ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts says he became a victim of sexual abuse at the age of 14 and the abuse lasted three years.
"I became a victim of sexual abuse at the age of 14; the abuse lasted three years. It took me nearly 20 years to gather the strength to help put my abuser behind bars. Now, a year after "justice" was done, I am ready to tell my story publicly in ways I never have before.
"My abuser was Father Jeff Toohey, a trusted man of God. He was the equivalent of a religious celebrity in my private all-boys Catholic school in Baltimore, Maryland. Father Jeff was every boy's friend and mentor. I considered him my mentor as well.
"When my parents divorced, I was sent to Father Jeff to help me cope with all the changes. Divorce in the mid-1980s still seemed so foreign. Plus, I was just a kid, and I didn't know much about divorce. I just knew it sucked.
"All I had at that time in my life was my family and school. Those were my constants. But as my family fell apart, so did my life at school. After the abuse began, high school became a prison of shame and lies..."
I saw the special with Roberts on CNN last night about the two teen boys Father Toohey molested. We call Toohey a pedophile by legal age definition of his victims--but Toohey is really a homosexual taking advantage of adolescent young men. A male with preference for same sex adolescents is called a pederast--like Tom Foley--though Tom wanted them to be at least 18 before hooking up.
In fact, all people admire the beauty and sex appeal of adolescents. The sports Illustrated buyers and other porn viewers and users of prostitutes, don't care if those models or hookers are 15 or 18, believe me (except for the risk of being jailed in the case of under age hookers.) And it is the law and cultural mores that tell us older folks that young people are off limits because they aren't emotionally or mentally mature nor equal in ability to consent in a situation like Father Toohey's. And because it is unseemly for older people to violate virginity with youth. Youth should have a chance to find their own love among their peers when it is age appropriate --and have a chance to be virginal before marriage.
You could see the pain in Roberts' eyes in confessing his involvement with the priest. He said he felt guilty and "it makes you question/doubt yourself" or words to that effect. I know what he meant--it made him wonder if he were homosexual that a man should desire him --and that a man could give him pleasureable touch --and that he might even be erotically stimulated by a man. It makes them doubt their masculinity and question whether they can be normal with a woman. They can develop homosexual addiction because of their experience with it.
I think one of them said he felt robbed of his soul, by Toohey. He was, in a sense. Not that it is irretrievable or unfixable. But he has been damaged by his priest, obviously. The Bible says that sexual union makes the "two one flesh." Jesus said a man joins his soul with a prostitute in the sex act. So the SOUL IS involved --and depression haunts these two young men as a result--as it often haunts homosexuals --who think if society and churches would only approve their lifestyles, they would not feel any guilt or depression because of it.
I got the impression that the other boy Father T. molested had a father who thought he WAS gay --and he lacked confidence in his normalcy and masculinity before Toohey took up with him. Both of the victims appeared to live alone today, at least not with a wife, judging by what was NOT said in the program.
Fact: the human body has buttons to push --and young people are sexually curious, have libido, and are eager to have sexual experiences, so some "child sex play" among equals is not that uncommon --nor long lasting in its effects. Also, youth are SUPPOSED to need the affirmation, acceptance, affection and love --of their parents and their SAME SEX friends. When they don't get it, especially from the same sex parent, or in the case of girls, when they are just eager for sexual experience and have normal adoration for same sex friends, they are vulnerable to predators like Toohey and Foley. The same sex youth questions his sexual orientation if he finds he can respond sexually by yielding to the experience when the perp is deliberately trying to give pleasure rather than pain. Roberts admits he felt he had no choice but to yield --that resistance would get him kicked out of school --especially if he told on the priest.
I've read of many cases where the victim, being young, does feel a bond with the perpetrator --toohey was admired and attractive in his own right --his favoring the boys would have been pleasing to them on some level. Everyone wants to feel special to the popular admired confident leader type. Sometimes they would go on in the relationship if the perp wasn't moving on to new interests and showing a declining interest. But these two fellows knew Toohey's attention was sick and wrong and didn't seem to want it at all. But forbidden sexual experience has its own allure.
The Gay Community would tell them they ARE gay and should embrace their identity enthusiastically.
The Gay Community in their official publications of the past have tolerance for the NAMBLA concept --North American Man Boy Love Ass'n. One of their activist spokesman in a gay magazine said gays were going to pursue the sons of straight, homosphobic America in the schools, libraries, gyms, restrooms, camps, etc. They used to brag on talk shows that they could turn any straight man to gay by their activities. They would mock straight men as being latently homosexual and therefore homophobic --afraid of gays because they feared arousal by them.
Surveys have found that early sexual interest and experience are more common to homosexuals than to straights.
We need to de-saturate our culture from media's promotion of homosex, shacking up, fornication, adultery, nudity, explicit sexual material on line and on TV. Parents are needed; vigilance is needed--for the innocense of our children.
My husband said he saw part of a program that suggested seriously that a girl was a prude if she didn't want a 3-way.
The Church (all believers) should take the lead and continue to sound the alarm, protect the kids with parental controls and chaperonage, provide wholesome activity and monitoring of youth and their exposure to sexually oriented video games, entertainment --and no computers in their bedrooms or in private. Parental locks on computers when parents are out of the house might be good.
Most important, we need to teach kids that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." And that God forbids same sex activity explicitly, along with incest, adultery, and ANY kind of sexual intercourse outside marriage. We need to restore the value of waiting for marriage and the virtues of self-control and virginity. We need to again promote the superior value of "delayed gratification." Kids need to know that they can short-circuit their future in every way, including happiness, by early sexual indulgence --and other harmful, addictive activities and substances. "Flee Temptation."
One needs to know that indulgence in sexual sin (any sin) can SEAR the conscience, so that we aren't remorseful for our sin--as Father Toohey didn't seem to be. King David in the Bible WAS remorseful, repented of his sins --cried out to God to "restore to me the joy of my salvation."
One wonders what Father's devotional chapel talks were like. What were youth to avoid if anything??? Like a liberal, he probably gave ONLY POSITIVE instruction on love and forgiveness--no warnings except about sins of procrastination and failure to do your studies --and lustful thoughts toward women.
He overlooked that scripture that "whoever harms one of these little ones (innocents, vulnerable, young) it would be better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck and he were cast into the sea."
Father Toohey has to wear a little ankle bracelet to monitor his whereabouts --that's all--no millstone. But God may have a warm eternity planned for the sociopathic, unrepentant priest who put his own lusts before the well-being of two young men who trusted him as a man of God. Toohey is the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing about whom Jesus warned.