9.02.2011

Pastoral Rape of Children and Adults – The Assaults Behind the Church Doors – Part II


By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc


How well do you know the staff at the church you attend?  I was at church this morning and I got to thinking, just how much do I really know them.  I guess there are four methods of knowing who they are.  First, you are acquainted with who they are, what they do at the church and that is as far as the level of knowledge reaches.  Second, you volunteer in the church administration office and get the opportunity to talk to this staff member.  The level of knowledge reached, is you now know him and you have talked to him.  Third, you work with this individual and get to know more about his life and work as you engage in minimal conversations and this is as far as the level of knowledge reaches.  Fourth, over a period of time you deal with this individual in many different circumstances, so as the level of knowledge reached is you now have come to know him under the best of circumstances. 

It reminds me of sitting next to somebody for years and you say hello to him as you sit down and rarely make a comment to one another.  No matter how hard it is there are many people who are in your church especially staff members who you don’t have the opportunity to get to know and/or communicate with.
Pastors don’t have easy jobs.  In talking with many pastors some of them are leaving the church, because the stress is too much for them to handle.  Moreover, they are leaving because they, like their parishioners, are feeling moral failure, spiritual burnout, or unbelievable stress which over the many years of putting it to the side, finally catches up with them.
PictureAs a Christian many of them want to head out on their own and establish their own church.  The Christian doesn’t understand or generally doesn’t consider that every year approximately 4000 churches begin each year.  The problem is that while 4000 churches are opening 7000 churches are closing.  The future churches of this world need to understand that without doing a constructive business plan their new church may be doomed for failure.
As the years begin to pile on for those pastors of new and old churches, the marriages of the pastors will sometimes find themselves in trouble.  Studies have indicated that fifty percent of pastor’s marriages will end in divorce.  That is the national average in the United States for all marriages.  This is a problem because with divorce comes loneliness and with loneliness sometimes comes bad decisions.  When I was a detective in the special assault unit I had a pastor who was recently divorced and became depressed and lonely.  He then became a situational pedophile as he went down to the local park and molested several young children (unsupervised) playing on the monkey bars.  An adult who walked upon the situation stood and watched the pastor acting sexually inappropriate and called the police.  Upon arrival of the police the pastor didn’t deny what he had done.  He was emotionally drained, and had little to no sense of boundaries.
Situations like the above are not that uncommon, because when men and women lose a loved one, they seek love and intimacy in the wrong places.  Being a situational pedophile doesn’t belong to one gender or occupation.  The above rendition about the pastor’s occupation was not given as an example of what pastors do.  The rendition was given so you, the audience, understands that some pastors and individuals under certain situations will act out sexually in a specific method and technique because of life’s circumstances.
The pressure the pastors and their wives deal with on a daily basis can be very difficult to deal with.  Many pastors and their wives believe they are unqualified in their role as a pastor or are very discouraged in their role as pastors.
Like the Microsoft Engineer to the Boeing Mechanic, pastors would enjoy leaving the ministry, but cannot afford to do so.  The pastor will even talk to his board of directors about leaving and trying to find employment outside the church.  The counsel pastors generally receive is for the pastor to reconsider how they feel and turn towards God for answers.  Moreover, simply telling the pastor to get back into the word and/or to pray more is not enough.  These recommendations only push the pastor further away from their feelings about leaving the church.
PictureBad decisions are sometimes made when the pastor who is regressing in the way he feels and behaves begins seeking happiness in different ways.  One of those ways is having a sexual relationship with another woman.  It isn’t uncommon for men in authority to use that authority to engage in an inappropriate sexual relationship.  Unfortunately, sometimes the pastor seeks sexual intimacy with a vulnerable child who is looking for their own intimacy, attention, and needs.  The pastor in his current state of mind welcomes the opportunity to assist the child in finding herself.  This relationship on occasion will turn sexual because the pastor sees the child as someone he can love, nurture and take care of in a sexual manner.
So how does a pastor find himself in a seminary where everything seems to begin and alleged answers are to be found?  Statistics have demonstrated that eighty-percent of seminary and Bible school graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.  Some pastors (90%) have stated that seminary or Bible school training did only a fair to poor job preparing them for ministry.  This is not uncommon amongst lawyers, engineers, law enforcement officials, etc.
Tomorrow, I will continue this series and explore just how uncomfortable going into the ministry is and how it has directed pastors to act out with hidden pedophilia behavior.  Of course there will be situations where the pastor specifically became a pastor so he could be close to children.  When reading this series you as the audience must understand that those in ministry are good people and the percentages of pedophilia are minimal.  However, it is important for you to know what may happen to children who attend church and sometimes run the risk of being sexually abused.  Educating children that any man or woman is a potential threat, no matter what occupation they are in is important.



Lawrence W. Daly
Forensic Educator, Investigator and Interview
“Specializing Nationwide in Investigating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations”

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