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Tweeted by Charles Shaughnessy 16 November . . . Comments?

From Charles Shaughnessy's Twitter account @C_Shaughnessy

Penn State. without rushing to judgement, afraid it's (the) Catholic Church all over again. Also fear it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Charlie also tweeted:

Pope says child rape isn't that bad, was normal back in his day -- Society's Child....  "Vatican Christmas Shocker! Pope says child rape isn't that bad, was normal back in his day"21 Dec 2010

..and they wonder why the churches are empty!!

So . . .What do the rest of you think about this topic?


  1. I´m catholic, and I think they´re shameless, They preach respect, love, charity, and they do a lot of things except all of that.
    We should do something, all together, to stop this.
    ------- I would change vaticans treasures by food to africa, and you? ----- LOve, pEacE and RESPECT

  2. Agreed Charlie! This is sick in that authority figures or folks of wealth and/or power will use their positions to prey or take advantage of the innocent, weaker, and possibly broken or to gain access to our kids. Just adds more tragedy and causes them to be more broken or hurt. Meanwhile the authority figure just continues on looking good and a pillar to community. Can't imagine a person stooping much lower than this. Wish we could have a special jail for these types of individuals with no windows or light.

  3. Okay, I figure I should out myself...I'm an alumnae of Penn State (M.A., History, 1983). Now that I've disclosed that, I will also let everyone know that my perspective on the whole situation is probably quite different from anyone else's--not just because I spent two years in Happy Valley earning my master's degree (and was a graduate assistant in the History Department while there), but because I also work at a university and am familiar with the policies and procedures involved with reporting such incidents.

    A bit of background on the judicial process: Yes, I agree, that more should have been done. But as a faculty member at a university in Pennsylvania (and the process probably is different in other states), there is a jurisdictional issue involved. Any criminal activity that occurs on the college/university campus is under the purview of campus police (last week this was reaffirmed by the president of the university where I work right in the aftermath of the Penn State incident). So, if I were to observe the same type of activity that Mike McQueary observed, I would report it to campus police, and they would initiate the investigation and would contact the Department of Public Welfare (which handles child abuse cases in Pennsylvania). I would also report the incident to my immediate supervisor (in my case, my department chair; in Paterno’s case, the athletic director), and then my department chair would report it to the administrator who is in charge of our department (Dean of Arts and Sciences for us; probably Vice President for Finance/Administration at Penn State, since that’s the administrator who handles the athletic program where I work and who also supervises the campus police). It can be perceived that reporting it to the VP who supervises campus police is equivalent as reporting it to campus police, because it would be presumed that the VP would notify campus police immediately to launch an investigation. The state police do not become involved until after the campus police have contacted them, or after the district attorney (or attorney general if the incident(s) have occurred in multiple jurisdictions) requests an investigation. The judicial process must play out, and it would be possible for a case to be dismissed if the wrong law enforcement body became involved without the proper procedure being followed—and the last thing anyone wants is to have the charges dismissed because the lawyers didn’t have everything in order before filing criminal charges. Also, it would be possible for a faculty member such as myself to be fired for failing to follow proper procedure; in other words, if I contacted the state police or DPW without first notifying campus police, I could be fired (even though I have tenure). In this case, Joe Paterno was fired even though he DID follow proper procedure, but it was perceived that he didn’t do enough because he personally did not call the police (which I presume people think that he should have called the state police; because the incident occurred on a college campus, the state police probably would have referred the case back to the campus police for investigation).

    I don’t want anyone to think that I support what happened on the Penn State campus; I am appalled that anyone would think such behavior is appropriate. I hope that, if Sandusky is found guilty, he spends the rest of his life in jail (and we know how much prisoners like child molesters and abusers, so it probably won’t be a long life). But again, I want to see the judicial process play itself out. We have due process in the United States, and everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this case, the media rushed to judgment, did not have all the facts of the case, decided who was responsible (clearly, they gave Joe Paterno much more power and influence than he actually has; it almost sounds like they think that he personally should have stopped the incident), and turned the incident into more of a witch hunt than an actual investigation. (cont'd)

  4. (continued)
    In my mind, too many questions remain:
    (1) What exactly did McQueary tell Paterno when he notified him of what he observed? I have seen explanations ranging from “horseplay” to the graphic description provided in the grand jury testimony. I think there is a big difference between horseplay and what amounts to rape, and, until we know what was said, we really shouldn’t rush to judgment.
    (2) Why did it take so long for the case to reach this point? Rumors were circulating about possible inappropriate conduct by Sandusky with young boys affiliated with the Second Mile in the early 1990s; there reportedly was a complaint filed with campus police in 1998 (shortly before Sandusky retired as defensive coordinator; there are suspicions that he was forced out).
    (3) Why did the Centre County district attorney (who mysteriously disappeared in 2005 and was declared legally dead this past summer) not file charges in 1998 when receiving the report from campus police?
    (4) Why did the Pennsylvania Attorney General virtually sit on the case when it landed on his desk in 2009, assigning only one investigator from the state police…then, after he is elected governor, appoints his investigator to head the State Police, and immediately more investigators are added to the case?
    (5) Why has the only person who has admitted that in hindsight he wished he had done more been the “face” of the investigation, and the one whose firing could lead to additional legal issues (because it is possible that Paterno was covered by the state’s whistleblower law)?

