I Could Have Saved Them A Lot of Money

by Marinka on May 19, 2011

Yesterday I read the New York Times front page story about the $1.8 million report commissioned by the U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops to get to the bottom of the church sexual abuse crisis.

The good news is that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality is to blame. That is indeed good news, especially for those of us who never confused homosexuality with pedophilia. (As a matter of fact, if the study devoted more than 12 cents to looking for the link between abusive priests and homosexuality, I believe the good Roman Catholic Bishops deserve a refund.)

The bad news is that the 1960s culture of free love and sexual revolution is to blame. Because if you were one of those women who celebrated her sexual autonomy, I hope you’re happy. Because an untold number of children were molested by priests as a result.

See for yourself:

The abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s.

I’m afraid I’m going to need someone to explain this to me very slowly and carefully. With the use of sock puppets as possible.

Because my reading of that is that priests need to be monitored and prepared not to molest children. How does that work, exactly?

Something like this, perhaps?

“Now, Young Priest, remember. You will see a child. You must not molest that child! We’ll be monitoring you closely. WHAT? A bra burning at 12 o’clock! I’m on my way!”

The other fun part of the report is that it states that the abusive priests were not pedophiles. Huh.

See, I thought that in order to qualify as a pedophile, you just had to molest children, but apparently there’s a higher bar for admission. Pedophilia is defined as a “psychiatric disorder that is characterized by recurrent fantasies, urges and behaviors about prepubescent children.” I wish they’d added “sexual” to the mix, because I’ve been having recurrent fantasies about my prepubescent children cleaning their prepubescent rooms for years now. I’d like to think that it doesn’t make me a pedophile.

Of course it helped a lot that the report used the definition of “prepubescent” as children aged 10 and under. (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, of The American Psychiatric Association, classifies a prepubescent child as age 13 or younger.)

I’m truly puzzled by this, even assuming the older, 13 year old cut-off. Is an adult having sexual contact with a 14 year old not a pedophile? Is there a better word for that person?

I can’t wait to see the full study. I’d like to think that $1.8 million would buy more in this economy.


One year ago ...

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

May 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I have no words. As someone with friends affected by this personally..I have no fucking words as this complete bullshit continues with no one taking responsibility or doing anything.

Thank you for this post. Love. Love. xo


marathonmom May 20, 2011 at 3:52 am

I am with you……….meh


Pam @writewrds May 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I wonder who wrote the $1.8 million report: Hans Christian Andersen?
Dr. Seuss?
Doesn’t sound like it has much to do with reality.
Although I wasn’t that old at the time, somehow I can’t recall evidence to suggest the “sexual turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s” encompassed molestation of children — including teens.
$1.8 million horse manure still stinks.
Who knew — then — that priests needed preparation and monitoring to keep their pants zipped? IMHO an adult having sex with a 14-year-old is a pedophile and it’s a crime.


May 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Tracy took the words out of my mouth. It’s total bullshit and they seem to be doing everything they can except actually accepting responsibility.

The next “study” will probably blame it all on violence in cartoons or artificial turf.


May 19, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Nope. Some how, they will blame women. Wearing pants, taking the pill, working, not protecting the priests from the kids.


Sophie@Fabrications May 20, 2011 at 1:48 am

I agree with you.
Holy crap.


marathonmom May 20, 2011 at 3:54 am

Pants!!!!! yes. of course.


Z May 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I definitely think you should be hired for the next study… Which should also include research into the area of why this first is so ludicrous!

But, yes. I have to just nod my head in agreement with you and the other comments – because I am totally speechless… Wish I could say I cannot believe this, but unfortunately, I totally can!


Holly May 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Wow, I need to read that article.

My step grandpa is super cool. Like SUPAH COOL. I always thought he would be the best dad ever because he seriously invents games for a living. When I asked my step mom she said having such a creative dad was good AND bad. She got invited to a Halloween party and needed a costume. This was when store-bought was cool. Her dad said he would make the costume. She walked into her room that night with her “costume” on her bed. It was pants with one leg cut off to shorts. Messed up shirt, weird hat. He said she was a “Confuse-a-Cat”. She walks down the streets and confuses all the cats.

I think that article was suppose to be a confuse-a-cat, not informative. Get us all confused and stop talking about it cause I’m pretty sure 60’s culture doesn’t have anything to do with it!


May 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I’m glad you posted this, because when I heard it on the news? I was equally confused. And maybe a show with sock puppets might help explain the issue.

What a crock of crap they’re feeding those poor children who were abused.


anna see May 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Sheesh. What a load of b.s.


May 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

At the risk of sounding like an ACLU lawyer representing a klansman in the defense of free speech, I’ve gotta speak up for the importance of discerning between creepy-disgusting pedophiles and creepy-disgusting sexual predators. From what I’ve read and the people I’ve talked to, it’s to the pedophile’s advantage to be lumped in with the higher order of scum. Puberty is a huge game-changer, and there do exist 13-, 14-, 15-, 16-(and pregnant) – teenagers who actively seek sexual interactions. And these are the shadows that the pedophiles thrive in. For example, he might say, “I’m no worse than your great-grandfather, who was 23 when he married your 16 year old great-grandmother.” There are important distinctions to be made that help keep kids and teenagers safer, just like I think it’s important to discern among the serial killer, the guy who murders his wife and the guy who beats his girlfriend. It’s all ugly to look at, but even uglier if we just look away.


