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God's Sherpards Love Boys



The Phoenix Gazette, Section A, Tues November 30, 1993


Dozens of

reported abused by Catholic friars

By Jeff Wilson

The Associated Press

GOLETA, Calif. — For more than two decades, Roman Catholic priests sexually abused boys aged 7 -to 16 at a boarding school in a Santa Barbara seminary, a panel organized by a Franciscan order concluded.  A board of inquiry for the St. Barbara Province of the Francis­can Order said Monday that 12 priests engaged in nude games, fondling and other sex acts with students at St. Anthony's Semi­nary from 1964 to 1987, when it closed because of financial prob­lems. So far, 34 boys, mostly teenag­ers, have been identified as vic­tims.


"The abuse perpetrated by our own brothers on the victims and their families is truly horrific," said the Rev. Joseph Chinnici, minister of the Oakland-based Province of St. Barbara and leader of Franciscans in seven Western states.  "We totally abhor what has occurred," Chinnici said.

At a news conference Monday night, the chairman of the order's panel said they were stunned by the results of their investigation.  "We found that in the years in question, a serious problem of sexual abuse of minors by friars existed at the seminary," Geoffrey Stearns said.  He said the investigation would continue and that the panel ex­pects other alleged victims to come forward.


A message left after business hours Monday at District Attorney Thomas Sneddon's office was not immediately returned. Lt. John Thayer, a police spokesman, said prosecutions of the priests were unlikely because of the statute of limitations, which is six years on child molestation cases in Califor­nia.  Of the 12 priests, whose names weren't disclosed in a 72-page report, eight were being treated by therapists. One left the order, one died and another priest's case was being investigated by the panel.  The other priest served six months in jail after pleading no contest in 1989 to oral copulation of a minor at the seminary.  After the case, the order sent out letters to former students asking if they had been abused. When some of them came forward the order decided to investigate. The panel, organized in 1992, included an attorney, three psy­chotherapists, a member of the order and a victim's parent. 


The Roman Catholic Church has been criticized for not addressing abuses openly in the past. A flurry of lawsuits accuse the church of quietly reassigning offenders to other parishes.  Cardinal Roger Mahony, arch­bishop of the Los Angeles archdio­cese, said the seminary does not fall under his jurisdiction, but that archdiocesan officials approved of the way the investigation was handled.

The panel said the Franciscan friars involved children in nude games, nude photographs, fon­dling, masturbation, oral copula­tion and examination of genitals under the guise of hernia exams.  Chinnici said the order has paid $90,000 so far for counseling for the victims. He wouldn't disclose whether the victims have been paid anything else to make amends for their suffering.  "When the process first began, I was under the impression that there were only a few cases of sexual abuse at the seminary. I was wrong," said Chinnici.  "To the victims and their fami­lies, I want to express on behalf of all the friars, our most profound apologies," he said. "The report gives graphic testimony to the humiliation, loss of faith and betrayal of trust."



Sex abuse by priests found to be rampant

Survey provides framework

for examining Catholic crisis

By Laurie Goodutuin



The sex-abuse crisis that engulfed the Roman Catholic Church during the past 12 months has spread to nearly every American diocese and in­volves more than 1,200 priests, most of whose careers span a mix of church history and seminary training.  These priests are known to have abused more than 4,000 minors over the past six decades, accord­ing to an extensive New York Times survey of documented cases of sexual abuse by priests through Dec. 31, 2002.

The survey, the most complete compilation of data on the problem available, contains the names and histories of 1,205 accused priests.  It counted 4,268 people who claimed publicly or in lawsuits to have been abused by priests, though experts say there are surely many more who have re­mained silent.  But the data show that priests secretly violated vulnerable youth long before the first victims sued the church and went public in 1984 in Louisiana.  Some offenses date from the 1930s.

  This has been going on for decades, probably centuries,” said Richard K O’Connor a former Dominican priest who say he was one of 10 boys sexually assaulted by three priests in a South Bronx  N.Y.,  parish In 1940, when he was 10.  “It was just that all of a sudden the caught us.”

The data, together with extensive interviews with priests abuse victims church historians, psychologists and experts on sexual disorder, suggest that although the problem involved only a small percentage of priests, it s deeply embedded in the culture of the Catholic priesthood.  Many priests began seminary training as young as 13, and all of them spent years being groomed in an insular world in which sexual secrets and transgres­sions were considered a matter f6r the confessional, not the criminal courts.

The Times survey counted priests from dioceses and religious orders who had been accused by name of sexually abusing one or more children.  It determined that 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001 had been accused of abuse.   But the research also suggested that the extent of the problem remains hidden.  In dioceses that have divulged what they are complete lists of abusive priests—under court orders or voluntarily the percentages are much higher.  In Baltimore, an estimated 6.2 percent of priests ordained in the past half-century have been implicated in the abuse of minors.  In Manchester, N.H., the percentage is 7.7, and in Boston, it is 5.3.   

