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Pot Calling the Kettle Black


Listed below are a few of the quotes offered by WT about the terrible abuse problem in the Catholic Church. I missed the last quote from the June 2001 issue of Awake! I wonder now if they will give equal time to themselves?


*** w96 7/1 7 How Does God View Christendom's Worship? ***

No doubt, many priests live morally chaste lives, but a large number do not. According to the 1992 Britannica Book of the Year, “the Roman Catholic Church was reported to have paid out $300 million to settle cases of clergy sexual abuse.”

*** w90 2/1 25 Exposing "the Man of Lawlessness" ***

19 The worldliness of some clergy has even been exposed in the media in recent times, as for example the licentious and luxurious life-styles of some TV clergymen. One modern songwriter composed a song with the title: “Would Jesus Wear a [$10,000] Rolex [watch] on His Television Show?” The song goes on to say: “Would Jesus be political if He came back to earth, have His second home in [luxurious] Palm Springs and try to hide His worth?” In addition, more and more clergymen condone or practice homosexuality. Even now the Catholic Church in the United States is paying millions of dollars in damages to compensate for priests guilty of sexual abuse of children.—Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.

20 Such wrongdoing cannot be ignored by God’s servants but must be exposed for the benefit of others. The great crowd of other sheep must be protected from those who would try to lead them to break God’s laws. And those “sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done” need to be searched out and gathered to the protective guidance of the Great Shepherd, Jehovah God, and “the fine shepherd,” Christ Jesus.—Ezekiel 9:4; John 10:11; Proverbs 18:10.

*** w79 1/1 32 From Seminary to 'Pioneering' ***

From Seminary to ‘Pioneering’

“ I came from a very Catholic family and was sent to study for the priesthood. In the seminary we took certain oaths of chastity, poverty and humility but I noticed that these did not mean much and that many were homosexuals. When one man tried to abuse me, I left the seminary. Then I began to live a very dissolute life. I was in a Latin-American country and became a smuggler of drugs, liquor, tobacco and arms. I was in prison various times. Finally, in Puerto Rico I set up a business and tried to change my life, but due to drunkenness I went bankrupt. Finally, in a very decrepit state I called on God for help. I asked a Pentecostal man to help, but he just told me to come to his church and receive the holy spirit.

*** g98 10/8 28 Watching the World ***

Abuse by Clergy in Africa

“ Clergy sex abuse cases are beginning to surface in Africa ,” reports the magazine Catholic International. To prevent such abuse, some Catholic bishops are recommending more rigorous screening and training of potential seminarians. Other areas of clerical misconduct that concern the African bishops include “misuse of alcohol, and involvement in activities that are unbecoming or alien to the priestly state and vocation, such as business or trade, politics.” Why have these cases only recently come to light? “A freer press and a lessening of previous Church control over the mass media,” answers Catholic International, adding that “initial attempts by some Church authorities in parts of Africa to prevent unflattering news . . . have failed.”

*** g97 4/8 13-14 Sexual Exploitation of Children-A Worldwide Problem ***

Religion Involved

A delegate of the Roman Catholic Church at the Stockholm congress declared that exploitation of children is the “most heinous of crimes” and a “result of profound distortion and the breakdowns of values.” Yet, the Catholic Church has been severely affected by such practices among its own clergy.

In the August 16, 1993 , issue of Newsweek, an article entitled “Priests and Abuse” reported on “the worst clerical scandal in the modern history of the U.S. Catholic Church.” It stated: “While allegations have been lodged against an estimated 400 priests since 1982, some churchmen extrapolate that as many as 2,500 priests have molested children or teenagers. . . . More than money, the scandal has cost the church severe embarrassment—and some of its moral authority.” Other religions throughout the world are in the same situation.
Ray Wyre, a sex-crime consultant from the United Kingdom , told the Stockholm congress about two boys who had been sadistically abused by a priest. One of the boys is now running an agency for victims of child abuse by priests, and the other is himself an abuser.

