1. Episcopal Sodomy
2. The Tainted
3. Why the Ineffective Response of the Vatican to Deviancy?
4. Is There an Underlying Problem?
5. Homosexuals in Religious Life
6. Reprimand Publicly
The percentage of active homosexuals in the Catholic Church, both in the pews and in the priesthood can only be estimated. As this document deals with what the author considers the premier faith it does not evaluate similar problems among non-catholics regardless of religious profession or lack thereof. Estimates in relation to homosexuals in the priesthood –both chaste and sinful– varies from 5% to more than 35%. Thus far in 1999 two bishops in America have resigned following public allegations of homosexual misconduct. It is probable that there will be forthcoming lawsuits against these dioceses for millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars. This will add to the hundreds of millions of dollars already paid out and being paid out by court order in different (arch)dioceses as a result of inadequate response by bishops regarding sodomite priests.
Episcopal sodomy (active homosexual bishops) is a highly despicable form of offense against God and His kingdom. Phrases that apply would be, "great abomination1-10," or, "cause of desolation." After having committed these grave sins guilty bishops have publicly celebrated Mass wherein they consecrate the Most Holy Eucharist. Their god is lust, an idol11, not Jesus. They not only consecrate and receive unworthily but give creditability to the offense they have committed when they are publicly known to approve, or at least not disapprove of same sex sexual activity. This crime is further magnified when the guilt of pedophilia is added to it.
Index of Documents on Homosexuality
Friends of Archbishop Lipscomb
1. "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." [Leviticus 20:13]
2. "There shall be no temple harlot among the Israelite women, nor a temple prostitute among the Israelite men. You shall not offer a harlot's fee or a dog's price as any kind of votive offering in the house of the LORD, your God; both these things are an abomination to the LORD, your God." [Deut. 23:17-18]
3. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, the more so when they offer it with a bad intention." [Proverbs 21:27]
4. "When one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination." [Proverbs 28:9]
5. "Therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable abominations, I swear to cut you down. I will not look upon you with pity nor have mercy." [Ezekiel 5:11]
6. "He continued: You shall see still greater abominations that they are practicing." [Ezekiel 8:13]
7. "Thus says the Lord GOD: Enough of all these abominations of yours, O house of Israel! You have admitted foreigners, uncircumcised both in heart and flesh, to my sanctuary to profane it when you offered me food, fat, and blood; (how much greater the offense when participating in the offering of God's Son) thus you have broken my covenant by all your abominations." [Ezekiel 44:6-7]
8. "They shall no longer draw near me to serve as my priests, nor shall they touch any of my sacred things, or the most sacred things. Thus they shall bear their disgrace because of all their abominable deeds." [Ezekiel 44:13]
9. "I heard a holy one speaking, and another said to whichever one it was that spoke, "How long shall the events of this vision last concerning the daily sacrifice, the desolating sin which is placed there, the sanctuary, and the trampled host?" [Daniel 8:13]
10. "And he said to them, "You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God." [Luke 16:15]
11. "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshipped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity." [Romans 1:25-27]
The latest bishop to have resigned (October 1999) following public allegations of sexual misconduct is Bishop Daniel L. Ryan of Springfield, Illinois. He was appointed bishop of the diocese on 22 November 1983 by the authority of Pope John Paul II (elected pope 16 October 1978). Bishop Ryan and his aides have not only denied any homosexual misconduct but have also engaged in smear tactics in relation to his accusers. He has apparently done this in preference to filling charges against them in either civil or ecclesiastical (church) courts.
Evil men support and promote evil men.
Tainted by his actions are those who have defended, endorsed, supported, or failed to take action against him in one way or another to include the following: Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago (appointed archbishop 10 July 1982); Archbishop (now Cardinal) Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (created and proclaimed Cardinal Deacon 21 February 1998); Francis Cardinal George of Chicago (appointed archbishop 8 April 1997); John Cardinal Dearden of Detroit (installed archbishop 29 January 1959); Bishop Joseph L. Imesch of Joliet, Illinois (appointed bishop 30 June 1979); Bishop Kenneth E. Untener of Saginaw, Michigan (appointed bishop 24 November 1980); and Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, Auxiliary of Detroit (appointed bishop 8 March 1968).
The untimely brutal death of a canon lawyer, Father Alfred Kunz, –who was assisting in the investigation of Bishop Ryan– is still an unsolved mystery. Father Kunz, pastor of Saint Michael's parish in the diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, was murdered during the first half of 1998.
In July of this year (1999) Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, California (appointed bishop 14 July 1992) was forced to resign after a civil law suit was filed against him by a priest alleging homosexual abuse. It is speculated that Bishop Ziemann will be indicted on criminal charges for both sexual and financial offenses. Ziemann is known as a protege of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony (appointed archbishop 16 July 1985).
Not only is Cardinal Mahony tainted by association but also tainted is the majority of the Catholic hierarchy of the United States of America who elected Ziemann as head of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on the Laity in 1998. Bishop Ziemann has served as a committee member on both the United States Catholic Conference and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Ziemann has also served in the following positions: Chairman of the USCC's Committee on Catechesis — A member of the USCC Education Committee — A member of the NCCB's Ad Hoc Committee on Catholic Charismatic Renewal — A member of the National Advisory Council.
Added to the above is the fact that bishops throughout the country have chosen to transfer accused pedophiles and other offenders to different parishes where they often continue in their deviant activities. Bishops have also allowed these deviants to relocate to other dioceses. These transfers require the permission of both the old and the new bishop.
A still graver question is, "Why has the Vatican been so slow, seemingly even reluctant, to deal with sexual deviancy?" The answer to this question could involve a variety of answers.
1. The direct or easy answer is that homosexuality is associated with many Vatican officials.
There are however other possible answers:
2. Vatican infiltration by Freemasons, their derivatives such as atheistic communism, as well as by agents of foreign governments and various religions throughout the world hostile to the Catholic Church. These groups are masters at coordinated deception, a satanic work. Token works of charity, lofty presentations with no follow through, and nominal discipline deceive many into believing in humanism. (It should be noted without inference that Islam is now flourishing in Rome, in much of Europe and in many other parts of the world.)
3. As has happened during the nearly two thousand year history of the Church there may be many in the hierarchy throughout the world who are guilty of fornication or adultery.
4. Others in the Latin rite priesthood (by far the largest rite in the Catholic Church), including the episcopate (bishops), who have taken the vow of celibacy are believed/known to be living in marital relationships.
Question: How fearful are Vatican officials that if they discipline one group that that group would turn around and expose the sins of one or more other groups known to be guilty of grave offenses against God? This would be either real or implied blackmail.
5. Denial in regard to the policy of priestly celibacy in the Latin (Roman) Rite being responsible for an influx of homosexuals (both active and inactive) throughout the centuries. During the 12th century severe penalties were established to enforce celibacy. Periods of shortages of priests –following the Black Plague in the 14th Century and the declining number of priests since the Second Vatican Council– can be seen as eras when bishops would be less apt to thoroughly investigate candidates for priesthood. The natural consequence would be an increase in the number of homosexuals and sodomites entering the priesthood. – While sodomy has always been officially condemned it is believed that there has never been a policy against the ordination of currently non-practicing homosexuals.
6. Many seminaries and novitiates have active homosexuals and even pedophiles on their staffs. While this would be discouraging to people of any age, it is particularly destructive to young men who have looked upon priests and religious as role models. (Evil supports evil.)
7. Modernists have obtained a stranglehold within much of the Church. These men would not see deviancy as anything but nature in action.
8. Lack of concern by non-believing and indifferent/middle-of-the-road bishops in regard to deviancy. – A growing awareness of aberrant behavior may be seen as being responsible for the loss of many priests, religious, and laity. When otherwise responsible people are unable to accept current events in the Church they either stay in the hope of future change (often in time succumbing to the evils being perpetrated) or leave the Church entirely. Through bad witness many come to believe that the Catholic Church cannot be the true Church. Most are unable to act since they do not have an understanding of how to bring about a return to sound teaching and practice. Still others in their search for truth diverge into their own set of errors as happened with the Protestant reformation.
9. Through lack of faith witness following ordination many priests learn to seek greater control over their own activities. Some leave the priesthood while others remain due to a desire for financial security. –The seeking of financial security occurs more often in poorer countries where even meager priest's remunerations, coupled with residence and some expenses, are greater than can be achieved as a layman.– Others receiving respect as a priest turn to seeking positions of authority that would not be achievable for them in secular life.
10. General failure of priests to responsibly teach the full Word of God in faith. Each deacon when ordained –a prerequisite for priesthood– is handed a book containing the Gospels and given the following instructions:
1. Believe what you read,
2. teach what you believe,
3. and practice what you teach. (Roman Pontifical, page 185)
When ordaining to the priesthood the bishop is more specific:
"My sons, you are now to be advanced to the order of the presbyterate. You must apply your energies to the duty of teaching in the name of Christ, the chief Teacher. Share with mankind the word of God –Biblical writings and infallible doctrines of the Church– you have received with joy.
1. Meditate on the law of God,
2. believe what you read,
3. teach what you believe,
4. and put into practice what you teach.
Let the doctrine you teach be true nourishment for the people of God. Let the example of your lives attract the followers of Christ, so that by word and action you may build up the house which is God's Church." (Roman Pontifical, page 192)
The problem that exists is that most are at best selective in what they read, believe, teach, and practice. A meaningful faith in the whole of Sacred Scripture is rare. This is especially applicable to the teachings of faith and morals contained in the Old Testament.
Priests, bishops, and even popes circumvent Old Testament laws apparently in the belief that God does not advance but rather backslides with His teachings over time. What foolishness! The effect is that they do not believe, teach or practice the Word of God. The New Testament itself teaches the validity of the Old Testament. The following was written when there were no New Testament books defined:
"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation,
for correction, and for training in righteousness," [2 Tim. 3:16]
Discipline in regard to the teachings of faith is almost entirely absent. Neither priests or bishops are ordinarily removed when they teach against doctrine unless there is significant public outcry. (Evil men support/defend evil men) The logical conclusion is that those in highest authority in the Church are themselves lacking in either trust in God or in faith.
"the unchaste, practicing homosexuals, kidnapers, liars, perjurers,
and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching," [1 Tim. 1:10]
NOTE: Many in the Muslim religion have the strength of faith to act on their beliefs.
Islam is spreading throughout the world while by comparison
Christianity is diminishing.
11. Some cardinals and bishops may be fearful that if they speak out they may be transferred to a less desirable assignment. A question associated with this position is:
"How many clerics are cowards?" [Rev. 21:8]
12. There exists among most active Catholic, both religious or laity, an embedded training that places the person of bishop in a position of always being due the respect of God's right hand man. Few Catholics are able to distinguish between the person of bishop and the office of bishop. While the rank is due high respect it must be clearly understood that bishops remain fully human and are subject to the same temptations as ordinary man. Catholics must learn to rate priests and bishops according to the faithfulness of their teachings and must always be willing to question their failure to teach the authentic doctrines of the Church.
13. Liberalism has become a part of many if not most of today's seminaries (places of training for the Catholic priesthood). Accordingly many men in training –even though they were originally properly motivated to serve the Lord upon entering the seminary– have been misdirected in relation to the true teachings of God and his Church. Liberalism accounts for much lack of concern regarding the moral character of students. – liberalism: the belief that one need not be strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways. – Liberals feel free to deviate at will from the authentic teachings of the Church as they do not have a sound grasp or interest in the qualities or attributes of God.
14. The advancement of feminism is seen as playing a role in the weakness of the priesthood. Due to the increasing public role and relative passiveness of women, pastors frequently find it desirable to cater to them and have them play a greater part in local church affairs. Inapt priests find it much easier to deal with the less confrontational and more submissive –to unmarried clergy with whom they associate with on a part time basis and often visualize as a form of knight in shining armor– women than to deal with men who are more capable of expressing and defending positions in opposition to their own.
15. There has developed in the Church an apathy stemming from the suppression of the efforts made by priests, religious, and laity to rectify injustices occurring in or perpetrated by Church officials. Canon law sets no clear procedure to insure that charges brought against a superior will be given a fair hearing that should be in a public forum when requested by either the accused or the presenter. An accused of lower rank should also be able to request/demand the presentation of formal charges, a public interactive hearing, and the publishing of transcripts including the decisions reached. As scandal is already prevalent in today's Church to the extent that indifference to sin is common there is no excuse to use the potential for scandal as an excuse for silence.