    Yes, it sounds a lot like the problems with wayward priests and the Roman Catholic Church. It does become a matter of trust; children should be able to trust teachers/coaches to behave appropriately around them and not fear that they might be touched inappropriately, just like altar boys should be able to trust that they priest won’t get too “friendly” with them. As a Penn Stater, I am shaken that such an incident could happen at my university, the same place where I learned how to teach college students, how to relate to college students, how to be a scholar. As soon as the news broke about the incident, I contacted my master’s advisor and asked him what he thought, since he knew all the people involved. His response was quite interesting; he said Jerry Sandusky was the nicest guy you could meet (and, looking back, that should have sent out a warning; aren’t all of these molesters “the nicest guy you could meet”?). Mike McQueary was a good student and a polite young man. Joe Paterno definitely didn’t have all the power that the media thinks he had, and his response was typical for someone his age. That is one thing we must remember; today we respond to these types of incidents far differently than they did when he was growing up in the 1930s. Back then, child molesting was swept under the rug—you didn’t dare to tattle on your grandfather or father molesting you; obviously you were imagining things, or you were striking back because you had been punished. That is not to excuse what Paterno did (or didn’t do); that is to understand WHY he responded the way he did. It does not, however, justify why Sandusky did what he did, and it does not condone his actions.

    Thank you, Charlie, for allowing me to express my thoughts in this forum.

  5. All hierarchical institutions be it religious, governmental, private, etc. whatever name you want to give it will ALWAYS have these kinds of tragic situations... reporting such incidents to one's superior should NOT STOP there especially in this type of behavior..but it did..There should be some amount of common sense which goes beyond the "comfort zone" of the underlings that are doing the always it is the ill actions of one or a few that spoils it for the rest...(although that may not apply to the Catholic Church as I believe the majority may be at fault with the few that are truly innocent)

  6. This subject is really hard for me i can tell you that i do understand why it took so long for the kid's to come forward because this has happen to me when i was a teenager and it was my friend's father who had did it now he really never thouched me but he made comment's and exspoised him shelf to me i was 13yr's old i was so scared and my friend begged me never to tell and i did not untill one day after about 3yr's had pass and my friend had run away she finally broke down and told on her Dad i well never foreget the look on my mother's face when she was told and the tear's in her eye's that she felt i could not trust her to come to her and tell her we talked and she let me know that i should alway's come and tell her anything and ever thing that it is her job to make sure i'm safe so we whent to court and he was found gulity but it did not stop there after we had put all that behind us it happen to me again this time it was a friend of my mom's husband i was babysitting for him and his wife he was a music teacher but this time i whent to my mom right away and told the hole ponit here is that as a kid you not just protecting your shelf you feel like you have to protect your parent's too i felt like may be i dressed wrong that gave them the thought that i was easy so i would never wear make up until i was 21yr's old i never when any wear with a boy by my shelf and i really never could date i was to scared as a teen the only man other than my family i ever trusted was the man i married he was the boy next door when we told ever one we wear getting married ever one was happy but concern for me because i had never really dated my mom talked to me about weather are not i would have a problem being intament with him and i said no i love him i wont lie i was scared but my husband was so sweet and never exspected and thing from me until i was ready and when i was i knew then that this is when a man and awomen should betogether when they can trust and love eachother no matter what. The only diffent thing about this is that the kid's whent for help and never got it the way they should have i mean we are told as kid's go to some one and tell go to you'r parent's a teacher a preacher a police officer and now some of the same pepole you are brought up to trust you can't besure you can.

  7. Karen, that was a wonderful reply! Now we can discuss this rationally with the FACTS instead of armchair quarterback-ing. Thank you.
    I'll admit, I too thought Joe Paterno had MUCH more power than he did. For all intents and purposes, he has been the "poster boy" for PSU as long as I've been alive. It's only human to think that such a big shot would "do more". I too asked "why didn't he call the police?"...but now I see why. If he had done that, and the case was dismissed because proper procedures weren't followed..then JoePa would be hearing "you've been there a long time, how could you not know the proper chain of command?!".
    But really, this isn't about Joe Paterno, and the media has finally turned their attention to Sandusky. "In hindsight, I shouldn't have showered with the kids"...gee, ya THINK?! Child predators are soooo sneaky, they place themselves in positions where they can access kids. I have FBI clearance just to teach Sunday School in church! We all do, you just can't be too careful. So tragic that these boys weren't just victims, but the neediest among us...boys who needed male bonding and influence in their lives. It's just vile.
    As for the Catholic Church, yes and no. It does sound like some of the people at PSU and in the outside law enforcement put football and the university's reputation ahead of common decency. That's disgusting, and I'm assuming investigations will be held. And the CC most definitely protected the Church over the children...which to me is even more disgusting. They were entrusted with the SPIRITUAL care of those kids, and I do not take that lightly.
    It is beyond comprehension that adults who have taken vows/sworn to uphold laws would sweep things under the rug and not follow through with protect an organization in which they had a high stake.

