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The Report on U.S. Catholic Priests’ Sex Abuse: What the Critics Got Wrong

June 23, 2011 01:30:04 am
Comments (22)

Photo by Guillermo Esteves

The lead researcher of last month’s Causes and Context report on the child sexual abuse scandals that have shaken the Catholic Church speaks out on the controversy surrounding the study, and explains why it lays out a roadmap for the future. 

Sound bites should not be confused with facts. 

By the time we officially released our report (which can be found here) on The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950 – 2010 on May 18, 2011, the media had already seized on incomplete leaks of the report to give it a spin that had only a tangential relationship to what we wrote.

It’s time to put the record straight---and to chart a way forward so that the pattern of abuses we studied is never repeated.

To do that, it’s important to understand the background of the report and what it was intended to accomplish.  Our mandate was to understand what led to the problem of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests from 1950 to the present day.

We studied individual priests who abused, the Church leaders who were responsible for overseeing them, and the broader social context in which the abuse took place.

A study of this complexity does not easily lend itself to an accurate sound bite.

Nevertheless, one early media report in a national paper attributed the explanation of social factors as a “Blame Woodstock” excuse, a phrase that went viral and was cited more than 14,000 times within the next two days. 

The truth is, at no point in the report did we “blame” Woodstock or simplify the explanation of the abuse crisis to the “swinging sixties,” as some papers reported. 

Another fallacy contained in the early media reports included the “fact” that we did not address the problematic actions of the bishops.  Critics suggested that since we relied only on data from the dioceses, the bishops influenced the study findings.

Actually, the data for the Causes and Context study came from seven unique sources―a fact overlooked in most media reports. The data were derived from bishops and priests, victim assistance coordinators, victim advocates, survivors, clinicians, seminaries, historical and court documents.


Many media outlets also accused us of being “puppets of the Church.”  Although nearly half of the funding for the study was provided by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Review Board―a group of lay Catholics created in the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People ―was tasked with overseeing the progress of the report.

The bishops did not influence our findings in any way.

It is also worth pointing out that I am not Catholic, and I have not historically, nor do I currently have, any personal ties to the Catholic Church.

The controversy over the report is understandable.  The sexual abuse of children is an emotional, disturbing and heart-wrenching issue.  It is even more so when the abusers were in a place of trust and spiritual leadership over the children they abused.

The sexual abuse of minors is a serious societal problem, and one that can lead to substantial and long-term harm to victims. But in the rush to publish following the leak of our report, many of the early articles did a disservice to the research conducted and, more importantly, to abuse victims.

What the Study Really Found

To understand why Catholic priests sexually abused minors, we conducted extensive data collection over a period of four years.

We studied the problem from socio-cultural, psychological, situational and organizational perspectives, and we consulted with psychologists, sociologists of religion, statisticians, and theologians.

Though we recognize that sexual abuse has always occurred in the Catholic Church, as well as in other organizations and society generally, we were mandated to study the problem from 1950 onward. It would have been prohibitive to study abuse prior to this time for practical and methodological reasons.  

The data collected for this study indicated that the factors associated with the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church were complex.

This is not surprising.  There is no single “cause” of child sexual abuse in society, and we did not hypothesize that there would be one in the Church.

Rather, the findings indicate that abusive behavior could best be explained through an interaction of micro- and macro-level factors. While the patterns of abuse in the Catholic Church are consistent with (though not caused by) patterns of other types of social behavior from the 1960s through the 1980s (when abuse cases peaked), data showed that most of the priest-abusers had problems such as intimacy deficits, an emotional and psycho-sexual maturity level similar to adolescents, and life stressors, as well as inadequate seminary education on how to live a life of chaste celibacy.

The abuse was particularly pronounced for men who were ordained in the 1940s and 1950s, a time when there was a substantial increase in Catholic seminarians and inadequate education for them.

These men were placed in positions where they were mentoring and nurturing adolescents and, like many non-clergy sex offenders, they regressed to abusive behavior.

