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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:12 AM

Irish catholic priests STILL don't get it...

They want to continue covering up for the kiddie rapists.

Irish priests have vowed to defy a new law forcing them to report details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional box.

Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter is to introduce new legislation which will force the clergy to reveal all details disclosed in confession.

But priests have vowed to defy the law despite the threat of a 10-year jail sentence after the introduction of the mandatory reporting legislation.

The 800 strong Association of Catholic Priests has even told the Irish Independent newspaper that its members will flout the Shatter law.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-priests-say-they-will-disobey-new-confession-box-law-on-child-abuse-149029005.html

63 replies, 2973 views

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Arrow 63 replies Author Time Post
Reply Irish catholic priests STILL don't get it... (Original post)
Archae Nov 2012 OP
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #1
LAGC Nov 2012 #2
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #5
LAGC Nov 2012 #11
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #16
LAGC Nov 2012 #23
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #50
LAGC Nov 2012 #52
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #54
LAGC Nov 2012 #56
defacto7 Nov 2012 #6
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #9
snooper2 Nov 2012 #61
brokechris Nov 2012 #21
LAGC Nov 2012 #57
treestar Nov 2012 #62
BlueMTexpat Nov 2012 #38
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #47
Hosnon Nov 2012 #4
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #7
Hosnon Nov 2012 #13
pnwmom Nov 2012 #12
Hosnon Nov 2012 #14
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #17
Hosnon Nov 2012 #18
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #19
Hosnon Nov 2012 #20
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #24
Hosnon Nov 2012 #25
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #30
Hosnon Nov 2012 #34
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #40
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #63
pnwmom Nov 2012 #8
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #10
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #15
brokechris Nov 2012 #22
Hosnon Nov 2012 #26
brokechris Nov 2012 #29
Hosnon Nov 2012 #32
brokechris Nov 2012 #36
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #44
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #37
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #31
brokechris Nov 2012 #39
treestar Nov 2012 #60
Ken Burch Nov 2012 #27
Hosnon Nov 2012 #28
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #33
Hosnon Nov 2012 #35
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #41
Hosnon Nov 2012 #43
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #45
Hosnon Nov 2012 #46
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #49
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #42
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #48
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #51
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #53
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #55
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #58
treestar Nov 2012 #59

Response to Archae (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:28 AM

1. Hmm, confession to a priest is much like the attorney - client

privilege and should remain so. I doubt anyone would confess otherwise.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:39 AM

2. Giving abusers a "sympathetic ear" only enables them further in their crimes.

Especially if they think what they say will remain confidential and won't be reported to the proper authorities.

Guilty people (at least those who aren't sociopaths) tend to have their consciences eat at them over time, and feel the need to tell someone to relieve their guilt. Allowing for privileged priestly confessionals only helps them feel more at ease with their criminal behavior, knowing they will never be prosecuted for their admissions.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:54 AM

5. I haven't seen any studies that show this to be true. nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:01 AM

11. Try taking some Psychology classes at your local community college.

I'm not going to do your homework for you.

If you really think enabling criminals by letting them brag about their crimes knowing nothing will be done about it isn't detrimental to a civil society... well, that's between you and your deity.

There's a reason most professions have a duty to report child abuse. I don't see why clergy should get a special free pass.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:11 AM

16. Snark aside. confession is hardly about bragging.

You really know little about the religion.

And by the way, I have taken psychology classes and found them to be of quite limited use. I really think brain imaging may play a much more useful tool in attempting to diagnose and possibly treat the very real mental illnesses these people have.

But I suppose if your agenda is punishing the clergy and any others as well as the mentally ill your solution will suffice.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:27 AM

23. Oh I know plenty enough about it.

Was raised Eastern Orthodox for the first 15 years of my life before I realized what a sham it was.

The only fundamental difference between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism is recognition of the Pope.

We had the same confessions, the same Holy Water non-sense, the same altar boy rituals.

Interestingly, the incidents of Orthodox priests buggering altar boys doesn't seem to be quite as acute as that of Catholics. Of course, the Orthodox allow their priests to marry... but I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:20 AM

50. Are you certain that your dislike of the religion isn't your motivation here?

As I stated downstream, this law isn't particular to Priests or buggery. And the medical community doesn't seem to currently have many answers for this particular mental disorder. I should think we should invest in studying the disorder with new techniques.

If marriage were the answer there wouldn't be so many married pedophiles, would there?

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #50)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:30 AM

52. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not terribly sympathetic with the plight of religious concerns.

