Archivo de la categoría: Clero Abuso

Time for the Vatican to take a new stand on sexual abuse

By Ruth Bertels

It was an ordinary August morning, Thursday, the 7th, to be precise, not yet too hot, filled with promise of a completed column, at least by mid-afternoon, with the possibility of a long walk to follow.

Then, there came the news on CNN that orders for the cover up of abused children by priests came from the Vatican, and had been kept secret for 40 years, according to CBS News correspondent, Vince Gonzales.

The policy was written in 1962 and was stored in the secret archives of the Vatican by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who died on August 3, 1979. The document focused on crimes initiated as part of the confessional relationship and what it calls the ‘worst crime,’ sexual assault committed by a priest or attempted by him with youths of either sex…”

Bishops were instructed “to pursue these cases in the most secretive way …restrained by a perpetual silence … and everyone (including the alleged victim) …is to observe the strictest secret, which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office … under the penalty of excommunication.”

That evening, John Allen, reporter for The National Catholic Reporter, explained on CNN that the letter referred to an older period in the Church and to only the treatment of clergy abuse as an internal matter. Another representative from the New York-based Catholic League echoed Allen’s statement and demanded a retraction by CNN.

On the CBS News site, there is a copy of the document in both Latin and English, though one needs special software to access it.

Personally, like many Catholic writers, I find such news difficult to treat, so much so that this piece was put up on the site last week, then taken down. Of course, it was the wrong decision. A document hidden in the Vatican archives concerning the abuse of children cannot be ignored, no matter how distressful it might be to either the writer or reader, nor how long it has been buried..

Richard Sipe, a former priest, who has written at length on the subject of sexual abuse by priests in his book, Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis, is quoted by CBS, in reference to the newly discovered document, as saying: “This is the code for how you must deal with sex by priests. You keep it secret at all costs. And that’s what’s happened. It’s happened in every diocese in this country.” He concludes his work with these thoughts on celibacy:

“What of real value will remain if we reject a celibate/sexual power structure based on categories of superiority, and in turn demand personal application of the gospel message – a universal call to love? Won’t the religious world fall apart? Won’t chaos reign? No. Celibacy will persist – celibate love – and the process of celibacy genuinely entered into and honestly pursued. Marital love equally will remain, integrated and enhanced. The value of sex and its responsible use will be enhanced. Life will be more greatly treasured.” (Italics, mine)

That last sentence: “Life will be more greatly treasured” contains the heartfelt prayer of every sincere Catholic on both sides of the ocean. Treasuring life implies the willingness on behalf of shepherds to protect their flocks from every harm, no matter the personal cost.

While such protection may include one’s fellow bishops, or others in authority, it must not be offered at the expense of the most vulnerable, the little people in the pews.

Rome fails to understand, or refuses to face the reality that, despite, Ottaviani’s efforts long ago, there is nowhere to hide sexual abuse secrets forever, certainly not when they involve such a public figure as the founder of the Legionaires of Christ, Rev. Marciel Maciel Degollado.

When a reporter approached Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the subject, he was angrily brushed off. Apparently, abuse of boys doesn’t rank up there with fighting off the evils of inclusive language in the liturgy, a married priesthood, or the ordination of women.

However, one would think that a prelate, versed in both moral and dogmatic theology, would take time to consider the special kind of scandal Rome’s ignoring Maciel’s moral turpitude presents to the abused, now-grown men, their families, and the entire Catholic world, for the order ( more properly described as a cult) has become world-wide, and continues to grow more powerful after the pattern of Opus Dei.

Does not the praying, thinking Body of Christ see the Vatican’s position as indifference to God’s people, indifference that philosophers tell us is the opposite of love, for it judges certain people as of no-account, expendable sheep, lost and not worth the finding? Protect Maciel at all costs, no matter who gets hurt in the bargain.

What is the result of such indifference? We have no way of measuring. The other day, over a cup of coffee, a mother of a large family looked at her friend and asked, “Do you ever get the feeling we’ve been had?”

When the laity begin to feel that they are expected to follow laws not required of those in authority, it doesn’t take long for bitterness to settle in, followed by confusion and sadness over their personal, tarnished Holy Grails.

Most hurtful of all is a mother’s scalding tears over the lessons she has taught her children down the years, which now appear to be meaningless. Lately, I’ve been receiving e-mails from such mothers, wondering what they are to say to their children, who tried the Legionaires way of life, and are now living in a desert of disillusionment.

An excellent Web site on this sect is: You will find there testimonials of those who have been abused, along with excellent professional advice on recovering from the brain-washing common to all cults.

We on this side of the pond will continue to hope that the Vatican will follow O’Malley’s example, defrock Maciel, strip him of his position as head of the Legion, and set Rome on a new path of openness and compassion for the members of the hierarchy, priests and laity, who hunger for real leadership from Peter’s Throne.

Maciel’s abuse of the boys in his care is scandalous, yet Rome’s refusal to acknowledge the scandal by keeping him in power is another kind of scandal, and one is hard put to decide which does the greater harm to God’s people.

What we find in O’Malley’s prompt actions since taking over the Boston Archdiocese is his determination to shepherd the wounded sheep in his care, which includes everyone. No one has escaped the heartache of the moral failure of sexual abuse. .

As far as the question goes: “Do you think we’ve been had?” I’ve been pondering it a bit and have decided that we probably have “been had.” That hurts our pride some, doesn’t it? Yet, perhaps, in the Gospel sense, we’ve ended up “being fools for Christ’s sake.” And that’s a different story altogether.

By Ruth Bertels

August 18, 2003


Insights About Pedophiles: From The Victim’s Perspective

Modus Operandi of Pedophiles
(Method of Operation)
Preface: We have compiled some insights about pedophiles gathered over nine years of experience working with adults who have experienced pedophilic violence. Additionally, insights come from the collective wisdom of persons who have survived experiences of pedophilic ritual abuse-torture. Wisdoms shared with us during two years of conducting interviews a “kitchen table” research project which is evolving into a book entitled, “The torturers walk among us”. As we witnessed the survivor’s telling of the monstrous acts inflicted upon them by cruel men and women perpetrators, we concluded that pedophiles engage in very intentional behavior. Having said this, we are aware that the literature speaks to the fact that some acts of pedophilia occur without pre-planned intentionality, to which the perpetrator takes responsibility, has empathy for their victim, and can respond with remorse for the harm they have inflicted, for instance, a one time incident of incestuous rape. One-time ordeals are not the situations we are referring to.

The population of pedophiles we have been “introduced to”, that we speak about, are the “hard-core” pedophiles who engage in intentional repetitive acts of pedophilia, who engage in group pedophilia, who are involved in systemic institutional pedophilia, or who participate in acts of non-political pedophilic torture including ritual abuse-torture.

This paper, although written from the perspective of the victim from the perspective of exposing the impact of pedophilic victimization and traumatization is by no means a complete detail of the extensive harms infants, toddlers, children or youth victims suffer. It does not detail the potential accumulative effects that a young victim may be burdened with in their adult life. Nor does this paper detail the extensive atrocities which pedophilic perpetrators inflict unto their young victims. We have attempted to briefly make visible the suffering of the young person, in the hope this will help society understand and empathize with young victimized persons and their need to have bystanders become involved. We see partnerships between adults who have been victimized as children and non-abusive others which focuses on exposing pedophilic atrocities, which focuses on holding structures like the Church accountable, and which challenges persons who have abused their positional power and public trust to cover up all forms of violence against the young as the prime solution for building a safe society for the children of the future!

In response to discussions we had with persons in Boston, who are working so diligently to have the institution of the Roman Catholic Church hold itself accountable for hiding endemic pedophilic abuse, this paper shares our general insights about pedophilic behavior, uses examples of convicted pedophile priest behaviors or of alleged pedophilic priests behaviors gathered from information reported in the media.


To dominate & to express totalitarian power & control over their victim(s);
To satisfy their needs & desires for cruel & inhumane pleasure & entertainment; and/or,
For greed & money if perpetrators engage in the exploitation of their victim(s) via the “sex” trade and/or pedophilic pornography.

Like-minded men & women, mothers & fathers. Other kin. Friends or neighbors. Persons from all walks of life. Persons who use positional power as a cover. The professional, cleric, or lay person.


Perpetrators their attitude of superiority:
Pedophiles frequently believe they are superior, for instance, in the case of priests they are groomed to believe they are next to god and statements made, this year, by the Pope stating priests have to be perfect people can reinforce a sense of superiority. Such like-mindedness creates a specific group philosophy which supports group think, group attitudes, and group behaviors which, when combined together, transforms into a distorted opinion of Self and a distorted opinion of (persons who do not belong to the group). For pedophilic groups this like-mindedness can be described as:
A perpetrator holding the belief that outsiders victims are inferior;
Having a belief that their victims are inferior makes it easier for the perpetrator to disregard the humanity of their victims and to treat their victims as objects this is called objectification;
Once objectified the child/youth is sexualized turned into a sex object; then,
To help excuse their pedophilic behaviors the perpetrator engages in blame-the-victim” excuses. The victim is blamed for what happened to him/her, for example, western society blamed the slaves for their slavery, the Nazis believed the Jews and other marginalized persons such as homosexual or disabled persons, and gypsies were inferior and thus deserving of the atrocities inflicted upon them. Similarly, pedophiles will blame their child/youth victim by saying the child/youth was being sexually provocative, was dressing or moving in a sexually-permissive manner, or instigated the sexualized behavior. Case in point, accused priest Shanley, making a speech at a Man Boy Love pedophilic conference, is quoted as saying that children are responsible for all sexual behavior with adults including incest and bestiality.

