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#362464 - 05/18/11 10:29 AM Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
As if all the other research didn't already debunk the myth (and frequent Catholic Church talking point) that gay priests are more likely to abuse minors, now the Catholic Church's own study comes to the same conclusion. From America: The National Catholic Weekly article John Jay Report: On Not Blaming Homosexual Priests:

Quote:
The new John Jay Report on the “causes and contexts” of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church includes a finding that will probably astonish many observers. As David Gibson states in a piece on Religion News Service:

Quote:
[T]he researchers found no statistical evidence that gay priests were more likely than straight priests to abuse minors—a finding that undermines a favorite talking point of many conservative Catholics. The disproportionate number of adolescent male victims was about opportunity, not preference or pathology, the report states.

What’s more, researchers note that the rise in the number of gay priests from the late 1970s onward actually corresponded with “a decreased incidence of abuse—not an increased incidence of abuse.”

How is this possible, particularly given the widespread stereotype of the abusive or predatory homosexual priest? How else to explain so many male victims of abuse?

First of all, nearly every reputable psychologist and psychiatrist, not to mention almost every scholarly study, decisively rejects the conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia, as well as any cause-and-effect relationship. The studies are almost too numerous to mention. Pedophilia, say experts, is often more a question of a stunted (or arrested) sexuality, more a question of power, and more a question of proximity (among other complicated psychological and social factors). The new John Jay College of Criminal Justice study, called “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” points to, among other reasons: emotionally immature and psychologically maladjusted men entering seminaries; the difficulty of dealing with cultural upheaval in which priests found themselves in the 1960s and 1970s; as well as, again, the issue of proximity--young men and boys were abused because priests were more likely to be working with them, rather than with young women and girls. But simply put, being a homosexual priest does not make one an abusive priest.

I'm looking forward to getting a copy of the report to read because it seems that the social climate of the 60s and 70s gets tagged as a key cause. I wonder how long it will take for someone (Bill Donohue? The Pontiff?) to single out the Sexual Revolution of that period to blame gays by proxy.

This study isn't without critics, however (Boston Globe):

Quote:
“The study seems to focus on the offending priests in a way that minimizes the gravity of their crimes, and gives short shrift to the ‘other crime’ — the enabling, concealing, and fostering of abuse by the US bishops and the Vatican bureaucracy,’’ said Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org, in a statement on news reports concerning the leaked study last night.

“The report also grotesquely emphasizes the ‘vulnerability’ of the priests who committed the crimes, and neglects the defenseless children who suffered them. In these respects, the first Causes and Context report — the Bennett Report of 2004 — was a better report than its successor.’’

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#362475 - 05/18/11 12:26 PM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2024
Loc: durham, north england
Nice though that a myth gets a bit of debunking.

Certainly a friend of mine who was both gay and going for ordination was the kindest most decent and spiritual chap you could wish to meet.

While I know there have been priests who have abused others, assuming all gay priests are abusers as so many do seems just another part in the man hating sterriotype of western society, just like assuming male victims will automatically be abusers.


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#362481 - 05/18/11 01:54 PM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: dark empathy]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
The New York Time weighs in here and of course they have a quote from Bill Donohue:

Quote:
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, a conservative Catholic group, however said he believes permissiveness in the church in the 1960s and 1970s - particularly at seminaries - had been a significant reason for the rise in sexual abuse. Mr. Donohue said that while he generally supported the report’s findings, he believed that the study seemed to have purposefully avoided linking abuse cases with the increase in the number of gay men who became priests during the 1960s and 1970s. “The authors go through all sorts of contortions to deny the obvious - that obviously, homosexuality was at work,” Mr. Donohue said.

It doesn't matter how much data there is, Bill and homophobic people like him will always find a way to demonize gay men. Sigh. The message for gay survivors of religious abuse is that we are our own abusers, ergo our abuse is our own fault. Not traumatizing at all. Meanwhile, people are starting to wake up to the truth that it's not the initial crime that is the biggest scandal, it's the criminal conspiracy of the cover up:

Quote:
In Philadelphia, where a grand jury in February found that as many as 37 priests suspected of behavior ranging from sexual abuse to inappropriate actions were still serving in ministry. The archdiocese initially rejected the grand jury’s findings, but soon suspended 26 priests from ministry.

An essay in the Catholic magazine Commonweal last week by Ana Maria Catanzaro, who heads the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s sexual-abuse review board, which is supposed to advise the archdiocese on how to handle abuse cases, said that the board was shocked to learn about the dozens of cases uncovered by the grand jury. Her essay raised questions about whether bishops provide accurate data even to their own, in-house review boards.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#362486 - 05/18/11 03:23 PM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
Dan Savage has a characteristically straighforward reaction to the Church's emerging narrative on the cause of clerical sexual abuse:

Quote:
Are you old enough to remember the introduction of the pill? Free love? The Hite Report? Bellbottoms? Stonewall? Bra burnings? The Love Boat? The Vietnam War? Nixon? Watergate? All those traumatizing line drawings of dirty hippies getting it on in The Joy of Sex? The zipless fuck? Remember when people started "getting into" oral sex? Remember how confusing and disorientating all of that was? And do you remember how, when you were confused and disoriented, you raped all those children?