Few abusers were primarily sexually attracted to children; a very small percentage of priests were clinically diagnosed with pedophilia (by clinicians, using standard guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Many had other problems, such as alcoholism, stress, or financial improprieties.

And many priests who abused children also had sexual relationships with adults.

Taken together, this means that there is no risk assessment instrument that could have weeded out the abusers before ordination. This was a human problem; some adults are susceptible to abuse children in the Church and in any organization where adults spend time with children.

But the abusers themselves are only one part of the story. The Causes and Context report also chronicled in detail the Church’s response to abuse. The report states that the Church has taken significant steps in creating safe environments since signing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. 

The report also notes, however, that the implementation of child protection policies in the 1980s and 1990s was focused on priests instead of victims, was not consistent across dioceses in the United States, and lacked transparency.


What’s Next?

Since the publication of the report, we have been subjected to substantial criticism from those who are not happy about the “findings”―or at least the findings reported in those first media articles.

We have received malicious and even threatening calls and letters, and we have been mocked through satirical cartoons, on syndicated television programs and in op-eds. Those who have responded in such a way have asked two questions: how could we have so irresponsibly blamed Woodstock, and how could we let the bishops off the hook?

The critics with the loudest voices, who were making statements before and on the day the report was released, had not even read it.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the controversy surrounding the report is that the one-dimensional headlines have obscured some of the healthy responses to its findings. These should not be overlooked.

Academics have begun engaging in serious discussions about the findings, their importance, and their application to the field of child sexual abuse generally.

And while no single measure can root out all individual child sexual abusers in the church, we have already detected a strong and broadly based commitment to address the gaps in current policies of prevention and oversight that allowed these unhealthy patterns of abuse to continue for so long in the U.S. and elsewhere. 

In the month since publication, our research team has presented our findings to national and overseas audiences.  Based on our study, the National Review Board, for example, is preparing recommendations to the US Catholic Church about enhancing current policies and creating new ones. 

Earlier this month, we traveled to Rome to meet with Catholic Church representatives from 22 countries and Vatican officials, with the aim of discussing how this issue has affected the Church worldwide and whether there are uniform policies that can be implemented to prevent sexual abuse. The Vatican is hosting meetings with Church leaders this winter to help guide the development of guidelines and policies.

We are confident that our study has laid the groundwork for such strategies of response by church leaders and the laity.

This may be small comfort to the many victims who continue to cope with the traumatic consequences of their experiences.  But it offers some measure of confidence that this sordid chapter of Church history can be brought to a close.


Karen J. Terry, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at John Jay College, also serves as the college’s Associate Provost and Interim Dean of Research and Strategic Partnerships. She was the Principal Investigator and co-author of the Causes and Context report. Dr. Terry welcomes comments from readers.

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Posted by lpmulligan
Friday, July 08, 2011 01:07

I too served as a volunteer presenting “safe environment” training programs to those who regularly dealt w/ kids, as well as administrating the diocese’s overall program. I resigned in protest b/c it lacked transparency & accountability, the same vices which allowed so many criminals access to our kids over the years, and, I am afraid, continues to this day, as witnessed by the Philadelphia grand jury reports, Cardinal George’s protection of Daniel McCormick, the three Irish reports (& the one about to be released), etc, etc. Prof. Terry and her group failed to identify those issues in the church’s governance structure as major factors in why the abuse continued for so many years, and to this day, which makes their effort both lacking in credibility & suspicous, in my opinion.

Posted by Jerry Daley
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 04:10

As a volunteer who presents “Safe Environment” training programs to volunteers and employees (clergy, religious & lay) in our diocese, I have become all too familiar with the issues surrounding and at the core of the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse of children. As a life-long Catholic, I’m beyond disturbed by it, as well.

It is refreshing, though, to read some unbiased assessment of the abusers, the context, and the responses taken by the Church. In Philadelphia, where I live, the media has feasted on the more prurient and scandalous aspects, no one has looked at underlying causes (other than to roundly bash the practice of celibacy, which, it seems, is only contributory in a marginal way to the aberrant behavior of some priests.)

