Priests and celibacy

Modern times have been shaken profoundly by case after case of sexual abuse done by Catholic priests. The Vatican has finally taken a role in dealing with and controlling this as an ongoing problem.

Many people come up with different ideas of how to ‘solve’ the problem. The biggest one being to allow priests to marry. As shown in the last article on pedophiles, marriage does nothing to cure pedophiles. They are usually men (some women) who suffer from a deep seated obsessive-complusive disorder. Many pedophiles have been married and were married when they committed their crimes.

Another article I posted recently was one about people who should not marry for various reasons. In some interviews I have read men say (marriage is) ‘ too much trouble, they don’t want to bother with it and they like the simple life.’ There are many reasons a man chooses to become a priest and those reasons are probably as individual as the man. However; while we as a population cringe and worry about harm done by priests, what is the potential harm done to them?

The vows of celibacy allow the priest to have ‘relationships’ with a variety of women without there being a sexual component. He is not (as many single men must do)  apologizing to the lady for not taking her telephone number and/or not giving her a call. Since the priest (at this point) can’t marry; that commitment to the church protects them (to an extent) from being continually chased and hounded by marriage minded individuals of both sexes. It keeps the confessional from turning into an endless array of love-sick romantic quests. It allows the priest to do his job, which is to focus on the congregation and the greater good. As the following article shows, there are people currently who ‘hunt’ priests because they see them as ‘safe’. Well, they are often not only safe, but good looking, well educated, intelligent, and religious. What single women is not looking for that combination?

The ‘freedom’ to get married will probably doom the (especially young) priest to an endless parade of suitors and virtually no peace of mind. As indicated in the article on deacons, if a man wishes to marry and have children yet still serve the church, he can become a deacon and be of great service to the church. If a man chooses, instead, the priesthood, there have to be personal reasons for that and maybe, just maybe, one could be that he simply doesn’t want to get married. What follows here are some candid interviews with priests and their views on celibacy in the priesthood.

Priests, sex and celibacy

How do Catholic clergy deal with the church’s requirement for celibacy? Desmond Zwar spoke to four men about living a life where there should be no sex.

By Desmond Zwar

November 23, 2012 — 3.00am

A few years ago I began researching a book into how priests dealt with the requirement that they be celibate. I placed an advertisement in The Swag – the journal of the National Council of Priests – seeking priests who would be willing to talk to me about their relationship with celibacy, whether they found it easy or difficult to maintain. About eight priests responded. I interviewed them by phone, taped the conversations and returned the edited version to each priest for review. This is an edited extract of my conversations with four of them.


”We talked a lot about celibacy in the seminary. For me it means regular self-appraisal, and a bit of doubt as well. It was easier for me as I had 15 years teaching in the secondary system. As a single fellow, when you are teaching secondary students, you are teaching girls as well who are in many ways at their physical peak.

And I had to think to myself: ‘Well, how do I relate to these girls?’ I had to acknowledge to myself that they were attractive to me; I’d be a fool if I didn’t think that.

But that doesn’t mean taking the further step of trying to get a physical relationship.”

How did you suppress your sexual feelings?

”I think they are natural. If I tried to suppress them I’d be storing up trouble for myself in the future. So I acknowledge to myself: ‘Yes, that is a beautiful girl’. The thing that stood by me was: ‘God created it, but you are not allowed to play with it!’

It’s a gift from God – this beautiful person – and I find that gift precious.

We discussed celibacy a lot in the seminary. We looked at it not as a giving up, but a giving for. Being celibate means you are always able to be open to one more relationship. If you are in a relationship with another person, to a degree that has to be exclusive; other people have to be kept out.

Being celibate means there is always another friend you can make. When I entered the seminary there wasn’t a lot explained about celibacy, and I wasn’t sure whether to raise the question. But in the first year we looked at the whole issue of sexuality. What is sexuality? What is your sexuality? What is healthy sexuality? Is it something to be suppressed?”

Have you had relationships with women?

”Yes, but they didn’t become physical relationships. I felt that if I got married it would be a matter of respect to that person I married, that we explored sexuality together.

I’m 45 and I do have sexual longings. What do I do about it? I acknowledge them first of all. I don’t pretend they’re not there. I don’t try and drive them away. I ask what my body is trying to tell me – my body is telling me I’m still a normal male. But there’s a message from God as well. As a priest and a celibate some opportunities are cut off; but every path in life opens some road and closes others.

I don’t have feelings of guilt about my sexual feelings. Sexuality is a gift from God; if we deny it we are denying something that God has given us. But to deny having them is to fool oneself, and that can be dangerous.

To be aware of these feelings doesn’t mean to act on them. I would like celibacy to be an option. To be celibate is to be potentially available to all. It is a sign that we do not have to be obsessed with sex or sexual activity.

But to expect it of everybody – especially those who do not have the gift – is quite unfair.”


How much self-doubt have you had – or still have – regarding celibacy?

”Leading up to ordination I had no self-doubt. I undertook wanting to be a priest and being a member of a religious order; I accepted the fact that celibacy was a part and parcel of that. I did that – not without question – but with full acceptance. I was 26.

Two or three years after ordination I started to seriously question whether this would really be possible as a lifetime commitment.”

Was this because of your sexual urges?

”Yes. I tried to get advice from fellow priests as to what I should do about it. The people I went to took me seriously; it was never played down. I spoke to three priests over a period of five or six years and I don’t think any of them gave me great advice on how I might live with celibacy; more encouragement to accept the situation ‘as it is’.

I was told: ‘If you find yourself being caught in inappropriate behaviour, just accept that as being part of life … and re-dedicate yourself’.”

Did you find yourself in inappropriate situations?

”Yes, I did. I was going to a sauna – a place where it was easy to have casual sex. I never got in a situation where I was actually in a relationship with anybody. But I did find myself having casual sex. It went on pretty strongly for 20 years.”

How did you get away from it in the end?

”I developed a couple of very good relationships – friendship relationships – so that when I found myself looking for intimacy, I could have that intimacy with a couple of really good friends.

Prior to that, my needs for intimacy were addressed as being purely physical. I didn’t know what else to do, so I would go off and have sex. I got hooked on sex, and wanted more and more, even though I felt more and more guilty.

I am now 56 and celibacy is not a problem. I can live with it. I have a couple of friends – one male and one female – and I can discuss it with them.”

Have you been chased by women because you were considered to be ‘safe’?

”I have experienced that. I was working in a seminary, and not infrequently I came across women who got very attached to religious men of all ages. They were often women who had been hurt by men; they saw safety in male company that was not dangerous.

I would like to see celibacy relaxed; it should be optional. Celibacy for religious men and women is totally normal – if that’s what they wish to do. But to make it obligatory is ridiculous.”

JOHN (a Brother)

”Like priests we are bound by the rules of celibacy. I am 68 and there is always self-appraisal regarding celibacy. When I was 16 I went into a seminary where there was silence and prayers and I was told I had to be celibate. I was told very little about it, except it was a gift from God, and you were given the gift to use – to give your whole self to God.

There were no instructions about repressing feelings of sexuality. Even our parents told us nothing. Even as a kid in boarding school I had a wet dream. I tried to explain it to a priest and he said: ‘Oh, it just happens’. But I felt guilty about my wet dreams. As though I’d done something wrong.

