Disgraced Australian Catholic cardinal George Pell will not fight for a reduced jail sentence if he fails in his appeal of his conviction for molesting two choirboys in the 1990s, a court spokesman said Monday.
The 77-year-old Pell — the most senior Catholic official convicted of sex abuse — was sentenced in a Melbourne court in March to six years in prison. He must serve at least three years and eight months of the term.
Pell will appeal his conviction next month. His lawyers have filed an application arguing it should be overturned on three grounds.
But the application does not include an appeal of the length of the sentence, Andre Awadalla, a spokesman for the Court of Appeal in Victoria state, told the Associated Press.
“The only appeal application filed on the matter is an appeal against conviction,” Awadalla said. “His lawyers haven’t filed an appeal in relation to sentence.”
In sentencing Pell in March, Victorian County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd acknowledged that there was a real chance that Pope Francis’s former finance minister could die in jail.
Pell was convicted by a unanimous jury verdict in December on one charge of sexual penetration of a child and four charges of committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child.
He was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old choirboy and sexually molesting his 13-year-old friend in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996, months after he became archbishop of the city. He molested the first boy again about a month later. One of his victims later died of a heroin overdose at the age of 31.
Pell’s appeal application is set down for hearing on June 5 and 6, with three judges to first decide whether he should be granted leave to appeal.
His legal team will first argue that the verdicts were “unreasonable” since the jury could not have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Pell was guilty based on the word of the surviving victim against “unchallenged exculpatory evidence” of more than 20 prosecution witnesses.
Pell’s lawyers are also expected to argue that Judge Kidd erred in not allowing them to use a video graphic in their closing arguments, which they said would demonstrate the offending that was alleged would have been impossible.
The third ground details an alleged “fundamental irregularity” in the trial in that Pell was not arraigned — asked if he pleaded guilty or not guilty — in front of the chosen jury.
If the judges accept the first ground, Pell’s conviction will be overturned and he will be released.
A new trial could be ordered if they accept the second or third grounds.
While Pell remains Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic, the Vatican has launched its own investigation into his convictions.
The Buffalo Diocese, temporarily headed by Albany Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, filed for bankruptcy Friday morning as it grapples with hundreds of lawsuits alleging decades of child sexual abuse and cover-ups.
It is the second New York diocese to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – which allows for reorganization of assets instead of liquidation. The Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy in September. The decision was largely anticipated as the Buffalo diocese, facing more than 250 lawsuits over the past six months alleging sexual abuse, has emerged as the most-named defendant in all Child Victims Act cases.
The state’s Child Victims Act in August opened a one-year window temporarily eliminating the statute of limitations for civil cases involving sex crimes. Since then, more than 1,600 cases have been filed statewide, many of them resurfacing decades-old allegations.
In a filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of New York – first reported by The Buffalo News – the Buffalo Diocese identified $10 million to $50 million in assets and $50 million to $100 million in liabilities. In court filings, Scharfenberger asserted that the filing was necessary “in order to respond to claims stemming from the Child Victims Act in an equitable and comprehensive manner, and to reorganize the financial affairs of the Diocese in order to permit it to continue to fulfill its ministries to the Catholic faithful of the Diocese.”
“We have no more urgent work than to bring about justice and healing for those harmed by the scourge of sexual abuse,” Scharfenberger said in a Friday statement.
The decision puts all lawsuits against the diocese on pause as leaders determine how best to address the allegations and compensate accusers. It does not affect the daily operations of local parishes.
Scharfenberger, who is temporarily leading the Buffalo Diocese after the resignation of its former Bishop Richard Malone in December, will address the media in Buffalo at a 1 p.m. news conference. He had been weighing the decision for months, repeatedly telling reporters that a decision would come “soon.”
“Whatever we do has to be done in a way that puts victims first,” Scharfenberger told Albany reporters in December, acknowledging that bankruptcy could freeze litigation but may also offer more equal payouts to survivors who have filed claims. “We want to look at all of those things, and then that might be the best way to go.”
He said at the time that the Albany Diocese is not considering a bankruptcy filing, and likely would not for “the next year or so.” The Albany Diocese has also faced its share of Child Victims Act cases, though far fewer, at about 65. The Albany Diocese serves about half the number of Catholics as the Buffalo Diocese.
