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Newsweek: Priests Abuse Children Just Like Anybody Else

Posted by Sandra On April - 11 - 2010

Last week, I marveled at the stunning pattern of collective denial that allows the Catholic church to continue to exist in its present form, despite a record of willfully harming children that now traces all the way to Pope Benedict XVI.

Today, I came across the latest example of this, as Newsweek has published an infuriating piece of propaganda (a web exclusive, probably because the paper caught fire every time they tried to commit it to print), designed to mitigate the Catholic church’s vile betrayals by distorting facts and by using the victims’ silence and defenselessness against them.

Let’s take a look at “Mean Men” by Pat Wingert: “The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else.”

Before I even get started, let’s take their (completely false) premise for granted. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that child molestation would be a whole lot less common among priests? It’s the exact opposite of what a priest is supposed to do. This report is akin to taking comfort in the knowledge that Secret Service agents are just as likely to murder the President as anyone else.

But let’s just break this down. According to the poll Newsweek cites,  ”64 percent of those queried thought Catholic priests ‘frequently’ abused children.” Newsweek rebuts those poor, misinformed souls handily: (emphasis mine)

Yet experts say there’s simply no data to support the claim at all. No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination, and only the Catholic Church has released detailed data about its own. But based on the surveys and studies conducted by different denominations over the past 30 years, experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. “We don’t see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others.”

There are several huge problems with this. First of all, as this article mentions over and over again, there is little data to support this “claim,” but there’s also little data to disprove it, partially because child molestation is the most underreported crime. It is, therefore, impossible to prove this, but anyone familiar with these cases knows that priests can exert forms of coercion that normal child-rapists cannot, so the rate of unreported cases is likely much greater. A responsible, disinterested journalist would point that out. Instead, Newsweek takes the silence of victimized children, bought with torture and threat of eternal damnation, and uses it against them.



By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.

Educate Yourself -- Learn the Facts
It May Just Save a Child's Life!!

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DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN, INC. is an official non-profit 501(c)3 child abuse & neglect organization. Our mission is to educate the public on all aspects of child abuse such as symptoms, intervention, prevention, statistics, reporting, and helping victims locate the proper resources necessary to achieve a full recovery. We also cover areas such as bullying, teen suicide & prevention, children\'s rights, child trafficking, missing & exploited children, online safety, and pedophiles/sex offenders.

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