Why did it happen?

Why did it happen?

The experts are flailing around trying to find a reason why some many priest abusers in Boston were ordained in the 60s and why abuse peaked in the early 80s. Surprisingly, the article makes the distinction between pedophilia and ephebophilia, but only to say that the Boston report doesn’t break down the reporting on the two. Of course, the “H”-word is never mentioned.

Still, they wonder why the number of abuse cases has dropped so precipitously since the 80s. Some of lawyers and victims say it’s because the victims take years after the abuse to report, although I think that in the current atmosphere, that may not be as true as it once was. Others say it’s because the number of priests is smaller and it’s harder to hide the abusers. Still others say that better screening of seminarians since the early 70s has helped. And one expert says that nationwide sex abuse has been declining since 1992.

I have another theory. I think that in some cases when the scrutiny became intenser after the Fr. Porter case in the early 90s and review boards were being set up, the guys who were going after 16 and 17-year-old boys decided it was safer to go after 18 and 19-year-olds.

As to the cause of so much abuse, nobody’s guessing. Maybe nobody wants to know the answer.

To answer an earlier question, the 162 priests accused of abuse as mentioned in the report released yesterday were just the archdiocesan priests, while the total number was 216, including religious. So will today’s national report cover dioceses and religious. Nope, and thus the full scale of the problem is still not being addressed.

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