Rev Irene Monroe

The Pope's Pedophilic Church

Filed By Rev Irene Monroe | April 02, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Benedict XVI, Catholic church, pedophilia, pop, scandal, sex abuse, Wisconsin

Who among us would not flinch at the thought of a "holy man" preying on children instead of praying with them?

And what faith can anyone have in a Church that says it stands on the teachings of Jesus yet violates his biblical mandate stated in Mark 10:14: "Let the children come to me; do not try to stop them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

But when you have a pope more invested in doctrinal debates than personal suffering, and he's more invested in exerting his ecclesiastical power in defrocking dissident theologians than his priestly flock of sex predators, then it's easy to comprehend why the pleas and petitions for decades from Catholic parishioners - worldwide - to Pope Benedict XVI to do something never happened.

When Pope Benedict XVI was known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (1977-2005), he sent out a letter on May 18, 2001, ordering all his bishops, under the threat of ecclesiastical punishment, to observe "papal secrecy," keeping sex abuse allegations concealed from both the public and the police.

I know from personal experience that disclosing sexual misconduct by members of the clergy not only shakes one's faith, but it also shakes the very foundation where ones faith is housed -- the church. But make no mistake, here, pedophilic priests -- and the bevy of other priests that archdioceses have conspired to keep silent about for decades -- are criminals whose victims are innocent children.

As an institution that vows to protect the old, the sick, the downtrodden and all of God's children, the Catholic Church has not only failed at its earthly mission, but it has also failed at recognizing one of the places where it needs healing - sexual violence.

One of the reasons Catholic officials avoid implementing a zero-tolerance policy for its pedophilic priests is because the church neither sees nor understands pedophilia as a form of sexual violence. Its pervasiveness within the church, from its seminarians to its bishops, has anesthetized church officials to the severity of the crime and its effects, both on the victims and their families. Therefore, the Catholic Church closes its eyes in taking full responsibility and accountability for the abuse.

Some, in the Catholic Church, deflect attention from this issue by raising fallacious questions about a causality between pedophilia and homosexuality. However, in the face of overwhelming evidence by behavioral scientists to refute such a harmful and homophobic claim, the Catholic Church, nonetheless, believes that a homosocial and celibate atmosphere of gay men produces a preponderance of pedophilic priests.

Clearly the issue facing the Catholic Church is not about whether gay men or celibacy cause pedophilia. It is, however, about the church's egregious neglect to address the issue of sexual violence by priests against children.

Pedophilia is a form of sexual violence. And as such, pedophilia is the expression of anger through sexual exploitation. It is the abuse of power and the use of force, such as manipulation, physical violence, emotional coercion and extortion, which is expressed through sexual acts. Pedophilia is a violation to one's sense of bodily integrity, and it is maintained itself within ecclesiastical institutions when an ongoing cycle of abuse goes on unexamined and unaccounted for.

While the commonly held belief these days, given the media frenzy, is that Catholic priests have a patent on this form of sexual violence, pedophilia is not specific to one's gender, race, class, sexual orientation, vocation, or religion. Viewed as a sin and not a crime by most clerics, pedophilia maintains itself in ecclesiastical institutions like the Catholic Church through a culture of silence, deception, and shame. And pedophilia is also believed to be overcome by daily offerings of prayers and penance -- but not prosecution.

And while pedophilia is a sin within a theological view because it is an ongoing act that exercises control in the life of the pedophile to the point that it enslaves the person and relegates him to a fallen state, pedophilia is also a crime within a legal view. After all, these men are sex offenders like any other sex offenders. And, if found guilty, they should be placed on sex offender registries as the law requires.

But the law will never prevail to prosecute these priests as long as the pope protects them.

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It is tragic to see.
In my religious community we have several possible punishments for serious offenses. They can be forbidden to participate in sacrifice and/or they can be declared deoriad (outsider) which is our equivalent to excommunication.
About a decade ago one of our members was arrested and convicted of sexual assault on children (one of them was his own) and he was declared deoraid. What amazed me was that after his short prison stay he got out and contacted everyone with his story of self forgiveness and how involved he wanted to be. Nothing about the kids that he had harmed or any attempt to restore balance, just he has forgiven himself and grown beyond it. The very root of his problem was still so evident. He was told by one of our cultural leaders that the clergy would have nothing to do with him and that his existence was not even going to be recognized by the people.

