Patrick Schiltz discusses Catholic church sex abuse scandal

Midday | Religion | Interviews | Legacy Amendment Digitization (2018-2019)
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Patrick Schiltz, Interim Dean of the University of St. Thomas Law School, talks about the American Catholic Cardinals meeting with the Pope in Rome to discuss sex abuse by priests.

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(00:00:00) Good afternoon with news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Steven John Governor. Ventura says he's been asked by the Bush Administration about joining a trade mission to Africa than Torah says the question arose yesterday as he discussed his upcoming trade tour to China with the US trade representative than Torah says his popularity is peaking in Africa because they're showing old tapes of and Torres wrestling Days on television than to her has not committed to going on the trip Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak is among the local government business and Community leaders who are back from a tour of Denver that group met Denver city leaders to see how they've dealt with everything from housing to Transit issues. (00:00:37) Probably the one big idea. I like out of all of this is being able to have the County's forward some sort of Transportation agenda. And I think the first thing that will come out is that this group will push a regional transit and housing (00:00:48) strategy. 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There's a chance of some scattered rain, maybe some light snow showers in the north flurries and Cambridge in 45. It's 45 in the Twin Cities this hour that's news from Minnesota Public Radio. All right. Thank you. Stephen six minutes past 12:00 o'clock and good afternoon. Welcome back to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten. Glad you could join us. Well as you heard in the newscast American Catholic Cardinals meeting with Pope John Paul the second and other top Vatican officials have reportedly agreed to adopt a so-called one strike and you're out policy for any priest involved in future sex abuse cases Catholic church has been rocked by mounting Revelations of widespread abuse and cover-up of past sex abuse cases are no Theodore mccarrick based in Washington says the Cardinals were having a harder time trying to settle on a uniform policy to deal with priests who were charged in cases that occurred in the past joining us this hour to talk about today's meeting and the sex abuse Scandal is Patrick shelves who is interim dean of the University of st. Thomas Law School. He is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of law and religion. He's worked on hundreds of cases involving sexual misconduct by clergy members also served as an attorney for church officials including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as always we invite you to join our Conversation we're talking about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Today's meeting at the Vatican. If you have a question or a comment give us a call or Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free and that number is 1-800-218-4243 or 1-800 242 to 828 Patrick shells. Thanks for coming in today. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. First of all, this meeting seems to be a pretty unusual event. Is it not? Yeah, because they don't have these kind of meetings normally right price is Summits and the rest right? It's like a staff meeting with your call. Your secretary is in the office. It doesn't happen very often it is it's an unusual meeting and the pope statement yesterday was an unusual statement in its in its bluntness and it's Force, you know, the pope usually talks like a diplomat with carefully couched phrases that were supposed to read read. Things into and he didn't have to do any reading between the lines and yesterday statement. Why do you suppose he was as blunt as he was that reflect his anger over this or this is you know, I'm only speaking as one Catholic on this. I mean, I don't have any inside information, but the pope has always been during his 20 years or so as Pope the the person who sometimes has to reach in and take the hierarchy in the curia and sort of remind them of first principles and I got a sense that he would he was sort of tired of all the machinations in the talking in the frittering around and he sort of wanted to underline in a very Vivid way first and foremost these sorts of priests do not belong in the priesthood period end of story. He put He put a lot of debates to rest yesterday with one or two sentences in layman's terms. What does one strike and you're out what does that mean? Well, there's a short answer and a complicated answer the short answer is if you're I think what I would say is that if you were a priest who is accused of against whom a credible explanation of sexual misconduct is made or if you're a priest who admits sexual misconduct that you no longer can serve as a priest. That's the easy answer. The hard part is defining what a strike means because as I learned when I was a practicing lawyer, I dealt with hundreds of cases and the cases I were involved in was involved in a literally went from people who sued or threatened suit because they thought their priests had given them a lingering hug during the kiss of Peace part of the mass all the way up to child rape. What will be a strike is a is dirty jokes in the office of strike is an affair with an adult the who's not a member of your parish is that is that a strike is a consensual affair with somebody who is a member of your Parish a strike. I think we can all agree that any sexual contact with a child is a strike but it's going to be hard in some of them the less. The last Core case is to Define that what is your sense in terms of innocent until proven guilty or in the perhaps in this case guilty until proven innocent. Now, how does that how might that play out? Well, I get asked that question a lot when I could I speak to groups of priests. That's something that's on their mind and pastors what I what one thing. I tell them I have to tell them a lot of things but one of the things I tell them is as you mentioned I was involved when I was a practicing lawyer and over 500 of these cases. I could count probably on one hand. The number that I even suspected involved false allegations false allegations are extremely extremely rare people. Just don't sit down and make up a story about being sexually abused by a priest. It just hasn't happened. Now there is slanting in there is there is smoke and you know, there's exaggeration but almost always when you have an allegation something has happened. I do worry that given the extraordinary publicity the last four to six weeks that might be That that could change. So first point is there aren't a lot of false allegations. The other thing is, you know, this this the church isn't the government