Opinion: What is sexual abuse in the Church?

I submit that Catholic discussion of sexual abuse needs to unlearn three defense mechanisms and to learn three important concepts.

(Florian Pérennès @florian_perennes | Unsplash.com)

Casey Chalk unintentionally took me back to the 1990s with his recent assertion that, “When it comes to sexual abuse allegations, no other organization is held to the same standard of scrutiny as that of the Catholic Church.”

This reminded me of a housemate, a Presbyterian seminarian who made this point a quarter-century ago with a little amazement at how much negative attention Catholics get in the movies. My friend noted that Hollywood always situates sinister scenes (e.g., those about the Mafia) not in a shiny new Joyful Redeemer Methodist Church in 1970s small-town Iowa, but in a hulking, dark, rattling Sorrowful Heart of Mary Catholic Church deep in an inner city metropolis from the 1870s.

Chalk and my friend are both right: the Catholic Church has attracted huge attention, especially when it comes to every form of abuse and corruption. (How many shows have been made about the Borgias alone?) Neither seemed to think it entirely fair, but I disagree.

Catholics should welcome having all these sins blazoned before our eyes for we follow a Messiah who flatly told us (Lk 8:17) that “nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light.”

As things continually come to light, let us not downplay these offenses, as we often feel the urge to do in defending what some still call Mother Church.

How, then, might we to continue to talk and think about this? I submit that Catholic discussion of sexual abuse needs to unlearn three defense mechanisms and to learn three important concepts.

Don’t downgrade numerically

I have seen some attempts to downgrade reports (including the huge one in France) by criticizing the methods and numbers, claiming they must be inflated.

This is unhelpful. It overlooks a longstanding conviction in clinical and legal work: the number of reported sexual crimes is always lower than the actual number of victims, who regularly decline to come forward because of the shame and pain. (I have known people hide their abuse anywhere from ten to 25 years before seeking help.)

Don’t downgrade chronologically

Since at least 1992 in Canada, and 2002 in the US, churchmen have tried to tell us that most of the cases were in the past. That, however, overlooks stories from late 2021 of very recent ordinands guilty of abuse, including here in the Latin diocese where I am resident, and another next door in Ohio.

Don’t downgrade typologically

Over the last thirty years I have heard some people attempt to downgrade and even dismiss all forms of abuse that were not rape as just “bad stuff” that “occasionally happens” and “most people grow out of.”

Such views are revolting, but they do point (however unwittingly) to an important conceptual issue: what constitutes sexual abuse? Most of us unreflectively assume that it only involves bodily penetration.

But victims tell a different story.

In response, clinicians have recognized abuse comes in three forms. An important article in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, confirmed by the latest research that I draw on in my practice, has outlined this threefold categorization:

Contact abuse

This is contact between two bodies, typically but not always involving the genitalia. Under this heading we also find manual, anal, and oral stimulation and penetration as well as other forms of contact (e.g., groping) involving both males and females, involving bodies but also various objects.

Non-contact abuse

This includes exposure by abusers of their body, genitalia especially, as well as performing sexual acts (both solitary and with others) in front of others, particularly children.

Covert abuse

This one is often overlooked, but can be very insidious. Psychotherapist Kenneth Adams has recognized after decades of clinical experience that “you can be sexually abused without being sexually touched.”

How is that possible? One example of this is exposing kids to pornography (which I discussed here for CWR), especially at an early age. (I know people whose lives have been seriously damaged by this.) Other examples include bathing, toilet, and disciplinary rituals whose latent purpose is sexual in nature. In some families, covert abuse can happen when children are expected to fulfill sexualized longings of their parents in the absence of, or as rivals to, a spouse or adult partner.

Responses can vary to any type of abuse, but in general the clinical picture reveals long-term damage. In severe cases, it is no exaggeration to see child sexual abuse as “soul murder,” to use Leonard Shengold’s apt phrase.

For these reasons, then, let Catholics continue to welcome these revelations and do all in our power to help victims find healing.


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About Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille 107 Articles
Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille is associate professor at the University of Saint Francis in Ft. Wayne, IN., where he also maintains a part-time private practice in psychotherapy. He is the author and editor of several books, including Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy (University of Notre Dame, 2011).

