Candy Woodall and Brandie Kessler, York Daily Record
(LifeSiteNews) – A new report dares to ask the question those in authority in the Catholic Church have assiduously avoided for decades: Is there a correlation between the presence of a high proportion of homosexuals in the priesthood and the incidence of clergy sex abuse?
The report also examines how “homosexual subcultures” within Catholic seminaries may have contributed to creating an environment where homosexual clergy were more likely to abuse minors.
“Although over 8 in 10 of victims have been boys, the idea that the abuse is related to homosexual men in the priesthood has not been widely accepted by Church leaders,” wrote Father Paul Sullins, a retired Catholic University of America (CUA) sociology professor, in a new report for the Ruth Institute. “The data show that more homosexual men in the priesthood was correlated with more overall abuse and more boys abused compared to girls.”
Sullins’ report is titled Is Catholic clergy sex abuse related to homosexual priests?
The priest said in a recent press conference that this “question comes up logically because the vast majority of [priestly sex abuse] victims were boys. Usually in sex abuse of minors, two-thirds of victims are girls.”
The report compares “previously unexamined measures of the share of homosexual Catholic priests and the incidence and victim gender of minor sex abuse by Catholic priests from 1950 to 2001 to see if these matters are related.”
While Sullins’ findings are stunning, they serve to confirm what many have suspected all along:
Clergy sexual abuse is still a problem. Since peaking 35 years ago, it has declined much less than commonly thought. The decline is consistent with an overall drop in sexual assault in American society.
Since 2002 abuse has been rising amid signs of complacency by Church leaders, and today is comparable to the early 1970s.
The share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.
A quarter of priests ordained in the late 1960s report the existence of a homosexual subculture in their seminary, rising to over half of priests ordained in the 1980s. This trend was also strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.
Four out of five victims over age seven were boys; only one in five were girls. Ease of access to boys relative to girls accounts for about one fifth of this disparity. The number of homosexual priests accounts for the remaining four fifths.
And perhaps the most chilling conclusion of Sullin’s research is this:
Estimates from these findings predict that, had the proportion of homosexual priests remained at the 1950s level, at least 12,000 fewer children, mostly boys, would have suffered abuse.
“What I say in the paper is that when homosexual men were represented in the priesthood at about the same rate as they were in the population, there was no measurable problem of child sex abuse,” said Sullins. “It was only when you had a preponderance of homosexual men.”
“When you get up to 16 percent of priests that are homosexual – you’ve got eight times the proportion of homosexuals as you do in the general population – it’s as if the priesthood becomes a particularly welcoming and enabling and encouraging population for homosexual activity and behavior,” he added.
“More homosexual men in the priesthood relates very clearly to more sexual abuse of boys,” declared Sullins.
Although we are told that sexual abuse within the Church “has declined to almost nothing today, this is really not true,” Sullins warned. The most reliable data available on sex abuse shows that while “clergy sex abuse did drop to almost nothing right after 2002, it started to creep up,” and today it’s up to a level “comparable to what it was in the 1970s.”
“There are signs that the bishops have gotten complacent about that,” he added, noting that the USCCB’s own annual audit reports, collected since 2004, make this clear.
The Dallas Charter and cover up by U.S. prelates
Sullins noted that the bombshell Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report (GJR) released this summer was like a replay of the events that “led to the establishment of strict policies and norms to increase child safety in Catholic settings, expressed in the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Adults, commonly referred to as the ‘Dallas Charter.’”
A national review of the scope of clergy sex abuse was launched at the time, resulting in the 2004 report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice revealing “that since 1950 over 10,000 children, mostly boys, had been sexually abused by over 4,000 Catholic priests,” explained Sullins.
What was new in the GJR “was not primarily the revelation of abuse by priests, but of a possible pattern of resistance, minimization, enablement, and secrecy – a ‘cover-up’ – on the part of bishops,” the priest noted.
“The 2002 Charter had not addressed or even acknowledged these issues, which seemed to confirm the suggestion of a cover-up: indeed, to the extent bishops may have covered up priestly misbehavior, the Charter itself may have covered up episcopal misbehavior,” continued Sullins. “Did the Charter fail to address these issues at the direction of the bishops? Could the Charter review be tainted or restricted by the desire of the bishops not to address uncomfortable or embarrassing facts?”
