Boys of the Cloth
A Unique Perspective on Sexual Abuse by Priests
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Painted tile in chapel at Upholland College







On the wall of a chapel at Upholland College, a painted tile depicting a priest dispensing communion.

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Image © Michael Kenna, reproduced with permission




Abraham, Yvonne, 94

abuse by priests

  • Church’s first corrective actions, 101
  • Church’s handling of, viii, 15, 68–77, 94
  • delay between ordination and first offence, 69, 77, 102, 105, 108
  • delay in reporting by victims, 15, 93, 97
  • predisposing experiences in seminaries, 68–77
  • prevention in future, viii, 115

abuse epidemic

  • accidental role of Church reforms, 112
  • as “period effect”, 94
  • decline
    • as explained by Causes & Context report, 101–2
    • author’s explanation, 103–4
  • faster growth before 1965 than after it, 96
  • ironies in origin and decline, 112
  • lessons to be learned from author’s account, 112–15
  • origins
    • as explained by Causes & Context report, 95–97
    • author’s explanation, 108
  • role of permissive society, viii, 90, 94, 95–97
  • role of post-war economic boom, 102, 108
  • role of seminaries, vii–viii, 68–77, 89, 90–93, 94, 108
  • role of Vatican II reforms, 91, 93, 103, 108, 111
  • timing
    • as explained by Causes & Context report, 93–98, 101–2
    • author’s explanation, 102–9
    • correlation with seminary population, 105–7
    • earlier explanations of, 90–93
    • puzzle over, vii, 89–90

abuse, experience of, as cause of abusive behavior, 64

abusers, as percentage of…

  • clerical population, 15, 68
  • general population, 69

abusive behavior

  • Finkelhor model, 62–68
  • research challenges, 61–62
alcohol, as factor in abusive behavior, 67

ambition

  • author’s parents’, 4
  • role in author’s ‘vocation’, 6

American Psychiatric Association, 100

appendicitis, author’s feigned, 54–57

Archdiocese of Liverpool. See Liverpool, Archdiocese of

Armstrong, Neil, 87

arrested development, as cause of abusive behavior, 65, 66

author’s

  • academic performance, impact on others, 31
  • adjustment to seminary life, 29, 34, 52, 53, 55, 57
  • confrontation with mother on leaving Upholland, 87
  • entry into Upholland, 9
  • failed first attempt to leave Upholland, 81
  • family background, 1–5
  • feigned appendicitis, 54–57, 70
  • final exit from Upholland, 82–87
  • interview for seminary, 5
  • motivation to pursue priesthood, 6–9
    • erosion of, 57, 80, 82, 85
  • near-molestation by older student, 60
  • need for mother’s attention, 6–9
  • ploys for attention, 8, 29, 34, 53
  • puberty-induced struggles, 54, 57, 80
  • religious obligations during vacations, 33, 40
  • surprise at birth of sister, 79

Beatles, the, 36, 40, 53, 58

Benedict XVI, Pope, 114

BishopAccountability.org, 110

bishops, response to abuse complaints, viii, 15

Bleichner, Fr. Howard, 49, 50, 91, 92, 93, 104, See also View from the Altar

blockage, as factor in abuse, 66–67

Boston Globe

  • campaign to uncover abuse by priests, 14–15
  • reaction to Causes & Context report, 94

Boston Phoenix, 13

Boston, 2002 abuse scandal in, 13–15

Boxing Day, 20, 32, 33, 36, 80


canon law, 2010 update, 114

CARA, 105, 110, 111

Causes and Context report, viii, 93–102

  • and “situational” abuse, 94, 98
  • and behavior of different ordination cohorts, 97–98
  • and decline of abuse epidemic, 101–2
  • and definition of ‘pedophile’ applied to priests, 98–100
  • and origins of abuse epidemic, 95–97
  • and permissive society, 94
  • author’s issues with, 95–102
  • classification of abuse epidemic as “period effect”, 94
  • media and public reaction to, 94

celibacy

  • abolition of requirement, 91, 115
  • and abuse by priests, 94, 103, 108, 114
  • challenge of, 57, 72, 76, 80, 85, 88
  • failure of priests to adhere to, 76
  • preparation for, 16, 17, 91
  • timing of vow, 25

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. See CARA

chapel, main, 11, 20, 21, 25, 32, 39, 58

Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, 15, 113

Cheetham, Fr. Thomas, 24, 27, 28, 34, 53, 86, 87

child sexual abuse. See abuse, abusive behavior, etc.