These ideological processes of making another group inferior, objectifying them, then engaging in victim blaming are processes perpetrators of human atrocities take to enable them to intentionally harm innocent persons without feeling guilt or remorse.[1] As one pedophilic priest stated, “once I got past the `sin’ all I had left was the pleasure.”[2] Our work suggests pedophiles that commit acts of pedophilic ritual abuse-torture also engage in these same processes which enables them to take cruel pleasure in harming their infant, toddler, child, or youth victims without feeling any emotional turmoil or remorse.

Victim blaming tactics:
Victim blaming can be consistent throughout every thought and act the pedophile performs, it serves to keep pedophiles from feeling any shame, guilt, remorse, or caring about their child/youth victim. Victim blaming is about blame shifting. Blame shifting tactics permit the pedophile to transfer responsibility for their acts of pedophilic abuse unto their child/youth victim. Victim blaming and blame shifting commonly transfers emotional shame, blame, guilt, and worthlessness unto the victimized child/youth who can then spiral into emotional Self-loathing. Self-loathing can manifest into Self-harming behaviors such as Self cutting, drug and alcohol misuse, criminal activity, “sex” trade activities, or suicidality as ways of coping with their over-whelming suffering.
Persons who are in positions of power can also use “blame-the-victim” tactics, as Cardinal Law did when he claimed Gregory Ford and his family were, in part, responsible for Gregory’s alleged abuse by Shanley. Such blame-the-victim statements, although an attempt to protect the establishment, do provide support to the perpetrator, and do harm the victim.

Pedophiles demonstrate an inability to empathize with their child/youth victim and will objectify their child/youth victim by referring to them as an “it”. Pedophiles treat the child/youth victim as a non-person, an object, or a possession. As a possession the pedophile can feel justified in doing whatever they please to satisfy their cruel “pleasures”. They can use and abuse their child/youth victim in whatever manner feels pleasurable because their distorted thinking supports their beliefs that their pedophilic acts are not harmful or hurtful for the child/youth. They may even believe that the pain is “good” for the child/youth “its makes you stronger than the outsiders.”[3] These very egocentric and arrogant views and the oppressive views of children/youth are also rooted, in our opinion, in a historical and on-going social devaluation and hatred of children/youth. We have coined the word “childogny” to name this systemic hatred and devaluation. Childogny negates the child/youth as a person with human rights and responsibilities.

Demanding unquestionable loyalty and obedience:
Rigid rules such as “obey your elders” or fostering within children/youth the belief that authority figures are not to be questioned the priest’s, teacher’s, or Scout leader’s opinion is absolute can make children/youth unquestionably compliant and vulnerable to the manipulation of abusers. Creating an environment in the church or school system, for instance, where hierarchy dominates by maintaining unquestionable power and control, where positional authority is blindly obeyed and demanding of blind loyalty and obedience from others from the status quo parishioners or the students, for example can facilitate the pedophile’s ability to hide their pedophilic behavior. The secret of systemic pedophilia, such as has occurred in the Church, becomes well protected when unquestionable loyalty and obedience are viewed as virtues.

Abusing positional power:

Professional roles are accompanied by positional power. A pedophilic priest, nurse, doctor, or teacher for instance, can misuse their positional power as a tool to oppress and manipulate their child/youth victim. For instance, society and structures like the church have acted to believe and support the priest with his positional power versus the powerless child/youth!
Adulthood in itself brings positional power to the adult-child relationship. Adults are larger in size than young children, adults have developmental maturity and life experiences which children/youth do not have, and an adult’s positional power implies a trust and a dependency upon which the child/youth ought to be able to rely. When the pedophile uses the adult-child relationship to disguise their pedophilic plans, the pedophile is able to manipulate, intimidate, and “set-up” their child/youth victim. Should the child/youth try to tell of their abuse the pedophile’s positional power can easily override the child/youth victim’s voice, or the child/youth is very frequently not believed, or the child/youth’s parent(s) may even punish their child/youth for saying such “untruths” about a priest, for instance. Abusive pedophilic adult power comes disguised in many forms such as the family friend, a friendly neighbor, or the school volunteer.

The long term, short term, and crisis planning of pedophiles:
Pedophiles have many layers of intentional behavior as they deliberately set out to hunt their child/youth victims. Hunting tactics includes long term, short term, and crisis planning. For example:
Long term planning includes making career choices that will give the pedophile access to children/youth, for instance, becoming a priest, a pediatrician or pediatric nurse, a dentist, child care worker, teacher, or baby-sitter, etc. To reduce the possibility of discovery pedophiles may be selective of where they perpetrate. For example, a dentist will plan it so their child/youth victim’s appointment will be the last appointment in the day when staff has gone home and privacy is assured. Other perpetrators plan pedophilic acts during vacation or traveling to foreign countries where they are unknown and child exploitation laws are lax, as in Thailand.
Short term planning includes living in locations frequented by children/youth, such as near a school, a school bus stop, or a playground. It can mean moving to job areas that have little or no screening or reporting policies mandating the reporting of suspicions of child/youth abuse to the police. For instance, lack of mandatory reporting of allegations of child/youth abuse to the police has been the norm in the Roman Catholic Church. Short term planning for a priest may mean choosing to gain the blind trust of parent(s) who are devout and trusting Catholics before perpetrating sexualized violence against their children/youth; for others it may mean becoming a youth group leader, working with street youth, or becoming a scout leader or volunteer. Working with marginalized and vulnerable children/youth of single parent families, immigrant children/youth, or children/youth living in poverty also enables pedophiles to plan how to gain access to potential child/youth victims. Communicating with other pedophiles about “good” places or “how-to” gain access to children/youth by sharing Internet victim recruitment techniques is another way pedophiles gain knowledge about hunting for child/youth victims.
Crisis planning comes into effect when the pedophile feels their exposure is imminent. Crisis interventions can include moving or transferring suddenly, for instance, transferring to another diocese, or moving to another community or country, or to another job. It can mean disappearing quietly by claiming health concerns as the reason for leaving a position or community, disappearing by going on a sudden holiday, or by requesting an accelerated retirement.

Resisting accountability:
Pedophiles commonly fail to take either responsibility for their actions or hold them-Selves
accountable, instead the perpetrator uses deceitfulness, chronic lies, half-truths, excuses, and denial to discredit the child/youth victim who is trying to tell and be heard. Additionally, pedophiles may claim the child/youth victim misinterpreted the events, is exaggerating, is telling lies, or is confused about cultural behaviors. Combined with the reality child/youth are very frequently not believed and that the pedophile’s excuses are most often believed, the child/youth victim can become and feel entrapped silenced! By using these tactics a pedophile can build a “box of entrapment around the child/youth victim.”
One example of how “cultural differences” was brought into a discussion by an alleged pedophilic priest is when, “Berthold [a priest] acknowledged … that he had kissed Sellars [alleged victim] … on the cheeks not on the lips. Having studied in France between 1969 and 1971, Berthold said he had become accustomed to kissing people on the cheeks.”[4] Cultural differences ought never be considered an excuse for violating a child/youth’s boundaries nor is it an excuse for abusive and intrusive behavior.

Making excuses for one’s pedophilic behavior is another tactic perpetrators use. When Shanley, a priest, was arrested he made the statement that he was raped in the seminary. This statement is paramount to providing him-Self with an excuse it happened to me so I am not responsible for what I did for his alleged behavior of abusing children.

Persons in positions of power can also act in ways that are supportive of pedophiles, excusing the pedophile of their accountability for their sexualized violence. For instance, during the first weeks of the pedophilic scandal in the Roman Catholic church in Boston, Cardinal Law constantly asked for prayers for the priests accused of inflicting the abuse, he failed to mention the suffering of the victims until the public outcry became so loud he “chose” to speak of the suffering of the victims.
Associating with good people and good causes:
By surrounding themselves with good people pedophiles can hide their harmful and cruel intentions. They become even more invisible as they use the good intentions of others as a cover or join good causes such as groups that are for the protection of children/youth become a Block Parent or Big Brother for instance. Who would suspect a pedophile would join a good cause? This manipulative technique of using and fooling bystanders make it harder for bystanders to believe child/youth victims when they disclose their abuse.
Building community trust a goal for pedophilic hunters:
Pedophiles with positional power, teachers, priests, doctors, or nurses, for instance, can and do use positional power not only to build trust within adult-child relationships, they use positional power to build trust within their relationships with the parents of their potential child/youth victims, and with other adults within the community. By gaining the trust of adults and the trust of the community, the pedophile has unquestionable access to child/youth victims because the pedophile is perceived as a dedicated community worker. Trustworthiness camouflages their true goal of “hunting” for child/youth victims. The pedophile’s activities remains invisible and above suspicion. Pedophiles can and do develop such a “good person persona” they are often the last person to be suspected of abusing children/youth. Their ability to create an ideal image and their skill at leading a double life is crucial for a pedophile to succeed at their goal of hunting children/youth for their cruel pleasure of sexualized abuse or sexualized ritual abuse-torture of their child/youth victim.

