I agree with most of the narrative in this link except for the comment on taking away the celibacy requirement for priests. Sexual abuse is not about acting out sexual frustration. Pedophiles have deliberately gravitated towards the Catholic priesthood especially for the easy access to children and young people in utilizing the power and control the position gives them.
It is NOT the position that has made them a pedophile.
This has been exacerbated by the almost universal lack of adequate child abuse prevention strategies implementation in the churches. The governing bodies of each Christian denomination may state that ALL their churches implement child abuse prevention strategies, but this rarely permeates its way down to adequate implementation in the local churches.
Buying a kit for a mere $128 store.churchlawtodaystore.com/reducingrisk1.html will go a long way to protect our children, but unless the church leader also has applied theological training in crisis intervention of the disclosure of the abuse as well great harm can be done to those who have been victimised, in the form of secondary victimization through an inadequate and insensitive response.
Victims have said that it is the inadequate responses of the church and the church leaders that has hurt them even more than the sexual abuse itself. This is not to minimize the effect that sexual abuse has on a person, but to maximize the importance of the initial response of the church leaders. Adequate prevention and adequate response must go hand in hand if we are to be a true representative of Jesus Christ in how we execute John 11:28. People hope to have their burdens lifted; not added to.
Children are still being abuse NOW across the denominational spectrum of churches; not all churches, but there is not a Christian denomination that has not had such issues occur.
It is the tendency of the Pastoral Leadership role to attract not only good and decent and faithful Christian men and women, but also the narcissistic and sexually deviant candidates who only have evil intentions. We have to stop being naive and acknowledge this fact. This has been found out from the mouths of the predators themselves from their prison cells. To deny this is to keep our heads in the sand. Adequate prevention tactics will prevent almost 100% of child abuse if the congregations will only be active in implementing them. Don’t wait for the church leaders to do this, or trust that it has already been done. The odds are it has NOT, or at least not adequately. If it had, you would know, because part of being adequately implemented is for the church membership to have full knowledge of what those strategies are in order for everyone in the building to be able to observe any non-compliance.
DEMAND this to keep your families safe. Specialists like me have been begging the church leadership for years to implement adequate prevention strategies and we have been virtually ignored mostly because they either think they already have the situation in hand, or because they don’t have the problem in “their church building.”
We have been imploring seminaries to include this training in the core seminary program and for whatever reason, again, we have been ignored. There is a certain fear that some students might be put off from coming to seminary if they thought they would have to be involved in ‘that stuff.’ But it is not ‘that stuff,’ it is the applied theology of serving the marginalised as Jesus did, and “setting the captives free” (Luke 4:18) that is the basis of this training if only the seminaries will sit down in conversation an allow this point of view to be put forward. Obtaining even the conversation to let church leaders and seminaries know what it is that they do not know is the biggest problem.
Many churches THINK they have successfully implemented child abuse prevention strategies, but have been found to have a false sense of security that pedophiles have been able to take advantage of because of inadequate implementation, especially annual renewal training and training of new leaders who come in between the annual renewal training.
Congregations need to be informed as to what they do when it is the priest who is accused. Priests need to be informed as to what they do when it is a congregant who is accused.Seminaries need to teach applied theology that justifies the pastoral leadership to protect children and to hold abusers accountable. Seminaries need most of all teach the true biblical doctrine of FORGIVENESS and what it is NOT. Too often it is used to let abusers OFF THE HOOK and a convenient way to restore the status quo to the church community.
Jesus requires us to hold all abusers accountable. Even God will not accept an abusers loud cries of repentance unless there is an observed, sincere turning away from the sin, a desire to accept legal accountability and to submit to any action that will help to prevent them from committing their lascivious acts again, i.e. legal consequences, sex offender registry, stay separate from children for the rest of their life, and most importantly, DISMISSAL FROM THEIR PASTORAL POSITION. Lifting of theses restrictions is not possible this side of Heaven. It is not just about the predator and his or her well-being. It is also about, if not mostly about, the sense of safety of the victims and the extended church community. A church cannot be a place of refuge if there is not a sense of safety withing its activities.