Thu 17th Apr 2014 | Last updated: Thu 17th Apr 2014 at 20:13pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

We do have a part to play in the Pope’s protection

The priority is to start the fightback over child abuse

By on Thursday, 29 July 2010

Pope Benedict is the object of widespread calumnies

Pope Benedict is the object of widespread calumnies

I begin with a quotation, which I found on the feisty and useful new website Protect the Pope, from the online Humanist journal, Spiked. Kevin Rooney, although believing that “There is…. much about the Catholic Church’s teachings to rage against” nevertheless concludes that “the current animosity to all things Catholic manifests itself in ways that are far from healthy. So while many of the exponents of this popular new breed of anti-Catholicism would certainly consider themselves liberal, their treatment of the church is anything but.”

We need, in Lord Patten’s words (also to be found on Protect the Pope), to stand our ground: and the first thing we now have to do is to move on to less defensive territory over the question of child abuse. Of course we needed to express our anguish and our collective penitence. But we’ve done that now. And if that’s all we do, we simply feed the absolutely false idea that Catholic priests are more guilty of this dreadful crime than anyone else: we have almost begun to believe it ourselves.  We behave as though we are an endemically paedophile organisation. AND IT ISN’T TRUE.

Here is the big killer fact. Get it by heart. I quote the standfirst of an article in Newsweek magazine (go to it when you have finished this: become familiar with the facts it contains): “The priesthood is being cast as the refuge of pederasts. In fact, priests seem to abuse children at the same rate as everyone else”:

No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination…. But … experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. “We don’t see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Mr Allen suggests a simple reason we hear so much more about abuse in the Catholic Church than in other religions: its sheer size. There are over 1.2 billion of us. So if the same, or even a much smaller, percentage of priests offend, then naturally we will numerically have a far larger number of cases for the papers to report. And, of course, this isn’t even a religious problem. Over 75 per cent of abuse cases (mostly unreported) take place in the family. But nobody concludes that this undeniable fact discredits the family as an institution. So why do we lie down as we do under the widespread calumnies spread by people like Dawkins (who says that the Church is a “child-raping institution”) and Hitchens?

It’s time now, first to get this question straight in our minds; and then to fight back. September’s getting close now: watch this space.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ JohnB

    On the numbers of Catholics and on the numbers of those abused – http://www.molestedcatholics.com/Estimating-the
    ” … a random survey of over 7,000 active Catholics in the U.S. and Canada found a closer ratio, that 1.7 percent of the females and 3.3 percent of the males had been sexually abused in childhood by a priest …” (Katherine van Wormer, MSSW, Ph.D.) Psychology Today – Priest abuse male compared female victimization impact published May 20, 2010.

    Using these numbers as a base whilst recognising that a substantial number of victims would have already left the church the following formula is used to calculate a low estimate of the number of sexual abuse victims in a given population of Catholics.

    1.2 billion catholics
    1.7% females abused = 10,404,000 [1.7% of 51.98% of the Catholic population]
    3.3% males abused = 19,404,000 [3.3% of 48.02% of the Catholic population]

    29,808,000 [combined males and females] Catholics identify themselves as having been sexually abused in childhood by a Catholic priest.

  • karla

    How the hell did you come to that number, it's completely false! I think there are 400 thousand Priests worldwide, so can 29,808,000 have been abused?????

    In a statement read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated “We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in sexual abuse cases”, adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations.

    http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/ondemand/conferenc

    A Perspective on Clergy Sexual Abuse by Dr. Thomas Plante of Stanford University and Santa Clara University states that “available research suggests that approximately 2 to 5% of priests have had a sexual experience with a minor” which “is lower than the general adult male population that is best estimated to be closer to 8%”.

  • dveasey

    Just another rant of denile. While Catholics protest outside Abortion Clinics, priest are dithering their children. Your church has taken the low road on the whole issue. It's funny, The new testament says nothing about priests, popes or Catholics. Way to take a fantasy and make it your own. I just wish governments would start to tax the vatican.