*** g96 1/22 28 Watching the World ***

Shattered Trust

The tiny town of Chesterfield Inlet on the Hudson Bay in Canada ’s Northwest Territories has been rocked by charges of widespread abuse of schoolchildren. According to Maclean’s magazine, an independent report recently released by the government found incidents of sexual and physical abuse of native Inuit children over a 17-year period in the 1950’s and 1960’s at the Sir Joseph Bernier Federal Day School and at an adjacent residence run by the Catholic Church. The police completed a 21-month investigation into 236 allegations of abuse and decided not to lay charges—in some cases because the statute of limitations had expired; in others because the alleged perpetrators were elderly or even dead; in others because some former students could not identify the offenders with certainty. Noted Maclean’s: “Although the passage of time has clearly made punishing alleged offenders more difficult, it has not erased the pain of the victims.”

*** g94 1/8 28 Watching the World ***

Church Insurance Against Abuse Claims

“ The Australian Catholic Church has taken out a multimillion dollar insurance policy to protect itself against claims of sexual abuse by priests,” reports The Sunday Telegraph of Sydney, New South Wales. “We admit it goes on,” said a Catholic bishop in Melbourne , Australia . He asserts that such extensive insurance coverage is normal “for that kind of offence.” According to a support group for the victims, sexual abuse by the clergy is more widespread than the church admits. A spokesman for the group said he believes the church’s focus is more on protecting the clergy than helping the victims. He added that the message “at the very core of the church’s documents is, don’t tell the truth.”

*** g94 3/8 28 Watching the World ***

More Victims Sue Church

Victims of sexual abuse in Australian religious institutions run by Catholic “brothers” are banding together to take what The Canberra Times describes as one of the biggest class actions in Australian legal history. An application to allow more than 250 writs to be lodged for compensation was filed recently by an organization representing former child victims. The abuse is alleged to have occurred from the 1940’s right up until the 1980’s, and the main defendants cited in the writs include several Catholic archdioceses. One Marist brother has already been convicted of sexual assault. The lawyer representing the victim in this case said: “We’re facing the tip of the iceberg. There’s a deluge of actions likely to occur in the next few years. All religious institutions would need to be concerned.”

*** g94 9/8 29 Watching the World ***

Abuse by Clergy Exposed

One of Canada ’s largest sexual abuse investigations involving Catholic Christian Brothers has been finalized. “More than 700 victims have come forward from St. Joseph ’s” school in Alfred , Ontario , and St. John’s school in Uxbridge , Ontario , reports The Toronto Star. Complaints were lodged “against 30 men, including 29 members of the Brothers of the Christian Schools . Charges would have been laid against another 16 if they were still alive,” adds the Star. The victims still experience disturbing recollections of “childhood beatings and sexual attacks by the black-robed members of the Roman Catholic lay order into whose care they had been entrusted.” The Star says that without a public inquiry, Canadians may never learn why men who claim to serve God subject young boys to sexual abuse.

*** g93 4/8 31 Victims of Pedophile Priests Speak Out ***

Victims of Pedophile Priests Speak Out

“ DURING the past decade, some 400 Roman Catholic priests have been reported to church or civil authorities for sexual abuse of children,” according to U.S. News & World Report. Recently, a national gathering of survivors of such abuse was held near Chicago , Illinois . Many spoke openly of how they had been victimized by pedophile priests.

But NCR (National Catholic Reporter) notes that speakers sounded another theme repeatedly throughout the conference: “The first abuse is sexual; the second and more painful, is psychological.” This second abuse occurs when the church refuses to listen to victims of abuse, fails to take their accusations seriously, and moves only to protect the offending priests. “Fairly or unfairly,” NCR reports, “they portrayed Catholic clergy as belonging to an unhealthy and misguided group more bent on preserving privilege and power than in serving lay needs.” Several speakers made ominous comparisons to the Reformation, which split the church wide open in the 16th century.

According to Richard Sipe, a former priest turned psychotherapist and expert on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, all this institutional denial reveals “a deep, desperate and knowing personal involvement in the problem.” He added: “The church knows and has known for a long time a great deal about the sexual activity of its priests. It has looked the other way, tolerated, covered up and simply lied about the broad spectrum of sexual activity of its priests.”

