Myth Buster

February 17, 2014 | 107 comments

The current issue of Catalyst, the newsletter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, lists several myths regarding priestly sexual abuse, myths that the media repeat ad infinitum:

. . . . . . . . . .

Myth: Children have been the main victims of priestly sexual abuse.

Fact: Since more than 95 percent of all the victims of priestly sexual abuse, as reported by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, are not prepubescent, that means that adolescents have been the primary victims.

Myth: Pedophile priests have been the problem.

Fact: Homosexual priests have been the problem. Proof: 81 percent of the victims have been male, and more than 95 percent have been postpubescent. When males have sex with postpubescent males, it is called homosexuality.

Myth: The problem is on-going.

Fact: The homosexual scandal took place mostly between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s. In the last ten years, the average number of credible accusations made against 40,000 priests is in the single digits.

Myth: The Church’s repressive teachings on sexuality are the problem.

Fact: It was liberals outside the Church who pushed for the sexual revolution, and it was liberals in the Church who abetted the revolution in the seminaries. Moreover, it was liberals who promoted therapy as the way to deal with molesters, instead of using punitive measures.

Myth: The Church has done nothing about the problem.

Fact: Pope Benedict XVI made it more difficult for active homosexual priests to enter the priesthood, thus getting directly to the source of the problem. Also, steps have been taken in every diocese to ensure that anyone who works for the Church must participate in a training program aimed at curtailing the abuse of minors.

. . . . . . . . . .

Especially interesting to me is the fact that, over the last decade, "the average number of credible accusations made against 40,000 priests is in single digits." I presume this means the yearly average. If so, then fewer than ten priests each year are accused credibly. That's about one in 4,000.

It would be interesting to compare that to credible accusations levied against public school teachers. I'm quite sure the proportion is higher for them. There are 300,000 public school teachers here in California. A ratio of one in 4,000 would require only 75 credible accusations yearly.

I suspect that number is exceeded statewide because every few weeks or so there is another newspaper article about some local teacher being charged with sexual abuse of students. That's just in the San Diego area, which has about ten percent of the state's population.

When the topic is abusive priests, the media (and people who believe the media) say, "This wouldn't have happened if priests didn't have to be celibate." But the abuse happens in greater proportions among groups where celibacy isn't required, so celibacy can't be the cause.

(As Mark Shea, tongue in cheek, likes to say: "If only public school teachers were allowed to marry!")

 


Karl Keating is founder and president of Catholic Answers, the country’s largest apologetics and evangelization organization. He is the author of five books, including Catholicism and Fundamentalism and What Catholics Really Believe.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  James Davis - Ottsville, Pennsylvania

This kind of defense doesn't help the image of the Catholic Church. How is "postpubescent" defined? Whether the child was 10 or 14, we are still talking about minors being abused by adults.

February 17, 2014 at 8:06 am PST
#2  Harry Ehmann - Bedford, Texas

I don't think the author was splitting hairs to excuse the abuse. The point is "pedophile" would apply to abusers whose victims are pre-pubescent not post-pubescent. It's just that "pedophile priest" is more alliterative even if it's inaccurate. I didn't take it as the author attempting to ameliorate the issue.

It's always reprehensible when a child is abused but the media only ramps it up when the word "Catholic" is involved. No mention is made that your child is more likely to be abused by their heterosexual teacher than by their priest/pastor. And the author is also correct that the Church relied on those expert psychologists who assured them in the past that such aberrant behavior could be rehabilitated or cured.

It's no small point that the priesthood was once one of the few places homosexuals could hide in plain sight. Yet the public at large would prefer to cling to the belief that celibacy drives priests to abuse children and therefore such a Church discipine contributes to ongoing abuse.

Anti-Catholicism...the last approved bigotry.

February 17, 2014 at 8:34 am PST
#3  Emmanuel Cabahug - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

@ James Davis,

I don't think Karl was making an excuse for the abuse. He was merely putting out the facts of the sex abuse scandal. The main stream media mislabeled that pedophile priest were involve in the abuse. But the majority of them were committed by Hebephile priests

February 17, 2014 at 9:01 am PST
#4  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

OK, this makes me mad. Karl, you are completely misrepresenting what happened in the Catholic Church. The FACT is that ADULT MEN had sex with males that were MINORS. The overwhelming number of instances of abuse (and that is what it is, no getting around that) involved ADULT MEN with MINORS.

Using words like "prepubescent" and "pedophile" is a convenient, and misleading, way of trying to explain away the crimes committed by the Catholic Church.

Yes, I said crimes. Because as bad as the abuse was, the FACT is that so-called "leaders" in the church knew about the abuse and let it go unreported. That, too, is a crime (at least here in Oregon) because priests are mandatory reporters and have been for years.

Quit trying to make it sound like what happened in the Catholic Church wasn't really that bad. Because it was. Period. Just stop it, because you sound like a complete moron with these types of arguments.

I am not your typical commenter, so I hope you take this criticism to heart. I probably know more about the abuse than I wish I ever knew. I am a lawyer in Oregon who started my career representing priest abuse victims. I know the lengths the Catholic Church went to to try and cover up its crimes when we were first bringing these claims.

Your lame "myth busting" sounds like the kind of legal argument your lawyers made way back when. Which explains why they lost at the Oregon Supreme Court. Because everyone knew what the priests had done was wrong - everyone but the Church's lawyers and apparently you.

I am ALSO a recent convert. My kids go to a Catholic School here in Oregon. I read **** like this and it immediately makes me think that if there are people like you "leading" the Church, trying to explain away what happened and make it sound "less bad than it really was", maybe my kids aren't safe at school.

Just stop it. Just stop. You obviously have no idea how bad this article makes you, and the Catholic Church, look.

February 17, 2014 at 10:17 am PST
#5  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

James Davis:
Although I agree that the image of the Church is important in some aspects and does need "set straight," in all reality, traditional and modernly, we need not to worry about everything the world think of us. Did our Lord care too much about, or at all, about what the Greeks and Romans thought of Him?

This "kind of defense" is much needed however. Why let the non-Catholic world assault us below the belt with false accusations and constant misnomers?

Last year in school I had an instructor who was vehemently anti-Catholic and and after noticing my Crucifix, decided to take a week and throw up "statistics" about the sex abuse scandals. It was a violence and aggression class, so Dr Bird, a Latter Day Saint and psychologist, did a good job at tying in the subjects, but this facts were so far fetched and blown out of proportion that I couldn't keep my mouth closed. He was wrong and the worst part of it is 90% of the class believed every word he said. It was sick. Needless to say, I politely brought up polygamy and received a low "C" in his class.

Catholics need to defend there faith in many PEACEFUL ways. Mr Keating has done an excellent job here.

February 17, 2014 at 10:21 am PST
#6  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

Clinton Ufford:

This is such a bad article in soooo many ways. This makes Catholics look like we are trying to make what happened to those victims look "less bad" than it really was.

It reminds me of an old Onion article (it is an online humor magazine) reporting that Pope John Paul had "pardoned" and "forgiven" all the priests that had abused so many altar boys because the altar boys were dressed provocatively and the priests could not help themselves (obviously an attempt at humor).

What Keating has done here in this article is reprehensible, and makes the Catholic Church look like it is trying to explain away - or mitigate - what actually happened to those victims.

His article is sick and disgusting and should be taken down. Further, Keating should issue an apology.

And no, I am not "Anti-Catholic". I am a proud Catholic.

February 17, 2014 at 10:29 am PST
#7  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

Mr Lawyer ..

How does this article make the Catholic Church look any worse that the scandals already have? All Mr Keating is doing is laying down facts against tweaked, blown out of proportion lies about 40, 50, or 60,000 priests raping everything in sight?

Yeah, the Church made mistakes, the leaders learned a hard lesson ... think about Paul - HE KILLED Christ's chosen people!!! Which is worse? What about Judas?

There is wrong-doings for the past 2100 years, but it doesn't mean we are not the Church established by Christ, it just means Satan tries hard to destroy us. Karl Keating has done more in the past 25 or so years for the Catholic Church than most have. If it weren't for Karl Keating's books and Catholic Answers, I would still be a "denominational, anti-Catholic Christian throwing down accusations against the Church using the same garbage (myth's) addressed above.

We don't need aggression, hate and personal attacks - we need unity - across the board with ALL Christians.

The priests who molested children, adults and whoever sinned big time ... are we to judge them? Or forgive them? Perhaps line them up and kill them like most Calvinists would suggest?

It thoroughly disgusts me that the sex abuse scandals happened, but lets move forward, shall we?

February 17, 2014 at 10:31 am PST
#8  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

Sorry Ross, I was not by any means trying to make you out as an anti-Catholic

February 17, 2014 at 10:33 am PST
#9  James Davis - Ottsville, Pennsylvania

Yes the Catholics should defend and make sure we are represented accurately. but this article as a whole reinforces the stereotype that we are in denial and more interested in our image than helping minors.

The point is-arguments like these work against the church. Most people don't make this distinction between pre and post pubescent. Someone who rapes a 14 year old minor--is still considered a pedophile! The church would be better off making positive arguments for what we can all do to look out for and report abuse, and do all we can to protect the innocent.

The last argument for what the church has done doesn't do justice to what the church has actually done to address this problem. It comes across as bigoted to say our primary approach is to prevent *active homosexuals from the priesthood. Basically it sounds like the author is correlating homosexuality with hebephilia and abuse.

February 17, 2014 at 10:57 am PST
#10  Benet Gillespie - Reading, Reading

I can see some of the criticism of the article has some merit if you are of a view that abusing a 4 year old is the same as a 14 year old. Both are criminal and abdominal. Are they the same, I don't know my emotional side would let me say it is the same.

I think that where a cover up happened, I think they had been more complicit than they would like to admit. Material and proximate spring to mind, no matter the intention.

As someone whose previous parish priest has escaped conviction for his abuse which ended in the 90s, I know how real this is, how devastating it is to the victims too. One victim committed suicide. the priest's acts were pure evil.

Do I think children are more at risk from adults who are not celibate, absolutely? My understanding is the research supports this. Also mention homosexuality might be involved and suddenly the person presenting the analysis is under attack.

If the analysis is accurate, it should be presented. It shouldn't be taken down if it is accurate.

If one of the other contributors can quote reputable research countering these statements, I would welcome reading the evidence.

Does the article help, clearly not for some, maybe it will help others.

I am now just going to pray for those who have lost their right to a safe, normal life.

But the way, I also want to thank the lawyer for doing such a worthy job, dedicating his time to help the victims, so much more than I have done with my less worthy vocation.

February 17, 2014 at 11:36 am PST
#11  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

This article makes me uneasy. As one who has only recently accepted Catholic faith I speak humbly on this issue. It bothers me that this issue of molestation is being attached to homosexuality. Every priest no doubt suffers a personal struggle with sin. In the case of these priests it was lust. Perhaps in their case, the type of lust they dealt with was easier to follow through with than, say, the priest who suffers a lust for adult women. We will all agree that Neither is healthy. But one struggle presented greater opportunity for further sin and offense. It doesn't help to make homosexuality a scape-goat!!! These men, all ordained into such a holy vocation have commitments that they must uphold. They cannot let sin have footing in their lives no matter what the struggle. I wouldn't feel any more comfortable knowing that a priest is looking my wife up and down or that a priest is addicted to pornography. A priest, like all the faithful, must put sin behind him. If molestation of children, those who are easily corrupted, is taking place then there are already deeper problems within the whole of the priesthood.

That being said, regarding church cover ups: I sympathize with those who were in charge of dealing with these issues. The Catholic faith is very dedicated to redemption. All have sinned, and all continue to sin--pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons, and laypeople. We want the salvation and redemption of all and we sympathize and pray for those who have given sin such a strong foothold. Sometimes I wonder if it is this sympathy that is often interpreted as 'covering up'. We teach and believe that if someone does not receive justice now, they will at the resurrection. That's not an excuse to overlook atrocities but we continue to bear a responsibility for the salvation of those ordained as well. Vocation is not something the church takes lightly.

