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LINK Separating Facts About Clergy Abuse From Fiction

Separating Facts About Clergy Abuse From Fiction
Thomas G. Plante Ph.D., ABPP
From *Psychology Today" Aug 23, 2018


Four Important Facts to Keep in Mind
1) No empirical data exists that suggests that Catholic clerics sexually abuse minors at a level higher than clerics from other religious traditions or from other groups of men who have ready access and power over children (e.g., school teachers, coaches).

2) Clerical celibacy doesn’t cause pedophilia and sexual crimes against minors.

3) Homosexual clerics aren’t the cause of pedophilia in the Church.

4) The Church has used best practices to deal with this issue since 2002.

If we as a community pride ourselves on being fact based, why do we keep promoting the nonfactual notion of sexual abuse being endemic to the christian church to the point of criticizing it's adherents based on this view?

This is not a defense of pedo priests.
This is not a defense of the christian church.
This is a test to see if facts can really sway atheists and agnostics, we who pride ourselves in being able to be swayed by facts.

TheMiddleWay 8 June 8

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11

Sometimes coincidences are almost too funny to be believable.

Educator Sexual Misconduct:A Synthesis of Existing Literature
Prepared for the U.S. Department of Education
Office of the Under Secretary
Policy and Program Studies Service

By Charol Shakeshaft Hofstra University and Interactive, Inc.Huntington, N.Y.

A sexual misconduct study by Charol Shakeshaft!!! 😀

"Certainly any large organization, such as the Catholic Church, have holes that need to get plugged when things fall between the cracks and so we all need to continue being vigilant in our efforts to keep children safe. "

Who's writing this stuff!!!?

"The Bottom Line"

"Certainly some people fall between the cracks when policies and procedures are not followed carefully."

This writer seems to be lodged between the cracks.

Here we go again...

"And so, more work is always needed to plug these holes to be sure that best practices and industry standards are followed at all times and by everyone."

I'm really not trying to undermine the legitimacy of the article, I suspect it's sincere, but man, the dude could have chosen his words a little more carefully!

skado Level 8 June 8, 2019
7

I would disagree on item 4, best practices. I don’t believe that the Church, Catholic or any other denomination, uses best practices with regard to the outing/revealing of sex-related crimes committed by its clergy. I don’t believe that’s the case unless, by best practices, you mean silence, buying off families, obfuscation and denial until forced by legal and public pressure to admit to the illegal acts.

From 2019... [nytimes.com]

From 2019 also ... and, keep in mind, before Francis, the Vatican refused to admit any concerns. [i24news.tv]

From 2019 in re the State of Pennsylvania’s charges regarding clergy abuse revealed cases not deadly with openly by the Church... [google.com]

No... these cases were not handled with best practices. They were handled with we’ll buy their silence if they complain but ignore them otherwise.

7

#1 False
#2 It doesn't cause it but it makes it more likely to happen...
#3 The only statement in this post that is completely factual...
#4 Bullshit they still protect pedophile priests from the law...

@Antidronefreeman I prefer a steel drum and 100 pounds of thermite....

4

Then post facts not fallacies.

The incidence of child abuse in the catholic church is on par with the incidence of child abuse in public.
The incidence of child abuse in public schools is on par with the incidence of child abuse in public.
What is wrong with those facts and drawing the conclusion that this is not a problem of the church but of society... and thus stereotyping a person of this faith as being or supporting pedo is wrong?

@TheMiddleWay everything wrong, first because regular people do not have the power a priest has over kids and their brainwashed religious families, and second because the top church officials continue to protect them so they seldom go to jail, whereas regular people who are caught normally and usually do.These are facts, not stereotypes.

@Mofo1953
"first because regular people do not have the power a priest has over kids and their brainwashed religious families'
Teachers do... and similar abuse and cover ups occur there. What's wrong with that fact, comparing one large instituion, the catholid church, with another, US public school system?

"second because the top church officials continue to protect them so they seldom go to jail,"
The coverups are real and that's a problem. But it's a problem in all manner of institutions including hollywood, the record industry, and the aforementioned public school system. So the fact the article presents is that it is a myth that these problems are unique or more prevalent in the church than in society in general. What's wrong with dispelling that myth based on those facts?

@TheMiddleWay you're pulling false data out of nowhere, that is what's wrong.

@Mofo1953
Are you unaware of the incidence of abuse in public education and the way administrations covers it up, both much the same as in the Catholic Church?

Do some research if you are and you'll see the data presented in the article is very real.

@TheMiddleWay not unaware, sinces you are the one claiming tthese faux statistics, name your sources (which should not be I pulled these numbers from my ass.)

4

The big problem is that the issue goes beyond pedophilia and priests. Many orphanages (especially in Ireland) have a history of abuse and even death. Going over the FFRF Black Collar Crime sheet one does see abuses by all the different religious sects but the Catholics have the most infractions. I recently posted the latest "Atlantic Monthly" that was written by a priest and highlights the issue of "clericalism" as the driving force. Celibacy is definitely part of the problem. By best practices does that mean best for the church? The cover-ups are a major problem in the church and this has been documented ad infinitum.

4

Who cares what group it’s endemic to?
I don’t care if it’s the Shriners doing it or the invisible man.
A shit load of catholic priests are sexually praying on young kids.
What else matters?