“The decision in Buffalo does not affect the Diocese of Albany in any way,” Albany Diocese spokeswoman Mary DeTurris-Poust said in an email. “Until we know the full financial scope of the CVA as it relates to the Diocese of Albany, we cannot and will not make any decisions. We have nothing to announce, other than that we continue to respond in justice to survivors of abuse and urge anyone who has suffered such abuse to come forward.”
Survivors and attorneys, reacting to Friday’s filing, criticized the decision as a roundabout way of denying victims their day in court. They noted that bankruptcy allows the diocese to avoid releasing certain information and files about priests and clergy accused of abusing children – documents that would typically be unearthed during the discovery process.
Manhattan-based attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents dozens of survivors suing the Buffalo Diocese, said the diocese “is using bankruptcy to continue to conceal the truth about predator priests.”
State Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, a sponsor of the Child Victims Act, said the filing could help reveal “how deep the pockets are of the institution” – but at the expense of preventing survivors from speaking out in front of a judge in a public courtroom.
“It’s despicable that an institution that was responsible for the abuse of thousands of young people across the state of New York would try to hide behind the bankruptcy laws to prevent these individuals from receiving the entirety of the claim due to them,” he said.
It took many years for Yohanes — not his real name — to pluck up enough courage to reveal he had been sexually abused.
He says he was first attacked in 2008 while serving as a 12-year-old altar boy at St. Herkulanus Parish Church in Depok in Indonesia’s West Java province.
It happened after his fellow altar boys had returned home from spending time with their spiritual mentor, Syharil Marbun, who then allegedly took him to a secluded place and assaulted him.
He says he was too scared to report it because the perpetrator was an acolyte trainer and highly respected in the parish. “I didn’t even tell my parents,” he told UCA News.
The fact that his parents were also close to the alleged perpetrator also made it hard for him to reveal what happened,” according to Yohanes, who is now 24 years old and works in Jakarta.
He says he felt if he kept his distance from Marbun nothing would happen again, but he claims it did five years later in 2013 when he was 17.
He claims Marbun attacked him again after luring him to his house after an event they had attended with his parents.
“At the time, I thought he would not bother me as I was older and a long time had passed without incident, but it happened again,” he says. “I felt broken, depressed and dirty. My relationship with God was also broken.”
Feeling ashamed, he continued to build walls between himself and his parents and friends. However, things started to change on May 30 when he received an unexpected call from a friend inviting him to attend a parish meeting.
At the meeting, attended by other former altar boys, he was asked directly whether he had been sexually abused by Marbun. He was shocked to learn that many of the others at the meeting were also victims.
The fact that others were prepared to speak about their experiences encouraged him to do the same.
He says he felt guilty about not speaking out earlier about what had happened, which could have prevented further crimes.
“I didn’t believe there would be other victims,” he says, adding the revelation made him determined to help the parish team and lawyers investigate all the claims further.
“I felt a change in me after dismissing my fears. Now I feel free,” he says.
On June 6, during a meeting in which the victims’ parents, the parish priest and lawyers confronted Marbun, Yohanes’ testimony was pivotal.
Marbun, who initially denied the allegations, saying his acts of affection were misunderstood, finally confessed after Yohanes explained his experiences in detail.
“He could not deny it anymore,” Yohanes said. Marbun allegedly wrote down 13 names of other children he had abused. It is believed Marbun may have abused and raped at least 21 boys.
Yohanes is now actively involved in tracking down other victims. “I feel some are thinking like I did and are reluctant to speak. Many victims have turned to drugs to blot out the trauma,” he says.
The case is the first case of sexual abuse in the Indonesian Church to be prosecuted by state authorities. Previous crimes were kept quiet or settled privately to avoid bringing shame on the Church as well as the victims, observers say.
Father Yosep Sirilus Natet, the parish priest of St. Herkulanus Church, which comes under Bogor Diocese, said the parish fully backs the alleged victims and the police in investigating the case.
Azas Tigor Nainggolan, a lawyer representing the victims, told UCA News that this case could open the lid on other such cases.