41 Comments

  1. Interestingly, a friend of mine who was a Presbyterian minister who served on a tribunal in his church said the problem is much worse in other denominations, especially among married clergy (his claim, not mine). In his opinion, it was the lack of a central final authority and media cooperation that diverted scrutiny away from Protestant churches and to the Catholic Church.

    • Much worse in other denominations? I don’t think so. The sheer volume of revelations now coming to light are mainly of Roman Catholic priest and nun abusers of children. I have been a Methodist member in various parts of the U.K. for 67 years and came across just two allegations in all that time. One involved a minister but related to his time before ministry. He was acquitted. The other was a lay worker. He was also acquitted.

      • Part of the problem with comparisons in this context is the size of the Catholic Church even today compared with many others. The Methodist Church is no small shakes to be sure. But you appear to be stating what you know from your own experience, not from news accounts, formal studies, or law enforcement records. They might tell a different story statistically that is and in per centages.

        Whatever the numbers, the fact remains that there is a deep-seated animus and hatred in some quarters of the Catholic Church. And sexual abuse of various sorts is one more reason to attack it. Justly, I would say, when the reports are true. Otherwise, not of course.

        But if we are going to hate something, let us hate it fairly and for the right reasons. One part of fairness might be to compare the incidence of abuse in the Church with that in secular institutions, such as public school systems.

        Bottom line, Though, such abuse is indeed particularly abominable in an institution that aims at holiness for its clergy and its members, young and old.

      • Obviously you you don’t speak for other denominations, only Methodists in the UK (all four parts?). Clerical abuse has been such in the U.K. that even Monty Python had skit about a pederast Bishop (C.of E). We in the United States had an excellent example of a sexually abusing United Methodist Minister, Jeffrey L. Smith. Mr. Jeffrey L. Smith besides being an ordained Methodist Minister was also an nationally known Television Chef and personality. It was Mr. Smith’s good fortune to commit his acts while appearing on Public Broadcasting Service, our BBC, and the unpleasantness was swept under the rug as quickly as possible. Rev. Jeffrey L. Smith, the “Frugal Gourmet”, quite a story. There is a parable about casting stones we both share, sadly all denominations suffer this cancer of abuse.

      • To Gareth Edwards:

        Your extremely limited experience has provided you with a most inaccurate view that is manifested by your committing the fallacy of jumping to a false conclusion on minimal, incomplete, and inaccurate evidence. To help correct your faulty understand, I recommend that you read the following that you can find on the internet:

        1. “Major Protestant Leader Admits That Sex Abuse Is A Far Bigger Problem With Protestant Churches Than With The Catholic Church”
        by Andrew Bieszad on August 25, 2017

        2. “Unsafe in Any Denomination: What the Experts Say”

        3. Specific Articles/Reports by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights dealing with the specifics and data involving clergy sex abuse in all denominations over the past 20 plus years.

        Of course, if you do the extra research and you are honest, you will have to give up your false claim. Do you have the integrity to do this? I hope so.

  2. I would go further and say that violations of personal boundaries are a form of abuse and could potentially be viewed as same by the object of the violation. I know of a priest who in the context of preparing a couple for marriage went into unnecessarily graphic detail about the sexual stimulation of a certain part of the body. The couple, feeling terribly offended by such frankness, reported same to the bishop who addressed the issue with the priest.

  3. Many priests are accused after they are dead. In that case, how can anyone believe beyond a reasonable doubt in that priest’s guilt or innocence?

  4. The most devious operation in the discourse about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is to limit it into only child sex abuse when in fact it is mostly of the homosexual predation sex abuse nature. The gay mafia in the church hierarchy is successful in euphemizing and shrinking this picture into a child sex abuse only scenario. The mass and social media have embraced this spin and thus we the faithful are not given the right picture of the scandal. The icons of this global scale of the clergy and episcopal homosexual predation sex abuse scandal rightly give the big picture here, they are the triumvirate of homosexual Cardinals: Theodore McCarrick (U.S.A.); Keith O’Brien (Scotland); and Hans Hermann Groer (Austria). This gay predation pathology goes from many princes of the church in the top down through seminary formators (who cultivate seminary gay sub-cultures eventually blossoming into diocesan scale gay sub-cultures) to numerous pastors in the parishes. Special mention should be made of the gay orgy host in his Vatican residence, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio. It is indeed sad and bad that this is not openly discussed about. Most of us Catholics are led to believe by our leaders and the media that it is only child sex abuse which is already evil when in fact it is of the deeper evil of homosexual predation sex abuse scandal.

