on the cross

How Not To Argue Against the Catholic Church’s Pedophilia Defense

There are 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. Catholic Church alone who have been charged with allegations of sexual abuse from 1950-2002. As of last week, the Vatican has attempted, at my count, six different public-relations campaigns to deflect any blame away from Pope Benedict XVI on the stonewalling of the church regarding priest sexual abuse. Then came the smoking gun: A letter surfaced, signed personally by Pope Benedict when he was a cardinal, refusing to take action against a pedophile priest. The church’s latest attempt is to blame “gay priests.” In other words, try and blame it on those gays, who we all know abuse little boys. That’s the hidden message, a hate campaign just like the ones we’ve seen from the Republicans. If you are having this conversation with those defending the church, here’s your strategy.

First, do not try to explain why blaming “gay priests” is wrong. If you do, then you are taking the bait and allowing them to keep the focus on gays rather than child abuse, which will delight them since it deflects from the church scandal.

Rather, keep the focus on them — where it belongs. When they use that line, immediately take it back to the church by saying: The church should be protecting children rather than the priests who sexually abuse them. Regardless of what sexual orientation the priest is, he should be dealt with as a man who has raped/abused a child. Instead, the church hides the abusing priest behind bishops, cardinals and, now it has been proven, even the (future) pope.

As you will see, this approach will leave the church apologist in a rush to defend the organization. After he or she does, you should give the figures.

Allegations of sexual abuse have been made against 4,392 priests and deacons in the U.S. [Pictured: Denver’s Father Mel Thompson, removed this week after allegations of abuse from the 70s surfaced.] This distinguishes the church as the No. 1 child sexual abuser in the nation. Shame on you. If a major corporation, like ExxonMobil, had 4,392 employees abusing children, what do you expect the reaction would be?

By this point, you’ve already won the argument with the child-rapist apologizer. Sounds like a tough line, but that’s what he is. It’s time to make the populace aware of how it’s affecting them.

Have you told your parishioners that the money they put into the Sunday plate that has gone to settle lawsuits and legal fees has climbed to $1.5 billion, and that was only until 2006? Until the church stands with morality and takes responsibility rather than blaming the media, dead clerics and now, shame on you, even the victims themselves, the price will continue to climb and, unfortunately, good schools and churches will continue to be shuttered. Not only have you ruined children’s lives by continuing to not take responsibility, you are destroying the very Catholic communities you serve.

At some point in this debate, your opponent will attempt to say you are anti-Catholic. Just tell the truth: No, I’m anti-child abuse and organizations that cover it up. Look at your debating partner and say, “Let me ask you, hypothetically, if 4,392 employees of ExxonMobil abused children and the CEO of ExxonMobil covered it up, I’m sure you’d expect him to answer to at least his stockholders, if not law enforcement.” It’s not about how much money the company makes or how good the product is, it’s about those 4,392 abusing employees and the CEO who is covering the abuse up.

In the case of the Catholic Church, the CEO is Pope Benedict.

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  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    How about this as a quick and easy debate response:

    100% of the ordained Catholic priests who have and still molest and rape children are ORDAINED CATHOLIC PRIESTS.

    If you have to say any more, then your debate opponent is a Catholic Church apologist and no argument can be made that will change their mind. Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor knowingly willingly and enthusiastically sends the returned Christ to his death again, all in the name of the Church. The Catholic League and all those others who have been blaming the gays, the victims, and recently the Jews over the Church’s scandal and their scandalous cover-up, do not care who is hurt or how, they just want to maintain their power over their flock.


    Note to Mark Segal: Exxon/Mobile is a bad reference example as their employees are hardly germane to priests. A better counter reference would be a family service providing organization such as Little League, boys/girls clubs, soccer, American Red Cross, etc.