Being celibate made me feel a bit awkward with women. Because of our strict training I didn’t see a woman for three years. I didn’t need to see a doctor or a dentist and didn’t leave the monastery. So I had no contact with women.

Nobody was doing anything for me in that regard at an important stage in my life. But when I was about 40 I met a woman and fell in love. We never had sex, we never went to bed. But she explained so much to me about the sex act – how women are attracted to men. She was a married woman in the middle of a divorce – she was lonely and I helped take her loneliness away.”

Did you have guilty feelings about being sexually aroused when you were younger?

”Oh yes! But I didn’t do much about it – I prayed a lot and went to confession. The priest just said it was part of growing up. I masturbated a lot and I confessed to that. I used to ring up a sex-line every three weeks and it cost me about $35. I ejaculated after just a minute listening. I have never seen a woman naked; I have only seen bare breasts at the Missions.

I often wonder if I could perform the act of sex. Would I be able to have sexual intercourse? Would I come too quickly, because I get aroused quickly?

I have never had any feelings of attraction to fellow priests. I am not homosexual. I believe celibacy for priests should be optional – remain celibate unless you can’t do without a woman.

We are kidding ourselves if we think priests don’t have their mistresses – and that gay priests don’t have gay boyfriends. I’m sure it happens. Priests go to brothels, but I have never been with a prostitute.”


Should celibacy should be retained for priests or relaxed?

”It should be an option for those priests living outside a community of priests. If you were a married priest living with three or four other priests it would be difficult.

I have been a priest for 18 years and – for me – celibacy is good.

It gives me plenty of time to deal with people who come to me for help; more time for my work. It also allows me an intimacy with Jesus in the sense that He is the only one I come to as my ultimate, intimate companion; rather than any non-divine person.

It isn’t a big step psychologically. Since my childhood, Jesus has been a person to dialogue with, someone who is actually standing there. He is present with me in any place, at any time I go to Him.”

How does celibacy compete with your sexual urges?

”Sometimes I have them, yes, but not very frequently; I have a low libido which is fortunate. I take this as a grace from God that He has given me this along with the call to priesthood. Some priests express a struggle with it. But they also talk about a positive side which they find worthwhile. The struggle (with celibacy) never goes away; you get more experienced handling it.”

Desmond Zwar is a journalist and author of 16 non-fiction books, including The Loneliest Man in the World – the Story of Rudolf Hess’s Imprisonment.

Should Priests be ‘allowed’ to marry?

This is a continuing series of articles addressing the hot topic out now about whether or not Catholic priests should be ‘allowed’ to marry. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone wants to get married!

relationships – Best Life Newsletter

40 Signs You Should Never Get Married



AUGUST 15, 2018


It’s assumed that everyone grows up fantasizing about meeting their soulmate and dreaming up the perfect wedding day before riding off into the sunset of lifetime marital bliss. Newsflash: marriage isn’t for everyone. Whether you simply don’t think it’s crucial to your happiness, don’t want to spend the money, or straight-up don’t believe in it (for whatever reason), deciding not to get married is perfectly okay. Before you sign those papers, you should be able to spot the signs that this longstanding tradition is not for you. Here they are.

  1. You don’t believe in it.

Some people consider marriage little more than piece of paper, and others think it’s the only way to truly commit. And there’s nothing wrong with either opinion. “Many people feel that you can be married in your heart and you don’t need a legal agreement to confirm your love,” says psychologist Dr. Paulette Sherman, author of Dating from the Inside Out and The Book of Sacred Baths. “They fear it just complicates things by making it about commingling property, assets, and taxes instead about your heartfelt commitment to that other person.”

  1. You want to save money.

Let’s be honest: weddings are expensive, and it’s not crazy to not want to spend your entire life’s savings on one day. Considering the average wedding cost in the United States is a whopping $33,391—a nice chunk of a down payment on a home—deciding not to get married so you can keep your money in the bank is a smart move.

  1. You don’t feel like you need to prove your love.

Weddings have one purpose: Aside from joining forces with another person for life, you’re also showing everyone important in your life just how much you love each other. Some people don’t see the need and are just fine being committed to someone minus the social display of affection.

  1. You have trust issues.

Trust is so important in relationships. Unfortunately, if it’s something you’ve lost in the past due to a partner betraying you—whether that’s through cheating or something else—it can be really hard to find it again in the future. If your trust issues are making it tough for you to commit to a partner through something as serious as marriage, don’t feel like you need to go through with a ceremony. There’s lots of time in the future if you change your mind.

  1. You’ve neverwanted to get married.

While some people grow up dreaming of their perfect wedding down to the dress and theme colors, that’s not the norm for everyone. If you’re not someone who already has a Pinterest board filled with everything you want on your special day—and it’s not something you see yourself getting excited about anytime soon—you can enjoy being in a relationship withoutthe “I do”s.

  1. You disagree with the definition of marriage.

Marriage has quite the colorful history—something not everyone is cool with being part of because they don’t agree with it politically. “Some people feel that historically marriage has been a way for society to repress certain groups,” Sherman says. “For example, at one point some women were treated as property of their husbands and weren’t allowed to vote. And in many countries, gay couples still can’t legally marry. Some people don’t want to take part in an institution that fosters this type of discrimination.”

  1. You don’t want to mess with the whole last name thing.

Traditionally, marriage means sharing the same last name. Even though that’s changed in recent years with it becoming increasing common to either keep your last names the same—or even for the man to take the woman’s last name—wanting to keep things simple and avoid the process altogether is a sign maybe it’s best to avoid the whole marriage thing.

  1. You want your freedom.

When you get married, you’re legally locked down to one person forever. For some, that sounds amazing—but for others, not so much. If you want to keep your freedom, marriage might not be the best fit for you. Avoiding the paperwork means you can continue doing what you want, when you want, without having to get permission from anyone else.

  1. You like things as they are.

If current things are feeling pretty great as they are, why make a big move and get married? “There’s an expression: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Some people feel that if their relationship is happy and works, they don’t need to complicate it with legal repercussions and a ceremony that validates their relationship from the outside,” Sherman says.

  1. You’re not sure about the other person.

Just because you’re with someone doesn’t mean you need to get married to them. If you’ve been together for quite a while but still aren’t entirely sure about spending the rest of your life with them, don’t rush off to the altar. Just enjoy being together and see where your relationship takes you.

  1. You don’t even like weddings.

If you feel a sense of dread the instant you open a piece of mail and discover it’s a wedding invite, it’s probably no secret that you’re not exactly a fan of weddings. If you don’t even enjoy going to other people’s weddings, don’t feel bad about not wanting one of your own, either.

  1. You don’t want to be the center of attention.

When it comes to weddings, there are two people all eyes are on the entire time: the bride and groom. While some people thrive on knowing they’ll be the center of attention and have guests from all over come to celebrate their love, others would rather crawl in a hole and not make awkward small talk with family members they haven’t seen or heard from in years.

  1. You don’t want the stress.

Weddings are supposed to be about love—but often times there’s a whole lot of stress behind all those smiles. If you don’t handle pressure well and try to keep your life as relaxed and stress-free as possible, getting married might not be your favorite thing. In fact, it could easily turn into a total nightmare.

