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"Vast fraud"

The clergy sex abuse scandal has been a blight on the Catholic church for too long now and has stained the cause of Christ in immeasurable ways.  The hurt and pain is grievous and cannot in any way be minimized.  Care and focused attention must be the modus operandi in moving forward and in attempting to ensure that the guilty are punished and the victim given his or her due recompense while acknowledging that any remuneration or restitution will never make up for the real loss experienced at the hands of the abuser.  Justice must be sought and served swiftly.

And yet, justice cannot turn a blind eye to those within society who will use this scandal to substantiate their hatred for the Church.  Dave Pierre from TheMediaReport is reporting from LA on that which needs to get wider play:

In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.

Counselor Steier has played a role in over one hundred investigations involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles. In his missive Mr. Steier relayed, "One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse" (capital letters are his).

Mr. Steier also added, "In several cases my investigation has provided objective information that could not be reconciled with the truthfulness of the subjective allegations. In other words, in many cases objective facts showed that accusations were false."

Mr. Steier's declaration is a stunner. He is as experienced as anyone in studying the claims of abuse against Catholic clergy in the Los Angeles area. Also among Steier's eye-opening statements:

  • "I have had accused priest clients take polygraph examinations performed by very experienced former law enforcement experts, including from L.A.P.D., the Sheriff Department, and F.B.I. In many cases the examinations showed my clients' denial of wrongdoing was 'truthful,' and in those cases I offered in writing to the accuser to undergo a similar polygraph examination at my expense. In every case the accuser refused to have his veracity tested by that investigative tool, which is routinely used by intelligence agencies."
  • "I am aware of several plaintiffs who testified that they realized that they had been abused only after learning that some other person - sometimes a relative - had received a financial settlement from the Archdiocese or another Catholic institution."
  • "In my investigation of many cases, I have seen the stories of some accusers change significantly over time, sometimes altering years, locations, and what activity was alleged - in every case, the changes seemed to have enabled or enhanced claims against my clients, or drastically increased alleged damages."
  • "I am aware that false memories can also be planted or created by various psychological processes, including by therapists who might be characterized as 'sexual victim advocates,' if not outright charlatans."
  • "Most of the approximately seven hundred psychiatric 'Certificates of Merit' filed in these Clergy Cases, as required by [California] Code of Civil Procedure § 340.1, were signed by the same therapist." (!) (Note: A "Certificate of Merit" from "a licensed mental health practitioner" is required in California before filing an abuse lawsuit.)

There's much more at the link including references to a victim advocacy group's website allegedly used by some to foster the fraudulent claims.

It's all ugly and seedy and distracting and initially I was hesitant in posting on it but as someone in the midst of embracing Catholicism anew, I am buoyed somewhat by the knowledge that the scandal may not be anywhere near as widespread as the media portrays it.  And being more than familiar with the media's nefarious embrace of that which would do harm to the truth, I thought I could do my small part in shedding some light on what is exceedingly a very dark place.

H/T to Insight Scoop.


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Comments (24)

I have a friend who is a pr... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I have a friend who is a priest. Have known him for 40 years. In fact he was in his 20s when I met him and I was an alter boy for him for years.

When this mess was at its peak he was accused by 2 people. After a thorough investigation and in the face of overwhelming evidence (my friend was a priest at one's church about a year after his family had left the parish) both accusers recanted their stories and admitted they had made the accusations trying to get some quick cash. Both accusers had records for drug offenses and were in and out of rehab during this time.

Even if all the accusations... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Even if all the accusations were true, a child is over eight times more likely to have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a public school teacher than a Catholic priest. One system has cleaned up its act; one has not.

It was in fact partially the Church's humility and contrition in responding to this scandal which led me to convert (the main reason being the Eucharist). And despite the media portrayals, Pope Benedict XVI's actions, before and after assuming the Throne of Saint Peter, in addressing this blight have been inspiring.