February 17, 2014 at 11:44 am PST
#12  kenneth winsmann - katy, Texas

Contra the peanut gallery, I think that it is important that lay catholics have this information. The charge that "this makes us seem like we are still in denial" is irrelevant because the odds of non catholics reading this post are slim to none. This blog was aimed at arming lay catholics with valuable information for a defense of mother church. Karl accomplished that goal in this post.

A couple of thoughts...

1. There is a definite difference between someone raping a 4 year old and a 14 year old.... both are terrible.... but there is a distinction and it NEEDS to be made if this is a stumbling block for someone coming into the Church.

2. Interesting little tid-bit about public school teachers. Most people do not realize that there is a higher percentage of public school abuse than their is clerical abuse. John Jay College also proved that Catholc abuse VS any other denomination is virtually identical. It shouldn't be. Our priests should NEVER appear as a statistic like that. Nevertheless, the truth needs to be known.

3. When I have presented this information to noncatholics they have largely been pleasantly surprised! Its mostly GOOD NEWS to people that this story as been overblown and distorted by the Media.I have never had someone say "you are just in denial" or "you guys need to fess up to what your priests have done" after being shown the facts.

God bless!

February 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm PST
#13  Paul Porter - Mundelein, Illinois

Mr. Keating,

As a Catholic seminarian I have always been a huge fan of your work and Catholic Answers has been nothing but fruitful for the apologetic work within the Church but on this article I could not disagree more with the stance you have taken. I believe that this goes directly against the VIRTUS training that the Church in America has been promoting.

(For those who don’t know) VIRTUS being a program put in place to raise awareness about issues of abuse within the Church and outside of it and how to prevent them in the future. VIRTUS has also made the Church the #1 protector of children throughout the world.

You have said in this article that "Homosexual priests have been the problem. Proof: 81 percent of the victims have been male, and more than 95 percent have been postpubescent. When males have sex with postpubescent males, it is called homosexuality."

Whether or not these men are homosexual I don’t know but you are misinterpreting that statistic.

1st, according to the VIRTUS program (https://www.virtus.org/virtus/), more than 90% of these crimes occurred because of the abusers desire for dominance over their victims, not a sexual desire. You will find similar numbers in cases of rape across the country. These men are looking for something/someone they can control; often times because they feel other parts of their lives are out of control. Unfortunately, these sick people often times choose defenseless children to control.

2nd, Also according to VIRTUS and I know this is a bit morbid but it should be noted. Since these victims were children, their body types were more feminine then male, so there was little distinction made in minds of these criminals. 14 year old boys and under are not exactly over flowing with masculinity. Outside of their genitalia, their bodies are still usually rather feminine. As having once been a 14 year old boy myself, trust me you leap for joy at your first armpit or upper lip hairs.

To blame this almost “entirely” on the homosexual community would be unjust. Sexual dysfunction is not strictly a homosexual problem. There are plenty of sexually dysfunctional heterosexual men out there (just look at the porn industry). Society as a whole has been infected and The Church must once again be the cure.

I agree entirely that the media has skewed this issue to unrealistic proportions but this is not a healthy approach to this very touchy issue.

For those interested in an accurate report on how this issue has been tainted by the media I suggest going to this website. Our Church has made some grave mistakes but not nearly as bad as the ones made by society at large.

http://www.themediareport.com/fast-facts/

You more than anyone Mr. Keating have sought the truth, and I hope that you will continue to on this issue. I would also ask that you talk with the people at VIRTUS for more information. The Church has the facts to support it (as it has for 2000 years) so let us bring them to light! Even the ones that hurt.

Matthew 16:18 "And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it."

February 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm PST
#14  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

Kenneth Winnsmann:

Defense of Mother Church! Seriously? Are you trying to suggest we should defend the actions of the Church? The Church KNOWINGLY CONCEALED the abuse. How can you defend that?

Like I said above, I know more about this issue than I care to know. I wish I didn't know what I know. There is one point of fact that I know beyond all: the Church knew about the abuse and knowingly covered it up. The Church transferred priests who abused children to other parishes (where children were present) only to have those priests abuse again. How can you defend that?

There is no defense.

Further, there is no difference between raping a 4 year old or raping a 14 year old. It is sick that you could possibly make such a distinction. Both are illegal. Both are rape. And both take advantage of the trust relationship between priest and victim. Both are horribly wrong.

Mr. Keating's article is wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to start. The fact that anyone would find any merit to any of his argument is deeply concerning.

February 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm PST
#15  Steven Way - Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Ross Day,

1) "The Church" is made up of about 1.1 billion Catholics worldwide. So, you will have to be a little bit more specific in who you are trying to accuse of knowingly concealing abuse. And it would be helpful if you could also provide proof that the people you are accusing are actually guilty since some of the accused have proven to be innocent.
2) Most people would agree that molestation is worse the younger the victim is. This is not trying to defend or excuse anything. That's why we say that it's worse when sexual abuse happens to a child than when it happens to an adult. We are acknowledging the difference that age makes when we say this.

February 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm PST
#16  Diane Antonetti - Los Banos, California

Ross, you are a lawyer that made millions off the Catholic Faith!!! Really?!! Get real, if you are a Catholic then you are a Catholic like Nancy Pelosi IN NAME ONLY and your disobedience to the Magisterium offends me as a faithful Catholic. If you are not a Catholic why don't you get off this site. There is plenty of other sites you could visit that welcome bashers like you. Shouldn't you be hanging around a McDonald's some where waiting for someone to spill their coffee in their lap? How about I lump all you lawyers together and say well your non-argument proves how ignorant you lawyers are.
Disgusted Diane.

February 17, 2014 at 6:27 pm PST
#17  John Christo - Texas, Texas

Mr. Keating.
Thanks for the short and concise defense.
Given the strong responses from some of the comments, I think you have done your job well. The fact is that there are many, both outside (United Nations) and inside the Church that will attack the abuse issue, oftentimes overblowing it and destroying perfectly innocent men's lives, while at the same time complaining about church teaching on homosexual activity and hoe it being one of the few grave sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.

Given the fact that many men after the second Vatican council unfortunately seemed to have used the priesthood to hideout (unsuccessfully) from their homosexual tendencies, it is reckless for secular progressives and liberal Catholics to want to liberalize or ignore the biblical condemnation on homosexuality on one hand, yet also bash "paedophile" priests on the other. Its a non sequitur, if there ever was one.

The priests that did commit theses crimes should be held accountable, of course, but first we must identify that these were pederast, not pedophiles. Post pubescent, not prepubescent. This is the definition of homosexual.

Thank you Mr Keating for busting the myths.
Maybe someone from the UN (or Huffington post, for that matter) is reading!

Dominus vobiscum!

February 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm PST
#18  Carla Schultz - Mesa, Arizona

You are absolutely wrong about calling the priests "homosexuals". These crimes have nothing to do with sexual preference. They have everything to do with power and control. The are pedophiles. Call them pederast if you must because that identifies them as having some sort of mental illness. Being same-sex attracted had nothing to do with the crime/abuse. The abuse has to do with a mental illness.. and though these crimes sometimes take the form of homo-erotic sex (though not exclusively) they are not indicative of same-sex attracted people. I would say that priests who are same-sex attracted often are looking for a way to rid themselves of their "cross" rather than being able to work through their shame and self-loathing. I became a Catholic partially because of its position on same-sex attraction. All priests are held to the same standard... celibacy is one of those standards. If we as Catholics can embrace our "crosses" and hold them as precious gifts then we can remove the secretive sinfulness that eats at us. If we hide our sins or sinful thoughts they will overwhelm us. If we can talk about them and work through them with our Priests or spiritual advisers then we stand a chance of keeping our vows and living a life of joy in Christ regardless of what that "cross" is.

February 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm PST
#19  Michael Bascon - San Diego, California

I agree with this posting, this posting is not to make light of the scandal, nor excuse the horrible crimes committed by those hiding under a collar, nor those who tried to cover it up

1. I have seen other statistics and those priests who did commit this awful crimes are statistically more in those who admitted same sex attraction

2. why are people upset by calling the crime according to what is was, those who committed crimes against those of the same sex, and not prepubescent shouldn't be called pedophiles because they are not , it is a homosexual molestation/rape of a minor (their may have been mental illness involved, but that does not take away from the fact that is was a homosexual molestation/rape)

Ross you state"there is no difference between raping a 4 year old or raping a 14 year old. It is sick that you could possibly make such a distinction. Both are illegal. Both are rape. And both take advantage of the trust relationship between priest and victim. Both are horribly wrong."

you are right in a sense but are incorrect in saying there is no difference because their is - the age changes the crime, they are still equally heinous and disgusting. Why is it wrong to differentiate between those who are pedophiles and those who are homosexual molesters and even those who were heterosexual?

Ross , also you attack Mr. Keating's myth busting because you feel he is trying to make the crimes seem not as bad, but that is not the case, what he is doing is merely pointing out the misreported information of the media, and presenting correct information

The crimes committed are still awful and should never be forgotten nor made light of, but we should use the correct terminology when talking about this subject

February 18, 2014 at 1:07 am PST
#20  Michael Bascon - San Diego, California

I agree with this posting, this posting is not to make light of the scandal, nor excuse the horrible crimes committed by those hiding under a collar, nor those who tried to cover it up

1. I have seen other statistics and those priests who did commit this awful crimes are statistically more in those who admitted same sex attraction

2. why are people upset by calling the crime according to what is was, those who committed crimes against those of the same sex, and not prepubescent shouldn't be called pedophiles because they are not , it is a homosexual molestation/rape of a minor (their may have been mental illness involved, but that does not take away from the fact that is was a homosexual molestation/rape)

Ross you state"there is no difference between raping a 4 year old or raping a 14 year old. It is sick that you could possibly make such a distinction. Both are illegal. Both are rape. And both take advantage of the trust relationship between priest and victim. Both are horribly wrong."

you are right in a sense but are incorrect in saying there is no difference because their is - the age changes the crime, they are still equally heinous and disgusting. Why is it wrong to differentiate between those who are pedophiles and those who are homosexual molesters and even those who were heterosexual?

Ross , also you attack Mr. Keating's myth busting because you feel he is trying to make the crimes seem not as bad, but that is not the case, what he is doing is merely pointing out the misreported information of the media, and presenting correct information

The crimes committed are still awful and should never be forgotten nor made light of, but we should use the correct terminology when talking about this subject

February 18, 2014 at 1:07 am PST
#21  kenneth winsmann - katy, Texas

Ross Day,

Where in my comments did I argue that we should defend the church covering up the scandal? Where in Karl Keatings post does he make the case for covering up the cover up? You are ranting at a straw man.

Do you believe that a post pubescent male is identical to a toddler or a four year old? Taking sexual advantage of either one is deplorable but there certainly is a difference between the two. The main difference is that the idea that priests are "pedophiles" molesting innocent babies is a more sensational story. The idea that Catholic priests sexually abuse more children than any other Christian denomination or even PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS is a result of lay catholics sitting back quietly and allowing bad information to run rampant. I am not saying we should make excuses for the sin of our priests. I am saying that it is good and necessary for lay catholics to be armed with the facts and be able to present them accurately.

February 18, 2014 at 6:28 am PST
#22  Kevin O'Toole - Atlanta, Georgia

I created an account for this. I agree with many here that this technical defense sends the wrong message.

Myth 1: splitting hairs. It is no less upsetting that priests were violating adolescents (or even young adults) from their position of power.

Myth 2: again, this is splitting hairs.

Myth 3: this seems politicized and divisive. what is the point?

Myth 4: This is a good point to make.

We should focus on #4...

"Some priests and some church leaders acted shamefully - Fact"
"Pope Benedict and the US Catholic Bishops have addressed many of the the concerns and have made significant changes in policy and process - Fact"
"There is much healing and forgiveness that is still required and we will work ceaselessly toward that end"

Myths 1-3 are simply fodder for those that feel hurt by the church already.