  1. You hate the idea of planning a wedding.

Some people love getting to sit down and go over every detail of their wedding, from the flower arrangements to the DJ’s playlist. If you’re not a planner, though, you could have a real problem: getting married takes a lot of patience—and a lot of work. If you’d rather just pass on all the stress that comes with wedding checklists—and aren’t into the idea of hiring someone to do it for you—you’re not alone. It basically becomes a second job.

  1. You don’t have a real reason for wanting to get married.

When most people decide to get married, they have a very specific reason in mind—most commonly that they want to legalize their love for their partner. That doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way, though. If you don’t have a reason for wanting to tie the knot, don’t feel like you have to. It’s not a requirement of living a happy, fulfilled life, even if your friends make it seem that way.

  1. You’re already married—to your career.

Some people become infatuated with another person and want to spend their life making them happy. Then others have another one true love: their job. If you would rather spend your time advancing your career instead of your relationship, keep on being a total boss—there’s nothing wrong with choosing your passion over marriage.

  1. You don’t need someone to complete you.

Basically every romantic comedy ever revolves around someone finding the person who makes them feel whole. (You can thank Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire for the iconic “you complete me” quote.) The hopeless romantics of the world want nothing more than to share their life with their soulmate, but if you don’t feel like you need someone to complete you to be happy and satisfied with your life as it is, don’t feel like something is wrong with you. It’s totally okay to be your own soulmate.

  1. You don’t feel like marriage adds value to your life.

Between the lovey-dovey reasons and tax perks, there are plenty of draws to marriage. But if you don’t feel like getting married would add any value to your life, there’s no reason to complicate things. Just keep paving your own path and you’ll be just fine.

  1. You’d rather spend your money on traveling.

Some couples decide to save up and spend all their hard-earned money on their wedding—just one day of their entire lives. If you’d rather spend that $30,000 (or more) on something else—like traveling around the globe and crossing places off your bucket list—why not? There’s no reason to feel like you need to spend your money on a photographer and DJ if you’d much rather spend it backpacking through Europe.

  1. The two of you are always fighting.

Some fighting is totally fine: all couples do it, it’s unpreventable, and totally fine (even healthy). But if you and your partner are fighting non-stop and are never able to see anything eye to eye, getting married might not be your best option—at least not right now. Instead of rushing into a wedding, take your time and see if you can get on the same page before you do anything drastic.

  1. You love being independent.

Independence is an amazing thing. If you’re someone who loves taking care of yourself, supporting yourself, and being by yourself—and don’t want anyone else to do that for you—why get married? There’s nothing wrong with being content with “me, myself, and I.”

  1. You’ve witnessed the drawbacks to marriage.

If you’re really familiar with divorce, you know how much it can impact and devastate a family—especially when kids are involved. After experiencing something like that firsthand, it’s not uncommon to want to avoid the risk of going through something similar down the line—and instead just continue to build up your own happy relationship without a marriage because of that.

  1. You don’t want to burden other people.

Weddings cost the bride and groom a whole lot of money, but they’re not the only ones who take a financial hit. The parents of the bride and groom are also expected to chip in some hefty funds, bridesmaids buy pricey dresses, and travel costs aren’t cheap. If you feel like it’s not worth burdening yourself or the people you love and would rather just go marriage-free, you’ll probably save everyone thousands around the board.

  1. You’re not overly traditional.

Some people are incredibly traditional and live by the rules that have guided society for what feels like forever. And marriage is a big part of that tradition. If you don’t feel like you share those same traditional values, mabe a wedding isn’t something you see yourself doing and would be much happier just living life sans legal documents.

  1. You’re holding out on your partner changing.

Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re crossing your fingers that marriage is what finally changes your partner into the person you want (and need!) them to be, that’s probably not what’s going to happen. If they haven’t yet, they’re probably pretty stuck in their ways—and having a shiny new ring on their finger isn’t going to suddenly make a major difference.

  1. You want to spend your time on other things.

The year before your wedding basically involves one thing: planning, planning, and then some more planning. So any bit of free time you have instantly goes toward crossing all the to-dos off your list that are required for marriage. If you don’t want your wedding to take over your life and would rather spend your time doing other things, don’t feel guilty.

  1. Your relationship is like a hurricane.

Sometimes, you meet couples and wonder why they even got married in the first place. Before you decide to say “I do,” be sure to evaluate your own relationship: If it’s constantly full of ups and downs and never feels stable, it might not be the wisest move to make until those problems are resolved.

  1. You like being alone.

There are two types of people in the world: Those who need to be around other people 24/7, and those who love nothing more than being all alone. If you like flying solo and would prefer being by yourself, ditching the idea of marriage might work in your favor. (Plus, you’ll get to choose your Netflix shows in peace, which is always a perk.)

  1. You’re at different maturity levels.

Marriage is a big deal: you’re signing papers that legally recognize you as partners for as long as you both shall live. If one of you is taking the idea of a wedding much more seriously than the other, there’s a chance you shouldn’t be going through with it. If you do, both of you need to be equally on board with just how serious of a commitment it is so you don’t wind up getting a divorce once it sets in that you’re in totally different places in life.

  1. You’re not what you’d call “in love.”

Sure, you can love someone more than anything—but are you actually in love with them? If your love is more of a friendship than a deep relationship, marriage might not be the best next step. Instead, it’s probably better to evaluate where you’re at emotionally and if you’re content with the way things are going in your love life.

  1. You’re anathema to change.

If you already feel like you’re at your peak level of happiness in your relationship and would rather keep things the same than risk changing anything, don’t. Some people are perfectly happy without being officially married and already feel more married than couples who have been legally binded together for ages.

  1. You don’t like the idea of being a wife or husband.

Some people long for finally being able to call themselves a wife or husband, and others gag a little every time they hear it. If you don’t think the title has a nice ring to it and would rather just stay how you are, it’s probably a sign you shouldn’t be walking down the aisle.

  1. Compromising isn’t your thing.

Some people are stuck in their ways and don’t feel the need to adjust their lifestyle to make room for someone else’s. “Oftentimes, being married requires some compromise and joint decision-making because two people are joining their lives and may sometimes disagree on certain choices,” Sherman says. “A good marriage creates enough room for bothpeople’s needs to be honored, and some people would rather just do what they want all the time. They don’t want to consider how that choice will affect the other person.”

  1. You don’t want to build up any more debt.

As great as weddings are, the money aspects are pretty out of control. Sure, you can go down to the courthouse and get married without hardly any costs, but planning a big ceremony will put you back thousands and thousands of dollars—something some people decide to avoid altogether so they don’t go even further into debt.

  1. You think your partner is as good as you’re gonna get.

Being with someone because you love them is one thing, but only wanting to get married because you’re settling and have come to the conclusion that your partner is the best you can do isn’t good for anyone. If that’s the only reason you’re still in a relationship, it’s time to rethink that relationship.

  1. You don’t like monogamy.

When you get married, you’re joined with one other person “‘til death do us part.” While that’s an amazing thing for some, others see it as a roadblock. “For many people, marriage means monogamy, although there are some open marriages. Perhaps you’re someone who gets bored being with only one person, who doesn’t want to remain faithful, and wants to have a variety of partners and adventures and romantic relationships in the future,” Sherman says.

  1. You don’t like your partner’s family.

You might really care for your partner, but getting married means becoming family with their family too. If you feel like it’s going to cause you more unhappiness than happiness being added into a group you’re not too fond of, forget the paperwork and just enjoy being together without having to deal with the drama.

