Gay activists like the Church’s approach

Gay activists like the Church’s approach

You might be surprised at which groups are big fans of the US bishops’ child protection programs. Then again you probably won’t be.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) enjoys the support of homosexual activist groups for its “Virtus” program intended to protect children from sexual predators. Virtus, the Latin word for virtue, is a set of programs developed by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, called “Protecting God’s Children™” for the USCCB.

The program, used in dioceses throughout the US, proposes “training” for children, parents, clergy, teachers and church staff and volunteers and focuses part of its effort in a sex-education program for children as young as six in Catholic schools. The child sex-ed component, called “Teaching Touching Safety,” has been denounced by faithful Catholic parents’ groups and priests as an attack on children’s innocence and a device for dodging responsibility by bishops.

Of course, it makes sense that homosexual activists would love the Virtus/Protecting God’s Children/Talking about Touching programs because one the most and very first tenets promoted by them is that the Scandal has nothing to do with homosexuality… despite the fact that 86 percent of all victims of clergy sexual-abuse in the past 45 years were post-pubescent teen males. Sure, they repeat the old canard that “most molesters are heterosexual,” but that’s a data point about molestation in society as a whole: adult men molesting pre-pubescent boys. The sex-abuse scandal in the Church was different: It is much more about homosexuality.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • A couple months ago Catholic World News posted this bit from a Q&A with Fr. Tom Reese:

    “Myth: Homosexuality caused the abuse crisis:

    “Fact: No one knows the exact percentage of priests who are homosexual. Estimates have ranged from 10 percent to 60 percent. In any case, most homosexual priests were not involved in the sexual abuse of minors.”

    Keeping in mind that 1% of all priests were involved in the sexual abuse of minors, Reese’s point is that if up to 60% of all priests are homosexuals, then homosexuality itself can hardly be considered “the cause” of sexual abuse. If it were, the incidence of abuse would be much higher.

  • despite the fact that 86 percent of all victims of clergy sexual-abuse in the past 45 years were post-pubescent teen males

    Not only is Dom “hung up” on this, he doesn’t seem to want to admit that it is a false statement, even though that’s been pointed out to him. If you carefully look at the John Jay report, it is clear that NOT 86% of abuse victims are post-pubescent teen males. The true number of post-pubescent teen male victims is higher than the national average, and therefore should be investigated, but it’s simply not 85%. I’m not sure why Dom brings this up all the time, when he knows it’s not the case. His insistence is making me question the veracity of other things I read here.

    I do believe that homosexuality in the priesthood is a factor in the abuse scandal and must be addressed, but inflating statistics will not achieve that goal.

  • fbc,

    I did that once before here, which is why I assumed that Dom would know that 85% is incorrect. But for the benefit of everyone else, I’ll do it again.

    The John Jay Report can be found at:

    Section 4.3 details the demographics of the victims. It states that:

    8,499 out of 10,505 victims were male (80.9%)
    2,004 out of 10,505 victims were female (19.1%)

    So right here we only have 80.9% of victims as male (not addressing “post-pubescent” yet). I will note that the report only reports victims to age 17, so those who were victimized at age 18 or 19 would not be included (but would be “post-pubescent teen males”). But since we don’t have any data on those years, we simply can’t say how many victims fall into that category nor what percentage are male.

    Furthermore, the report also lists the ages of the first instance of abuse. Out of 8,956 reported incidents, 6,040 are age 12 or above (i.e. “post-pubescent teen”). This is 67.4% of the incidents. Again, not 85% as Dom mentioned.

    It is possible that the percentage of male victims are heavily tilted to post-pubescent children – i.e. the 20% girl victims were heavily under 12, and the 80% of boy victims were heavily over 12 – since the study does not break that down specifically. However, one cannot make that assumption since we simply don’t know, and even if it were true, it still couldn’t get us to a “fact” that “85% of all victims of clergy sexual-abuse in the past 45 years were post-pubescent teen males”, since only 67.4% of ALL victims were post-pubescent.

