By Diogenes ( articles ) | Apr 01, 2006
Poring over the statistics on sexual abuse by US clergy, investigators from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice have come up with a blinding insight.
…there are indications that those dioceses in which church leaders took prompt and decisive action had fewer reports of abuse and fewer reports of severe abuse.
Whaddaya know? When bishops make things easy to abuse children, it's easy to abuse children. Next thing you know, the heavy thinkers from John Jay will tell us that multiple-offense abusers are very much like one-time abusers, except worse. Wait, here it comes:
In addition, priests accused of only one event of sexual abuse are similar to other clergy accused of abusive behavior, but they “show evidence of greater self-control or self-correction.”
Brilliant, huh? Now you can see what consultants are paid for.
If you can plow your way through the latest report on implementation of the Dallas Charter, you will have enriched your life with a great deal of information about audits, standards, and training programs. The most important response to the sex-abuse crisis, we are told, is training. Everybody must get trained.
And what does that accomplish, exactly?
Right up at the front, Teresa Kettelkamp, the bishops' child-protection czar, issues an utterly astounding observation:
It is now time to shift to examining effectiveness. Are the structures and processes accomplishing what they are intended to achieve?
Read that quote again, slowly. Let it sink in.
For the past 45 months the US bishops have been working furiously to implement the Dallas-mandated programs. Their beloved "audit" measures how well dioceses have implemented those programs. Now-- only now-- they might begin examining the question of whether or not those programs work.
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