Yesterday, the John Jay College research team released their report on the clerical sex-abuse scandal, titled “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.” First, hats off to the U.S. bishops for commissioning the report and outsourcing the investigation to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as indeed sexual abuse is a crime against the law, a grievous mortal sin in the Church, and an offense to God.
One myth that is dispelled in the report’s pages is that there are many pedophiles in the priesthood. Of nearly 6,000 priests accused of abuse over the past half-century (only 5 percent of the total number of priests during that period), less than 4 percent of those could be considered pedophiles — that is, men who prey on children. Any percentage is too high, but clearly pedophilia is statistically very rare in the Catholic priesthood. The researchers also note that celibacy is not the root of the problem, and that priests may be less likely to abuse than men in analogous professions.
However, there is still something strange here: The researchers found no statistical evidence that gay priests were more likely than straight priests to abuse minors. The disproportionate number of adolescent male victims was about opportunity, not preference or pathology, the report concluded. But a very high percentage of the abuse (excepting pedophilia) was of teenage boys, and not teenage girls. Is the report telling us that a majority of the abusers were heterosexual priests abusing teenage boys? This strains credulity. I sense an agenda for the homosexual priesthood is behind this conclusion…
Read on here.
CNN runs with: “No single ’cause’ of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests” was identified in a wide-ranging report released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops released Wednesday. Read it here.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a Press Release concerning the report of the John Jay. It can be read here.
While the John Jay Study self can be downloaded in full here (pdf).