What’s also clear is that the Catholic Church in the U.S. has made strides in dealing with the identified issues, but has a long way to go in the area of transparent reporting of accusations, investigations and responses. The Bishops Conference, as well as all diocese, must tear down the curtains of secrecy and end the practice of “circling the wagons” around an accused cleric’s behavior, protect children as its first and foremost obligation, and continue to raise the levels of awareness of all people – Catholic & non-Catholic, lay & religious, young & old – to the risks and warning signs of child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kelleen McAllister
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 10:59

Death penalty for all rapists- that will solve the problem.

Rape a child- get the chair

Rape a woman- get the chair

Rape a man- get the chair

No death row- just straight to the chair!

Then do a study on how that works over a sixty year period.

Posted by Cathy Fasano
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 01:13

What I missed most in the analysis was any discussion of the underlying demographics. What I took away from the study was that the “typical” abuse report was made in 2002, by a man born between 1955-1965, who was abused in the 70s, by a priest educated in the 40s or 50s, when the victim was in 5th-8th grade.

So let’s deconstruct that…

The typical victim is a 2nd-half-of-the-Baby-Boom Boomer — how much of the fact that they outnumber victims born in later cohorts simply that there are more Boomers than Busters? The 1963 and 1964 birth cohorts were the largest in the history of the US and that high-water mark stood for a couple of decades.

Likewise, seminary populations during the 40s and 50s were much higher than the decades before, and then crashed precipitously. If you have 1000 Fifties priests, and 20 were abusers, and 100 Seventies priests, of whom 10 were abusers, the raw numbers are that there are twice as many Fifties priest abusers, but the percentages are 2% vs 10%.

Huge numbers of priests resigned during the period (1970s) when the peak of reported abuse happened. What were the relative sizes of various priest age/ordination cohorts during the period in question?

Posted by Mark Riordan
Monday, June 27, 2011 11:58

Thank you Dr. Terry for your work and diligence in researching this very serious and distructive behavior in our church. I sincerly hope and pray that the efforts of the John Jay Report will bring about permanent and positive changes in our community and indeed in the whole of society. The protection of the innocent and helpless is one of our primary responsibilities as Christians and as humans in a civil society. This report should be used by all public and private institutions in their quest to ensure the safety of any children or vulnerable adults in their care.
Again, thank you and may God bless you and all those who assited and worked hard on this report; and may He bring about peace and healing to all those who were victimized by the abusers.
Sincerely yours in Jesus
Mark Riordan

Posted by Matt Ulrich
Monday, June 27, 2011 05:54

why is it that homosexuality played such a dominant role in this abuse, and yet you have failed miserably to
point this out-in fact you deny it in your report. Is this what the bishops wanted you to report, if so you have
granted them their wish, and it does not surprise me in the least-because they were paying the bill, you let them off
the hook!
how sad that this report is flawed indeed

Posted by Michael Skiendzielewski
Sunday, June 26, 2011 02:10


My comments relate to the issue of academic integrity and conflict of interests. Specifically, investigation has discovered that Dr. Terry was the academic supervisor for a master’s level candidate at John Jay and this individual is a long-time news reporter with Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York.
Claudia McDonnell
Topic: Child sexual abuse by Catholic Priests
Expected completion date: December 2008
As a matter of fact, this reporter covered the news conference in Washington, DC in May 2011 where the USCCB presented Dr. Terry’s study. Did the Archdiocese of New York pay for the masters program and courses attended by this news reporter?
Is such involvement and interaction between researcher, journalist and funding source (Archbishop Dolan, New York, is President of the USCCB which funded the study) acceptable according to the rules, regulations and protocol that is standard practice in such research and study work? Is such involvement by a journalist (with the study and work being covered and reported on) acceptable and approved conduct according to the rules of professional conduct in the journalism field?

