Catholic Myth 5 – The Catholic Church Still Has a Problem with Sex Abuse

Catholic church Sexual abuse

Is the Catholic Church safe for kids?  Why is there an inordinate amount of abuse in this particular organization?  Why does the problem persist even today?  To ask these questions is to give into the myths that the media and secular society purport.  The truth is, the Catholic Church does not have a problem with sex abuse today much less pedophilia.  Moreover, the Church has not had a problem with it for years.   Don’t believe me?  Read on.

Nearly every single case the media has reported happened between 30-50 years ago.  That’s a fact.  Most of the priests are either in jail, dead, or were “fired” (not the technical term).  Very few cases actually happen today.  For example, this past year, out of the 44,000 priests in the United States, there were only 6 credible allegations.  6!  Over the last 5 years or so, there have only been about 5-7 credible allegations.

Why so low?  Because the Church has put in place many checks and programs to make sure this problem never happens again.  Everyone who works with kids or teens must attend training seminars which help them to identify pedophilia and sexual abuse and to help prevent it from happening.  Working in different dioceses, I have had to take the training course 5 times.  To me, this seemed excessive, but not to the Church who is serious about stopping it.  Last summer, I spoke to teens in Ireland, and I was immediately informed that they also have programs set in place that we would have to attend.

Now, some places in the Catholic Church certainly had a problem with sexual abuse.  No doubt; and that can never be justified.  It’s heinous and evil.  However, the Church recognized the problem and has worked hard to fix it.  Even though the dishonesty of the media makes it seem like every other priest across the country is guilty, the fact is that due to the steps the Church has taken, the Catholic Church is now the safest organization in the world.  Here are some facts:

What most people don’t realize is that sex abuse of minors is 100 times more prevalent in the public school systems than in any church.  85% of all sexual abuse happens in the family!  15% takes place in public schools, and nearly 1% occurs in religious institutions, the least of which is now the Catholic Church.  So, those who continue to promote the myth that the Catholic Church still abuses children or has a huge problem are incorrect.  Perhaps unintentionally, but they are spreading ignorance, propaganda, and false claims which are not true.

So, when people are outraged at the Church for sexual abuse, ask them why they are not also outraged at the public school systems.  Yes, the Church is more accountable since they claim a higher morality code, but if people are truly concerned about ending sexual abuse, they will stop being hypocritical and work to end it wherever it’s found, especially where it’s the worst: families and schools.  The Church has taken steps; why haven’t they?

For more information, check out my two blogs on the subject.

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About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a thirty-eight year old speaker and retreat leader. He has spoken to adults and teens for the last fifteen years on a wide variety of topics; ranging from catechetics and faith formation, to morality, spirituality, and apologetics. He has spoken at youth and adult retreats, workshops, seminars, Catholic schools, parish missions, local, regional and national conferences. He has spoken in front of crowds ranging from thirty to three-thousand and has been aired on both TV and radio in different states. Bryan also runs the R.O.C.K. (Revival Of Catholic Kids) Ministry Team that puts on all-day retreats for teens. He is going for his Masters in theology and working on writing numerous books and tracts.
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