  8. This subject is really hard for me i can tell you that i do understand why it took so long for the kid's to come forward because this has happen to me when i was a teenager and it was my friend's father who had did it now he really never thouched me but he made comment's and exspoised him shelf to me i was 13yr's old i was so scared and my friend begged me never to tell and i did not untill one day after about 3yr's had pass and my friend had run away she finally broke down and told on her Dad i well never foreget the look on my mother's face when she was told and the tear's in her eye's that she felt i could not trust her to come to her and tell her we talked and she let me know that i should alway's come and tell her anything and ever thing that it is her job to make sure i'm safe so we whent to court and he was found gulity but it did not stop there after we had put all that behind us it happen to me again this time it was a friend of my mom's husband i was babysitting for him and his wife he was a music teacher but this time i whent to my mom right away and told the hole ponit here is that as a kid you not just protecting your shelf you feel like you have to protect your parent's too i felt like may be i dressed wrong that gave them the thought that i was easy so i would never wear make up until i was 21yr's old i never when any wear with a boy by my shelf and i really never could date i was to scared as a teen the only man other than my family i ever trusted was the man i married he was the boy next door when we told ever one we wear getting married ever one was happy but concern for me because i had never really dated my mom talked to me about weather are not i would have a problem being intament with him and i said no i love him i wont lie i was scared but my husband was so sweet and never exspected and thing from me until i was ready and when i was i knew then that this is when a man and awomen should betogether when they can trust and love eachother no matter what. The only diffent thing about this is that the kid's whent for help and never got it the way they should have i mean we are told as kid's go to some one and tell go to you'r parent's a teacher a preacher a police officer and now some of the same pepole you are brought up to trust you can't besure you can.

  9. Although it is true that we don't have all of the facts in this matter, it is extremely disturbing to consider the large number of adults who knew about Sandusky's behavior and did little or nothing to stop it. The more I have thought about it, the more frustrated I have become. I don't care what particular policies a university has in place for reporting these types of incidences, as a human being and a former child, I would consider it my responsibility to personally protect children from this man. These ADULTS knew that Sandusky was still working closely with children. Is saying, "Well, I told my supervisor" really enough? Personally, I would call 911 and whichever police (university or state) showed up, so be it. Most communities have “cooperation” policies in place that allow jurisdictions to be crossed when necessary. An arrest made under this scenario by an officer out of his jurisdiction will hold up in court as long as all other procedures are done within the law. If a person sees a crime taking place on their employer’s property, they are under no obligtation to follow any procedure put in place by said employer. I can understand that McQueary and Paterno would inform their superiors of such observations, but such information should be provided only as a matter of courtesy. It is obvious that there was a cover up in which all these adults played a part. True, what each individual knew and which each in turn did remains to be seen, but losing their jobs is not too high of a price for them to pay—they could be a ten-year-old boy scarred for life!

  10. @Jeannie: In theory, that sounds great--that various law enforcement agencies would cooperate and jurisdictions could be crossed. While it never happened to me personally (because I lived on campus when I attended Penn State), I did know another graduate student whose apartment complex straddled the border between the borough of State College and College Township--and when he called for help (these were pre-911 days), he called the borough--and, because of his apartment was in College Township, they would not help and told him to call the College Township police. Granted, it wasn't a child abuse case; I think he was either reporting a burglary or trying to get an ambulance (he had some balance issues and fell a lot). Still, while it might sound reasonable that you would contact another jurisdiction and they would cooperate, it doesn't always work that way.

    Plus, if Joe Paterno had called them and told them what McQueary told him, the first response would have been "we need to speak to McQueary." Paterno did not witness the incident; therefore, he could not provide anything more than a hearsay account of what had occurred (and any decent lawyer would have been able to discredit that testimony in court).

    All: Honestly, I think this case (or perhaps cases before this is all sorted out) shows how flawed the judicial system really is. Too many people "dropped the ball" and let Sandusky loose to prey on more young boys, and Charlie is right--this IS just the tip of the iceberg. More victims have come forward since the story broke, and I know the scope of the investigation has extended into other states, since Sandusky took one of the boys with him when Penn State traveled to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio in 1998 (which could make this a federal case, since by doing so he violated the Mann Act).

    One final thought (for now): The media also has made too much out of the relationship between Paterno and Sandusky. There was no love lost between the two; Paterno was probably thrilled when Sandusky retired in early 1999. They did not socialize. Also, Sandusky wasn't McQueary's coach; McQueary was a quarterback, and Sandusky was defensive coordinator. They did not interact. As a graduate assistant, McQueary worked with the offense. Sandusky had been retired three years before the incident in the showers occurred. He had an office as a perk of being an assistant professor emeritus, so he had access to the building. Blame the university for granting him access; it wasn't Paterno's decision (it is not unusual for emeritus faculty to have office space). Yes, in hindsight, everyone should have done more. But let's put the focus where it belongs--on the person who allegedly committed the crime(s), and on the victims of the crimes. They (and their parents) trusted someone who they looked up to as a mentor to troubled boys, and they will have to live with the consequences of that decision for the rest of their lives.

  11. After eveything i have whent thru as akid i found this saying and it work's for me {Fine a place inside that's Joy and Joy well burn out the pain Joseph Campell}.

  12. Children are the most expensive commodity on earth what we have. Children want to be protected and protected by us. Unfortunately, there are always people to exploit and abuse their position of power. No matter what coat or robe, etc., these people hide, which is scum to me what happened to the children and will happen again and again. It hurts to watch, and the credibility of the church. It should be revealed and all the guilty are punished, and not to try at the famous "cloak of silence" to hide.

  13. This is so bad in so may ways. All I can think about is the ways adults when I was a child touched me in ways that were inappropriate and justified it like it was normal or okay. At the time I was a child and didn't know any better but the adults were supposed to. Wrong is wrong there are no reasons or justifications.

