The recently released study commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, described in short-hand as the John Jay Report, does not appear to have been receiving a good press. Vinnie Nauheimer, a US campaigner on the inadequate responses of the institution to clerical abuse, is another who is not impressed and today on Catholica lets fly with what he sees are the shortcomings in the study.
Not happy with the John Jay Report into the causes of clerical sexual abuse...
There are lies, damned lies and statisticians as the old saw states. After reading the noxious claims of the recent John Jay College of Criminal Justice Report attributing the sexual abuse scandal of the Roman Catholic Church to the social norms of the Sixties and Seventies, we have to revise the old saw. The new one states, "There are liars, damned liars, statisticians and then the Roman Catholic Church!"
Their crimes also belong to all those who aid and abet them in their attempt to cover up and trivialize the sexual abuse of children. Shame on you John Jay College; for you have sullied the good name of John Jay — a man whose life was devoted to seeking justice — and for what, thirty pieces of silver?
Those who are not familiar with Roman Catholic Church history are doomed to believe the lies the current hierarchy has just paid to produce. The Roman Catholic Church is desperately trying to convince the world that the clergy only began abusing children during the sexual revolution of the late nineteen sixties! Ad absurdum has never been better defined. Squealer, Orwell's Animal Farm propagandist pig must be squealing with delight. The despicable, shameful, centuries long, and well documented history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, flies in the face of the John Jay Excuse.
The first fallacy presented by John Jay is using the Sexual Revolution as an excuse for deviant sexual behavior. For the vast majority, the new sexual freedom referred to by John Jay, did not include sex with children. Hetero- and Homo-sexual liaisons became casual and open while for heterosexual liaisons, the pill, shattered the old norms. Was there a minority element from that era that encouraged sex with children? The unfortunate answer is yes. There was a small group allied to the homosexual activist groups of the era who wanted to eliminate the "age of consent". These people were opportunists who saw the sexual revolution as a chance to legitimize their criminal acts. As gay rights groups became more mainstream, those professing to believe that having sex with children was okay, became so marginalized that they eventually formed their own splinter group called NAMBLA, the North American Man-Boy Love Association.  One of the earliest proponents of NAMBLA was the notorious Fr. Paul Shanley of Boston infamy who was tried and convicted of rape. Though the John Jay Excuse confirms a number of priests decided to follow the NAMBLA path and engage in sex with children, they fail to explain why. Why were so many priests experimenting with deviancy by going after children when the rest of the adult world was engaging in hetero- and homo-sexual sex?
The history of clerical sexual abuse goes back a long way...
Perhaps the answer lies in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. A history, though invisible to John Jay researchers, is obvious to any interested party who can type and use the Internet. Let's start with the controversial document called Crimen Sollicitationis. This is perhaps the most damning and yet at the same time the most marginalized proof of the Vatican's knowledge of the pedophilia problem among its clergy. The fact that the importance of this document has been so trivialized is nothing more than a testimony to the power of the Vatican spin machine. They have succeeded in making the world believe that the document pertains only to acts of solicitation committed in the confessional.
Title V of Crimens Sollicitationis is subtitled: "The Worst Crime" as seen from this excerpt:
73. To have the worst crime, for the penal effects, one must do the equivalent of the following: any obscene, external act, gravely sinful, perpetrated in any way by a cleric or attempted by him with youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality).
For those who state that this document only applies to the act of soliciting in the confessional, I ask only one question, "When was the last time anyone saw a four legged sheep enter a confessional?" Perhaps the John Jay crew can study that problem.
The wording of Title V is extremely important as it confirms the Vatican's own knowledge and acceptance of the fact that the sexual abuse of children, regardless of sex, is a crime. The Vatican did not use the words evil, sinful, offensive, lapse of judgment, moment of weakness or illness. They used the words "worst crime" which is the only word that can adequately describe the act of a priest preying on a child for his own sexual gratification. The John Jay Excuse must have missed this tidbit. A careful and meticulous organization like the Catholic Church is not going to call an act criminal and create a punishment for said act if they weren't aware of its existence. Laws are written to protect people from crimes that are known and the church knew about these crimes. Laws against cyber crime weren't written fifty years ago because it didn't exist then, however, Crimens Sollicitationis was.
