Weigel on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Weigel on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church
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At National Review, George Weigel has gone through the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, and discovered five findings that cut against popular myths about the Church, including: 

Two: The “crisis” of clerical sexual abuse in the United States was time-specific. The incidence of abuse spiked in the late 1960s and began to recede dramatically in the mid-1980s. In 2010, seven credible cases of abuse were reported in a church that numbers over 65 million adherents.

Three: Abusers were a tiny minority of Catholic priests. Some 4 percent of Catholic priests in active ministry in the United States were accused of abuse between the 1950s and 2002. There is not a shred of evidence indicating that priests abuse young people at rates higher than do people in the rest of society….

Four: The bishops’ response to the burgeoning abuse crisis between the late 1960s and the early 1980s was not singularly woodenheaded or callous. In fact, according to the John Jay study, the bishops were as clueless as the rest of society about the magnitude of the abuse problem and, again like the rest of society, tended to focus on the perpetrators of abuse rather than the victims…. 

Five: As for today, the John Jay study affirms that the Catholic Church may well be the safest environment for young people in American society.It is certainly a safer environment than the public schools. Moreover, no other American institution has undertaken the extensive self-study that the Church has, in order to root out the problem of the sexual abuse of the young. 

These are the points that support the study’s conclusion that the social and cultural ethics of the ’60s and ’70s played a significant role in creating the crisis. They are also the points that cast the Church in the most favorable light, but there is plenty else in the report that is damning. 

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