16. Perhaps the greatest distortions of truth, the promotion of church unity –false ecumenism– and the desire for peace on earth in place of peace with God, are the key problems in relation to moral relativism and improper decision making. The simple fact is that it is easier to focus on present reality than upon the promise of eternal life. Few seem to realize –and priests throughout the world fail to teach– that the proper understanding of unity and peace are determining factors relative to salvation.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword." [Matthew 10:34]
"Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another." [Mark 9:50]
"If this day you only knew what makes for peace--
but now it is hidden from your eyes." [Luke 19:42]
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I
give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." [John 14:27]
Many bishops have adopted the position that it is more important to develop unity and promote peace with false believers than to hold to Catholic doctrine. Some are more than willing to compromise their faith for false unity. Few bishops are willing to look to their own doorsteps for the cause of problems both in the Church and in the world.
Is there an underlying problem that is the foundation for indifference on the part of Church officials?
Sacred Scripture teaches that man came into being before woman, that the family is the basic unit of society, and that the family structure existed before God found it necessary to establish organized religion with the covenant made with the Hebrews and the associated formation of the Aaronic priesthood. The head of each family unit, the Adam of the Family, is responsible for provisioning, defense, advanced teaching, and the moral guidance of the family. He must not only keep himself informed in regard to civil affairs but also in basic matters of faith. He should defend his family not only from civil aggression but also from moral misinformation and misdirection regardless of source.
Sincere Catholic men must be willing to encourage priests to teach the fullness of truth. In areas of concern they must demand clear teachings from the pulpit. A priest's refusal to teach doctrine should be seen as cause to demand his removal from the priesthood. A bishop who does not remove an intransigent priest should himself be removed by the Vatican or in another manner deemed necessary by reason of justice.
The father of the family is directly answerable to God for all preventable evil that presents itself to the family. Excuses relating to corrupt moral leadership in the Church or society will be of no avail when he was knowledgeable or should have been knowledgeable regarding the evils being perpetrated. Should he fail in his duty to deter evil, even though it comes through sanctioned clergymen, he is accountable.
The substance of this presentation is that the head of each family has great responsibility in regard to corruption existing within the Catholic Church. Men are required to love God. Love of God is reflected in one's desire to learn His will, place it into action, and in the desire and practice of giving Him due worship. Effective worship is accomplished through formal Church association that includes regular attendance at Mass and at least at some church activities.
The majority of men are capable of reading and obtaining a basic understanding of the Bible. They should grow in their understanding through attendance in weekly, or at least monthly, Bible studies. These classes should incorporate dialog and the priest or other qualified instructor should allow questions at least before the conclusion of the session while all are present. The instructor should be responsible for researching formal Church teachings in relation to questions to which he cannot make an adequate response.
Should an informed determination be made that the accountable priest is in grave error, particularly on repetitive occasions, then even in a formal setting such as during Mass –if the offense warrants it– a public pronouncement should be made in a fashion that would deter such grave misconduct in the future. This should occur even if it means that the one who does so becomes scorned by those living a happiness (misguided) form of faith that is counterproductive to the Heavenly kingdom.
CAUTION: Only men forty or more years old –men with substantial life experience coupled with significant reflection on the Word of God and true Church teachings– should, except under grave circumstances, consider themselves of sufficient maturity to speak publicly in opposition to a trained priest. Any comments made should not evoke destruction of property or foster injury. Remarks should normally only be made at the end of Mass preferably before the final blessing but always, if there has been prior rejection or denial of wrong doing, before the recessional. One must have theological certainty based upon doctrine and good faith before ever making a public presentation of this nature.
While some offenses call for immediate confrontation, most will not. Lesser offenses should follow the preferred pattern of having a personal meeting with the offender –priest, deacon, or other person– and if he is impervious to correction –"hardness of heart" is the reference used by Jesus– then the offender should again be confronted with a witness present. Should the offender still remain intransigent he should be reported to higher Church authorities. It must however be noted that during the present time many bishops have succumbed to humanism and will fail to take any meaningful action. Often no response will be made. This was a common tactic of the Scribes and Pharisees when confronted with a difficult question. If necessary a case should be made to Vatican officials. Unfortunately under present conditions in the Church it is probable that little action will be forthcoming unless there is extensive public scandal related to the offense.
In the history of God's people, before during and after the time of Christ, there have always been great numbers within the faith community who were self-serving and not with God. Those with the highest education in the Word of God were the very ones who confronted Jesus on different occasions in an effort to show Him to be a false prophet. When they could not trip Him up with what they thought were questions He could not answer, they became silent and plotted His doom.
While many Jews did convert to the faith of Jesus most remained in denial. The very ones who received the most instruction and favor from Jesus recognized Him the least as seen in the following passage:
"And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" [Luke 17:15-18]
Peter, Paul and other apostles made numerous conversions among pagans who were much more open to truth than were most of those who had a basic training in it. This condition is still prevalent in the Church of today. There is great thrust to go and evangelize non-Christians but little effort is being made to instill truth in the members of the Church.
Homosexual activity and all other forms of sodomy are contrary to the initial command of God, "Be fertile and multiply." This command cannot be reversed or even diminished. It is the basis for providing the maximum number of intelligent beings for potential entry into Heaven during the allotted, but unknown, time frame known only to God the Father.
"But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but only the Father. Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come." [Mk. 13:32f]
The blessing which sealed the command parallels the statement made to Timothy by Saint Paul,
"But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere
in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." [1 Tim. 2:15]
While the above has been presented in reference to the bishops (of all ranks) of the Catholic Church, it must also be clearly stated that there are numerous active and inactive homosexuals in the priesthood and in religious life – religious brothers and religious sisters. The title of the document refers to gays and lesbians. It should be clearly understood that women have an especially strong need for a personal relationship. If a satisfactory relationship is not established with a male then very frequently one will be established with another female. It has been reported that in women's prisons as many as 90% of the inmates pair up in sexual relationships.
While historically convents have placed effective safeguards to inhibit such relationships, there are those who do not take such precautions. I reference one occasion when a woman became a novice in a highly regarded old monastic order and then came to find the situation there to be intolerable. She wrote the Congregation of Religious in the Vatican about the situation but there has not been any action taken. She has since returned to lay life.
It is apparent that high Church officials need reminding of the admonition made by Saint Paul in his first letter to Timothy,
"Do not accept an accusation against a presbyter unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. Reprimand publicly those who do sin, so that the rest also will be afraid. I charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to keep these rules without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism. Do not lay hands too readily on anyone, and do not share in another's sins. Keep yourself pure." [1 Tim. 5:19-22]
Women are not only attractive to men but are also attractive to other women. Since the Second Vatican Council women in religious orders have, to a large degree, gotten away from wearing full habits and veils often in favor of secular attire. These orders have dramatically diminished in size. It would be interesting to have a social investigator contact some of these women who have left religious life to learn their various reasons for leaving.
The conclusion to what is being presented is that mature men who have failed to act under the rule of the Great Commandment –love of God with one's whole heart, soul, mind, and strength– are responsible for the great deterioration that has taken place within the Church. Contemporary men who –based upon their informed conscience– fail to take action against the evils of unworthy priests will be held accountable before the Almighty.
* "Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength." [Deut. 6:5]
* "And now, Israel, what does the LORD, your God, ask of you but to fear the LORD, your God, and follow his ways exactly, to love and serve the LORD, your God, with all your heart and all your soul," [Deut. 10:12]
* "Love the LORD, your God, therefore, and always heed his charge: his statutes, decrees and commandments." [Deut. 11:1]
* "But be very careful to observe the precept and law which Moses, the servant of the LORD, enjoined upon you: love the LORD, your God; follow him faithfully; keep his commandments; remain loyal to him; and serve him with your whole heart and soul." [Joshua 22:5] — Loyalty to God must always take precedence over subservience to any priest, bishop or pope.
* "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'" [Mark 12:30]
Fear, commonly associated with cowardice, of temporal retribution should be understood in light of the following quotation from Sacred Scripture:
* "But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the
burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death." [Rev. 21:8]
Apart from the direct teaching of heresy, a very grave sin perpetrated by some Catholic priests, is the open invitation to both non-Catholics and Catholics living in grave sin to participate in the reception of Holy Eucharist. Such priests not only invite their personal condemnation but also serve as conduits for various forms of retribution by God against those who falsely receive due to the invitation given to them.
* "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, (have serious sins forgiven by a priest following the making of a sincere confession) and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; but since we are judged by (the) Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world." [1 Cor. 11:27-32]
Father David C. Trosch
10 November 1999
Feast of Saint Leo the Great
This article is courtesy of ethicsdaily.com. It was originally posted to the site July 6, 2007.
By Bob Allen
The Associated Press reported recently that three insurance companies receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, challenging the assumption that clergy sexual abuse is an exclusively Catholic problem that does not take place in other churches.
That is a higher number than the annual average of 228 “credible accusations” brought against Catholic clerics in records reported by the Catholic Church in response to media scrutiny, a priest observed in a Fox News commentary questioning why the story isn’t garnering more attention.
While the report about abuse in Protestant churches doesn’t absolve guilty Catholic priests or those who enabled them, said Father Jonathan Morris, it offers a more complete picture. “The problem of sexual abuse has no denominational boundaries,” he wrote.
The AP obtained figures on sex-abuse claims from three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America–Church Mutual Insurance Company, GuideOne Insurance and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
The largest company, Church Mutual, reported an average of about 100 sex-abuse cases a year involving minors over the last decade. GuideOne, with about half the clients of Church Mutual, said it has received an average of 160 reports of sex abuse against minors every year for the past two decades. Brotherhood Mutual said it received an average of 73 reports of child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct every year for the last 15 years but did not specify how many victims are younger than 18.
That compares to at least 10,667 people who reported plausible claims of childhood sexual abuse by 4,392 priests or deacons between 1950 and 2002 in a study commissioned by the Catholic Church with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York as part of its response to its clergy abuse scandal. That represents 4 percent of the approximately 110,000 diocesan and religious priests who served in the United States in those years.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers an extensive annual report monitoring sexual-abuse claims. There were 635 new allegations reported in 2006, 9 percent fewer than in 2005. A total of 14 allegations (2 percent) involved children under the age of 18 in 2006. The remaining 621 allegations were by adults alleging abuse as minors in previous years.
Protestant numbers are harder to come by, the AP reported, because the denominations are less centralized than the Catholic Church. Many churches are independent, making reporting even harder.
“This bad news for Protestant Churches is sad news for all of us,” Father Morris wrote. “I would prefer the problem be limited to any one church–even if that church were my own–because it would mean more kids would be safe. But as I have said repeatedly over the last few years, the problem of sexual abuse of minors is not an issue of religious affiliation because there is nothing religious about abusing children. The phenomenon of sexual abuse of minors in church settings is the story of sick human beings taking advantage of their position of moral authority to prey on the weak and vulnerable. If Catholic clergy were to be faithful to their church’s teaching, there would be no abuse in the Catholic Church. The same goes for Protestant clergy. The problem, then, is not one of corrupt doctrine, but of individuals being unfaithful to the most basic precepts of their own religious belief.”
Insurance officials told the AP the numbers of sex-abuse cases has remained steady over the past two decades, but churches are doing more to prevent child-sexual abuse by conducting background checks, installing windows in nurseries and play areas and requiring at least two adults in a room with a child.
Still, said Patrick Moreland of Church Mutual, churches are particularly vulnerable to abusers.
“By their nature, congregations are the most trusting of organizations, so that makes them attractive targets for predators,” he said. “If you’re a predator, where do you go? You go to a congregation that will welcome you.”
This story is courtesy of the Star-Telegram. I’m dumbfounded. I don’t even know where to start. See for yourself.
By Deanna Boyd
It began in February when the father overheard his 17-year-old daughter talking inappropriately over the phone.
On the other end of the line, the father said he later learned, was James “Jay” Virtue Robinson IV, pastor of Southwood Baptist Church, which the family had been attending for more than a decade.
The girl acknowledged that she had had a sexual relationship with the 31-year-old pastor.
The outraged father told the church council and several church members. But Robinson, pastor of the church since October 2006, repeatedly denied his accusations.
Eventually, saying he had learned that a relationship had started when his daughter was 16, the father went to police.
Wednesday evening, more than three months after the father overheard the phone call, Robinson surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail in response to an arrest warrant accusing him of sexual assault of a child. He was released after posting $20,000 bail.
