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solution to priests/molesting?(14 posts)

solution to priests/molesting?DougSloan
Oct 4, 2002 7:52 AM
The priest at the church my wife and I attend was just sued for molesting a guy 10 years ago, so now this is hitting close to home.

I had a thought about how the number of these incidents, even false accusations, could be reduced.

Couldn't the church have rule that a priest is never permitted to be alone with a minor? If there were at least 2 minors, or another adult, present, I'd bet that even fewer would attempt anything, there would be witnesses to what happened, good or bad, and it avoids the appearance of any impropriety, too.

I realize that all rules could be broken, but this at least seems like a step in the right direction, that is, don't even allow situations to develop that could lead to improper things taking place.

What do you all think?

(Not my intent to start a church bashing thread here, only to offer a solution.)

Doug
Good idea for protection against false accusationsPdxMark
Oct 4, 2002 8:02 AM
A teacher friend applies the same rule to his teaching practices. He teaches music at a middle school and is sure to never be alone with a student. A colleague of his had been accused of molestation.

There is certainly safety in numbers if you want to be protected against false accusations. As a system-wide protection against molestation I'm not sure it would work. Someone determined to molest will arrange the opportunity.
re: solution to priests/molesting?mickey-mac
Oct 4, 2002 8:10 AM
I'd guess that the church is already moving in that direction. I coach young kids' soccer. AYSO has very strict rules about what can be done, including a requirement that at least two adults be present with minors at all times. At least one adult must be the same sex as the kids. AYSO also has strict regulations about things like bathroom breaks and holding team events at volunteers' homes. However, molestation in youth soccer has been less of a problem than in the church, probably because parents don't put complete trust in a previously unknown person coaching a soccer team. The bottom line is that the church should implement the types of programs that have been followed for years by youth sports leagues, daycare centers, and other settings where adults work closely with minors.
Pictured another way..Brooks
Oct 7, 2002 1:27 PM
re: solution to priests/molesting?PaulCL
Oct 4, 2002 8:52 AM
Your idea seems to be common sense, but there are a few problems. First of all, I was brought up Catholic, went to Catholic schools until college.

The problem is counseling. A priest is supposed to "be there" for you (or your child) if you have a problem. So to require two kids at a time, or two priests at a time, would limit one of their primary missions. I think the best solution is education of the parishoners and common sense.

I have a solution myself. Let priests marry. Let priests explore their own sexuality. Why? Having married priests would elimate (somewhat) the priesthood as a place to hide for those who are denying their own sexuality. An example: a high school buddy of mine always wanted to be a priest. He went to college, then went to the seminary. He left the seminary before completion very depressed and dejected. Why? Because he described the seminarians as mostly gay. He was tired of being 'hit on' as he said. I don't bring this up as a condemation of the priesthood or a representation of all priest, just one person's experience.

My grandfather always remarked that the guys he knew that went into the priesthood were different and 'not his type of man'. I didn't know what he meant until I was an adult. My grandfather was a real 'good' Catholic -went to Mass every morning until he died. Do we ever hear about this stuff happening with Protestant ministers? Very rarely. I think its' time for the church to take a big step into the 20th century...we'll leave the 21st century for another debate.
re: solution to priests/molesting?Jon Billheimer
Oct 4, 2002 9:33 AM
I grew up a son of a protestant minister, in a family heavily populated by clergy. Yes, this sort of thing does happen in protestant churches. However, the incidence of pedophilia is not nearly so high, I don't believe. Adultery seemed to be more common.

In addition to the suggestions mentioned above, I think the church hierarchy itself has to quit being so protective of its priests. Accused priests should not be anonymously transferred from diocese to diocese. Those who admit to offenses and/or are convicted should be immediately defrocked. And finally, I do believe if marriage were allowed the priesthood would become a less attractive haven for those with pedophiliac tendencies.
new church policyDougSloan
Oct 4, 2002 9:48 AM
According to the paper here, all reports of molestation are forwarded to the authorities now. That should help to eliminate the cover ups.

See: http://www.fresnobee.com/local/v-print/story/4656793p-5674918c.html
It's a startPaulCL
Oct 4, 2002 10:59 AM
I agree - if there is an accusation, then the priest goes on leave, if found guilty in court - prison.

The church has been hiding these cretins for generations. The church is as much at fault as the individual guilty priests. It is unfathomable to me that a religious group would passively condone the sexual molestation of children just to maintain its' reputation. Sickening. Personally, I believe that any priest, bishop, cardinal, etc that aided in the coverup should be defrocked and sent to prison. It will never happen becuase it would be too hard to prove. And moreso, what prosecuting attorney would ever stake his/her career on going after the church hierarchy?? Never happen.
If he has to be policed, he's in the wrong business. D'yathink??128
Oct 4, 2002 12:09 PM
Let them marry.
Castration. (call it tough love)
Stop feeding them.
Do you really think letting someone marry will help them stop ..jose_Tex_mex
Oct 4, 2002 1:23 PM
... molesting? I don't think this would change the actions of homo - hebephile priests.

I use homo - hebephile because the offending males choose victims of their own sex and normally not children but pubescents.
Do you really think letting someone marry will help them stop ..Jon Billheimer
Oct 4, 2002 2:47 PM
The privilege of marriage of course won't change the behaviour of pedophiles. What it will do is attract, hopefully, a different calibre of people to the priesthood.
Jon...you hit the nail on the headPaulCL
Oct 4, 2002 6:13 PM
Marriage won't cure the problem but will change the vocation of the priesthood.
But...jose_Tex_mex
Oct 5, 2002 11:13 AM
Hebephiles and pedophiles will unfortunately always be around no matter what the pool of candidates compromises. Perhaps, having a larger pool of "suitable" candidates will help to minimize the chance of accepting an offender. However, even married priests will offend as well. Then where does that leave us?

Also, I think the overwhelming majority of priests are of a very high caliber. I am unsure if you are trying to say otherwise.
another idea would be to get rid of the celibacy reqs (nm)ColnagoFE
Oct 7, 2002 6:36 AM