Keep the discussion on the positives and what we are doing now. Bring the discussion back to Jesus Christ. And never stop asking for forgiveness from each and every accuser.

I say "we" because I am a Catholic and I defend my faith and my church along with all of you.

February 18, 2014 at 8:13 am PST
#23  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

WOW, I am shocked at Diane Antonetti's comments.

To be clear, I did not make millions. I spent 5 years (two as a law clerk, three as a lawyer) helping the lawyer fought for the victims of priest abuse. I did not make millions.

You are obviously in denial. Many, many people operating within the Catholic Church knew about the abuse of CHILDREN taking place in the Church. Are you ok with that? Do you condone the abuse? Do you think the lawyers who brought these cases against the Church were wrong to do so?

I have news for you, had these cases not been brought, the Church would have never done anything to correct itself.

I sat in oral arguments and depositions where LEADERS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH denied the abuse ever happened. And then, when faced with the fact that the abuse did happen, they tried to come up with creative ways to avoid helping the victims of the abuse (for instance, the Archdiocese of Portland was going to declare bankruptcy).

Where is that in the Magisterium? Huh?

It wasn't until the Church had no other option but to admit publicly that not only were CHILDREN ABUSED by ADULT MEN, but that the Church KNEW ABOUT THE ABUSE AND DID NOTHING TO STOP IT.

Where is that in the Magisterium? Huh?

Let me make this clear to everyone: CHILDREN...again...CHILDREN...had sex with ADULT MEN. I know for a FACT that people in the Church knew about the abuse that was going on and turned a blind eye and put those ADULT MEN back into contact with CHILDREN where those same ADULT MEN had sex with CHILDREN AGAIN!

Ms. Antonetti, do you think it is ok for ADULT MEN to have sex with CHILDREN? I know you did not state as much in your comment, but the fact that you would vilify those who stood up for the victims of this abuse is almost as disgusting.

Do you realize it was trial lawyers who fought for racial integration as well? You going to vilify those lawyers while you are at it?

Do not ever, EVER, again try to blame me, or any other lawyer who represented these victims. ALL....I mean 100% of the fault lies squarely on the priests and the Church. Period. Trying to blame anyone else is just plain ignorance.

And finally, don't question my faith or anyone else's. To do so is a sin. I suggest you go to confession.

February 18, 2014 at 9:22 am PST
#24  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

Kenneth Winnsman-

Do you think have sex with a 14 year-old is as bad as having sex with an 11 year-old? One is pre-pubescent, one is not.

It is the same. Period.

This article is so horrible on so many levels, the fact that anyone would find any merit in this article is disturbing.

What you and many other commenters do not seem to understand is this: the "public" does not want to hear your hypertechnical arguments. These "facts" sound like you are trying to either justify how the Church reacted to the abuse, or minimize the abuse that happened in the Church.

It makes the Church look really, really bad.

The fact is this: no matter what the age of the victims, they were all victims of child sex abuse. Whether the victims were pre-pubescent or not is irrelevant.

For me, and for many others who had any involvement in the litigation, this article brings back memories of the Church's responses to the initial allegations of child sex abuse by priests.

First the Church denied the child sex abuse ever happened.

Then, the Church said that the sex abuse did happen, but the Church was not responsible for it. We had to take the case to the Oregon Supreme Court (the case name is Fearing v. Bucher, if you are interested) in order to get the Church to finally take responsibility.

Next, the Church claimed the victims were not really harmed by the sex abuse. The Church claimed the identical life problems all of the victims encountered were the fault of poor parenting, bad schooling, and the like.

When that argument fell flat on its face, the Church said it was bankrupt and could not compensate the victims for the damages caused by the child sex abuse. That is at least what the Archdiocese of Portland was trying to claim. Way to step up and take responsibility for your actions - that is the good Christian way.

Finally, we discovered that the Church ACTUALLY KNEW that some of its priests had what the Church called "problems" with Children. The Church would send priests to a monastary in New Mexico for priests that had "problems". The priest would get "fixed" and then put back into situations where the priest was around children again. Not surprisingly, the priest would then abuse another child sexually.

Want a name: Father Maurice Grammond victimized at least 22 children in Oregon.

In the end, the Archidiocese in Portland paid out $75 million to victims of child sex abuse. Anyone here think that was enough compensation for those kids? Anyone?

People like Karl Keating and others need to quit trying to come up with these creative lawyer-like arguments to make the child sex abuse look less bad. The Church and its leaders need to own the scandal, accept responsibility, and try to heal the wounds of the victims.

We all need to do that.

Not try to make weak excuses.

February 18, 2014 at 9:42 am PST
#25  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

This article was unnecessary, and will only serve to make those who view the Catholic Church as morally confused and in a state of denial over this issue stronger in their suspicions.

Splitting hairs over what constitutes a child versus what constitutes an adolescent is ridiculous, Mr. Keating. I don't care whether the victims were children or teenagers, it is still abuse and just as heinous either way. Perhaps it is true that pedophilia is limited to purely prepubescent children, but that kind of legalistic distinction accomplishes nothing. It seems political and callous, and makes us look like we're in damage control mode.

And let me also add that it is becoming increasingly difficult to minister to homosexuals and try to bring them into full communion with Christ without Catholic voices like yourself using every opportunity you can to take potshots at homosexuality. The Catechism doesn't condemn homosexuality as an orientation, it condemns the act. I try very hard to make this distinction to my homosexual sibling, as well as other homosexuals I encounter, but then they find instances in Catholic culture where homosexuality and homosexuals themselves are dehumanized, and I am put in a difficult situation. If a priest molested a 14-year old girl, we wouldn't say that the problem was heterosexual priests. So I'm not sure what bringing up homosexuality accomplishes, other than to make homosexuals feel even more marginalized and uncomfortable in the Church. Are you actively trying to make Catholic ministry harder?

I'm very disappointed in this article. It seems tailor-made to be mocked by the very media you're trying to rebut, and honestly, I wouldn't blame them if they did.

February 18, 2014 at 9:44 am PST
#26  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

Well put, Richard. I tried to make the same type of point in comment #11 above. There are much deeper issues here than homosexuality.

Mr. Ross Day, you've made many good points and I think you are very correct on so many levels. However, I'm a little disappointed that any was seeking monetary compensation for any of this. Maybe you can explain how monetary compensation does anything but further cover up wrongs that were commited. Thanks.

February 18, 2014 at 10:21 am PST
#27  kenneth winsmann - katy, Texas

Ross,

Prepubescent and post pubescent are not the same. My grandmother was pregnant, had a job and went on to raise a family of 7 at the age of fifteen. Can a four year old do the same? What about a ten year old? In the 1800s boys were considered men who could find their own way in the world at the age of 14. Your failure to make a distinction is reactionary and appeals mainly to emotion.

I have presented the facts discovered from the John Jay study with at least 15 non catholics and whole groups of listening people at work and in my social life. Amazingly, ZERO PEOPLE have ever told me that they didn't want to hear what I had to say. NO ONE has ever told me that these studies were just "excuses that make the Church loook really really bad".

Niether this article nor any of my comments even mention the cover up of the sexual abuse. Your comments on the cover up are interesting but irrelevant to our conversation about this article by author Karl Keating and my comments defending its relevance.

You alleging that Karl is coming up with "lawyer like arguments" to make the Church look "less bad" is uncharitable and unfounded. Errors have no rights last time i checked. If the media is intentionally spreading lies about the sexual abuse scandal within the Church to sensationalize the story people have a right to know the truth. I agree that we should be open about the sins of certain priests and their actions. We should own up to 100% of what was done. But that doesn't entail sitting back and taking credit for fictions propagated by the media. This is what Karl is aiming to combat. If he doesn't do it who will? Certainly not you. Not the mainstream media. Not the thousands of false accusers looking for a pay-day and a free lunch. Karl and Catholic Answers in general have done a great job covering this particular story. (although their segments on "radical traditionalism still gets on my nerves)

February 18, 2014 at 11:46 am PST
#28  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

Complaining that the media is calling priest sex abusers pedophiles rather than the more accurate 'hebephile' is hardly worth touching upon. It's such an unnecessary distinction that it hardly matters, unless you're somehow arguing that it's somehow less bad that a teenager be sexually abused rather than a prepubescent child.

Not only that, but the second 'myth' isn't a myth. Homosexual priests and homosexuality are not the problem. Heterosexuals can abuse children and homosexuals can abuse children, but heterosexuality and homosexuality do not lead to child abuse in and of themselves. What of the priests who molested teenage girls? Should we blame heterosexual priests for their shortcomings?

The third myth is debatable, because just as many Catholics as well as the 'mainstream media' (whatever that means) believe that the Church is not doing enough to prevent this from happening in the future. I am confident that Pope Francis is doing his best, but there are troubling signs from other Catholic leaders that they are not taking this seriously enough.

Complaining that the media is focusing too much on Catholic priest sex abuse is not going to work. Personally, I think it is the media's job (at a bare minimum) to report these kinds of things. The media always reports on child abuse cases, whether it's dysfunctional parents, high school teachers, Catholic priests, or Woody Allen. Unless you're watching one of those opinionated cable news programs, I honestly don't see the media going out of their way to attack the Catholic Church without reason.

February 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm PST
#29  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

Also, for what it's worth, the APA DSM-V (which is responsible for diagnosing pedophilia as a mental disorder) classifies all children under the age of 13 as prepubescent, and all adults who are sexually fixated on minors of that age as exhibiting pedophilia. So yes, the majority of priest sex abusers were pedophiles.

February 18, 2014 at 12:44 pm PST
#30  Carol Woodrich - Waukegan, Illinois

Post-Pubescent? Please. I agree fully that the abuse has been exploited but children are children. The problem doesn't seem to be Homosexual priests as much as Pedophiles. I don't believe the church attracts these individuals. I believe that this sexual perversion is a sinful part of society. Male or Female.

February 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm PST
#31  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"Complaining that the media is calling priest sex abusers pedophiles rather than the more accurate 'hebephile' is hardly worth touching upon."

Uhhhh, it's worth touching on a bit. While both are obviously wrong, this country is way more comfortable with hebephilia than pedophilia. As a grown man (firefighter), who works with plenty of other grown men (firefighters as well), it's fairly obvious that there's a difference between a man that tells me "Man, my 15 year old daughters friends from school are so hot!", and a man that says, "Man, my 7 year old daughters friends from daycare are so hot!" I haven't run across the latter, but I can guarantee, my criticism would go further than the usual "Dude, that's messed up". It would be more like, "I think we need to get you some help."

February 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm PST
#32  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

From a legal and moral point of view, engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year old versus a 7-year old doesn't make any difference. Both are not mature enough to understand or make that kind of decision. Both will likely be traumatized. To even suggest that molesting a teenager is not as bad as molesting a younger child is the same kind of moral relativism that we as Catholics are supposed to rail against.

There are sex abuse victims who have committed suicide over this, and scores of Catholics who have left the Church over this issue, and being technical on the age of the victims is not going to 'set the record straight' with anyone. If my son were one of the victims, I wouldn't be any more or less upset if he was molested at age 4, 7, 12, or 16. I would be furious either way.

The continuing tone-deafness of Catholics concerning this issue is disturbing, and has made me squirm in my pew far too many times. I'd focus less on what the media thinks about Catholicism, and more on how we as a community are going to protect the most vulnerable of our members.

February 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm PST
#33  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"Both are not mature enough to understand or make that kind of decision. Both will likely be traumatized. To even suggest that molesting a teenager is not as bad as molesting a younger child is the same kind of moral relativism that we as Catholics are supposed to rail against."

I'm not talking about legality. I've already said both instances are wrong. No man/woman should do that. I have a lot more sympathy for the man that thinks the post pubescent girl is attractive, than a man that thinks a 7 year old girl is attractive. Do you not? Seriously?

