Priest’s sex with teenage boy was ‘consensual’ says Vatican

Priest’s sex with teenage boy was ‘consensual’ says Vatican January 6, 2019

IN the latest twist to a probe into alleged sexual abuse of boys and young men by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, Church Militant claims the Vatican has decided that an altar boy aged 16 had approached the priest in New York’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1972 to solicit sex.

Although the allegation of abuse by the former altar boy was found to be credible by the Archdiocese of New York, the Vatican disagrees.

Church Militant screenshot

Church Militant’s Michael Voris, above, said in a video report:

The Vatican is attempting to recast the molestation as somehow ‘consensual sex’.

Voris also pointed out that this echoes a notion promoted by Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meeting in November, that consensual homosexual sex involving priests with young men is somehow not all that egregious.

The Vatican’s apparent attempt to discredit and downplay the charges against McCarrick raises a “big red flag,” said Voris, who asserted:

The Vatican is more concerned with cover-up than the truth. Many are thinking that all of this is just one huge smoke screen.

He added:

Rome has no real concern about this issue, too easily adopts a ‘blame the victim approach,’ and is content to treat this scandal as just an ‘American thing’ that will be forgotten soon enough.

Referring to the New York investigation of the case by, among others, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Voris said:

With Dolan’s original case against McCarrick apparently blown out of the water by Vatican investigators, Dolan needs to put together another  case and to it fast, and it would have to be air-tight

The former altar boy had testified that, in preparation for Christmas Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, McCarrick sexually abused him in the Cathedral’s sacristy and then again a year later in a lavatory.

Image via YouTube

James Grein, above, another man whom McCarrick had abused for 18 years, starting when Grein was just 11, is quoted in this report as saying:

The credible evidence has been dropped because the altar boy went to St Patrick’s Cathedral to solicit sex from McCarrick. He was 16 years old … he was a consensual adult. There was no crime.

Despite the fact that the US  views a 16-year-old as a minor, Canon law views a young person of that age as having reached the age of majority.

The Vatican has a statutory rape law which is violated when an individual has consensual sexual contact with a person under the age 18. The age of consent is 14 for girls and 16 for boys when the couple is married (they can consent to their spouse only).


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  • Age of Consent in NY is 16, so in principle it COULD have been a legally ‘consensual’ encounter. Of course the scumbag is probably lying about that part.

  • Cozmo the Magician

    what about the whole celibacy and gay sex is evil stuff? how do they excuse THAT?

  • Erp

    Actually it is 17 in New York (and, in 1920, was 18 so I doubt it was lower than 17 in 1972). I’m not sure whether New York has a law that also makes it criminal for those in authority (such as a teacher, employer, priest) over a minor to have sex with that minor which would protect 17 year olds.

  • B.E. Miller

    That bit about those in authority is also what I was wondering about.

    Okay, let’s say 16 is the legal age of consent. A 16 year old teen male goes up to an adult male to solicit sex.

    In the UK, it becomes non-consensual if the adult male is a teacher, or person in authority. I don’t know about New York, in the US. I would think a priest would definitely be considered “person in authority”.

  • otrame

    Oh, Mikey Voris. Voted Worst Toupee on YouTube four years in a row.

    You should take anything Mike says with considerable salt. I mean, like whole bags of it. He once did a vid where he advocated making the US a monarchy—with a Catholic king, of course. Oh, and only members of the Catholic Church in good standing could vote.

    He’s an extremist who is convinced that “the gays” have infiltrated the church, because the bishops, especially American bishops, have gone soft (no, he’s not talking about that). They aren’t manly enough in their celibacy (okay, maybe he is talking about that). Mikey thinks manliness is really important, possibly because he spent some time in the “homosexual lifestyle” when a young man. Then his mother got cancer and told him that she asked God for the cancer as her sacrifice so God would help Mike leave the lifestyle. He claims to be celibate as his sacrifice to god.

    No. I am not making this shit up.

  • Jim Jones

    Yeah, like THIS is making their case better!

  • A distressing number of catholic traditionalists believe that [consent as a standard for sexual activity] means [children can consent to sex] >.>

  • epeeist

    In other news a French cardinal has been accused of covering up abuse.

  • clanhamilton

    Who was asking about atheism?

  • Cali Ron

    In California if an adult engages in sex with a minor it’s statutory rape whether it’s consensual or not. The assumption being the adult should know better. Gee, they seem to be saying priest aren’t responsible for their actions with children in their care? Again, the RCC claims moral high ground while wallowing in the swamp of rapists and pedophiles. Webster’s should add RCC priest’s to the definition of immoral.

  • Cali Ron

    Non sequitur. You must be a deluded believer. Atheism is not a religion. Not rules. We just are not deluded by the ever changing superstitions of mankind born from his ignorance.
    I condemn those actions because they are morally wrong and i don’t need a God or book to know that. Anybody with a conscience knows that. Sadly, many members of the clergy don’t have one.