The fraud has really been o... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The fraud has really been on the focus on the church and ignoring the same problem in the public schools. A Dept of Ed report in 2002 suggested between 6 and 10% of students have been sexually abused or harassed by school employees and teachers.

But the NEA supports the same progressive agenda that the media does so it's OK for teachers to sexually assault our children.

Due to abusive parents, I w... (Below threshold)

Due to abusive parents, I was raised in a catholic monestary for many years, until adulthood. I must say, that these abuses had to be inflated, because not once did I see, nor heard any of sexual abuse.

What I can say is that my education was 1st class, which has taken me thru life in quite a good manner.

While even just one 100% tr... (Below threshold)

While even just one 100% true case of sexual abuse is completely unacceptable, people lying to smear the Catholic Church and/or make a quick buck is just as unacceptable. Lies about sexual abuse destroy lives just like actual sexual abuse does.

"people lying to smear the ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"people lying to smear the Catholic Church and/or make a quick buck is just as unacceptable. Lies about sexual abuse destroy lives just like actual sexual abuse does."

Yes, but this is now stock and trade for the professional media in this country. Pace Spencer Ackerman on the JournoList: "take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists." The leftist media really don't care who they destroy or how they do it as long as they advance their agenda. That is the left of today.

The problem is that smearing people to make a buck is what today's professional journalist sees as his job. They have learned that it is profitable to ruin other people's lives and that because they dominate the media in this country there is little downside to doing so. Even when caught they simply resign and resurface elsewhere probably with a large raise in salary.

One child who suffered sexu... (Below threshold)

One child who suffered sexual abuse is one too many. And the church should have never had hit it.

But I often thought that a lot of accusers where false and in it for the money.

In America, if you can not win the lottery, just sue someone, even if it isn't true so many will settle out of court just to get rid of the suit.

One child who suffered s... (Below threshold)

One child who suffered sexual abuse is one too many. And the church should have never had hit it.

mag, I presume you meant "should have never hid it," but that was one of the most inappropriate -- and hysterically funny -- typos I've seen in ages. Thanks.


Follow the money. Just lik... (Below threshold)

Follow the money. Just like all those Blacks who SUDDENLY discovered that they were budding "farmers".

Yes, I meant hid....when ty... (Below threshold)

Yes, I meant hid....when typing in work while on break, one tends to make a lot of spelling errors when rushing. Sorry.

Admittedly, there is fraud ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Admittedly, there is fraud everwhere, but the numbers of unreported abuse cases could probably equal the 50%, or high proortion of fraudalent abuse that was reported. Which is higher, I don't know?

However, the basic dilemma for the Church (the Catholic Church ) is that their exclusively male, chauvinistic ruling philosphy was and still is frozen in time, about the fourth century. Islam as backward as it is, made it to the eighth ..How else to explain such utter nonsense as the Pope, in his Christmas message, in an effort to explain away priestly abuse as 'normal' in the past? (by whom?) rationalizing that..

"In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.

In conformity with man and even with children? Would a woman even remotely consider this, or a father, unless he was a church father?

Steve @ 11,Are you... (Below threshold)

Steve @ 11,

Are you/were you Catholic?

Not even lapsed? It is just... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Not even lapsed? It is just in the last few years/decade I have decided to get off the fence of being agnostic?

I still find religion fasci... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I still find religion fascinating...must go SSIwuzzy, and you?

Non answer from Steve...</p... (Below threshold)

Non answer from Steve...

And the next paragraphs from Steve's link

“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

The Pope said abuse revelations in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” which brought “humiliation” on the Church.

Asking how abuse exploded within the Church, the Pontiff called on senior clerics “to repair as much as possible the injustices that occurred” and to help victims heal through a better presentation of the Christian message.

“We cannot remain silent about the context of these times in which these events have come to light,” he said, citing the growth of child pornography “that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society” he said.