Creating “specialness”:
The child/youth is often told by the pedophile, “you are special”. This statement is commonly reinforced when the child/youth’s parent(s), for example, also perceive or feel privileged that their child/youth is being treated with specialness that their child/youth is the “the chosen one” chosen or “blessed” to be befriended by a priest or a person with positional power, importance, and authority. Placing unquestionable value and importance on positional power can condition the child/youth to believe and feel important and special simply by their association with a person with positional power, for instance, feeling special because they are in an adult-child relationship with a priest, a teacher, or Cub leader. Specialness relationships can create opportunities for the pedophile to manipulate the child/youth victim and when significant others such as parents place a value on such specialness relationships this value can act as parental pressure that can lock the child/youth into not telling about their abuse. Healthy relationships not specialness relationships are safe relationships!
Abusive priestly-child/youth relationships which allowed priest to capitalize on their position of specialness and blessedness has a historical legacy, as shared by Will R. Bird in his writings of being a World War soldier in France. He told the story of the day he and other soldiers were sitting in a café and how he never forgot the people’s blind acceptance of the “priest’s rule”, which the waitress explained when:

Two of the soldiers whistled sharply and waved at the pretty girl walking by
and were told, “You waste your time …that is the priest’s girl … She is
his girl, she sleep with him. It is a great honour for her. And she has been
with him since January … He change every two or three months for a new one.”[5]

Emotional abuse fear, terror, or horror:
By inflicting emotional fear, terror, or horror unto the child/youth victim the pedophile destabilizes and confuses the child/youth. Confusion interferes with their ability to clearly understand what the pedophile is doing to them. Their thoughts and emotions become chaotic. The combined impact of these high intensity and over-whelming emotions of fear, terror, and horror, and the confusion and chaos all interfere with the child/youth’s ability to make sense of the abusive adult-child/youth relationship. Confusion and chaos make it easier for the pedophile to convince the child/youth victim that the sexual abuse is normal behavior, that it is for their own good, and that it will help them learn about sexuality and sex. All forms of emotional abuse can create confusion for child/youth victims and if the abuse is on going, each specific time and each specific ordeal can become blurred the ordeals of repetitive victimization are fused together the traumatization, the suffering, accumulative.

Spiritual abuse:
Priests bring a unique religious-based spiritual component to an adult-child/youth relationship. To intentionally abuse their religious positional power and trust, to intentionally use their priesthood as a tool to help them commit pedophilic acts adds a uniquely shocking religious-based spiritual violation to the child/youth’s victimization and suffering. Furthermore, to use religious beliefs and practices, such as the taking of communion, as other tools useful in the commission of their acts of abuse adds another depth of violation. Religious-based spiritual abuse can cause on-going confusion, depressiveness, and a loss of religious-based spiritual faith that can last a lifetime.

Priesthood plus religious beliefs and practices can be made deviant and used as tools for pedophilic abuse, which allegedly happened when Martin Elli alleged that when he was being driven home from a Washington field trip by a priest and the priest urged Martin ” . . . to give him oral sex, blessing it as a way to receive Holy Communion.”[6] Compounding oral rape by using deviant religious practices is the very literal act of using “priestly” acts for spiritual consumption via “seminal communion”.[7] Using oral rape as a form of communion causes spiritual distortion and confusion for the child/youth victim who perceives they ought to believe in and obey the priest without question because the priest is next to god and all knowing. Spiritual confusion makes the child/youth even more vulnerable because spiritual abuse also attacks the fundamental developmental question of, “Who am I?” Am I a good person or a bad person? This is a question with an immense spiritual domain.
From our experience, the use of some form of deviant religious beliefs and practices in combination with sexualized violence is a common technique used by some pedophiles, whomever they may be pedophilic priest or a perpetrator of ritual abuse-torture who uses some form of christian-satanic, christian-luceriferin, or jewish-satanic beliefs and practices. Deviant religious beliefs and practices are used to enforce a sense of spiritual consumption unto a child/youth victim. Spiritual abuse, “being one with god or one with satan”, can make the child/youth feel totally and spiritually consumed by the perpetrator, giving the pedophile even greater power and control over their child/youth victim.

Sexuality and spirituality are intimately connected. Sexualized violence committed by a priest, minister, or rabbi, in their professional and spiritual role, adds a very deep and spiritually abusive component to the pedophile’s behavior and to their victim’s traumatization. Our experiences suggest the child/youth victim may have grave difficulty disclosing their abuse because they do not want to violate their spiritual relationship with god or satan or with god’s or satan’s representative the pedophile whom they perceive as having next to godly or satanic power. To tell on the perpetrator may also leave the child/youth victim feeling as if they are hurting their own spirituality because they may perceive their spirituality as being connected to their “spiritual” perpetrator. Thus, when increased Self-blaming occurs so too may be the risks for suicidality for the child/youth victim.
Absorption and consumption of the child/youth victim:
Perpetrators who attempt to absorb and control their child/youth victim’s spirituality may also attempt to consume and control their child/youth victim’s sense-of-Self or identity. Exerting powerful influences over their child/youth victim in an effort to mold their child/youth victim’s religious spiritual beliefs, for instance, can lead a chil/youth to have a sense of oneness with the perpetrator. A perpetrator may express this connection of “oneness” as “you belong to me, you are mine”. The pedophilic perpetrator consumes the child/youth victim and the pedophile will not differentiate between their harmful and abusive needs and desires and the human rights of the child/youth not to be hurt and abused. For example, in man-boy “sex”, the pedophile will profess that their sexualized pleasure is also pleasurable or “good” for the child/youth victim.

Planning the selection of their child/youth victim:
Pedophiles often and intentionally choose their victims according to their personal preferences, by specific age groups, by gender, or by specific physical attributes, for example:
By age:

infants and toddlers – victims who cannot talk can not tell and are too small to resist the abuse thus the pedophile feels safe and at low risk of being discovered;
birth-6 yr olds – growth and developmentally it is easier to distort a child’s sense of reality at this young age. These are the years when the child is developing their relationship with Self and a pedophilic adult, a person in a position of trust and on whom the child depends, such as a teacher, priest, or parent, can easily distort the child’s relationship with Self by normalizing sexualized abuse. An example of this would be a baby sitter, priest, or doctor who tells the child that he/she is touching the child’s genital as a way to teach the child about sexuality because, “You will be a woman one day so you will know what to do.” Because the child depends on these adult persons and has been taught to trust them the child ignores their own discomforting thoughts and feelings, even though the touch does not feel right, believing that these adults know best. The pedophile has succeeded in distorting the child’s relationship with Self, has succeeded in teaching the child to listen to the pedophile versus listening to them-Self. The child has been made vulnerable and is at risk for experiencing on-going abuse. Part of the solution lies in teaching children to listen to there own emotional feelings and thoughts, to develop their Voice, to tell when they feel unsafe, and for adults to listen;
3-12 yr olds – pedophiles may prefer this aged child’s prepubescent body shape, their lack of body hair, or small and developing breasts;
14-18 adolescents – pedophiles may select this age group because it is easier to blame the youth, stating the youth is responsible and was consenting to the “sexualized” acts;
18 yrs old and over – provides safety in the “so-called” consensual agreement, making it easier for the pedophile to totally hold the victim responsible for the perpetrator’s behavior despite the differential in power and position between the adult and youth within the youth-adult relationship; and/or

By specific gender preferences:
Some pedophiles prefer boys, some girls; some will abuse both genders depending on opportunity and accessibility of their potential child/youth victim.

By specific physical attributes:
A pedophile may choose their potential victim based on physical attributes, for instance, they may prefer a red-haired child/youth or a dark-skinned child/youth. Another example described to us by an adult, who had been forced as a child into the “off-street” sexualized exploitation “trade”, involved children being was made to hide behind a curtain then forced to poke their hands out from behind the curtain so the pedophile could examine the children’s hands. The children were made to believe that they were chosen as a victim because the pedophile liked their hands.[8]

Pedophiles may let their child/youth victims go stop using and abusing them if the risk for discovery is too great, if the child/youth is at a point of disclosing the abuse, or when the child/youth’s development makes them “unattractive” to the pedophile. Pedophilic parent(s) may deprive their child/youth of food in an attempt to keep their child/youth’s body underdeveloped to insure their on-going pedophilic pleasures or to insure their child/youth remains “marketable” for the pedophilic pornography and “sex” trade.

Sexualized multi-perpetrator group processes:
Pedophilic activity can extend beyond the single perpetrator-victim relationship to involve a pedophilic group process that can include more than one child/youth victim. The presence of multi-perpetrators forces the child/youth victims into compliance simply because they are outnumbered. Multi-perpetrator group processes also offers the pedophiles more opportunities to manipulate their power and control, it increases the child/youth’s victimization and sense of guilt, and pushes them into believing they are a “bad person” to be involved in such horrible acts with many pedophiles.
If the group process involves more than one child/youth victim the pedophiles can manipulate some vulnerable child/youth victim’s needs for love and acknowledgement so the child/youth will attempt to be good, be perfect, to please their perpetrator, and to make their perpetrator happy in an effort to gain “specialness” over the other child/youth victims. The pedophile then manipulates this need to gain specialness by pitting one child/youth against another. Such manipulation ignites a sense of distorted jealousy and competitiveness between child/youth victims as they struggle to maintain their position of specialness within their relationship with their perpetrator in the hopes a specialness position will offer protection from other pedophiles, for example. Perpetrators use such manipulation to entrap the child/youth victim into silence.

Multi-pedophile groups can force or manipulate a child victim to victimize another child, for instance, “if you smear fecas on Margaret then you will not have to eat the fecas.”[9] Perpetrators use this technique to burden the “victimizing” child/youth with horrendous blame, shame, and guilt because the child/youth is forced to perceive it was their fault, that they caused harm to another child/youth, and that they must be a very bad person. Perpetrators know these “no-win” over-whelming ordeals are a method of gaining protection for them-Selves because the child/youth victims are so burdened with guilt, blame, and shame that it can lock them into silence and secrecy forever. To reinforce the child victim’s silence perpetrator’s state, “no one will ever believe you if you tell!”