  14. Great comments everyone! Regarding the Adults who did hardly nothing to help keep children away from this dirt bag. Dirt is well; dirty! And sometimes people don't want to get involved or be the ONE to expose it. Let someone else deal with it. Let's face it. These types of crimes are down right embarrassing and it takes a lot of guts to talk about. But we've just got to. Turning a blind eye is so wrong because as we have learned from others history these types of offenders will just keep offending and are so difficult to rehabilitate. I liked Karen's statements: that monsters can look just like anyone and in the past many of these crimes it seems did just get swept under the rug. Sadly i have several friends & relatives that were molested and was not reported. One that was no charges were filed. On two occasions the moms wouldn't even believe their own daughters. Thinking more, they just didn't want to. Pressing charges against own family members of friends is very difficult so most victims choose to suffer in silence.
    I myself was physically abused and family members had tried to help me by cheering me up, taking me to the park etc. They threatened to call the police and even disown my abusers. They told me they were sorry and bought me ice cream etc. My aunt even once tried to hide me and even stole me from my abusers. It was so confusing growing up and i still don't totally understand them. Except maybe they didn't want to be the ONE to start a family feud by putting their brother in the slammer or taking his child away. Anyway think possible i may had been better off going back to foster care but who knows what could have been. At the end of the day i am who i am regardless of what happened. Wouldn't want to change myself. Although less baggage perhaps would have made things much easier? Anyway from experience abuse is: #1 a huge violation of trust and security. #2 confusing and damaging to a child's perceptions. #3 takes long time to heal and some emotional scars never completely heal! I used to wish for justice to be severed in my case. Since being an adult, i just try to understand why they may have done it? The circumstances that must have occurred in their lives that led them there? Realization it was none my fault. But in situations where going to happen again and again. This cycle needs to end asap!

  15. The more I have thought about this, the more puzzling it seems. Why did all of these people protect Sandusky? It could not have been about the football program. They could have exposed him without at all damaging their program. Karen stated that they did not have an outside friendship, so why? Did Sandusky have something on all or some of them that they did not want exposed? There is something much deeper going on here. I agree with Charlie. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

  16. First of all, I am Catholic. There, I said it.

    This blog is misleading. This article came from the "Belfast Telegraph", a newspaper which turned to tabloid journalism in March,2009. Also, the article is dated December 21, 2010. Get my point? We are just now hearing about this? If the Pope really said this (and was not taken out of context in any way) I and many of my parishioners would have heard about it, don't you think?

    It just goes to show you that a person who has a great deal of disdane for Christianity would read an article like that and get excited enough to throw it up on a blog as something of fact. It is quite irresponsible to take tabloid journalism (known as junk food news or sensationalism) and make it sound legitimate. This is really shameful. If you are going to upload an article on a blog, it is wise to check out the source it comes from and do a little homework.

  17. @Lily,it doesn´t matter whether Ratzinger made this statement or not, the fact is that child abuse has been going on in CC institutions for centuries, only no one outed these abusers until modern times. In my school days I know of people who were abused by priests and nuns and some ended up committing suicide either of shame or because they weren´t believed what they said. Religious people in this case not only in the CC were considered as infallible.I have a friend who was a Jesuit who found out that one of his fellow priests was abusing altar boys and tried to report him!! HE was removed and sent into spiritual penance by his superiors. Eventually he left the Jesuits after 25 yrs and to this day had no despensation from the Vatican (as many other ex priests) and worse that priest kept on abusing kids for many years to come although my friend reported this to police eventually, the Church still protected this man. It all came out when abuse was made public in Australia!
    I was bought up at a catholic boarding school in the 50´s and in those days kids were not only abused physically but psychological and many of my former schoolmates who entered the convent eventually left as well , because they couldn´t cope with what was going on.
    Thankgoodness these days parents are much more aware and also there are very few religious people left teaching . 90% of church schools in Australia are run with secular staff.
    As far as I am concerned everyone can believe in what they think , but what I do object is that when child abuse occurs that it is reported.

    Unfortunately as in Pen . these things happen in secular institutions as well, where there seems to be a similar hierachy as in the churches. I hope through this coming out changes will be made there also. I do not know enough to comment on this case a I´m a non US citizen.So I commented in general.

  18. It sound's to me that only a Catholic would try and put the blame some wear else than wear it should be don't set there and say that this stuff don't happen and look how many Catholic priest's have hurt children and these men are who a child should be able to trust more than anyone other than thier owne family i just don't see how a Christian can justify any of this when we all know we hear this stuff all the time and most of the time it is a Priest who is being blamed and don't say that some one putting up a iblog is ready it from a paper that was dated 12/2010 what the hell does that have to do with anything wrong is wrong no matter when it was done and i think that is what the iblog is all about what do you think about what has happen don't matter how long ago just what do you think and i think it is sick and that any one that knew should be in trouble also for not telling i don't care how long ago it was if some one came and told me something like that happen to them 20yr's ago i would still tell.

  19. That article was shocking! If these crimes or SINS are normal then, murder must have been punishable by a mere 30 day sentence back then. It puts my faith in church and also morality on quicksand. (Course it was pretty much already there.) This is not helping matters. Sad and shocked! Don't know how else to put it.
    @Liane: You did great job commenting!
    @Lily: pot shots yet again?
    @Jeannie: All good questions indeed.

  20. Okay, I'm back again...addressing Jeannie and whoever else wants to read this. One thing we have to remember about the Penn State mishegas is that we don't know everything that happened, nor do we know everything that was told to the grand jury. All that has been made available (and that was unintentional) was the grand jury indictment. We don’t know the actual testimony before the grand jury; that is not currently public record and probably never will be (unless another leak occurs). Rumors (with 4th hand verification from the Attorney General's office) indicate that, in the actual grand jury testimony, Paterno disclosed a greater involvement/response than has been portrayed by the media. This response included following up with campus officials (who first told him that they were investigating, then told him neither they nor the district attorney would pursue the allegations) and requesting that Sandusky be barred from campus (and was told that he did not have that authority). If this is indeed true, will we see apologies from the media for jumping to conclusions without all the facts? Will the Board of Trustees at Penn State rescind Paterno’s firing? Is it possible to unring the bell?

