Sexual Predator Issue
(Posted 2000 for PAN)
A response to an e-mail remark in which it was said, "However, I am disappointed about your 'generous' policy towards clergy predators and would not subscribe to nor endorse it."
We do not endorse nor subscribe to any "generous policy towards clergy predators" either. In fact, we abhor clergy predators to the 'nth' degree!
However, lest one play games with words, the FACTS speak for themselves when viewing the statistics of predatory actions of both clergy and society as a whole.
Over 90% of all predatory actions are committed by heterosexuals. Of those committed, the age preferences have been for those under 14 years of age. In many states (and most) states, there is a division of age groupings for who are considered as "children" and who are considered as "minors" (14 - 18) are considered as minors in the legal definition.
There is no defense against sexual predatory actions whatsoever in the Church (East or West) however; there exists in North America a puritanical aspect which goes to the fringe of what is considered as "Guilty" by "allegation" alone. And this is especially alarming when many who have been "alleged" are named in documents to the electronic news media where their careers are over with even when they have been proven "innocent". But the most alarming aspect of the witch hunts in these times is the fact that many of the charges against people who are alleged to have committed some act of sexual action upon or to a minor or child (under 14) is that the minor (reaching pubescent) has taken advantage of a either a drunken parent, neighbor or drug intoxicated individual. In other instances it has been found that a grumbling mother who was spurned has encouraged her child to make a claim just on the basis of a simple hug upon a minor or child by the one who spurned her.
When one takes a clear cut view at the actual events of the Ellie Nestler (bad spelling) case; one will find that the woman sat with the man who she later murdered, knowing full well that the numerous times she went into a bar to drink with the man, she left her child in the car, knowing well, over the years, that the man was bisexual. With that 'knowingness' - it only stands to reason (especially for human nature being what it is) that she also knew that her boy-friend (whom she murdered) was playing with her son. There is no condoning of what the man did with her son whatsoever. But there is no condoning of what Ellie did knowing what she knew beforehand. Many hold to the opinion that she acted on sheer impulse and with the backing of a societies' impulsiveness that she did not want knowing of her own knowledge about incidents between her son and her boyfriend. What better way to accomplish two very important things: 1) to shut up her boyfriend before he had a chance to speak out, and 2) to gain public sentiment for herself and detract the guilt that would otherwise be applied to her if the knowledge were let out that she knew everything about her boyfriend and son?
In these present times in which the Roman Catholic Church's sex scandal has reached obvious proportions; one only has to look at the incredible number of adults in their late 20's, 30's and 40's who are making allegations against specific named priests, writing letters to bishops about supposed priests who are alleged to have sexually abused them in their early teenage or younger years. No credible evidence is offered. Just hearsay! And, when the "hearsay" is offered, the electronic news media is made aware with the results being the destruction of a man's career without solid evidence to support the allegation. How would you like to have an adult woman or man make an allegation against you and have it broadcast around the world, knowing that you did nothing claimed?
It has been found that some priests have gone to prison, even to their very death in order to protect the Seals of the Confessional by taking a charge of sexual misconduct or other charges in order to protect that pillar of the Church Catholic, the Seals of the Confessional. Any true priest or Bishop who claims to be Catholic, must protect the Seals of the Confessional at all costs, even with one's very life. Anything short of that is tantamount to the Protestant heresy and a violation of ancient teachings of the Church.
Many today feel that the Seals of the Confessional are no longer sacrosanct and would openly destroy such. Many are actually from the daughters of the Roman Catholic Church... the Protestant Churches! Many would destroy all that was once held Sacred so that the law of man will take precedence over the law of God through the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles and the very Seven Ecumenical Councils. And those who would do such things no longer believe in the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ by their words and actions! Thus, many of those who are Roman Catholic and some Orthodox; have shown the degree to which they hold to the praxis and faith once delivered ... Their concerns having become more for the material and less for the truly spiritual, which means they have lost the faith in spirit and truth!
Our Orthodox Catholic teachings require that we truly peruse the Oral and Written traditions once delivered, not that from which is written through adulteration by man wherein understandings have been twisted and altered.
As a result of coming to a more true Orthodox Catholic understanding of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, we can arrive to a more true approach and understanding of man's sexual nature as well as to how we should be viewing the predatory aspects being alleged today. Where solid evidence is presented, those committing the offenses should be tried in civil court and given life without the possibility of parole. However, those who have served their time in prison and been released are faced with the continuing harsh punishment of double jeopardy as embedded in the present day Megan's Law. Such a continued punishment is not only un-Christian because it shows that society has lost the path to Christ through His Life and Teachings, but have lost the right of being called "Christian" as they no longer believe in that which He taught on both "Repentance" and "Forgiveness". Remember, the whole idea and ideal behind the prison system was and is "rehabilitation" which, when served (regardless of what is said about the system in these times)... they are released, especially after they have served their term of parole. They are to be released back into and restored with the same rights as the remainder of society. This is not happening for many. As a result, they are faced with double jeopardy and a continuing punishment.
Where there is no solid evidence in such sexual predatory cases... exonerate the person and not let it go un-noticed so that some semblance of restoration of a man's career can be made. In these times, it is not happening primarily because "hearsay" as allegations are let stand as though the person is actually 'guilty' without one iota of regret on the part of society. This is an abomination and a heresy against the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.
+ Thaddeus, O.S.B., Ph.D.
A PERSONAL COMMENT FROM His Eminence, ARCHBISHOP +BRIAN KENNEDY, O.S.B.
In my personal opinion, it is wrong to treat this issue in isolation from the cause. The cause is a loss of spirituality that has pervaded all of our Society and the larger Church Catholic. This is NOT a Roman Catholic phenomenon, this is a natural consequence of a lost spirituality among clergy and laity alike.
I know of a priest of the Orthodox Church out of California, a bishop, who went to prison for protecting the Seals of the Confessional. I read all the documents in his court case and know that he was set-up. He was falsely convicted. I know he refused to break the Seals of the Confessional even when the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting his case attempted to stop the court from allowing the priest, a bishop, to get on the witness stand. I saw the court records on the case. I know that the victim-witness testified against the assistant D.A. in favor of the clergy man who was being tried by a Judge and not a trial by jury. He is a victim of the politics of the times and was innocent. All the court documents I have read in spite of what the news media had done to the man in what can only be a smear campaign proves to me his innocence. So, as to any question about my stand concerning the Roman Catholic Church, I would say that the answer is rather obvious.
I am well known for defending truth against the errors of the RCC and the larger Church Catholic. I have always tried to be objective and admitting truth when I find it and denouncing error when I find it in any jurisdiction of the East or the West. I am NOT ANTI CATHOLIC, I am just pro truth. I love my Catholic brothers and sisters in the RCC and accept them as my brothers and sisters in Christ and part of the larger Church Catholic.
I am one of the few Orthodox that feels this way. I do not believe the RCC is a "false religion" set up in opposition to Orthodoxy.
I would not disrespect my brothers and sisters in the Papal jurisdiction by indicating or even hinting that this is only an RCC problem.
I do not believe the problem is more evident in the RCC than elsewhere. The cause has nothing to do with anything except a loss of spirituality and religious fervor that is common to all of us in all jurisdictions. When we attack the RCC for this, the attack comes back to hit us right between the eyes because we are all part of the one larger Church Catholic. The solution to all this is to view it for what it is, a moral lapse and the solution is Christ. More time in prayerful adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, more time in prayerful reading and study of the Scriptures is the only viable solution. This is just my opinion for what ever it may be worth.
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