Family/group pedophilic rapes also means the children/youth are exposed to, are witness to, the sexualized violence inflicted unto other children as well as to the sexualized adult behaviors. These images, sounds, smells, tastes, and physical and emotional feelings compound the severity of the child’s victimizing and traumatizing ordeals. Other horrific acts such as bestiality cause further traumatization.
“Luring-in” techniques and patterns:
Pedophiles have and do use repetitive patterns and tactics to lure in their selected and potential child/youth victims, such as:

Building trust into their relationship with their potential victim by, for example:

Inserting them-Self into the child/youth’s everyday life activities,
Using non-intrusive touch to manipulate their potential child/youth victim into becoming comfortable with touching,
Gradually changing the touch into sexualized touch which will progress to pedophilic assault, and/or,
Telling the child/youth they are “special”

Isolating the child/youth, for instance, by:

Taking the child/youth places alone on trips, camping, to ball games for example at first for fun, then for pedophilic assault,
Using treats as a repetitive engagement pattern which makes the relationship appear normal, for instance, every Sunday the pedophile takes the child for an ice cream cone but the reality is once in the car the child is entrapped and victimized by the pedophilic hunter, and/or
Telling the child that “This is our special secret and you must never tell anyone.”

Acting in a role of educator by telling the child/youth that their role is to teach the child/youth about sex, which leads to pedophilic sexualized abuse, and/or,

Using familiarity, for instance,
By sneaking up on a child/youth victim in a place the child/youth perceives as non-threatening the pedophilic priest who uses the confessional, the rectory, or the basement of the church as a site for perpetration, or who invades the child/youth’s home, the child/youth’s bedroom, the child/youth’s own bed, or
Using a place that was geographically made familiar to the child/youth and that was previously made familiar in fun, such as a familiar hotel room, a previous summer trip to a cottage, a boating trip, or a youth camping trip, which suddenly turns into a site for pedophilic entrapment and sexualized violence.

Turning familiar places into sites for pedophilic entrapment and sexualized violence can cause instant and over-whelming emotional chaos and disorientation for the child/youth victim, which, in turn, increases the child/youth victim’s vulnerability. With control of the environment the pedophile can exert added power and control over the child/youth victim. Operating in familiar sites can also provide safety and security for the perpetrator, reducing the possibility they will be caught. On the other hand, to operate in a familiar site such as in the child/youth victim’s home, where there is a risk of being caught, adds a perverse thrill to the pedophile’s hunting and their pleasures of sexualized violence.
Bietighofer, a former pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, used some of the above techniques in his alleged sexualized abuse of boys. “He would allegedly pull young boys out of classes at Blessed Sacrament and take them to his rectory office or bedroom, where he would engage them in conversations about girls or relationships, and then pull down their pants and fondle them.”[10]

Entrapment occurs whenever a pedophile abuses their adult position within the adult-child/youth relationship; however, when a pedophile takes the child/youth victim to a strange place the pedophile gains even more control over the child/youth victim because the child/youth victim is outside of their comfort and safety zone. Isolated from sources of help, the entrapped child/youth is forced to connect and dependent on their pedophilic perpetrator for their survival. Feeling entrapped in a life-threatening ordeal that increases the child/youth victim’s emotion fearfulness, terrorization, and horrification. Confused, the child/youth can experience a sense of captivity, powerlessness, and hopelessness and is over-whelmed. For some pedophiles seeing terror in the eyes of their captive child/youth victim “turns them on” so they will intentionally exert whatever forces are needed to fulfill their needs and desires to experience this specific thrill and pleasure.

Drugging their child/youth victims intentionally, using alcohol for example, decreases their child/youth victim’s resistance and increases their vulnerability to victimization. This technique of drugging can entrap the child/youth victim into Self-blame “I shouldn’t have drank, it’s my fault I got abused.” By creating a situation that shifts blame unto their child/youth victim affords the pedophile additional safety and security that their child/youth victim will not tell.

Using peer pressure to enforce silence and secrecy can occur when a perpetrator engages at least several child/youth victims in sexualized violence at one time. Should such a situation occur the victimized children/youth are confronted with not only telling on the perpetrator but also disclosing another child/youth’s secret telling on their peer(s). Perpetrators know that children/youth seldom want to tell on their peer(s) especially if they believe their pee(s) will be hurt. Using peer pressure to maintain a child/youth victim’s secrecy and silence is another technique some perpetrators can and do use to protect them-Selves from being exposed.

Threats and intimidation are behaviors pedophiles may resort to when the risk of detection goes up. For instance, the pedophilic perpetrator might:
Make threatening statements like, “I will kill you if you tell”; “I’ll kill your parent(s), sibling(s), pet(s)”, or “I’ll hurt your friend”,
Force their child victim to kill to drown[11] their own pet,
Increase the degree of sexualized and physical violence they inflict unto their child/youth victim, at the same time telling the child/youth victim that it is all their fault, that the perpetrator has to hurt them because they were bad for trying to tell,
Force their child/youth victim to victimize another child/youth then tell the child/youth victim that they are abusers, and/or,
Use emotional blackmail to silence the child/youth victim by telling the child/youth victim that if they tell their parent(s) about the abuse it would hurt their parent(s) or cause their family to break up and that it would be the child/youth victim’s entire fault.

Acts used for punishment:
Pedophiles use punishment techniques on vulnerable children/youth in an attempt to control their child/youth victim, to keep their pedophilic victim(s) entrapped, and/or to derive perverse pleasure watching how punishment causes the child/youth to suffer. Punishment acts are:
withholding acts, for instance, the perpetrator will withhold treats, gifts, a trip, or a touch, for instance in a public setting the perpetrator will hug everyone but their child/youth victim, to relay a threatening message to the child/youth victim. For the child/youth victim who believes they need to keep their family safe these messages attack the child/youth victims already damaged relationship with their-Self. Withholding is a blame-shifting tactic which can send a message to the child/youth victim that they have done something wrong and sends the message that they have made the perpetrator angry and are at risk of being further harmed and abused.
taking back or destroying prized possessions such as toys or awards are acts which allow the perpetrator to deliver a message to the child/youth victim that they are unworthy of having possessions and for some unknown reason they are bad or did something wrong, Taking away possessions fosters within the child/youth victim a sense of mistrust, isolation, and aloneness because it becomes too emotionally hurtful, too risky for them to allow them-Self to feel attached to a toy or to any adult, including their parents. Breaking a child/youth’s ability to feel emotional attachment for anything or any person is an enormous life-threatening feeling that can lead to all-encompassing isolation, aloneness, suffering, and Self-harming behaviors.
shunning occurs when perpetrators use the “silent treatment”, that is, they will speak to everyone but the child/youth victim whom they will ignore. An example might be that a priest will speak to three altar boys in the group, ignoring the fourth altar boy the child/youth victim. Shunning can leave the child victim feeling invisible, like a discarded object, and worthless as a person. If such “priestly” shunning behaviors are observed, for instance, within adult-child relationships it ought to be considered an indicator that something is wrong, parent(s) need to ask questions, and the possibility of child/youth abuse needs to be addressed.

Punishment acts are used to exert power and control over child/youth victims, to force them into silence and compliance. These acts intensify the child/youth victim’s sense of emotional fear and terror and can push them into Self-harming behaviors in an attempt to cope with their over-whelming suffering.
Acts which can totally assault the child/youth’s senses:
“Party time” events which involve combining many of a child/youth’s favorite activities such as eating out and “special” treats with a fun-filled outing, a week-end adventure where they are bombarded with constant noise, such as loud music, and with invitations to try drugs and alcohol come together to create an environment filled with over-stimulation. Pedophiles intentionally use such events to manipulate the child/youth victim into a position of increased vulnerability, decreasing the child/youth victim’s ability to resist abuse. For instance, an intoxicated youth may not be able to resist being forced into the same bed with their “trusted” friend the priest, the teacher, or the mother of a friend.
Pedophiles manipulate and over-stimulate the child/youth’s physical body senses via masturbation, with vibrators, and/or with the infliction of pain on the genitals. If the child/youth victim has an erection or feels vaginal reactions this causes confusion and can distort the child/youth’s understanding of their body’s biological responses. Pedophiles can then manipulate the child/youth into believing their biological/physical responses are an indication that they are enjoying the sexualized assault. If the child/youth victim tries to control their biological responses by willing their body not to respond and their body “did not listen” the child/youth victim commonly feels “betrayed by my body” and may develop Self-hatred hatred of their body. The pedophile has successfully tricked the child/youth into blaming them-Self, into blaming their bodies for betraying them, and into hatred of their bodies. Self-hatred, body hatred, can lead to Self-harming habits such as Self-cutting, distorted body image, and eating problems as a way of coping. Child/youth victims may even disconnect or dissociate from their body, that is, they no longer feel their body.

Withholding food or water from the child/youth victim, keeping the child/youth victim up all night, depriving them of sleep, or withholding access to bathroom facilities are acts of deprivation pedophiles use to manipulate and control the child/youth victim into a sense of helplessness, powerlessness, weakness, fear and terror. The extensiveness of the deprivation, for example if the pedophile forces the child/youth victim to urinate or poop their pants, also affects the degree of degradation, humiliation, and de-personalization the child/youth victim suffers and increases the child/youth victim’s sense of powerlessness and maximizes the perpetrators control over the child victim.

