Thanks to those of you who offered me support via email and Facebook and elsewhere, regarding my Rant of Pain .
What steams me the most is how otherwise good Catholics say things like this - what a Catholic writer and fellow blogger said below (from a combox, directed at me and my position on child abuse, which I go into in my post What Rape Is)
Just to clarify--again. (1)There is a distinction between pedophilia and pederasty. The distinction exists for a reason and shouldn't be disregarded in order to indulge one's emotional outrage. (2)There is also a distinction between forcible and statutory rape (ask a victim of forcible about that.) (3)And yes, it is quite possible for a teenager to seduce an adult. That is simply true, and saying so does not mean -- repeat, does not mean -- that one is "excusing" rape, or child molestation or abuse.***
Let's take this horrific argument point by point. I do this not to be rough on this writer, whose work is generally admirable, but because I'm learning that she represents entrenched thinking in the Catholic Church and in society at large - as witnessed by Fr. Groeschel, who meant well, but who blamed the victims - and so I think I have an obligation to tackle this nonsense. Let's begin ...
(1) There is a distinction between pedophilia and pederasty. The distinction exists for a reason and shouldn't be disregarded in order to indulge one's emotional outrage.
This woman really thinks I don't get it. She buys the Bill Donohue line that the Church Sex Scandals were not about child abuse at all, but about too many homos in the priesthood. She accuses one of "indulging one's emotional outrage" because when post-pubescent boys of age 14, 15, or 16 are molested by priests, one should apparently not be outraged. One should rather say, "This is pederasty! Not pedophilia!" - without realizing that pederasty is simply pedophilia between an adult male and his under age male victim - pederasty is a sub-set of pedophilia. And since I am the "one" who is "indulging one's emotional outrage" (her comment was addressed to me, as you can see on the original post), am I to relax a bit and say, "Well, boys will be boys. Thank God it's typically a priest forcing a 14-year-old boy to commit sodomy and not a priest forcing a 14 year old girl to have intercourse! Thank God it's not as bad as all that! And the bishops enabling this behavior - well, they're enabling pederasty, not pedophilia, so we're OK!" Is that what I'm supposed to say? Does this spurious distinction make any sense???
(2)There is also a distinction between forcible and statutory rape (ask a victim of forcible about that.)
Absolutely, entirely and abominably wrong. Wrong to the point of being evil, that's how wrong this is. Victims of statutory rape are forced to have sex, because CHILDREN CAN NOT CONSENT TO HAVE SEX, not even teens who act provocatively. That's why we call it RAPE. When children have sex with an adult, it is always a violent crime and the child is the victim - a victim who will be scarred for life. Ask any survivor of incest or statutory rape about that. They do not have the capacity to consent to sex. To argue that they do is to make the case of NAMBLA , an organization which lobbies for the legalization of what this writer calls "pederasty". That this writer should dig in her heels on this subject, when both Natural Law and common sense and my own writings on this that she has read make it quite plain that RAPE IS RAPE IS RAPE IS RAPE is beyond me. Hell, yes, it makes one "indulge one's emotional outrage", and it damn well should. I have pointed out again and again that a minor does not have the capacity to consent to sex with an adult, but this point is conveniently ignored, in typically internet argument fashion.
(3) And yes, it is quite possible for a teenager to seduce an adult. That is simply true, and saying so does not mean -- repeat, does not mean -- that one is "excusing" rape, or child molestation or abuse.
It is NOT possible for a child to seduce an adult, even a teen aged child, EVER. How anyone can possibly think this is utterly unfathomable to me.
For starters, no one can be "seduced". No one can be led to perform a sex act he or she does not want to perform, shy of rape (see above). But more than that, even though there are many teens who behave provocatively toward adults, such behavior is always an indication of a personality problem on the part of the teen that needs to be addressed, it is "acting out", and such behavior is coming from a person of limited rational, spiritual and emotional capacity, and is directed toward a fully formed adult. It is always up to an adult to be responsible enough to refrain from committing an act of utter depravity and evil; it is up to any adult to choose - either to molest or not to molest - a child, even a teen "who wants it really bad" (as we used to say in the locker room).
This is simply and obviously blaming the victim.
- Yes, teens can behave seductively. No, they can never seduce an adult.
- Yes, molesters are broken and damaged men who need our sympathy and help. No, their behavior is never excusable, not even if they're on the verge of a nervous breakdown and targeted by a horny 14-year-old (Fr. Groeschel's scenario - which, incidentally sounds much more like the manipulative excuse of a man in therapy than a typical real life situation).
So there you have it.
The reason Fr. Groeschel's comments were not edited out of the National Catholic Register is that many people - including many good Catholics - agree with him.
So when Father Chester repeatedly forces his penis into the anus of his 14-year-old altar boy and tells him not to mention this on fear of damnation and hell ... well, it's pederasty (not pedophilia), it's statutory rape (not legitimate rape), and the kid clearly wanted it. So many of them do, after all.
It's certainly not Father Chester's fault! That much we know.
Good Jesus Christ, have mercy on us all.