The Pope's decision on pedophiles in the Catholic church

  1. Have you heard this? Only repeat offenders will be punished! I am wondering how Catholics feel about this decision? For those who haven't heard, the Pope has decided that a Priest would be defrocked only for repeat offenses of pedophilia.

    I lost faith several years ago in the concept of organized religion, though I never lost faith in God, only the men who say they are doing his work in the name of the church. Saw a bit of anti-Christian behavior from these folks, that turned me off. And I am not and was not Catholic.

    Anyway, for those of you who are Catholic, how do you feel about this decision? Do you honestly feel that a Priest can be excused for one offense, but not two or three? Does that mean the the first victim is believed to be a liar until more victims come forth?? I can't believe it.

    Do you think that allowing Priests to marry would help to resolve this problem? Is pedophilia something that can be "cured" with treatment? I mean no disrespect to homosexual's, but is it like that where you are born that way and can't be changed? I don't know that much about it, but I want to understand, so that this desicion makes sense. But, I don't think it would ever make sense!!
  2. 46 Comments

  3. by   Furball
    I gave up on organised religion years ago. It's 9 year old son has NEVER gone to church but we have lively discussions on religion and moral issues. He even picks up the bible, on his own, and devours it. I HATED church as a child and had to be forced fed Christianity. UG!

    The Catholic Church needs to wake up and smell the incense
  4. by   maire
    This just incenses me. I understand that the clergy are "in the forgiveness business" but if it was MY kid I'd want his collar the first time around, not wait until a repeat offense.
    Where did you read this anyway?

    Edit: NM found the story on
  5. by   moonrose2u

    1) why was the subject "homosexuality" not addressed in this papal paper? most male pedophiles are also homosexual. in other words, its ok to be homosexual as a priest in the church, but pedophilia is not acceptable...?

    2) priests who have settled their cases out of court in years past were not addressed in the paper. So, its "one strike your out" now, but for those who have not been criminally charged and settled with their victims long ago, can still remain as priests in their church?

    3) why is the catholic church asking for increased donations to pay for these settlement cases? (in boston) since this church is the wealthiest church in the world, couldn't they just sell some of their paintings or something to pay for these cases?

    4) parishoners are being asked to pray and offer penance during this troubled time...why should the faithful deprive themselves of something, because some of the official church representatives were depraved sexual perverts?

    5) why did the church choose to ignore this all of these years?

    6) todays news states that cardinal law may be assigned to the vatican...which is actually a promotion...any cardinal or bishop, or priest for that matter, would give their eye teeth to be assigned there...ok, so why the promotion?

    7) why is it taking a grand jury to get the Cincinnati archdiocese to hand over their priest sexual abuse papers? the archbishop in Cincy has refused to do so, and the DA is having to go to court to get them...why the secrecy? is he involved?

    8) why is the archbishop in Cincinnati still saying that pedophiles can be cured? Where is he getting this erroneous information?

    I have alot of questions about this issue, and this topic strikes very close to home....

    the ny times has several articles today about the church can set alerts and be notified of new articles from the country's newspapers...there are several today..i strongly urge you to read them..i think you will find it interesting...
  6. by   Ted
    Originally posted by moonrose2u
    1) why was the subject "homosexuality" not addressed in this papal paper? most male pedophiles are also homosexual. in other words, its ok to be homosexual as a priest in the church, but pedophilia is not acceptable...?
    Sorry . . . couldn't let this one go. During our sometimes lively discussions during Nursing 101 ethics class (or whatever), it was clearly pointed out that statistically most pediphiles were married heterosexual men.

    Here's an interesting article regarding this subject that may be worth reading.
    Last edit by Ted on Apr 26, '02
  7. by   moonrose2u
    perhaps, i phrased that question wrong...maybe it should be: "why was the subject of homosexuality not addressed, since most of the priest pedophile cases involved male on male abuse?"
  8. by   Ted
    Why does the subject of "homosexuality" need to be addressed at all? Sexual abuse is sexual abuse whether by a male to male, male to female, female to male, female to female.

    Sorry. To me, it's like discussing apples and oranges. In this case, "apples" is one's sexual preference and "oranges" is child/sexual abuse. In my eyes, the focus should be on sexual abuse

    My "hot-botton" issue is seeing the preference of "homosexuality" being stigmatized into something exceedingly negative. Hence the reason for my response to this thread.

    Otherwise, Cheers!

  9. by   mattsmom81
    Interesting posts! Catholics...wake up and smell the incense...Love it!!

    I have a hard time with the Catholic Church's latest position on forgiving a priest 'once'....because I know that statistics say pedophiles have a 97% rate of repeat performances.

    Most pedophiles were victims themselves too, if I recall, so the cycle is perpetuated by this new policy of 'allowing' one victim....
  10. by   micro
    sadly, you said it , Ted,

    why does homosexuality or any adults sexual preference towards another adult and consenting adult need to be discussed here.....

    this is NOT THE ISSUE.....
    get real folks, sexual abuse of a child is sick, depraved and wrong.........will not go off on this makes me go to dark places.....