desensitization techniques
By gradually intruding and invading on a potential child/youth victim’s personal space and boundaries the perpetrator aims to condition the potential child/youth victim to disregard or to mistrust their own intuitiveness, to disregard that they are feeling uncomfortable and unsafe. These desensitization tactics is how the perpetrator begins to take control of the child/youth. For example:
By using physical touching and non-touching, non-invasive then invasive touching, engaging with and withdrawing from the child/youth victim, the perpetrator sends mixed messages to the child/youth victim who then begins to doubt him/her-Self. Self-doubt makes the child/youth vulnerable to the pedophile’s control.
Using mixed messages about touching enables the pedophile to manipulate the child/youth to disregard intrusions on their personal space. The child/youth victim may even begin to believe that they have no right to say “No” when their physical boundaries are violated so they may not be able to develop healthy boundaries about their body and personal space. These limitations can make them vulnerable to re-victimization because their abilities to read intrusive and abusive cues have been distorted by the pedophile.
Acts intended to cause degradation, humiliation, and de-personalization:
Pedophiles may engage in acts of degradation and humiliation to shatter the child/youth’s sense of Self-respect, their spirituality, and ultimately their relationship with/to their-Self. This can leave the child/youth victim feeling disconnected, disassociative and feeling like a non-person. Examples are:
Perpetrators never call the child/youth victim by name, or will refer to the child/youth victim as an “it”, a nothing, as an effective way to totally objectify, de-personalize, and degrade the child/youth victim,
Perpetrators force the child/youth victim to be naked and exposed, they then laugh at the child/youth victim which causes the child/youth victim extensive emotional feelings of humiliation and degradation,
Perpetrators may opt to smear body fluids, for example, urine, semen, vaginal blood, or stool on the child/youth’s body which causes degradation, humiliation, and de-personalization and can leave the child victim with an on-going sense of feeling physically dirty. Dirtiness sensations can linger for a long time triggering the child/youth victim into a need for excessive bathing and scrubbing in an attempt to remove their sense of dirtiness. Such violations can leave an imprint of smells in the child/youth’s memory which re-occur as sensory smelly flashbacks,
Perpetrators can force child/youth victims into bestiality that leaves a child/youth victim de-personalized and can confuse the child/youth’s sense of identity. The child/youth may harbor beliefs and feelings that they are a dog, for example, and the child/youth may even fear that they will have “doggie babies”, or
Perpetrators can forced child/youth victims to watch them-Self in an mirror experiencing sexualized assaults which is degrading, humiliating, de-personalizing, and spiritually shattering to the point of causing the child/youth victim to disconnect or dissociate from his/her-Self.

Acts which manipulate language:
Pedophiles can use a child/youth’s still developing knowledge and language to manipulate and distort the child/youth’s understanding of what is happening to them, or to trick the child/youth victim to believe they are not being abused by telling the child/youth victim the sexualized violence is normal. For example, the pedophilic priest may tell a ten-year-old child victim that the sexualized abuse is how they will learn about sex. If the child victim does not have healthy knowledge nor the words to describe their experiences they may misunderstand what really happened to them for years. Part of the solution lies in teaching children healthy sexuality.
The power of words, for instance, the title of priest as “father” can be twisted to make the child/youth victim believe the priest is like a father. “Father” can be stretched to daddy. For example, Christopher J. Sellars, alleged that in 1995 Father Berthold at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton Mass., “kissed him on the lips and said: “You can call me ‘Daddy, and I’ll call you ‘my little boy.”[12]
To distort the harmful reality of sexualized violence pedophiles and society-in-general frequently use phrases which minimize and distort the reality of all forms of violence against children and youth. For instance,

“diddling” is a phrase commonly used to minimize finger raping,
a child who is taught to use the word “monster” to replace penis so that if the child victim states, “a monster attacks me at night” a bystander may assume this means the child victim is having monster nightmares and the pedophile’s activities go “unseen”,
the child victim who is taught to “suck on the lollipop” is a statement used to hide the pedophile’s activity of oral rape. Should the child victim make this statement publicly chances are bystanders would assume the child victim was referring to a sucker and not a penis,
“doing them” or “poking them” or “having their way” minimizes anal or vaginal rape; or,
“I’m doing this because I love you” or “it’s for your own good” replaces “I’m raping you.”

All of these distorted phrases aid the pedophile to successfully hide their activities by manipulating the child/youth’s language. Such phrases totally devalue the suffering of child/youth victims who have been or who are experiencing sexualized violence. As well, social phrases that distort the reality of child/youth abuse contributes to the devaluation of children/youth as persons and fosters an on-going acceptance of a culture of violence against children/youth childogny.
Combining the role of priest with the distortion and manipulation of language is another technique that hides the intentional behavior of a pedophilic priest. For example, it was reported that Geoghan told children’s parents he was going into their children’s rooms at night to “to bless them” when, in fact, he was using his “priestly” role to gain access to his child victims so he could fondle them under their blankets in a totally dark room. Victims said they were terrified in their own bed.
Pedophiles who use their counselor or confident role to inform a child/youth victim that the child/youth victim can trust them and tell them anything is a statement that the pedophile can easily use to manipulate any discussion into the area of sex. Using a discussion about sex as a door into initiating sexualized abuse the pedophilic professional can confuse the child/youth into believing the discussion and the sexualized abuse is about sexuality education. For example, a pedophilic teacher who was showing a street-proofing film to his students in his darkened classroom forced his eight-year-old child victim to sit on his lap. While watching the film the child victim was forced to fondle his teacher.[13]

Exploitation via the ploy of work and/or roles:
A pedophile priest can gain access to children/youth victims by engaging them to do work, for instance having the child/youth run errands or do maintenance and yard work at the rectory or on church grounds. Pedophilic priests have used the church practice of engaging.
Pedophilic women and men also gain access to children/youth when they volunteer to be baby-sitters, to work as nannies, or seek out employment that gives them access to children and youth.
A pedophile that buys a new truck may entice a child to go for a thrilling drive in the new truck to help run errands. Once in the truck the child/youth becomes captive and easily victimized a scenario, which happened to a friend’s child.

Behavioral techniques that are used to distort, to cover-up, or escape truth and responsibility:
Lying, withholding information, deceitfulness, half-truths, saying, “I cannot remember or
recall”, or “I don’t know” ought to be considered standard behaviors of the pedophile,
Not putting information in writing so there are no records that can incriminate the pedophile is another tactic if you have concerns put it in writing and keep a copy,
Not responding to letters saying nothing or saying “no comment” are common techniques used in the hope that the complainer will go away,
Pedophilic priests can use the power of the church for support, for defense, or to hide,
knowing that the church officials can transfer them, say they are looking into the matter, or do nothing because the power of the church has been omnipotent,
Perpetrators know that when they put the responsibility for seeking justice onto victims the possibility is their victims will run out of stamina, support, or might walk away the perpetrator is free,
To shed responsibility and to gather pity perpetrators use excuses such as, they are too
old to stand trial, are suffering from poor health, are having financial difficulties, are having alcohol or drug problems, or that they themselves were abused as children or adolescents, all in the hope people will feel sorry for them and they will evade responsibility for their actions and escape punishment,
Using non-verbal communication, for instance, by shedding crocodile tears an effective ploy in evading responsibility, perpetrators hope to manipulate and pull people in both bystanders and victims to have pity for them, to feel sorry for them, or to believe the pedophile is sorry for the sexualized violence they inflicted,
Pedophiles can and do manipulate their verbal tones, for example, speak in a quiet, soothing, or small voice, a technique that disarms the child/youth victim making them vulnerable to pedophilic sexualized violence,
Perpetrators can use intimidating voice tones to distract or to make bystanders or parent(s) feel threatened causing them to withdraw from challenging the perpetrator,
Discrediting victims or portraying helpful bystanders as confused, crazy, incompetent,
unreliable, lying, or blowing things out of proportion are also ways the perpetrator deflects attention away from them-Self and their crimes,
Perpetrators may decide to use violence to silence their child/youth victim, using weapons
such as, guns, knives, everyday items, for instance broom handles to penetrate body orifices, belts for whipping, or bathtubs for submerging the child/youth victim’s face into and threatening to drown the child/youth victim if they tell. Even the pedophile’s adult body size can be life threatening,
Perpetrators can infantalize their child/youth using verbal and emotional abuse, by telling the child/youth that they are “good for nothing”, that they do not do not know how-to do anything right, that they are stupid, dumb, trash tactics aimed at diminishing the child/youth’s sense of capability and empowerment, which leaves the child/youth victim feeling vulnerable and feeling emotionally dependent on their perpetrator,
Perpetrators can network around the country and around the world enabling them to
move/transfer quickly when the risk of detection increases. Staying in like-minded company increases their accessibility to child/youth victims and increases their protective cover,
Perpetrators may admit that they have abused children/youth once they are outside the reach of the statute of limitations knowing they can never be convicted. For priest pedophiles they know the church may have to pay legal fees in the event of a civil suit or make financial settlements in order to prevent a church scandal, and/or,
When perpetrators know the evidence is stacked against them they may plead guilty in
court in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence.

There are many dimensions of pedophilia ranging from child pornography, “sex trade”, fondling, rape, and penetration with objects, torture, to ritual abuse-torture. To prevent and reduce pedophile access and abuse of children and youths we suggest these interventions:

