Church of England

Justin wept over Church of England child abuse


The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a speech yesterday to the Parliamentary Press Gallery – a group made up of privileged journalists and reporters who mill around Westminster hour after hour, day in, day out, with the aim or hope of conspiring in leaks, digging the dirt, fabricating spin or relaying briefings about dog control orders. Apparently, Archbishop Justin heckled twice before standing to address his audience: the Lobby seemed to appreciate his directness, honesty, spontaneity and openness.

The full speech may be read HERE (and it is indeed worth reading and reflecting upon, not least for its missional acumen, media shrewdness and constitutional clarity: “The job I have is a strange one because it has absolutely no power at all..”)

But it is the questions which followed the speech which are generating the interest and headlines. And perhaps rightly so, because they were concerned in part with the Church of England’s sordid little secret: it seems, just like the Roman Catholic Church, the BBC, Parliament, sundry children’s homes and many boarding schools, the Church of England has been a hotbed of rampant child abuse (and “rampant” is the Archbishop’s own word). The Established Church is charged with the pastoral care of the nation. To hear that it, too, has been an active participant in the systematic emotional, sexual and physical abuse of children is a bitter lamentation.

The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop broke down in tears with the “shredding effect” of the tales of rape, torture, abuse and neglect. He said some of it is “beyond description – terrible”. And he rightly says that the failure of the Church was greater than other institutions because it purports to hold itself to a “far, far higher standard”.

But, unlike his predecessors at Lambeth Palace and many of those national and global institutions whose instinct has been to whitewash, shred, conspire and cover-up, Archbishop Justin holds himself to a far, far higher standard. Under his leadership, the Church of England is engaged in trawling through decades and thousands of clergy personnel files, actively looking for evidence of abuse which has gone unnoticed, unremarked, unpunished and unrepented. There is “more that has not been revealed”, he admits.

Jesus wept. He is probably doing so again over the stench of hypocrisy which covers this chronic corruption, exploitation, injustice and egregious violations of innocence.

“We will systematically bring those transparently and openly first of all working with the survivors where they are still alive and then seeing what they want,” Archbishop Justin says. “The rule is survivors come first, not our own interests and however important the person was, however distinguished, however well known, survivors come first.”

This is the essential compassionate heart of the man: this Archbishop of Canterbury is not sitting in his palace meditating upon Aquinas, aloof, callous or indifferent: he meets regularly with real people – the victims of abuse. He gives them a coffee, listens to their stories, and weeps. He isn’t concerned with institutional façades or appearances of holy propriety: for him, the sufferers come first. He will shine a light into their childhood darkness, and they will see justice.

The Church’s failure to protect children from paedophiles is perhaps the most egregious failure and moral corrosion. Children have a special place in God’s heart: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. To molest their consciences and rape their innocence is an unutterable evil. As the Archbishop says: “When you abuse a child or an adult you mark them for the rest of their lives.” You only have to hear a single account of the months of nightmares and years of loneliness, self-loathing and emotional dysfunction to appreciate that to abuse a child is to inflict a hellish, almost unforgivable agony. For a priest or some other spiritual authority to pillage their chastity and plunder their purity is not only a moral failure, it is a shameful betrayal of vocation and a stain on the holiness of Christ. The Church is charged with nurturing, loving and the pastoral care of souls. What cold climate must these children must have slept in? What image of a distant, disconnected God must they have harboured? And what kind of haughty, heartless and utterly indifferent institution must their parents have judged the Church of England to be?

We get a clue from the Mail, which tells of a mother whose three sons were abused at a Church of England school:

Marilyn Hawes says she had tried and failed on several occasions to get an apology from the church, before finally getting a response from Welby.

Ms Hawes, a former music teacher who now runs an anti-abuse charity, first wrote to Rowan Williams in 2003 after her sons’ abuser was convicted. The headmaster was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

She wrote: ‘I have been an active church-goer my whole life – 50 years – and for the first time I am doubting, not my faith, but the sincerity, value and integrity of a church community.’

She received a two-paragraph, routine reply from an official, but decided to try to contact the church again after Welby was appointed as archbishop of Canterbury last year.

She wrote that the church community ‘abandoned’ her, saying: ‘I went on to have a nervous breakdown and suicidal thoughts. People would cross the road or exit the Post Office rather than face me. Nobody from the church cared.’

Her sons, now adults, had ‘achieved great things’, she wrote, and had ‘overcome the sexual abuse’.

However, she added, ‘Nobody in any church has shown them any active help.’

Setting aside the depressing fact that this grieving mother “tried and failed on several occasions to get an apology from the church”; setting aside the fact that she wrote to Lambeth Palace, but received “a two-paragraph, routine reply from an official”; setting aside the fact that that this coldness caused her to to doubt “the sincerity, value and integrity of a church community”; setting aside the fact that she felt “abandoned” and “went on to have a nervous breakdown and suicidal thoughts”; and setting aside that “Nobody in any church has shown them any active help”…

No, these things must not be set aside. And while Justin Welby resides at Lambeth Palace, they will no longer be, for they are intrinsic to his mission and central to his vocation. He is not concerned with monistic moral theories or conformity to fragmentations of outmoded tradition. He understands the essence of the cura animarum and the primacy of pastoral care. He combines a priest’s ministry with a bishop’s leadership and a deacon’s heart. In this post-structuralist, postmodern, pluralist context of sexual ambiguity and material supremacy, Archbishop Justin speaks the language of love and forgiveness from the experience of faith. There is in him a charismatic spark, a flame that is mystical but deeply attractive. It resonates a shared harmony and shines a peaceful benediction. You might want to carp, criticise and condemn. He only wants to greet you with a kiss, give you a coffee, wash your feet, and weep.

  • Albert

    What I find most shocking about this, is not that it has happened – we are tragically used to this kind of stuff going on and being hidden, and anyone who has spent any time in the CofE had a feeling that sadly, this was all there to come out. What shocks me most is that the CofE had not sorted out its procedures until so recently. I cannot escape the fear that this is because of the widespread belief that child abuse is a Catholic and celibacy thing.

    Anyway bravo ++Welby for responding.

  • DrCrackles

    This abuse has mainly or near exclusively been carried out by men and the victims have largely been boys. So, the main problem is homosexual abuse. Yet, in the interests of avoiding so-called ‘homophobia’ this problem will be obfuscated.

    Active and predatory homosexuals have been given room in the CofE for decades often with full knowledge and support of certain Bishops. Some of these men are pedarasts and are sexually attracted to young boys. A figure of 10% of the population has been posited in the past. This percentage could be far higher among clergymen.

    I cannot see how Welby can deal with this abuse without purging the church of homosexuals priests.

    • CliveM

      No homosexuality isn’t the issue. Child abuse is completely separate.

      • DrCrackles

        Sorry Clive I cannot agree with this.

        Homosexual child-abuse is rampant across society and is routinely covered-up. This is bad enough, but for the church to participate in such abuse and then cover-up the true nature of the abuse is damnable.

        • Anna055

          The danger with specifying homosexual child abuse is that you may then fail to notice other abuse. The two (male) paedophiles that I have known were interested in girls too. All abuse is awful.

          • DrCrackles

            Yes, but we must start by being honest about has gone on here, in the Catholic church and in society generally.

          • Anna055

            I agree with you, but by talking about homosexual abuse only, there is a danger of witch hunting homosexuals who have not been involved in abuse, and ignoring people who have been abusing heterosexually.

          • DrCrackles

            So, in order to avoid the ‘witch-hunt’ the problem isn’t correctly describe or dealt with. Herein lies the problem.

            I am afraid that the concerns of homosexuals should be secondary.

          • sarky

            Having dealt with this from a law enforcement perspective, I think you will find abuse has very little to do with sexuality and everything to do with power. Many abusers of boys are actually married with children of their own.
            Please dont make the mistake of thinking this is a homosexual problem, it is not. An abuser is just as likely to be the nice family man sittingnext to you at church.

          • When homosexuality and child sexual abuse become institutionalised in the way they appear to have in Catholicism and now the Church of England, different factors are at play to those in other walks of life.

            You are not comparing like with like when you compare family sexual abuse with institutional abuse.

          • sarky

            What different factors??? Abuse is abuse. You must be very careful not to allow your own prejudices to colour your response to this. Laying the blame on a particular section of society will just ensure that the problem is not dealt with properly. You can only start to eradicate abuse when you realise anyone can be an abuser. Only then can proper controls be put in place to hopefully stamp it out.

          • Happy Jack has spent over 30 years working with sex abusers and their victims. He does know what he’s talking about. For a man with homosexual temptation to enter the Church is like an alcoholic taking up work in a public house. It’s the same with heterosexual men too who have issues about controlling sexual passion. Some will wilfully take advantage of their position of trust; others will try to resist, without success; and others, by the grace of God, will overcome temptation. The fact is it was predominantly young boys these men who abused.

          • sarky

            Homosexual desire, by its very nature, is objectively evil.

            wow, I cannot believe I have just read this. These views have absolutely no place in society. What a fine advert for christianity you are. Is it no wonder the church is on its arse?? Who would want to join an organisation that holds such views. Sorry but your views are disgusting and indefensible.

          • Phil Rowlands

            So Sarky if the church taught what YOU think is right then it would be OK to join.

            Forget the Bible etc just what you think is right?

            PS the Christian Church is not on its arse. Except of course those Churches that broadly agree with you are on their arse. That point if it is the one you are making is agreed.

            Ever wondered why this is?

          • Well, let’s face you don’t accept God exists or that evil and sin exist …….. not much else to be said really. Faith isn’t about being popular or going ‘with the times’.

          • sarky

            No, I may be wrong but I thought it was about being christ like and showing compassion and understanding towards your fellow human beings. Boy was I wrong!!!!

          • You don’t believe its charitable and compassionate to advise people of the consequences of wilfully living a life of grievous sin? To warn them? Jesus wasn’t just a ‘nice guy’ who went around forgiving everybody regardless, you know. He made it clear where we’re heading if we offend God.

          • sarky

            The problem is its only a life of grevious sin from your perspective. At the end of the day who are you to judge?? Surely only god can judge? So in the meantime why dont you keep your opinions to yourself and leave the judging to the big man.

          • God will judge each one of us. He alone knows the trials and struggles we face and the effort we make to put our lives right with Him – or not, as the case may be.

            However, and this is important, there are acts that are objectively evil and sinful – whatever the motivation or the subjective intention. The Church has a duty to make this clear and to aid those fighting temptation who, moved by grace, want to reform and amend their lives. The struggle may be life-long and may never be successfully overcome. Homosexuality is one such behaviour. Why? Because the acts are the anti-thesis of the intended purpose of sexual union and offend our Creator.

            God judges the person because He alone knows us – the Church is charged with making God’s laws clear.

          • sarky

            I take it you believe god created animals??? If so, how do you explain the much reported homosexuality among them?? In fact bonobo’s engage in it for fun. As animals are incapable of sin, then god must have made them that way, therefore god created homosexuality.

          • Animals? You equate man’s sexual morality with those of animals? Well, yes, you would. Cats kill for fun. Perhaps masochism isn’t sinful after all. Should human’s copy a dog’s attempted copulation with a leg?

            Please …….

          • DanJ0

            There’s a place for views like that in society because we’re a liberal democracy. Of course, that doesn’t mean we have to respect them at all. One just needs to put a boundary around them so that their scope is obviously limited to the religious paradigm from which they come. The rest of us can just blithely ignore them as we get on with our lives … whilst making very sure the morally corrupt organisation which is promoting them never gets temporal power back.

          • When society descends into chaos, as it surely must if the current trajectories continue, you should actually hope the Christian Church does have influence and not alternative regimes.

          • DanJ0

            The Roman Catholic Church has always been a morally corrupt organisation. Its history is littered with acts of profound evil, especially when it had temporal power. The evil done in regard to the child abuse scandal includes trying and succeeding to cover it up at many levels in its hierarchy of power, probably even to the top job, in order to protect its reputation at the expense of its victims, to the point of allowing more victims to be created rather than expose the perpetrators and damage its reputation.

