Debate on the Priest Abuse Scandal
from the discussion board for the movie "Deliver Us From Evil" (2006)
Debate on the Priest Abuse Scandal (on the 2006 documentary movie "Deliver Us From Evil")
10/20/2006 08:04 AM from P
From the other thread by "hardcase", I'll respond since you challenged me:
hardcase << i'm proud to be liberal and i'm very proud to be an atheist .... i'm going to quote this once a day, everyday, until P responds. you're a coward P, and i'm not letting you off the hook this time >>
Coward about what? From the day I first posted here (about a week now) I've been consistent. Here are my points. Let's follow my logic:
Note: the movie "Deliver Us From Evil" claims in the trailer that there are "100,000 victims" of abuse from Catholic clergy. That is clearly wrong according to the known stats.
hardcase << there may be just as many molestors in the public school system as there are in the clergy (i somehow doubt it, but whatever) >>
Not whatever. No need to doubt it, the stats have been provided. See above. The Catholic League article provides them, and compare those with the comprehensive John Jay College study. This is not nice to hear, but for abuse among teachers we have this:
Are these sources wrong? If so, disprove them. There's more, see the Catholic League article. I repeat: Not "whatever," you don't have to doubt it. The problem is far worse in the public school system.
hardcase << but the school system doesnt defend the molestors once they're exposed >>
Says who? See above. You're making assertions, but providing no statistics or sources. See above. Please provide your counter stats, provide your counter sources, show that all the sources above are wrong. Once you provide counter sources giving the true story, then you can make that assertion. Until then, your point is disproven above.
hardcase << state board of ed officials dont say "okay, let's send this guy to another district where they havent heard about him" >>
Wrong, it is done. See above. Cold hard facts and stats provided above.
Cabal of Scoundrels? Part 2
4.0% of priests in the U.S. have been accused of abuse over a 50 year period. Again, you're making generalizations without providing any numbers. Here are some more numbers, again from the John Jay College study:
The complete John Jay College study report I have made available as one PDF (see below). The Executive Summary in HTML format is available too (see below). This is the most comprehensive study of abuse in the Church to date, and as I understand it is updated yearly. If you know of a more comprehensive study, please let me know what that is.
hardcase << and that's not only inexcusable but contradictory to the values they claim to represent >>
We agree there, if and when it is done. Those guilty are not living according to the official and clearly defined moral teachings of the Church.
10/26/2006 09:44 PM by P
Scoundrels Part 1
OK, I've given this thread a few days.....time to respond again!
You haven't disputed that except to say the Catholic sources I've provided are biased. Do I need to point out the obvious? The Washington Post, Newsday, Journal of Ed Research, the New York Post, Associated Press, New York Times, and the Sun-Sentinel are not Catholic sources. The John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a non-Catholic institution associated with the secular City Univ of New York. Now for your other points.
hardcase << if you've been doing this for so long, why did you a entitle your thread "cabal of scoundrels? part1" when it contains both "part 1" and "part 2?" guess what? you're an idiot >>
Well you may have me on that one, but when you start a thread in here, you name it something. I originally named it "Cabal of Scoundrels" (without a part 1 or 2) and when finished I hit "Submit New Thread" and got the response back there is a limit to the number of words allowed (about 10,000). Now follow me here. So I then split the post up, and re-named the thread "Cabal of Scoundrels Part 1" since I knew there had to be a Part 2 to fit in the rest. I then added the remainder of my response to you in a post immediately following that one called Part 2. Easily explained. Next.
hardcase << because i bet that's exactly what you'll do, from what i've seen of your modus operandi on this board. you paste the same post containing your church-funded (and thus, irrelevant) statistics over and over >>
It was Church funded (somebody has to fund the study), but the organization doing the collecting of stats are criminal justice professionals and objective, impartial, outside (i.e. non-Catholic) researchers. The research study was not done by the U.S. Catholic bishops but by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Here is the description: "John Jay College has many areas of special interest for local, state and federal law enforcement officials, private security personnel and those interested in fire science, public safety and other facets of public service." (see below for links) Next.
Scoundrels Part 2
hardcase << first off, your figures are of the absurd hyperbole that one can only expect from a christian. we both know that the numbers arent that high, and we both know that it doesnt matter. but if you think that your request was reasonable in light of my assertion that the church is a cabal of scoundrels (an assertion i wholeheartedly maintain and which you're unwittingly helping to affirm) then i have an equally reasonable request. give me unfettered access to the church's internal records >>
OK, we know they aren't that high. Progress made. Now how high are they? And how would you go about determining how bad the problem is in the Church without paying a professional criminal justice organization to do a comprehensive study? Do I need to mention this is what the U.S. Catholic bishops did? The best I can do is point you to the most comprehensive study on the subject here (see links below). I posted the Executive Summary on my apologetics site in HTML format since this appears to be available only as PDF elsewhere. For the full PDF report, see below. Next.