The article derails what is important.
It’s a pointless article and a waste of time.

And since when is it our mantra ‘to be swayed by facts’ ???
🥴

"A shit load of catholic priests are sexually praying on young kids."
I agree. But stereotyping a priest as a pedo or a christian as supporting pedos simply for being of that faith is why this matters. The incidence of abuse in the church is on par with the incidence of abuse in US public schools. Would you stereotype anyone working in public education as a pedo? As I worked in education and my sister in public education, I should hope you won't stereotype us as pedos simply for where we work...

"And since when is it our mantra ‘to be swayed by facts’ ???"
Since atheist and agnostics generally try to present themselves as fact-based rational individuals in a world filled with non-fact based irrationality. If this doesn't apply to you, then duly noted and excuse my attempts to bring facts into this topic.

@TheMiddleWay The possibility of bias is a legitimate concern, in this particular case and generally speaking. You're right in saying we shouldn't automatically assume bias. But it does seem like a pretty real possibility in a case like this.

@TheMiddleWay
Again distracts from what’s important

What’s your agenda here? This article is a waste of time.

Being Atheist doesn’t mean anyone presents themselves as anything other then Atheist. None of us here are any different then anyone else.

That’s making a generalization about Atheists that isn’t true, which oddly enough is relatable to the point you attempted to make with this post.

@MST3K
Which is why we focus on the evidence presented, not on who is doing the presenting. If he is biased, it will show by him presenting evidence that is flawed or by not presenting evidence contrary to his case, not merely by his working with or holding the beliefs of the institution he is debunking.

@darthfaja
"What’s your agenda here? This article is a waste of time."
No agenda. What is yours?

"That’s making a generalization about Atheists that isn’t true,"
So you are saying the majority of atheists and agnostics would claim to not be swayed by facts?
Not in my experience. In my experience the majority of atheist and agnostics pride themselves in being rational, evidence based, and thus swayed by facts. You must hang around some pretty "woo" atheists to experience otherwise...

@TheMiddleWay
My agenda is to dispel bullshit

All people pride themselves on being rational and factual. We are not special because we don’t believe in gods.

@TheMiddleWay
🙄
Just put the pieces of shit behind bars and end the pointless banter.

@darthfaja
"My agenda is to dispel bullshit"
Then perhaps I do have an agenda and it's the same as yours. In this case, the bullshit that is thinking that the catholic church is unique in it's crimes when it is merely a reflection of the worst in our general population.

@TheMiddleWay who ever said it is unique to the Catholic Church?
The reason they are in the forefront is because they knew about it and did nothing to stop it, even covered it up.
Nobody is saying this is solely Catholicism.

And again who cares?

If we want to de-villainize anyone then please let’s focus on a worth while group.

@darthfaja
Do you care that the same exact thing is happening in our public education system but that is not in the forefront?

There is so much focus condemning the actions of the catholic church (actions that should rightfully be condemned... no body is trying to de-villainize the villainous actions!) that we ignore the majority that aren't doing or condoning those actions in the catholic church while losing focus where this is happening in other sectors of our society.

@TheMiddleWay
The point of the Catholic Church is that they knowingly covered this up

@darthfaja
No disagreement there nor that that is heinous.
The point of the article is that this is no different than many other large institutions, not to minimize the crime of actually covering it up.

@TheMiddleWay I disagree
The article displaces blame away from the church
By creating a conversation about a non-issue
This is just a political move to try and squelch a fire

3

1) While they may be about average with other large institutions for abusing children, they are far above average for the number of enablers who are willing to help cover it up and ensure that the priest is protected and moved to another location where he can abuse again. If such cover ups were happening in the education system it would be as big of a problem, but while the rate of abuse may be similar the willingness to cover it up is not. Also, the cover up problem is not unique to the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Mormon Church are facing similar problems but probably not as wide spread due to them being smaller denominations than the Catholics.

2) True, however it and the power the position holds over children may be something that attracts those with the predilection towards abusing children.

3) True, neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality has any connection to pedophilia.

4) Possibly the church has instituted these reforms but because they are unwilling to work with law enforcement and make their records public there is still doubt. It is cast further into doubt by their lobbying efforts in fighting against laws to make priests mandatory reporters, and against laws to extend the criminal and civil statute of limitations.

Comparing the church to an educational institution is a fair comparison, but only looking at the rates of abuse is leaving a large portion of the problem hidden. If schools maintained accounts, funded by tax payers, to pay off the sexual abuse victims of teachers, and school administrators willingly collaborated by moving abusive teachers from one district to another, then we could talk about comparing the sexual abuse problem in the Catholic Church to abuse rates in schools. Until then, this is much more than just a sexual abuse problem in the Catholic Church, it is also a problem with all of the Bishops, Cardinals, and other church leaders that willingly participated in enabling those pedophile priests to continue to abuse children by moving them from parish to parish instead of turning them over to law enforcement because they wanted to protect the Catholic Church. Well, their protection of the Catholic Church over the last 100 years may be a huge nail in the coffin of a church that has been declining for decades.

