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Pope Visibly Unnerved At News of Boston Scandal
BillOReilly.com ^ | July 10, 2003 | Bill O'Reilly

Posted on 07/12/2003 6:35:06 PM PDT by NYer

(Rome) It is almost impossible to know what really goes on behind the scenes at a place as secretive as the Vatican.

Running the worldwide Roman Catholic Church with its more than one billion members is obviously an enormous undertaking and the important decisions are made by a few powerful clerics headed, of course, by Pope John Paul II.

But the Pontiff is 83 years old and not in good health. For Americans concerned about the declining image of the Church in this country, the question of the Pope's competency is crucial.

With that in mind, I recently traveled to Vatican City and sat in the third row at John Paul's weekly audience.

I watched him closely for 90 minutes and can tell you that although he can no longer walk, he was mentally alert. His eyes were clear and his voice retained some power.

But it was clear that the Pope's endurance is limited.

Few ever get to question the Pope and I have just one query for him: Why, Your Holiness, have you not acted more aggressively in combating the priest-sexual abuse scandal in America, a country that provides about half of your financing?

Although the Pope is beyond my reach, I was able to put that question to a number of Vatican insiders and have come up with what I believe is a cogent answer.

Pope John Paul II was furious when told that the scandals in the Boston Archdiocese had reached a flashpoint.

According to someone in the room with him when he received the news that Cardinal Law was to be deposed, he slammed his hand on his desk and yelled to his assistants: "You told me this situation would be taken care of the right way!"

The Pope was visibly angry and, shortly afterward, retreated into prayer.

And that is what the Pope mostly does these days: Pray.

He delegates almost all other duties to a variety of underlings, none of whom have the power or the insight to deal with a scandal as withering as this priest-sex abuse thing.

According to four sources who often deal with the Vatican, the bureaucracy at St. Peter's is so thick and entrenched that quick action on anything is impossible.

With the person in charge, John Paul, spending most of his time on spiritual reflection, there is simply no one in the Vatican hierarchy in place to help the tottering American Church.

This is tragic because for two centuries the Catholic Church in the USA has been a powerful moral voice.

It champions the poor, promotes respect for life, and generally acts as counterweight to the secular philosophy that challenges any judgments about personal behavior.

In America today there is an increasing tolerance for all kinds of actions that the country once deemed "immoral." For example, heroin dealing is now considered a "non-violent crime" by some.

Partial-birth abortion is embraced by a variety of groups including the National Organization for Women.

Drug legalizers have hired lobbyists in Washington as have homosexuals who want gay marriage to become sanctioned by the states.

Nearly anything goes in a secular society and a quick trip to Europe will prove that.

Show up in Amsterdam, Holland and you can see entire neighborhoods devoted to legalized prostitution and drug buying.

You can watch drug addicts shoot up and smoke hash in the train station. Great for the kids, right?

The Catholic Church at one time could authoritatively speak out against that kind of degeneracy.

The Church believes that your body is to be respected along with the bodies and souls of your neighbors. Anything that diminishes the human (or fetal) condition is questioned and sometimes condemned.

But that moral authority is now diminished.

Thanks to a few corrupt Catholic clergy and a paralyzed leadership in Rome, a reasonable, collective voice that promotes humanistic conduct has been put on the defensive and, in certain quarters, is even dismissed as irrelevant.

I believe Pope John Paul II is a good man; a person of dignity and compassion. But he has lost control of a situation that is causing societal damage far beyond the confines of the Catholic Church.

We should all dearly hope that the Pope's prayers are answered.

For the American Catholic Church right now, the only solution on the horizon is divine intervention.


TOPICS: Activism; Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: bostondiocese; cardinallaw; pope; sexscandal; vatican

1 posted on 07/12/2003 6:35:08 PM PDT by NYer
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
According to someone in the room with him when he received the news that Cardinal Law was to be deposed, he slammed his hand on his desk and yelled to his assistants: "You told me this situation would be taken care of the right way!"

