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Southern Religion

Clerical sexual offenders are different (perhaps not in the ways you think).

They are more likely to use force and may be apprehended later in their predatory careers, or not at all.

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July 27, 2012 Posted by | children, Religion | , , , | Comments Off on Clerical sexual offenders are different (perhaps not in the ways you think).

Why not pool Southern Baptist funds to better protect children?

That controversial Southern Baptist Pastors Conference is getting “$141,549.00 from the Southern Baptist Convention’s operating budget” – funds provided by the “autonomous Southern Baptist churches,” as Christa puts it. At the Stop Baptist Predators blog she goes on to say:

Why do Southern Baptist officials insist that the local churches are so absolutely autonomous that no cooperative effort can be made for the better protection of church kids against predatory pastors, and yet Southern Baptist officials have no problem at all with the local churches making a cooperative effort for the promotion of bigwig pastors at a national conference?

How many well-informed Southern Baptists, who read outside the family of Southern Baptist publications, also wonder? The abuse, after all, continues apace.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | SBC | , , | Comments Off on Why not pool Southern Baptist funds to better protect children?

About John Allen’s advice …

Mark Silk asks ifThis is journalism?”

No, we don’t think it is.

Justice does not mean letting any of the abusers go unpunished and journalism does not mean leaving any of the abuse unchronicled.

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Catholic, children, Crime | , , | Comments Off on About John Allen’s advice …

Southern Baptist pastor told member to “keep his mouth shut”

Failing to report child abuse is a crime for which there is no justifiable church exemption. And as Christa Brown brought to our attention, the consequences of failure to report fell on the heads of a New Hampshire Southern Baptist pastor and two elders last week.

She wrote:

In New Hampshire, [at Valley Christian Church] Southern Baptist pastor Timothy Dillmuth and two church elders, Richard Eland and Robert Gagnon, were found guilty of failing to report child sex abuse. … According to the judge’s written ruling, pastor Dillmuth “had met with the parents of a child who had been molested by a member of the church, which he later confirmed after talking to the child.

“The information was shared with other members of the board of elders in September 2009,” and was discussed at some meetings of the church board.

A month later, when another member of the church urged the child’s parents to report the matter to authorities, pastor Dillmuth talked to the concerned church member and told him to “keep his mouth shut.”

They sought a religious exception to the law, the Union leader reported:

The three men, [District Court of Northern Carroll County Judge Pamela Albee] wrote, sought to have immunity from criminal liability in failing to report the case of suspected child abuse, “arguing that they acted in good faith in persuading the parents and the perpetrator to make report of abuse.” The men were arrested in early February by Conway police and charged that they had reason to suspect a girl had been sexually abused but did not report it as required by state law.

Suppression of the sort they sought punishes the victim, is shameful and deserves legal action.

November 30, 2010 Posted by | children, Crime, SBC | , | 1 Comment

How much do Southern Baptists budget for dealing with clerical sex abuse?

There is no reason to believe Southern Baptist clergy or protestant clergy in general are less sexually abusive than Catholic priests. So you might expect the big protestant denominations so budget substantial amounts of money to controlling the problem.

Yet when Christa Brown looked “at the 2011 proposed budget for the largest statewide Baptist organization in the country” — the Baptist General Convention of Texas — she found just $3,504 allocated to “clergy sexual misconduct.”

November 17, 2010 Posted by | children, Churches, SBC | , , | 2 Comments

It’s what you do, not what you say

Christ Brown responds with understandable anger to Southern Baptist pastor Sam Underwood’s preachment about his visit to Dachau.

She argues clearly that in her youthful experience as a victim of clerical sexual abuse by a youth and education minister at the church where Underwood currently pastors, his actions belie his words.

Read her account here.

September 8, 2010 Posted by | children, Crime, SBC, Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on It’s what you do, not what you say

‘Stop Baptist Predators’ isn’t in the track-covering business

It isn’t just conspiratorial Catholic bishops who try to hide their predators.

Christa blogs about Baptist organizations and leaders who have tried to persuade her to help suppress cautionary information about the past predatory behavior of a current employee.