  1. You’re only following the steps.

If there’s really nothing excitement about marriage to you and it’s mostly just what you feel like is the next step in the progression of your relationship, don’t hit the altar. You should never get married just because you feel like it’s the right thing to do—you should only say “I do” if you’re excited and actually want to take that next step.

  1. You don’t believe in needing an other half.

The world lives by the mentality that everyone has an “other half,” and you’re not totally complete as a person until you find that missing puzzle piece. If you feel totally fulfilled on your own, keep doing you: not everyone needs to share their life with another person to be totally happy.

  1. You’re annoyed with your partner 24/7.

Little annoyances here and there are totally understandable—and, frankly, quite common. How can you not be annoyed at some things your partner does when you’re around them all the time? When everything they do seems to bother you, though, that’s a different story and is probably a major sign you shouldn’t get married.


Is Marriage a cure for Pedophilia?

Pedophilia: A guide to the disorder


The Week Staff

Roughly 4 percent of the U.S. population is believed to have pedophiliac urges. Blue Lantern Studio/Corbis

November 25, 2011

Bottom of Form

What is a pedophile?
It’s an adult with a sexual preference for prepubescent children (typically 13 or under) of either sex, though some prefer one gender. The term can be used to describe anyone who fantasizes about, is sexually aroused by, or experiences urges toward children, whether or not they act on them. Most psychologists believe that people with pedophilia will eventually act on it in some way — by exposing themselves to, spying on, or sexually touching children. About 4 percent of the population is believed to have pedophilic urges. Psychologists now categorize it as a sexual orientation much like heterosexuality and homosexuality, in the sense that the sexual attraction to children appears to be involuntary and remains stable over time. Pedophilia is also treated as a disorder, of course, because pedophiles who act on their urges cause grievous harm to young children, leaving them with emotional scars that can last for decades.

What kind of people are pedophiles?
Most are male, though about 6 percent are female. Although the stereotype of the pedophile is the trench-coated loner who hangs around playgrounds, in reality most pedophiles function as ordinary members of the community, like former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the man accused of sexually abusing children in his care. About 44 percent of convicted pedophiles either are or have been married, and a vast majority of pedophiles have sexual relationships with adults — only 7 percent say they are exclusively attracted to children. The majority of child molesters do not abuse children at random. For all the worries about “stranger danger,” 70 percent of reported abuses involve an offender who knows the child, including relatives.

What goes through their heads?
Most pedophiles are driven by strong feelings of love and tenderness toward children, say psychologists, rather than a desire to hurt them. They romanticize children, seek out their company, and convince themselves that their feelings are mutual. “It’s not just sex, it’s romance,” said psychologist Dr. Leslie Lothstein. “They’re in love with the 5-year-old.” Many take voluntary positions or jobs that allow them to be close to children. Pedophiles usually select targets carefully, and “groom” them over a period of months with gifts, attention, and special trips. Only then, after gaining the child’s trust, do they initiate sexual contact. Pedophiles often feel guilt and shame about their activities, say therapists.

What causes pedophilia?
It’s not clear. It’s commonly thought that those who were sexually abused as children are at high risk of becoming pedophiles, but only one third of pedophiles admit to having been abused. Other kinds of emotional trauma in childhood, research suggests, may also lead a person to get “stuck” in an early stage of emotional development. Researchers who’ve studied pedophiles’ brains have found abnormalities that cause low impulse control and obsessive behavior. But the cause remains something of a mystery, just like much of human sexuality.

What happens when pedophiles are convicted?
The average jail sentence handed down to a convicted pedophile is 11 years, but several states go beyond simple jail terms. Florida, Louisiana, and California now allow or mandate “chemical castration” for sex offenders — drugs that suppress testosterone and quash sexual appetite. Texas even allows a judge to recommend surgical castration, if the offender gives consent. But the punishment doesn’t end with the sentence. All 50 states have reporting laws requiring sex offenders to register with local authorities, so that their whereabouts can be monitored. Megan’s Law, a federal mandate named after a 7-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in 1994, requires that a community be notified if a sex offender lives there. Though the law remains controversial, reporting requirements seem to have helped. In a recent 15-year period, sex crimes against children declined by 53 percent.

Can pedophilia be cured?
No. There’s no magic cure that can make the sexual attraction to children go away, and up to 50 percent of convicted pedophiles re-offend. But like drug addiction, gambling addiction, and other destructive obsessions, pedophilia can be successfully treated, if pedophiles are motivated to stop their behavior. The most common treatment for pedophiles is “relapse prevention,” a lifelong therapy similar to alcoholism treatment that conditions them to live with their obsession but not act on it. There are also drugs that can suppress a pedophile’s sex drive. With the right combination of drugs and therapy, pedophiles can learn to resist their urges, said Dr. Fred Berlin, founder of the Johns Hopkins Sexual Disorders Clinic. “We’re not going to be able to put out the fire,” he said, “but we can do a nice job of containing [it].”

The dangers of the Internet
The Internet has given sexual predators a new way of finding victims, but most of these predators are not technically pedophiles. About 99 percent of the sex crimes committed through Internet-initiated contacts involve the statutory rape of teenagers, rather than little children. Pedophiles, who by definition prefer children who have not reached puberty, rarely meet victims online. But the Internet does give them a forum to communicate with one another. European and U.S. police recently busted 70,000 members of an online message board where pedophiles exchanged child pornography and stories of abuse, along with justifications for their behavior. This kind of community “allows [pedophiles] to avoid admitting that their desires are harmful and illegal,” said former police commander and anti-pedophile campaigner Bill Walsh. “That can allow them to take that final step and cross over from fantasy into real-world offenses.”

Should Catholic Priest Marry? A Series of articles.

Of late, there has been a great deal of discussion over the issue of whether or not Catholic priests should be allowed to marry. Sexual scandals dating back for years have been hitting the church in waves and the Vatican and those lower down are finally coming to terms with this problem and are doing something about it.

Like all problems that face our society, people often look for the ‘silver bullet’ answer or the one sweeping answer to cure all these problems. Allowing priests to marry may seem (on the surface) to be one of those answers.

Oftentimes, people feel vaguely sorry for the priests to have to give up their sex lives. There is a feeling that marriage, will be a ‘cure’ for sexual frustration and ‘cure’ for pedophilia. Research shows that pedophilia is a deep seated psychological disorder that is not cured by marriage. In fact, many perpetrators are married with children.

Lastly, people not familiar with the church may not understand the role of deacons in the church. These are men, usually married, frequently with children, who are high up in the running of the church and do many of the things that a priest does. They preach at the pulpit, they do counseling, they teach classes and are heavily involved in the daily running of the church. For those feeling sorry for men ‘who can’t marry’ look no further than your local deacon to see the vital role they play in church activities on a daily basis.



In the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, you have the Pope at the top (well, after God), cardinals, bishops, priests, and then deacons. Catholics recognize two types of deacons:

  • Permanent deacons are men ordained to an office in the Catholic Church who normally have no intention or desire of becoming priests. He can be single or married. If the latter, he must be married before being ordained a deacon. If his wife dies before him, he may be ordained a priest if the bishop permits and approves.

Permanent deacons, especially those who are married, have secular jobs to support their families and also help the local pastor by visiting the sick, teaching the faith, counseling couples and individuals, working on parish committees and councils, and giving advice to the pastor.


