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Ahead of summit, Cupich discusses sex abuse, homosexuality, priestly formation

While it is important to recognize the fact that a high percentage of sex abuse involves “male on male sex abuse,” Cupich said, “homosexuality itself is not a cause.”

Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta and Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, members of the organizing committee for the Feb. 21-24, Vatican meeting on the protection of minors in the church, attend a press conference to preview the meeting at the Vatican Feb. 18, 2019. Also pictured is Alessandro Gisotti, interim Vatican spokesman. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, Feb 18, 2019 / 10:15 am (CNA).- Cardinal Blase Cupich said Monday that this week’s Vatican sex abuse summit needs to be focused on the protection of minors, underscoring that homosexuality is not a cause of sexual abuse.

While it is important to recognize the fact that a high percentage of sex abuse involves “male on male sex abuse,” Cupich said, “homosexuality itself is not a cause.” It is a matter of “opportunity and also a matter of poor training on the part of people.”

“The pope is asking us to make sure that we focus on the the task at hand, if in fact we begin to inflate expectations by including other topics, then we are not going to achieve the goals,” Cardinal Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, said at a Vatican press conference Feb. 18.

The Vatican’s sex abuse summit, to be held Feb. 21 – 24, will focus on the themes of responsibility, accountability, and transparency. Cupich was appointed by Pope Francis as a member of the organizing committee for the conference on the worldwide protection of minors in the Church.

Speaking at a press conference Feb. 18, Cupich took questions from the media along with other members of the organizing committee, including Father Hans Zollner, SJ, and Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.

Scicluna, who oversaw the investigation into the sexual abuse crisis in Chile last year, also serves as Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The global meeting of 190 global Catholic leaders on sex abuse measures highlights the “synodality” and “collegiality” in the Church in tackling these issues, Cupich explained.

“The Holy Father does want episcopal conferences to take responsibility, that was never a question, but we have to do it in such a way that we work together with each other — that is part of synodality — that is part of collegiality that this conference wanted to highlight,” he said.

In November, the Vatican intervened in the meeting of U.S. bishops to vote on a plan to address instances of episcopal sexual misconduct, which included the creation of a code of conduct for bishops, a whistleblower hotline, and the establishment of an independent lay-led team of experts charged with investigating allegations made against bishops.

“With regard to the November meeting in Baltimore among the bishops, it was clear that — talking with the bishops beforehand even before we knew about this — that the proposal submitted by the bishops was problematic for many. I believe that it would not have received the 2/3rds vote anyway,” Cupich said.

“I think that in many ways that Holy See did us a great favor in pointing out some areas that already were problematic for a number of bishops,” he continued.

“Now this meeting with allow a pathway forward so that what we do in the United States will be in line with the expectations with the rest of the world, so I think it was an important moment to step in,” he added.

The American cardinal emphasized the success of screening efforts in U.S. seminaries in preventing sexual abuse of minors.

“When you put in proper screening processes for seminaries as we have in the United States, you see that the instances of abuse drop dramatically. And so it is incumbent on our part to be responsible and accountable at that level of admitting candidates into the seminaries,” Cupich said.

“The screening is important, not in terms of homosexuality, but in terms of … if someone has an attitude with regarding sexuality that is not in keeping with the Church or that the protection of children is important or that there are other factors as well that made them high risk because of their own psyche,” he continued.

Father Hans Zollner, president of the Center for the Protection of Minors at the Pontifical Gregorian University as well as member of the summit organizing committee, clarified that “a psychological test or interview can never determine whether someone is homosexual or a higher risk” to commit sexual abuse with 100 percent certainty.

Zollner emphasized that this week’s meeting for the protection of minors will focus on the responsibility of the Church to address this issue at a global level, but in a way which can be applicable in a diversity of cultural contexts.

He explained that the Vatican had administered a survey seeking to identify how Church leaders perceive the topic of abuse very differently in their countries, and would use the results to “help achieve a synodal Church.”

The survey results will be released at a later date, Zollner said.

On day two of the summit, Cardinal Cupich will give a presentation on  accountability. Cupich has titled his talk, “Synodality: Jointly Responsible.”

Transparency will be one of the most important topics in the upcoming abuse conference, said Scicluna.

“Denial … is a  primitive mechanism that we need to move away from, and so whether it is criminal or malicious complicity in a code of silence or whether it is denial, which is trauma in its very primitive state, we need to go away from that and that’s why the third day of this important meeting is going to be on transparency.”

