Sexual Abuse in Catholic Church- a Decadence of Crime- 1002-2012

By Joey Piscitelli
OpEd News
May 13, 2012

On May 11 th , 2012, the University of Santa Clara, California, sponsored a conference called " Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church- A Decade of Crisis, 2002 -- 2012."

This is also the name of a new book, which was hosted by Thomas Plante, PhD, and Kathleen McChesney, PhD. The book features chapters of literary contributions by 20 experts on clergy sexual abuse: psychologists, professors of law, priests, judges, sociologists, judges, etc.

Among the speakers of the conference were: Thomas Plante-PhD, Kathleen McChesney-PhD, Thomas Reese-SJ priest, Karen Terry-PhD-(John Jay College Report), Barbara Blaine-founder of SNAP, Judge Terrence Carroll-Seattle School of Law, Rev. Gerald Coleman-PhD, Rev. Thomas Doyle-J.C.D-canon lawyer-expert witness, Rev. Paul Macke-SJ, Gerard McGlone-PhD-St. John Vianney treatment center, Judge Michael Merz-USCCB review board, Anson Shupe-PhD-Professor of Sociology, A.W. Sipe-author and expert on Catholic priest issues, and Rev. Richard Vega-Pres. National Fed of Presb Councils-priest.

The conference was open to the public (for a $100 ticket,) and there were approximately about 150 people in attendance. The conference began at 9 A.M. and lasted until 4:30 P.M.

I was an attendee; and I am a clergy abuse victim. I am arguably a "biased" writer, and a controversial and vocal victim's advocate, and a successful jury trial plaintiff against the church. I have fought clergy abuse in the Roman catholic church for a decade.

The following account is my rendition of the conference, the authors, and the speakers of the event; who are also the contributors to the new book.

The title of my article already establishes my preliminary opinion-that the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is at least 1000 years old, and the " Decade of Crisis ", mentioned at the conference, and on the book cover- is implausible at best. Ten years of crisis is a gross understatement.

The first speaker at the conference, Fr. Thomas Reese, was right on target. Reese intellectually, factually and without reservation- exposed the crisis in the church as un-credible, unaccountable, and and scandalous.

Among Fr. Reese's' quotes:

" The investigative process(in the church) appears suspect because it is under control of the bishop. Episcopal credibility is nil."

" We do not have a system for bringing bishops to account."

" The church would be in a much better place today if 30 or more bishops had stood up, acknowledged their mistakes,taken full responsibility, and resigned."

" The Vatican also needs to do its job. It appears to have no problem investigating nuns and theologians, but investigating mismanagement by a bishop is not a priority."

" Creative theologians are attacked, sisters are investigated, Catholic publications are censored and loyalty is the most important virtue. These actions are defended by the hierarchy because of fears of 'scandalizing the faithful', when in fact it is the hierarchy who have scandalized the faithful."

" Speaking truth to power is not welcomed in the Catholic Church."

Fr. Reese's speech is available online, and was a very commendable and candid rendition of the conduct of the Catholic Church, by a clergy member. My speculation is that he will be reprimanded for his honesty, integrity, and " speaking truth to power. "

The most powerful speech however, heard and seen through my own eyes as a victim of clergy abuse- was that of Rev. Thomas Doyle. Fr. Tom Doyle was the Catholic cleric who blew the whistle on the conduct of the sex abuse crisis and the involvement of the hierarchy several decades ago; a revelation that was basically ignored by that same archaic hierarchy.

His speech at the conference was exemplary; including his advocation of victims of abuse, his insights of the criminal conduct of the corruption of the hierarchy, and his testaments to the deleterious behavior and ignorance of the church in correcting itself. He was truly mesmerizing.

I am in awe at his ability to capture the very essence of the core of religious corruption; converting it to a very human perception. His insights into the blending of the audacity of the systematic criminal violation of children by clergy, combined with an intellectual comprehension of the effects of a collaborating unchecked institution- reveals the extensive magnitude of the church's continued debauchery.

His speech was the cream on top of the introductory delivery by Fr. Reese, and an insurmountable creation of undaunted realization-spoken as though he had captivated the intrinsic frustration of the silent majority of damaged clergy abuse victims and catapulted their frustration into the face of the oppressive power of indestructible evil.

Barbara Blaine of SNAP- The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was emotional, and she pleaded for accountability, and encouraged more victims to come out and speak courageously, and was conveniently placed on a panel between two opposing clergy at her sides. Nevertheless, she was strong and convincing, and drove her point across relentlessly. She was, as is usual, an outspoken voice for abuse victims that was capable of touching even some of the coldest hearts in the room.

A.W. Sipe continued the expose' of the intentional condoning and remorseless conduct by the infamous hierarchy, and repeated quotes from his book and speech presented to the blind eyes and deaf ears of the church from several decades ago as well. Sadly, his warnings long ago went ignored; and his documents that were read to the conference revealed that the church has learned little or nothing concerning corrections of it's incomparable ignorance and misguided actions.

Anson Shupe, professor of sociology, author, and a professed non-catholic, delivered a short but sharp critical opinion as a sociologist- " that the antiquated catholic institution basically can not be repaired ." He based his theory on historical sociological comparison, and was accurate, direct and credible in his approach and conclusion.

