The Fake Pope Child Abuse Scandal: Why Are They Attacking the Wrong Guy?

All of the cases where the Pope is being criticized come from the middle or late 1970’s. That’s very important.

Monica Applewhite is a psychiatrist, one of the real experts in child abuse.

She has a lot to say in an interview, but this is the important paragraph:

Much criticism has been leveled at Pope Benedict XVI. Do you view that criticism as valid?

From my perspective, deep change in the culture of the Vatican began with Cardinal Ratzinger and has been solidified since he became Pope Benedict XVI.

Here are her qualifications:

Monica Applewhite is one of the foremost experts on screening, monitoring and policy development for the prevention of sexual abuse and risk management for those with histories of sexual offending.

Applewhite has spent the past 16 years conducting research and root-cause analysis in the area of sexual abuse in organizations in order to assist organizations in developing best practice standards. Formerly with Praesidium Inc., she helped create an accreditation system for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men to hold them accountable to the highest standards of child protection.

She has interviewed child abusers, and knows what is going on in the field. She says :

We began studying sexual abuse in the 1970s, discovered it caused real harm in 1978, and realized perpetrators were difficult to rehabilitate in the 1990s. During the ’70s when we were sending offenders to treatment, the criminal justice system was doing the very same thing with convicted offenders — sending them to treatment instead of prison.

Note that almost all of the cases that the New York Times has reported come from the 1970’s – specifically, 1974 (Murphy-Milwaukee);  1977 (German case ); 1978 (Kielse, Oakland). When they criticize the church for just sending these people to treatment, it’s a dirty tactic. At the time, all the experts were telling everyone, including the civil authorities, that these guys just needed treatment. They were telling people that the kids were not really hurt that much. And now we kind of understand why the church did not report them as crimes. If they did, the courts often ignored the problem too. The only thing the civil authorities were going to do was give them probation and tell them to go to treatment. And that is exactly what happened. Contrary to the impression given by the media in these cases, the authorities knew about each of these cases of abuse. In Murphy’s case, the police and prosecutors simply did nothing. They ignored the charges. Why isn’t the media raking them  over the coals. They simply did nothing. In Kiesle’s case, they just gave him probation. Not jail time. It was not until the 1990’s that people realized that treatment was not effective.

And considering that the scientists found out that real harm was done in1978, it probably took, what? 5 years, 7 years for that to become widely known. That brings us to about 1985 or so before people realized the deep harm that was being caused.

At the time, [1970’s and 80’s] it was believed they could be cured with relative ease. This is a very young body of knowledge, and as we sort through both valid and questionable criticisms, we must consider the historical context of any given episode.
Regarding the work that remains to be done, the most pressing concern for me is the lack of protocols to guide the supervision and accountability for priests and religious who have been accused or found to have sexually offended in the past or who have completed their obligations to the criminal justice system.

There continues to be a belief that aging and the passing of time will render these men safe. I understand we cannot supervise them if they are no longer a priest or religious, but as long as they are, we should strive to know how they spend their time and whether they are upholding the limits that have been placed on them.

Much criticism has been leveled at Pope Benedict XVI. Do you view that criticism as valid?

From my perspective, deep change in the culture of the Vatican began with Cardinal Ratzinger and has been solidified since he became Pope Benedict XVI.

When I began working with priests who had sexually offended, they would sometimes try to intimidate me with threats that if they “sent their case to Rome” to appeal how they were treated, that they would “win.” This was in response to my developing systems to hold them accountable for how they spent their time, who they visited and whether the people in their lives were aware of the sexual abuse they had committed.

Many times I heard, “You are in violation of my rights!” They clearly felt they had the upper hand.

Since that time, and particularly since 2000, the balance of power has shifted. I have since worked with many priests and religious who have sexually offended against minors, and if you ask them today, they would be very unlikely to assume that “Rome” is on their side.

Cardinal Ratzinger, soon to be Pope Benedict, took control in 2001.

When the conservative faction led by Pope John Paul II took over control of the church in 1978, the child abuse started dropping. The following graph is from the study conducted by John Jay College of Law. As you can see, the incidence of abuse has declined considerably since conservatives became ascendant. Note that when the New York Times supported faction was in the ascendency, the rate of child abuse went through the roof.

Last year, there were only 6 confirmed incidents of abuse by priests in the United States. Of course, there should be zero, but this is far better than the hundreds and hundreds per year that were normal when the New York Times supported faction was in control.

Yet, the New York Times is pretending that the Pope is the main child abuser in the world.

Something is funny here.

 

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