  • W Oddie

    Just another illiterate and ignorant antiCatholic rant: if you can't even spell the word “denial”, it might be wiser not to use it. And if you can't even read the evidence when it's in front of your nose, don't just make up your own to bolster up your prejudices: and for heavens sake, don't pretend to a knowledge of the New Testament. That's the biggest joke of all.

  • Jonathan West

    The problem is not that there are far more priests who abuse them members of any other occupation. There might e a few more, there might not, reliable data is hard to come by. The real problem is with the church's institutional response when abuse is discovered. Unfortunately, the church's response could hardly have been better at maximising the number of victims and the harm they suffered had it been deliberately designed with that aim in mind. It wasn't of course, but that is no consolation to the victims. Take the example of Father David Pearce of Ealing Abbey and St Benedict's School. He was convicted last year of paedophile crimes spanning 36 years. But he was asked to stand down as Junior School Headmaster in 1993 because of complaints about his activities, and yet the last of his victims was abused 14 years later, in 2007, even though he and Ealing Abbey had in the meantime been successfully sued by another victim in 2006.

    Nothing would make me happier than to know that the Catholic Church in general and Ealing Abbey in particular had put their house in order, but there's no evidence of it. The public statements of the Abbot of Ealing, Father Martin Shipperlee, have contained obvious lies, and Archbishop Vincent Nichols has been taking a Pontius Pilate approach to the case, on the grounds that Ealing Abbey is not formally part of the Diocese of Westminster. The school's child protection policies are a disgrace and the “independent review” promised by the Abbot managed not to address anything apart from the management of Father David's restricted ministry once he had finally (in 2006) been determined by the church to be a danger to children. This really isn't good enough.

    http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/

  • Jonathan West

    Ha! Comments critical of the church that actually address issues and specific cases get deleted. Why am I not surprised?

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    The problem is not that there are vastly more paedophiles amongst the Catholic clergy than in other occupations. There might be a few more, there might not – reliable data on the subject is hard to come by.

    The real scandal of the Catholic Church has been the institutional response on discovering cases of child sex abuse. That response could hardly have been better at maximising the number of victims and the harm done to them had it been specifically designed with that end in mind. Of course it wasn't, but that is no consolation to the victims.

    And this problem is not safely tucked away in the past. Just last year, Father David Pearce of Ealing Abbey was convicted and imprisoned for 8 years (reduced to 5 on appeal) for a string of paedophile offences against pupils at St Benedict's School spanning 36 years.

    Pearce had been required to stand down as Junior School Headmaster in 1993 because of complaints of his activities, but instead of being kept away from children, he was made Bursar of the school. The school lost a civil suit brought by one of his victims in 2006, and only then was Pearce placed on a restricted ministry. Even then, Pearce managed to have access to children, his last victim being assaulted in 2007. He was not sent away from the Abbey until his arrest in early 2008.

    On the day Pearce was sentenced, Abbot Martin Shipperlee wrote to all parents saying that “I am instructing an independent review into this matter to examine what there is to be learned in order to ensure that there can never be a recurrence of this situation.”

    When this review was finally published some months later, it managed not to address the school at all, but only the monastery, and dealt only with the period starting from when Pearce was placed on restricted ministry. The previous 35 years or so in which he was able to abuse children unhindered were not reviewed.

    Pearce is not the first teacher at the school to be convicted of sex abuse against its pupils. Former lay teacher John Maestri has been convicted on three separate occasions of such offences. He left the school suddenly in the 1980s as he was about to become Middle School Headmaster, following complaints about his activities, but the school presumably provided a reference for him, since he was able to get a teaching job elsewhere.

    Archbishop Vincent Nichols has taken no action, apparently on the grounds that it is none of his business – Ealing Abbey is not part of the Diocese of Westminster.