Posted by Craig B. McKee, Hong Kong
Saturday, June 25, 2011 10:14

“We have received malicious and even threatening calls and letters, and we have been mocked through satirical cartoons, on syndicated television programs and in op-eds. "
Criticism in the forms of print or media commentary or even parody is one thing but threatening the person and safety of the researchers who conducted the study is completely out of order and unacceptable. Dr. Terry and her team are part of the solution, not the problem, and deserve to be treated as such. The very last thing we need is for professionals to be scared off future investigation of this topic by an angry mob – some with not-so-hidden agendas above and beyond the parameters of the intended study.

Posted by G. Sullivan
Friday, June 24, 2011 06:42

The responsibility of a man of God is so much more devastating to a child because it “spiritually murders” them.
The RCC’s priest acts for Jesus Christ ihere on earth. Why else would you confess to them , rather than go directly to God ,when you are sorry for your sins?

Posted by G Sullivan
Friday, June 24, 2011 06:36

There is no closure to the sordid millenium’s of sexual abuse of the innocents by RC Clergy, than to close down the entire RCC. You say “Chapters” this is a joke. There is not enough space in the world to write down all the agony this institution has caused in their Crimes Against Humanity.

Posted by Patrick Molloy
Friday, June 24, 2011 04:32


My point is merely that in the example I put forward the rate for abuse by homosexuals is higher than the rate for abuse by heterosexuals and this is true in both periods. Other things being equal then, one would conclude, for either period, that the higher the percentage of homosexuals the higher the aggregate rate of abuse.

It would be interesting to know if this scenario is true in the real world, My guess is that the study directors don’t have sufficient data to accept or dismiss this possibility. Yet they don’t seem to have considered it and they seem quick to dismiss any potential risk factors associated with sexual orientation.

Again, I believe there are other more important factors which can and should be emphasized but I don’t think the study should so casually ignore a potential lead, and one which is of great interest (even if no policy conclusions necessarily follow).

Posted by Jim
Friday, June 24, 2011 02:41


Yes, Simpson’s paradox is possible. However, even with your fictitious numbers, hetero priests in period 1 would be producing twice the amount of abuse as homosexual priests, supporting the conclusion that the abuse crisis was not produced by homosexuals.

Posted by Bill Wilson
Friday, June 24, 2011 09:24

Dr. Terry might have more credibility if she had addressed why the John Jay researhers ignored the DSM age parameters for pedophilia and lowered the bar so that who knows how many cases of abuse were not accounted for. That was a real break for the bishops. They got what they paid for!

Posted by Michael McManus
Friday, June 24, 2011 08:21

There seems to be things missing from the report, Like how do you protect children when every priest can still rape a child and it can be covered up, And how do you trust people who are involved in torture of victims, And you have done a report for people who are doing that, And the pope supports that, By keeping in place people like law, brady, Then you have this very nasty problem, Say a nine year old is raped and having a baby, Even if having that baby kills her , The hierarchy want to her have that child, So what ever way you look at it the church wanted her DEAD

Posted by rev. robert hoatson
Friday, June 24, 2011 08:12

Karen Terry still doesn’t understand that “garbage in” produces “garbage out.” John Jay College relied on data that were produced, manipulated, edited, and withheld by the very men who paid the bulk of the money for the report. The bishops who supplied the data are the very men who were (and are) a main cause of the sexual abuse of children by clergy because these men created (and create) the climate and culture around which abuse is rampant. John Jay was paid to determine the causes and context of clergy sexual abuse. It failed miserably because the study violated key premises of independent research.

Posted by Patrick Molloy
Friday, June 24, 2011 08:05

I am copying below from the dotcommonweal website a comment I made in regard to an editorial and discussion in the periodical Commonweal.

The editorial seems to suggest that some questions have been resolved. “After all, if gay priests were to blame, why would the decline in abuse begin as the number of homosexual priests continued to rise?” And the report itself, after noting an increase in the proportion of homosexuals, makes a similar claim (p. 38) “Men in the seminaries in the late 1970s and in the 1980s were members of cohorts that were identified with a decreased incidence of abuse – not an increased incidence of abuse.”