    I also do not feel that this should be just focussed on the Catholic church........
    it falls in every religious form out there as people are people and pedophiles are there, sadly and angrily so.......
    it also (pedophilia) and sexual abuse, incest occurs in many facets of life with or without any religious bias.......

    there is something inherently wrong, when so much emphasis is made politically and yet, again.......where is the concern about the children........true concern.....

    moonrose2u......please, just discussing here.......and I know that i just shoot from the hip myself mainly here on these threads.....
    but please where is proof about who the typical pedophile is.......
    unless scientifically or statistically proved to me otherwise, I would tend to disagree, they come in all shape, sizes, ages and genders.

    moon2u.....just talking, please

    it is just that this topic could keep on throwing deadly arrows towards many innocent people and groups, including; priests, other clergy, people of homosexual disposition, people of bisexual disposition, and others.......cause once the arrows come out.........

    PLEASE ALL, understand my post here.........this subject makes me wish to "kill" the violators as they do not even have the semblance of the idea of what they do to a child's psyche when they commit such atrocities on a child.......
    (I will not repeat to a previous soapbox of mine.....)

    but there are at least two seperate issues being discussed here..........

    1) child abuse and pedophilia
    a) within religious and other power structures...
    2) a wrong thought process that pedophiliacs are of one of just a few groups of they are not.........
    3) child sex abuse is CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND is vile and wrong.........(understatement)...........this is one that we can all agree with
    4) but let's not confuse adult sexual preferences between adults and let's not please even unintentionally slander a group of people just is easier than

    facing the monster.......that Hoolihan has had the courage to thread about..................

    no is all just so sad,

    micro :_(
  11. by   CRNI
    Once a pedophile always a pedophile. If the catholic church ever hopes to recover from this heinous mess, they should adopt a zero tolerance policy and boot each and every first-time offender. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  12. by   Ted
    Hi Micro

    Anything having to do with harming a child is sad

    So is slandering a group of already stigmatized people.

    . . . off soapbox. . . on to music I go. . .

  13. by   CountrifiedRN
    Originally posted by Furball

    The Catholic Church needs to wake up and smell the incense [/B]
    Mattsmom81 - Here is the original quote. I agree that the Catholic Church needs to wake up, and put an end to this type of abuse. But please do not group all Catholics together as if we all agree with what the church does.

    I was raised Catholic, but have not practiced in more than 15 years, because I do not agree with many of the churchs positions.

    I can't speak for the majority of Catholics, but as for me and my family, it is appalling that the idea that a priest or other member of the church gets one "freebie" before any action is taken. I am disgusted that these types of crimes have been covered up in the past by the church, and I don't think anyone should be able to get away with even one incident. If anything, penalties for priests and other people, who are in a position that children feel they can trust, and who are supposed to provide guidance, should have stiffer penalties. I feel like the church, by making this decision, and by covering up past offenses, is condoning it, and is contributing to the victimization of children.

    It also makes me think that the Catholic church will become like a safe haven for pedophiles. If one wishes to commit this crime, where better to go than a place where there are plenty of trusting victims, and no penalty for getting caught.

    I believe that pedophiles can not be cured, and if given the opportunity, will continue to commit these crimes against children. There should be no tolerance of these crimes within the church, and those who commit the acts should be punished according to the laws everyone else has to live by. Including the past offenders.
  14. by   moonrose2u
    my only point about homosexuality (i believe anything that transpires between two consenting adults is strictly THEIR own private business!) and pedophila concerning the catholic church's papal paper is that:you cannot address sexual topics regarding ordinations, priestly duties, and vows of chastity and celibacy without addressing all the other sexual topics as well..if one takes on such a serious vow such as chasitity, wouldn't that vow to refrain from sex also include homosexuality or heterosexual activities?

    that, precisely, is my point..sexual abuse of children is a horrific crime in itself and should be treated as such, however; in order to address one topic, you must address all the cannot pick and choose....ordination orders do not say "you will refrain from homosexual activities, or vice versa" they state ALL sexual activities....

    whether it be:
    pedophilia, homosexuality, or heterosexual activity among the ordained clergy.

    Even though I am not catholic, i was sent to catholic school, and married a catholic (whom, by the way, had a uncle who became a priest)

    during my life i have personally known catholic priests:

    --one pedophiliac (these papers are sealed due to an out of court settlement and the archdiocese is refusing to release them to the DA's office) who was shuffled from local parish to another, but remained in contact with children for years...

    --three openly gay priests who continue to lead their parishes (why shouldn't they? i've no problem with that-they are adults, their personal relationships are with adults)

    --two priests who had affairs with women: one was married with 6 children and became pregnant by the priest-he was suspended of his diocesan duties (but not of his priestly ordination) and the diocese is paying the child support (wow! were they furious that one!)

    and one who also had an affair, but with a single woman...he was also suspended of his duties, and he married her "to give the child his name"

    --and 3 openly gay priests who died with aids and who were admitted to my acute care facility "across state lines" to, according to the priests themselves, save the diocese embarrassment (how horrible!)

    imo, only!