Lobby to have the statute of limitations removed from the criminal code to allow adult victims to press charges against older pedophiles, which can deter their behavior, adult victims can/may sustain the rigors of the justice system better than children.
Teaching children/youth about a healthy relationship with Self, learning about personhood, equality, gender equality, and healthy sexuality. Sexuality should not be compartmentalized separately from relationships. Jeanne developed a mini healthy sexuality curriculum which was taught pupils in grades 3-5 which addresses the reality relationships exist along a continuum which can be healthy, or unhealthy, or illegal, or be an evil-based relationship (pedophiles which derive inhumane and cruel pleasure from the torture or ritual abuse-torture of the child). Children’s evaluations showed that they were surprised when they realized they have a relationship with their-Self. In our opinion, sexuality ought to be taught in connection with the concept that children/youth have a relationship with/to Self as well as with/to others.
Teaching children, youth, and adults about the actions of pedophiles – talk, talk, and talk.
Talking about and naming the reality and solutions to stop pedophile behavior has to be done “on the streets”. More need for talking, talking, talking.
Educate ourselves so we can listen to child/youth victims and adult survivors of pedophile violence, so the victim feels they need not be silent, that they will be understood. Listening heals not only the victimized person but, in our opinion, heals a society and its culture to move to stop violence against children/youth.
Develop an international registry of pedophiles in concert with developing international laws against pedophilia so pedophiles cannot move unto new victims by nation hopping.
Develop and use effective screening tools for all persons working with children/youth to prevent pedophiles from gaining access to children/youth.
Develop mandatory reporting legislation for all citizens in society (already law in Canada). And legal requirements ought to override other structural complaint reporting processes, whether they are professional and self-governing bodies, professional associations, or church processes that adhere to Cannon Law versus civil law. Be ready to hold citizens/professionals legally accountable, a position that seems to be developing in Canada given the number of inquiries investigating cases where departments failed to protect the child/youth from harm.
Open and transparent policies with clear reporting to the police guidelines regarding alleged pedophile behavior. Secretive in-house investigations are a definite no no! Cover-ups are very easy under closed systems/departments.
Boards have to have open honest annual minutes. Documentation ought to include information about any actions that were taken to deal with risks to the safety of children/youth or other vulnerable populations, i.e., investigation of complaints such as pedophile allegations. While reports need to be respectful of confidentiality and privacy and not give specific details that would compromise a criminal investigation, reports must not be part of cover-ups, silencing the issues, or making the issues and the risks invisible.
Abuse and non-political torture of children/youth must be viewed as a human rights violation under the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child. The U.S. has not fully ratified this Convention.
Staub, E. (1989). The Roots of Evil (pp. 13-34). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Conversation Linda had with a Criminal Justice system worker who had been in conversation with a priest jailed for his pedophilic crimes, September 2002.
Sara speaking to us during our kitchen table research project and discussing her experiences of ritual abuse-torture.
Kurkjian, S. (2002, May 15). The Boston Globe.
Bird, W. R. (1968). Ghosts Have Warm Hand (p. 57). Toronto: Clarke, Irwin.
Johanna McGary, J. (2002, April 1). Can the Church be saved? Time, p. 17.
Seminal is used here to refer, in a general sense, to all ejaculatory fluids.
Sara, a participatant in our “kitchen table” research project, told us of this, her experience.
Carrie’s description of her childhood experiences of ritual abuse-torture, told to us during our “kitchen table” research project.
Kranish, M. & Carroll, M. (2002, May 17). The Boston Globe.
Carrie told us that her father forced her to drown her pet cat and threatened that he would drown her if she ever told her mother about the ritual abuse-torture ordeals.
Kurkjain, S. (2002, May 15). The Boston Globe.
Makin, K. (1994, November 26). The man who loved children. The Globe and Mail.

Jeanne Sarson, RN, BScN, MEd.
Linda MacDonald, RN, BN, MEd.
Copyright © 2002

Revised November 4, 2002

Bishop Charles Scicluna, Former Vatican Chief Prosecutor of Clerical Sexual Abuse Named as One of Top Ten People of 2012

“There is one of the key assistants to Cardinal Ratzinger from his years at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a man who, under the Pope’s orders, has courageously toiled to “purify the Churchâ€� by investigating cases of priestly sexual abuse. This courageous man is Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.â€� (from The Moynihan Report – Inside the Vatican Magazine)

Each year, Inside the Vatican Magazine chooses 10 people whom they believe are examples of great courage, fidelity to the Church and heroic Christian charity.

One of those honored by being chosen as among the top ten people of the year for 2012 was Bishop Charles Scicluna. He was formerly the Vatican’s chief prosecutor of clerical sexual abuse and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Malta and Titular Bishop of San Leone on October 6, 2012. In 2005, (then) Cardinal Ratzinger sent Scicluna to Mexico and New York to collect testimony against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr Marcial Maciel, amid allegations of abuse.

Bishop Scicluna was named in this year’s selections, together with Pope Benedict XVI.

The following is quoted with permission from Inside the Vatican Magazine:

“Bishop Charles Scicluna

His friends and family speak of his warmth, his hard work and dedication to justice, his sense of humor and of the safety they felt while in his presence. His colleagues and mentors note that he is someone who knows how to be around others and to respect all people. Almost everyone speaks of him with love and admiration for his courage, loyalty, faithfulness and hard work. He is the newly-ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Malta, His Excellency Charles J. Scicluna, 53, one of the key figures in the past decade in the Church’s effort — called for so strongly by Pope Benedict XVI — of self-purification.

Scicluna marked the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in July 2011, and celebrated his tenth year as Promoter of Justice in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in October 2012. He then returned to his native Malta to be ordained to the episcopate on November 24.

In the days immediately following his ordination, though he has now left Rome and his Vatican post, he was assigned to be a judge in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; he will now act as advisor and sit with the two dozen cardinals and bishops who judge the abuse cases that come before the CDF, his old office.

His parents, Emanuel and Maria Carmela (née Falzon) lived to celebrate the ordination to the episcopate of the eldest of their four children.

Charles Jude Scicluna was born in Toronto, Canada, on May 15, 1959. The following year the Scicluna family moved to Malta, where he attended school and grew up, surrounded by a large extended family.

Scicluna attended Saint Edward’s College in Cottonera, Malta, and he entered the law course at the University of Malta in 1976; he graduated as a Doctor of Laws in 1984. After completing his seminary studies and earning a licentiate in pastoral theology, he was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood by the Archbishop of Malta, Monsignor Joseph Mercieca, on July 11, 1986. Scicluna was sent to study canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and obtained his doctorate in canon law with a specialization in jurisprudence in 1991, when he returned to Malta. In 1995 he was called to the Vatican to work on the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura as Substitute Promoter of Justice.

In 1996, he was appointed postulator for the cause of beatification and canonization of St. George Preca, popularly known as the “Second Apostle of Maltaâ€� after St. Paul. (In Maltese he is known as Dun Ġorġ Preca. He lived from 1880 to 1962, founded the Society of Christian Doctrine, a group of lay catechists, and was canonized by Pope Benedict on June 3, 2007.)
Scicluna is best known to the world’s media for his work in prosecuting the most serious crimes committed by priests. Quietly doing the work of a dozen individuals, he oversaw the cases leading to the removal of hundreds of pederast priests, including the late Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

In addition to the ongoing pastoral responsibilities he has had since his ordination as a priest in 1986, he has lectured, written, taught, and faithfully served the Church he loves.
He also served as defender of the bond and promoter of justice at the Metropolitan Court of Malta and professor of pastoral theology and canon law and vice-rector of the major seminary of the archdiocese there.

In 2010, Scicluna drafted the universal norms which extended the Church’s statutes of limitations on reporting cases as well as extended the list of ecclesial crimes to include the possession of child pornography, among other things.

Also in 2010, he presided at a prayer service of reparation for priests in St. Peter’s Basilica, where he courageously stated the harsh truth regarding those who have misused the priesthood: “How many are the sins in the Church for arrogance, for insatiable ambition, the tyranny and injustice of those who take advantage of ministry to advance their careers, to show off, for futile and miserable reasons of vanity!�

Intense and focused attention was as much his signature characteristic as his loyalty to his friends and unswerving adherence to Church law.

His colleagues at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came in force to his ordination in Malta on November 24. Monsignor John Kennedy was one of those. He had worked with Monsignor Scicluna for ten years and remarked, “He would give you his complete attention and focus irrespective of the mountains of papers in front of him or the issues he was dealing with from all over the world… He gave 100 percent to everybody, on every occasion, on every day.�
And mountains of papers were his unenviable challenge every day of the ten years that he acted as Promoter of Justice, a post which had been in existence but was not functional until he was given the appointment in 2002.

On one occasion in 2006, when he was already inundated with global cases of sexual abuse, a courier from America handed him several hundred pages of testimonials; he accepted the heavy satchel with grace and humor, requesting of those who had created the dossier to be patient and “save the trees� for awhile so that he could attend carefully to what had just been given to him.
A note of congratulations to Scicluna from Paul Lennon, founder of the Regain Network and a former priest with the Legionaries of Christ, said: “I wish you peace and fortitude as you assume your new post. I will never forget the kind and respectful, while firm and professional, way you treated me… in New York in April 2005. You are in my prayers.�

Scicluna replied immediately: “Dear Paul, Let us walk humbly with the Lord who has His own plans for each one of us and will never fail to hear the cry of those who suffer. I am very happy to be back with my people, and I have promised them to lay down my life for them. I know that is what Our Lord expects of a shepherd of souls… Every bishop is called to share the concerns of the Holy Father for victims of injustice and abuse. Indeed the episcopacy is a sacramental title for such concern and cooperation. I have now moved from [headquarters] to the front line. The war against sin and crime indeed continues. Non praevalebunt.�

Before addressing a Vatican-planned conference on abuse entitled “To¬wards Heal¬ing and Renewal� held in February 2012 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Scicluna again asked for prayers from his friends, one of whom sent the message that he should remember the hymn of St. Patrick’s Breastplate; Scicluna wrote back, “Thanks for that inspired prayer.� The following day, February 8, he shocked the 140 representatives from the world’s bishops’ conferences and the 30 from religious orders when he compared the ecclesiastical cover-up of sexual abuse to the Mafia’s code of silence, omertà . Such a word had never been used in such a setting.
He continued: “The teaching of Blessed John Paul II that truth is at the basis of justice explains why a deadly culture of silence or ‘omertà ’ is in itself wrong and unjust.� He added, “Other enemies of the truth are the deliberate denial of known facts and the misplaced concern that the good name of the institution should somehow enjoy absolute priority to the detriment of disclosure.�

Everyone who has accepted the hand of Truth has enemies. Those who do not love Scicluna may be among those whom he was rebuking in his “Words of Fire� interview on August 23, 2010, with FOX news reporter, Greg Burke, now the Vatican’s communications consultant. Scicluna, referring to Jesus Christ, said: “He had words of fire against people who would scandalize the young. And if we stick to His words and are loyal to His teaching, we are on very good ground; we are not alone. [In abuse] there is a sacred trust which has been violated. The priest is ordained to be an icon, an image, a living image of Jesus Christ. He is another Christ at the altar, when he preaches. Now, when he abuses, he shatters that icon. The image for which he has been ordained is not there. It becomes a mockery of his vocation. It is a great tragedy for the individual, for the victim, for the Church. And we have to face Truth, even if it is not nice. Truth will set us free. There is no other way out of this situation except facing the truth of the matter.�

Scicluna looks to St. George Preca, Malta’s first saint, as his guide for priestly humility and holiness. Paul Cardona, who also studied the life of St. George Preca, claims that the Maltese saint is a model for Scicluna. “Like [St. George], he (Scicluna) listens to everyone, and does not make any distinction between role, age or status,� Cardona said. “Without wanting to, you just have to love him.� Cardona added that Scicluna could be described in the same way that St. George Preca spoke of St. Paul: small in stature but big in spirit.