          • DanJ0

            What I recognise very clearly is that powerful politico-religious organisations like the Roman Catholic Church are fundamentally promoting and propagating a political ideology akin to communism in some ways. It makes statements about human nature and the human condition drawn from a contrived and idealised version of history, and seeks to impose a template for living on individuals and society from the top. Its core language is the language of control. Like with communism and its ideologues, we need only look back in history to see how awry things go when organisations like that actually get power and try to turn the ideology into reality on the ground.

          • Albert

            These views have absolutely no place in society.

            By which, do you mean, that society should not allow them to be stated?

            Sorry but your views are disgusting and indefensible.

            Understand what Jack meant, and you will see it is perfectly possible to defend them. You might still disagree with them, but that is a different matter.

          • sarky

            Of course they can be stated, we live in a democracy. However, they have no place.

          • Albert

            Sarky, would you care to say what you understand by Jack’s position and why his position has no place?

          • carl jacobs


            The “child” abuse crisis in the RCC consisted almost entirely of homosexual men seducing vulnerable post-pubescent teenaged boys. What are we to make of that fact? Why was that the case?


          • Uncle Brian

            Any sexual act practised between two people of the same sex is a homosexual act. The prefix “homo-” means “same”, geddit? Surely you didn’t need me to tell you that. Of course there are also many cases of child abuse in which the victim is a girl, no one here is denying that.

          • sarky

            The act may be homosexual, but the perpetrator may not be!!! Geddit????
            Like I said, the act is about power, not sexuality.

          • Martin


            The perpetrator becomes homosexual by nature of the act. There is no third gender called homosexual.

          • sarky

            The ignorance displayed here probably explains why abuse has gone unchecked within the church for so many years!!!
            You havent a hope in hell of stopping abuse if you cant even understand it.
            I suggest you have professionals visit your churches to explain the issues to you, then at least I wouldnt have to read some of the bigoted c**p thats been posted here.

          • Martin


            The ignorance is entirely yours. A sort of PC, anti-God, self imposed ignorance that prevents you from seeing the truth even if you were to understand what truth is.

            Your ‘professionals’ are idiots who think they know what is in the heart of Man when they don’t even know the nature of Man. You simply have not a clue.

          • sarky

            So the professionals are idiots??? Pots and kettles methinks!!!!

          • Martin


            Indeed, such professionals are pots & kettles.

          • Albert

            One of the reasons abuse continued in the Churches was because bishops listened to specialist who told them child abuse could be cured. In contrast, once the Church started to deal with the matter in a disciplinary way, child abuse dropped to almost zero.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “There is no third gender called homosexual.”

            Straw man, par excellence.

          • Martin


            That seems to be what the perpetrators of this particular sexual perversion want to portray. Why else would they call themselves gay & why else would sarky be differentiating between the act & the perpetrator?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro


            Let me explain. I am male. That indicates my gender. I am gay. That indicates that the people to whom I am sexually attracted are also of the male gender. Where does a third gender come into it? It doesn’t. It is irrelevant.

            OF COURSE there is a difference between the “act” and the “perpetrator”. Being someone who is sexually attracted by people of the other sex or of the same sex is not the same thing as actually “having sex” with them. I’m sure that you will grasp the difference if you put your mind to it. What has a third gender got to do with it? It is irrelevant.

            In fine, homosexuality neither can be nor needs to be explained or “justified” in terms of a third gender. Nor does either homosexual attraction or homosexual behaviour even imply any such concept. In this context it is a straw man. There is no third gender called homosexual for the same reason as there is no eye colour called blond.

          • Martin


            I know what you claim, I also know we are all sinners & some have a predisposition to sin one way & some to sin another. One man cannot keep his hand off other people’s property, another off the next man’s wife. One man cannot control his anger, another tells a lie as easily as the truth. I suppose we could divide the World into those with this temptation or that but it would be complex and fundamentally pointless.

            Please don’t excuse your sin on the basis of temptation, we all have temptation, it is when you give in to it that you become a thief, or an adulterer, or a homosexual. Your whole categorising yourself as ‘gay’ is a nonsense, You are just a sexual sinner, the sin stops when you stop sinning.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Is being sexually attracted to people of the other sex (heterosexuality) comparable to theft, adultery, uncontrolled anger or lying, or to having a predisposition towards those faults? No, of course it isn’t, and neither is being sexually attracted to people of the same sex (homosexuality). When it comes to expressing sexual attraction in sexual BEHAVIOUR, we may do so in ways that are right or in ways that are wrong, whether the behaviour be heterosexual or homosexual.

            As for your second paragraph, you could just as easily have written, “Please don’t excuse your sin on the basis of temptation, we all have temptation, it is when you give in to it that you become a thief, or an adulterer, or a HETEROSEXUAL.” It wouldn’t have been any more ridiculous.

            None of this, however, affects the fact that to say that “There is no third gender called homosexual” is a pointless and irrelevant objection. A sexual orientation cannot be a gender, since they are different things. There is therefore no question to start with of homosexual being a gender, even an invented one. You could with equal truth deny the existence of a gender called heterosexual, and it would be equally pointless.

          • Martin


            Defining oneself in terms of the sexual attraction you feel is to wallow in your sin, to celebrate it. Don’t try to pretend that indulging any sort of sinful desire is not wickedness.

            It;s very simple, sexual relations outside the marriage of one man to one woman is sinful and condemned, whether it be with a person of the same sex as you or the opposite.

            You try to present your predilection as a normal thing, when what is normal is what God has decreed. There is no such thing as sexual orientation, it’s just a silly way of justifying your self when there is no justification for such behaviour.

            You are a sinner, under the condemnation of God who is trying to make excuses for their sin, that is all.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro


            I have to say that I can’t think of anyone that I know who DEFINES himself in terms of the sexual attraction that he feels – although I have known a few screwed up people who wish to define OTHERS in terms of their sexual attractions, whether known or presumed, and even to use this as an excuse for vile behaviour towards them. To call oneself “gay” is not to define oneself; it is simply a brief way of describing one’s natural sexuality, a perfectly legitimate thing to do.

            I won’t attempt to argue with your views on sexual morality; you must live your own life as you see fit. If you believe that gay sex per se is sinful, that’s fine; you don’t have to engage in it. Unless you have a “non-existent” homosexual orientation, there is no reason why should want to anyway.

            Likewise, you are free to use the word “normal” in your own way. As far as I’m concerned, heterosexual people are the normal majority, and homosexual people are a normal minority. You may, of course, prefer a “normal” world in which everyone is heterosexual, and you may have convinced yourself that what you would prefer must be what God has decreed, but I think that you’re going to have to settle for the real one. As for your insistence that there is no such thing as sexual orientation, that is just a silly and pointless denial of reality. As a normal gay man, I can assure you that I would no more dream of trying to justify or make excuses for my sexuality than normal heterosexual people would try to justify or make excuses for theirs, and for the same reason: no justification or excuse is necessary. (Nor would I think of trying to provide a superfluous justification by using a crackpot concept like “a third gender called homosexual”.)

          • Martin


            Of course calling one’s self ‘gay’ is defining yourself. The whole concept of ‘sexuality’ is a false one.

            The trouble is, the ‘gay’ lobby want to be treated as normal when they aren’t. What is normal is what God has decreed, not what some minority do. The desire is to turn that on it’s head and force those who wish to live in a godly way to accept their definitions. Sorry, we’re not prepared to.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro


            Of course calling oneself “gay” is not defining oneself, any more than is calling oneself “blue-eyed” or “right-handed”. It is simply describing one particular aspect of one’s character – albeit quite an important aspect, and a perfectly good and legitimate one.

            As a normal minority, we want and expect to be treated just like everyone else, which is absolutely reasonable and just. You have complete freedom to define “normal” in any way that you choose for your own purposes, to hold your beliefs about what “God has decreed”, and to live in whatever way you regard as “godly”, but not to make the rest of us dance to your tune. By the same token, you are not being forced to accept anyone else’s definitions of anything. You are as free to believe that the whole concept of “sexuality” is a false one and that there is no such thing as sexual orientation as, for example, Christian Scientists are to believe that the material world is an illusion. And others are equally free to criticize and repudiate such counterfactual beliefs.

          • Martin


            Sorry, but you aren’t a ‘normal minority’ you are simply a group of people that imagine their sin gives the right to do as they please. And yes, the attempt is being made to force us to accept your definition, both by law and social pressure.

            However a Christian is one who seeks to live in accordance with God’s word and that doesn’t just mean we go to church on Sundays but that all we do is affected. So we are not prepared to allow you to sin on our premises, nor are we prepared to bake cakes or provide any other service that ‘celebrates’ your sin.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I don’t dispute that there are people who imagine that they have the right to do as they please, and obviously, by the law of averages, some will be homosexual, although, again by the law of averages, most will be heterosexual. Whatever their (allegedly non-existent) sexual orientation, they are fortunately thin on the ground, and their delusional belief is not a function of either heterosexuality or homosexuality. But our moral right to be treated just like everyone else neither depends on nor implies any such notion, so that is just another of your straw men. As I’ve already said, you are free to adopt any definition of “normal” that you fancy; what you can’t lawfully do is to impose it on others – no, not even on normal gay people. As for “social pressure”, I take that to mean simply that your belated attitude to gays is becoming ever less fashionable. Thank God for that.

            If tradespeople were allowed to withhold ordinary services from people whose perfectly legal activities they disapproved of, chaos would ensue. If I were the manager of a branch of, for example, PC World, could I refuse sell you a new computer because I knew that you would use it to disseminate pernicious anti-gay views? That said, I think it reasonable to draw a line. While I don’t think that a baker should refuse to bake a cake for anyone, I equally don’t think that he/she should be obliged to decorate it with a slogan that he/she found offensive, any more than a bus company should have to decorate its buses with a slogan advertising misleading and potentially harmful nonsense.

          • Martin


            What you forget is that God imposes what He wishes and He is above all human law. And what you actually want is not to be treated like anyone else, but to be treated as something special, a minority that needs protection. Strange how no one considers murderers to be a minority in need of protection.

            Of course selling you a PC is quite different from selling you a cake with a perversion supporting message on it, whatever was known of the purpose of the purchase.

          • Uncle Brian

            That’s crap. I’m surprised you should need to have it explained to you, but here goes. Two men, Freddie and Neddie, who are clergymen or choirmasters or scoutmasters, are placed in a position where they have the opportunity to bully underage boys into performing sex acts with them. Freddie doesn’t take advantage of any of the boys but Neddie does. Would you still say afterwards that neither of them is a homosexual? If so, you would be making a mistake. We may not have known beforehand that Neddie was that way inclined, but once he has committed the act he is demonstrably a homosexual.

            In case you’re still not convinced, take another instance. Two men, Jimmie and Timmie, are placed in a position where it would be easy for them to smash a window, break into my house, and make off with my computer. Jimmie doesn’t, but Timmie does. Would you still say afterwards that neither of them is a burglar? If so, you would be making a mistake. Even if Timmie had never previously displayed any inclination that way, once he has committed a burglary he is demonstrably a burglar.

            Please note that in both cases I am not considering the possibility that either of them was being bullied, blackmailed or acting under duress in some way, liker Oliver Twist being
            bullied by Bill Sikes into helping him commit a burglary, but that what he did, he did voluntarily.

          • sarky

            Uncle Brian, by your logic if I step into a church I must be a christian??? I am not going to lower myself by replying how I would like to. All I suggest is that before you post brainless comments you do some research. Like I have already posted, only by understanding the issues can you hope to deal with them.

          • Martin


            Until you realise that homosexuality is just a sexual sin like adultery and give up the silly idea that somehow there is an additional gender called homosexual which is entitled to human rights the sooner you will understand the real situation and solution.

          • carl jacobs


            The act may be homosexual, but the perpetrator may not be!!!

            That’s humorous. By attaching the phrase “It’s about power” we may convert homosexual sex that results from homosexual desire into the action of a non-homosexual. If the same man seduced the same boy based upon the same desire and engaged in the same acts, we can only say the man is homosexual if we approve of the context of the seduction. And all because sarky doesn’t know how to answer difficult questions about the overehelmingly homosexual nature of the men who brought about this crisis.

