Sexual abuse is a societal problem


From: Barry Peratt

During my conversion to the Catholic faith some eight years ago, many asked me whether the sexual abuse scandal was an obstacle for me. My answer is simple and direct. No.

Why? Because the scandal is not a peculiarly Catholic problem; it is a societal problem. If we really care about children, we will recognize this fact.

Ernie Allen, of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, agreed that the Catholic Church is not more prone to such abuse than other entities (Newsweek, 4/7/10).

Interestingly, in 2006, the state of Colorado considered lifting the statute of limitations on sexual abuse, but not for public entities. The bishops of Colorado offered their support of such a measure with one stipulation: that the statute be lifted for all organizations, including the public schools. With that provision added, the bill died.

No wonder. A 2004 U.S. Department of Education report concluded that “the most accurate data available” reveals that “nearly 9.6 percent of [public school] students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.” Failures of administrators abound as well (not reporting transgressions, shuffling offenders around).

Dr. Charol Shakeshaft, the author of the study, noted that “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

Of course we could also mention the rampant and continuing pedophilia in Hollywood (the “director’s couch”) that has been highlighted recently by whistleblowers like Corey Feldman and Allison Arngrim.

In the end, we appear to be a double-minded people. We vigorously promote extreme sexual libertinism. We sexualize our children at younger and younger ages. Then, we appear to be genuinely surprised and appalled at the sexual behavior that manifests itself among us.

We will continue to reap what we sow, most of it beyond the confines of any church building.


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