If only rabbis, scout leaders, nurses, and cops weren’t celibate…

Oh wait, they aren’t. Then how to explain this recent child porn bust in the New York area? At least 70 people were arrested. The evidence collected included:

[T]he seizure of nearly 600 desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices containing a total of 175 terabytes of storage.

The critique surrounding the clergy abuse scandals in the Catholic Church has been largely based on the celibacy requirement for priests in the Roman Catholic Church. The reasoning was somewhat Freudian (neo Freudian?), namely that if priests were able allowed to be sexually active, these abuses would not have occurred. Celibacy was seen as the problem, even the source of the abuse. Some defenders of the Church tried to rebut it. But there’s nothing like the ongoing review of the Catholic Church to witness how low is the rate of child sexual abuse in the Church. The 2013 Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People reports that there were 9 credible allegations of abuse for behavior that began in 2013.

Nine.

Could there be other cases of abuse? Sadly, yes. But there is a comprehensive system in place to facilitate the protection of minors and the reporting of abusers.

Should there even be 9 cases of abuse? No, not given what we profess in our faith. But we have about 40,000 priests; so that means that that less than 0.0225% of all Catholic clergy (diocesan and religious) were accused of a credible allegation in 2013.

Sounds to me like the Catholic Church is doing something right. Other professions don’t have that rate. There was the famous government funded study in 2004 that concluded that nearly 10% of all public school students were the victims of “educator sexual misconduct.” To date, I’ve yet to hear of the Department of Education going through the extensive corrections that the Catholic Church in US took upon itself.

There are millions of children that come into contact with the Catholic Church every day. That there were only 9 credible allegations of abuse for 2013 shows that the system is working. Hopefully, it will work even better in the future.

But meanwhile, perhaps these other professions should take a cue from the handling of the abuse scandal by the Catholic Church in the US?

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