Since this case came to light, he has received word of other alleged abuses committed by church workers and religious people. He did not say whether any accusations were being made against clerics.
“They need to be investigated further,” said Nainggolan, who is also working with the bishops’ Commission for Justice, Peace, and Migrant-Itinerant People.
He said sexual abuse has long been a problem but no one dared speak up. Many Catholics have even criticized efforts to pursue such cases through the courts.
Nainggolan said many church people consider such cases as disgracing the Church, so should not be made public.
“But I feel the perpetrators, whoever they are, are criminals who must be prosecuted,” he said.
Inspired by Pope Francis
Yohanes hopes the case against Marbun will be the starting point for renewal in the Indonesian Church. “I’m pursuing this because I want to see drastic change on this issue within the Catholic Church,” he said.
He admitted feeling strengthened after reading about Pope Francis’ commitment to ending sexual abuse in the Church, including abolishing the rule of “pontifical secrecy” that allowed it to be covered up.
“I feel what we are doing is carrying out the Holy Father’s will,” he said.
“It also means that there is no more reason for the Church to cover such things up. It’s time for victims to speak out.
”Yohanes also called on the Church and parents to listen to children more closely.
“When I first told my parents about the abuse, their response amazed me. My parents cried and pledged full support in seeking legal action,” he said.
His parents, he said, had forgiven his abuser, which he said he might do in time. “But for now, I want him to face justice so that there are no more victims.”
Over the weekend, New Zealand’s TV 1 News aired a disturbing report about Catholic priests allegedly abusing children on the island nation of Fiji. One of the victims said on camera that when he attended a Catholic school, priests would lure boys up to their bedrooms using candy and oranges (rare treats), then sexually assault them.
But where did these priests come from? That’s the kicker: Many of them were kicked out of the Catholic Church in New Zealand and Australia because they were accused of sexual abuse. Instead of moving them to another local parish, as we’ve seen in the U.S., some of them went to Fiji, where they found new victims in a culture that reveres men of God.
While speaking to TV 1 News, [Archbishop] Father Perter Loy Chong says there has not been any reports of such allegations of abusing children.
The Archbishop adds that the church has a sexual abuse guideline which defines the process when something is reported or when someone presents an allegation.
Reporter Barbara Dreaver says that there’s no indication of how serious this problem is, but she says the Pacific island of Guam may be a useful comparison. Over there, she says, there are 300 lawsuits against more than 20 priests.
Hundreds of thousands of Christian priests, pastors, ministers, lay people, school teachers, politicians, movie and music stars, etc have been busted for raping kids. Most of these scumbags are lucky if they do one fucking day in jail.
I have shared reports where these fucking shitstains on the underwear of humanity have gotten as little as six fucking months for raping a child. Some of these fucking scumbags have raped dozens, and even hundreds of children.
They have raped deaf/mute children, down’s syndrome children, infants as young as six months. And? No one is able to stop these fuckers.
They are protected by their leaders and pew polishers of their cult churches of pedophilia. The parents offer up their children on the altar of rape by these Christian scumbags and then slam their child when they get raped.
It is time, far past time, to stop this shit. The only way to do so is to start getting fucking serious and start fucking executing all of these Christian pedophiles. Execute them in fucking gruesome, brutal ways and maybe they will get the hint and stop raping kids?
One of my favorite ideas for putting these fuckers to death is the good old Rat Torture. We strip these fuckers and bind them to a table. We put a fucking rat on their crotch, a cage over the rat and a bowl of coals on top of the cage, just like the Roman Catholic and Protestant torturers used to do to others during their Inquisitions. And we let the rat eat their junk.
Should these scumbags survive this? Then the next step would be to put these mother fucking child rapist pigs in the Judas Chair. How appropriate for these Judases. And all their Pedophile Pimp Leaders, no matter what the denomination? All deserve the Judas Chair Treatment.
It is time to hunt down each and every one of these Christian pedophiles, drag them out of their fucking places they are hiding at, and fucking execute them in public. No more kid gloves with these fuckers.