February 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm PST
#34  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"The continuing tone-deafness of Catholics concerning this issue is disturbing, and has made me squirm in my pew far too many times. I'd focus less on what the media thinks about Catholicism, and more on how we as a community are going to protect the most vulnerable of our members."

That's the point of the article though. The fact that secular media is VERY comfortable with hebephilia. Yet, in the case of the Church, they go out of their way portray all cases as pedophilia. If I'm not allowed to point out the fact that the secular media is being biased in their reporting, then we'll never get to the real issue. That both cases are equally wrong.

February 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm PST
#35  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

No, I don't. The majority of victims of priest sex abuse were between 11-14, with some victims being as young as 4. There is nothing okay about any of this. Maybe things are different in Oklahoma, but I have never heard anyone openly talk about how attractive an 11-14-year old boy or girl is.

And unless Mr. Keating has access to data that the rest of us don't, I'm not sure how he can possibly say, as a matter of fact, that the majority of those victims were post-pubescent. I didn't really start going through puberty until I entered high school, around 15-16.

But I'm sure it's the sexual revolution that happened 50 years ago that's to blame. I mean, might as well just go back another 20 years while we're at it and blame Hitler.

February 18, 2014 at 5:34 pm PST
#36  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"No, I don't. The majority of victims of priest sex abuse were between 11-14, with some victims being as young as 4. There is nothing okay about any of this. Maybe things are different in Oklahoma, but I have never heard anyone openly talk about how attractive an 11-14-year old boy or girl is."

Okay about any of this? Seriously? Did I ever say that? Maybe things are different in Kansas, but in Oklahoma we don't put words in other peoples mouths.

Yeah, I've heard men tell me that post-pubescent girls are attractive. It's just the truth. I guarantee it's happening in Kansas too Richard, but perhaps you're of the opinion that Kansas is some sort of new Jerusalem, where men never sin.

The fact is, SOME of the post-pubescent girls LOOK like WOMEN. Attractive WOMEN. The type that makes you wonder if they're 18+. In fact, no joke, I knew a guy who was convicted of statutory rape because he slept with a girl he thought was 18, and it turned out she was 15. Fake ID in a bar. He assumed it was all good (horrible I know). Yet, based off your thought process, he's the same as a guy that raped a 7 year old.

February 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm PST
#37  David Kingsella - PORTLAND, Oregon

Mr Keating,

I enjoy Catholic Answers and it was a big part of my conversion to the Catholic Faith a year ago. One of the big challenges I had when dealing with family and friends who were not a fan of my decision was when I was hit with the inevitable "Molester Priest" card, which would be pulled out once they could no longer debate me on the theology. I always found that the best was to address this was to acknowledge the horrible abuses and the cover up which followed and to point out what the Catholic Church is doing to ensure these things don't happen in the future to the degree possible.

I am very disappointed that you felt it necessary to publish an article which seems to make excuses...at least in tone. The hair splitting over the descriptive terminology in particular is disturbing. I believe most people would agree that Priests taking advantage of minors is abhorrent regardless of a distinction that might be made by an attorney or psychiatrist. The fact is that these priests did some horrible things and abused their power in the worst way and I don't believe the argument you are making is productive.

I also don't believe that the homosexual argument is productive either. I agree with other posters on here that in the same way as adult men who rape adult women is a case of control not sex, that this too is true with those priests raping children. Additionally, saying that Homosexual Priests is the problem doesn't seem to be in keeping with the Church's teaching that there is no sin in merely identifying as gay, but rather with the behavior. This behavior in question is molestation of minors not in consensual homosexual sex between adults. Certainly a homosexual could serve as a priest so long as he is celibate in the same way a heterosexual can. What is not acceptable is either hetero or homosexual priests having sex with children.

I agree with you that the Church is making great efforts to change the culture around the abuse, but don't think we should pat ourselves on the back too much as it is nearly unforgivable that this abuse was not only systemic but being swept under the rug. Attempting to fix the problem now is really the least we can do. Furthermore, I wouldn't say that the problem is not on-going...maybe not the covering up, but so long as there is ANY abuse of minors, to my mind it is still a problem. Obviously there is no way to root out sin entirely, but we should continue to work towards that end.

With regards to the media coverage of the story. Sure, the media likes a good news story and I would agree that they haven't been unbiased in their coverage...maybe even downright unfair. That said, the Church was wrong...period. We should take our lumps and not complain that they are not doing their best to shed the best possible light on what is the most horrible scandal to face the Church in modern times. I believe this sort of approach will get us no where. Certainly not with those who already dislike the Church and those we would try to win over.

Lastly, pointing out statistics that show how this type abuse happens elsewhere and even to a larger degree doesn't make the sin of the Church any less wrong. It really doesn't matter that other organizations have issues. What matters is that we identify our own transgressions, admit them and work to correct them.

It seems that there is a parallel here with reconciliation. If I were to go to confession and confess my sins only after having been caught and then pointing out to my confessor how my neighbor does the same thing and even to a worse degree, and then tried to use semantics to make my sin seem less serious and then suggested my accuser was attempting to make my admitted sins seem more serious by the way they were characterizing them...I have a hunch the priest on the other side of the curtain might question to the degree I was showing true contrition.

My parents always taught me that when you apologize for wrong doing...leave it at that. There should be no buts or explanations. Just simply apologize sincerely and ask what you can do to make amends. Maybe we should follow that advice.

February 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm PST
#38  Steven Way - Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

A lot of the comments on here rely entirely on the appeal to emotion logical fallacy.

February 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm PST
#39  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"A lot of the comments on here rely entirely on the appeal to emotion logical fallacy."

You're probably right. This is more of a conversational forum though. So, it's to be expected. What particular comments did you have in mind?

February 18, 2014 at 6:42 pm PST
#40  Steven Way - Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Eric,

The appeals to emotion started with the post that began as "OK, this makes me mad."

February 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm PST
#41  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

I want everyone to read the first "myth" carefully.

It says "MYTH: Children have mainly been the victims of priestly sexual abuse."

Karl Keating then states as a "FACT" that most victims were adolescents. It actually says in relevant part: "...means that adolescents have been the primary victims."

ADOLESCENTS ARE STILL CHILDREN!!!!!

Which means that Children have mainly been the victims of priestly sexual abuse.

But Keating says that is a myth!

HE IS WRONG!!!!

Do I have to draw it in crayon for some of you? It isn't that hard to figure out.

After reading these posts, I am convinced there are people who have commented that actually blame the children who were abused, and not the priests themselves.

Remember this: the Catholic Church has acknowledged that (a) Father Maurice Grammond victimized at least 22 CHILDREN in Oregon, (b) that the Catholic Church (i.e. Archdiocese of Portland) knew he was victimizing children, and (c) that the Catholic Church ignored the fact he was victimizing children and put him in a position to victimize MORE CHILDREN....REPEATEDLY.

Quit trying to explain this away.

P.S. I am a proud Catholic. Just not proud of Mr. Keating or some of the posters on this website.

February 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm PST
#42  Matthew McTaggert - Burnaby, British Columbia

Ross Day-
Your unfriendly convictions don't sound like you're a proud Catholic. In fact, you sound like a dissident wanting the Catholic church to change its doctrines, accept the redefinition of marriage, and blame celibacy for their actions. You send your kids to Catholic schools where priests are present, yet you paint all priests with the same brush which is wrong. Keating is not attempting to justify the wrongs these priests have done. What he's saying is when a Catholic, let alone a priest, is under scrutiny, the press always proactive when these atrocities are occurring elsewhere but are not are pushed under the light. If you truly are a Catholic, then stop painting all priests with one brush. Sorry, but I support Keating's testimony.

February 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm PST
#43  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"Do I have to draw it in crayon for some of you? It isn't that hard to figure out."

You should be willing to, if you think you're correct. Maybe it will make it easier on us. Christ utilized parables, perhaps you should try and break it down for us crayon style.

"After reading these posts, I am convinced there are people who have commented that actually blame the children who were abused, and not the priests themselves."

It's not quite that simple. Perhaps you can break it down for us exactly how it is the case that sexual contact with a 14 year old is the same as sexual contact with a 4 month old. Do you view those acts as EXACTLY the same? I know you don't. If you say you do, then I can OFFICIALLY label you as a bonafide liar.

"Remember this: the Catholic Church has acknowledged that (a) Father Maurice Grammond victimized at least 22 CHILDREN in Oregon, (b) that the Catholic Church (i.e. Archdiocese of Portland) knew he was victimizing children, and (c) that the Catholic Church ignored the fact he was victimizing children and put him in a position to victimize MORE CHILDREN....REPEATEDLY."

Cool. Apparently you're under the impression that none of us have read the history involving the Church and the sinners involved in it. I get the polemic value you think you're adding to this discussion, but you come off like a New Atheist I spend a lot of time defending the Church against. Just a fact. Now, go suck your thumb, and pretend we're all just saying kids are meant to be sexual toys.

February 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm PST
#44  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Ross Day (in particular, but others too):

Please learn to read.

I quoted from the Catholic League's newsletter. If you don't like its phrasing--such as its obvious use of "children" to refer to prepubescents--then take your complaint to the League. (In common parlance, people use "children" to refer to those under twelve or so and "teens" to refer to older minors, so I don't think the League's usage is unreasonable.)

My commentary (final five paragraphs) was exclusively about the fact that nowadays credible accusations against priests are very few, far fewer than are the credible accusations against, for example, public school teachers.

This is what I found interesting in the League's report, so this is what I commented on. You have spent hundreds of words drawing entirely unwarranted inferences about my beliefs about matters I didn't even address. I resent that and would appreciate your not writing anything further here.

February 18, 2014 at 7:32 pm PST
#45  David Kingsella - PORTLAND, Oregon

Karl,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to the concerns presented here.

You singled out Ross in particular, but then also referred to "others" as well. I think many of use posed legitimate concerns as to your comments and how they come off in tone. I will reiterate how much I appreciate both you and your ministry, but am curious if I and others who made comments in the same vain as mine are being lumped into the "others" too category. The reason I'm curious is that if that is the case, it does seem a bit dismissive of our concerns which I think we are certainly within our right to hold. I believe the comments I made to be sincere and charitable. If you see it differently I would love to know.

February 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm PST
#46  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

Karl Keating-

Please do not back away from your post. If you did not agree with the first "Myth", why post it? you edited other parts of the League's article, why include this alleged "myth".

This is your article, own it.

Read the introduction, how it is introduced, and read the first "myth". You - yes YOU - are claiming that it is a myth that children were the victims of child sex abuse in the church. Those are YOUR words. You adopted them as your own. After being caught, you now try to place the blame on the League. Cowardice at its best.

Why on God's green Earth, then, would you include the alleged first "myth" if you did not agree with it? you obviously agree that it is a myth that most victims of child sex abuse at the hands of priests were children.

You claim these are "unwarranted inferences", point to one that I have attributed to you. You included the article from the League in your "commentary". It is entirely reasonable to infer that you agree with the article. It is entirely reasonable for a reader to infer that you agree with everything you included in your post.

It is entirely reasonable to infer that you believe that most victims of child sex abuse at the hands of priests WERE NOT CHILDREN.

The FACT is that they were children. That is a fact. Not a myth.

You obviously believe otherwise. If you did not, you would not have included this in your post (especially when you edited other parts of the League's article out of your post).

The fact that you would support such a statement is absolutely reprehensible.

February 18, 2014 at 8:14 pm PST
#47  Ross Day - Keizer, Oregon

To the rest of you, I am passionate about this because I saw the damage the Church caused to these kids and these families first hand.

I saw Catholics who are supposed to want to help people, instead BLAME the victims. I saw parishoners blame the victims families.

I saw the Archdiocese of Portland deny anything happened. Then try to blame the victims. Then claim they had no idea the priests were abusing these kids.

Then finally, when there was no way the church could deny the abuse anymore, the Church finally fessed up and admitted they knew what was going on but turned a blind eye.

It was horrible. It was unbelievable. It was sinful.

