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Thursday, October 19, 2006

 

It wasn't abuse? The Foley saga continues...

There is so much here, it is hard to know where to start...

Comments:
The purpose of the continual reporting on this story is for Democrats to avoid talking about issues. It has no other useful purpose.
 
Don't kid yourself. If a Democrat had done this, Rush Limbaugh and conservative republicans would be all over it.

It's completely bi-partisan. Each party delights in catching the other with its pants down.
 
Yes, to both of you.

My point was to bring out the denial of this accuser. It wasn't abuse, he says. Well, it certainly was. It is good to see the church react quickly to remove the man from his duties.

If Foley was looking for someone to replicate this "friendship" with, I suppose that shows the awful potential of these experiences in childhood on adult functioning.
 
Fr. Mercieca is displaying some of the classic signs of the abuser. He says it wasn't abuse because there was no penetration. What a frighteningly narrow viewpoint!

It WAS abuse...because it was an adult with a teenage boy, because it was a leader with someone in his care, because it involved nakedness with sexual overtones. The notions that young Foley 'didn't seem to mind' and that they had an ongoing friendship do NOT change the fact that it WAS abuse.

We have already discussed the emotional and sexual vulnerabilities of teens on this site. This priest seems oblivious to these vulnerabilities and therefore he's blind to his own culpability. He needs to be defrocked immediately.

On the other hand, while it may explain the liberties Foley took, it does not excuse them.
 
Ed: Well said.
 
Several points should have been asked of the priest:

How was his behavior consistent with his religious obligations to Foley?

Does he think he has harmed this "little one" and therefore deserves to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the deepest ocean?

What responsibility does he bear for similar acts that Foley (and others he may have molested) may have perpetrated on others?

I would like to suggest that this is a specific form of erotic abuse: involving the initiation of a young man in the greater good of the world.

The priest is using the marvels of the world and the introduction of them to Foley as a means to molest him. Idealization for Foley would have been profound, as the priest was helping him explore a larger, more wondrous world than his town in Florida. When that exploration turn erotic and personal, the young teen would have been in no position to process the complex and confusing feelings that came up as a result.

The priest feels powerful and good at exposing the teen to the greater world and then entitled to get something back in return.

I would be interested in several hypothesis about Foley's development of SSA and identification of himself now as Gay.

Did Foley experience SSA prior to his contact with this priest? Did he confuse idealization and attraction to the priest with sexual attraction? Did the molestation by the priest somehow confirm his identity as a gay man?

How has Foley integrated his Catholic faith with his Gay identity?

I imagine there were many events after the abuse which Foley decided confirmed his identity as a Gay man.

David Blakeslee
 
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