Media mostly ignore sex abuse data

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way the media are reacting to the 2009 annual report on priestly sexual abuse that was just released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

There was a 36 percent decline in allegations of clergy sexual abuse between 2008 and 2009. As usual, most of the alleged offenders are either dead and buried, have already been thrown out of the priesthood, or are missing. There were six allegations made in 2009 involving minors. Six. As always, males are the preferred target. The report gave an age breakdown but did not mention the significant role played by homosexuals. Media reports never mentioned it either.

Here’s how the media responded. AP ran a story of 864 words, but most newspapers ignored it: only two—the Asbury Park Press and the News Journal (Wilmington)—decided to run it. The Washington Post did a responsible job by covering it in 505 words. The St. Paul Pioneer Press also offered a decent summary. By contrast, the New York Times ran a 92-word article. The Chicago Tribune did much the same. None of the other big dailies—from the Catholic-bashing Boston Globe to the reliably anti-Catholic Los Angeles Times—even bothered to mention it. NPR gave it short mention, but the broadcast and cable stations ignored it.

It’s all so predictable. Bad news about the Catholic Church is front-page news, but good news goes largely ignored. To those who say it’s no different with any other group, consider this. The AP reports today that a rabbi accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in New York a decade ago was arrested yesterday outside his Arizona synagogue. Aside from a very brief article in the New York Daily News, not a single newspaper in New York or Arizona—or anywhere else—bothered to print it.

Read more here:

I was listening to Catholic Answers Live yesterday and that same phrase kept on cropping up. I was stunned and upset that this is how the Catholic media is trying smooth things over in a situation where there should be more open honesty and a desire to show the communities around the world that what has been happening is truly wrong and serious and needs to be addressed in great humility.

Another comment I kept hearing on the show was that there is even a greater problem in the teaching profession. So what!!! The teaching profession does not fall under the auspices of a church and does not represent God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What many of us have as a huge difficulty is the failure of the church to defrock and knowingly protect their offenders from our justice systems around the world. That is blatantly wrong! The media has been great at exposing what the church would rather have remained hidden.

Fair Lady maybe you want to look at the title of this thread before ranting about how the Church should be denounced at every opportunity whether fair or not. There have been other posts on this forum about why these scandals have rocked the Church and different people have given their different reasons of course with enough bashing on how the Church’s main purpose is to habour pedophiles. However this thread is about how the media is bigoted and not being fair in their presentations of sex abuse data. This is also a point worth noting, i don’t think it is a thread for you to bring on (once more:rolleyes:) how the Church wants to cover up data and how the media is such a saviour. Maybe trying to move forward will help the victims better than fostering so much negativity and bias

:thumbsup:100% accurate.I have neverseen as many posts by Catholics,myself included absolutely bashing and desevedly the Administrators of this Divine Institution for this waking nightmare.Fairlady one must be FAIR.Reread the article.There are plenty of other threads where you can justifiably excorciate our derelict shepherds.

What is the point of this article? Bill Dohonue is enraged that the media is not reporting that sexual abuse is not (apparently) happening on a widespread basis as happened in the past? Should the front page of the paper read “Breaking story - Catholic priests not fiddling with boys as much as they used to” or something? That is not news. There have been no allegations of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts lately - should that be a big news story? The news is about things that are happening (mostly bad things, unfortunately) but it is not about things that are not happening.

No, the point is that the Church is constantly accused of doing nothing about the abuse scandal, when in actuality they have gone to great lengths to prevent this from happening again. I found mention the of the current abuse numbers, tucked away on the 3rd to last page of the newspaper, in a one paragraph blurb.

A lot of the people in the media take great pride in hurting the Church, love to flash every time a Catholic or priest slips up all over the front page.

Here is the full info from the USCCB:, so you know these efforts to fix this are doing some good:

Fair enough - I reread the article. This is what I found:
Article: “There was a 36 percent decline in allegations of clergy sexual abuse between 2008 and 2009.”

My comment is that if there is only a 36 percent decline, there is still a HUGE problem. This should be cause for the church to publicly denounce and defrock every offender. From my perspective and many others like me, it doesn’t appear as if the church is acting appropriately by having the offenders brought to justice before the courts of the land. If, in fact, the church is having these men charged, it isn’t publicized enough. To often we hear that they’ve been moved elsewhere.

