Catholic daily buries the news in sexual abuse headline

March 13, 2010


Headlines are supposed to highlight the news, but sometimes the news is uncomfortable. Like the sexual abuse cases for the Roman Catholic Church. Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian Catholic bishops’ conference, played down the big news in its front-page headline on Saturday about an  interview with the head of the Vatican office dealing with charges of sexual abuse against priests.

In the middle of the front page (at left), it ran the headline “Il ‘pm’ vaticano: in tutto il mondo trecento i preti accusati di pedofilia.” — Vatican public prosecutor: 300 priests accused of pedophilia in the whole world.”  That actually doesn’t sound like that many, given all the cases we’ve heard about all these years.

It’s only in the interview on page 5 that the real picture emerges. There the reader finds a much larger figure of  3,000 accusations of sexual misdeeds of all kinds made against priests since 2001, concerning cases dating back up to 50 years ago. That sounds more like it, although it still must be lower than the real number of cases because so many don’t get reported.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the “promoter of justice” for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, broke down this large figure into three categories — cases of pedophile and same-sex ephebophile acts and cases of heterosexual acts. Some 60% of the cases were ephebophile (with adolescents), 30% were heterosexual (with adolescent and adult females) and 10% were pedophile (with prepubescent children).

So which figure got highlighted on the main page? The smallest, of course. This is all the more interesting because the the news shorthand for these cases tends to use words like pedophile or children. By ignoring the majority of cases that concern adolescents, the Avvenire headline makes it all seem less of a problem than it is.

In an earlier blog post, we asked whether the hierarchy would have hushed up so many abuse cases if there had been more women in decision-making positions. That question of perspective comes up here too. Avvenire may think this is a reassuring headline. I wonder how many of its readers — especially those who are parents — find any consolation in the news that “only” 10% of accused abusers were going after children under 12 while the majority preyed on youths a few years older.


Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops' Conference, after meeting Pope Benedict to discuss abuse cases in Germany on 12 March 2010/Tony Gentile

Here are the relevant passages from the interview in English translation, as provided by the Vatican press office:

Avvenire: How many (sexual abuse cases) have you dealt with so far?

Scicluna: Overall in the last nine years (2001-2010) we have considered accusations concerning around three thousand cases of diocesan and religious priests, which refer to crimes committed over the last fifty years.

That is, then, three thousand cases of paedophile priests?

No, it is not correct to say that. We can say that about sixty percent of the cases chiefly involved sexual attraction towards adolescents of the same sex, another thirty percent involved heterosexual relations, and the remaining ten percent were cases of paedophilia in the true sense of the term; that is, based on sexual attraction towards prepubescent children. The cases of priests accused of paedophilia in the true sense have been about three hundred in nine years. Please don’t misunderstand me, these are of course too many, but it must be recognised that the phenomenon is not as widespread as has been believed.

The accused, then, are three thousand. How many have been tried and condemned?

Currently we can say that a full trial, penal or administrative, has taken place in twenty percent of cases, normally celebrated in the diocese of origin – always under our supervision – and only very rarely here in Rome. We do this also in order to speed up the process. In sixty percent of cases there has been no trial, above all because of the advanced age of the accused, but administrative and disciplinary provisions have been issued against them, such as the obligation not to celebrate Mass with the faithful, not to hear confession, and to live a retired life of prayer. It must be made absolutely clear that in these cases, some of which are particularly sensational and have caught the attention of the media, no absolution has taken place. It’s true that there has been no formal condemnation, but if a person is obliged to a life of silence and prayer, then there must be a reason…

ettal abbey

Ettal Abbey, location of many abuse cases being reported in Germany, 3 March 2010/Johannes Eisele

We can say that in ten percent of cases, the particularly serious ones in which the proof is overwhelming, the Holy Father has assumed the painful responsibility of authorising a decree of dismissal from the clerical state. This is a very serious but inevitable provision, taken though administrative channels. In the remaining ten percent of cases, it was the accused priests themselves who requested dispensation from the obligations deriving from the priesthood, requests which were promptly accepted. Those involved in these latter cases were priests found in possession of paedophile pornographic material and, for this reason, condemned by the civil authorities.

