Yes, this I do understand. We have a friend that served time for something he didn’t do. Even the cops said he wasn’t guilty.
Are you putting people who have theological differences on the same level as people who rape children (or cover up for those who do)?
Abuse by priiests are in the news because lawyers can make money. They perceive deep pockets. All those other cases that happen at public schools or many Protestants churches show little potential for financial gain. Fyi the boy scouts raised their dues 70% this year. I dont need to be an accountant to figure out what thats about
Our faith is founded on Jesus Christ, not the sins of the members. Whether or not there is a small percentage of infiltrators in the Church with a particular sin does not eliminate the truth of the faith.
My big pet peeve is when a person wants to make it a Catholic issue because of Catholicism and the Priesthood, not because a predator entered the priesthood to get close to their potential victims.
Would this web site help? Stop Baptist Child Predators
No one Church Body is without this problem. The reason why the Catholic Church is in the headlines is that it has male and celebrate clergy and it’s stance on abortion and homosexual marriage. The press can’t stomach this.
Let me relink the above site.
I do not know if the SBC ever got their database up to track sex offenders, but it was still an issue in 2011. Even victims of sexual abuse and their families will often engage in “cover-up”, being satisfied with the removal of the problem and their own situation being kept secret. Sexual abuse lends itself to secrecy, whether over embarrassment or guilt.
The first of these positive factors is the learning curve. The dominant professional psychological opinion when sexual abuse was at its worst was that offenders could be sent for treatment, rehabilitated, and returned to service. It was understandable, then, that there should be a period in which this approach was tried.
At the time the church was handling the situation according professional opinion.
Many of the accused priests were forced to resign or were defrocked. In addition, several bishops who had participated in the cover up were also forced to resign or retire.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Archdiocese July 15 announced the largest church settlement of sexual abuse lawsuits to date, agreeing to pay more than 500 alleged victims a total of $660 million.
There were huge money settlements. Not sure if this is the case but attorneys usually take a third ?] off the top. In this case that would be 22 million. Ka ching! Yahtzee! There is no guarantee the 500 mentioned were all abused. There are always those who will jump on the bandwagon for free money.
It is easy to blame lawyers and the media but if there is just one child that was sexually abused, that is one child too many. The scandal broke out of Boston when the leadership of the Church didn’t remove priests that it should have and did shuffle them around to create more victims. The bigger scandal was how these guys were handled by the bishops. Instead of treating them as criminals that they are, they hid the problem. As the story broke, got bigger and more stories uncovered, it seemed like a bigger Catholic problem. Due to all of it, these sorts of things of shuffling and cover up won’t happen in any diocese again. Sadly, it took a secular media to do the job that should have been done by Church leadership. Likewise, leadership longer depends that abusers can be rehabbed and put back into ministry which likewise was done. Likewise, the police are called and notified if the case has not reached the statue of limitations. Blaming lawyers and secular media is one thing but the original cases (out of Boston) should have never happen.
Step 1: Print this out.
Step 2: Hand it to him.
Step 3. Invite him to our forum for further discussion of the issue.
Report: Protestant Church Insurers Handle 260 Sex Abuse Cases a Year
By Rose French
June 18, 2007
The three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.
The figures released to The Associated Press offer a glimpse into what has long been an extremely difficult phenomenon to pin down — the frequency of sex abuse in Protestant congregations.
Religious groups and victims’ supporters have been keenly interested in the figure ever since the Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis hit five years ago. The church has revealed that there have been 13,000 credible accusations against Catholic clerics since 1950.
Protestant numbers have been harder to come by and are sketchier because the denominations are less centralized than the Catholic church; indeed, many congregations are independent, which makes reporting even more difficult.
Some of the only numbers come from three insurance companies — Church Mutual Insurance Co., GuideOne Insurance Co. and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.
Together, they insure 165,495 churches and worship centers for liability against child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct, mostly Protestant congregations but a few other faiths as well. They also insure more than 5,500 religious schools, camps and other organizations.
The companies represent a large chunk of all U.S. Protestant churches. There are about 224,000 in the U.S., according to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, although that number excludes most historically black denominations and some other groups, which account for several thousand congregations.
Church Mutual, GuideOne and Brotherhood Mutual each provided statistics on sex abuse claims to The Associated Press, although they did not produce supporting documentation or a way to determine whether the reports were credible.
The largest company, Church Mutual, reported an average of about 100 sex abuse cases a year involving minors over the past decade. GuideOne, which has about half the clients of Church Mutual, said it has received an average of 160 reports of sex abuse against minors every year for the past two decades.