We all know how quickly the Vatican moves ... zzzzzzzzzz.

2 posted on 07/12/2003 6:37:39 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
"You told me this situation would be taken care of the right way!"

I'm shocked, totally shocked, to find that there is gambling in this House.

3 posted on 07/12/2003 6:37:58 PM PDT by Torie
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To: All
A horse walks into a bar. The bartender comes up and says "Hey pal, what will it be?"

The horse orders a beer.

A few minutes later, John Kerry walks in and sits at the bar. The bartender walks up and says "Hey pal, cheer up. Why the long face?"

I'll stop if you guys will donate and get us over our fundraising goal

4 posted on 07/12/2003 6:38:36 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: NYer
With the person in charge, John Paul, spending most of his time on spiritual reflection, there is simply no one in the Vatican hierarchy in place to help the tottering American Church.

This is a rather simplistic view on O'Reilly's part. Obviously, the american media is focused on the church here. However, the problem of sexual abuse amongst the clergy is worldwide - Europe, the Phillipines, South America.

5 posted on 07/12/2003 6:43:43 PM PDT by NYer (Laudate Dominum)
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To: NYer
O'Reilly is such a blowhard on this topic. But it does beg the question, what were they waiting for? Not the pope but his underlings...

Hmmmm....
6 posted on 07/12/2003 6:49:33 PM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona
For the American Catholic Church right now, the only solution on the horizon is divine intervention.

I wholeheartedly agree.

7 posted on 07/12/2003 7:51:03 PM PDT by Litany (The Truth shall set you free.)
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Aloysius; AniGrrl; Antoninus; Bellarmine; BlackElk; ...
Pingus ad omnes.
8 posted on 07/12/2003 7:57:45 PM PDT by Loyalist (This tagline has been put on hiatus for retooling.)
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To: NYer
"You told me..."

Okay, he delegated, and the people he delegated to gooned it up.

So where is he now?

Holy Father, the words you need are these: "Anathema, excommunicated, laicized."

Those, properly applied, will be a good start.
9 posted on 07/12/2003 8:34:49 PM PDT by dsc
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To: NYer
With that in mind, I recently traveled to Vatican City and sat in the third row at John Paul's weekly audience.

Thus transforming himself into an Instant Expert. I wonder if a stunt like this is enough to transform an Italian vacation into tax-deductible Investigative Journalism.

10 posted on 07/12/2003 8:56:25 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: Torie
"You told me this situation would be taken care of the right way!"

If this is an accurate statement then my question is what is the right way?

11 posted on 07/12/2003 9:06:14 PM PDT by PFKEY
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To: NYer
So you watched O'reilly last night too... I for one wish he would realize what is causing the scandals... infidelty... which I would say he is part of the problem... Michael Novak does a great column on this and O'Reilly in October. Here is the link if interested...

http://www.nationalreview.com/script/printpage.asp?ref=/novak/novak080502.asp

12 posted on 07/12/2003 10:05:03 PM PDT by Saint Athanasius (How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers - Mother Theresa)
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To: NYer
Also, a couple of months ago... O'Reilly was calling the Pope senile... at least HIS VATICAN sources said that he was senile, now O'Reilly has changed his tune on that idea after reading his column...
13 posted on 07/12/2003 10:08:18 PM PDT by Saint Athanasius (How can there be too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers - Mother Theresa)
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To: Torie
I'm shocked, totally shocked, to find that there is gambling in this House.

Even on the intentionally ironic level, a comprehensively stupid statement. We are a Church of sinners. Christ himself says that it's the sick who need a physician.

Are you bucking for Certified Catholic Basher status, or what's your reason for appearing in these threads? Seriously.