The real disappointment of the conference- and a very misleading and hazardous one at that, was the speech and presentation by Karen J. Terry, PhD- professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Dr. Terry herself, is a very presentable and credible appearing speaker, who had charts, data, and a wide screen assemblage for all to see, and was very articulate, and professional in her delivery.

And that is the very reason her "John Jay Study on Clergy Abuse" is so poisonous and misleading. It also presents a false sense of security for those who depend on it for accuracy; and it's existence is held as a source for evidence that the church has improved on it's behavior - and the "crisis" is nearly over.

Many of the "church owned" professional speakers at the conference quoted this supposed independent investigatory John Jay Report as "science and fact"; when I believe it is a tweaked report that is biased, and misguided- and financed by the church itself.

Dr. Terry gave her presentation without a stumble or flinch, and revealed important aspects of the extended research and investigation report, and was then asked to answer questions by the audience.

The audience was to write their questions on a 3 by 5 card, which was conveniently collected by Dr. Plante, a contributor to the John Jay Report on Clergy Abuse, for the speaker to answer.

Dr. Plante screened the questions for most of the speakers before he asked them to answer the questions, and needless to say, most of my question cards were omitted.

I intentionally walked up to the speaker's desk and handed Dr. Terry my question card, to blatantly show the crowd that my question would probably not be answered. And my suspicion was correct, she did not read or answer my question out loud to the audience.

The question on my card was:

" I was molested by a priest when I was 13, and underdeveloped, does this mean I was raped by a molester, or was I raped by a "situational generalist?"

The reason for this question was that Dr. Terry, and the ingenious group of PhD's and clergy treatment centers and specialists, refer kindly to molesters who molest post-pubescent males as "situational generalists", instead of molesters or rapists; which I feel is a white washing of the criminal nature of the violation, and a predator-friendly term to downplay the crime.

Dr. Terry explained that the predominant amount of clergy abuse claims were for abuses that occurred in 1994, and in 2002, and were mostly claims that were old, made against priests who were ordained in the 1940's and 1950's. She also claimed that the professionals at John Jay College found that there were only about 4% of priests that were reported to be abusers.

This number ironically, and comically in my opinion, was derived from questionnaires that were sent to the Catholic Dioceses. Imagine that. And this figure, that was supplied to the PhD's and professional criminologists at the world famous college, was given back to them by the dioceses; many of which were sued for sex abuse coverups and crimes against countless children - most of which habitually denied credible claims of abuse brought by victims.

It does not take a college educated PhD to figure out that these diocesan sources of mass criminal activity would probably not give an accurate number of abuse cases or number of clergy abusers to the John Jay criminology study....DUH.

After Dr. Terry had completed her speech, approximately ten minutes later during break, she approached me to privately answer my question. Dr. Terry told me that she could not answer my question as to whether the molester who raped me was a pedophile or not, because she did "not know what the intention of the priest was". She further explained that this was because "there is a different treatment for an abuser who molests a prepubescent, as compared to a molester who is a "situational generalist". This is typical of institutions hired by the church, there is little or no sympathy for victims, which has has a negative effect on attendance at churches globally. They still don't get it.

This is also a testament to the absence of care for the trauma that was caused to abuse victims, and the value placed on the souls and lives of the victims; which is apparently almost non-existent.

Not only did her answer support my conviction that the criminologists who worked on this so called independent report whitewash the sick clerical rapists categorical name and their related crime down, but it insensitively insulted the victim. And I told her so.

She repeated herself when I said this, and I responded that in addition that "the 4% figure of abusive priests " is grossly false and biased, obviously because of the source, and she appeared to become increasingly angry. She did however, admit that " sex abuse of minors is agreeably under-reported "; which supported my claim that the study is flawed and inaccurate.

So why is the John Jay Report, and the professional clergy who quote it constantly, continuing to pull the wool over peoples eyes?

Because they can. It's that magical three letters after the speakers names; P, H, and D.

As far as most of the other speakers at the convention are concerned, I will say that many of their speeches were blanket fluff, and filler; and very suspect because Thomas Plante and Kathleen McChesney and company have a conflict-and a duplicitous role in my opinion. They are paid by the Jesuits, and/or the church, and I do not believe they can be true representers of truth, clergy abuse victims, and the corrupt church - all at the same time.

In conclusion, what I have learned is that the catholic church has become wiser, and learned a great deal from this "crisis".

And what I believe they have learned is this:

1- Hire PhD's of many organizations, and pay them well.

2- Use the intelligence and training of these professionals to convince the public of your agenda.

3- Invite speakers that are advocates of clergy abuse victims to conferences to increase the public's

trust that you are doing the right thing, then dismiss them as invisible once again.

4- Pay for John Jay Reports and such done by more PhD's, and feed them your desired statistics.

5- Have your hired PhD's write more articles concerning your incredible outreach and progress.

6- Pounce on any vocal victims and advocates who come forward to expose the truth.

7- Hire expensive lawyers to eradicate any opposition at any cost.

8- Continue business as usual, and honor and revere the shredding machine as a gift from God.

9- Hire even more PhD's, and continue the charade.

10- Keep trampling victims of clergy, they're hurt and vulnerable, and easy to continue to abuse.

And last, but not least, the most important thing I learned at the conference for sexual abuse in the catholic church is this quote by the sociologist in the conference:

" This can't be fixed."








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