Article: “There were six allegations made in 2009 involving minors. Six.”

My comment is that this is SIX too many!!! And this is only speaking to minors! How many of the age of majority have been affected? Why were they not included in the statistics? We shouldn’t look at a number like six and think, “Wow, that’s quite acceptable”. We need to look at that and think, “There are six lives who are now ruined because of evil in the clergy”. We know too, that there are always more incidents occurring than what is being reported.

Article: “As always, males are the preferred target. The report gave an age breakdown but did not mention the significant role played by homosexuals. Media reports never mentioned it either.”

I’m wondering why the media are being criticized for not reporting “the significant role played by homosexuals”. Is that even an issue here? If males are targetted by clergy, it’s quite obvious that the clergy are then homosexual and I’m just not clear as to why that should be emphasized. :confused:

Again I come to the quote - “Bad news about the Catholic Church is front-page news, but good news goes largely ignored.”

That really ought not to surprise anyone. We are going to hear about evil much more than good in the media. That’s just a fact of life. What I, and I know many others, are waiting to hear is that justice is being served in the courts in each and every case, ending with jail time, that the clergy are forever losing their leadership role in the church in each and every case, and that victims are receiving assistance with their grief.

I hope that helps to communicate what I think is fair. To clarify, when I speak about scandals such as this, my opinions also extend to each and every other religion too.

I think that - the Justice is justice
Justice has to be just
and has to be equal to every body
personal favoritism is not a justice
If i am guilty in sexual violence , pedophilia , or any thing which makes me guilty , then I am guilty - no matter if I am preast or simnple less respected person.
Its a bitter and unpleasant to hear.
Its insult towards the Christian feelings , but if some people can escape the justice just becuase they are preasts , and too respectful people , then its not just justice.
God is just and justice must be just too , if it has to do with life of the society .
I think its a more damage to the church reputation when some guilty clergy will escape the justice , then its worst.
Nowadays , we see for example , that some authoritative newspapers blame the church authority of being unjust and hiding the sins of the sinners leaving them unpunished.
Every one of us , wants to have mercy from God , every one of us is not free from falling to sin.
Let Lord have mercy on us , but reputation before Just God , even if its damage the church servants names , is more important than to save reputation before people.

For example , today , the Euro News Channel , every 30 minutes , shows the case against the Catholic Church , and the case was 15 years ago.
I agree that the enemies of the church most of all want the church to be seen guilty , and they blame the Pope , but indeed , ‘’ there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealled ‘’.
The Media , if its really want , it can make a little things , very big things.
We know , what a dirty games the media played brainswashing the people about the epidemies , flues and so on , whwere the pharmacy companies made so much money.
The media if it really want , can make black-white and white - black.
Media can make the revolutions and can stop them.
So , the enemies of the church do not sleep .
That’s why the church servant have to pay attentian to the personal morality especially the clergy.

It is predictable that this would not be reported. The world will always persecute the Body of Christ in this world. Yes, six is too many, but that is one case of a pervert for every seven thousand priests. As the seminaries have now disallowed homosexuals, that number may drop even more.

Look at this article about Rabbis: Sexual Abuse by Rabbis - Where is the Public Outcry?

*Last year, 40 minors in this small Jewish community said they were abused. Last year, there were 10 such allegations in the entire Catholic Church in all 50 states. Catholics are fed up with the duplicity. It’s not just Roman Polanski who can rape and run with impunity these days. The politics of child rape is sickening.

In one borough of a city, Brooklyn, in the year of 2008, 40 minors said they where abused in the Jewish community. In the same year there where 10 allegations in the entire Catholic Church in all 50 states. And the fact that the number of allegations is known shows you how there are better child protection systems in place now. Any person getting abused by a person in a position of trust is horrible, but put this in perspective.

And yet the media and the Anti-Catholics make it seem like child abuse is a Catholic problem, when it goes on in other denominations and other religions far more than it does in the Catholic faith.

Look at this article on sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community:

If you look at all the comments from people it’s almost defensive; it’s no good bashing religious communities, etc.