Brotherhood Mutual said it has received an average of 73 reports of child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct every year for the past 15 years. However, Brotherhood does not specify which victims are younger than 18 so it is impossible to accurately add that to the total cases.
Abuse reports do not always mean the accused was guilty, and they do not necessarily result in financial awards or settlements, the companies said. The reports include accusations against clergy, church staff and volunteers.
Even with hundreds of cases a year "that’s a very small number. That probably doesn’t even constitute half,’’ said Gary Schoener, director of the Walk-In Counseling Center in Minneapolis, a consultant on hundreds of Protestant and Catholic clergy misconduct cases. "Sex abuse in any domain, including the church, is reported seldom. We know a small amount actually come forward.’’
Tom Farr, general counsel and senior vice president of claims for GuideOne, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, said most abuse cases are resolved privately in court-ordered mediation. Awards can range from millions of dollars down to paying for counseling for victims, he said.
One of the largest settlements to date in Protestant churches involved the case of former Lutheran minister Gerald Patrick Thomas Jr. in Texas, where a jury several years ago awarded the minister’s victims nearly $37 million (euro28 million). Separate earlier settlements involving Thomas cost an additional $32 million.
When insurance companies first started getting reports of abuse from churches nearly two decades ago, the cases usually involved abuse that happened many years earlier. But over the past several years, the alleged abuse is more recent, which could reflect a greater awareness about reporting abuse, insurance companies said.
Insurance officials said the number of sex abuse cases has remained steady over the past two decades, but they also said churches are working harder to prevent child sex abuse by conducting background checks, installing windows in nurseries and play areas and requiring at least two adults in a room with a child.
A victims’ advocacy group has said the Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, could do more to prevent abuse by creating a list of accused clergy the public and churches could access.
"These are things people are entitled to know,’’ said Christa Brown, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who says she was sexually abused as a child by a Southern Baptist minister. "The only way to prevent this crime is to break the code of silence and to have absolute transparency when allegations are raised.’’
At the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in San Antonio this week, the Rev. Wade Burleson proposed a feasibility study into developing a national database of Southern Baptist ministers who have been "credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse.’'
**A convention committee referred Burleson’s motion to the SBC executive committee, which will report back with findings and a recommendation at next year’s meeting in Indianapolis.
Southern Baptist President Frank Page said leaders are considering several options to help churches protect children against abuse.
"We believe that the Scripture teaches that the church should be an autonomous, independent organization,’’ Page said. "We encourage churches to hold accountable at the local level those who may have misused the trust of precious children and youth.’’
Several years ago, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which represents moderates who have increasingly distanced themselves from the conservative-led Southern Baptists, started a list of accused clergy for churches, but not the public. Under pressure from victim advocates, the Texas group just released the names of some convicted sex offenders who may have been ministers in local congregations.
Joe Trull, editor of Christian Ethics Today and retired ethics professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, helped the Texas convention create its registry and says there are now about 11 cases involving clergy abuse with minors.
But he believes these are just the "tip of the iceberg’’ because churches don’t have to report abuse cases to the registry and aren’t likely to.
"The problem we’re having is that churches just weren’t sending the names,’’ Trull said. "In the normal scenario, they just try to keep it secret. We’re going to have to be more proactive and let them know if they don’t come forward, they’re helping to perpetuate this problem.’’**
What the media doesn’t report adequately is that most of the victims of Catholic priests were young adolescent boys.
It was a homosexual sexual abuse crime. Gay priests.
Whoa!!! Do you seriously believe that?
In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with sexual misconduct. Among the charges substantiated by the city’s special commissioner of investigation—that is, found to have sufficient merit that an arbitrator’s full examination was justified—in the 2011-12 school year:
• An assistant principal at a Brooklyn high school made explicit sexual remarks to three different girls, including asking one of them if she would perform oral sex on him.
• A teacher in Queens had a sexual relationship with a 13-year old girl and sent her inappropriate messages through email and Facebook.
If this kind of behavior were happening in any adult workplace in America, there would be zero tolerance. Yet our public school children are defenseless.
Here’s why. Under current New York law, an accusation is first vetted by an independent investigator. (In New York City, that’s the special commissioner of investigation; elsewhere in the state, it can be an independent law firm or the local school superintendent.) Then the case goes before an employment arbitrator. The local teachers union and school district together choose the arbitrators, who in turn are paid up to $1,400 per day. And therein lies the problem.
