Deacon Greg Kendra has posted a link to and excerpt from a January 8th Los Angeles Times piece, “Child sexual abuse cases in Hollywood attract attention”, which breaks news that is probably surprising only to those who foolishly (and blindly) continue to act as if child abuse occurs only at the hands of priests. The report states:
Advocates and professionals who work with victims of child sexual abuse say predators exploit the glittery lure of Hollywood to prey on aspiring actors or models. They assert that the problem is more widespread than the industry is willing to acknowledge and have called for tougher laws and better screening of those who represent or work with children.
“Unlike other settings, such as Little League, Scouts, day care and school volunteers, where adults who have unsupervised access to children are required to comply with fingerprinting requirements, there are no such standards in the entertainment industry,” said Paula Dorn, co-founder of the BizParentz Foundation, a nonprofit group for families of child actors.
Fortunately, the “experts” are all over the situation, which has probably existed for many decades:
Experts say addressing the problem is overdue.
“This is just like the Catholic Church pretending that priests never molested people in the past,” said Dr. Daniel D. Broughton, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic and expert on child sexual abuse. “What’s surprising to me is why it hasn’t come out even stronger and sooner.”
Are you surprised? I’m not. Part of the problem is obvious: journalists and writers who cover Hollywood rely on connections and relationships with insiders to get scoops, exclusive information and special access. That means, um, cozying up to those who control the doors and corridors of Tinsil Town. Researching stories on abuse, molestation, and related evils surely raises red flags on the part of those with a vested interest in keeping such filth under wraps. There has been much written over the years about the secrecy and stonewalling within the Catholic Church. But that is hardly a trademark of Catholics; covering up sin is the natural instinct of sinners who refuse to admit their sins. The surprise, really, is that any sane person might think Hollywood is somehow free and clear of such sickness.
The problem of child predators is hardly unique to the entertainment business. However, Hollywood provides predators potent bait to attract young victims, according to experts.
“Wanting fame is huge and it is a huge inducement,” said Broughton, the pediatrician. “The people that are in Hollywood who want to do this to kids are armed with one of the very best instruments to get kids in.”
I know some readers are going to fall back on a line that, frankly, I’m quite tired of hearing: “The Catholic Church claims to founded by Jesus Christ and therefore should be held to higher standards and more scrutiny than Hollywood, public schools, and other institutions and organizations.” This is at best a sloppy way of expressing a proper sentiment, or a bit of hyper-pious falsehood. What some folks mean by this is, “We as Catholics should hold ourselves to higher standards than other people, especially those who are thoroughly secular, etc.” Yes, that is true: Catholics should hold themselves to a higher standard, which is the law of Jesus Christ, as expressed in his teachings and through the teachings of his Church.
But law enforcement officials and the legal system should hold all molesters and law-breakers to the same objective standards of civil law. The fact is, if those who claim that they are solely concerned about protecting children really were telling the truth, they would go after molesters wherever they might be: Hollywood, schools, businesses, etc. In other words, no one should get special treatment or benefit from pathetic excuses when it comes to breaking the law, especially not when it comes to the safety, welfare, and innocence of children. No one. So when I write about abuse that takes place in Hollywood or public schools, it’s not a matter of saying, “Hey, they’re doing it too!” Rather, it’s a matter of saying, “The abuse of children is a vile and hideous evil that must be exposed wherever it is found, period.” Unfortunately, there are those who see the scandals within the Catholic Church as an opportunity to attack the very existence and identity of the Church, and to misrepresent the nature and work of the vast majority of priests. In that case, it is no longer about protecting children, but pummeling Catholicism.
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