If the Catholic Church and its followers want to stop people from criticizing them over this problem, they need to do several things.
1) Open all church records on any type of child abuse or sexual assault, regardless of the current status of the offender.
2) Ensure that every priest involved in covering up any criminal activities is stripped of his position, and if he is guilty of any crimes as a result of his actions, turn those records over to law enforcement.
3) Stop paying settlements with donations from current members of the Catholic Church. The church has more than enough money to pay these settlements without taking money from current members.
4) Stop fighting legal reforms meant to make pedophiles pay for their crimes.
5) Publicly support efforts to make priests mandatory reporters, the sanctity of their confessional is made unclean by its use as a mechanism for protecting pedophile priests.

" school administrators willingly collaborated by moving abusive teachers from one district to another, then we could talk about comparing the sexual abuse problem in the Catholic Church to abuse rates in schools"

Not exactly the same in practice but the same in spirit.

May 11, 2019
Here’s a dirty little secret about California’s school system: In some cases, it allows predatory teachers to quietly walk away from their jobs – only to find employment at another district where they prey on more innocent children

[sanluisobispo.com]

Feb 5, 2014

“School systems have customarily tried to handle these situations by sweeping it under the rug, by letting child predators quietly resign and go on to another district, sometimes with glowing recommendations,” said Miller, who was interviewed by the staff of the Government Accountability Office as they prepared the report. “We see that as deliberate and calculated child endangerment.”

[edsource.org]

I like all your points in terms of change. I would comment on two however

4) There is recent case on this which I agree with the church's lobbing against said law. That law raised the age of limitations for reporting child abuse from 25 to 55. I find that objectionable as well for if a person waits 40+ years to report a crime, any crime, it risks losing fidelity in terms of what happened and ability of the person to defend themselves properly. I really don't think the church likes pedos any more than we do... but being a large institution, like the police, they will lean to "protect their own" from false or misleading accusations

5) That one is difficult. See you could ask the same of journalists, lawyers, and doctors... all whom have a privilege of confidentiality with their clients. If you ask a priest to devulge crimes admitted to them during confessional, then why not the same when a client confesses a crime to their lawyer, or to their doctor? The same reason for all: because then the client would not be honest with the reporter, priest, or doctor and the ability of these persons to do their job is compromised. So while I agree with you on this in principle, in practice it's harder to implement and could have repercussions for other jobs outside the church.

@TheMiddleWay While I agree that waiting 40+ years is a problem, I also think that 25 is too low as it can take a while for a victim to come forward, often with extensive therapy which takes time.

A doctor is bound by law to report the crimes of a patient if they believe their patient is a danger to themselves or others, it should be no different with a priest.
Journalists and lawyers are different matters and really don't compare to doctors or clergy.

3

All perfectly reasonable points to put forth.

I will, however, dispute the "best practices" argument. I don't believe that
to be true for one second. In the rcc, or any other religion.

3

Self-policing is never a best practice. Self-policing never exposes crimes - it only covers them up and reinforces the regime under which crime exists, and that is the intent of the Vatican - as they recently announced yet another self-policing "measure."

Until the Vatican makes public and transparent everything and turns it all over independent police, none of these measures are interesting at all, except in that they are deliberately going to be ineffective. The Church cannot be considered an authority in this regard - they have proven they cannot be trusted with that power.

As for the whataboutism of Mofo, wherever crime exists investigation by independent authorities should follow. I doubt anyone would say investigations should not happen for claims of pedophilia/pederasty outside the Church, but the clergy must not receive a pass on such independent investigation. That will just perpetuate the problem.

I have a darker idea forming as to why pederasty occurs within the priesthood. I wonder what the number of repeat crimes against the same child are, on average. Are we talking about a small number per child, or a continuing state of abuse of the same children by the same priests.

Raeat Level 2 June 9, 2019

I agree on the self policing. Unfortunately, said practice is common in large institutions such as the police, government, or public schools. Solve that problem, find a way for a large institution to open itself up whole sale to critique and investigation and you'll be doing the world a massive good!

3

Obviously written by an RC apologist. Just take statement No1. Almost every week a new accusation of abuse in church run institutions arises. A few may be from other religions but by far the majority are RC.

3

two and three are true. four is blatantly untrue. one is iffy; there have been individual cases in the clergy of all religions because the clergy are human, and humans do strange things, but catholic clerics are infamous and the massive coverup certainly speaks to the extent to which the problem is rampant specifically in that church. it isn't rampant among jewish clerics, and yes, there have been rabbis guilty of sexual abuse of children, just as there are people who aren't clerics of ANY religion guilty of that. too many christians, not necessarily clerics (and not necessarily catholic), have used their religion as the excuse for their offenses. no jewish laymen have done this. it's not built into the system. in the catholic church it appears to be built in, regardless of the above so-called facts.

g

My guess on the difference is that there is no central Jewish organization but rather a series of inter-connected congregations. Catholicism is somewhat unique is having a single pope and organization making such shuffling around easier. I think this difficulty in shuffling would be the same in the muslim community for the same reason. And why there is also problems within public education for the same reason of central organization. I don't know about "rampant" in public education but there have been some pretty high profile cases in the past decade.

As to four, I don't know what is false about it. The statistics are down, there are "zero tolerance" policies, etc. Now are those best practices being follow? I honestly don't know. But they are there AFAIK and by the reduced number of cases might be working.