    In his recent interview with Jonathan Wynne-Jones of the Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/reli…), the Archbishop said of the worldwide child sex abuse scandal “I think there are difficult issues in certain countries, but I don’t get any sense of it here.” That would suggest he thinks that that Ealing Abbey is an isolated problem – a stain on an otherwise good record. If that were the case, then I would expect that he would be energetic in seeing to it that a proper review was carried out, and that lessons were learned to ensure that this kind of thing can't happen there again, so that he can demonstrate that Ealing Abbey is an isolated case, and that measures are being taken to prevent the problem from spreading. When child protection is at issue, the independent status of Benedictine monasteries is going to be of not the slightest interest to the general public or even the Catholic laity who are sending their children to the school, and should not be of any interest to the Archbishop.

    But that hasn't happened. There has been no general review of Father David Pearce's paedophile career at Ealing Abbey, no review to see how complaints were handled, no review to see whether there have been complaints against any other monk or teacher there. The school's child protection procedures remain a travesty. They are shot through with qualifications and evasions which provide the school with an excuse not to report allegations of abuse to the civil authorities. Even the definition of sexual abuse makes no mention of any kinds of sexual acts that might be considered abusive.

    It's not good enough to claim that the child abuse scandal isn't all that bad while situations such as that at Ealing Abbey don't receive energetic efforts from all levels in the church to put them right. The impression given is that everyone is saying they cannot see any problem because they are most carefully not looking.

    The Independent Schools Inspectorate has taken the extremely unusual step of withdrawing its November 2009 inspection report on St Benedict's School. According to the Department for Education “ISI has removed the report from its website whilst enquiries are made to ensure that the report is accurate in relation to the various safeguarding reviews that have taken place and the school's subsequent actions. Departmental officials are actively considering with ISI the best approach to take in ensuring that full and accurate information is provided in its published inspection report.” In other words, both DfE and ISI think that “full and accurate information” has not been provided by the school up to now.

    Nothing would make me happier than to be confident that Ealing Abbey and the Catholic Church in general have learned from its past mistakes in dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse. But the evidence points the other way.

    http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    By the way, Lord Patten isn't in much of a position to talk. St. Benedict's School is his alma mater, and he is on the board of School Advisers (http://www.stbenedicts.org.uk/?page_id=1347), but there is no evidence I'm aware of that he has attempted to ensure that the school's child protection policy is made fit for purpose.

    It seems that there are three possibilities about the situation with regard to Lord Patten

    1. He doesn't know of the problem, in which case he's not much use as a School Adviser.

    2. He knows about it and as done nothing, in which case my comment would be deleted if I were to say what I think of him.

    3. He knows about it, has tried to do something, and has failed. If this is the case, then the honourable thing to do would be to resign from the Board of Advisers, and make a public statement as to his reason for resigning.

    I've no means of knowing which of these three possibilities is true. Would the Catholic Herald care to interview Lord Patten and ask?

  • iworm

    The issue is not at all whether Catholic clergy are more prone to paedophilia than the general population. The issue is entirely about an organisation which is prepared to tolerate those who *are* paedophiles for some “greater good”. The Catholic church's response has, and continues to be, grudging and minimal. While many Catholics may not realise it, the general population perceives, very strongly in my opinion, that any changes that have been made have been the minimum required. The Catholic church today is more aware of the sexual assault of children (and let's stop with the euphemistic “child abuse” while we're at it) by clergy, but still appears to regard it as a nuisance to the church's reputation, rather than a vicious attack on an innocent.

  • Mary7Macharia

    Wow!!! The venom against the Catholic Church is mind boggling. But, hey, it should not surprise any honest and faithful Catholic. Christ Himself said. “The world will hate you even more than it hated Me”. “When they rise agaist you with all kinds of calumny do not be perturbed because they did that to Me and they will do even worse to you”. It is high season to try and destroy the Catholic Church. But, guys, I have a surprise for you!!!! Its Founder and Head said: “Upon this Rock I shall build My Church and the powers of hell shall never prevail against it”…… “Behold, I shall be with you until the end of the world”. The Catholic Church is going nowhere. It will survive the onslaught from within and without and march on. The Holy Spirit is the Captain of Peter's Boat!!!! It won't capsize no matter how much to try to torpedo it.

