ethische non-monogamie / ethical non-monogamy

Ken Bode: Rationalization by bishops [United States]

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Finally, the Catholic Church has gotten some good news in the area of clerical sexual abuse. For years all we have heard about are predatory priests, cover-ups by church authorities, hush payments to victims and relocation of abusive priests to different parishes. Parishioners are fleeing the pews and demanding honest assessment and effective remedial action from American bishops who have been charged by Rome to handle the matter.

From where comes the good news? From a five-year study commissioned by the Roman Catholic Bishops and conducted by the John Jay School of Criminal Justice. The study cost $1.8 million; oddly, the U.S. Department of Justice chipped in $280,000.

Reported in mid-May, the study sought a definitive answer to what caused the priest sexual abuse crisis. First, what it was not. Neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality was to blame. The report found that priests who abuse have no discernible psychological conditions. Less than 5 percent of abusive priests exhibited characteristics of pederasts, so it is inaccurate to refer to pedophile priests.

So what was the problem? Turmoil in the American culture in the 1960s and ’70s. Priests were not prepared to cope with the social and sexual turmoil. Instances of sexual abuse rose sharply in those decades and has leveled off and declined since. More gay priests began coming into the church in the 1970s and instances of abuse began to abate at that time.

This is commonly known as “the Woodstock effect,” an explanation floated previously by Pope Benedict XVI.

Another part of the bishops’ study dealt with pedophilia. The American Psychiatric Association classifies prepubescent children as 13 and younger. Using that definition, the vast majority of children abused by priests would be prepubescent. To get that percentage down, the bishops’ report simply redefined prepubescent to include only those 10 and younger. By that finding, only 22 percent of those abused were prepubescent.

This reminds me of a book I have kept at arm’s reach for the past 35 years; it’s called “Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.” In it you learn that many polls and academic studies are purposely rigged to produce the desired outcome. To suit their needs, the bishops simply redefined a major variable (categorizing 11-year-olds as adults), thereby instantly reducing the percentage of pedophiles among priestly abusers.

It really makes no sense to conclude that child molesting is a natural outgrowth of the times, simply because it seems only to have occurred among the Catholic clergy. If the culture of the 1960s and ’70s broke the ecclesiastical levees and washed the secular values of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll over the Catholic clergy causing an epidemic of priestly sexual abuse, why didn’t it happen elsewhere in society? Why weren’t Protestant denominations affected? Why were only Catholic priests washed overboard into the swells of sinful, predatory sexual abuse? Go figure.

The whole thing is a sociological rationalization or, as Father Richard McBrien of Notre Dame says, another case of the bishops’ scapegoating to avoid admitting complicity and taking effective action themselves.


Bode is the former national political correspondent for NBC News and a former political analyst for CNN.

Indianapolis Star, 3 juni 2011


Written by lovingmore

juni 5, 2011 bij 10:58 am

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