Our local bus goes to the local Roman Catholic Church parking lot to pick up and drop off people. Well on Wednesday we are going through and all those rich Roman Catholics were blocking off the bus to walk over to a table to pick up their Palm Leaves. They all thought their shit did not stink and hey, you little peons on the bus can wait for us uppity rich Catholics.
We on the bus were all voting for the bus driver to take their foot off the brake and run over one particularly stuck up rich privileged woman who thought her shit did not stink and looked at us in the bus as she walked her ass slowly to the table and then back to her big, black SUV that she had blocked the bus with.
Dumb ass bitch thinks their shit does not stink while they attend a church where two priests were busted for raping over 400 kids in our town and local areas and these same scum defended these pedo priests and their church over their own children who were victims of their pedo priests.
Fuck them all.
How about all the children and teens betrayed by your Pedophile Pimps still in power whom if they cared more about the victims and survivors over the reputation of the church and protected the victims over the pedophile rapists? Would not have been raped.
How about all the victims and survivors denied justice by your Church hiding behind statute of limitations, bankruptcy and sovereign immunity laws to get away with their crimes?
What about all the accused victims and survivors, accused as liars and gold diggers out looking to get a payday from the church, by pew polishers and defenders of the Church? Accused of being homosexuals because they did not punch out their rapist pedophile male priests by the leaders and pew polishers of the Church? Accused of being a seducer of their rapist pedo priests by the leaders and pew polishers of the church?
Or how about all the victims and survivors forsaken? Like the thousands of victims rotting in their graves because they committed suicide? Or the skeletal remains of infants and children thrown away like garbage in the septic tank of the Taum Irelands Woman’s and Children’s Homes or all the other forgotten and forsaken mass unmarked graves at these Homes? Or the forgotten and forsaken hundreds of thousands of victims and survivors of the Roman Catholic Industrial Schools and Homes, their Magdalene and Good Shepherd Laundries and their Women’s and Children’s Homes. Who live their lives in daily horrors, whose perpetrators of the crimes against them are called holy men and women of god, while they are insulted, denigrated, defamed by the leaders and pew polishers of the Church?
Or all the victims and survivors stuck in alcoholism and drug addiction to forget the demons of the church who ruined their lives? Existing on disability that barely keeps them alive, while all those who committed these crimes against them? Are even given a life wage. And when they die? Are even proclaimed Saints, while the victims and survivors with the courage and guts and balls to speak out about the crimes committed against them? Demand justice? Are branded the evil, satanic demons out to destroy the church, or who do nothing but lie and hate the church. We hear this all the time from the Defenders and the Leaders and the Pew Polishers of the Unholy Roman Catholic Cult of Pedophile Pimps, Pedophiles, Child Enslavers and Child Murderers and the Pew Polishers who get down on their knees before them, offering their own children as a sacrifice on the altar of pedophilia, while condemning their own children and even throwing them out of the house if they become a victim of these pedos.
Forgotten and forsaken are the hundreds of thousands of victims and survivors denied justice for the crimes committed against them by the pedo pervert priests, brothers, nuns and sisters, by the church hiding behind the statute of limitations or sovereign immunity laws to get away with their Crimes Against Humanity and the Children of the World.
And then? The Roman Catholics get pissed at any victim or survivor who DARES speak out against them, demanding true justice. Or state that if we put rabid dogs down who bite children? How much more should we put to death those scumbag Pedo Pimps and Pedo priests who did a whole lot more than bite children.
NO, victims and survivors are supposed to do all to their rapists, their pedophiles, the church who protected them and attacked us when we came out, to be more “Christian” to them than they are “Christian” to us. It is we victims and survivors who are supposed to forgive our rapists, the leaders who protected them, and attacked us, and made us the demons, and the pew polishers who defended the church over us and attacked us for DARING to speak out.
No, it is we who are supposed to turn the other cheek, to pray for those who raped us, tortured us, brutalized us, beat us, enslaved us, and murdered us. It is we who are supposed to once again? Believe in a god and a Jesus and a Church that raped us, tortured us, brutalized us, beat us, enslaved us and murdered us, and the pew polishers and all the leaders? Then play the Satanic scapegoat games of it either being homosexuals, or atheists, or demons invading their churches doing this. BULLSHIT. Oh yeah, and hey, they should not pay for their crimes against us and if we fight that? That just means we all are haters of the RCC and are just again? Gold diggers out looking for a payday from the church.