Indeed, even the official mandate from the Holy See, which was read aloud in the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Valletta, Malta, on the day of Monsignor Scicluna’s ordination to the episcopate, opened with an unmistakable note of sincere affection amidst the official language: “Benedict Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God, to Our beloved Son, Charles Jude Scicluna… who, endowed as you are with the requisite gifts of mind and heart and being an expert, among others, in things ecclesial, as we know so well, have worked in a laudable way in the Apostolic See of Peter on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith… Make sure, beloved Son, that, following the example of holiness of St. Paul and St. George Preca…you may be able to be a worthy Servant of Christ who is ‘Faithful and True’� (Rev. 19:11).

We honor Bishop Scicluna and remember his good work as he continues “Fidelis et Verax� — the words of his episcopal motto — “Faithful and True.� —Inside the Vatican Staff�

ReGAIN Comment:

According to Wikipedia: Click Here
“When he was presiding over a 2010 prayer service of reparation in St Peter’s Basilica, Scicluna asked “How many are the sins in the church for arrogance, for insatiable ambition, the tyranny and injustice of those who take advantage of ministry to advance their careers, to show off, for reasons of futile and miserable reasons of vanity! “Accepting the kingdom of God like a child is to accept with a pure heart, with docility, abandonment, confidence, enthusiasm, and hope,â€� he said. “All this reminds us of the child. All this makes the child precious in God’s eyes, and in the eyes of a true disciple of Jesus.â€�

Addressing a Vatican-planned conference on abuse held in February 2012 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, he used the word “omertà � – in rapping “a deadly culture of silence� on abuse that, beyond being obstructing the truth, “is in itself wrong and unjust.� “Other enemies of the truth,� he added, “are the deliberate denial of known facts and the misplaced concern that the good name of the institution should somehow enjoy absolute priority to the detriment of disclosure.�

On 1 December 2012 Bishop Scicluna was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for a five year renewable term by Pope Benedict.

ReGAIN editors were pleased to see that Bishop Scicluna has been recognized and honored by The Vatican Insider Magazine for his courage, dedication to the Church and for his willingness to take on such a challenging and demanding role and to speak so openly and honestly in spite of powerful opposition.

No To LC American Boarding & Apostolic Schools [and Novitiates?]

General Confession with Fr. Maciel and a tribute to my real father
By one of First Irish LC’s

The author explores the dangers of the Legion of Christ’s Apostolic Schools in the light of OLD & NEW allegations of sexual abuse by Founder Marcial Maciel of his younger seminarians and that of other Legionaries in minor seminaries. The article questions the training and credentials of Legionary seminarians as formators of adolescents. Structural discrepancies with official Church Teaching are mentioned.

From Legion of Christ official website:

The Legion’s apostolic schools worldwide, including this one in Center Harbor, New Hampshire, aim to give young men in grades 7-12, who are really thinking about the priesthood, what they will need to discover Christ’s call and prepare for it.

[from discussion board, thread: ‘safe environment’]

Posted on 9/19/2005 at 10:22 AM

Safe Environment ?
In the spring I stopped by St Brigid’s church in Cheshire and noticed in their bulletin that they were looking for CCD teachers because they would no longer have the services of the LC’s when I asked an LC why not they said they didn’t know. At WYD I met parishioners from St Brigid’s so I asked them why the LC aren’t teaching there anymore and they said the superior would not let them take the safe environment course required to teach in a parish school. I was wondering if that was to keep the seminarians from realizing they do not live in a safe environment?

Part One

One in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted before the age of 18

Handbook on Sexual Abuse of Children, Russell, 1988


Child Sexual Abuse does not necessarily involve penetration or even physical contact. Often beginning with seemingly innocent intrusions into the child’s personal space, the offender slowly tests and conditions the child to accept abuse which may escalate over a period of time.

The stereotype of child molesters as mentally unstable, dangerous-looking strangers is not statistically accurate:

  • Only 10-15% of offenders are strangers to their victims.
  • Often, child victims have trusting, dependent relationships with their offenders.
  • Ordinary-seeming men and women, even respected community members, sexually assault children.

Child sexual abuse occurs within all racial, ethnic, religious, educational, gender, social, and economic classes.

Although offenders may use physical force to perpetrate abuse, more typically they rely on threats. bribery, emotional force, or simply the force of their authority over the child. Sometimes, this force is implied rather than overt.

THREATS: ‘If you tell you’ll be sent home and lose your vocation.’

BRIBERY: ‘You will have special exceptions to the rule and privileges.’

EMOTIONAL: ‘You won’t be my special friend any more’

AUTHORITY: ‘This is our secret -don’t tell. They wouldn’t understand.’
[Adapted by the

writer from: Child Sexual Assault brochure, VAASA, Feel free to request]


It is not ‘crime of passion’. IT IS A CRIME OF VIOLENCE, POWER, AND CONTROL. It occurs when a person is forced, threatened, coerced or manipulated and tricked into sexual contacts against his or her will. No one asks to be sexually abused -it is the perpetrator who decides to hurt someone. Sexual abuse is never the victim’s fault.

Because of the mistaken belief that sexual assault is sexually motivated, it is often assumed that anyone who would sexually assault a male is after sex. Therefore, we assume that a perpetrator of male sexual abuse must be either a heterosexaul woman or a homosexual man. But sexual assault is not about sex -it’s about violence, power, hostility and domination. It’s an attempt to hurt someone. It is possible for a woman to assault a man; and some men who commit sexual assaults are gay. But most sexual assaults of men are committed by ‘straight’ or heterosexual men.


[See ‘Male Survivors of Sexual Assault’ brochure, VAASA,]

Part Two

I am at Sanborns restaurant at the ‘Plaza de las Estrellas’ mall in Mexico City?s Anzures district on Saturday, September 10, 2005. Sitting across from me, Dr. Fernando Gonzalez interviews me about my experiences with the Legion of Christ, against the background of pedophilia. I tell him honestly I was never sexually abused in the Legion, nor was I ever approached in an inappropriate way by any member.

Entering the LC at age 17 and 7 months, I admit I was very immature mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; naive and sexually unaware, too. However, as the son of a warm and structured home, I had strong relationships with my mother her only son- and with my father -we were ‘boon companions’. He was very ‘blue collar’ and a man of simple pleasuresTogether we went to sports events on his Excelsior 125cc motorbike which would often breakdown. A small and practical man, he liked mechanics, electricity and carpentry, with a passion for soccer, boxing and fishing. Sitting by the side of this quiet and polite person as we waited for the fish to nibble off Dun Laoghaire Pier I learned the silence of men and the art of closeness without words.

Soon after joining the Legion in Bundoran, County Donegal, my confreres and I were introduced to Fr. Maciel, a tall, thin, pale Mexican with thinning brown hair, big manicured hands, as he smiled through his glasses with cold blue eyes. He was the Founder of the Legion of Christ and a Holy Man. We were soon told that Legionaries called him Nuestro Padre , (Our Father;) though not as in the Lord?s Prayer, which in Spanish begins with the words in the opposite order, Padre Nuestro].

Our Father, with the help of the whole Legionary apparatus, was portrayed as a caring and solicitous father, who thereby evoked openness, trust and closeness in his children. But with me the closeness did not take. My relationship with my biological father was too strong and present. I did not need the affection of another father, even though this one was supposedly a saint. Perhaps, I was subconsciously not trusting of male religious figures. With one father in heaven and my dad on earth, I did not need the affection of a third.

Let us imagine, however, a teenager whose relationship with his earthly father is not firm and caring. Would he not tend to gravitate towards this Super Father who wanted to be his confidante, guide, and mediator with God?

Let us imagine next a preadolescent boy who goes to the Apostolic School in Mexico City in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Nuestro Padre could be here, there and everywhere in the Legion house. There were not that many Legion members and few were the houses. When absent he made his presence felt through general and personal letters, as a form of community and individual guidance. What a strong impression he must have made on these first ApostolicosThey were leaving the relative anonymity of small Mexican towns for the exciting and attractive Apostolic School in Tlalpan with its playing fields, bright red uniforms, good education and a swimming pool with a diving board. Mexicans are fearless and skilled divers and swimmers. Mostly from families as large as five, ten or fifteen children, they must have felt very special when they received the personal attention of the Padre Prefects who supervised them and took care of all their needs. Above the prefects was the Padre RectorSpiritual Director. The Prefects and Rector became these children?s fathers in their regular lives. And above the Rector was Nuestro Padrewho would drop in occasionally, bringing relief from the daily routine. For Nuestro Padre was the Founder, a Spiritually Gifted Man of God. When he was with the community, everything was special and improved, including richer food, more games and recreation, movies and special excursions. To top it all off he would also celebrate a Solemn Mass, flanked by the Rector and Prefects.

