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Yup that's right...

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Parents object to priest's sex questions during confession

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/14/...-breaking/

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ST. PETERSBURG - Dozens of parents from the Cathedral School of St. Jude say they are shocked and upset that a priest questioned their seventh- and eighth-graders about sexual matters during pre-Christmas confessions in December.

An officer in the school's parents association, Diane Donnelly Myers, said she's heard several parents complain that the priest broached the subject of masturbation and pornography during student confessions Dec. 15.

"We love this school," Myers said. "That's why everyone is so fired up. I'm very proud of all of those parents stepping up — especially the parents of victims."

The priest, the Rev. Joseph Waters, said he will never talk outside the confessional about what occurs during this Catholic sacrament because to do so is prohibited by church law.

But in letters to parents, Waters insists he did nothing inappropriate and urged them to trust him.

In one letter, Waters questions why a priest in the course of his duties cannot mention "those sins that are talked about freely all the time among the children."

He also wrote that the student confessions were among more than 50 he conducted within an hour and a half.

In an interview with News Channel 8 on Thursday, Waters said, "I have no regrets at all. I answered my call to be a good confessor in every way I should have."

About 50 parents gathered in a meeting room at the Seminole Lanes bowling alley Wednesday evening to air their concerns and decide on a course of action.

In a statement released after the meeting, St. Jude parent Olimpia Calandra said "we came together tonight to gather information and to discuss incidents that we feel compromised the safety of our children participating in the Sacrament of Penance."

Waters serves as rector at the Cathedral of St. Jude, the head priest at the church that is the religious center of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Even if Waters did quiz children about masturbation, it would not be inappropriate under church law, said Frank Murphy, spokesman for the diocese.

In a letter to parents, from the Rev. Robert Morris, vicar general, the diocese said Waters "is a respected and dedicated priest of the Diocese of St. Petersburg with whom we have the utmost confidence."

But Martha Jean Lorenzo, who has worked on behalf of victims of priest abuse, questioned whether priests should be probing for sins when they hear confessions.

"I don't ever remember going to a confession and ever having father ask me what kind of sins did I commit, and certainly never of a sexual nature," said Lorenzo, who is with SNAP — Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

Waters had a run-in before with fellow Catholics.

In 1998, a student at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami accused Waters of shaking him with such force the student "wet himself."

Waters told News Channel 8 he was exonerated in a lie-detector test and the student withdrew his claim.

"I simply told him he shouldn't be in the seminary, which is something he didn't like," Waters said. "I did my job."

He also has run afoul of civil authorities.

In January 2009, he was arrested for driving under the influence while returning home from a social engagement.

"I made a mistake and I'm sorry," he said.

The charge was reduced and judgment was withheld so no criminal record remains.

In March, the IRS filed liens totaling $18,062 against Waters for unpaid taxes from 2004 and 2006.

Waters said he is working on a payment plan with the IRS.

Meanwhile, Waters suggested the controversy over student confessions is fueled by parents who don't want his leadership.

"I am praying to persevere in the truth, to forgive and bless those who are treating me as the enemy," he said in one of his letters.

"I think I've done everything I can reasonably do to assure them," Waters said. "I don't know what else I can do other than leave the cathedral which I'm not interested in."
NewChurchers arent Catholic. All they want is a feel good gathering time where they can check out what the latest fashion trends are. Too bad its rare you have an NO Priest who believes in sin.
It seems to me like one of two things happened:

1) The priest questioned kids who confessed to a sexual sin about the nature of said sin. That seems pretty normal if they didn't say anything about the number and kind of the sin.

2) The kids confessed some unrelated sin and got asked about porn and such. That seems pretty messed up. I mean, when I was a teen I would have freaked if that happened.

However, the priest cannot say which case this is without revealing the sins of these people, so we will never know.
I was getting Catholic sex education classes in 6th through 8th grade.  We had film strips showing graphic drawings of the human "equipment" being shown to us with the screen in the sanctuary of the Church.  

There is either alot more to this story that we don't know or are we to believe that these parenst are so daft that they don't understand the 6th and 9th commandments?  

Does this priest go through all the commandments or is he conspicuously asking about sexual sins for no reason or is there a morality problem among the students?  