  • Transitional deacons are seminarians, students in the last phase of training for the Catholic priesthood. After being a deacon for a year, they’re ordained a priest by the bishop.

Deacons can baptize, witness marriages, perform funeral and burial services outside of Mass, distribute Holy Communion, preach the homily (which is the sermon given after the Gospel at Mass), and are obligated to pray the Divine Office (Breviary) each day. (The Divine Office, Breviary, or Liturgy of the Hours are all the same thing. These are the 150 Psalms and Scriptural readings from the Old and New Testament that every deacon, priest, and bishop must pray every day and a few times during each day.) This way, in addition to the biblical readings at daily Mass, the cleric is also exposed to more Sacred Scripture each day.

April 16, 2007 –

What are the responsibilities of deacons in the church?

Question: “What are the responsibilities of deacons in the church?”

Answer: In the New Testament, the word usually translated “serve” is the Greek word diakoneo, which literally means “through the dirt.” It refers to an attendant, a waiter, or one who ministers to another. From this word we get the English word “deacon.” We first see the word “deacon” used this way in the book of Acts. “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables” (Acts 6:2). The men who were giving themselves to feeding the flock by preaching and teaching realized that it wasn’t right for them to leave those activities to wait tables, so they found some other men who were willing to serve, and put them in place to minister to the church’s physical needs while the elders or pastors ministered to their spiritual needs. It was a better use of the resources they were given, and a better use of everyone’s gifts. It also got more people involved in serving and helping one another.

Today, for the biblical church, these roles are essentially the same. Elders and pastors are to “preach the word…reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2), and deacons are to be appointed to take care of everything else. In a modern church, this might include taking on administrative or organizational tasks, ushering, being responsible for building maintenance, or volunteering to be the church treasurer. It depends on the need and the gifts of the available men.

The responsibilities of a deacon are not clearly listed or outlined; they are assumed to be everything that does not include the duties of an elder or pastor, which is to preach, teach, and exhort. But qualifications for a deacon’s character are clearly outlined in Scripture. They are to be blameless, the husband of one wife, a good household manager, respectable, honest, not addicted to alcohol and not greedy (1 Timothy 3:8-12). According to the Word, the office of deacon is an honor and a blessing. “For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 3:13).

The Rise of Dinks in America

Dual Income, No Kids, by choice

As a child, Emily Heisig remembers her best friend’s parents discussing derisively an aunt and uncle who were “just a couple of DINKS.”

It was as if the acronym for Dual Income, No Kids was code for selfish little people-haters who spent all their money on booze cruises and pre-fab antiqued sofas at Restoration Hardware.

Today, Heisig, a 36-year-old lobbyist in Middletown, is proud to be involved with a MidAtlantic DINKS Meetup group that draws heavily from Delaware. It is one of roughly 85 meetups for child-free individuals nationwide.

“You’re just waiting for it to kick in and it just never kicked in,” Heisting said of her and her husband’s decision not to have children. “I still get, ‘Oh, not yet.’ And I go, ‘Oh, not never.'”

DINKS was a term coined by marketers in the 1980s (the same decade that brought us the “yuppie”) to describe a group of professional couples without children who had higher disposable incomes to spend on “lifestyle” purchases, such as paddle boarding and Jimmy Buffett concert tickets. Considering that the average cost of raising a child until age 18 now tops $300,000, that translates into a lot of bonus miles.

While empty-nesters, young couples who want to delay having kids and couples who can’t have kids technically fit into the category, the Delaware DINKS interviewed all voluntarily opted out of child rearing. They cite a host of reasons, such as career aspirations, a desire for freedom, concerns about overpopulation and environmental degradation, time constraints, a general dislike for kids, or a general affection for kids as long as they’re not theirs.

Just because DINKS don’t have a traditional family, doesn’t mean they’re willing to sacrifice on space, according to veteran Delaware realtor Bert Green.

Green, who calls the tiny house movement a “pimple on the Nevada of life,” says DINKS still clamor for four-bedroom homes or larger because they don’t want to scrimp on amenities.

“If they’re successful and they don’t have kids, it doesn’t mean they don’t entertain,” he says.

Call it a Baby Bust, a war against nature, or the adult liberation front – DINKS are growing in numbers. Comprising 14 percent of all U.S. households, DINKS are also gaining strength in countries like China and Mexico.

In turn, society is marginally more accepting. Some restaurants ban noisy kids, but most employers still won’t let you take a sick day for a vet visit. Miserly, childless characters in literature, such as Ebenezer Scrooge, have been replaced by hip Oprah and George Clooney on screen.

Today, the average age of first-time mothers is over 26 — an all-time high in the U.S. By comparison, it was 21 in 1970.

In 2014, 47.6 percent of women ages 15 to 44 reported being child-free, compared to 46.5 percent in 2012. That represents the highest percentage of childless women since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking the data in 1976.

In response, websites, books and movies have targeted a population that, historically, has felt alienated by our pro-natalist culture. Handbooks offer ready responses for nosy family members. Dating websites advertise for like-minded wooers who want to bypass the requisite kid talk on date number five.

One site,, markets World Vasectomy Day, while “Baby Not on Board: A Celebration of Life without Kids” (2005, Chronicle Books) recommends scoping out potential mates in child-free apartment complexes located in lousy school districts.

One of the book’s clip-and-save affirmations reads: “Earth has 1,000 fewer rotting diapers thanks to me.”

In 2003, after reading Madelyn Cain’s book, “The Childless Revolution” (2001, Da Capo Press), researcher Laura Scott launched her Childless by Choice Project. After writing a book, producing a documentary and surveying more than 170 childless by choice individuals across the U.S. and Canada, Scott concluded that the flashy life of a DINK is a stereotype and that many people who don’t have children make a conscious choice.

Some are “early articulators,” who proclaimed as teenagers that they’d never have kids. Others acquiesced to a partner’s wishes or postponed a final verdict until later in life.

“Increasingly, parenthood has moved from an assumption to a decision,” says Scott, who is 54, divorced and child-free.

Now a Tampa, Florida, life coach, she encourages her clients who are on the fence to separate external factors influencing their decision to have children, such as parental or peer pressure, from gut responses, such as not being able to imagine a life without children.

Apart from medical reasons, Scott adds, “most people who really want children will find a way to have them from hell or high water.”

For those who don’t have the urge, the 30s are particularly hard. Suddenly, all your friends are entering the “black hole of parenthood” where every night is Roku night.

Newark information systems tech Will Camacho prefers to observe this from a safe distance.

A military veteran, at 52, Camacho is one of the oldest members in the local DINKS chapter, which typically attracts people in their 30s and 40s. Twenty-one years ago, when Camacho married his wife, Sandy, the couple decided to postpone having kids.

“A year after we seriously discussed it, we kinda both looked at each other and said, ‘Nah,'” he remembers. “At the very core, we found that we didn’t have a yearning to be parents.”

The couple now has two dogs, two cats and no regrets. Sandy, a supervisor at Christiana Care, admits that she has an easier time remembering her friends’ pets’ names than she does their children. Virtually all the local DINKS have pets.

After all, dogs will never become sullen teenagers, explains Faith Shure. A New Castle DINK, she grimly recalls her mother, a nurse, informing her that “your clock is ticking and your eggs are old.”

“My clock doesn’t have a battery,” Heisig interjects.

