No more excuses

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Earlier today I posted the following:

21 September 2017  “Pope candidly admits Church ‘arrived late’ in confronting abuse” & related article

I said I would comment.  The article and what I have read elsewhere on the Holy Father’s comments annoyed me, so, here goes.  A few quick thoughts (with quites fromt he articles in itlaics)…

  1.  “Consciousness”

  Pope Francis …said on Thursday the Catholic Church had “arrived late” in dealing with the problem.

“There is the reality that the Church arrived at the consciousness of these crimes a bit late,” he said.

“When consciousness arrives late, the means to resolve the problems also arrive late. I am aware of this difficulty but it is reality and I say it plainly: We arrived late.”

In this instance I suggest that the Holy Father can speak for himself an d those of  his fellow bishops and Cardinals who have covered up for and tolerated predatory clergy.

It is not “the Church” which has arrived late at this “consciousness. ”  There have been laws in the Church against clerical sexual abuse throughout the ages and, withness the following,   it has been recognized for the perversion, sin and abomination that it is.

Yes, of course, as with laws everywhere, they will to enforce is required, but there has always been a recognition of the  ‘problem’ and accompanying laws to penalize these clerical predators.


I can add that in more recent times, we can go back to 1952 when a Father Gerald Fitzgerald was strongly arguing that clergy who are “tampering with the virtue of the young” should be laicized (defrocked) 

2.  Falling asleep

“The old practice of moving people around and not confronting the problem made consciences fall asleep,” he said.

What is he talking about?  What pray tell is the Holy Father talking about?

“Made consciousness fall asleep”?  Whose consciousness fell asleep?  And, in light of Church teaching, the Bible and the utterances of the great Saints and likes of Father Fitzgerald throughout the years, how did they manage to fall asleep?

3. The commission

Francis acknowledged that the commission, which was founded in 2014, had to “swim against the tide,” a reference to high level defections from its ranks.

The founding of the commission was another case of re-inventing the wheel.  What more needs to be known about priests who are wolves in sheep’s clothing?   What more needs to be said about the damage done by the rape of a child’s soul?

4.  A “Sickness”

Francis said that everyone had to realize that sexual abuse is “a sickness” with a high probability of relapse.

“That person may repent today … but may commit it again after two years. We have to put it into our heads that this is a sickness,” he said.

Most of us know that, when it comes to clerical molesters,  there is indeed a high probability of relapse, but, to then  try to rationalize  this abhorrent SIN as a sickness goes beyond the pall.

I suppose perhaps we could say it is a spiritual sickness?   I will have to think that through a little, because I do believe that those who are truly spiritually healthy would never lay a wayward hand on a child.  Never.

But, a “sickness”?  As in, by the sound of it, a physical or mental sickness?

Heaven help us !   Now we’re into the “poor father, he has no control over what he says or does.  Poor Father – it’s the sickness, you see.  There’s nothing he can do about it.”

This is secular think.  Totally secular.  “Poor poor Father.  He can’t help it.”

What about sin?  S.I.N.

Is there anything in the Bible which declares clerical sexual abuse to be a sickness?  I think not.   There is, of course, the warning about the millstones.  Right?  Better that he who scandalizes one of these little ones be thrown into the depths of the sea with a millstone round his neck?

There’s nary a word there about sickness, is there?

Furthermore, is there anywhere in the 2000 year history of official Church teaching wherein clerical sexual abuse is declared to be a sickness?  I think not.  There, are however, the wise and prudent words regarding scanad by St. Alphonsus De Legouri and the many great saints whom he quotes.  Nary an excuse there, is there?  The sinner carries the burden.  No shuffling it off on things like sickness, is there?

Please please please, let’s start calling a spade a spade.  No more excuses.  No more rationalizing.  No more tap dancing.  Just, please get then out of the priesthood.

Enough for now,




This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Circling the wagons, Clerical sexual predators, Pope Francis, Scandal, Vatican and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to No more excuses

  1. BC says:

    Your link to the Tapsell paper doesn’t appear to mention the smoking gun which is the Baars study presented to the Synod of Bishops in 1971. The Holy See itself had sponsored it. Dr. Conrad Baars was a devout Catholic psychiatrist. His study (The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood) of 1500 members of the clergy found that less than 15% of priests in Europe and North America were emotionally fully developed and of the remaining 85%, 20–25% had “serious psychiatric difficulties” that they expressed through alcohol abuse, while 60–70% had less severe degrees of emotional immaturity. Baars recommendations were absolutely totally ignored and his study found it’s way on the highest shelve in the Vatican Archives.