    • You’re correct. We should stop referring to the generic “sexual abuse crisis” and call it what it is: homosexuality. When specific incidents are NOT homosexual in nature, we should identify these exceptions.

      • This is fake news. Predation is a sin of power, humiliation, and control. The deeper and more serious scandal is the cover-up of abuse by bishops and others in authority. Every opportunity with vulnerable people–families, elder care facilities, schools, athletic teams, Scouts, foster homes, detention facilities, hospitals–has occasions of abuse. People sin by committing grave abuse on those who appear weaker.

        The Church’s hierarchy is rightly vilified by turning a blind eye to abusers. Even John Paul II refused to believe the allegations against Maciel, a man who was indiscriminate in victims–men, women, and children all.

        No, the Church’s bigger crisis, one that too many people decline to admit, is one of secrecy. When secrets are outed, we are stunned. But it’s hard not to wonder for people and organizations in the Church who appear to have spotless records. Have they really beat abuse, or are they just better than others at hiding it? That is the crisis.

        • It does not build audience confidence in making one’s point when one begins by asserting a cancellation of the observation of another man.

          The subsequent observation about secrecy is definitely part of the truth, but not the whole truth.

          It is the whole truth to admit to ourselves what offenses are being kept secret. And it is, as we know from the National Review Board 2002-04, with regard to secrecy about sex abuse, over 80% involving homosexual predation of teen boys by homosexual predator priests. Candid lay Catholics on the NRB, from the Governor Keating to Atty Robert Bennett to Sec of Defense Leon Panetta and Judge Anne Burke all testified to this, Keating, the last three in digning the NRB Report itself, and the Governor in his public resignation condemning the US Bishops as “mafiosi.”

          With regard to other secrecy, like The Pontiff Francis’ Secret China Accord (courtesy of “Eminence” Parolin” and “Criminal Abuser “ex-Eminence” and USCCB quarterback McCarrick, it is about asserting dominance, undermining Catholic sacraments and morality, winning favor of Chairman Xi of the Chinese-Communist-Murder-Incorporated,” and living like millionaires off of secretly controlled financial fortunes amassed in the Vatican City-State and western what “Eminence” Becciu’s “Church-of-the-Poor” (as he whispered to Pontiff Francis on the balcony the fateful evening in April 2013).

          But back to the secrecy about homosexual predation, it is what Rod Dreher asserts: its all about “Queering the Church,” which is “the reform” (per “Eminences” Martini and McCarrick and Danneels and Mahony and Dolan and Wuerl etc etc etc), which is the purpose of electing the former Archbishop of Buenos Aries, The Pontiff Francis, defender of the serial sex predator “Rev.” Julio Grassi of Argentina, now serving a 15 year prison sentence in Argentina after conviction in its Supreme Court, a story that the enabling “Catholic media” does not see, hear, or speak. A sort of pervasive, enabling “secrecy” all its own.

          And all of the above is the ugly truth.

          • A bit of clarity. The Jay Study focused only on crimes against minors. In fact, only 50% of victims were boys age 14 and older–about the dividing line for high school. Of course, the puberty event can begin anytime along the spread of age 11 to 15, and maybe a year or two younger for girls.

            The deacon’s comment is fake news because there is no human biological initiative to procreate with persons younger than adults. Healthy human beings are attracted to peers. When a parent abuses a child, it is about any number of issues ranging from anger, cruelty, personal comfort, etc..

            Another point on the Jay Study: it never explored sexual abuse with people age 18 and older. While one person on this site opined “relief” upon hearing about a priest having sex with a woman, I am not. Such events are still abuse: an unequal relationship which may or may not have sexual intercourse as a feature, but which always has the specter of power and control and lacks the mutuality in a committed relationship–marriage.

