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SNAP Blasts Report Blaming Priest Sex Abuse On 1960s Culture

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The '60s made them do it!
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has responded to the controversial study released yesterday exploring the cause of the sex abuse crisis inside the U.S. Catholic Church.

Commissioned by the church, the 300-page study by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (viewable here) concludes that homosexuality, celibacy and an all-male priesthood did not cause the scandal. Instead the blame lies with deviant sexual and social mores of the 1960s and '70s that overwhelmed priests trained for the celibate life in the 1940s and '50s. Moreover, it was difficult for the church to screen predators through psychological test data, developmental and sexual history data, intelligence data, or experience in priesthood. 

As you might expect, victims of abuse at the hands of priests did not respond kindly to yesterday's report. Specifically, here are four "fallacies" that SNAP's national director (and the St. Louis-based) David Clohessy had with the report:

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If this document can't hold your attention for 300 pages, what will?
The crisis is and was unforeseeable, the report claims, because child molesters don't have forked tongues or devil tails and can't be easily detected. Fair enough. But the report essentially dodges the crucial question: Why don't bishops quickly out and oust child molesting clerics the first time they sexually assault a child? (And why, then, if predators can't be spotted in advance, do bishops tout their alleged seminary "screening" processes as panaceas?)

The crisis was long ago, the report claims, because the bishops say so. Never mind the fact that only a handful of five and ten year olds march down to the police station and promptly report their own victimization, so it's dreadfully misleading and dangerous to assume clergy sex crimes have gone down in recent years.

The crisis isn't all that bad, the report suggests, because many of the kids who are or were violated had experienced puberty.
Never mind the fact that child sex crimes, no matter at what age, are always illegal, immoral and hurtful. So the hair-splitting between pedophiles and ephebophiles (a distinction that seems to matter to few other than bishops) is at best irrelevant and at worst distracting.

Most important, the crisis isn't the bishops' fault, the document implies. It was what the New York Times calls the "Blame Woodstock" defense. At best, this is naïve. At worst, it's deceptive. There are at least three reasons why it may appear to some that abuse 'peaked' in the '60s and '70s. The first is that victims during those years are old, strong, smart, healthy and desperate enough to finally be able to report their horrific pain. The second is that bishops are much more willing to disclose clergy sex crimes that are beyond the reach of the criminal and civil justice system than more recent clergy sex crimes that could result in prosecution and litigation and embarrassment. And bishops are more willing to acknowledge child felonies committed under their predecessors than themselves.


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18 comments
Dreamk10000
Dreamk10000

SNAP has the guts to stand up for all who have been raped by clergy so unless you have been there don't be a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution.Action brings a pedophile down. Inaction allows them to rape again. Crimes thrive on secrecy & compliance.....GO SNAP...I. STAND FOR ACTION.Never trust the church or the Vatican do tell the truth about their legacy of heinous crimes.

Dreamk10000
Dreamk10000

Another dam justification from men in power...the holier than thou,elite, The rape of those who are vulnerable has gone on for centuries & the guise of course religion. Stop the lies & excuses..your evil has been exposed. You can run but you cannot hide.As a survivor of priest abuse from Monsignour Albert Berube while attending St. Anthonys Elementary School in the 1960's I can tell you until everyone in these religious organizations becomes TRANSPARENT and answers to the same laws...PREDATORS will try to hide their own crimes and all who conspire with them are so accursed. Come forward and tell your story...don't carry their fear any longer they will crumble when exposed. The truth will be stronger. I am not backing down. Power to all who these crimes were committed upon!Child rapists & pedophiles ....you can no longer hide behind the cloth.

NickW
NickW

 It is about rape, and rape is not about sex, it is about power.  Equally the behaviorof the bishops was about retaining power.  Until the church comes to termswith it collecting people whose goal is power, it will have no valid claim tospeak about morals.

Michael Wegs
Michael Wegs

Bishop John R. Gaydos and the Diocese of Jefferson City - -  along with his second-in-command, Msgr. Gregory L. Higley - -  blamed Washington University's Master's and Johnson and the Disco Era for the pedophile priest crime wave when the students of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal sought justice against their former teacher and principal, Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell.  It is interesting, too, in the fact that Msgr. Higley is a St. Thomas graduate and worked to defame his own classmates.  Today the Gaydos and his gang continue to harbor pedophile priests without any sense of shame.

Gmcave
Gmcave

being a survivor of 22 years from a Presbyterian minister's abuse in the 80's in st.charles county.I would assume the stock market or gas crunch of the 70's and 80's would be to blame for my abuse.Until yourself has been a victim of this horrible crime you have no idea how this horrible crime has affected every aspect of your life until you actually step forward and deal with your emotional,spiritual and physical damage and life altering decisions made from being abused.The study also does not have the numbers of victims reporting this crime and being told by the police its your word (victim)versus his word (abuser) and nothing being done.If your comments are so true and abused victims and snap is so wrong then you should have the guts to put your name on your comments so everyone can see how truly fake and uncaring of a human you really are.I attended my first meeting for snap to move on with my life and recover from my abuse and thank you snap and david for truly understanding how this crime has been and still is the quiet sin and how cover ups and swept under the rug the crime is and how no judge or prosecuting attorney will take on such cases so they can be reelected because they dont want to rock the boat.

Mark ( a survivor)
Mark ( a survivor)

For centuries a subculture within the priesthood due to celibacy and a combination of disfinctional pedophile motives from the male culture has not only molested children deviantly hiding under God's cloth.... These age old actions have also breeded penus into anal canals where feces comes out into world society.....