hardcase << namely, that the very wording of my assertion implies secrecy/conspiracy, and is thus unprovable. but a slight leap of faith, supported by strong, if relatively sporadic, evidence, shouldnt be too much to ask from someone who believes that the son of an eternal god rose from the dead and grants eternal life to his followers >>
Yes you are correct. A Cabal would be a small group. OK my mistake. Yes your view is conspiratorial thus an unprovable view, no doubt. More progress made. All we have are the known stats to go on conducted by John Jay College which produced the most comprehensive study on the subject. As for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I would recommend an article and a formal debate:
hardcase << corrupt: in the twelfth century, pope innocent iii originated the expression "kill them all. let god sort them out" when he ordered the massacre of countless "heretics" >>
Changing the subject, but this is dealt with in two books I've already recommended on this board:
hardcase << is my claim wrong? if so, disprove it >>
Not wrong, but exaggerated. There were "inquisitions" and there were "crusades." See books above and also this page by Dave Armstrong. A Catholic source, he is a convert from evangelical Christianity. Nevertheless he backs himself up quite well with plenty of (non-Catholic and secular source) documentation.
hardcase << i could launch into a protracted and quite scholarly account of the church's traditional (and ongoing) oppresion of women, which could easily be construed as a "sexual assault," but why bother? i trust my point is made. or is my claim wrong? if so, disprove it >>
Again, changing the subject. But yes, that claim is wrong and/or exaggerated. But I understand there are two sides to that depending how one interprets history. Two books on the subject: Does Christianity Squash Women?: A Christian Looks at Womanhood by Rebecca Jones (Broadman and Holman, 2005); and Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life by Johnnette Benkovic (Charis Books, 1998), by a Catholic woman commenting on John Paul II's writings on women. There are others presenting your perspective. One is Woe to the Women by Gaylor. This is not a subject I have studied too much. You can't know everything.
hardcase << it is perfectly reasonable to assume the number of pedophiles in the church to be over 50%. i can't prove this claim because it isnt falsifiable. is my claim wrong? you cant disprove it >>
We can only go by what we know, by those who have come forward. Again I repeat: 900,000 cases of abuse were reported in the U.S. in 2001 ALONE, about 10% (90,000) being sexual.
Compared with: about 11,000+ cases of abuse from Catholic clergy have been alleged in the U.S. over a period of 50+ YEARS. That's what we know. The abuse is far more prevalent in society, Protestant clergy and the school system especially.
You're disputing the numbers of Catholics, bishops and priests in the United States? That's all those stats were. The U.S.C.C.B. provided two sources:
hardcase << ya know what? i've just about had it with your bogus statistics. time to dissect. nurse, scalpel please... >>
Your dissection consists of nothing more than noting the page happens to be on my site. As I explained earlier, I converted the John Jay report Executive Summary to HTML format. That's all. The stats are available on the John Jay College of Criminal Justice site itself in PDF format. If you know of a more comprehensive study on abuse in the Church than that, let me know. You haven't provided any counter stats or any counter sources disputing mine. A lot of assertions but no documentation.
hardcase << if you can't back up your argument with objective, impartial, and unbiased sources, then you're wasting your time >>
I have done so. Go back and read my posts. All the sources I've provided are non-Catholic, objective news sources. See above. John Jay College of Criminal Justice is not a Catholic college. I might just put a few of these posts on my own site to preserve them (my replies with quotes from your replies).
dewt << I have been wanting to huff and puff and blow down the house of cards ol' Big Bad Phil, if ever a Boy thought blustering big words meant being a Man. The house of cards he was so frantically trying to keep intact. >>
erro << PS Word to your mother, Phil. You've stated previously that you aren't that well versed on the actual case by case systemic clergy abuse/bishop coverup that has been going on these past years (centuries?) >>
Here's what you all need to do:
Again, the problem is far worse in the public school system. Does anyone in here still dispute that? There's nothing more to say in response. I've said it all, repeated it over and over. I might be done here but you never know. I have this board in my favorites.
"GOING FOR THE VATICAN JUGULAR"
Recent accusations against the Vatican deserve a response.
Here's what's really going on.
The Times has teamed up with Jeffrey Anderson, a radical lawyer who has made millions suing the Church (and greasing professional victims' groups like SNAP), so they can weaken its moral authority. Why? Because of issues like abortion, gay marriage and women's ordination. That's what's really driving them mad, and that's why they are on the hunt. Those who doubt this to be true need to ask why the debt-ridden Times does not spend the same resources looking for dirt in other institutions that occurred a half-century ago.
Bill Donohue, President
"ABUSE SCANDAL IS NOT WIDENING"
April 9, 2010
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the latest developments in the sexual abuse scandal.
Every news story and commentary stating that the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church is widening is factually wrong. The evidence shows just the opposite -- it has been contracting for approximately a quarter century.
Here's the proof:
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice -- not exactly an arm of the Catholic Church -- has shown repeatedly that the vast majority of the abuse cases took place from the mid-60s to the mid-80s. And the reports over the last five years show a rapid decline. The latest report, covering 2008-2009, shows exactly six credible allegations made against over 40,000 priests and tens of thousands of others working for the Catholic Church.