    Now good people, if you are all screaming that homosexuality, lesbianism, same sex marriages,etc. are Human Rights and you are fighting tooth and nail to spread these bestialities all over the world, where do you expect the Catholic Church to recruit new Priests?. Mankind has cast aside the very basic natural law on morality – not to mention the Divine Law God decreed for mankind. The Sanctity of life, the fidelity in Marriage and the parentental responsibility of bringing up their children and instilling in them the moral law of God and Nature, respect of parents, peers and elders and respect of honest work. By hoisting on the pedestal the false gods of self, pride, wealth and sexual-gratification at all costs, child abuse and all kinds immorality are flourising everywhere; in families, schools, other Churc denominations and even in schools. So why do you good people expect to find Angels in the Catholic Church? Christ died for sinners and it is sinners who need to rise up and embrace conversion and denounce these corrosive evils in mankind. You can't approve the same obscene behaviour of homosexuality, lesbianism, same sex marriages and declare they are Human Rights and set in place Organizations – like International Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes Clincs, etc. for abortionon demand – to spread them all over the world and then turn round and demand the Death of the Catholic Church because a fraction of their priests are sinners – yet they are from this same society are in need of repentance and conversion because they have an identity problem. What they need is not condemnation but our prayers. That is Christ's Way – Compassion; condemnation.

  • Blingo

    Well Dr Thomas Plante is not necessarily an entirely impartial contributior to this subject given that he is attached to the Ignatian Centre for Jesuit Education at the Santa Clara University.

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    It's not unreasonable for the world to expect that the Catholic clergy live up to the standards they demand from everybody else. And that includes not buggering choirboys, or covering up such activities when there is a danger of publicity and damage to the reputation of the church.

    “Do as I say, not as I do” was never a very persuasive slogan, and those who by their actions show that it is how they live do not deserve to be accorded any respect or moral authority.

    The reputation of the church has been damaged to an immeasurably greater extent by the discovery of the extensive cover-up of the abuse than it would have been had individual incidents been reported immediately so that further abuse could be prevented.

    The problem is that too many people in the church are putting the blame on those who are uncovering the abuse, not on those who committed it and those who by covering it up permitted it to continue. It is those who are working to uncover the abuse who are doing most to bring it to an end, and in the eyes of the world they are the ones who will deserve and gain moral authority in this matter.

  • Mary7Macharia

    I hear you loud and clear Jonathan. I was not, and I DO NOT condone
    sin. Especially sins of the Consecrated ones of Christ. I hate sin
    and those who aid and abet its continuation, BUT I LOVE AND PRAY FOR
    SINNERS. That is why Christ was a friend of sinners and was scorned
    by the Pharisees who prided themselves of their holiness. No one has
    ever condoned sinning Priests or the Bishops who try to protect them.
    But the trouble is that no one wants to acknowledge that the Catholic
    Church has been dealing with this sin and many, many Priests – and
    Bishops who covered for them – have been dealt with appropriated.

    Cardinal Ratzinger did a spending job when this job was placed under
    his Department. The whole Catholic faithfull need to support him, now
    that he is the Head of the Church and in an even better position to
    help the Holy Spirit prune the Bride of Christ and rejuvenate Her.
    This seems like it is his Apostolate. We all agree the Church
    urgently needs a renewal. This has always happened throughout its
    history. When prunning became necessary, God in His Wisdom raised up
    holy men and women to carry out that work. Please re-read the lives
    of the Saints whom God used for times just like these to raise the
    Church to even grater heights of Holiness.

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    In that case, could I ask you to direct your prayers and whatever other efforts you can bring to bear on the matter towards inspiring the Abbot of Ealing to make a clean breast of things?

    If the Catholic Church is to lose its reputation as a refuge and protector of priests who happen to be paedophiles, then the disgrace of events such as have occurred at Ealing Abbey must be dealt with openly, fully and immediately.