14 posted on 07/12/2003 10:21:08 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: Romulus
I don't think I really have the talent to be very good at CCB status, due to a lack of internecine theological weapons embeded in my synapses, plus, more importantly, my heart isn't in it, since I think the Catholic religion on balance does more good than harm on this planet. Perhaps I am here only to annoy you. I will ponder that one. The Mormons might be after me though. I posted tonight another Mountain Meadows bit, even though I find much about Mormons admirable. And there you have it. I will call them as I see them.
15 posted on 07/12/2003 10:29:45 PM PDT by Torie
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To: Torie
You don't annoy me. But since you have an interest in Catholic matters (which I welcome) you owe it to yourself to become better informed. For starters, though she does "more good than harm" that's not why the Church exists. She's not about moral culture; she's about a mode of being-in-communion. Catholic teaching and thought derive not from a juridical insistence on moral law, but from the existential commitment to being conformed to Christ.

I will call them as I see them.

Radical individualism is one of the first things you're going to have to give up if you're seriously interested in Christianity. Best wishes, and be sure to FReepmail me if you want any more in-depth information.

16 posted on 07/12/2003 10:56:16 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: Torie
Perhaps I am here only to annoy you.

Now there's a lofty and useful goal! (/sarcasm) Sheesh!
17 posted on 07/13/2003 1:45:26 AM PDT by Thorondir
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To: NYer
The problem is that you believe that the pope is such a good guy. Research and his own writings prove quite differently. Denial ensures that this problem will prevail.
18 posted on 07/13/2003 6:46:21 AM PDT by emmetta
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To: Litany
Whaddya think the Pope is PRAYING FOR???
19 posted on 07/13/2003 6:47:52 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: dsc; drstevej; BlackElk
"Anathema, Excommunicated, Laicized"...

And the BAD news is that he could do it in the time-honored fashion of the USArmy: every 10th person in a long line...and likely hit deserving targets every time.

Pinging Permanent Members of the Torquemada-Revival Committee.
20 posted on 07/13/2003 6:49:54 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: Thorondir
Regrets I did not mention you as a member of the Permanent Committee for the Revival of Torquemada. Next time, if my memory holds up.
21 posted on 07/13/2003 6:54:05 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: Saint Athanasius
I saw the O'R piece and now have read the item.

Frankly, I don't think O'R has any sources worth a tinker's damn in Rome. That sorta goes along with O'R's virtually total ignorance of Catholicism, despite his claim to BE one.
22 posted on 07/13/2003 6:56:11 AM PDT by ninenot (Torquemada: Due for Revival Soon!!!)
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To: Torie
If you have not converted to Catholicism, this is STILL none of your impertinent business as an anti-Catholic buttinski with a lengthy track record. When you become Catholic and start paying the resultant bills of the coverup artists, maybe, just maybe, your opinion will have some minimal relevance.
23 posted on 07/13/2003 7:43:28 AM PDT by BlackElk ( Viva Cristo Rey! Kumbayaism delenda est.)
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To: NYer
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective James 5:18

24 posted on 07/13/2003 10:48:46 AM PDT by LadyDoc
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To: ninenot
Your shouting response to my rather benign statement is way over the top.
25 posted on 07/13/2003 1:05:50 PM PDT by Litany (The Truth shall set you free.)
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To: Litany
Sorry for the shout. The post was meant as humor.
26 posted on 07/13/2003 5:04:54 PM PDT by ninenot (Torquemada: Due for Revival Soon!!!)
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To: ninenot
"in the time-honored fashion of the USArmy: every 10th person in a long line"

Actually, the practice of decimation comes down to us from antiquity. I don't think the US military has ever used it even for minor punishments.
27 posted on 07/13/2003 5:09:38 PM PDT by dsc
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To: dsc
You were not in BCT with me. Of course, it was not punishment--it was KP. But you get the idea.
28 posted on 07/13/2003 5:24:47 PM PDT by ninenot (Torquemada: Due for Revival Soon!!!)
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To: ninenot
okay
:-)
29 posted on 07/13/2003 6:53:41 PM PDT by Litany (The Truth shall set you free.)
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To: NYer
Now that we have a little distance between ourselves and the media frenzy of a year ago, it seems that that is exactly what the so-called crisis was, a media frenzy.

