BY DAVE ARMSTRONG
The terrible revelations of sexual misbehavior and cover-ups, exposed in 2002-2003 remain a huge and unspeakably evil scandal. I’ve never seen any conscientious, serious Catholic try to excuse or justify what happened. It’s a black mark that has caused untold damage in many ways.
Yet Catholics are sinners like anyone else, and we should not be utterly shocked when we see instances that prove this: even in cases of heinous sins. King David murdered and committed adultery, yet God still entered into an eternal covenant with him. Indeed, God knew (since He knows everything) when David was a boy that he would eventually commit these terrible sins.
That said, it is also true that media coverage of the outrages and the general issues involved, has been severely distorted. Statistics clearly show that the problem of sexual abuse is a societal-wide one, with occurrences farmore prevalent in other circles. Yet the focus and spotlight continues to be basically only on the Catholic Church. It’s classic selective, cynical, agenda-driven reporting, with the result being false and distorted perceptions.
An independent study conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, commissioned by the USCCB, from May 2011, found that sexual abuse from priests occurs at a much lower rate than in the rest of society, and that most abuse takes place in families. The rate among priests was determined to be five per every 100,000 young people, whereas the larger societal rate was 134, or almost a 27 times greater likelihood.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.