            We also know that abuse is a crime of opportunity. The Jay Study counted priest-on-infant episodes. We also know that for the period of 1950 to the mid 70s to 80s altar servers were exclusively male. It would have been weird, even for priest-figures in the 60s for example, to take a girl under his wing. But parents freely allowed boys and male teens to hang out with priests in the sacristy, in the rectory, and on trips like those outings Mr McCarrick provided.

            I think critics can think they’re on to the truth when they zero in on the gay thing. Strange thing: as they’ve been doing that for the last 20 years, we still have ordained guys who have pursued inappropriate contact and relationships, and it has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. Certainly not their orthodoxy.

            If you can’t get the diagnosis right, your hope for a solution rest on pure chance rather than a logical assessment of the truth. Purge the gays from seminaries? You can try, but you’ll find ordained guys still having sex with infants, girls, innocent women, and elderly residents of a care facility.

          • Chris in Maryland:

            Always keep in mind that because of the abuse crisis, Rod Dreher wimped out and unjustifiably left the Catholic Church for the Orthodox Church despite abuse problems also afflicting the Orthodox and all other denominations. As such, whenever he opines about “the church,” note that he speaks in part as an apostate. Perhaps he will come to his senses and receive the grace to return to the one true faith, but so far he continues to comment on the Church that he no longer serves as a member, yet there is hardly a peep (if any) regarding the problems with the Orthodox Church.

        • Mr. Flowerday:

          You appear to be smuggling a tainted source into the discussion, the 2011 John Jay Study, NOT written by Catholic laymen investigating the Crisis in the Church, as was the 2004 Nat’l Review Board Report (which properly limited John Jay’s role only generate its statistics on sex abuse, and not to give its biased opinions).

          The 2011 study (you are I sense quoting from this, since the 2004 Report and its data say no such thing) is written directly by staff who are merely employees of John Jay College in NYC, a CUNY college that outright promotes LGBTQ ideology, and is thus known to be hostile to the findings and conclusions of the 2004 National Review Board Report.

          We also know that this is a hostile source, because the duplicitous and disoriented pro-LGBTQ Archbishop of Chicago, “Excellency” Cupich, who is on record as calling the sex abuse discussion a “rabbit hole distracting us from the bigger agenda of Pontiff Francis,” praised the 2011 John Jay product as soon as it was published, and candid persons admit that Cupich did so because the 2011 John Jay product undermines the findings and conclusions of the 2004 National Review Board Report, which, as shown below, forthrightly states that over 80% of the cases of sex abuse of minors was homosexual predation of teen boys (discussed on pp 80 and 81, and quoted directly below).

          It is also noteworthy that in 2011, ‘ex-Eminence McCarrick” was only 81 years old, and still a highly energetic Cardinal-Bishop in the United States, still calling the shots in the USCCB, and with high influence and connections in the NYC area and among college academics in NYC (he himself being a college academic administrator for 10 or so years, finishing as President of the U. of Puerto Rico), and also with self-proclaimed connections to NYPD and NYC FBI law enforcement (both being closely associated with John Jay College School of Criminal Justice). McCarrick, born and raised in NYC, educated there all the way through his ordination in 1958 (at age 28), and after priestly assignments and his academic admin career, returning to NYC and serving 23 years in the NY/NJ metro area bishop from 1077-2000, until his “irregular” appointment as Archbishop of Wash DC by JP2.

          Thus, it is 100% guaranteed that “Team McCarrick,” including his fellow-LGBTQ acolytes like “Eminence” Cupich and “Eminence” Wuerl (who as reported by JD Flynn, “denied, denying he denied knowing about McCarrick abusing seminarians”) had a happy hand in the USCCB underwriting the pro-LGBTQ John Jay staff to subvert and undermine the lay Catholics who honestly reported the situation in 2004, that over 80% of the sex abuse of minors was homosexual predator priests abusing teen boys.

          Below I quote the candid, honest, and Catholic report of the lay Catholic men and women of the 2004 National Review Report, from pp. 80-81 (with their link below at end).

