Hierarchy of the  Catholic ChurchSuppressing Information on      Sexual Abuse         By Moe Finn
Secrecy has created an atmosphere that hasinhibited the healing process and in some cases   enabled sexually abusive behav...
BackgroundLittle information available in public documentsAmple evidence exists
 Most prominent and influential  Benedictine monks in the second  half of the 11th century Wrote a long treatise  condem...
Situational Analysis:                  “Hardly a Twentieth Century Phenomenon” Most cases sealed in the Vatican  archives...
Goals and ObjectivesAmbiguous
PublicsHierarchyPriestVictimsDioceseParishioners
What do U.S. Catholics believe?  48% widespread problem in the church  53% handled the problem badly  64 % concerned wi...
Continued…S    urvey: KRC Communications in     Massachusetts for the Boston Globe Random survey of 401 Catholics Result...
Victim response…Francis Finnegan “It has to stop. They haven’t changed anything. I stand here  because I don’t want someb...
Tactics                   Victims Come ForwardCivil CourtsMedia to spread word     this echoed the church’s refusal to ...
Continued… Professionals have argued that knowledge of an offenders  dangerousness, the risk of recidivism, and the harmf...
Reverend Gilbert Gauthe             1st case that brought              priest-child sexual abuse              into the pu...
After Many Cases…1980s Rev. Thomas Doyle, O.P.,  Ray Mouton, and Rev.                                  Ray wrote:        ...
Policy for Restoration                                                              Will adopt and implementThe National C...
 Offer physical safety and help for sexual abuse victims/survivors Bring about spiritual and emotional healing, forgiven...
For Parishes: Create an atmosphere of welcome, trust, and safety Establish a procedure to respond Develop a network of ...
EvaluationHierarchy is to blameRise of Media helped Victims disclose informationRestoration Tactics have proven insuffi...
NOW…   Do YOU believe the hierarchy of theCatholic Church contributed to thesuppression of sexual abuse?
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Final pdf hierarchy

  1. 1. Hierarchy of the Catholic ChurchSuppressing Information on Sexual Abuse By Moe Finn
  2. 2. Secrecy has created an atmosphere that hasinhibited the healing process and in some cases enabled sexually abusive behavior to be repeated. Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People
  3. 3. BackgroundLittle information available in public documentsAmple evidence exists
  4. 4.  Most prominent and influential Benedictine monks in the second half of the 11th century Wrote a long treatise condemning sexual activities between oblates (boys) and their master (monks) to the Pope One of the first , and among the few, documents by a Catholic authority condemning and exposing clerical sexual abuseIn formation from: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic church: An historical and contemporary review
  5. 5. Situational Analysis: “Hardly a Twentieth Century Phenomenon” Most cases sealed in the Vatican archives  judged in ecclesiastical courts Catholic authorities were often aware of the priest’s past criminal/sexual activities Local bishops and superiors would allow the sex offender to continue in ministry with children without mandating treatment for the minister Victims were often left without resources Parent reports to church officials were ignored and minimized  “deep pocketing”Information from: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic church: An historical and contemporary review (1997)
  6. 6. Goals and ObjectivesAmbiguous
  7. 7. PublicsHierarchyPriestVictimsDioceseParishioners
  8. 8. What do U.S. Catholics believe? 48% widespread problem in the church 53% handled the problem badly 64 % concerned with protecting image then solving problem Poll information from: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic church: An historical and contemporary review (1997)
  9. 9. Continued…S urvey: KRC Communications in Massachusetts for the Boston Globe Random survey of 401 Catholics Results 7 out of 10 Catholics believing the church covered up  71% church tried to cover it up the problem and has NOT done enough to address it  73% happens more than the public knows  69% church has not done a good enough job addressing this issueInformation from: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic church: An historical and contemporary review (1997)
  10. 10. Victim response…Francis Finnegan “It has to stop. They haven’t changed anything. I stand here because I don’t want somebody who is 7 today to be me in 40 years.” “I don’t want somebody to continue to be covered up and sheltered by the Catholic Church.” Suit alleges that the archdiocese:  “actively concealed their knowledge of Klines previous offenses, lied to parishioners and created a sham sexual abuse victim assistance program for the archdiocese.“CNN Report: 3rd Suit Filed Against Philadelphia Archdiocese Charging Sexual Abuse