    We’re dealing with immature men. Immature men like Pope Francis who is not part of the minority who would do the right thing regarding clerical abuse within this failed institution.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Do you have a link to Dr. Baars study BC? I can’t find it and would like to read it. There seems to be a connection between Baars and at least one of the Houses of Affirmation – a treatment centre for ‘errant’ clergy.

  3. BC says:

    Here`s one link from Marquette University; a Catholic, Jesuit university (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

    • Sylvia says:

      Thanks BC. I’m just reading through it now.

    • Sylvia says:

      I don’t believe that Dr. Baars work was overlooked BC. Far from it.

      For want of time, I will post the following:

      Click here for report on Baars and the establishment of the House of Affirmation in Worcester, Mass in 1973. This was the first of a number of such Houses of Affirmation’ set up across the States as a treatment centre for clergy with what were referenced as psychological and psychosexual problems.

      The co-founder of this first House of Affirmation was a Father Thomas Kane, a Roman Catholic priest and clinical psychologist (There were questions later regarding his academic qualifications).

      From the Boston Herald:

      “The center was founded in the 1970s by the Rev. Thomas Kane and the late Anna Polcino, a nun who was also a psychiatrist. The center(s) went out of business in 1986, after charges of financial mismanagement, including accusations that Kane used funds from the institute to purchase condos in Florida. Kane, who is now living in Mexico, was himself sued for child sex abuse in 1993, and was named in a second suit of two altar boys who charged that they were molested by a priest released to a Northboro parish after treatment at the House of Affirmation. (Robin Washington, Feb 13, 2002 Boston Herald)

      And this, from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette in 2002:

      Priest’s name removed from site

      Rev. Kane located at teachers’ school
      Published Wednesday, February 13, 2002

      By Richard Nangle
      Telegram & Gazette Staff

      The Web site for the Worldwide Teachers Institute’s operation in Boston has removed all photographs and references to its director, the Rev. Thomas A. Kane.

      Rev. Kane, who left the Catholic Diocese of Worcester in 1993 after he was accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old boy, has spent the past five years as director of the international training institute for teachers, which is headquartered in Boston and also has teacher training programs in Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

      The priest has been based at the Guadalajara program, but is known to make periodic trips to Boston.

      He was co-founder and director of the former House of Affirmation in the Whitinsville section of Northbridge, a treatment and counseling center for priests, including those suspected of sexual abuse. He left the post in 1986 amid allegations of financial misconduct, and the House of Affirmation was closed in 1989.

      Questioned in recent years about Rev. Kane’s whereabouts, Worcester Diocese officials had said they didn’t know where he was.

      Diocesan spokesman Raymond L. Delisle said last week that Rev. Kane remains listed on the Worcester Diocese’s directory of priests because his last clerical assignment was in the diocese. He said Rev. Kane has not been defrocked, but cannot administer sacraments or celebrate Mass.

      The spokesman also said that Rev. Kane does not receive any payment from the diocese. In a story in yesterday’s Boston Herald, however, Mr. Delisle is quoted as saying Rev. Kane is receiving a stipend from the diocese.

      Mr. Delisle did not return telephone calls from a reporter yesterday seeking comment on the situation.

      Rev. Kane has not returned several telephone calls and e-mail messages from reporters. His position with the institute was reported in the Telegram & Gazette last week, and later in the Herald, after he sent Houston lawyer Daniel Shea an e-mail that stated, in part: “living here in Mexico for five years now and love it.”

      “Dr. Kane is not here right now, and we don’t expect him in Boston anytime soon,” said a man who answered the telephone at the Boston office of the teaching institute and identified himself only as “Arash.”

      A person who answered the telephone at the Guadalajara office of the institute also said Rev. Kane was not available.

      A separate Web site for the Guadalajara branch of the school for those who teach English abroad continues to include photographs of Rev. Kane and a biography that omits all mention of his work as a priest.

      The Worldwide Teachers Institute also remains listed as a service provider for the Massachusetts Department of Education.

      “The commissioner will have to look at that,” Department of Education spokesman Jonathan Palumbo said yesterday, referring to state Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. “If this is a case where the man is a problem, then he (Mr. Driscoll) said he’d be more than prompt in removing his name from our listing on the Web site.”

      Mr. Palumbo described the Department of Education provider list as a resource for Massachusetts teachers going through the recertification process.

      “It’s not in any way an endorsement or a certification or an approval of these providers,” he said. “We just sort of act as a middleman here.”

