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

#101  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

------- CORRECTION -------

POST-PUBERTY TOTAL

16 - 17 YEARS OLD.........15.10%

------- CORRECTION -------

February 27, 2014 at 8:14 pm PST
#102  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

The Catalyst articles 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 references to the "start" of puberty, a demonstrative age will be taken of 10 years old for the start of puberty for boys and girls. A demonstrative age of 15 years will be taken for post- pubescent for both sexes.

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%............Catalyst - 5% Start of Puberty 6.10%
8.................4.1%
9.................4.0%
10...............8.4%...........22.60% - Start of Puberty
11.............10.0%
12 .............14.7% ..........12-13 Post-Puberty
13.............12.8%
14.............13.2%
15.............11.6%..........62.30% - Adolescence
16...............8.6%
17...............6.5%..........15.10% - Real Post-Puberty

Myth

The Catalyst article states that 5% of Child Abuse Victims where pre- pubescent.

Busted

The Table from the report CLEARLY SHOWS that 22.6% of CHILD ABUSE VICTIMS were PRE- PUBESCENT.

THIS SHOWS THAT KARL KEATING HAS NOT EVEN READ "The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950-2002".

THIS IS OF COURSE UNLESS KARL KEATING SEE'S PUBERTY STARTING AT 6 1/2 YEARS OLD.

The Real Total of Pre-Pubescent Child Abuse

As stated earlier there are several factors that can skew the reported Age of Child Abuse Victims

1. Sexual crimes have the lowest rate of reporting of all crimes

2. The younger the victim the less likely they are to be able to report the crime. Remember a baby cannot talk.

3. With "telescoping" Child Abuse is often reported as being an older age than the event actually happened

Making a modest increase to due to these skewing factors, the ages of Child Abuse maybe:

Age....Reported....Adjustment.....New
1...........0.00%...........0.10%...........0.10%
2...........0.10%...........0.10%...........0.20%
3...........0.20%...........0.10%...........0.30%
4...........0.50%...........0.18%...........0.68%
5...........1.00%...........0.25%...........1.25%
6...........1.80%...........0.60%...........2.40%
7...........2.50%...........0.70%...........3.20%
8...........4.10%...........1.00%...........5.10%
9...........4.00%...........1.00%...........5.00%
10.........8.40%...........2.00%..........10.40%
Total...22.60%...........6.03%..........28.63%

With these skewing factors taken from the "report" or logically inferred:

It can be strongly argued that now the PRE-PUBESCENT CHILD ABUSE could be 28.3%.

MYTH

The Pre-Pubescent Child Abuse is 5%

BUSTED

Pre-Pubescent Child Abuse could be close to 30%

6 TIMES THE FIGURE KARL KEATING QUOTES

MYTH

The Catalyst article that KARL KEATING QUOTES states "... and more than 95 percent have been postpubescent."

BUSTED

Suddenly 95% of Child Abuse Victims quoted as Adolescents have now become 95% Post-Pubescent

Post-Pubescent is after Adolescence is complete. Adolescence is the period of Puberty

The official figure from the "Report" for Post-Puberty is 15.1% not 95%

AGAIN KARL KEATING MISS QUOTES FIGURES - POST-PUBESCENCE BY 6 TIMES

March 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm PST
#103  Laurence Byron - Gundagai - Australia,

MYTH

Homosexuals have been the problem as

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.

After further investigation it appears the author of the Catalyst article is Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

In an interview on CNN Larry King Live - Bill Donohue broadly expressed the above allegation that Homosexuals where the problem and that as

DONOHUE: It's not pedophelia. Most of the victims are post- pubescent. You have to get your facts straight. I'm sorry. If I'm the only one who is dealing with facts tonight, that's it. The vast majority of the victims are post-pubescent. That's not pedophelia, buddy. That's homosexuality.

When asked to define post- pubescent

O'CONNOR: Can I just ask very quickly with that gentleman -- sorry, I don't know your name, sir. I'm not quite sure what post- pubescent means. Would you mind explaining that to me?

