Friday, November 04, 2005

 

"Let's Try to Blame The Following Crimes On the Gays"


This story, along with the next four, come from YH, who points out that each involves the sexual molestation of girls by men in position of religious authority, giving the lie to the argument that the church abuse scandal is entirely reflective of "gay corruption of the church" or some such silliness.

I'd also point out that none of the five stories involve the Catholic Church.

The latest counter-argument to this blog, which I saw on a conservative religious discussion board, is that "only" 1 or 2 percent of Catholic priests have been accused of molestation, and "most" of those are priests who were appointed in the 1960s-- the implication being that the church abuse scandal is the result of the church flirting with liberal social policy in the sixties, and everything is right now.

But I have by no means limited Bobo's World to Catholic priests-- you'll find plenty of Baptists, born-agains, and others on my list, and they keep popping up, every day, at all ages, forty years after the sixties.

If anything, I'd guess that the clergy molestation problem is greater outside the Catholic church than inside it, if only because no matter how lax and, indeed, complicit, the church administration was and is in regards to criminal clergy, there at least is a church hierarchy that is answerable to, and that at least feebly attempts to control the problem. I worry more about the entirely un-regulated, un-managed freelance preachers who set up churches in the hinterland willy-nilly, as entrepreneurial enterprises. There is no administrative control over these fellows, and their flocks are often of the most naive and unquestioningly sort, who as a matter of religious belief "submit" to authorities, even of the self-appointed kind.

In other words, we hear about the Catholic abuse scandal because there is an organization for victims to bring to court. The thousands of independent criminal clergy out there are essentially judgement proof, and so there's no sense in suing them. With the Catholic Church, there's hope of reform, and indeed the American bishops' zero-tolerance policy (adopted in response to multiple lawsuits) will likely result in fewer future criminal acts. But how do you reform independent clergy? It involves huge societal changes, most of which I don't see happening, probably ever, but especially in my lifetime.

Former Pastor Found Guilty of Sexual Assault

San Antoinio, Texas - A former pastor has been found guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Victor Icenogle, known as “Apostle Alex” to his parishioners, now faces up to 99 years behind bars. Sentencing will be at a later date.

During testimony this week, a 10 year old girl took the witness stand to describe where and when the 48 year old man assaulted her. Icenogle reportedly did not look at his victims as they testified.

Icenogle was the self proclaimed pastor of the Promise Land Church here in San Antonio.


See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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