    We all understand that the past cannot be changed. Many children have been raped and sexually assaulted while under the care of the Catholic Church, and nobody can undo that evil and make it not have ever happened. But I still get the impression that far too many Catholics, particularly among the clergy, but amongst some of the laity as well, are far too concerned with the worldly reputation of the church and too little concerned with the substance of the work involved in offering justice, apology and reparation to the victims, and ensuring that the situation cannot recur.

    William Oddie in this article is engaged in precisely this kind of thing, when he goes on about how priests don't have a higher proportion of abusers among them. This is irrelevant, the point is that abusers once discovered must be kept away from positions of trust and authority over children, otherwise relatively small numbers of abusers can do untold harm to very large numbers of victims. This is what has happened in the church; even when priests were known to have abused children, they were not removed from positions of trust and authority, and potential victims were not warned to be on their guard.

    An all-knowing God will know about the sins of those who have abused and the sins of those who have covered up the abuse. But too many people in the Church are acting as if such a God does not exist, and that if these sins are hidden from the world, they can also be hidden from God himself.

  • Mary7Macharia

    Jonathan, I replied to you as a committed cradle Catholic who observe
    and follow Christ's teaching with fidelity on how to treat sinners in
    His Church, and especially the Consecrated servants of His Church.
    Jesus never condoned the sin of the adulterous woman – and yet, He,
    and He alone – had the power and authority to condemn and stone her
    because He was sinless. Instead, He did not condemn her but told her
    not to sin anymore. All I can assure you is that the Catholic Church
    does not – and cannot – condone sin, no matter who has committed it
    and it will do the right thing and deal with the sinners amongst its
    clergy – the same way it deals with us – the laity. You can rest
    assured that, to us, this is the period of cleansing of the Church and
    rejuvenating it anew.

    The Holy Spirit directs these corrective and prunning activities in
    the Church using His Own Methods as He has always done these 2010
    years. If we were to doubt this, then we would have no reason to
    believe in the teachings of Christ, and work of the Holy Spirit to
    purify the Church of Christ and the Honour, Adoration, Worship and
    Thanksgiving we all offer to Our Father. It is our total, absolute
    and unshakable belief and trust we hold that the Holy Trinity which
    dwells in the Church, will make it Holy and protect it until the end
    of time. Do not lose hope that the sinners within the Church will not
    be dealt with. But this will be accompanied by the Prayers of the
    whole Universal Church and fidelity to our Faith and obedience and
    prayers for our Holy Father whose duty it is as he occupys the Seat of
    Peter to bring about God's Plan to prune His Church. Thank you,
    Jonathan and rest assured God's Will will be done.

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    At the moment it seems that God's will (as you understand it) in this area is mainly being done by atheists and heathens, and is being passively or actively obstructed by many clergy of the Catholic Church.

    That being the case, I would hope that you now think it inappropriate to complain about “the venom against the Catholic Church”, since it is precisely that venom which is actually causing something to be done about the child abuse scandal.

  • Mary7Macharia

    You know what Jonathan, God has proved again and again that He can -
    and does – bring good out of evil. The first time He did this was
    when He decided to create human beings with the sole purpose of
    awarding them the privilege of taking up the place in Heaven which
    Lucifer and his rebelious Angels had forfeited by their pride of
    defying God's Omnipotence.

    When Lucifer deceived our first parents, he expected God to curse and
    reject us. But what did our Good God do? To the chagrin of Lucifer,
    in the fullness of time, He sent his Only Son Jesus – the Second
    Person of the Holy Trinity – to save mankind by becoming God-man and
    dying on the Cross to re-open Heaven for us.

    I have no doubt one day, Jonathan, you will see the wisdom of God and
    why He can never forsake His Church which He set up to ensure manking
    would still attain Heaven even if they sinned after Baptism. This
    Christ did this on the very first day after His Resurrection when He
    appeared to the Apostles and instituted the very essential Sacrament
    of Reconciliation. Without that Sacrament, His crucifixion and death
    would have been in vain since man is sinful by the reason of the
    forfeiture of the pre-natural nature God had bestowed on Adam and Eve
    and which they lost after sinning. This is what makes mankind prone
    to sin and Satan's duty is to use that weakness to try and defeat
    God's plan for us by ensnaring us in sin and waiting for each one of
    us at the moment of death to snatch us from God and haul us to Hell.
    But even then, God fights for us at that crucial moment and all He
    requires is that we stop listening to Satan trying to convince us our
    sins can never be forgiven and we are damned and turn to Him and
    accept His Divine Mercy. ” I do not desire the loss of any soul I
    created”. God says so in the Scriptures and His Word is faithful.