So fuck their god, fuck their Jesus, fuck their Palm Sunday, fuck their Easter. Each and every day?
ALL ROMAN CATHOLICS? PROVE THE COMPLETE AND UTTER LIE AND HYPOCRISY OF THEIR DEMONIC CULT OF PEDOPHILE PIMPS, PEDOPHILES AND THE PEW POLISHERS WHO LOVE AND DEFEND THEM AS HOLY MEN OF GOD WHILE ATTACKING US RAPED, BEATEN, ENSLAVED AND MURDERED BY THEIR UNHOLY MEN OF GOD.
Since 1950 alone? To the present? Over one hundred thousand Christian priests and pastors have been busted for pedophile crimes. Some of these diseased scum have victim counts in the hundreds. Some have raped infants as young as six months.
Even with this being fully exposed? These disgusting Christians? Just will NOT STOP raping kids. And? If they do get caught? They might get lucky to face charges if they do not hide behind the statutes of limitations. But? Typically? If they do get any prison time? It is barely a slap on the wrist.
And these? Are just the Christian priests and pastors being busted for pedophile crimes. This does not include all the Christian school teachers, gym coaches, politicians, police officers, etc who also been busted for raping children. Even Christian parents have been busted for raping their own children.
This is so rampant in the Christian religion, and despite all the warnings, all the exposure, all the crap that has been reported about this?
Each and every day? We have new reports, not historical ones of 20 years or more ago, of these degenerate, disgusting pedo priests and pastors are being busted and exposed each day. We cannot go one week without reporting on at least a dozen new cases of these perverted Christians raping kids.
Time to put to death Christian pedophiles
If you go around as a group and rape kids and then? Get practically no punishment? Then there is absolutely no incentive to stop your actions of your group. If your group has been exposed for protecting child rapists and scumbag child porn producers? And attacking the victims? Then we know? YOU do not care, as a group, the harm that your scumbag pedophiles are doing to children and it will always be business as usual.
So? We truly have to incentivize these scumbag shitstains on the underwear of humanity Christians.
If they can demand brutal death penalty punishments for lgbts, or we atheists? Then we? Should be able to demand a brutal, death penalty punishment for all their disgusting pedophiles and pedophile pimps.
So? I am taking the twisted troglodyte Matthew McLaughlin’s Sodomite Suppression Act ballot initiative he filed in California where he wanted Christians to have the right to walk up to anyone they deemed as lgbt and pull out a gun and blow their heads off or kill them by any means convienent to save us all from the wrath of their sky daddy.
The Christian Pedophile Suppression Act
Children are our most precious of all humans. They are innocent. They cannot protect themselves from adults and the harm adults do to them. This is why Children must be especially protected against harm caused to them by adults. Especially? Those Christian adults.
Far too many Christian priests and pastors and others? Have proven? They cannot be trusted around our children. Far too many of these Christian priests and pastors have raped children, some with victim counts in the hundreds. This has gone on far too long.
Far too many leaders of these Christian denominations have been proven that they will protect their pedophiles, to protect the reputation of their churches, over the protection of the children their pedophiles rape and torture.
Far too many Christians in the pulpits? Seem to willingly sacrifice their children on the altar of pedophile rape in these churches. They also love to stand up and defend their cults of pedophiles, just like we have constantly seen in the Roman Catholic Church. They defend and protect their Pedophile Pimp leaders and sing praises of how these are actually? Holy men of god and we have no right to call them out, demand they be defrocked, be ex-communicated, be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes of being scum who protected their pedophiles.
Far too many Christians? Do not give a damn about the victims and survivors of their pedophile priests and pastors. They do not care that thousands of victims have committed suicide, due to what happened to them and their coming under viscious, vile attacks by Christians when they do speak out about what happened to them. I know. I have faced this many times. I have had Roman Catholics tell me? I deserve to be raped again, or that I deserve to be beaten to death for “lying” about their church. I have had Bob Jones University pedophile defenders vilely attack me for defending and helping their pedo victims. I have had Southern Baptist punks threatening me, for exposing their Southern Baptist pedophile pukes.