DONOHUE: Explain what?

O'CONNOR: Post-pubescent.

DONOHUE: Post-pubescent means beyond puberty. In other words, you're adolescent. That's what homosexuals do, and of the molesters have been homosexuals in the Catholic church.

O'CONNOR: Larry, what age does somebody become, you know, become post-pubescent in America, as a matter of interest?

KING: What is the age?

ROBERTS: I don't know. Let's ask Bill. He seems to know.

KING: Well, folks --

DONOHUE: Twelve, thirteen years of age.

BUSTED - ASK ANY PERSON IF 12 OR 13 YEAR OLD IS POST-PUBESCENT AND THEY WILL SAY NO. DONOHUE IS JUST A POOR MISGUIDED MAN WHO IS MORE INTERESTED IN condemning HOMOSEXUALS THAN PEDOPHILES.

March 17, 2014 at 10:47 pm PST
#104  Miguel Rosales - Las Vegas, Nevada

This is a hard topic to talk about. The Church is guilty its hard for many Catholics to come to terms with, as myself. Just like Germany has to deal with the legacy of the Nazis and concentration camps, we as the Church needs to make things better and not let this happen again. We are a family and need to be their for each other in this time of crisis.

May 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm PST
#105  Donald Aguilar - Lawton, Oklahoma

My advice to all is to view the 154-page research commissioned by the OCCB and carried out by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice It is entitled “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States” and can be found in PDF form here: http://www.philvaz.com/ABUSE.PDF

It does not attempt to make any links between specific sexual prefereces of the perpetrators. However, in section 4.2, “Summary: Characteristics of the Incidents ofAlleged Sexual Abuse by Catholic Priests” you will find the following:

• Unlike in the general population, more males than females were allegedly (sic). In
fact, there was a significant difference between genders, with four out of five
alleged victims being male.

• The majority of alleged victims were post-pubescent, with only a small
percentage of priests receiving allegations of abusing young children.

• The allegations of sexual abuse involved a variety of sexual acts, and most of the
priests involved were alleged to have committed multiple acts per victim.
Indeed, much of the sexual abuse reported involved serious sexual offenses.

• According to the allegations of sexual abuse, the most frequent context of the
sexual incidents occurred during a social event. Additionally, many of the priests
with allegations of abuse socialized with the family of the alleged victim.

• The most common place of occurrence was the residence of the priest though
incidents of abuse allegedly occurred in a wide variety of locations.

May 16, 2014 at 10:49 am PST
#106  Donald Aguilar - Lawton, Oklahoma

Correction:
My advice to all is to view the 154-page research commissioned by the USCCB and carried out by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It is entitled “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States” and can be found in PDF form here: http://www.philvaz.com/ABUSE.PDF.

It does not attempt to make any links between specific sexual preferences of the perpetrators. In section 4.2, “Summary: Characteristics of the Incidents ofAlleged Sexual Abuse by Catholic Priests” you will find the following:

• Unlike in the general population, more males than females were allegedly (sic). In fact, there was a significant difference between genders, with four out of five alleged victims being male.

• The majority of alleged victims were post-pubescent, with only a small percentage of priests receiving allegations of abusing young children.

• The allegations of sexual abuse involved a variety of sexual acts, and most of the priests involved were alleged to have committed multiple acts per victim. Indeed, much of the sexual abuse reported involved serious sexual offenses.

• According to the allegations of sexual abuse, the most frequent context of the sexual incidents occurred during a social event. Additionally, many of the priests with allegations of abuse socialized with the family of the alleged victim.

• The most common place of occurrence was the residence of the priest though incidents of abuse allegedly occurred in a wide variety of locations.

May 16, 2014 at 11:16 am PST
#107  Trevor LEFiles - Serbing, Florida

Throw them out of the papacy, and excommunicate them, like Frank did with the Mafia. Franks got balls man, he's got balls.

October 22, 2014 at 5:26 pm PST

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