Nasty editorial re: Archbishop Gomez, L.A. Times
#11
He's married and probably raising little non believers. Father knows best.
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#12
I'm not sure how he managed it, but this editorialist succeeded in synthesizing childishness and sanctimony.
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#13
Quote:  I'm no theologian, but if self-inflicted pain extends to denial of normal physical urges, couldn't that practice -- and celibacy itself -- be one cause of so much twisted sexuality and abuse over the last several hundred years or so? 

I don't know about anyone else, but I wonder why this guy is so concerned about how much sex another man is having. 

I'm no LA Times reporter, but the choice to not do something is what twists somebody.  Right, so how does indulgence in whatever one wants to do, not lead to the quest for the higher high, the bigger thrill and the more experimental?  I guess that's why pornography and sex addiction are virtually disappearing in our modern day society.  Once people experience it, they generally feel completely satisfied and never go back for more.  Right? 

I'm stunned this guy gets a paycheck for being stupid and thinking he's spreading wisdom. 

I saw this from 2005.  Looks like this is Steve Lopez's bread and butter topic.

Quote:Pedophile Priests", Steve Lopez, and the LA Times
Posted by: unclesmrgol

Steve Lopez, a columnist at the LA Times, has been at the local forefront of a movement to get the public to understand that the Catholic Church is responsible in what Steve believes is active aiding and abeting of the abuse of minors by priests. His particular target is Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the head of the Los Angeles diocese (a diocese is a Catholic administrative unit similar to a conference in Methodist or Lutheran circles).

As a Catholic, I'm with Lopez in my opinion that the Church, including Cardinal Mahoney needs to acknowledge the sin, but, also as a Catholic, I require the Church to do whatever penance can be done to repair the damage done to those affected by the abuse, and, furthermore (in the words of the Act of Contrition, a prayer to God said by most Catholics in the Confessional), "resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin".

The Church has acknowledged the sin, but penance is more difficult. Most of these priests at some point acknowledged their sins in the confessional, made the promise to sin no more, and then, if the confessor were unenlightened, were given three our fathers and two hail marys as penance and a ticket to reoffend. If the confessor was enlightened, the story sadly didn't appear to be much different -- the offending priest was removed from ministry involving children, sent to psychotherapy, finally pronouced cured, and then allowed to reoffend. The fact that a sin is told under Seal of Confession means that the priest who hears the confession (even if he be a Bishop or Cardinal) is bound by the laws of the Church not to reveal such a confession unless he fears that the confessor is about to commit further harm. Steve Lopez just can't understand the necessity for the modern form of Confession (much less the secrecy surrounding what is said in Confession). Being a modern American secular he expresses a thorough belief in the American system of justice (when he chooses to do so -- there are plenty of Lopez articles to the contrary). He conveniently ignores the fact that the Church is a worldwide institution, several millenia in life, which has seen firsthand the kinds of injustice a repressive government can commit. The Church's laws are supposedly a bulwark against such abuse, but can be abused by those inside the bulwark.

The Church has a position that sinners who ask for forgiveness of their sins are to be forgiven, provided they atone for their sin in some meaningful way (the Sacrament Reconciliation). This is that curious blend of Faith and Works Jesus taught and whose meaning is lost to most non-Christians and occasionally to some Christians themselves. In the case of these priests, the same culture of forgiveness and atonement allowed them to remain men of the cloth and to again be placed into positions to reoffend. In many cases the priests underwent psychological counseling and were cleared by their doctors to reenter the priesthood.

Notice the intersection between the Church and psychology; the Church runs hospitals and has a strong belief in psychology as a medical science whose use is in accordance with Church teachings. In the 1960's through the 1980's standard psychological teaching was that pedophilia was a tendancy whose suppression could be trained. This was also the period where homosexuality went from being an abnormality to being normal, with the implication that it could not and should not be trained.

