The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Blame it on TV

That’s what a bishop in Mexico is doing. He blames pornography, sex education and erotic TV progams for the sex abuse scandal.

From SKY news:

A Roman Catholic bishop in Mexico has sparked outrage by suggesting eroticism on television and internet pornography were to blame for child sex abuse by priests.


He also claimed sex education in schools was making it more difficult for priests to remain celibate.

Bishop Felipe Arizmendi was speaking as the Pope prepared to visit Malta where he is expected to meet victims of abuse by Catholic priests.

“With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it’s not easy to stay celibate or to respect children,” he told an annual meeting of bishops near Mexico City.

“If on television and on the internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste.

“Obviously when there is generalised sexual freedom it’s more likely there could be cases of paedophilia,” he added.

His comments have been denounced by the Mexican Association for Sexual Health, a group of professional counsellors and educators.

“Those of good conscience in the church should stop this absurdity and find good help,” the group said in a statement.

“Blaming the problems that the Catholic Church has had with priests’ sexually abusing minors on sex education makes no sense,” it added. “It borders on the pathetic.”

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Holy Cannoli

posted April 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

There has been a proliferation of eroticism on television and on the internet. However, making this kind of connection is a stretch and not prudent.
I wonder if the Bishop’s remarks will cause some to “hesitate to convert”?

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posted April 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

I don’t believe for one moment that we can or should excuse child abusers’ actions on the media.
That said, my super-hyper-fundamentalist-Christian, ultra-conservative-Amerika-first, last and always red-nex relations last year told me that they had noticed something after all their kids came back from two weeks with us here in Europe.
They were reading. They were playing. They were not screaming, demanding and fighting.
One of the conditions we had set for permitting the entire gang to stay with us had been: No TV. (No DVDs, No VCRs, No Blu-Rays, no Wiis, No X-Boxes, Gameboys, et al. No, No, No,).
The other condition was that computers might only be used for research, reading, writing emails to mom and dad and gramma and grampa once a day and video conferencing once a week with the family.
No exceptions.
When the weather was good (it can be good, really – it isn’t always ashes and rain here, honest! Why just recently, let’s see, that was 1837…or so…we had two days of sunshine in a row) they were expected to play outside.
Every morning began with feeding the animals first, then bathing, then breakfast, then cleaning and farm chores, second breakfast and then catching up on their various academic weaknesses.
We had a lovely two weeks, our maid didn’t quit, the kids went home happy, healthy and even the six year old was able to read.
We do have a TV. We even have a remote control for it. Somewhere. I think we do, at least, Sèan says it came with one.
I don’t know what decisions my relations ultimately came to on the matter, our family has a very fragile truce in place and one of the basic rules is that we don’t discuss politics, religion or child-rearing. The fact that they noticed speaks for itself.
This is my last post here for a while. Let’s remember, whatever our personal animosities, the victims are the ones who need our concentrated energies and efforts.

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Desrd jayer

posted April 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

I guess in the early years the priests porn was looking at the Simpson’s, Sears, Eaton’s catalogs. I guess the church could try to sue Sears since the other two isn’t around.
I just knew those catalogs with bras and panties pictures were going to cause problems even in the out-house. But didn’t know the priests would be looking at the boys underwear instead.
It may also be the lye power used to cover and keep odor to a minimum in the old out-houses. The church may sue the lye companies, this of course is prior to the flush toilet. Now days with flush toilet you can’t use catalog pages when you run out of toilet paper.

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Enough of the MEDIA Blame Game

posted April 17, 2010 at 10:51 am

I just don’t at all see where the bishop “blamed” TV or the media. I think it’s pretty clear he was speaking about the cultural conditions that make living chastely more difficult for all Christians, and especially for celibate priests. And he’s right, of course. Studies have already shown the connection between watching violent movies and video games and an increase in violent thoughts and tendencies. Does anyone really want to suggest that the same isn’t true for other forms of media in this sex-saturated society? The “blame game” I’m getting tired of is the one the media is playing, claiming the Church is blaming everyone but itself. Nonsense.

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Armiger Jagoe, J.C.

posted April 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

The Mexican bishop is correct about the damage modern TV and the cinema are doing to our morality. However, when he blames this for the acts of 4% of our priests, guilty of pedophilia, he is mixing apples and oranges.
Armiger Jagoe, J.C., editor of The Joyful Catholic

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posted April 17, 2010 at 11:19 am

Deacon Greg! Please post your homily for this week! Im excited to read!! I hope it’s a good one!!!
Hi, Ray. I have a rare weekend off from preaching, so I won’t be posting a homily today. But thanks for asking! Dcn. G.

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Yeah Right

posted April 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Pedophelia is a disease and priests should be diligently screened before being allowed in the priesthood. I think it is a disgrace to blame the media available on the ability to fulfill ones fantasies. Did they not take a vow of chastity? Is it an excuse that God will ultimately forgive them for their sins against children? Don’t look if you want to be pure of heart.
Their urges should be curbed by whatever means necessary to stop the abuse.

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posted April 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm

“lead us not into temptation”…….even Christ was tempted.
Here in lies the rub. If we don’t allow our selves to be subjected to the temptations we find on television or in “Playboy” or the filth in modern novels for examples, it will much easier to resist evil. Like Father Corapi likes to say. Keep bathing in manure and you will eventually begin to have a distinct odor.

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posted April 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

If you read what the bishop actually said, it’s much more nuanced than the headline or lead in would have you think.

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Mere Catholic

posted April 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

The bishop is off the mark when it comes to sex education in schools, but one should not dismiss his comments on pornography. I don’t think a sexual attraction to and a sexual exploitation of children results from pornography but it most certainly is encouraged by it. When you read some of the accounts of abusive priests, many had extensive collections of pornography, both adult and child. We as a society are increasingly sexualizing children at earlier ages. Take a look at the pre-teen section of a clothing store one of these days and you’ll see less cloth in those clothes than one would see on Lady Gaga. As another example, child pageants don’t feature children, rather children dressed up as little adults in skimpy clothing. This is not to excuse the behavior of Catholic priests (or for any man or woman who molests) but rather to call an alarm that we as a society are complicit in the sexualization of children.

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Queens Catholic

posted April 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I consider myself fairly conservative, but some of the people on these threads are a bunch of mean-spirited sob’s who need to find another hobby besides self-righteous sniping and quoting the saints ad nauseam. I’m sure the saints don’t appreciate it.

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posted April 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Bishop Shota Cat claimed
“[S]ex education in schools was making it more difficult for priests to remain celibate. ”
Really, it makes it harder to trick kids into having sex or more curious about sex. Either way it’s bad.
Sounds a lot like a quote from the Bishop of Tenerife in 2007.
“There are 13 year old adolescents who are under age and who are perfectly in agreement with, and what’s more wanting it, and if you are careless they will even provoke you.”

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Reaganite in NYC

posted April 17, 2010 at 11:07 pm

BobRN (1:20 PM): “If you read what the bishop actually said, it’s much more nuanced than the headline or lead in would have you think.”
Yes, I agree with “BobRN”.
We don’t have the full text of this bishop’s statement. The “piece” by SKY news only provides a few quotes and then a lot of commentary and analysis that seems unsupported by those actual quotes. Plus the reporter threw in a statement in opposition to the bishop by a local group of mental health professionals.
We’re asked to comment on a so-called “news story” when its not clear that the so-called “news story” is accurate or not misleading.

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posted April 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

There is absolutely NO excuse for what the priests did….but it seems the bishop in Mexico needed to try and make up some excuses for the criminal and abhorent behavior of the priests.

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