Recently, I’ve entertained discussion on allowing sex offenders in public forums, in public access to children, etc… To those who say most do not repeat, I still have to question your statistics:
Unsettled ChristianityOne blog to rule them all, One blog to find them, One blog to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Does failing to buckle a child equate to hiding child molestation?
In the closing years of the last decade of the last century of the last millennium, when the news of these types of allegations started to break, I was starting to attend orientation at my first university in Hammond, Louisiana. I met a cab driver who was a Catholic (I was a Catholic hater at the time) and we began to speak about the sexual abuse claims. It distressed him a great deal over these allegations, and proofs. He was a big fellow, tough, but teared up thinking about what these foul priest had done to his beloved church.
These allegations are still breaking, and I suspect will continue to break for the rest of the previous generation. I have my suspicions on why it seems Rome attracts these types of people – nothing conspiratorial or heinous.
A Catholic priest has been suspended in Lexington while authorities investigate claims of sexual abuse.
A spokesman for the Lexington Diocese said the Rev. Joseph N. Muench (MINCH’) was barred from performing any ministerial duties after an internal investigation and that the diocese findings were forwarded to Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland.
The diocese said the allegations date to the mid-1980s when Muench was an associate pastor of Good Shepherd parish in Frankfort.
This is a deep and serious crime – and while I am not in favor of the death penalty, there are times I might make an exception – but what bothers me the most about all of this are the cover-ups. It is a tragedy when the young are raped of their innocense by anyone, and graver still those in authority, religious or otherwise; however, it is more heinous yet when you see that those in authority choose not to tell legal authorities. The moment you find out that these crimes are being committed you are guilty of at least two things:
- You are guilty of breaking the law of reporting these crimes
- You are guilty, from the moment you choose not inform the Law, of every act that the pedophile commits.
Harsh, I imagine, but not so harsh as what has happened to others in the absense of your ability to do what is required by the Law and God.
I am not Catholic, and have no say in their polity, but if they find out about these cover-ups, then those who covered it, or choose not to tell for what ever imagined reason, should resign.
Over the past few years, we have seen the Roman Catholic Church suffer great condemnation because her priests have not only abused young men, and at times young women, but that others priests covered-it up. Molestation is a heinous crime, but the cover-up is infinitely more serious.
In the United States, in the individual states, laws have been enacted to order certain people – and in some states, all people – to report instances of abuse of any variety.
A few years ago, I was given information about severe abuse on two precious little girls. As a minister, then, I was bound by law to report what I knew. In no time, we were in court, on the witness stand, staring down months of threats and harassment, torment and near torture, but I told the truth and I did my duty. The harassment didn’t stop – Child Services were called on my family – but I was proud to do my duty then, because in the end, the little bit that I knew, was only the small tip of a very large iceberg.
That’s the way with child abuse, of any kind – it’s not just a slap here, but something more serious. It’s not just inappropriate touching of one child, but more often than not, it involves other children. What you see, believe it or not, is generally only a small portion of what is going on. That is why it is important for those required by law – which is supported by Scripture – to do their duty.
If I had not reported what I knew, I believe that I would have been just as guilt as those parents who abused those two precious little girls.
Tennessee for instance, requires
Any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition which is of a nature as to reasonably indicate that it has been caused by brutality, abuse, or neglect; also includes sexual abuse (37-1-401, et seq.)
Be reported by,
Physician, chiropractor, hospital personnel, any other health or mental health professional, spiritual healing practitioner, school teacher/personnel, judge, social worker, day care center worker, foster care worker, law enforcement officer, neighbor, relative, friend, or any other person
Having knowledge or being called on to render aid to any child suffering from or sustaining a wound or injury which is of such a nature as to reasonably indicate or which on the basis of available information appears to indicate have been caused by brutality, abuse or neglect
And if you fail to report?
Class A misdemeanor – Possible Jail Sentence of 11 months and 29 days, with a maximum fine of $2,500
Most states have a mandatory reporting requirement for clergy; frankly, I believe that all states should be like Tennessee. In studying the laws in my home state, I found that child abuse laws actually grew from the laws afforded to animals.
As members of the ministry, you not only take upon yourselfs the solomn duty of God, but you must respect the laws of Caesar as well.
You can find more here:
This is a shame, but so many of us warned of the fruits of Lakeland. This is the home church of Stephen Strader who brought in Todd Bentley.
After his arrest, Osgood admitted to the crimes, the report said.
Mark Osgood, 19, is charged with lewd battery and lewd molestation, second-degree felonies.
According to the report, Osgood met the girl at church and had two sexual encounters with her in February in a church unisex bathroom.
Let us pray for that little girl and her family, and for those that will continue to be hurt by the madness that was Lakeland.