles usually have a “type” of child preference, such as boy, girl, age, appearance, size, personality, etc. Heterosexuals or homosexuals are usually attracted to a “type” of adult partner.

“If the abuse of boys by men is opportunistic, (similar to what occurs in prison) then why do so many of these frustrated “heterosexual” men perform oral sex on their victims?”

It is not all opportunistic. I do not understand the question or see how it relates. I have not seen anything that quantifies the activities involved with sexually abused children.

It should never be assumed that a child is safe alone with any adult, which is why I included the above information about the prominent doctor with the disbelieving wife of many years. It is impossible to achieve 100% protection; however, the nonfactual belief that homosexuals are the largest when the opposite is true significantly increases the potential that children will be sexually abused. In addition, the population of homosexuals is extremely small.

Background investigations and never having one adult alone with children is probably the most effective for preventing abuse. The information in background investigations has greatly improved over the years.

Human sexuality is extreme complex. There are variations within categories/classification. Considerable research has been completed and additional research is ongoing. Research using brain imaging is very promising. Brain imaging and other research has found that pedophiles are a separate category from either homosexual or heterosexualseems to correlate with the inability to stop being a pedophile. If brain imaging becomes cost effective, I would recommend scanning for anyone working with children.

The Catholic Priest abuse of boys is different than Boy Scout Leaders abusing boys. Catholic Priests are more like prisoners. I have not read enough about the Priest abusers to know whether there is something about individuals that become Priest that make them more likely to be pedophiles. From what I have read, it is apparent that the some Catholic and other churches/organizations have pushed the homosexual=pedophiles to scare people into being antigay. The ends do not justify the means for Christians. The BSA has a Catholic and a LDS member on their board. The BSA does not have a United Methodist Church on the board, even though they are the second largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops. The UMC church believes banning gays is discrimination, although there might be individual churches that support a ban.

The bottom line: pedophiles does not equal homosexual. There have been a few people labeled as homosexual that have sexually abused male children. Almost all cases of sexually abusing male children have been done by males labeled heterosexual. My brief review of the recently released BSA sexual abuse cases by the LA Times found: [Note: many of the cases were not investigated or no evidence was found to verify quilt]

1. Married, Catholic, W, County Director, Division of Family Services (DFS), put on probation, no record of an investigation, two years later he was still on probationary status, since he moved and was not involved with Catholic Committee at the new location, his status as probationary, record included detailed handwritten report from victim, he should have been prosecuted.

He died in 2012. From his Catholic Church Newsletter: In Deepest Sympathy, Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of long time parishioner, volunteer, and neighbor: XXXXX, Who has passed into eternity this past week. You will be sorely missed dear friend. Considering his high level in an organization responsible for investigating child abuse and volunteering at his church, the possibility is high he abused other children (if he was guilty)

2. Married, Catholic, Black & Veatch (well respected engineering firm)

3. Single, (Wife & Children lines blacked out), Religion=N/A, Police Officer, resigned job

Married, daughter (24) son (24), Protestant, Meat Cutter

[11] complete LA Times Database

2012 Feb;69(2):187-94. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.130. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

Assessment of pedophilia using hemodynamic brain response to sexual stimuli.

RESULTS:

The highest classification accuracy was achieved by Fisher linear discriminant analysis, which showed a mean accuracy of 95% (100% specificity, 88% sensitivity).

CONCLUSIONS:

Functional brain response patterns to sexual stimuli contain sufficient information to identify pedophiles with high accuracy. The automatic classification of these patterns is a promising objective tool to clinically diagnose pedophilia.

[12]

2008 Jan: Brain response to visual sexual stimuli in homosexual pedophiles.

Response was different for non-pedophiles homosexuals – lower brain activity

[13]

#35 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 3, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

As I have said,

I have no doubt that a certain number of abuse cases are valid. I have stated, that I have no doubt that these incidents are handled/managed poorly.

I have read, the commentaries and I remain:

1. aware that abuse happens
2. doubtful of it’s scope
3. doubtful of any real ill intent at cover-up
4. skeptical, as I should be about evidence derived soley from a counselors couch
5. keenly aware that these matters require care of those who are real or imagined victims
6. In years and years of intense investigation fueled by the belief that such conspiracies exist: the FBI, Interpol, and law enforcement agencies around the globe have found little or no evidence for conspiracies of this nature nil or dubious. That does not exonerate the Catholic Church, but it serves as a foundation for a lean in their favor as to vast sexual gangs of child abuse rings within its ranks.

[Note from Rod: “doubtful of any real ill intent at cover-up”? Good grief, what do you call the cardinal’s own written record of his over and over again willfully hiding evidence of criminal wrongdoing from the police? None are so blind as those who will not see. — RD]

#36 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 3, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

Richard Parker,

Public Defender’s comments aside,

During the 1980 — and throughout the 1990’s, fundamentalist churches were rocked by similar accusations.