Not surprisingly, then, many abuse survivors are suing the church. NCR quotes one attorney who specializes in such cases as saying that there are pedophile-priest cases in each of the church’s 188 dioceses in the United States . He says that out-of-court settlements have run as high as $300,000 per case. U.S. News & World Report says that such suits have already cost the church $400,000,000, a figure that could surge to $1 billion by the year 2000. And the Canadian Press reported recently that some 2,000 survivors of childhood sexual abuse in 22 church-run orphanages and mental institutions in Quebec are suing six religious orders for $1.4 billion in damages.
Interestingly, though, the aforementioned U.S. attorney, who represents 150 victims of pedophile priests in 23 states, says that he has never yet had a client who was eager to go to court. Each one first tried to seek justice “within the pastoral context of the church.” NCR concludes: “Survivors go to the courts, it appears, not as a first resort, but as a last resort.”

*** g93 10/8 5 How Can We Protect Our Children? ***

Tragically, adult society often unwittingly collaborates with child abusers. How so? By refusing to be aware of this danger, by fostering a hush-hush attitude about it, by believing oft-repeated myths. Ignorance, misinformation, and silence give safe haven to abusers, not their victims.

For example, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops concluded recently that it was a “general conspiracy of silence” that allowed gross child abuse to persist among the Catholic clergy for decades. Time magazine, in reporting on the widespread plague of incest, also cited a “conspiracy of silence” as a factor that “only helps perpetuate the tragedy” in families.

*** g93 11/8 29 Watching the World ***

Trouble in the Churches

“ The problem of sexual abuse in the church is not going to go away,” reports The Toronto Star. Sexual scandals among church leaders are widespread. They are not limited to television evangelists and the Catholic Church. Abuse also “happens in the Salvation Army, in the United Church , in the Presbyterian Church,” noted a Salvation Army officer. Anglican Primate Archbishop Michael Peers said that such abuse is a “deep-rooted and dark” problem in the church. According to the Star, Archbishop Peers admitted that in the past this church’s response to charges of sexual abuse “has been denial and control.” Timothy Bently from the Toronto Centre for the Family reportedly stated that if “the churches do not face up to what is essentially a spiritual crisis openly and honestly their authority to preach on sexual ethics will crumble.”

*** g92 5/8 26 What Should Be Done if a Minister Sins? ***

The Bible’s Viewpoint

What Should Be Done if a Minister Sins?

MISCONDUCT by religious leaders is catching the public eye today as never before. Protestants have been embarrassed by the scandalous conduct of TV ministers. After one televangelist was recently caught with a prostitute for the second time in three years, he informed his followers that God told him that his behavior was nobody’s business but his own.

Reporting on a 25-year study, Time magazine said: “A former Benedictine monk . . . estimates that half the 53,000 Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. are breaking their vow of celibacy.” Also, a 1990 news report about a number of Canadian priests convicted of sexually abusing children says: “Church leaders had either ignored, dismissed or responded ineffectively to complaints of sexual abuse, even though they had received such complaints from victims, parishioners, police, social workers and other priests.”

*** g92 5/8 26 What Should Be Done if a Minister Sins? ***

The Bible’s Viewpoint

What Should Be Done if a Minister Sins?

MISCONDUCT by religious leaders is catching the public eye today as never before. Protestants have been embarrassed by the scandalous conduct of TV ministers. After one televangelist was recently caught with a prostitute for the second time in three years, he informed his followers that God told him that his behavior was nobody’s business but his own.

Reporting on a 25-year study, Time magazine said: “A former Benedictine monk . . . estimates that half the 53,000 Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. are breaking their vow of celibacy.” Also, a 1990 news report about a number of Canadian priests convicted of sexually abusing children says: “Church leaders had either ignored, dismissed or responded ineffectively to complaints of sexual abuse, even though they had received such complaints from victims, parishioners, police, social workers and other priests.”

“ Until recently,” said Time, “erring priests were simply shuttled from parish to parish.” But now that lawsuits filed by victims of priestly misconduct have reached $300 million in the United States , priests are often given psychiatric therapy before returning to religious duty.
What should be done if a minister, a priest, or an elder sins? What guidance does the Bible provide on how to handle such sad misconduct? Let us examine two key Bible texts—Titus 1:7 and 1 Timothy 3:2.