    We don’t know all the facts. The fact that every day more boys/young men are claiming to be victims of Sandusky’s behavior indicates that it IS the tip of the iceberg. My main concern is that justice be served to the perpetrators and to those who covered it up (or prevented an investigation from occurring) so that the affected boys could at least get some closure, if not complete healing.

    Meanwhile, closer to home, my local weekly newspaper has two big articles on the front page…a local Catholic priest apparently has been too “friendly” with the altar boys in his parish and one of the Computer Science profs at my campus will be spending the next five years in the federal prison after pleading guilty to dissemination of child pornography. Apparently those background checks for adoptions aren’t as thorough as we hoped (both Sandusky and the fired prof had adopted children).

  21. I agree with Liane cattalica and are, unfortunately though it is horrible what he said Ratzinger, "in that if I do not remember" is true.
    When I was a little girl and I went camping with the priest was an elderly priest, who every day choose three children and took them into the woods, we knew exactly what was going on, but the only time we dared to say something we took two slaps.
    In the Catholic Church "I say this with regret," there is a lot of hypocrisy, but in the midst of all this please do not dimentichiamici of those who do good.
    Charlie one day happen around here and I'll Cum conocsere find people who might improve a little your opinion.
    As for the case you are talking about do not know much, but I know one thing, children are the most valuable asset that we do not care if abbioamo are our or someone else, must be protected forever, and it is shameful that the crime was committed, but even more that those who knew vergognosoè silent.
    Because today you are willing to give unconditional love to an animal but not to a child?

  22. @ Karen I have read all your comments and found them interesting, but your last one really shocked me that these two people you mentioned last, had adopted children!! My imagination is really "running" here.
    At least in your vicinity things have come out, but often it is just in small communities these things are kept undercover for fear of either financial losses or prestige 0f a local dignitary.

  23. Liz (Herrington)18 November, 2011 03:23

    Karen I understand what you say about the fact that we don't know all the facts of the Penn State case yet, but I also think that us abuse survivors have a history of not saying anything until someone else does because we feel we won't be believed or we will be "marked". It is usually only when someone speaks up publicly that other people who have been abused do because now it feels safe to us. Facts will tell eventually in the Penn State case, but we have to start becoming less afraid to speak up. I wish I had as a child so it didn't happen to someone else but I was too afraid the adult would be believed and I would not. And I have to say as a raised Catholic I really am upset by the pope's remarks, no child should be abused that way by an adult.

  24. And to prove that I can comment about more than the Penn State side of the blog...I almost was a witness to the Catholic Church issue that Charlie mentions. In early 1983, while beginning research on my dissertation, I visited the Catholic Church in Bally, Pennsylvania, to see the museum there (which was in the original chapel of the parish established in 1741). I had made an appointment with the parish priest, but it was clear when I knocked on his office door that I was interrupting something, just based on the look on his face when he opened the door to greet me (picture the way a small child looks after his/her hand is caught in the cookie jar). I didn’t give it a second thought until a couple of years later when the news broke that Father Bender (stop the sniggering) had pled guilty to molesting a teenage altar boy for several years.

    This, incidentally, would be one of the earliest cases in which a Catholic priest would be convicted of sexual assault of a minor and sentenced (instead of being sent to “rehabilitation” facilities operated by the Catholic Church prior to trial). I can honestly say that I don’t know what I would have done if I had actually seen something back in 1983; I probably would have asked my master’s advisor at Penn State for advice, being unfamiliar with the judicial system in Pennsylvania. But, having already been trained as an educator and been told to report instances of abuse if we saw them in our students, I do know that I would have felt morally obligated to tell someone. Whether the authorities would have taken my word (female graduate student who was from out-of-state) over that of the area priest, however, is an entirely different situation. And I think that is one thing we have to keep in mind when we view these occurrences—yes, they are horrific, but unless the abused child is willing to talk about what happened to him/her, then it is very hard (if not impossible) for the district attorney to get a conviction.

  25. First of all, Skdonovan, Roxy and Liz, my heart goes out to you. Really, what you have suffered is terrible and I cannot imagine going through what you have. You must be very strong indeed. Bless you for that.

    Now, I cannot remember ever being the target of so much nastiness as I am right now on this blog.

    Liane, you are wrong. It does matter what the Pope said. It matters to me and other Catholics as well. Just because it does not matter to you or Charles makes it not important? It just so happens that I researched that article and was right, the Pope's comments were taken out of context and he did not say those things. But I will not waste my findings on you or Charles because you do not care. Charles HATES Christianity. He did not CARE whether the article had merit. What Charles did was post an inaccurate article because it suited his anti-Christian mind.

    As far as pedophilia is concerned. Did I give the impression I do not care about it? Well, here is MY story:

    When my father was a teenager (in the 1940s) he went on a camping trip with a young priest. The priest tried to "mess" with him. I will spare you the details. My dad got away physically unscathed, however, this incident must have haunted him his whole life. Fifty years later he traveled from Las Vegas to New York to testify against this priest, along with others who did NOT get away unharmed. In the end, the priest was defrocked and his name was taken off a building that had been dedicated to him. Justice came 50 years too late as far as I am concerned but there it was.