The case has divided the church at 2633 Altamesa Blvd. Some back the pastor; other long-term members believe that the evidence supports Robinson’s removal.
Some members have left the congregation, which began in 1978 with 13 members but now counts hundreds.
Some members were forcibly escorted from the church by armed guards, accused of causing discord, according to documents obtained by the Star-Telegram.
Robinson has steadfastly denied having a relationship with the girl. Neither he nor his attorney, Cheyenne Minick, returned telephone calls Wednesday night seeking comment.
After one Sunday evening service, the pastor addressed the congregation, saying that the girl and her parents were being manipulated by former church members whom he described as “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” police and church members say.
“We now have reason to believe that the preacher may actually be himself a wolf using the pulpit to prey on the sheep he’s been charged to protect,” said Lt. Paul Henderson, police spokesman.
Some members of the church strongly disagree.
“Everybody is supporting the pastor,” said a man who answered the phone at the church Wednesday night, where services went on as usual although led by an associate pastor. “The church does not believe the allegations.”
The man, who declined to give his name but described himself as a longtime member of the church, said that despite the arrest, he believes Robinson will remain pastor of the church.
“He will be unless he’s somehow convicted,” the man said. “He is our pastor.”
“I think that active members of the church will support the pastor. “There are people out there making allegations every day against people who are innocent.”
The girl, now 18, was 16 when she and Robinson, then the youth minister, began to strike up more than just a friendship, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The relationship began with kissing and escalated to sexual touching, occurring about 10 times at the church, the affidavit states.
By the time she was 17, the relationship progressed to sexual intercourse. Robinson would pick the girl up from her school and take her to his home where they would have sex, the affidavit states.
The girl’s father said that after overhearing his daughter’s telephone conversation with Robinson on Feb. 25, he confronted the pastor that day.
The next day, he and Matt Linde, a member of the church council, confronted Robinson in person.
Both times, Robinson denied having an inappropriate conversation or relationship with the girl, said the father, who is not being named to protect his daughter’s identity.
“Essentially what he said was, he just became best friends with [the girl]. He said maybe he was wrong for that, but that’s the only thing he has done wrong,” said the father, who at the time was a worship leader and music director at the church.
The father reviewed his daughter’s cellphone records, discovering that she and the pastor had exchanged calls and text messages into the early hours of the morning. He took those records to the church’s council the next Sunday.
Later that evening, Linde said, he and the seven other council members listened as Robinson told his side of the story. But after two meetings that week, Linde said, the council is split on whether to ask for the pastor’s resignation.
“The co-chair said in this case, we’re going to err on the side of the pastor, so we cannot ask for his removal,” Linde said.
Instead, the council voted to give Robinson a written reprimand and one year of probation, and order him to have counseling. Linde, however, voted against that.
“If they felt there was enough evidence to reprimand him according to the scripture, there’s enough evidence to remove him — to ask for his resignation,” Linde said. “I was not willing to settle for a written reprimand. It did no good. It was going to sit in his file folder where nobody would see it, nobody would hold him accountable.”
The father was also unhappy with the vote, so he met with a group of men at the church to tell them about his accusation and give them copies of the phone records.
When the council found out, the father said, the council decided not to issue any disciplinary action against Robinson at all.
“They called it an illegal meeting of church members,” the father said. “They were threatening people after that — anyone who is caught talking to us or communicating and talking about the issue at church will be removed.”
The council carried out that threat on March 16, according to church members and police reports.
Jon Blackburn, an ordained minister who was at the meeting with the girl’s father, was scheduled to speak that Sunday morning to a Vietnamese congregation that meets in Southwood’s gymnasium. Blackburn is not a member of Southwood but had attended the church regularly for about a year when not speaking at other churches.
When he arrived at Southwood that Sunday, a college-age church member handed Blackburn papers stating that he was no longer permitted at the church.
When Blackburn tried to explain that he was there only to preach to the Vietnamese congregation, the father of the younger man with the papers was summoned, he said.
“He came to me with an armed security guard and asked me if I was going into the service. I again explained that I was not, that I was there to preach for the Vietnamese congregation,” Blackburn said. “He goes into the main church sanctuary, obviously to speak to Jay, comes back out and says, ‘Jay says you’re “ not permitted to speak to that church.’
When Linde and his family arrived at the church that morning to attend Sunday school, they didn’t make it past the parking lot.
Instead, Linde reported to police, the family was met by a church member, who said, “You will not be able to go into the church.” Two armed guards gave Linde a letter stating that the church council had voted him off the council and out of the church, he said. If he attempted to come onto the property, the letter stated, he would be forcibly removed.
“I felt like I was in a communist camp,” Linde said. “I felt like we were being denied our abilities as Christians to be able to worship freely.”
A 53-year-old Arlington woman filed a police report that she and her grandson were ushered out of morning services because of their objections to the pastor’s behavior.
And a 38-year-old Burleson woman told police that she was assaulted by a guard during a meeting after an evening service. The guard bumped into her and pushed her with his chest while trying to remove her husband from the church, she reported.
In a letter dated March 17 and sent to church members, Robinson reiterated that the “accusation of moral failure” leveled against him is false. He wrote that he had taken a polygraph test that supported his innocence and said the results were available for review by appointment by active adult members of the church.
Police say that the polygraph test was not administered through them and that they cannot vouch for its legitimacy.
Robinson said the accusing family was being used by others “who desire to wrest the leadership of this church from the pastor and the council” and would stop at nothing.
“Those who choose to follow the lead of these by gossiping, slandering, causing division and discord, or by holding or participating in sectional meetings, will face church discipline,” Robinson wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Star-Telegram.
“Anyone who attempts to disrupt any service will be removed and be subject to church discipline. It is our desire and prayer that all would repent and be restored, but until that time, those who cause discord in the Church are to be shunned according to Scripture. Anyone else who causes discord and division or gossip should be avoided.”
Robinson and the seven remaining council members signed the letter, which also invited church members to Robinson’s May 17 wedding at the church. The letter was accompanied by a similarly signed church council statement stating that it was the council’s unanimous decision “that there is insufficient evidence to dismiss the Pastor or take any other action.”
“Pastor Jay continues to have the Council’s complete support. It is recommended that the Church join in that support,” it read.
Greg Ploetz, a council leader, declined to comment Wednesday night about the arrest. Council member Wes Basta said Wednesday night that there are no plans to remove Robinson as pastor of the church.
“We are supporting the pastor at this point,” Basta said. He said he believes the allegations against Robinson are untrue.
“Unless there’s some evidence that we haven’t seen, then yes, we feel he’s innocent,” Basta said.
The same day members were being evicted from the church, the girl’s parents asked Blackburn, a trusted friend, to talk to her.
Accompanied by his wife, Blackburn questioned the girl about her relationship with Robinson, and locations and times when they had been together. Through that discussion, the family was able to deduce that the relationship went back to when the girl was underage, and Robinson was the church’s youth minister.
With the father’s permission, Blackburn discussed the new information with a friend in law enforcement, who met with the girl’s family and recommended they file a report with Fort Worth police.
On March 18, the father did so and the Crimes Against Children Unit began an investigation.
Detective T.L. Howard attempted to interview Robinson, but the pastor declined.
Through his attorney, Robinson agreed to take a polygraph, the affidavit states.
During that polygraph, given June 12, Robinson denied any sexual contact with the girl. The arrest warrant affidavit stated that afterward, when Robinson was told that the examination showed “significant deception,” he asked what would happen to him if the sex was all after the girl was 17.
The pastor’s attorney called a halt to the examination, the affidavit states.
The church’s Web site states that 450 people attend Sunday services, but Basta said he believes the number is closer to 700 or 800.
Linde said his family now worships with about 100 former Southwood members at a private facility. Several other members, he said, have moved their memberships to other churches or are waiting for the legal proceedings to play out.
“Our intention, honestly, was to go back and try to bring restoration to a broken facility,” Linde said. “Spiritually, I believed the place was broken. My intention was to go back and help it heal after things played out in the legal realm.”
According to an Associated Press article, three insurers of protestant churches received more than 260 reports of children being sexually abused by ministers and other church officials in a single year. This compares to 228 credible accusations against Catholic clergy in a year, according to conservative records produced by the Catholic Church.
Rose French of the Associated Press: She uncovered the data: sexual abuse is as big a problem for Protestants as it is for Catholics. Of the Protestant churches whose data was included, Southern Baptists were the largest number.
"...The father reviewed his daughter’s cellphone records, discovering that she and the pastor had exchanged calls and text messages into the early hours of the morning. He took those records to the church’s council the next Sunday..."
I am not a believer in the FemiNazi position that the 'accusation is the proof' but it does appear that something was going on.
"The misfortune of many is the consolation of fools" Ancient proverb
This is your example? So if a nineteen year old church member hits on a sixteen year old then they get included in the number?
Protestant churches have become social clubs to a large degree these days but entrenched older ministers hitting on very young members of the same sex with the support of the central church body where they get moved from church to church that is Catholic. This isn't to say that sex between ministers and followers doesn't happen in Protestant churches but no where to the same degree as in the Catholic church and especially with the same sex.
a report stating that the three companies which insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.
This is your example? So if a nineteen year old church member hits on a sixteen year old then they get included in the number?
Unlike the Catholic Church, with its rigid hierarchy, Baptist churches are independent. They make their own decisions about hiring ministers and conducting investigations, Baptist leaders say.
''They don't want to see this problem,'' said Christa Brown, a SNAP member from Austin, Texas, who says she was sexually abused as a child by a Southern Baptist minister. ''That's tragic because they're imitating the same mistakes made by Catholic bishops.''
In the past six months SNAP has received reports of about 40 cases of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist ministers -- with some of the incidents dating back many years, Brown said. SNAP leaders hold that abuse is typically under reported because being molested is such a painful experience that victims often wait years before stepping forward.
no where to the same degree as in the Catholic church and especially with the same sex.
Oh, I believe it is worse in the Protestant church because..... Philip Jenkins, a professor of religious studies and history at Pennsylvania State University and author of the book ''Pedophiles and Priests,'' said it's harder to track child sexual abuse in Protestant denominations.
''Southern Baptists are massively decentralized compared to the Catholic Church,'' he said. ''They're independent. It's very difficult to gauge how many abuses might be occurring within the Southern Baptist Convention.''
Below is an older list of protestant sex abusers, I don't have the time these days to get a more recent one but it shows that this problem is across the board.
Every week I hear stories on the news about school teachers, coaches etc being arrested for child abuse.
People and media who choose to harp on the Catholic Church's problem are rabid anti Catholics to begin with and are totally discounted in my opinion. Nothing the Catholic Church does or doesn't do is good in their opinion.
If you are of an open mind you can read this book,
Memoirs of the Communist Infiltration Into the Church
By: Marie Carre
AA-1025. Memoirs of a Communist injured in an auto accident in France; he died in the hospital a few hours later. The nurse who attended him kept his journals, read them and published them as AA-1025. He had become a Catholic priest to subvert the Church from within. Describes his methods & plans. Says there were many more like him. Very enlightening! 156 pgs, PB
Sample protestant sex scandals that the main newspaper publications do not publish in the headline news. The media is so bias against the Catholic Church because they don't publish protestant sex scandals in the front page. If you find one you will read it in the back page and with few descriptions.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT AN OFFENSIVE SITUATION
AND THEREFORE CONTAINS OFFENSIVE MATERIAL. PARENTAL
DISCRETION IS HIGHLY ADVISED.
...He was held on $300,000 bond on two counts of possessing child pornography and one charge of promoting child pornography. Smith was fired from Exel, a Fort Worth-based computer logistics company. He also resigned Wednesday as pastor of Landmark Baptist Church, where he had served for 31/2 years. His wife of 13 years, Julie Smith, said the allegations stunned her. "He's never hurt our children. As far as I know he's never hurt anyone's children," she said. source: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi? f=/news/archive/2002/11/22/national1324EST0630.DTL
PASTOR BOOKED FOR MOLESTING SCHOOLGIRL. A girl, 15, was molested at a church-run school in Birmingham by Rev. James E. Johnson, of Ensley, according to police. He was charged with 2nd degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor. Source: _Birmingham News_ 11/21/92.