Both observations may be true but they do not lead to the conclusion that homosexuality has nothing to do with the problem. One must be cautious in concluding from aggregate trends that one can generalize about subsets within the larger group.

Thus, it is entirely possible that
1) the proportion of homosexual priests increased from period 1 to period 2.
2) rates of sexual abuse among heterosexuals, homosexuals and the aggregate declined from period 1 to period 2.
3) the rate of homosexual abuse was higher than the rate of heterosexual abuse in both period 1 and period 2.

Here’s a simple example with fictitious numbers. Assume that
a) the percentage of homosexual priests was 25% in period 1 and 50% in period 2.
b) the rate of abuse among heterosexuals was 20% in period 1 and 10% in period 2 and the rate of abuse amont homosexuals was 30% in period 1 and 15% in period 2.
c) the aggregate rate for this example would show a decline from 22.5% in period 1 to 12.5% in period 2.

Thus it’s perfectly possible that aggregate rates can decline even though the aggregate becomes more highly homosexual and even as homosexual rates of abuse are continually higher than heterosexual rates throughout the study period. The general problem is known as Simpson’s paradox and is treated in any decent statistics textbook.


To be clear my figures are fictitious – all I’m saying is that the report hasn’t shown the kind of subset statistics that would be required to demonstrate its conclusion that homosexuallty had nothing to do with the problems. If they have the data at the subset level they should do all of us the favor of producing the tables.

My personal belief is that the abusive pattern had much more to do with the post Vatican II cultural shift toward self-expression and a new (and in my view misguided) emphasis on authenticity rather than any change in the sexual orientation of the clergy, even though the latter may have had some effect. Nevertheless I believe the report dismisses politically incorrect conclusions too hastily. And it has the bad grace to dismiss earlier social science studies on the basis that they ignored complexities, as though we’re well past those days. What do we know now that is such an improvement over earlier attempts and when did we learn to deal so successfully with complex matters that we can so reasssuringly pat ourselves on the back for our progressive views?

Posted by FAITH11
Friday, June 24, 2011 03:04

Would you know from the media coverage that there are more sex offenders among public school teachers then among Catholic priests? How come the church gets the blame and the Department of Education doesn’t?

Posted by Dr Alexander Josephus Nicholas Ignatius Franciscus Jablanczy VII
Thursday, June 23, 2011 06:22

A lot of ignorant and ill informed opinions with hardly any facts. There are objective scientific medical endocrinological definitions of puberty which have to do with puberty hair penis and testicular size so called primary and secondary sexual characteristics such as muscle size and definitions and voice change Adams apple in males and breast and nipple size and contour and uterine and vulvar and clitoral development labia minora and majora and hair and female contour and fat deposition and in both sexes pheromones and obviously hormone levels and cycling and obviously menarche in females and behaviour in both sexes. These should be the definitions of adulthood puberty and childhood not the mechanistic and nonsensical chronological age when menarche may be as early as 10 and abnormally 12 or 13 in the USA and 17 in 19th Cy Norway. Which is where sweet 16 comes from as that was the age of menarche a hundred years ago before Coke and hormonally enhanced milk and chicken.

Back to o’Freud who thought that the little Jewish upper class Viennese girls he was psychoanalysing were phantasizing sex with their daddies. Wrong now we know that all his theories were a castle of cards made of mist in fact they were having sex.
The question as to why padres had sex with boys and girls is inane in the extreme they were and are and will because they have testosterone and male sex organs. Working in a psych hosp decades ago I was at first shocked when 10 to 25 % of mental patients had been abused as boys and 50 to 67% of females as girls.
Almost always by fathers of the biological not cloth kind or male relatives or any male in loco parentis.
We are territorial animals where the male of a household gets first crack at all the females from age 1 to 99.
Then we invented religion morality ethics girls room separate from boys room originally we roomed in the same tent.

