Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bishop Lahey Affair and the Question of Catholic Priesthood and Celibacy -- 8

Some Observations (Contd.)

  • Clergy sex abuses not only ruin lives of the victims, they also bring about irreparable damage to the Catholic community around them. It is so sad to see how the clergy sex abuses adversely affected the victims as well as the Catholic Church. The worst effects were on the children who were molested and raped by many priests. Many of these children, when grown up, cannot still cope with the real life. The trauma is still haunting them. They are so much affected that they cannot maintain a decent relationship with others and lead normal sex life any more. Another unpardonable effect was on the Church funds. Victims, especially in the USA, filed lawsuits against many priests and won financial compensations from various Catholic dioceses, because the rogue priests were in the employ of those dioceses. In 1998, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Texas, were forced to pay US$31 million to the victims of Father Rudolph Kos. In 2002, the Archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts, reaches a $10 million settlement with victims of Father John Geoghan. In 2003, this same archdiocese agrees to sell land and buildings, including some church buildings, to raise $100 million to fund legal settlements to more than 500 abuse victims of several dozen sex-abusing priests. In 2004, the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, files for bankruptcy because it is unable to pay millions of dollars in compensation to abuse victims. In 2004, the diocese of Orange County, California, settles $100 million lawsuits brought by 87 victims. In 2005, the Diocese of Sacramento, California, agrees to pay $35 million and the Diocese of Oakland, California, agrees to pay $56 million to 45 victims. In 2006, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California, agrees to pay $60 million to 45 victims. In 2007, the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, agrees to pay about $48 million. In the same year, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California, settles 508 cases of clergy sex abuse for $660 million! The Diocese of San Diego, California, in the same year, agrees to pay $198 million to 144 victims. Thus go the power, pomp and pecunia (money in Latin) down the drain for unchristian, unpriestly, and unpardonable behaviour of some unsupervised priests! Who suffers? First, the victims. Second, other priests who want to remain loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Third, the faithful (laity -- the common Catholics, who were duped by those perpetrators).
  • Every country and culture has its own version of clergy sex and sex abuses. Clergy sexual abuse and sexual misconducts know no boundaries, know no cultures. These are present in every country -- more or less -- each country having its own version of clergy sex. In some countries, where the society is more conservative and sensitive to illicit sex, examples of priestly sex are less in number.
  • Books on clergy sex and sex abuses. There are a number of books on the subject of clergy sex abuse. These books, available for purchase over the Internet, provide an increased understanding of the issues and problems on this subject. Some of these books are:
  1. The Changing Face of Priesthood: A Reflection on the Priest's Crisis of Soul by Father Donald B. Cozzens.
  2. Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church by Father Donald B. Cozzens.
  3. Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption Into the Catholic Church by Michael S. Rose.
  4. Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church by Leon J. Podles.
  5. The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture by Philip F. Lawler
  6. Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication and Communion in the Catholic Church by Russell Shaw.
  7. A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church by Frank Bruni and Elinor Burkett.
  8. Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church by the Investigative Team of the Boston Globe.
  9. Sexual Abuse and the Culture of Catholicism: How Priests and Nuns Become Perpetrators by Myra L. Hidalgo.
  10. Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children by Jason Berry.
  11. Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson.
  12. Understanding the Impact of Clergy Sexual Abuse: Betrayal and Recovery, edited by Robert A. McMackin, Terence M. Keane and Paul M. Kline.
  13. Unfair Advantage: Sexual Abuse by Psychotherapists, Priests and Police by Terri Austin.
  14. Our Father, Who Art in Bed: A Naive and Sentimental Dubliner in the Legion of Christ by J. Paul Lennon.
  15. An Irish Tragedy: How Sex Abuse by Irish Priests Helped Cripple the Catholic Church by Joe Riqert.
  16. After Asceticism: Sex, Prayer and Deviant Priests by Patrick Guinan (Guynan).
  17. Sex, Priests and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse by Thomas P. Doyle, A.W.Richard Sipe and Patrick J. Wall.

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