Marinka May 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I am all for the ACLU defending Klansmen. I’m a big believer in civil liberties. (Except I’m pretty sure the First Amendment doesn’t cover WHAM!).

I don’t see puberty as a game changer. I mean, yes, a child who’s gone through puberty may seek sexual interactions, but it doesn’t make it any less pedophilic if an adult engages in sexual conduct with them.

Besides, the question remains of whether it makes sense to draw the prepubescent line at age 10.

And isn’t that’s what the study is doing? Lumping the pedophile priests with the “higher order of scum”, i.e. sexual predators?


Megan May 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I don’t think they actually did a study. I think the Catholic Church paid them $1.8 million to make shit up.

Now I’m mad thinking they could have paid ME $1.8 million to write fiction.


Eevie May 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Hi, I am new here, but I just want to tell you that I love your whole blog. I think I’ve read through all the archives in the past week. Except that piece about russian food, because you may take away my freedom, but you will never take away vinigret.

This is not at all relevant to the topic at hand.


Becky Rice
May 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm

And the Catholic Church wonders why its followers are disgruntled. Count me among the disengaged.


anymommy May 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Preserving power at all costs looks the same, regardless of the relative anointment status of those scrambling to stay on top. Dirty.


May 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Anytime I hear/read/think about this, I can only think of the South Park episode where all the priests are trying to figure out what to do about the pedophilia in the church and the burning question is HOW DO WE GET THOSE DAMN KIDS TO STOP TELLING?

Genius. And yet, sadly true.


May 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Yes, sadly true.


May 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

You know, this might be the biggest non sequitur ever – how do you go from a social movement centered around the birth control pill to a priest violating his celibacy vows by molesting children? There was nothing about the 1960’s and 1970’s that encouraged people to molest children. Out-of-wedlock sex was still understood by everyone to be for consenting adults. I think I just sprained my brain trying to understand the sentence you quoted. Ouch.


May 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Essentially, the report said, “We blame society.” That’s pathetic.


May 20, 2011 at 4:09 am

As always finding the reason for predators ill behavior is so much more important then rehabilitating the victims. So now 60′ and 70′ are the new decades to blame? Never been so glad I am my age. Have a new excuse for my shortcomings. Thanks to the $1.8 million US Roman Catholic Bishop was willing to spend for this masterpiece.


May 20, 2011 at 5:27 am

Wow. I’m pretty close to speechless. It’s terrific to know that if you have the right amount of money and access to the right researchers you too can get a study to reframe any of your crimes in order to blame someone else totally unrelated but with whom you’ve long had a fear/patronise relationship.



From Belgium May 20, 2011 at 6:21 am

Of course the 1960 revolution is to blame!
Before that priests just fornicated with their maid, but when to 1960’s rolled around the maid went of the university to get an education in order to get a better paying job and the priests where left with no other option but the altar boy. Stupid women liberation front. It really is to blame for everything…


Lady Jennie May 20, 2011 at 7:43 am

Unfortunately I didn’t expect anything better.

Um … ya gonna write about DSK or is that old news by now?


The Flying Chalupa
May 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I love it when you get all learny and righteous – because it rocks. Many a great point, Marinka, but if there’s one thing I know about churches in general – and especially the Catholic one – it’s that they make up their own definitions and create their own reality. Like the Navy.

Fabulous post.


May 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but women (working mothers) are also responsible for childhood obesity. http://reut.rs/lzvf5B

I can’t wait to hear what we’ve been up to next.


May 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

That is the most fucking outrageous and offensive piece of bullshit (the study, not your awesomely pissed off snarky post!) I’ve seen in forever. And there has been some seriously outrageous and offensive bullshit flying around lately. Are they fucking kidding me? Are they kidding themselves? The only fucking self-deluding morons who will believe that waste of time and money are the same self-deluding morons who didn’t need the study conducted in the first place.

If this is enough to restore faith to any catholics, then the faith of those catholics ain’t worth much.

Seriously, does no one give a damn about personal fucking responsibility? These people are supposed to be responsible to god, but they’re apparently not responsible to anyone, including innocent children. Of all the dumbass excuses… it’s like some fucked up SNL spoof.

Even though I’m jewish, I’m utterly mortified for the catholic people right now. These non-pedophile pedophiles need to keep their dicks in their pants, their hands to themselves, and their mouths shut.

Thank you for this post, without which I might’ve forgotten just how fucked up an entire segment of humanity is.


Kara May 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I love this piece! You very precisely, and with such sweet and exacting sarcasm blew holes through their all their reasoning. Well done!


b a seagull
May 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I almost freaked out when I read that. I am old enough to have been there (note the verb freaked out.) How offensive to the children abused, the young people of the ’60’s and ’70’s and the intelligence of Catholic people.


dusty earth mother May 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Absolutely unbelievable. A pretty pricey way to deny any kind of responsibility for your actions/cover-ups. I’m thoroughly disgusted. But not so disgusted that I was unable to laugh out loud at this: “I wish they’d added “sexual” to the mix, because I’ve been having recurrent fantasies about my prepubescent children cleaning their prepubescent rooms for years now.”


Erin@MommyontheSpot May 21, 2011 at 8:56 am

This is so upsetting to me. On many levels. I think your post should be considered for the script that will accompany the explanation with sock puppets.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: