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#170659 04/22/02 07:46 PM
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Dear Maximus,

Yes, many saints were reformed this or that.

St Augustine on your side of the East-West divide lived in sin with a woman for the better part of 18 years.

St John Climacus was tempted toward bestiality etc.

It was the Venerable Archbishop of New York, Fulton Sheen who said that great sinners and great saints have a similar capacity for energetic labour.

It is just that the former has a wrong orientation and when they get it right, there's no stopping them on the road to sainthood.

Alex

#170660 04/22/02 07:59 PM
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By the way I happen to agree with an adult relative of mine that is male and was sexualy assualted as child. This relative seems to think that those that take "hush" money are not that innocent in this scandle as we all would like to portray them. Of course they were victimized but if they wish to take money and let by-gones be by-gones then well... life is quite interesting isn't it.

***

I have a question though for you married men. If a man slaps his wife around for years, calls her all sorts of mean names. But lets say one day changes after 10 years of doing this to his wife, and she forgives him - should someone run tell the story to the DA and he get thrown in jail anyways. Or is justice and repentence enough for God outside of the court of law? Consulor I know what you will say he owes a debt to society because breaking the law harms society and all should be brung before the court of law - right? What about you others. I'm sure there might be a number of you that don't see giving your wife a good pop every now and then a crime or harmful. But go ahead I want to hear some of you preach about "long term effects".

#170661 04/22/02 08:02 PM
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I have a question for you, Axios, which as you know, I ask sincerely as I have no axes to grind.

Most of these priests have been accused of having sex with teenagers. Now biologically that means they are NOT paedophiles--rather they are gay. If I have sex with a 14 year old girl, I am not a child molester (even by the legal statutes in my state) but rather I am guilty of "corrupting the morals of a minor" or "statutory rape").

What is the position of the gay community towards this? Is there a move to extend the age at which sex is considered "paedophilia" and not just gay sex (albeit illegal)? In some European countries, for instance, I read that the age of consent is 12 or 13. So a priest in the Netherlands for instance couldn't be arrested for what's going on here in America. Please help us sort this out from your POV.

In Christ,

anastasios

#170662 04/22/02 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Maximus,

Yes, many saints were reformed this or that.

St Augustine on your side of the East-West divide lived in sin with a woman for the better part of 18 years.

St John Climacus was tempted toward bestiality etc.

It was the Venerable Archbishop of New York, Fulton Sheen who said that great sinners and great saints have a similar capacity for energetic labour.

It is just that the former has a wrong orientation and when they get it right, there's no stopping them on the road to sainthood.

Alex


Wow!! You almost knocked me out of my seat with that bestiality.

Sheen always seems to have some good stuff to quote. I wish I was that wise.

#170663 04/22/02 08:25 PM
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Dear Maximus,

Yes, some of the saints were "around" before they earned their haloes.

Holy as they were, many were no strangers to the worse sides of human nature or demonic temptations.

Their reformed lives were miracle enough to the power of God's Grace through faith, prayer, the Sacraments and spiritual reading, fasting etc.

My favourite line from the Venerable Archbishop Sheen was, "Mary, Christ's Mother, St John and Mary Magdalene were at the foot of the Cross. And these three types of people are forever at the Foot of the Cross - Mothers, Virgins and Penitents."

Alex

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: Orthodox Catholic ]