Where do these three thousand cases come from?

Mostly from the United States which, in the years 2003-2004, represented around eighty percent of total cases. In 2009 the United States “share” had dropped to around twenty-five percent of the 223 cases reported from all over the world. Over recent years (2007-2009), the annual average of cases reported to the Congregation from around the world has been two hundred and fifty. Many countries report only one or two cases. There is, then, a growing diversity and number of countries of origin of cases, but the phenomenon itself is much reduced. It must, in fact, be borne in mind that the overall number of diocesan and religious priests in the world is four hundred thousand, although this statistic does not correspond to the perception that is created when these sad cases occupy the front pages of the newspapers.

And in Italy?

Thus far the phenomenon does not seem to have dramatic proportions, although what worries me is a certain culture of silence which I feel is still too widespread in the country. The Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) offers an excellent technical-juridical consultancy service for bishops who have to deal with these cases. And I am very pleased to observe the ever greater commitment being shown by Italian bishops to throw light on the cases reported to them.

You said that a full trial has taken place in around twenty percent of the three thousand cases you have examined over the last nine years. Did they all end with the condemnation of the accused?

Many of the past trials did end with the condemnation of the accused. But there have also been cases in which the priest was declared innocent, or where the accusations were not considered to have sufficient proof. In all cases, however, not only is there an examination of the guilt or innocence of the accused priest, but also a discernment as to his fitness for public ministry.

Follow FaithWorld on Twitter at RTRFaithWorld


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Nice article. Saw a comment on another post implying that Reuters was not objective in its covering of the Catholic Church. I would say that that was HARSH.
This scandal, in Germany, is reaching a tipping point. I have to say I am disappointed that the pope appears to now be implicated. I had hoped he would have come across unscathed. Now I wonder whether his appearance of ‘CARING’ over the last couple of years was because he knew that his name might come up.
Very sad. I doubt whether he will resign. The Constitution, as of 1996, explicitly permits resignations.
Thanks. Keep up the good reporting.
I always come to YOU guys for objective coverage.
Anura Guruge

Posted by aguruge | Report as abusive

Anura, thanks for your vote of confidence in our objectivity. As for whether our coverage is harsh, I assume this refers to our coverage of the clerical sexual abuse scandals. Pointing out facts and holding people in authority responsible for their acts is not harsh. Judging people by the standards they themselves set — and preach and teach to others, I might add — is not harsh. Would one tell the parents of a child abused by a priest, rabbi or imam that they were being harsh for reacting strongly to the facts? It would be harsh if, because of these scandals, I said the whole Church was full of pedophiles, or said celibacy was the sole reason for these crimes and should be abolished, or said these wayward priests deserved no pity. I haven’t said that and I wouldn’t.

Posted by Tom Heneghan | Report as abusive

Let me share this comment from the “Catholic Knight”.

(The Guardian) – The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was “busy cleaning its own house” and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.

In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by 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.

He also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common.

He added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.

Nor did The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would “be more correct” to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.

“Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17.”

The statement concluded: “As the Catholic church has been busy cleaning its own house, it would be good if other institutions and authorities, where the major part of abuses are reported, could do the same and inform the media about it.”

The Holy See launched its counter–attack after an international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Keith Porteous Wood, accused it of covering up child abuse and being in breach of several articles under the Convention on the Rights of the Child…

read full story here

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: It’s truly sad that such things need to be pointed out, but unfortunately they do, and it’s even more especially sad that it’s a Vatican spokesman, and a lowly Catholic blogger like myself, that has to do it. It’s a sign of the times really, yet another reminder of how the mainstream media fails to do their job, over and over again, leaving the real work to scavengers on the Internet. Yes I admit it. I’m a news scavenger. All bloggers are. Lately however, it seems that if you want to really get newsworthy information, or dig down deep into a story, it’s off to the blogs you must go. I’ll also admit that I’m an apologist for the Catholic Church too. No surprise there. Let’s face it though, people like me would be out of a job if the Church were not so viciously and unfairly attacked about so many different things. For example; how many apologists have you seen for the United Church of Christ? How many apologists have you seen for the Church of the Nazarene? How many apologists have you seen for the Amish? How many apologists have you seen for Buddhism? There just aren’t that many now are there. That’s because these groups do not find themselves regularly and systematically the target of unfair attacks. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who would like to be apologists for these religions, and I imagine some of them would be good ones. It’s just that there is virtually no market for it. An apologist has to have something to defend, and if nobody’s attacking the religion he would like to defend, then there is no reason to be an apologist for it now is there.