Quote:
A study commissioned by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops concludes that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality caused the church's sexual abuse crisis, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The five-year study says the abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and '70s, according to the newspaper. The "blame Woodstock" explanation has been floated by bishops for years but the study was likely to be regarded as the most authoritative analysis of the scandal in the Catholic Church in America, The Times reported.

Wait—you didn't rape children? Well, I guess you're made of stronger stuff than God's representatives on earth...

Quote:
Christ ordered that the Catholic priest not only should represent Him upon earth, but that he should be, as it were, Himself again, raising him above the rest of mankind, nay, above all angelic spirits who admire, with holy envy, those among the sons of men whom they see clothed with sacerdotal dignity. Thus the seraphic St. Francis was wont to say that, were he to meet at one time an angel and a priest, he would first salute the priest.

I guess the takeaway here is this: Keep things on an even keel—not too much social change, not too quickly—or God's representatives here on earth will rape your kids.

Perhaps this finally explains the Catholic Church's confounding objections to social justice in the form of equal treatment for women, and gays and lesbians - if progress goes too fast and gets "disorienting" then more priests will start raping children again.

Framed that way, it becomes clear that this narrative is patently ridiculous. Even if the "social change disoriented me" excuse *could* be considered exculpatory for individual offenders, what's the explanation for the church hierarchy’s criminal conspiracy to cover-up the sexual abuse?

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#362541 - 05/19/11 11:44 AM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Many can benefit from our compassion. Few are willing to be Christ-like and give it. Some proclaim righteousness in the name of Christ, and commit acts borne of great hate, ignorance and closed-heartedness. But God sees all this and allows it, because he wants us to have our own experience and to learn from it.

That is the journey.


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#362599 - 05/20/11 10:36 AM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: risingagain]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
I'm sorry, is your contention that bad things happen in god's name but that it's okay because god wants me to learn from it?

I reject the assertion that "the journey" is about a god wanting me to learn from being raped until I was torn and bleeding.

I reject the idea that god wants me to learn from being subject to homophobic discrimination every day of my life.

I reject the laissez-faire attitude of believers when their fellow believers make it their top priority to fight against my wellbeing and civil rights.

I reject the implicit self-absoution of believers who know that true evil is being done in god's and their name - and do nothing.

I am increasingly convinced of the improbability of any god actually existing by the actions and inaction of their followers on earth.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

Top
#362601 - 05/20/11 11:27 AM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
Rusty563 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 200
Loc: Anywhere, USA
I've read Bill Donahue's crap and pro-priest propaganda and have concluded he's a total whack job. Nothing he says should be taken seriously and I believe that the John Jay report is just as bogus. Unfortunately, his/their garbage is out there for all to see and some will believe their rhetoric as truth.

As far as God is concerned, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Why He allows evil to prevail in this world is not something you or I can easily answer but I do know this: evil flourishes when good men do nothing to stop it.

Rusty



Edited by Rusty563 (05/20/11 11:29 AM)
_________________________
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you - Maya Angelous
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qF_qbaWt3Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDOkMSf-F14

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#362631 - 05/20/11 10:45 PM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: Rusty563]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

I'm sorry, is your contention that bad things happen in god's name but that it's okay because god wants me to learn from it?

I reject the assertion that "the journey" is about a god wanting me to learn from being raped until I was torn and bleeding.


Not for you to learn, but perhaps for your perps to learn. Sexual abuse continues as long as we as a people run from it. That includes survivors who run from their pain. EFM I see you as someone who does a lot of work on themselves, and in my judgement that is what God wants us to do with our pain & struggles - is to work on them. But as a whole things cannot change until others join in with you. That is why God allows it to continue, because it is OUR job to wake up. God is awake.

Quote:

I reject the idea that god wants me to learn from being subject to homophobic discrimination every day of my life.


Again, it's the followers of Christ that make the mistake of judging you. As a gay man I get your pain. I share some of it- remember my anger at the whole AFA thing a few months ago?

I am not a Christian but I believe that there is something greater than us that is infinitely compassionate, and aware of all we do. I don't know how to conceive of this, so I call it God.

I believe all things have their purpose. As twisted and horrible as childhood sexual abuse is, we can derive meaning and purpose in healing from it. I wish every day that I never had to endure this terror, this absolute terror that I find myself in.

But I cannot change what my father did. God asks me to make some good of it. To turn my rage and sorrow into something beautiful. That's my job.


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#362632 - 05/20/11 10:47 PM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: risingagain]
risingagain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
And to make sure that, to the best of my ability, no child has to endure what I endured.


That's my choice.

God gives everyone a choice.
He loves us that much.


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#362674 - 05/21/11 11:11 AM Re: Gay Priests not the cause of Sexual Abuse [Re: risingagain]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 729
Loc: United States
I'm fine with free will as a rationale for the non-involvement of a putative god. However, there is no excuse for the non-involvement of people that comprise churches and are actually *here*. I'm not talking about free will here, I'm talking about adhering to the tenets of a faith that claims all the moral high ground.

Your philosophy sounds more eastern to me, with elements of the education of individual souls in the lessons they need to learn.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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