#170664 04/22/02 08:51 PM
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Maximus (our third grandson's middle name is Maximus after Maximus the Confessor) greetings:
The church is incapable of dealing effectively (i.e. protecting innocent clergy or actual victims) with sexual abuse of minors. The requisite training/understanding is absent and there exists a clear conflict of interest. A billion dollars paid out in the last 15 years and immeasurable emotional harm to victims, could largely have been avoided by the church "butting" out and referring allegations at once (without messing up the case by interviewing victims) so that trained professionals could interview alleged victims in non-threatening surroundings to ascertain whether the allegations had merit. This process would avoid what has happened, though the victimization already done would have to be compensated and the clergy treated/incarcerated and laicized. Since Vatican II it is undeniable that the RCC has attracted too many active homosexual clergy who found a secure niche for their sexual exploitation of mainly adolescent boys. This is a different problem, though still reprehensible and harmful, than predator pedophilia of pre-puberty children of either gender. All religious groups (and secular for that matter) that foster a trust relationship between men and children have their share of pedophiles and always have. Pedophiles are drawn to molest children and that is where children are most vulnerable and the perpetrator has the most leverage due to his position of trust (I can't recall how many cases I have had where the perpetrator told the victim "no one would believe you"). From my own experience I can state that Baptist ministers, pentecostals, evangelicals of all stripes, Salvation Army officers and Eastern Christian married priests have been involved in the same behavior but it is rare that their cases have been handled in such bungling fashion as has been brought out concerning the RCC. The RCC may well have valid legal malpractice claims against attorneys who advised them on their course of inanity. What is past is past and cannot be redone, let us hope that the latest pronouncement from the Bishop head of thew NCCB (today aired) will be put into practice today! As far as celibacy remaining intact, as has been stated repeatedly, it is a church discipline not a dogma and can go anytime. That will cause no tears here as it is undeniably aberrant and abnormal, not withstanding that many good God loving men and women have entered into and completed that course in life for what they believed to be the love of God. Nevertheless, it is really without a basis to require it in Holy writ or in the early Church. Save for our Lord, (who being both God and Man could well not be expected to fulfill the commandment)it is unlikely any of the apostles were celibate as those that were Jews would be considered only half a man for not fulfilling God's commandment to be fruitful and multiply (not applicable to women) and accordingly would not have been allowed to hold any responsible position in the Jewish community (such as member of the Sanhedrin). Formerly pagan apostles would possibly have been drawn to celibacy as it was not uncommon in some pagan religions but alien to Judaism. Celibacy takes a God driven good and thwarts it by requiring its denial and sublimation. As stated, "some" can do this but they are few (few as in the total population not few as in those who are celibate clergy now) and at all times those venturing down that path should be monitored with an eye that their condition is abnormal in the human state and particularly subject to deviant temptations.
No, I am not a Mason as it is antithetical to being Orthodox or Byzantine or RCC clergy! The African priest "raping nuns" problem you cite is an example of what I wrote above; perchance not requiring celibacy would allow those men to function as healthy well adjusted priests, with a family, for the greater glory of God! May God grant that those who are genuinely drawn, as opposed to coerced, to a celibate life be permitted to go that way BUT for the love of God not be coerced or forced to enter what for them may well be a life of anguish and grief because they were not able to marry and have a family of their own as opposed to their "spiritual family" of faithful. Moshe Zorea


Moshe Zorea
#170665 04/22/02 09:13 PM
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Dear Alex:

I think both sides of the debate (Fr. C. John McCloskey III fairly represents the "Right" or the "Traditionalists" and Fr. Richard McBrien of the University of Notre Dame of the "Left" or "Liberals") agree that 2 distinct groups are involved in these sexual scandals.

Researches undertaken within and by the US Catholic Church (Latin) and by secular groups (the "disinterested" parties) show that about 1 to 2% of US Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual misconduct in one form or the other.

However, up to 95% (of the 1 to 2%) of the cases were/are guilty of sexual misconduct involving post-pubescent BOYS while the remainder (5% of 1 to 2%) involved pre-pubescent BOYS AND GIRLS.

Trained psychologists and psychiatrists have had the following differentiation of the two sexual deviations:

"Ephebophilia" is a psychological illness primarily characterized by a homosexual attraction to post-pubescent teenaged BOYS, usually from 13 up to the age of 19 years; while "pedophilia" is primarily characterized by a heterosexual or homosexual attraction to pre-pubescent children (both BOYS AND GIRLS) up to the age of 12 to 13 years.

Certain quarters now say that this emergent distinction somewhat confirms the suspicion long-held by concerned Catholic laity that there is a disproportionate number of homosexuals in the US Catholic clergy and in seminaries.

Apropos to this subject matter, I think there is a move in the US Catholic Church (Latin) to require psychological profiling of would-be seminarians with a view to curbing the admission of homosexuals. (By the way, the CCB of the Philippines is the first national episcopal conference to approve and require a standard psychological profiling of candidates to seminaries.)

