Religious Collars

Yet another Catholic priest with an unholy affection for children has been nabbed, this time in Kansas City. After a plea deal, the man of the cloth may spend the rest of his life in jail, and his bishop, who is charged with failing to report suspected child abuse, may not be far behind.  No word in yet on when the Pope will face justice.

I found the following statement from the acting U.S. Attorney interesting, as reported by the AP:

With today’s guilty plea, the defendant publicly acknowledged for the first time that he sexually assaulted five young children over the course of several years. When a defendant who wears a religious collar, who has the trust of a community, engages in conduct of this nature, his crimes are more devastating and more reprehensible.

More devastating and reprehensible to whom? The community? The point should be that the community should not give its “trust” to a man just because he happens to wear a “religious collar.” And, by God, parents in the community should not encourage their children to have unquestioning faith in such “authority” figures either. These predators only have power because too many among us still believe in Iron Age fantasies.

Teach kids to think for themselves, dammit.



  1. Boy, ain’t it the truth!! I too saw this AP article and it stuck with me enough that I referred to it in reply to another blogger’s post on the fallacies of blind faith, one Archon’s Den. Here is part of my comment to his post:

    My wife was raised Catholic, so I know something whereof you speak, Archon. She has a good number of tales to tell about it, including the nun who described to the terrified little girl how hell would be like holding her hand over the stove burner forever. She had a “missal”, a book of selected biblical quotes to be used in services, but as you say, no bible. Good Catholics are required to trust their priests, to confess their sins to them as a necessary intermediary between them and God, and to have a priest on hand when they depart this earth. I guess it helps getting in the Pearly Gates to have a priest vouch for you.

    The priest told her that it was mandatory that she confess her sins every week, and some weeks she couldn’t think of a sin to confess. So she would make one up.


  2. Treeske

     /  August 3, 2012

    Responsible sex education is a starter for protecting our children! I was reared Catholic too but we were never without being reminded of the human nature, including priests and nuns! Like the horrors of Penn State, the Catholic church and many homegrown religions, all those who turned their heads instead of acting to defend our most defenseless, deserve the strongest punishment. Am mostly against the death penalty, in these cases, am very tempted.


  3. ansonburlingame

     /  August 4, 2012

    I have no objection whatsoever to prosecuting priests for such behavior to the full extent of the law, for sure. But priests or nuns are far from the only perpertrators of such conduct. Teachers, coaches, cops (the jailer raping the inmate), the incestuous parent or relative, etc. etc. all fall into the same category of predators on the young.

    In other words “Iron Age theology” is only a part of our problem in protecting the young from sexual predators.

    Try this approach. Add up all the sexual offesnses against underage kids that happen in say America in a given period of time. Then pick out the “category” of such predators. How many as a percentage were priests, cops, teachers, parents, other relatives, etc.

    I have no idea whatsoever the percentage of sexual predators in any given category. But my GUESS is the percentage of priests or nuns would be small compared to ……… Certainly I have no proof or statistical survey to back up that suspicion at this point but would be willing to listen to such statistics.

    But you MUST be sure to include the “heathen red necks” that raped and killed the Stella girl in such statistics, along with “men of the cloth” as well.

    My point? Sexual dysfunction on the part of “predators’ is cause by all sorts of circumstances and “iron age theology” is probably statstically almost insignifcant. But when a single victim suffers as a result, well throw out the statistics in such cases and lower the boom on the SOB acting as such, whatever cloth he or she might wear.

    I suspect HGL might have some numbers to provide us in such analysis.



  4. Jane Reaction

     /  August 4, 2012

    The priests would be second to various sports coaches, then maybe Boy Scout leaders coming in third, so to speak.


  5. ansonburlingame

     /  August 4, 2012

    Not when I read the front page of the Joplin Globe on a routine basis and read about the “low lifes’ pulling all sorts of stunts including child abuse as well as sexual predation. I don’t think I have read a single local story about a coach, priest or Boy Scout leader doing so.



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