    However, I still love God and have a strong constitution when it comes to faith. And for the record, I do not give money to the Catholic Church anymore. My donations go straight to the cause - feeding the homeless, pro-life, the SPCA, The Kidney Foundation, etc. That way I know my dollars are not going to some defense fund for some priest who molested children.

    Remember, not all priests are pedophiles. The innocent ones are suffering because of the guilty. And God did not create child molesters - man did.

    As far as Penn State. If I walked into any room and saw a boy being raped, I would immediately call the police. No way would my supervisor even come to mind. If a woman was being raped in one of our restrooms in our office building, I would call the police then - not go to my supervisor. This is a crime in progress. I have never worked at a university so the mindset there appears to be different. Besides, do you HAVE TO identify yourself if you are worried about retaliation?

    Skdonovan, whose post are you referring to? It cannot be mine because I said NOTHING about "shifting blame" to anyone. My whole post was about the untruth that was in that article and I turned out to be right! This is not the first time that you have read one of my posts and have completely misunderstood it. When you read my posts, please try to absorb what I am trying to say a little better.

    Roxy. A horrible story? Really? When you go to the supermarket check-out and see the tabloids, do you believe what you are reading because it is in print? I hope not. If you take things on face value because they are in print, that is scary to say the very least.

    And what is this "pot shot" thing. Because I disagree with Charles and say so means I'm taking "pot shots?" Sorry, but you are really out of line here. I am going to stand up for what I believe no matter how unpopular it is. If I see a wrong, it is in my nature and is my duty to point it out. All I can say, Roxy, is if you do not like my posts and think they are "pot shots" then the next time the words "Lily said. . ." pop up, just skip that post and go on to the next one. Thats really all I can say.

    Now that I have defended myself to the best of my ability, let the bashing begin . . . . .

  26. @Lily: Thank you for the condolences. I value your input on the blogs. Just thought the comment directed about "a person with a great deal of disdane for Christianity would print that" was out of line. Or wouldn't have stated pot shot. So non Christians are not allowed to blog any anti-religious stuff? Anyways, you are also in titled to your opinions and i certain wouldn't want you to stop posting. And No, i don't believe EVERYTHING i read. I realize quotes may be taken out of context and liberty's can be taken when printing. Although i am a bit naive. Truth be told. Perhaps i do rely a bit on the internet news info to much. But i appreciate your pointing stuff out there are just nicer ways of putting things. But there are alot of people who are outspoken and you may just be one. Will try to get used to it and not be so offensive. Sometimes your comments are moving and appreciated. I SO agree with your; calling the police first and who cares about the supervisor.
    @skdonovan & @ Liz Thanks for sharing and so sorry to hear. That is so true many people don't come forward until they feel "safer" or are older and healed somewhat. Getting the courage to tell someone close to you first helps too, to get it out. I still cry when i go to therapy if they get me to talking about it. Once in a great while my relatives will tell me they are sorry still 20+yrs later. But my abusive parents have never apologized unfortunately. The worst thing that has happened is i am very defensive and have became violent on several occasions. Happy to report no one had to go to the hospital yet.

  27. Jeannie's post really hits home with me. Being a mother, I would put the job aside and call the police. No, the chain of command issue would not be an object for me. There is something wrong with the policy of a university if people were actually going to be fired for doing something that was morally right. what about "secret witness?"

    Roxy, bless your heart. Actually, I never meant to sound upset when I posted that language you refer to. Sometimes I get very emotional. And I believe you and anyone else IS entitled to talk about their anti-Christian beliefs. I was under the impression that is what the blog was about - to talk about our differences. It is actually quite interesting.

    One more thing, you think I am outspoken! Oh boy. If you ever meant me you would be truly shocked. The truth is I am as quiet as a church mouse. My daughter's friends and people I meet frequently comment on how quiet I am. That is probably why this forum is so good for me. It is nice to get my point across without having to speak because when I do, my voice is so low everyone talks over it. Seriously. I honestly thought YOU were the outspoken one! Take care.

  28. @Cristina: OMG! Your story is so very horrible! This is really sad. Reminds me of some of the old boy scout leaders stories that we used to hear on the news. Lucky they now have a new rule; no one is allowed alone with the boys anymore. Buddy system. The scary part is that these crime have been around along time and undoubtedly going to still be. Raising awareness and reporting is our only hope of stopping these awful attacks on kids. Such as boy scouts changing their rules and parents have to stay with younger boys scouts. I have a best friend who was raped by a teen boy at a swimming hole that was in the woods, she walked to answer natures call and he followed her.

  29. Lily it's so funny how you think you are alway's right and that everyone else is wrong you just crack me up must be great to be so perfect and right all the time and don't sit there and say you wear not taking pot shot's at Charlie because you know you are just trying to think you have the answer to everything and that only what you think is right you need to let other pepole have thier owne opinion.

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  31. Roxy wanted to say I am very sorry for what happened to you
    Then I would say that maybe Charlie should have explained the context in which the sentence of the pope was said, would assume its true meaning, which is horrible but definitely more accurate, and may at this point as I have already said as horrible it was. was going
    When I was in middle school about 30 years ago, the driver of our bus every morning girls molesting us verbally and physically, I remember the morning that I was doing everything possible not to take that bus running late so my mother was forced to take to school by car.
    After almost a year I found the courage to tell my mother she went to our principal who did nothing, unfortunately, so no one was giving weight to these things.
    But today, here in Italy the opposite is happening to the point that you're bordering on paranoia, in school, teachers are no longer able to work because they are accused of all, my 6 year old daughter has for 3 hours a week that a male teacher teacher is a good person but he can not accompany a child to the bathroom because, according to some, essondo a man might have bad intentions
    And in this climate of mistrust are the children who pay the highest price as usual!

