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THE LEN LESSER REPORT  

THE LEN LESSER REPORT

 

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PAPAL APOLOGIES ARE NOT ENOUGH

August 25th Pope Francisís letter to the Catholic faithful he spoke of the world wide many decades of sexual abuse of children by priests.

I contacted a family friend, who was a Roman Catholic priest to help me to try and understand the problem.

I promised "Father Anonymous" to keep our conversation confidential. In the past there was no forum to discuss the concerns of young men. Many males who were sexually confused felt that if they entered the priesthood, that was considered a safe vocation, that the question of their sexual orientation would simply disappear.

The priesthood allowed for access to youngsters and unwavering, unquestionable trust from the parents. Children can be trusting/ gullible while the adults are supposed to be more discerning. The most vulnerable of our children are from troubled homes and can be easily victimized.

In the past the role of a priest was an exalted prestigious persona who automatically commanded obedience. They wielded great moral political power which has evaporated over time. Respect for priests in the past was a given.

When there is suspected abuse that is reported to the diocese the priest is now immediately removed from his post. Where warranted all information is supposed to be passed on to the police/ Childrenís Aid Society.

A lawyer for many of the plaintiffs of sexual abuse informed me that in the last decade the London Dioceseís with a compliment of 216-300 priests has had eight priests convicted of sexual abuse of minors.

I asked Father Anonymous if celibacy was the raison díetre for some priests offending. The problem with the vow of celibacy is loneliness. Men who are denied sex do not become abusers, but abusers do look for places where they can hope to disguise their crimes.

Father Anonymous is deeply ashamed by the abuse of priests. He reminded me that there are many hardworking, genuine priests who want to sincerely help people and serve God.

Every occupation has issues of sexual abuse. But, few have the ability to try and conceal it like the church did in the past by simply moving the offender to another unsuspecting parish.

Father Anonymous after our interview spoke to his Bishop and declared that he was a homosexual. The Bishop subsequently stripped him of his collar and declared that he was persona non grata in the church. He was no longer able to administer the holy sacraments to his parishioners who loved and respected him. He is still pious about his faith but the church that he loves has no room for priests who are gay who openly admit their true feelings.

There are a large number of homosexual priests- the estimates are between 25% -50%. Because one is a homosexual does not automatically mean that they are pedophiles.

These men have to live with a lie. The solution would be to ordain men who wish to marry and allow gay clergy to be open and honest about their sexuality.

It is 2018 and the Roman Catholic Church has not chosen to change with the times. Hard to reconcile an ancient faith with a modern secular culture that is challenging the basic roles of women and the true nature of life.

Women should have the right to choose to enter the priesthood. They have a greater empathy and sensitivity to the issue that makes abuse more difficult to maintain. The stats show that men are the abusers; Too often women are the survivors.

Until the Church changes itís ways I suspect that the pool of viable candidates will still draw its numbers from those who choose not to embrace a pluralistic way of life. Vulnerable children will continue to be abused by priests until the church changes itís parameters.

Recently 1000 Catholic children from Pennsylvania claimed that they had been abused by 300 priests.

Prayers/apologies are not enough to solve the problem of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church.

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor in Dorchester, Ont.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com