This whole f-ing study: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-0519-catholic-abuse-20110519,0,4312608.story
Report BLAMES SOCIETY for sexually abusive priests
A study commissioned by Roman Catholic bishops ties abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. to the sexual revolution, not celibacy or homosexuality, and says it's been largely resolved. The findings are already under attack.
Sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the United States is a "historical problem" that has largely been resolved and that never had any significant correlation with either celibacy or homosexuality, according to an independent report commissioned by Catholic bishops - and subjected to fierce attack even before its release on Wednesday.
The report blamed the sexual revolution for a rise in sexual abuse by priests, saying that Catholic clerics were swept up by a tide of "deviant" behavior that became more socially acceptable in the 1960s and '70s.
As that subsided, and as the church instituted reforms in the 1990s and 2000s, the problem of priests acting as sexual predators sharply declined, according to the study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
"The abuse is a result of a complex interaction of factors," said Karen Terry, a John Jay criminal justice professor who led the research team. One major factor, she said at a news conference in Washington, was social turmoil in the 1960s and '70s that led some priests "who had some vulnerabilities" to commit child sexual abuse. She said Catholic seminaries had done a poor job of preparing priests "to live a life of chaste celibacy," as their vows demanded.
The report found no evidence, however, that celibacy itself contributed to sexual abuse. "Given the continuous requirement of priestly celibacy over time, it is not clear why the commitment to or state of celibate chastity should be seen as a cause for the steady rise in incidence of sexual abuse between 1950 and 1980," it said.
It also found no evidence that homosexuality was to blame. While more boys than girls have been abused, the report said, that is probably because priests had greater access to boys. In fact, it said, the incidence of sexual abuse in the priesthood began declining not long after a noticeable rise in the number of gay men entering Catholic seminaries in the 1970s.
News of the report's findings leaked out late Tuesday with an account by Religion News Service, and reaction from critics was swift and harsh. Advocates for victims of child sexual abuse expressed outrage that the report emphasized social factors, which they saw as an attempt to shift blame. A conservative Catholic group objected to the report's exoneration of homosexuality as a cause of the abuse.
William Donohue, the outspoken president of the conservative Catholic League, noted on the group's website that the report found that 81% of abuse victims were male and 78% were beyond puberty. "Since 100% of the abusers were male, that's called homosexuality, not pedophilia or heterosexuality," he said.
Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of the website BishopAccountability.org, which chronicles abuse cases and acts as an advocate for victims, said the report failed to take the church hierarchy to task for the abuse crisis, and seemed intended "to decriminalize the bishops' response to child molestation."
"But I guess what is surprising me," she said, "is the fact that they're also chalking up the rape and abuse of tens of thousands of children to a vulnerable priesthood responding to social turmoil."
(read more at link above - darn CM space limit!)
I don't have anything more to say than what I said in the title. I guess it's just one more thing to make me glad I'm an atheist.
Anyone care to defend these religious "leaders"?
Answer by MMXI at 10:21 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by gammie at 10:23 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by nepenthe429 at 10:25 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by janet116 at 10:26 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by minnesotanice at 10:57 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by minnesotanice at 11:02 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by adnilm at 11:19 PM on May. 18, 2011
Answer by adnilm at 11:21 PM on May. 18, 2011
The study was commissioned by the bishops but conducted independently ...
"But this study is likely to be regarded as the most authoritative analysis of the scandal in the Catholic Church in America. The study, initiated in 2006, was conducted by a team of researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City at a cost of $1.8 million. About half was provided by the bishops, with additional money contributed by Catholic organizations and foundations. The National Institute of Justice, the research agency of the United States Department of Justice, supplied about $280,000".
Answer by adnilm at 11:27 PM on May. 18, 2011
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