See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, April 15, 2011

Roger Vangheluwe, the former bishop of Bruges: Creepy.



Tonton Roger
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The former bishop revealed in a televised interview that he engaged in a 'little game' with his nephews, reassuringly noting that he wasn't violent in his sex-capades with the boys, and that one of the boys seemed to enjoy it.  The bishop's nonchalance is beyond creepy and cold.
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BRUSSELS, Belgium — A former bishop's televised admission that he sexually abused two of his nephews caused an uproar in Belgium on Friday, with the prime minister, senior clergy and a prosecutor expressing shock at the way the ex-prelate made light of his offenses.
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In an interview that aired Thursday Roger Vangheluwe, the former bishop of Bruges, spoke of his sexual abuse as "a little game," that involved fondling, but no "rough sex."
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"I was never naked" and the abuse was never about "real sexuality," said Vangheluwe, 74.

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He resigned as bishop in 2010 after admitting he had abused one of his nephews for 13 years — until the boy was 18. In the TV interview aired Thursday, he revealed that he had abused a second nephew "a few times, a couple of times, not for years."
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Vangheluwe apologized for the pain he had caused, but denied being a pedophile.

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"I never felt the least attraction to a child," he said.
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"And I still don't. From me toward him (the nephew) there was a bit of intimacy that occurred each time we saw one another. And of which we later said, 'That's not right.'"
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The abuse occurred at sleep-over family gatherings, Vangheluwe said.
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Throughout the interview, he sat relaxed, sometimes smiling and at times shrugging his shoulders as if to signal that the events he spoke of were not very serious. - Source 
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Some thoughts.
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The bishop denies the sexual abuse was pedophilia - although it certainly appears to be the case.  Although, as a layman, I think I'd call it homosexual-pedophilia.  Experts can argue the terms all they want - but guys who have sex with boys and young men are gay - "they like... " - well you know.  When I was growing up there were guys like the bishop around, who always serviced the boys.  You heard about them from friends and schoolmates.  There were guys who picked up hitchhikers, guys who sat in their car on kid's routes home from school, guys who tinkered in their garage.  The phenomenon couldn't have been isolated to the Eastside of St. Paul.  Perhaps in middle to upper class families, the predators were more often uncles, friends of the family, teachers, coaches, and even priests like the bishop.  The fact is, there are and always have been, homosexual men who like young men and boys.  Therefore - it isn't really pedophilia, it is gay.
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That said, the lack of remorse on the part of the perpetrator is perhaps more shocking than the sexual exploitation.  I think it is obvious the predator believes he is doing the vulnerable kid a favor, and that because the victim responds physically and experiences sexual pleasure from the act, the predator believes he 'enjoys' it, and therefore convinces himself there is nothing wrong.   For the predator I think this must bolster his conviction that boys - especially those experiencing for the first time sexual awareness, are open to any type of sexual gratification they can get.  It seems to me it is a crime of opportunity - the predator is looking for - excuse me, there is no other way to say this: the predator is looking for a hot c---.  Who is more vulnerable than a kid?  Especially when the predator presents as a person with some authority.  Just because the abuse stops at 18 or young manhood, I do not believe it constitutes pedophilia - rather it is homosexual.  The predator just prefers young males.  The men who abused me were not pedophiles - they were homosexuals.
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The death of conscience.
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I'm convinced that some people can and do deaden their conscience through repeated grave sin and rationalization of sinful behavior, to the extent they can no longer understand the gravity of their crimes, or lack any genuine remorse for what they have done.  I found the following comment on The Deacon's Bench post regarding this story - it is frightening:
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19 deacon marv robertson

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Fr. Donald Cozzens asked this rhetorical question about clergy engaging in sex abuse of the young: “What kind of men are these?”
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He goes on to state, “I sensed little guilt for their seductions. The only regret I could identify was associated with being caught. For the most part, the men I worked with were more concerned about themselves and their futures than for their victims. From my relatively brief work with them I came to regard them as focused sociopaths—little or no moral sense, no feelings of guilt and remorse for what they had done in this area of their lives . . . The absence of remorse and concern for their victims continues to trouble me.”
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“Changing Face of the Priesthood,” Liturgical Press. 2000, p123
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Creepy.

