Matt C. Abbott
Thank you, Father 'Angel'; Fighting child sexual abuse, porn; 'The Bellarmine Forum'
By Matt C. Abbott
August 12, 2013

By now, it's likely that you've read about the mysterious "angel" priest who assisted in saving a 19-year-old woman's life (click here for the story if you haven't).

God bless him – whoever, and wherever, he is.

Part of me would indeed like to know who he is, but part of me is hoping he remains anonymous. If he happens to read this column, I hope he drops me a note. I'll keep his identity a secret if he wishes.

We need a good "angel story" now and then.

From a recent ABC7 I-Team report:
    For more than a decade one of the FBI's top initiatives has been to stop child exploitation and close down related organized sex rings. They have arrested hundreds of people, but child pornography remains one of the fastest growing online businesses pegged at more than $3 billion in income to the purveyors of perversion.
Christian private investigator Thomas Hampson, founder of the Truth Alliance Foundation, shares this concern. He writes:
    More than 35 years after my first investigation into the malignant subculture of child sexual abuse, the story stays pretty much the same. Except that the problem has gotten worse, much worse.

    One of the most irritating things about the current focus on child sexual abuse is the narrative that's being pushed, that child sexual abuse is driven by an epidemic of 'human trafficking' involving young girls. This is a false narrative. And it's essentially the same false narrative that was pushed 35 years ago.

    The very term 'human trafficking' implies there are large-scale organized networks of traffickers snatching innocent young girls right out of their mothers' arms and putting them to work on the street. The term triggers images of the organized criminal enterprise in the movie Taken. Now, there may be groups like that out there someplace, dealing in young girls. The problem is that so far nobody has found one.

    What we discovered three and a half decades ago was that the organized trafficking of young girls was essentially nonexistent. This remains true today.

    The recent arrests made by the FBI as part of Operation Cross Country have taken some bad guys off the streets and rescued some young girls. But the reality is that such sweeps are, for all practical purposes, small time. While the press (with the full approval of the FBI) trumpets this as a major nationwide sting, the truth is that it is business as usual in all of the cities where the arrests were made. From what I can tell they didn't even touch the problem of boy prostitutes.

    If we view child sexual abuse as primarily a problem created by organized crime, then we simply fail to see 99% of the problem. Moreover, the small percentage of children who wind up becoming involved in organized prostitution got there precisely because they were previously abused.

    Until we begin focusing our law enforcement resources on the real predators, like Jerry Sandusky, the problem will continue to get worse. We know that deviants like Sandusky operate in concert with many other like-minded predators. They function as a loosely-organized social network. They pass the kids around from one to another, they provide mutual support, they help each other get jobs, they raise money to maintain access to their source of child targets, they provide alibis for one another, they trade their pornography, and they serve as references for one another to gain access to even more children. Each one of these Sandusky-type predators will abuse, on average, 150 children in their lifetime. Of those children, approximately 6% will become predators themselves. So on average these perverts will reproduce themselves nine times over.

    Based on what I know from other investigations I have worked, I would make an educated guess that there were dozens of predators who abused children involved with Sandusky's Second Mile during the twenty years it was providing services to foster children. It would be fairly easy to uncover the network of predators that were associated with Sandusky. Building a criminal case against them? Not so easy. Nevertheless, it is on these predators that law enforcement, especially the FBI, should focus its attention, not the random pimp.
A related link of interest:

Click here to check out the website of The Bellarmine Forum, a solidly-Catholic charity.

Click here for details about TBF's October 2013 conference titled "The Year of Faith and Our Response."

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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