          From the National Review Board Report, 2004, pp 80-81, in the section titled “Special Issues Relating to Sexual Orientation,”

          “As noted above, the overwhelming majority of reported acts of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy victimized boys. Accordingly, the current crisis cannot be addressed without consideration of issues relating to homosexuality. According to Church doctrine, homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder and homosexual acts are gravely immoral. At the same time, the Church has long been known for its position that a homosexual is not to blame for his orientation. … We do not seek to place the blame for the sexual abuse crisis on the presence of homosexual individuals in the priesthood as there are many chaste and holy homosexual priests who are faithful to their vows of celibacy. However, we must call attention to the homosexual behavior that characterized the vast majority of the cases of abuse observed in recent decades. That eighty-one percent of the reported victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy were boys shows that the crisis was characterized by homosexual behavior. It has been reported to the Review Board that, in some areas, the large number of homosexual priests or candidates had the effect of discouraging heterosexal men from seeking to enter the priesthood. In the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, there developed at certain seminaries a “gay subculture,” and at these seminaries, according to several witnesses, homosexual liaisons occurred among students or between students and teachers. Such subcultures existed or exist in certain dioceses or orders as well. The Board believes that the failure to take disciplinary action against such conduct contributed to an atmosphere in which sexual abuse of adolescent boys by priests was more likely. In light of this background, it is vital that bishops, provincials, and seminary rectors ensure that seminaries create a climate and a culture conducive to chastity.

          2004_02_27_Bennett_Report_Searchable.pdf (bishop-accountability.org)

          And the second to last sentence “…the failure to take disciplinary action against [homosexual] conduct contributed to an atmosphere in which sexual abuse of adolescent boys by priests was more likely” is the proven thesis of Fr. Sullins of CUA, who showed that there is an extraordinarily high correlation between having higher % of homosexual priests in the priestly cohort, and the incidence of sexual abuse of minors in the US Church.

          And as readers of CWR have been able to read, the recent reports on sex abuse in Germany also produce a finding of over 80% homosexual abuse of teen boys by sex abusing priests.

          Your contribution is not for clarity, but a bias for the narrative of the pro-LGBTQ staff at John Jay / CUNY, and cheerleading for same by tainted USCCB Bishops like McCarrick’s hand-picked man Cupich.

          In that sense, you contribute to the “secrecy” you insist you oppose, by enabling it with your own “silence” on the ugly truth about homosexual predation of teen boys by homosexual priests. This cult of silence is why journalists such as Ed Condon, JD Flynn, and Damian Thompson have resigned from “legacy” Catholic Media, so that they are free to tell the ugly truth.

          And by the way, as to the USCCB, it was Ed Condon and JD Flynn who broke the story in July 2021 that the USCCB’s former secretary Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill, in charge of crafting USCCB policy on sex abuse, was caught in verifiable records using the homosexual hookup app “GRNDR.”

          • On a tangential plane: Have you heard Francis’ jibe about Catholics not needing to breed like rabbits? 2 + 2 still equals 4. The Cupich quote on rabbit holes provides ‘coincidental’ evidence of the Francis’ machinations for a church of his future. As if we need more evidence! Lord, spare us.

    • Agree 100%.

      I can assure all readers that calling the problem “pedophilia” was straight from “Eminence McCarrick,” and all of the active parents at our parish know this, because we were in the AD of Washington under McCarrick in 2002 and beyond, when he forced his “VIRTUS” re-education pogrom on the parents, and his propagandizers “training” us began by refuting the findings snd conclusions of the National Review Board (which we parents had actually read) and asserting that the sex abuse in the Catholic Church was NOT over 80% homosexual predation of teen boys by homosexual priests, but was instead mostly heterosexual men abusing young children. In other words: to McCarrick and Company, and obviously today 20 years later the majority of Bishops quite frankly persist in telling the McCarrick lie) the cause of the sex abuse scandal in the Church is “married men predators sexually abusing little girls.”

      That is still the “message” of most US (and European) Bishops, because the ugly truth is, that they, like McCarrick and most of the like-minded Bishops and Cardinals and the Pontiff Francis, are busy, as Rod Dreher has just written, “Queering the Church.”

  5. When I saw the headline “When it comes to sexual abuse allegations, no other organization is held to the same standard of scrutiny as that of the Catholic Church,” My big concern was that Dr. Deville was going to defend that statement in his article.
    I personally wanted to reply, of course the Catholic Church is held to a different
    standard of scrutiny, it represents Jesus Christ on this earth.
    So I am grateful that Dr Deville not only did not defend the statement but said, more than once, that we Catholics need to continue to welcome these revelations, and most importantly, that we do all we can to assist the victims in their healing.