13 comments:

  1. I read this article last night and wondered: will I ever cease being shocked at such craven behavior? 81% of all victims were male. They were between the ages of 11 and 14. No matter how many articles are written and no many how people want to spin it, these are the facts. I too was a victim, Terry, in early childhood and the arc of my life was shaped, for good or ill, by this fact. Like you said Terry, everywhere we meet the Cross. Some days it is hard to keep, as Bob Dylan wrote, pressing on to the higher calling of my Lord. Hard for all of us, huh?

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  2. Terry, your contention that "guys who have sex with boys and young men are gay" is way too simplistic. It may fit your agenda of discrediting gay people and gay sexuality but it doesn't fit the reality of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

    Take for instance the following from an April 2, 2010 MediaMatters.org article:

    One of the researchers responsible for a landmark statistical study of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church says that Catholic League president William Donohue “drew an unwarranted conclusion” from her work when he claimed that “most” of the clergy who committed the abuse have been “gay.”

    In a March 30 ad published in The New York Times, Donohue described the sex abuse scandal as a “homosexual crisis.” Donohue added: “Eighty percent of the victims of priestly sexual abuse are male and most of them are post-pubescent. While homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior, and most gay priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been gay.”

    . . . But in an interview with Media Matters, Margaret Smith – a John Jay College criminologist who worked on the 2004 study – said that while Donohue “quoted the study’s data correctly,” he “drew an unwarranted conclusion” in asserting that most of the abusers were gay.

    Explaining that it is an oversimplification to assume to that priests who abuse male victims are gay, Smith said: “The majority of the abusive acts were homosexual in nature. That participation in homosexual acts is not the same as sexual identity as a gay man.”

    As an example, Smith pointed to the case of Marcial Maciel Degollado, a prominent Mexican priest who allegedly abused male children and also allegedly carried on affairs with multiple women. Smith noted that while Maciel allegedly abused boys, most people would not think of him as a gay man.


    Also, here's an excerpt from a piece by Catholic commentator David Gibson on Smith's remarks:

    “What we are suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” said Margaret Smith, a researcher from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, which is conducting an independent study of sexual abuse in the priesthood from 1950 up to 2002. “At this point, we do not find a connection between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse.”

    A second researcher, Karen Terry, also cautioned the bishops against making a correlation between homosexuality in the priesthood and the high incidence of abuse by priests against boys rather than girls – a ratio found to be about 80-20.

    “It’s important to separate the sexual identity and the behavior,” Terry said. “Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature but not have a homosexual identity.” Terry said factors such as greater access to boys is one reason for the skewed ratio. Smith also raised the analogy of prison populations where homosexual behavior is common even though the prisoners are not necessarily homosexuals, or cultures where men are rigidly segregated from women until adulthood, and homosexual activity is accepted and then ceases after marriage.


    Peace,

    Michael

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  3. Is "label making" passé1:51 PM

    " ... suggesting is that the idea of sexual identity be separated from the problem of sexual abuse,” ...

    hmm, well that is in keeping with the latest buzz of "don't label my sexuality" and "sexual fluidity."

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  4. "The modern media are engaged in Luciferian conspiracy against the Truth.Remember, remember, all temptations begin in the mind. Always error, and when the error is deliberate, it’s a lie. Consequently, the one demonic temptation we better hear about, as we begin this course, is the MEDIA. I’ve used this quotation more than once, remember from Marshall McLuhan – his definition of the modern media: “The modern media are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth.” How we better, what word shall I use – be careful, that’s an understatement; cautious, an understatement; wary, an understatement – not to be deceived by the father of lies and using the media! And when people have asked me, you keep telling us that our present century is the most crime-laden century in human history: No question about it. How do you explain it? In one word – Media. And that is why – I may have mentioned this before – among the directives I received from the Holy See was a formal order from Pope Paul VI – “do everything you can, everything you can to alert the American people, or the world leaders in the media. Alert them to the need for using the media to proclaim the Gospel because your nation is being seduced by the evil spirit through the media. And the first and the most powerful media is print. I’m not sure I’ve ever said this before – that’s the main reason over the years I have spent by now thousands of hours writing for publication. We are to compete with the evil spirit who is using the media to seduce whole nations".