Especially when it comes to unfounded "respect" that we are all supposed to defer to the Church and its outdated traditions.

And while you are right that there are plenty of married-to-adult pedophiles who also prey on children, there are still a significant number of exclusive pedophiles who are solely interested in children. And without a doubt, these latter folks are the ones who flock to the Catholic priesthood, knowing they can use the celibacy rule to hide their lack of desire for adult companionship.

I know the topic of priestly buggery is kind of going off on a tangent here, but we already know from records released in the ongoing Catholic sex abuse scandal that many a priest have confessed to other priests about their crimes long before they were finally brought to justice, and many lawsuits later.

I just don't see any good reason for allowing anyone to keep such information secret, when it comes to the welfare of children.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #52)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:48 AM

54. The welfare of children is hardly secured with this law.

While not amazed by the outrage of sexual acts perpetrated on children, I am amazed that the equally or even more horrendous acts children (and adults) are victims of are overlooked even though the numbers of children subjected to hunger, non-sexual violence, limited education, and extensive emotional are much more vast. Where is the outrage over the children killed in war? Where is the outrage over children with nothing or little to eat?

Our Constitution, doesn't just protect people from being forced to adhere to an established religion, it also protects people choosing to adhere to an established religion. Confession, as you well know, is a sacred part of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox religions and I for one will stand up for their rights.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #54)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:01 AM

56. Do you feel the same way about other religious "rights?"

Such as the "right" to deny birth control on religious grounds, like many Catholics are complaining about with the new health care law?

The government's public interest butts heads with religious interests all the time. Why should the Church be above the law?

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Response to LAGC (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:56 AM

6. Personally, I think all child rapists are sociopaths or at least borderline.

From what I've heard, most priests are not there to give a sympathetic ear. They can demand a lot before giving them absolution.

Don't listen to me though. I'm not Catholic or religious.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:59 AM

9. And I believe there are sins that they can't give absolution from. nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:51 AM

61. absolution from what?

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Response to LAGC (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:20 AM

21. I'm not Catholic,

but as I understand it usually if a person is confessing a big on-going illegal activity they will be counseled to do certain things as their penance (in order to be forgiven).

I.E. if someone confessed to robbing a bank--the priest would not turn them in--but would likely tell them that in order to be forgiven that they must return the money and turn themselves in.

It is not a case of priests encouraging or hiding sins. It is just protecting confidentiality. As someone said--like with an attorney or a therapist.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:14 AM

57. Therapists are required to report admissions of child abuse when they come to light.

There is no confidentiality privilege there.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #57)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:53 AM

62. Not a good thing - all that does is stop them from seeking therapy

Not every crime can be caught, but some of these outlets might to do more to prevent future crimes than prosecution would.

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Response to LAGC (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:48 AM

38. A "sympathetic" ear -

I think not. Perhaps forgiveness for the sin committed from a God that may or may not exist, but hardly sympathy.

But this is a long-standing privilege of the confessional. If one truly believes in the separation of Church and State - as I most certainly do - this proposed law should indeed be challenged. Not just by priests.

There are lots of other ways of gathering proof and evidence. They may - and do - cause frustration when it looks as if a simple "shortcut" may be available. But because criminal punishment is the prerogative of the State, those ways of gathering evidence should not include the Church's confessional.

While I am not a believer, this is a very slippery slope to begin sliding down.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:59 AM

47. Very well said. nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:49 AM

4. Not really. Attorney-client privilege exists in part to facilitate a competent defense.

No similar goal is furthered by the confessional privilege. If your religion requires you to confess to get into Heaven, that's between you and your god.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:58 AM

7. Do you also think the spousal exemption should be rescinded then?

Should it be just for sexual criminal acts? What about murder? And what good will this actually do?

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:05 AM

13. Without thinking too much about it, yes.

Full disclosure of the facts surrounding a crime is necessary for a good legal defense. The same cannot be said for a marriage (quite the opposite can be argued).

And, yes, it should extend to every crime. If you tell someone you committed a crime, why shouldn't they be forced to testify (without a legitimate reason)?

In this case, a few boys might not have been raped. I'd call that sufficient "good" done.

Why should the presumption be on the side of privilege? And why stop with priests and spouses? What about other relatives? Good friends? Business partners?

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:04 AM

12. There is a further goal.

Without this protection, no one will confess these crimes to a priest. With them, it is possible that they will confess these crimes and it is possible that a priests could convince molesters to turn themselves in (especially by withholding absolution if they don't).