This article posted by Karl Keating is more of the same. It is the same kind of "logic" the Church would use to try to convince itself that the Church did nothing wrong. It is called denial. It is very, very dangerous. It is the first step to the next crisis.

I am a Catholic, despite what many of you have said on here. I am a proud Catholic. I send my kids to Catholic school because I believe the Church has remedied its problems. I let my son be an altar server because I trust this won't happen again.

But when I read articles like this, it makes me wonder if "leaders" of the Church actually learned anything.

February 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm PST
#48  Karl Keating - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Ross Day:

1. I asked you not to post any further. I meant it. I don't need, for example, your baseless claim that what I wrote is "logic" that argues that "the Church did nothing wrong." For you to write that shows either your disingenuousness or your imbecility. (I know the latter is a strong word, but it's apt.)

Your passion about this issue doesn't absolve you from the duty to use clear thinking and fair language. You have failed in that duty, and that's why I've said I don't want you to post in this thread again. If you write anything further, you will be removed as a registered member at catholic.com.

2. As I said in my earlier comment, most people use "children" to refer to those under the age of puberty and some other term, such as "teens," to refer to older minors. When the terms are used this way, the League says it is a myth to say that most of the victims were "children" inasmuch as 95 percent of the victims were past the age of puberty.

The League wasn't trying to minimize the turpitude of the crimes against the adolescents. It was trying to draw a factual distinction, based on the John Jay study, because many people--including many in the media--deliberately use the word "children" to refer to all the victims and thereby (intentionally) leave others with the sense that nearly all of the victims were very young.

They do this for a reason: they don't want people to think the abuse scandal was chiefly (not exclusively, but chiefly) tied to homosexuality among priests.

From the John Jay data the League drew the conclusion that the chief problem--not the only problem, but the chief problem--was not pedophilia (which involves prepubescent children of both sexes) but homosexuality inasmuch as most of the victims were teenaged males.

I find the League's inference reasonable. If someone (other than Ross Day, who is estopped from writing further) doesn't find it so, feel free to make an argument--but fairly and with light, not heat.

February 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm PST
#49  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"I am a Catholic, despite what many of you have said on here. I am a proud Catholic."

Cool, I think we can all appreciate that. Maybe you can appreciate that we're all suffering from the sex abuse scandal. Perhaps you can recognize the fact, that some of us continue to battle stereotypes. I say battle, because it is a battle. Perhaps you could comment on the fact that there's been numerous false accusations involving fantastic, faithful priests. Nah, continue to bash them, along with the rest of us.

"It is the same kind of "logic" the Church would use to try to convince itself that the Church did nothing wrong. It is called denial. It is very, very dangerous. It is the first step to the next crisis."

If that's truly what you believe, the WTF are you doing leaving your kids in a Catholic school? Are you serious? It's getting harder and harder to take you seriously.

February 18, 2014 at 9:34 pm PST
#50  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

Gotta love google. And I quote

Ross Day ?@rday22 Aug 22
@RyanBraun_8 Your parents are probably embarrassed to even know you, let alone spawn you. You deserve to rot in hell.

February 18, 2014 at 10:02 pm PST
#51  Harry Ehmann - Bedford, Texas

Well, I'm glad that's settled then. :0

February 19, 2014 at 4:08 am PST
#52  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

My problem is that the same John Jay study used to come to this conclusion about homosexual priests being the chief cause of the priestly sex abuse crisis also goes to great pains to rule out homosexuality as even a minor cause. They cite good reasons and experts as to why this is not the case. Adults who molest minors don't do so because of any innate orientation, they do so out of a desire to control and because an opportunity to do so exists. This is why same-sex sexual activity is common in prisons, even though most inmates are heterosexual.

And my concern is that painting homosexuals as somehow responsible for the sexual abuse by priests is going to alienate homosexuals who are either in the church or are receptive to Catholic teaching. It feeds into the media's "us versus them" scenario when it comes to Catholicism and homosexuality. At such a critical point in history when it comes to this issue, we can't afford to surrender any more ground by clinging to falsehoods like this. It gives them a free argument to claim that we have no moral credibility on this issue. Surely we can argue that same-sex activity is immoral without making these erroneous suggestions that homosexuals prey on minors. We will convince no one, and will only ensure that our position is further undermined.

February 19, 2014 at 10:23 am PST
#53  Chris Patterson - Platte City, Missouri

Mr. Keating and Mr. Heinrich,

Referring to Mr. Heinrich's post #52, in part,
"My problem is that the same John Jay study used to come to this conclusion about homosexual priests being the chief cause of the priestly sex abuse crisis also goes to great pains to rule out homosexuality as even a minor cause. They cite good reasons and experts as to why this is not the case. Adults who molest minors don't do so because of any innate orientation, they do so out of a desire to control and because an opportunity to do so exists."

I'd like to see this point discussed more between the two of you, perhaps with some quotes from the reports.

Obviously as a practicing and orthodox Catholic, I don't approve of the practice of the homosexual lifestyle. But I don't think we should mix apples with oranges, so to speak. In other words, does the John Jay report produce evidence that a greater majority of abusing priests have homosexual preferences? Does it say the opposite? Does it contend there is a link, or that there is no link? Or does it leave that issue open?

Since both of you have read the report, I would appreciate some clarification in this thread.

Thanks.

Chris

February 19, 2014 at 11:56 am PST
#54  Gregory Luczywek - Palatine, Illinois

I think it is great text Mr. Keating. Form what I see from comments most people does not care about facts and are very angry when facts mess with their knowledge. I am working in the insurance industry and I can tell you that the insurance policy is not to admit liability and not to say you are sorry. The problem is that if for example medical procedure is found to sometimes cause problems, thanks to lawyers like Ross Day all people who got this procedure start to sue company (not only people really harmed). So the best way is make out of court agreement with people really harmed. And Ross Day - you are lawyer, and you understand written text, so you know that Mr. Keating did not defend or deny abusers, just wanted to better diagnose problem to better fight with it.

February 19, 2014 at 12:28 pm PST
#55  Richard Heinrich - Kansas City, Kansas

Mr. Patterson,

The John Jay report can be found in its entirety on the USCCB website (usccb.org), and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is in agreement with the findings of the John Jay report. It is a long and very detailed document, so it would be difficult to quote it at length or else this comment would take up a lot of space. However, you can scroll down to Chapter 3 and start reading from there, and it explains the difference between terms like "heterosexual", "homosexual", "pedophilia", and all other relevant issues that pertain to the problem of sexual abuse of minors.

I would start reading on page 62. Though here's a quote from their conclusion, "The data do not support a finding that homosexual identity and/or pre-ordination same-sex sexual behavior are significant risk factors for the sexual abuse of minors. The only significant risk factor related to sexual identity and behavior was a "confused" sexual identity, and this condition was most commonly found in abusers who were ordained prior to the 1960's."

This data is also consistent with other research of other sexual abuse of minors done in other contexts, as well as research into pedophilia and various other paraphilias.

Regardless of the study itself, the homosexual act is the sin, not the orientation. All humans are born in original sin, and we are all in a state of concupiscence (I may have misspelled that word, it's a tough one.) Homosexuals are no different from us in this regard, but their struggle is different. We should be condemning the act, but not conflating it with individual identities or with generalized people. Not only is it not Catholic teaching, but it also turns homosexuals away from the Church.

February 19, 2014 at 12:44 pm PST
#56  John Edwards - Velva, North Dakota

I wish people would stop refurring to people and/or members of the Catholic church as "the church", this gives the wrong impression to people inside and outside the Catholic faith.

If your using this language on this forum then I assume your using it in your personal conversations.

The Church can't be limited or marginalized to an individual or even a group of like minded individuals, it's a meta-physical organism that supercedes all men, that is to say that it's both physical AND spiritual.

When people make a statement like "The church covered it up" or "the church denied it" your lumping (perhaps unkowingly) all the magisterium and members together, as if to say that, the Pope called a meeting and everyone agreed with him that the sexual abuse scandal should be denied and if all else fails play dumb.

Be SPECIFIC when your talking about a person or group of people within the Catholic church... I still come across people that think the Pope sanctioned and promoted the crimes comitted by INDIVIDUALS during the spanish inquisition.

February 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm PST
#57  John Edwards - Velva, North Dakota

I am also interested in a comment made earlier, about how the millions that was given to the victims was insufficient, and then the question was posed "was this enough?", I would propose that no amount of compensation would be enough to undo the damage done.

Did the prosecutors of these cases actually believe that by giving these unfortunate people a million dollars or two, that they'd somehow be repairing something within them?

I wonder how many accusations could've been avoided if criminal charges were brought forward and no monetary compensation was provided... Plenty of people become wealthy and have to saturate their minds with drugs and alcohol, because MONEY cannot solve their internal struggles.

February 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm PST
#58  Chris Patterson - Platte City, Missouri

To Mr. Keating and Mr. Heinrich,

Richard, thanks for Post #55, saying, in part,
The John Jay report can be found in its entirety on the USCCB website (usccb.org), and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is in agreement with the findings of the John Jay report. It is a long and very detailed document, so it would be difficult to quote it at length or else this comment would take up a lot of space. However, you can scroll down to Chapter 3 and start reading from there, and it explains the difference between terms like "heterosexual", "homosexual", "pedophilia", and all other relevant issues that pertain to the problem of sexual abuse of minors.
I would start reading on page 62. Though here's a quote from their conclusion, "The data do not support a finding that homosexual identity and/or pre-ordination same-sex sexual behavior are significant risk factors for the sexual abuse of minors. The only significant risk factor related to sexual identity and behavior was a "confused" sexual identity, and this condition was most commonly found in abusers who were ordained prior to the 1960's."

Mr. Keating,
What are your thoughts on this post? I intend to look at the whole document later on. But it seems to indicate that the data does not confirm that same sex attraction are significant rist factors for sexual abuse of minors.

February 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm PST
#59  David Kingsella - PORTLAND, Oregon

John,

You are right, no amount of money can repair what was done by those in the Church who abused children. That said, I think it entirely appropriate that the Church (correct use of the term?) made payments to these individuals as some form of reparation and it is punitive in nature. A victim of negligence in auto accidents for instance who say lost a leg might receive monetary compensation as a result of a civil trial, separate from a criminal trial. It won't bring his leg back, but it seems just.

February 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm PST
#60  Chris Patterson - Platte City, Missouri

And, Richard, I agree with your statement that the homosexual act is a sin, not the orientation. The CCC, paragraphs 2357-2359, while not exhaustive, are at least helpful for us all to review regarding what the Church teaches on the subject.

The challenge is that when one shares that the orientation is gravely disordered, most who have that orientation take it very personally. So grace and timing are important in any discussion.

February 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm PST
#61  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

I think we should all have a hug, a group prayer session, ask God for forgiveness, move on and work on converting atheist's instead of fighting - which is exactly what the devil wants - over this past subject. It was a sad state of affairs and when prior to becoming Catholic, I used this against Catholics. Lets not use against ourselves anymore. Thanks for the post Mr Keating. I understand why you posted it and praise for you doing so.

February 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm PST
#62  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

Regarding homosexuality vs heterosexuality, so on and so forth, I strongly recommend this article written by a Catholic. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/03/against-heterosexuality?utm_content=buffera786e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Also, in all of this talk about sexual orientation, we should keep in mind that one's orientation should NOT matter if he is ordained into the priesthood as ANY sexual activity would be utterly reprehensible. Sex is specifically reserved for marriage, for procreation. The sooner we drill this in our heads the sooner we will realize that there is no need to worry about orientations. We will be able to explain why homosexuality is wrong, why molestation is wrong, adultery, and all such acts of 'love' 'domination' or 'passion'.

I mention all of this because I have been given the sense by several comments that we should be concerned about a priest's sexual orientation. At the very least, the Catholic League harps on this with extreme regularity. But we know and are taught the specific purpose of sex, and we know and are taught that every misuse is reprehensible. Please reflect on that, even though it's somewhat off the point. And maybe read the above mentioned article.