  6. Another form of “covert” abuse, it seems to me, is a few prominent clerics positioned to possibly exploit synodality as a way to maneuver/groom the worldwide laity as virtual allies in their politics of isolating “rigid” brother bishops who remain steadfastly committed to sound sexual morality. The homosexual agenda leads from behind in more ways than one.

    Case in point: By Philip Pullella and Zuzanna Szymanska: VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – “A prominent liberal cardinal who leads a body representing European bishops has called for ‘fundamental revision’ in Catholic teaching on homosexuality…” Named in the full article is Cardinal Hollerich, who is also the relator general for the synodal “synthesis” to be announced from on high at the 2023 Synod-on-Synodality.

    But, who am I to judge?

  7. As far as “sinister scenes” involving the Mafia, in your example, the Mafia are not historically members of the Methodist Church. I’m not sure, given some of their unrepented activities, that they would be particularly welcome there.

    I’m also not sure why we welcome them come to think of it. Well, they have to go to church somewhere, and as far as repentance–not to mention forgiveness–there’s always hope, I suppose.

    But your point overall is well taken.

  8. As an Australian lifetime practicing Catholic I found the ‘Catholic World Report’ article of August 29, 2021 titled “The strange case of Bishop Saunders leaves many questions unanswered” very interesting.
    The article concerns the alleged abuse of young Australian aboriginal men by the (then) Bishop of the Broome Diocese in remote Western Australia.
    I have worked as a physician for some 11 years in this area with our indigenous folk and was aware of rumours of the Bishop’s predilection.
    Following the allegations the Bishop remained in the area for two years prior to his recent ‘retirement’
    The article in the ‘Catholic World Report’ shed infinitely more information on the matter than has the Australian clerical hierarchy/Bishops where silence prevails.

  9. I concur with George Durner as follows:” the Catholic Church is held to a different
    standard of scrutiny, it represents Jesus Christ on this earth.”

    Within the last month or so we heard about the priest in the U.S. who fathered a child out of wedlock. Well, his bishop said he could continue in ministry and that the Church would assume financial responsibility for the child. When will the Church sever such responsibility and hold priests accountable for their conduct? If I, as a member of the Church, am held responsible for the future welfare of the child, then I demand, yes, I demand the hierarchy be more accountable for … the whole mess, this self-serving arrogance that EVERYTHING they do is OK. Where does it stop? The hierarchy, not the “Church,” has complete culpability.

  10. Any article covering sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church that does not put the issue of homosexuality in the clergy front and center is not worth reading. I actually feel “relieved” when I hear of a priest taking up with a woman.

  11. Many Web Sites and newspaper articles with posters on different web sites have proclaimed that Pederasty, within the Priesthood is its current most serious problem, augmented recently by former Cardinal McCarrick, as here we see the corruption of young men, who presumably entered the Priesthood, intending to live the celibate life. Some of whom may have acknowledged having homosexual tendencies, especially via the secrecy of the Sacrament of Confession, easy prey to be groomed/ensnared/corrupted by the likes of Cardinal McCarrick, who possibly was ensnared also as a young seminarian, many years ago.

    Not all priests are Christian as I can testify, as I have witnessed many times, over the last thirty-five years, actions that incorporate intimidation, duplicity, gesture, implied talk, murmurings, and symbolism. Those who practice evil, the dark arts, are proficient in creating a situation where others do their dirty work, by manipulating them, as in, to use words of power/’association’ in conversation with their intended victim, while being totally unaware, that they are been used. This has happened to me via the Parish Priest when I was in the SVP. Verified by an older Catholic woman, several years later who was living in poverty and isolation in one of his former parishes When I visited her again (as her Window cleaner) a priest turned up and entered the gate just before myself I was never to see or speak to her again.

    One of the victims of my unknown participation at that time in this evil force was an Irish retired spinster woman in conversation with myself and my wife she confided in us that she had never been kissed and had spent her whole life working as a live-in domestic she was overcome with joy when encountered my wife as she believed she had found a true friend to ‘confide’ in sadly she died shortly afterward.