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:09 AM

14. I'd need some pretty solid data backing up the reality of that before I could get on board. nt.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:12 AM

17. But, you don't need any evidence to the contrary. nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #17)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:17 AM

18. I'm not following.

If you want the privilege to continue because it will encourage criminals to turn themselves in, there needs to be data backing up the claim that it will.

Are you talking about evidence that removing the privilege will lead to more arrests? Criminals confess all the damn time. There are mounds of evidence that admitting confessions (such as in prison) will lead to more arrests.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:19 AM

19. As are there mounds of evidence that people confess to crimes they don't commit. nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:20 AM

20. What does that have to do with this topic?

Unless you are implying that priests pull false confessions out of people (which seriously undercuts the whole idea)...

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:28 AM

24. I don't think priests pull confessions out of anyone.

But people do falsely confess. That is a fact.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #24)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:29 AM

25. I agree. And how is that relevant to this discussion?

How will removing confessional privilege reduce the rate of false confessions?

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:37 AM

30. It won't but it could well get a priest arrested if he didn't report it

no matter how absurd he thought it.

But that was never the point. Your point is rather absurd itself. People do not go to confession to brag to their priest about their crimes.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:43 AM

34. You seem to be confusing me with someone else.

My point is that anyone you tell that you raped a child should be able to be compelled to testify, unless there is a legitimate reason (such as legal defense).

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:44 AM

3. Should they also be required to report confessions of other felonies? Irish law...

followed English law, which generally exempts confessions from legal process.

This is not specifically to hide priestly fondling from the law, although it may have that effect in some cases, but to preserve the concept of privileged confessions.

After all, if the state can force a priest to reveal to the cops confessions about diddling the children, can it eventually force the priests to reveal the diddling to a divorce court?



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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:49 AM

40. You say that "Irish law followed English law ..."

 

Maybe not.

According to Wikipedia, "The only professional privilege granted in English law is for the purposes of obtaining legal advice from professional advisers, so there is no priest-penitent privilege."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest%E2%80%93penitent_privilege

In contrast, "The privilege was recognised under the common law of the Republic of Ireland as the privilege of the priest in the case of Cook v. Carroll (1945) IR 515."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest%E2%80%93penitent_privilege

But, "In 2011, in the wake of several sex abuse scandals, the Fine Gael–Labour government announced plans to criminalise failure to report an allegation of child abuse, even if made during confession."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priest%E2%80%93penitent_privilege

In this country, a distinction is made between confessions to priests regarding crimes which have already taken place and crimes which are planned. In short, the privilege does not protect communications relating to future crimes.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #40)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:40 AM

63. Since I'm not an Irish lawyer, I can't say to the specifics, but...

that's what a tortuously long article in New Advent said.



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Response to Archae (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 02:59 AM

8. US law still recognizes confidentiality in the confessional, even of crimes with children.

There is little point not to, because without this guarantee, no one is going to confess to a priest anyway. But with this guarantee, it leaves open the possibility that a priest could influence the confessing person to go to the police. This does happen, at least occasionally.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:00 AM

10. +1 nt

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:11 AM

15. Are you offering that opinion as a member of the bar? Are you a member of the bar? Are there no

 

exceptions?

What, for example, is the rule if one of the child-molesting priests confesses his child-molesting tendencies and indicates that he favors a particular alter boy who he intends or expects to molest at the next opportunity?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:24 AM

22. once again--not a Catholic here--

but I don't think people typically plan future crimes out loud in the confessional.

From what I know people search their hearts and come to confession in repentance.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:31 AM

26. Someone could confess to the sexual feelings, and go so far as to imply there is a specific

child who really sets them off.

I don't know why anyone would not do everything possible to protect that child from rape.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:37 AM

29. of course you are speculating,

I highly doubt this would be a common occurrence. However, it would keep the police very very busy if everyone who has inappropriate sexual feelings got reported!

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Response to brokechris (Reply #29)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:39 AM

32. Um. If an adult tells you they want to fuck a specific child, you should probably report it.

That's not being overly cautious.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:46 AM

36. and I'm just saying that I seriously

doubt that is a common occurrence. People here seem to think that perverts go to confession to plan their crimes or to brag about them. Very very weird. Most people that I know who bother to go to confession take it quite seriously.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:53 AM

44. Wanting to do anything to anyone is not even against the law.

So how would reporting it help?