It’s a school night, and seven Delaware DINKS are gathered at Bertucci’s in Christiana, munching on fancy bruschetta and ordering second rounds of wine. Nearby, a mother who is likely underappreciated hauls a sweatsuit-clad toddler to a booth.

The DINKS table is well-groomed, well-rested and full of laughs as members remember past meetups focused on rock climbing, bouncing on trampolines, and attending polo matches, a zombie 5K run and a day-long brewery tour. Last week, they played dress-down at Buckley’s Tavern for the Sunday Pajama Brunch.

“We get a lot of lookie loos,” admits Sharon Schwartzburt, who founded the meetup five years ago to expand her social network. A previous attempt to start an all-ladies social club proved disastrous, she says, after some of the ladies became too clingy and text-obsessed.

Schwartzburt now has a tight grasp on the DINKS membership list. With 42 registered members, the DINKS have a core group of about 20 who attend a couple events each month. If members don’t consistently show up over a six-month period and are non-responsive, they’re given the boot.

Over the years, the group has been contacted by several swingers, who possibly misunderstood the acronym. When Schwartzburt informs them of the DINKS definition of fun, they move on.

A regional director for a chain of men’s shaving stores, Schwartzburt counts some of her fellow DINKS among her closest friends, traveling abroad with them and inviting them to her home on New Year’s Eve.

Would she ever consider joining forces with a Mommy meetup?

“We’d need some Valium,” she snorts.

Contact Margie Fishman at 302-324-2882, on Twitter @MargieTrende or

25 Greatest Regrets in Life


Oct 18, 2012, 02:40pm  Forbes Magazine

The 25 Biggest Regrets In Life. What Are Yours?


Eric Jackson


I write about technology and media

Fork in Road

We are all busy. Life happens. There’s always something to distract us from getting around to certain things we know we should do.

Soccer practice.  Work. Home renovations. Getting that next big promotion.

And with the explosion of always-on smartphones and tablets delivering a fire hose of urgent emails, not to mention Twitter and Facebook (FB), in recent years, things have only gotten busier.

In the backs of our minds, we know we’re neglecting some stuff we should do. But we never get around to it.

Then, something happens.  A good friend or loved one – maybe close to us in age – drops dead unexpectedly.  We begin to think about what our biggest regrets would be if we were suddenly sitting on our death bed.

Here is a list of the 25 biggest ones we’ll probably have.

The question is, are you going to change anything this afternoon or tomorrow in light of this list?  Or are you going to go back to your busy life?

    Working so much at the expense of family and friendships. How do you balance meeting that short-term deadline at work and sitting down for dinner with your family?  It’s tough.  There are always worries. “What will my boss and co-workers think? It’s not a big deal if I stay late this one time.  I’ll make it up with the family this weekend.”  But the “making up” never seems to happen.  Days turn to months and then years and then decades.
    with the family this weekend.”  But the “making up” never seems to happen.  Days turn to months and then years and then decades.

    Standing up to bullies in school and in life.  Believe it or not, a lot of our biggest regrets in life have to do with things that happened to us in grade 4 or some other early age. We never seem to forget – or forgive ourselves – for not speaking up against the bullies.  We were too scared. We wish we had been more confident.  And by the way most of us have also met up with a bully in our work life.  Maybe he was our boss.  We remember that one time we wish we’d told him off – even if it cost us our job.  We usually take some small solace in hearing that that bully later on made some unfortunate career stumble.

    Stayed in touch with some good friends from my childhood and youth.There’s usually one childhood or high school friend who we were best buddies with.  Then, one of us moved away.  We might have stayed in touch at first but then got busy.  Sometimes, we thought to pick up the phone, but maybe we don’t have their number or email any more.  We always wonder what it would be like to sit down with them again for a coffee.

    Turned off my phone more/Left my phone at home.Many of us can’t get off our phone/email addiction.  We sleep with it next to us. We carry it with us constantly. It’s right next to us in the shower, just in case we see a new email icon light up through the steamed up shower glass.  We know constantly checking email and Twitter in the evenings and on weekends takes us away from quality time with family and friends. Yet, we don’t stop.

    Breaking up with my true love/Getting dumped by them.Romance is a big area of regret for most of us.  Maybe we dumped someone that we wish we hadn’t. Maybe they dumped us.  Most play a never-ending game of “what might have been” for the rest of their lives.  It is tough to simply be happy with the love that you’ve found and takes away from the special moments you have today, if you’re constantly thinking back to what you once had — which actually might not have been half as good as we think it was.

    Worrying about what others thought about me so much.Most of us place way too much importance on what other people around us think about us.  How will they judge us?  In the moment, we think their opinions are crucial to our future success and happiness.  On our death beds, none of that matters.

    Not having enough confidence in myself.Related to the previous point, a big regret for most of us is questioning why we had such little confidence in ourselves.  Why did we allow the concerns of others to weigh so heavy on us instead of trusting our own beliefs?  Maybe we didn’t think we were worth having what we wanted.  Maybe we just thought poorly of ourselves.  Later on, we wish we could have been more self-confident.

    Living the life that my parents wanted me to live instead of the one I wanted to.Related to that lack of confidence, a lot of us get sucked into living the life that we think a good son or daughter should live.  Whether because we’re explicitly told or just because we unconsciously adopt it, we make key life choices – about where to go to school, what to study, and where to work — because we think it’s what will make our parents happy.  Our happiness is derived through their happiness – or so we think. It’s only later – 1o or 20 years on – where we discover that friends around us are dying and we’re not really doing what we want to do.  A panic can start to set in.  Whose life am I living any way?

    Applying for that “dream job” I always wanted.Maybe we didn’t apply for that job we always wanted to because of a child, or because our spouse didn’t want to move cities.  It might not have been the perfect job for us, but we always regret not trying out for it.  Do you think Katie Couric regrets giving the nightly news gig a shot?  No way. Sometimes you swing and you miss, but you have no regrets later on.

    Been happier more. Not taken life so seriously.Seems strange to say, but most of us don’t know how to have fun.  We’re way too serious.  We don’t find the humor in life.  We don’t joke around.  We don’t think we’re funny.  So, we go through life very serious.  We miss out on half (or maybe all) the fun in life that way.  Do something a little silly today. Crack a joke with the bus driver – even if he ends up looking at you weird.  Do a little dance.  You’ll probably smile, on the inside if not the outside.  Now keep doing that, day after day.

    Gone on more trips with the family/friends.Most folks stay close to home. They don’t travel all that much.  Yet, big trips with friends and family – to Disney World, to Paris, or even to the lake – are the stuff that memories are made of later in life.  We’re all thrown in to some new unfamiliar situation together.  We’ve got to figure it out as a group – and it’s fun, even when it rains.  We really remember trips.

    Letting my marriage break down.Back to romance now. More people will divorce than stay together.  If you ask these folks, they’ll tell you that it was for the best. They couldn’t take it any more.  And, of course, there are some marriages that shouldn’t go on and where divorce is the best for all parties involved.  However, if you talk to many people privately, they’ll tell you they regret their marriage breaking up.  It’s never just one thing that ends a marriage – even if that one thing is infidelity. There are usually lots of signs and problems leading up to that.  The regrets most of us have is that we didn’t correct some or most of those “little things” along the way.  We can’t control our spouse but we can control our actions and we know – deep down – we could have done more.

