Thursday, May 19, 2011

It looks like the church has figured out the cause of the sexual abuse scandal. According to the 2 million dollar John Jay Report, the cause was the sexual and cultural revolution of the 60's and 70's. Apparently listening to songs like "Young Girl" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap makes priests lose impulse control and forces them to, well, force themselves on children.
According to the report - "The rise in abuse cases in the 1960s and 1970s was influenced by social factors in American society generally. This increase in abusive behavior is consistent with the rise in other types of ‘deviant’ behavior, such as drug use and crime, as well as changes in social behavior, such as an increase in premarital sexual behavior and divorce."
American society generally? Did the church export American society to Ireland and every other country where reports of the scandal have exploded?
That's right, they can't blame the 60's for the abuse in Ireland as reports say the epidemic of abuse there started in the 30's. John, Paul, George and Ringo weren't even born yet.
But did it really start in the 60's here? Well, not according to a blog I wrote in 2009. Hey, if Norman Mailer can quote himself why can't I? I know I've used that joke before, but I figured what the heck, I'm repeating myself anyway.
According to a New York Times article in 2009, "From the 1940’s through the 1960’s, bishops and superiors of religious orders sent their problem priests to Father Fitzgerald to be healed."  In 1947 Rev. Gerald M. C. Fitzgerald founded of the order, Servants of the Paraclete, a treatment center for priests, including pedophiles, in Jemez Springs, N.M.
According to the article he wrote in a letter in 1957, “We are amazed to find how often a man who would be behind bars if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura animarum,” meaning, the care of souls. 
He even went so far as to put a five thousand deposit on a Caribbean Island where he planned to build an isolated retreat to sequester priests who were sexual predators.
Fitzgerald finally met the Pope in 1963 to explain that there was an epidemic in the church. Which, as history has shown, only got worse.
All before a child of God was walking along the road, on the way to Woodstock.

3 comments:

arguendo said...

I agree entirely. My abuse occurred in the mid-1950s, and I've since learned there was a lot of it going on during the decade before that. So, what are you going to blame it on for that period: the end of World War II? The dropping of the A-Bombs? The emergence of a post-war leisure class? The 'triumph' of democracy? The 'cold war'? Truth is complicated; lies are easy.
Udo

janeclarke0215 said...

My uncle, who was born in 1927 told me the story of when he was first old enough to be an altar boy (also at St. Mary's Church), in the 1930's. Before the first time he went to the church, his father pulled him aside and told him if the priest touched him, to slug him and "run like hell". His father (my uncle Farrell) was born in 1895, which would have made him an altar boy in about 1905- 1910. So, clearly, the permissive society was no where to be seen during this time.

Hope said...

I read an article about this study this morning and I couldn't wait to read your take on it. I was not disappointed!