Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | July 24, 2012

“Papa Joe” vs Il Papa

To the Editor:

The Penn State pedophile case was unthinkable: a revered assistant coach and prominent community activist Jerry Sandusky preying on eight children–all covered up by people in leadership and their organizations. But such abuses of trust play out in the USA over and over again.

Some people who volunteer to work with children, set up charitable or social groups for children, only to be implicated in some form of child sexual abuse, are a frightening reality.

“I call them ‘institutions of trust,’ ” says Portland, Ore., attorney Kelly Clark, who has represented more than 300 sex abuse victims. Some predators are so tacitly trusted “that when something like this happens, the instinctive reaction is, ‘That can’t happen here. We can’t allow the mission to be compromised,’ ” he says.

“A pedophile is going to go where they have access to children,” says Richard Serbin, an Altoona, Pa., attorney who has represented 150 clergy sex abuse victims statewide since 1987. He says the Penn State debauchery parallels the Catholic church scandals — a trusted institution playing host to a pedophile. In each case, he says, the institution unwittingly lent predators access and respectability.

Also, in both cases, there was a lot of willful ignorance among the higher-ups,” he says. “They almost tried not to know things.” They wittingly lent pedophilic predators access to children.

Another similarity is that “Papa Joe” and Il Papa both were afforded the same blind trust and devotion because of the organization and tradition under their command. (Actually, sports fanatics afforded similar faith and devotion to “Papa Joe” as they did to Il Papa!)

Perhaps “Papa Joe” thought that if the abuse ever came to light that his revered organization would be afforded the same kid glove treatment by the authorities to broker secret settlements with the victims and to aid and abet the perpetrators by simply reassigning them to unwitting communities.

Perhaps the conviction and sentencing of Sandusky and the penalties placed upon Penn State by the NCAA demonstrate a change. Somehow,I doubt it. It will probably not be too long before someone will claim that being a pedophile is as normal as being heterosexual–i.e. “He/she was born that way.” “He/she did not choose pedophilia: pedophilia chose him/her!” After all, the American Psychology Association once claimed–then reluctantly recanted– that pedophilic encounters for children can be healthy and beneficial.

May God have mercy on our country! Hebrew 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers (fornicators) and adulterers God will judge.”

Pastor Terry K. Hagedorn
Calvary Baptist Church
PO Box 282 Reedsville, WV
Ph. 304-864-3870
MOUNTAIN MANNA, 96.7 FM, Sundays 9:30am
“Pointing Mountaineers to Mount Calvary.”


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