Axios may have an axe to grind but I am hoping that that razor-sharp axe of his will someday turn into a blunt club: I personally prefer that club on my head than his axe on my neck. eek

#170666 04/22/02 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by Amado Guerrero:
Axios may have an axe to grind but I am hoping that that razor-sharp axe of his will someday turn into a blunt club: I personally prefer that club on my head than his axe on my neck. eek



"[Homosexuals would] just as soon kill you as look at you." -- Jerry Falwell

Amado, is this what you're implying about Axios and his axe going into your neck?

[ 04-22-2002: Message edited by: RichC ]

#170667 04/22/02 09:37 PM
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Dear RichC:

I invoke the 5th!

#170668 04/22/02 11:43 PM
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Amado: Greetings from beautiful Anchorage. Your report "I think there is a move in the US Catholic Church (Latin) to require psychological profiling of would-be seminarians with a view to curbing the admission of homosexuals. (By the way, the CCB of the Philippines is the first national episcopal conference to approve and require a standard psychological profiling of candidates to seminaries.)" is good news and long overdue. The Western Province of the Dominican Order, based in Berkeley, California Finally took similar steps in the late 1980's to get a handle on a widespread problem. St. Dominic was likely guiding them to stop the desecration of his order by those who not only had homosexual inclinations but actively pursued them ad nauseam. Moshe Zorea


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#170669 04/23/02 01:35 AM
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I truely don't think this problem is a homosexual one per se. Homosexuals intent on never maintaining their celibit vows, well then yes that's a problem. But then if a homosexual Priest had sex with another man, as long as it isn't a kid, what buisness is it anyones - lay wise. I understand the heterosexual males anxiety towards homosexuals. I had it for a large part of my life, ones masculinity is trained to have it's identity dependent on how homosexual it *isn't*. I personaly find this degree of homophobia to be a certian freeze of immaturity in the mind of the person that has it. Personaly I have come to prefer homosexual men, even the ones that are effeminate, to that of men that beat their wives or belittle their wives to no end.

Another thing why do we never give homosexual Priest any credit for serving the Church? It's as though in the human mind a person is only one thing. This is the benefit Zen offers - to see things or persons for what they are, getting pass the color, the occupation, the name, and all pre-concieved notions we have. I'm sure this current crisis in the Church is another source of burden for persons of the homosexual oreintation in the Christian community. Let's remember that while some people - God knows how - support man - boy sex, there are also people who support man - girl sex. Infact historicaly I believe a fair number of men took young girls as wives. While I find a man sexualy violating a boy or man far more horrible then a man sexualy violating a girl or woman. I think we ought not draw undue and unfair lines from gay men to this and this and that.

Another thing a woman should not go to jail for having sex with a high school boy, let's get back to some common sense, a 14 year old boy more then likely is probably happy he had sex with an older adult woman. He won't be horribaly scared, rather he'd gain some tiger stripes. Of course I don't want to advocate or encourage sin to anyone, and sex outside of marriage is just that sex. But let's be honest some sins are more fun then others, and some gain you more respect from your peers then others.

#170670 04/23/02 03:12 AM
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What is the position of the gay community towards this? Is there a move to extend the age at which sex is considered "paedophilia" and not just gay sex (albeit illegal)? In some European countries, for instance, I read that the age of consent is 12 or 13. So a priest in the Netherlands for instance couldn't be arrested for what's going on here in America. Please help us sort this out from your POV.

In Christ,

anastasios


The gay community has been fairly uniform in calling for an equal age of consent for homosexuality and heterosexuality. Many jurisdictions have different ages (England is 18 for homosexual, 16 for hetro). However, even this has been a secondary issue for the community. A general lowering of the age of consent has never been a cause of the gay community.

In fact, it sadly seems sex with minors is a more common occurance with the Catholic priests than on our community, even with its libertine element. Paul Shanley would have never lasted in the a position of leadership in the gay community for a second.

To Amado,

Thank you for your post. While a few non-Catholics have used this opportunity to takes shots at the Church, many of us are just sad and angry because we want the Catholic Church to be a positive voice in American society.