            “You can’t tell if a man is homosexual just because he has sex with teenaged boys. He might be an abuser.” Because we can’t say “This is just a homosexual man acting on a corrupt temptation to have sex with a teenage boy.” People might get the wrong idea about the wisdom of letting homosexual men supervise teenage boys.

          • The act is about lust – the search for carnal pleasure and gratification. Power is often associated with this as a motivator but not always. That’s a feminist myth to confuse the true nature of lust.

            Men and women who abuse are debasing an act of love. They pervert it to take from another person. Instead of giving themselves to another, in a generous act open to new life, they take. When men and women seduce one another, they do exactly the same thing. Same with adultery. When its consensual they take from one other. Its about mutual pleasure. That’s nature of sexual sin – its selfish and its sterile. Its using others as paraphilic aid.

            What’s different in clerical sex abuse is that the chosen ‘object’ of desire is an innocent child who is being corrupted and, more often than not, a boy.

          • Uncle Brian

            If it’s wrong to specify homosexual child abuse, complain to the people who compiled the statistics. In the United States, the figures for child abuse in the Catholic Church were, as I recall, 80 percent (in round figures) against boys compared with only 20 percent against gjrls. And the same pattern has shown up in other countries where statistics have been made available, including Australia, Ireland and the UK.

    • “More than three-quarters of the acts of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests …. were same-sex acts (priests abusing male victims).”
      (John Jay Report; 2011)

  • CliveM

    Wherever you get privileged or trusted access to Children you will get child abusers. I hope all Churches are now aware of the need of proper procedures. It is shameful that it happened. It is almost unforgivable that it was hidden. Let’s hope all Churches will have learnt the lesson.

  • Uncle Brian

    Good for Archbishop Welby. The Catholic Church could have done with a few prelates like Welby, and a few less – or, better still, none at all – like Bernard Law and so many others.

  • SidneyDeane

    And this from a self indulgent privileged institution that proclaims a monopoly on morality.
    The inevitable disestablishment can’t happen soon enough

  • Graham Wood

    Dr Crackles: “This abuse has mainly or near exclusively been carried out by men and the victims have largely been boys. So, the main problem is homosexual abuse. Yet, in the interests of avoiding so-called ‘homophobia’ this problem will be obfuscated.”

    I think your post is exactly right, and the “fear of homophobia” (a meaningless and empty concept if ever there was one) is indeed part of the problem. In reality it is a failure to face the reality of active homosexuals within the church – and “the fear of man proves a snare”)

    To Clive. You mention “child abuse” but it is important to define terms. Clearly in this context it is subjecting children to buggery or indecent acts, but of course the term has a much wider meaning also, namely other physical or mental mis-treatment of children.

    The single tragic example of the broken family cited by Cranmer is far more to the point, as is also the equally tragic and inexcusable response by the church authorities to it.

    I agree with Dr C: “I cannot see how Welby can deal with this abuse without purging the church of homosexual priests”.

    • Its worse. The children who are the victims of these men are only the first fruits of their corruption.

      Homosexuals in the Church now use their position and influence to undermine the Gospel itself. They seek to rewrite it to justify their perversion and, in a gross twist of truth. turn themselves into sacrificial victims.

    • CliveM

      So we are to have a witch hunt of homosexual priests, even if they are celibate and don’t abuse children?

      Actually I think your logic taken to its logical conclusion would bar men from the Priesthood as 90% of sexual abuse is done by men. An all woman Priesthood, that would slash Priestly Child abuse!!

      • Graham Wood

        To answer your first point there is no need for that, and obviously so if they are celibate and don’t abuse children or anyone else.
        For those who are not celibate then clearly C of E pastoral oversight is not for them as the doctrinal position of the church is abundantly clear, as is, of course Scripture. Those in that position therefore should or would exclude themselves from pastoral oversight.
        Your second point is illogical for not 90% of men who are in pastoral leadership are guilty of sexual abuse, only a very tiny minority. These should be pastorally cautioned as to the position of the C of E and if necessary defrocked.

  • carl jacobs

    In the meantime the age of consent is driven down, down, down. It seems destined to assymtotically approach puberty in (what remains of) Western culture. So which then is really the problem?

    1. That an adult man seduced a teenage boy still under the specified if arbitrary age boundary?

    2. That an adult man used his position of authority to get sexual access?

    Are we concerned about the sex or the abuse of authority?

    Assume a man seduces a fifteen year old boy. The current age of consent is 16. Therefore this seduction is considered a terrible crime. But there are already calls to lower the age of consent to 14. What then is the essential nature of the crime this man has committed? If the law is changed after the fact, have we not vindicated his actions? He may have violated an arbitrary boundary of age but the Law now states that there was no essential evil in his behavior. His guilty mind has been erased, for he never did anything essentially wrong. It is a narrow form of legalism to focus on an arbitrary age boundary. What is the moral content of the action that is both independent of age and worthy of punishment?

    There isn’t a moral difference between a man seducing a boy, and a man seducing a boy over whom the man has authority. The violation is found in the sexual acts themselves and not the context in which the sexual acts took place. But this is what we now deny. We have so trivialized sex that we no longer know how to defend chastity and virtue. We see no value in either. We don’t see a problem with a man seducing a teenage boy so long as the man performs the seduction according to some concept of propriety and fairness. Sex is just sex after all. It’s the power relationships that we are concerned about.

    Except it’s the fact of sex that does all the damage.

    • DrCrackles

      Yes Carl

      The age of consent is a perversion in itself and a fairly recent creation. There is holy matrimony: the vessel instituted by the Almighty to contain our sexual expression. All else is sin.

      • DanJ0

        An age of consent is sensible and necessary. It’s a legal thing to allow the State to intervene in some circumstances. What it is set at is in some ways arbitrary, although 16 seems a very practical to me. It has some basis in biology too, of course. As far as morality is concerned, it seems to me that one can have consensual sex with an adult of any age but still be behaving with dubious morals if it is exploitative. That’s true even if one believes, as I do, that sex is not an inherently moral act. That is, the morality of a sex act is all about obligations and consequences rather than about issues around teleology and divine plans.

  • dannybhoy

    Look, let’s be logical about this.
    Archbishop Justin Welby cried over the stories of abuse he has heard. This particular abuse according to your report, was committed within the cofE.
    Justin Welby according to your report says,
    “The job I have is a strange one because it has absolutely no power at all..”
    He DOES have power, he serves the living God and has responsibility as the head of the State Church to speak God’s word into society.
    If the Establishment doesn’t like it, TOUGH!
    Otherwise Justin Welby is saying that he holds his position not by the authority of the living God, but for the benefit and interests of the establishment

    My wife was head of care for looked after children who had been born to be sexually abused, or had been sexually abused by a parent, or by the wider family.
    Even babies.
    Babies who ended up having to have corrective surgery because of their injuries. Babies who became children who thought that the way to make friends and show love was to offer themselves for sexual abuse.
    Do you think my wife didn’t cry? Do you think there weren’t some of those children we would have wanted to take home and love and cherish??

    So he does have power to speak God’s word. He does have power to deliver sermons condemning the trafficking of children and women as sex slaves or drudges. He does have power to kick out of the cofE those found guilty of abuse. He does have power to preach the Gospel of Salvation in Westminster Abbey etc.etc.
    He may not find favour in the eyes of the establishment for doing so, but he will find favour with God and man.

  • Happy Jack thinks Justin is a fine man but he was troubled by some of his speech and what it means.

    “The job I have is a strange one because it has absolutely no power at all. The mistake that many Archbishops in the distant past. . . they spent the first year or so looking for the levers of power at Lambeth Palace, and there are two rules: first, there are no levers, and secondly if you happen to find one left over from pre-Reformation times it is absolutely not connected to anything, so you can pull it as much as you like and nothing happens.”

    When Jesus commissioned His Church He passed over the ‘Keys of the Kingdom’ to His earthly representatives until His promised return. This was the authority to rule on His behalf and lead His Church. Christ is our King and His Apostles, acting as His vicars, should have absolute power in His Church. How they do this is another matter.

    “But there is influence … the strange thing about power and influence is if you look back to the person that started it all off, at Jesus Christ, he was unseen by most, ignored by almost all ….

    And yet his influence is the greatest on art, music, philosophy, ethics, and the structures of our society. We are, by tradition and vision, although not by regular religious practice, a Christian society …. Jesus’ influence is unique and comes from a life and death of unconditional love and grace that still leads billions to seek to imitate him and know him.”

    This worried Jack most. Jesus’ “influence” comes from His being God incarnate, fulfilling scripture and bringing the Good News to all people. Tradition, vision and the structures of our society are meaningless and crumble without a solid foundation. If there is no shared belief in Christ and who He was and what His life and death meant, how can there be one Body? We need a vibrant, independent Church with clear doctrine and discipline, and worship that reflects these beliefs and gives honour to God. The Church’s mission is to proclaim Christ’s message of salvation and identify and decry modern corruption and sin. If it does this, the rest depends on the Holy Spirit and not human “influence”.

    So please Archbishop, make a noise. Use that “influence” to remove all open and active homosexuals from ministry and to root out the Judas’ amongst us; remove all modernist and liberal ministers who reduce the Gospel to symbol and myth and openly express doubts about Christ being God and question His resurrection; remove those ministers who abandon Christian morality. And, in case any should think Jack is attacking the Church of England, he places the same responsibility on the Bishop of Rome who, as Pope, does have the power at his disposal to do these things … and so far appears not to be so inclined.

    • dannybhoy

      Well said Jack.
      My non conformist background means that although I respect a man’s position or calling, I do not regard him as intrinsically better or holier than myself. We are brothers in Christ even if he has an important role to play. (Does that make me a Communist Christian?!)
      Before God we are both sinners saved (and for you Jack 🙂 ) being saved by His grace.
      I hope I did not sound too harsh. I did not mean to be. The thing is though that in the cofE tradition an Archbishop is called to oversee and lead the flock. An Archbishop is called to ensure the flock stays faithful to the teachings of Scripture and the traditions of the Church.
      Most importantly as you said, an Archbishop is called to represent God and what He requires of men, without fear or favour…
      Otherwise it’s like two rotting posts relying on each other for support.

      • “Before God we are both sinners saved (and for you Jack 🙂 ) being saved by His grace.”

        Indeed, but do not overlook this:

        Like the apostle Paul we are working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).

        • dannybhoy

          I think we covered and agreed on this under
          “Discerning the future of the Church is not an intellectual exercise…”

          We could do it again if you really wanted….

          • You did miss out the bit where we cooperate with grace, Danny.

  • B flat

    The last paragraph is a wonderful testimonial to Archbishop Welby, very movingly affirmed, and winningly executed. It warmed my heart to a man I know not at all. I will read his speech forthwith.
    While I am impressed by what this tells me of the care he shows for individuals in his flock, and hope he can continue this under the inevitable torrent of pleas for help, I really do wonder why commenters think a hunting and rooting out of homosexuals will solve the problem?
    This is in itself unlikely to prevent future abuse.
    The clearing up of old, neglected or hidden stories will help a great deal to change the climate.
    What is needed most of all, is a radical change of mindset in everyone aspiring to membership of the clergy: from worldly criteria of equality, gender issues, and popularity on the one hand, and untouchable privilege, selfish ambition, and personal comfort on the other. Replace these by serving God first in all questions, and feeding His flock entrusted to you, at the cost of your life, if necessary. Then Justin Welby, leading like the Good Shepherd form the front of his flock, may find rest and meet his Master speaking words: “Well done, good and faithful servant….” I wish him well.

  • Martin

    Is it perhaps the lack of real spiritual leadership in the CoE that is the problem here? We hear that a percentage of the clergy don’t even believe in God and there are a great many in senior positions who clearly believe that sexual immorality is as valid as marriage. To address the sexual abuse of children is to attack the symptom, not the disease. Welby seems good at addressing symptoms while ignoring the rampant disease.