the government is obliged by the Constitution to have a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But it when we're talking about is that extraordinary damage that can be inflicted on children and others you really have to are first on the side of getting the priest out of the way where he could commit harm and sometimes that will mean an innocent priest occasionally being put out of the ministry, but that's the price you pay if you want to fully protect children given that reality. Why was it that priests who were suspected of are known to have been abusers. Why were they reassigned setting aside issues of whether they should have been reported a Civil Authorities as well. Why in the world were they ever assigned to another Parish where they'd have contact with Children? What was the thinking there? Well, In some cases there wasn't a whole lot of thinking it depends. It's hard one when you talk about the church, it's hard to talk about the church because we're talking about 200 different diocese and 200 different Bishops and the answer to your question differs as the Bishops differ. I can tell you that in my experience where there were these reassignments in the vast vast majority of cases 95% what triggered it was the bishop would send the priest off to a psychiatrist or psychologist that psychiatrist or psychologist would write a report for the bishop saying essentially that the priest was safe. The priest was cured the priests could be trusted the bishop relied upon that and reassign the priest now, I don't wouldn't deny it all that among the motives of the Bishops were to prevent Scandal to sometimes the the Bishops were very close personally to their priests, you know, priests are are a diminishing and And somewhat overwhelmed lot and they're very close to each other bishops priests pastors generally speaking our are trained in the Arts of healing and of redemption and forgiveness and of trying to it's a very very hard thing for any Pastor to say to someone you will never again conduct Ministry, you will never again do this thing that you've devoted your life to so it was a whole range of human factors by the Bishops some some understandable some not plus the the medic frankly the medical health profession played a big role in this and for me one of the most striking things about the coverage of the last few weeks is they have gotten off completely scot-free. I have yet to see the major media story that has examined the role that the mental health profession played in this so in many instances, The Bishop's actually sent these abusers off to to get some kind of help there are at least two be evaluated and we're told everything is okay 90% At least now, I have to say that among those there were there were evaluations and there were evaluations. Sometimes it was the bishop sending the priest off to another priest to happen to have a degree in Psychology and it wasn't a very very rigorous examination. It went all the way to the Other Extreme were Bishops would send priest to extensive multi-week in patient evaluation with secular experts with no connection to the church and get reports back from them. But I would say at least in 90% of the cases there were some mental health professional advising the bishop that the priest was safe to be back in the ministry. Help us understand something else. Why is it that the Bishops wouldn't have reported this to Civil Authorities and said, you know, we've got a guy here who's facing some charges. You know, we're going to try to take care of him, but you should at least know that this this is out there. Well, some of them did to be fair. And again, it's hard to I can't give you a single explanation because it would differ with the individual Bishops. It it one of the things that we have to keep in mind when we talk about what the Bishops did 10 or 15 or 20 years ago is that it was 10 or 15 or 20 years ago and certainly in the in the majority of cases where the bishop had solid evidence that the priests had committed childhood sexual abuse. They did turn those over to the police. But again, it's a hard thing to you know, I sometimes compared with people to people with a family member, you know that your your sister your brother or your father or your husband has driven home drunk and has committed a crime and has endangered other people but you know, he cries and he pleads with you and he says it'll never happen again and you're not sure exactly what he did and you know, it's sometimes it was just the natural human reaction. These a lot of these priests are like brothers. They are like family members. And again, I'm not in any way excusing it. I'm trying to explain it. It's hard to turn your brother into the police. It's hard enough to tell him. He'll never again be a priest or a pastor. It's even harder to say. Oh and by the way, I've called the police and they're coming down to put you in handcuffs. No, is it fair to assume that as a result of the meeting at the Vatican this week and subsequent meetings presumably with the Bishops and so on that the goal here is to come up with a uniform policy where if x happens, then you do why no matter how close you might be to this this fella I think so. They one thing I think that's been somewhat lost to is that the American Bishops in 1993 did agree upon a uniform policy that had several elements including notifying Civil Authorities where there were allegations of childhood sexual abuse and the vast majority of the diocese did Implement policies. That follow those principles and as a result, that is why when you turn on the TV listen to the radio read the newspapers 90% of the cases, you're reading about occurred before 1993 since 1993 the vast majority of Catholic Diocese have had pretty good policies in place that by and large have worked which is why we're not reading about new cases with with rare exceptions. Patrick shelves is with us. He's the interim Dean at the University of st. Thomas Law School nationally recognized scholar law and religion and he has worked on hundreds of cases involving sexual misconduct by clergy members course, we're talking this our about the sex abuse Scandal. That's Rock the Catholic Church. There's been a series of meetings at the Vatican this week American Cardinals Vatican officials. Pope involved in trying to address this problem. And if you would like to join our conversation, give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. These 1-800 to for 228286512276 thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight. We should note that we're expecting more of a formal communique out of that meeting perhaps yet this hour. Apparently the Cardinals have at least agreed to adopting a one strike and you're out policy for any priest involved in future sex abuse cases. Jason your question, please (00:14:20) yes. It's good that you have a lawyer there today or a former lawyer question knowing that Cardinal law in that