By Elizabeth Yore
"the soiling minds that plant and farm
and pick off innocence with rotten charm"
~from Damian Robin's poem Grooming
Church Militant's investigative report on Saginaw predator priest Robert DeLand provides the public with an invaluable tutorial in grooming by a predator priest.
Listening to the audio tapes of the chilling and clever manipulation by DeLand of his teen male victim reinforces the uniquely diabolical nature of priestly predation. DeLand shrewdly weaves his lewd and salacious language with affirmations of love in soft dulcet tones. He urges the victim to pursue homosexual partners, probes the teen for the type of homosexual acts he prefers, all with constant reassurance that this man of God sanctions this sinful conduct.
This is a sexual predator in action as he hunts and covets the weak. Stalking a vulnerable and pliable victim, grooming him with gifts, drugs, porn and attention, then waiting — waiting for the opportunity to prey on him. Listening to the assault unfold brings a whole new kind of creepy to the crime.
The crime of sexual exploitation operates in an isolated and solitary vacuum between predator and prey. The predator targets his prey, slowly, and strategically encircles his vulnerable victim, luring him with perks and compliments, gradually isolating him from his protective safety net. With precision timing, the predator sets his trap and patiently waits for the confused victim to step in.
For decades, Catholics were horrified to learn about predatory priests abusing minors, primarily underage males. In their baffling naïveté, laity would often say, "Why didn't the victim walk away?" or, "Why didn't the victim speak out?" Shockingly, many chose to believe the offending priest rather than the victim, including the parents of victims.
The pervert priest exploits the contradiction of the phenomenon of the seen and unseen. His heinous crime operates in solitary isolation with an offending predator priest hiding in plain sight, aloft at the pulpit and altar, yet preying in the shadows. The congregation only knows the man on the altar.
The actual words of the grooming predator priest as he voices his seductive lure are rarely heard by anyone except the vulnerable young victim. The words and images are so vile and lewd, few children could even repeat them.
No one could even imagine the predator priest's lascivious tone of voice or his look of "love" and feigned compassion toward the victim. No one could even envision that a consecrated man of God would utter such repulsive language, encourage salacious sins, much less sexually assault a minor child — until now.
Father Robert DeLand fell into his own diabolical trap. The secret audio tapes of his grooming conversations with a young male provide a how-to manual of a homosexual molester. This is how the predator priest grooms and seduces a boy. Listen, and then listen again, to the scurrilous script of this sexual predator. Every parent needs to hear and understand the manipulative tactics of the child predator in order to protect their children.
The tapes are the voice and words of Robert DeLand, but they mimic the tactics of thousands of predatory priests. This same scurrilous script is used by cardinals like Theodore McCarrick or bishops like Belgium's Roger J. Vangheluwe or priests like Fr. Marcial Maciel. Their sickening and seductive charm offensive gradually devolves into gross sex chats and, finally, the predatory assault.
Predators groom everyone — the congregation, the district attorney, the police, the press, the victim's parents — all for the sole purpose of exploiting their victim with impunity and avoiding detection and prosecution. Most of them succeed in fooling everyone, and most get away with their crimes. Recidivism among sexual predators is rampant. They seldom ever get caught.
The DeLand tapes debunk another lie promulgated by the Church hierarchy. Predation is not about clericalism, but about rank homosexual sex. The homosexual priest is recruiting new young victims into his perverted lifestyle. This is homosexualism, not clericalism.
Yet the cover-up continues, as the hierarchy deliberately deceives the laity about the true cause of the clerical scandal. The concocted cause du jour of the "scandal" is now blamed on clericalism, according to Pope Francis and Cdl. Blase Cupich. Such a weak excuse is laughable, if the abuse weren't so damnably unfunny.
Cardinal Blase Cupich invented the clericalism trope during the McCarrick scandal. Cupich tried to argue that the cause of the scandal was really about clericalism and abuse of power.
Taking his lead from Cupich, at the long-awaited do-nothing February Vatican abuse summit, Pope Francis blamed the scandal on "clericalism." It's an insult to the intelligence of the laity and the suffering of the victims.
Francis and Cupich appear to be protecting the "homosexual current" exposed by Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Viganò. As they weave "clericalism" into the seamless rainbow garment, they expose their very own complicity.
Clericalism is an audacious lie, which is itself a form of grooming to fool and distract the laity from the underlying cause of clerical abuse: the homosexual current in the clergy and the Vatican. After all the lies and suffering, they dare to create another cover-up of the cover-up.
According to the Church Militant investigative report, DeLand had other young male victims, some of whom committed suicide. Therein lies the untold story of clerical abuse and its devastating path. It robs our boys of their innocence, their faith and their life. Our Lord warned that "any one that hurt these little ones would be subject to a millstone hung around his neck and thrown into the depths of the sea."
Divine justice awaits them all.