The Times data include only cases in which priests were named, and many bishops have released only partial lists of accused priests, or refused to identify any.  In those 12 months, as the scandal exploded throughout the church, 432 accused priests have resigned, retired, or been removed from ministry.   Because in the nearly 20 years since the problem sur­faced the U.S. bishops have re­fused to cooperate with re­searchers who sought to initiate studies, the Times study offers the fullest picture possible of the extent of sexual abuse within the church.  These are among the other findings:  Half of the priests in the database were accused of mo­lesting molested one minor, and l6 percent are suspected of having had five or more vic­tims.  Eighty percent of the’ priests were accused of molest­ing boys.  {These numbers under report because most of the boys do not come forward--jk}.  The percentage is the opposite for lay people accused of abuse; their victims are mostly girls.  While the majority were accused of molesting teen-agers only, 43 percent were accused of molesting children 12 and younger.  .

The Boston Archdiocese, which has received the most scruti­ny in the news reports last years, did have the most accused priests—94—but not the worst problem proportionally.  More than a dozen other dioceses had a higher rate of accused priests when taken as a percentage of their active priests. 


[About half the paragraphs were deleted because they did not carry forth, sufficiently, the topic.  San Diego Union, A-3, 1/12/03.]



Draft survey: 4,450 priests accused of sex abuse

What about the majority of children who don’t go public, and those whom have been paid off for silence?  Given the lack of such behavior in the clergy of churches which permit marriage and there is such a scarcity of girls sexually abused, it is reasonable to conclude that the Catholic priesthood attracts gays.  One can only wonder about the percentage of priest that have sex with priest.—jk

Bishop: 'Very sobering and important milestone'

Tuesday, February 17, 2004 Posted: 8:54 AM EST (1354 GMT), from CNN.com at http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/02/16/church.abuse/index.html


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Children accused more than 4,000 priests of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002, according to a draft survey for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The survey, to be released February 27, found that children made more than 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The 4,450 accused priests represent about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests who served during the 52 years covered by the study.  The report is based on a nationwide survey of church records, and was compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice for the conference. The bishops' conference commissioned the survey to get a better understanding of the scope of the crisis.

CNN reviewed a draft copy of the survey. Officials said it may be slightly changed before its release.

More than half of the accused priests had only one allegation against them. Nearly 25 percent, or 1,112 priests, had two or three allegations, and almost 13 percent, or 578 priests, had four to nine allegations, according to the draft report. Nearly 3 percent, or 133 of the priests, had 10 or more allegations.  The report said that 6,700 of the 11,000 allegations were investigated and substantiated, and another 1,000 were unsubstantiated. The remaining 3,300 were not investigated because the priests involved had died by the time the allegation was made.

The director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said Monday that the survey's numbers are low.  "Bishops have tried to hide this for years, so there is no reason to believe all of a sudden they would change their ways," David Clohessy said. "The only prudent thing to do is to assume this is not the entire truth. This is a survey, not a report or investigation."

SNAP, founded in 1989, describes itself on its Web site as the nation's largest, oldest and most active support group for people victimized by religious authority figures.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a written statement calling the reports "a very sobering and important milestone."   "I have not seen the reports, and so I cannot comment on their substance," the statement from Bishop Wilton D. Gregory said. "But I want to reaffirm that the bishops requested these studies so that we could understand as fully as possible what caused this terrible occurrence in the life of our community to make sure that it never happens again.  "My heart goes out to all who have suffered, and I assure them especially that the bishops are committed to fully implementing the Dallas Charter and will continue to work with the Office of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board to reach out to victims and prevent such abuse from occurring in the future," Gregory said in a statement.

The Dallas Charter is a plan developed by the conference in 2002 to protect children from sex abuse by priests. The conference created the review board in 2002 and charged it with commissioning the abuse study.

The head of Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic group formed in response to the priest sex abuse scandal, says some important information is missing from the draft report.

"Although it counts the number of children who have been abused, the number of priests who have abused children, the total financial cost to the church, it does not chronicle the number of bishops who knowingly re-assigned priests who had abused children," said Steve Krueger.  "Without that kind of investigation, there can be no accountability," Krueger said.

The editor of the National Catholic Reporter agreed the church scandal is not just about sex.

"This has long ceased to be just a scandal about sex abuse. It's a scandal about abuse of power and trust, and a breech of faith with people," said Tom Roberts.

Bill Burleigh, a member of the conference's National Review Board, said he would not comment until the survey is released. No clergy serve on the review board.

According to the survey, 78 percent of those abused were between 11 and 17, 16 percent were 8 to 10, and nearly 6 percent were 7 or younger.

The survey also said that several factors contributed to the problem, including failure to grasp its gravity, overemphasis on the avoidance of scandal, use of unqualified treatment centers, misguided willingness to forgive and insufficient accountability.

More than 44,000 priests serve in the United States, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


One can only wonder what the nuns do?  Denis Diderot’s 18th century account provides the answer.

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John Stuart Mill on the evils of religion--one page says it all!