particular instance knew about the abuse for one or more priest for several years possibly attempted to conceal it. Is there some criminal act there that he could be charged within our legal system in America. I'm not saying that he did necessarily commit one but is there the possibility that he was complicit or aiding and abetting or something like that abuse to continue? Just wondering on that legal question. Thanks. (00:14:55) Yeah, the caller it is a legal question that the answer is almost certainly know that he can't be criminally charged himself to be charged in aiding and abetting a crime you have to do the things you do for the very purpose of wanting of helping someone to commit a crime and although I think I think that Cardinal has actions were just indefensible. I've been quoted all over the country saying I think pardon allow should resign. I don't think what he did was criminal. There isn't any evidence that he did what he did because he wanted priest to continue to abuse and that's what you'd have to have to charge him criminally. Now, what is it as you noted you've been calling for his resignation, right? What is it that that he has been he's clearly become a lightning rod here focus of the story. What did he do that? The other Bishops didn't do now that's a great question and the answer is that at the time and I'm talking about before say 1993 what he did wasn't much worse than what a lot of other Bishops did it was bad. It was certainly on the bad end of things but there were all there are a lot of Bishops and other church leaders that had taken similar acts what I thought why I think you should resign is for what he's done the last six or eight weeks. He has just shown me in just the way he and I don't mean just in the last week. Or so and when he finally seems to have gotten the message. I mean in the few weeks before then that continued a secrecy for secrecy's sake the continued treating the laypeople of his archdiocese as though they are children to be talked to rather than people to be brought into the process the continued inability whether he feels it in his heart or not to speak about the victims of this buse in a way that connects with those victims and their families and others whose children were put at risk. I think it's his inability today to heal that diocese and move it on that is the main reason he should resign although that's a no way to defend what he did back in the 90s and 80s which itself was even among a group of bad decisions on the bad end. Why do you suppose the pope apparently has not asked him to resign. Well, this is just my guess again having no inside information whatsoever. Her one of the if you're if like me you wish Cardinal lot would go the worst thing that happened was when the Boston Globe said the Cardinal law needs to go because now you can't now if you goes right away, it looks like you're allowing not just a secular newspaper, but one that has a extremely hostile position to the Catholic church for a long time. It looks like you're taking your orders from the globe my and I'm not again. I'm not excusing this. I'm trying to explain it. My guess is that we will find out six or eight from months from now maybe a year from now that the Vatican has suddenly discovered that there's a need for Cardinal law to take on some project in Rome or in the United States and and that acco adjudicator. Bishop will be appointed meaning they appoint a bishop who kind of jointly runs the Archdiocese with law, but it will be understood that laws pretty much going off to do this new project in this this new Co adjudicator. Bishop will take off her and and I've heard just in the rumor. I've Heard lots of rumors at that may indeed be happening slide him out rather than kick him out. Yeah, you know, it's not it's not right. But as I said the worst thing that happened as soon as the Boston Globe called for his resignation it at probably bottom another six to eight months at least Matthew your question, (00:18:38) please yeah. I was wondering with a new communicate if it is a one strike and you're out rule. Do you think that will in a sense make the stakes even higher and so potentially Drive scandals into even deeper secrecy. (00:18:56) Well II if it did it would do it at the priest level. I mean it would increase the incentive for the priest to make sure that the conduct didn't become known because the priest would know that if this strike becomes known he's out so that's possible. I don't think that the real problem in terms of the secrecy has not been with the priests. They always try to cover the stuff up. It's been with the hierarchy and and you know, I don't mean to sound pollyannish about it, but I Really think that the dark days of the 70s and 80s those sort of cover-up. So sort of transfers of priests. I think with rare exceptions. We've seen the last of that as a society and that's that's some real good to come out of out of these scandals. What's the current thinking had this been going on all along through church history or was there an explosion of this kind of abusive behavior in the 70s and so on what well, you know, it's no one knows no one has studied it and you can't sort of go back and say well geez in the 1880s how much sexual misconduct was are you just can't do it. They're certainly just from the the pattern of cases that I saw there was a real concentration of it. I would say from the early to mid 70s until the mid 80s and there's been a lot of extra kind of Pulp cultural explanations or pop history or pop sociology explanations for this including the The as the vocations went down in the early 60s at the church took more and more marginal people into the ministry the the difference in sexual mores. The one thing I think may have had a lot to do at least with the Bishops reaction was the 70s was the high point of treating things like this as illness and if you cute, you know this if you cure the illness then the person is healthy and can go on. So a lot of Bishops rather than seeing this as as it is illness pedophilia and a FIBA philia. It is Illness, but rather than seeing this as sort of gravely dangerous and criminal conduct a lot of them treated as though this was alcoholism or this is drug addiction and if we just cure the illness the the pastor can be restored to the ministry Rich your question, (00:21:09) please yes. My question is is that we know we hear about this happening like in the US but how about like in Europe to they have the same problem? (00:21:20) It's a good question. You can say definitely yes with respect to certain countries. Ireland has had a horrible Catholic priest sexual misconduct scandals in the last few years. There are other countries though where there has been Nary a report of Corgi sexual misconduct and some people like the Bishops of those countries often times argue. It's because they were more careful with their priests or that the the the the the morals