February 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm PST
#63  Steven Way - Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

Here's what the Vatican has said about the subject of homosexuals and ordination:

"From the time of the Second Vatican Council until today, various Documents of the Magisterium, and especially the Catechism of the Catholic Church, have confirmed the teaching of the Church on homosexuality. The Catechism distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies.

"Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstance can they be approved.

"Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. They are called to fulfil God's will in their lives and to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter

"In the light of such teaching, this Dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called "gay culture".

"Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate."

Source:
Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders, 4 November 2005

February 19, 2014 at 9:22 pm PST
#64  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

But to be clear, all deep seated sexual tendencies need to be overcome before priestly ordination. And any propagating of any 'culture' besides the 'family culture' would be against church teaching period.

February 20, 2014 at 5:47 am PST
#65  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

It pains me seeing Ross Day raving and ranting.
From comments #24 and #41 we gather that he is making a mere "lawyer-like arguments" because he is a lawyer and that he is as proud as a peacock. Ross, the Church needs humble members and not proud members.

Conclusions:

* Ross Day is a (PROUD) Catholic.
* He committed crimes (or rather his members commited them).
* He hid the crimes and did not disclose them.
* Lo and behold, he is insinuating innocent.
Let me tell you Ross, if you are to be subjected to a critical scrutiny from the standpoint of natural and human justice (let alone divine justice), your own life will be found to be a mess and you have been hiding it.

February 20, 2014 at 10:49 am PST
#66  Paul Porter - Mundelein, Illinois

Not sure the Catholic League is interpreting these statistics well but i'm glad they are trying to shed light on the media's apparent inability to present a balanced story.

Many of these priest may have been homosexual but sexual attraction all too often gets blamed as the issue. The same thing often happens in adult rape cases. This is not a case of sexually deprived hetero or homosexual men that simply tried to use children as a means of satisfying those desires.

Rape/molestation/abuse is almost 100% about power and control. Certainly there is a sexual factor that goes hand and hand with that. But these men had sexual dysfunctions that led them to believe that dominating young children was a way to establish control within their own lives.

VIRTUS, the program that is sponsored by the USCCB, does not back up the report that homosexuality is the cause of these crimes. Do not let this become a witch hunt for homosexuals within the church, but instead let it become a call to fight against the sexual dysfunction that is plaguing our society.

We cannot allows ourselves to make the same logical errors that the media makes by blaming homosexual men for these acts. That is no better then the media saying that single/celibacy is the cause of this. Let us do what we have done for 2000 years and shine the light of truth!

A helpful site that puts this issue into perspective.
http://www.themediareport.com/fast-facts/

February 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm PST
#67  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

The anger this article has incited from my point of view is based on a misunderstanding of the author's intent, or to put it more harshly, a failure to read the article for what it is actually saying and rushing to judgement. The article is simply pointing out facts that the media does not and will not shed light upon. In no way is he excusing abusive priests. The most poignant fact he states is thus: "Fact: Homosexual priests have been the problem. Proof: 81 percent of the victims have been male, and more than 95 percent have been postpubescent. When males have sex with postpubescent males, it is called homosexuality." In other words, remove homosexual priests and you have largely eliminated the abuse problem. It's a glaring and obvious fact that the gay-activists and their enablers such as the media will not address. The author is rightly pointing out that pedophilia is not the problem, homosexuality is. The only crime he has committed is stating the truth. And in today's politically charged environment where the truth takes back seat to that which tickles people's ears, a backlash is always inevitable.

February 21, 2014 at 3:50 am PST
#68  David Kingsella - PORTLAND, Oregon

AJ,

I'm not sure who you are referring to specifically that has posted as being "angry", but I posted earlier suggesting that the "tone" can come off as defensive. While Mr. Keating certainly was not excusing the actions of abusive priests, I do believe that the semantics that were being used in the quotes he offered can come off, in particular to those outside of the Church, as if excuses are being made. Frankly they sound they way to me as a Catholic.

Again, I do not know specifically for who you intended your post, but I find it a bit offensive that when folks present a differing view point that others seem to make the claim that they do not "read" the article or are "rushing to judgement" as you and others have suggested. Sometimes, well informed, well read, knowledgeable folks can simply have a differing point of view...which I thought was the point of posting comments after all.

With regards to the point you reiterated on homosexual priest being the problem..."When males have sex with postpubescent males, it is called homosexuality", keep in mind that the sex you are referring to is non-consensual. That's like saying when an adult woman is forced by an adult male to have sex that "When males have sex with postpubescent females, it is called heterosexuality"...no it is called rape.

February 21, 2014 at 11:37 am PST
#69  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

David-

You are missing the forest by only viewing the trees. Understand this: Remove homosexual priests, remove the problem. Why is that hard for you to understand? The author is correct, homosexuality is the problem...not phedophilia, not rape, not anything else.

February 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm PST
#70  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

Dear Ross Day

I deeply appreciate your courage in your former role and your strength you have shown in this post.

I believe Jesus will bless you for these actions

Karl Keating

This one of the most disgusting and evil posts I have ever seen on any site on the internet.

As Catholics we deserve all the bad press and accusations we get and Love Your Enemies and as Jesus said

38"You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' 39"But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40"If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.…

As Catholics our true role should be reaching out with the most deepest, truest, contrite feelings for the victims of child rape.

How many articles have you written Karl on the personal perspective of a child rape victim and their spiritual and emotional healing.

I presume you as child/teenager (or any of your children) have never an adult priest force his erect penis into your anus.

Because if you have your view on this issue would be much more like Ross Day.

And then to throw in a quoted "joke" in the end shows how much contempt you have for the victims and Jesus's teachings on ‘Love your neighbor as yourself

February 22, 2014 at 12:19 am PST
#71  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

P.S. Writings like this, at times, seriously challenge my Catholicism but never my faith in God.

February 22, 2014 at 12:22 am PST
#72  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

Laurence Byron

You are priding yourself as being sympathetic towards the victims of the shameless priests; calling Karl's post "the most disgusting and evil posts ... on the internet", and quoting scripture out of context in this case either to gain the praise of the victims or of non-Catholics. Why can't you understand Karl's simple piece of writing in which he simply wanted to remove the lies the secular world are attaching to the truth of the most vicious and pernicious lives of some of our priests. His post never implies that he is exonerating the local church involved or that he is unsympathetic towards the victims.
Again you said that this sort of writing challenges your catholicism and not your faith in God thereby making catholicism and faith in God two different things. My advice to you concerning this statement is:
If are a convert to the Catholic Church from other religions, make more research; or
If you are a cultural Catholic rise up from your ignorance and/or slumber.

Keating!

Do not be afraid. Go ahead.

February 22, 2014 at 3:39 am PST
#73  Steve Posson - Pacific Grove, California

What a mess!
As a physician, I do not treat a group of people at a time, I treat individuals. For that to be effective the correct diagnosis is one of the first steps I undertake. I don't treat pedophiles although some of my patients are pedophiles. I don't treat murderers, although some of my patients are murderers. I don't treat rapists although some of my patients are rapists. I treat them as individuals and knowing the pathology is critical if we are ever going to get to healing.

Some writers on this thread would suggest that each of these crimes against children are the same. They are not. Because the pathology that contributes to them is different.

The legal system is only interested in determining how much time the offenders will spend in jail, or how much restitution they can get out of the offenders pockets. After that, the offenders are off to the department of corrections.

So once the lawyers and judges throw them away in prison and forget about them it is up to me to try and help them.

If it is critical on the individual level to get to a correct diagnosis before finding the proper treatment, it is critical on the societal level as well. We must learn to call each crime/sin what it really is if we are ever going to take effective steps to fix it.

We need to make distinctions where it is appropriate to do so. We need to give up our prejudices in order to see the problem for what it truly is.

So let's all try to be a little more charitable and help society get to a correct diagnosis, both for the good of society and for the good of the offender.

Please all of you, pray that the Holy Spirit will guide each of us who deal with these offenders on a daily basis.

February 22, 2014 at 7:34 am PST
#74  Dale Milne - Greeley, Colorado

Thank you, Mr. Keating, for the corrections and clarifications. Most religious, political, and moral discussions I participate in are with non-Catholics. Now and again an accusation against Catholic priests is made – not a point germane to a particular discussion, but as part of a passionate condemnation of religion in general and Christianity in particular. I appreciate the terminological and juridical distinctions between [homosexual] “pedophile” and [non-pedophile] “homosexual,” the observation that nearly a fifth of the victims have been female (which I think deserves more attention than has been given, not just because the relational dynamics between men and women are different, but because it seems a solution to this aspect would be so much easier to implement than a solution for the other four-fifths of the problem),

It is good that the number of incidents is diminishing; I would like to see detailed statistics on that change. A now defunct website once reported on teacher-student sexual (and other) abuse. The reports were absolutely shocking. Even a few years ago it was so bad, that as a non-Catholic, I would have trusted my children more to a Catholic priest than to a public school teacher. One site I found recently, Child Refuge, unfortunately lists only a small fraction incidents.

Mr. Keating referred to John Jay College of Criminal Justice. On their site I found a quote (relating to a report on "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010"): "The bulk of cases occurred decades ago," said Karen Terry, PhD., John Jay's principal investigator for the report. "The increased frequency of abuse in the 1960s and 1970s was consistent with the patterns of increased deviance of society during that time." In other words, from my perspective, misconduct by Catholic priests was “par for the course.” It was what the general society “wanted” whether it knew it wanted it or not. “Free Love” and all that. Even good people are corrupted by bad societies. (And please, folks, I am not “excusing” anything.) That report is currently at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Causes-and-Context-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-in-the-United-States-1950-2010.pdf.

Another pertinent report, “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002” is currently at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf. People would do well to read full reports and digest what they read, before jumping to attack the Messenger for a message which by its necessary brevity cannot make full account of the reasoning and evidence for the conclusions it shares.

Granted, JJCCJ is a “lawful” (pun intended) enterprise, it is no wonder that its definitions are as tortured as they are. Yet such labored definitions are exactly what courts are accustomed to use in determining guilt and innocence as well as the specifics of actual crimes. For example:

“One way of categorizing offenders, for example, is by the type of victim they choose. Some child sexual abusers are diagnosed as pedophiles, meaning that they exhibit recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, urges or behaviors related to sexual contact with a prepubescent child over a period of at least six months duration.2 However, not all sexual abuse occurs with young children, and not all child sexual abusers fit this clinical diagnosis. Some researchers have identified a similar condition, ephebophilia, which refers to individuals who exhibit these same fantasies, urges or behaviors towards post-pubescent youths. While some offenders evidence a clear preference for particular types of victims with regard to age and gender, many do not. Individuals who molest children may be heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual with regard to victim selection. Child sexual abusers who prefer female victims are more likely to be diagnosed as pedophiles than those who prefer male children while child sexual abusers who prefer male victims tend to target boys who are slightly older.”

It is not my fault, nor do I believe it is Mr. Keating’s fault, that Lawyers and Judges attempt to legalistically clarify this subject as they do, and regardless of the common murkiness that results in the minds of less legalistic minded people. I would be remiss to pretend it is even that simple, if I were to omit the report’s alternative manner of categorizing “offenders”:

“A second way of categorizing offenders is based on the factors believed to produce the offending behavior. The most widely accepted classification of child molesters follows a dichotomous model consisting of fixated offenders and regressed offenders. A fixated offender is characterized as having a persistent, continual, and compulsive attraction to children. In contrast, regressed offenders are individuals who are primarily attracted to adults, but who are perceived to engage in sexual activity with children in response to particular stressors (e.g., marital problems and unemployment) or contextual variables (e.g., stress or loneliness). Subsequent research has demonstrated that while these two concepts are still important in terms of describing sexual abusing types, this classification alone is not sufficiently nuanced to describe the complexities of child sexual abusers. Instead, fixation can be understood to exist on a continuum, meaning that all offending behavior is likely to result from some varying degrees of a combination of stable personal characteristics (e.g., substance abuse) with contextual variables (e.g., depression). It is clear that multiple subtypes of offenders exist within the population of sex offenders; however, there is no single classification system that has strong empirical support.”