Obviously even among animals it is very wrong to desire for coupling a young one before hormones and pheromones rear their ugly head and older females protect and guard their young charges.
Then I had the distict discomfort of hearing about sex among six and eight year old boys and girls Remember playing house or doctor or mama and papa? I dont as I just heard the giggling under the canopy as I wouldnt join is as I suspected some untoward goings on among the dozen boys and girls who then emerged flushed and with crumpled clothes.
Then the nonsense of boys digging under the girls latrines to watch them from underneath as they were going to the bathroom.
So I think officialdom whether MDs psychologists Child Protection agencies parents teachers kindergarten and grade school havent got the foggiest about real life out there but are mightily surprised when a three year old gets chlamydia or an eighty year old syphilis and a 12 y o pregnant.

The Church had the opposite problem a hysterical heretical Manichean fear and hatred of the body and normal sex and suppression of all normal heterosexual desires urges fantasies and acts producing inversion pederasty and abuse. Or perhaps but that is not proven as in the case of say paediatricians or boy scout leaders self selection of those who are already inclined that way.

Obviously these are sexually immature emotionallaly infantile men who get along well with other children and infants. Cons call them round eyes as they do have often perversely and not too surprisingly infantile mannerisms and baby faces.
There was very good reason why confessionals had wooden trellises separating the confessor and the penitent so that no funny business could arise between them even if they both desired it.

The most obvious solution has to be that no male priest may ever be alone with a minor in any roorm or dwelling or closer than thirty feet under any circumstance.
The odious and shameful not to say sinful remember proximate occassion of sin? Vienna Boys Choir and the Vatican Choir which makes all Easter and Xmas masses a travesty and an outrage these prepubertal angelic voices to tickle the cojones of the prelates in tent sized robes must go the way of the castrati which was one of the great crimes of the Church oh yes they all became Farinellis by accident to keep their coloratura voices.. Disgusting shameful abominable.
These boys choirs are nothing but public celebration of pederasty to prove that the reason for the existence of the Holy Roman Apostolic Church is to supply cute boys bums to impotent priests and prelates.
Enough is enough.

The tragedy is that possibly the majority of religious are not abusers but kept their vows of celibacy which is not the reason for the problem for in my experience the majority of pederasts were married Anglican priests and not celibate Catholic ones.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was badly out of order when he castigated the Irish Bishops for their miscreant priests as he should have first looked under his rock to see the slime underneath. So having a wife available for sex at home did not prevent them from offending. Here’s another irony these were the very best nicest kindest most Christian competent knowledgeable priests not the worst ones. They just liked young men and boys after a lifetime of heterosexuality.
In Greece they would have been considered the cream of society and responsible dutiful men for taking under their ahem wings a youthful ephebe.

Which is why the Church had to be reformed every fifty years over two thousand years of its Hx
by newer and stricter orders.
And celibacy was for financial reasons not sexual, so priests would not amass wealth for their wives and progeny. Unless they were Renaissance popes.

The Church blew it badly as they thought a single act of impropriety was forgiveable therefore extinguishable. Not knowing anything about sex and even less about addiction which is where we end.
Abnormal sex whether pederasty or homosexualty or rape or lustmurder or necrophilia is simply an addiction and has to be extinguished as it is untreatable in any other way. A nice little metanoia would help a replacement surrogate act of penance prayer flagellation logotherapy biblio hydro
sport music – but not childrens choir no no no!- would help extinguish the malady or addiction to illegal criminal and destructive sex. But whether or not,, proximate contact must be forever verboten.

They caught an Archbishop formerly from the Gregorian University visiting Thailand notorious for child prostitution and Buddhist so it is unlikely that his Eminence was spreading the Gospel there with apparently boy sex on his laptop the idiot. He obviously with that training ought to have been interested in say Catulluses most salacious poems if he needed some off colour stimulation or quattrocento paintings of St Sebastian, but no the bum had to have computer sextapes.
Bad taste and lack of cultural not to speak of spiritual development.
 Too bad top universities turn out such scum.
But remember he was a perverse illegal immoral sex addict which doesnt excuse but does explain his otherwise incomprehensible behaviour.
Shoul he be forgiven? Yes of course morally religiously theologically but not civilly legally or ecclesiastically if the Code of Canon Law is not a bad joke of bureaucratic leger de main and dissimulation and prevarication and lies. Of course it is for had it been anything at all the whole scandal would never have occurred. For what other laws should the Canon law contain but the protection of the flock and distancing of wolves in sheeps clothing or sex addict criminals from them .
yet some of these perversely and ironically are superb priests so they could still be employed as pastors in Old Folks Homes or Jails of which there are many and their needs are great.
They just must never be let near anyone under the age of say 30.
I read the whole latest Code and scarcely found one or two lines or two dealing with this topic of prietsly sex abuse.