the attitudes of the society are different other people and I would include myself as one of these think it may have something more to do with the culture there in the the price of a victim of coming forward and Reporting this that to analogize to our own country. I have noticed myself that for example, there's I think sexual misconduct is probably underreported among the more fundamentalist or Evangelical Christian denominations. Not because it doesn't happen less there. But those are very congregationally based. Denominations there is no hierarchy above them. If you are a victim of a say an Evangelical us. Let's say a Southern Baptist pastor really the only place you have to go to report. That is the congregation your friends your neighbors who sit on the Council of the congregation and oftentimes those our congregations in small towns and end and there's just a tremendous price to the victim to come forward and report in other cultures and other denominations. There are mechanisms for reporting the abuse that doesn't involve you showing up in front of your friends and Neighbors in the small town and and telling what happened to you. So I suspect the the lack of the difference in reporting around the world may have more to do with how easy it is for victims to come forward than it does with how much abuse has been going on. How about denomination to denomination. The focus clearly has been on the Catholic Church these last several months. Should we assume that the problem is much worse in the Catholic Church. It's than it is in other denominations here in the United States depends what you mean by the problem. If you're talking about what percentage of clergy have engaged in sexual misconduct it is certainly not any worse in the Catholic church in the Protestant church every study. I know every person I know who's kind of worked in the area agrees on that the couple of things that are different about the Catholic cases one is as they skew more toward miners. I think there's no question about that. The Protestant case is skew more toward adult Affairs a contact between an adult male Pastor an adult female congregant. Also remember the Catholic church is one of the few churches that has a hierarchy that has a lot of power and where there is power. There's the potential to abuse power. So it's in the Catholic church where we see the priest who has an accusation being shifted from Parish to Parish by a bishop. We don't see that in a lot of other denominations because Bishops don't have the power to shift pastors. So the high Arctic the conduct of the hierarchy is different in the Catholic church, and I think Case of skew more tortured youthful victims. Is there any explanation as to why more youthful victims would be targeted in the Catholic sex abuse cases, there's lots of theories. There's none that I that have any proof whatsoever some one Theory I've read a lot recently and I've heard over the years is that if you feel if you're a potential priest or pastor and you feel a sexual attraction for minors and you're ashamed of it, you are attracted toward a denomination that has a vow of celibacy because you believe in such a place you can help control your urges your sexual urges toward minors. I don't know that that's true. But I've heard that my own view. I have a little more pedestrian take on it. The Protestant cases that I defended when I was practicing law the substantial majority of those were cases where the adult woman would come to the adult mayor male Pastor for counseling and they would start to counsel. Have a regular Tuesday at two o'clock. And then they then they go to movies together. They'd have lunches together and they basically fell into Affairs Catholic priest today because there's so few of them. They don't do that kind of counseling in Catholic priests don't have the chance to develop these long-term relationships. Were they kind of slowly turn into sexual relationships? So I think that the the sexual misconduct that breaks through in the Catholic church, if you will is the one that's really rooted in psychological problems, including pedophilia or a feeble philia and as a result we get less of that kind of adult on adult Affair, but you get to one more listener question on here before we break for headlines Stewart. Go ahead, please (00:26:01) hi. I'm wondering if they're going to be looking back into the past and particularly interested in finding out if the church is going to re-evaluate its beatification of Pius the ninth who had a little boy Edgar more Tara. Kidnapped in 1858 and held in the papal bedroom basically for 10 years. (00:26:27) Well, I don't know anything about Pious the ninth. This is the first I've heard of that they certainly are going back and reassessing. I mean you can see in some diocese now they've turned over 30 and 40 years worth of reports on priest to Civil Authorities. And even the diocese that haven't done that are doing that internally. So yes, they are going back into the past. What about what's going to happen with those do you think is going to happen with the priests assuming they go to this one strike and you're out policy for future cases. What do you expect will happen to the priests who have been exposed for past Behavior? Yeah. It's an extraordinarily difficult question. I this morning was talking to someone who is very good friends with the priest in another state and this is a priest who had sexual contact with a teenage boy 25 years ago when into Before it was put back into a parish. And as far as anybody anywhere nose is had a completely clean record since in in fact has been an amazingly successful priest and his question to me was is this guy out of the ministry now because of something he did 25 years ago that he received treatment for that. He's been in he was very open with his Parish. They knew about it. There was no hiding of this. Is he out of the ministry. Now, there are some very hard decisions to be made about priests today who makes that decision with the Bishops archbishop's William. We're talking this hour with Patrick Schultz, who is the interim dean of the law school at the University of st. Thomas and st. Paul. He has worked on hundreds of cases involving sexual misconduct by clergy members. He has come by today to talk about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church specific focus, of course being the meetings at the Vatican this week American Cardinals gathering at the Vatican to meet with the Pope and other Church officials to try to come up with a policy to deal with the sex abuse. Is involving priests if you would like to join our conversation, give us a call here at 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities 1-800 to for 22828. Meanwhile Stephen John joins us with some headlines Stephen. Thank you. Gary. Israel says the UN has to change the makeup of a team planning to investigate the destruction in the West Bank Town of jenin