Far too many victims and survivors? Go through this on a daily basis by Christians attacking them? For their having the courage and guts to speak about the horrors and evil perpetrated upon them by the Christian priest or pastor who raped them and their pew polishing congregants standing up and defending their pedophile scum over the victim of that pedophile scum.
Time for a Christian Pedophile Suppression Act
Children should in fact? Be protected above all others. Children cannot fight back against an adult raping them. Especially a Christian pedophile cause they are now at two levels, they had to fight off their pedophile and the sick and twisted theolgical shit that Christian pedophile uses to control their victims.
NO Christian should receive a slap on the wrist for raping a child. No Christian should receive a slap on the wrist or no punishment for their protecting their pedophiles.
ALL CHRISTIAN PEDOPHILES EXPOSED? ALL CHRISTIAN PEDOPHILE PIMPS EXPOSED? DESERVE A DEATH PENALTY PUNISHMENT. OF THE WORST POSSIBLE KIND
IF A CHRISTIAN PRIEST OR PASTOR IS EXPOSED AS BEING A DISGUSTING PEDOPHILE? IF A CHRISTIAN LEADER IS EXPOSED FOR BEING A PEDOPHILE PIMP? THEY SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER, USING THE CHRISTIAN TORTURE TOOLS OF THEIR INQUISITIONAL PERIOD.
First up? The Rat Torture
We strip these motherfuckers. We bind them to a table. We place a starving rat on their junk, we place a cage over the rat and a bowl of hot coals on top of the cage. Then? We let the rat eat their junk. The very instrument they raped a child with? Should be torn off of them.
Next up? The Judas Chair
What could be more appropriate? The Judas Chair. Covered in spikes designed to penetrate the skin, but close over the wound so the pedophile does not bleed out while they are in the chair. We leave them in it for a while to think of how much a bunch of Judas’s they were to the innocent children they raped and brutalized. Then? We do how Christians used to do it, place a large bucket of coal under the seat. As it heats up? The Christian pedophile attempts to escape it, ripping off huge chunks of their vile flesh as they do. I mean if this was good enough for Christians to do to those they tortured during their Inquisitions? It is good enough to use on their Christian pedophiles.
Drawing and Quartering
We then? Draw and quarter these Christian pedophile scumbags and their Christian pedophile pimp scumbags. We then? Put their damn heads on pikes before their churches with the following warnings.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO ANY CHRISTIAN PRIEST, PASTOR WHO RAPES A CHILD OR ANY LEADER WHO PROTECTS ONE OF THEIR PEDOPHILES.
These Christian pedophiles and their Christian pedophile pimps? Gave no mercy to their victims. They even denied a whole lot of them? Justice. And far too many of them? Have gotten away with their Crimes Against Humanity and their Crimes Against the Children of the World.
And again? Far too many of their victims? Have committed suicide and? These scumbags should be charged with First Degree Murder for their victims who committed suicide.
These Christian pedophiles and their Pedophile Pimps? All deserve to be put to brutal deaths. They have harmed far too many children in the last 70 years alone. MILLIONS of children. And? They truly refuse to stop. Or do any true and contructive ways of making it stop. They also continue to fight against any changes to statutes of limitations that allow victims and survivors to receive justice. They hide their Pedophile Pimp leaders behind sovereign immunity laws to get away with their crimes.
TIME FOR ALL THIS TO TRULY STOP.
Children deserve to be protected AT ALL COSTS. A Christian priest or pastor? Should NEVER be allowed to get away with their crimes against children and suffer the ultimate penalty if they do.
There should ne NO statutes of limitations against child rape or child abuse. There should be NO sovereign immunity laws for these pedophile pimp leaders to hide behind. This is pure evil and wrong.
So? It is far past time? To demand brutal, death penalty punishments for Christian pedophiles and their pedophile pimps. Maybe if we do so? If we put a few thousand of their disgusting, degenerate pedophiles and pedophile pimps to brutal deaths? Then? They will get the hint to stop raping our children. Cause they sure seemed to have not learned any other way.