BAPTIST VOLUNTEER PREYED ON GIRLS? Thomas Road Baptist Church in Phoenix failed to screen church volunteer John Herman Kuiper for a criminal record when it permitted him to drive a church bus & volunteer at youth events. Kuiper, who had been convicted in 1991 of a felony charge of 3rd degree sexual assault, was arrested in Phoenix for molesting 5 girls. As a church bus driver in Fort Collins, Colorado, he had received a deferred sentence for molesting a little girl, 5. Rev. Ken Adrian, church pastor, complained to media that the publicity was not good for his Phoenix church. Source: _Arizona Republic_ 11/4/92.
LUTHERAN COUNSELOR NABBED. St. Paul Lutheran Church youth counselor John Wayne Nase, 40, Phoenix, was accused of multiple counts of child molesting, sexual conduct with a minor & kidnapping. Police say he ordered a boy, 12, into the choir loft & performed sex acts on him after Nase's Sunday confirmation classes. Source: _Arizona Republic_ 7/21/92.
REDEEMER CHURCH SETTLES SUIT. Redeemer Lutheran Church, Redwood City, made a secret settlement to a victim of youth counselor James A. Weller, who had sought $25,000. The victim said the pastor and other church officials interrupted Weller when he was molesting the victim, then 13, but failed to report it. Weller had been dishonorably discharged from the Navy for sexual molestation and had a record when he was hired by the church. He was convicted in 1990 of 27 counts of sex crimes against 4 boys and a girl, including oral sex, rape and pornography. He is serving a 4-year prison sentence. Source: _Redwood City Tribune_ 5/19/92.
PROMINENT EVANGELICAL RESIGNS; NO CHARGES? Prominent Sunday-school teacher/leader James C. Truxton, 77 resigned his positions at the 5,000-member First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton. The founding president of Mission Aviation Fellowship admitted he was stepping down because of "molestation perpetrated by me in the past upon young girls within & outside this congregation". Truxton & his wife's memberships were revoked They were told not to set foot on church property again. Both had been teaching second-graders; the wife was called "culpable". At least 7 church members in their 20s & 30s said they were molested by Truxton as children. The statute of limitations has expired; no criminal charges were filed. When parents 20 years ago complained to Mission Aviation Fellowship officials about Truxton, they were told a psychologist at Fuller Seminary evaluated him, concluding he was in no need of help. Source: _National & International Religion Report_ 10/19/92.
PASTOR OUSTED FROM 4,500-MEMBER CHURCH. Pastor David Hocking of Calvary Church in Santa Ana was forced to resign after confessing to an affair with a married woman. Hocking, 51, is married with grown children. Source: _National & International Religion Report_ 10/19/92.
PASTOR GETS 13 YEARS FOR INCEST. Springfield Baptist Church pastor Jon L. Walker, 43, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for molesting a relative for 2-1/2 years, beginning when she was 13. Twenty persons pleaded for leniency, including the local NAACP president. Walter's defense was to accuse his wife of concocting the charges to get even with him because he had an affair with a young church member! Deputy DA Karen Gray said the letters of support were "a sad testimony to the fact that Mr. Walter's life has been a fraud". Source: _San Luis Obispo Telegram Tribune_ 8/5/92.
VICTIM SUES CONVICTED MINISTER. Rancho Cucamonga pastor John Marshall, convicted of sexually battering an ill man, 25, is being sued for $1 million by victim Kirk Judy, along with his church, the American Baptist Churches of USA & of the Pacific Southwest. The 6'2", 200-lb pastor overpowered the 5'6", 140-lb victim at a bedside counseling visit. He got only 2 years of probation. The suit alleges that Marshall had committed other crimes, & that the 2 Baptist groups should have known about them. Source: _Ontario Daily Bulletin_ 7/29/92.
CHARGES AGAINST JUBILEE CHRISTIAN CENTER. Two assistant pastors at Jubilee Christian Center, San Jose, were charged with 4
felony counts of lewd & lascivious conduct with children, stemming from assaults on 4 boys, ages 10-15, at the church between
September 1988 & February 1992. Charged are Pablo Geraldo Boas, 28, & David Ernest Brimmer, 39.
Sources: _L.A. Times_ 12/19/92, _San Francisco Examiner_ 1/10/93.
MORMON TEACHER GETS 30 YEARS. Sobbing Mormon Sunday School teacher John Allen Midgett asked for God's forgiveness before
being sentenced to 30 years in state prison for molesting & terrorizing 8 girls, ages 5-10. A parent testified Midgett turned
her cheerful, trusting daughter into a frightened, scarred recluse. He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution
Source: _San Diego Times Union_ 1992, _Los Angeles Times_ 9/12/92.
CANCER VICTIM ALLEGES MISCONDUCT. Carolyn Kruse, Aurora, filed suit against her minister and church, saying he coerced her
into a sexual relationship when she went for counseling while ill with Hodgkin's disease. Sued is John R. Leonard, pastor of
Harvest Christian Center, who told the congregation Kruse was possessed by a demon.
Source: _Rocky Mountain News_1/1/92.
EPISCOPAL PRIEST SETTLES. Episcopal Rev. Paul Robinson agreed to pay $575,000 in damages to Mary Tenantry, mother of 5, for
luring her into an extramarital affair while counseling her.
Source: _Reuters/Boston Globe_ 8/92.
COUNSELING VICTIM GETS $300,000. The Bear Valley Church of Christ & its former minister Homer Wolfe agreed to pay $300,000 to
a man whom Wolfe sexually assaulted during family counseling sessions. Earlier, a boy, now 17, was awarded $450,000 by a jury
for similar charges. Wolfe, 59, has not been criminally charged. He told parishioners to undress & massage themselves, &
masturbated during counseling sessions, also touching parishioners. The fundamentalist Church of Christ teaches that
nonchurch members will go to hell. Wolfe now lives in Texas.
Source: _Rocky Mountain News_ 8/2,29/92.
FUGITIVE RELIGIOUS LEADER NABBED. Fugitive religious leader James Randazzo, convicted in 1989 of sex crimes, had skipped the
country in 1990 & was nabbed in Hungary after a manhunt. He will now be sentenced on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of
children & drug use. Randazzo founded Spiral of Friends Church in Molina.
Source: _Pueblo Chieftain_ 10/29/92.
CONGREGATIONAL MINISTER RENEGES CONFESSION. Facing 11 felony counts stemming from molestations of 2 young brothers since
1987, Rev. Boardman Kathan says a damaging statement he gave police in July was coerced. Former chair of the Region 16 Board
of Education, Kathan retired last summer as associate minister of the First Congregational Church of Cheshire in Waterbury.
Police say their investigation shows he molested a boy, 17, numerous times over the past 5 years, & once molested his
brother, now 12.
SourceWaterbury) _Republican American_ 1/23/93.
Holy Way leader Clarence "Brother Will" Williams was arrested after a 19-year-old woman said he brainwashed her into having
sex starting when she was 15. The member of the sect said he forced sex upon her and other women more than 40 times between
1987-1990. Williams, who pleaded guilty 5 years ago to "cleansing" underage members by ordering them to bare their breasts,
was 2 months short of completing his 5-year probation. Terms of probation prohibited practicing aspects of his religion such
as nudity, fondling children, and having non-related children spend the night. In 1986 prosecutors interviewed about a dozen
girls and their mothers who described a religious ritual in which they would strip and fondle each other at Williams'
command. Williams claimed thiswas _Bible_-based: "Our belief is that biblically if you have a problem within yourself, it is
because of sin or weakness, and about the only thing that's goingto cleanse you of that is if you expose it before the
Source: _Palm Beach Post_ 2/26/92.
ACCUSED PASTORAL COUNSELOR A PHONY. Port Charlotte church school principal Albert Joseph Clerico Jr., 47, charged with sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist by means of therapeutic deception, claims to be licensed by a nonexistent "scripturally based" group, National Christian Counselors Association & to have attended the nonexistent Carolina University of Theology. State investigator Robert Ford charged that Clerico "did cloak himself in the guise of Christianity & did represent to the female defendant that sexual contact" was part of the treatment. Clerico maintains his position as "pastoral counselor" exempts him under state law from charges. Police miked the victim & recorded Clerico making sexual advances, soliciting her comment on his graphic fantasies & telling her to perform oral sex. He was arrested after the 75-minute "counseling session". He has been suspended as principal of Community Christian School of First Baptist Church in Port Charlotte, & as minister of First Baptist Church, which operates the school. Source: _Sarasota Herald-Tribune_ 8/4/92.
MINISTER GUILTY. Murrayville minister L. G. Gilsrap pleaded guilty to 2 counts of child molestation after the state high court in 1991 overturned a 1989 conviction for molesting young boys at church. Source:_USA Today_ 3/6/92.
"WOUNDED SOLDIER" LEAVES CHURCH. Senior pastor of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, with 12,000 members oneof Atlanta's largest churches Q stepped down, admitting an "improper" relationship with a female church employee. Charismatic Rev. Don Paulk, 53, sermonized, "I am not here today as a martyr or hero, but as a fallen, wounded soldier ... My family's forgiveness was second only to the forgiveness of God." His brother, Bishop Earl Paulk, berated the media for exposing the "weaknesses" of others, an blamed "Satan", promising Don would return. Source _Atlanta Constitution_ 5/11/92.
DEKALB CHURCH BLESSES COVER-UP. A sex scandal, now encompassing 4 ministers from one family, has been uncovered at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in DeKalb, Georgia, praised by former President Bush as one of his "1,000 Points of Light". The $12 million racially diverse 7,700-seat church with a TV program, social services, lost half of its 12,000 members following revelations that its minister, Bishop Ear Paulk, had an adulterous affair. Other church employees or members have stepped forward to say they had affairs with the bishop's brother, Rev. Don Paulk, & his nephews Rev. Duane Swilley & Rev. Alan Mushegan. Women charge the ministers coerced them into having sex in order to "serve God." The church filed, then dropped a slander/libel suit against several former members & staffers, resulting in a gag order by a DeKalb judge forbidding them to discuss thei allegations of sexual misconduct. It promotes a doctrine of "covering", blessing cover-ups of sexual misconduct & requiring submission to authority. Don Paulk accuses former church schoolteacher Rebecca Moses of seducing him, saying "I know now what it was like for Samson to place his head in the lap o Delilah." Six victims have not filed suit, but are asking for legislation making it a felony in Georgi for clergy to have sex with members of their congregations. Sources: AP/_Atlanta Journal/Constitution_ 11/14/92; _USA Today_ 12/18/92; _Boston Globe_ 1/9/93.
DAVIS FACES MORE CHARGES. Rev. L. R. Davis, charged in Illinois with criminal sexual misconduct, child pornography, and perjury, was also charged with assaulting a teenage boy in San Diego. Davis, 57, is a prominent Waukegan minister with Christian Fellowship, Inc. Two fellow ministers, Michael Camer, 30, and David Annstrong, 33, are indicted on lesser charges Young boys may have been brought from Tijuana, Mexico to Davis' San Diego church for molestation. AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN COURT-MARTIALED. Capt. Perry W. Bell, 37, pleaded guilty to adultery with 6 women, conduct unbecoming an officer, and bringing discredit upon the armed forces. He was also convicted o attempted seduction of a 19-year-old Air Force cadet who fought off advances in his chapel office. The Scott Air Force Base chaplain was court-martialed and given 3 months in jail. He could have been sentenced for up to 12 years. In exchange for guilty pleas, the Air Force agreed to a brief sentence and dropped other charges of indecent advances, possession of a pornographic videotape while in the United Arab Emigrates during the war against Iran, ordering an enlisted man to obtain a pornographic tape, and dereliction of duty. Three of the victims were Air Force Officers, others were a sergeant, a sergeant's wife seeking counseling, and an enlisted woman. The senior Protestant chaplain sought out vulnerable women seeking help for emotional upsets. Source: _Edwardsville Intelligencer_ 2/19/92.