Israel hopes to persuade the UN to add anti Terror and Military experts. The Israelis say the deck seems stacked against them Secretary of State Colin Powell says the Bush Administration didn't waste time getting involved in Mideast peace efforts on Capitol Hill today Powell defended the administration against a charge by Democratic. Senator Patrick Leahy who said us officials moved too slowly the Commerce Department says sales of new homes dropped three point one percent last month, even with the decline. The government says the new Home Market remains. Robust President Bush makes a visit to the region today. He'll speak at a Roundtable discussion on agriculture and trade at a Ethanol plant near Wentworth South Dakota and later attend a fundraiser in Sioux Falls for South Dakota representative John thune a republican who is challenging incumbent Democratic. Senator. Tim Johnson, Minnesota House. Republicans have decided not to try to push for a break in the legislative session. They were planning to take a vote on the idea today. But leaders say they're encouraged by talks going on with the Senate they say they may take up the idea again Monday if things don't progress work begins in Earnest today on repairing Duluth damaged section of the lake walk. The first train load of rock will be dumped along the lakefront this afternoon a violent storm last year washed a large section of the popular pedestrian pathway into Lake Superior work is expected to be finished by Memorial Day. The Music director of the Minnesota Orchestra has been named music director of the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra Ajo way will end his tenure with the Minnesota Orchestra next month and he makes his debut in Osaka in May of 2003 wind advisory for the Real and West today that does include the Twin Cities area scattered rain showers, perhaps some snow showers mixed in highs from the upper 30s to the lower 60s in Crane Lake and The Boundary Waters 36 degrees with light snow right now in Winona thunderstorm in 48 and partly sunny in the Twin Cities Gary now 45 degrees. All right. Thank you Stephen. It's 25 minutes before one. This is midday and Minnesota Public Radio in our guest. This hour is the interim dean of the University of st. Thomas Law School Patrick Schultz who has joined us this hour to talk about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church. And the meetings that have been held at the Vatican this week to try to address that Scandal Jason your question, please (00:31:01) yeah. Thanks for having me on you better listen earlier on your lawyer. That was sitting I'm sorry. I forget his name. Oh and by the way, I'm not a Catholic. So I get my terminal terminology wrong. Please forgive me mention that the the American diet diocese since 93. I think he said I've had their own kind of set. Guidelines to deal with this particular situation and we haven't had any legal situation since then and I'm curious as to what he means by and that they worked did they did it heal the priest did it get rid of the priesthood prevent the priest that's my first question. My second question is I work for a large Automotive Parts chain here in Minnesota and before a manager becomes a manager of a store. He has to go to Atlanta to the home office and and have a several meetings and part of that is taking a psychological test and I'm wondering if the priests have to do that kind of thing. If they do does it focus on this particular what seems to be quite a prevalent situation in that business of for lack of a better word. And if they don't now, do you think that'll be part of the the new communicate that's going to come (00:32:08) out? All right. Thanks JC to answer your questions and reverse order. Yes. Every everybody who's in a Catholic Seminary today and I would venture to say everybody who's in any Seminary of any of them. Line Protestant denominations undergoes extensive rigorous psychological testing not just once when they come in, but every year they're in and before they get in and then before they leave the cemetery, so yes, there's extensive psychological testing as to what do I mean by it worked just to clarify again? What I said that the United States Catholic conference the group of Bishops agreed on some principles in 1993 that they recommended essentially to each other and most of the diocese implemented sexual misconduct policies pursued that incorporated those those principles. They aren't principles that are designed to stop all sexual misconduct because as long as humans are humans will never stop all sexual misconduct, but they are mainly aimed at is making sure that when sexual misconduct occurs, it gets reported. The priest has identified. The priest is removed from the ministry until the allegations can be investigated and if they have if they have validity that the priest has removed from the ministry and by saying They worked I was referring to the fact that all of these stories were reading about today of priests being shifted from Parish to Parish. Those are all cases that occurred before these guidelines were in in place. I don't recall reading one in the last two months that involve that kind of conduct by the hierarchy. So in the last 10 years how many approximately how many priests have been accused of sex abuse? No one knows is the is the answer the best the best indication we have of that is when Cardinal Bernardin in the early 90s essentially decided to and this is to going back to your question about Cardinal law. I often times draw for people the contrast between the way Cardinal law handle this in the way Cardinal Bernardin handless Cardinal Bernardin made a lot of the same mistakes that Cardinal added but ten years ago. He decided enough were turning a new page here. He brought extensive. Laypeople involvement into the process non-catholic involvement into the process. They went through every single file of every single priest who had served in that diocese for I can't remember it was 30 years or 40 years and identified any who would even had an accusation good bad, you know strong weak against them and that was something like two or three percent of the priest. So if you do the math, you could extrapolate I personally think that's low. I've heard many estimates over time from 1 to 2 percent to about 25% My own purely impressionistic conclusion is it's probably about 10% 10% of priests 10% of pastors 10% of rabbis. Hmm. But the other 90% it's fair to say are now kind of tarred with the same brush. I can't let my kid be spending time alone with the priest. Oh, it's real awful. I mean, this is no way these are obviously not the primary victims, but one thing that I try when I go out and do some in ours and and training sessions for Bishops and Priests and and whoever that I keep trying to underline is that the church are victims of these people to in many many ways and there is nobody who except for the direct victims who