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The big picture

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Aug 05, 2003

Thanks to DIOCESE REPORT for an interesting piece published by Catholic Citizens of Illinois.

"The Massachusetts Department of Social Services has reported that in the year 2000 alone, there were 62,506 cases of child abuse and neglect reported, a sad statistic that is routinely ignored when the secualar media is "reporting" on the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, says Catholic activist Bob Bland. ...According to the Massachusetts Department of Social Services web site, there were a staggering 62,506 reports of child abuse and neglect in that state in 2000. Bland suggests that extending that out over 60 years would result in several million instances of abuse, a staggering number for a relatively small state like Massachusetts. "To say that Catholic [clergy] are responsible for 1,000 of such reports is the statistical equivalent of saying that Catholics are not responsible for 99.999% of such reports," noted Bland.

That so many young people were abused by Catholic clergy is still just as appalling, as is the evident failure of Church leadership to act promptly. But this report is a good reminder that sexual abuse is epidemic throughout our society, and is something we simpy must as a society take most seriously and address.

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 06, 2003 8:47 AM ET USA

    The mote in our own eye needs to be removed before we can proceed to remove the log in our brothers's eye. No one enters heaven on a statistical analysis.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 05, 2003 10:05 PM ET USA

    Unfortunately the "everybody else did it" excuse has no basis in Catholic moral theology. Even if it did, we justly expect more from our priests than we expect from everybody else. We expect them to be better than pedophiles, rapists and even the average man. We expect them to have high standards for *themselves*. If one, two, five or ten priests had failed we could shake our heads and blame original sin. But when you have to speak in percentages, it goes beyond original sin to something demonic

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