DAVIS GETS 31 YEARS, CLEMENCY ASKED. The founder of the notorious First Christian Fellowship Church of Waukegan, Rev. Lloyd Davis, 57, flanked by many supporters, was sentenced to 31 years in prison for criminal sexual assault, child pornography & sexual abuse. He imported teenaged boys from Mexico for sex. Lake Co. Judge Christopher C. Starck said: "The burning question in this case is whether this man is a minister or a monster, a pastor or a pedophile." Starck said he is all of those things. Davis is believed to have molested children since the 1960s. Former church members accuse him of running a cult making sexual demands on supporters & locating all churches near Naval bases, where he is known for trying to lure young sailors into his churches for sexual purposes. About 374 persons wrote letters to the judge asking for mercy. "He is the greatest person there is," insisted Martha Allsopp, a Kenosha church member. He faces more charges in California. Two other ministers from his Waukegan church, David Lee Armstrong & Michael Carner, go on trial in March. In January, 200 supporters led by Rev. Peter Paine of the Christian Fellowship Church presented a request for clemency for Davis to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. "I believe L. R. Davis may be the most sexually dangerous man to have ever walked the streets of Lake Co.," maintains Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Pavletic. Sources: _Chicago Tribune_ 8/15/92, AP/ _Quad-City Times_ 8/15/92, _News-Sun_ (Lake Co.) 1/15/93.
LUTHERAN PASTOR CONFESSES TO 13 YEARS OF CRIMES. The 500 members of Christ Lutheran church in Palatine were sent a letter informing them that Rev. Wayne Tellekson has confessed to sexual misconduct while he was pastor from 1975 to 1988. He was removed from his current St. Paul, Minn. church when a former victim confronted Tellekson. Source: _Chicago Sun-Times_ 1/15/93.
LAWSUIT ALLEGES CLERGY MALPRACTICE. David S. Guppy filed a civil suit for clergy malpractice, misrepresentation, fraud & other counts against Rev. F. Scott Luthy, resigned pastor of St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rockford. Guppy says the minister seduced his wife, a parishioner, than misused his counseling relationship with Guppy to conceal the affair, urging him to have an affair of his own. Source: _Jackson Citizen Patriot_ 7/31/92.
2,000 SUPPORT MINISTER MOLESTER. About 75 supporters from the Christ Universal Church picketed before the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago in support of Rev Paul Hall, 47, convicted of sexually abusing a boy, 13, in 1989. He had been free on appeal since then. His 4-year sentence began in January. The Illinois Appellate Court, which denied him a rehearing, received more than 2,000 letters in his behalf. Source: _Chicago Sun-Times_ 9/3/92, 1/8/93.
LUTHERAN PASTOR NABBED. Dirk van der Linde, 43, pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Waterloo, was charged with intent to commit sexual abuse of a boy, 14. He is affiliated with the Missouri Synod. Relatives complained about a 2 month delay in arresting him. An aunt said she believed the delay stemmed from racism, because the victim is black & the minister white. "It would not be this way if it had been a black minister molesting a white child," she said. Source: _Waterloo Courier_ 9/23/92, _Des Moines Register_ 9/24/92.
"SOUND DOCTRINE" PASTOR QUITS. After nearly 20 years as pastor, Rev. Wendell Beets, of Sound Doctrine Church, resigned following a claim of sexual impropriety with a female church member, 19. A married couple who were also ministers at the church expressed indignation that "he would attack a 19-year-old girl", & concern that Beets will tart a new church & continue preying on the congregation. Louise & Clarence Ellis of Cedar Rapids say others have criticized them for speaking out against Beets. Source: _Cedar Rapids Gazette_ 8/29/92.
BAPTIST YOUTH PASTOR NABBED. Youth minister-Sunday School teacher William Speaker, 21, of First Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs, was charged with a felony for sexually molesting a boy, 14, while chauffeuring him to church activities. Source: _Kansas City Star_ 8/21/92.
JURY ACQUITS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. A Louisville jury of 6 men & 6 women found in favor of the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A .) in a $5 million sexual-harassment suit brought by Janet Gellhaus. The employee claimed her superior Nagy Tawfik sexually harassed her, pressuring her into a sexual relationship by threatening to fire her. Church attorney Michael Valenti, apparently conceded the relationship when he said after the acquittal (shades of the U. S. Senate): "The lesson should be you need to immediately tell people about it, you need to immediately investigate your rights, you need to use some common sense & say 'no'." Source: Presbyterian Outlook_ 9/7/92.
BAPTIST PASTOR GOES TO TRIAL. Indicted for 6 counts of aggravated sexual battery & 5 counts of sexual battery was Rev. George Walker, 64, of New Tazewell, who has pastored a number of area Baptist churches. He is accused of victimizing a female piano student instructed by his wife for 4 years. Source: _The Daily News_ Middlesboro, 12/24/92.
PRESBYTERIAN REFORM URGED. The Presbyterian General Assembly, meeting in Baltimore in June, voted 446-78 to recommend abolishing the statute of limitations for reporting sexual misconduct by clergy. The church, citing critical proportions, has a 3-year time limit for reporting sexual misconduct by church officials. The vote must be ratified by 2/3 of the church's 171 regional presbyteries. It also voted 491-26 to establish a policy on sexual misconduct, advising local churches to set up "sexual misconduct response teams" & notify secular authorities "when appropriate". The adopted policy said there is evidence that "10-23 percent of clergy nationwide have engaged in sexualized behavior or sexual contact with parishioners, clients, employees, etc., within a professional relationship". Source: AP 6/12/92.
UNITARIAN GUILTY ON 6 CHARGES. Northboro minister Mack W. Mitchell, 56, was convicted on 6 of 23 charges of sexual assault involving a Tibetan woman who testified he sexually abused her as a teenager after offering to sponsor her education in this country. "I came her with a lot of wonderful dreams, and my dreams were shattered," said the victim, now 23. With the conviction, "I can dream again and become a whole person again." Rape and assault-battery charges are still pending against him by another Tibetan woman. Source: _Worcester Telegram & Gazette_ 5/15/92.
CONTINUED IN NEXT POST, it was too long for one post...
G.K. Chesterton, “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense.”
"If anyone shall be outside the ark of Noe he shall perish when the flood prevails." St Jerome
RAPIST-MINISTER GETS 12 YEARS FOR INCEST. Suspended associate rector of a Tucson Episcopal church, Stephen P. Apthorp, 56, pleaded guilty in Massachusetts to repeatedly raping his stepdaughter between her 10th and 16th birthday, an estimated 830 incidents of abuse. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Charges included indecent assault and battery, rape and distribution of pornographic materials to a minor. The assaults began in 1980 when a Lincoln, Mass. congregation asked him to leave because he was abusing alcohol, ignoring their problems, and "using the women of the parish like they were some kind of fringe benefit", Apthorp said. He was suspended from the Tucson church. His contract as a counselor for Tucson General Hospital's Westcenter was not renewed. He gave nationwide worships and lectures based on a book of advice for clergy with alcohol and drug addictions. The 21-year-old victim, who publicly identified herself as Mimi Coleman, noted the betrayal made her suicidal, gave her eating disorders and nightmares, shameful feelings over sex, continuing gynecological problems, feelings of someone always watching her, feelings of panic whenever she sees a man in a clerical collar, and feelings that she is a freak. "Never have I seen him practice what he preached, and I heard him preach a lot." Source: _Arizona Daily Star_ 3/13/92; _Boston Herald_ 5/7/92; _LincolnJournal_ 5/14/92.
LUTHERAN MINISTER REMOVED. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America removed Rev. Wendell Henkenmeier of Marblehead from the ministry after a panel found him guilty of sexual misconduct & destructive practices during counseling of 5 victims. Source: _Union-News_5/30/92.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER IMPRISONED. Groton Sunday School teacher Leslie Richard Danielson, 63, was sentenced to 5-10 years after pleading guilty to sexually abusing 6 children under 14 years. He is already serving up to 10 years for a 1991 conviction involving 4 other children, but will be eligible for parole in 4 years. Source: _Boston Herald_ 5/22/92.
BAPTIST CONVICTED OF RAPING BOY. A jury convicted Baptist minister Edward Quakenbush, of New Testament Baptist Church, town of Wyoming, of raping & molesting a teenage boy in his church over a 4-year period, starting when he was 12. Members of his church & family sobbed & shouted at jurors & a police detective who testified that the pastor had confessed to the molestations. Quakenbush later denied confessing. Source: AP/_Daily Telegram_, Adrian, Ml 9/12/92.
BRONSON MINISTER ARRAIGNED. First Congregational Church minister David Covert Moore was charged with 5 counts of criminal sexual conduct of 4 children under the age of 15. In July he checked himself into Pine Rest Christian Counseling Services in Grand Rapids. Source: _Jackson Citizen Patriot_ 8/29/92.
CHURCH EVANGELIZERS PREYED ON LOW-INCOME KIDS. Menfrom a rural Baptist church known for its aggressive evangelizing of children are suspected of molesting as many as 22 boys & girls. The associate pastor, volunteer bus driver & a third church member are believed to have fondled some & raped others, ranging in age from 3 to 10, on church buses & property. Charges involving 10 victims were brought against Associate Pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 32, of North Sharon Baptist Church near Grass Lake, & volunteer Sunday school bus driver, church deacon Mark Foeller. Three other church members are being investigated. The suspects went to low-income housing projects or trailer parks in 4 counties, telling parents they would "take the children to church & teach them about God", according to Det. Robert Fitzpatrick, Jackson Co. Men would walk up to children in their yards, coaxing them with treats to come to weekend services or summer _Bible_ school. Leonard was relieved of church duties involving children in August, after police started investigating him when a doctor reported suspected abuse in a child with a sexual disease. He also worked as instructor & gym teacher in the North Sharon Christian School, enrolling about 65 students. Church members were not informed, even after the arrests. In November, Gail Ganger, who lives 5 houses from the church, organized a Sunday morning picket after learning that the church secretary knew about the allegations, yet still recommended Leonard as a babysitter for her children. He & his wife Nadine had babysat for her 3 children 7 times since Oct.
1. About 2 dozen protesters carried signs saying "Clos It Down." "The church knew about the allegations of child molesting, but nobody told me about it. This church should not be able to carry on business as usual," she said. "What a wonderful thing it is to be part of a church where adversity happens," said Rev. Bill Wininger, senior pastor. In January, Leonard was released after 72 days in jail after 10 charges were dropped over the objections of the DA by Washtenaw Co. Dist. Judge Thomas Shea, saying victims were either too young to testify or could not pinpoint the time of their assaults. Leonard still faces 2 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct charges. Although he resigned from the church, church funds are being used to help support his family & pay his legal expenses. The pastor said if he is acquitted, "I'm sure he would be welcomed back with open arms." Sources: _Ypsilanti Press_ 11/12/92, _Detroit Free Press_ 11/12/92, _Toledo Blade_ 11/18/92, _Jackson Citizen Patriot_ 11/16/92, 2/1/93.
LUTHERAN LEADER ADMITS CHARGES. Lutheran pastor David L. Anderson admitted having sexual relations with a number of boys and young men while pastor of a leading Lutheran congregation in Moorehead, Minn. He resigned from the clergy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and as vice president for college relations in St. Olaf College in April, admitting sexual misconduct with minors, college students, and male parishioners from 1973-1985. He confessed only after a parishioner approached a staff member at the 4,000 member church with allegations in March. Source: _Star Tribune_ 4/20/92.
LUTHERAN PASTOR RESIGNS. For the third time Rev. Rod Broding has left a job after being accused of sexual improprieties. The Lutheran pastor resigned from First Lutheran Church in Pine River following accusations he admitted to sexual misconduct there, but denies earlier accusations. Bishop Roger Munson, who oversees the Northeastern Minnesota synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said, "The church will assist in providing counseling to work through this turmoil & pain so that healing & wholeness can be experienced in their lives." Source: _Star Tribune_ 10/22/92.
AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN RAIDED. Deputies raided the home of Veterans Administration chaplain Rev. Donald G. Phillips, of Butler County, seizing 500 video tapes, movie equipment and restraints following a tip that he produced pornographic movies with young girls. The Baptist minister recently received the highest recognition awarded a VA chaplain, "the Award for Excellence in Chaplain Service". Source: _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_ 2/19/92.
BAPTIST VOLUNTEER CONVICTED. Granite State Baptist Church volunteer David Kirsch, 39, of Salem, was convicted of sexually assaulting 6 young girls through the church from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Source: _USA Today_ 9/25/92.
CLERIC FACES INCEST, RAPE CHARGES. Rev. Eugenio Matos of Spanish Mennonite Church, Trenton, father of 12, was charged in March with raping his daughter from the time she was 5 to 15 years. In April he was charged with endangering welfare of a child and 2 counts of aggravated sexual assault when a 23-year-old woman told investigators he repeatedly raped her while she was between the ages of 8 and 10. Source: _Trenton Times_ 4/28/92.