    Taught my kids to do stuff more.  Kids love their parents, but they love doing stuff with their parents even more.  And it doesn’t have to be a vacation at the Four Seasons.  It could be raking leaves, learning how to throw a football, or cleaning up a play room together.  We learned all the little habits that we take for granted in our own behavior from mimicking our parents.  If we’re not making the time to do stuff with our kids, we’re robbing them of the chance to mimic us.

    Burying the hatchet with a family member or old friend.I know family members that haven’t talked to a brother or sister for 30 years.  One’s in bad health and will probably die soon.  But neither he nor the other brother will make an effort.  They’ve both written each other off.  And there’s blame on both sides – although I take one’s side more.  But these were two guys that were inseparable as kids. They got washed in a bucket in their parents’ kitchen sink together.  Now, neither one will make a move to improve things because they think they’ve tried and the other one is too stubborn.  They think they’ve done all they can and washed their hands of the relationship. They’ll regret that when one of them is no longer around.

    Trusting that voice in the back of my head more.Whether it’s as simple as taking a job we weren’t really thrilled about or as complex of being the victim of some crime, most of us have had the experience of a little voice in the back of our heads warning us that something was wrong here.  A lot of times, we override that voice. We think that we know best.  We do a matrix before taking that job and figure out a way to prove to ourselves that, analytically, this makes sense. Most of the time, we learn later that voice was dead right.

    Not asking that girl/boy out.Nerves get the best of us – especially when we’re young.  We can forgive ourselves that we didn’t screw up enough courage to ask that boy or girl out on a date or to the prom.  But that doesn’t mean that we still won’t think about it decades later.  Sometimes people regret seeing someone famous or well-known in real life and not going up to them and telling them how much they inspired them in our lives.  It’s the same underlying fear.  We always we could have just said what we really felt at that moment.

    Getting involved with the wrong group of friends when I was younger.We do dumb stuff when we’re young.  We’re impressionable.  We make friends with the wrong crowd, except we don’t think there’s anything wrong with them.  They’re our friends and maybe the only people we think that truly understand us.  However, we can really get sidetracked by hooking up with this group.  Sometimes it leads to drugs or serious crimes.  We never start out thinking our choice of friends could lead us to such a difficult outcome.

    Not getting that degree (high school or college).I’ve spoken with lots of folks who didn’t graduate with a high school or college degree.   When I met them, they were already well-known at their job.  And there are many examples I can think of where their jobs were very senior and they were very well-respected. However, if the education topic ever came up in private conversation, almost universally, you could tell they regretted not getting their degree.  It made them insecure, almost like they worried they were going to be “found out.”  Most of these folks will never go back to get it now.  Whether they do or not, they’re great at what they do and don’t need to feel bad about not having that piece of paper.

    Choosing the practical job over the one I really wanted.I was watching CNBC the other day and one finance guy was being asked for advice on what college kids should major in today. He said: “It sounds corny but they’ve got to do what they love.” He’s right. Of course, as a country, we need more engineers, scientists, and other “hard” science folks.  But, at the end of the day, you’ve got to live your life, not the government’s.  There are many who think they need to take a “consulting job” to build up their experience before settling in to a job they love.  Although there are many roads that lead to Rome, you’re probably better off just starting immediately in the area that you love.

    Spending more time with the kids.I had an old mentor who used to tell me, “when it comes to parenting, it’s not quality of timethat’s important, it’s quantity of time.”  When we get so busy at work, we comfort ourselves knowing that we’re going to stay late at the office again with the idea that we’ll make it up by taking our son to a ballgame on the weekend.  As long as I spend some quality time with him, we think, it will all balance out.  It probably won’t.  There are lots of busy executives who take control of their schedules in order to either be at home for dinners more or be at those special school events with the kids.  Kids do remember that.

    Not taking care of my health when I had the chance.Everyone doesn’t think of their health – until there’s a problem.  And at that point, we promise ourselves if we get better we’ll do a better job with our health. It shouldn’t take a major calamity to get us to prioritize our health and diet.  Small habits every day make a big difference here over time.

    Not having the courage to get up and talk at a funeral or important event.I remember at an old Dale Carnegie class I attended, they told us more people were afraid of public speaking than dying.  They’d rather die than give a speech apparently.  Yet, when you’re close to death, you’re probably going to wish you’d gotten over those fears on at least a few occasions, but especially at a loved one’s funeral or some important event like a wedding.

    Not visiting a dying friend before he died.I had a buddy I went to high school with who died 3 years ago.  He was in his late 30s with a great wife and 3 great boys.  He had cancer for the last 3 years of his life. We’d talked off and on over that time. Two months before he died, he called me and asked if I could come by to visit. I was in the process of moving and too busy with my own family.  I said I’d come soon.  A month later, it was clear he had days to live.  I rushed to the hospital and did get to visit at his bedside before he passed, but he was a different guy from the one I’d spoken to only a month earlier on the phone. He was just hanging on. We hadn’t been best friends and we hadn’t seen much of each other since high school, but I know I’ll always regret not going to visit him earlier when I’d had the chance.  What I’d give to have one last regular chat with him.

    Learning another language.A lot of us travel a lot. Fewer still have studied a second language. And this is a big regret down the road for many of us, even though it might seem like a small thing next to family, career, and romance.  A lot of us wish we’d made the time to learn a new language to open up a whole new culture to us.

    Being a better father or mother.There’s no bigger legacy than our children.  Often, they turn out great.  When our kids struggle though, there’s nothing bigger than makes us feel guilty.  Yet, when they start showing signs of problems – with school, or friends, or otherwise — there’s often been many years that have passed in which we could have and probably should have been spending more time with them.  No situation is ever lost though.  There is always time to improve our relationships with our kids.  But, it can’t wait another day, especially if it’s a relationship that’s been neglected for years.

    We can all relate to most of these regrets. We can’t change the past, so this list isn’t meant for you to start a pity party.

    The question is what are we going to do with the rest of our lives to ensure we don’t experience any of these regrets later on when we’re in the hospital preparing to say goodbye.

    If you have some regrets you’d like to share, please leave them below in the comments for all to read.  I’ll call them all out.



More vague and fuzzy reports on Nikolas Cruz, Parkland shooter, and his medical past.

Paula McMahonTonya Alanez and Lisa J. HuriashContact Reporters

Sun Sentinel

8/6/18      Interview with Nikolas Cruz  – Parkland Shooter

Bottom of Form

He also said the voice kept him from feeling lonely and agreed it was like an imaginary friend.

Though a doctor at a local hospital had medically cleared Cruz to be interviewed by investigators, he said several times that he couldn’t remember basic facts like his phone number and where he had stayed the night before.

At one point, he asked to see a psychologist and said he had never seen one before, though other records indicate he had received mental health counseling and treatment in the past.

Cruz said he tried to kill himself at least twice in the months and years before the massacre. On the first occasion, he said he was lonely and binged on vodka, tequila and wine.

Depressed after his mother’s death, he said he attempted suicide again two months before the shooting. He said he took a large dose of over-the-counter drugs, including ibuprofen and Advil. He survived both attempts, he said.

“Cool looking,” Cruz said when the detective asked him why he bought the legally purchased AR-15 rifle he used in the attack at the school. The gun cost about $560. The ammunition, he said, he bought online. He estimated he had spent about $4,000 on his guns and ammunition. Cruz worked at a dollar store and had inherited some money from his mom.