    Again, the data does show us that the victims skew towards “post-pubescent teen males”, and therefore that fact should be considered when addressing the scandal. But it is simply not true to say that 85% of victims fall into that category.

  • Sorry, I kept typing “85%” in my posts, when Dom said 86%. My argument still stands, of course.

  • Dom,

    Could you make it easier by just linking to it? I did a search on “86%” and a ton of articles came up, none of which seemed to show your source. Even when I tried to narrow it down I still couldn’t find it. I remember your response the first time I brought it up, and I don’t remember you sourcing that specific number, nor showing how the John Jay report is wrong or incomplete. Since you bring it up very often, and it is usually disputed by someone, and new visitors would not know your source, perhaps you can have a permanent link to it somewhere on your blog (like Jimmy Akin does with common questions). Or link to it whenever you list the figure “86%”.

    BTW, I’m not being antagonistical here. I throughly enjoy your blog, and agree with you most of the time. However, I’ve seen no proof for your 86% number, and I think it helps no one to fight evil with mistaken figures.

  • peterforrester:  If you are going to reference Catholic World News’s post of Fr. Reese’s statement, please include the context in which his statements were quoted.  Catholic World News was not endorsing Fr. Reese’s views but rather pointing out how ludicrous they were.

    First of all, no reputable person has ever claimed that homosexuality “caused” the abuse crisis.  The causes of child sexual molestation may include any of a number of moral, psychological, emotional, and/or social factors.  Fr. Reese is simply throwing up a straw-man argument here.

    Second, since even Fr. Reese admits that he does not know the percentage of priests who are homosexual, it may be true—but irrelevant—that “most homosexual priests were not involved in the sexual abuse of minors.”  That is not what is at issue.  What is at issue is that most cases of sexual abuse of minors by definition involved homosexual priests.

  • Numbers, bad logic, and hatred are a terrible mix…

    James concludes, “Never let your teen sons be alone with a homosexual (priest or otherwise).”  He bases that statement on what?  “What is at issue is that most cases of sexual abuse of minors by definition involved homosexual priests.”

    The majority of sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests were homosexual in nature, therefore homosexuals as a group, regardless of religious affiliation, are prone to sexual abuse.

    Many people conclude—contra James—that the kind of bad feeling exhibited by people like James    
    helped create a clerical closet where young Catholic men who found themselves stuck with same-sex feelings could hide behind celibacy.  Such a closet saved them from the hatred of the Jameses of the world, gave them some sort of social acceptability, and yet at the same time allowed them to avoid coming to terms with the most powerful urges we have—erotic ones.  THAT’S why there’s a preponderence of homosexuality among CATHOLIC sexual abuse cases, rather than say public school teachers or janitors or plumbers.

  • The vast majority of students and alumni/ae of Howard University are black.  It’s not true, however, that most university students and alumni/ae in the United States are black. 

    The same is true with sexual abuse and gay men.  Most sexual abuse allegations among Catholic clergymen may be homosexual in nature; it doesn’t follow that gay men are more likely than their straight neighbors to abuse minors in a sexual way.

  • Therese,

    What curious questions you have…

    I know hardly anything about NAMBLA, but Wikipedia tells me: “for practical purposes the group … consists only of a web site maintained by a few enthusiasts.”  I have no idea how many “members” it ever had; in fact, the only “member” of whom I’ve ever heard is Paul Shanley, a Catholic priest from Boston, and even his association with the organization you mention appears nebulous (though it’s certainly clear that he’s a pedophile).

    The heterosexual equivalent?  Jeez, Therese, another weird question.  I’d offer that there’s very little stigma or taboo about grown men lusting after underage girls.  In a word, there probably isn’t an “organizational” equivalent because the equivalent of ephebophilia among straight men is treated with a wink and a smirk. 

    I wouldn’t let my daughter spend time alone with her straight, male basketball coach (or even a married youth minister), any more than dear James would have a teen boy spend time with a priest who experiences same-sex feelings.