Excerpts taken out of this article: http://www.crusadeagainstclergyabuse.com/htm/AShortHistory.htm
1952: Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Paraclete Order and associated treatment facilities for priests located in New Mexico, Missouri and California, wrote to Bishop Robert Dwyer of Reno, NV, about priests afflicted with sexual disorders that cause them to abuse young boys. This letter indicates that Fr. Fitzgerald had already treated a “handful” of men charged with such abuse. He shared his recommendation that such men be laicized since they would never be free of the temptation to act out. This letter is remarkable in that it clearly assesses both the disorder and the risks. He warns against the very solutions that many bishops resorted to in the ensuing years: “Hence, leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the approximate danger of scandal.” Fr. Fitzgerald’s efforts at helping troubled priests were unique and quickly became known to all US bishops. It is safe to assume that his opinions about sexually abusing priests were known to most if not all bishops. Concerning priests who sexually abused minors he said “We find it quite common, almost universal with the handful of men we have seen in the past five years who have been under similar charges – we find it quite universal that they seem to be lacking in appreciation of the serious situation. As a class they expect to bound back like tennis balls on the court of priestly activity. I myself would be inclined to favor laicization for any priest, upon objective evidence, for tampering with the virtue of the young, my argument being, from this point onward the charity to the Mystical Body should take precedence over charity to the individual and when a man has so far fallen away from the purpose of the priesthood the very best that should be offered him is his Mass in the seclusion of a monastery.
Moreover, in practice, real conversions will be found to be extremely rare.
Many bishops believe men are never free from the approximate danger once they have begun. Hence, leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the approximate danger of scandal.” (See Fitzgerald Letter, dated Sept. 12, 1952,)
1957: Fr. Fitzgerald wrote to Bishop Matthew Brady of Manchester NH on September 26, 1957: ‘From our long experience with characters of this type, and without passing judgment on the individual, most of these men would be clinically classified as schizophrenic. Their repentance and amendment are superficial and, if not formally at least subconsciously, is motivated by desire to be again in a position where they can continue their wonted activity. A new diocese means only green pastures.” [In short, antisocial, without conscience (song of mary addition)]
1957: Again, Fr. Fitzgerald writes to Archbishop Edwin Byrne (Santa Fe) that he thought it unwise to “offer hospitality to men who have seduced or attempted to seduce little boys or girls.” He went on to utter an eerie prophecy of the future:
If I were a bishop, I would tremble when I failed to report them to Rome for involuntary laicization. Experience has taught us these men are too dangerous to the children of the parish and the neighborhood for us to be justified in receiving them here….They should ipso facto be reduced to lay men when they act thus.
1961: The Sacred Congregation for Religious issued an official document entitled, “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and sacred orders,” 2 Feb. 1961. The document states that one of the common causes of “defection’ or departure from the priesthood is “…sexual tendencies of a pathological nature…” which refers to homosexual tendencies. Later in the document reasons for dismissal are listed. The following statement is found:
“Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
1966: A workshop for psychologists engaged in the assessment of candidates for the priesthood and religious life is held at the School of Nursing of the Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York. One of the participants stated : Perhaps the most troublesome and most frequent appearing sociopathic features or disturbances in assessment work concern the high incidence of effeminacy, heterosexual retardation, psychosexual immaturity, deviations or potential deviations of the homosexual type….A recent study of 107 male candidates, for example, shows that 8% of these were sexually deviant, whereas 70% were described as psychosexually immature, exhibiting traits of heterosexual retardation, confusion concerning sexual role, fear of sexuality, effeminacy, and potential homosexual dispositions.”
1971: Dr. Conrad Baars and Dr. Anna Terruwe presented a scholarly paper to the 1971 Synod of Bishops at the Vatican and to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Citing 40 years of combined psychiatric practice treating about 1500 priests, they concluded that 20-25% of U.S. priests had serious psychiatric difficulties and 60-70% suffered from emotional immaturity. They concluded that the psychosexual immaturity manifested itself in heterosexual and homosexual activity.
1972: Dr. Eugene Kennedy published a psychological study of U.S. priests commissioned by the Bishops’ Conference. His findings concurred with those of Baars and Terruwe and concluded that American priests were
7% psychologically and emotionally developed
18% psychologically and emotionally developing
Kennedy and Heckler stated that the underdeveloped and maldeveloped priests (74%) had not resolved psychosexual problems and issues usually worked through in adolescence.“Sexuality is, in other words, non-integrated into the lives of underdeveloped priests and many of them function as a pre-adolescent or adolescent level of psychosexual growth.”
I would say these findings are likely true of pedophiles in general. Pedophile is being defined as adults preferring to sex with children of any age. It just so happens that the allure of the Catholic priesthood with its power, prestige, accommodations, and unlimited stock of vulnerable children attract those men with proclivities to pedophilia and who are likely immature themselves, either with an underdeveloped (psycho-socially stunted) or maldeveloped (antisocial) ego.
While this article and these studies pertained to Catholic priests, it seems reasonable the data can also apply to protestant clergyman and chaplains as well, though perhaps at a decreased rate than the Catholic priesthood for the reasons mentioned above. Protestant priesthood still carries with it power, prestige, and a surplus of vulnerable children, though its accommodations are usually meager in comparison to their Catholic counterparts. The level of blind trust and the pervasiveness of long-standing historical church abuses and abrogation of duty regarding those abuses may be higher in the Catholic dioceses versus those of protestant church communities, but many protestants are starting to speak out about the abuse problem in their own churches and ministries as well.
Stunning to note is the staggering incidence of the sexual immorality of priests, one of God’s holiest offices. Jesus said if a member of your body causes you to sin, then you should cut it off. But what if that member is a priest, corporally? The law in the Bible calls the presumptuous sins of priests the most heinous sins that can be committed among men, and those sins carry greater punishments and need more atonement than other sins. Jesus also said that if someone causes a child who believes in Him to sin, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea. This leaves a punishment for sex offenders of children life in prison, since suicide is a sin itself. Unless that person is one of the very ‘few who can effect a real conversion’ away from perpetuating the abuse.
If three quarters of priests are psychosexually immature and deviant, which several studies have shown, then society should expect that the most likely exposure of our children to sexual immorality will ironically be through the church, or those who elevate themselves in the church to positions of power, proving that the devil does indeed masquerade as an angel of light.