    • I agree. It is clear, for example, that these paedophile prelates were not kept from their wicked deeds by a fear of hell. We need to understand that God instituted

      • You think that will stop the homosexual molestation of boys?

        However, Jack does agree with your point about the fear of God and Hell disappearing. These days its like Satan doesn’t exist and there is no Judgement by God – just His Mercy.

        We live in a “who am I to judge?” generation.

        • There will be sin in the world until our Lord returns.
          We will get nowhere by imagining that, because we are not tempted by it, homosexuality is worse than other sins. All sin is an affront to God. One man covets his neighbours ox; another covets his ass. It is all sin. Homosexuality is not the disease; it is one symptom of the disease.
          The most important thing that the Church can do is to preach the Gospel:
          The good creation of God;
          The Fall of man into sin;
          His helplessness to reform himself;
          The grace of God;
          The substitutionary atonement of Christ;
          The New Birth;
          Salvation by faith alone.
          The Gospel alone, if God blesses its preaching, has the power to transform the nation (1 Cor. 1:17ff; 2 Tim. 4:1-5).

          • Come of it Martin, homosexuality and abortion are the sins of our age. Child sacrifice and sexual perversion are the very sins so strongly condemned in the Old Testament.

            Most churches accept abortion is morally wrong in theory though they have compromised by conceding it is regrettably necessary in limited circumstances. With homosexuality it is qualitatively different. Its not so much a concession that’s being made. The churches are now justifying it and rewriting scripture to redefine it as acceptable to God. There’s a whole industry of liberal moral *theologians* out there attacking the foundations of Christian doctrine and using this sin to do so.

            Name another sin where there this has happened; where God’s clear moral law has been *changed* by His Church. Personal grievous sin may be equal in their offence to God. Mind, Jack knows of no other spoken against so harshly in scripture. Perhaps its widespread acceptance is a sign of the extent of our moral decline. Certainly, its impact on society in redefining the purposes of sexual union and the very nature of family life is huge. Now it is dragging Christian churches into the mire.

            Jack agrees “Homosexuality is not the disease; it is one symptom of the disease.” but today it is one of the most significant symptoms that is critical and could be fatal in the West.

          • I’m not sure what the ‘it’ is off which I’m supposed to come.
            Homosexuality is very clearly described in Scripture as an abomination to God. However, so are several other things. Have a glance at Prov. 6:16-19, though that text is by no means exhaustive.
            It is no good being surprised when sinners sin; it’s what they do. Some sins become fashionable at certain times. The problem is the wickedness of the human heart, which will manifest itself in one way and then in another (Jer. 17:9). If Christians give the impression that homosexuality is a greater sin than anything else, they lay ourselves open to the charge of bigotry.
            The problem is that so many of the churches today no longer speak out against sin of any kind, and do not preach the Gospel. Their ministry is reduced to a few hymns, prayers read out of a book, the briefest homily and the Lord’s Supper served to unrepentant sinners. They are ‘Healing the wound of My people slightly, saying, “Peace, peace!” When there is no peace’ (Jer. 6:14). No wonder the churches are empty!
            If Justin Welby wants to serve the Lord, he needs to sack the unbelieving vicars and bishops and give their positions to men who will preach the word. But he won’t do it, and probably couldn’t if he wanted to, so it’s time for the Bible-believing churches in the C of E to get out and stop being unequally yoked with unbelievers.

          • Jack is in broad agreement with you. He still believes that homosexuality is a society breaking sin and along with abortion indicates how far our nation has declined morally.

  • Hi,

    It is a pity that the thread below has been used as a way of attacking gay people generally and seemingly equates all gays with being child abusers.There is a clear difference between gay people, who are attracted to people of the same sex and who , just like heterosexuals want to be in age appropriate, legal, loving and consensual relationships (the vast and overwhelming bulk of gay and straight people) and those evil people who abuse children or teenagers, whether they do so homosexually or hetrosexually.

    • See Hannah, this is where we have a difficulty. No one has said or implied that all homosexuals are child sexual abusers. What is being said is that, based on evidence, the vast majority of crimes committed by Roman Catholic priests in America were of a homosexual nature against young boys. To Jack, this is one reason, amongst others, for preventing men with this inclination entering the priesthood.

      Your broader complaint is more about homosexuality being seen as a sexually sinful deviation from God’s intended purposes for sexual activity. It is. It offends God. Until recently this has always been a clear Christian and Jewish teaching. The desire has to be resisted; it cannot be condoned or legitimised.

      When Jack worked he always avoided counselling homosexual individuals who wanted help overcoming guilt. They dressed it up in a whole variety of ways – fear of peer disapproval; fear of parental rejection; fear of this and fear of that. Instead, Jack would only work with those who wanted help controlling and, if possible, overcoming the desire which they recognised as wrong. Guilt here was being directed purposefully.

      Now, you decide what you will about your situation and take spiritual advice from where and whoever you choose. This is your entitlement and freedom. Just understand Jack’s position isn’t personal against you.

      • CliveM

        Happy Jack

        You use the American RCC example of child abuse and appear to suggest it is typical of all child abuse. You then suggest this should be used as a reason to bar Gay (celibate?) men from the Priesthood.
        Have you not noticed that something like 90% of ALL abuse is done by men (rape, child abuse of both sexes). Would you use that as a reason to bar all men from the Priesthood?

        • That is a silly question, Clive.

          • CliveM

            Well it wasn’t really a question. Simply pointing out you can’t condemn a whole group for the actions of a minority.

          • You can if a particular group poses a demonstrable risk to the vulnerable such a homosexual clergy have been shown to. Is it condemnation? In the eyes of the Church it is an evil to be resisted. Its as much to protect them as children.

          • CliveM

            Everyone should have the right to be judged on their own individual merits. I am certain (as far as one can be) that gay men have had honourable non abusive, celibate Priestly careers in the RCC. Indeed I wouldn’t be surprised if that didn’t include a Pope or two. Jesus didn’t treat people as a group, he judged them as individuals.

          • Phil R

            No he, God, judged them as a group.

          • CliveM

            Who is them?

          • If they were celibate then they were not “gay”.

          • CliveM

            So what does that mean to celibate Priests with a heterosexual orientation. They are not heterosexual? HJ that doesn’t make sense. A vow of celibacy doesn’t stop the urges. The RCC would have less problems if it did.

            Also I suspect other Churches would be more interested in a similar vow if it did!!

          • Jack was using the term “gay” as referring to a person who embraces his/her sexual disorders as ‘natural’ and defensible – not as a temptation to be resisted and overcome.

            Jack is sure there are and have been Priests predisposed, for some reason, to sexual attraction to boys and men who have not indulged their sin and stayed faithful to their vows. Its the same with Priests facing non-disordered attractions. Its a life of sacrifice and self-giving to the Church and its members.

          • Darter Noster

            I thought it was a very good question.

          • That’s because you have liberal leanings and, as you’ve argued before, think that those with homosexual tendencies should be admitted to seminaries and the priesthood.
            Jack answered it below.

          • Darter Noster

            Does anybody really have any idea of the extent of homosexuality in the RCC? That’s a can of worms I can’t see the Vatican statistics bureau wishing to open. Where you and I would, I think, both agree is is in believing it to be considerably higher than that prevailing in secular society.

            It might be because I have liberal leanings. Or it might be because when I see statistics for the general population showing the great majority of sexual abuse to be directed at adolescent girls my first reaction is not to think “it’s all the fault of gay men”.

            If the statistics for the RCC are the other way round, a more pertinent question to ask itself before it embarks on a witch hunt of gay men might be: “What is it about us and the way we do things which means that, when the great majority of men as a whole have no interest in sexually abusing young boys, we have managed to recruit, abet, cover up for and promote

          • Darter Noster

            …such a high proportion of the ones that do?”

          • So you’re blaming the Church because it has not stopped homosexuals joining it? Fair comment. The Church has not done enough as it has, in recent times, increasingly fallen under liberalisation. There is a veil of secrecy around the cover-ups still but what some ‘in the know’ are claiming is that the homosexual groups in the Church actively promote and look after one another.

            “The first sign of a bankrupt spirituality is a disordered sexuality.”
            (‘The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy’; William A. Borst)

            You should read this Open Letter to Pope Francis by Randy Engels, dated November 2013.


          • Darter Noster

            No, I’m blaming the Church authorities in certain places for providing a haven for child abusers for decades by operating a system of power, secrecy and cover-up. The Church is by no means the only organisation to have done this but there we are. There is no evidence whatsoever that gay men are more of a child abuse risk than straight ones; the Church just managed to attract a proportionally higher number of people prepared to abuse young boys than society as a whole. You can’t justify slurring gay men as a greater risk to children than straight ones based on statistics from a small and highly-skewed sample.

          • “There is no evidence whatsoever that gay men are more of a child abuse risk than straight ones.”

            Who do you suppose was behind this “system of power, secrecy and cover-up”?

            You’re even using ‘gay speak’. How very modern. You do know about the ancient and not so honourable practice of pederasty? Its a practice exclusive to male homosexuals and is distinct from paedophilia.

          • Darter Noster

            Yes I do know about it. Because I know about it, I know that the age at which certain adolescent boys in certain Greek cultures formed relationships with certain older men (it was hardly standard procedure) was much the same as the age at which young girls were routinely married off to older men within those same cultures, and therefore furnishes no proof whatsoever that gay men are more prone to child abuse.

            That’s the benefit of context; it helps prevent the drawing of vastly oversimplified conclusions from extremely complex social, historical and cultural evidence.

          • So you think sodomy is okay if its socially accepted?

          • Darter Noster

            ….such a high proportion of the ones that do?”

      • Hello Happy Jack,

        To be honest, whilst I know that this is a conservative blog and whilst I am aware of most people’s views on gays here, they still have the power to shock me. Do I take this personally? I try not to, but it’s incredibly difficult to have a civil discussion on other topics knowing what people think of my orientation and the fact it is equated with something completely different and wrong. I’m gay and whilst I try my best to understand and appreciate why people don’t like the idea of loving, consenting, gay adults being together, whether it’s a sexual or celibate relationship, I feel this desire to engage with respect is one sided and is increasingly making me approach the subject with less and less respect to those I disagree with.

        I’m not complaining about the view that says having gay sex is a sin, it’s a position I quibble, but you shouldn’t be surprised by that. In fact my objection was simply how bloggers were taking church child abuse crimes , noting they were homosexual in nature* and then this being bolted onto the anti gay bandwagon we have here. By the logic displayed here, you could infer because all the abusers were men, all men are abusers. Or because all the abusers in the Roman church were Roman Catholic priests, this makes all priests abusers .Do you see the illogical nature of that argument?

        As I said above I’m willing to condemn any form of abuses, whether it’s homosexual or heterosexual. I’m at a loss as to how this thread got diverted into a typical gay bashing session.

        *except of course not all of the abusers were homosexual in nature; below it was said there was 20% reported heterosexual abuse in the US abuse scandal.

        • “I’m gay and whilst I try my best to understand and appreciate why people don’t like the idea of loving, consenting, gay adults being together, whether it’s a sexual or celibate relationship,”
          Nothing to do with not liking the ‘idea’, Hannah. Its the reality that acting on the preference is objectively sinful and cannot be defended because it hurts your feelings. And if your relationship is celibate, there’s no issue.
          The evidence from America is that the vast majority of those abused were teenage boys and their abusers were male priests who seduced them. That makes it homosexual. Sexual attraction towards teenagers tends to follow one’s established sexual preference. This is not ‘gay bashing’. Its not saying all homosexuals are potential child abusers. What it establishes is that, for some reason, a minority of Catholic priests, between 1960 and the mid-1980’s, were abusing teenager boys and the majority of these were homosexual acts.

          • Preach it Jack!! My feeling are of course utterly irrelevant to your worldview. But so are yours to me . My love life isn’t your concern or business. That’s between me, Sarah (my girlfriend, whose with me now-2hours till Dr who !!!!) and the almighty.

          • “My love life isn’t your concern or business.”

            No, it isn’t and its you who keeps raising it !

          • YOU are the one whose been obsessively going on about how “evil” being gay is and how as a result the world’s going to end because people no longer share the world view of an arch conservative Catholic, on this thread and others.

