Friday 29th April 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Pedophilia: Why The Rise And Fall?

January 27, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY

(Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. The commentary below is reprinted with permission from his blog at johnkippley.com. All rights reserved.)

+    +    +

The recent (January 16) grilling of Vatican officials by United Nations officials about the sexual abuse of minors by priests plus its cover-up by dioceses does not seem to have revealed anything new. It seems to be primarily a way of trying to oust the Holy See from the UN and a victory for the habitual anti-Catholics. Left unexplored and unanswered are the more interesting questions. Why was there this burst of immorality by priests directed toward children and adolescents?
After the news of this sexual scandal exploded in 2002, the U.S. bishops appointed a disinterested group to study it in detail. The result was “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010, A Report Presented to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the John Jay College Research Team,” dated May 18, 2011. A month later I published a blog on it on a now-discontinued web site.
What follows is a slightly shortened version of that article. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the “Report” at the USCCB web site, and the PDF I found elsewhere no longer has the two graphs mentioned below. The information may be there, but it is not as visible in 2014 as it was in 2011.

+    +    +

In my [2011] review, I found the most interesting statistics were in two graphs, Figure 2.3.1, “Annual Count of Incidents Reported and Priests Accused, by Year” and Figure 2.3.2, “Distribution of Alleged Incidents of Abuse by Date of First Instance.” The first shows an increasing number of incidents reported each year during the 1950s, a marked jump in 1960 — the year the birth control Pill was so widely publicized and accepted, continued increases with another large increase in 1969 — right after the dissenters and millions of Catholics thumbed their noses at the traditional moral teaching affirmed by Humanae Vitae, a continued climb to 1980, and then a marked decline each year to 2002, somewhat below what it was in 1950.
In other words, when the Scandal was publicized in 2002, it was already over, at least in terms of sensational numbers.
The second graph more or less paralleled the first. Of special interest was a 100 percent increase in the numbers of “first instance” from 1959 (150) to 1960 (300). The numbers of “first instance” then dropped back to about 200, then slowly increased to just over 300 in 1968, and took another huge jump in 1970 to about 425. Beginning in 1981, the numbers gradually fell to about 25, slightly fewer than in 1951, and way fewer than in 1950 when approximately 125 first instances were recorded.
I found nothing in the report that attempted to explain this rise and fall of the incidences of sexual abuse by priests and deacons, so I will offer my own interpretation. The gradual increases in the 1950s may be due primarily to the increases in the numbers of priests in the 1950s. The gradual decline from 1981 to 2002 may be due partly to the gradual aging and decrease in numbers of priests in that period, but see also below for possible theological influences. The significant increases in the 1960s occurred at a time when traditional sexual morality was being questioned not only in the culture but also within the Catholic Church. The huge increases in both the “Annual Count” and “First Instance” in 1960 so parallel the widespread societal acceptance of the [birth control] Pill that it is difficult not to see an association.
Similarly, the large increase in the Annual Count (1969) and First Instances (1970) parallel the widespread Catholic rejection of Humanae Vitae and the entire Tradition of sexual morality that the encyclical represents. Thus I maintain that the theological maelstroms of the 1960s and the 1970s had a significant causal effect on the great Scandal that was taking place in those years.
There is no shortage of evidence that thinking leads to behavioral changes and then to more such thinking and further changes. In his 1929 book, A Preface to Morals, secular humanist Walter Lippmann criticized the “progressives” of his day for adopting the logic of birth control and abandoning the logic of human nature.
The expanding use of barrier methods of birth control during the Roaring Twenties led the revisionists to think that if it is permissible to separate having sex from having babies, it would also be permissible to separate sex from marriage itself. And, without children to care for, they further speculated that it would be progressive to marry, have contraceptive sex, and then divorce when boredom outweighed immediate pleasure. They even gave it a name — companionate marriage.
The very next year, the Anglican bishops gathered for a periodic meeting at the Lambeth Palace of the Church of England and debated the birth control issue. “Conservative” Bishop Charles Gore argued that the acceptance of contraception would open a Pandora’s Box of sexual and social evils, including the acceptance of sodomy, but his side lost the vote.