@TheMiddleWay what is false is that the coverup continues. so we don't really even KNOW if it's down or if the coverup is working better.

g

3

OK..how can you PROVE statements #1 and 4?

What is wrong with the articles proof?

@TheMiddleWay Unless I've missed a link to the ''proof,'' all I see is a statement. Believe me--I'm no friend of the Catholic church but I'm willing to see documented proof...numbers, percentages, etc. We ALL know they've covered up/ignored child abuse, so telling us they've been "using best practices" is meaningless without data.

@TheMiddleWay The article had no proof, it had claims, and all it was a controversial article written by a staunch Catholic in defense of his own Church. Do you know what the word biased means?

@Silverwhisper
The article provided several links to evidence in support of their claims.
What is wrong with that evidence?

@TheMiddleWay i clicked a major link, the one to a grand jury report. it had no evidence at all to support the claim that the catholic church has no more sexual abuse of minors in it than other religion's clergy. none. it spoke of the coverups, though. so... what evidence?

g

@genessa
The two links at the bottom of point one link to baptist and jewish abuse, giving credence to the notion of endemic abuse in other judeochristian traditions.

I will grant you however that pedophilia has been better studied and reported in the catholic church than other traditions, like muslims, so making the claim that catholics are not unique in all religious traditions is unfounded. However, when we see that the rate of pedos in the general population (comprising all faiths) is about the same as the level in the catholic church, it does paint the picture that there is nothing unique or special about the catholic church that lends itself to pedos.

@TheMiddleWay it is not just better reported. if anything it is worse reported because it is actively covered up. i don't know about other christian sects but when a rabbi does it, it's reported and he's arrested and he loses his job. so there is no credence i would give to the notion that it is endemic in other judeochristian traditions, nor that it is equally found in all traditions. it is not traditional, at least in judaism, to sexually assault children. the rate of pedophiles in the general population is reported better than the rate in the catholic church because there is no concerted coverup throughout the general population, though there are of course coverups at various institutions.

g

@genessa
"when a rabbi does it, it's reported and he's arrested and he loses his job."
How do you know that this happens to every rabbi though? Can't we be equally skeptical as you said in another reply: so we don't really even KNOW if it's down or if the coverup is working better.

I mean we know this happens in the jewish community so maybe their coverup is simply better than the churches. Hard to tell

"it is not traditional, at least in judaism, to sexually assault children."
It's not traditional in the catholic church either though. LOL That's the danger of believing the myth that the catholic church is somewhat unique when, as I see it, it is nothing more than a reflection of the worst in our general population, as evidence by the exact similar behavior and cover-up in the US public schools and jewish communities.

@TheMiddleWay because as you noted there is no central authority to create or perpetuate a massive coverup.

i would not have used the word tradition; i was repeating your word.

we disagree, then, about the catholic church's misbehavior in this regard's being nothing more than a reflection of the worst in our general population. i am still convinced that it is more, and i have seen no evidence otherwise.

g

@genessa
Ahhh... when you said it was traditional, I took that to mean it was part of the tradition. I was only using the word tradition in the context of religious tradition, not that pedo was a traditional part. 😛

Yeah, I'm just going by the evidence. When new evidence comes up to show that the rates of pedo in the church are higher, I'll change my POV. But for the time being, the evidence is not in support of that difference and I'm duty-bound as a scientist to go where the evidence points me.

@TheMiddleWay The article's "proof'??? What proof are you seeing, please? He makes claims that what he says is true and he says he has written books claiming what he says is true. And no doubt he would also say he claims Jesus was really Resurrected, and that Moses really existed, despite the fact that there is no good evidence that Moses did actually exist! haha

CLAIMING THINGS ARE TRUE DOES NOT MAKE THEM TRUE, AND CLAIMS ARE NOT PROOF. If claims were considered proof, then Allah is real too. .lol

@Silverwhisper "Jesus was real!" "How do you know?" "The bible tells me so." "And how do you know the bible is true?" "Because it says it's true."

RIIIIIIGHT!

@Silverwhisper Middleway just told me a couple days ago that he didn't know what a "claim" was, at least in contrast to a "belief". It seems he's running with pretending to be confused about what a claim is in this thread also.

2

“For years, there were people who assumed abuse was simply a Roman Catholic problem,” said the Rev. Russell Moore, who heads the SBC’s public policy arm. “I see that mentality dissipating. There seems to be a growing sense of vulnerability and a willingness to address this crisis.”

[abcnews.go.com]

skado Level 8 June 9, 2019
2

The only information I have is what I read in the news.

2

Item 1 and 4 are really funny! A Jesuit Roman Catholic, Dr. Plante, from a Catholic Institution the Santa Clara University, finds the Catholic Church is no more guilty of sexual abuse of children than other religions. What a surprise! Despite the fact that a simple Google search will show otherwise for the numbers of abuse cases in other religions. From what I have read, apparently the chances of sexual abuse happening more with Catholic clergy has been because they more often have their residence near or at the Church when Protestant clergy are much less likely to. Clergy prefer to coax these kids into their own private living areas if possible.
And the "best practices" he mentions within the Catholic Church have not changed much as they still shuffle known priests already accused of offenses from one parish to another, and they fight tooth and nail legally dragging cases through the courts just because they have tons of money to do so, and to discourage others from making complaints against them. And the sad sordid history of the RCC hiding its sins at all costs and protecting their employees rather than be open and honest about records of this criminal behavior is practically common knowledge. Here's a little article where the New York Times follows the continuing abuse for these "best practices" of the RCC on a weekly basis. [nytimes.com]

Are you familiar with the ad hominem logical fallacy? Because your rebuttal starts off on that note. After all, regardless of the authors beliefs, he is backing up with claims with evidence and it is that evidence that we should attack, not the author.