Castrate Catholic priests. This will protect the vow of being celibate and children. Why do they need testicles producing testosterone that causes aggression?


Depo-Provera has been proven to inhibit the abilities of pedophilias to assault children. The progesterone in Depo-Provera counteracts the biological tendencies that lead men to rape children (4). By lowering testosterone, Depo-Provera reduces sex drive (6). Males can have sexual intercourse (7) but do not want to. Depo-Provera also decreases aggressive tendencies by reducing testosterone. "[T]he castrated criminal would be more docile and have a better opportunity to be rehabilitated, educated, and to become a worthwhile citizen" (1). Castration removes the biological and chemical tendencies that are intrinsically linked to the desire to rape in males.

But it is not simply a biological problem that can be solved with a biological solution. What do we do about the desire for power over and the desire to hurt others? You are equating aggression with physical aggression. Physical aggression is more likely in the male but females have much lower levels of testosterone and are generally less physically aggressive but are often more emotionally and socially aggressive.
There is also the risk that by lessening the sense of power that the individual has you will increase the desire to gain power or demonstrate power. So then you have someone who is on the whole worse socially though he is less likely to allow his penis to be his primary weapon.
Sociological and psychological aspects have to be accounted for or you end up trading a reduction in one manifestation for an increase in other manifestations of the root problem. Plus you risk the increase in the root problem so that a decrease in sexual assault may come about but the increase in other types of abuse may actually more than conversely increase so that a %90 decrease in this particular thing accomplished by this method may result in an increase in other manifestations that actually are larger than the %90 that was decreased.
It is definitely a sticky wicket. Bt this simple answer would not work most likely.

My argument referred to Catholic priests. The Catholic Church frowns on long term psychotherapy for it's clergy in assocation with drug treatment.
It's simply unnatural to demand Celibacy in a man with a natural testosterone driven sex drive. The pent up sex drive has to go somewhere, and as we have seen the results are damaging to others.


Pedophilia can be treated with long-term psychotherapy and drugs that alter the sex drive and reduce testosterone levels. Results vary. Outcome is best when participation is voluntary and the person receives training in social skills and treatment of other problems, such as drug abuse or depression. Treatment that is sought only after criminal apprehension and legal action may be less effective. However, some incarcerated pedophiles who are committed to long-term, monitored treatment (usually including drugs) can refrain from pedophilic activity and be reintegrated into society. However, simple incarceration, even long-term, does not change pedophilic desires or fantasies.

For drug treatment, doctors in the United States usually use the drug medroxyprogesterone acetate

, which is injected into a muscle. This drug (a progestin) is similar to the female hormone progesterone

. Alternatives are drugs such as leuprolide

and goserelin

that stop the pituitary gland from signaling the testicles to produce testosterone. It is not clear how useful these drugs are in women who are pedophiles.

Messing with sex hormones also leads to increased suicide risk. Alan Turing was chemically castrated. I mean, I'm not surprised Merck is promoting the use of a drug to solve a big problem, but I don't think it's actually a solution.

Plus no one would become a priest if they had to take sex hormones. Not that I have a problem with that.

Also, is there anything to the theory that child molesters are just acting out on sexual energy that they don't have a better outlet for? Michael Jackson certainly could have found a girlfriend if he wanted to, and yet....

I am sorry about the suicide risk. Are you sure Alan Turing was a pedophile? Can you imagine all those numbers swirling around in your head? Who the fuck wouldn't be off base in some areas?

Sadly, another besides Turing, the late computer genius Ric Weiland a founder of Microsoft chose suicide. Who knows what they know/feel? WE all have to go but it's not for me to speed the inevitable up.

End the no married priest nonsense and most of this will go away.There will always be bad actors in any religion but when you deny a basic right of a person to inter act with the opposite sex in a normal manner let alone some one whose gay or lesbian for that matter there will be problems.

It would at least attract more healthy people to the priesthood for the Roman Church. It also would not appear to be a haven for the dysfunctional. The history of protecting the dysfunctional is atrocious and that has to be dealt with. I agree that making that change back to allowing married clergy would be a large step. People who wish to take a vow of celibacy can still do it and some orders will always require it but it should not be a general rule for all clergy. BTW promoting the nuns would be another good step for them IMO.