This is not so when it comes to the Catholic Church, which is regularly and systematically attacked in the most vicious ways, not by Buddhists, not by Hindus, and not even by Muslims. (Though the latter have had their occasional fits of rage.) No, the most systematic and regular attacks on the Catholic Church come from just two main sources. They are Evangelical Fundamentalism and Secular Humanism, which in more ways than they would ever care to admit, have become two peas in a pod. Both movements were spawned in northern Europe. Both movements have extensive ties with Freemasonry. (Yes, it’s true, many Evangelicals are Freemasons. Though they usually keep quiet about it.) Both movements have a history of targeting The Catholic Church as if it were the “root of all evil.” Both movements have found a welcome home in the United States of America. Both movements dominate American politics – though usually in competition with each other. Both movements have been known to use the same arguments and tactics when attacking the Catholic Church. If we follow the “enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend” logic, it’s easy to see why Secularists and Evangelicals frequently end up in the same bed together when it comes to their take on the Catholic Church. There is no level of reason that will appease the Secularist, but for the Evangelical Fundamentalist there is hope. To them I say only this. Divorce yourselves from the Secularist hatred of the Catholic Church, for the tactics the Secularists use on Rome will soon be turned on you. Rome has withstood the assault. Will you? Instead, come to our aid, and help us get the truth out, before it’s too late. Catholics and Evangelicals have nothing to fear from the truth, but Secularists do, and that’s why they attack Catholicism so vociferously right now, and they will soon do the same to you. In the end, when all the statistics are counted, it is the Secularists who have the most to fear from sex-abuse of minors and cover-up.

The usual suspects are in the mainstream news media. By that I mean organizations like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, etc. These groups are all too eager to report the latest happenings in the sex-abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. They do so to the complete neglect of similar scandals erupting in other religions, and to the complete omission of the actual statistics that put everything into full perspective. They haven’t pointed this out, and they never will. Why? Because if they did there wouldn’t be a sensational story anymore. The Catholic Church would be no different than any other religion, and the problem would be revealed as so much worse in the non-religious Secular world. It defeats the whole purpose you see. Why report on a story, and attempt to make it into a sensationalist scandal that will stun the world, when reporting all the facts eliminates the shock. We could attribute this to pure sensationalism and media hype, and indeed that would probably be the case if it were not so systematic and predictable. Indeed, it would appear there is something much deeper at work here. We know certain elements of the mainstream news media have conspired to bring down certain presidential administrations. The emails and memos on that were uncovered some time back, even to the point where one network knowingly promoted falsified documents. So the question is, do some of these news media giants also conspire to bring down religious institutions? As one anonymous network news insider put it. “The bias in the television news media isn’t in what we say. That would be too obvious. It’s in what we don’t say. It’s in the bits and pieces of information that never make it to the set. That’s where the bias is.” I won’t take it any further than that. You be the judge. What I will do is report the facts, and put them into full perspective. You decide what to believe.

(Christian Science Monitor) – Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.

These are findings from national surveys by Christian Ministry Resources (CMR), a tax and legal-advice publisher serving more than 75,000 congregations and 1,000 denominational agencies nationwide….

read full story here

The Christian Science Monitor nails it right on the head! And this is an old article no less, from April of 2002, but it’s just as relevant today as it was then. Now the Monitor is not trying to pick on any one group here, but just put the whole matter into perspective. The article continues…

(CSM) – “The Catholics have gotten all the attention from the media, but this problem is even greater with the Protestant churches simply because of their far larger numbers,” he says.

Of the 350,000 churches in the US, 19,500 – 5 percent – are Roman Catholic. Catholic churches represent a slightly smaller minority of churches in the CMR surveys which aren’t scientifically random, but “representative” demographic samples of churches, Dr. Cobble explains.