Thus in 1930 the Church of England became the first organized church to accept contraception, but Gore’s witness provides a wonderful example of being able to foresee the effects of the logic of birth control. By the early 21st century, the Church of England had not only accepted marital contraception but also sodomy and even the ordination of openly homosexual bishops.
The battles of the Sexual Revolution within the Catholic Church were fought in the 1960s with many essentially thoughtless articles during the early sixties advocating the acceptance of unnatural forms of birth control. Almost every writer qualified his or her comments by pledging full acceptance of Catholic teaching once the Pope clarified it. Most of those writers became active dissenters, however, when Pope Paul VI issued his 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which clarified the issue by reaffirming the traditional teaching that marital contraception is seriously immoral.
Less than two years later, self-styled revisionist Michael Valente spilled the beans about the logic of birth control, saying that in rejecting Humanae Vitae the revisionists had also rejected the entire natural law theory on which, he said, it was based. Therefore, according to Valente, they had no way to say a firm No to any imaginable sexual behavior between consenting persons. He specifically included bestiality.
In 1971, the generally liberal journal, Theological Studies, published my article, “Continued Dissent: Is It Responsible Loyalty?” in which I showed that the decision-making principles of arch-dissenter Fr. Charles Curran could not say a moral No even to spouse swapping. No one ever complained that I had created a straw man, but neither the Valente book nor my article had any slowdown effect on the birth control propaganda by other Catholic writers.
The point of this bit of history is that what passed for moral theology regarding sexuality during the sixties and seventies — and perhaps well into the eighties in some places—was garbage. It couldn’t say No to anything of mutual consent. In 1977 Paulist Press published a book by the Catholic Theology Society of America that so reflected this thinking that it drew an analogy between Catholic homosexuals doing sodomy and Catholic married couples doing contraception. They used cautious wording, but the inference was clear that while both behaviors contradicted the formal teaching, they were really okay and the teaching would have to change.
Now, imagine someone who is taught, at least by inference, that Catholic teaching on sexuality is wrong and that sodomy is loving behavior. Imagine that the person who imbibes this erroneous teaching is a Catholic seminarian or priest with a same-sex attraction. What is to keep him from putting his inclinations into action? One might say that he should know that such actions with a minor and especially with a prepubescent are both illegal and wrong, and I agree.
But also in the theological and sexual milieu at the time was the rallying cry of some homosexuals, “Sex before eight or it’s too late.” Assuming that such a slogan reflected their real thoughts, one could imagine that they thought a bit of coercion or persuasion might be permissible, somewhat like a parent exercising coercion or persuasion to get their children to eat their vegetables.
Every Catholic bishop knows well the axiom, Agere sequitur esse. Action follows being. Or more loosely, “What you do follows from what you are.” They also know that to a large extent, what you think is what you are. After all, isn’t the whole purpose of Christian education to help the student think with the mind of Christ and thus act as a Christian should?
I am quite aware that even when people have had the best education about morality they can still cave into weakness and sin, but I maintain that it becomes much easier to engage in sinful behavior if one has been trained to think that traditional moral teachings are wrong.
The bottom line consists of questions, not answers. In the analyses sponsored by the U.S. bishops since the 2002 exposure of the Great Scandal, where is the analysis of the moral theology taught to the sexual abusers both in the seminary and in their later seminars and reading? Have admitted offenders been asked about their overall thinking about sexual morality? Was their thinking influenced by the fact that the U.S. bishops continued to employ Fr. Charles Curran at the Catholic University of America for 19 years after he led the dissent from Humanae Vitae? (One dissenting priest told me that I was in dissent from the bishops because I disagreed with Fr. Curran whom the bishops continued to employ.)
In short, if education is deemed important, what effort has been made to examine the seminary moral theology of the sixties to the present? If it has been made, what, if any, changes have been made? And if that effort has not been made, why not?
To return to the gradual decline in the Scandal starting in 1981, it’s very possible this was related to the efforts of Pope John Paul II to reaffirm authentic Catholic teaching on sexuality. The Synod on the Family in 1980, the near martyrdom of John Paul II on May 13, 1981, the publication of Familiaris Consortio — the apostolic exhortation on the family — in late 1981, and his continued “Theology of the Body” lectures certainly had their good effects, and one of them may have been to reorder the thinking of many priests and deacons with a same-sex attraction. Thinking does affect action.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Pro-Life Group Lists Every Company Backing Planned Parenthood