    My man Hardon SJ

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  5. A Random Friar2:07 PM

    This is why men like the bishop have been ordered to seek spiritual and psychological counseling. Not because the Church takes the matter lightly, not to "get them away," or "help them get away with it," but because they need serious help in getting to see that what they did was horribly, horribly wrong. Some remain set in denial or minimize the acts, but I have seen some others come through a breakthrough point, and live their lives in quiet penance.

    I am not dismissive of the victims, either. They should be afforded every resource possible for healing. But simply cutting the offenders loose is not a good thing, for anyone.

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  6. How sad. The man is completely detached from his soul. Emptied of virtue.

    Being from Boston, I've thought about this a lot.

    This is the conclusion I've reached, based on no credentials whatsoever so take them for what they're worth:

    There are heterosexual and homosexual pedophiles. That's a sicko breed in its own category.

    Then there's a breed who have sex with children, who for whatever reason can't engage in the kind of intimacy it takes to lead to a normal sex life. These folks also have some kind of sociopathy. Some of this breed will take sex by manipulation. (Narcissists are in this breed. They can smell a vulnerable person from a mile away and they spend their lives perfecting the pursuit of supply - one after the other.)


    Children can be manipulated into silence - adults are a lot harder to shut up. It isn't so much that they're pedophiles, it's that they've just got to find a supply whom they can manipulate into silence. I've often thought priests who abuse children fall more into this category than true pedophiles which to me makes it all the more despicable.

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  7. As far as the science goes, Carol, you're spot-on. Pedophilia is neither a hetero- nor homo- issue, but a deviation by its own right.

    Who would have ever thought that SOC Deviance and Social Control would pay off? ;)

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  8. michael r.7:03 PM

    I read about this earlier today. He is a sicko. I don't know what's worse, the fact that he engaged in sexual abuse of minors - his own relatives - or the cavalier manner in which he thinks he can brush it off ("he didn't mind it"). Sick, sick, sick. Whether he gets help or not, he needs to be stripped of his faculties by the Vatican, immediately. I say that, because he said he is not anticipating having to leave the priesthood.

    While they are at it, they might do something really meaningful, and that would be to expel Cardinal Law from the protection of St. Mary Majors.

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  9. Don't kid yourselves guys. These men having sex with boys were once called called "chicken queens" - and as they used to say, they like them "young and dumb and full of ___."

    It's all been cleaned up these days - but it remains a personality type in gay culture. I think it's legal in Holland - what's it called? Man-Boy love.

    Experts can call it whatever they want.

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  10. Terry, your more sheltered readers might not get that reference, but I know some of us do. I guess that that term, "chicken queen," had a different meaning back in the days when a night out meant cruising a public restroom for sex. These days that term is applied only to those young men who are of age. Anyone who messes with a kid- like this bishop did- is a pedophile.

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  11. Hell, the article even mentions ongoing abuse with one of the nephews "until he was 18."

    Perhaps he grew too old for the good bishop....

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  12. The antiquarian terminology doesn't matter - the profile still exists. Perhaps there is a false code of morality amongst younger gay men, especially in the provinces, or for those who happen to be religious and busy inventing new churches, but it remains a category in gay culture.

    I know you can't be convinced of it however.

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  13. FYI:

    Ephebophilia is the sexual preference of adults for mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19.[1][2] The term was originally used in the late 19th to mid 20th century, and has been more recently revisited by Ray Blanchard.[2] It is one of a number of sexual preferences across age groups subsumed under the technical term "chronophilia". Ephebophilia strictly denotes the preference for mid-to-late adolescent sexual partners, not the mere presence of some level of sexual attraction. In sexual ethics, it may be defined as a sexual preference for girls generally 14–16 years old, and boys generally 14–19 years old.[3] Some authors define ephebophilia as a sexual preference for pubescent and adolescent boys.[4]

    In research environments, specific terms are used for chronophilias: for instance, ephebophilia to refer to the sexual preference for mid-to-late adolescents,[1] hebephilia to refer to the sexual preference for earlier pubescent individuals, and pedophilia to refer to the sexual preference for prepubescent children.[5] However, the term pedophilia is commonly (if incorrectly) used to refer to any sexual interest in minors below the legal age of consent, regardless of their level of physical, mental, or psychological development.[6] Acting upon ephebophilic preference can be illegal, for example, when the adolescent is below the legal age of consent (e.g. statutory rape).

    But it's still gay.

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