A lengthy investigative report by the Boston Globe in conjunction with the Philadelphia Inquirer, published one day after the Sullins report was issued, details the extent of prelates’ culpability and seems to confirm Sullin’s conclusion about the U.S. bishops.
“More than 130 US bishops – or nearly one-third of those still living – have been accused during their careers of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses,” and, “at least 15, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington who resigned [from the College of Cardinals] in July, have themselves been accused of committing such abuse or harassment,” according to the Globe investigation.
The Boston Globe report continues:
Most telling, the analysis shows that the claims against more than 50 bishops center on incidents that occurred after a historic 2002 Dallas gathering of US bishops where they promised that the church’s days of concealment and inaction were over. By an overwhelming, though not unanimous, vote, church leaders voted to remove any priest who had ever abused a minor and set up civilian review boards to investigate clergy misconduct claims.
But while they imposed new standards that led to the removal of hundreds of priests, the bishops specifically excluded themselves from the landmark child protection measures. They contended only the pope had authority to discipline them and said peer pressure – public or private shaming they euphemistically called “fraternal correction” – would keep them in line.
The Sullins reports also calls attention to a 2002 survey of Catholic priests by the Los Angeles Times which asked, “In the seminary you attended, was there a homosexual subculture at the time?”
More than one quarter of the respondents said “yes,” and for those who had been ordained more recently, the number skyrocketed to 53 percent.
A similar survey conducted by Dean Hoge of CUA yielded essentially the same result – 55 percent – from recently-ordained priests to the same question.
“Homosexual subcultures encouraged greater abuse, but not by heterosexual men, just by homosexual men,” said Sullins.
In order to deal with homosexual subcultures in seminaries,“the first thing that needs to be done is to stop the denial,” said Sullins in a recent interview with the National Catholic Register. “We need to recognize that there’s a problem. And the idea that we want to keep from acknowledging that homosexual activity in seminaries or in the priesthood might be related to these kind of harms is really an important first step. The impulse that we don’t want to say anything that might stigmatize homosexual persons is an understandable one. But it has to be weighed against the potential for greater harm for these victims. How many times do we want to go around this block again and keep denying what is becoming increasingly obvious, and taking steps to address it?”
“Like most Catholics today, the credibility of our bishops, to me, is in question on this issue. I hate to say that. I love the Church,” he continued. “[Generally] speaking, the bishops, as a group, cannot be trusted to solve this problem at this point.” He suggested others may be better suited to do so.
Impact on kids
The Sullins Report is part of the ongoing work of the Ruth Institute, a global non-profit organization creating a mass social movement to end family breakdown by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution. Founded by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., the Ruth Institute focuses especially on the impact of family breakdown on children.
Morse said that up until now, the Ruth Institute had not addressed the issue of sexual abuse within the priesthood, but “we are now deeply involved in this question – the causes and cures for clergy sexual abuse.”
“In the 1970s, they didn’t think the molesting of children had any negative effect on children at all, or if they did, they believed it was very slight. They also believed that about divorce and lots of other things,” said Sullins. “Social scientists have subsequently discovered that there are lots of negative effects and harms” due to these things “and we have found that abuse of minor children sexually creates psychological trauma that is with them for most of their life.”
The entire report can be found here.
Without having read the entire report, it appears that God has been left out again. God takes covenants or promises very seriously and, if I'm not mistaken, priests take vows of celibacy. Breaking those vows is a serious sin, breaking them in seminary is an indication that those involved had no intention of ever keeping those vows - they are basically a joke.
Sin is progressive! It progresses, more often than not, to younger and younger victims. It would be interesting to find out how many priests actually joined the priesthood because of an easy accessibility to young boys. Jesus had some frightening words to say about such people.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A Catholic priest in the Archiodese of Oklahoma City has been removed from ministry pending an investigation of an alleged sexual abuse of a minor.
We're told Archbishop Paul Coakley informed parishioners in person Sunday morning.
According to the statement, the allegation does not involve Mickus’s current parishes and is under review by the archdiocesan Review Board. The board was created in 2002 under the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” to review allegations of abuse and advise the archbishop.
The statement goes on to say the allegation also is being reviewed by McAfee and Taft, an independent firm hired by the archdiocese to review and investigate allegations of abuse by priests from 1960 to 2018.
An administrator will be assigned to the parish and mission.