In church after church around the world, reports have come to light about children being molested by someone in the place where they should feel safest. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from staggering financial judgments in lawsuits filed by molestation victims. Most of these cases have come into the spotlight many years after the alleged sexual crimes occurred.
For decades, the Catholic Church quietly settled abuse cases out of court and shuffled pedophile priests to different parishes. Not until the early 1980s did the news media start digging into allegations that had surfaced in places such as New Orleans, Louisiana.1 In 1992, the Boston scandals began a nightmare of litigation for Roman Catholic diocese administrators in the United States. After more than a decade, the end of litigation is not yet in sight.
But the Roman Catholic Church is only the most visible defendant. Lawyers also have other church organizations in their sights. In some of the targeted churches, leaders have made the same mistakes that got the Roman Catholic bishops into so much trouble. Incidents were concealed. Law enforcement agencies were stonewalled. Safeguards were lacking. Misconduct was not subjected to church discipline.
Sexual misconduct toward children in the church is not new, but attitudes and perspectives about child molesters have changed and absolutely must change. Otherwise we will continue to cope with devastated lives, financial disaster, and member disillusionment. Church leaders had better take a long, hard look at this issue.
To begin with, let us look at some facts about these crimes:
1. The vast majority of child molesters are male. 2. Victims may be male or female. 3. Child molesters tend to work hard to win positions of trust. Authority, trust, and respect enable molesters to manipulate children, parents, and other leaders. 4. A child molester will create fear in the child, so that the child is afraid to tell anyone. 5. There are no “typical” child molesters. They may be of any age. 6. A child molester in the church looks for and tries to create opportunities to be alone with a child or children. 7. Prior to being caught, the typical child molester attacks thirteen children. 8. Child molesters often are married, may show evidence of a strong Christian witness, and may be in positions of responsibility. 9. Child molesters often do not recognize that any harm has come to their victims. Frequently, there is more remorse from being caught than for injuries inflicted by the crime. 10. A child molester is very likely to return to criminal sexual behavior after release from prison.
FAQ: Why should I expect a child molester to come into my congregation?
ANSWER: Churches provide one of the best sources for children to be found. An atmosphere of trust and acceptance makes the church one of the easiest places for predators to find opportunities to attack victims.
Child Abuse Statistics on the Rise
Since the 1970s, child abuse is far more likely to be reported than it was before. In California, for example, the number of reports investigated rose from about 119,000 in 1976 to about 475,000 in 1988.5 A similar statistical increase occurred throughout the United States and Canada. In 1976, fewer than 6,000 incidents of a sexual nature involving children were reported to law enforcement and child welfare workers.
Once sexual abuse became more widely recognized and reporting was encouraged, the number of reports increased to 130,000 in 1986. The number tripled between 1980 and 1986 alone. Today, more than 300,000 child sexual abuse reports are investigated annually in the United States.6
So, whereas the church might have been forgiven for being caught unawares by pedophiles in the 1970s, there is no excuse today. Ample warning has been given. The church is a natural magnet for children. Pedophiles hunt children. Thus, it would be foolish to think that pedophile child molesters wouldn’t regard the church as a hunting ground. However, in an interview with Christianity Today, attorney Richard Hammar, an author and expert in legal aspects of church life, said, “Our research indicates that 70 percent of churches are doing absolutely nothing to screen volunteer youth workers.”7
Molesters May Assault Many
There are no “absolute” statistics on the number of children molested every day in the United States, Canada, or any other country. Despite the increased awareness of the problem, and the likelihood that a sexual incident will be reported, many still go unreported. In some nations, molestation is not discussed as freely as it is in North America. We can only trace numbers of complaints, investigations, arrests, convictions, and releases.8 Research on adults who were sexually abused as children suggests that the large majority of victims do not report their abuse at the time it occurs. Children often keep their history of abuse a secret because they fear their parents’ rejection, punishment, and blame.9
In a typical church environment, guilt and the potential stigma associated with abuse, coupled with the understanding of how homosexual acts are viewed by the church, often will silence an abused child, particularly if he or she is in or near the teenage years. Younger children are often sworn to secrecy with threats of violence or some vague, undefined “doom” that will occur. The real tragedy is that, while their little lips are sealed, so are their hearts.