MINISTER & GIRLFRIEND INDICTED. Trenton pastorFranklin Tucker, 37, Final Call Ministry, was indicted for molesting his girlfriend's daughters, 9 & 15. His girlfriend was indicted for forcing her daughters to recant the allegations to police. The abuse came to light when the 9-year-old told a school official, who contacted police. Source: _Trenton Times_ 9/15/92.
NUDE MINISTER CONVICTED. Rev. Bruce Rentz, found guilty of indecent exposure after a state trooper saw him jogging naked and chased him to his home, has resigned as minister from Greenbush Presbyterian Church. He was ordered to perform community service, pay a $50 fine, and get counseling. Source: _Union News_ 5/14/92.
TOP EPISCOPAL PRIEST RESIGNS AMID SEX SCANDAL. The highest-ranking U. S. Episcopal priest, who ironically headed a national committee examining the church's position on sexuality, resigned in October following charges he sexually abused young men in his congregation. Rev. Wallace A. Frey, rector of St. David's Church in DeWitt, is married with 2 grown children. A church official said he had been involved in "sexual misconduct over a lengthy period with some male, young adults & a teenager under his pastoral care". The official said the number of victims appears to be "less than 10". Source: NYT News Service/_Chicago Tribune_ 10/7/92.
CIVIL SUIT: 11-YEAR-OLD MOLESTED. A family in Dare County, North Carouna is suing Methodist minister Carl M. Eller for abusing their daughter, 11, as well as the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, a bishop and a reverend for knowing of his history of sexual misconduct but doing nothing about it. The family says she was molested when her father, a carpenter, was installing cabinets in the parsonage. Eller pleaded no contest to a charge of criminal assault on a female. However, the family said that in 1987 Eller had molested or made lewd comments to 4 women at his church, and forcibly kissed and touched 2 girls age 13. Three women had lodged formal complaints with the church, but the only action was to transfer him from Aurora to Hamlet. Source: _News & Observer_ 1/15/92.
SUPPORTERS GATHER FOR CONVICTED "FRIEND". Pastor Roy McKinley, 45, who stepped down from Milan Friends Church after being charged with molesting a teenage girl, pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition and related charges. Supporters, including a minister, crowded the courtroom where McKinley pleaded for mercy. Source: _Toledo Blade_ 5/25/92.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT SUIT HITS CHURCH. A female employee at World Harvest Church in Columbus has filed a lawsuit saying the father of the pastor sexually harassed her, also naming the church & its pastor as defendants. Naomi Endicott, 48, said Rev. Rodney L. Parsley knew about the harassment but did nothing to stop it. James G. Parsley, his father, was her supervisor & made unwanted sexual advances, even offering money for sex, she said. Source: _Columbus Dispatch_ 10/17/92.
WOMAN SUES EPISCOPAL PRIEST. A Fostoria woman is suing Rev. Douglas Hodges, of Trinity Episcopal Church, Bishop James Moodey & the owner of a counseling center, alleging the priest forced her to have sex as "treatment". The abuse occurred at a counseling center & the church. Shelley & Daniel Lebay seek more than $700,000 in damages. Source: _Columbus Dispatch_ 10/9/92.
CHURCH SUED FOR NEGLIGENCE. One of several girls who said Alva minister Rev. Robert Bruce Brigden molested her is suing the First Presbyterian Church for failingto check his background before hiring him. Allegationsof sexual crimes were made at his former position in Kansas. Charges allege that he molested Alva church girls, ages 4 to 14. The church posted his bond. Source: _Tulsa Tribune
PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER GETS 40 YEARS. Rev. Robert Bruce Brigden was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting young girls in his congregation, convicted on 8 counts of lewd molestation & 1 count of rape by instrumentation involving a girl, 7. Bridgen, 57, was accused of molesting 11 girls, aged 4 to 14, during the 4 years he was at the Alva church. His congregation put the church up as bond, insisting he was innocent. He was placed in protected custody. Brigden blamed his arrest on a girl, 4, whose parents were the first to take the children's allegations seriously. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," Brigden wrote his wife about the 4-year-old, whom he described as "4 going on 400 years old", saying she invited him to spend the night in her bed, & was mad that he declined. Source: _Tulsa Tribune_ 8/92, _Tulsa World_ 9/3/92, _Daily Oklahoman_ 6/14/92.
MINISTER MOLESTER OF 400 SENTENCED. Eugene Church for the Deaf minister Joseph Bernard Ponder, 47, was sentenced to 2 years for violating probation in 2 felony convictions of 1st degree sexual abuse of boys. He had received a year in jail for 2nd degree sexual abuse of a boy, 14, in 1988. Officials believe an estimate that he molested 400 boys may be low. "Thismay be the most prolific abuser of young boys who has ever stood in this court," said prosecutor Kent Mortimore. "His whole life has revolved around this his ministry, his choice of careers to put himself in contact with potential victims." Ponder denies abusing the boy during a swimming incident, and failed to complete court-ordered sex offender treatment. Source: _Register-Guard_ 3/5/92.
CHURCH VOLUNTEER CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. Church volunteer Seven Jon Long, 41, was arrested for sodomy and taking pornographic pictures of young girls under 12 from Assembly of God Church in Rogue River, where he was a youth volunteer. He told detectives his pictures were art. Source: _Daily Courier_, Grants Pass, 4/17/92.
CONVICTED PASTOR "RIGHT WITH LORD". Rev. Virgil Carpenter, 48, pastor of Bible Missionary Church in Ontario, was convicted of sodomy & sexual abuse of a girl, 9, over a 1-1/2 year period. A jury convicted Carpenter of 2 felony counts of sodomy & 4 felony counts of sexual abuse. He faces 5 additional felony charges in 2 upcoming trials. "I'm really not worried," he told supporters who had gathered in the courtroom before the verdict. "I'm right with the Lord." Source: _Corvallis Gazette-Times_ 10/11/92.
LAY PREACHER WITH AIDS TRIED TO INFECT KIDS? Lay preacher Adam Brown, of Roseburg, Oregon, infected with HIV, was indicted Nov. 13 for sexually abusing children to infect them with AIDS, including 5 counts of attempted murder, 9 counts of sodomy, 4 counts of rape, 5 counts of reckless endangerment, & 3 counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object. Boys & girls told police he molested them repeatedly, threatening them with knives, scissors & matches. One boy said Brown rubbed semen into a scratch on his arm. Another said Brown burned a _Bible_, warning that Satan would come unless the child stopped resisting. Alleged victims include a 3-year-old girl, 7-year-old girl & 8-year-old boy. AIDS tests so far for the children have been negative. Source: AP/_Boston Globe_11/29/92.
YOUTH PASTOR JAILED FOR ABUSING GIRL. Sentenced to 60 days in jail for molesting a young girl was Michael Wayne Cross,
32, youth pastor of Oregon City Evangelical Church. He must undergo a sex offender treatment & register with the state for life as convicted sex offender. The girl, now 17, said he sodomized her numerous times over a year. An officer said the crimes occurred at the church or at church functions. Source: _Oregonian_ 10/29/92.
PROMINENT METHODIST PASTOR WITH AIDS EXPLOITED PARISH? Following the death on July 4 of Rev. William O. Walker, a prominent Eugene pastor at First United Methodist Church, it was discovered he not only died of AIDS but had used his ministerial position to make sexual advances to at least 12 men, including 6 ministers. Walker infected his wife Carol with AIDS; she died in 1990. In November a church superintendent told parishioners that Walker had been accused of making sexual advances to
2 male teenagers at a Methodist church camp 17 years earlier. Source:_Register-Guard_ 12/6/92.
CHURCH COUNSELING TURNED ABUSIVE. A Fairless Hills couple filed suit against a church counselor and Calvary Full Gospel Church, alleging the pastor referred them to abusive Aldo Maselli. The depressed woman said he told her he "had prayed about it and that God told him that it was OK for him to express his feelings of love", initiating a 2-year sexual relationship. The suit by Rebecca and Steven Hicks charges negligent, reckless practices contrary to accepted counseling standards, and battery and sexual abuse. Source: _Bucks County Courier Times_ 5/20/92.
DEACON ACCUSED OF ASSAULTING 8 GIRLS. Victory Baptist Church deacon Daniel Eaves, 34, was arrested for sexually assaulting 8 girls, ages 3 to 14, at his Springfield home and during youth groups last year. Source: _Philadelphia Inquirer_ 4/25/ 92.
PRESBYTERY REMOVES PASTOR. The Pittsburgh Presbyteryremoved the associate pastor of the prominent East Liberty Presbyterian Church on charges of sexual misconduct. Rev. Howard Eybers, 43, is accused by 3 women of making sexual overtures. Source: _Pittsburgh Post- Gazette_ 3/7/92.
SEXTON GETS 35 YEARS. A sexton at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Whitehall Township was sentenced to 35-70 years in jail for molesting boys. Adam Tannous, 61, of Allentown, agreed to plead guilty to 7 merged charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, after originally being charged with more than 4,000 crimes. One victim said Tannous bragged of having sex with
400 boys over the past 40 years. He was removed as pastor of St. George's Episcopal Church in Hellertown in 1970 because of similar allegations. In 1972, he was arrested on a morals charge in Emmaus. He was "treated", not jailed, then expelled from the ministry. Despite this record, St. Stephen's hired him in 1976 to be custodian, saying he was rehabilitated. Many victims say Tannous caused them alcohol problems by plying them with liquor. Source: _Express-Times_ 12/17/92.
CULT PASTOR NOT PROSECUTED. Officials in Clearfield & Delaware counties won't prosecute doomsday pastor Anthony Marcolongo of Johnstown, despite allegations by 6 women followers of sexual assault. "We thought this wasn't the type of case that tax dollars should be spent on," said Assistant DA Sheldon Kovach. The women said the minister broke them physically, making them work 18-hour days, & filled them with fear of doom in Hell if they did not have sex with him. Source: _Clearfield Progress_ 9/1/92.
METHODIST MINISTER PLEA BARGAINS. Rev. Wally Walton, Grace United Methodist, Pierre, pleaded no contest to felony charges of incest & sexual contact with a minor, & was immediately jailed. Walton has agreed to provide details of "sex crimes & illicit sexual activities" against latchkey kids, Girl Scouts & otherchildren. Additionally, Walton's wife Betty was charged with sexual contact with a child, incest, & failure to report a felony. Also indicted are Walton's adopted twin daughters & son-in-law, facing similar charges. Walton drove a bus for a local latchkey program. Mrs. Walton worked with the Girl Scouts. Fellow minister Rev. J. Edwin Coates of the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, accuses social workers of being overzealous, & said the arrests were indicative of a "police state" & a witchhunt. Prosecutor Mark Moreno excused the delay in charging Walton by saying: "If you charge a minister as I've done, you'd better be sure that you have some concrete evidence, because it's going to totally annihilate his future." Walton voluntarily surrendered his ministerial credentials. Methodists dropped a 2-year statute of limitations on disciplinary problems in May 1992, with no time limit on sex offenses. Source:_Rapid City Journal_ 7/28,29,31/92, 8/1/92.
METHODIST COVER-UP ALLEGED. No charges were broughtwhen youngsters in Piedmont told police & social services they were molested in 1983 by Rev. Wally Walton (see above) at Piedmont Grace United Methodist Church. After a 2-year sabbatical, Walton became pastor at Grace United Methodist in Pierre, where he has been charged with sex offenses against children. The Methodist hierarchy decided he was "not a danger to anyone", permitted him to give sermons during his 2-year break, & "felt he should be given another chance", said Rev. Dick Fisher, formerly Westem Dist. superintendent of the Methodist Church in Rapid City. "We had two concerns at the time: to protect the people & save a person for the ministry." Source: _Rapid City Journal_ 7/29/92.
MOLESTING MINISTER-BROTHERS CONVICTED. Youth ministerDon McCary, 48, was sentenced to 72 years of prison for molesting 4 boys at his Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. His twin brother Ron McCary, a Christian comedian and pastor, is in prison after committing aggravated rape on a boy, 6. Their older brother Richard McCary spent 2 years in the California prisons in the
1980s after conviction on 6 charges of child molestation. Explains sex offender therapist Deloris Roys, Don McCary "had a perfect camouflage ... For the person who uses religion as a camouflage, it gives them the mantle of being an OK or holy person. We all imbue religious people with the idea they wouldn't hurt us. They have instant authority, a power we don't have, a mantle of respect." Don McCary had been youth/choir director for 15 years at Central Baptist Church of Hixson, Tenn. He recorded lewd conversations with young boys and gave copies to his brother Ron in jail. Source: _Birmingham News_ 5/9/92.