  11. 11. Tactics Victims Come ForwardCivil CourtsMedia to spread word  this echoed the church’s refusal to acknowledge, remove, or require clergy offenders to be place in treatment and dismissed from ministerial duties MOST Lawsuits: felt church did not listen, failed to take their allegations seriously or failed to act promptly Catholic authorities frequently reminded the public of the relatively small percentage of priest offenders  stated their lack of knowledge, not their lack of sensitivity, contributed to administrative mistakes in the past Information from: Child sexual abuse and the Catholic church: An historical and contemporary review (1997)
  12. 12. Continued… Professionals have argued that knowledge of an offenders dangerousness, the risk of recidivism, and the harmful effects upon their victims was well established in the time period in which the church ignored the problem of clergy sexual abuse (the 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s) Church treatment centers were warned decades ago by mental health professional not to release their sex offenders into pastoral ministry  These warnings were left unheeded and many clergy continued to sexually abuse children while in treatment More abuse occurred in the 1970s than any other decade, peaking in 1980.  But, these conclusions have to be qualified because additional allegations for those time periods may surface in the future. Information from: The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States
  13. 13. Reverend Gilbert Gauthe  1st case that brought priest-child sexual abuse into the public eye  Lawsuits were brought against the church in 1983 alleging that it failed to respond to adequately Information from: A Tragic Grace: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse
  14. 14. After Many Cases…1980s Rev. Thomas Doyle, O.P., Ray Mouton, and Rev. Ray wrote: “The first objective, Michael Peterson, M.D. of which one must never loose (sic) sight, is to maintain, preserve and seek collaborated on a 92 page to enhance the credibility of the church paper as a Christian community. The Church should be presented as a sensitive, caring and responsible entity which 1st comprehensive attempt to gives unquestioned attention and concern to the victims….The church address the issue of clergy- must remain open and avoid the child sexual abuse in the appearance of being under siege (sic) or drawn into battle….clichés Catholic Church. such as “no comment” must be cast away. In this sophisticated society a media policy of silence implies either NOT given a chance necessary secrecy or coverup.”Information from: A Tragic Grace: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse
  15. 15. Policy for Restoration Will adopt and implementThe National Conference of policies based on the following Catholic Bishops (NCCB) ideals: 1. To Promote healing and Established an ad hoc Reconciliation with Victims/Survivors committee on sexual abuse by of Sexual Abuse of Minors 2. To guarantee an effective response clergy to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors 3. To ensure the accountability of our Each diocese has developed procedures comprehensive policies 4. To protect the faithful in the future concerning sexual abuse Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People— approved by full body of US Catholic bishops at its June 2002 General MeetingInformation from: Walk in the Light: A Pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse
  16. 16.  Offer physical safety and help for sexual abuse victims/survivors Bring about spiritual and emotional healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation Raise awareness about the issue by our preaching and teaching Offer help and support for abusers while holding them accountable for their actions Promote the education of pastors and church workers about the issue and encourage them to provide appropriate assistance Information from: Walk in the Light: A Pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse
  17. 17. For Parishes: Create an atmosphere of welcome, trust, and safety Establish a procedure to respond Develop a network of people with expertise in dealing with sexual abuse Mention of sexual abuse within a homily Many abused persons and abusers turn to their parishes to find healing and reconciliation Develop programs to teach people about sexual abuse issues. Raise the questions of violence and the roles of men and women within the family as part of marriage preparation. Promote the use of language in parish programs and materials that reflects the equal dignity of women. Share information and resources with other parishes and dioceses that are also trying to address sexual abuse issues.Information from: Walk in the Light: A Pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse
  18. 18. EvaluationHierarchy is to blameRise of Media helped Victims disclose informationRestoration Tactics have proven insufficientPedophilia is not curable
  19. 19. NOW… Do YOU believe the hierarchy of theCatholic Church contributed to thesuppression of sexual abuse?

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