  • Jones

    Although pedophilia as a disorder is not exclusive of one orientation or another, because of the celibacy and views towards homosexuality fostered by the Catholic church, there is one painful truth that we cannot avoid in this conversation: yes, most of the priests involved in these scandals have been gay, and have abused boys. Some straights have also abused boys and girls, but the gay factor is undeniable and we need to accept that, look hard at ourselves in the mirror and see what we can do to change the church from within so that these incidents don’t happen again. By allowing the natural sexual expression of priests as human beings, whether with men or women, the temptation and urge and desperation for human contact with other priests and/or young boys under their care would diminish the number of abuse cases.

  • Cam

    Don’t forget that the Vatican at first tried to say that this Pope, while he was a cardinal plead with Pope John Paul to do more about this matter…then of course the letter was found showing that it was THIS Pope, when he was a cardinal that quashed investigations. But he was ready to throw his predecessors name down the toilett to try to protect himself. Shows how desperate he has become.

  • ossurworld

    Wasn’t Ratsass a member of the Hitler Youth?

  • Bill


    That is the biggest, steaming pile of self-hating shit I have ever head, Jones.

    Just complete bullshit.

    Pedophilia is not a gay/straight thing, dude.

    You better check yourself BEFORE you wreck yourself.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones


    there is one painful truth that we cannot avoid in this conversation: yes, most of the priests involved in these scandals have been gay, and have abused boys.

    Please provide evidence and facts to back up your opinion. The priests who have actually uspoken up after being accused and arrested, have denied that they are homosexuals. To them queer means child molestor, therefore if they are not gay, they are not child molestors.

    Now, please provide a link to anything that backs up your absurd claim that “most” of these priests are gay men, Jones

  • Ken

    If the Catholic Church truly believes in the nonexistent link between gay people and child abuse, and if they truly believe their own teachings about gay people, and if the nearly 5,000 abusive priests were gay, how did they get to have so many gay priests in the first place? The cardinal’s statement actually concedes negligence! What he was really saying is, “We weren’t asleep at this switch, we were asleep at that switch over there.” It’s an admission of guilt, one way or the other.

    So now the real question: why is the Catholic Church allowed to run adoption agencies and run schools?

  • BamBam


    No, it attracts the messed-up cross section of catholics who cannot deal with human nature, most notably sexuality and equality. This may include deeply self-loathing gay men, but the majority are straight, deeply disturbed individuals. The church gives power to those who want it as a way to avenge themselves on the world, and the obvious happens.

    If I were a betting man, I’d say that other organizations tailored for the power-hungry (such as boy scouts, for the scoutmasters)would have a similar problem, but not so dramatic, because they are pulling from people who do not have as much of a problem with sexuality

  • Peter

    From this pic, the peope needs a manicure BAAAAD. Clawed his way to the top I guess.

  • john

    Isn’t it true though that 10% of Protestant pastors are convicted child sexual abusers, while only 1% of Catholic priests are?

    This obviously seems like an anti-catholic campaign, otherwise the media and queerty bloggers would be up in arms over the protestant churches. right?

  • Bill Perdue

    The debate is not about clerical abstinence or celibacy. Those are real but secondary issues. The question centers on rape by priests, imams, pastors, rabbis and ministers and the cover up, especially by the vatican, whose entire leadership is guilty of a criminal conspiracy and guilty of being accomplices and accessories to rape.

    End the reign of the rapists. The Hague needs to indict them and the UN needs to send in peacekeepers to arrest them.

    @john: [img]http://orangejuiceblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/anti-gay-but-sex-abuse-ok.jpg[/img]


  • Bill Perdue


    Wasn’t Ratsass a member of the Hitler Youth?

    Yep. And a Luftwaffe AA gunner happily shooting down Allied air crews.


    And his papa was a serving officer in the, you guessed it, Geheime Staatspolizei, aka the Gestapo.

    Like father, like son.

  • Smit

    When we are told there might sharks in the water at the beach, parents keep their kids out of the water. However, we know there are pedophiles in the church, yet parents keep sending their kids to church… how absurd is that?

    You never hear of a child being molested at a gay bar… so wouldn’t it be more logical for parents to send their kids to gay bars?

    Blows my mind!

  • Brian

    I am new to this site but such vitriol, baiting and hating of the pope and Catholics–who run AIDS clinics here in Chicago among many other good things–is just plain ugly, ugly, ugly.

