Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Nature of the Problem

Pope Francis has recently stated that he's been informed that 2% of Catholic clergy - 1 in 50 - are pedophiles.

But the number is certainly higher than that.

SNAP quotes BishopAccountability.org ...

“U.S. bishops have reported receiving allegations of abuse by 6,427 priests in 1950-2013, or 5.9% of the 109,694 U.S. priests active 1950-2002, according to the John Jay report. Including the 5,356 priests ordained since 2002 brings the total to 115,050, of whom 5.6% have been accused of abuse,” according to BishopAccountability.org.

I have elsewhere read parts of the John Jay Report that indicate a figure closer to 4%.

There is apparently no telling how these rates compare with the prevalence of pedophiles in the general population, as that number is not known, though Time Magazine says ...

Dr. John Bradford, a University of Ottawa psychiatrist who has spent 23 years studying pedophilia--which is listed as an illness in the manual psychiatrists use to make diagnoses--estimates its prevalence at maybe 4% of the population. (Those attracted to teenagers are sometimes said to suffer "ephebophilia," but perhaps because so many youth-obsessed Americans would qualify, psychiatrists don't classify ephebophilia as an illness.)

The point, however, is not the statistical presence of pedophiles among Catholic clergy.  As SNAP points out ...

There have always been, and will always be, predators in the priesthood. Decreasing their numbers will be harder to do.
There needn't be, however, “enablers” in the church hierarchy. Decreasing their numbers could not be more easier. They should be fired, period. And fired now, not years from now when the latest in a seemingly-endless string of church abuse panels proposes some superfluous protocols. And dozens of them must be fired, not one or two scapegoats.

It is, sadly, hard to imagine that happening.



 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are several inaccuracies in your post.

1.) The John Jay reports that 4,392 of 109,694 were accused of child abuse. Not the 5.9% that SNAP reports.

2.) Being accused does not equal being guilty. As you, and probably SNAP, seem to imply. Even if that were the case, 75% of the accused were dead, and never had the opportunity to defend themselves.

3.)(a) So your statement that, But the number is certainly higher than that needs some proof. In the John Jay report from above, of the 1021 priests that the police were contact about from the 4,392 that were accused, 382 had charges brought against them and 252 convictions came from those charged. So 0.23% of the priest from the survey were convicted of child abuse, which is much smaller than the >4% you claim.

(b) The same report also states that "The number of alleged abuses increased in the 1960s, peaked in the 1970s, declined in the 1980s and by the 1990s had returned to the levels of the 1950s". So once again you need some proof that there is greater abuse of children today then there was in the 1970's.

4. Fr. Z has done a great job of documenting the lies of SNAP's director and the libel committed against Cardinal Dolan, which leads me to believe that this is not a group to use as a source nor is it a real advocacy group. Other evidence exists from non-Catholic sources, such as their support of Steve Taylor, a psychiatrist convicted on child pornography charges and then Russell E. Saltzman article from 2011 on the website First Things.

Now it was a grave sin what those priests and Bishops did decades ago, but it is time to stop acting like what happened then is still happening now. The Church has taken many steps to prevent sexual abuse from happening.

Asbury Fox said...

pedophilia has always been the incorrect term used by the media and the Church to cover up the true nature of the abuse. It was not pedophilia, and the priests are not pedophiles. It was Ephebophilia. Priests were not abusing little girls, but boys. Over 80% of the victims were boys roughly between 11-14 years of age. Priests were abusing post pubescent boys. Adolescent boys. It was the abuse of boys by Homosexual men. Something the media and Church never want to deal with. This includes the last three Popes. No one wants to deal with the question of Homosexuals been ordained since the 60's after the tradition of the Church had always forbidden them from the priesthood.

Doug said...

"Over 80% of the victims were boys roughly between 11-14 years of age. Priests were abusing post pubescent boys."

Your conclusion, while understandably based on the criteria as defined by the JJ study, is inaccurate. Then again, the Bishops got the study that said what they wanted it to say. The average age of *onset* for puberty in american males is 12, and takes usually two to three years to complete. This means that the majority of the victims were pre-pubescent or pubescent when they were first assaulted. Why the JJ report so egregiously manipulated the results by falsely defining the criteria, I leave to your imagination.

"No one wants to deal with the question of Homosexuals been ordained since the 60's **after the tradition of the Church had always forbidden them from the priesthood**."

Ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha! Good one!

Asbury Fox said...

Doug,

We can argue pre or post pubescent all day long, but that doesn't change the fact of Homosexual men preying on boys. The victims of the abusers were same sex. That is Homosexual in nature. The Catholic Church has always taught that a candidate for the priesthood must be a healthy normal man. Homosexuals have always been forbidden. That Homosexual men have made it into the priesthood over the centuries has not changed the teaching of the Church. It wasn't until the 20th century, that you saw such an infiltration of unfit men into the priesthood. More precisely it was during the pontificate of Paul VI that the floodgates really opened.

Doug said...

"We can argue pre or post pubescent all day long, but that doesn't change the fact of Homosexual men preying on boys."

Your argument is on the nature of the perps, mine is on the nature of the victims. The fact is, the Church and the catholic media have proven themselves willing to lie about the victims so as not to face the reality of the perps. "It's all the gays fault." Bullshit, it's the Bishops fault, plain and simple. When we have Bishops, including a Bishop of Rome who are willing to tell the real truth about this, then there will actually be some progress made. Until then, all catholic media is nothing but PR.