Why is the Church bedevilled by Paedophilia?

A baby's hand clasping an adult finger

Original Sin –

In his autobiographical Confessions, St Augustine of Hippo wrote of  “filth” and “the itch of lust” in infants.*  He saw wickedness in babies and in his Answer to the Pelagians, he wrote “Who is clean from filth?  Not even an infant who has lived one day on earth.”**

Generally, we see babies as symbols of innocence and purity.  Could some forgotten or suppressed perversion have led St Augustine to declare he saw filth and lust in infants?  To find the answer to that question, a new study compares St Augustine’s writings with quotes from convicted paedophiles to reveal some striking parallels.

Through his teaching Christians learn that their babies are born already stained with Original sin from the concupiscence (sexual lust) of Adam and Eve, and infants must be baptised to wash this sin away. be baptised to wash this sin away.***

The expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

St Augustine’s 5th century vision

Since 412AD theologians have discussed and disputed St Augustine’s concept of Original sin.

Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that, while everyone bears the consequences of the first sin, the foremost of which is death, only Adam and Eve are guilty of that sin. Western Christianity on the other hand, teaches that everyone bears the guilt of that Original sin from birth. This undeserved stain of sexual lust from antiquity is
St Augustine’s legacy to us. 

Jesus being baptised by John the Baptist
Jesus being baptised by John the Baptist

The Holy Sacrament of Baptism

Before St Augustine, Baptism was received by adults as a rite of admission to Christianity and there is no mention in the Bible of Original sin.

Progressive theologians think St Augustine was mistaken to teach that all babies inherit Adam and Eve’s sin by having been conceived in lust.  Rev. Cauley says: “There is no greater threat to Christianity than the doctrine of Original sin”… 

The Crux of Sin

The extent to which paedophilia occurs is not known with certainty, but the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse suggests the percentage of paedophiles in clerical ranks is 7%……….  That is almost double the proportion found in the male population at large in most studies and perhaps an indication of a malign influence at work.  Could it be that St Augustine’s child imputing doctrine is a contributory factor?

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Empowered Priests

Soon to be published, St Augustine of Paedo documents cases where predatory priests have misconstrued sacred doctrine, unconsciously perhaps, if not willfully.  After making a nine-year-old give him oral sex, one shamed priest rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water ‘to purify him’.……  Might St Augustine’s lewd teaching on Original sin be inadvertently tempting wayward clerics to abuse children?

Vulnerable Children

Graphic personal accounts show how instilling guilt from sin, when they have done no wrong, can be spiritually and mentally damaging for sensitive children.  St Augustine of Paedo considers whether such children might be more susceptible to being abused.

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A Focus for Discussion

With vivid insight into Christianity’s rites and rituals, this new book shows St Augustine’s ‘Original sin’ may be both theologically misguided and potentially harmful to some children.  St Augustine of Paedo, due for publication later this year, examines the realities obscured by Vatican cant.

  • What is the effect on our blameless offspring, of being marred from birth with unmerited Original sin?
  • Could the teaching of Augustinian theology be a factor in cases of child sexual abuse?
  • Might sensitive children, branded with the guilt of sin, be vulnerable to abuse by exalted clerics?
  • Is it possible that a wayward priest may, perhaps unconsciously, perceive children already soiled by the stain of carnal sin, to be innately lustful?
  • Has the Church cannon ‘in persona Christi’ (priests are Christ in person) posed an obstruction to justice?
  • Should children be allowed to grow up before being Baptised?
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*The Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 1 Translation by Edward B Pusey
**Answer to the Pelagians, Book 6, P622, Translation by Roland J. Teske SJ
***Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1512, DS 1514;  CCC: 403, 406, 491.
……Pennsylvania 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury REPORT 1, Interim, Aug. 14th 2018, p10
………Australian Royal Commission into IRCSA, p 248 Final Report: Volume 1.

The Crux of Sin – scheduled for publication winter 2019