For many arbitrators, their livelihood depends on pleasing the unions (whether the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, or other local unions). And the unions—believing that they are helping the cause of teachers by being weak on sexual predators—prefer suspensions and fines, and not dismissal, for teachers charged with inappropriate sexual conduct. The effects of this policy are mounting.
One example: An arbitrator in 2007 found that teacher Alexis Grullon had victimized young girls with repeated hugging, “incidental though not accidental contact with one student’s breast” and “sexually suggestive remarks.” The teacher had denied all these charges. In the end the arbitrator found him “unrepentant,” yet punished him with only a six-month suspension.
Another example from 2007: Teacher William Scharbach was found to have inappropriately touched and held young boys. “Respondent’s actions at best give the appearance of impropriety and at worst suggest pedophilia,” wrote the arbitrator—before giving the teacher only a reprimand. The teacher didn’t deny the touching but denied that it was inappropriate.
Then there was teacher Steven Ostrin, who in 2010 was found to have asked a young girl to give him a striptease, harassed students by text, and engaged in sexual banter. The arbitrator in his case concluded that since the teacher hadn’t actually solicited sex from students, the charges—all of which the teacher denied—warranted only a suspension.
Michael Loeb, a middle school teacher in the Bronx and UFT member, calls this a “horrible situation,” telling me “if you keep these people in the classroom, you are demeaning our profession.”
Parents I spoke with described their tremendous fear about what is happening in the classroom. Maria Elena Rivera says her 14-year-old daughter was stalked by one of her Brooklyn high school teachers (who resigned from his position before the Department of Education decided whether to send the case to arbitration). Today her daughter is in counseling, says Ms. Rivera, and doesn’t trust anyone: “It so messed her up. I can’t protect her.”
Local media have begun to get the word out, yet the stories come and go with trifling consequences or accountability. New York City’s schools chancellor and districts statewide must have the power to fire sexual predators—and the final say cannot be that of an arbitrator with incentives to lessen the punishment.
Fortunately, state Sen. Stephen Saland has proposed legislation in Albany to do just this, removing arbitrators’ final say while still giving teachers due process and the opportunity to appeal terminations in court. But the buck would stop with those officials in charge of our schools and tasked with protecting our kids: the chancellor in New York City, and school districts elsewhere in the state.
Mr. Saland’s initiative has little chance of success without union support—which is hardly assured. “I don’t understand how they think this could be a gray area,” says Natalie Harrington, who teaches English at New Day Academy in the Bronx. “I worry that if the union goes to bat [against] this, it makes it seem like they will do anything to keep anyone in the classroom.”
Michael Loeb still supports his union but says it “treats teachers like interchangeable widgets”—defending all teachers no matter what they have done.
The union has reached a moment of truth. With responsible legislation on the table, the right course of action is obvious. At stake is the safety of kids, the reputation of the unions, and the standing of every good and responsible teacher throughout the state.
Look at the Department of Education official report on sexual abuse by teachers, which are routinely covered up by colleagues, unions, and staff: www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf
Look at how long Jerry Sandusky was excused.
How about the entertainment industry, which excuses the crimes of pedophiles like Roman Polanski?
How about sexual abuse within the medical fields, or within law enforcement? Do you not think colleagues and staff regularly cover for colleagues because they don’t think [insert name of offender here] is that kind of person?
How about the misguided leadership in other religions?
I hesitate to point out these specific sexual abuse coverups within the Orthodox Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, and Buddhist communities, because I don’t want to be misunderstood - the sins committed by the leadership in these faiths, like those of a small number of those in leadership within the Catholic Church, are due to their failings as men, not the religion. By simply googling “Sexual abuse” + “coverup” + [denomination’s name] you or I could as easily come up with a hundred more tragedies.
The Catholic Church has learned, thank God, but it was at tragic cost. We lost a generation of young parents. The Church learned to do good background checks, not ordain those with a same-sex attraction or put them in positions of trust with teen boys, don’t employ seminary teachers who have an anti-Catholic view of the theology of the body, use mandatory education programs to teach all church personnel (lay and clerical) to recognize and report, and teach kids that they can and should fight back hard when faced with an unwanted approach by any adult. A busted nose is a good way to let people know there is an issue. Those are hard lessons to enforce and it’s easier to say “Well, it’s just a ‘Catholic problem.’” I I hope other faiths and professions learn some of those lessons, as well, but many are doing just the opposite.