Sex offender

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A Sex offender (also sexual offender, sex abuser, or sexual abuser) is a person who committed a sex crime, although what constitutes a sex crime differs by culture and by legal jurisdiction

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  • No one [in the Vatican] thinks the sexual abuse of kids is unique to the States, but they do think that the reporting on it is uniquely American, fueled by anti-Catholicism and shyster lawyers hustling to tap the deep pockets of the church. And that thinking is tied to the larger perception about American culture, which is that there is a hysteria when it comes to anything sexual, and an incomprehension of the Catholic Church. What that means is that Vatican officials are slower to make the kinds of public statements that most American Catholics want, and when they do make them they are tentative and halfhearted. It's not that they don't feel bad for the victims, but they think the clamor for them to apologize is fed by other factors that they don't want to capitulate to.
    • John L. Allen, Jr. Vatican respondent for National Catholic Reporter, SCU Conference on the Crisis. Connections. 4 (=4). December 2003.
  • Children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults
  • A criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior.
  • American Psychological Association APA Letter to the Honorable Rep. DeLay (R-Tx) (Press release). American Psychological Association. 9 June 1999. Archived from the original on 10 October 1999. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  • This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with. Being thousands of miles away makes no difference to their guilt. In my mind they are just as responsible for the abuse of these children as the contact abusers overseas. Protecting the victims of abuse is our priority and that means attacking every link in the chain, from dismantling the organised groups who are motivated by profit through to targeting their customers.
    • Ceop deputy director Andy Baker, on BBC News [1], January 15, 2014.
  • Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering. ... Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.
    • Pope Benedict XVI as quoted in Barich, Anthony (1 August 2008). Pope apologises, celebrates Mass with abuse victims. The Record. Australia. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  • Church must do penance for abuse cases.
    • Pope Benedict XVI as quoted in Brown, Stephen (15 April 2010). "Pope says church must do penance for abuse cases". Reuters
  • In accordance with the apostolic constitutions, in particular the constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae of Benedict XIV of 1 June 1741, a penitent must within one month denounce to the local Ordinary or the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office a priest guilty of the crime of solicitation in confession; and a confessor must, under a grave obligation of conscience, inform a penitent of this duty.
    • Catholic Canon 904.
  • Anyone who has committed the crime of solicitation dealt with in canon 904 is to be suspended from celebrating Mass and hearing sacramental confessions and, if the gravity of the crime calls for it, he is to be declared unfit for hearing them; he is to be deprived of all benefices and ranks, of the right to vote or be voted for, and is to be declared unfit for all of them, and in more serious cases he is to be reduced to the lay state.
    • Canon 2368 §1.
  • To be punished with just penalties, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state if the case so warrants.
    • Code of Canon Law, Book VI Part II: Penalties for Particular Offenses TITLE V: OFFENSES AGAINST SPECIAL OBLIGATIONS. Vatican. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  • By the early 21st century, the issue of child sexual abuse has become a legitimate focus of professional attention, while increasingly separated from second wave feminism...As child sexual abuse becomes absorbed into the larger field of interpersonal trauma studies, child sexual abuse studies and intervention strategies have become degendered and largely unaware of their political origins in modern feminism and other vibrant political movements of the 1970s. One may hope that unlike in the past, this rediscovery of child sexual abuse that began in the 1970s will not again be followed by collective amnesia. The institutionalization of child maltreatment interventions in federally funded centers, national and international societies, and a host of research studies (in which the United States continues to lead the world) offers grounds for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, as Judith Herman argues cogently, 'The systematic study of psychological trauma...depends on the support of a political movement.
    • Professor B.J. Cling (2004). Sexualized Violence Against Women and Children: A Psychology and Law Perspective. Guilford Press. p. 177.
  • The Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid 1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The Archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the State.
  • By the end of the mid 1990s, it was estimated that [...] more than half a billion dollars had been paid in jury awards, settlements and legal fees
    • Donald Cozzens (2000). The changing face of the priesthood: A reflection on the priest's crisis of soul. Liturgical Press. p. 125.
  • There was mounting evidence in the world of psychology that indicated that when medical treatment is given, these people can, in fact, go back to ministry.
