Fr. Tarcisio Spricigo, aged 48, was convicted in 2003 for sexually abusing a 5year old boy. He wrote a “How to” book on soliciting and seducing boys.
He observed and wrote in his “Manual for Paedophiles” that “little rich boys should be avoided.” Rather, the priest should seek out street boys who are ‘safer’ because it is easier for them to “maintain total secrecy.” He numbered conditions to look for in potential victims, and then gave them tips on how the priest should present himself to the targeted boys.
His list follows:
1. Age: 7, 8, 9 and 10
2. Sex: masculine
3. Social Condition: poor
4. Family Condition: preferably a boy without a father, alone with a single mother or sister
5. Where to Find: in the streets, schools, or families
6. How to Hook: guitar lessons, choir, altar boys
7. Most Important: keep the family of the boy hooked
8. Possibilities: a boy who is affectionate, calm, without inhibitions, lacking father, without moral qualms
(B) My Attitude:
9. His Point of View: to see what the boy enjoys and based on this premise, give it to him, asking in retribution that he deliver himself to me
10. How to Present Oneself: always certain, serious, dominating, paternal, never ask questions, always have certainties (lstoe, “Memorias da perversao, November 16, 2005).
Other notes in his diary emphasised techniques for winning a boy’s affection and making sure he will remain silent about the crimes. “Only act sexually when I have absolute certainty that the boy will keep it a secret.”
“They (the boys) are everywhere – it is enough to have a clinical eye and act following (these) secure rules in the social sphere…..After applying the rules correctly, the boy will fall directly into my hands….we will be happy forever.” (“A Manual for Pedophilesa” by a Brazilian Priest, by Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.).
Whist we may be repulsed by this, people with similar mindsets exist in our homes, neighbourhoods and communities. Most paedophiles don’t come packaged like these monsters hidden behind religious cloaks.
They are most likely to be packaged as heterosexual married men, infiltrating good community organisations. In so doing, they have tainted the positions of good and honourable people serving the community well.
Paedophiles come in a package clothed as our husbands, fathers, teachers, leaders and friends, hiding behind a wall of silence and respectability. No one is talking because no one notices; no one notices because they are not looking for it. No one is looking for it because they don’t know what to look for beyond the mask of respectability and position.
“Most of us think that a child molester is a rather slimy individual (a stranger in town, sitting in his car near a schoolyard, luring children with candy). Our findings reveal that, on the contrary, the child molester is not a stranger, but is someone we know well. He often is a man we trust, a man our children trust. . . . As a rule, he is married and has children of his own whom he usually does not molest. He is almost always a well respected, even loved, member of his community. He is often an active Christian who is involved in his church.” (Gene G. Abel, “The Child Abuser: How Can You Spot Him?,” Redbook, August 1987, 98 99.)
Most men who molest little boys are not gay. Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual. Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own. (Abel, “The Child Abuser,” 100)
It is so much easier for us to accept that there is a pervert ‘out there’ we need to protect our children from, yet fail to protect them within the safety of their own homes and communities, where they are being devoured by those we trust.
Children won’t tell, the perpetrator won’t tell, therefore, it’s our responsibility to teach our children that they have a right to protect themselves against those who have access to them through trust and position.
It really is as simple as teaching a child how to cross a road safely, how to treat electricity. They will still trust people, they will still be carefree children but they will have knowledge of people who try to coerce them into a hellish relationship that has lifelong consequences.
Simply explain the difference between a good gift and a bad gift. A good touch and a bad touch, a good secret and a bad secret. It will be enough to give them a tool to tell you that something is not quite right.