Jump to content

Catholic clergy
6 times more likely to abuse kids


  • Please log in to reply
484 replies to this topic

#1 BetteBoop

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:01 AM

According to data, catholic clergy members are much more likely to abuse kids than any other denomination.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/victoria/c...1019-27vqi.html

Do people have theories as to why one faith would have what appears to be endemic rates of child sexual abuse?

#2 LynnyP

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:09 AM

Cultural factors are very strong factors for most human behaviour.  From my understanding, which is fuelled only by what I have read in newspapers, the catholic church has had a long history where such abuse was protected and ignored - which as all parents know is tacit approval.

#3 BetteBoop

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:09 AM

Madame Catty, you're not normally a shrinking violet. I'm surprised.

#4 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:11 AM

Hmm...interesting topic....

Well I for one think it is a strange and artificial environment for men (and to a lesser extent women) to be in, to commit to a life with no sex, no marriage, no kids....I think it may attract a type of person who is struggling with their sexuality, or who has very negative or warped views on sex (due to years of indoctrination) ...so that, coupled with the secretive nature of the church, unfettered access to children where the priest is in a position of power, where questions are not encouraged but rather obedience or indeed submission is demanded...I think makes for some very ripe conditions for this type of sexually devious behaviour...

Just my thoughts, I have nothing to back this theory up (lapsed Presbyterian here , married to a lapsed catholic who had an abusive priest at his school....)

#5 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:12 AM

rolleyes.gif Cue all the predictable comments about celibacy and how it encourages pedophilia.

Edited by Princess.cranky.pants, 20 October 2012 - 10:15 AM.


#6 Becstarinator

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:16 AM

Honestly I believe it has a lot to do with the celibate rules they try and live by.  Not a lot of other religions (well christian) religions expected that.  

You can be a minister/rabi and have a wife and family so maybe it accounts for some of it.

#7 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:19 AM

QUOTE (Princess.cranky.pants @ 20/10/2012, 10:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
rolleyes.gif Cue all the predictable comments about celibacy and how it encourages pedophilia.

Well ok, I'll cop to that, but maybe these comments are so predictable because the link is so obvious...? What was the rate in the OP...6 times more likely? Something's going on....

#8 LynnyP

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:21 AM

To cut right to the chase, I think the catholic church hierarchy have encouraged child abuse by their stance on protecting their clergy and demonising the victims.  Eyeroll yourself silly on that one.

#9 purplekitty

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:28 AM

QUOTE (LynnyP @ 20/10/2012, 10:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To cut right to the chase, I think the catholic church hierarchy have encouraged child abuse by their stance on protecting their clergy and demonising the victims.  Eyeroll yourself silly on that one.
This.
The behaviour has been enabled and protected leading to an environment where it can thrive.



#10 BetteBoop

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE (Lucretia Borgia @ 20/10/2012, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well ok, I'll cop to that, but maybe these comments are so predictable because the link is so obvious...? What was the rate in the OP...6 times more likely? Something's going on....


I agree something is going on, but I don't think there's any established link between celibacy and pedophilia.

In the general populace most child abusers are men in heterosexual relationships. There are higher (reported) rates of abuse in this group than amongst Catholic clergy members. Presumably heterosexual relationships aren't the cause of abuse, so I wonder why we assume celibacy is the cause amongst clergy.

#11 haras1972

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:35 AM

I thought the higher rate was due to the fact that Catholics run far more schools/kids groups etc that other Christian faiths, that all Catholic primary schools are generally attached to a parish and allows any errant priest more access.

So that being Catholic in itself doesn't mean you're more likely to abuse, but as a Catholic priest you are more likely to have regular access to children.

eta I was raised Catholic, and what with reconciliation, first communion, confirmation, regular school masses at our attached parish, I had regular and sustained contact with our priest.

Eta 2 The priest at my primary school/parish, his house was right next door to the school entrance and I remember regularly seeing him his garden, front porch and we'd always say hello on the way to school. He was an awesome priest and I don't want to cast any disperations on him, but if he was an abuser, the opportunity that structure would provide for access to victims would be immense.

Edited by haras1972, 20 October 2012 - 10:51 AM.


