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Catholic Church Apologetics October 4, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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I am not a formally educated statistician.  But I have seen the numbers, and I have a calculator.  A recent story in the Guardian UK website highlights the Catholic Church defending the scandal regarding Catholic clergy involved in various forms of sexual abuse and child abuse.  There is no longer a question that it happened, so this is an attempt by the Vatican to marginalize the real numbers.  According to Wikipedia, there are just over 1.4 million “personnel” in the organization, and just over 400,000 of those are clergy.  The 400,000 is the population being referenced as Catholic clergy.

According to the story, an Archbishop by the name of Silvano Tomasi claimed that “only 1.5% to 5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.” So let’s look at the numbers, shall we?  For 1.5 percent of the clergy we can calculate 400,000 * .015 = 6,000. For the high estimate, we can calculate 400,000 * .05 = 20,000.

So the conclusion here is that anywhere from about 6,000 to as high as 20,000 clergy were potentially involved in the scandal. I wonder how many of those were prosecuted in our legal system as opposed to being dealt with inside the Catholic organization as I have been hearing?  Is it just me, or does anyone think that even 6,000 does not represent a very serious problem – especially when these clergy represent God?  And when the Vatican does not deny the problem, rather than ongoing restitution, apologies, healing, and yes, criminal investigations, they instead decide to try to make the problem appear to be a small one!

I would never send my child to any Catholic based activity without supervision.  And supervision would not include a single one of the 1.4 million members of the Catholic organization.  This despicable and disgusting story continues to remind me that no matter what god is being worshiped, no matter how many people attend a particular church, there is no more guarantee that your child is safe from predators.  I do realize that millions of children have passed through the seven sacraments of Catholicism completely unscathed by sexual predators, but that is no excuse for the ones who did not make it through.

These perpetrators, when caught, need to go immediately into the legal system for prosecution, under the full weight of the law, just like any other sexual predator.  The fact that the current Pope has attempted to keep these clergy from entering that system is a sign that the entire Catholic organization does not deserve to be held in any higher esteem than Ted Haggard himself.

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