          • How commitment to the regularisation and normalisation of homosexual sex is evil, Hannah. Its not for Jack to comment on whether a person is evil. Why is homosexually evil? Because: it offends God. And the negative consequences for the common good of society approving of it and promoting it aren’t brilliant. Not terribly sure where the world coming to an end fits in …. lost you there.

            Jack hasn’t personalised any of this to you. It is you who keeps playing the “I’m gay, well balanced and happy … here’s my partner” card in response to Jack’s position. If you can square this with your professed religion and believe it is a legitimate lifestyle, well argue that.

          • Hey Jack,

            Alas you are the last person I’m prepared to discuss my faith,Judaism, or my sexuality to, as much as I’m sure you want to be the head of grand inquisition on this blog. You’ll find better entertainment elsewhere, I’m sure.

          • Hey Hannah,

            Alas, Jack is relieved to hear that as he has no intention of offering you personal or spiritual advice.

            Do stop bleating and personalising issues when Jack presents his ideas. Its a blog for the exchange of divergent opinion. It’s not a question of a Grand Inquisition. It is about making sense of and living one’s faith in a secular and atheist culture where traditional religions are caving into pressures to accommodate ‘irregular lifestyles’.

          • First paragraph:Hallelujah!

            Second paragraph: is that really what this blog is about?

          • “Its a blog for the exchange of divergent opinion.”

          • Bring it on! See u on other threads, happy J

      • Oh and I forgot to add , I don’t feel guilt about being gay. Plenty of other people try and make me feel that way, but I don’t feel ashamed of my orientation.

        • Jack wasn’t suggesting you did.

          • Hello Jack,

            I was referring to this bit of the post above:

            “When Jack worked he always avoided counselling homosexual individuals who wanted help overcoming guilt. …Guilt here was being directed purposefully.”

          • Self evidently, Hannah, people Jack worked with were in a crisis of one form or another over their same sex attraction. Some were suicidal. Those who didn’t have any difficulties just didn’t present. Why would they? And let’s be honest, you went through something of a crisis a little while back because your sexual preference conflicted with orthodox Christianity and Judaism.

          • Jack,

            You asked me not to take less than charitable views personally and now you’re going into personal territory I see.

        • DanJ0

          That’s their problem to overcome, not yours.

    • carl jacobs


      Eventually someone will have to answer this question. Why was the abuse crisis in the RCC overwhelmingly homosexual in nature? You can say that it wasn’t caused by homosexuality. Well, it sure correlates with homosexuality and the correlation is almost one. If you remove the cases of homosexual Priests targeting post-pubescent teenage boys, the crisis essentially disappears. So why is that?

      I’m not going to accept this “It’s about power and that means the homosexual acts might not originate in homosexual desire” defense. Could that be the truth in some cases? Yes. Is it true in all cases? The claim is too fantastic to credit and too convenient by half. There is a much simpler explanation. A homosexual man looked upon a young boy with homosexual desire and decided to act upon that desire. You see, we are in the interesting position of saying that a man who has sex with a boy aged 15 years, 358 days is an abuser who in no way represents homosexuality Yet should that same man have sex with that same boy only two weeks later, then we are supposed to call it an act of consensual gay sex.

      Two weeks doesn’t change the nature of the act. It simply establishes an arbitrary boundary. The desire is the same on both sides of the boundary, however. And that is the question you must address directly.

    • CliveM

      Hi Hannah

      I agree. Child abuse is not gay sex, even when done by someone of the same sex anymore then rape is heterosexual sex, even if it takes place between people of the opposite sex. It is abuse, nothing else.

      • sarky

        Thank goodness, voices of reason in a sea of prejudice!!!!! Just when I was losing the will to live.

        • CliveM

          Well let me put it this way. In the UK, Doctors are barred from sexual relations with their patients, never mind what the age or sex of the patient I think the same principle should apply with regards adults in trusted positions, never mind the role eg all teachers, priests, ministers etc. I believe if you have used your position to groom a minor it is abuse never mind what age the physical abuse actually commenced.
          So in that sense I see no moral difference.

          • What’s morally wrong and what these situations all have in common, is that its sex for sex’s sake – for simple pleasure. That’s why its immoral but not necessarily illegal. Abusing children adds an extra layer of evil because it burdens them with life-long difficulties and can corrupt them too.

            Jack posted this below:

            “Men and women who abuse are debasing an act of love. They pervert it to take from another person. Instead of giving themselves to another, in a generous act open to new life, they take. When men and women seduce one another, they do exactly the same thing. Same with adultery. When its consensual they take from one other. Its about mutual pleasure. That’s the nature of sexual sin – its selfish and its sterile. Its using others as a paraphilic aid.

            What’s different in clerical sex abuse is that the chosen ‘object’ of desire is an innocent child who is being corrupted and, more often than not, its a boy by a homosexual man.”

          • carl jacobs


            So you agree with my original point, then. People aren’t actually concerned about the sex. They are concerned about the abuse of authority that frames the context of the sex. Given the absence of an authority relationship and the presence of authentic consent, then the sex is presumed not morally abusive. I think the only real difference in your answer is that you have effectively raised the age of consent to adulthood. That doesn’t alter the dilemma of characterizing the same relationship as abusive or acceptable depending upon its position relative to an arbitrary age boundary.

            If fact, I think you are equivocating on the word ‘abuse.’ Abusing authority is not the same thing as abusing a person. A boss who sleeps with his secretary may be abusing his authority be he isn’t necessarily abusing his secretary. The relationship is not necessarily characterized by abuse.

          • CliveM

            The Boss is abusing his secretary if he uses his authority to procure the sex ie “sleep with me or you lose your job”. This is a form of rape.
            With regards age of consent, of course their is an element of it being arbitrary. However I don’t really think that is an issue.

          • carl jacobs


            That is a possibility. That is not a necessity.


      • carl jacobs


        What is it that transmutes abuse into sex when the arbitrary boundary of ‘age if consent’ is crossed? I’m not asking a legal question. I understand the legality. I am asking a moral question. What changes in the moral nature of the act? How is it that sex with a 15 year-old boy ccould be considered abuse on Tuesday but proper and correct on Wednesday simply because the age of consent was lowered effective midnight Tuesday?


        • CliveM

          Carl bizarrely I seem to have addressed my reply to Sarky!!

    • Owl


      You are pointing out the dilemma perfectly.

      Now Pope Benedict once stated in a speech that the RCC had to stop homosexuals entering the priesthood so it could get to grips with the abuse problem.

      At first I was taken aback as I immediately thought that the problem was child abuse (paedophiles) and not homosexuality. It was only after sometime that I realised that the problem was/is mainly in seminaries and Christian brother schools with homosexual teachers preying on young adolescent boys.
      This is an almost self perpetuating situation as many of these abused young boys grow up to be the abusers of the next generation. This situation/problem was also well known in the public school system.
      We have the situation that homosexual priests have risen in the RCC hierarchy and have used their influence to protect, i.e. cover up, further abuses.
      Homosexual public school pupils have risen in the political world (among others) and use their influence to cover up abuses in their world.
      If we, as heterosexuals, try to make anyone aware of the abominable situation then we are shouted down with cries of homophobia.
      I have no problems with homosexuals or lesbians as such. I do have problems with homosexuals abusing young boys in a situation where the young boys should be protected.
      Reality is called for but how do we address the problem if the homosexual/lesbians world does not see it or accuses the hetero of attacking all homosexuals.
      I think Carl has explained the actual situation very well and, being of Irish heritage, I am quite aware of the situation.
      I would appreciate some ideas from the homosexual/lesbian community on how we deal with the problem rather than “it doesn’t exist and you’re all nasty people having a go at queers”.

    • Martin


      Homosexuality & paedophilia are two sides of the same coin, sexual perversion. That’s all there is to it.

      • dannybhoy

        The fundamental (Christian and Jewish) principle is that
        ” for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

        Paul’s letter to the Church at Rome. 3:23,24

        So regardless of who we are or what our particular proclivities. we are all sinners. As the rapist so the paedophile.
        Personally I think we are talking about two different areas: the individual’s standing before God (sinner.)
        and the individual’s realtionship in society (citizen.)

        • Jack may be misunderstanding you. Are you saying active homosexuals and child abusers remain justified before God?

          • dannybhoy

            You’re misunderstanding me.

          • So then you’re saying …. ?

          • dannybhoy

            What I always say Jack.
            See my response to Len’s post above..
            “Personally I think we are talking about two different areas: the individual’s standing before God (sinner.)
            and the individual’s realtionship in society (citizen.)”

            Whilst all sin impinges on society, there are certain sins which society finds abhorrent, distasteful or ‘wrong.’
            For example, paedophilia.
            Systematic rape as practiced by members of the establishment or Muslims who believe our young girls are fair game.
            Distasteful as in gay pride demos, or teaching impressionable little children it’s okay to be gay, or how to masturbate or anything else, as long as it ain’t Christian..

            Wrong as in the concept of Gay marriage, honour killings, female genital mutilation.
            These things are of course all sins, but they are also an attack on the traditional view of society as understood in Christian and Jewish traditions.

          • Danny, the ‘traditional’ view of society is based on Christianity. God’s laws are not just randomly imposed. They have a purpose. We have been created in a certain way and if we live according to our Creator’s design and intention, not only are we right before Him but our lives will be fulfilled and our communities will function properly too.

            Sin not only offends God – it harms us individually and collectively.

          • dannybhoy

            “Danny, the ‘traditional’ view of society is based on Christianity.”

            And as has been agreed, Christianity is a fulfilment of the Old Testament, with the (Jewish) Ten Commandments often preached in Christian churches as the basis of our moral code…

          • Yes …

          • dannybhoy

            I’m glad we’ve cleared that one up.
            We don’t disagree on the major issues Happy Jack. We just express it in different ways.

      • Darter Noster

        That would include the overwhelming majority of child abuse outside the RCC which is directed at young girls I suppose?

        How cunning those homosexuals are – working round the clock abusing young girls just to throw right-thinking people off the scent!

        • Martin


          What did you not understand about two sides of the same coin? Sexual perversion ranges over what a person does alone, through what they do with a willing participant to what they impose on another.

          The danger comes when you try to rank sin, because all sin separates from God and it’s wage is always death.

      • That’s utter rubbish.

        • Martin


          So you imagine there’s a third gender called ‘gay’?

          • That’s nonsensical. We’re talking about sexual orientation and not gender here.

          • Martin


            Hence it is behaviour, not nature.

    • magnolia

      I think child abuse is as much or more actually about power, (and sometimes violent power) as it is about sexual release. It is even less about pair bonding, exclusivity, or friendly companionship.

      It is a much more prevalent subculture of the male homosexual scene than the female one, the vast majority of whom are very safe with children, for what that is worth, according to statistics. It is important that we are accurate about it in order to protect children accurately.

      • dannybhoy

        I agree although the unresearched observation seems to be that female abusers are increasing in number.
        Some people who have been abused go on to abuse, not so much for sexual gratification as a cruel kind of revenge? There are all kinds of motivation and power and control are in there too.
        But ultimately the motive doesn’t matter. It’s still sin.

      • CliveM

        It is more prevalent in the male scene, heterosexual or homosexual then the equivalent female one. It is one of the shames of our sex.

  • len

    It would seem that once you reject the Biblical boundaries of sexuality and its expression you have entered a world where ‘anyone can do what is’ right ‘in their own eyes.’
    In other words anything is possible if you can persuade enough people to condone it.
    Words have been added to our vocabulary that have been devised to make ‘acceptable ‘ what God has condemned .Political Correctness has been devised in this respect to silence those who object to the tearing up of the accepted foundations of our society to replace them with what can only be regarded as a dangerous experiment (which has been tried before with disastrous consequences). Man it seems cannot learn by past mistakes?.
    And to take this further IF you can make what the Bible defines as sin’ acceptable’ to modern man then you can negate the need of a Saviour and it is this philosophy which condemns many to never see the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    It seems as the World gets darker the Light will get brighter and the objections of those who hate the Light stronger.