$10 MILLION SOUGHT FROM BAPTISTS. Five civil lawsuits asking for $10 million in damages were filed against the Southern Baptist Convention for sexual assaults by convicted minister Donald McCary, of Chattanooga, sentenced in April to 72 years in prison for assaulting 5 boys. James Guenther, general counselor for the SBC in Nashville, shrugged off the suits: "We've probably had a dozen of these cases where a plaintiff has undertaken to show that SBC controls a minister." He says no SBC agency beyond the level of the congregation has legal or disciplinary authority over pastors. McCary's twin brother is also in prison for abusing children; their older brother is on parole for similar charges. Source: _Birmingham News_8/21/92.
BAPTIST CHARGED WITH INDECENCY. Charged with indecency for fondling a preteen girl in 1991 was Norman "Buddy" Wilcoxen, 60, former pastor of Calvary Baptist Churc in Bastrop. Source: _Austin American-Statesman_ 10/17/92.
POLYGAMOUS HILLBILLY PREACHER CHARGED. The leader of the Evangelistic Tabernacle in Martinsville was charged with felonious seduction & taking indecent liberties with a minor when he "married" a 16-year-old high school junior. Although already married, he was not charged with polygamy since he did not legally marry the teenager. Rev. Elwood Gallimore, 42, was also charged with performing marriage ceremonies without a license. His favorite topic for sermons is polygamy, citing such polygamous biblical characters as David & Solomon. He said the _Bible_ will be his only defense during the trial. Gallimore, whose dutiful 42-year-old wife was hospitalized for "nerves" after the second "marriage" was proposed, says he is being prosecuted by "jealous" men. A magistrate ordered him to stay away from the teenager on Jan. 19. Source: _Washington Post_ 1/21,27,28/92.
PROMINENT EPISCOPALIAN REMOVED. Nationally known Rev. W. Graham Pulkingham, now living in Virginia, wassuspended temporarily from the Episcopalian priesthood after admitting he initiated a sexual relationship with a man he was counseling, destroying the man's marriage. Church officials asked everybody to pray. Source: _Denver Post_ 8/92.
METHODIST LEADER ADMITS IMPROPER RELATIONS. Newly retired Rev. Edward W. Bauman, once named one of the country's top preachers by _Time_ Magazine, admitted in a September letter to the Foundry United Methodist Church in D. C. to "relationships of a sexual nature ... with several women in the congregation". Bauman, 65, has a TV show, "Bauman _Bible_ Telecast", airing worldwide. The admission came only have 2 women filed grievances with Bishop Joseph Yeakel; one had sought counseling from Bauman. Bauman agreed to seek counseling at Johns Hopkins Hospital & to retire. After a 3rd woman came forward. Bauman agreed to write a letter to the congregation & make financia restitution to 2 women. Bauman insists the relationships were "fully consenting" & "could not be interpreted as harassment". Among Bauman's congregants were Sen. Bob Dole & Elizabeth Dole, & former Sen. George McGovern. According to the national United Methodist newsletter, 13% of pastors in 5 Protestant denominations acknowledged having intercourse with parishioners. Source: _Washington Post_ 9/18/92.
LUTHERAN PRINCIPAL ACCUSED. Denying charges of indecent liberties with a student is John P. Rossow, who resigned in March as principal of Central Lutheran Christian School, Tacoma. Now a senior, the youth said Russow took him on outings and French kissed him for hours when he was a 5th grader, and tried to masturbate him at a state park after plying him with whiskey. A teenager said, "He had kids at his house a lot." Source: _Morning News Tribune_ 4/8/92.
METHODIST MINISTER PLEADS GUILTY. Rev. Lawrence "Larry" E. Trim, 55, of Evangelical Methodist Church in Methow, pleaded guilty to 3rd degree rape of a child, in connection with an assault of a boy, then
13. Source: _Wenatchee World_ 9/17/92.
CONVICTED MOLESTER RECRUITING BOYS. A convicted child molester barred in Pennsylvania from recruiting choirboys to tour in Europe is now operating out of Morgantown, WV. John B. Shallenberger, 74, was convicted in 1985 of indecent assault, indecent exposure and corrupting the morals of a Dutch choirboy, 11. He was convicted in 1961 and 1975 on similar charges. In 1990, a judge ordered him to reveal his criminal record while recruiting boys and to pay a $5,000 fine for violating a 1978 agreement with the Bureau of Consumer Protection to reveal his background. He has not paid the fine or signed the petition. Shallenberger insists, "Every choirmaster and every music teacher in the country knows of my criminal record ... You would be surprised at how many parents beg me to take a second brother on tour." His July in Paris tour was handled through the Children's Choir Federation. Source: _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_ 2/15/92.
CONVICTED MOLESTER STOPS TOUR. Following an investigation by the West Virginia attorney general's office, convicted child molester John B. Shallenberger, 74, folded his Children's Choir Federation, soliciting boys from grades 4-7 to take 2-week singing tours in Europe. He had been convicted in 1975 & 1961 for child molestation. In 1991, Pennsylvania authorities charged him with ignoring a court order to reveal his child molestation convictions to the parents of recruited children, so he moved to West Virginia. Shallenberger has moved back to Pennslyvania & is running an elevator repair company. Source: _Charleston Gazette_ 7/8/92.
MINISTER PLEADS GUILTY TO ABUSING NIECE. Baptist minister Rev. Ernest Lee Rowsey, 51, of Wharton Missionary Baptist Church in Bim, pleaded guilty to 1count of 1st degree sexual abuse, involving his niece. Originally, he was charged with molesting 2 nieces between 1976-1982, but they agreed to drop all but onecharge against their uncle. The kids were molested for 6 years starting from ages 5 & 7. Rowley's sister also said he molested her as long ago as 1969, but at that time, child sexual abuse was a misdemeanor, & the statute of limitations has expired. Source:_Charleston Gazette_ 11/1/92.
"NOT A TIME FOR JUDGMENT." The arrest of Brookfield minister Richard O. Bidwell for lewd & lascivious conduct is "not a time for judgment" but "a time when we in the Christian community need to offer our support & our prayers," opines Rev. Kenneth Wheeler, an official with the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Bidwell, pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church, married with children, was arrested at a park in the afternoon with his genitals exposed, in the company of another exposed man. Source: _Milwaukee Sentinel_ 7/14/92.
NEW BRUNSWICK PREACHER CONVICTED. Calling his crimes a "most sick, disturbing and tragic matter", Justice Thomas Riordon convicted Pentecostal preacher Rev. Aubrey McCallister of touching, fondling and sodomizing a young girl for 10 years, beginning when she was 7. The assaults took place at his home and church Sunday school in Minto, New Brunswick. He was convicted of the same offense 2 years ago and sentenced to 5 years in jail but was granted a new trial. His loyal congregation packed the courtroom during both trials, and had to be warned not to repeat their angry outburst. Followers shook the convict's hand and said they were sticking by him. The victim, now 20, was jeered by the minister's congregation. McCallister called her "daddy's little girl" and rewarded her with Oreo cookies or told her to pray for forgiveness after each encounter. "Aren't we sneaky? If we ever get caught, mom would kick us both out," he told her. Source: _Telegraph Journal_, Saint John, N. B., 3/6/92.
"GOD HAS FORGIVEN ME FOR WHAT I'VE DONE." Nova Scotia religious leader Harold Jollimore, 63, convicted in December of sexual and indecent assault of young girls, was sentenced to 2 years in prison. He preached biblical passages while sexually abusing neighbor girls. One 9-year-old who had a breakdown after 8 years of abuse has been in therapy since 1978. He attracted children by running a candy and soda postore on his property. He told the judge, "God has forgiven me for what I've done," saying he doesn't understand why the victims haven't been able to "put this behind them". He was also ordered to take psychiatric counseling during a 3-year probation. Source: _The Spectator_ 2/11/92.
"HORRIFIC" HARASSMENT IN CHURCH OF CANADA PROMPTS STUDY. The task force on sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment urged the Church of Canada to develop a code of ethics for ministers because of ~horrific proportions" of sexual harassment in the church. The panel said women are more likely to be sexually harassed in the church than in the workplace. "A five-denominational study [in the U. S.] conducted in 1987 found 5.5% of therapists had sex involving intercourse with their clients, while 12.6% of clergy admitted to sexual involvement including intercourse with their parishioners," reported Rev. Peter Lougheed of Evanville, Ontario. Many ministers are engaging in personal counseling without any training or codes of ethics, said Walter Faquharson, moderator of the United Church. LUTHERAN TEACHER CHARGED. Arrested for sexually assaulting boys at John Calvin Christian School in Burlington, Ontario is Theodore Richard Vanderveen, 30, who taught 4th grade for 4 years. Source:_Spectator_ 3/2/92.
CHURCH SUED FOR CHOIRMASTER'S ASSAULTS. St. George's Cathedral & the Anglican church are being sued over a choirmaster's sexual assaults on choirboys. John Gallienne is serving a 6-1/2 year sentence for abusing boys. Now 17 plaintiffs are suing, claiming damages, plus interest & costs. The suit in part claims church officials were aware of Gallienne's misconduct & held at least 5 meetings over a 6- year period to discuss them, yet took no action to protect boys. Source:_Ottawa Citizen_ 11/11/92.
ANGLICAN PRIEST SUSPENDED WITH PAY. Owen Sound minister Jim Francom was suspended With pay from St. George's Anglican Church after being charged in July with rape & assault of a girl under 14. The assaults were alleged to have occurred in London, Ontario between 1975-1984 Source: _Ottawa Citizen_ 8/18/92.
PASTOR GETS 6 MONTHS. Pastor Ed Brennan, 45, of Whitehorse Christian Bible Fellowship Society, got 6 months in jail and 3 years' probation for sexually assaulting a young married parishioner in the Yukon. Source: _Spectator_ 12/17/91.
ANGLICAN BISHOP CHARGED FOR SOLICITATION. Anglican Bishop Owen Dowling, 57, of Canberra and Goulburn, was recently charged with soliciting a male off-duty cop for prostitution. Source: _Christian Century_ 5/13/92.
New South Wales Anglican priest Eric William Griffith, 50, of Gratton, was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to 3 counts of indecent assault & 4 counts of gross indecency against a boy, 14. Source:_Courier-Mail_ 11/15/92.
SETTLEMENT SHROUDS BAPTIST CASE. A secret settlement was reached just before a civil suit went to jury against Moffett Road Baptist Church minister Henry Hobson, Mobile, for sexually abusing a girl, 14. Hobson admitted having sexual intercourse with the girl he referred to as an adopted daughter, once when she accompanied him on church "visitation". He admitted she "wanted out", but called her a "pleasant diversion". At first he denied her accusations and asked her to say she had lied, for "damage control". He resigned in April 1991 after a suicide attempt when the girl confided in the youth pastor about him. Attorney Robert Cunningham, Jr. told jurors that many church members shunned the 9th grader, blaming her. His attorney argued, "It certainly was not part of his job to have sexual intercourse with her, and therefore the church is not responsible," adding: "He thought it was better she learn about sex from him rather than some young boy at school." Source: _Mobile Register_2/12/93.
CULT LEADER GETS 16 YEARS. Fugitive religious leader James Randazzo, convicted in 1989 of sexual exploitation of children, was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Founder of Spiral of Friends cult, he videotaped sex sessions with teenaged children during "therapy". His wife Colleen is serving an 8-year prison term. Randazzo had skipped the country, but was nabbed last fall in Hungary. Source: _Rocky MountainNews_ 1/30/93.
MAYER (FINALLY) GETS 3 YEARS. The Rev. Robert E. Mayer, 53, implicated in numerous cases of sexually abusing minors, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for molesting a girl, 13. Four men also testified during the trial about Mayer's advances toward them 9 years ago, when they were 13 and 14. "The evidence indicates a long history of sexually inappropriate conduct with children and adults," said prosecutor Mark Cavins. "This crime was not committed on impulse or spur of the moment." Mayer is the first priest in Cook Co. tobe sentenced to prison. He continued to maintain his innocence, pleading for mercy: "As God is my witness I was never alone with the girl," Mayer told thejudge. Judge Thomas Durkin replied, "God is not your judge today." Source: _Chicago Tribune_ 2/6/93.
