***TheMediaReport.com SPECIAL REPORT*** Who Am I To Judge? In 1992, Boston Globe Touted Therapy Treatments for Sex Offenders, Then Excoriated the Church Years Later For Actually Using Them

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The Boston Globe and the Catholic sex abuse narrative: A story yet to be told.

When the Boston Globe excoriated the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002 for relying on therapists to treat abusive priests from the 1950s to the 1990s, the paper somehow apparently forgot that in 1992 the Globe itself was enthusiastically trumpeting the psychological treatment of sex offenders as "highly effective" and "dramatic."

In a front-page article on June 18, 1992, the Globe opened:

"A new generation of treatment programs for sex offenders is proving highly effective, dramatically reducing the percentage of cases in which offenders repeat sex crimes, research shows.

"Recidivism rates declined from 9 percent for untreated offenders to 5 percent for those who underwent the new treatment in one study, and from 38 percent to 6 percent in another.

"While there is no complete 'cure' for sex offenders, the new findings indicate that many of them can learn to manage their aberrant sexual impulses without committing new crimes. The promising new treatments focus on helping these offenders control the complex cauldron of social inadequacies, distorted thinking, and deviant sex fantasies that prompt them to rape women, molest children or exhibit themselves in public."

By this very article the Globe confirms that the Church's then-practice of sending abusive priests off to treatment was not just some diabolical attempt to deflect responsibility and cover-up wrongdoing, but a genuine attempt to treat aberrant priests that was being widely promoted by secular experts in the field.

The Globe's therapy amnesia

Indeed, the Globe editorial board itself was also an ardent proponent of therapeutic treatment for sex offenders. In an editorial only eight days after the above article, the Globe editorial board published "An offender's right to treatment," which forcefully petitioned the Governor of Massachusetts at the time (William Weld) for "improved treatment programs" in the state, contending that it was "wrong to impose harsh punishments on sexually violent criminals without offering them treatment."

Around the same time, the Globe also published another article seemingly endorsing the manner in which the Catholic Church handled abusive priests:

"[Those who treat sex offenders] and other specialists said many offenders can be returned to active ministry so long as the clergy and their supervisors accept lifelong restrictions and follow-up care."

The Globe went on to say that "society will suffer" if offenders are not afforded therapeutic treatment, as such measures are "cost-effective" and successful.

The hypocrisy here is rich. After first promoting psychological treatment for sex offenders in 1992 – including the Church's own treatment programs for offending priests – by 2002 the Globe was scolding the Church for doing in 1992 exactly what the Globe itself said it should be doing!

Perhaps the Globe should consider unleashing its crack "Spotlight Team" to delve deeper into this story and investigate itself and its own rank hypocrisy.


  1. Jim Robertson says:

    Wig's are inanimate. Wigs can't talk or move. Comparing a human being to an inanimate hair piece does what exactly? Ennoble your fellow man or just degrade him? How Christ like of you!

    You really do have the moral high ground. LMFAO!

  2. Publion says:

    There’s not a lot to work with in the recent crop.

    On the 13th at 1248PM in the first paragraph we merely get the assertion that – in JR’s opinion – humans have indeed come down from the trees. Unsupported by any explication, it can simply be left up there for readers to consider in contrast to the points I made about humans being regressed back to the trees.

    And readers are welcome to try to make sense out of the bit about having “honestly” come down from the trees.

    But that “honestly” – as we see in the next sentence – is actually there merely to serve as a lead-in to the bit – as so often – about there being nothing “honest” about “imagined after-lives and major portions of all religions”. Which actually doesn’t work grammatically or sensically, but there it is. And what a “Brahmin” class (correction supplied) has to do with all of it is equally up for grabs.

    I am then lectured by the Wig of Knowingness that “religion means nothing to” me. And that conclusion is apparently based – yet again – on the presumption that Jesus wouldn’t question Abuseniks and assess their material, which is – yet again, we are informed  – “uncharitable” and “immoral”.

    Then in the following paragraph merely a one-liner that indicates only that JR is not clear on the definition of “antidote”.

    I had said that JR had “arguably” reduced “loving” to “pornography”. Since he had, I said, reduced “loving” to “sex”, then since pornography is a part of “sex” the case could “arguably” be made that he had reduced “loving” to “pornography” as well as to “sex”. That’s how I derived “arguably” and I think it works.

    But in any case, we note that JR did not go near the basic point I raised: that he had reduced “loving” to “sex” in his comment. And that point still stands simply from a reading of what he wrote.

    And thus what also remains is the fact that if one has reduced human “loving” to nothing more than “sex” then one has indeed regressed things back to the trees. Which is where JR’s stated position thus remains.

    But he neatly avoids that problem in his position by trying to distract with more stuff from the 3x5s to the effect that “Your church has been obsessed with sexuality, absolutely obsessed” – and then following that bit up with the Wig of Psychological Knowledge trying to make an epithet into a diagnosis: “Freud would have a field day with you”. (Imagine, by the by, what would happen if “Freud” – or any psychological theory – were applied to JR in the same way he likes to toss it at others.)

    But in regard to this claimed “obsession” of the Church with “sex”: to define a human being – and for that matter human “loving” – as being primarily about “sex” is to grossly underestimate and grossly mis-define the nature of human being (and consequently human life and living). The power of “sex” is very strong in human beings, yet humans who simply give themselves over to “sex” as their sole or even primary activity wind up living something far short of a fully human life (and wind up living a life more similar to animals in the trees).

    So,  since the Church has always been concerned for developing the full range of the human potential, since the human is made in the Image of God, the Church has to be concerned for “sex”, which is one of the most powerful – yet also powerfully deranging, if not managed properly – urges or energies which humans must learn to manage properly. The Greeks used the image of a charioteer who must learn to manage the horses pulling the chariot and that’s a pretty accurate image.

    Thus – getting back to JR’s The-Doctor-Is-In declamation about “obsession” – the Church is no more “obsessed with” sex than a fire department is “obsessed with” fires. Fires, when not properly managed and controlled, destroy, and so does sex.  Or: the Church is no more “obsessed with” sex than a flight-school instructor is “obsessed with” avoiding crashes and “obsessed with” ensuring the proper operation of an aircraft, which is accomplished by properly training pilots.

    Thus then the – yet again – deployed claim of being ‘smeared’ fails and can stay right up where it was put.

    And I would further say that to suggest or assert that human “loving” is reducible merely to “sex” is a smear upon human beings.

    Then, a few minutes later at 1252PM, we get an effort to claim that I am reducing JR to something “inanimate”. Which assertion simply demonstrates that he does not grasp the concept of metonymy. When one refers, for example, to the President as “the Oval Office” (as in: ‘the Oval Office said today …’) then one is merely substituting a readily-identifiable inanimate thing so closely identified with the President for the President himself. And, of course, the use of the Wig (i.e. an assumed pose specifically donned for a particular occasion) is – I believe I have established through numerous extended analyses – readily-identifiable with JR’s performance here.

    And thus the rest of the comment fails, and does so pitch-perfectly, with JR attempting to maneuver himself into the “moral high ground” of having been victimized (thus the Wig of Victimization plopped atop the Wig of Indignation).

  3. Jim Robertson says:

    How does being sexually abused as a 13 and 16 year old make me not a victim? If it had happened to you would you have been a victim, Mr Lack O'Empathy?