gets hurt more than the good priest the good honest hard-working Presa. It has been a devastating thing for them. Bishop low alert all is on the line (00:35:50) greetings Patrick fishing pier. We remember each other from ancient (00:35:53) days. Well I made for your question first and then I'll then (00:35:56) I'll answer that very question. My main purpose and calling is to thank you for the very firm. I might even say Hardline leadership that you provided for us in dealing with these questions many years ago. And I think that we in Minnesota whether we're a Lutheran or Protestant or Roman Catholic have a great deal of gratitude that we owe you and I wondered if it would be helpful for the listeners if you might say a little bit more in detail, you've filled in a bit of that since I got on the line waiting to talk to you about what you were helped us to do in those days. (00:36:30) Well a long time ago I got into this work because when I was done clerking after law school, I joined a firm in town here and that firm had represented the old American Lutheran Church for 30 or 40 years. And the first I was new in the first sexual abuse case came in and I had time because I just got into the firm so they assigned it to me and that was the first case ever in the history of the Lutheran Church or any of its predecessors. Then came the second case then came the third case and and on we went and some time very early I could tell that this is going to be huge and so I put together a seminars for church leaders on focused first on how to deal with the victim because I thought that was key toward bringing healing in a way that didn't have to involve lawyers and courts, but I also I fact I have a speech that I call the no Second Chance speech and now it should be calling us the one strike and you're out speech. So but I was telling people 12 years ago. You cannot give second chances to those. And at least I can say with respect to Bishop urdahl and his colleagues at Minnesota. They listen to me and that is why you have read hardly a word about Luther and sex scandals in Minnesota. In many years. The Lutheran Church was was on board this very quickly when you are giving your no Second Chance speech where you talking about him in this case with a child sex abuse cases keeping these people away from kids sending them off to do something else. I don't work in a salt mine or something or I was putting them out altogether get him out of the ministry and I want to draw a line that the pope Drew so well yesterday it's something that I've been pushing on church leaders for years. And that is the pope drew the line between the question of restoring these men to Ministry and forgiving these men healing these men welcoming them back in the community. Yes that healing that forgiveness that Redemption that restoration to community is always available for people who repent who get help but that is not the same. Putting them in these positions of trust with this tremendous access to vulnerable people. No Second Chance on that is what I told church leaders Derek your question, please. (00:38:40) Yes, actually, I've been pretty pleased with the show. So far. Most of these shows have tended to go off on the far different tangents in this has been very informative and I appreciate I'm a Catholic and my one question though. I think we should maybe touch on a little bit more you guys start to bring up the different types of cases in the Catholic church as opposed to different denominations is that not only are these younger people but they're also predominantly boys, and I'm just curious why and and maybe this is should be cut on a bit more. I know the Bishops did touch on it yesterday and some of their news conferences is the prevalence of homosexuality in the priesthood and maybe how that's having kind of an effect on some of these cases and where this could be going here in the American church and worldwide. (00:39:23) Well one thing that's distressed me personally about this is I've seen this being raised a lot in the last seven to ten days in the coverage the homosexuality. Question and this has been said but I just underline it. This has nothing whatsoever to do with sexual orientation. Nothing. You know, everybody has some sexual orientation. The question here is your whether you have the ability not to act on it in the end the priesthood when you've taken a vow of celibacy. I don't have the statistics out the top of my head but a great number of those who have sexual contact with children are heterosexuals. I suspect the reason that it there are more boy victims than girl victims is first of all priests have more access to boys a priest have Altar Boys priest take boys to baseball games. This is particularly true in the past the 60s the 70s and the 80s. They just had more access to them secondly is something like 70% of the priests who commit sexual abuse of minors were themselves victims of sexual abuse as boys they were not girls being victimized. They themselves were boys being victimized and they're basically acting out Again, the abuse that they suffered it has nothing to do with whether your basic sexual orientation is either heterosexual or homosexual Elizabeth here question, please (00:40:42) I wanted to thank our guests for mentioning that other priesthood the Mental Health Professions, but I'd like to hear him say something about their complicity not only in this area, but I can think of as a formerly very active Catholic three kinds of incidents of situations in which licensed professionals licensed by the state of Minnesota have either told clergy. They simply need to masturbate to make their desire for contact go away or in which during premarital counseling of individuals. The coupler has confessed to having been under restriction and able to (00:41:19) work with those are nice work Elizabeth. We're going to have to cut you off here because your phone's breaking up and I think we got a couple of your points there. Yeah. Well, there's a couple different. She was saying there one is that the mental health profession itself has a shameful history of sexual contact between the helpers the psychologist or psychiatrist in the patients, and that's certainly true. And if you want to talk about cover-ups, you know, there's plenty of stories there about what clinics have done what what organizations of doctors have done putting that aside my point was that the psychologist and psychiatrist gave the the Bishops terrible advice recklessly bad advice in many cases and you know, when like a couple weeks ago the Builder comes out to my house and he's talking about siding and he and we're talking about Steel versus vinyl and he's giving me advice and he's the expert. I'm supposed to be able to trust him. Well the Catholic Bishops in the 70s and 80s had these cases come forward and they sent the priest to psychiatrist. They're the experts the bishop should be able to trust them