Top 10 Myths About Clergy Abuse in the Catholic Church
Psychology Today, Aug 01, 2019
Sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic priests has been headline news for years. But even with so much press attention, there are many commonly accepted myths about this issue. Remarkably, evidence-based research doesn’t always receive attention, while sensationalized stories that create a particular—but sometimes false—narrative do. This ultimately misinforms and harms the public—not to mention efforts to keep kids safe in and outside of the Church.
As we approach the year anniversary of the recent uptick in media attention due to the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report (as well as the now-former Cardinal McCarrick abuse allegations), let’s review the top 10 myths about clerical abuse in the Catholic Church.
Myth 1: Sexual abuse is more common among Catholic priests than other groups of men.
About 4 percent of Catholic clerics had credible or substantiated accusations of child sexual abuse of minors (both prepubescent children and postpubescent teens) during the last half of the 20th century (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2004, 2011). Research data, although from limited small scale studies, finds the prevalence of clerical abuse among non-Catholic religious communities consistent with the Catholics. If you review insurance claims against Church communities for sexual victimization perpetrated by their clerics, you’ll find that that there is no difference between Catholic and non-Catholic groups (Zech, 2011).
FOR THE TIME BEING, I am consumed with reading and research for the final third of my novel, TIMES OF DISTRESS, the first book in my Winterbine Series. I have little time for other writing which explains why most of my posts on my two websites are links (sometimes with an introduction) to essays or comments I feel are of particular interest.
I will add to my important section on Cardinal Pell as soon as I have time.
I have recently opened a Facebook page for The Edmund Burke Society – Australia. I would really appreciate it if you would give it a like. The more likes I have, the more coverage the page gets. Many thanks.
Roger Scruton, perhaps the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, has died. He has left a vast trove of philosophical writing that requires inexhaustible study. It is significant that the left did all it could to destroy him. His FOOLS, FRAUDS AND FIREBRANDS: THINKERS OF THE NEW LEFT (2005) is among his most powerful books. The Edmund Burke Society strongly recommends this book to gain an understanding of left’s motivations over the last 60 years.
EPPC Mourns Death of Sir Roger Scruton
January 13, 2020
The Ethics and Public Policy Center mourns the death of EPPC Senior Fellow Sir Roger Scruton, who died on Sunday, January 12, at age 75.
“We grieve the loss of our brilliant colleague Roger Scruton. We are deeply grateful that Roger made EPPC his American think-tank home for the past seven years. He has left a remarkably robust intellectual legacy,” said EPPC President Ed Whelan.
The author of more than 50 books on topics such as art, music, architecture, conservation, philosophy, and religion, Sir Roger was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016 for his “services to philosophy, teaching and public education.” In 2019, he earned recognition from the governments of Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic for his courageous anti-communist efforts and his legacy of moral and intellectual leadership.
My 2018 ended with a hate storm, in response to my appointment as chair of the government’s Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission. But the new year brings a lull, and I hope and pray that the Grand Inquisitor enthroned by social media will find another target.
The 27th is my 75th birthday, and as it happens the last Wednesday meet of foxhounds for the season. We host the meet and celebrate with our neighbours. Despite my wife Sophie’s protests, I maintain my resolve to give up hunting at 75, counting again the broken bones, sprains and muscular disorders acquired over 35 years in the saddle, or, rather, out of it. On my last hunt, I am glad to say, I stay in the saddle all day.
A young man named Wilson Gavin who led a protest against a so-called “drag queen story hour” in Brisbane a couple of days ago is believed to have killed himself. He was a member of the University of Queensland Liberal National Club, a Catholic, and a homosexual. He had been a vocal critic of fake marriage at the height of the debate a couple of year ago.
Drag queen protester Wilson Gavin’s suicide exposes horrors of online abuse
The suicide of a young conservative activist just hours after he attracted a storm of online abuse for leading a protest against a drag queen reading event for children has supercharged debate over the use of social media as a weapon to attack political opponents.
Wilson Gavin, 21, was openly gay but vehemently committed to conservative causes such as the monarchy and opposition to same-sex marriage.
His suicide followed a barrage of social media abuse over his role in the protest at a Brisbane council library on Sunday.
Last month the Huffington Postpublished an essay by Claire Fallon entitled “Was this Decade the Beginning of the End of the Great White Male Writer?” Fallon celebrated the notion that white men are losing their prominence in contemporary American literature and that the best books being published in America today are being written by a wider variety of authors than ever before:
“What was once insular is now unifying,” National Book Foundation director Lisa Lucas told the crowd at the 2019 National Book Awards Gala, where the fiction, nonfiction, and poetry honors all went to writers of color. “What was once exclusive is now inclusive.”
Lucas took over the foundation in 2016, at a time when the high-profile awards had a somewhat checkered record with representation. Though historically the honorees had skewed heavily white and male, that began to change around 2010. (However, there had been some other recent embarrassments, like 2014 host Daniel Handler’s racist jokes following author Jacqueline Woodson’s win for “Brown Girl Dreaming.”) Lucas, the first woman and person of color to helm the foundation, made representation and inclusivity a focus of her messaging. When looking back at the past decade, she told HuffPost in an interview, a multipronged effort to build a more inclusive literary scene has indeed paid dividends.
The following is on The Freedoms Project blog. Recommended reading.
Just how ‘credible’ was The Kid’s testimony against Pell? [What follows is hard-going but I recommend you read it all and get to the end. The truth is revealed.]
I’ve been poring over the publicly available information on the Pell case. There is the transcript of the appeal verdict, Pell v The Queen  VSCA 186 (21 August 2019). There is the less reliable book by Louise Milligan. There are news reports from the committal hearing, but there is no direct testimony, as the transcript of the trial is not available. The appeal verdict is the most useful, since it contains actual and paraphrased evidence on the most contentious aspects of the testimony. [Note that direct quotes from the appeal judgement will be in parentheses, have a paragraph number and be in italics – any added emphasis is mine.]
MEMOIRS, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES, and personal reflections had never much enticed me until I picked up a book that was lying around at my parents’ house. My mother was an incorrigible reader and always had a book on the coffee table beside her lounge chair. The book was Over the Top with Jim by Murdoch journalist Hugh Lunn. I turned it over and read on the back cover: ‘hilarious,’ ‘don’t read it on public transport,’ ‘a classic in childhood memoir.’ I asked Mum what she thought of it. She gave a shrug and said it was all right. No great vote there, I thought. I was going to put it down but absently flicked through the first chapter. The memoir was about growing up in a less than devout Catholic family. I borrowed the book and began reading. Soon I was hooked. It was true that Lunn’s book was funny – hilarious in parts – but that was not what held my attention. I was on the same track as Lunn’s experiences. More than that: I was riding beside him looking around at a familiar social environment as he told his story. It was an experience in reading that I had rarely had. As amusing as his often facetious account of his childhood was, it was his unwitting social history of the ‘long fifties’ (1945-1962) that gripped me.
Lunn grew up in the suburb of Annerley, just outside of Brisbane city centre. Other than a different suburb in a different capital city and a few years difference in age (he is five years older), my story would be roughly the same. We both grew up in Catholic families which meant our social environment and social prescriptions were fixed at least until the end of school. I think Lunn’s book has been appealing because any Catholic kid of the fifties would at once recognise his experiences and be amused regardless of whether he had kept the faith or abandoned it or was determined to rubbish it to the grave. Kids who weren’t Catholic would recognise what many of us got up to during that time, but would also be intrigued by a glimpse into the mysterious ways of the Catholic Church and its institutions, many of them thinking Lunn had abundantly confirmed their suspicions about its weirdness.