    I need to shower.

  • Slingshot

    It occurs to me, The Catholic church and its present scandals, Is this not exactly what the Rico act was created for? This is an organization committing and trying to cover up felons. How is it not applicable to arrest and prosecute ALL of them? Just a thought?

  • Bill Perdue

    @Brian: This is just the beginning, monsignor.

    The child rape scandal is tearing up your cult up as much as the reformation did, but with this exception – since then we’ve experienced the Enlightenment and the French and Russian Revolutions.

    Your cult is a goner.

  • Jones

    @Bill: Sure Bill, it’s easier to attach the messenger than to take a hard look. I speak from experience. I attended seminary. Case closed.

  • Jones

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: I speak from experience. I attended seminary in NYC in the 1980s. Case closed.

  • Anonymouse

    @Jones: I speak from experience. You’re an idiot. Case Closed.

  • Edfu

    “Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest.”–Voltaire

  • Cassandra

    Humankind will not be truly free until every bigot – atheist, homophobe, racist, etc – admits that he/she cannot know what other people experience and value, and has no right to vilify anyone for living their own lives.

    All bigotry, including atheism, exists to subjugate and enslave others.

  • ewe

    Drag her out of that golden cow in cuffs. Evil criminal is the definition of that pope.

  • schlukitz


    Umm…how does the lack of an organized religious belief system in someones life (atheism) subjugate and enslave others?

    Choosing NOT to believe in a god, any god for that matter, and resisting having religion shoved down one’s throat, being told how to live and having one’s civil rights ripped away, as the religious zealots did at the polls with prop8 in California, for just one example, is not bigotry.

    It’s called self-defense, a right that every human being should have and not be called-out or castigated for it as the RC Church and the Mormons are doing.

    It wasn’t the atheists who started with the religious folks. It was the religious folks beating them…and everyone else on the head with a stick for the past two thousand years that people are getting sick and tired of.

  • Lucius vorenus

    They are NAZIS and PEDOPHILES. They are THE SCUM OF THE EARTH. The most HYPOCRITICAL beings on earth.

    This nazi pope looks just like the emperor in Star Wars. He is the king of evil.

  • Zil

    Actually, from what I understand, the current Pope didn’t understand the depth of truth behind so many of the allegations until he was actually put in charge of dealing with the allegations of child abuse–when he actually became much more aware of the seriousness of the situation and really did apparently try to get John Paul II to be a bit harsher.

    Before we crucify him, let’s look a bit more into his personal actions since he was put into this higher position of power and knowledge. We can say what we want about his past, btu we should also make sure we know just what we are talking about.

  • Lucius vorenus

    The catholic church has understood FOR CENTURIES the depth of truth behind pedophiliac priests.

    Priests have been molesting children FOR CENTURIES. Just read literature and you will see.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Zil: Thanks, padre. We’ll keep that in mind.

    No, really. We will.

    BTW, I’m sure that his father was Gestapo and that he was in the HitlerJugend and a Luftwaffe AA batallion.

    People like to point that he deserted, but he waited until just a few weeks before the end, when all kinds of Ratzingers were deserting the sinking ship.

    “Fighters of Tomorrow”

  • Lucius vorenus

    “but he waited until just a few weeks before the end, when all kinds of Ratzingers were deserting the sinking ship.”


    I thought I could never laugh at the evil demon. But it is possible.

  • Oscar

    Repent gay sinners, repent! Oh, time to go see “Will and Grace” reruns…

  • lawlerskates

    @Jones:wow, so if what you say is true, then you’re saying there’s a lot of gay people in the catholic church! but wait! i thought that catholics thought that being gay was wrong? whats wrong with this picture here? oh i know, you have no argument, you have no proof that gay people are pedophiles. what an ignorant thing to say. most pedophiles were strait to begin with you idiot! aka mostly father’s, uncles, etc….

  • FueneDewwaype

    Hi! I’m Georgia, i live in Thessaloniky Greece and I’m glad to finally be a member here!

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