And a quick look here,

of the 308,000 or so preists if there were 2000 cases, that would represent .64% of the preists involved in such incidence. And I lowered the number of priests from the 400,000 current number.

Let’s say that all of those priests using the 308,000 total world wide had access to 1 million children and I think that the number is an under estimation that’s about .04%. Now any rape or any abuse is one too many and for any christian organization it represents a type of crisis. But those numbers suggest that there is no rampant abuse. Depending on what is meant by rampant.

Further,

Every lawyer and psychologist will tell you that pending a court order and even then that much of the debate over records is clearly over confidentiality. Now for those wanting the records any fight against obtaining them is projected as an attempt to evade, dissuade or circumvent a criminal process. So the records battle doesn’t mean much. Anyone on the attack over these issues is fighting a very tough — tough battle. The public pressusre and assumption is always, if you have nothing to hide, why hide? Hence the presumption of guilt.

The most astute voices of sanity have been so maligned that generally they have just forgone trying to lend their voices of reason.

Now perhaps, there is some viscious child abuse ring in the LA area, I doubt it. But until the evidence is clear beyond mere accusations, I always listen with a sensitive kind but skkeptical ear.

Even I am certainly voicing what is most likely perceived as ignorance. But I have had some very astute instructors. And Catholics see me, if I recall their name calling: a heretic, a jezebel, an apostate, and adavist (my favorite), a liar, a wolf in sheeps clothing over my scriptural perspective. Be that as it may, I have learned that Christianity and christians are under attack and this sunbject matter is one the most effective assaults, anything that smacks of a sexual scandal.

I have no doubt that some abuse occurred/occurs, but I doubt it rates the mass scale that is exhibited in the emotion, pain and trauma, surronding it. Nor do I belive there is some attempt skirt accountability. poor management, no doubt, but few organizations manage issues of this nature effectively — and if becomes public —

“oooh fo ‘get aboud it.”

#37 Comment By EliteComminc. On February 3, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

Try as I might I was unable to get to those stories in which the headlines claimed that priests hid information.

Unless, there is medical evidence, confessions, and some other objective evidence besides what comes out psychoanalysis, confessionals etc. I will always be litens with a sensitive, caring, but skeptical ear.

#38 Comment By Anna Marie On February 3, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

Linda
Thanks for your response to my questions.
You admit pedophiles usually have a preference for either boys or girls. That’s the point I was making.

“Brain imaging and other research has found that pedophiles are a separate category from either homosexual or heterosexual.”

Being attracted to children is a *paraphilia*, not an orientation. I’m sure that brain scans of sadomasochists would differ from normal people as well.

“The bottom line: pedophiles does not equal homosexual. There have been a few people labeled as homosexual that have sexually abused male children. Almost all cases of sexually abusing male children have been done by males labeled heterosexual. ”

I don’t believe gay men are more inclined to suffer from this terrible paraphilia then straight men.

And since when was the fact that a man is married, or claimed to be straight taken at face value, when his behavior indicated otherwise?

#39 Comment By Marie Henrie On February 4, 2013 @ 12:14 am

God bless Steve Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful. He tried to sound the alarm about Mahony to the Catholic world including the Vatican as did M Angelica and both suffered for it!

#40 Comment By Linda On February 4, 2013 @ 12:30 am

Anna Marie says: February 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm said, “Being attracted to children is a *paraphilia*, not an orientation. … I don’t believe gay men are more inclined to suffer from this terrible paraphilia then straight men. … And since when was the fact that a man is married, or claimed to be straight taken at face value, when his behavior indicated otherwise”

I am glad you do not believe that gay men are more inclined to sexually abuse children, which is my major point. Children cannot be adequately protected until everyone realizes that every person is a potential threat to children.

The married man or a claim to be straight does not automatically mean that he would be classified as a homosexual.

Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. is a researcher, author, and professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis (UCD). See below for his many rewards
Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial (Proposition 8 in California). Read the entire testimony for historical context and much more. The website links to many other good resources of information related to the issue.Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation

“Conclusion

The empirical research does not show that gay or bisexual men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to argue that homosexual and bisexual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterosexual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult sexual orientation at all; they are fixated on children.”

[14]

Gregory M. Herek is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Davis (UCD). He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from UCD in 1983, then was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. He subsequently served as a faculty member at Yale and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York before returning to UCD, first as a research psychologist and later as a tenured professor.

Herek was invited to participate in President Clinton’s 1997 White House Conference on Hate Crimes, the only behavioral science researcher to be included among the invitees. Herek’s research on antigay employment discrimination was cited in 2007 congressional testimony on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). His policy paper reviewing social science research relevant to the debate surrounding legal recognition of same-sex couples was cited by the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court in her 2006 written opinion in Lewis v. Harris (ruling on the constitutionality of New Jersey’s marriage law). In 1993, he testified on behalf of the APA, the American Psychiatric Association, and four other national professional associations for the House Armed Services Committee’s hearings on gays and the U.S. military. He also assisted the APA in preparing amicus briefs in precedent-setting gay rights cases, such as Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, and state court cases challenging current marriage laws.