He bought his first gun when he was 18, stating that it was to protect himself “from the voice,” which he claimed told him to cut himself and to kill himself. Cruz said he had gotten in trouble, but hadn’t been prosecuted, for shooting at a chicken with his pellet gun when he was about 13.

Cruz also spoke about a girl, Emily, who he said was the only girlfriend he ever had: “She was the love of my life.” After the brief relationship with Emily, he said he’d had other dates, but “I scared them,” Cruz said. “I don’t know why I scare them.”

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer examined the entire confession before ruling that most of it could be made public without any negative effect on Cruz’s right to a fair trial.

His defense team declined to comment on his confession on Monday. They have publicly acknowledged that he is guilty and repeatedly said he is offering to plead guilty in exchange for multiple life terms in prison, which would avoid the need for a trial. State prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.


One more more time, reporters, you tell us he tried to kill himself. What hospital treated him?  Records indicate he got ‘counseling’. Where? For how long? Was he on medication? Why not? Tell us the name of the hospital administrator for the specific hospital and let us hear from the administrator regarding the hospital’s stated procedure for releasing suicidal and mentally ill patients. Do they keep them for three days, give them fluids, vitamins a pat on the hand and send them home? Tell us the exact procedure and protocol. Tell exactly and in detail why it is you should not be fired and why, in detail, your hospital should not be shut down.

You want to report some news? Report on that news.

Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Dies by Suicide: Report

Miami Herald

Parkland shooter’s mom hated Trump. When she died, he put a Trump hat in her casket



DECEMBER 20, 2018 05:35 PM,

UPDATED JANUARY 07, 2019 05:37 P


Second Parkland Shooting Survivor Dies by Suicide: Report


Thank you, thank you – David Ovalle and Nicholas Nehamas for telling us absolutely everything about the Parkland high school shooter that we don’t need to know. Thank you for all the interviews with people who have a lot of emotional reactions to this event but no power to do anything about it.

Now, you want to be some real journalists and tell us something we do need to know? You want to help ‘the people’ cope with this?

Tell us where it was that Nickolas Cruz went when he attempted suicide the first and second time. Tell us whether or not he was put under psychiatric observation at the hospital. What was the name of the hospital? If he was not put under a psych hold, why not? Who is the hospital administrator who allowed a person like this back on the streets? What is the official position of the hospital in cases like this? If the spokesperson for the hospital says “No comment” please report that there is no comment. Don’t give us give one more word, not one more word from an investigating cop who interviewed Cruz and said, “I don’t think he was hearing voices.”

I want to hear from the psychiatrist who interviewed Cruz at the hospital and said he was okay to go and live independently. Who was that guy/gal? I want a name. If there was no psych who interviewed Cruz, why not? Give us the name of that doctor who released him from the hospital. Have the hospital PR people give us the very interesting explanation and basis for letting this young man go. Why, if he was hearing voices (schizophrenia) and clearly a danger to himself (then others) was he not put in a psych hospital? Was it the almighty dollar? These are the things we really want to know.  If the hospital won’t release names; let the lawsuits fly.

Give us the name of the administrator of the hospital where he was seen, tell us how much money that person makes. Let the people who make the money and make the decisions about how people like Nikolas Cruz are to be handled, stand up and take a bow. Let us hear from them and their twisted explanations for how and why this happened. If they refuse to be interviewed, tell us that.

I don’t have all the facts unfortunately, but I am sure a little bit of journalistic digging would undercover the facts. We had yet another untreated schizophrenic on the streets with a gun. Now seventeen high school students are dead and two more from survivors guilt. Let the people who should bear the burden of guilt for what happened come forward. Oh, and that includes the superintendent of schools. Why was there no follow up with this student after he was kicked out of school? Is the philosophy – thank God we are rid of that one. My hands are clean. News flash – your hands are not clean, they are in fact, very, very dirty.








Years ago, I started on a professional career in the insurance industry as a baby claims adjuster. I went to work for an American giant and was 28 years old. I got three weeks of paid training, a car, an expense account and was on my way.

When I got back to the office and got to know people, I realized that I was surrounded by a phalanx of older employees who had worked for The Farm for many years, the average being about 30 years of continual employment. The older timers were well-respected in the business and were a constant, steady stream of common sense and working advice. It was then, and probably still is, the common understanding that it took two years for an adjuster to know/understand their job and to be any good. I sat and listened to the oldsters absorbing information like a sponge.

All the training and hard work aside, I finally gave up on the organization and that job. Why? The testosterone-driven, male supervisors persisted in the management style of heaping rewards on the heads of a select few and treating everyone else like unimportant cogs in the corporate wheel. The unselect were minions who needed to keep their heads down working and be damn grateful for the job. These Dickensonian attitudes were reminiscent of the sweat shops of the 1800’s and my experience was only 40 years ago.

Ah! You say. It was all those men, that was what did it. Get rid of all those male managers and the problem will be solved! Sounds like a valid conclusion, right? Okay, then. Ten years ago I went to work for another mega insurance company. Here, instead of a phalanx of testosterone-driven men, we had a phalanx of testosterone-driven women who would stab you in the back as soon as look at you. Once again, the organization celebrated a few ‘golden’ employees (women) and subtly encouraged other lesser employees to mind their p’s and q’s and with heads down, be damn grateful they had jobs.

Now, have these businesses flourished or failed? Most insurance companies I have worked for have done well, in large part due to investment portfolios which continue to grow. How about their employees? Well…..

I recently watched the BBC documentary: Inside Claridge’s (2012). One of the oldest hotel’s in Britain, the Claridge continues to be successful to this day and has made its owners’ a ton of money. In comparison, Starbucks Coffee, a relative newcomer on the scene has also made its owner a ton of money. What do they have in common?

1) They greet their customers, each and everyone and treat them like welcome guests. “Hello, how are you and welcome to _____” is commonly heard in both places. Customers are not treated like necessary inconveniences, they are treated like what they actually are; the lifeblood that keeps the organization going.

2) They are highly responsive to customer’s needs. The last two times I was in my local Starbucks I asked the girl if it was possible to have a no-sugar hot chocolate. Both times, the employee made a special effort to create the lowest sugar possible drink for me and did so without complaining or making a face.

3) They treat their employees well and it shows. ‘Our team’ is modern lingo frequently heard in the corporate world. It mostly means that our team stands around while the boss lectures them on what is to be done. They then nod their heads silently and quickly escape back to their respective jobs. This follows the very poorly conceived idea that one or two people or a handpicked inner circle is what makes a business go ‘round. That notion could not be farther from the truth. The truth is that the entire ‘team’ does in fact make the business go ‘round. As is clear in the BBC program, everyone from the doorman, the elevator operator, housekeeping and on up is an important part of the team. Yes, there is one boss, certainly, but unless I miss my guess, all employees are treated with respect and dignity. You can’t pay employees to have truly happy faces, even for BBC, if it weren’t true.

Lastly, the proof is in the pudding. Sour-faced, disgruntled employees always have an effect on their customers and not a good one either.

People love Claridges and go back year after year. Likewise, people love Starbucks and go back over and over. The lesson to be learned: service, service, service to the customer and treating employees like people who are to be valued and respected regardless of their position in the organization.