Abuse: Vatican Blame Game, Updated

Writing about the Vatican’s blame game yesterday, (Vatican puts its Head in the Sand), I expressed some scepticism about some figures quoted that were unattributed.  I have since stumbled upon a Canadian story, reprinting one from which describes a “report” (unnamed) of February 27 2004 which appears to discuss the same figures, in greater detail.  This report appears to corroborate the Vatican’s figures of  “1.5 – 5%” of clergy implicated in allegations of abuse, but flatly contradicts the claim that other denominations are at least as guilty.  Canada’s National Post reported in 2004:

On Feb. 27, two major reports were released documenting the extent of American priestly abuse between 1950 and 2002. The numbers are staggering. All told, 4,392 priests were alleged to have sexually abused 10,667 children. That works out to about 4% of all priests in ministry, a figure many times the rate of that for Protestant clergy. The most obvious explanation for the discrepancy is simple: Protestant ministers are allowed to take wives. Catholic priests are not.
Read more:  National Post

This report states clearly that 81% of victims were boys, which differs from other estimates that to thirds were girls. But drawing a clear distinction between the abuse of young boys and adolescents, the report states that adolescents are more vulnerable to gay “ephebophiles” (i.e. attracted to young men), and young boys are more prone to molestation by heterosexual  men, attracted by the hairless, androgynous skin.  It goes on to note that even excluding gay priests from the calculations, that still leaves 3% of heterosexual priests guilty of sexual abuse of children. Read the rest of this entry »