No, I'm not in favor of child abuse. But the facts seem pretty clear. Catholic priests abuse minors at the same rate as other clerical groups and, in fact, at about the same rate as parents abuse their own children, at a rate of around 2%.

The only real news was the coverup of the abuse by the hierarchy, and much of that can be attributed to the bishops' (most notably Cardinal Law) taking the advice of psychologists regarding the probable success of the rehabilitation of abusers. OK, that was the bishops' fault. But you don't hear the Globe mentioning that the bishops were taking the Globe's advice. The liberals create a "crisis" and then demand a solution to the "crisis" that entails what created the "crisis" in the first place.

And what is the solution? Married clergy, of course. Not the weeding out of homosexuals from the priesthood. Rarely is the fact that 80% of the abuse cases involved homosexual priests preying on teenage boys. No, the Globe and the rest of the media is having a field day with this, and there's no sign of it stopping.

30 posted on 07/14/2003 4:48:35 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan
"Rarely is the fact that 80% of the abuse cases involved homosexual priests preying on teenage boys."

I've read higher figures than that. Where'd you read 80%?
31 posted on 07/14/2003 6:12:18 AM PDT by dsc
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To: dsc
I've read higher figures than that. Where'd you read 80%?

The top of my head ;-) I don't remember where I read it. What figures do you have?

32 posted on 07/14/2003 6:30:48 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Aquinasfan
Top of my head, I don't remember which columnists it was, but I have read figures ranging from 90% to 98%.

I do remember reading one of those figures on JewishWorldReview, and I believe the others I got from WorldNetDaily.
33 posted on 07/14/2003 6:35:21 AM PDT by dsc
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To: dsc
Holy Father, the words you need are these: "Anathema, excommunicated, laicized."

Oh no! He can't do that! It would violate collegiality and the spirit of Vatican 2.

34 posted on 07/14/2003 9:18:29 AM PDT by traditionalist
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To: Aquinasfan
No, I'm not in favor of child abuse. But the facts seem pretty clear. Catholic priests abuse minors at the same rate as other clerical groups and, in fact, at about the same rate as parents abuse their own children, at a rate of around 2%.

On average, perhaps. But there's no way that figure holds for diocese like Boston and Los Angeles, where abuse was rampant.

The only real news was the coverup of the abuse by the hierarchy, and much of that can be attributed to the bishops' (most notably Cardinal Law) taking the advice of psychologists regarding the probable success of the rehabilitation of abusers.

Don't let the Bishops weasle out of their responsibility with such nonsensical excuses. You and I both know that the only reason they covered it up was to avoid bad press.

35 posted on 07/14/2003 9:23:39 AM PDT by traditionalist
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To: NYer
This is a rather simplistic view on O'Reilly's part.

Bill O'Reilly is the poster child for the poorly catechised Catholic who is now in a position of prominence. His ignorance of most things Catholic is embarrassing. He should either sit down with a good, orthodox priest and learn the basics of his religion, or just shut up on the subject.

As for this article, like most secularized Catholics, he seems to think the Pope's prayers are an example of not taking action. Indeed, the Pope may be taking the most important action of all...
36 posted on 07/14/2003 10:37:57 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Litany
For the American Catholic Church right now, the only solution on the horizon is divine intervention.

Remember not too long ago in Phoenix.....Keep watching for it.....
37 posted on 07/14/2003 10:41:15 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Aquinasfan
The liberals create a "crisis" and then demand a solution to the "crisis" that entails what created the "crisis" in the first place.

This is the typical strategy for advancing Marxism and has been for decades. Our current healthcare system is an example of this in medias res. The left created spiraling costs and escalating sense of entitlement and offers themselves and a total government takeover as the only possible solution.

There is no doubt in my mind that a sizable number of American clerics are marxists first, Catholics a distant second--if at all.
38 posted on 07/14/2003 10:54:16 AM PDT by Antoninus (In hoc signo, vinces )
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To: Aquinasfan
I think there may be a sign of it stopping. The recent meeting of the "money" and the pawns in D.C. brought to many some names and faces and professions of some key players in one of the factions bent on destroying the Catholic Church.