    • Bishop Blase J. Cupich, chairman of the United States Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, Early Alarm for Church on Abusers in the Clergy" by Laurie Goodstein, NY Times
  • It is easy to think that when we talk about the crisis of child rape and abuse that we are talking about the past – and the Catholic Church would have us believe that this most tragic era in church history is over. It is not. It lives on today. Pedophiles are still in the priesthood. Coverups of their crimes are happening now, and bishops in many cases are continuing to refuse to turn information over to the criminal justice system. Cases are stalled and cannot go forward because the church has such power to stop them. Children are still being harmed and victims cannot heal. ”
    • Abuse victim, Mary Dispenza, (6 February 2014). Opinion: Pope Francis must finally root out child abuse - CNN.com. CNN.
  • There is no basis to assume that the Holy See envisioned [[Crimen sollicitationisthis process to be a substitute for any secular legal process, criminal or civil. It is also incorrect to assume, as some have unfortunately done, that these two Vatican documents are proof of a conspiracy to hide sexually abusive priests or to prevent the disclosure of sexual crimes committed by clerics to secular authorities.
    • Thomas Doyle "Very Important Tom Doyle Comments on Crimen Sollicitationis", Voice from the Desert, March 12, 2010". bishop-accountability.org. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  • [Sexual abuse] offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry.
    • Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald as quoted in Zoll, Rachel (31 March 2009). Letters: Catholic bishops warned in '50s of abusive priests. USA Today. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  • The sheer scale and longevity of the torment inflected on defenceless children – over 800 known abusers in over 200 Catholic institutions during a period of 35 years – should alone make it clear that it was not accidental or opportunistic but systematic. Abuse was not a failure of the system. It was the system.
    • The savage reality of our darkest days (Top Story). The Irish Times. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  • They are more afraid of the outside world than the deviants within their own community. The deviants threaten individuals here or there, but the outside world threatens everyone and the entire structure of their world.
    • Samuel Heilman as quoted in Otterman, Sharon; Rivera, Ray (May 9, 2012). "Ultra-Orthodox Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sexual Abuse". The New York Times.
  • As soon as we would give the name of a defendant … (rabbis and others) would engage this community in a relentless search for the victims...And they're very, very good at identifying the victims. And then the victims would be intimidated and threatened, and the case would fall apart.
  • Like in the general population, child sex abuse in the Catholic Church appears to be committed by men close to the children they allegedly abuse.
  • Many (abusers) appear to use grooming tactics to entice children into complying with the abuse, and the abuse occurs in the home of the alleged abuser or victim.
  • The problem was largely the result of poor seminary training and insufficient emotional support for men ordained in the 1940s and 1950
    • John Jay Report as cited in Bono, Agostino. John Jay Study Reveals Extent of Abuse Problem.
  • Like alcoholics, they are never cured. They have a disease. They will never lose that disease. If sex offenders are not on their toes all the time, they are at risk of committing that crime again.
    • Karen Kirschke, clinical supervisor of the sex offender treatment program at Illinois' Big Muddy River Correctional Center, Chicago Tribune, Aug 21, 1995.
  • We have said repeatedly that ... our understanding of this problem and the way it's dealt with today evolved, and that in those years ago, decades ago, people didn't realize how serious this was, and so, rather than pulling people out of ministry directly and fully, they were moved.
    • Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as quoted in Roberts, Tom (2009-03-20). Bishops were warned of abusive priests. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  • My heart goes out to the victims of this terrible injustice, an injustice compounded by the fact that they had to suffer in silence for so long."
  • There is always a price to pay for not responding'. The church will have to pay that price in terms of its credibility. The first thing the church has to do is to move out of any mode of denial. Where the church is involved in social care it should be in the vanguard. That is different to a situation in which the church proclaims that it is in the vanguard.... in a very short time another report on the sexual abuse of children will be published, this time about how such abuse was managed in the Archdiocese of Dublin of which I am archbishop.
  • Why should murder be so over-represented in our popular fiction, and crimes of a sexual nature so under-represented? Surely it cannot be because rape is worse than murder, and is thus deserving of a special unmentionable status. Surely, the last people to suggest that rape was worse than murder were the sensitively reared classes of the Victorian era … And yet, while it is perfectly acceptable (not to say almost mandatory) to depict violent and lethal incidents in lurid and gloating high-definition detail, this is somehow regarded as healthy and perfectly normal, and it is the considered depiction of sexual crimes that will inevitably attract uproars of the current variety.