As to that evidence, the gist of the argument is that the abuse in that institution, the church, is no more or less than the abuse in any other institution of power, like hollywood or public education. Regardless of where it happens, it's a tragedy and we'd like those numbers to be 0% across the board. I get it. I support that view. But the fact is the catholic church is no different than other institutions and yet we stereotype 96% of the priests that aren't pedos based on the actions of the 4% that do.

Think of public education. The incidence of abuse is the same there as in the church. Yet we don't stereotype 96% of public educators as pedos based on the actions of 4%. Why is that do you think?

@TheMiddleWay Happy to answer your questions. You do not seem to know what an ad hominem argument is. I know nothing about this man's character and said nothing about his character. I do however know the facts I referred to for his religious beliefs and where he works. Those facts are the source of bias. Making "claims of evidence" in a magazine article is not actually presenting the verifiable evidence, and the article had no references to any independent reputable studies or data to support his "claims." Yes, or No?

When Catholicism is under attack for its known centuries of crimes, and the best they have to offer is pointing fingers at others they say are just as bad as them, that tells a lot about the honesty and integrity of the Catholic Church. Yes? or No?

With more and more cases surfacing in recent months and years we see number 4 as their "best" is a big joke. The best is not to allow situations where known predatory priests and kids are allowed to be alone together over and over again. Yes? or No?

"I object Your Honor! I admit I did rob the bank, yes. But I can bring 'claims of evidence' from a magazine that says other people have robbed banks too! So I think it is unfair that I be judged so harshly for this, even though I make claims of being special and guided by GOD himself. I am paid good money to tell others how to run their lives because THEY are the ones who are wicked, not me.

It is a shame the Catholic Church ignores it's own Bible teachings in favor of preserving billions in yearly business revenue on collection plates. But Business is Business as they say. I think all cases of child abuse in any form is abhorrent, and the truth is that more of it happens behind closed doors in the children's own homes than at school or church. So he should have targeted that, but dared not to risk that for fear of denial, and also miss his chance to put down other religions.

@Silverwhisper
"When Catholicism is under attack for its known centuries of crimes, and the best they have to offer is pointing fingers at others they say are just as bad as them, that tells a lot about the honesty and integrity of the Catholic Church"
Given that this article is not written by the Catholic Church or any representative of it, this says nothing about the Catholic Church. So not yes or no but N/A

"With more and more cases surfacing in recent months and years we see number 4 as their "best" is a big joke. "
Sexual abuse in the workplace cases are also on the rise. I would not say that is a failure of best practices but a success in them. After all, if best practice means getting old cases out in the open while preventing new cases from arising, then that is a success. Accoriding to the report linked in the article, last yar roughly 1400 adults stepped forward detailing abuse mostly in the 70's - 90's, 90% of the alleged abusers are already dead, and only 34 minors reported abuse. While not excusing the coverup or the heinous nature of the crime, I think these numbers show improvement and that abuse is not as endemic in the church as many stereotype it.

"So he should have targeted that,"
He's got various writings on just that. He's treated several cases on just that. This article was about dispelling common myths about sex abuse and the catholic church, not belaboring a point he's made in several other publications.

1

Thank you for posting this. I was unaware of the prevalence of child sexual abuse throughout our society.

Consider me swayed by facts.

Cool! I'm not surprised you get it. 😉

To be sure, unlike the critique many others have made about this post, this doesn't mean I or the article absolve or minimize the abuses in the Catholic Church.

Rather, it makes the point that this is a problem that needs to be address in the church AND OUTSIDE OF IT... and that being a member of the catholic church doesn't make you support pedo anymore than being a member of the public school system.

@TheMiddleWay I agree wholeheartedly.

0

You say this is not a defense of the Catholic Church. The discussion is about that church, but several times you commented something to the effect (not your words, just my interpretation of your tone):

“But, sexual assaults of children are just as common in public schools, they cover them up too; sexual assaults are just as common in the general public.”

Those things are, for the most part true (though I don’t think public school coverups are as common on the scale of the Catholic Church — that’s my opinion, not fact). And, I agree that your first three points, above are reasonable.

But, what the heck does pedophilia in public schools or the public or other church denominations have to do with the Catholic best practices? You were not comparing best practices to others. You asserted that the Church has used best practices since 2002. The argument is either they have or have not. It is not they have/have not used best practices compared to California (for instance) public schools. And, most would argue the negative and they would be right.

0

A very impressive post.