*** g91 4/22 29 Watching the World ***


According to the National Catholic Reporter, the government of Newfoundland has promised to make financial restitution to the victims of childhood sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage. In 1975 the police first investigated charges that some of the “Christian Brothers” who operated the orphanage were physically and sexually abusing the boys there. The investigation was dropped, and no arrests were made after two of those accused agreed to leave Newfoundland and three others left the orphanage. In 1989, however, the investigation was reopened; eight “Christian Brothers” now stand accused of child abuse. (See Awake! of November 8, 1990, page 31.) Attorney General Paul Dicks declared that the government failed in its duty to protect the abused orphans and will make restitution where appropriate. He insisted, though, that the primary responsibility to make amends lies with the “Christian Brothers” and their employers.

*** g91 8/22 29 Watching the World ***

Shielding Pedophile Priests?

“ Some dioceses still shield priests accused of pedophilia,” ran a recent headline in the U.S. newspaper National Catholic Reporter. The newspaper interviewed Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer who specializes in cases of sexual abuse. He estimates that since 1985, when priestly pedophilia came under increased public scrutiny, there have been over a thousand cases in which priests molested children. Anderson had some harsh words for the church’s response to the ongoing crisis: “It is a continuing saga of avoiding responsibility,” he charges, decrying the church’s focus on protecting the accused clerics. “As a general rule, the institutional response of the church has been willfully inadequate both in tending to victims and dealing with risks.”

*** g91 10/22 28 Watching the World ***

The Price of Celibacy

Forcing priests to remain single “leads to paternity suits, to mistresses, to increased levels of homosexual activity among clergy and seminarians, to loneliness and in some cases to pedophilia.” That, according to the National Catholic Reporter, is the substance of a warning that Joe Sternak, a former Catholic priest of the Chicago archdiocese in the United States , issued on the subject of celibacy at a recent annual conference. Sternak, who is currently writing a book on pedophilia, charges that dioceses in over 20 states use church donations to pay for lawsuits and out-of-court settlements in cases of priestly sexual abuse of children.

*** g90 11/8 31 'Our Shame Is Clear to the Whole World' ***

‘ Our Shame Is Clear to the Whole World’

THE New York Times of July 20, 1990 , carried a headline: “Canadian Prelate Quits in Clerics’ Sex Scandal.” What was the story? Yet another case of clergymen being accused of sexual abuse of boys. On this occasion the scandal was in the province of Newfoundland , Canada , and the clergy were Catholic. What made it different?

The Times reported: “The Archbishop of Newfoundland has resigned after charges that the Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy ignored or failed to deal effectively with three years of scandal involving allegations of sexual abuse against altar boys, orphaned youths and others by Roman Catholic priests and church laymen.” First accused of gross indecency in 1979, one priest was recently sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to 36 charges!

Usually these cases are hushed up, and no significant disciplinary action is taken. Perhaps a priest is transferred to another parish or duty, where the depravity might start again. On this occasion the archbishop was moved to resign after stating: “We are a sinful church. We are naked. Our anger, our pain, our anguish, our shame are clear to the whole world.”—Compare Revelation 17:15-18.

A judicial inquiry showed that accusations had been made over a period of 15 years, but the police and government officials failed “to act decisively against the offenders.” And even worse, the church hierarchy failed to act decisively. They were accused of being more concerned about the offending priests than about the victims. Yet, what does the Catholic Bible say about such immoral practices? Regarding those who committed perversion, the New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition, states: “God delivered them up in their lusts to unclean practices; they engaged in the mutual degradation of their bodies, . . . and the men gave up natural intercourse with women and burned with lust for one another. Men did shameful things with men . . . They know God’s just decree that all who do such things deserve death; yet they not only do them but approve them in others.”—Romans 1:24-32.