The greatest privilege of all was to go to confession to Nuestro Padre, because he was so close to God and he knew God?s Will for you. So you were sure you would get the right answer to your questions and doubts, especially regarding your vocation to serve God in the Legion

The Brother Bursar took care of one?s material needs. The Padre Prefect took care of one?s studies, discipline and ordinary religious life. Nuestro Padre took care of one?s spiritual needs, and what a privilege it was to have him around, he, the Founder, inspired directly by God, with a direct line to the Holy Spirit, a Living Saint, who could read your soul and guide you along the paths of the Lord.

Total Transparency and Complete Truest in your Superior is an essential element of Legion Spirit and Mystique, and this was heightened in the case of Nuestro Padre. The Apostolics opened up to and totally trusted this Other Christwith their histories, trials and tribulations. Many a tear was shed during those confessions and spiritual directions in the Legion the distinction if often blurred. Tears of relief after unburdening one?s soul, tears of gratitude, maybe even of tenderness as the boy felt Gods forgiveness through Nuestro Padre?s loving care. [As a young Legionary I read a booklet written by Fr. Javier Tena,LC, one of the first Apostolics from Mexico. Called Nuestro Padre in my Child Soul, ‘Nuestro Padre en mi alma de Nino’, it described in idyllic terms the Apostolic?s life.

I had the privilege of going to confession to Nuestro Padre for the first time before my Religious Profession in Salamanca, September, 1962 [I was 18 and 10 months old]. By then my Spanish was good enough. Together with my 7 Irish cofounder companions I took my temporal vows after only one year Novitiate ??mine mostly in crisis [major depressive episode?], interpreted as my own personal dark night of the soul. It was suggested to me by my spiritual director/superior that I make a general confession to Nuestro Padre to take advantage of the special graces I would thus receive through the Founder and as the best way to prepare me for the religious life.

During the relatively uneventful and sheltered life I had lived before entering the Holy Novitiate at age 17, I had accumulated two sins against purity which troubled my somewhat scrupulous conscience and about which I felt very ashamed. Before entering the Legion I had unloaded one to a Carmelite friar at St. Teresas Clarendon St., Dublin.

In fear and trembling I unloaded the 2nd to Nuestro Padre, Man of God. I do not recall any earth-shattering advice or apocalyptic revelation. I felt he was kind. At the end, I kissed the end of his stole as a sign of reverence and gratitude. He may have brushed my cheek with the tassel in a fatherly way. I experienced a great sense of relief because I had been able to get rid of that sin. I dont remember any advice. Now, I had no sin on my soul, I was free through the Sacrament of Confession, and I was ready to take on my vows. My interviewer Fernando insists, was there nothing, not the slightest sexual innuendo in this encounter with Fr Maciel? No, nothing. And you were not aware of any abuse going on around you as appears from the testimonies of others? Non whatsoever.

Against the background of the two dozen testimonies of sexual abuse from the 40s and 50s, and those which are beginning to appear regarding the 60s-70s, why was I and others so totally unaware? Could it be that Fr. Maciel is a Master of the Game of secret societies, with their isolated concentric circles of information/power? Maciel in the middle surrounded by a first cadre of unconditionals who silently acquiesce to his power? Only The Master knows everything. The unconditionals know more than the following circle, and so on. Those within the circle of abuse are isolated from the community at large, which is totally oblivious to what goes on behind the infirmary door? Reading the chilling descriptions in John Le Carres A Perfect Spy, and Solzhenitsyns Gulag Archipelago regarding secrecy, isolation and control might lead to such speculations…

One Legionary in pastoral ministry in Sacramento, CA, got into hot water a few years ago for questioning a child about his/her sexual problems. The Legion solution? Send him back to the Quintana Roo Mission? My question is: What about the Maya children? Are they not important? From this and other documented testionies there seems to be a recurring theme of Legion Spiritual Director/Superiors inquiring into students sexual experience. A THOROUGH HISTORY OF SEXUAL EXPERIENCE SEEMS TO BE PART OF A CANDIDATE’S SCREENING, CARRIED OUT BY LEGIONARIES SUCH AS FR OWEN KEARNS AND OTHERS. How vulnerable these children and adolescents are to abuse by unscrupulous, inquisitive, curious, prying, probing and potentially abusive superiors! Aren’t the ‘examiners’ in danger of giving in to their own prurient curiosity? Isn’t there a grave danger of such intimate material being used against the candidate in the future, through the Legion system of unprotected communication between superiors?

Think of all the Apostolics, Candidates and Novices that opened their histories and hearts to Nuestro Padre! Did he pry into their vulnerable souls? Did they feel obliged and privileged to tell him everything about themselves? Did he ask about their difficulties with Holy Purity? Did he ever overstep his boundaries with any of them? Did he walk through the doors that they in their naiveté left open, full of gullibility, innocence and trust?

When I recall now that confession with Nuestro Padre, in the light of allegations of sexual impropriety, I tremble. I am overcome with a sense of revulsion and of relief. Did the sin that I confessed somehow immunize me against improper approaches from Nuestro Padre and other Legionary Superiors? This is not idle speculation, as you will see from the following.

By all it is well known that a ‘new’ Vatican Investigation into Fr Maciel’s sexual abuse of his first seminarians is presently underway. This is separate from the 1956-58 wider investigation into his drug use, abuse of power and questionable relationships with his seminarians, carried out by the Sacred Congregation for Religious. I am not saying that the present investigator does not have access to the old archives. This investigation is being carried out by the Promotor of Justice for the Congregation for the Faith, a separate Vatican department with greater powers to sanction. As the investigation of the original 8 accusers was underway, more men from that generation and the following came forward, particularly in Mexico City during early April 2005 [see Regain Press Release and corresponding articles].

As I prepared to attend a conference in Madrid in mid July a shocking revelation was made to me by one of my Irish co-founder colleagues, in the sense that he too had been sexually abused by Father Maciel from 1962-1969. This allegation, out of the blue and totally ‘incomtaminated by’ the other accusations, is being clarified and researched by reporters, and has been reported to Monsignor Scicluna, the Vatican Prosecutor. I am not at liberty to disclose further information. This fact doubly impacts me: it proves that Fr Maciel’s sexual abuse did not stop with the early generations; and it brings the abuse even closer to home for me because I know the abused personally, we trained together, and I have even less reason to doubt the facts. It also prompts speculation regarding whether extensive sexual abuse by the Founder may have spawned an epidemic in the Legion and whether such abuse is now endemic to or widespread in the Institution.

What therapeutic skill do these Prefects, Teachers and Directors possess? Are they trained in Spiritual Guidance? By what institute? Are they trained in counseling and psychotherapy? Have they had the necessary background checks for someone closely involved in the education of minors? Remember, ONE EPISODE OF ABUSE WOUNDS A CHILD FOREVER!

At least two periods of serious sexual abuse has been documented regarding the Legion Apostolic School in Ontaneda, Santander, Spain. Isolated cases of sexual abuse have been reported about the New Hampshire Apostolic School. Testimonies exist regarding sexual abuse in the Irish Novitiate.

[From a posting on the discussion board:]

‘Protecting God’s Children’ – Virtus Program
mikeinnj – 9/14/2005 at 05:17 PM

Many (if not most) dioceses in the US now require abuse awareness training for all clergy, teachers, staff, volunteers through the Protecting God’s Children – Virtus program (which, by the way, I find very informative). Considering the large numbers of RC programs for children and young people, and the highly visible contact with young people that the LC has, are the LC’s/RC’s getting this same training that other Catholics around the US are REQUIRED to do? This would include teachers in LC/RC run schools. Are the bishops in those dioceses where there is an LC/RC presence making sure this training is taking place, especially for RC people working with kids? Or does the LC/RC consider themselves exempt from or above all this?



Even if the above considerations regarding the danger of sexual abuse and assault fall on deaf parental ears, Church Leaders still need to carefully review the Legion training system in the light of the official and authorized doctrine of the Catholic Church for seminaries. We respectfully submit that, besides the above mentioned dangers, there are other problems at Legion Minor Seminaries. Because of the lack of space, I will simply underline [uppercasing] some aspects. I am shocked to see how some BISHOPS seem to be turning a blind eye to gaping STRUCTURAL DISCREPANCIES, or at least potential dangers, in the Legion system. The following teaching’s last paragraph also shows Catholic parents that the traditional minor seminary or apostolic school is NOT THE ONLY OR BEST WAY to foster priestly vocations.

On another, though related, note, it is a crying shame that exiting members from the Legion and the Regnum Christi -particularly women- often do not have properly validated studies, thus unduly prolonging and jeopardizing their recovery process.

In minor seminaries erected to develop the seeds of vocations, the students should be prepared by special religious formation, particularly through appropriate spiritual direction, to follow Christ the Redeemer with generosity of spirit and purity of heart. Under the fatherly direction of the superiors, and with the proper COOPERATION OF THE PARENTS, their daily routine should be in accord with the age, the character and the stage of development of adolescence and fully adapted to the NORMS OF A HEALTHY PSYCHOLOGY. Nor should the fitting opportunity be lacking for social and cultural contacts and for CONTACT WITH ONE’S OWN FAMILY.

Moreover, whatever is decreed in the following paragraphs about major seminaries is also be adapted to the minor seminary to the extent that it is in accord with its purpose and structure. Also, STUDIES UNDERTAKEN BY THE STUDENTS SHOULD BE SO ARRANGED THAT THEY CAN EASILY CONTINUE SHOULD THEY CHOOSE A DIFFERENT STATE OF LIFE.

With equal concern the seeds of vocations among adolescents and young men are also to be fostered in those SPECIAL INSTITUTES, which in accord with local circumstances, serve the purpose of a minor seminary as well as among those who are trained in OTHER SCHOOLS or by OTHER EDUCATIONAL MEANS. Finally, those institutions and other schools initiated for those with a belated vocation are to be carefully developed.

[Decree on Priestly Training, number 3, II Vatican Council]