Since 1993, on average about 1 percent of the surveyed churches reported abuse allegations annually. That means on average, about 3,500 allegations annually, or nearly 70 per among the predominantly Protestant group, Cobble says.

The CMR findings also reveal:

* Most church child-sexual-abuse cases involve a single victim.
* Law suits or out-of-court settlements were a result in 21 percent of the allegations reported in the 2000 survey.
* Volunteers are more likely than clergy or paid staff to be abusers. Perhaps more startling, children at churches are accused of sexual abuse as often as are clergy and staff. In 1999, for example, 42 percent of alleged child abusers were volunteers – about 25 percent were paid staff members (including clergy) and 25 percent were other children.


So now that you know the facts, how much have you heard about this on the mainstream news? Have there been entire news segments dedicated to this story as we saw with the mainstream news media’s coverage of the sex-abuse scandal among priests? Have there even be regular reports? How about irregular reports? Has there been any reporting at all? If so, certainly not on the scale of the reporting that’s been done on the Catholic Church – not even close. Why do you suppose that is? If the news media is so hot for the next juicy story, why not go where the meat is, right? Why not turn to the Protestant churches and blow this thing wide open? Why do they focus like a laser beam on the Catholic Church? Could there be a reason? Could there be an agenda?

I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. The Christian Science Monitor did a bang-up great job with this report back in 2002. Not only do they report the full facts and figures, but their analysis of the situation is spot on…

(CSM) -The problem, Cobble says, is that churches are the perfect environment for sexual predators, because they have large numbers of children’s’ programs, a shortage of workers to lead them, and a culture of trust that is the essence of the organization….


The problem here is sexual predators, more so than anything else, coupled with church staff that is far too trusting. Sexual predators are naturally drawn toward positions of power that put them in close contact with their prey. Naturally, Protestant ministries and Catholic clericalism do just that, but not nearly as well as public school teaching, coaching and day care working, but I’ll get to that later. To sum it up, a pervert is a pervert long before he ever decides to become a Protestant minister, Catholic priest, or Church volunteer. He seeks these positions because they get him close to what he wants. The positions don’t make the predator. Quite the opposite really, the predator covets the position because he’s looking for his next victim.

This gets me onto another matter, which is the nature of the sex-abuse that occurred in the Catholic Church. The overwhelming majority of it was NOT pedophilia. It was homosexual ephebophilia – which is a “gay” desire for teenage boys. It’s a twisted manifestation of homosexuality, certainly not a trait of all homosexuals, but it would seem a lot of homosexuals are predisposed to it. The overwhelming vast majority of sex-abuse in the Catholic Church occurred on victims between the ages of 11 and 17 years of age. Of course there were a lot of 18 year olds included in that too, but since this is technically not illegal, since the victim is technically an adult, it falls more under the category of pure homosexuality as opposed to gay ephebophilia. The Catholic Church has a GAY problem, not a pedophile problem. How much has the mainstream news media reported on this? I suppose however, it would be politically incorrect to even suggest such a thing, so we shouldn’t expect the mainstream news media to report on it.

(Catholic League) – According to a survey by the Washington Post, over the last four decades, less than 1.5 percent of the estimated 60,000 or more men who have served in the Catholic clergy have been accused of child sexual abuse. According to a survey by the New York Times, 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001 have been accused of child sexual abuse. Thomas Kane, author of Priests are People Too, estimates that between 1 and 1.5 percent of priests have had charges made against them. Of contemporary priests, the Associated Press found that approximately two-thirds of 1 percent of priests have charges pending against them.

Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals. Dr. Thomas Plante, a psychologist at Santa Clara University, found that “80 to 90% of all priests who in fact abuse minors have sexually engaged with adolescent boys, not prepubescent children. Thus, the teenager is more at risk than the young altar boy or girls of any age.”

The situation in Boston, the epicenter of the scandal, is even worse. According to the Boston Globe, “Of the clergy sex abuse cases referred to prosecutors in Eastern Massachusetts, more than 90 percent involve male victims. And the most prominent Boston lawyers for alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse have said that about 95 percent of their clients are male.”

In a database analysis of reports on more than 1,200 alleged victims of priests identified by USA Today, 85 percent were males. In another study by USA Today, it was determined that of the 234 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor while serving in the nation’s 10 largest dioceses and archdioceses, 91 percent of their victims were males.