My point here is that psychology, which can be so enlightening as to the current mindset of a person, is a broken tool for these cases, because psychology does not recognize homosexuality as an abnormality. Hence, in a nutshell, to many psychologists, the priests were not ill. You might think I'm being extreme here, but take a google look at "Rind Report", which in a nutshell was a paper published in the American Psychological Bulletin which makes the claim that sex between children and adults can be beneficial to the child. Then cruise on over to NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) for their view of this same report. Finally, cruise on over to the Netherlands, where sex (either homo or heterosexual) with a consenting minor aged 12 or over is not a crime (in fact, parents who actively oppose their child having sex can have their parental "privileges" taken away).

Now, the affected priests we see so much of in the news were not actually pedophiles. Pedophilia is defined as a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. That is not the profile of the most common priestly offender; these are mainly ephebophiles (from Greek word ephebos meaning "a person in early manhood") -- people sexually attracted to post-pubescent males.

In an earlier era, the disease of ephebophilia would have been a sub-catagory of the disease of homosexuality -- a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex. But because homosexuality has been redefined (in American psychological circles anyway) as "not a disease", there is no longer a relationship between homosexuality and ephebophia, regardless of the meaning of "ephebos".

With brings me back to Steve Lopez. In his article "Vatican Keeps Blurring the Issue" [Los Angeles Times, November 25, 2005], Steve rails against the Church because the Church has determined not to allow priests who practice "gay culture" or "have deep-rooted homosexual tendencies" (these words are from a draft of Vatican document due to be published 29 Nov 2005). He trots out Eric Barragan of Santa Paula, who says to Lopez about the new Catholic policy, "They're trying to play the blame game".

One has to be wondering what is going through both Steve's and Eric's minds because Eric is a poster child for the rules the Church is putting into place. Eric is now 30 years old, but he was abused for four years (ages 13-15), along with two other brothers (one, Edgar, had been abused by the priest several times before the priest turned to Eric). Male post-pubescent child -- matching in profile most of the other children abused by priests; just ask Stephan Rubino, an attorney who has represented plaintiffs in nearly 300 cases against claimed abuse by Catholic clergy, and who may in that adversarial respect be the best friend the Church has in these times. Rubino makes no bones about the fact that over 85% of the abuse was performed by priests against male children between the ages of 12 and 18 -- just the kind of sexual predation which classifies as ephebophilia.

I know who "They" are in Steve's article -- "They" are the Pope and the upper hierarchy in the Catholic Church. And, according to Eric and Steve, "They" are not allowed to fix what is broken by trying to "avoid the near occasion of sin", particularly if the fix involves violating Steve's California ethos involving homosexuality.

It's obvious from Steve's article that no matter what the Church does, it won't be enough. The Church needs to just vanish, in his view. I can fully understand Eric and his entire family having the same viewpoint -- I'm not sure I could forgive the Church that placed their abuser into a position of responsibility either. But Eric, the Church taught me the meaning of an informed conscience -- that, if a Bishop of the Church were to try to make me do something that my informed conscience says is sinful, that I must refuse. A personal note: by the time I was 12, I understood that sexual activity outside of marriage was sinful, and I would certainly not (as your elder brother Edgar did) allow that filthy man to touch my younger brothers, much less my own body. I had three attempts by ephibophiles to manipulate me by the age of majority, and I rebuffed them all (of course, NONE of them were priests or anyone else associated with my Church). That said, we cannot depend on victims to defend themselves -- we must be proactive in their defense, as the Church is trying to be now.

The Church might move slowly, and with great deliberation, but at least it is finally addressing one of the root causes: ephebophiles being placed squarely into the path of temptation. My local parish (and I assume many if not all others in LA) has had several Q&A sessions, has had a former abused person talk at the Masses, all in an effort to prevent this from happening again. The rules are: (a) A priest must always have another non-clergy adult present when dealing with children (including driving them home after a church function), (b) any parishioner or priest witnessing abuse or suspecting abuse must report such abuse to both civil and church authorities, and © any priest reported for abuse will be removed and not returned to ministry unless they are cleared of the charges. These are pretty proactive positions to take, and Mahoney has to be applauded for taking them. Sadly, it is like closing the barn door too late, but better late than never! 


