When a priest became bishop, a former student claimed the bishop had taken him out of class, into a private room and fondled him in a school years before.
The allegations were ignored by the church and law-enforcement. The bishop had friends in high places. The bishop’s abuse allegedly continued more years, with more victims and thousands of dollars in gifts to those friends in high places.
Some became victims due to trips, where young seminarians had the joy of accompanying the bishop on exotic travel.
In another case a parent found a church volunteer in a car on their property with their 15-year-old son, involved in sexual activity. It had been happening for two years.
In another case, a pastor was discovered to have been sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl he had tutored alone.
In Texas a church volunteer is pleading with parents of children aged 3-10, for forgiveness before his trial date for sexually abusing them. In religious obligation some of those parents will probably not press charges. If none do, how many more victims will there be?
A prominent evangelist recently pleaded guilty to 28 counts of sexual abuse on six victims. He met his victims through his ministry, then would take them around the US and countries abroad on nice trips.
Think About it
Consider how each of those recent cases could have been avoided. Do not allow alone time between a juvenile and any adult; not in a room, a vehicle or on a trip. That rule applies to everyone, from the pastor down to anyone participating in any function.
Few abuse cases have anything to do with a registered offender or known pedophile who gets into a church. Few could have been prevented by background checks. While we must continue them, background checks are not the only protection.
Every juvenile case could have been avoided by strictly followed adult / child interface policies.
Children should learn not to be mesmerized by any adult as they themselves become adults. Stay in touch with them after they go to college (even if it’s a seminary) to watch for dangerous patterns. Think of the senior clergyman who silenced a young woman raped by another priest, by explaining she had been “touched by God.”
Sexual abuse is pervasive, the result devastating. God help us stop as much of this as we can before it happens.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION POSTED AFTER RECEIVING QUESTIONS AT THE FBSN
Some have asked for applicable, standardized child protection teaching. The leader in this field is Ministry Safe (www.MinistrySafe.com).
Ministry Safe calls their program, the “5-points program.” Here are the 5 points;
- Awareness Training
- Skillful Screening Process
- Policies and Procedures
- Background Checks (not to be confused with “screening”)
- Monitoring and Oversight
By the way, anyone who becomes a member of the FBSN ($75.00 for security professionals or $30.00 for law-enforcement officers with arrest credentials) you get $100.00 of your first year membership in the Ministry Safe program.