A pro-life organization that has spent decades working to try to get corporations to stop giving financial donations to the Planned Parenthood abortion business has released a revised listing of companies backing the abortion giant. Life Decisions International has released…Continue Reading

Trump completes 5-state sweep; Clinton beats Sanders in most Super Tuesday III contests

Donald Trump completed a five-state sweep in Tuesday’s Republican presidential primaries, strengthening his shot at avoiding a contested convention – while Hillary Clinton scored convincing victories but was denied the same bragging rights of a primary sweep by a surprise…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Caught Again

Kentucky is suing a new Planned Parenthood clinic after Governor Matt Bevin found out that they have illegally killed 23 unborn children. The clinic knowingly operated without a license for nearly two months. The request for a license was later…Continue Reading

Top Vatican cardinals aren’t commenting on pope’s exhortation

April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two of the Vatican’s most senior prelates, both known for taking a strong stand for the Church’s tradition at the Synod on the Family, are declining interviews on Pope Francis’ controversial apostolic exhortation. Vatican reporter…Continue Reading

Indiana diocese: Catholic teachers must uphold Church’s moral teachings

FORT WAYNE, Indiana, April 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Another Catholic bishop has taken steps to reinforce Catholic identity in the schools of his diocese. Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades promulgated “The Mission of Our Catholic Schools and the Importance…Continue Reading

Abby Johnson to Georgetown: Pray for Cecile Richards because no one is beyond conversion

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – No one is beyond conversion, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson said at Georgetown University Wednesday, just hours after Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards delivered a lecture to a packed room at…Continue Reading

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Pro-life NFL star Matt Birk reveals real reason he skipped meeting with Obama

April 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When football star Matt Birk decided to quietly decline an invitation to meet President Obama after winning the 2013 Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, he said at the time that he was acting on…Continue Reading

Head of US Bishops’ news agency resigns, blames ‘far right blogosphere’

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—The editor-in-chief and director of the U.S. bishops’ official news service resigned Wednesday at the request of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference general secretary. Tony Spence, who had worked for Catholic News Service since 2004, had…Continue Reading

Scandal: More ‘Drag Shows’ at Catholic Colleges

Annual drag shows — where individuals dress up and perform as the opposite sex — have become a consistent presence on several Catholic college campuses, punctuating the spring semester with scandal and disregard for Church teaching on human sexuality. Despite…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood: Ted Cruz is ‘the biggest threat we face’

April 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Ted Cruz’s pro-life views make him the “biggest threat” Planned Parenthood faces, the abortion giant said in a fundraising email last week. Citing the Texas senator and presidential candidate’s opposition to abortion in cases of…Continue Reading

Details Released for Planned Parenthood Event at Georgetown

March 7, 2016, at 8:12 PM  |  By Adam Cassandra In a statement sent to The Cardinal Newman Society Monday night, the Archdiocese of Washington responded to the controversy surrounding the invite of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) President…Continue Reading

Ted Cruz takes stand against abortion after rape: Go after the rapist, don’t kill the baby

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Texas senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has run as the most prolife candidate, and this week, Cruz once again boldly backed up his prolife credentials. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly conducted an extended…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .  

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Top Catholic Philosopher: Amoris Laetitia Will “Split the Church”

Today, 28 April, an important exclusive interview with a well-known Catholic philosopher has been published in Germany. The important statements of Professor Robert Spaemann might well indicate that the wind is turning now against the “Francis Revolution”. Spaemann – who is a personal friend of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – says about Amoris Laetitia that there are some ways of interpreting the document against the continuous teaching of the Church. He then continues: However, the article…Continue Reading

Christians in Crisis: Report Details Dire Situation in Iraq and Syria

ZENIT.ORG People of all religions will miss Christians’ contribution to education, healthcare •April 28, 2016•Fr. John Flynn• With no end in sight to the fighting in Iraq and Syria the remaining Christian population continues to experience very difficult conditions. A recent report, “Salt of the Earth: Impact and Significance of the Christian Presence in Syria and Iraq during the Current Crisis,” details the significant contributions Christians have made to the region and what it stands…Continue Reading

Pope: Do We Know the Other Lesson From the Parable of the Good Samaritan?