  • Cali Ron

    Shocking!

  • Terry Firma

    Please don’t forget that Michael Voris, who somehow comes off as a reformer and a voice of reason in this post, has positioned himself as an enemy of the Pope because he thinks Francis is too progressive. Voris is an opportunistic rightwing agitator and fundamentalist who will drag the Church even further into the dark ages if he gets the chance. He’s a certified homophobe who blames the child-rape crisis in the Church on the gays, and whose stated interest is to rid the RCC of the “heretics and traitors” in its midst.

    Of course, like a stopped clock, he’s occasionally right (as he is here).

    Here’s a little more on Mr. Voris: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2014/12/25/catholic-journalist-paints-a-bleak-picture-of-the-churchs-decline-in-popularity-but-knows-just-how-to-fix-it/

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Technically correct, if ridiculously off topic. Whataboutism fail. Care to explain why the Roman Catholic church permits sexual assault of minors and obstruction of justice now?

  • Raging Bee

    Plenty of atheists condemn it. Your point…?

  • HematitePersuasion

    OHMIGOD!

    Nothing in the theory of relativity condemns this either! Nothing in Quantum electodynamics condemns this! Our only hope is string theory!

    Oh, wait. There are no supernatural phenomena has no moral implications. Whew! That was a close one …

  • ralphmeyer

    What won’t the foul sort of religious nuts do to cover their stinking hides??? The Vatican should be shut down for its criminal support of such pedophiles!!!

  • Dan R Francis

    Minors cannot consent, you child-raping piece of fucking scum. Die.

  • John Gills

    Rather over the top. I’d prefer you said, “Expire!”

  • Dan R Francis

    Die. Expire. Same thing, really. But then, as a survivor myself, I harbour neither mercy nor any giving-a-damn if child-rapists live. I tend to prefer they die. Painfully.

  • indianstallion

    What a silly thing to say. Atheism is simply rejection of the god claim. That’s like saying f you don’t believe in leprechauns , it means you shouldn’t believe in gold because that’s what given by the leprechauns. Similarly, morality is not given to you by your god , else you would still have no issues having slaves now or stoning non-virgins to death, which the christian god said was ok back then.

  • Etranger

    Atheism isn’t an organization of any sort. It is merely a non-belief in a deity. Humanism, which many atheists and non-atheists view as a good philosophical approach to ethics and morality, condemns this. Christianity technically condemns this. The article states that the Christian organization known as the Roman Catholic Church is not condemning this. So you really aren’t making any point by your simplistic snarky comment.

  • Camorris

    On Halloween, does anyone dress up in Priestly Garb hoping to terrorify the little ones?

  • Lark62

    Actually, christianity does not condemn rape. Nor does it condemn sex with children.

    There are a few passages where it is forbidden to rape a female who belongs to another man, but this is treated as a property crime against the man.

    Aside from this, there is not one passage that condemns rape.
    Raping your wives is fine.
    Raping your slaves is fine.
    Raping foreigners and war captives is fine.
    Raping any woman who does not belong to another Hebrew man is fine.

    There is not one passage that condemns sex without the consent of the other party.

    There is not one passage that condemns sex with children.

    However, the bible expressly permits soldiers to keep girls too young to be married “for themselves” after murdering their entire families.

    Biblical morality sucks.

  • Etranger

    Well…that gets into the whole debate on how much weight Christianity gives to the OT…

  • Lark62

    OT or NT, doesn’t matter.

    Rape is not forbidden.
    Sex with children is not forbidden.
    Child abuse is not forbidden.
    Torture is not forbidden.

    They claim their religion is the only source of morality. In reality, the bible is worthless as a guide to morality.

  • Etranger

    I have never heard of that stuff in the new testament in all honesty. I am not a believer but definitely know what the basic tenets of Christianity is. Nothing in the philosophy would condone the behaviors you mention. Let’s be clear and truthful in our criticisms.

  • Lark62

    Going by the content of the buybull, you have no grounds to condemn sex without consent or sex with children.

    If you think those things are wrong, you have gotten that morality someplace other than the bibble.

  • Etranger

    Completely agree that the Bible is worthless as a guide to morality. That is why it makes no sense to me how progressive Christians can still be believers in its legitimacy. But that is another debate!

  • Lark62

    I know we agree for the most part.

    But christians cannot produce one verse in the OT or NT that clearly prohibits sex without consent. There are vague verses about “love” but not one a clear statement. There is a clear statement prohibiting tattoos, but nothing for rape.

    Right now, there are quiverfull types teaching that a wife cannot refuse her husband. They say the husband has a right to take sex whenever he wants. And there is not one word in their precious font of perfect absolute morality that says those people are wrong.

  • Lark62

    Agree.

