There are a lot more myths than facts bantered around about clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Here are six important points that you should know if you are interested in this topic.
1. Catholic clergy aren’t more likely to abuse children than other clergy or men in general.
According to the best available data (which is pretty good, coming from a comprehensive report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2004, as well as several other studies), 4 percent of Catholic priests in the U.S. sexually victimized minors during the past half century. No evidence has been published at this time which states this number is higher than clergy from other religious traditions. The 4 percent figure appears lower than school teachers during the same time frame, and certainly less than offenders in the general population of men. Research states that over 20 percent of American women and about 15 percent of American men were sexually violated by an adult when they were children. Sexual victimization is tragically fairly common in the general population, but luckily these numbers have been dropping in recent years.