and and I can't tell you how many files of mine when I was practicing lawyer had these reports from these I could have written these things myself in my sleep. It was you know, so on So came to my office he was very sorrowful. He had sexual contact with such and such but boy, he's really learned his lesson now and he's gotten to touch with some things and we've agreed on some parameters and by God put them back in the ministry and the Bishops took this advice now in many cases. I think the bishop should be held accountable for taking the bad advice. But but in sometimes they can't be I mean they were like when I took the advice of my Builder to put one siding on versus another we they trusted experts and it just amazes me that in the national press I still have seen not a word they keep running the same stories over and over again. This is I think a great story to talk about is the role that the mental health profession played in this infect the pope alluded to this in a statement yesterday, but what about the bishop who thought he was doing the right thing scent the scent the abusive priests off to see the psychiatrist got the got the report back. Well old Joe. He's fine and don't worry about anymore. So Joe goes off. To Holy Rosary Parish over here and commits another crime. Well, then you blame the bishop if the bishop still you know, it's full me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. Okay, fool the bishop once shame on the psychologist fool the bishop twice shame on the bishop Mike Rebecca. I'm sorry. Go ahead. (00:43:51) I am a psychologist and I'm calling because I have four years recommended to different parishes when someone has been sexually abused in their Parish that they be allowed to have a ritual of reconciliation instead of having to Sue and the churches that do do do that. They don't get sued and the person who has been victimized actually get some healing instead of it being an adversarial situation. So I hope that the churches will look on this as an opportunity to do some healing instead of it being adversarial. (00:44:26) Yeah. I couldn't agree more and I mentioned earlier the seminars Training that I do for church leaders and one entire three-hour seminar I give is on dealing with the victims and the premise of that seminar is that most victims decide to Sue when the when they decide to sue the reason they are suing isn't because they're angry about being sexually abused it's because they are angry at the church for the way the church handled the complaint of sexual abuse and the churches I think have limited ability to stop sexual abuse humans being humans. Some of it will always happen, but they have a lot of control over how they respond to complaints of sexual abuse Dolores your next. Go ahead, please (00:45:09) thank you for taking my call. I'm wondering about the doctrinal don't dilemma here in terms of a priest confessing this in confession does the burden of that for reporting fall in the priest whose hearing it or giving the giving the forgiveness? (00:45:28) Well, it's a that's a it's a great. It would be a great law school hypothetical for an exam or a great movie of the week type situation. That is the priest comes in and tells his Bishop in the confessional that he's been abusing Miners and the bishop is bound to never break the seal of the confessional up upon a pain execute the the pain of excommunication one piece of advice I give to church leaders is do not let do not let pastors and Priests maneuver you into that situation to answer your narrow question about the law. There are some states that would buy the the on the face of their laws require Bishops to report that even with the here in confession. I don't think there's a single Bishop in the world who would do that. They would never break the seal of the confessional with the bishop would do is look for any sort of hint outside of that confessional of this conduct by the priests and make sure the Civil Authorities were aware of that but it does put them in a very difficult position if it happens has there been concern among the church Hierarchy that if if they started reporting these cases of abuse to Civil Authorities in a regular basis that somehow they would be losing or turning over their authority to the Civil Civil Authorities the mixing of church and state is that played any role in the thinking here? It's played it in sort of the opposite of the way you're suggesting one of the things that would drive me crazy when I was a practicing lawyer is that when Civil Authorities got involved the Bishops would stop acting and they would say, well I reported to the local prosecutor the allegations against father Smith and I'm waiting to see what he does and I would say Bishop you can't you can't delegate your authority to a prosecutor. There might be a lot of reasons that he decides not to prosecute that have nothing to do whether whether that property whether that prosecutor thinks the priests is innocent or not. You have to stand for the church's interest and you apply a whole different set of standards and then a prosecutor does so that the problem was just the opposite Bishops to willing to essentially what the prosecutors The decisions for them you made the point earlier that in some degree to some degree. Bishops are kind of a law unto themselves in their in their diocese little feudal kingdoms Almost sure could we expect them though to all toe the line here the pope spoke out fairly firmly yesterday and it appears that some standards will be adopted as a country as a result of this meeting. Could we assume all the Bishops will go along with that or can we assume that some of them will say well, yeah, that's fine. But I have a different way of dealing with this. Well a couple things Bishop's are a lot under themselves when it comes to each other or it comes to the priest or the the faithful they are not allowed to themselves when it comes to the Pope the pope Trump's so if the pope tells you to jump you jump, okay? Secondly if the pope tells him to jump they all at least we'll jump In their words, I mean they will they will all Implement policies and it'll say what the pope tells them to say where the rubber will hit the road is in the day-to-day administration of that policy. And these are 200 different men and I expect they'll be though range from those who are even overzealous in applying the policies to those who write it down but it isn't part of their hearts and they don't act very consistently. They'll have to say can we expect the Bishops to be perhaps more open to the to the lay people in their in their diocese. Come on in we need your help. I hope so. I mean, I hope so. I hope I've often asked, you know, is there any good that's going to come out of this and one thing eyesight is I hope is more lay involvement in the church. This was supposed to happen after Vatican to this has to happen if the church is going to survive just