“We have to face the facts, because only the truth of the matter … and confronting the facts will make us free,” Scicluna said.

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  1. Cupich still says homosexuality is not the problem. Which tells us it IS the problem and that he is a loyal nephew of Uncle Ted. There will be no end to the scandals until all Cupich types are gone.

  2. Cardinal Cupich announces that “homosexuality itself is not a cause” that it’s is a matter of “opportunity and also a matter of poor training on the part of people.” We also here the buzz words collegiality, synodality, responsibility, accountability, and transparency.

    Regarding cause and effect, lacking from the above red-hat, cover-story vocabulary are the more elementary RED-FACE TEST and FUNCTIONAL LITERACY…

    The 2004 John Jay Report into clerical sex abuse in the U.S. found that four out of five (80 PERCENT) of the offenses involved young teenagers and young men. OBVIOUSLY the heart of the problem is actively homosexual priests and bishops, not the 2004 cover-story of the day: “pedophilia.”

    BUT others, like the well-placed Cardinal Cupich, dismiss this picture, probably by pointing to the later 2011 Jay College Report (“The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors, 1950-2010”) to say that homosexual priests are no more likely than others to abuse minors.

    HOWEVER, too many readers (including bishops) scan only abbreviated executive summaries. A reading of the more detailed findings in Chapter 2 of the 2011 report includes this revealing distinction regarding seminarians engaged in pre-seminary and/or in-seminary same-sex behavior:

    “After analyzing pre-seminary and in-seminary same-sex sexual behavior separately, only in-seminary [not pre-seminary] same-sex sexual behavior was significantly related to post-ordination sexual behavior. Priests with in-seminary same-sex sexual behavior were more likely to have sexual experiences with adults than minors, and they WERE NOT [caps added] significantly more likely to sexually abuse minors than priests with no-same sex sexual behavior in-seminary.”

    But then there’s this OMISSION from the executive summary:

    “However, after considering pre-seminary and in-seminary sexual behavior separately, ONLY IN-SEMINARY [not pre-seminary] SAME-SEX SEXUAL BEHAVIOR WAS SIGNIFICANTLY RELATED TO THE INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF A MALE CHILD VICTIM” [caps added].

    From these two findings together, the ELUSIVE BIG PICTURE IS THIS: Straight incoming seminarians have been groomed and victimized in the seminaries, and these late victims of homosexual aggression (by fellow seminarians) then have gone on to victimize a younger round of (for them, more opportune) male children. Only in the sense of a half-truth (again!) is it a matter of “opportunity” or “poor training” (about so-called boundaries???)–the originating homosexual connection is PROVED by the full 2011 report, rather than disproved.

    WHO from the USCCB might have groomed the Jay College Research Team to truncate the 2011 quick-read executive summary?

  3. At most, nothing but stale, recycled air will come of this.
    Cupich slams the door on any discussion of the root cause – homosexuality, before the summit even convenes.
    These people in power will continue to stonewall until the Catholic Church has split in two. We already know who the arbiters of power are in one side of the chasm. Let them go and do what they will.
    We pray to God that He strengthen, guide, protect and infuse with much grace, the remaining good and holy priest who will shepherd Christ’s remnant through this tribulation.

    • Apparently, Only Catholic clerics must be trained not to abuse minors.
      The rest of Christianity already knows this from life, parents, teachers, etc, etc, etc.
      “WAFWOT” , as we used to say in the Corps.

  4. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich is underqualified to serve on the organizing committee for the Feb. 21-24 Vatican meeting on the protection of minors in the Church. However, he is much more politically reliable than the much more qualified Cardinal Sean O’Malley. As a member of the Lavendar Mafia, his designated role at the summit in Rome is to prevent the H word from coming up or make its way into the written record apart from denials of responsibility. His proposal to the USCCB that bishops within the same province investigate each other when there are allegations of sexual abuse is sheer lunacy from a psychological standpoint but absolute genius from a Machiavellian standpoint.