There is something compelling about Truth.I remember John Paul II,saying many years ago that all that is secret will be opened. He also said that we must smother error with truth. I think we are entering that phase now and the "enemy" is trying their damnedess to keep the truth suppressed as well as the names of the suppressors.

39 posted on 07/14/2003 11:20:14 AM PDT by saradippity
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To: dsc
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF PRIESTS ABUSE,
AND WHOM DO THEY VICTIMIZE?


Overview:

Sexual abuse of youths and children in the U.S. by Roman Catholic priests has been quietly discussed for decades. A series of books on the topic was published during the 1990s, and continues today. But it was only in early 2002 that a moral panic surfaced, alleging widespread child and youth sexual abuse by priests. The little data that is available seems to indicate that the abusers represent a very small percentage of the total priesthood. Further, very few of those priests who do abuse are actually pedophiles, as the media often reports. Rather they are hebephiles -- adult priests with a homosexual or bisexual orientation, and who are also sexually attracted to post-pubertal males. Their victims are teenage males who are under the age of 18.

It is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of priests, with a heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual orientation, do not molest or sexually abuse young people.



What the media often says, compared with reality:
During the first few months of 2002, revelations of pedophelia, ephebophilia and hebephilia among some priests in the Roman Catholic church spread like wildfire across the U.S. The media gave the impression that:

Most of the abusing priests were pedophiles -- molesting little children. Actually, most of the criminal acts were by hebephiles -- engaging in sexual activity with post-pubertal, 13 to 17 year old young men.

That many priests abuse children. Actually, there is general agreement that only a few percentage of the clergy abuse; much more than 90% of the Roman Catholic clergy are either celibate or discretely engage in sexual behavior with other adults.

A massive amount of abuse is now going on in the Roman Catholic church. The data that appears in the media often reflects allegations of abuse which have accumulated over the past forty years. The number of cases involving allegations of recent abuse will be a small fraction of the total that is now being reported.

Priests abuse at a per-capita rate that is much greater than for the general population. This is probably true, even if for no other reason that all Roman Catholic priests are currently male, and adult males have a much higher abuse rate than females.

The percentage of Roman Catholic priests who abuse children and youths is much greater than for other Christian and non-Christian religious leaders (gurus, imams, ministers, pastors, priests, priestesses, rabbis, etc.). This may or may not be true. No reliable data exists. Even as media articles in the first few months of 2002 highlighted abuse by priests within the Catholic Church, a former Episcopal priest was convicted of molesting a 14-year-old boy, a Baptist pastor from South Carolina was starting a 60 year prison center for molesting 23 children, another Baptist pastor was dismissed from his church in upstate New York over allegations of abuse, a pastor in DeKalb, GA, was found guilty of 25 charges of molestation of a male teen-aged church member, and an Orthodox rabbi was about to go on trial for groping two teenage girls.




What percentage of Roman Catholic priests abuse young people?
Nobody really knows.

Nobody even knows how many adults in general sexually abuse youth and adults. A figure of 2% is often mentioned. However this is really just a guess.

