Fig Leaves, Gerasene Swine, and Carpets: Bishops and Clerical Sexual Abuse.

Since my somewhat rushed report at midnight last night, with one 3 am update. I have had some time to look for more information.  Guess what?  I have found none. Is this a symptom of  what will happen to the full report later?

Let me recap.

A news story from Associated Press yesterday stated that an interim report had been presented to the USCCB meeting on research undertaken for the bishops by researchers from the John Jay College. of Criminal Justice.  The AP story on this report, carried by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and by Azstar yesterday, focused on a finding that there was no evidence that the problem was caused by “homosexual” clergy. On the contrary, gay and straight priests appeared to be equally culpable. The Catholic News Agency also carried a story on the report, but picking up on a different aspect. Another key finding of the report was that there had been “no change” in the pattern of abuse since the first report. I have made extensive attempts to track down additional reports on this story, and have found none. I have seen exactly the three discussed above – two carrying essentially the same syndicated AP take, and one from Catholic News.

Worst Logo Ever? LA Diocesan Youth Commission

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Fig leaf Removed: Clerical Abuse is NOT Caused by Gay Priests, After All.

Surprised? no, of course not – but this report is still welcome news, because it was commissioned by the US bishops, to whom an interim report has just been delivered.

Some recent history is in order here. In late September, I carried a report that “Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that “available research” showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.” When I investigated this claim for m(Vatican Blame Game, updated) , it turned out that this claim of Tomasi’s was based on earlier research evidence by the same John Jay research institution. But when I read the report itself, I found nothing in it to confirm Archbishop’s conclusions. The fact that this report confirms what the rest of the world knows, is welcome, but not earthshattering. Don’t hold your breath for the bishops to announce that they accept the report, or will act on this finding, or even for them to release the full report when it has been concluded. Read the rest of this entry »