#12 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:38 AM

QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 20/10/2012, 10:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree something is going on, but I don't think there's any established link between celibacy and pedophilia.

In the general populace most child abusers are men in heterosexual relationships. There are higher (reported) rates of abuse in this group than amongst Catholic clergy members. Presumably heterosexual relationships aren't the cause of abuse, so I wonder why we assume celibacy is the cause amongst clergy.

Well I guess I was coming at it from the angle that celibacy is the one thing unique to the catholic clergy (I may be wrong on that.....among Christian denominations anyway), so if the stat is that it is higher in catholic circles than in other Christian denominations, then perhaps celibacy can be singled out as a contributing factor. But you're right, celibacy in and of itself does not "cause" pedophilia ...it just may be one factor among many that contributes to this type of behaviour....as you will only see celibacy as an expectation in the catholic faith, that could be the reason why it is 6 times more likely to occur than in, say, the Anglican church (but of course abuse is rife across all the established faiths ....)

#13 Ianthe

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:43 AM

I think that possibly the church attracts people that are struggling with sin so it is more a case of paedophiles entering the church than the church creating them.

#14 Oriental lily

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:47 AM

Are young catholic paedophiles attracted to join the clergy due to the opportunities and protection?

This is what I wonder.

Because anything else would mean that there is the same amount of potential paedophiles in any group of professions. And you would have similar incidences if they had the opportunities and protection than the catholic hierarchy has given.


I can not swallow that.


Or is it that also that paedophiles  are attracted  to the priesthood due to them naturally preffering to be celibate due to no interest in engaging with sex in a adult relationship.

Either way the whole thing is sickening.
The abuse is horrible. But the systematic protection and shushing up of the perpetrators and victims is just as bad.



#15 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE (Lucretia Borgia @ 20/10/2012, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well ok, I'll cop to that, but maybe these comments are so predictable because the link is so obvious...? What was the rate in the OP...6 times more likely? Something's going on....


Sorry. I didn't am that at you... you posted while I was writing that. It's just in these threads the celibacy thing is always blamed and it bugs me.

I have a few close friends who are priests and it's horrible to suggest they will become abusers because they can't marry. A man doesn't become an abuser because they can't marry!

We should remember that abusers are most commonly married men who are known to the child. A family member or friend, not a priests.

#16 Froyo

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:56 AM

I think pedophiles are attracted to the Catholic clergy due to the forementioned culture of hushing up abuse and demonising victims.

#17 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:57 AM

QUOTE (Princess.cranky.pants @ 20/10/2012, 10:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry. I didn't am that at you... you posted while I was writing that. It's just in these threads the celibacy thing is always blamed and it bugs me.

I have a few close friends who are priests and it's horrible to suggest they will become abusers because they can't marry. A man doesn't become an abuser because they can't marry!

We should remember that abusers are most commonly married men who are known to the child. A family member or friend, not a priests.

No that's ok, I think this topic by its very nature is going to get quite heated! And I realize it is not as simple as saying...well, catholic priests are celibate so celibacy is the problem.....but the statistic of 6 times more likely is quite astonishing (IMO), I think the reasons given by PPs, such as the church turning a blind eye, demonising the victims etc are more like to be the root cause, but you would get this too in the Anglican system for example....so I guess it is tempting to look to something unique to the catholic church - such as celibacy- as being the root of the problem...or one of many roots.....ergh...sorry , too sleep deprived to make much sense at the moment...

#18 Maple Leaf

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:58 AM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 20/10/2012, 10:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think that possibly the church attracts people that are struggling with sin so it is more a case of paedophiles entering the church than the church creating them.



My uncle is a Catholic priest and he feels like Ianthe. Also there is the unlimited access to kids, and the subsequent protection within the church if caught.


#19 Ninja Lemur

Posted 20 October 2012 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE (Princess.cranky.pants @ 20/10/2012, 11:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
rolleyes.gif Cue all the predictable comments about celibacy and how it encourages pedophilia.



QUOTE (BetteBoop @ 20/10/2012, 11:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree something is going on, but I don't think there's any established link between celibacy and pedophilia.