If there was a similar article on the Catholic Church most people would be full on bashing!
If the Catholic Church had higher rate of abuse than any other organizations or if there was clear evidence that celibacy would be to blame for sex abuse I could understand, but most Anti-Catholics have no understanding of perspective. No person in a position of trust should ever abuse that position, but rates of abuse have to be put perspective. And Catholic Clergy abuse at no higher rate than any other organization out there, and the rate is lower than the adult male average. I want to see the media stop attacking the Catholic Church, and if you are going to report on sex abuse, do it with all the religions, or non-religion. Not just the Catholic Church. And would the media actually report on all the child protection measures that have been put in place?

Someone help me understand the so called homosexual connection…I always thought the greatest number of pedophilia abuses are carried out by heterosexual married men. Rape isn’t about sex it’s about power. The idea that the problem was letting all these gay men into the priesthood because of Vatican II seens iff base. The acts aren’t about sex really…it’s about power. The abuse makes me sick but the scapegoating that it was letting all those gay priests into Holy Orders just seems terribly misguided. The secrecy, the insular power contribute to the mess. And people’s faith being shaken regarding our church where the fullness of faith lies is what saddens me the most.

*Good points, but I think the reason for this ‘‘duplicity’’ is that the Catholic Church is often in the limelight, when it comes to abortion…stem cell research, political views. I don’t really see Jewish communities coming up to the public podium and speaking on morality much. I don’t see Rabbis coming onto networks talking about being prolife, for example, the way priests have…not saying they are not prolife, they are just not as vocal as our Church has been. I have jewish friends, I know they have moral stances, but you don’t see even other christian denoms coming forth, the way the Catholic Church does…so, with putting Herself out there, there will be scrutiny. The media likes to see people of high moral ground fall from grace, and these scandals have created the perfect storm for them. I don’t blame the media though…I blame those who were involved. If these things didn’t happen, the media wouldn’t have anything to report.

That’s my take. *

‘’ Look at this article about Rabbis: Sexual Abuse by Rabbis - Where is the Public Outcry?’’

( Lemonbeam ! )

its a good rhetoric question !

The latest data coming out of the Vatican for cases compiled and reported so far that go back about 50 plus years is revealing. Out of the 3000 priests accused during that period (there were a total of about 400,000 priests during that same period) about 60% were pederasts (inappropriate sexual contact with male adolescents), 30% were heterosexual in nature, and the remaining 10% were against children. First of all, let’s do the math: it comes out to less than 1% of priests during that period were accused of inappropriate sexual contact and 60% of the cases were homosexual in nature. Less than one-tenth of 1% were pedophile in nature. Why are they still calling this a pedophile scandal and why isn’t it pointed out that those numbers appear to be far below the overall average of pedophilia in the general population and at least as low if not lower than other religious denominations?

I think that the fact is, most folks are ignorant of the difference between pedophilia and ephebophilia, or attraction to adolescents.

As Whatevergirl has pointed out in several pertinent threads, the Catholic Church and her priests are supposed to have higher standards than “the general population” and “other religious denominations”; we profess to have the Truth.

Additionally, the Church has taken very public stands on issues of chastity and morality, thus leading to understandable allegations of utter hypocrisy when these awful abuses came to light.

*Thanks dixie…yes, I think that Riley too points out something interesting – because it seems that the Catholic Church is the only one being thrown under the bus in the media. When you look at it like that, bringing up the percentages make sense.

So…I am driving home from work today, chatting with my MIL…and she doesn’t believe most of these allegations of priests abusing kids because all her nine kids went to Catholic school and nothing happened to them. She’s 87 and I didn’t feel like arguing with her. :o And on that note…I’m going for a run! :D*

The national News Media uses these stories about the sexual abuse of children as a club to bash conservative institutions in our society like the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts.

However, it completely ignores the widespread and rampant sexual abuse of children that occurs in liberal, working-class institutions like America’s public schools, or the hundreds of thousands of cases of the sexual trafficking of children that occurs in America’s cities or stories about the sexual abuse of women that occurs in the workplace or in our prison system (or with our allies in the world):

The national News Media doesn’t present and isn’t interested in presenting the full picture regarding the extent of sexual violence that occurs in our society.