Much has been made of a survey done by the Dallas Morning News which claims that two-thirds of the nation’s bishops have allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to continue working. But the problem with the survey is its definition of abuse—it includes everything from “ignoring warnings about suspicious behavior” to “criminal convictions.” Thus, the survey is of limited utility.


Now that’s not to say that some bishops weren’t involved. Indeed some were, and rest assured these offenders will not escape justice. However, there is no evidence to suggest that a “majority,” or even a “sizable minority,” of bishops were involved in the cover-up and systematic transfer of sexually abusive priests. We simply have no evidence of that. If you’re going to nail a group of people on something like that, you had better have some evidence to back up your claim. Aside from a few isolated cases, with a few particular bishops, (most recently in Los Angeles), that evidence does not exist.

What’s ironic about the phenomenon of abusive gay priests is that according to the laws of the Catholic Church, a homosexual is not even supposed to enter a seminary, let alone be ordained to the priesthood. So either they’re lying about their sexuality upon entering the seminary, or else the seminary recruiters are lying for them. In his book “Goodbye Good Men” author Michael S. Rose exposes an elaborate network of pro-homosexual activists who infiltrated a few popular seminaries in the United States, gaining high positions, with an agenda to admit all of their gay buddies, and the most liberal men they could find. Pope John Paul II actually had to shut down one of these seminaries because of this very problem. He even goes so far as to suggest the current priest shortage is contrived, having been artificially created by the actions of this stealth network that turned away good orthodox candidates to the seminaries, and admitted the most liberal and progressive candidates instead, many of whom were homosexual. Gay seminarians eventually turn into gay priests, and as we learned from the statistics, these men have a much higher propensity toward sexual abuse of male teenage minors. Again, how much did you hear about this from the mainstream news media? Anything? I didn’t think so. Is it designed to be that way? You decide.

(Catholic League) – In the spring of 2002, when the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church was receiving unprecedented attention, the Christian Science Monitor reported on the results of national surveys by Christian Ministry Resources. The conclusion: “Despite headlines focusing on the priest pedophile problem in the Roman Catholic Church, most American churches being hit with child sexual-abuse allegations are Protestant, and most of the alleged abusers are not clergy or staff, but church volunteers.”

Finally, in the authoritative work by Penn State professor Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests, it was determined that between .2 and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles. The figure among the Protestant clergy ranges between 2 and 3 percent…


The figure is significantly higher among Protestant ministers who have had some kind of sexual contact with adults from their congregations – about 25% to 38%. In this area too, Catholic priests do much better, the overwhelming vast majority managing to keep their vows of celibacy, or else they voluntarily leave the priesthood.

Stepping back and putting the whole thing into perspective, we find that the number of actual pedophile child molesters in the Catholic Church is incredibly small at approximately 1.7%. The number of homosexual ephebophiles (gay men who sexually abuse teenage boys), is slightly higher in the neighborhood of 2% to 3%. Less than 5% of Catholic priests have had a single accusation made against them, and in many of these cases, the courts have thrown them out as baseless. So were talking about 1.7% of priests who may be pedophiles. That comes to less than 1,200 priests in the United States. So you think that sounds like a big number eh? What does that say for the remaining 58,880 US Catholic clergy who were in no way part of this scandal? What does that say for the remaining 58,880 good Roman Catholic priests who do their jobs properly, and would never dream of harming a child? It says that they can count on not receiving any recognition from the mainstream news media. It says they can expect to continue to be demonized, all because of the actions of a tiny minority who don’t represent them in any way, and the reporting of a careless news media machine that is hell-bent on portraying every Catholic priest in America as a pervert.

All that being said, as sad as the clergy sex-abuse cover-up scandal is in the U.S. Catholic Church, and in American Protestant churches, the abuse statistics are significantly higher among the Secularists in the public schools….

(Catholic League) – One of the nation’s foremost authorities on the subject of the sexual abuse of minors in public schools is Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft. In 1994, Shakeshaft and Audrey Cohan did a study of 225 cases of educator sexual abuse in New York City. Their findings are astounding.

All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.

