Please provide the rate of Catholic priests

Here is a Department of eductation study on child molestation in public schools.…iew/report.pdf

it says that its hard to say how prevalent the problem is , but their best guess in 9.6% which is much higher than the rate of Catholic priests.

Here’s a summary of the 156 page study:

In 2004, Hofstra University professor Dr. Carol Shakeshaft published a report for the United States Department of Education titled “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature.” It was presented to Congress as part of the No Child Left Behind Act. In it, Shakeshaft stated:

As a group, these studies present a wide range of estimates of the percentage of U.S. students subject to sexual misconduct by school staff and vary from 3.7 to 50.3 percent. Because of its carefully drawn sample and survey methodology, the AAUW report that nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career presents the most accurate data available at this time.

According to a study she did of abuse complaints against Catholic priests over a five decade period she concluded that “…the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”

If you don’t believe this, google “child molestation in public schools”

The purpose of this thread is to show that Catholic Schools are Safer than Public Schools for students. So, please post any research you are aware of and avoid complaining about this problem that exists everywhere including world religions, non-catholic christian schools, etc.,

Stick only to the research please, thanks BD. :thumbsup:

long indepth resarch about the sexual abuse crisis in the united states


You might want to re-title the thread you indicate you want to discuss catholic vs. public schools not priests.


enjoy? :frowning:

The purpose of this thread is to show that Catholic Schools are Safer than Public Schools for students.

There is no way you are going to “prove” that Catholic Schools are safer than Public Schools for students. The most you will be able to say is that abuse happens across all religions and that the most abuse occurs in the home of the victim; you might wish to Google that to obtain some stats about this.

The following links are culled from my “Sexual Abuse” file; I don’t have time to label them because my computer will shortly freeze for the night.

You may also wish to Google - Amish sexual abuse, orthodox sexual abuse, Baptist sexual abuse, Protestant sexual abuse etc etc Some times the abuse by non Catholics is referred to as “sexual misconduct”.…-public-outcry
ABC News Investigation: USA Swimming Coaches Molested, Secretly Taped Dozens of Teen Swimmers

I think you are set up for failure because you are comparing apples and oranges on so many levels
*]Sexual Misconduct vs Sexual Abuse definition
*]Teachers are in contact with students all day
*]vs Priests have much rarer contact overall
*]Unequal reporting structures to monitor activity

Here is a working link to the report
Educator Sexual Misconduct

The def for misconduct is broad:

“behavior of a sexual nature which may constitute professional misconduct.” …
• Any conduct that would amount to sexual harassment under Title IX
of the (U.S.) Education Amendments of 1972.
• Any conduct that would amount to sexual abuse of a minor person
under state criminal codes.
• Any sexual relationship by an educator with a student, regardless of
the student’s age; with a former student under 18; with a former
student (regardless of age) who suffers from a disability that would
prevent consent in a relationship. All students enrolled in the school
and in any organization in which the educator holds a position of
trust and responsibility are included.
• Any activity directed toward establishing a sexual relationship such
as sending intimate letters; engaging in sexualized dialogue in
person, via the Internet, in writing or by phone; making suggestive
comments; dating a student.

I would be interested if there was a marked difference between public and private schools overall.

I read that less than 2% of all priests have been accused of sexually abusing someone.

Not all of the accused have done something: some people are coached, angry at the Priest or Church for whatever reason and are making stuff up.

My mom knew two boys who accused their 8th grade teacher falsely of molesting them because they were mad at him for not letting them do something while they were at his house. He went to trial and was found innocent, but quit his job because he was so hurt by what they did, and by how quickly so many people jumped to the wrong conclusion before hearing the evidence. My mom also knew a young woman who lied to say her family abused her, and was willing to help her leave the situation and get certain family members behind bars, but when it was time to go to court she said she made it up because she was mad at them. :frowning:

Yes, sexual abuse is terrible and I feel for the people who have been abused and believe the Priests who committed the horrible acts should be in prison for a very long time. I also believe that the Church should do everything in its power to make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

But the media is too quick to jump on things these and to assume the worst about Priests, just to hate on the Church. What was the sexual abuse? Did it really happen? Is the kid making it up? Was he really molested, or did he just happen to walk in while the Priest was using the restroom, and that is how he can describe the Priest’s male organs?