And that’s just a tiny peek at what’s in these reports. Anyone interested in this subject and wanting to be even better prepared than they already are, to argue their points, should curl up with these two reports and slog through them. They are genuinely interesting and are packed with powerful information.

It was not the Catholic Church (per se) that was the problem, and it is not Catholic priests (per se) who are the problem. It is the acts and legalistic shenanigans of those who wish to seduce and to reduce moral restrictions, to encourage the broadening of sexual license, to replace clear standards with lax permissivism, to depose mature accountability in exchange for futile juvenile relativism, to ignore the lessons of history, and to place free reign of passions (e.g., anger and rash action) above intelligent reason (e.g., constructive dialogue).

February 22, 2014 at 11:07 am PST
#75  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

The replies on here are unreal. Remove homosexual priests and you remove the problem??? Really??? That's the solution? How ignorant can you be of the purpose of sexuality and how it relates, or rather should not relate, to the priesthood. As I stated above, maybe all of this has to do with vulnerability. Maybe more indecent acts between male priests and boys because there was more widespread opportunity. How much opportunity is there for a so-called 'heterosexual' priest to prey on adolescent girls. We have to take into account opportunity and vulnerability before we come down so harshly on 'homosexual' priests.

I get the sense that most people would prefer a heterosexual priest??? Again, as I've stated, any sexual act commited by a priest is mortally sinful and somehow this message wasn't being properly related to priests during this abuse era. Every priest must give their sexuality over to God to fully accept his vocation.

February 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm PST
#76  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

Making a distinction between a priest having sex with a 4 year old as opposed to a 14 year old follows the same line of reasoning that pro-abortionists use. Killing a child is a heinous act no matter the age. A priest having sex is a heinous act, no matter the age or gender of the child. WE CATHOLICS should NOT give the time of day to categories and classifications. We concern ourselves with reconciling our brothers, these fallen priests, to God's grace, and to finding ways to show the love of Christ to these poor victims who suffered so.

February 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm PST
#77  david socha - newhall, California

Karl, I thought it was an informative article....I have 4 young children....and I couldn't imagine if something like this would have happened to my children.

My personal opinion is that you should have put some other facts in there...that are readily available...

The fact of the matter is that other religions, churches and denominations have much higher rates of sexual abuse. We need remember that to be a Catholic priest takes years of schooling not to mention the background checks and the psych analysis....even with that, we are all human.

We need to remember that we follow Jesus Christ first. The actions of some of his "servants" sometimes don't reflect an ounce of what Our Lord and Savior was about.

Keep up the great work...this was definitely a hot button and I am impressed you hit it head on.

February 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm PST
#78  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

Bret- My comments, as well as from others, are totally real and truthful. Not to be mean-spirited, but you as well as a lot of others are simply deluded.

It's valid to assume that most priests are heterosexual. Yet since only a minority of priests have homosexual inclinations but the vast majority of abuse victims are male and post-pubescent, the obvious facts are that homosexuality is the problem. So yes, if there were no priests with homosexual struggles this very article would not be written and there would be no abuse scandal.

So sad that you and others cannot see the obvious due to political correctness. Also, all of you who see this article as making excuses for the abuse scandal are simply reading what you want to read--the truth is your political leanings (most likely left-wing) are getting in the way of the truth.

February 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm PST
#79  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

I would like to say that it's a known fact that left-wing organizations pay people to post comments against articles which run contrary to their political view-points They are sometimes known as trolls. I have no doubt some of the comments here attacking Mr. Keating are indeed trolls.

February 23, 2014 at 2:23 pm PST
#80  Benjamin Holmes - San Diego, California

The hierarchy's initial response was horrid and inadequate, that is a fact. It destroyed the faith of millions, that is a fact. The effects of the sex abuse scandal are still lingering, fact. Look at the utter collapse of the faith in once "Catholic fortress" Ireland.

Yes, abuse happens in other denominations and secular institutions, but the Church of God is supposed to rise above mere mortal entities, serve as the point of God in the world.

February 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm PST
#81  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

Benjamin-

Folks like you who rant about this article don't actually counter the facts displayed in the article itself, but rather re-direct the debate to something that no one is here is actually debating, including the author, and I refer to the fact that the Church failed in protecting people from abusive priests. Now, would you like to provide data that counters what the actual article is about? Would anyone? I have not seen it yet from the peanut gallery....just distraction attacks. That tells me the author is right on the money and a massive FAIL is earned from those who attack the author's article.

February 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm PST
#82  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

I would also like to critique further the comment by Brett above:

"WE CATHOLICS should NOT give the time of day to categories and classifications."

This is a grave error in thought. What Brett is saying here is that there is nothing to be gained by examining the root cause of a problem, or to try to understand a problem more deeply. Apparently we are to refrain from looking deeper than the mere surface of an issue.

One point that the article clearly demonstrates is that homosexuality is the root cause of the abuse starting in the first place. Sure, if the Church had taken a different course of action when abuse was first reported about a priest, there would have been much less abuse. But that in itself does to address the core problem: the Church must do a better job of making sure that priest candidates are more carefully screened before going into the priesthood, and if priests have issues with homosexual feelings it would be better they do not work with boys, especially teen-agers----ever.

The Boy Scouts are wise to resist calls from gay activists and their enablers to let gay adults work with scouts. That is an invitation to disaster---have we not learned from something from the priestly abuse scandal? I find it quite ironic how one one hand the gay lobby will scoff at the Church's failings in dealing with the abuse scandal, but on the other hand advocate allowing gay to be Boy Scout Leaders?

February 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm PST
#83  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

Boy Scout leaders aren't called to complete sexual chastity. You think my leanings are left? Or that I'm worried about being politically correct? You say I'm not seeing the root problem? All I'm trying to get at is the 'root' issue....which is that we are speaking in pointless binary language Which opposes 'heterosexual' priests and 'homosexual' priests when 'sexual' should never be prefixed to priest at all. I was trying to point out that somewhere along the way priests weren't being properly trained to give their sexuality to God and, as a result, those struggling with this sin of lust or dominance (or whatever it is that makes one individual rape another) took advantage of these vulnerable kids.

I also questioned whether or not there was more opportunity for these weak priests to take advantage of males than females. How much more interaction took place between between priests and male children. And in acting in this way, by abusing these kids, are they really acting on homosexual urges???

To bring back your boyscouts analogy: there may very well be 'heterosexual' predators leading among the boyscouts but we will never know because the scouts are strictly male!!! There are just too many things to take into account before we just start removing 'homosexual' priests. Each case was different into itself. Each priest has his own struggle. And we can't just try to create this scenario where all priest are suppressing heterosexuals.

February 23, 2014 at 7:48 pm PST
#84  Bret Powell - Eldon, Missouri

Boy Scout leaders aren't called to complete sexual chastity. You think my leanings are left? Or that I'm worried about being politically correct? You say I'm not seeing the root problem? All I'm trying to get at is the 'root' issue....which is that we are speaking in pointless binary language Which opposes 'heterosexual' priests and 'homosexual' priests when 'sexual' should never be prefixed to priest at all. I was trying to point out that somewhere along the way priests weren't being properly trained to give their sexuality to God and, as a result, those struggling with this sin of lust or dominance (or whatever it is that makes one individual rape another) took advantage of these vulnerable kids.

I also questioned whether or not there was more opportunity for these weak priests to take advantage of males than females. How much more interaction took place between between priests and male children. And in acting in this way, by abusing these kids, are they really acting on homosexual urges???

To bring back your boyscouts analogy: there may very well be 'heterosexual' predators leading among the boyscouts but we will never know because the scouts are strictly male!!! There are just too many things to take into account before we just start removing 'homosexual' priests. Each case was different into itself. Each priest has his own struggle. And we can't just try to create this scenario where all priest are suppressing heterosexuals.

February 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm PST
#85  A J - Exton, Pennsylvania

Brett-

You said, "And in acting in this way, by abusing these kids, are they really acting on homosexual urges???"

You bet they are. You as well as others have bought into the lie that sexual abuse and/or rape is about all about "power." Go ahead and believe this lie if you choose. Also, if you choose to believe that priests who abused boys were choosing boys over girls because they got more pleasure excessing power over boys than girls, then again it's your choice to believe this lie as well.

Your comment about boy scout leaders not being called to complete chastity is disturbing to me. Are you suggesting that seducing boys is OK for boy scout leaders but wrong for priests? I would hope not.

I do not believe that it's realistic or desirable to remove or ban homosexual priests. Homosexual feelings are not sinful, but acting on them is. The reality here is that the Church has not addressed homosexuality adequately and has been too tolerate to those who break their vows, or communicating to those that enter the priesthood that as you say, they should be trained to hand their sexual feelings over to God and work on them (even through therapy).

You, as well as others on this forum, are skirting the central issue here, is that homosexuality is the problem. Because homosexuality has become almost the new "normal" in our decadent and corrupt society, and criticism of their behavior is seen as "hatred." We are entering a very disturbing future where standing up to the world will be greeted by persecution.

February 24, 2014 at 4:12 am PST
#86  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

Myth Busting the Myth Buster

Myth Buster - term is taken from the TV series of the same name.

Definition - a general definition would be:

To take a myth (a widely held but false belief or idea) and to test if it is true or not, by experimentation or by providing substantial evidence

February 24, 2014 at 11:18 am PST
#87  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

People with strong skills to "debunk" a myth are:

Scientists - by experimentation
Lawyers and Apologetics - by providing substantial evidence and agruement

Karl Keating has strong skills in Myth Busting

Scientist - Undergraduate degree in Applied Maths
Lawyer - attorney practicing civil law
Apologetic - Since late 1980's

February 24, 2014 at 11:28 am PST
#88  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

Karl Keating's central Myth

"several myths regarding priestly sexual abuse, myths that the media repeat ad infinitum:"

Busted

No analysis or evidence is provided to establish if these "media myths" actually exist or not.

February 24, 2014 at 11:47 am PST
#89  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

Analysis of Media on Child Abuse

Basic analysis could of been found by an internet search of "analysis of media on child abuse"

The 5th search result is the "News Coverage of Child Sexual Abuse" by Berkeley Media Studies Group of the Public Health Institute.

http://www.bmsg.org/resources/publications/issue-19-case-by-case-news-coverage-of-child-sexual-abuse

The article clearly defines it methodology, in it's analysis and is substantiated by 35 footnotes.

Another example is from University of Minnesota Duluth - Magazine Coverage of Child Sexual Abuse, 1992–2004

http://www.d.umn.edu/~jmaahs/Crime%20and%20Media/pdf%20files/Summer%202012/magazine%20coverage%20of%20child%20sex%20abuse.pdf

February 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm PST
#90  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

The Article quoted by Karl Keating comes from the online Magazine - Catalyst - produced by
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

http://www.catholicleague.org/category/catalyst/

Analysis was carried out to identify the magazines general view point on Child Abuse.

Does it write from the viewpoint or for defence of Victims?
Does it write from the viewpoint and defence of the Institution of the Catholic Church?
Is it open or neutral or open on the issue?

Articles where research for January 2013 to February 2014. 48 articles where identified on the topic of Child Abuse.

