Chickenhawks in the Church

Pedophilia is defined as a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, while hebephilia is that attraction to children in the early stages of puberty, approximately ages 11 to 14, and ephebophilia is the attraction to teenagers in the later stages of puberty, approximately 15 to 19.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia agrees to $3.5 million settlement in priest sexual assault lawsuit

The lawsuit alleged that Pastor John Close raped a boy at St. Katherine’s of Siena in Wayne in 2006.

by Nick Vadala | Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that one of its priests sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in Delaware County nearly two decades ago.

Filed in 2020, the lawsuit alleges that Pastor John Close raped the boy at St. Katherine’s of Siena in Wayne in 2006. The plaintiff, whose name was withheld in court filings, was attending a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine program there, and Close was the head of the parish.

During a class, the boy became upset, fearing eternal damnation. He was sent to Close’s office, the pastor took his confession, and then raped him, according to the lawsuit. Afterward, the lawsuit says, Close told the boy that he was absolved of his sins, but he would be eternally damned if he told anyone about the assault.

While the age of the victim at the time of the assault was not given, he is 31 years old today, and the rape was 17 years ago. That means the victim was 13-to-15 years old at the time. Was that hebephilia, or was it ephebophilia? You know what? It doesn’t really matter, because urban slang gives us a far better definition: a chickenhawk, older males who prefer younger boys as sex partners.

Close, who was ordained in 1969, worked at several parishes and Catholic schools in the region throughout his 42 years in the ministry, including Christ the King parish, Cardinal O’Hara High School, Archbishop Wood High School, and the Cathedral of Basilica Saints Peter and Paul. He was placed on administrative leave in 2011 in connection with the reinvestigation of another alleged case and retired the following year. He died in 2018. . . . .

Spokesperson Kenneth A. Gavin said in a statement that the archdiocese “acknowledges settlement in this matter and the resolution it brings.” He added that the organization had no knowledge of the allegations against Close until the plaintiff’s lawyers reported them in July 2019, after the pastor’s death.

“In accordance with policy, the archdiocese reported the allegation to law enforcement,” the archdiocese said.

Is that true? Not according to the plaintiff!

The lawsuit argued that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was notified of a pattern of behavior from Close that put children in danger as early as 1976. That year, a pastor at Blessed John Neumann parish in Bryn Mawr (now known as St. John Neumann parish) reported that Close had teenage boys in his room at the rectory at odd hours, including overnight. As a result, Close was transferred to another parish, and “the archdiocese did not warn that next parish of this past behavior,” according to court documents.

Another alleged victim came forward several times starting in the late 1990s, reporting that Close had sexually abused him in 1969 when he was an altar boy at Christ the King parish in Philadelphia. The Archdiocesan Review Board investigated but could not substantiate the allegation, and it was dismissed, court documents say.

In 2011, following the release of a second scathing grand jury report that accused the church hierarchy of harboring more than two dozen priests suspected of abuse, a third alleged victim of Close came forward. That person said Close sexually assaulted him while he was a student at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster in the early 1990s, when Close was the principal. The Archdiocesan Review Board again found the accusations could not be substantiated.

According to court documents, the archdiocese learned of at least two additional allegations. A woman in 2011 reported that a friend had told her that Close “messed around” with him at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield in the 1970s. The review board found this to be unsubstantiated. And in 2014, a boy alleged that Close sexually abused him at Christ the King in the 1970s, but archdiocesan investigators were unable to make contact with the boy, court documents said.

We know of over $80 million in Church settlements, and there are other cases in which settlements were reached, but the amounts were not disclosed, and the vast majority of it is due to the Church sheltering chickenhawks.

Homosexuality has been a huge problem within the Catholic priesthood, and that problem has spilled out in the form of predator priests. while it is wholly politically incorrect to say, the sexual abuse of minors in the Church has been a problem of homosexuality: the vast majority of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has been against boys rather than girls. The John Jay Report noted that, of the abuse cases it studied, between 1950 and 2002, stated:

The largest group of alleged victims (50.9%) was between the ages of 11 and 14, 27.3% were 15-17, 16% were 8-10 and nearly 6% were under age 7. Overall, 81% of victims were male and 19% female. Male victims tended to be older than female victims. Over 40% of all victims were males between the ages of 11 and 14.

Despite attempts by the politically correct, you cannot explain that huge disparity by saying that boys were simply more available to priests years ago. This isn’t a matter of random selection, but of chickenhawk priests deliberately choosing which victims to groom and then assault.

How many parishioners have we lost over this? How many previously devout, Mass-attending Catholics have left the Church over the thoroughly disgusting cases of bishops — some of them predators as well — simply moving the abusers to another parish, without informing the new parish that the priest had ‘problems’? How many parishes have we had to close because there were no longer enough parishioners to keep them open? How many priests could have been moved into positions in which there was almost no contact with minors? And how many could and should have been referred to law enforcement, but were not?

This is what happens when you sweep things under the rug: as you keep doing that, the lump of material under the rug becomes more noticeable, and the debris under the rug became so large that the Church started tripping over it.

It isn’t just the Catholic Church, of course. We reported on Wednesday morning how a 49-year-old Henry Clay High School English teacher and Lutheran Church ‘youth volunteer’ was arrested for sexual offenses with children, and noted over a year ago how a Philadelphia high school teacher had groomed and started sexually abusing a teenaged girl, and others in the school knew about it and did nothing. But if it isn’t just the Catholic Church, the Church has definitely gained a negative reputation for having let it happen, and is often the first ‘suspect’ in people’s minds when they turn to the subject.

Pope Benedict XVI, in 2005, had the subject addressed, and the Congregation for Catholic Education released an instruction stating that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries to study for the priesthood. Naturally, the left went bonkers, with one former priest asking Why Isn’t Celibacy Enough? The answer, of course, is that celibacy would be enough if the chickenhawk priests actually remained celibate! The sexual abuse scandals which have rocked the Church occurred because too many priest could not remain faithful to their vows of celibacy.

What Pope Benedict recognized, that the oh-so-politically-correct left couldn’t stand, is that homosexuality among priests was, while not the sole contributor to the sexual abuse scandals, certainly the largest part. What about 81% of the victims were boys, and the two most abused age groups were, in order, 11-to-14-year-old boys, followed by 15-to-17-year-old boys can’t they understand?

Pope Benedict was right: admitting those with “homosexual tendencies” to the priesthood is a recipe for disaster, and had already been a disaster.

There is only one real solution, and that is to admit heterosexual married men to the priesthood. Not only will they not be preying on young boys, but they will have a sanctified outlet for their sexual drives, and can have a normal family life. We already have married priests, both in the Eastern-Rite Catholic Churches, but a few hundred married former Anglican priests who converted to Catholicism, and it hasn’t somehow been a disaster for the Church.
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2 thoughts on “Chickenhawks in the Church”

  1. This is one of the better articles I have read about this pathology of the Catholic Church. While I don’t automatically support the conclusion of married priests being the best or only solution, it is well reasoned and supported.

  2. “But a priest with heirs will have competition to the Church inheriting his estate, and possible divided loyalties between Church and spouse! We can’t have that!”

    At one time such policies may have had a legitimate role… but every so often you have to re-evaluate things and see if they’re still doing more good than harm.

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