Mycroft
Mycroft

The report itself is flawed because, as bad as sexual abuse by priests is (and it is a crime that cries out to the heavens for redress), equally sordid and despicable is the response of the shepherds of the Church, the successors of the Apostles.  This report was not commissioned to, nor allowed to, address that aspect of the scandal.  Those bishops will however stand before God some day and will be answering for each person Jesus gathered, appointed them to sepherd, and who they drove out into the wilderness.  It will not be a pleasant day for them.  As for me and my house, I will not allow any Catholic, lay or cleric, to drive me from the Church which Jesus founded.

Judy Block-Jones
Judy Block-Jones

Remember, Priests don't have sex, right??  What does that have to do with the 1960's culture?

We can't stop, because the sex abuse and cover up is STILL going on...!!The church hierarchy just keeps spending more and more of their loyal parishioners' hard earned contributions to keep themselves out of jail.  The covering up of sex crimes committed by clergy is starting to cost a lot in legal defense fees; much more than what the church is spending to help the victims of these clergy. Thousands upon thousands of innocent children ( all ages ) have been harmed so badly that some do not make it.

Church officials can never be trusted to have the kids best interest at heart. They just do not care.

There is only one way to get these men stopped. Outside law enforcement and prosecutors need to take heed and investigate every single catholic diocese in the world. There is no other way to get this life long harmful abuse stopped.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511

snapjudy@gmail.com

"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests"

http://www.snapnetwork.org/ 

James F Moran
James F Moran

 The numbers are skewed by the bishops! Psychologists use 13 as the beginning of puberty -- the report says 10 years. A LOT of victims fell in the 10-13 group -- using the 10 year the numbers all show a lower percentage of pedophile priests. 

Who trusts the bishops to give ACCURATE, HONEST figures? Case in point, Philadelphia! We were told "No priests with accusations against them on active ministry" - then in February a grand jury discovers 37! Bishops tell us that 4% of priests were abusers -- the actual number counted by www.bishopaccountability.org is closer to 10%! 

As for blaming society and "the 60's" - I was raped in 1970 by a priest ordained in the early 1950's -- certainly his moral ethics were established in the 40's and 50's. His history of abuse runs from the 50's until 2 months before his death in 2006 at the age of 82! After my rape I reported to my supervisor - another priest in the parish. This was 1970. Nothing happened because he was diagnosed in '57 with a psycho-pathological personality and was STILL playing with mentally ill teen aged girls. He, too, was ordained in the early 50's. By the time the 60's rolled around these two priests were WELL into their 40's - and at that time considered "old" and not part of the "current age." 

As for the bishops' honesty in numbers - when I brought my case to Boston I was told "You are the only one" - there were no other accusations against my perp. I got hold of the investigation and found 3 letters dating back to the 90's accusing him of sexual abuse. If the bishop (cardinal) can lie to me as a priest -- how much easier to lie to a lay person? 

The Hierarchy (all the way to Rome) needs to come clean, be honest, transparent etc. LIST THE NAMES of all perpetrators who have been credibly accused. They cannot be taken to court because of the statutes of limitations. They are still just as dangerous and society in general needs to know about them.

votefreedomfirst
votefreedomfirst

 It took Clohessy 2 days to spout this stuff- he's usually faster than that. The Catholic Church could line up all of it's priests, bishops and cardinals in front of a firing squad, execute them, sell all of the Church's assets and give them to SNAP and still old windbag Clohessy would say it's not enough. Truly nothing trivializes the horror of the abuse crisis and the suffering of victims more than Clohessey's incessant and irrational whining.

mindfulobserver
mindfulobserver

I agree that child sex crimes are a huge problem, but David Clohessy needs to get a life and tone down the vitriol. He's not making SNAP believable or credible with it. He's turning every thing about the Church into a witch hunt.

Lvierdag
Lvierdag

So proud of you.. Your sister.

Joe Rigert
Joe Rigert

 If the "sexually deviant" '60s caused the priests to molest children, why was sexual abuse at epidemic levels in Ireland where strict morality prevailed? It doesn't make sense.--Joe Rigert, author of "An Irish Tragedy: How sex abuse by Irish priests helped cripple the Catholic Church (Amazon)."

Mark ( a survivor)
Mark ( a survivor)

Wow... You are really twisted.... Your another one that Jesus will say to you "I don't know you".....if Paritioners have this attitude can you see how much more of a problem the satanical heirarchy is?

Dreamk10000
Dreamk10000

Another dam justification from men in power...the holier than thou,elite, The rape of those who are vulnerable has gone on for centuries & the guise of course religion. Stop the lies & excuses..your evil has been exposed. You can run but you cannot hide.As a survivor of priest abuse from Monsignour Albert Berube while attending St. Anthonys Elementary School in the 1960's I can tell you until everyone in these religious organizations becomes TRANSPARENT and answers to the same laws...PREDATORS will try to hide their own crimes and all who conspire with them are so accursed. Come forward and tell your story...don't carry their fear any longer they will crumble when exposed. The truth will be stronger. I am not backing down. Power to all who these crimes were committed upon!Child rapists & pedophiles ....you can no longer hide behind the cloth.

Mark (a survivor)
Mark (a survivor)

Your part of the problem mindful observer .... You should be called mindless observer as you obviously are on the wrong side of the fence ... Jesus would say to you "I don't know you"..... Thank God for David Clohessy as he has done more for Gods truth than even the heirarchy fakes in the Roman Catholic church... David is a Godsend revealing the abuse that kills Gods people and makes heaven begin to fester with this evil epidemic

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