Pedophilia Only a Catholic Sin?
Shockingly, AP breaks out of their typical liberal mold and reports Insurance companies shed light on extent of sex abuse in Protestant churches, that sexual abuse of minors has been rampant. But in their statement, they indirectly say members of the Catholic Church are not the majority abusers.
AP discusses the raw numbers from three companies that insure the majority of protestant churches in America (Church Mutual, Guide One, and Brotherhood Mutual), and typically receive 260 reports/yr of people under 18 being sexually abused. Compare that with ~228 credible accusations/yr against Catholic clerics since 1950 (documented abuse records).
Together with that information, it is known that the Catholic Church greatly outnumbers any specific protestant denomination, and the data for Protestant churches is available only for the last seven years. Ever since the first sexual abuse cases had been reported, Catholics have had requirements: 1) police background check done on all volunteers–including priests, 2) a second person be present at all religious functions, and 3) all personnel involved with minors must take routine checks with “Protecting God’s Children”.
Without a doubt, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the most despicable crimes and sins that man can perpetrate. But predators seem to thrive in an atmosphere where the base congregation is one of the most trusted organizations that exist.
Philip Jenkins, in his 1996 book Pedophiles and Priests, [http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/comm/20020303edjenk03p6.asp], looked at the problem objectively and dispassionately. Jenkins (who is not Catholic) found that true pedophilia is extremely rare, and perhaps more common among Protestant clergy, and is even more common among married laymen.
He found that in most sexual abuse cases (under the age of consent), the behavior is actually a variety of homosexuality. This sexual attraction—with very young men that combine the charm of boyishness with sexual maturity—is actually called ephebophilia. Pedophilia is really a psychiatric term meaning sexual interest in children below the age of puberty.
Even a book review by William A. Donahue [Review: Pedophiles and Priests] reveals how accurate Jenkins in his observations over the years. Deal Hudson makes 10 valid points about priestly pedophilia http://catholiceducation.org/articles/facts/fm0011.html no one should overlook.
True pedophilia (Leon Podles/ Clergy Sexual Misconduct: Just a Catholic Problem?) occurs most often within families. Celibacy removes most Catholic priests from those types of temptations, and clergy in churches that do not require celibacy have the same (if not worse) problems.
But it has been a media target for any child abuse. More so because many enjoy ‘shooting down’ something they believe to be “holier than thou”. But the Episcopal Church has a comparable problem, and some of the worst abuse cases have been in fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches [EthicsDaily.com Tracks Clergy Sex Abuse in the Southern Baptist …].
Up until the AP report, comprehensive studies were only done on the Catholic Church. The rate for school teachers, residential home-counselors, social workers, or even scoutmasters, never existed because they had no method of accounting for sexual abuse. But the recent AP investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic. (Jacoby/Townhall) rightly states the same sort of outcry that came with Catholic sexual abuse has not existed with public school teachers.
It seems obvious that the legit but skewed condemnation of the Catholic Church is likely coming from the devil, himself. It’s only logical his first and sometimes only, victim would be the church with the correct answers.
The problem of sexual abuse seems much bigger than the public will admit. And abuse from church organizations seems to be the minority. Reported sexual abuse seems only the tip of the iceberg. As despicable as Catholic abuse is, it is no where near just a Catholic problem. And finally, it seems as though the public has the wrong impression of who’s responsible for accusations of ephebophilia.
And they don’t seem to be able to know the differences in phobias, either.
—————————————————————————————————————Kevin Roeten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.