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/popersquos-child-porn-normal-claim-sparks-outrage-among-victims-15035449.html#ixzz1A0RP5efS

In conformity with... (Below threshold)
In conformity with man and even with children? Would a woman even remotely consider this, or a father, unless he was a church father?

What Pope Benedict is saying is that at the time there was a moral theory in vogue in the 60's and 70's called Proportionalism. It is a very "situational ethics" type of theory that in essence says nothing is wholly evil or good, so it must be taken in the context of each situation. The good or evil of an act depends on the proportion of good or evil that will come of the individual act.
He did not say it justified the acts and the cover ups, but it was in this atmosphere that they happened. Back in 2008 he denounced this theory by name, as it allowed people to justify such things as pedophilia. Witness Roman Polanski's acts of not rape-rape and Frank Marshall Davis' proclivities and the mass of people that make excuses for them because of the perceived good they achieved.

Pope John Paul II (BTW) rejected proportionalism and its cousins outright in Veritatis Splendor, stating that some acts are intrinsically evil and no amount of proportionate good can offset this.

SCSIwuusy,Don't ex... (Below threshold)
jim m:


Don't expect an answer from Steve. He just wants to quote the Pope out of context so he can make him lok like he was supporting child abuse. Just like his lefty friends in the media it isn't truth that he is interested in, just advancing the narrative.

Frank Marshall Davis "procl... (Below threshold)

Frank Marshall Davis "proclivities" included pedophelia and marxist communism. He was Obama's only role male role model during Obama's formative years in Hawaii. Interesting.

I am not surprised by the r... (Below threshold)

I am not surprised by the report.

I'm not Catholic, but have long suspected that the stories of abuse by priests were inflated.

With the combination of some people looking for a fast buck and others interested in trashing religion (at least Christianity), I have become sceptical of new stories of abuse.

And kudo's to the church for addressing the true cases of abuse.

SCSiwussy, You are probably... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

SCSiwussy, You are probably right about the summary being taken out of context. My bad, in the sense that the Belfast Telegraph most cetainly the'repectable Protestant paper.
During the height of the troubles, in 1972 I once went to a Protestant/Loyalist Church in Belfast, Free Presbyterian I think, and heard their Reverend Ian Paisley denounce the catholics as 'Papists' in his sermon.

The Catholic Church is at least making strong efforts at atonement, now and
child sexual abuse has always been an issue that few had the courage to confront.

Society has always been in denial and considered it part of child's heated imagination when in truth...Do you know what happened to Freud? At the the turn of century, in 1899, after the hostile reception of a lecture, he gave (See 'what have they done to you poor child') he felt compelled to retract his child seduction theory, in modern parlance, child victims of adult sexual abuse -based on his interviewing child patients in Viennese hospitals, because the European medical establishment could not countenance that it really took place and therefore must exist only in their imagination.

Any cottage industry for pl... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Any cottage industry for plaintiff's lawyers is bound to be laden with massive fraud. It's the nature of the beast.

Combine that fact with the reality that the liberal media was bound to go into high dudgeon mode over the allged clergy abuses and you have a recipe for fraud on a titanic scale.

Cockmore, I had no i... (Below threshold)

I had no issue with your source, just your selective choice in quoting it. but as someone else pointed out, you seem more interested at making cheap shots at the Pope than anything else in this thread.
Funny enough your own assertion that the high rate of fraud offsets the number of silent victims (pulled that out of your ass) is another cousin of proportionalism.

SCSiwuzzy, I don't want to ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

SCSiwuzzy, I don't want to revisit the whole issue but the numbers of abuse cases, even if only fifty per cent are still staggering. Some of these priests had hundreds of acknowledged abuse cases, before you half that. It was bad in Protestant orphanges as well.. that is no consolation I know.

As you know I'm not religio... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

As you know I'm not religious but knowlingly moving these predatory priests around, with no concern for their multiple and future victims- they were children for God's sake-cause me to question that even cardinals know that in their heart of hearts that this business of religion is just a sham. And what in God's name was going through the mind of the priests?






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