What does the Catholic Bible say will happen to any such unrepentant ones? “Can you not realize that the unholy will not fall heir to the kingdom of God ? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, . . . no sexual perverts . . . will inherit God’s kingdom.” Yet, for such individuals there is a Bible-based discipline: disfellowshipping from the Christian congregation, even as Paul stated: “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral persons . . . , not associating with anyone who bears the title ‘brother’ if he is immoral . . . It is clear that you must not eat with such a man. . . . ‘Expel the wicked man from your midst.’”—1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 6:9, 10, NAB.

*** g90 12/8 31 "A Sexual Crisis" Among the Clergy ***

“ A Sexual Crisis” Among the Clergy

“ A SEXUAL crisis is tearing at the central nervous system of the Catholic Church,” stated Jason Berry, a Louisiana author who received a Catholic Press Association award for his coverage of pedophilia in the National Catholic Reporter. Regarding perverted sexual acts against children by the clergy, Berry went on to say in The Washington Post:

“ Since 1985, scores of pedophilia cases involving priests or brothers have been recorded throughout America and Canada . As a result, U.S. dioceses have borne steep losses in law suits, and insurance coverage for such actions has evaporated. These changes have arrived amid a number of reports that as many as 10 to 20 percent of U.S. priests may be homosexually active.”

The Providence Sunday Journal of Rhode Island states: “Bishops in 29 states . . . have faced claims of damages by victims of sex abuse by Catholic clergy, and the Church has paid at least $60 million so far in judgments and settlements.” In Louisiana a priest admitted to molesting 35 boys and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, although, the Journal says, it was clear that he “had assaulted at least 75 children over 10 years.” And a Rhode Island priest pleaded guilty to 26 counts of sex abuse involving young boys.

An investigation of Covenant House, a shelter for runaway youths in New York City , revealed that the priest in charge had engaged in sexual misconduct with a number of young men and boys. And the Roman Catholic archbishop of Atlanta resigned after it was acknowledged that he had carried on a two-year sexual relationship with an unmarried mother.

A conference of U.S. Catholic bishops received a report on the “catastrophe” of priest pedophile litigation. The 100-page report, states the Journal, “detailed a strategy for limiting the Church’s liability from civil lawsuits to $1 billion [$1,000 million] based on the 30 suits then pending.” The lawsuits are being brought by the Catholic parents of the children involved. And psychiatrists who treat the young victims of these crimes report long-term, often permanent, damage.

God’s Word speaks of such “disgraceful sexual appetites” by which males are “inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene,” and adds that the “righteous decree of God” is that “those practicing such things are deserving of death.”—Romans 1:26, 27, 32; see also 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.

*** g89 1/22 9-11 Christendom Walks in the Way of Canaan ***

The Roman Catholic Church

The Catholic Church is blunt in its disapproval of homosexuality, branding it a gross sin. But in practice the church conducts a cover-up for guilty priests and even makes it possible for them to continue their sexual perversions. Certainly, Pope John Paul II had warm words for homosexuals when he declared: “They are in the heart of the church.”

An independent Catholic newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter, of February 27, 1987 , said that homosexual clergy estimated that 50 percent of the U.S. Catholic priesthood is homosexual. This figure is contested. One psychologist, basing his statement on 1,500 interviews, says that 20 percent of the 57,000 U.S. Catholic priests are homosexual, whereas more recent reports make “other therapists think the true figure today may be closer to 40 percent.”

Just over a year ago, newspapers across the country were flooded with reports of sexual assaults on children by Catholic priests. The following report from the San Jose , California , Mercury News, December 30, 1987 , is typical:

“ At a time of heightened national awareness of the problems of child abuse, the Catholic Church in the United States continues to ignore and cover up cases of priests who sexually molest children, according to court records, internal church documents, civil authorities and the victims themselves.

“ Church officials insist that a notorious 1985 Louisiana case in which a priest molested at least 35 boys has taught them to deal firmly with the problem. But a three-month Mercury News investigation reveals that in more than 25 dioceses across the country, church officials have failed to notify authorities, transferred molesting priests to other parishes, ignored parental complaints and disregarded the potential damage to child victims. . . . Millions of dollars in damages already have been paid to victims and their families, and one 1986 church report estimated that the church’s liability could reach $1 billion over the next decade.”