Herek has also conducted research documenting the prevalence of stigma directed at people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, which has been widely cited by public health experts and legal advocates

Herek is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). He was the recipient of the 2006 Kurt Lewin Memorial Award for “outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action,” presented by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (APA Division 9).

In 1996, he received the APA Early Career Award for Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest. His other honors include the 1999 and 1989 awards for Distinguished Scientific Contributions from APA Division 44, and the 1992 Outstanding Achievement Award from the APA Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns

More bio: [15]

#41 Comment By Fred On February 4, 2013 @ 9:29 am

Excellent column by the L.A. Times’ Steve Lopez, who has followed the Mahoney scandal for years:

[16]

#42 Comment By Chris 1 On February 4, 2013 @ 11:23 am

Adam deVille:

I agree with your main point, that the Roman clergy act to protect what they perceive as their good image. Indeed I’ve made that same point here, that these bishops served up members of their flock to preserve the image of their church.

Nonetheless, it is troubling that so many intelligent people get the truth of statistics on sexual abuse upside/down.

The 35% number you cite goes to the heart of my point…35% of abusers were abused. This is different by far from saying 35% of abused become abusers.

Consider if you read this: A 2001 study in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that 35% of criminals (far fewer in females) were themselves first victims of crime.

Would you say this means “those who are victims of crime so very often go on to become criminals themselves”?

The truth of the statistic you quoted is that 65% of all abusers reported no history of being abused in their youth. The 35% who do report past abuse are not merely the minority of perpetrators, but a far smaller percentage of those who were abused as children.

What the statistic you cited actually reveals is that we are not controlled by past trauma, that people make good or terrible choices whether traumatized or not. This freedom to choose should be the “take away,” that doing evil is manifestly not determined by our personal history.

#43 Comment By James On February 4, 2013 @ 11:35 am

Mahoney is a liberal, so he got away with it. Remember, he wanted Law hung out to dry.

#44 Comment By Heather On February 5, 2013 @ 4:45 am

Well Glaivester already addressed some of problems with Linda’s comments, but here is a few additional comments.

Quoted: “We do not find a connection between homosexual identity and the increased likelihood of subsequent abuse from the data that we have right now … It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior. Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.”

One reason for this is exactly the question of identity. Many people who have a bisexual problem do not identify (they don’t acknowledge) that they are bisexual. Secondly, liberal discourse is geared in every way to minimize abuse committed by people in the LGBT category.

Therefore, they talk about a person being defined according to who they are “attracted to” – excluding all kinds of other sexual feelings – and they divide people into three categories (hetero, bi, homo) based on this largely undefined concept of “attraction” to “adults.” But what if an individual has a variety of sexual feelings towards children and adults? Or to adults and 14 yr olds? Or prefers adolescents? Do liberals also claim that they were “born this way” and cannot help it?

While heterosexuals can abuse minors of the same sex, and some have in the CC scandal, I have seen no data proving that 97% of the same-sex abuse perpetrators were heterosexual. (I’m using 3% as the number for people with a homosexual problem in society). That is the only way that one could claim that priests with a homosexual problem had the same levels of abuse as heterosexuals. I’ve never seen a detailed breakdown of the numbers claimed in the report, nor the method used by researchers to determine who was what – aside from one question on previous sexual activity, which only covers one group. And, as I understand, there is a large number of perpetrator priests who has never been researched (categorized, etc.). There is no data on this issue about them. Is there even a bisexual category?

“(a) Do you mean pre-pubescent? Attraction to people who have hit puberty is not pedophilia. So no, someone abusing a 13-year-old is not acting on pedophilia. ”

It is ephebophilia.

“‘It’s opportunistic sex’ for Priest, just as it is in prisons, an available body ”

But they are not in prison. And the difference is pretty significant. While the job of a priest might put him in easier contact with male adolescents, if his orientation was much more towards females, he would certainly try to create situations where he could abuse them – there is much less of a motivational weight for mere availability of boys. Men in prison cannot do that, they are locked up, they have no choice. 80% of same-sex male abuse and molestation is a huge number – and it wasn’t small boys, they were tweens and adolescents.

(“d) I question why priests who abuse adolescent males are automatically assumed to be something other than homosexual. It seems to me that the general goal here is to redefine all negative or abusive homosexual activity as something other than homosexuality, in order to make homosexuality look better.”

That is the goal. A secondary goal is to promote a myth that people with a homosexual problem “are just like heterosexuals” – in every way – even when research about a variety of topics show they aren’t, that there are issues where they are worse.

And another interesting thing is that no other institution reports such high numbers of male abuse and molestation compared to opposite-sex incidents. Maybe when people study the BSA files, more information will be obtained.