  32. Charlie I'm sorry, I realized too late that in my opinion there are spelling errors

  33. back to Coach Paterno's power at Penn State--whether real or imagined--it does seem to me that the board of trustees let him and all others know exactly who has the power in "Happy Valley" when they called him on the phone and fired him before he could resign--just saying--

  34. Nanabev--The Board didn't call Paterno. They had a messenger deliver a message to him with a phone number to call at a precise time (I think he was supposed to call at 9:45 p.m., but I'm not 100% sure of the precise time). In other words, Paterno made the phone call to find out he was being fired. Plus, he had already announced his retirement at the end of the season, so resignation really wasn't much of an option.

    Knowing what I know about Joe Paterno, I still think there are some parts of this story that, once they become public, will change people's attitudes about how he responded to the situation. All we really know about his involvement is from the grand jury report, which is just a summary of the testimony (and, if you have read it, really does not go into much detail). After hearing about how the district attorney didn't respond to the 1998 charges against Sandusky, it wouldn't surprise me if he had decided not to pursue charges again in 2002--and, if the DA decides not to pursue charges, the blame should be placed there, not on someone who followed university procedure. Sorry if I come across as an apologist for Paterno, but his perceived lack of action is so out of character. He is the last person who would do something to protect the football program if he knew something wasn't right.

  35. Cristina, the paranoia is here in the US too. I know you can NEVER be too careful, and I deal with it at work and at my 'volunteer job' as preschool director for Sunday School(I can understand why people are very cautious in church settings).
    At work, when the dentist is working on a female patient, a female staff must be in the room at all times. You won't actually SEE that happening, because the assistants are too busy doing their jobs. If a woman is under nitrous oxide sedation, then we make sure a female is in the room at all times. I am alone in my operatory, so there are no concerns. We did "fire" a patient once for making disgusting comments to me, so it flows both ways. We are all fingerprinted for our professional license, so that's all good.
    In church, it's more complicated. Anyone working with children under 18 must fill out an application form with 2 non-family references, then put through an FBI computer screening. Even that is no sure CAN mean that the potential teacher just hasn't gotten caught yet or has had thoughts that they haven't had the opportunity to pursue. We always have TWO adults in the room at all times, so there is no need to worry that a lone wolf will be alone with your child. We have a "child abuse prevention" seminar every year(which I help facilitate), and they give very helpful hints. Always face the child away from you when you are helping them get re-dressed in the potty, avoid helping them clean themselves if at all possible,keep all doors open, and have another adult observe so that there is a witness. We are also not supposed to hold/hug children "front to front", but that ain't happening when a 2 yr old is hysterical because mommy is leaving, and they're clinging to you. We are very, very careful and always tell the parents when we HAVE to help the child wipe, etc.
    In addition, all of our SS rooms have windows on the doors, and we try to keep the doors open if possible(with gates for the youngest children). If there are little girls in the class, there must be at least ONE female teacher(that's the law...guess they're not thinking about men molesting boys..sigh). In addition, all of our pastors are male, and they leave the door ajar when they are counseling a woman. No need to give the "very appearace of evil".
    We have been very fortunate, but we are also strict. Many people "fail" the FBI check, becauase ANY blemish(not just child abuse) will be rejected. We will NOT take any chances...those people are wonderful folks who are welcome to do all sorts of good work in the church, but they may NOT work with our most precious commodity. It is sad, because often a charge of "abuse" just means a 17 yo boy having sex with his 15 yo girlfriend..and that person is now marked for life.
    Rambling here, but wanted to just explain HOW things work in our church at least, and reassure those of you who are fearful of leaving your children with people you may not know well. Hope this helps!!!

    And Bev R...I'm with you on the JoePa thing. He was fired within 24hrs of the scandal breaking, yet Sandusky is walking around on unsecured bail and many of the others who had more authority than Joe are on "administrative leave"(aka paid vacation).

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  38. Sorry about the triple reply! It kept telling me that my "word verification" was incorrect and to try again. I *knew* they were correct! LOL!

  39. I am thinking about changing my username from "Lily" to "Black Sheep" because that he how I feel sometimes.

    Skdonovan. You totally misunderstand me and it is probably my fault for not making myself clear. My posts are most of the time just my opinion and nothing more. You are certainly entitled to your opinion because without it, we would have nothing to reply to. By the way, I am far from perfect! You mentioned this is a hard subject for you, forgive me if I upset you at all. It was not my intention.

    Now some of you may feel compelled to defend Charles and that is O.K. However, I see things differently. If his article had been referring to what the head of the Mormon church or what a rabbi had said, would I have researched it at all? Probably not. That just proves my point that others would have assumed it was correct.

    Now, my father did not like priests and for good reason. He came up with some zingers in his lifetime. Example: He tried to tell people that Catholic churches were built with underground tunnels that ran from the priests' quarters to the nuns' quarters for the specific purpose of allowing priests and nuns to go back and forth and "visit" each other in secret for you know what. What a terrible thing to tell people, especially your own daughter. Now I loved my dad (God rest his soul) but there was no way he was going to get away with that.

    Same thing here with Charles. I like Charles but his article and comment about the Pope saying child rape is not so bad was not accurate and was taken out of context.

