The author warns not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. One main focus is how these meetings prevent youth from pornography addiction, or worse pedophilia.
What are your thoughts on this?
I have never been a bishop, so I have no idea what that experience is like or how often youth confess sexual sins, having viewed pornography, or how often they reveal abuse of any sort.
For those who do confess, I have no doubt that bishops do a lot of good, even after taking bishop roulette into account. But I would be very surprised if confession of sexual sins by youth was very common at all. Many people lie about their sexual sins. From various forums I’ve read, sometimes this is very direct just straight up lying. Other times, it is justified in some way — it’s none of their business, he may think it’s part of the law of chastity but I don’t, etc. Other times, they just aren’t ready to have that conversation. It’s uncomfortable to say the least and in many induces shame or teaches them that they can lie in these interviews with impunity and the bishop won’t catch it (although answers to tithing questions can’t be a complete lie once you’re an adult and the bishop could have some idea what you make).
I think that once you understand that 90% of the bishop’s role is to help the penitent understand that if they’ve repented they are forgiven, the whole thing seems rather unnecessary and the whole thing could be simplified. Can we just hammer this home in Sunday School, YM, and YW?
Then there’s the bishops that blow it and end up doing strange things like making women apologize to their rapists. I still don’t understand what exactly goes wrong in those situations, but if the internet is to be believed, it happens.
Child abuse is probably more common than straight up pedophilia, but from what I understand, most miss the signs or misinterpret them, or they take the adult’s side (!).
Overall, I think if you’re holding youth interviews to catch pedophiles, it’s a lot of effort for little benefit. Not that it isn’t a benefit to those it helps, but it’s a very inefficient way of going about it... if there is such a thing as an efficient way of catching pedophiles.
If you’re holding youth interviews to give people an opportunity to confess, I wonder if you wouldn’t be better off doing a role play of a meeting with the bishop to confess a sin during a 5th Sunday or something. Something to normalize it a bit and take the fear out of going to the bishop on your own. Heck, sounds like something they should do with new bishops to train them on how to deal with people confessing sins.
I do think that it is beneficial for the bishop to meet with youth to find out how they’re doing, answer any questions or respond to any concerns they have — the important part is that it is a positive experience and they feel comfortable talking to the bishop so if they need to, they will. But calling it an interview and including all of the worthiness questions like it’s a test you need to pass or you’ll be shamed in front of the rest of the ward, including your parents, by not being allowed to partake of or pass the sacrament?
If I could change one thing about the Church it would be the shame culture and the public virtue tests... wait, I guess that’s two things. Anyway, if a priest masturbates / goes too far with his girlfriend and is feeling guilty about it because he stumbled on his parents’ copy of the Miracle of Forgiveness, he feels like he can’t bless the sacrament. But if he doesn’t everyone will know. He’s forced to publicly declare his adherence to the law of chastity by virtue of being up there saying the sacrament prayer, when he knows he hasn’t followed it and God knows he hasn’t, but maybe he’s just not ready yet to confess.
As an adult, well, you don’t have the weekly public virtue display, but they are still significant. Now you have the chance to virtue signal by giving blessings, blessing your newborn children, blessing them when they’re sick, baptizing them, ordaining your sons, etc. Then you get hit by all of the “faith building” stories where someone got hit in an accident, but the Melchizedek priesthood holder at the scene tearfully declines to give a blessing because he was on his way home from committing some level of sexual sin, and the injured person dies without having received a blessing that might have saved his life.
ProtectLDSchildren.org will show you the thousands who have been abused by Bishops behind closed doors. Greg is poster boy for the Mormon church and refuses to look at the overwhelming evidence of abuse that exists to this day.
Post by KSSunflower on Nov 4, 2019 17:47:29 GMT -6
Yeah I'm not too convinced that bishops are the saving grace of youth from porn, or worse. I had good experiences with all of my bishops the short time I was a youth in the church but now that I have my own kids I'm rethinking the whole idea. My husband and I, first and foremost, hold stewardship over them. If something is going on with our child they can talk to us FIRST. Then if we feel a bishop needs to be involved (which they almost never do) we will set up a meeting.