Priest Child Abuse Cases: Some Perspective
Jim Finnegan, writing in the Naples (Florida) News, was responding to some folks who had commented on his original article on the Catholic Church priest child abuse cases. Apparently, some folks read his words and though he was saying something directly opposite to them. In his follow-up, he first had to give the obligatory disclaimers that he’s not excusing anyone, but he quoted some information that puts this all in perspective.
Charol Shakeshaft, a researcher of a little remembered 2004 study for the U.S. Department of Eduction [sic] on the physical sexual abuse of students in schools, pointed out " the physical sexual abuse of students in schools, is likely more than 100 times the abuse of Priests." I am sure this is easy to Google for the entire study should you wish.
Shakeshaft also pointed out that "nearly 9.6% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometimes durin [sic] their school career." Creditable accounts of Priestly abuse occured [sic] from but 1.7% of the total Priests in the U.S. Thankfully, Shakeshaft’s study is now being revisited by news commentators seeking to restore some sense of proportion to the media’s aggressive coverage of the Catholic Church.
While Priestly sex abuse can never be mitigated by these figures, they do point out the gross imbalance, and bring question to the motives of the news media that are pouring resources into digging up decades old dirt on the Church. Sadly,the nerative [sic] that has been constructed is often less about the protection of the young (for whom the Catholic Church is, by empirical measure now the safest environment for young people in America today
Aside from Finnegan’s need for a spell checker, this does point out a stark double standard in play, by both liberals and the media (apologies for the repetition). Just going by numbers, you’d think there would be more coverage about abuse in schools, which (if you don’t homeschool) have a mandatory attendance requirement, vs. church, which is entirely voluntary. Not to mention the fact that the school abuse continues while…
The facts show that Priestly sex abuse is a phenomenon that spiked in the mid 1960’s into the 1980’s. This at the time that the "anything goes" sexual revolution began. These are the old cases that the media has chosen to resurrect in their recent attacks on the Church.
Again, none of this should be construed as excusing anyone of these horrible deeds. But a little perspective is in order, and the media, since it goes against "the narrative", is simply not providing it.
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