Jim is the director of a poverty relief Christian ministry in Tennessee. One of his staff members is an ordained Baptist minister who, in 2006, was charged by Georgia authorities on 16 counts of child pornography, 2 counts of child molestation, and 2 counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes. News about the minister was reported in a newspaper article, which is posted on the StopBaptistPredators website.

A few days ago, Jim wrote to me. He wants me to delete the article off the website.

Someone else wrote her “last week” asking that “articles on convicted Baptist minister Kevin Ogle, also from Georgia,” be deleted from the site.

The answer in both cases (the right answer) was “no” because:

A published news article might be one of the few possibilities by which people could find out about this minister’s prior history.

Checking prior history of current and prospective employees, and denying those with a history of predation positions which give them access to children (potential victims) is a fundamental obligation of all who provide services to children.

Hiding histories of employee predation is the opposite of that.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | children, Churches, Crime, SBC | | Comments Off on ‘Stop Baptist Predators’ isn’t in the track-covering business

The Guardian gets Williams, even if the Catholic hierarchy doesn’t

Skipping the polling data we reviewed the Guardian in an editorial agrees with us [our bold face]:

This morning the BBC will broadcast [Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams] recorded remarks on the Irish Catholic crisis, in which he says, quite in passing, that the church there has “lost all credibility”. This perception is so widely shared, and so close to the truth, that to say it out loud has provoked an enormous row. After the interview was made public, Williams produced an uncharacteristically political apology – which is to say that he regrets the offence he has caused, but not the offending remark; the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, could be heard on Radio 4 yesterday biting back the word “insult” when he was asked about it.

The Lead tipped us off about how understandable William’s remark was. As the Guardian observed:

No one can blame Williams for pointing this out, nor indeed for getting his own back for years of patronising comments and aggressive behaviour from the Roman church. The official Vatican observer at the last Lambeth conference appeared to say that the Anglican communion was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Pope Benedict has personally encouraged the schism in the Anglican churches over homosexuality and most recently announced, to the consternation of even his own church here, a scheme to allow the Anglican opponents of women priests to convert in groups.

Both the conflict, and absent clear-eyed Catholic confrontation with the real circumstances, the decline to which Williams correctly alluded will almost inevitably continue.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, children, Religion | , , | Comments Off on The Guardian gets Williams, even if the Catholic hierarchy doesn’t

Not a word about the children in Pope Benedict XVI’s Easter Message

What of the children? No mention. Silence to the “petty gossip.” Seek to still truthful critics. The reputation of the church (and of the Pope) comes first. Always.

Reuters terse, “Factbox” roundup is for those not comfortable studiously looking the other way.

The full, English text of the Pope’s message.

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, children, Pope Benedict XVI | , , , , | Comments Off on Not a word about the children in Pope Benedict XVI’s Easter Message

Archbishop of Canterbury hits an Irish Catholic nerve

In answer to a BBC interviewer, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told the blistering truth about the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland:

And an institution so deeply bound into the life of a society, suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility – that’s not just a problem for the Church, it is a problem for everybody in Ireland.

Without retracting, Williams responded today to the avowedly “stunned” Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, by saying he meant no offense and regretted any difficulties his remarks had caused.

Indeed, how could he retract? He was talking about a country where a recent poll by the Irish Independent found: “Just over half believe that Pope Benedict, who faces allegations of covering up sex abuse in the US and in Germany, should resign.”

That poll is part of the evidence that both the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church are losing public esteem hand over fist, worldwide. For example, a similar poll in Austria found that 57% believe the pope should resign. While:

More than 53,000 people left the Catholic Church in Austria in 2009, and local figures for the first three months of this year hint that last year’s record number could be exceeded.

Likewise, a Stern Magazine poll found that only 24 percent of Germans still trust the Pope, whereas six weeks ago 38 percent said they did. And “19 percent of Germany’s estimated 25 million Catholics were thinking about leaving the Church in response to the sexual abuse scandal.”

A CBS poll found that in the U.S., 24 percent of Americans view Pope Benedict XVI negatively — a startling change from 4% in 2006. While his favorable rating among Catholics plummeted from 40% to 27%.

Stinging fellow clerics who in passing state the obvious will not reverse the decline, and because sharp protests of the undeniable are not likely to be well-received, may accelerate it.

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Catholic | , , | 1 Comment