    • dannybhoy

      If you’re saying that all men and women are sinners – regardless of how they express that sinfulness – and need to repent and be reconciled to God through Christ Jesus..
      Then we agree.

      • Danny, that isn’t quite what’s being said. What’s being outlined is a satanic process (Jack can think of no other term) whereby sin is being redefined as acceptable. And to achieve this, the very Gospel is being attacked.
        Being sinners doesn’t mean an open door and acceptance of objective evil. Our society embraces abortion, is moving towards euthanasia, accepts divorce and remarriage, and we are contracepting ourselves out of existence.
        Research the modernist groups promoting homosexuality as ‘natural’ and acceptable and you’ll quickly detect all sorts of other heresies associated with them.

        • dannybhoy

          Before we go any further, can I confirm that you have read my
          dannybhoy to Martin comment?

          I don’t believe in splitting hairs or being pedantic then losing sight of the main point being made.
          In my last reponse to you I outlined a few of the sins that particularly affect society and are therefore destructive.
          You did read that?

          • Jack did … there is something that worries him sometimes about some of your posts. He can’t quite put his finger on it yet … but will.

          • dannybhoy

            Dannybhoy is always open to constructive critical or diagnostic comments HJ.
            I might not like what I hear, but I will seriously and prayerfully reflect upon it.

          • Did you read Old Jim’s admonition of you concerning abortion an euthanasia?

            In all the time Jack has been reading Old Jim’s comments he has never known him to speak so critically to another blogger. Well, he did once to Happy Jack and he took it to heart.

          • dannybhoy

            I remember reading it, and I remember it was in regards to a young fellow Thomas Keningley.
            This is the one,
            “I work as a carer, and I don’t believe that innocent human life can be taken, nor, consequently, that there is any sound way to differentiate human life that is inviolable from that which is
            considered to be negotiable. I understand that the language with which Mr Keningley engaged you wasn’t exactly conciliatory, but I must say that I find your attempt to undermine his credibility relative to your own by referring your prospective audience to your admirable works of mercy a rather low thing to do. Is that charity or forbearance?

            You don’t need to be a fireman to recognise a fire hazard, and if a fireman with a lit cigarette at a petrol pump mocked his accuser with his profession, it not only wouldn’t endear him to me, it would debase the acts of courage and service that would otherwise have honoured him.”

            Old Jim rebuked me.

          • He certainly did. But why? Think it over privately.

          • dannybhoy

            I ‘thunked’ it over at the time HJ.
            Seeing as he seemed like a nice fella, my regret was he felt that I had given him cause to rebuke me.

          • One doesn’t compromise with moral evil – abortion and euthanasia – in order to achieve some outcome that relieves suffering.

          • dannybhoy

            Perhaps then, one could likewise argue that if the consequences of Adam’s fall included pain in childbirth, weeds and hard work, and ultimately death we humans are wrong to try to improve childbirth, improve health and grain yields?
            I accept the teachings of Scripture regarding sin.
            That I also feel for people who endure awful physical suffering and abuse, or struggle with their sexuality, or drink or gambling is not a negation of that belief.

            There’s this little story about King David when he committed adultery with Bath Sheba and arranged the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite..

            “David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” 15Then Nathan went to his house.”
            Second Samuel 12.
            What had the child done that God should take his life?

          • You’re confusing things, Danny. It’s not a moral evil to work to improve health and care and relieve suffering. “Do no murder” remains a commandment.

            Compassion is good; compromise with sin isn’t. And sometimes we have to point out and uphold God’s truth, no matter if it is hurtful.

            As for God’s actions – well, you can interrogate Him if you wish. Isn’t the message of that passage that David’s sin had consequences and there was a price to pay for his transgressions?

          • dannybhoy

            I have of course no argument with the Almighty about David’s child conceived of an adulterous relationship, but the child had been conceived and born, and its life was taken.

            I shall have another think about this, but I would say that it is a form of intellectual arrogance to seek to win the argument without ever making one’s self aware of the real life consequences for a family who not only find themselves with a severely handicapped child, but who find that the father has walked out too.
            That’s what I was trying to ascertain from Mr Keningley.

          • What Martin K was arguing was that it mattered not what the consequences are of avoiding evil. “The road to hell …” and all that. And Jack believes he was correct. Our lives and those of others are not ours to decide to kill to avoid suffering – they belong to God.

          • dannybhoy

            I am sure you must have seen this or something like it..
            I didn’t realise it but the CofE’s attitude to abortion is pretty much my own.

          • “The problems and challenges we face today are not mentioned in Scripture, neither could they be. What we in our generation have to do is find solutions to questions that previous generations didn’t face.”

            What we have to do today is apply Scriptural principles to the solutions of this generation’s problems.

            “As Christians we have to try to tailor those solutions in line with our understanding of science and our faith.”

            Meaning what exactly? Just because we can contracept, abort and undertake embryonic stem cell research, for example, does not mean we should.

            “I didn’t realise it but the CofE’s attitude to abortion is pretty much my own.”

            Yes, and its wrong. It is an act of murder against an innocent child. Its the same with contraception which they approved in limited circumstances in 1930 – the first mainstream Christian Church to do so. How long before the nod is given to euthanasia? And before they approve homosexual relationships? All in the name of ‘compassion’.

            “And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.”

          • dannybhoy

            Happy Jack,

            “Yes, and its wrong. It is an act of murder against an innocent child.”

            If you eat an egg or a fertilised egg (you know, with the small brown spot in it) you are eating a chicken.
            If you or those whom you love have benefitted from certain vaccines or genetically derived cures, you/they are benefitting from experiments conducted on cultured cells from dead people. Much of our knowledge about the human body is in small part due to the cadavers dug up by Burke and Hare for medical research.

            At what point does the egg become a chicken or cells become a sentient human being?

          • Sentient human being? Once the human egg is fertilised it acquires the status of person with a created soul from God and an absolute right to protection as a being made in His image..

          • dannybhoy

            I’m still thinking and praying this issue of abortion through HJ.
            This sentence though, is to my mind dangerous.
            “We should learn to see the world from God’s perspective, which is from
            eternity, rather than focusing on mere appearances or the passing
            sorrows or joys of our material constitution.”
            It could lead to a view similar to that held by Islam: that God can justify anything He wants to from “His eternal perspective.”
            The value surely of revelation is that we creatures can know what kind of Creator we are beholden to for our existence.
            We know from God’s revealed nature through Scripture that He can be trusted, that He is righteous, merciful and just.
            “That He is not willing that any should die, but that all should come to know the truth..”
            To claim that God does whatever He wants i.e. orders the killing of children or a child “from the perspective of eternity”, leaves us without any frame of reference or certainty, and could result in the persecution of others who do not see things from our theological point of view.
            We could end up purging the Church of non conformists on the grounds that “God will correct any mistakes we make from His eternal perspective.”

          • Way too complex a series of issues for a blog.

            Two things come to mind. First, the God we worship is not the same God as the construct ‘Allah’. Our understanding of Him is enriched by the two Testaments and natural reason which reveal His nature. Second, you are correct about human beings believing they are acting on God’s authority and doing evil in His name. The phrase “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.” springs to mind; allegedly spoken during the massacre of the Cathars.

            Nevertheless, we understand God is in control of history. He is Just, Loving and Merciful. He foreknows all of us and no one He calls and responds through His grace, is lost. He’s told us this. God acts in history. History is an account of man’s action. Its one of those paradoxes and seeming contradictions.

            Bottom-line – what happens to us in this life is unimportant in comparison with our eternal destiny. Granted, this is a dangerous idea as it can lead to the sorts of fanaticism and the injustice you referred to. On the other hand, we do have a moral code from God and its the Church’s job to teach us and our leaders how to apply this to particular human situations. The Church is human and in temporal affairs will get things wrong, be influenced by dishonourable and sinful men and will also be constrained by the times, cultures and power structures they live in.

            So Jack comes back to where he started. There is eternal salvation and damnation beyond the grave. No one is damned because their life has been cut short. God remains in control. Jack trusts that the innocent and those right with God will be welcomed home by Him, no matter how or when they died. He also trusts all are given an opportunity, one way or another, to respond.

            However, those who brought their departure about will be held accountable for any act of injustice or immorality. God knows when we are to be born and just how long we all have to live.

      • len

        Dannybhoy, ‘The offence of the Cross’ is that we are all sinners and we can do nothing to save ourselves therefore we need to be saved by Jesus Christ. Sin needs to be defined’ sin’ can only be defined by someone who is without sin namely Jesus Christ.
        So we( sinners) need a revelation of our fallen state… but….man is saying forget God we can set our own moral code to line up with our own (fallen) condition.This comes from the philosophy of ‘if it feels right it must be right’ and we must convince others that it is right.

        The Church in the need to feel’ relevant’ ‘accepting’ ‘non judgemental’ and also in pursuit of larger congregations steers well clear of sin and the Cross and preaches another gospel which makes the congregation feel good but that is all.
        The secular world hates the gospel because it shines the light on sin but also reveals the remedy which’ prideful man hates.

    • magnolia

      Agreed, and part of it is that we have had to know about revolting practices when our lives would be happier more wholesome and peaceful if we did not so much as know about their existence. I think these come under the category of St Paul’s “you should not even speak of such things”. He is right. We should not have to; these days we do, and we have to for the sake of the victims, but it is also right to resent the fact that we have to.

      I Sexual drive is a strong force, and needs boundaries. Why is this so readily accepted when it comes to getting behind a driving wheel but not in sexual matters?

  • IanCad

    A little off-topic I know, but normally The Inspector would have chimed in by now in his own inimitable style.
    I do hope all is well with him.
    Prayers for Mr. Explorer also.

    • dannybhoy

      Agreed. It’s good that you brought it up.We should care for all who contribute here.
      I think too about Nick and his doubts.

    • CliveM

      I was beginning to worry about the inspector as well. His, er, robust comments are much missed.

  • The Inspector General

    The Inspector is back. Something horrible happened to him three weeks ago…

    He’d just left a helpful comment on a well-known homosexual propaganda site, when the blighters sent him what can best be described as a dose of digital AIDS down the wires. Killed one’s beloved steam lap top stone dead, so it did. ‘Twas lifeless in his powerful hands, so it was, as the Inspector gently laid it out on the table, and not without grief in his heart, I can tell you…

    Well, that was an illegal act so your man commissioned an IT wallah to clean the thing, and to amass sufficient evidence as to the intent of summoning a couple of detectives from Scotland Yard. Unfortunately, no such convincing evidence was forthcoming, at least not in the wallah’s opinion, despite the length of time he had the contraption, so one has had to abandon all thoughts of savage revenge through the courts.

    So beware fellows, it could happen to you. The cost of repair was grievous. One hundred and ten pounds sterling, so no piffling amount, but one is satisfied, and dare it be said, defiant, if this be the price of being a Christian soldier.

    That’s it. As you were.

    • dannybhoy

      Welcome back Sir.
      Your wallet may be lighter but the affectionate concern expressed here should gladden your heart.

    • DanJ0

      The IT wallah didn’t find your porn stash then? Phew.

    • And there was Happy Jack thinking you’d taken his advice and gone off on a spiritual retreat to a monastery.

    • CliveM

      A relief that you are back. You were much missed. I confess I was concerned.

      Can’t think why!!!!:)

      • The Inspector General

        You’re a fine chap Clive. To the ramparts, what !
        All that we hold dear is continually under attack….

  • The Inspector General

    Bless almost all of you for your responses. It’s good to be back on the
    finest blog in Christendom…

    God save the Queen !

  • Tokyo Nambu

    Justin Welby makes a brave and noble speech.

    A Christian blogger writes a powerful and moving counterpoint to the brave and noble speech, reinforcing and amplifying its bold and humane message.

    The commentators on that blog back back to the usual Christian business of blaming gays for everything.

    Which goes to show that the decent, humane Christianity of the few can’t overcome the lumpen bigotry of the many.

    • The Inspector General

      No No No !!!. You have it all wrong. It’s militant gays. Them that want to steer society towards nihilism and precious little else. What do you have to say to that, sir ?