  • The day before Bishop Guizar died, he had been heard shouting angrily at Marcial Maciel. He was giving his eighteen-year-old nephew a dressing down after two women had come to the bishop's house to complain about Maciel, who was their neighbor. Father Orozco, who was among the original group of boys to found the Legion of Christ in 1941, said he heard the women had complained about the "noise" Maciel was making with children he had brought into his home to teach religion. He said that the seminary officials blamed Maciel for his uncle's heart attack.
  • Twenty detectives have been assigned to the so-called 'God Squad' since 2002. But despite evidence that priests were transferred to other parishes, where they continued to abuse, and despite public admissions by senior figures that not all relevant information was passed to the civil authorities, no charges will be laid against senior members of the church."
    • Dearbhail McDonald Irish Independent 18 September 2006 regarding the Murphy Report
  • At the time the Archdiocese took out insurance in 1987, Archbishop Kevin McNamara, Archbishop Dermot Ryan and Archbishop John Charles McQuaid had had, between them, available information on complaints against at least 17 priests operating under the aegis of the Dublin Archdiocese. The taking out of insurance was an act proving knowledge of child sexual abuse as a potential major cost to the Archdiocese and is inconsistent with the view that Archdiocesan officials were still "on a learning curve‟ at a much later date, or were lacking in an appreciation of the phenomenon of clerical child sex abuse.
  • I think of those in religious orders and some of the clergy in Dublin who have to face these facts from their past, which instinctively and quite naturally they’d rather not look at. That takes courage, and also we shouldn’t forget that this account today will also overshadow all of the good that they also did.
    • Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols "This week they said". The Irish Times. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  • The vast majority of the research on sexual abuse of minors didn't emerge until the early 1980s. So, it appeared reasonable at the time to treat these men and then return them to their priestly duties. In hindsight, this was a tragic mistake.
    • Thomas Plante, The vast majority of the research on sexual abuse of minors didn't emerge until the early 1980s. So, it appeared reasonable at the time to treat these men and then return them to their priestly duties. In hindsight, this was a tragic mistake.
  • The secrecy, the obstruction I saw during my investigation was unparalleled in my entire career as a DA...it was so difficult to obtain any information from the Church at all.
    The Church fails to acknowledge such a serious problem but more than that, it is not a passiveness but an openly obstructive way of not allowing authorities to try to stop the abuse within the Church. They fought us every step of the way.
    • Rick Romley, district attorney who initiated an investigation of the Diocese of Phoenix, "BBC NEWS – Programmes – Panorama – Sex crimes and the Vatican". bbc.co.uk.
  • As, assuredly, what must be mainly taken care of and complied with in handling these trials is that they be managed with maximum confidentiality and after the verdict is declared and put into effect never be mentioned again (20 February 1867 Instruction of the Holy Office, 14), each and every person, who in any way belongs to the tribunal or is given knowledge of the matter because of their office, is obliged to keep inviolate the strictest secrecy (what is commonly called "the secrecy of the Holy Office") in all things and with all persons, under pain of automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication, incurred ipso facto without need of any declaration other than the present one, and reserved to the Supreme Pontiff in person alone, excluding even the Apostolic Penitentiary.
  • … I do promise, vow and swear that I will maintain inviolate secrecy about each and every thing brought to my knowledge in the performance of my aforesaid function, excepting only what may happen to be lawfully published when this process is concluded and put into effect … and that I will never directly or indirectly, by gesture, word, writing or in any other way, and under any pretext, even that of a greater good or of a highly urgent and serious reason, do anything against this fidelity to secrecy, unless special permission or dispensation is expressly granted to me by the Supreme Pontiff.
  • It would be more correct to speak of ephebophilia; being a homosexual attraction to adolescent males ... Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."
    • Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Butt, Riazat (28 September 2009). "Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  • The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators.
    Due to a code of silence imposed on all members of the clergy under penalty of excommunication, cases of child sexual abuse have hardly ever been reported to the law enforcement authorities in the countries where such crimes occurred.

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