How to keep latest Pennsylvania scandals in context?


#1

There are other threads dealing with the Pennsylvania sex abuse scandals, but I want to center on how we can keep this in context. The actions of bishops and priests are inexcusable.

But many will not understand how to read the news in context. I’m already seeing friends share news articles (on Facebook) regarding the scandals, and these friends likely have little understanding of the Catholic Church or the nature of the scandals.

So how can we provide context? For example, how do we put 300 priests in context? (Is it 300 out of 500 priests? 300 out of 25,000 priests? etc.)

How long ago? All the media hype seems to be forgetting that detail. Was this recent, or over 50 years ago? Etc.


Stunning findings on report of Catholic Church abuse: Pa. priests molested more than 1,000 children
#2

I’m not sure what context there is to keep it in.

None of my non-Catholic friends has asked me about it. My context will be “It’s too upsetting for me to talk about,” if they do as me about it.


#3

It is upsetting, but that’s precisely why we need context, so we can at least be as level-headed about it as possible. For example, it matters to me if these happened in the last 20 years, or if most of it happened when most of the other abuse scandals did: over 40-50 years ago, etc.

And again, 300 priests is horrifying. But compared to what? Out of how many priests? etc.


#4

The report hasn’t been released to provide the context, just the headlines and sound bites.

Jim


#5

The only place where I have seen a treatment of the subject were some works released by the Australian Royal Commission. But truth be said I couldn’t bare reading much about it.

https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au


#6

Australian commission talked about Pennsylvania? Hmmm…


#7

It covers every diocese in the state. (The two that weren’t included in this report had been investigated previously.) I’m not sure how to put 100% rot in any kind of context. Is Pennsylvania different from other states? Or can we assume the same statistics would hold throughout the country?


#8

Well, how many priests did Pennsylvnia have in the time period of the abuse?


#9

One abusive priest or one bishop who covered it up is too many.


#10

BUT my thread’s question has to do exactly with that question… So…

This thread is about providing proper context. Of course the actions are inexcusable, as I also said. But my point of this thread is:

But many will not understand how to read the news in context. I’m already seeing friends share news articles (on Facebook) regarding the scandals, and these friends likely have little understanding of the Catholic Church or the nature of the scandals.

So how can we provide context?

I mean, unless we want our friends and even fellow Catholics to think that this abuse scandal is equivalent to ALL the Catholic Church is about; that every Catholic priest abuses children; that the Catholic Church in America has made no progress over the last 20 years. This is why context is important. For people out there are judging the Faith based on familiarity only with these scandals – in particular the current Pennsylvania one.


#11

One can find that statistic here:

http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/


#12

the best way to keep this in context is to remember that these are NOT new abuses. They happened a long time ago and this is really part of the same sex abuse scandal that started with Boston.

Pennsylvania did not investigate the other dioceses when Philadelphia was going though its scandal. Then, after PA had the Diocese of Altoona - Johnstown, PA decided to have a grand jury look at all of the other dioceses at the same time.

None of this is new. Its just PA has gone back to uncover abuses for the past 70 years in the 6 dioceses that were part of this.

So it’s not about new cases.

Furthermore, why isn’t PA launching a Grand Jury into child abuse in other religions and the public school system?

While, it is true that this evil thing happened, it’s the same thing that has happened in dioceses all over. And frankly, its the same thing that has happened in other religions and the public school systems all over.

But where is the Grand Jury into other places? This is NOT just a Catholic problem, but anti-Catholics and liberals just want to focus on the Catholic Church to squash our Pro Life message. The fact that they are not proposing Grand Juries into other religions and the public school system makes me believe that this is PARTLY politically motivated since it was the CATHOLIC vote that won Trump PA this past election.

God bless


#13

the best way to keep this in context is to remember that these are NOT new abuses. They happened a long time ago and this is really part of the same sex abuse scandal that started with Boston.

Pennsylvania did not investigate the other dioceses when Philadelphia was going though its scandal. Then, after PA had the Diocese of Altoona - Johnstown, PA decided to have a grand jury look at all of the other dioceses at the same time.

None of this is new. Its just PA has gone back to uncover abuses for the past 70 years in the 6 dioceses that were part of this.

Thanks, so all of this important to keep in mind. Unfortunately, many people seeing the headlines will not get this. So it’s important for us to clarify when we can. The news pieces I’ve seen present it as if it could be a modern problem.


#14

By context do you mean excuses?


#15

I am sickened and am off threads dealing with these predatory monsters. Getting ready to go to Mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Shifting focus on holiness. God bless you all on this Holy Day.


#16

Nope, and if you would have read my posts, I’m sure that would be clear :wink:


#17

Other than the Catholic messed with it for decades and maybe some of these Priests would have been prosecutable if it had. The current no tolerance policy needed be in place at decades earlier and the Vatican should have taken much more decisive action with Bishops who were not dealing effectively with this problem. So, I guess I see the very public reaction to the abuse as justified and a form reckoning for the impotence and arrogance of previous actions.


#18

On Father Z’s blog:

“Upon our birth not a single one of us was promised a bed of roses. Upon our baptism and admission to the other sacraments, not a single one of us was promised an easy path.
We regularly call this earthly life a “vale of tears”. What part of that is hard to understand?
Hell is real and the Enemy of the soul, endowed not just with brilliance but with angelic abilities, hates us with malice beyond the ken of any man. Do people really not believe that?
Hell and the Enemy work relentlessly to harm the Church and to pervert souls so that they choose not to embraces God’s promises and graces for heaven. Each time a soul fails the Enemy shrieks in self-loathing anti-triumph: “That’s one more YOU don’t have!”
Hell and the Enemy are deep into the Church, with agents infiltrated everywhere. They’ve won a few rounds lately. You can tell by the ripple effects.”


#19

I’ve read part of the report and according to it, only two of the cases were still within the statute of limitations and could be prosecuted. And the reason that the grand jury knew about those cases and could prosecute them was because the dioceses themselves reported the priests.


#20

No one has ever said anything to me about any Church scandal, except one person - and I’d describe that person as unbalanced and nosey.

I think most adults don’t know, or particularly care, about what’s going on in the Church enough to broach what is a dark subject. I suspect that even if they did know what was going on they wouldn’t care to make conversation out of it.

From what I see here on CAF, there seems to be mostly young people talking about it, and mostly online. Adults tend not to bring up such things to each other in conversation. You never know who may take offense to these things and it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie in casual conversation…but young people tend to not be as aware as older adults about things like that.


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