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#14
Great find, Gerard! Very good response.
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#15
Every major Newspaper has a court jester like this.
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#16
At least this attack is overt. Archbishop Gomez can expect many attacks, from without and especially from within the Church, but most will be covert.

I read that his first response was to ask what he had done to displease the Holy Father.  Yes, that is an appropriate first response. But his video of his introduction showed a humble man of prayer and this is what is needed--something new and different for LA! And he is pro-life!  Finally in LA.
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#17
Classic! "What have I done"?  But he will be a positive addition by far. I hope he takes over before Mahony turns 75. I read he does not like Eucharistic ministers or women in the sanctuary. Bravo. But that alone will be a big battle for him. We need to pray for him, in LA he will be pushing a large rock up a steep hill. I pray he will be sucessful.
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#18
I wonder if this is the same Steve Lopez I knew many years ago...
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#19
Abp Gomez is getting the BXVI treatment already. He's being sued by some kid in San Antonio who said he was abused by a priest in the San Antonio dioceses. Abp Gomez is named as a defendant specifically, as well as the diocese, claiming that he 'knew' or 'should have know' because of the extensive gaps in the priests assignment record and that the priest was transferred to another parish and that law enforcement wasn't notified (the local San Antonio authorities have said this is not true and that the case was handled properly).
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#20
(04-10-2010, 04:37 AM)Iuvenalis Wrote: Abp Gomez is getting the BXVI treatment already. He's being sued by some kid in San Antonio who said he was abused by a priest in the San Antonio dioceses. Abp Gomez is named as a defendant specifically, as well as the diocese, claiming that he 'knew' or 'should have know' because of the extensive gaps in the priests assignment record and that the priest was transferred to another parish and that law enforcement wasn't notified (the local San Antonio authorities have said this is not true and that the case was handled properly).

Yes. This case is a total racket. Rather, I'm not saying nothing bad happened to the kid (maybe, maybe not), but that the suit in particular is a timed, targeted attack. Citing Archbishop Gomez as being responsible for any sort of injustice is also absolutely wrong.

It's worth citing this recent blog entry from my pastor on the matter:

HKs pastor Wrote:It seems this isn't a new case.  It's from a few years ago, and we'd all heard about it as it was unfolding.  The moment the allegation was brought forth, the archbishop revoked archdiocesan faculties from the priest and removed him from any work in the archdiocese.  The priest isn't an archdiocesan priest, but is a member of a religious order, and his order has also removed him from any and all priestly ministry.  The initial complaint said nothing about sexual abuse, but had to do with "interference with child custody."  The accusations of sexual abuse were made later, and as they were raised with the archdiocese, the archbishop instructed the boy's family to report everything to the local law officers in Edwards County.  The county officials stated that the archdiocese has given complete cooperation with their investigations.

No one in the archdiocese - and certainly not the archbishop - took any part in concealing anything.  Swift and decisive action was taken.  If anything is moving slowly, it's the secular legal system.

So, why the lawsuit and the screaming headline?  Could it possibly have anything to do with the archbishop's recent appointment to Los Angeles?  Could it in any way be related to the media campaign to smear the pope with something, anything?  Could it be that this stuff brings every looney-tune Catholic-hater out of the woodwork?  Nah.... d'you think?  As I said, timing is everything.

Look for more of this stuff.  Anybody can say anything, and they usually do.  If this nightmare happened to this boy - and it seems likely it did - then he deserves every bit of justice our legal system can provide.  But to accuse the archbishop of dishonesty and of organizing a cover-up is a blatant lie.  Justice has to work both ways.

But I guess when there's such a nice big stick handy, which so perfectly fits an attorney's grip, it's too tempting not to use it to beat up on that nasty ol' Church.
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