Zero Tolerance for Pedophilia

Author: Fr Mieczysław Piotrowski S.Chr.

We are facing a huge manipulation by the mass media, which is aimed at discrediting the Catholic Church.

This highly hypocritical manipulation involves the mass media’s utter failure to report tens of thousands of pedophilia cases in various social groups and their focus only on a few cases involving the clergy. In this way the media generate a message that the gravest danger to children comes from priests. When a layperson is implicated in an abuse scandal, nobody makes the school, employer or police responsible, whereas in the case of a clergyman attempts are made to shift the blame for his deeds onto the whole Church.

Let’s have a look at the facts. A report by the US Children’s Bureau shows that 61,472 sexual offences against children were committed in the US in 2011. Only 0.034 per cent were committed by clergymen.

Independent research conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice shows that from 1950 to 2002, 6,000 physical education teachers and sport coaches were convicted of sexually abusing minors in the US. In the same period, 109,000 priests worked in the US. In those 52 years, only 100 priests were found guilty of sexual abuse and expelled from the clergy. In 22 cases, charges involved pedophilia in the strict sense, while 78 priests were convicted of sexual offences against persons who were no longer children. It must be remembered that, under the canon law of the Catholic Church, any sexual act with a person under the age of 18 is considered pedophiliac, while the civil law bans any sexual acts with a person below the age of 15.

In the US, 39,000,000 pedophiliac acts were recorded; 60 per cent involved child victims of degenerated fathers, step-fathers or uncles. This is an obvious effect of the “sexual revolution” and ubiquitous pornography, which is promoted by the mass media without any restraint. Producers of pornography and contraceptives, as well as proprietors of abortion clinics or those offering in vitro fertilization make huge profits on their businesses. Their clients are people who are morally confused and addicted to sex. The Catholic Church, which calls on people to mend their ways, to maintain pure hearts and break radically with any sexual debauchery, is the greatest enemy of this demonic business.

It is exactly for this reason that the Catholic Church has become an object of a hate campaign, making use of lies, half-truths or manipulated truths in order to distort the truth about the Church and to destroy completely its standing among the people and the influence it has on them. Paradoxically, media promoting debauchery level the accusation of debauchery at priests, who denounce and fight it! Worse still, millions of listeners and readers of this propaganda uncritically fall for it, becoming victims of an obvious manipulation. Why do we stop using our reason?

Combating pedophilia should begin with declaring a war on excessive eroticism in public life, above all on pornography, because this lies at the root of pedophilia and all other sexual offences.

In Facts in the Shadow of Accusations, Marzena Nykiel writes: “It is absolutely clear that the objective of the anticlerical campaign is to deprive the Church of the right to speak out on questions of morality or take a position on abortion, in vitro, euthanasia, contraception and sexual abstinence. The objective is to denigrate the institution, deprive it of any credibility and confidence among believers. With such a relentless smear campaign, which no doubt will continue for months or even years, many parents will finally succumb to pressure after hearing for the thousandth time the question: Is your child safe in a religion class, altar-boy meeting, choir practice or Catholic summer camp? Who can resist an association pattern imprinted on their mind every day that ‘priest = pedophile’?

“To understand the methodology of the anticlerical offensive, the following quotation can be helpful: ‘Each day new cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by the members of the Catholic clergy are exposed. Unfortunately, these are no longer single cases but rather a mass moral collapse. Many priests and religious have admitted to their guilt. There is no doubt that the thousands of cases exposed by the law enforcement authorities are only a fragment of the actual number of cases, if one considers that the Church hierarchy have managed to conceal and cover up many degenerates.’ Where does it come from? Such comments can be heard in the media daily. The author of the quotation, however, is the Third Reich’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels himself, who delivered his fiery speech in 1937. To accuse is very simple. As the law currently stands, it is not necessary for the alleged victim to confirm the accusation for an investigation to be launched. This causes bizarre situations where neither the victim, nor his or her family or the accused confirm the truth of the accusation, but the legal proceedings continue nonetheless. In the case of priests, they are most of the time immediately suspended from their pastoral duties while the media, not waiting for the outcome of the investigation, tear them to pieces in front of the public. The media panic helps some to rake in huge profits. This can be seen very well in the United States, where many law offices struck it rich, owing to the rising tide of pedophilia prosecutions” (“W Sieci”, no. 40/2013).

The Lord Jesus warns: “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Take heed to yourselves” (Luke 17:1-2).

The position and practice of the Catholic Church are clear: zero tolerance for pedophilia. If it is proven that a member of the clergy has committed the sin of pedophilia, that person is immediately unfrocked.

Pedophilia is a horrendous crime. Combating it should begin with declaring a war on excessive eroticism in public life, above all on pornography, because this lies at the root of pedophilia and all other sexual offences. Only the pure hearts of people reconciled with God, repudiating “any debauchery,” can adamantly oppose the rising tide of pedophilia in our societies and successfully stem it.

Brother Priests!

We witness a continual media attack on priesthood and celibacy. Single cases of priests who have fallen and who appear in the media are artfully represented as concerning all clergy in Poland. There are suggestions that all religion teachers be examined for pedophilia. What can our reaction to this be? Do we have to prove that we are not some kind of ogres? Do we have to stoop to the level of polemics? Let’s give a different answer to the evil that is going on.

Here is a specific proposal: let’s personally perform a novena before the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (or before Christmas) and on the feast day repeat the vows of celibacy and chastity in a personal prayer. Let’s offer our earnest wish to continue in chastity to Our Lady in the spirit of Saint John Paul II. Without any special program, without being told to, voluntarily, from the heart … Instead of sins, let’s speak about chastity, its beauty and joy. Let’s ask the Immaculate to help us and all Polish priests preserve chastity, exercise care in our contacts with the media, show prudence in using them and avoid being a source of depravation for anybody. Let’s encourage other diocesan priests and those in religious orders whom we know to perform this novena. Let’s disseminate this message through the Internet. Victory shall be ours if we tie our priesthood and desire of chastity to Our Lady Immaculate.

Fr. Marcin Węcławski


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