Even in medicine the issue is barely mentioned though already in the 1850s there was a French Forensic type who wrote books on the topic. Dr Auguste Ambroise Tardieu who was ignored for well over a Cy.
I could never believe Sallustius’ sordid yellow journalism about Caesar Tiberius I let you research what he did on the isle of Capri with babies. Pretty much goatish things.
Which ultimately takes us to the asexual nature of sexual abuse and back to australopithecine times the alpha male ape overpowers and abuses and humilites the weaker sisters at will.

Today the Church has no power the priests have no power so it’s open season on them.
The Church still doesnt get it: this is end times. It must be fixed or else it’s circumdederunt omnes.

Posted by oncefallendotcom
Thursday, June 23, 2011 05:52

I think an often neglected point is the “scandal” broke during the height of the Satanic panic in day care centers. Another cause of concern is people taking advantage of the scandal to promote agendas or generate income. After all, there has been little oversight on those settlements. People are not satisfied with the study because it counters their own ignorance of the subject.

Lets just think about what haters of the Church really want— the abolition of celibacy and the male priesthood. However, studies have shown no difference in the numbers of sex offenses committed by priests and the number of people in society, so abolishing the hated Catholic doctrine would make no impact on sexual offending.

Posted by marty horn
Thursday, June 23, 2011 04:32


Posted by Jim
Thursday, June 23, 2011 04:27

Responding to Patrick:

On page 34 the report defines pedophiles as abusers of children age 11 and younger; later (p 53) the demarcation is justified thus:

“According to the DSM IV-TR, pedophilia is characterized by fantasies, urges, or behaviors about
sexual activity with a prepubescent child that occurs for a significant period of time. Yet, the Nature and Scope data indicated that nearly four out of five minors abused were at least eleven years old at the time of the abuse. Though development happens at varying ages for children, the literature generally refers to eleven and older as an age of pubescence or postpubescence. "

The DSM gives the criteria of attraction to prepubescent/newly pubescent children, with the guideline (not classification rule) that they are generally 13 and younger. This, says the APA, is a guide for clinicians to apply with appropriate interpretation, not a legal standard. The medical profession has documented a trend towards earlier menarche, probably the result of better nutrition and possibly estrogen-like chemicals in our food and environment.

The upshot: you can legitimately dispute the report’s demarcation, but the authors also can make a case that it was a good-faith decision, and met the standards for a scientific study by reporting their criteria so others can dispute them.

As for collusion with John Jay College, directing academics is like herding cats. Dr. Terry’s report is no guarantee that the next researcher will follow in her footsteps.

Posted by Patrick OMalley
Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:39

Why did you use “a nonstandard definition of pedophilia, using age 10 as the cutoff. The American Psychiatric Association classifies a prepubescent child as age 13 or younger, not age 10 or younger”.

It has the advantage of dropping the percentage of “pedophiles” significantly (from over 70% to under 25%) if you change that number, and the Catholic church loves the fact that you did that. Of course, the typical Catholic newspaper reader would never research this enough to know that you did that.

Read Anderson Cooper’s CNN article questions it at http://bit.ly/lAV4VY

I’ll make a guess. It makes the Catholic church happy, and makes other institutions and companies more confident that the John Jay College will do similar things in future studies to favor the people that pay for the study. For instance, you could redefine “millionaire” to be someone who had a million pennies instead of a million dollars, bury that somewhere in the report, but have the summary show that there were a lot more “millionaires” than actually exist.

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