    As for Mr. McCleary, something just haunts me more and more. He witnesses a child being raped. He did nothing to stop it? Did his brain freeze up? If he was afraid of Mr. Sandusky hurting him or possibly the child even more, could he not have made some noise to let Mr. Sandusky know someone was around - that would have stopped him I am sure. I believe his job and the 300 million dollas the Penn State football program brings in each year had a lot to do with his and others' decisions on what they did or did not do.

    And growing up in a house with both parents and four brothers who LOVED football, the name Joe Paterno was familiar to me but I did not know about the extent of the man's career. Reading about his accomplishments, it makes me feel sad. Was it worth it to jeopardize such a wonderful career and for what?

    Lastly, someone should talk to the students of Penn State. Rioting at Mr. Paterno's firing instead of immediately thinking about the child abuse victims shows them in poor light. What were they thinking?

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  41. Joan here we have not gotten to this point, it is very sad to think. that there is need for all this.
    We live in a town of the province where you know almost everyone, but I realize that in cities such serious measures may be necessary "this will bring our children to live safer, but they will also live in suspicion and fear"

  42. @Lily: Good comment about Paterno! You are not the black sheep. Sorry for singling you out. VERY much hoping the Pope's comment was taken out of context. If there are many others (such as his followers) who agree with him then, we are certainly Doomed. If we are unwilling to try and protect the innocent of us: then we may as well let all the prisoners out to do whatever. What point would there be in protecting the rest of us? What kind of example would he then be setting? If he don't care, who among us will? If the church won't do it, then we as a people (humans) have to! Violence is contagious & victims deserve justice or may as well be an (eye for an eye). The old west shall rise again. (we will be going backwards as civilization) We will all have to protect our own. Only the strong will survive. Different how than the animal kingdom? Just saying!

  43. If you read this still Lilly I still agree with you. I am just too tired to keep re-blogging the same things and no one listen. Pretty much all you say I am in agreement with. Yes you are right about Charles. I am not sure where he stands with religion but I believe he may avoid people who do. So hang in there and I will be the black sheep with you.

  44. Hey Lilly do you have a facebook account because I would really like to talk to you sometime other than on these blogs.

  45. Roxy, thank you. There were about three people who seemed agitated by my first post on this particular blog and it made me a bit defensive.

    Hi, Diane, I was wondering what happened to you.

    This is one of the strangest things I have encountered while blogging anywhere. It appears Charles has a feeling toward God and religion like Superman has to cryptonite. It is very confusing to me.

    However, let us be fair here. He is kind enough to publish our posts and he really does not have to.

    No, I do not facebook. However, you can tweet me at Lily123sew.

    Oh, I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  46. I know this blog has been dormant for a couple of months, but after recent events I feel the need to comment here. The one person who did what was right--and whose reputation was virtually destroyed because he supposedly didn't stop child rape, because he didn't stop Sandusky from continuing to abuse children (allegedly), because he didn't call the cops to report something someone told him--has passed away. Right now, I'm angry that a man's reputation was destroyed by people (i.e., media) who assumed that Joe Paterno had more power than he actually had, that the Board of Trustees at Penn State changed their mind about firing him two months AFTER they did (now the interpretation is that he was relieved of his duties as coach, but not fired and then said they did so because he didn't follow procedures they implemented this week--yes, you're reading that right; he supposedly was removed for not following the procedures adopted by the Board on January 20), and that he died without having his name cleared.

    Joe Paterno died Sunday morning after battling lung cancer that was diagnosed after he was fired in November. He leaves a legacy of thousands of football players whose lives he touched, a tradition of scholar-athletes that is virtually unheard of in modern college athletics, and probably is the only football coach who ever had a wing of the university library named after him (honored because he spearheaded the campaign to make the library something the football team could be proud of, to paraphrase Paterno). It is a shame that the news reports of Paterno’s death start off with the sex abuse scandal and only as an afterthought mention that he was a rarity in college athletics in that he saw his players as students first, athletes second.

    Yes, the incident that occurred in 2002 was horrific. The person who committed the crime will have his day in court and will have to live with the consequences of his actions. The Board of Trustees who fired Paterno have to deal with their own consciences for dismissing someone who followed procedure yet supposedly didn’t do enough. The state governor who allocated state funds to Second Mile (the charity that, to put it crudely, provided Sandusky with some of his victims) at a time when higher education is facing severe funding cuts will have to answer to the voters when he runs for re-election (unless we are able to remove him sooner). Then there is the conflict of interest of a governor who, while Attorney General, did nothing to stop Sandusky from continuing his reprehensible behavior even though he had evidence to file charges (and, in fact, received sizable campaign contributions from Second Mile board members when campaigning for governor). Tip of the iceberg? Once everything comes out, more than a few heads should roll. And, unfortunately, one that did roll was that of the only person who in hindsight wished he could have done more.

    And I think that one lesson we should learn from what happened is that while offenses like the sex abuse scandal that rocked my home state this past November occur, we still have to keep in mind that (a) in the United States, people are innocent until proven guilty and (b) false accusations (and erroneous associations) can ruin lives. We will never know if Joe Paterno could have fought a better fight against the cancer that ravaged his 85 year old body if he hadn’t already been feeling like a beaten man because he was accused of not doing enough when, in actuality, he’s the only person in this whole incident who was commended for doing as much as he did and has been exonerated of any possible charges.

    Thank you again, Charlie, for allowing me to express my thoughts in this forum.


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