    While other many years I have also witnessed others who also been unaware, have intimidated others which leads to division, as the recipient of this accumulated action of evil from different sources ..V.. becomes confused/fearful as friend or foe you no longer know (Hence isolation). Our emptying Church’s bear witness to this as no (Worldly) lawyer or civil agency can expose what these evil men use while smiling, as they are the tools of the Evil One.

    Homosexual rings of corruption are the fruit of these manipulative men ..V.. but they are not necessarily homosexual themselves, but they are depraved and have existed since the early formation of the church. And they work to undermine what is left of the faithful by any means possible.

    The flock has been and continues to be devoured, the wolves who hunt in packs, are very highly organized and backed by worldly power, wealth and influence (..V..) They pick out the sheep and shepherds with the greatest potential for producing the whitest fleeces, every avenue of escape is closed, many become wolves also, some suffer daily, others are those who are washed in the blood of the lamb.

    Over many years I have witnessed other Christians being accompanied by a ‘fiend’ in many different situations, who covertly signal others with glee

    “May God help us!

    To expose the reality of this evil ..V.. manifest within the two-fingered sign of collusion with the Evil One.

    Please consider continuing the theme of my personal encounter with Clericalism via the link with other links.

    https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/04/04/three-quarantine-lessons-on-the-sacraments-and-gods-abundant-grace/#comment-182080

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Kevin. Not many people have a book in them, you certainly do. Ignore negative commenters here. Your comments are more meaningful and interesting to read than the articles. Often.

      • Thank you for your comment, Georgina rather than a book I sincerely believe that I have the message within my heart that defines the true DM Image which is one of broken man without which I most probably would never have made a post on any Web Site.
        Sincerely
        kevin your brother
        In Christ

    • There are a series of church bulletin articles by Fr. Edwin Palka, of the Ephiphany of our Lord Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida about why good priests don’t turn in bad priests. One of the articles is:
      *
      https://epiphanytampa.weebly.com/pastors-bulletin-article/why-dont-the-priests-blow-the-whistle
      *
      He said the the active homosexual clergy can engage in entrapment to neutralize the faithful clergy. Some of it involves the use of the confessional. There are more articles on this topic in the August 2018 archive.

      • Thank you GregB for your comment with the link the contents of which describe the reality of the controlling power of evil and attempts to give a solution to the cancer of practicing homosexuality within the Church. While at the same time failing to do so as only a radical shift of culture as in breaking the abusing power of Clericalism Merriam-Webster: Clericalism; a policy of maintaining or increasing the ‘power’ of a religious hierarchy; So ‘ Clericalism is the problem’, as it is the vehicle that carries our Christian enterprise, which has systematically nullified men of integrity”

        Presently the educated within the Church appear to give deference to a failed system based on power/control ..V.. rather than one that serves the Truth in humility as we have reams of ‘words without action’ reflected in “did we, not prophecy (Teach) in your name”

        While the means for change the true Divine Mercy Image one of broken man given by Our Lord Himself to His Church remains hidden away waiting to be accepted and venerated which will induce humility while creating a radical shift of culture as the Truth can only be served in humility because

        A humble heart (Church) will never cover its tracks or hide its shortcomings, and in doing so confers authenticity, as it walks in its own vulnerability /weakness/brokenness in trust/faith before God and mankind. It is a heart (Church) to be trusted, as it ‘dispels’ darkness within its own ego/self, in serving God (Truth) first, before any other.

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

    • I endorse your comment, but would just add the word “Almost” every… Despite their very human faults, almost every priest I have even known was doing his best to live the Gospel faithfully. And EVERY priest I have ever known was likely a better Catholic than me.

  12. And what about the false accusations of abuse, of which there are many? Some are made by mentally unstable people, with many regrets in life and few others to blame. Some are simply motivated by greed, as such accusations almost inevitably earn a massive payday. Given how little is required to render an unjustified finding of a “credible accusation,”I would not be surprised if the false allegations outnumber – even significantly so – the accusations based in truth.

    • When we are reading about multiple accusations of abuse from one offender, it seems very unlikely everybody’s piling on for a payday. A grievous part of this scandal includes bishops who, while not active predators themselves, hid abusers, believed false promises of reform, moved priests to unknowing new parishes, stonewalled victims, disbelieved credible psychologists, doubted good priests who came forward, criticized journalists, and passed the blame to others.