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #26)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:47 AM

37. Very unlikely but if it happened, the Priest would or should do everything

possible to prevent it from happening short of reporting it to the police. Even if it were reported to the police in this case what could they do? Nothing if a crime hadn't been committed. So the best chance of stopping the crime would be the priest. And yet you want to take this avenue away.

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Response to brokechris (Reply #22)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:39 AM

31. The question is "confidentiality in the confessional" is treated as unconditional in the US, not

 

whether you disbelieve that psychopaths, sociopaths, and other criminally-minded people will sometimes disclose an intent to engage in identifiable crimes.

Your belief can be interesting, but it is not determinative as to whether "confidentiality in the confessional" is unconditional recognized as such under US law.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #31)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:49 AM

39. from what I understand (and I am not a legal professional)

if a priest, counselor, lawyer etc believes that a person will harm themselves or someone else they have the responsibility to turn them in.

However, it is going a bit far to require them to snitch on anyone that confesses an impure thought or an inappropriate fantasy.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:51 AM

60. +1

That's what these priests are arguing for. And it applies to everything. Every crime - including murder.

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:32 AM

27. This isn't just an "Irish Catholic" thing.

Roman Catholic(and, as I understand it, Orthodox and Coptic and "High-Church" Anglican) priests in ALL countries are expected to defend the seal of the confessional.

It's not about insensitivity to the suffering of children...it's about their duties and obligations as priests. Were they to cooperate with a law like this, they'd be defrocked.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:34 AM

28. Between having a priest defrocked or a boy raped, I'll take the former every time. nt.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #28)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:40 AM

33. If this would actually save children from being raped, I might agree

but I fail to see how it would. Interesting that you only mentioned boys in your post in light of the fact that girls suffer the greater number of rapes.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:45 AM

35. I think a bit more candor on the part of priests would have prevented quite a lot of pain.

And exactly what are you implying? We are, after all, talking about the priest scandals which overwhelmingly involve boys.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:50 AM

41. No, it isn't limited to priest scandals.

Under the new law, every person in the state is obliged to report suspected sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults to police.


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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #41)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:53 AM

43. I understand that. And this specific article and the impetus for the legislation is the priest

pedophile scandal.

Again, what are you implying?

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #43)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:56 AM

45. I am not implying anything. I have been sticking to the facts.

You implied this had to do with priests and boys. I merely stated the fact that it involves a lot more than that.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:59 AM

46. No, you said it was interesting that I have been referring to boys.

You didn't just merely state that boys and girls get raped.

Why was it interesting?

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #46)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:10 AM

49. I don't know. I just found it interesting since girls are raped more often than boys. nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #33)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:51 AM

42. Maybe the distinction is based on the fact that more boys than girls tend to be alter boys.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #42)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:09 AM

48. The law is not specific to alter boys (or girls). nt

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #48)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:22 AM

51. Nor should it be. Obviously.

 

But you said in post #33 that you seemed to find it interesting that in post #28, "Between having a priest defrocked or a boy raped, I'll take the former every time," the poster only mentioned boys.

If the choice for the poster who posted #28 is that of "Between having a priest defrocked or a boy raped, I'll take the former every time," you should logically expect him to refer to a boy and not a girl. There's not a lot of news about priests raping girls.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #51)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:32 AM

53. The false analogy of this law being "between a priest defrocked or a boy raped" is

interesting. It is not. And by the way, girls have been serving as alter girls for quite a while, now.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #53)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:03 AM

55. That's not a false analogy. It's not an analogy at all.

 

a-nal-o-gy
n,

A comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.


If he said that "priests are like boys," that would be an analogy. That would be a comparison. Making a moral judgment and choosing between two outcomes is not an analogy.

Whether "girls have been serving as alter girls for quite a while" depends upon the Bishop of the diocese and the individual Priest of the parrish. Guidance, for example, is provided in the new GIRM which does not distinguish between gender:
"100. In the absence of an instituted acolyte, there may be deputed lay ministers to serve at the altar and assist the Priest and the Deacon; these carry the cross, the candles, the thurible, the bread, the wine, and the water, or who are even deputed to distribute Holy Communion as extraordinary ministers."


Although the new GIRM does not have a preference for boys, apparently some Bishops and Priests always have and still do.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:48 AM

58. Let them be defrocked then

If being required to allow the ongoing rape of children is part of your job requirement, maybe you should find a new job......

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Response to Archae (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:49 AM

59. No, they are right

The confessional privilege encourages confession - better chance of stopping it. If the priest testified about it, then they would not confess it to the priest at all.

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