0

So, Thomas G. Plante (the Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor psychology on the faculty of Santa Clara University and adjunct clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine) compares two almost 20 y/o datasets - a 2002 report, prepared for the Catholic Church (which mentions, but fails to adjust for underreporting) vs a 2004 report, prepared by the DOE which uses a whopping 6, very poorly conducted, surveys (minuscule sample sizes/misconduct by other students included in results). This looks totally unbiased and not cherry-picked at ALL. /s

[apnews.com]

[nbcnews.com]

Fuck the Catholic Church. Burn that bitch to the ground.

Can you present more current data, unbiased data, non-cherry picked data than what is presented in the article that asserts that the catholic church is different than society in general in terms of incidence and coverup?

Otherwise, we work with what we have and what we have points to a societal problem, not a church problem.

@TheMiddleWay No, but I can present Cardinal George Pell. Proving well enough to me that the Catholic Church is nothing more than an organized pedophilia cult, from the top (or damn near it) down. Hell, it probably always has been. The abuse and the cover-ups reach the highest echelons of the Church's leadership. You and Tom Plante can try and convince me otherwise but you'd both be wasting your time.

The only reason, that they are even (ineffectively) addressing this issue is because it's costing them a ton of money.

@DesertInfidel
"No, but I can present Cardinal George Pell. Proving well enough to me that the Catholic Church is nothing more than an organized pedophilia cult, from the top (or damn near it) down [...] "You and Tom Plante can try and convince me otherwise but you'd both be wasting your time.""

Without evidence there is no proof.

Confirmation bias is a difficult thing to overcome... for theists and atheists alike. 😟

@TheMiddleWay Confirmation bias is your issue, not mine. You've allowed a lack of evidence to convince you that sexual abuse of children, by admin, within U.S. public schools is as prevalent as it is by clergy in the Catholic Church. I concede the the former is badly under-studied but I will not concede that the Church has, by its own design and with singular purpose, systematically committed and covered up thousands and thousands of cases of abuse with, until very recently, absolutely zero accountability.

If one were to make a similar claim of any other organization, I would laugh in their face.

@TheMiddleWay "Without evidence there is no proof."

[en.m.wikipedia.org]

Name a U.S. state where anything even remotely comparable to this occurred within a school system. It's never happened.

@DesertInfidel
"You've allowed a lack of evidence to convince you that sexual abuse of children, by admin, within U.S. public schools is as prevalent as it is by clergy in the Catholic Church."

On the contrary. Despite being old, the evidence is clear that at least 20 years ago, the incidence was the same. Has it changed in the meantime? I don't know... that is why I've asked you for new evidence. But failing to provide any, we go with the evidence at hand and that resounding proves that the incidence of abuse in schools is the same as the incidence in church and is the same as the incidence in the general public.

"If one were to make a similar claim of any other organization, I would laugh in their face."
You mean the way that allied security covered-up it's own allegations of abuse within it's own company and shifted employees to new positions to cover it up?
[thisamericanlife.org]

Or the Horace Mann coverup?
[nydailynews.com]

Or hollywood coverup?
[thefreethoughtproject.com]

This, to me, points to a problem that is not specific to institutions but in society in general. Of course, if you focus ONLY on the church, you will fail to address the problem and maybe, MAYBE reduce incidence in the church but do nothing to reduce incidence everywhere else. In effect, you will put out a flareup in one room which the entire building continues to burn to the floor.

@TheMiddleWay Again, you consider "the evidence we have" to be somehow compelling. You seem like a smart guy, look at it again.

Allied Security - Not sure how this can even compare to the assault of children.

Horace Mann - Isolated, not widespread but still pretty bad. I'd add the Penn State scandal to this and it would still pale in comparison. These two examples add to maybe that of one diocese.

Hollywood - Hollywood is not an organization with central leadership nor even remotely on par with the Catholic Church's widespread, systemic, sexual abuse. There have been what, a dozen allegations from former child actors? Still horrible, of course, but still not equivalent.

I agree in part that this problem is certainly not limited to the Church but there is absolutely no single organization that is its equal in perpetrating and perpetuating pedophilia.

@DesertInfidel
"I agree in part that this problem is certainly not limited to the Church but there is absolutely no single organization that is its equal in perpetrating and perpetuating pedophilia"

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing opened 328 investigations into new applicants and existing credentialed teachers for sexual crimes against children last year, more than double the amount in 2008-2009, according to a commission report.

That's in one year in one state. The 300 from the Pennsylvania report was multiple decades. Granted, not all 328 allegations are credible but it would only take a few percent of those per year to be credible for Ca schools and Pa churches to be on par.

[sgvtribune.com]

Please don't think that this means we should focus less on the crimes of the church... on the contrary, this means we should redouble our efforts to oust it not only from the church but everywhere it rears it's ugly head and, further, not promote stereotypes that make people think they are in more danger in church than they are in public schools from this type of behaviour. In fact, I would advocate parental vigilance in ALL institutions based on these statistics...

@TheMiddleWay "That's in one year in one state. The 300 from the Pennsylvania report was multiple decades. Granted, not all 328 allegations are credible but it would only take a few percent of those per year to be credible for Ca schools and Pa churches to be on par."

Again, you misrepresent the data. The 300 number in PA is not allegations it is perpetrators. The allegations (yes, over decades) is in the several thousands. And again, when an educator is accused, school districts almost always direct the case to LAW enforcement, allowing the judicial system to actually attempt to obtain justice. Sure cover-ups happen but not nearly with enough frequency to even hint at such a widespread conspiracy. The Church? Yeah, not so much.