  5. Cardinal Cupich’s statement that the Synod “Needs to be focused on the protection of minors underscoring that homosexuality is not a cause of sexual abuse” sets the tone [the entire statement drafted by Courtney Grogan CNA emphasises the Cardinal’s absurd logic that although most abuse occurs between adult males opportunity and poor training are at fault for abuse of children]. Abuse of children has already been effectively addressed by the Church, Cardinal Cupich giving the impression that male on male sex is somehow irrelevant. Sandro Magister has noted that view is apparently prevalent at the Vatican The Synod is clearly designed to avoid that major abuse issue. Adult clerical homosexual behavior and predation by senior clergy, prelates of vulnerable priests and seminarians. Cardinal O’Malley’s request that canonical vulnerability be expanded was ignored and he ‘summarily’ excluded from the planning committee. Justice requires the Pontiff take direct control of any such investigation involving prelates the apparent core of the more outstanding abuse issue, simply because only he is authorized to sanction where warranted. However that seems so far distanced from the Feb Synod that the credible allegations made involving McCarrick, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, and others as to render Justice impossible. Again I mention Robert Royal who intends to attend the Synod though not as he said with hope anything substantial will occur. Except he hoped the attending Bishops will consequently respond to the crisis. Independent action requested by Cardinal DiNardo had prev been thwarted by Pope Francis and it doesn’t appear that the Pontiff will approve that now. As said before in consideration of the immensity of the crisis affecting clergy and growing disillusionment of laity many leaving the Church an independent concerted effort by Bishops to address and amend the crisis is, at least to this writer justifiable.

  6. Will Fr. Paul Sullins’ analysis be considered at that synod?

    “Denial … is a primitive mechanism that we need to move away from, and so whether it is criminal or malicious complicity in a code of silence or whether it is denial, which is trauma in its very primitive state, we need to go away from that and that’s why the third day of this important meeting is going to be on transparency.” (Scicluna)

    Where “transparency” equals “obstinacy.”

    The synod “needs to be focused on the protection of minors.”

    It is indeed difficult to “focus” on a statistically probable homosexual majority.

  7. Let’s take a good hard look at this.

    So let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and say that clericalism is the cause.
    If clericalism is an evil and is the cause of all the abuse, how about we dissect this?

    Reports show that majority of the offenders are homosexuals. This therefore shows that homosexuals have a very great propensity for clericalism much more than sexually normal priests.

    If we want to eradicate clericalism, then we should eradicate from the priesthood those most prone to it – the homosexuals.

  8. Let’s reason through Cardinal Cupich’s assertion. Homosexuality not being connected to abuse of minors comes from the psychiatric community, the same people who change their definition of what is and isn’t a pathology every 5 years as social whims change, the same people who for decades insisted priests who abused minors could be reformed and restored to their ministries.

  9. How do Cupich and the Directors of Seminaries and the Vatican and the Hierarchy of the Church define “celibacy”? That seems to be the real issue here.

  10. The bold obstinacy of the sodomite segment of the clergy is frightening. It is attempting to suffocate true Catholic morality and must delight their fellow travelers.

  11. Cardinal Cupich is speaking truth, but not all of it. The cause of the sexual abuse of minors is the sin of lust. Lust is the unordered use of sexual faculty. This is learned immediately in St John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and is the very center of the sermon on divorce. The atrocity of child sexual abuse has life-altering consequences for the abused. If the conference does not speak about the vice of lust and the virtue of chastity, it will be a travesty.

  12. A man so incredibly daft and out of touch with reality like Cupich would never had made it as far as he did without the powerful patronage of his friend McCarrick.

  13. So is the goal “synodality” or the protection of children and the vulnerable? So what would so many U.S. bishops have opposed in the American plan – a clear code for future action, a safe system for bringing internal scandals to the fore, lay people with investigative experience on the job? The “universal” synod appears more as a source of protection for the offenders. It’s times like this that I wish I was a reporter, because after Cupcih’s response that the “cause” is not homosexuality, I would have asked him then if he thought that it was in any way a “contributing factor” and if so how?

  14. Cupich is post-Christian, just like his Uncle McCarrick.

    Cupich is in the battalion of feline post-Christian viceroys of the McCarrick establishment.

  15. To put this in pastoral terms: We know the abuse is 80% of wolves in sheep clothing on sheep. Wolves are not the problem. Experts have said the problem is one of opportunity for wolves in sheep’s clothing and training of the wolves in sheep’s clothing…synods are the solution as it makes for less wolves to invite to the feast of the “in our private field hospitals for the wounded” “Collegiality” enables the wolves in sheep’s clothing to hunt in packs. We want the wolves in sheep’s clothing to get “the smell of the sheep” or as in the child’s fairytale of the wolf when questioned says: “Why, the better to fool you with, my dear.” We expect the sheep to lay down their lives for the wolves in sheep and Shephard’s clothing.

    May the Good Shephard Jesus Christ our Lord who is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, be our true leader, protect us, and defend us, and allow us to be “wise as serpents, even as we are as loving as doves.”

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