THE MILLENNIAL CATHOLIC:
Before we go into this topic, there are a few things I need to disclose:
-I don't live in the Boston area
-I have never lived in the Boston area
-As of this post, I have not actually seen the film in question
Having said that though, with the film Spotlight winning the Best Picture award, it's time for me to talk about a topic everyone has heard but still seems to have great misconceptions over: the priest sexual abuse scandal.
I know this whole event has lead to people either leaving the Church or (if they were never members) no longer even consider being part of the Church but this is also a topic where people have let their emotions trump the facts.
So here are some facts we've let fall to the wayside:
1. The VAST majority of priests in America have NEVER been accused of sexual abuse.
That's right: out of the total accusation numbers, only 4% of all American priests between 1950 and 2002 have ever had a mark this black on their character. This then means 96% of all priests were living their lives in holy obedience to the Church. If you think I put that statistic out of nowhere, that number came from a story from the Boston Globe…the very same newspaper that broke the scandal.
Now what about those who were accused?
2. On average, 2 out of 5 accusations against priests and as many as 3 out of 4 do NOT hold up under tough scrutiny.
In the middle of all the media hype, a study was done to look into all the accusations and it found 40% of the charges had to be thrown out because either not enough evidence existed to go to trial or the accuser later admitted to making everything up.
Damn that pesky "innocent until proven guilty" saying, eh?
Now, I know the nay-sayers will say something to the effect of "What about the priests that do have credible charges, some that go back decades? What about them?"
3. You have to look closer at the accusations.
If you did, you will find all the alleged incidents happened within the same few decades and nearly nothing after a certain point. In addition, you will further find all the incidents happen in the same few cities…namely Boston, New York City, Los Angeles and other areas notorious for their liberal leanings.
Note how none or next to no priests in politically conservative areas have ever been accused.
4.This scandal is NOT reflective of the Church as a whole
This is partially because of how few priests are accused but mostly because of the reforms implemented in problem areas, a key one being gay men are not allowed in seminaries anymore.
Furthermore, accused priests seem to also stem from certain religious orders such as the Jesuits and none at all from orders like the Dominicans or the FSSP.
"But what about all those priests who abused multiple children and all the Church did was move them to another area?"
5. The Catholic Church was following the advise of supposed experts at the time.
As part of the investigation, it has come to light Church leaders forced the accused priests to seek a therapist and every time the expert told them the priest was suited for work again.
The blame in other words falls on the therapists, not the Church.
If you think that's a cop-out, this recommendation was first printed in the Boston Globe…the same newspaper that broke the scandal.
So the message is clear: the Church should be allowed to govern themselves and not give an inch to secular-atheism: not only can they not explain how child molestation is wrong but they're a bunch of idiots too.