    You can see Jonathan, Satan or any other evil can never disorganize
    God's Will. God does and gets what God wants despite Satan and our
    own human weaknesses. Like the Father of the Prodigal Son, He waits
    for our return with a contrite heart to embrace us and forgive all our
    sins.

    So, Jonathan, you need to be gracious like Christ – hate all sin,
    whether committed by the Clergy in the Catholic Chuch or by fathers
    who daily molest their own children and pray for them to get God's
    grace and experience conversion and repent their sins. Our God is a
    forgiving God. Christ proved that when He stated He came for sinners
    and died for us on the Cross.

    Bear in mind, Jonathan, we are all sinners and in need of God's mercy
    and forgiveness as long as we live in this world. So don't be so
    bitter about sinners in the Catholic Church because, believe me,
    there are more horrendous sins which are committed every day
    everywhere by sin-prone mankind – and stop seeing only those
    committed by the Clergy of the Church. But God is always ready to
    forgive the repentant sinner. What did Jesus say? He told Peter.
    “You do not forgive seven times a day but seven times seventy!!!!!!”

    So learn to forgive other sinners so that your own sins will also be
    forgiven by our Gracious God. That bitterness and anger, Jonathan, is
    unhealthly for you, emotionally, psychologically, mentally and
    corrosive spiritually.

    Please try and learn to practice some of Christ's compassion towards
    those who annoy you the way He taught us. To pray for those who injure
    us or wrong us. I say so because you sure sound like the sinners in
    the Catholic Church have hurt you terribly. But Jesus advised us:
    “Blessed are the merciful for mercy will be shown to them”. Be
    merciful, Jonathan, not vindictive. God bless you.

  • Markjones

    As a Catholic you are brought up to believe that priests are above reproach and should be respected as God's representative on Earth. The sheer number of Catholics has nothing to do with the number of reported abuses. It is the devil in priest's clothing that is the problem. The parents of the abused and the children themselves trusted their carers as men of God. Wake up and smell the coffee. The Catholic Church has ignored the problem for decades and can no longer hide behind the cloth. They probably explained the problem away as the fault of the abused tempting the poor priests!!!

  • Bwaj

    Until 2001 it was not the CDF but the diocesan bishop who had the final say on abuse cases – the 1983 Code of Canon Law states priests who abuse minors under 16 (raised by the Holy Father since 2001 to priests who abuse minors under 18) should be disciplined including by removal from the clerical state.

    Concerning Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. – he was a Defence Counsel – for the makers of issue 28 (the school issue) of Oz magazine in 1971. The makers of this magazine were prosecuted in 1971 for corrupting children and young people by producing a magazine (issue 28) which contained pornography and dealt with homosexuality and lesbianism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Robertson Concerning issue 28 of 'Oz': 'The charges read out in the central criminal court stated “[that the defendants] conspiring with certain other young persons to produce a magazine containing obscene, lewd, indecent and sexually perverted articles, cartoons and drawings with intent to debauch and corrupt the morals of children and other young persons and to arouse and implant in their minds lustful and perverted ideas.”' ('The Times': 23 June 1971). 'According to Mr Brian Leary prosecuting '”It dealt with homosexuality, lesbianism, sadism, perverted sexual practices and drug taking”' ('The Times': 23 June 1971).

