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Weakland’s pedophilia expert to speak at symposium sponsored by adults attracted to youngsters

August 16, 2011

 Fred Berlin cited by emeritus archbishop as the person who
recommended keeping sexual abusers in the priesthood

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director and John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director

CONTACT: 414.336.8575

Dr. Fred Berlin, a chief consultant for decades to the American Catholic Bishops and Religious Order Provincials on sex offender priests, will address tomorrow in Baltimore a controversial symposium sponsored by an organization that calls itself “B4U-ACT”. B4U-ACT advocates the decriminalization and tolerance of persons who have a lifelong attraction and desire for sexual contact with youngsters. B4U-ACT, when describing its core values states: “Individuals who are attracted to children are the focus of everything that we do.”

Not surprisingly, Archbishop Emeritus Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, in a deposition taken in 2008, cites Berlin as the chief expert on pedophilia that the U.S. bishops consulted when faced with the growing sexual abuse crisis. (Locally, Berlin was also hired by at least one major religious order, the Capuchin Franciscans.)

Weakland explains that Berlin addressed the U.S. bishops in 1985 and urged them against removing pedophiles from the priesthood. Of course, no one, or virtually no one, especially the Vatican and John Paul II, was making such a recommendation, and Berlin as the company doctor was simply telling the CEO’s what they already wanted to hear. And, not surprisingly, as the bishop’s psychiatrist, Berlin still remains actively opposed to reporting sex offenders to the civil authorities, although all major psychiatric and mental health organizations and professional associations have strongly supported mandatory reporting for decades.

In a typical interview posted on a diocesan website, Berlin explained what he believes are the generally beneficent motives and characteristics of the criminal behavior of priests against youngsters: “The most common thing we see with priests is that they enjoy the company of youngsters, like the companionship, want to do good for them, and then, unfortunately, as a bond develops emotionally, begin to feel sexually tempted and persuade the youngster to go along with sexual activity.” As if normal and healthy adult respect, affection and regard for a youngster can somehow naturally and effortlessly “morph” into a criminal drive to have repeated sexual thoughts and contact with a child.

The sexual abuse crisis in the archdiocese of Milwaukee and elsewhere has shown that Berlin’s controversial policy recommendations, far outside the mainstream of the psychological and research communities, was eagerly accepted, if not sought, by Weakland and other bishops, providing a convenient excuse to maintain the church’s centuries long practice of protecting priest predators over the safety of children.

If that’s not bad enough, at the B4U-ACT conference, Berlin will be discussing the ways in which “minor attracted individuals” (soon one can anticipate they will have their own acronym “MAI’s”) can contribute to the upcoming DSM 5 which is currently under revision, in order to change the expert mental health and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM is the standard reference manual used by mental health professionals.

Berlin and the B4U-ACT activists, in this regard, love to compare pedophilia to homosexuality, once stigmatized as a mental disorder, but is no longer. How dangerous is it to compare sexual acts between consenting adults, no matter what your personal or religious opinion of those acts, with sex acts forced or coerced by an adult with a child?  Children do not possess the developmental, psychological and social capacity to consent to sexual acts with adults.  The desire to normalize a deviant sexual desire which fantasizes that children are consenting to sex acts with adults is dangerous and, indeed, criminal and should never be compared to consenting acts between adults.

Instead of addressing a conference sponsored by an organization to advocate the normalization of a clinically perverse and criminally dangerous sexual attraction to children, perhaps Dr. Berlin should instead address the countless victims of clergy sexual abuse, many of whom are victims, in part, because of his disastrous recommendations to the bishops in the 1980’s and since.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims, with over 10,000 members in 72 chapters in the United States alone. Wisconsin SNAP was founded in 1992 (


  1. A.J. Baslelice permalink

    I believe this conclusion by ‘berlin’ to avoid contacting the Police and the fact that he suggests that pedophile behavior should be decriminalized is absolutely insane. His arguments show clearly he is not an authority on criminality and he (berlin) should be examined !

  2. Andy Tracy permalink

    Fred Berlin has been attracted to pedophiles for years which resulted in his bringing his sex offenders to courts to try and get legislators to change the laws in the state of Maryland. He has stated that one cannot help whom they fall in love with. He has stated in the past that the desire to molest children is just another sexual identity…like homosexuality and heterosexuality. I thought John Hopkins had gotten rid of his sex unit years ago. Fight him.

  3. Andy Tracy permalink

    PS Berlin mentored St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland…a revolving door for child molesting priests.

  4. Judy Jones permalink

    Berlin…. “I think I am going to throw up………………

    Kids are to be protected… NOT used and abused..

  5. rick springer permalink

    Ever since I saw him on the OPRAH show in the early nineties I knew he was no friend of survivors. The Vatican will, no doubt, knight him for this, Might I suggest the Vatican bestow the title “Exalted Champion of Pedophile Priests”
    on him.

  6. When I was a child, I spoke as a child…..and thought as a child, and acted as a child. The Church itself makes a distinction in Canon Law and programing between adults and youth (though the ages of passage from one to another may not necessarily agree with Western civil codes.)
    The child therefore does not have the right, power, maturity, whatever you wish to term it to provide consent for otherwise unwanted sexual activity, or borrowing money for mortgages, or operating a motor vehicle, etc. The church has since Dallas trumpeted a special program to provide a Safe Environment for youth.
    How corrupt and two faced does it reveal the historical Church in the US to be when Dr. Berlin is revealed to be one of their “corps” of experts who have advised Church leaders over the years. What were men with collars, in positions of responsibility thinking, when the sinful and illegal behavior of brother clergy was brought to their doorstep, and they failed to take the part of the minor, the vulnerable, the powerless?

  7. Ellen Chmiel permalink

    The ruined lives, suicides, alcoholism, wrecked marriages, guilt, are desirable side effects? This is horrible and not to be borne.

  8. Kmbold permalink

    “If anyone harms such a child it would be better if a millstone were tied around his neck and he were tossed into the sea.” Jesus.

  9. Sandra permalink

    I can hardly believe this! How revolting! How can anyone even propose having this guy as a speaker and quote him. Just when I think I have heard or read it all, something else comes along to shock me. Thanks to SNAP Wisconsin for sharing this. Wish I lived close enough to march around outside where this group is meeting in Baltimore.

  10. B. Fischer, M.D permalink

    I am a physician of 35 yrs. This is the most vile position I have ever seen. This is psycopatholoy in any way you want to look at it. These people are sick. End of story. The left can take there agenda so far and then it gets a little sick. Dr B. Fischer M.D, PhD

  11. Bev Malona permalink

    The pedophile/ephebophile network is far reaching and includes the”experts” in psychology, doctors, judges, priests, ministers and many other wealthy and powerful deviants. They protect each other. It is no surprise to me that the USCCB supports men like Berlin. I wish SNAP and other like groups would get the goods and out these men. Doctor Fischer it is not a liberal vs traditional thing believe me. This deviancy has infected both sides. Most are pederasts and are protected by Bishops of Weakland’s ilk. Why the protection? Blackmail-pure and simple.

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  1. Remember disgraced Archbishop Weakland – his advisor to speak at pedophilia conference « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

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