      Mr. Palumbo said the Department of Education does not have any information on Rev. Kane.

      Bishop Daniel P. Reilly last week announced a “zero tolerance” policy on sexual abuse by clergy in his diocese. Mr. Delisle, however, has said the diocese will not forward the names of priests accused of sexual abuse to Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte.

      The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced recently that is turning over to prosecutors the names of dozens of priests suspected of sexual abuse.

      Rev. Kane was one of more than a dozen priests accused in the 1980s and 1990s of sexually abusing parishioners in the Worcester Diocese. Subsequent lawsuits and, in some cases, criminal charges against priests focused attention on how church authorities investigated and handled allegations involving members of the clergy.

      Before the information was removed, the Worldwide Teachers Institute’s Boston Web site described Rev. Kane as an authority on teaching English abroad. A biography stated that he holds an American doctorate, a British diploma and three honorary doctorates from American universities. It also noted that he is an appointed scholar at Harvard University and author of a book on teaching English around the world.

      A spokesman for the University of Birmingham in England, where Rev. Kane is said to have a doctorate, said last week that the school has no record of Rev. Kane attending classes there or receiving a degree.

      Houston lawyer Mr. Shea, who has represented alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests, said he met Rev. Kane in 1974 after Bishop Reilly, then a monsignor in the Providence Diocese, recommended Mr. Shea seek counseling at the House of Affirmation. Mr. Shea was a deacon studying to be a priest at the time. When he met Rev. Kane at the treatment center in Whitinsville, he said, he rebuffed homosexual advances made by the priest.

      • bc says:

        Dr. Baars tried to blow the whistle on Father Kane in 1975 because as it was subsequently confirmed, Father Kane was embezzling House of Affirmation. But Father Kane fired Dr. Baars instead claiming that Dr. Baars was incompetent.

        • Sylvia says:

          Yes. It’s worth searching to find the coverage. I have a lot of House of Affirmation files but they are difficult to dig out and I really don’t think it’s necessary to do so at this time. My point is that the bishops embraced the whole notion of affirmation with regards to all of this psychosexual immaturity chatter.

          I recall attending a Canadian Conference of Bishops plenary in the early 90s – the buzz was all “psychosexual immaturity.” The large majority, if not all, were all in. I personally had never heard the term before but they certainly knew what it was all about and were all on board bemoaning all that they viewed as ailing and hampering the life and happiness of the poor priest. That was over 20 years ago. It is now used to excuse the inexcusable behaviours of predatory clergy. The poor souls are, we are told, are, through no fault of their own, psychosexually immature. I don’t particulalry think that’s what Dr. Baars had in mind in the 70s when he was addressing the issue of priests leaving the church to marry, but, that is the unfortunate fallout.

          • BC says:

            You are of course correct: Dr. Baars was not specifically researching clerical abuse in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. I referred to his study as a response to your critique of the disease model of clerical abuse now being peddled by the living selfie that is Pope Francis. The black box that is the disease model of clerical abuse is a theory in search of a practice. Addiction to kiddy porn; compulsions to sexually assault aren’t defenses.

  4. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Sylvia/BC – thank you BOTH for saying it like it is. I have railed on “ad-nauseum” to some bishops these last few years about this very topic, the psycho-sexually immature male in the Catholic priesthood. I have not received any responses to my concerns regarding this matter. Having a boy in a man’s body for a pastor is acutely concerning.
    I am left with the feeling (I hope I’m wrong) that the church has actively recruited this type of individual because of the inherent characteristics of this type of psyche. Most remarkable in this is the desperate desire to be obedient to a senior male figure (ie – the bishop)
    Sylvia completely agree with you in that it appears the Pope is trying to deflect the cause/blame of this matter. This matter is NOT a sickness, but a compilation of centuries of accumulated SIN.
    This twisted omnipotence is now being bared for all to see. Mike.

  5. Sylvia says:

    I don’t for a moment beleive that “the Church” per se has actively recruited these individuals, but I do firmly believe that in many an instance and for many years predators in the Church have actively recruited males whom they deem to be of like mind .

  6. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Sylvia – regarding my last post and your response, you are absolutely right. Poor choice of words on my part. I realize that the “church” as an institution does not do what I insinuated.
    I remain disappointed in what you have pointed out in the recruitment and screening of seminarians. Where (if any) is the oversight? I just can’t get my head around the Pope saying essentially that they have been “asleep at the wheel” while this madness was occurring. Mike.

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