Here are the 21 points of reflection from the Holy Father:
It’s all good, but rather vague. It is clear that the abuse summit is merely the start of a long process to implement various changes, and also to make further decisions on the details of those changes.
Sandro Magister makes a most popular but incorrect comment about child abuse on his blog:
On the opening morning, February 21, of the summit between Pope Francis and the leaders of the worldwide Church on the issue of the abuse of minors, the big no-show was the word “homosexuality.” And this in spite of the fact that the great bulk of the abuse tabulated so far has taken place with young or very young males, past the threshold of puberty.
It is a fact well-known to persons who have worked with abused kids, and well proven by the empirical evidence that most men who abuse boys are not homosexuals. See my article: Homosexuality is not the cause of the Church’s abuse crisis. And the “threshold of puberty” is irrelevant, also. The most common abuser of boys is the situation generalist, who will abuse boys or girls of whatever age is available.
* The abuser treats the victim like an object, and objects do not have gender;
* The abuser is not attracted to the gender or age of the victims, but to the abusive sex itself.
* Child abuse is unnatural, so every abuser is acting contrary to his natural inclinations in the abuse. Thus, a straight man will not hesitate to abuse boys or teens, despite a natural attraction to women.
I know from speaking to psychiatrists and family therapists that sometimes the male abuser is not only abusing teenagers or children, but also his girlfriend or wife. For she often reports that he treats her abusively “in bed”. Women, if a man is abusing sexually, he is going to abuse your kids also, of any age, if he has opportunity. So the idea that a man abusing boys must be gay because the boys are older is false. The situational generalist will abuse adults as well as teens or children. The attraction is to the abusive interaction, not to any qualities of the person being abused.
Note to commentators on the abuse crisis: will you people please do some reading before you spew whatever nonsense happens to crawl into your brain.
Should homosexuals be admitted to the seminary? That is for the Pope and the Bishops to decide. Are most priests who abuse boys homosexuals? No, they are not. It is a fact. They do not have a homosexual orientation; they are heterosexual, for the most part.
Is every adult who abuses a child a pedophile? under one useful definition, yes. But the narrower definition is also useful, that a pedophile is only those persons who are sexually attracted to children. And the situational generalist is not. He’s not attracted to children, as age is irrelevant. His attraction is to the abusive interaction, not to the qualities of the person.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.