In August, Archbishop Coakley announced the archdiocese's plan for reviewing and reporting all past allegations of child sexual abuse by priests. Officials said the review would include all instances where credible allegations of child sexual abuse were reported, substantiated, prosecuted or admitted to among priests serving in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
Diane Clay, director of communications for the Archdiocese, told News 4 on Sunday that the investigation into Mickus is the first one they have taken action on. Clay said at this point, law enforcement is not involved.
Online court records show Mickus filed a defamation lawsuit in 2002 against an accuser who claimed to have been sexually abused by the pastor 20 years prior, resulting in Mickus being temporarily removed from his position at a Catholic church in Enid. That lawsuit stated "These statements are false and [the] defendant knew that they were false."
The lawsuit was dismissed in 2003 after Mickus was reinstated. An independent Archdiocesan review board tasked with investigating the claim was unable to substantiate the allegation.
According to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” requires the removal from ministry any priest, deacon or other religious upon determination of a credible claim of sexual misconduct with a minor.
The archdiocese provides an Abuse of Minors Pastoral Response Hotline for reporting abuse of a minor in the past or present by a member of the clergy or other church personnel, which can be reached at 405-720-9878. The archdiocesan victim assistance coordinator, a licensed professional counselor, will respond to calls to the pastoral hotline.
Mickus has served at these parishes:
Saint Joseph, Bison
Our Lady of Sorrows, Chandler
Saint Francis Xavier, Enid
Chaplain, Vance Air Force Base, Enid
Mission of Saint Ann, Fairview
Chaplain, Oklahoma State Reformatory, Granite
Mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hollis
Chaplain, Lexington Correctional Center
Sacred Heart, Mangum
Saint Philip Neri, Midwest City
Saint Joseph, Norman
Christ the King, Oklahoma City
Saint Patrick, Oklahoma City
Saint Mary, Ponca City
Saint Louis, Stroud
Ribbons put on a Wellington church by child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters have been promptly taken down by the parish priest.
The ribbons were tied to the fence of the St Mary of the Angels Catholic church in Boulcott St on Thursday, but by Friday morning, they had been removed.
They were put up to acknowledge historic sexual abuse of children in the Wellington Diocese, particularly at St Patrick's College in Silverstream and Wellington City, and St Bernard's College in Lower Hutt.
The ribbons were put up at the church in Boulcott St on Thursday, but by Friday morning, they had been removed.
A sexual abuse survivor involved in the protest, who did not want to be named, said the removal of the ribbons was an outrage.
"For the priests to take our ribbons down, rather than - as happened in Dunedin - joining the survivors and their supporters in acknowledgement of what happened, and advocating [for] it be addressed ... is insulting, devastating and an attempt to silence survivors."
The protest was part of the 'Loud Fence' movement, which originated in Melbourne late last year following a royal commission inquiry into child sexual abuse by institutions such as the Catholic Church.
The movement spread around the world, and last month reached Dunedin, where sexual abuse survivors tied ribbons to the gates of St Joseph's Cathedral.
On that occasion, Dunedin Bishop Michael Dooley and others from the city's Diocese were on hand for the event to offer their support. Ribbons there were still in place.
In a phone conversation with another person involved in the Wellington protest, St Mary parish priest Kevin Conroy said the ribbons were taken down because permission had not been granted to put them there.
Because of the church's location, and the fact it was a heritage building, staff were always removing items put on the church's grounds to keep the premises tidy, he said.
Conroy said he personally removed the ribbons early on Friday morning and, at first, was not aware of what they were representing. Any future protests would have to be cleared through the church first, he said.
The network member who called Conroy said he was astonished and dismayed at Conroy's reasons for taking down the ribbons.
"The 'heritage' of the bricks and mortar church is surely secondary to the heritage of horrendous sexual abuse of children that these ribbons represent and symbolise in a deep and profound way," he said.
"The victim survivors do not need the permission of clergy to express their grief and agony in this fashion. It is their fundamental right, and the ribbon tying has united and empowered victims and provided a voice so long ignored and silenced."
Lyndsay Freer, a spokeswoman for Marist Fathers which runs the St Mary parish, said on behalf of Conroy the removal of the ribbons "does not mean the church is in any way lacking in empathy for the victims of abuse".
"We have a policy that anything put on the church's grounds without permission is automatically removed."
When asked if the protesters would have been granted permission had they asked for it, Freer said: "Well, let them do that and see".