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USCCB Funded Study Blames Sex Abuse Crisis on Woodstock, Homosexuality not a Factor
stevusmagnus
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/us/18bishops.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print

Church Report Cites Social Tumult in Priest Scandals

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

A five-year study commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops to provide a definitive answer to what caused the church’s sexual abuse crisis has concluded that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality were to blame.

Instead, the report says, the abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s.

Known occurrences of sexual abuse of minors by priests rose sharply during those decades, the report found, and the problem grew worse when the church’s hierarchy responded by showing more care for the perpetrators than the victims.

The “blame Woodstock” explanation has been floated by bishops since the church was engulfed by scandal in the United States in 2002 and by Pope Benedict XVI after it erupted in Europe in 2010.

But this study is likely to be regarded as the most authoritative analysis of the scandal in the Catholic Church in America. The study, initiated in 2006, was conducted by a team of researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City at a cost of $1.8 million. About half was provided by the bishops, with additional money contributed by Catholic organizations and foundations. The National Institute of Justice, the research agency of the United States Department of Justice, supplied about $280,000.

The report was to be released Wednesday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, but the Religion News Service published an account of the report on its Web site on Tuesday. A copy of the report was also obtained by The New York Times. The bishops have said they hope the report will advance the understanding and prevention of child sexual abuse in society at large.

The researchers concluded that it was not possible for the church, or for anyone, to identify abusive priests in advance. Priests who abused minors have no particular “psychological characteristics,” “developmental histories” or mood disorders that distinguished them from priests who had not abused, the researchers found.

Since the scandal broke, conservatives in the church have blamed gay priests for perpetrating the abuse, while liberals have argued that the all-male, celibate culture of the priesthood was the cause. This report will satisfy neither flank.

The report notes that homosexual men began entering the seminaries “in noticeable numbers” from the late 1970s through the 1980s. By the time this cohort entered the priesthood, in the mid-1980s, the reports of sexual abuse of minors by priests began to drop and then to level off. If anything, the report says, the abuse decreased as more gay priests began serving the church.

Many more boys than girls were victimized, the report says, not because the perpetrators were gay, but simply because the priests had more access to boys than to girls, in parishes, schools and extracurricular activities.

In one of the most counterintuitive findings, the report says that fewer than 5 percent of the abusive priests exhibited behavior consistent with pedophilia, which it defines as a “psychiatric disorder that is characterized by recurrent fantasies, urges and behaviors about prepubescent children.

“Thus, it is inaccurate to refer to abusers as ‘pedophile priests,’ ” the report says.

That finding is likely to prove controversial, in part because the report employs a definition of “prepubescent” children as those age 10 and under. Using this cutoff, the report found that only 22 percent of the priests’ victims were prepubescent.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders classifies a prepubescent child as generally age 13 or younger. If the John Jay researchers had used that cutoff, a vast majority of the abusers’ victims would have been considered prepubescent.

The report, “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2002,” is the second produced by researchers at John Jay College. The first, on the “nature and scope” of the problem, was released in 2004.

Even before seeing it, victims advocates attacked the report as suspect because it relies on data provided by the church’s dioceses and religious orders.

Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a Web site that compiles reports on abuse cases, said, “There aren’t many dioceses where prosecutors have gotten involved, but in every single instance there’s a vast gap — a multiplier of two, three or four times — between the numbers of perpetrators that the prosecutors find and what the bishops released.”

David Clohessy, national director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said that while the report contained no surprises, it had nonetheless been a disappointment because it did not include recommendations for far-reaching reforms, including limiting the power of bishops. Mr. Clohessy said this was critical because bishops had covered up many instances of sexual abuse by priests in the past.

“Predictably and conveniently, the bishops have funded a report that says what they’ve said all along, and what they wanted to hear back,” he said. “Fundamentally, they’ve found that they needn’t even consider any substantive changes.”

Robert M. Hoatson, a priest and a founder of Road to Recovery, which offers counseling and referrals to victims, said the idea that the sexual and social upheavals of past decades were to blame for the abuse of children was an attempt to shift responsibility from church leaders. Mr. Hoatson said he had been among those who had been abused.“It deflects responsibility from the bishops and puts it on to a sociological problem,” he said. “This is a people problem. It wasn’t because of the ’70s, and it wasn’t the ’60s, and it wasn’t because of the 1450s. This was something individuals did.”

Kristine Ward, the chairwoman of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, said the cultural explanation did not appear to explain why abuse cases within the Catholic church have shaken places from Australia and Ireland to South America. “Does the culture of the U.S. in the 1960s explain that? It’s hard to believe,” she said.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, a conservative Catholic group, however said he believes permissiveness in the church in the 1960s and 1970s - particularly at seminaries - had been a significant reason for the rise in sexual abuse. Mr. Donohue said that while he generally supported the report’s findings, he believed that the study seemed to have purposefully avoided linking abuse cases with the increase in the number of gay men who became priests during the 1960s and 1970s. “The authors go through all sorts of contortions to deny the obvious - that obviously, homosexuality was at work,” Mr. Donohue said.

In Philadelphia, where a grand jury in February found that as many as 37 priests suspected of behavior ranging from sexual abuse to inappropriate actions were still serving in ministry. The archdiocese initially rejected the grand jury’s findings, but soon suspended 26 priests from ministry.

An essay in the Catholic magazine Commonweal last week by Ana Maria Catanzaro, who heads the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s sexual-abuse review board, which is supposed to advise the archdiocese on how to handle abuse cases, said that the board was shocked to learn about the dozens of cases uncovered by the grand jury. Her essay raised questions about whether bishops provide accurate data even to their own, in-house review boards.

Still, the John Jay report says that when it comes to analyzing the incidence and causes of sexual abuse, “No organization has undertaken a study of itself in the manner of the Catholic Church.”

Because there are no comparable studies conducted by other institutions, religious or secular, the report says, “It is impossible to accurately compare the rate of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church to rates of abuse in other organizations.”

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"The heresy which is now being born will become the most dangerous of all; the exaggeration of the respect due to the Pope and the illegitimate extension of his infallibility.” Fr. Le Floch, superior of the French Seminary in Rome, 1926.

Posted May 18, 2011, 8:13 pm
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stevusmagnus
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The author finds the claim that most priests were not pedophiles "counterintuitive", but yet she does not find this counterintuitive???

Quote:
The report notes that homosexual men began entering the seminaries “in noticeable numbers” from the late 1970s through the 1980s. By the time this cohort entered the priesthood, in the mid-1980s, the reports of sexual abuse of minors by priests began to drop and then to level off. If anything, the report says, the abuse decreased as more gay priests began serving the church.

Many more boys than girls were victimized, the report says, not because the perpetrators were gay, but simply because the priests had more access to boys than to girls, in parishes, schools and extracurricular activities.


Please let me know if I'm going insane or if this quote makes NO logical sense whatsoever. So, by this logic, heterosexual priests apparently chose to sexually abuse males simply because they had less access to females. ?????

Does anyone else think this statement is insane, just on a purely logical level?

Is this not AT LEAST more "counterintuitive" than the pedophilia portion?


.........................
"The heresy which is now being born will become the most dangerous of all; the exaggeration of the respect due to the Pope and the illegitimate extension of his infallibility.” Fr. Le Floch, superior of the French Seminary in Rome, 1926.

Posted May 18, 2011, 8:17 pm
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gladius_veritatis
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Woodstock: 1968

Molestation began: ongoing well BEFORE 1968

Conclusion: Woodstock could not have caused the problem.
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+ Vincit veritas +

Posted May 18, 2011, 8:48 pm
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