      • Tokyo Nambu

        To quote from a commentator below, “Homosexuality & paedophilia are two sides of the same coin”.

        No mention of “militant” there, just the usual bigotry. Sad.

        • The Inspector General

          That’s because we’ve all been overwhelmed by extremism, silly. He obviously meant militant homosexuality.
          If you can’t read between the lines, don’t bother reading at all…

      • Owl

        Welcome back Inspector.
        We need more Paddys on this blog, you, of course, know why.

        • The Inspector General

          This humble papist is at your service, Owl…

          • IanCad

            Glad you’re back Inspector; but wasn’t Synge a Protestant?!

          • The Inspector General

            He was a Christian, that man…

          • Owl

            I do hope you are not some imposter!

      • carl jacobs

        Welcome back, Inspector.

        The blog wasn’t the same without you.


        • The Inspector General

          Very kind of you Carl. You of course are essential to this site. Quite an achievement for a wild colonial boy…

          • carl jacobs


            We Americans are here to give you a hope and a vision for the possibility of Americanization – the secret dream of every Brit. Cricket becomes baseball. Fish and chips gives way to a cheeseburger and fries. You’ll be driving on the right side of the road before you know it.

            We wouldn’t do this for Canadians, you know.


          • The Inspector General

            Carl. Fish and chips is a surprisingly healthy food. If you New Englander types took it up with gusto, you might not look like you’re all related to Fatty Arbuckle…

          • carl jacobs


            Ah, but I am not from New England – which by geography refers to those states North and East of New York. I am from the Heartland. You have much to learn before your citizenship test. Start with the Federalist Papers.

    • What is this thing called “decent, humane Christianity”? One that ignores the obvious for fear of offending or being thought of as bigoted?

      Could you point out the “brave and noble” passages of the speech?

    • sarky

      Here here!!!!

      • The Inspector General

        It’s ‘hear hear” you damn fool…

        • Hear, hear.

          • dannybhoy

            Whear whear??

          • There, they’re.

        • sarky

          Still know what I meant though!!!!

      • But you’re not a Christian, are you Sarky?

        • sarky

          I was just focusing on the ‘decent, humane’ part!!!

    • carl jacobs

      Tokyo Nambu

      The commentators on that blog get back to the usual Christian business of blaming gays for everything.

      No, it’s more like this.

      Justin Welby makes a speech about sexual abuse in the CoE. Someone points out an inconvenient fact about the prevalence of homosexual Priests in the population of abusers. And then someone else screams “Hater! Bigot! Homophobe!” That being a far easier response than explaining the occurrence of homosexual men in the population of abusive Priests. And then some triangulation about ‘decent humane Christianity’ gets included for good measure. Where “decent and humane” is defined as “telling people what they want to hear.”

      The question hangs in the air, and cannot be hidden. Why was the “child” abuse crisis almost exclusively a problem of homosexual men seducing teenage boys? It’s a simple question. It’s directly on point. It possesses the virtue of truth. So why won’t anyone on this thread provide an answer beyond “Hater!”

      No, wait. Don’t bother to explain. We already know why?

      • Tokyo Nambu

        Which all sounds terribly reasonable, until you realise it’s a succession of tendentious question beggings.

        Firstly, you are basing your whole argument on the claim “the “child” abuse crisis almost exclusively a problem of homosexual men seducing teenage boys?”. You don’t know this. The whole point is that child abuse in large organisations is wildly under-reported, and a combination of victim-blaming and offence-minimisation means that you only have visibility of the smallest sample of the offences. Perhaps you’re right, and boys are disproportionately the victims. Perhaps it’s only the “greater” (in your eyes) crime of raping boys that is enough to provoke action. Perhaps it’s that if you want to see crimes against boys, that’s what you see. Who knows? If there were robust, properly collected figures as to the scale of the abuse, you might be able to make that argument, but there isn’t, so you can’t.

        Secondly, crimes can only take place against victims who are available. If the issue at hand is the abuse of children within the church, over the past fifty years, the number of boys that were available as potential victims was wildly higher. The distaste within both the CofE and the Catholic Church for women in ministry extended deeper than just ordination, and choirs, altar service (particularly in Catholic traditions) and so on were, and in some cases are, almost exclusively male.

        A priest in 1960s Ireland, to take an example where we have more robust data, who wanted to rape boys would have found plenty of groomable victims within the structures of the church; one who wanted to rape girls would have to look elsewhere. Perhaps they used their clerical vestments and position of authority to rape girls outside the boundaries of the church: again, we don’t know. Gerald Ridsdale had access to girls, so raped them, as did Daniel Doherty, Kenneth LaVan, Peter Searson, Robert Kelley, etc, etc, etc. When investigations have been carried out, the victims have been apparent.

        And thirdly, such child protection as there was in the 1960s (to my certain knowledge) and similarly until the last few years was almost entirely about separating men from girls; men were the only prospective abusers, girls the only prospective victims. Parents didn’t worry about men and their sons, but did (to some slightly extent) about their daughters. It would be harder, not much harder, but harder, for men to abuse girls that boys. That child protection needs to worry about anything other than men abusing girls is a product of the last ten years or so.

        So to make the argument that it’s a gay problem, you need to show that boys were raped disproportionately to their availability (in terms of numbers and child protection) within the church. That evidence just doesn’t exist.

        • Uncle Brian

          The churches, Anglican and Catholic alike, have a problem that they need to solve. Carl Jacobs is presenting a constructive approach that could help them solve it. Your approach is to just wish it away.

          • Tokyo Nambu

            Unless you’re arguing that either there is no abuse of girls, or it doesn’t matter, you need to provide some evidence that it’s a problem of homosexuality. You haven’t provided that evidence.

          • sarky

            Well said, this is exactly the point I was trying to make before.

          • Owl

            My father was one of the abused in Ireland and we are well aware of what happened.
            Statistics are available, as Carl has pointed out.
            Get a grip on reality son.
            Avoiding the problem is not going to help solve it.

          • Uncle Brian

            “we should protect children from adult predators” is a good starting position,

            Agreed. None better. The question being discussed here is the sexual abuse of minors by Anglican and Catholic clergy. The statistics are available, so when you say “whose relative prevalence you just don’t know about” you are, to put it politely, misrepresenting the known facts.

          • Tokyo Nambu

            Which statistics show that this is a problem of gay men, not a problem of men?

          • Uncle Brian

            As I said before, the churches are attempting to solve their problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Your attempts to change the subject are not going to help them achieve that aim.

        • DrCrackles

          Oh dear.

          Rather than admitting there exists a serious problem with homosexual abuse you demand ‘proof’ of the nature found during a clinical trial! As other have said the evidence is there, both from personal experience and investigations into the abuse.

          I am afraid you are covering for abusers and should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Tokyo Nambu

            What evidence?

            I’ll start with “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010”, which was presented to that well known group of gay apologists, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and was mostly funded by Catholic backers.

            The key point is “Priests who had same-sex sexual experiences either before seminary or in seminary were more likely to have sexual behavior after ordination, but this behavior was most likely with adults. These men were not significantly more likely to abuse minors.” (p.4 of the executive summary, pp. 62-63 for the details behind it).

            Now, what’s your evidence?

          • DrCrackles

            This isn’t a petty sparring match.

            I can agree that this problem has been caused by the effluent from the sexual revolution. The statement in the executive summary indicates this. Therefore, this would lead to an increase in all kinds of sexual disorders. However, male homosexuality is peculiar in that there is an increased number of sexual encounters and in an abusive setting the numbers of abused. The boys and young men you seem to ignore in your attempt to cover for homosexuals. I repeat the charge against you that you are providing a cover for abusers.

            Below are comments and articles written regarding the abuse scandal in the US:

            “Male homosexuality is inherently promiscuous. In a heterosexual relationship, women moderate the innate, intense male sex drive.” – Joel Mowbray


            “The bishop surely knew by the early 1990s that the overwhelmingly majority of cases of abuse had to do with the abuse of teenage boys and young men by homosexual clergy.” – George Weigel

            “The increasing tolerance of homosexual behaviour and other sexual behaviours, inside and outside the church, played a significant role in the scandal.” – John Leo

            “The generation of priests largely responsible for the rash of sexual abuse cases mostly entered the priesthood at an extremely early age, ushered into an ensconced environment where they never got a chance to grow up. Teenage boys are the natural objects of desire for an immature homosexual who was enveloped in a promiscuous, homosexual culture at the seminary.” – Joel Mowbray

            “We must face facts. The data overwhelmingly identifies the main victims of the sex abuse crisis as young men. Furthermore, what critics call “access to boys” is a natural consequence of Church life, and the male priesthood. Therefore, true reform should not be to question “access to boys,” but to reconsider, with compassion and wisdom, whether clergy roles are appropriate for any man who finds “access to boys” a sexual temptation.” – Fr. Regis Scanlon responding to the John Jay report.


          • DanJ0

            There’s the ‘Tomasi’ position again.

            That last paragraph is interesting. Is that what the data actually shows?

          • “More than three-quarters of the acts of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests …. were same-sex acts (priests abusing male victims) …. the victims of priests were most often male, thus defining the acts as homosexual ….”
            (John Jay Report; 2011)

            The abuse wasn’t predominantly paedophilic. And an ephebophilic attraction for teenagers actually follows one’s sexual preference and is no longer regarded as a disorder.

          • The Inspector General

            Three things. Ask any Joe in the street what he perceives as defines child abuse in the church and he will tell you it was / is almost exclusively man on boy. Nobody has conditioned Joe to think that. He picks it up from mass media. You’ll be telling us next the mass media is biased.

            Second, if you continue your hands in your pockets attitude
            you will inevitably veer towards blaming the boys / young men themselves for seduction. A standard defence in court during the civilised days when gross indecency was a
            criminal offence at whatever age.

            Third. It is not an enviable task you have. Someone trying to defend his lifestyle against the most heinous of accusations that are in the most part true. You are onto a hiding for
            nothing. Why don’t you just walk away and weep over it and drop the denial. Decent society is weeping, how come you’re not ?

          • Tokyo Nambu

            “Someone trying to defend his lifestyle against the most heinous of accusations that are in the most part true.”

            I’m a straight, married man. I’m therefore not entirely clear what point you’re trying to make.

          • DanJ0

            That’s what is usually called “mistaking the facts for the issues” 🙂

          • The Inspector General

            You’re a straight married man !
            In that case, I’m even less clear about the point you are trying to make than you are with mine.

          • “More than three-quarters of the acts of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests …. were same-sex acts (priests abusing male victims). It is therefore possible that, although the victims of priests were most often male, thus defining the acts as homosexual, the priest did not at any time recognize his identity as homosexual.”
            (John Jay Report; 2011)

          • DanJ0

            It seems to me that there’s an ongoing attempt around here to present what might be called the ‘Tomasi’ position as uncontentious. Hmmm.

          • DrCrackles

            Whether it is contentious to state that the nature of the abuse is homosexual is not the issue. It is about being honest about the nature of the problem with the intent of preventing such abuse in the future.

          • DanJ0

            There is no homosexual community. We don’t all live together in a gay village, with similar interests and outlooks, acting together for the good of the community. Your use of the phrase is really quite indicative, as is the notion of homosexuals having or needing ‘apologists’.

            What on earth do you think an a-theist homosexual like me can do to help deal with the problem of a bunch of paedophilic and ephebophilic vicars and priests molesting children in religious environments, and church hierarchies going to great lengths in the past to cover the abuse up?

            The ‘Tomasi’ position is a contended one, and that’s by subject matter experts rather than homosexuals.. Moreover, it has a political and/or ideological feel to it, including its use here. One can see that in your own statement here with your use of ‘homosexual community and its apologists’.

            That the abusive acts were male on male in the majority of reported cases does not make it a ‘homosexual’ problem with ramifications for normal homosexuals like me with no sexual interest in kids, just like it doesn’t for normal heterosexuals with no sexual interests in kids.

          • DanJ0
        • carl jacobs

          Tokyo Nambu

          And you call me tendentious? Sheesh.