Zenit.org At General Audience, Says There’s More to Learn Than ‘Who Is My Neighbor?’ •April 27, 2016•Kathleen Naab• We know the parable of the Good Samaritan is a lesson to teach us that we must love our neighbor, and that there’s no one in the category of non-neighbor, but beyond that, Pope Francis asked today, have we also learned the parable’s lesson that God treats us with the compassion of the Samaritan? “In the gestures…Continue Reading

Over 750,000 pledge to boycott Target for giving men access to women’s bathrooms

target

April 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—Over 750,000 people have pledged to boycott Target over the company’s new policy allowing men to use women’s bathrooms. The American Family Association, which launched the petition, says the fact that it’s generated such a large response in only five days shows how outraged Americans are. “American families are concerned about their wives and daughters being harmed by predators or voyeurs who will now have more freedom to enter women’s bathrooms,” AFA…Continue Reading

Pope to Young People: Get Back Up on Your Feet

ZENIT During Jubilee Mass for Young People, Francis Reminds Youth to Not Settle for Mediocrity •April 24, 2016•Deborah Castellano Lubov• Remember that God is always your friend, even when you let Him down. Therefore, don’t worry if you’ve fallen, get back up and start fresh. Pope Francis stressed this during his Jubilee Mass for young people this morning, reminding them that the Lord is faithful to His friends and believes in them. “Even if you…Continue Reading

If God Is Dead…

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In a recent column Dennis Prager made an acute observation. “The vast majority of leading conservative writers . . . have a secular outlook on life. . . . They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.” These secular conservatives may think that “America can…Continue Reading

Being Conscientious About Conscience

By DONALD DeMARCO My earliest recollection of an explanation of conscience was when I was a young lad sitting in a movie theater and being enthralled by Walt Disney’s 1940 classic, Pinocchio. The newly carved puppet had been brought to life by the Blue Fairy. But he was still a puppet and had not been…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How To Fight Dissent”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +…Continue Reading

Luther 1517-2017 . . . Five Hundred Years Of Heresy And Doctrinal Confusion

luther

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 (Editor’s Note: This is the sixth installment in a series by Wanderer contributor Raymond de Souza on Henry VIII’s book defending the seven sacraments against Martin Luther. De Souza edited this updated version of Henry’s work, which is presented to readers in this series. (This series will appear…Continue Reading

The President, The Court, And Immigration

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO In 2014, President Barack Obama signed 12 executive orders directing various agencies in the departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security to refrain from deporting some 4 million adult immigrants illegally present in the United States if they are the parents of children born here or legally present here and…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding the question of whether Jesus after the Resurrection appeared first to His Mother, which is not mentioned in the Gospels, or to Mary Magdalene, which is mentioned, F.A. of Massachusetts called our attention to the following comments by St. John Paul II in an audience on May 21, 1997: “How could the Blessed Virgin, present in the…Continue Reading

Faith And Love

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday Of Easter (YR C) Readings: Acts 7:55-60 Rev. 22:12-14, 16-17, 20 John 17:20-26 In the Gospel reading today we hear a portion of the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus in which He prays not only for His apostles, but also for those who will believe because of their word. What a wonderful thing to…Continue Reading

Five Remedies For Sorrow From St. Thomas Aquinas

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Washington, D.C. Monsignor kindly gave The Wanderer permission to reprint this essay from his blog. All rights reserved.) + + + Some of you who follow me on Facebook know that I just lost a beloved pet, Daniel, our rectory cat. Losing a pet…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Join Me For Pilgrimage To Italy: Mother Teresa’s Canonization

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Join our small group of pilgrims on a journey to Italy from September 1 through 9, 2016. Our adventure will of course be a spiritual one, but also cultural as we make stops to explore some of the major historic and beautiful cities of Italy as well as Rome for Mother Teresa’s canonization at St.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Inquisition

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 51 In order to properly understand the historical event called the “Inquisition,” a basic, primary distinction must be made: There were three distinct inquisition tribunals in history: the Medieval Inquisition, the Roman Inquisition, and the Spanish Inquisition. Let us consider them, one by one, as their circumstances and historical contexts were very different. The…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Gabriella Of Unity

By CAROLE BRESLIN Just before Italy formally entered World War I in April 1915, a poor farmer and his wife welcomed a little girl into the peaceful land of Sardinia, an island about 150 miles west of Italy. Maria Sagheddu was born on March 17, 1914, the fifth of eight children. During the war that lasted until 1918, over 1,800,000…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading