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Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Is that why priests molest?"

In response to my post "Same Sex Couples And the Catholic Church",
Anonymous writes: "Is that why priests molest and have sex with little boys? Same sex. Hmmmmm. I know not all priest do and have done it but, given the number of priest that have and a so call secret brotherly club. Perhaps a lot of gay men out there are that way from their childhood going to a cathalic church.I think that priest should be allowed to get marry and have a family and teach their faith like normal religions do."

My response: First of all, thanks for your comments. Secondly, I have to wonder particularly at your last comment (and I quote) "I think that priest should be allowed to get marry and have a family and teach their faith like normal religions do." Is it your opinion that sexual abuse only happens in the Roman Catholic Church? Is it your opinion that ANYONE abuses a child because they are not married and can't control the desire for sex so they have to attack a child? If so, you are clueless about sexual abuse and need to get the facts. Now what do you mean "normal religions"? The Catholic Church is the oldest Christian church on the earth and there is nothing "abnormal" about it. It is within the Latin Rite of the Catholic faith (other Catholic rites allow priests to marry) that priests take vows of celibacy and we get that from Jesus Christ himself! Are you trying to tell me and others that Jesus Christ was wrong and made an error in judgement? If so, you've got more problems than understanding sexual abuse! Here is what Jesus Christ said about the priesthood and celibacy, and since I assume from your comments that you are not Catholic, I will quote a "Protestant" translation of the bible for you.
Matthew 19:11-12 "Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it was given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." (NIV)
THAT is Jesus Christ talking about celibacy in the priesthood. Later in the New Testament Saint Paul reaffirms this teaching suggesting it is better to remain celibate if you can, but if you can not than get married (1 Cor.7:8-9).
Now back to the Catholic priest abuse issue. ALL abuse by anyone is wrong and there is no excuse for it. What happened in the Catholic Church was a vile disgrace, but don't fool yourself into think it's not happening in Protestant churches and by married Protestant ministers so that blows your celibacy theory out of the water.
The following is from Insurance companies ONLY in cases paid out. This does NOT include cases churches have not reported to their insurance companies. These reports related to complaints of child sex abuse by Protestant clergy in the United States were released by the insurance companies to The Associated Press (2007 report).
* Protestant clients: 96,000
* Top churches insured: United Methodist -- 10,000 churches; Southern Baptist -- 9,600; Assemblies of God -- 4,000; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- 3,300
* Complaints: average of 100 each year for the past decade
* Claims paid: declined to release because company deems figure proprietary information
* Protestant clients: 45,000
* Top churches insured: Baptist -- 10,922 churches;
Presbyterian --2,812; Lutheran -- 2,665; United Methodist -- 1,742
* Complaints: average of 160 each year for the past two decades
* Claims paid: about $4 million each year for the past five years for child sex abuse and sexual misconduct settlements, excluding attorney fees
* Protestant clients: 30,000
* Top churches insured: Southern Baptists -- 4,000 churches; Assemblies of God -- 2,300; United Methodist and Baptist -- 2,000 each
* Complaints: average of 73 of both child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct each year for the past 15 years
* Claims paid: about $7.8 million for sexual misconduct and child sex abuse in the past 15 years.

Now lets look at statistics comparing the abuse problem between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches. The reports show that LESS than 1.7 Catholic priests are pedophiles while 2 to 3 percent of Protestant (and often married) ministers are pedophiles.
"Penn State professor Philip Jenkens reported that between 2 to 3 percent of Protestant clergy are pedophiles. His same study reported that less than 1.7 percent of Catholic priests are pedophiles. There is simply no reason to think that clergy child molesters are solely a Catholic problem." - source-Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 50 and 81.

So now you have the cold sad facts of clergy abuse, please don't assume this cancer is a Catholic only problem when its a bigger problem within Protestant churches. All need to work to prevent such abuse, none are immune to such evil in today's world.


  1. You are so correct in stating the facts about other religions. I worked for a lawfirm that specialized in these cases. We got stories and calls from victims daily from all demoniations of faith. I applaud your citing scripture. For as it is written is shall be done.

  2. Bravo.
    I would just mention that there probably is more danger of abuse from family or friend then from within the church.


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