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).
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.
In his latest Media Watch Dog report (No.467), Gerard Henderson provides a summary of Carl Beech’s crimes:
A SUMMARY OF THE CRIMES OF CARL BEECH (aka “NICK”) – FANTASIST & LIAR RE HISTORICAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
MWD readers are well aware about the case of “Nick” – later to be revealed as Carl Beech. In late October 2012, Nick claimed that – when a boy – he had been sexually abused by a number of high profile British men. Some of the alleged offenders were living – others (like former prime minister Edward Heath) were dead.
Nick’s allegations led to a situation where police in Britain adopted a policy of believing the complainant in cases of historical child sexual abuse. This was followed by a practice of calling a complainant a “victim” – before the alleged offender was found guilty. These matters are also relevant in Australia.
Continue reading A summary of the crimes of Carl Beech
A proposal for free movement between Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom was proposed around three years ago. The agreement would be on the same sort of basis as the EU. London Mayor Boris Johnson, a great supporter of the proposal, pointed out that the people of Australia and the United Kingdom could hardly be more alike culturally and ethnically. Indeed, that is the central thrust of my just published book Prison Hulk to Redemption – all about the cultural foundations and continuities between the two blocks. This last week the proposal has had some more airing – much to my delight.