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Response to shrike (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 02:05 PM

12. One of the rules involved being in the priest's bedroom

The rule was that if a Priest had someone in his bedroom (or other private part of the parish house) the punishment was the same as if he (we are talking the Catholic Church, i.e no female Priests) had sex with that person. These were two DIFFERENT "Crimes" within the parish, but the Bishop had to punish any offender of either (sex OR being in the private parts of the Parish house). The reason for this was simple, it was easy to show the victim had been in the Private parts, but having the victim identified how the rooms were and what was in the rooms. On the other hand how do you prove someone had sex (provided no one is pregnant)? It was a case of we can prove X, but not Y, but X occurs when Y occurs, thus we will inform everyone that Y will be punished the same a X.

The rationale for this is Solomon's ruling on the two "Harlots" and the baby. If you remember the story, two women each had given birth, but one of the women's baby died. Both women claimed it was the other's woman baby that had died and the case ended up in front of Solomon to decide who was the mother. The story goes on about how he told a Soldier to cut the surviving baby in half, thus giving both women 1/2 of the baby. At that point one of the woman said that was a fine decision, the other yelled out she had been mistaken and it was clearly not her son and pleaded with Solomon NOT to cut the baby in half. At that point Solomon order the Soldier NOT to cut the baby and gave the baby to the second woman, and had the first woman whipped out of his court.

People have debated this case even since. Why does it show the Wisdom of Solomon. Most people get it wrong for the Wisdom was Solomon faced a case he could NOT decide, i.e. who was the actual mother of the Child and then transformed the case to one he could decide, i.e who would be the BETTER MOTHER of the child (i.e. the woman who was willing to give up her rights so the baby would live). The same logic was the reason for the rule as to the private parts of the Parish House. It was almost impossible to prove sex occurred, but it is relatively easy to show someone was in the Private parts by just having that person describe what was in the private parts of the Parish house.

As I said, NOT due to Vatican II, but in its Spirit, many Dioceses decided to get rid of the rule as to the private parts of the Parish home. Why punish a Priest for sending a person to his bedroom to get a book, as if he had sex with that person? On its face it makes little sense and thus was repealed. The problem is that the rule came about for it covered pedophile cases in addition to other situations and was easier to prove then sexual relations. In many ways it was like Glass-Steagall Act when it came to the banks, it worked so well it people forgot why the rule came into being and when they looked at the rule, punishing priests who had someone in the private parts of the Parish house, like they had sex with the person made no sense on its face. Little rules like that were removed and nothing was put in they place and the next thing you saw was an explosion of pedophilia cases (Another factor was the drop in Nuns, Nuns came under a different system then Priests, but were at the church on Sunday and other times the Priests had the opportunity to exploit their position and were a further check on the Priests, the drop in women becoming Nuns after 1960 removed this check on such abuse).

I can name various other factors in the explosion of pedophilia after 1970 among Catholic Clergy, but I want to keep this restricted to the rules that changed in the early 1970s and the above rule was the chief change that lead to priests avoiding internal censor for their actions (A policy of demanding proof of the actual sex act was a more serious problem, but one that should have been overcome by accusations made by other victims but was not i.e. one accusation could support another accusation). I am getting into HOW the Catholic Church handles the accusations, not the actual accusations (And I point out that how the accusations were handle is why the Catholic Church had been sued, NOT that the incidents occurred).

My biggest concern about the situation is the Catholic Church going to follow its own rules (The rules adopted in the 1990s and accepted by the Vatican) or will it do what it did from 1970-1995, ignore them? So far I have NOT heard of any cases where the rules have been ignored but it has only been 17 years since the rules were proposed in 1995, most victims do not come out and tell others of the problems till there are in they late 20s (Through many are reported at the time of the incidents to the Church. and the church's failure to handle it at that time is one of the reasons they had lost so many cases). Time will tell, we have to wait and see and make sure the rules are being followed.

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