  • Etranger

    I think both of our comments illustrate my main point. There is the philosophy and their is the practice. Based solely on the basis of Christian teaching of loving others as you love yourself, it makes no sense to do any of the things. But yes, the religious organizations have to contend with the fact that they do not always follow basic teachings and wind up supporting horrible things like you mention.

  • Lark62

    Also, Christians like to claim they have a source of objective morality which makes them superior to atheists.

    But this simply is not true. What 21st century christians claim is perfect absolute morality has very little relationship to the words on the bible. They have added things that are not there while ignoring much of what is there.

    We all get our morality from our community. Just as our community more or less agrees on the meaning of words, we likewise develop a shared morality. No deity required.

  • Raging Bee

    You’re giving ignorant non-sequiturs a bad name.

  • David Cromie

    Consensual? Bill Donohue will be pleased to hear that (assuming he did not contribute the story in the first place).

  • Barry Duke

    We don’t tolerate spamming. You’re barred. Bye!

  • amused

    Morality does not come from religion. If id did, then killing kids who sass back, brides who are not virgins on the wedding night, people who eat shellfish, people who wear blended fabrics, “witches” and many others must be killed by society. We do not do this. We construct elaborate Rube Goldberg like explanations about why these commands in the OT are no longer applicable, or were never real commands. We do this because humans possess a sense of morality extrinsic to the bible or other holy book, that provides the standards used to judge which such commands are real and which can (and must) be explained away.

  • Raging Bee

    How about “Perish!” You can say that in more ominous tones and it sounds less bureaucratic.

  • Raging Bee

    An action doesn’t have to be illegal to be a fireable offense. End of excuse.

  • Raging Bee

    Actually, that bolded statement has HUGE moral implications: it implies that superstitious morons have no basis from which to talk about morality.

  • Raging Bee

    Funny how it’s atheists condemning evil, and BELIEVERS desperately trying to fend off the criticism. So which group has no basis for morality again?

  • Raging Bee

    Two adults shagging in an office restroom on company time is also perfectly legal — but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fired for it.

  • John Gills

    I love it! Perish “you child-raping piece of fucking scum.”

  • Chris Hugh

    So, is there any filthy crime that the Church doesn’t allow its priests to commit? Serious question. Child rape is okay with them and so is child murder (a different issue). The Church was also okay with the Holocaust too, as an aside. What is the Church’s purpose, exactly? It can’t be anything to do with a just and moral God. I’d almost say that they worship the devil, but the Church of Satan explicitly forbids rape and any harm to children.

  • lost11cause

    The Vatican seems to have missed the point – it is not just about consent – it is also about celibacy – a certain Father Michael performed fellatio on a consenting 14-year-old Milo who admitted he enjoyed the experience at the time and for many years afterwards saw nothing wrong with it. But of course there was something wrong with it. He was a priest – he had taken a vow of celibacy. He violated his vow. Many Catholics fixate on the homosexual nature of the encounter – like the reformed former homosexual Michael Voris. Which seems to imply if Father Michael had engaged in oral sex with a 14-year-old girl that would have somehow been less sinful! No – it wouldn’t! Milo is now attacking Pope Francis for being too soft on gay paedophile priests when his main motivation is to attack a left leaning pontiff. If Pope Francis were conservative Milo would leave him alone and turn a blind eye. So would Michael Voris. This outrage is politics dressed up as morality and it is fake.

  • Steven Watson

    And Jesus called a little
    child unto him, and set him in the midst of them… But whoso shall offend one of these little ones
    which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were
    hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the
    sea.”. Matthew 18:2, 6. That was the faith of my fathers; and I come from a family dripping priests, canons, and nuns.

  • Lark62

    In no way is that a clear prohibition of child rape, child marriage or child abuse. It certainly does not prohibit rape in general.

    “But whoso shall offend” is so vague that it can apply to.anything and exclude anything.

    Nor has that verse ever in any way dissuaded any person from child rape, child marriage or child abuse.

    Lev 19:28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.”

    Show me a verse that forbids rape with equal clarity.

  • Steven Watson

    The bible is a bunch of equivocal human texts which you can prove or disprove almost anything from. You may hold to your own exegesis; I’m just tellling you what my particular burgeoning Christian clan held and holds to, and there are umpty thousands other Christers across umpty denominations that hold the same. We don’t get to tell people what their faith means, or what it means to them. We can only offer up reason and the contradictions in the hope they will come to our conclusions under their own steam, just as I offer mine to you.

  • Steven Watson

    I get my morality from me; else I would still be a Christer.

  • David Cromie

    Pope Francis is a conservative, but his PR machine seems to have succeeded in painting him as a woolly liberal, and many have fallen for the hype.

  • David Cromie

    Note the get-out clause; “,,,one of these little ones which believe in me…”. This implies that these ‘little ones’ are not covered, and are thus fair game for the unbeliever?

  • David Cromie

    But religiots have a mandate from their particular supposed ‘god’ to tell the rest of us how to live our lives, on pain of eternal damnation in a ‘lake of fire’.