Frederick S. Berlin is the director of the National Institute for the Study, Prevention and Treatment of Sexual Trauma, and a widely published author on sexual disorders. He stated in an interview: "There is no good data either from the general population or from the priesthood about numbers of pedophiles or people who have a vulnerability that increases their risk to children. The issue of sexuality, particularly of people who may have unusual kinds of sexual cravings, has been one that society has tended to sweep under the carpet. Getting that data is terribly important, but as of now I know of no systematic surveys that would allow us to come to any firm conclusions." 1
The Rev. Thomas Doyle, a priest and canonical lawyer said that "The bishops have resisted attempts to do studies on this, and the Vatican is death on any empirical, scientific study on the celibacy or sexuality of the priesthood." 2
The Rev. Stephen Rossetti, is a priest and psychologist who has specialized in this area. He has suggested that the records of church counseling centers would contain a great deal of information that would help shine light on abuse by priests. Centers such as St. Luke's Institute in Silver Spring MD; St. Michael's Paraclete Center outside St. Louis, MO; St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, PA.; the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT; and Southdown Hospital near Toronto, ON Canada treat hundreds of priests for various psychological problems. However, the church has refused to conduct such a study. 14
Rev. James J. Gill is a Jesuit priest and psychiatrist who heads the Christian Institute for the Study of Human Sexuality in Chicago, IL. He said: "When the question comes up, should we do a study of priests and how many offenders have there been, what was the nature of the offense, what was their training, who were the victims, what treatment did the offenders get, what was the rate of recidivism -- it's all researchable, but the bishops fear you keep the issue alive by doing the research. They fear that the press will get hold of it and come to them and say, 'How many were there in your diocese?' They just don't want to get into that." A complicating factor is that each diocese operates independently of the rest of the Church in the U.S., and reports directly to the Vatican. 14

Some estimates on the percent of abusers:

Philip Jenkins, is a professor of history and religious studies at Penn State University, and has written a book on the topic. 3 He estimates that 2% of priests sexually abuse youth and children. 4
Richard Sipe is a psychotherapist and former priest, who has studied celibacy and sexuality in the priesthood for four decades. He has authored three books on the topic. 5 By extrapolating from his 25 years of interviews of 1,500 priests and others, he estimates that 6% of priests abuse. Of these, 4% abuse teens, aged 13 to 17; 2% abuse pre-pubertal children. 4
Sylvia M. Demarest, a lawyer from Texas has been tracking accusations against priests since the the mid-1990s. By 1996, she had identified 1,100 priests who had been accused of molesting children. She predicts that when she updates the list, the total will exceed 1,500 names. This represents about 2.5% of the approximately 60,000 men who have been active priests in the U.S. since 1984. It is important to realize that these are accused priests; the allegations have not been evaluated in a trial. Also, there is no way to judge what proportion of abusive priests are on her list. It may include 40% or fewer; she may have found 90% or more.
Columnist Ann Coulter claimed, without citing references, that there are only 55 "exposed abusers" in a population of 45,000 priests. This is an abuse rate of 0.12%. 6
Various news services reported that 200 Roman Catholic priests in the Philippines have been investigated for "sexual misconduct and abuses" over the past two decades. That would represent almost 3% of the total population of about 7,000 priests. However, it appears that misconduct includes many offenses, from child abuse to rape to keeping adult mistresses. 15

It is important to keep one's eye on the forest and not on the trees. Even if, as one researcher estimates, six percent of priests sexually abuse youth or children, then that still leaves an average of about 19 priests out of every 20 who are non-abusive.



How many young people are molested by the average abusive priest?
Again, nobody knows for certain.

Priests have freer access to many children than does the average male. His position of authority and trust can facilitate abuse. Thus the number of abused young people per abusive priest may well be larger than for the average molester.

William Reid has written that "careful studies have indicated...that child molesters commit an average of sixty offenses for every incident that comes to public attention." 7 But Thomas Fox estimates that the "average pedophile priest abuses 285 victims." 8



Who are the victims of abusive priests?
The general consensus is that the vast majority of priests do not abuse young people. Among those who do, most fall within the following definitions:

Abusive pedophiles who have a heterosexual orientation and are sexually attracted to pre-pubertal girls, less commonly to boys, and sometimes to both boys and girls. They often have sexual feelings to children of a particular age group -- e.g. 7 and 8 year olds.
Abusive hebephiles (a.k.a. ephebophiles) who are priests with a homosexual orientation. They are sexually attracted to post-pubertal young men, aged 13 to 17 years. 9 Most are also probably attracted to adult males.

Nobody knows, with any degree of accuracy, what percentage of priests fall into each category. One can only guess from the cases that are seen in cases.

