Reports of abuse call for vigilance
By Daniel J. BauerMedia throughout the country rightly gave major attention this week to the disturbing report on a local self-styled coach and teacher named Hu, who confessed to having sexually abused as many as 12 boys in recent years.
June 10, 2012, 12:21 am TWN
A local English newspaper gently linked this sad story at home to the trial currently underway in Pennsylvania where, again, a person in a position of authority over youth is accused of predatory sexual behavior. The American situation involves Jerry Sandusky, a well-known and once widely respected football coach at Pennsylvania State University. Accusations against him led to the firing last November of the president of Penn State as well as the demise of its fabled, all but canonized head football coach, Joe Paterno.
Coach Sandusky is 68 years old and retired. He is on trial for 52 counts of child abuse. He says he is innocent. If convicted on all charges, Sandusky could receive a 500 year prison sentence.
The link to which I refer is a tag beside a large color photo that accompanies the Taipei story, “Coach admits he molested 12 boys.” A note below the article directs readers to check out “Pennsylvania on page 7.” There the headline on the “Sandusky saga” appears (TT 6-06-12, p. 1 / 7).
This type of event and the coverage it receives brings a couple things to mind. Number One is the fact that sexual abuse may occur anywhere. Sexual violence against innocents is not unique to a single culture or country.
Number Two relates to the gap between religious beliefs and personal behavior. Millions of people of my spiritual tradition have suffered great shame and angst over the past decade with revelations of abusive, indeed criminal behavior on the part of a small number of priests, Sisters, lay leaders, and even bishops. The revelations have come from all over the world, not only the United States.
Our local story includes the detail that Mr. Hu apparently holds a master's degree in theology from an institute in China. He had at least some of his victims call him “Pastor Hu.”
The title “Pastor” is of course the equivalent of “Father” for a Catholic priest, or “Rabbi” for a Jewish rabbi. It is telling that Hu reportedly nurtured the trust of his victims by gifts of money before eventually taking them to “empty churches,” where he assaulted them (TT).