      It stings, I am sure. But I’d like to see our popes and bishops apologize for their brothers who worsened the scandal by their own behavior.

      • There were multiple accusations during the Salem witch trials as well. The contagion of accusations is a well-established human tendency. I am not saying that abuse was and is not a terrible problem. I have a child who was abused. I still believe that many, and perhaps the majority, of accusations are baseless, malevolent, and just as diabolical as the real cases of abuse.

        • Three things:

          1. The difference from Salem is that abuse of the weak and defenseless is worldwide.
          2. Also, most accusations are true, a significant majority.
          3. Accusations represent a fraction of the actual numbers of crimes committed by predators.

          I observe that you believe what you want to believe. There was a time in my life when I had a more uniform respect for authority. In some ways, it would be nice to return to my first day of high school, when I was blind to many things: teachers having sex with students, women in my family, my sister and mom who were abused as children, that priests and bishops had all the answers.

          I found myself a skeptic when it comes to having the world the way I wanted it. That may be cynical, but it is borne out by experience and knowledge of the extent of abuse. I find comfort these days in the reality of my own family, trusted friends, and other who have demonstrated their ability to be trusted, admired, and loved.

          • Your first declaration is a non-sequitur that does not distinguish Salemn from any other form of hysterical persecution. Your second and third declarations are merely unsubstantiated opinions. I observe you believe what you want to believe.

          • Well, everybody believes what they want to believe: that’s a feature of human thinking. As for number three, you are logically incorrect. As long as one person fails to report abuse, then the number of reports will always be a fraction of the number of real crimes.

            I think that when personal heroes or ideological confreres are accused, we want to believe the accusers are lying. This was the stance of St John Paul II who witnessed Catholic clergy discredited in his homeland.

            That said, you and I have a difference of opinion on the veracity of some or most accusations. Since you presented the notion first, do you have evidence most accusations are false? I’d be interested in seeing that.

    • Timothy, I know of 2 brothers in Ireland (related to someone who was very close to me) and they both made false accusations for monetary gains. It’s difficult to even divulge this truth. But it’s the truth. May God forgive them.

      • I know of several false allegations made for money, and some rumors spread just to get rid of good, pro-life, orthodox priests. It is an evil time we inhabit.

  13. Timothy, there is truth in what you say whereas you failed to mention the main malevolent driving force that underpins many of these accusations as those who practice the dark arts are always ready to stand behind or alongside the accuser and usually, there is always an element of truth within the accusation while turning a splinter into a plank” as they want to destroy the Church. Whereas many have never complained as in, to avoid scandal within the Church or ostracization.

    There is no perfect system of justice for decades the belief was that the bishops, priests, and religious possessed integrity, in ‘innocence’ deference was given to them unreservedly while so many vulnerable children and I would add many others including adults were also denied protection and justice.

    This situation has now reversed, two wrongs don’t make a right but while ever the Bishops are on the defensive as in not been seen to be serving the truth the culture of today will hold them in contempt and rightly so as they see them on the world stage continuing to choose secrecy while promising transparency, fighting victims while promising to care of them, smoke and mirrors they always appear to be the winners (unaccountable). Their compromised hearts know nothing about justice and integrity they just appease as they do as they please. Sorry and apologies are wearing thin on the back of ongoing institutional denialism accompanied by the ongoing manifestation of serious sin.

    The Church (Clericalism) has made its own idol manifest in the present DM Image a blasphemous self-serving reflection of worldly goodness (Perfection) steeped in superiority and elitism that has resulted in the destruction of ‘innocence’ and it now reaps the whirlwind and will continue to do so while ever it clings to its self-serving image of ‘worldly’ goodness.

    True Humility with accountability has to be manifest if credibility is to be restored so Timothy do you agree with this statement

    “A humble heart (Church) will never cover its tracks or hide its shortcomings, and in doing so confers authenticity, as it walks in its own vulnerability /weakness/brokenness in trust/faith before God and mankind. It is a heart (Church) to be trusted, as it ‘dispels’ darkness within its own ego/self, in serving God (Truth) first, before any other”

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

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