February 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm PST
#91  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

VICTIMS VIEWPOINT
1. Hypocrites At The Onion

CHURCH VIEWPOINT
1. FACTS ABOUT PRIESTLY SEXUAL ABUSE
2. MSGR. LYNN FREED
3. Archbishop Nienstedt Deserves Justice
4. No Priest Is Safe
5. In Defense Of Archbishop Nienstedt
6. Attacks On Minnesota Archdiocese Widen
7. Rogue Lawyer Loses
8. Cardinal Dolan’s Milwaukee Deposition
9. Letterman Libels Pope And Priests
10. Conan Lands Low Blow
11. Usa Today Flags Letterman’s Bigotry
12. Cardinal Dolan’s Milwaukee Deposition
13. U.N. Attacks Vatican
14. Jeselnik Is Offensive
15. Exposing Catholic Whistleblowers
16. Injustice In Philadelphia
17. Lies Of The Magdalene Laundries
18. Four Catholic Men Framed
19. Corrupt Nj Papers And Pols
20. Double Standard
21. Star-Ledger’s War On Archbishop Myers
22. Bill Maher’s Ugly History
23. Unsubstantiated Accusations
24. Sally Quinn’s Voodoo Exercise
25. Stewart Gets Into The Gutter Again
26. Hbo’s Plepler Needs To Move On Maher
27. Snap In Panic Mode
28. Selective “Victims” Bill Resurrected
29. Accused Priests And Rabbis
30. Maher And Snl Get Dirty
31. Letterman, The Pope, And His Shrink
32. New York Times Gets Malicious
33. Andrew Sullivan Should Not Throw Stones
34. Alex Gibney Libels The Pope
35. Bishop Finn And The Catholic Left

OPEN OR NEUTRAL
1. Gov. Brown Vetoes Abuse Bill; Victory For Fairness
2. Gov. Brown’s Key Ruling
3. California Bill Stalls; Catholic Response Is Huge
4. Pope Cracks Down On Sex Abuse
5. Journal Sentinel Shows Its Bias
6. California Scheming; Bill Nails Church
7. Donohue Contacts California Lawmakers
8. Pope Lawsuit Tossed
9. Injustice In Philadelphia
10. State Dept. Pedophilia Cover-Up?
11. Newark Priest Resigns
12. Mark Thompson Gets A Pass

February 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm PST
#92  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

Victim Viewpoint Article

During this year’s Oscars, The Onion (online magazine)made an comment on its Twitter account about actress Quvenzhané Wallis, using an obscenity to refer to the 9-year-old girl. After fielding a ton of complaints, Greg Hughes, who issued the tweet, finally admitted that his remarks were “crude and offensive,” saying that no one “should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.” Steve Hannah, The Onion’s CEO.

February 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm PST
#93  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

Myth

The Catalyst Magazine is a Reliable Source on Child Abuse

Articles

Viewpoint from A Child Abuse Victim......................... - 1 ...- 2%
Viewpoint from the Institution of the Catholic Church ..- 35 - 73%
Open or Neutral..................................................... - 12 - 25%

It can be strongly argue that the Catalyst article about the Onion magazine and those categorised as open or neutral are thinly disguised as being from the viewpoint of defending the Institution of the Catholic Church

Busted

The Catalyst magazine has a extreme bias in trying to protect the institution of the Catholic Church in Child Abuse articles.

The Catalyst magazine has a Complete Bias Against reporting news or views from the perspective of Catholic Child Abuse Victims.

Catalyst magazine is biased and not a reliable source.

February 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm PST
#94  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

John Jay College of Criminal Justice Report

The Catalyst magazine is based upon the John Jay College of Criminal Justice "Report"

There are in fact 4 Reports by

1 .The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010

2. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States

3. Nature and Scope Study - 2006 Supplementary Report

4.Child Sexual Abuse: A Review of the Literature, 2004

It is presumed the Catalyst refers to:

"The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002"

February 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm PST
#95  David Biddulph - Fredericksburg, Virginia

Saw a bit of "Frontline" yesterday. Talk about a smear campaign.

February 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm PST
#96  Mary Hogan - Long Beach, California

This is am extremely sensitive topic, and I don't think any one would try to excuse any person for taking advantage of a child in this manner, nor excuse those who should have been overseeing what's going on in the Church under their jurisdiction. But the fact is I doubt we have very few bishops who are license Social Workers and have ever been trained in how to deal with this type of atrocity. Is this any excuse for their behavior, no. Sadly many of our bishops have become more like politicians and are involved all these hot, political topics, rather than tending to His flock. Women religious post Vatican II became more involved in modernizing everything in their lives, rather than being the backbone to a parish community. So for the most part their vocations were lost, and their communities dead. This problem in the Church is like a can of worms and has no one sure shot answer. Yet a variety of professionals are guilty of this crime like doctors or school teachers, but pay off the media to keep it quiet.

February 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm PST
#97  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002

Methodology

The research for the report was conducted through a questionnaire sent to all parishes, etc. There was an extremely high rate of return of these questionnaires. This has given an very high empirical understanding of the problem.

Potential for Skewed Results

1. Sexual crimes have the lowest rates of reporting for all crimes.

2. The younger the victim, the less likely they are to report the allegation. A 12 month old baby can hardly even talk, a four year old does not have a clear understanding of sexual transgression and a 17 year old is more likely to stand up for themselves.

3. From the 1960's society became a lot more open across a broad range of issues. The earlier the period, e.g. 1950's, the less likely the abuse may be reported.

4. There was no compulsion to fill out the questionnaire.

5. The earlier the period the less likely records or memory is to exist of allegations made.

Note: Comprehensive Literature Review was conducted on the topic. Unfortunately, little was conducted from before the 1950's. For example Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church - Keenan, provides a starting point for research for understanding child abuse across the full history (e.g Council of Elvira - 309 AD and the Council of Trent - 1545-1563) of the Catholic Church (p22). In 1870, St Mary MacKillop of the Cross made allegations of Child Sexual Abuse against Father Ambrose Keating.

Conclusion

With an understanding of potential for skewing, this report can be viewed as highly credible and extremely well researched.

February 26, 2014 at 4:50 pm PST
#98  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

The Catalyst Article states

"Since more than 95 percent of all the victims of priestly sexual abuse, as reported by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, are NOT PREPUBESCENT, that means that ADOLESCENTS have been the primary victims"

Definition of Puberty

Is a normal phase of development that occurs when a child's body transitions into an adult body and readies for the possibility of reproduction.

There is a complex period of development, with no clear "Start" and "End". The stages of development vary greatly between individuals.

A strict medical definition of adolescence is provided by the Canadian Paediatric Society

Adolescence begins with the onset of physiologically normal puberty, and ends when an adult identity and behaviour are accepted. This period of development corresponds roughly to the period between the ages of 10 and 19 years, which is consistent with the World Health Organization’s definition of adolescence.

A common definition by the University of Maryland Medical

The development of children ages 12 through 18 years old is expected to include predictable physical and mental milestones.

The Stages of Puberty

The American Academy of Paediatrics states:

The mean take off of Puberty in children growing at an average rate:

Boys.....11 years
Girls.......9 years

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/102/Supplement_3/507.full

The website Puberty101.com provides and excellent breakdown of the stages of puberty

5 Stages of Puberty for Boys

Normal Age Range: 9-12
Average: about 10

Male hormones are becoming active, but there are hardly, if any, outside signs of development. Testicles are maturing, and some boys start a period of rapid growth late in this stage.

Normal Age Range: 9-15
Average: 12-13

Testicles and scrotum begin to enlarge, but penis size doesn’t increase much. Very little, if any, pubic hair at the base of the penis. Increase in height and change in body shape.

Normal Age Range: 11-16
Average: 13-14

Penis starts to grow in length, but not much in width. Testicles and scrotum still growing. Pubic hair starts to get darker and coarser and is spreading towards the legs. Height growth continues and body/face shape look more adult. Voice begins to deepen (and crack). Some hair around the anus grows.

Normal Age Range: 11-17
Average: 14-15

Penis width increases, as well as length. Testicles and scrotum still growing. Pubic hair begins to take adult texture, although covers a smaller area. Most boys have first ejaculations. Underarm hair develops. Facial hair increases on chin and upper lip. Voice gets deeper and skin gets more oily.

Normal Age Range: 14-18
Average: around 16

Nearing full adult height and physique. Pubic hair and genitals have adult appearance. Facial hair grows more completely and shaving may begin now or soon. During the late teens and early twenties, some men grow a bit more and develop more body hair, especially chest hair.

5 Stages of Puberty for Girls

Age Range: Usually 8-11

In Stage 1 there are no outside signs of development, but a girl’s ovaries are enlarging and hormone production is beginning.

Age Range: Usually 8-14
Average: 11-12

The first sign is typically the beginning of breast growth, including “breast buds.” A girl may also grow considerable height and weight. The first signs of pubic hair start out fine and straight, rather than curly.
Age Range: Usually 9-15

Average: 12-13

Breast growth continues, and pubic hair coarsens and becomes darker, but there still isn’t a lot of it. Your body is still growing, and your vagina is enlarging and may begin to produce a clear or whitish discharge, which is a normal self-cleansing process. Some girls get their first menstrual periods late in this stage.

Age Range: Usually 10-16
Average: 13-14

Pubic hair growth takes on the triangular shape of adulthood, but doesn’t quite cover the entire area. Underarm hair is likely to appear in this stage, as is menarche. Ovulation (release of egg cells) begins in some girls, but typically not in a regular monthly routine until Stage 5.

Age Range: Usually 12-19
Average: 15

This is the final stage of development, when a girl is physically an adult. Breast and pubic hair growth are complete, and your full height is usually attained by this point. Menstrual periods are well established, and ovulation occurs monthly.

February 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm PST
#99  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

The author of the Catalyst article (who does not name themselves), tries to make a strict medical distinct between puberty and adolescence. As described above, the period of puberty is complex.

When does puberty start? When the very first hormonal changes start but there is no outward signs of development? When the very first pubic hair or nipple buds start to show?

While there are no universally accepted definitions of adolescence and youth, the United Nations understands adolescents to include persons aged 10-19 years and youth as those between 15- 24 years for statistical purposes.

If you ask a parent to define a adolescent a very common answer would be a teenager or youth. Not many parents would describe their 9 year old showing early signs of puberty as an adolescent.

A very important distinction needs to be made between the very earliest start of puberty and peak puberty transitional phase.

Though originating as a marketing term, "tween" has became a common definition of the transitional stage between 8 and 12.

The urbandictionary.com provides an excellent definition, particularly in the context of a child abuse definition:

Tween - A girl - ages about 9-14...Too Old for Toys, but Too Young for Boys.

Myth

Without providing any type of definition the Catalyst articles tries to state that "prepubescent" to "adolescents" have a extremely distinct period of starting and being.

Busted

The author of the Catalyst article is literally splitting (pubic) hairs.

February 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm PST
#100  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

The Catalyst articles states "Since more than "95 PERCENT" of all the victims of priestly sexual abuse, as reported by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, are not prepubescent."

That is, 5% of victims are pre-pubescent.

From the above the references (American Academy of Paediatrics and puberty101) to puberty, a demonstrative age, for both sexes, will be taken of:

Start of Puberty.....10 years old
Adolescence..........11 - 15 years
Post- Pubescent.....16 - 17 years

The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002- p. 70

Table 4.3.2 - VICTIM’S AGE AT FIRST INSTANCE OF ABUSE

Age.....Percentage

1.................0.0%
2.................0.1%
3.................0.2%
4.................0.5%
5.................1.0%
6.................1.8%
7.................2.5%............6.10% - Catalyst - Start of Puberty
8.................4.1%
9.................4.0%
10...............8.4%...........22.60% - Start of Puberty
11.............10.0%
12 ............14.7%
13.............12.8%
14.............13.2%
15.............11.6%..........62.30% - Adolescence
16...............8.6%
17...............6.5%..........37.70% - Post-Puberty

Possible Incorrect Ages - They Maybe Younger

The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002 .....

"If abuse is reported years after it occurred, there may be errors in the accuracy of the report due to “telescoping,”

the likelihood that an individual will report the event as happening earlier or later than it actually occurred. Several social science studies have tested the telescoping phenomenon.

Several studies found that forward-telescoping, or recalling a past event as having occurred more recently than it actually did, is more prevalent than backward telescoping." p. 84

That is, there is a strong possibility that the Ages are Actually Younger than shown above.

February 27, 2014 at 7:02 pm PST

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