Sunday, November 13

Sexual Abuse in Church - Part 2

From: Carl Chinn - "Think About It" (reposted with permission)

NOTE: With last week’s news out of Penn State University, a lot of media attention has gone once again to the Catholic Church. As a non-Catholic, I once again reject the notion that this issue of sexual abuse is a Catholic problem. I am keeping this important subject posted for another week with another story from this past week, plus some additional bullet points.

The additional bullet points were offered by my good friend Vic Meyer out of Tulsa, OK. Vic has served a security role in church for many years, and has been baptized by fire into the subject of sexual abuse in a church. I know of nobody else who has walked through that fire like Vic, and he has come through it with lessons learned for all of us.

Vic Meyer adds the following. As I read his comments, I thought of the Penn State fiasco. How different it would have been for them if they had followed these three simple bullets at the very first hint of trouble. Take note;

· Successful child predators operating in spiritual settings could not operate without the absolute trust of those who surround them. Trusting friends and co-workers are necessary cogs in the gears that make the predator successful. Those friends and co-workers will be required to give them a pass on policy infractions, dismiss troublesome details, think the best when suspicion is in order and defend when the victim accuses.

· The process of gaining trust is called “grooming” and involves everyone who could stop the predator. The predator counts on those groomed to find the crime so repugnant that they refuse to believe either the victim or the evidence. For that reason the predator will always be among the most faithful and trusted.

· There is nothing romantic or consensual about adult on child personal/sexual relationships. It is a crime. Always involve the authorities and eliminate the “groomed effect” from your in-house inquiries by selecting people with no relationships to the accused.


On Thursday 11/10, news came out of Corpus Christi, TX that the pastor -- related to the victims through marriage -- had sexually assaulted teens at his church. Jose Humberto Herrera (now 58-years old) had pastored the Iglesia Bautista Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd Baptist) Church in Alice for 10 years. During that time, 2 teenage girls and their brother worked at odd jobs around the church.

Herrera has admitted to the abuse of the girls, and denied abusing the boy. The girls were 15 and 16 at the time of the assaults. The victims were his step-grandchildren. He is charged with all three crimes.

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