Crimens was sent out in 1962 under the reign of John XXIII, which unfortunately for the John Jay Excuse was prior to the sexual revolution. Fr. Tom Doyle tells us in his 2008 essay: "THE 1922 INSTRUCTION AND THE 1962 INSTRUCTION "CRIMEN SOLLICITATIONIS," PROMULGATED BY THE VATICAN" the following:
Crimen sollicitationis is essentially a set of procedural norms for processing cases of accusations against priests for soliciting sex while in the act of sacramental confession. Solicitation is an especially heinous canonical crime and one which results in severe penalties for those found guilty. This document on solicitation was preceded by one issued on June 9, 1922 by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It was signed by the prefect, Cardinal Merry del Val, and was approved by Pope Pius XI. Like the 1962 document, it was issued in strict secrecy and its content was never published in the official publication of the Holy See, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
We now know that the problem existed back in the 1920's, Here is another quote that comes to us from the "Roaring Twenties" courtesy of the then Superior General of the Irish Christian Brothers, Patrick Hennessy: "The fondling of boys, the laying our hands upon them, is contrary to the rules of modesty and is decidedly dangerous". The good Superior General seems to have had a distinct knack for understatement while at the same time a full understanding of the abuse that was taking place within the ranks of the Irish Christian Brothers. However, if the John Jay crew knew this history, in line with their latest findings, they'd attribute it to the lack of morality that characterized the Roaring Twenties.
Had the researchers at John Jay known 17th century church history, they might have excused pedophilia because it was the "Age of Discovery"!
Moving the offenders around goes back a long way also...
From Karen Liebreich's book Fallen Order:
"One of his recruits in particular, Father Stephano Cherubini, was to prove a disaster. Cherubini was dogged throughout his career by allegations of inappropriate behaviour with pupils, but his powerful family ties and connections with the Inquisition made Calasanz wary of expelling him. Instead, he invented that staple of the Catholic church in subsequent centuries when faced with paedophile priests — he promoted him, writing to the priest he charged with clearing this up: "I want you to know that your reverence's sole aim is to cover up this great shame in order that it does not come to the notice of our superiors".
Going back a little farther in history, we come across St. Peter Damian in the 11th century.
St. Peter Damian's Letter 31, the Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus), Randy Engel says it is,
"the most extensive treatment and condemnation by any Church Father of clerical pederasty and homosexual practices. His manly discourse on the vice of sodomy in general and clerical homosexuality and pederasty in particular, is written in a plain and forthright style that makes it quite readable and easy to understand."
Pierre J. Prayer translated Peter Damian's work and in his introduction, he makes this comment: "One of his consistent themes was an attack on the sexual immorality of the clergy and the laxness of the superiors who refused to take a strong hand against it."
We can take away two things from this book.
The Council of Elvira...
The buck stops as the church enters the fourth century because that is when the church as we know it coalesced. So from the fourth century, we give you the Council of Elvira:
There were a host of Canons that came out of this Ecumenical Council in 306ce. These are but a few that speak to the subject of sexual abuse.
18. Bishops, presbyters, and deacons, once they have taken their place in the ministry, shall not be given communion even at the time of death if they are guilty of sexual immorality. Such scandal is a serious offense.
71. Those who sexually abuse boys may not commune even when death approaches.
As mentioned above, laws are not written to address crimes that are unknown. They are written to address the crimes of the day. John Jay's researchers would probably say that the sexual abuse of children in the Fourth Century was obviously a classic symptom of a civilization entering the Dark Ages.
On page 118 of the report, the John Jay crew says the following about the history of the clergy abuse scandal. "The 'crisis' of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests is a historical problem. Data from multiple sources show that incidence of abuse behavior was highest between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s." The only words that can be construed as being accurate are "Historical Problem". What the John Jay researchers need to learn is the true meaning of the words "Historical Problem". If they did, then they would understand that the clergy abuse crisis was not an aberration caused by a change in social norms, but it is actually a function of a deeply embedded culture within the Catholic Church. Having been tolerated for such a long period of time, it cannot be otherwise.