In the general populace most child abusers are men in heterosexual relationships. There are higher (reported) rates of abuse in this group than amongst Catholic clergy members. Presumably heterosexual relationships aren't the cause of abuse, so I wonder why we assume celibacy is the cause amongst clergy.


So what do the priests think is going on?  I always wondered why the church doesn't do more given the behaviour of the few individuals reflect badly on the church and all priests.

I would have thought it would attract pedaphiles as it would seem to fit their needs just perfctly.  No-one will question why they aren't in a relationship and they have access to children.  And the church has a history of not reporting offences to police and protecting the accused priests.

#20 Jane Jetson

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:03 AM

It's probably multifactorial.

I would suspect that for some people struggling with a non-standard sexuality, a situation where celibacy is expected could be attractive, particularly if the intent is to remain true to that vow. Not everyone can live up to that intent, regardless of which group they're attracted to.

That's not to say celibacy causes you to leap on the first person you see one day; it's a suspicion that some people who are afraid they may be attracted to children may choose a lifestyle where celibacy is not questioned.

I would also suspect that for some people who have no intention of remaining celibate but who are attracted to children or other vulnerable people, the priesthood could be a good place to hide, particularly given the strong pastoral ties and interaction with parish members priests have, the position of authority and the culture of the institution which enables offenders. FOr some people, part of that may be a power thing, given sexual assault is so related to power, not attraction.

#21 Maple Leaf

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:03 AM

QUOTE
I always wondered why the church doesn't do more



They are going broke now. http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/m...file-bankruptcy

Poor darlings (sarcasm).



#22 Jane Jetson

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (Ianthe @ 20/10/2012, 11:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think that possibly the church attracts people that are struggling with sin so it is more a case of paedophiles entering the church than the church creating them.


Dang it, someone already put it in plain English rather than my woffling.

#23 StopTheGoats

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:10 AM

QUOTE (LynnyP @ 20/10/2012, 11:21 AM)
15008734[/url]']
To cut right to the chase, I think the catholic church hierarchy have encouraged child abuse by their stance on protecting their clergy and demonising the victims.  Eyeroll yourself silly on that one.


This. Also the unfettered access provided to children who are often in vulnerable circumstances.

I have to wonder if typically the forced repression of healthy human behaviors leads to disordered behaviour. Historically, many men were expected or pressured to take the cloth. It's one thing to enter into a behaviour willingly, with your eyes open and your heart in it. It's entirely another to fight yourself the whole way. There are people who are celibate for any number of reasons but I wonder whether personal agency is the differentiating factor.

I have absolutely no explanation for the choices of those who were not pedophiles but who covered up the abuse and provided tacit approval. Thats unfathomable to me.

Edited by JuniorSpies, 20 October 2012 - 11:12 AM.


#24 Ally'smum

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:28 AM

As a lapsed Catholic I stuggle to understand just how much people held priests in esteem (similar to they way they did doctors) in the past. I can't understand it myself but what I have heard from parents and grandparents, the priest was such an authority figure. The positions of power they held surely were a mitigating factor. The access they had to children is also really hard for me to understand.

It beggars belief that when parents found out something wrong was going on, they complained to the church (bishops or someone higher up) rather than going to the police.  I also wonder if they went to the police if they didn't hand it back to the church to sort out? (Catholic police have been noted in this enquiry for not acting legally)

I think it is really complex, you have people that have tendencies to abuse, then you put them in a position where they have lot of power, then there is no repercussions for that abuse and on top of that they don't have traditional families or a partner to debrief with and I think 'normal' could be skewed very easily.

I think it is really sad that an organisation that is 90% run by people who aren't priests (normal employed people) is being tarred with this brush. They run schools and do an incredible amount of charity, state and federal governments rely on this, so I guess we all do to an extent.

What bothers me more is that people that a) perpetrated abuse and b) facilitated it are still in their positions and not being held accountable. I won't say his name here but many Catholics cannot stand the most powerful people in the Australian church as they have been implicated in too many cases too many times to be considered innocent.

I know of people who were abused in the 90's (the girls would have been in their mid-thirties now), their lives have been lost or ruined, their families have been destroyed, the priest was found guilty and served a short sentence before dying in custody.
The teacher who let them go to 'alter service practice' has had her career destroyed. Unbelievable that this was happening in the 90s, but the people who knew this priest's history and moved him around are still within the church.

