ARLINGTON, February 05, 2004 (LifeSiteNews) – It is becoming clear that programs being chosen by U.S. dioceses for the protection of children from sexual abuse, rather than putting the primary focus on potentially abusive clergy, are putting the children into an unwanted position as the first line of defence against the abusers. Parents are starting to object vociferously to what they see as further sexual exploitation by the programs intended to protect the children. In his weekly e-letter, Deal Hudson editor of Crisis, a Catholic magazine, describes the most recent meeting of parents and diocesan officials in Arlington Va. Officials in that diocese have dropped plans to implement the “Good Touch/Bad Touch” program. Catherine Nolan, the diocesan director of child protection and safety, told parents at the meeting that the reason they had been excluded from the program selection process was “that parents themselves might be predators”. This accusation is so absurd as to be laughable, as Hudson said, “the problem is NOT with parents. It’s with priests. On the list of 1700-plus names published in the New York Times as being sexual predators in this scandal, not one of them was a parent.” An article appearing in Catholic World News in June 2003 pointed out that the scandal came to light in 2002 precisely because of diocesan refusal to listen to and take seriously parents’ complaints against priestly sexual abuse. The article featured another program, “Talking about Touching” that is being adopted by the Archdiocese of Boston’s Commission for the Protection of Children. “Talking about Touching” has been heavily endorsed by groups like Planned Parenthood and the sex education lobby group, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). However, despite objections of parents, the Boston archdiocese is making the sex education program mandatory for Catholic school children as early as kindergarten.
The “Talking about Touching” curriculum was produced by the Washington State group Committee for Children. The Committee was originally called Judicial Advocates for Women and was formed in the 1970’s “to work for the repeal of the prostitution laws and an end to the stigma associated with sexual work.”
As one parent in the Boston diocese pointed out, it seems odd that the Church, which relied on secular psychiatrists and doctors to excuse the shuffling of abusive clergy from one parish to another, would turn to the same secular “experts” to come up with a program to prevent child abuse. Catholic World News Story: https://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=22707