I do not disagree that there are pedophiles among the general population, hell, most sexual assaults of children AND adults are committed by a relative, friend or acquaintance. I do not disagree that parents should be vigilant.

My contention, still, is that there is no single organization EVER as deeply, as purposefully, embedded in pedophilia as the Catholic Church.

@DesertInfidel
I'm aware the 300 are credible allegations (not proven perpetrators) which is why I made the distinction that not all the Ca allegations are credible, but that only a few percent are needed to match the 300 credible allegations from the Pa report.

So one state matches the entire catholic church in another state. Clearly, the public educational system, which mirrors the catholic church and kids in many ways (power of adults over kids not their own, a sense that the teacher/priest is a figure to be trusted, a central administration not wanting to get mud on their face), also mirrors the catholic church in that the people in power abuse and coverup abuse and mirrors the population in general in terms of incidence.

In support of this notion, here is another psychology today article stating, quote:

child sexual exploitation is most often triggered by proximity to children and the opportunity to exercise authority over them.

And he, writing about sex and not being embedded in the religious studes, also goes on to say:

I hope the Catholic Church can end priestly child sexual abuse. But the NSHS shows that priest account for only a tiny fraction of this problem.

[psychologytoday.com]

@TheMiddleWay "I'm aware the 300 are credible allegations (not proven perpetrators) which is why I made the distinction that not all the Ca allegations are credible, but that only a few percent are needed to match the 300 credible allegations from the Pa report.

So one state matches the entire catholic church in another state."

No. You misrepresent the numbers yet again. Are you doing this on purpose??

CA = 358 investigations of unknown scope, origin or outcome, but let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that each of these is credible and involved an individual perpetrator. There are over 266,000 teachers in California so that's around 0.13%. Completely unequivocal. Not to mention the lack of a concerted campaign to obscure, cover-up or otherwise conspire to maintain these abusers' easy access to vulnerable children.

A child is 24x more likely to be sexually abused by a Catholic Priest than a California school teacher. In Owensboro, Kentucky that number doubles. Go figure.

Your crusade to make any other org out to be as bad as the Catholic pedo cult is disingenuous at best, purposeful and strategic at worst. Please stop.

@DesertInfidel
"CA = 358 investigations of unknown scope, origin or outcome, but let's give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that each of these is credible and involved an individual perpetrator"

Let's not assume each of these is credible. Please note that twice now I've specifically said that we cannot assume that all of those are credible. Rather, I've said (twice now) that even if we assume that a few percent of those are credible, then we would have as many per year in california as we've had in pensylvania

"Not to mention the lack of a concerted campaign to obscure, cover-up or otherwise conspire to maintain these abusers' easy access to vulnerable children."
There is no lack; it's there:

At Redlands Unified School District in San Bernardino County, there was a pattern of teacher sex abuse and administrator cover-ups going back more than a decade.
[redlandsdailyfacts.com]

And it's not just california:
*If so, why the silence? For one, teachers unions don't want the truth to complicate contract talks and tarnish teachers' carefully cultivated image with the public. Administrators say it's almost impossible to fire a teacher.

For another, based on news coverage and opinion polls, the media believe public teachers are saints — and religion is bad. So while a church sex-abuse scandal gets covered, a school scandal gets covered up. *

[investors.com]

@TheMiddleWay Nothing you have presented leads to the conclusion that in public schools anywhere children are subjected to sexual abuse at a rate anywhere near that of the Catholic Church.

Why are you so zealously devoted to the cause of finding equivalency where there is none?

@DesertInfidel
"There are over 266,000 teachers in California so that's around 0.13%."

358 allegations per year divided by 266k teachers per year = 0.13%
Now if we wanted to do the same comparison, we'd have to do number of allegations per year divided by number of priests per year. In the last 24 years (same time-frame as the CA data), there have been 2 of the 300 allegations in the PA report. Let's assume both happened the same year we are comparing the Ca data with. That would be 2 allegations per year divided by the roughly 5000 priests in Pa that year... that's 0.04%.

0.13/0.04 = 3.36

So by your analysis, there are more 3.36 more allegations in one year in Ca public schools than in 24 years in Pa churches. Even if all the Ca allegations aren't credible like the 2 Pa ones are, your analysis only reinforces the point previously quoted: But the NSHS shows that priest account for only a tiny fraction of this problem.

"Your crusade to make any other org out to be as bad as the Catholic pedo cult is disingenuous at best, purposeful and strategic at worst. Please stop."
Your attempt to not accept the reality of evidence that pedo is a societal problem borne out of any large institutions in charge of children, and not a church problem, betrays your confirmation bias.
Please continue; I've no problem presenting evidence for others to read even if you won't.

@DesertInfidel
"Nothing you have presented leads to the conclusion that in public schools anywhere children are subjected to sexual abuse at a rate anywhere near that of the Catholic Church."

Everything I've presented here, from the articles 2004 DOE report to the Ca investigations vs the Pa scandal to psychology today articles specifically stating that the catholic church is the tip of a very nasty iceberg, points to that conclusion.

I can only lead you to the evidence; it's up to you what you do with it....