Christmas, 20, 30, 32, 33, 47, 53, 73, 80, 83, 85

Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, 114

Cornwell, John, 48, 50

Cotton College, 48

Council of Trent, 43

  • decree on seminaries, 43

Cozzens, Fr. Donald, 72

Cuban missile crisis, 28

Cum Adolescentium Aetas, 43, 45, 46


Dean, Monsignor Joseph, 47

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, on pedophilia, 100

disinhibition, as factor in abuse, 67–68

Doyle, Fr. Thomas, 101

Doyle-Mouton-Peterson report, 101

DSM. See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual


emotional congruence, as factor in abuse, 65–66

emotional trauma in adolescence

  • as factor in abusive behavior, 66
  • in minor seminaries, 70
emotional under-development of priests, 70–72

ephebophile, definition of, 64

  • in Causes & Context report, 99

exodus of priests to marry, 75, 104


father's personal history, 3–4

Finkelhor, Dr. David

  • model for abusive behavior, 62–68
  • on post-war economic boom and abuse epidemic, 103

fixated abusers, 65–66, 100

four-factor model of abuse, 62–68

  • as it applies to priests, 68–77

Gauthé, Fr. Gilbert, case of, 90, 97, 101

gay subculture in seminaries, 17, 92, 108

Geoghan, Fr. John, 13

Goldstein, Laurie, 16

Goodbye, Good Men, 92

grandmother, 2, 37

Great Depression, 2, 102, 113

Greeley, Dr./Fr. Andrew, 71, 76, 117


Hands, D.R., 72

hardship gap expected by new priests, 102, 108

hebephilic, definition of, 64, 100

Hedin, Raymond, 49, 50, 70, 73

Heenan, Archbishop, 27, 39, 85

  • author’s interview with, 6, 9, 16
  • conducting ordinations, 25, 37

Hendrickson, Paul, 49, 50

High Figures, 53

Higher Line, 20, 21, 23, 30, 58, 59, 78, 83, 86

  • differences from Lower Line, 57

Holy Week, 35–36

homosexuality

  • and abuse by priests, 75, 114
  • in seminaries, 17, 60, 92, 108

Hughes, Monisgnor Philip, 50

Humanae vitae, impact on abuse epidemic, 91, 92, 93, 104, 108, 111 


indulgences, 41

isolation, of seminaries, 26, 29, 49

  • adverse impact on future priests, 70, 102, 108, 112, 113

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, x, 15, 63, 93, 94, 96, 105, See also Nature and Scope report, Causes & Context report

John Paul II, Pope, 114

John XXIII, Pope, 37, 113

Julius II, Pope, 41 


Kennedy, Eugene, psychological study of priests, 70–72

Kennedy, President John F., assassination of, 52


Law, Cardinal Bernard, 14–15

Liverpool

  • Archdiocese of, 1, 5, 37, 47, 78, 111
  • as author’s home city, 1–5, 37
  • city of, vii, 13, 22, 36, 39, 40, 47, 82, 83, 87
  • Football Club, 9, 24, 26, 53
  • Metropolitan Cathedral, 81
  • seminary history, 11, 46

Lombardi, Kristen, 13

loneliness

  • as factor in abusive behavior, 68
  • experienced by seminarians, 70

Low Figures, 53

Lower Line, 11, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 35, 53, 58

Luther, Martin, 41–43


magnum silentium, 20, 30, 58, 59, 86

Married to the Church, 49, 70, 73

Mayne house, 24, 27, 28, 39, 53

McBrien, Rev. Richard P., 15

Menti nostrae, 50

Midnight Mass, 32

minor seminaries. See seminaries, minor

molestation, of author, attempt by older student, 60

Moon landing, first, 87

mother

  • and author’s ‘vocation’, 1, 8, 16
  • and YCW, 2
  • author’s need for attention from, 6–9
  • personal history, 2–3
  • unstable personality of, 7

Mouton, F. Ray, 101


narcissism, as cause of abusive behavior, 67

National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 101

National Opinion Research Center. See NORC

National Review Board

  • establishment, 15
  • report on abuse crisis. See NRB report
Nature and Scope report, 63, 64, 96, 104
  • on delay before abusive priest’s first offence, 69, 77
  • on percentage of abuse victims who were male, 17, 75, 92
  • on percentage of priests accused of abuse, 68, 71, 76
  • on seminary training of abusive priests, 109, 111
  • publication of, 15, 89, 91

NORC, 71, 75, 76, 110

NRB report, vii, 93

  • and its concerns about...
    • impact of Vatican II reforms, 17, 49, 90
    • minor seminaries, 17, 70, 109
    • poor preparation of priests for celibacy, 15, 90, 94
    • poor screening by seminaries during enrolment boom, 15, 90, 105
    • various other issues affecting priestly formation, 17, 90
  • on decline in abuse epidemic, 101

