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

 

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reaction to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

Devastated widow discovers she's pregnant the day before husband's funeral

They had been trying to conceive a baby for seven years. Tragically Kristy Kirchner found out she was pregnant the day before her husband Royce's funeral.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Gabriella Goat sues Peppa Pig

Every toddler's favourite television pig is being sued by an Italian woman who shares a name with a Peppa Pig character.

Meet the Mpregs, the male pregnancy enthusiasts

"Men can't have babies - that's something only women can do! But our community is full of like-minded people who wish otherwise."

Your new motherhood survival kit

Forget about the bright, pretty baby things - while you're in survival mode, all you'll need are the essentials.

More than 100,000 cars recalled globally after death of pregnant woman

The announcement of a mass recall comes as Malaysian police investigate the death of pregnant woman in July.

I had a 'good baby' but still suffered from postnatal depression

I had a much wanted precious baby girl, a 'good baby' who slept well, self settled and was mostly content. It just seemed implausible to think I could succumb to depression.

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

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Eating ice may give mental boost to the iron deficient: study

A new study proposes that, like a strong cup of coffee, ice may give those with insufficient iron a much-needed mental boost.

Tiny lives in caring hands: Thank U NICU Day

Each year in Australia, over 40,000 newborns need the help of a special care nursery or neonatal intensive care unit. One day a year, the staff are honoured by the parents they help through those dark days.

I paid $50,000 to have a girl

This time my husband and I hadn't taken any chances. We had paid $50,000 and travelled 13,000 kilometres to make sure the baby growing inside me was female.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Dear firstborn, I'm sorry

Being a first-time mum is tough for so many reasons – particularly because you really have no idea what you're doing.

A trace of sesame could kill my son

Helen Richardson son's had two anaphylactic reactions in a month. It's traumatic for everyone.

When you know before the test says yes

It wasn't a pregnancy test or missed period that told me I was pregnant with my second baby; it was too early for those things. A doner kebab told me I was going to be a mum again.

What not to do when your partner is in labour

Robbie Williams stole the show during his wife Ayda's labour, pretty much demonstrating everything on the "what not to do when your partner is in labour" list.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

Dad breastfeeds his babies

Trevor Macdonald has now been pregnant twice, and is successfully breastfeeding his newest family member.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
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.