Almost all of the chatter about the alleged widening of the scandal is a direct result of media sensationalism. Here is a perfect example, taken from a Reuters story today. The headline reads, "Norway's Catholic Church Reveals New Abuse Cases." But what is new is not a new wave of incidents, rather it is an admission by the Norwegian Catholic Church of four cases of alleged abuse that it had not previously disclosed. Two of the cases date back to the 1950s; another dates back two decades; and the fourth one was based on "rumors."
The same Reuters story opens by saying these four stories come "two days after it [the Norwegian Catholic Church] revealed that a bishop who resigned last year did so after abusing an altar boy." That makes it sound like a Church cover-up. Only at the end of the story does the reader learn that the reason why this story did not emerge until this week is precisely because the victim initially asked that it not be made public.
There is no other religious or secular institution being cherry-picked by lawyers and the media like that of the Catholic Church. If what happened in the 1950s qualifies as news when it happened in the Catholic Church, then surely it would be news to learn of all those who were abused a half-century ago by ministers, rabbis, school teachers and others. But it will never happen -- such news fails to make the media salivate.
"Media bias and Catholic bashing"
One of the hallmarks of bigotry is the collectivization of guilt. By that measure, much of the criticism against the pope has been nothing if not Catholic bashing. From militant atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins indicting the Catholic Church as a "child-raping institution," to newspaper cartoons branding all Catholic clergy as molesters, the evidence is clear that anti-Catholicism is alive and well.
When an MSNBC employee posts on its Web site that the pope was guilty of "touching boys" (an apology was quickly granted, and I accepted it), then there is something sick going on. Indeed, the vitriol has been unrelenting. Moreover, a bishop was attacked during Easter Mass in Muenster, Germany, and anti-Catholic graffiti were splashed on the walls of a church near Rome. And let's not forget about the calls to storm the offices of the Catholic League that were placed on the Internet, as well as the non-stop hate speech that we've fielded via phone calls, e-mails and letters.
As I said in a New York Times op-ed page ad recently, the issues of abortion, gay marriage and women's ordination are driving the hatred. Now it is no secret that the vast majority of those working in the mainstream media -- especially the most influential outlets -- are decidedly liberal. It is not surprising, then, that a portion of this segment is inimical to the teachings of the Catholic Church on matters sexual, and that some are fueled with hatred. To deny this exists is to be in denial.
It is, of course, nonsense to pretend that the media make up stories of priestly sexual abuse. The fault lies squarely with the Catholic Church. But when one institution is targeted among many, and when the window extends back a half-century, those who belong to it may rightly wonder what is going on. To wit: if there were a monistic fixation on sexual abuse in the Jewish community, or in the public schools, Jews and teachers could be excused if they thought they were being put upon.
Many are drawing a parallel between what happened in 2002 in Boston and today's news stories. But there is a huge difference: the newspapers which fingered the Boston Archdiocese had the goods on the known culprits. Today it is a different story.
In the Catholic League's 2002 Annual Report on Anti-Catholicism, I wrote the following: "It was a rare event in 2002 to read a newspaper account of the scandal that was patently unfair, much less anti-Catholic. The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and the New York Times covered the story with professionalism." Not so today.
What makes matters different today is the total lack of evidence that Pope Benedict XVI did anything wrong. Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times has absolutely no proof that the pope knew anything about the infamous Father Lawrence Murphy case (the Wisconsin priest who molested deaf boys). Indeed, this case didn't even reach his Vatican office until 1996 (almost a half-century after the alleged offenses, and fully two decades after Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland knew about it).
Furthermore, Fr. Thomas Brundage, the judge in the Murphy trial, said that the pope's name (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) never came up during discussions in Milwaukee, Washington (home to the headquarters of the bishops) or Rome. Indeed, he said he was "shocked" when he learned some were trying to tie him to the Murphy case. On a related note, Goodstein never bothered to interview Brundage until after her big story ran.
In other words, many of the same media outlets that acted responsibly in 2002 acted irresponsibly in 2010. They reached for the big gold ring in the sky this time around, trying to tag -- if not unseat -- the pope, and they lost. Shame on them for trying.
Bill Donohue is President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Books / Articles:
Priest Scandal: A Catholic Answers Special Report
by Scandals: Catholics Speak Out About Priests' Sexual Abuse
edited by Paul Thigpen
Audio MP3 from EWTN:
on the 2010 "NY Times" article:
World Over Live EWTN 3/26/2010 hosted by Raymond Arroyo and guests
on the 2002 "Boston" archdiocese scandal:
in the Church Part 1 hosted by Raymond Arroyo with guests
Summary of the John Jay College Report (HTML format on this
P (Updated April 2010)
Back to Philosophy Articles
Back to Home Page
About | Apologetics | Philosophy | Spirituality | Books | Audio | Links