Saturday, September 01, 2012

Clergy Sexual Abuse: Questions Remain

Fr. Regis Scanlon:

The fault is not with the original John Jay data. It pointed to the predator issue by identifying the overwhelming victim demographic as young men and male teens. Here are the statistics, in Part 4.2 of the study: “four out of five (80%) alleged victims were male,” and “the majority of alleged victims were post-pubescent (87.4%), with only a small percentage of priests receiving allegations of abusing young children.”

This statistic paints a vivid picture: the sex abuse crisis was the overwhelming work of a very small number of clergy targeting young males as their victims. This fact suggests one reform that has yet to be addressed: the Church must screen out clergy candidates with same-sex attractions.

At first, this reform appeared to be on the radar. In 2004, the National Review Board stated that while the sex abuse crisis had no single cause, “an understanding of the crisis is not possible” without reference to “the presence of homosexually oriented priests.” The board cited the data: “eighty percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.”

It's hard not to think that the reason men with SSA aren't being screened out is that homosexuals are so entrenched in the clergy and in the seminary that they're basically protecting their own.