@DesertInfidel "No. You misrepresent the numbers yet again. Are you doing this on purpose??"

He did the same thing in a discussion with me. He pretends not to understand as an arguing tactic.

@greyeyed123 Indeed. I had posted again, once more dissecting his claim that 301 priests in Pennsylvania and over 4,300 nationally, running rampant for decades, racking up thousands of victims in PA and tens of thousands nationwide, is somehow equal to 350 allegations. He seems quite stuck on purposefully misrepresenting that one point. Likely because it's the only way that any other organization can be made to look comparable to the absolute world champions of pedophilia. Sadly my post seems to have disappeared and just not worth the time and effort to repost it.

@DesertInfidel And you would think those representing god on earth--or at least representing themselves as doing god's work--would hold themselves to a higher standard than other organizations (or society at large) when it comes to...pedophilia!!! I can't imagine the same argument being made if priests were murdering people left and right. "Well, they are not murdering people at a higher rate than teachers murder people, you know." Good grief.

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This is agnostic.com and not homeschooling.com. So naturally, we are going to bring legit articles about priests abusing children to everyone's attention. Now, if we were all about ending the Department of Education along with every other institution in the world that involves childhood-interaction, then we would post more articles about teachers and doctors abusing children.

I'm going to argue that medical treatment and education are necessary, therefore the risk of exposing children to pedophiles is necessary. Throw me a bone here, Middleway, even you believe in vaccinations. I think. You really, really don't want me or others who faint at the sight of needles to try to vaccinate children or anything living for that matter. So, the best I can do is: if you a religious fanatic, avoid the risk of a childhood predator and always supervise your child if you must bring them to a church. Homeschool your kid with the religion and avoid the risk. Maybe it's an argument for homeschooling regular education after all.

"f you a religious fanatic, avoid the risk of a childhood predator and always supervise your child if you must bring them to a church."

Given that the incidence of abuse in a church is the same as in public education, would you give the same advice to people taking their kids to public school?

Even worse: the incidence of abuse in both church and public school is on par with the incidence of abuse in the population in general. Would you then give the same advice when your child interacts with anyone from the public?

The tenor of my posting this here is to bring discussions about religion into a less hyperbolic and more rational point of view. Does this happen in the catholic church? Undoubtedly. Is it covered up? Undoubtedly. Is that much different than what happens in other large institutions, like police, public education, and government? I don't think so and the article makes the case that it is not.

Why then do we (we in the general) gleefully stereotype catholic priests as pedos and their worshippers as enablers but not to other institutions? Why is it ok to believe the myth that this happens more in the catholic church than in other institutions when it can be shown to occur there no more or less than elsewhere? These are the questions I'm asking others to consider...

@TheMiddleWay

"Given that the incidence of abuse in a church is the same as in public education, would you give the same advice to people taking their kids to public school?"

If you read my response again, I make an argument for homeschooling. So- yes.

"Even worse: the incidence of abuse in both church and public school is on par with the incidence of abuse in the population in general. Would you then give the same advice when your child interacts with anyone from the public?"

Maybe doctors shouldn't be left alone with children. That would put an end to the gymnastics abuse scandal. So again, yes.

I've moved on from the pointless rhetoric to discussing possible solutions to children abuse by society in general.

@UrsiMajor
I appreciate the consistency of your position then.

I personally think that this problem being as large and wide spread as it is, it will not be solved by sheltering our kids away... what kind of society would that be? As tragic as it sounds, to me, the solution is to make it more public, less stigmatize, easier to accuse, more open... such that the incidence in the population in general goes down by being cast out of the shadows instead of because everyone retreated back to a safe, isolated position. Imagine if we lived in a society where we used the same logic to disease, where instead of confronting it we isolated ourselves from any chance, no matter how low, of catching disease. Don't think we'd have a society for long if that was our standard response to threats.

@TheMiddleWay Well, I don't have kids and never wanted them - so maybe I am not the right person to ask. This writer says- at least make a public database of offenders. Now that I feel qualified to endorse.

[houstonchronicle.com]

@UrsiMajor
Like this? Seems like a good start though I'm with you that an "official" database from the church would have more teeth and showcase their willingness to be open about the problem

[bishop-accountability.org]

@TheMiddleWay I think that is for the Catholics only - it doesn't include other religions. I think all of the non-religious pedophiles are already in databases - this would be teachers, physicians, etc. I have not researched this- so I could be mistaken. I value your dedication to this topic and know you will research it to the fullest...So., I'm using your tenacity to do my homework while my lazy arse watches The Chi....

@TheMiddleWay I came up with a crazy idea that is very Black Mirrorish.

At work, most people are working from home. We dial in on our cellphones and use software called WebEx. So we have virtual meetings with video cameras, sharing screens, and audio. Maybe that's a good direction for schools to take. One of my PhD friends already teaches online using this method. Would you use that for your classes?

Then I thought, what about test taking? What if we had robots proctoring the exam rooms with video cameras as well. I had a vision of a school shooter trying to shoot up a test-taking classroom proctored by a robot. The robot then turns into RoboCop and shoots them. Black Mirror really needs to hire me as a writer.

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Bullshit!

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Perpetual silence!

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Perpetual silence!

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