and one item surprised even me:
The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which was launched by the Irish government in 1999 and delivered its report last year, intensively invited Irish-born people around the world to report on incidents of abuse in Irish religious-educational reform schools, where the majority of clerical abuse is said to have occurred, between the period 1914 to 1999. For that 85-year period, 253 claims of sexual abuse were made by males and 128 by females.
that sounds too low. Why? Because the rate of abuse in civilians is actually a lot higher...
This JAMA article shows the rate (depending on what is called "Abuse") in American surveys is anywhere from 4 to 76 percent...and is higher when the boy is from a poor family, minority, or comes from a home without a father.
the NYTimes article seems to rely in the bias of Bishop weakland, who of course paid off a guy he date raped and was removed when the payment was revealed. A lot of the reports say it was consensual, and Weakland claimed he was in love with the guy, but a recent case I was involved with suggests that the gay man who forces sex on an intoxicated young man and then claims love is delusional or sociopathic.
Blaming the pope for not rushing through a case that a gay bishop sat on for 30 years is getting a lot of us annoyed, if for no other reason that this seems like a political witch hunt: like all witch hunts, you have a problem, a real evil that needs to be addressed, but then start destroying more and more lives of those who are quite peripheral to the evil. One is reminded of the sexual abuse in daycare cases a couple years back.
Yet sexual abuse is a very terrible problem (although most of the cases I've treated have been girls).
A lot of the problem is exactly what is abuse?
CS Lewis hints about the horrors of his boarding school, yet one doubts he had been raped...and author Michael O'Brien writes about his similar emotional harm from an abuser who never touched him.
There has been a strange numbness in this area which may be owing to the fact that, in certain circumstances, superiors themselves might be capable of similar acts, or are infected with theological Modernism, which maintains that the only real sin is social sin and that no one is going to hell. When Jesus said, "Let him who is without sin . . . be the first to throw a stone." (John 8:7), he did not intend by these words that shepherds should become paralyzed, incapable of protecting the lambs entrusted to their care.
(read the whole thing...).
Alas, I'm old enough to remember in Medical school we were told the Freudian theory that most accusations were projection of a person's fantasy, that if the taboos against sex were lifted and children allowed to have sex with "caring" adults, then all mental illnesses would disappear. The Kinsey studies showing "normal" children were sexually responsive had a lot to do with this.
I also remember having to warn our kids to watch out for strangers in the 1980s, when California started outpatient treatment of "non violent" sexual offenders and let them out of jail under treatment...
So how common is abuse? Part of it depends on what is called "abuse".
This JAMA article shows that it is probably a lot more common than reported, and notes that many of those abused (even those where the abuse might be minor under the criminal definition) had problems afterward, including substance abuse.
One of my friends noted a lot of the guys in her AA meeting had turned to alcohol after such abuse. Sigh.