YOUTH MINISTER CHARGED. Garden City Church of Christ youth minister Rev. Cameron K. Huffman, 41, was charged with 21 counts of child molestation for molesting a young boy for a year. Huffman had admitted to being a pedophile during a counseling session. When the church in Columbus was notified of Huffman's admission, it fired him and informed the congregation, also calling police. Police received complaints against Rev. Huffman from other Indiana cities and states, but the 5-year statute of limitations hashampered some investigations. Source: _Indianapolis Star_ 1/28/93.
METHODIST MINISTER ASSAULTS DEPRESSED TEENAGER? A lawsuit filed in February accuses United Methodist minister R. Gene Voss of sexually assaulting a female teenager during counseling sessions for depression at the First United Methodist Church, Crawfordsville. In 1984 her minister began fondling the 15-year-old, initiating intercourse when she was 16. "Over the next four years Gene Voss raped the plaintiff over 60 times," says the lawsuit. The woman has incurred more than $65,000 in treatment for abuse. Voss gave up his minister credentials in 1991. She is also suing the Crawfordsville church and the United Methodist South Indiana Conference. "You can say anything in a lawsuit," was the cavalier response of the conference's legal advisor. Source: _Indianapolis Star_ 2/4/93.
LUTHERAN TEACHER CHARGED. St. Paul's Lutheran elementary school teacher Gerald J. Bauer, Jr., 31, was charged with molesting a student, 12, during a visit to his home. The Farmington Hills teacher was charged with 1st and 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct. Source: _Detroit Free Press_ 2/13/93.
MORE CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST BAPTIST. Washtenaw Co. Dist. Judge Thomas F. Shea threw out 2 charges of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct against Baptist deacon Mark Foeller, leaving 6 counts of criminal sexual conduct. The deacon and bus driver at North Sharon Baptist Church is accused of raping a boy, 9, twice, at the church, which has a campaign to bus low-income children from 4 counties to its Sunday school and church camp. The dismissals follow earlier dismissals against assistant pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 33, originally charged with 12 similar counts. Judges dismissed all his charges, saying the alleged victims were either too young to testify or that their testimony was too vague. At least one family will file a civil lawsuit against the North Sharon Baptist Church and Leonard, according to Ann Arbor attorney Mark A. Hopper. "We will sue the church for negligent hiring and negligent retention of those workers." Leonard has been invited back to the church and is directing its music programs. A mother told a reporter she was "stunned" and "numb" by the judge's decision. Shea ruled that a 9-year-old could not testify about being raped in the church nursery, because she couldn't say on which day it happened. Source: _Jackson Citizen Patriot_ 2/5&18/93.
MOLESTER STILL LISTED IN CHURCH ANNUAL. A LutheranChurch-Missouri Synod pastor who admitted to sexually molesting a Duluth boy and who is being sued for molestation by 3 others, is still listed as a pastor in good standing in the synod's 1993 Lutheran Annual. Rev. Daniel Reeb admitted in 1991 that he molested a parishioner, 13, several times in the 1960s, and made official testimony about it to church officials. His victim and several others have filed lawsuits. Reeb resigned a year ago, but was put on "restricted status" and can still preach. He moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Source: _News-Tribune_ 3/3/93.
LUTHERAN PASTOR ADMITS SEX WITH BOY. Cloquet pastor Wayne Vetter of Zion Lutheran Church pleaded guilty to 1st degree criminal sexual contact with a juvenile. He is in counseling for sexual abuse and is expected to be sentenced to a correctional center. He served ministries in Madison, Wis., and Grand Forks, N. D. A man came forward to say Vetter had molested him in Grand Forks, but the statute of limitations has expired. Vetter admitted to a habit of anonymous Sex in public places. Source: _Duluth News-Tribune_3/19/93.
POLL REVEALS WIDESPREAD ABUSE. 7% of Minnesotan protestants personally know someone who has been sexually abused by a member of the clergy, while 5% of Catholics did, and 2% say they have been touched by a clergyperson in a way that made them uncomfortable, according to a _Star Tribune_/WCCO-TV Minnesota Poll phone survey of 1,222 Minnesotans was taken from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5. 1991 survey of Minnesota clergy showed 15% of mainline Protestant clergy admitted to an affair outside of. Source: _Star Tribune_ 2/21/93
CHARGES REDUCED FOR PASTOR. Third-degree sexual assault charges were reduced to attempted contributing to delinquency of a minor against Beatrice pastor Rev. Norman Scott Callahan, 50, associate pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church. He is accused of sexual contact with a boy, 15, and was suspended for 60 days from his post. Source: _Omaha World-Herald_3/20/93.
MENNONITE REV. RAPED DAUGHTER? The Rev. Eugenio Matos, 61, was charged with 18 counts of repeatedly raping his daughter over an 11- year period. The pastor of the Spanish Mennonite Church in Trenton has 12 children. He is accused of sexually assaulting the girl when she was 5 in 1981, continuing the abuse until his arrest in March, 1992. Source: _Trenton Times_ 2/4/93.
EPISCOPAL PRIEST CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY. An Episcopal priest, Douglas Hodges, 57, was charged with sexual battery, a
3rd-degree felony, in a 1991 incident involving a parishioner in counseling. A Fostoria woman and her husband, who said Hodges had sexual intercourse with her during counseling, had previously filed a civil suit against Hodges, Bishop James Moodey of the Episcopal diocese of Ohio, Trinity Episcopal Church, Fostoria, and the owner of the counseling center. An episcopal official says Hodges is no longer a priest, but declined further comment. Source: _Toledo Blade_ 2/11/93.
PARISH SUPPORTS PORTLAND PREYING PASTOR. Prominent pastor Rev. Willie B. Smith, 64, former president of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, is accused of sexually abusing 3 teenage girls at First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He was charged with 11 counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, a felony, and 1 count of 3rd degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. Pastors in the community werequick to speak about his "exemplary" work. Two of the victims told police Smith had cornered them in his church office and groped them. A third said she was repeatedly abused by Smith for 16 months, beginning in September 1990. The victims were 12, 13, and 17 at the time of the incidents. Almost every parishioner lined up to hug, kiss and reassure Smith following the arrest. Source: _Oregonian_ 3/13,15/93.
EPISCOPAL PRIEST, "ABOVE REPROACH", SUED, INVESTIGATED. Six women including one filing a $4 million civil lawsuit have accused ByronBruce Newell, 60, former assistant pastor of Falls Church Episcopal Church, of sexual molestation or advances. The plaintiff alleges Newell forced her into sexual activities during counseling sessions at the church for 2 years, telling her that her sexual feelings toward him would bring her closer to God. Episcopal officials said they removed him from his pastoral role and ordered counseling after learning of complaints by women in 1988. However, they only launched a full inquiry last September. Newell, now a fundraiser for Trinity Episcopal School for the Ministry near Pittsburgh, is named in the suit, along with the church, the diocese, the bishop and church pastor John W. Yates ll. According to the suit, Yates told the woman what happened during counseling was her fault, and did not act on complaints from 5 other women that Newell had verbally or physically harassed them. The dean of the seminary insisted Newell "has more than amply repaid our trust. His behavior has been above reproach". Source: _Washington Post_ 3/20/93.
PASTOR ADMITS ABUSE OF GIRLS. Admitting having intercourse with a female teenager and indecently touching another, Rev. Larry G. Johnson pleaded guilty to 2 counts against him dating from 1977-79 while pastor of Buffalo Wesleyan Church. He recently resigned his position as superintendent of the Dakota District of the Wesleyan Church Source: _Rapid City Journal_ 2/28/93.
1988, Lancashire, England. Congregational Church Minister Garvock convicted of raping 4 yr. old girl.
1988, Winchester, England. 2 Anglican vicars, a choirmaster, a solicitor, and an already convicted molester jailed on 21 charges of sexually abusing boys at church outings, YMCA and churchyard.
1990, Solihull, England. Pentecostal Minister D. Stenhouse jailed on 5 charges of indecent assault on boys aged 12 to 15.
1991, England. Baptist Minister Ashby Breneman jailed for molesting 6 boys at his Christian Youth camp.
G.K. Chesterton, “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense.”
"If anyone shall be outside the ark of Noe he shall perish when the flood prevails." St Jerome
Thank you eens.....I'm so thankful that you were prepared to respond to this thread, as I was not. God bless you.
You're welcome, copy this info and keep it in your computer for future reference. I am so happy to see the Catholics finally defending their Church in greater numbers here!! Too bad we have to do it...
Here's more from insurance companies, their info is based on $$$ so it's not biased against the Church:
The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else.
By Pat Wingert | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Apr 8, 2010
The Catholic sex-abuse stories emerging every day suggest that Catholics have a much bigger problem with child molestation than other denominations and the general population. Many point to peculiarities of the Catholic Church (its celibacy rules for priests, its insular hierarchy, its exclusion of women) to infer that there's something particularly pernicious about Catholic clerics that predisposes them to these horrific acts. It's no wonder that, back in 2002—when the last Catholic sex-abuse scandal was making headlines—a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll found that 64 percent of those queried thought Catholic priests "frequently'' abused children.
Yet experts say there's simply no data to support the claim at all. No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination, and only the Catholic Church has released detailed data about its own. But based on the surveys and studies conducted by different denominations over the past 30 years, experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. "We don't see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others."
Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums. "We don't see vast difference in the incidence rate between one denomination and another," says Sarah Buckley, assistant vice president of corporate communications. "It's pretty even across the denominations." It's been that way for decades. While the company saw an uptick in these claims by all types of churches around the time of the 2002 U.S. Catholic sex-abuse scandal, Eric Spacick, Guide One's senior church-risk manager, says "it's been pretty steady since." On average, the company says 80 percent of the sexual misconduct claims they get from all denominations involve sexual abuse of children. As a result, the more children's programs a church has, the more expensive its insurance, officials at Guide One said.
The only hard data that has been made public by any denomination comes from John Jay College's study of Catholic priests, which was authorized and is being paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following the public outcry over the 2002 scandals. Limiting their study to plausible accusations made between 1950 and 1992, John Jay researchers reported that about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active during those years had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Specifically, 4,392 complaints (ranging from "sexual talk" to rape) were made against priests by 10,667 victims. (Reports made after 2002, including those of incidents that occurred years earlier, are released as part of the church's annual audits.)
Experts disagree on the rate of sexual abuse among the general American male population, but Allen says a conservative estimate is one in 10. Margaret Leland Smith, a researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says her review of the numbers indicates it's closer to one in 5. But in either case, the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than these national estimates. The public also doesn't realize how "profoundly prevalent" child sexual abuse is, adds Smith. Even those numbers may be low; research suggests that only a third of abuse cases are ever reported (making it the most underreported crime). "However you slice it, it's a very common experience," Smith says.
Most child abusers have one thing in common, and it's not piety—it's preexisting relationships with their victims. That includes priests and ministers and rabbis, of course, but also family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, youth-group volunteers, and doctors. According to federal studies, three quarters of abuse occurs at the hands of family members or others in the victim's "circle of trust." "The fundamental premise here is that those who abuse children overwhelmingly seek out situations where they have easy and legitimate access to children," he said. "These kinds of positions offer a kind of cover for these offenders."
Priests may also appear more likely to molest children because cases of abuse come to light in huge waves. One reason is delayed reporting: less than 13 percent of victims abused between 1960 and 1980, for example, lodged a complaint in the same year as the assault. Two thirds filed their complaints after 1992, and half of those were made between 2002 and 2003 alone. "Offenders tend to be manipulative, often persuading children to believe that this is their fault," said Allen. "As a result, the children tend to keep it to themselves. There are countless victims who thought they were the only one." So what looks like high concentrations of abuse may simply reflect long and diffuse patterns of abuse that mirror those among all males.
Another reason is that the church has historically been bad at punishing (or preventing) molesters, so that many cases might come to light when just one priest is finally exposed. A single predator priest with ongoing access to children might be responsible for an immense raft of abuse cases. (Marie Fortune of the Faith Trust Institute, which focuses on clerical-abuse issues, says Roman Catholics tend "to have many more schools and other programs that involve children." "Plenty of other congregations have these problems, for instance, if they have a youth ministry.") That helps explain the 200 children who were abused at a school for the deaf. It didn't happen because the school was full of rapists; it happened because one man was never stopped. Overall, the John Jay study found that 149 priests were responsible for more than 25,000 cases of abuse over the 52-year period studied.
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