Wednesday, July 23, 2014
A Very Grim Paper
"Stained Glass: The Nature and Scope of Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church" from Criminal Justice and Behavior 2008; 35; 549. This was the first national survey attempting to determine the number of priests and monks engaged in sexual abuse of children, and not just a survey based on clinical data (which of course involves those who end up in trouble). The good news is that only 4% of priests active 1950 to 2002 had allegations of sexual abuse against them. The bad news is that 4% of priests had such allegations. The damage that such abuse does to children is horrifying, but when done by someone who claims to speak for God--even worse. Unsurprisingly, 81% of the victims are boys, and generally, boys were more likely to be postpubescent. Interestingly enough, priests with a single allegation were much more likely to have abused girls, suggesting that they learned to stop doing this.