Homeschooling is no longer an option …….
“The family therefore holds directly from the Creator the mission and hence the right to educate the offspring, a right inalienable because inseparably joined to the strict obligation, a right anterior to any right whatever of civil society and of the State, and therefore inviolable on the part of any power on earth.
Therefore it is the duty of parents to make every effort to prevent any invasion of their rights in this matter, and to make absolutely sure that the education of their children remain under their own control in keeping with their Christian duty, and above all to refuse to send them to those schools in which there is danger of imbibing the deadly poison of impiety.”
……. But has become a strict necessity
“Two prominent Roman Catholic Church cardinals have urged an end of what they call ‘the plague of the homosexual agenda’, telling bishops to break their complicity over cases of sexual abuse” …….. read more:
“Cardinal Brandmüller claimed that only a ‘vanishingly small number” of clergy had committed abuses. He said the real problem was homosexuality and claimed it is ‘statistically proven’ that there is a link between homosexuality and abuse…….. ’80 per cent of cases of sexual assault in the Church involved male youths not children,’ he told Germany’s DPA news agency” ……. read more:
Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: How Common is it Really? ……. read more:
Sensationalist headlines in the mass media, repeated ad nauseam all over social media, give fuel to anti-Catholic bigotry and encourage physical attacks, abuse and discrimination against ordinary Catholics as well as Catholic clergy and religious.
Just recently a Catholic priest, Fr. Basil Hutsko, whom it should be stressed has never been accused of any sexual crime, was attacked and beaten unconscious in the sacristy of his church in Indiana, USA. The attacker reportedly said when launching the attack, “this is for all the kids”, in reference to the lurid and unrepresentative coverage in the media.
So, actually, how common is child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church according to the official data from independent investigative reports? And how does it compare to child sexual abuse in society as a whole?
We can get a very good idea by comparing the number of victims identified in independent investigations with the length of the period under investigation and the number of Catholics who experienced their childhood years during that period. By doing so we learn the approximate percentage of Catholic children who suffer sexual abuse in an institution like a school, church or orphanage run by the Catholic Church.
The extensive 2004 John Jay College of Criminal Justice investigation, covering the entire USA, found that there were 10,667 reported cases of child sexual abuse in Catholic institutions over a 52-year period. It can reasonably be said that during that 52-year period at least half of the seventy-million-strong Catholic population of the USA went through their childhood years. In other words, the official data records that approximately 0.03% of Catholic children in the USA were victims of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions over a period of fifty-two years.
Staying in the USA, the very recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury investigation reported that 1,000 children were recorded as victims of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions in Pennsylvania over a 70-year period. With seventy years being roughly the average length of a human lifetime it can reasonably be said that three-million, two-hundred thousand children, which is the size of the Catholic population of Pennsylvania, went through their childhood during this seventy-year period. In other words, the official data records that approximately 0.03% of Catholic children in Pennsylvania were victims of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions over a period of seventy years.
In Ireland, the extensive Commission to Enquire into Child Abuse revealed in its Final Report in 2009 that, over a thirty-four year period, 170,000 children passed through Industrial and Reformatory schools run by the Catholic Church. A total of 369 people made complaint to the Commission during its nine-year-long confidential investigation that they had suffered sexual abuse in these institutions. In other words, the official data records that 0.2% of Catholic children in Ireland were victims of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions over a period of thirty-four years.
Finally, in Australia, another extensive investigation, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, found that 4,444 claimants reported sexual abuse in Catholic institutions. This was recorded over a period of 35 years, which is approximately half a lifetime. The Catholic population of Australia is 5,440,000 and it can reasonably be said that roughly half that number of Catholics experienced childhood during the 35-year period under investigation. So, in other words, the official data records that approximately 0.16%.of Catholic children in Australia were victims of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions over a period of thirty-five years.
It’s often claimed that many victims of sexual abuse don’t report it through fear, or embarrassment, or for other reasons, so the true number of victims will be higher. Unfortunately, whilst this may well be true, we cannot know it if they are not reported and recorded. If a guess is made as to what percentage of victims do not report child sexual abuse the same rule and measurement must also apply to the officially recorded data for child sexual abuse in the rest of society.
Horrifically, the U.K.-based National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) records a study published in 2000 by Cawson et al, called ‘Child Maltreatment in the United Kingdom: A Study of the Prevalence of Child Abuse and Neglect’. The extensive study records that an enormous 16% of children under sixteen-years of age suffer sexual abuse.
In the USA, Rind et al found in 1998 in a meta-analytical study compiled from 23 independent studies, that between 22% and 23% of children under eighteen-years of age suffer sexual abuse
So, the next time you come across an anti-Catholic bigot trying to whip-up hatred against Catholics and against Catholicism, using clerical sexual abuse as an excuse, be sure to make use of the facts and figures from the official data to demolish the myths and the lies that are being used in an attempt to overwhelm and undermine Catholicism. Be sure to point out that child sexual abuse is a hundred times worse, or even thousands of times worse, in so-called “normal” society than it is in institutions run by the Catholic Church.
As the famous Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton once said: “When people impute special vices to the Christian Church, they seem entirely to forget that the world (which is the only other thing there is) has these vices much more.”
Research and analyses of official data, conducted by The Saint George Educational Trust, regarding Child Sexual Abuse reveals that by far the largest number of cases of child sexual abuse involving Catholic clergy have been recorded in the USA.
- Over a 42-year period there were 10,667 cases of child sexual abuse and 81% of that sexual abuse was suffered by boys under eighteen years of age. [The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2004].
Approximately one-quarter of the population of the USA is nominally Catholic – that is seventy million people. If the reasonable assumption is made that half of the Catholic population passed through childhood during this 42-year period then 0.03% of Catholic children suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.
- In Ireland, over a 34-year period, more than one hundred and seventy thousand children passed through Industrial and Reformatory Schools run by the Catholic Church. Of this number a total of 369 people, 242 males and 127 females, made complaint to the Irish Child Abuse Commission during its nine-year investigation that they had suffered sexual abuse. [Final Report, Commission to Enquire into Child Abuse, Dublin, 2009].
The incidence rate is 0.2%. Of the accused perpetrators 45% were Catholic clergy or religious, and 55% were visiting professionals, hired staff, family members or other pupils.
In stark contrast, in Secular Society:
- In the UK an average of 16% of children under sixteen years of age suffer sexual abuse, 17% of boys and 28% of girls, in a secular environment. [Cawson et al, 2000, Child Maltreatment in the United Kingdom: A Study of the Prevalence of Child Abuse and Neglect. London, NSPCC, page 85].
- In the USA 22%-23% of children under eighteen years of age suffer sexual abuse, 17% of boys and 28% of girls, in a secular environment. These are average rates compiled from 23 independent studies. [Rind et al, 1998, A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using college Samples; Psychological Bulletin 124: pages 22-53].
- 9.6% of students suffer sexual abuse in secular US schools. [Shakeshaft, Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature, US Dept. of Education, 2004].
In summary we can say that the official statistics prove beyond any doubt that, contrary to pernicious media stories, the sexual abuse of children is hundreds of times more prevalent in Secular Society than it is in the Catholic Church.