Thursday, April 12, 2012

99.98% of Priests Are Innocent

There is not a great child abuse problem in the Church! Of course, every child abused is huge crime. Were mistakes made? Certainly. But the Church is not infiltrated by child abusers. Recently in a local paper there was a paragraph (yes, one paragraph) reporting to the sentencing of a Baptist minister who was found guilty of child abuse, but no outcry against the Baptist church was heard.

Here is an article posted yesterday at the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights commenting on the 2011 annual report on child abuse published by the US Episcopal Conference:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the findings of the 2011 Annual Report on priestly sexual abuse that was released by the bishops’ conference; the survey was done by a Georgetown institute.

The headlines should read, “Abuse Problem Near Zero Among Priests,” but that is not what is being reported.

According to the 2011 Official Catholic Directory, there are 40,271 priests in the U.S. The report says there were 23 credible accusations of the sexual abuse of a minor made against priests for incidences last year. Of that number, 9 were deemed credible by law enforcement. Which means that 99.98% of priests nationwide had no such accusation made against them last year. Nowhere is this being reported.

Here are more data from the report that won’t appear elsewhere: almost all the offenses involve homosexuality. Indeed, 16% of the credible allegations made against priests who work in dioceses or eparchies, and 6% of religious order priests, involved pedophilia. In the former category, 82% of the alleged victims were male; in the latter, the figure is 94%. In other words, we are not talking about kids as victims, and we are not talking about females: we are talking about postpubescent males who were allegedly violated by adult males. That’s called homosexuality.

When did these alleged offenses take place? Overall, 68% took place between 1960 and 1984; 1975-1979 being the most common period (among religious order priests, 33% took place before 1960, and another 40% took place between 1960-1980). In 75% of all the cases, the accused priest is either dead or has been dismissed.

Since more than 10% of the credible allegations were found to be false or unsubstantiated, it makes one wonder how many of the total number of accusations are bogus. The bishops should commission a study of those priests whose reputations have been ruined by cash-hungry liars and their rapacious lawyers; the looters should also be studied. The Catholic League would be happy to make a generous donation.
Whilst every sympathy and assistance should be extended to the victims of abuse, now it is time to address the case of priests whose lives have been ruined by this. The bankrupting of the Church and its charitable works is unjust.

1 comment:

  1. What are the comparative statistics for other comparable organisations?


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