THE SCANDAL THAT HAS NO NAME

Catalyst May Issue 2007

On April 11 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released the 2006 report on clergy sex abuse.

Rachel Zoll of Associated Press did her usual fine work in her coverage of the story, but because most of the news was good, her piece was either ignored or drastically reduced by most newspapers.

Here are some of the key findings:

      • Of the 635 credible accusations made in 2006, 71 percent of the alleged cases took place between 1960 and 1984. Only 2 percent occurred in 2006.
      • Most—71 percent—of the accused priests are either dead or have been removed from ministry; some are missing.
      • 80 percent of the alleged victims are male.

In other words, the abuse flared during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ended when AIDS was discovered in 1981.

The report refers to allegations involving “children under the age of 18,” and in doing so confuses 7 year-olds with 17 year-olds; the latter are not generally regarded as children.

Since most of the victims are males and all of the victimizers are males, what this means is that pedophiles and homosexuals commit most of the molestation. Incredibly, neither the word pedophile nor homosexual is mentioned once in the report. The report conveniently lumps together cases which began between the ages of 10 and 14 (they account for 52 percent of the cases), thus making it impossible to determine whether pedophilia or homosexuality was at work (puberty begins between 10 and 12). No matter, there were almost twice as many alleged victims aged 15 or over as there were those aged 9 or less.

What no one wants to talk about is the 11 percent of priests whose allegations against them could not be proven or were proven false. What is being done for these men? What outreach program have they benefited from?


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Written by Bill