Skip to comments.Did John Paul II Solve the Pedophilia Crisis Before We Even Knew About It?
Posted on 03/08/2005 5:08:12 PM PST by dangus
The National Review Board of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops authorized in 2003 the publication of The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States: A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
On Page 28, in chapter 2.3, the study included a graph showing the number of incidents of pedophilia (including ephibophilia) and the number of priests involved in such cases in each year, from 1950 through 2002. The results are strongly contradictory to many of the false notions perpetuated by critics of the Catholic Church of both the left and right. The numbers contained in this article are somewhat round because they have been read from a graph, rather than a table.
Many false notions have greatly damaged the reputation of present leaders of the Catholic Church during the so-called "pedophilia" crisis. While there is much blame to be found, these notions cloud the truth, preventing the best possible response. Without claiming to know what that response is, I will debunk some of the false notions:
Notion 1: The pedophilia crisis was a fruit of the alleged modernism of Vatican 2.
Truth: The crisis was in full bloom before Vatican 2. It is possible that several false expectations of the what the spirit of Vatican 2 meant may have inspired a laxity of adherence to church laws may have abetted pedophiles, but the timing shows this could not have been a major cause. Vatican 2 went on from 1962 to 1965. By 1962, there were already about 390 incidents of abuse per year. In fact, the fastest growth in the number of incidents occurred between 1959 and 1960. Apparently the increase caught the attention of the Vatican: in 1961, the Pope issued guidelines recommending that homosexuals not be admitted into the priesthood because of the grave spiritual consequences of the burdens of celibacy on the sexually dysfunctional. (Please note that celibacy is much more than mere chastity.)
The number of abuse cases increased from 60 in 1952, to 360 in 1960, a 600% increase in eight years! Between 1960 and 1969, the number of cases increased slightly less than 100% in nine years. Between 1969 and 1980, the number of cases increased only about 10 percent. The vast majority of even these cases were perpetrated by priests who finished seminary long before Vatican 2 began.
[It is quite possible that the pedophilia crisis was much worse than we know in 1950. Any priest alive then would likely be dead by now, and their accusers may be reluctant to come forward to accuse someone when the perpetrator and most possible witnesses are dead.]
Notion 2: The Church failed to limit the pedophilia crisis until it was exposed by the media.
Truth: After 1980, the number of abuse cases dropped in nearly half in the next six short years. And in half again in the next five. And in half again in the next three. In fact, by 1994, the year the media was catching on to the story, the number of abuse cases had been cut by 90 percent. By 1987, there were fewer abuse cases than there had been in 1960. And by 1995, there were fewer abuse cases than there had been in any year in the 1950s.
Notion 3: The Pedophilia crisis was caused by the Catholic Churchs demands of chastity in the priesthood.
Truth: The amazing collapse of the number of annual pedophile cases demonstrates that the church can effectively maintain a celibate priesthood without resultant pedophilia. In 2002, there were still 30 reported incidents, and one may surmise that the number may drift up as new accusers step forward. Even one incident is not acceptable. However, that rate is far, far below rates of other non-celibate vocations that include substantial contact with children.
It is important to note that what is being called pedophilia in this context is not true pedophilia. While women in the general population are roughly three times more likely than men to have been sexually abused (citing Journal of the AMA, 278 (1997): 131-135), nearly four out of five cases of sexual abuse in this study were of boys. And most of the abuse was not of children, but of post-adolescent teenagers. Only 2% of victims were of children under age 5, nearly 80% were age 11 or older.
Fr. Greeley (even though you don't address him as such, I believe he is a priest) knew about all this since at least 1984? He should be thrown in prison for his part in the coverup for the rest of his natural lifed. It is sickening that he has been abetting criminals likr this for years.
Greeley warned the bishops in 1984, NCR warned the bishops in 1984, and The Wanderer warned the bishops in 1985.
If the bishops ignored three warnings, whadda are you gonna do?
I can only go by the info in my neck of the woods, but my answer to "Who would believe a kid over a priest?" would be plenty of people --- like parents, cops, lawyers, judges and other priests. So many cases were legally settled, many were brought to the attention of the chanceries and quietly squelched, lots of cops looked the other way. If no one believed the kid over the priests there'd be no sense in moving the priests around. Least that's what happened in most of the cases here in Boston.
When you have knowledge of criminal activity it's nowhere near enough. The bishops are not part of law enforcement. Fr. Greeley would not be shielded from criminal charges no matter what he told the bishops.