Hopefully all this attention will bring about cultural change within a large organisation that does so much charity wise.


#25 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

I think it's most likely cultural with a long history of child abuse and the protection and secrecy and acceptance within the church has allowed it to perpetuate.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How I learnt to relax about routines

After many routine-led, tough years, we've realised that being parenting isn't about being perfect. It isn't about following a schedule to a T.

Should you have a third child or not?

I thought our family had been complete with our two boys. I had no idea how much I needed my daughter until she was here.

Helping a toddler embrace an adopted sibling

A single parent by choice, I am preparing to adopt a second baby from Morocco. And I face a special challenge.

When pregnancy messes with your self-esteem

Pregnancy doesn't make all women feel beautiful. It certainly doesn't raise every woman's self-esteem.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Robbie Williams live tweets wife's labour

And the award for most patient woman in labour goes to ... Robbie Williams' wife, Ayda Field.

Vaccine ignorance is deadly and contagious

In the absence of credible, strong political leadership, paranoia about disease can go viral.

Parenting differently based on birth order

All children have unique personalities, but keeping birth order in mind could help when parenting.

How to get rid of the mum guilt

Motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand, but there are ways to focus

Paid parental leave scheme grinds to a halt

The future of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme appears to be up in the air, despite the fact it is due to begin in less than nine months.

The devastation of foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

No one's sure how many Australians are affected by foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, but the consequences for those who are can be devastating.

The pros and cons of finding out the sex of your unborn baby

It’s often one of the biggest choices parents make during the course of their pregnancy; to find out, or not to find out, the sex of their baby before it’s born.

Toddler's awesome dress up month

Two-year-old Willow and her photographer mum, Gina Lee, made October "Dress Up Willow Month". She posted photos of Willow's costumes on her Instagram account, and her creative takes on popular culture are simply adorable.

Childhood around the world

It can be easy to assume our ideas around childhood are universal, but they are particular to where we live, as these practices show.

Best picks for baby and toddler shoes

Here's a great selection of footwear from pre-walker to walker ensuring comfort and style for growing feet.

I lost my wife and daughters to Ebola - then it came for my son

Sunday, September 21, is a day I will never forget.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss. It involves toilet talk, and probably caused my miscarriage. But it needs to be talked about.

Prenatal testing: the facts

Prenatal testing is done to check if a baby has certain medical conditions before birth. Here is some important information about what the tests are for and the risks involved.

5 things to do with your baby?s old clothes

Did you think your only option for your baby?s old clothes was to pack them away or give them to the Salvos? Think again.

Why it's possible to not realise you're pregnant until the baby arrives

After hearing about 'surprise babies' born to mums who didn't know they were pregnant, it's common to ask "how did she not realise?" But experts say it's entirely possible for it to happen.

'My miracle is finally here'

How has the world continued on its pace when mine has been altered so drastically?

Dairy can help older women fall pregnant: study

Ice cream may be the ultimate comfort food, but a study suggests it could also help older women to have children.

Megan Gale goes topless for 'sexiest people' cover

Six months after a heavily pregnant Megan Gale posed nude for Marie Claire, the glowing new mum has gone topless for the cover of another magazine.

A new perspective on life from living with two diseases

A mother shares her personal story about the difficulty of living with two conditions, one of which stops her from being able to see her daughter's face.

Warning about Children's Panadol dosage

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has issued a safety advisory warning parents about confusion when using the dosing syringe supplied with Children's Panadol.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Take 'The Coles Big Nappy Change' Challenge

You could become part of our Test Drive team and win one of 200 packs of Coles Little Explorer Nappies as part of our 5-day challenge.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Join us in The BIG nappy change

Introducing the new Coles Little Explorer Nappies! You can confidently rely on Coles Little Explorer nappies at each stage of your child's growth, so take the Big Nappy Change and try new Coles Little Explorer nappies for yourself!

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Weird trend

Couple has five babies in 14 months

Julie and David Grygla weren't sure they'd ever have kids - but their dreams have now well and truly come true.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.