Columnist Ann Coulter claimed, without citing references, that "It is a fact that the vast majority of the abuser priests – more than 90 percent – are accused of molesting teen-age boys." She criticizes The New York Times for intentionally suppressing the gender of the alleged victims by using gender-neutral terms such as the "teen-ager," the "former student," the "victim" and the "accuser." 5
Donald Cozzens, former vicar of priests at the Diocese of Cleveland, OH, wrote in the year 2000 about his experience in the Midwest: "As a group, [child sexual] abusers tend to be married men who prey on girls, although many pedophiles abuse both girls and boys. Our respective diocesan experience revealed that roughly 90 percent of priest abusers targeted teenage boys as their victims. ... Relatively little attention has been paid to this phenomenon by church authorities. Perhaps it is feared that it will call attention to the disproportionate number of gay priests. While homosexually oriented people are no more likely to be drawn to misconduct with minors than straight people, our own experience was clear and, I believe, significant. Most priest offenders, we vicars agreed, acted out against teenage boys." 10,11 More recently, in 2002, he quoted other estimates that "90 percent to 95 percent, and some estimates say as high as 98 percent of the victims of clergy acting out [are] teenage boys." 10
Bill Blakemore of ABC NEWS.com stated in an online interview on an ABC message board: "The vast majority of cases that have come to light in this crisis, somewhere between 90-98 percent apparently, are not technically pedophilia because they are cases of homosexual abuse of teenage boys aged 13-17." 12 He probably picked up the data from Donald Cozzens' writing.

It is worth noting that if the age of consent for homosexual activity were lowered to the age of 16, as it is in many jurisdictions, then most of the criminal acts by abusive priests would disappear. Most charges by the police against abusive priests would disappear. Cases of hebephilia would still represent an ethical quagmire, however. They would be a gross violation of the priest's ordination vows and would be an extremely harmful experience to most of the teens. For example, in Kingston, ON, Canada where our office is located, an Anglican church organist at St. George's Cathedral was convicted of sexually abusing many dozens of young children and youths. Many people believe that two suicides resulted from these criminal acts.



How does abuse by Catholic and Protestant compare?
You guessed it! Nobody knows with any accuracy.

"Gary Schoener, a psychologist whose Walk-In Counseling Center in Minneapolis has consulted with more than 1,000 victims of clerical sexual abuse, believes that the percentage of abusers is no higher among Catholic priests than among Protestant ministers. But in his experience, he said, priests have more victims because they operate longer before they are caught." 14
Some people view celibacy as an unnatural lifestyle. They speculate that a higher percentage of priests are abusers than are Protestant ministers and pastors, because of the Catholic church's celibacy requirement. The implication is that if celibacy were made optional, then priests could marry and wouldn't abuse youths and children. Most Protestant clergy are free to marry, and most heterosexual ministers and pastors do marry. Unfortunately, we have been unable to find reliable information about the level of abuse among Protestant clergy.
There also does not seem to be any reliable information about the level of child molestation among those Roman Catholic priests who are married. Thus any abusive pedophile and hebephile data would be of such low accuracy as to be useless. (The existence of married priests within the Roman Catholic Church is a surprise to many. When the Episcopal Church decided to ordain females, about 95 Episcopal ministers in the U.S. were so distressed by the idea of sharing the priesthood with women that some converted to Roman Catholicism in order to remain in a purely male priesthood. The church allowed them to remain married.)




What does the future hold?
Bishop Thomas Gumbelton of Detroit has said that, in the past, Catholic seminaries had not adequately prepared students for a lifetime of celibacy. They had not taught students how to integrate their sexuality. 13

Barbara Walters of ABC's 20/20 has stated that "...the [Catholic] church has made dramatic changes in the last decade in the way it addresses sexual issues in seminary. Instead of denying or repressing sexual desire, seminaries now use progressive psychology to help men deal openly with the once taboo topics of sexual attraction as well as homosexuality. Seminarians, for example, learn how to channel their sexual energy, and that it is alright to embrace their homosexual orientation. They are taught that intimate, nonsexual friendships may help keep them from breaking their vow of celibacy. " 13

It will take decades to determine the effectiveness of these sex-ed programs in preventing sexual abuse.



