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Re: “Church blames tie-dyed '60s for child rape


The abuse of minors by priests is truly horrible and the Bishops who covered up their actions are responsible, period. Indeed I am very angry about the actions the hierarchy took in dealing with these abusers and their complicit superiors.

However, I am also angry with those like Hightower who portray the Bishops’ reaction to the crisis as simply looking for excuses and by lampooning the efforts to analyze the issue (no matter how flawed) as an overly simplistic statement that “the 60’s made them do it.”

Also, while there is ample room for criticism of past actions, there should be a fair-minded acknowledgement of the programs that have been put in place to avoid future abuses.

BTW, I am not affiliated in any way with the Catholic League.

Posted by DoctorJ on 06/07/2011 at 7:47 AM

Re: “Church blames tie-dyed '60s for child rape

This is highly misleading and biased. He only selectively reports on the work done by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York regarding the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the U.S. Catholic Church.

The report he satirizes is actually the second of two studies produced by researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice about sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The first study (the Nature and Scope study) focused on the description and extent of the problem from 1950 to 2002 and was published in February, 2004. The Nature and Scope study provided information about what happened, including the number of abuse incidents, the distribution of offenses geographically and over time, the characteristics of the priests against whom allegations were made and the minors they abused, the Catholic Church’s response to the allegations, and the financial impact of the abuse incidents. The response by the US Catholic bishops resulted in promulgation of a set of norms for preventing further abuse and for handling abuse charges. This can be found at…

This second study (the Causes and Context study which Hightower lampoons) sought to understand why the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests occurred as it did by integrating research from sociocultural, psychological, situational, and organizational perspectives. Many critics have ascribed a variety of “causes” for the reported abuse. The study addresses many of them. It examined the following questions (a far cry from Hightower’s glib assertion that “the sixties made them do it”):
1. Are all abusive priests pedophiles?
2. Is it possible to predict which men might abuse minors?
3. Was celibacy the cause of the sexual abuse crisis?
4. Was homosexuality the cause of the sexual abuse crisis?
5. What role did the manner in which seminarians are trained to become priests play in the incidence of sexual abuse of minors?
6. Was there an organizational failure or a failure of leadership that contributed to the crisis?
7. Did societal conditions contribute to or influence the incidence of sexual abuse of minors?

Interested readers can find links to the studies at

Posted by DoctorJ on 06/04/2011 at 6:25 AM

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