Remember, the typical child molester does not wear a sign. And the victims are not clamoring to tell their stories of molestation. They are sitting in church with sad eyes, quiet, confused, and hurting.
The typical child molester has a string of prior victims and may or may not have been detected yet. He is calculating and cunning, waiting for opportunity. The only question is whether the particular church he has chosen (or that chose him) will afford him the opportunity he needs.
One attempt to estimate the number of victims in 1998 was published in the 2001 Annual Review of Sociology. For all kinds of violent crime in 1998, including sexual attacks, 87.9 of every thousand U.S. adolescents between the ages of twelve to fifteen became victims. A slightly higher rate of 96.2 of every thousand teens between the ages of sixteen and nineteen became victims.
For people in their twenties, the chance of becoming a victim of violent crime drops rapidly. At age sixty-five, only 4.4 of every thousand persons are victims. Ross Macmillan, who wrote the report, observed that the age variables apply to all the kinds of violent crime studied. Robberies and sexual assaults were ten times as likely among adolescents. Other assaults were twenty-three times more likely.10
Sixty-seven percent of all victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were under the age of eighteen; 34 percent of all victims were under the age of twelve. One of every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies was under the age of six.11
Population and Pornography Increase Sex Crimes
Several reasons might be suggested for actual increases in crime numbers, as opposed to increases due to better reporting and a greater willingness to talk about behavior that might be identified as sexual. Natural increases in population certainly play a part in crime statistics. Another factor that is increasingly being blamed is the easier availability of child and adult pornography on the Internet, which may come to the attention of people who have sexual proclivities that they might not have acted upon in the past. Assuming that Internet pornography will not become more controlled and less available, we can expect that the rate of sexual assaults, including child molestation, will continue to outpace population growth. This increases the chances that our communities and our churches have pedophiles or people with pedophiliac tendencies. In short, pedophiles are all around, and some are church members.
MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE? WATCH PORNO. AND THEY SURE THE HELL DO NOT TURN OUT TO BE PEDOPHILES. BLAMING PEOPLE WATCHING PORN FOR PEDOPHILIA? ESPECIALLY ADULT PORN? IS BULLSHIT.
FAQ: What does a child molester look like?
ANSWER: He looks like you, especially if you are a man.
• Pedophiliac child molesters are invariably male. Although there are some female molesters, they are few and their victims are typically males in their teens. The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children reports: “In both clinical and nonclinical samples, the vast majority of offenders are male.”12 • A significant percentage of victims are males. A study undertaken by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, of 457 male sex offenders who had committed crimes against children, found that about one-third of these sexual offenders targeted male victims.13 • Child molesters can be preteens or grandfathers. A U.S. Department of Justice report, titled “Criminal Offender Statistics,” found that criminal offenders who had victimized a child were on average five years older than violent offenders who had committed crimes against adults. Nearly 25 percent of child victimizers were age forty or older.14 Forty percent of the offenders who victimized children under the age of six were juveniles under the age of eighteen—one reason to keep male teens out of the nursery.15
A Child Molester May Have Been a Victim
It is not uncommon for molesters to have been victimized in their own childhood. There is also evidence that the greater number of male child molesters are homosexual. Quoting Journal of Sex Research statistics, David Wagner, an associate law professor at Regent University School of Law, said that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least twenty to one (in other words, homosexuals comprise about 5 percent of the population), yet homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of all child sex offenses.16
FAQ: Christ forgives sinners. So if a repentant child molester comes into my church, shouldn’t I treat him just as I would any other sinner?
ANSWER: No! If you do that, you may one day be called to account for your failure to recognize the danger posed by such an individual. Ignorance may not be a valid defense.
Christian Sympathy for Pedophiles is an Actual Problem There is nothing biblical or holy about enabling predators. It is disgusting that christians use the bible to vilify victims of physical and sexual abuse and enable abusers. They care more about virtue signaling and looking “forgiving and spiritual” to strangers than they do protecting their own children. This is truly satanic