Tag Archives: sexual abuse

Sex Abuse And Catholic Church-What’s New?

Once again, another story about alleged sexual abuse in a Catholic organization, only this time the person identified as connected to the incident is a brother of the pope. Monsignor Ratzinger has agreed to testify about claims that a highly regarded choir he was involved with somehow is connected to incidents of sexual abuse. There are allegations that at least three schools in the Regensburg diocese in Bavaria were connected to sexual abuse. Ms. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a critic of the Catholic Church claims “in many schools there was a wall of silence allowing for abuse and violence.” Franz Wittenbrink, a German composer who lived at one of the schools says the schools were run by “a sophisticated system of sadistic punishments in connection with sexual lust.”

The entire situation has to be addressed and perhaps it it time to rethink the entire concept of a celibate clergy. After all, this was not the norm in early Christianity.

A Sad Tale Of Religious Abuse

It is all too common on blogs to single out stories concerning abuse by priests or nuns as examples of the failure of religion. For example, a priest in Ireland is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl, and after the abuse making her say 10 Hail Marys in order to seek penance. Obviously, the priest, Father Maeliosa O’Hauallachain was attempting to manipulate the mind of a teen age girl in order for her to take on guilt for what was done to her by another human. The woman, now 42, described in detail how the priest fondled her, made her masturbate the man, and played with various parts of her body. What does this tale really reveal?

First, being a priest or imam or rabbi is no guarantee the individual is any healthier in sexual issues than the average person. Second, religion is used for immoral as well as moral desires in life. But, the question rarely raised in these examples of abuse in the Catholic religion is whether there is need to allow priests and nuns access to a healthy normal sex life. Marriage in itself is no guarantee that people are sexually content. But, certainly, there is now sufficient evidence of the need to allow marriage for priests and nuns.

Pope Accepts Bishop Resignation On Child Abuse Cases

Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Bishop Donal Murray in Ireland because of his “inexcusable” mishandling of child abuse cases. Over the years, parents and children made complaints regarding the behavior of priests, but the good bishop decided to ignore their statements because of his firm belief that priests were men of God, not men of the flesh. “I humbly apologize once again,” he told an audience of those who had been abused of knew of such behavior, “to all who were abused as little children.. I repeat that my primary concern is to assist in every way I can on their journey towards final closure and serenity.”

I have no doubt the Bishop is speaking from his heart and is truly sorry for what happened. But, isn’t it about time for such bishops and the Pope to pose even more critical questions concerning priests and nuns in the church? Isn’t it about time to rethink the entire idea of marriage for the clergy and hope allowing priests and nuns a normal sexual life will result in healthier sexual attitudes?

Report Highlights Sexual Abuse By Teachers To Students

A report published by Plan, an international organization which monitors abuse of children including teacher-student relations, indicates millions of children are threatened with receiving poor grades unless they provide sexual favors to teachers. Plan believes sexual violence is institutionalized in many schools throughout Africa and teachers are brutalizing and threatening children to grant them sex or face the consequences. The report suggests many children who have been forced into sex by teachers are more likely to get AIDS and have a higher suicide rate than other children. Plan argues that 90 nations continue to allow teachers to inflict physical harm to children they deem to have misbehaved. In the long run, corporal punishment simply makes violence part of school life.

Tom Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Plan, notes: “This report presents shocking and irrefutable evidence that children across the globe are regularly sexually and physically abused by the v ery adults who have a duty to protect them. Violence in schools was too often viewed as acceptable or necessary by education authorities, parents, and governments.”

During my 52 years as a teacher of secondary and college students, I have never once felt the need to inflict physical punishment on a child.

Sexual Abuse Common In Yemen Primary Schools

A study by the Yemen Ministry of Interior reveals widespread sexual abuse of children in primary schools in Yemen. The report listed 606 incidents but observers believe that is not accurate due to cultural beliefs which prevent people from reporting such cases. A female teacher in Sana’a said poverty plays a major role in sexual abuse because with a little money an older boy can readily obtain cooperation from a younger child. Another teacher noted it was common in Yemen primary schools for 14-17 year-old students to be present since they have been stuck in the same grade for years. She commented: “The presence of older students in children’s classrooms is dangerous enough to poison our children’s minds, so they should be separated.” it is common in Yemen for older students to attend school in the morning and younger ones in the afternoon which places the older one free to harass children. Jamal Al-Sami, chairman of the Democracy School, a local NGO, notes that sexual abuse of children is a taboo no one dares to talk about and which people prefer keeping quiet rather than informing security authorities. “People are afraid of shame and scandal.”

There is limited sexual education in Yemen schools which results in myths and hidden feelings among children. Last year, Al-Sami organized a sexual education program in his school which included posters and information being disseminated to children and parents. He even developed a guide for use by local police and is working to improve the juvenile court system.