Moving molesting teachers from school district to school district is a common phenomenon. And in only 1 percent of the cases do superintendents notify the new school district. According to Diana Jean Schemo, the term “passing the trash” is the preferred jargon among educators.

Shakeshaft has also determined that 15 percent of all students have experienced some kind of sexual misconduct by a teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade; the behaviors range from touching to forced penetration. She and Cohan also found that up to 5 percent of teachers sexually abuse children. Shakeshaft will soon be ready to release the findings of a vast study undertaken for the Planning and Evaluation Service Office of the Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education, titled, “Educator Sexual Misconduct with Students: A Synthesis of Existing Literature on Prevalence in Connection with the Design of a National Analysis.”


So there you have it. The dirty little secret is out. Our nation’s public schools are filled with perverts, teeming with them actually, all just waiting to get a hold of your children. Since the public schools are essentially “Secular” institutions, maybe it all makes sense why the Secular news media would come down so hard on sexual-abuse within the Catholic Church. Maybe, just maybe, they’re hoping if they keep the focus on a religious institution long enough, parents won’t notice what’s going on right underneath their noses in their kids’ public schools. Could it be that while the Secular mainstream news media claims to be exposing a cover-up scandal within a religious institution, what they’re really doing is assisting in a little cover-up scandal of their own. You decide…

(NCRegister.Com) – According to a major 2004 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 10% of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees. The author of the study concluded that the scope of the school-sex problem appears to far exceed the clergy abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church and concluded in an interview with Education Week “the physical abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests”…

Posted by drosaupan | Report as abusive

I left the catholic church 35 years ago. This problem will not go away if left up to them to police themselves. Hit them where it hurts, Keep your faith and keep your money. Stop paying them, when they get hungry they will begin to listen. Organize a month of holding back and watch the boys at the top throw the bad preists where they belong.
Its way past time to clean house! Not in my backyard

Posted by notinmybackyard | Report as abusive

“All that being said, as sad as the clergy sex-abuse cover-up scandal is in the U.S. Catholic Church, and in American Protestant churches, the abuse statistics are significantly higher among the Secularists in the public schools….”

I don’t think anyone has read the smoking gun document by the The US Dept of Education-it is being misused by journalist who don’t bother to even look at the source; bloggers can (but should not be) forgiven for being so haphazard, but the number of professional journalists using this report to make the Catholic Church look good by comparison amounts to journalistic misconduct.


According to the logic of this report…Referring to all women and “gates of hell”…would mean that the church is according to this study of at least victimizing at least 50% of its membership.

The behaviors COUNTED in this study as sexual assault or misconduct:

* Made sexual comments, jokes, gestures, or looks.
* Showed, gave or left you sexual pictures, photographs, illustrations,messages, or notes.
* Wrote sexual messages/graffiti about you on bathroom walls, in locker
rooms, etc.
* Spread sexual rumors about you.
* Said you were gay or a lesbian.
* Spied on you as you dressed or showered at school.
* Flashed or “mooned” you.
* Touched, grabbed, or pinched you in a sexual way.
* Intentionally brushed up against you in a sexual way.
* Pulled at your clothing in a sexual way.
* Pulled off or down your clothing.
* Blocked your way or cornered you in a sexual way.
* Forced you to kiss him/her.
* Forced you to do something sexual, other than kissing

From that 2004 study released by the Dept of Ed-which also, btw, is a secondary synthesis study…meaning it uses methods and studies that were used for something else and reanalyzes the data.

Damn how we come out looking….we’ve got problems….let’s look at them and fix them.

From the into of the report:

“It is important to note some of the Department’s reservations about the findings in the literature review. Specifically, the author focuses in large measure on a broad set of inappropriate behaviors designated as “sexual misconduct,” rather than “sexual abuse,” which is the term used in the statute…

The author’s use of the two words interchangeably throughout the report is potentially confusing to the reader. Federal law gives separate and specific meaning to the words “sexual abuse,” and such words should not be confused with the broader, more general concept of “sexual misconduct….”

“Finally, despite some of the above reservations about this study, the Department believes that this topic is of critical importance and that releasing the report is clearly in the public’s interest…”

Posted by Annika2 | Report as abusive