Optatam Totius, 78

ordination ceremony, 25, 37, 81


pantomime, Christmas, 30, 31, 32

Paul VI, Pope, 17, 39, 112

pedophile

  • as defined in Causes & Context report, 98–100
  • current definition of, 64
  • imminent new definition of, 100

permissive society, role in abuse epidemic, viii, 94, 95–97

Peterson, Fr. Michael, 101

Peterson-Mouton-Doyle report, 101

Pius XII, Pope, 50, 78, 109

Plante, Dr. Thomas, 69

Podles, Leon, 92

Pope Benedict XVI, 114

Pope John Paul II, 114

Pope John XXIII, 37, 113

Pope Julius II, 41

Pope Paul VI, 17, 112

Pope Pius XII, 50, 78, 109

post-war economic boom, 102, 108

Prefect, 19, 23, 26, 30, 34


regressed abusers, 65–66, 100

retreat, 25, 35, 53

Reunion Day, 38

Rose, Michael S., 92

Rowan, Dr. Edward, 63


Sacrilege, Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, 92

Second Vatican Council

  • closing of, 78, 96
  • continuation, 52
  • decree on priestly formation, 78
  • opening of, 17, 28
  • Pope John XIII’s vision, 113
  • reforms
    • impact on seminary life, 77, 78, 103
    • role in abuse epidemic, 17, 49, 91, 93, 112
    • role in decline of abuse, 108, 111, 112

Second World War, 3, 102, 113

self-talk

  • as factor in abusive behavior, 67
  • development of habit by future priests, 73

seminaries

  • as inducers of narcissism, 73, 75
  • collapse of discipline after Vatican II, 91
  • enrolment
    • boom until mid 1960s, 50, 102, 105
    • correlation with timing of abuse epidemic, 105–7
    • decline from late 1960s on, 103
  • homosexuality in, 17, 92, 108
  • inadequate screening of candidates by, 16, 94, 102
  • isolation, 26, 29, 49, 70
    • adverse impact on future priests, 70, 102, 108, 112, 113
  • major, and path to abusive behavior, 75
  • minor
    • and path to abusive behavior, 69–74
    • emotional trauma in, 70
    • NRB concerns about, 17, 70
    • role in abuse epidemic, 94, 112, 109–12
  • reform after Vatican II, 78, 83, 103
  • role in predisposing priests to abuse, vii–viii, 15, 68–77
  • Tridentine ideal
    • as factor in abuse epidemic, 108, 111
    • struggle to achieve, 46–50

seminary system

  • differences between US and England, 48
  • four centuries of. Chapter 4
  • history in England, 44–48
  • history in US, 45–46
  • origins at Council of Trent, 43
  • praise for, 43, 50

sexual abuse. See abuse

sexual arousal, misdirected, as factor in abuse, 64–65

shame cycles, as factor in abuse, 72

Shaw, Fr., 19, 20, 38

Sipe, Dr. Richard, 76, 77, 114

  • study of celibacy by, 76

situational abuse, as cited by Causes & Context report, 94, 98

Sperry, Dr. Len, 76

Sports Day, 38

St. Edward’s College

  • as minor seminary, 11
  • author’s wish to transfer to, 81

St. Margaret Mary’s, 21, 31, 40

St. Peter’s Basilica, 41

stress, as factor in abusive behavior, 68

Swinging Sixties. See permissive society


Terry, Dr. Karen, x, 63

Trent, Council of, 43

Tridentine seminaries. See seminaries, Tridentine ideal 


UCL. See University College London

Underlow, 19, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31, 59

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See USCCB

University College London, 84, 85

Upholland College, 1

  • “off-day” routine, 28
  • academic curriculum, 27
  • buildings, description of, 10–12
  • decision to encourage secular degrees, 82
  • differences, Higher vs. Lower Line, 58
  • history, 11, 48
  • house system
    • Higher Line, 58
    • Lower Line, 24
  • impact of Vatican II reforms, 78, 83
  • isolation
    • before Vatican II, 26, 29
    • reduced, after Vatican II, 83, 85
  • percentage of priests who began in minor seminary, 111
  • rules, 19–20
  • spiritual training, 30
  • Sunday routine, 20–23
  • weekday routine, 23–24

Upper House, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 58

USCCB

  • Causes & Context report, 93
  • response to 2002 abuse scandals, 15, 113 

Vatican II. See Second Vatican Council

Vatican response to abuse crisis, 114

View from the Altar, 92, 104

  • on abuse epidemic, 91–92
  • on isolation of seminaries, 49

vocation, reasons for author’s apparent, 6–9


Young Christian Students (YCS), 83, 85

Young Christian Workers (YCW), 2, 3


Copyright © 2012 by Hamilton Books