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Calling Doctor Greeley

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 16, 2004

In the March 22 America (not available on-line), Andrew Greeley reacts to the John Jay Report:

Those who have blamed the abuse on celibacy now must face the fact that most celibates are not abusers. Those who blame it on homosexuality must face the fact that most gay priests are not abusers either. Neither hysterical faction, however, is likely to change its mind simply because of facts.

Say what?

Greeley himself concedes that 81% of the priest abusers were homosexuals. That's four cases out of every five. How high does the number have to climb before he admits there's an asymmetry here? Whose mind is resistant to the facts?

As for the celibacy question, I can't imagine what relevance Greeley thinks the John Jay data could have one way or the other -- beyond its aggregate shock value, of course. If you define celibate as "chaste," none of the abusers (by definition) was celibate; if you define celibate as "unmarried," all of them were.

One is reminded of the assurance of USCCB spokesman Sr. Mary Ann Walsh -- in the wake of the January 2000 Kansas City Star series -- that a majority of active priests have not died of AIDS, whence the calls for reforming priestly formation were an over-reaction. If you find a problem with her reasoning, you probably belong to a hysterical faction also.

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 16, 2004 10:36 PM ET USA

    Fr. Greeley MAY be right after all. If he claims that "most gay priests are not abusers" he may be correct. It depends, of course, on mathematics. If there are 4000 abusers among, say, 18,000 gays his claim is correct. If, however, there are 4000 abusers among only 5000 gays, his claim is false. We need to know how many priests are gay in order to get a real handle on this problem. Since his claim depends upon it, perhaps he could supply us with that statistic?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 16, 2004 7:53 PM ET USA

    there is a direct correlation between homosexuality and pederasty. nambla's own website describes it well. it has always been part of the disorder."intergenerational" as they say. it is only within the last 20 or so yrs. that pederasty and homosexuality have been split because of their political agenda. Heard any condemnations of pederasty from the gay agenda crowd? they are part of their parades. it is their achilles heel. fr. greely is either naive or blind.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 16, 2004 6:07 PM ET USA

    Always happy to be numbered in one of Greely's "hysterical faction"s. But let's consider that, just because a majortiy of homosexual priests didn't get caught assaulting a child, doesn't mean they are not abusers. Only because the age of "consent" has been quietly lowered to 14, do many homosexual priests get off the hook. A key tactic used by most predator priests agains those they prey upon is the threat of humiliation. How would the statistics look if all 14-18 year old seduction were tallied

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 16, 2004 4:54 PM ET USA

    While I'm being pedantic, may I recommend Joseph Owens' Cognition as a primer before reading Newman's Grammar? Grammar is available online, and I recommend sipping slowly. And let's not forget Kreeft's Socratic Logic, Sister Miriam Joseph's Trivium, Weston's Rulebook of Arguments available from Hackett Publishing (the Elements of Style for Arguments), and the original sources; Aristotle's Organon, Porphyry's Isagoge, Boethius' Commentaries and the list goes on. Class adjourned.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 16, 2004 4:49 PM ET USA

    Well, Phil, do you mind if I go on? Thanks. I will. Aquinas wrote of 2 motivations for filling your head like a Catholic Encyclopedia -- for the benefit of yourself or the benefit of others. Being peculiarly unsuited for the visible Apostolates, if I can pseudonymously drop enough of these references I am hoping to create a small revolution inside people's homes similar to the 4th century. If the clergy en masse won't carry the depost of faith, then, we, the laity must.

  • Posted by: Phil - Mar. 16, 2004 4:26 PM ET USA

    Pseudo, I'm curious why you wouldn't force people to read Newman's Grammar of Assent. ;-)

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 16, 2004 4:00 PM ET USA

    Correlation does not imply causation. Correct -- if you are speaking of straight Aristotelian deductive logic -- however, we are speaking of inference and inferential reasoning. Without forcing everyone to read Newman's Grammar of Assent, we operate with inferences and incomplete logic everyday...most prosecutor's have to navigate these stormy seas every day. Sounds like Greeley's Facts versus Values are a tad askew.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Mar. 16, 2004 2:36 PM ET USA

    Greeley, brilliant statistician that he is, doesn't articulate his point well here. Coincidence is not causality. If there were a finding that 81% of the abusers were right-handed or needed vision correction, etc. that would not imply that right-handedness, weak eyes, etc. were causes of these crimes. Note to Greeley: if you want to contradict common sense, repeating the word "fact" every 10 words doesn't help your case. That's a fact.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 16, 2004 2:27 PM ET USA

    Homosexuals and their sympathizers will never give up their cause; i.e., they desperately crave the Church’s acceptance of their deviant lifestyle. And that is why they will never acknowledge the obvious cause-and-effect relationship between their concentrated presence among the Catholic ordained and the ghastly reality of the child abuse scandal. Homosexual thought IS disordered and it's existence should be an automatic disqualifier for any seminary candidate.

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Mar. 16, 2004 12:58 PM ET USA

    You have something against Fr. Greeley's Procrustean bed? Fit the facts to fill the theory is what liberal America is all about.

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