The parents are being very foolish.  Priests and parents should be teaching about sins of impurity and how to combat them, and this controversy should not have been leaked to the media but handled within the school community.  Masturbation and pornography are only a small part of what they should be concerned about.  Odds are that some of the kids in 7th and 8th grade at the Cathedral School of St. Jude are already having sex with other kids. 


"An officer in the school's parents association, Diane Donnelly Myers, said she's heard several parents complain that the priest broached the subject of masturbation and pornography during student confessions Dec. 15."

"We love this school," Myers said. "That's why everyone is so fired up. I'm very proud of all of those parents stepping up — especially the parents of victims."


So now a kid is a victim if a priest asks him, or her, during private confession whether he or she has engaged in certain sins? 

And "several parents" = "everyone"?  How many is "several," I wonder, and are any of them fathers? 

I think it's appropriate for a priest to ask kids of that age if they are struggling with sins of impurity, remind them that these are serious sins, and give them advice on overcoming such sins.  They are common sins at that age, though they don't usually start in 7th grade but much earlier.  In fact, babies masturbate and I don't think we can consider it a sin in infancy.

But the helicopter parents are hovering around, no doubt sure their child has never looked at porn or masturbated.  If their child is female, there's a small chance that they're right.  Most of the parents are deluding themselves if they think that way, though.  Your kids are almost never as innocent as you'd like to think they are. 

We figured out early on that parents should love their kids and be supportive of them but not say or even think "My child would never…"  Because your child not only might do whatever you think he or she "would never" but possibly already has.  By avoiding the "My child would never…" mindset, we several times stopped ours from getting into trouble by checking up on things.


"But Martha Jean Lorenzo, who has worked on behalf of victims of priest abuse, questioned whether priests should be probing for sins when they hear confessions."

"I don't ever remember going to a confession and ever having father ask me what kind of sins did I commit, and certainly never of a sexual nature," said Lorenzo, who is with SNAP — Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.


Ms. Lorenzo should realize that priests know what boys going through puberty are struggling with, having had the experience themselves, and that it would be more natural for them to ask boys about masturbation and pornography.  Boys, if they're honest, will confess a lot more sins of impurity than girls because girls commit fewer sins of impurity, due to a sex drive that is not as intense as the male sex drive, particularly at that age.  Women don't reach their sexual peak until their mid- to late thirties.





(01-16-2011, 12:40 AM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]I was getting Catholic sex education classes in 6th through 8th grade.  We had film strips showing graphic drawings of the human "equipment" being shown to us with the screen in the sanctuary of the Church.  

There is either alot more to this story that we don't know or are we to believe that these parenst are so daft that they don't understand the 6th and 9th commandments?  

Does this priest go through all the commandments or is he conspicuously asking about sexual sins for no reason or is there a morality problem among the students?  

Maybe he has the common sense to realise that if any sin is prevelant amongst young teenage boys, then masturbation and pornography are going to them, and on top of that, he may realise that most kids are going to be either to embarassed to confess it, or just don't consider it a big deal. 
it's normal for priests to question penitents. especially when they're nervous or confused (as underaged people can tend to be for example), to help them make a thorough confession.
Revixit -- Do you think they should be asked those questions if they are confessing things that are totally unrelated?  If a kid goes in and confesses to disrespecting his parents, should he be asked if he watches porn?  At the age of twelve?  Really?  Now, it's one thing if he says, "I have lustful thoughts."  Then I think it's fitting for the priest to ask if he has acted on them, or if he watches material that provokes this.  Because, honestly, kids develop at various rates.  You cannot assume based on age alone.  I mean, some fourteen year old boys barely aren't even five feet tall and can still sing soprano or alto in a children's choir.  Others are much more developed. 

Even as an adult, I would be ENRAGED if I confessed non-sexual sins and was asked about sexual sin.  It's so far out of left field at that point.

I can totally see it now:

"I cheated on a math test last week"
"Do you masturbate?"
"Sorry, what?"
"Do you masturbate?"
"No, I cheat.  Um, duh!"
Revixit Wrote:Women don't reach their sexual peak until their mid- to late thirties.

That's why men should marry cougars.
Fr. Larry Richards on confession a little theatrical but mostly orthodox and probably helpful to lost Novus Ordo goers. 

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