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Little boys and the Catholic priests who molest them.

Updated on April 1, 2010

Will the Catholic church needs to re-invent itself. Will it?

The Roman Catholic church seems to be riddled with pedophilia on a global scale and no amount of admissions and apologies are going to change this.  This is a shame, because the church has done so much good in our world.  They've started hospitals, schools, missions and they've gone everywhere there's been human suffering, trying to make it better.   There is so much that is good about the Catholic church and it's people.  But there's so much that's bad, too.

This spring, stories have exploded anew about abuse worldwide.  Reports of "secret" trials, withholding information from civil authorities and moving pedophile priests around are everywhere and the Pope has been complicit in this.  The transferring of priests from one parish to another did two immensely evil things:  It allowed the guilty to escape discovery and prosecution and it also gave the predators fresh prey. 

One of the worst offenses was in Milwaukee, WI.  Father Lawrence Murphy was assigned to John's School for the Deaf in St. Francis, WI in 1950.  Reports of abuse started soon after he arrived but the church did nothing to stop Murphy.  Instead, they appointed him head of the school in 1963.  He allegedly abused 200 boys before he was removed in 1974 following an inquiry by the Milwaukee police.  The church didn't revisit the case until the 1996, a few months before Murphy died. 

Of all the stories I've heard, this one turns my stomach the most.  Murphy was charged with the care and education, not only of boys, but of deaf boys.  To be deaf is even more isolating than being blind.  These boys had no way to effectively communicate what was happening to them.  Instead, they suffered in shame, humiliation and silence.  They were unable to rescue themselves because lacked the simple ability to tell someone what was going on.  For Murphy, this was like shooting fish in a barrel.

If the church is to recover in any way from this, they're going to have to change radically.  The Pope has been tarred with this scandal and for his part in it, he needs to resign.  But even if he goes, the larger problem is the requirement of priests to be celibate.  St. Paul said "it is better to marry than to burn."   Catholic priests are required by their vows to burn every day but not do anything about it.  It's obvious that thousands upon thousands of priests weren't able to do that.  Perhaps a few had relationships with women, but most turned on the boys in their care.

It's not surprising at all.  Although says it's not true that men think about sex every seven seconds, it's pretty obvious to most people that for men, sex is a very strong drive (just ask Tiger Woods).  The Catholic church denies this almost as much as it denies having pedophiles in their ranks.  But what kind of man would forsake a normal relationship with a woman to serve the church?  The kind of man that doesn't really want a normal relationship.  The Catholic church has been sucking these men into the priesthood for centuries and many of them have been serving themselves, not God, not His church and certainly not His children.


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    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago from USA

      It is sad that this happens but in all religions/faiths there is some corruption, every one has it for satan tries to destroy the church.

      I choose to attend sometimes the Traditional Latin Mass, not only for it's beauty but the reverence and goodness of it. There ARE good priests just as there are good and bad doctors and lawyers and parents.

      please read my hub "A very logical and realistic man!"

    • woodwoman profile image

      woodwoman 7 years ago

      I don't think the tendency toward pedophilia is developed by being with other pedophiles as much as a certain person flaw, weakness or desire. The Catholic church has traded it's wish to have normal men with normal desires that they control for it's need to cling to the idea that only celibate men are eligible to be priests.

      There may be Catholic seminary students who are burning with the desire to serve the church by becoming a priest and are willing and able to suppress a normal sex drive to do it. I think, however, the church gets far more young men who have been sexually arrested and don't have a longing to be sexual with a woman in a normal relationship. Allow priests to marry, allow women to be priests and the ranks of priests will swell with people who have normal desires and the freedom to express them within the bounds of marriage.

      The church leadership's crime is being aware of the problem but not being willing to step beyond its old, hidebound doctrines. Joseph Ratzinger should step down as pope and someone new and young should replace him and throw out the celibacy requirement right away. It should happen, but I don't think it will.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      It's funny to me how often denial of a problem has failed, and yet how often it continues to be done. I think dedicating yourself to rooting it out and not giving it a place to grow is spot on. What's the old saying? It takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch. I say...only if you leave the rotten thing IN the bunch. Once you find it, you toss it out.

    • woodwoman profile image

      woodwoman 7 years ago

      I agree. You can't prevent corruption or perversion in an organization, you can only dedicate yourself to rooting it out and not giving it a place to grow. The denial that the Catholic church has shown has only created a haven for the abusers.

      Remember the Tylenol scare where 7 people died because someone had put arsenic in bottles sold in one store? Johnson and Johnson immediately recalled all Tylenol products in the country. Then they announced what they were going to do to prevent this from happening again (this is when safety packaging came about). This is a sterling example of crisis management. The Vatican has done none of this. They will suffer because of it.

      Read this "They're like us now" and "Should we believe this fairy tale" They're pretty good and address crisis communication and liability. This treats sex abuse This addresses the Catholic problem This gives a solution, albeit unlikely

      I post these links not to promote notapundit, but to refer to other commentary on the subject.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I think in cases such as this, it is vitally important for all to keep in mind that the priests are representative of themselves, and not necessarily of the church. This thinking would apply to anything, be they teachers, police officers, or politicians. People with certain mindsets will always gravitate to professions that allow them access to their vices. Power mongers might gravitate to police work. Paedophiles may gravitate to be teachers, priests, or child mentors. Greed may lead one to enter into politics.

      We have to, in any of these cases, point out the individual and not the organization.

      That said, in ALL of these cases what is AS important, is that these organizations act swiftly, and appropriately. In the case of the Catholic Church, and in MANY cases of corruption or wrongdoing (take the police for example when a cop gets a little out of control on a suspect), there's too much of a rush to cover things up or deny that things are happening.

      Perhaps that's what drives the dissent more than anything.

    • woodwoman profile image

      woodwoman 7 years ago

      You are so right. The latest twist is that in Connecticut they want to pass a law removing any kind of statute of limitation on child sex abuse. The bishops of the three archdiocese are protesting that it's an attack on the church. You know what? Women need to take over the Catholic Church.

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

      Wonderful hub about a sickening situation. I've heard that the UN wants to prosecute the Pope for his recent comments. He is trying to reduce the reports of abuse to gossip, this is unacceptable, this is not an organization that is working in the best interest of God and mankind.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      these are sick priest who should not get bought off

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      great hub its sad thanks

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

      OI! Was it something I said? :-)

      Murphy's case is not only a dog exmple of pedophilia among Catholic priests, it's a glaring example of the Church's attitude towards it: Turn a blind eye. BAH! I don't believe in hell, but they say they do, so I hope they totally burn in it.