The national News Media is only interested in bashing groups like the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, while the sexual abuse in other societal institutions, like America’s public schools and prisons and other religious groups is basically ignored.–Ex-Lion-said-he%5C-d-pay-for-sex

Example what I am talking about; there was hardly any news coverage of this important story about Chrysler, the UAW, and sexual abuse of female workers at Chrysler’s Toledo Jeep Plant:

"The high volume of charges has prompted the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to launch a broad investigation into the possibility of an abusive environment at the Jeep complex, the Free Press has learned.

In the past four years, nine federal lawsuits have been filed in Toledo against Chrysler regarding sexual harassment at the Jeep plant. Seventy-three charges of civil rights violations have been filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, with more than 40 coming within the past 18 months, records show.

The 45 civil rights complaints in the last 18 months is more than five times the number of charges leveled against General Motors Corp.'s comparably sized operations in and around Toledo."

But because the story involves Chrysler Corporation, which spends hundreds of millions of $$$ in advertising dollars for TV commercials, newspaper, magazine, and online advertising, the national News Media ignores the news story.

It’s been eight years since the Boston Diocese sex scandal of 2002; it seems like the only other news stories the National News Media has focused on concerning the sexual abuse of children are stories that involve attractive female public school teachers and teenage boys, because those stories attract public attention and increase TV ratings and newspaper sales.

Yes, they should report the bad stuff going on in the Catholic Church, but, for me, in order for me to believe that the national News Media is seriously concerned the problem of the sexual abuse of children in our society, the News Media would also have to focus on the American public school system, and the child sex trafficking trade.

During the past eight years, they have focused their spotlight exclusively on the Catholic Church.

I have noticed for about the last decade, around the beginning of Lent and through Easter, the News Media publishes news articles or broadcasts TV programs that challenge the faith of Christians.

The stories about the 2002 Catholic Church sex scandal in Boston were published about the same time; a few years back, they showed a documentary about the ‘Jesus Tomb’, which was said to contain the remains of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, and Jesus’s other siblings.

It doesn’t suprise me that these news stories about sexual abuse and the Catholic Church are being published now during Lent.

I will just state what is now obvious: the secular News Media wants Pope Benedict XVI out and to resign; they also introduce Modernism into the Catholic Church (e.g., end of celibacy; the embracing of homosexuality; female priests, etc.).

First they called the Pope a Nazi (I remember Aaron Brown on his CNN show stating Pope Benedict was an ardent soldier of the Third Reich the day after Pope Benedict was elected Pope five years ago); this Milwaukee case seems to be just one of many that Cardinal Ratzinger handled as Prefect for the Doctrine of the Congregation of the Faith.

I would not be surprised at all by the end of next week that more sexual abuse cases that Cardinal Ratizinger handled will make it to the frontpage headlines on TV and online, and the News Media will be demanding his resignation.

Because, wasn’t that, in the end, is what this is really all about?

I mean, if the national News Media is really concerned with protecting all of our children from sexual abuse and bringing this problem to the American public’s attention, why are all these other important news stories about sexual abuse involving children are ignored?

Usually they are only handled by the local media and they are not front page stories and often photos of the perpetrators are not published.

I just wanted to add this news story about child sex trafficking that goes on in the United States which is a major problem that gets very little attention by the national News Media:

That is because most of the priests who have been accused of sex crimes did not commit pedophelia or rape, in the strictest sense of the word. Hebephilia is the attraction to young post-pubescent boys. It is a different psychology than found in a rapist.

The words “pedophile” and “pedophilia” are frequently misused to refer to situations in which an older person has sexual relations with a person who is below the legal age of consent, but is pubescent or post-pubescent . The terms “hebephilia” or “ephebophilia” may be more accurate in these cases,[16] but even then may be erroneously used to refer to the actus reus itself, rather than the correct meaning, which is a preference for that age group on the part of the older individual.

I am not justifying anything. Rather I am trying to answer your question as to why it is different than we often think of pedophiles and rapists being. If we do not understand the differences, we can use the wrong solution.