The “notorious 1985 Louisiana case” mentioned in the Mercury News report concerned a priest named Gilbert Gauthe. There has been a “payment of $12 million to his victims.” The homosexual activities of Gauthe were known for many years, but ‘the diocese handled the problem by transferring him from parish to parish at least three times.’ In one instance “parents testified that Gauthe sodomized their 7-year-old son on his first day as an altar boy and for a year afterward, until the priest was transferred.”

The “damage to child victims” was also mentioned in that report. Sometimes the damage is final. One 12-year-old boy took his life, leaving a note saying that “it wasn’t worth living” after having been “made a virtual sex slave of a Franciscan brother.” Another, molested by a priest, hanged himself after telling his brother, “Contact Father S.— and tell him I forgive him.”

Most sexual assault cases involve boys, but many girls are also victimized. As reported by the Cleveland Plain Dealer of December 19, 1987 , a 16-year-old girl and her parents filed a civil suit in 1986 against seven priests for sexual molestation. She had become pregnant, and the priests urged her to get an abortion. When she refused, they arranged to send her to the Philippines to cover up her pregnancy. The church is against homosexuality and abortion but apparently not when it involves their own priests.

The newspaper reports go on and on listing many specific cases of Catholic youths sodomized by Catholic priests, of millions of dollars being paid out to settle lawsuits, of many settlements made out of court, and of insurance companies that “will no longer cover diocesan personnel against molestation charges.”

Thomas Fox, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, says: “There has been a national cover-up of the problem for years by the bishops.” Eugene Kennedy, a former priest and now psychology professor at Loyola University , says: “What you see in the courts is just the tip of the iceberg.” Thomas Doyle, Dominican priest and canon lawyer, declares: “The sexual molesting of little boys by priests is the single most serious problem we’ve had to face in centuries.”

*** g89 11/8 28 Watching the World ***


“ For years, Roman Catholic priests and other church workers in Newfoundland parishes had repeatedly abused dozens of children, most of them young boys, many of them orphans in the care of their attackers,” reports Canada’s news magazine Maclean’s. “Nor is the scandal limited to Newfoundland : at least six more cases of sexual abuse of children by Catholic churchmen have turned up elsewhere in Canada , and more than 20 in the United States .” With reports of sexual abuse mounting each month—a total of 17 priests and others affiliated with the church have already been charged—faith and trust of many Catholics in their priests have been shaken . Most disturbing is the accusation that sexual abuse in the church not only has been long-standing but has usually been covered up and the offending priest simply moved to another parish where new offenses were sometimes committed. Parents have reacted by refusing to allow their sons to become altar boys or even to permit their children to enter a confessional. “The Roman collar, once worn with pride, has become a source of embarrassment and suspicion,” says Paul Stapleton, vice-chairman of the St. John’s Catholic school board. “The recent events put all priests under a cloud of spoken or silent suspicion. The message seems to be: You cannot trust anyone but yourself and God.”

*** g81 10/8 28 From Our Readers ***


I’m an agnostic who was forced into a premature disability retirement because my employer would curtail employee smoking only to protect the machines, such as computers. I surely appreciate the articles you’ve written on smoking. I was raised as a Catholic and have a strong sense of reverence for life. It has long been my belief that smoking wouldn’t be our nation’s number one health problem if more clergymen and their congregations were to practice what they preach about love for their fellow man. The Catholic Church is against abortion, suicide, child abuse and self-abuse, except when caused by smoking. Thanks. I know you’ll keep up the good work.

*** g79 6/8 30 Watching the World ***

Fraud by Church-run Child Charities

Are church-run child-care agencies free of the greed and abuse that often characterize secular agencies? New York magazine answers that “audits, investigations, and analyses of [all] agencies’ reimbursement records on file with the [New York] Department of Social Services, Special Services for Children, show a system of pervasive mismanagement and greed.” The audits included agencies “associated with such prominent groups as Catholic Charities, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.” New York notes that “some of the worst child-care agencies have gone unaudited for seven or eight years.” Why? “Because of the political power of the religious agencies involved,” says the article.

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