    Concerning Peter Tatchell. Please read 'Tatchell repeats call for lower age of consent' (The Christian Institute: 2 September 2010) Peter Tatchell's letter to 'The Guardian' (26 June 1997) is reproduced in full by 'The Christian Institute'. I quote most of his letter below which shows what Peter Tatchell believes in his own words:
    'Ros Coward (Why Dares to Speak says nothing useful, June 23) thinks it is “shocking” that Gay Men's Press has published a book, Dares To Speak, which challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive. I think it is courageous. The distinguished psychologists and anthropologists cited in this book deserve to be heard. Offering a rational, informed perspective on sexual relations between younger and older people, they document examples of societies where consenting inter-generational sex is considered normal, beneficial and enjoyable by old and young alike. ….. The positive nature of some child-adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy. While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful. Peter Tatchell.'

    Please ask Peter Tatchell why he believes publishing a book about paedophilia is courageous.

    Colin Hart, Simon Calvert and Iain Bainbridge in their 'Homosexuality and Young People A report' ('The Christian Instiute' 1998) http://www.christian.org.uk/wp-content/downloads/homosexuality-and-young-people.pdf tell us on p.44 that the full title of the book Peter Tatchell calls courageous in his letter published in 'The Guardian' (26 June 1997) is 'Dares To Speak – Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Boy-Love' (Geraci J (Ed.); The Gay Men’s Press, 1997). Colin Hart, Simon Calvert and Iain Bainbridge in their 'Homosexuality and Young People A report' on p.44 of 'Homosexuality and Young People A report' tell us 'The book redefines paedophilia by giving it the label “intergenerational sex”' (by Vern Bullough in p.1 of the preface of this book).

    Please ask Peter Tatchell about his contribution (Chapter 9: 'Questioning Ages of Majority and Ages of Consent' http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press146a.html) to the 1986 book 'The Betrayal of Youth: Radical Perspectives on Childhood Sexuality, Intergenerational Sex, and the Social Oppression of Children and Young People'. Stephen Green of Christian Voice published his 20 February 2010 Press Release 'PETER TATCHELL AND THE PAEDOPHILE BOOK' http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/press146.html because Mr. Green was in the audience when Peter Tatchell was a podium guest on the BBC's 'THE BIG QUESTIONS' (8 January 2010) and Mr. Green was 'asked by the production crew not to comment about paedophilia in connection with Tatchell.' According to Mr. Green in his Press Release 'The request had come from Tatchell himself' and 'that incident prompted this article.' Mr. Green supplies proof of what he has written here http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/Press/The%20Betrayal%20of%20Youth.pdf by photocopying the front and back cover (which lists the contributors to the book), the Acknowledgements page, the Contents page, Appendices page and Contributors pages. Ask him about why he contributed a chapter to a book about paedophilia.

    How dare these individuals attack the Holy Father when he condemns child abuse and is tackling it.

  • Bwaj

    Rubbish. Our Lord founded one Church – the Catholic Church and the Papacy built on St. Peter (St. Mtt:16.18-19). He also founded the clerical priesthood (1 St. Tim:5.17-21).

  • Bwaj

    Rubbish

  • Bwaj

    Rubbish

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

    Are the numbers too difficult to ingest? Perhaps the calculation is incorrect or the original research perhaps or is it just an inability to comprehend?

  • Bwaj

    As with Christian Voice and The Christian Institute I am putting this information in the public domain to show what Geoffrey Robertson was prepared to defend and also what Peter Tatchell has written and believes. I believe all pornography should be illegal,paedophilia should carry a life sentence and the age of consent should be 18.

  • http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/thedixieflatline/ Daz
  • http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/thedixieflatline/ Daz

    The Bishop of Tenneriffe made that exact claim.

    http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_14332.shtml

  • http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/thedixieflatline/ Daz

    The figures do look on the high side. Are you sure you're not including non-sexual abuse, and maybe abuse by lay-workers?

    Also I'm not sure how much faith I'd place in statistics extrapolated from a poll of about 0.006% of the whole, by your figures.

    That's not to say that the totals aren't tragically high anyway, mind you, whatever they turn out to be.

  • Bwaj

    Utter rubbish – athiests do not do God's will but serve Satan (even if they do not know it).