References:
"Interview with Frederick S. Berlin," United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1997-SEP-8, at: http://www.nccbuscc.org/comm/kit6.htm
Alan Cooperman, "Abuse Problem Is Clouded by A Lack of Data: Opinion Split on Whether Molestation Is More Prevalent in Catholic Clergy," Washington Post, 2002-MAR-10, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Philip Jenkins, "Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a contemporary crisis," Oxford University Press, (2001). Read reviews or order this book
Robyn Suriano, "Pedophelia: Psychologists struggle to treat it without fully understanding its causes." Published in the Seattle Times, 2002-APR-28.
A. W. Richard Sipe, "Sex, Priests and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis," Brunner/Mazel, (1995). Read reviews or order this book
Ann Coulter, "Should gay priest [sic] adopt?," TownHall.com at: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/
William H. Reid, The Psychiatric Times, 1988-APR-24. Quoted in: A. W. Richard Sipe, "Sex, Priests and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis," Brunner/Mazel, (1995).
Thomas C. Fox, "Sex and power issues expand clergy-lay rift," National Catholic Reporter, 1992-NOV-13, Pages 17 to 19.
Joe Fitzgerald, "Priest fears gays in ranks pose threat to Church," Boston Herald, 2002-MAR-6, at: http://www2.bostonherald.com/
Father Donald Cozzens, "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," quoted in "Meet the Press transcript," ' ABC News' Meet the Press, 2002-MAR-31, at: http://www.msnbc.com/news/731454.asp
Father Donald Cozzens, "The Changing Face of the Priesthood: A reflection on the priest's crisis of soul," Liturgical Press, (2000). Chapter 8 "Betraying Our Young" deals with sexual abuse. Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
Bill Blakemore, "Crisis in the Church: Is celibacy to blame?," ABC Newsat: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/
Barbara Walters, "Priests with AIDS: Crisis within [sic] Catholic church," 20/20, at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/2020
Alan Cooperman, "Sex abuse in clergy stymies scientists Lack of data thwarts efforts to gauge depth of the problem," Washington Post, 2002-MAR-24, at: http://detnews.com/2002/religion/
"200 priests investigated for sexual abuses in Philippines," Agence France-Presse, 2002-JUL-9 at: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/020709/1/30cew.html
40 posted on 07/14/2003 3:08:45 PM PDT by As you well know...
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To: As you well know...
Good article. Thanks.

Except for:

"While homosexually oriented people are no more likely to be drawn to misconduct with minors than straight people."

Wrongola on that one.
41 posted on 07/14/2003 5:23:12 PM PDT by dsc
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To: Litany
Well, Matt 16:18 was Divine intervention. There are no excuses to be made.

Explanations, excuses, encyclicals, evasions, etc etc will not cut it. We need a Pope willing to act and to be ready for the ensuing war that will rage. Ecclesiastical Heads must roll.

The resulting war real action will result in will be harsh, violent and disturbing as well as illuminating and inspiriting. The Devil does not leave the Body of Christ like a kitten paddding across a carpet.

The necesary Spiritual Warfare, waged with the weapons of orthodoxy and authority, will also result in an America that, from a distance, will look like a canvas painted by Caravaggio. The Spiritual Warfare will reveal a Christian Chiaroscuro of bad and good Prelates/Dioceses/Churches that will stand revealed in stark reality. Amen. It is past time.

The Church in America needs to be exorcised. Action is needed. The time is late.
42 posted on 07/14/2003 5:42:04 PM PDT by As you well know...
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To: Torie
Radical individualism is one of the first things you're going to have to give up if you're seriously interested in Christianity

John the Baptist might be curious to hear this

In a secular world - IMO its our individualism in Christianity that sets us apart - and I'll be damned if Im going to be a conformist Ned Flanders LOL

43 posted on 07/15/2003 3:16:17 AM PDT by Revelation 911
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