I don't think the Good Lord ever 'demanded' it, yesterday or today. He did make a good case for it though, same argument holds true for the guy in 150 AD or 2005 AD. Can you give up all for the sake of the kingdom? Some can, some can't.
Take it to the Boston Globe! ;-) (who gave years of free adoring press to Fr. Paul Shanley) ---> some stuff you just can't make up!
The Good Lord never demanded celibacy. He just asked those who can accept it to accept it.
Those who can give it up for the sake of the Kingdom are not giving it up, or they're hedging their bets.
They're young, colleen, not a senior citizen like me, who would not hesitate to accept a call, as long as my wife could come along.
"It is my contention that homosexual priests preying on young, trusting, never-tell-a-soul adolescents have been a problem throughout the Church's existence.
But other than your fevered imagination, on what concrete facts do you base this baseless contention?"
Unfortunately there is good evidence that pederasty has been a long-standing problem. If it wasn't, why would the Fathers of the Council of Elvira (300 A.D.) have felt the need to address it?:
"Canon 71: To defilers of boys communion is not to be given even at death."
Their solution wasn't to weaken the discipline of celibacy, however. On the contrary they strengthened it.
"If you were a very Catholic young man who was attracted to males (and not to females, at all)...in the 1920s (or 1930s, or 1940s, or, for that matter, the 1840s"
There's a LOT more of that now, because there are a LOT more predators with easier access to pre-adult males. That means that SSAD is being transmitted with greater frequency now than in earlier decades.
Even Camile Paglia admits that you'd have to be blind not to see that there are a LOT more SSAD sufferers today than before.
Welcome back from the .......*cough*........."vacation"......:-)
However, I'd like to point two things out. First, there may not be more gays in the priesthood today than 50 years ago, but certainly the percentage of gays in the priesthood is near the all time high - mostly because the numbers of healthy, heterosexual males anwering the call has gone down so drastically. Also, there does seem to be an effort to recruit homosexuals into the seminary. It can be seen on many vocations websites of the more liberal dioceses - specific mention is made that it is ok to be homosexual and a priest. If recruitment of gays is up, so then logically would be their numbers. It wouldn't surprise me if the percentage of homosexuals in the priesthood were now over 50%. I do think, in Philadelphia, anyway, that we've started to get virile men back into the seminary. I don't know if this is indicative of a national trend, or just Bevilacqua's no gay policy.
If the percentage of homosexuals in the priesthood is up, in my mind it follows that the percentage of priests preying on children would also be up. But then I accept the notion that if you're sexually disordered in one area that disorder will eventually spread to other areas, i.e. children.
"But then I accept the notion that if you're sexually disordered in one area that disorder will eventually spread to other areas, i.e. children."
Attraction to teen-agers is a classic symptom of same-sex attraction disorder, and always has been.
You are correct, though, that a disorder like that cannot be compartmentalized. It casts a shadow on everything the sufferer does and is, even if he claims to be celibate (not that a man who suffers from SSAD is capable of maintaining celibacy).
"The helping professions have always attracted homosexuals. Thus it has been, and thus it will always be."
Thats a scary thought.
Why the title? Is there something in the USCCB / John Jay report about something John Paul II did? Or is this 'it happened after he became Pope, so he must have ...' thinking? (a la 'it happened after VII, so VII ...')
I think the drop in abuse cases is most likely caused by the aging of the clergy.
>> I know, from personal experience in two dioceses that abuse victims approached bishops in the 70s and 80s and were bought off or told that, if they went public with their accusations, they would end up in court for defamation. <<
How does that refute anything? Even long after V2, they still are too afraid to come forward? That would mean V2 didn't work in that respect.
>> The results yielded that 30-40% of seminarians admitted to being homosexual.<<
The fact that many are homosexual is not evidence that the field is *inherently* homosexual, only that it presently is.
The title was a question. Something very drastic happened shortly after the Pope was installed. I have no idea what it was, or whether the Pope had anything to do with it. Just noting that during his papacy the crisis was 95% solved before the media picked up on it.
I never said the priesthood is "inherently" homosexual. As a celibate male-only profession, however, it does attract a disproportionate number of homosexuals.
>> I never said the priesthood is "inherently" homosexual. As a celibate male-only profession, however, it does attract a disproportionate number of homosexuals. <<
If by "as" you did not mean to imply causation, you are usig weasel words. If you did mean to imply causation, you are saying it is inherently.