  • Bwaj

    I am not distressed by the athiest onslaught – only that they are liars who will go to Hell. I have already told Stephen Hawking in one newspaper if he refuses to repent before he meets his Maker, Whom he denies, if anyone loses faith because of his latest crackpot theory that the universe created itself out of nothing then for everyone who loses faith because of him – he will be held accountable.

  • Bwaj

    Sorry Daz but I'm referring to studies which prove what I say. It isn't just opinion.

  • Bwaj

    On the contrary studies prove Protestant ministers and the world are far worse.

  • Bwaj

    Wrong – I don't hear you condemning Protestant ministers (studies show 6%) and those in the secular world such as teachers (8%) as compared to Catholic clergy (1%-2%). This small number is bad enough but the fact you refuse to condemn it elsewhere shows your article is an anti-Catholic rant.

  • Bwaj

    I doubt it – athiests, agnostics and Pagans promote the sex education,sodomy and abortion nonsense condemned by God. It is Protestants and those in the secular world who sin in far greater number the way you condemn Catholic clergy.

  • Bwaj

    I suggest you look at 'THE JOHN JAY STUDY' and 'Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis' which have the true figures and expose the lies of Britain's secular media when they claim the Holy Father has done nothing to combat it.

  • http://www.molestedcatholics.com/ John A Brown

    Much prefer something independent of the Catholic church – based on experience we are more likely to get an honest set of figures as the Catholic church is not known for its honesty in anything to do with the abuse of children and the moving of sexually abusive priests. If it comes from today's Catholic church there is little likelihood of it being honest. History tells us the pope did nothing until pressured by survivors and the press and so many still have difficulty working out which laws they should follow first – for me I prefer something that is properly formulated and is representative otherwise we will have to throw away any ideas we have of democracy, equality, human rights, dignity and human decency just to make allowances for the catholic church.

  • Bwaj

    The truth about the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the fact the Holy Father is combatting it can be found in a book titled 'Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal' By Gregory Erlandson and Matthew Bunson (ISBN-10: 1592768067; ISBN-13: 978-1592768066) http://www.amazon.com/Pope-Benedict-Sexual-Abuse-Crisis/product-reviews/1592768067/ / http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pope-Benedict-Sexual-Abuse-Crisis/dp/1592768067 Please read the book review of 'Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis: Working for Reform and Renewal' titled 'Daunting and Soothing: Abuse Report Gets Facts Straight Review Makes Clear That Pope Is a Hero in Church Reform' hhttp://www.zenit.org/article-30302?l=english / http://www.zenit.org/phprint.php / http://www.zenit.org/phprint.php

    Please also read: 'The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice' http://usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/ This study shows the Catholic Church does not have a problem with 'paedophile priests' but gay priests who sexually abused minors of their gender (male) mainly aged between 11-17 while paedophiles prey on pre-pubescent children (those below 10).

    Please also read the book 'Pedophiles and priests: anatomy of a contemporary crisis' By Professor Philip Jenkins (Oxford University Press: 2001) who explodes the secular media lie that the abuse crisis concerns priests who are 'paedophiles' when it is not. Please also read Professor Philip Jenkins in 'FORUM: THE MYTH OF THE 'PEDOPHILE PRIEST'' (03/03/2002) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/comm/20020303edjenk03p6.asp

    I hope you will also read 'MEAN MEN' By Pat Wingert (Newsweek: 8 April 2010) http://www.newsweek.com/2010/04/07/mean-men.print.html which also confirms that studies show there is a higher rate of abuse among Protestant ministers and those in the secular world e.g. teachers than in the Catholic priesthood.

  • http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/thedixieflatline/ Daz

    You have seen studies that show that no member of the clergy has ever blamed child abuse on the child? I suggest you click the link I provided.

  • Bwaj
  • http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/thedixieflatline/ Daz

    By “atheist onslaught” I assume you mean “criticism.”

    In answer to your claims, I am not a liar, and threatening someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife with hell is well, kinda laughable.

    I'm sure Mr Hawking gave your missive all the attention that it deserved, by labelling it as junk-mail.