          I refer to it as a “child” abuse crisis because a child in common parlance is pre-pubescent. This ubiquitous reference to child abuse is intended to subtlety imply in direct contradiction of the facts that the victims were pre-pubescent children. Since sexual desire for pre-pubescent children is wholly different from homosexuality, the sleight of hand is used to mask the homosexual nature of the crisis. This wasn’t a problem of pedophiles. This was a problem of homosexual men acting on sexual desire for young boys.

          And, yes, the desire is properly characterized as homosexual. The designation of abuse is being applied based upon an arbitrary boundary that could be moved at any time by governmental fiat. There have recently been calls in the UK to lower the age of consent to 14. If the sex had occurred with boys above the age of consent, then it would have been characterized as homosexual without second thought. This leaves an interesting question of the age is lowered. How can an act of sex be labeled abusive in January but not in February? If a man has an with a 15 year-old boy, surely the moral nature of the sex is not altered because the gov’t changes a law.

          Look, the data is what it is. You can deal with it or not. What you can’t do is change it. You can’t rationalize it away with appeals to hypothetical unreported abuse. You suggest some interesting hypotheses, but I don’t think they go anywhere. You are wedded to this notion that the homosexual behavior was rooted in something other than homosexual desire. In fact, every post you have made is intended to defend thus one and only proposition – that homosexuality is incidental to the entire episode. In effect, you confirmed my argument. You want to know what happened, but you want any investigation to take homosexuality off the table a priori. That must be the beginning point so that certain conclusions will be excluded by definition.

          In a way, you remind me of the AIDS advocates in the late 80s who wanted AIDS to be everyone’s disease lest the homosexual community become stigmatized. “AIDS doesn’t discriminate.” But in fact it did. The longed for, hoped for heterosexual AIDS boom never happened. Dealing with the problem meant admitting the true nature of the problem. I don’t know the answer to “Why?” But it is the height of blindness to begin the investigation by saying “Whatever else, homosexuality is incidental” when virtually every offender us a homosexual man. You won’t fool anyone but yourself.

          • sarky

            Talking of age of consent, how old was Mary when she gave birth to jesus?? 12-14 by all accounts. Prehaps you should question your child impregnating god before starting on others!!!!

          • carl jacobs

            Sarky wrote

            how old was Mary when she gave birth to jesus?

            Head, meet Mr Desk.

            [bash bash bash bash bash]

          • sarky

            Hopefully you’ll knock some sense in 🙂 !!!

          • carl jacobs


            OK, that made me laugh. You get a point.

            But you do understand just how bad was the argument you offered, correct? God isn’t man. You can’t analogize God’s actions to man’s actions.


          • sarky

            But shouldn’t god lead by example?? Some sick people may look at that and think ‘well god did it’……

  • Peter the Carolinian

    Indeed, it is absolutely tragic that this lady and others like her were ignored. Such actions are quite shocking and those who came into contact with those affected by abuse hoped that by ignoring it perhaps it wasn’t true and would go away.

    As for the offenders this, as I would imagine most here are familiar with, is what Jesus had to say : “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18: 6

    Finally, how do we go from here? The Archbishop’s actions are a good start, they are not enough. Of course we might say that about everything he says and does, but the Gospel certainly has some part to play in the process of restoration.

  • A book on ways of preventing child abuse within the church has been recommended to me. I haven’t read it and I don’t know the author, but the endorsements by solid evangelicals like Carl Trueman and Michael Horton make me think it might be worth buying. It is a sad fact that paedophiles will join churches specifically because of the opportunities that present themselves to have contact with children.
    Here is the link:

    • DanJ0

      Do paedophiles and ephebophiles actually join churches for easier access to children? I can imagine that’s why such people become scout masters and nursery staff but it seems a huge step to go through an institution like a seminary and subsequently live like a vicar, and especially like a priest, just for that sort of access. It seems more likely to me that some very religious people have sexual pathologies like that and their religious environment has not been sufficient for their internal or external restraint.

      • CliveM


        There is no real evidence on this, my personal suspicion would be that the men involved came from an era when options were more limited. Especially if we are talking the South of Ireland. Non church orphanages etc were few and far between.

        • DanJ0

          I posted a relevant link to the John Jay report update somewhere below.

          • CliveM

            That’s a long report! Does it actually discuss the actual religiosity of the abuser men? Ie is it pretended or real?

            My limited experience of this issue ( non RC) is that men turn up, join the Church, claim a youth ministry and then get over familiar with (in the case I am thinking of ) young girls. They didn’t seem particularly religious. Although it may not be fair to extrapolate this experiance to the professionally religious.

          • DanJ0

            If one accepts the report has being good for the purposes of argument then you could jump to page 119 and skim the conclusions and recommendations.

            You may notice this:

            “The clinical data do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity or those who committed same-sex sexual behavior with adults are significantly more likely to sexually abuse children than those with a heterosexual orientation or behaviour.”

            and reflect on what has been said elsewhere on this thread and what actions your man Dodo there supports by the church he claims to be a member of. You may also note that he seems rather quiet about that despite apparently skimming the report himself now.

          • CliveM

            Hi DanJo

            Thanks for giving me direction. I think one of the frustrations of the discussion is that it has focused on the RCC experience. I think this is wrong because:
            1) it risks unfairly stigmatising the RCC.
            2) the RCC has an approach to Priesthood that is different from other Churches ie celibacy, which will make it hard to extrapolate its experiences to the wider Church.

            I also dislike using the term sex, either homosexual or heterosexual, in relation to child abuse. It is rape not sex. I think we risk legitimising it if we use the term sex.

            A close female relative was assaulted as a child, I would never sanitise the abuse as sexual. It wasn’t through a Church, but it also wasn’t same sex.

          • However you spin it, you can’t get past this finding:

            “More than three-quarters of the acts of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests …. were same-sex acts (priests abusing male victims). It is therefore possible that, although the victims of priests were most often male, thus defining the acts as homosexual, the priest did not at any time recognize his identity as homosexual.”
            (John Jay Report; 2011)

            It was an abuse crisis driven by homosexual priests engaging in homosexual acts.
            This totally undermines the idea that the priests were not homosexual or the assaults were not of a homosexual nature. We know attraction for adolescents follows sexual preference. Such attraction tends not to be regarded as a clinical disorder these days. And the report is suggesting the offending priests may not have recognised they were homosexual. How likely is that – really? What eIts still a problem of homosexuality.

          • DanJ0

            I advise the silent reader to go to the primary literature and read it all in context, rather than rely on the interpretation of a long-term homophobe like Dodo here who has a special axe to grind on the subject, and who has now been caught with his pants down, so to speak, supporting apparently undue discrimination by the Roman Catholic Church desperate to be seen to act.

          • DanJ0

            The data itself in the original reports is interesting, even if it is limited to American cases. Wikipedia has a table where victims ages are set out by increasing age, with cumulative percentages. 47.2% were 12 or younger, with 12 being the mode. Puberty in males starts at 11 to 12 on average, making a large proportion of the victims pre-pubescent. There’s also a bell curve of sorts in the data which peaks in the early to mid teens. Presumably that’s choir boy or alter service boy age.

          • “Undue discrimination” … Jack thinks not!

            As for an axe to grind, and being a long term homophobe, is that the best you’ve got? You, an atheist, who hates the Church, and wants his sexual preference to be regarded as normal and healthy, is the one with the self interest here.
            The report was not written by the Roman Catholic Church – it was commissioned by them and submitted to them.
            What the report by the John Jay Institute describes, without actually wanting to identify homosexuality as the issue, IT being a secular body and probably conscious of the ‘Gay Lobby, is that homosexuality was the issue in the abuse of 80% of teenage boys. Hidden behind all the psycho-babble and sociological constructs is a clear picture of homosexual men seducing and assaulting boys.

            How does it achieve this obfuscation? By saying the men, despite assaulting boys, possibly did not identify as being homosexual. Yes, that works. It also notes that men who had sex with other men in seminary were more likely to sexually assault boys as against men who were aware they were suffering from the objective moral disorder of homosexuality and who had sex before seminary. And they still didn’t identify as homosexuals? They were confused. Yes, that works too.

            These findings actually support the Catholic Church’s position to prohibit entrance to seminaries those with homosexual tendencies, until they can are confident about themselves and can commit to celibacy, and also those with deep-rooted homosexuality who cannot abstain from sex.

          • DanJ0

            “As for an axe to grind, and being a long term homophobe, is that the best you’ve got?”

            Dodo, we both know that I have reams of derogatory stuff about you to deploy if I wish, based on your long and ignoble history of immorality here, and that’s immorality judged by the yardstick of the church you claim to be a member of here to support your trolling, too.

          • Now you use blackmail …. have you no shame?

            You want to switch the focus from the facts of the John Jay Report about the homosexual abuse of teenagers onto a threatened personal attack on Jack with “derogatory stuff to deploy if I wish.”. What a morally bankrupt response.

            Jack is not playing your game.

            Talk to the hand ….

        • “More than three-quarters of the acts of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests …. were same-sex acts (priests abusing male victims). It is therefore possible that, although the victims of priests were most often male, thus defining the acts as homosexual, the priest did not at any time recognize his identity as homosexual.”
          (John Jay Report; 2011)

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            I was commenting on the following point DanJo made ie

            ” It seems more likely to me that some very religious people have sexual pathologies like that and their religious environment has not been sufficient for their internal or external restraint.”

            I was wondering about the evidence for this, not the percentage of Priests who abused male victims. I had thought that it was mainly the non religious (or at least people who didn’t actually feel a genuine calling to the Priesthood) that had used the Church to gain access to young victims.

          • Its complex, Clive. It is worth reading the John Jay Report although it does rather skim over some issues. It wasn’t that men chose the priesthood as a means of gaining access to children. Rather the wider cultural environment switched to being more sexually libertarian, the men were not adequately prepared for the challenges of their ministry which was changing too and they gave into sexual desire in a situation where they were unlikely to be suspected or caught.

            It doesn’t appear that this abuse was driven by “sexual pathologies”, unless one describes homosexuality as such. The report doesn’t, of course, because it is an ‘academic’ summary of the evidence and has to remain this side of being ‘politically correct’. There is some interesting information on environmental and personality factors which were noted in the abusers. These also give clues about the formation of homosexuality. Is there a correlation between a religious calling and the disorder of homosexuality? Some reports estimate that 40% of Catholic Priests are homosexual. This is a question worthy of further research.

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack thanks for taking the time on this. Much appreciated. You highlight some very interesting issues. It does appear as if the abuse problem is of a different nature within the RCC (perhaps also the CofE, especially the Anglo catholic wing? I wonder if any studies have been done) then the sort of Churches I am use to. It must be down to the different nature of the ministries.

            If I get time I will look at the report more closely.

          • You’re right, research would perhaps shed light on the issues. They are not scientifically or theologically neutral. How is homosexuality formed? What lies behind a vocation? Are there any significant common factors? What leads a man who has dedicated his life to God into grave sin of this nature? And don’t overlook spiritual warfare. It may be the devil targeting his efforts at those most vulnerable and where he will have greatest impact in undermining the Church. Social science isn’t going to explore this. So, if you do read the Jay Report concentrate on the data and don’t just accept the authors interpretation of it.

  • “More than three-quarters of the acts of sexual abuse of youths by Catholic priests …. were same-sex acts (priests abusing male victims).
    (John Jay Report, 2011)

    • len

      Celibacy doesn`t work it merely attempts to repress what is already there which instead of being expressed positively becomes distorted.

      Much as we try to repress our sin nature by religious works and good thoughts a new creation is what is needed(that word again Jack) which only God can supply though His Holy Spirit.That is why religious works are futile for the means of salvation.

      • Len …. are you on a different planet? Celibacy wasn’t an issue in this scandal. It was homosexual abuse of teenage boys by men.

        • len

          Are Priests ‘ men’ or do you know different.?

          • Homosexuals, Len. Jack repeats: “Celibacy wasn’t an issue in this scandal.”

            Or are you now supporting homosexual marriage so these men do not have to be celibate?

            The vast majority of priests, homosexual and heterosexual, were not abusers.