On the issue of gay priests:

I would bet good money this is yesterday's news. At one time, 17 year olds went into the seminary and men were 35 when they came to terms with their sexual orientation. Today, the reverse is common. People who are gay are open and out about their sexuality at a young age. For some, this may direct them away from the priesthood as they do not agree with traditional Catholic thought on this matter and their orientation is a matter of public record. Others will not be accepted. And those who are accepted knwo what they are getting into and generally have a healthy and mature understanding of their orientation. I beleive gay men in the priesthood has peaked and is now rapidly falling.

Alex,

I think your view on Cardinal Law has some truth. Law has really disgraced not only himself but the school of thought and methods and actions he is identified with. On the one hand, he barred a lesbian speaking on a point of civil law (not theology or morality) at Catholic University to a student group which had invited her. On the other hand he write letters of recommendations to priests he knows abuse boys. It goes back to the "fraternity" mentioned before and which must be destroyed.

Well, this too shall pass, but I feel it is passing like a gallstone the size of a softball.
frown

Axios the depressed

#170671 04/23/02 05:04 AM
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A most remarkable discussion, and indeed conducted with the focus being on ideas and not on "persons".

I suspect that there is general agreement that any adult (male or female) who takes advantage of a child's innocence is in the wrong. And, ecclesiologically, since the Church community (allied with civil law) does not accept such behavior, then it is not only a matter for the Church, but also for the civil authorities. I can understand and appreciate Maximos's perspective that a pubescent male might earn his 'tiger stripes' from interaction with an older woman, but I think this comes from our double-standard about what is acceptable and what is not.

As many folks have opined, there does seem to be a lot of confusion about heterosexual and homosexual status in these discussions of adult-child sexual behavior. I think that the basic fact remains: adult-child sexual contact (heter0 or homo) is not acceptable for our community. (Although, I keep having this St. Joseph/Virgin Mary age difference pop up; but I guess 'their' society of 2,000 years ago requires a different interpretation. Today, a 35 year old man and a 15 year old girl,...... well, it would be jail time for St. Joseph.) Although, I must admit that SOME early teen kids (boys and girls) are nowhere near "innocent" and know quite well what they are doing even if they do not understand the import of their actions and behaviors.

The main issue once again seems to devolve onto sin: doing something that is not loving and not in the best interest of the other person.

What some of these clergy did was clearly not in the best interests of the kids involved; and the actions of the administrative structure of some of the Roman hierarchy was also not in the best interests of the kids. So, we need them to "go elsewhere" where they cannot injure the kids. But we also need to make sure that the kids are protected, even if they consider themselves "mature". (Just watch a couple of episodes of Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Ricki Lake, etc. to see examples of kids who think sex is just interpersonal gymnastics.)

Where are the parents in all of this? Are they too dumb to recognize the changes that are occurring in the lives of their offspring, or perhaps too afraid to confront the problem and hope that it will go away?

Lord, have mercy!

#170672 04/23/02 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by Dr John:


The main issue once again seems to devolve onto sin: doing something that is not loving and not in the best interest of the other person.

What some of these clergy did was clearly not in the best interests of the kids involved; and the actions of the administrative structure of some of the Roman hierarchy was also not in the best interests of the kids. So, we need them to "go elsewhere" where they cannot injure the kids. But we also need to make sure that the kids are protected, even if they consider themselves "mature". (Just watch a couple of episodes of Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Ricki Lake, etc. to see examples of kids who think sex is just interpersonal gymnastics).

Lord, have mercy!


Said better then I could say it.

#170673 04/23/02 02:24 PM
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Dear Axios,

I think you've been both fair and astute throughout this entire discussion.

The "old boys' fraternity" is surely the root cause of the problem, as you've said.

Sociologically (with apologies smile ) some have noted that priests tend to become an "in-group" because neither the laity nor the bishops really understand their plight and situation.

The bishops are another such group dedicated to the maintenance of structures, rather than overseeing their critical reform.

As Dr. John the Theologian has said, all are at fault here, including parents.

But the bishops have a primary responsibility to protect children from their clerics who are ill.

And if they deliberately shirt that responsibility, they, by the most ancient canons and discipline of the Church, should resign in the least, or else be de-mitred.

It could also have been, as some have suggested, that Law acted in the way he did for fear that the situation might be used as "further evidence" in favour of a married priesthood.

I don't know. I agree with you that the situation calls for something more than a mere apology or other patronizing words from the Cardinal.

Alex

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