because of the location crisis and if you look at the what divides those archdiocese who have basically handled these cases very well in the last 10 years from those that have not one of the key factors is Degree to which you get lay people involved in the process Richard your question, (00:49:32) please thank you for mr. Schultz. Just one comment. I believe that the 92 guidelines might have been advisory but not required by the diocese and I think our diocese here in st. Paul Minneapolis has done a very good job and that it should be noted, but I have to have a question you commented on the legal issue of abating aiding and abetting which probably doesn't apply but is there a difference in the standards for obstruction of justice, which some people suggest it could apply particularly because their confidentiality agreements that some were required to sign. Thank you. (00:50:06) The several things one is you're right, they are advisor because they have to be the Bishops can't force each other to do anything. The only the pope can do that. Secondly, you're absolutely right. Our archdiocese was one of the first and one of the best in terms of adopting policies and it really has been a model for a lot of other denominations around the country Catholic and Protestant as to obstruction. Justice it's a different crime than aiding and abetting but again, it usually doesn't apply here for obstruction to Justice to apply there has to be an ongoing criminal investigation and you have to be doing whatever you're doing to stop that ongoing criminal investigation and that again is by and large the weren't ongoing criminal investigations. Finally. Let me just say a word about the settlement agreements. I think the Catholic church has fully deserved a lot of the bad publicity. It's gotten but this is one thing that I think is really a red herring this, you know, they forced the victims to sign these confidentiality agreements in some cases. They certainly did they paid for silence they paid for it because they wanted to stop the embarrassment and and and there's no question about it. But you need to understand in thousands of these cases. It was the victims who asked for confidentiality agreements sometimes for good reason sometimes for bad the good reasons were some of them had spouses children neighbors who didn't know about this they brought lawsuits as Jane Doe or is John No, and they wanted to make sure that the details of their abuse didn't become public in many other cases. I had dozens of cases when I was an attorney where the plaintiff lawyer would come to the church and say I'm going to sue you next week and I'm going to call a press conference and I'm going to tell the world this unless you essentially pay me to keep quiet and the church's stupidly I thought this never happened with with my clients, but the churches would say, okay. Yeah, we'll pay you not to hold the press conference in to keep this quiet. Now the churches shouldn't have done that but what's amazing to me is the plant the same plaintiffs lawyers who have made Millions off of selling this stuff are now on the TV and the radio just shocked shocked to find that confidentiality was being bought by the churches there like the drug dealers who sell the drugs and then stand by and say they're shocked that drugs are being used at you know, that's a much more nuanced situation than is coming through in the Press just about out of time here, but well in general number one, what about the Press? Coverage and media coverage of this story. Do you think on the whole it's been Fair. It seems like nothing much would have changed in the church without it. Well, what's most surprising to me about the media coverage is not so much whether it's fair or unfair on particular points, but I cannot explain why this has gotten so much coverage in the last couple months. Nothing being reported is knew that priests were doing this was known ten years ago that Bishops covered up shifted priests has ten years ago. Remember Father James Porter. I am five six years ago. I was doing all these interviews about Father James Porter. It was the same story. I have a lot of the same reporters call me back now six seven years later asking me the same questions to go on the same shows and say the same thing. I you would know more Gary than I would about. This is 2y something catches fire and we'll when it does I don't I can't explain it. It's real unusual. It's a little it's like the shark story of last summer. I mean, it's it's it's you can't really explain why at this time in our history this Gotten so much attention because there really isn't much new. There are new faces new names new particular cases, but the basic outlines of the story were both known and publicized 5 years ago 10 years ago 12 years ago. Do you anticipate the meetings at the Vatican this week will bring an end. If you will to this story. I think it'll be the beginning of the anime. I think they'll come back they will they'll be much tougher on this and I suspect over the few weeks. It will fade away. Well, thanks so much for coming in today. Appreciate it. You're welcome our guest today Patrick Schultz, who is the interim dean of the University of st. Thomas Law School. He has worked on hundreds of cases involving sexual misconduct by clergy members nationally recognized scholar and law and religion joining us this hour to talk about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church specific focus, of course being the meetings out at the Vatican in Rome this past week the communique from The American Cardinals is expected to be released at any time. Of course, we'll have much much couple more coverage on this story throughout the day on all things considered. So do stay tuned that does it for our midday program today. I'm Gary eichten. Thank you so much for joining us now tomorrow. Hope you'll be able to tune in at 11 o'clock tomorrow our meet the candidates series will continue will be talking tomorrow with dfl gubernatorial candidate Becky Lori. And that's an 11 to get your questions ready. And then over the noon hour Westminster Town Hall Forum with the president National president of the nature conservancy. Again, thank you so much for tuning in today. And we do hope you can join us tomorrow on the next All Things Considered President Bush visit South Dakota to tout the benefits of ethanol. We'll have the latest on his trip on the next All Things Considered weekdays at 3:00 on Minnesota Public Radio. KN o WF M 91.1 You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. We have a cloudy Sky 45 degrees at Kinder wfm 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul good chance for rain through the afternoon strong winds. It's about as warm as it's going to get partly cloudy tonight still Breezy with an overnight low of 25 to 30 tomorrow sunny and cool with a high in the mid 40s.

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