Yes, many children are abused every year, and that is sick and horrible. The Priests that are found guilty should be punished and brought to justice. But you can’t just assume the worst until you hear all the facts and evidence. I wish the media would remember this before spreading scandal and ruining reputations. Many people are afraid to go to church or act weird around their Priest because they think Priest = child molester.

And it is true that you have a much higher chance of being molested in a public school than at church or a private/religious school.

Any attempt to define what the true abuse rate for priests may be and to prove that it’s “better than average” is speculation at best and excusing evil at worst. We will never know what the true rate is because until very very recently, the overwhelming majority of abuser priests were never publicly identified and punished. I don’t think there’s any credible evidence to suggest the priesthood drew more, or less than the average number of abusers who would be tempted to take advantage of access to youth and a relative lack of supervision.

if by some fluke, the percentage of abuser priest is let say, half that of lay teachers, that still doesn’t tell the story. What has people enraged at the Church isn’t the fact that some priests abused, some tiny minority of priests. What has them up in arms is that the bishops sided with the abuser against victims 100 percent of the time! A 1% abuser rate is nothing to take comfort in if that 1% has carte blanche to abuse and a worldwide organization to aid and abet them in doing it and in evading justice until they die. Abusers are as profilfic as time and their health and circumstances allow. An abuser who is always kept one step ahead of the law can abuse from his 20s to his 80s, and so that 1% can do a lot of damage. more damage than the 3 or 4% of their secular counterparts in some circumstances

I was a reporter for a solid upper middle class suburb in the Midwest for more than a decade. I saw a lot of people get busted for underage sex offenses of one kind or another. Doctors, teachers, gym coaches, tanning salon operators, you name it - yes even a number of priests. What set the cases apart was how they were handled. When it was someone in a secular profession, I saw that they were put out of their job on leave the MINUTE a credible allegation came against them, and they were usually in cuffs the same day. For the priests on the other hand, justice never came at all, or it came 25, 30 years after the fact, usually when they were beyond the reach of criminal law. They were, in every case, shuttled from one city or country to another, their victims threatened or bought off into silence. Could some of them have been false accusations? Sure, but when you get new allegations from every parish they worked in accross an entire continent, that excuse wears thin. These guys had active help in abusing people from an organization which supposedly has a special charge for the well being of children.

Even well into the 2000s, when the archdiocese had adopted all sorts of progressive-sounding internal procedures to deal with abuse, reasons were always found as to why they couldn’t do the right thing, didn’t act on an allegation, didn’t tell a parish that their new priest had a long long record of accusations at three prior stops. So that’s the difference in secular insituttions vs the Church to date. I don’t believe that most teachers, or most priests I would encounter are abusers. However, if the teacher’s bosses hears an allegation that was credible, I would have considerable confidence that they were acting on that informattion properly. I would have ZERO confidence that a priest’s bishops were doing the same if they thought no one was looking.

I can’t tell you that no secular teacher’s colleagues or bosses never covered up an abuse case, but I can tell you the law and culture are vastly different. Teachers and virtually all other licensed lay professions are mandatory reporters under the law. If they sit on an allegation and get caught doing that, they go to jail. Churchmen, on the other hand, are under no such obligation and in fact have been sent mixed messages from their own superiors on their obligations to report abuse to law enforcement. At times, they have been threatened with excommunicaiton for doing so. More recently, they have been give only lukewarm endorsements by bishops, the Vatican etc.

It’s fair to point out that most priests are not abusers. The idea that the Church is doing “better than average.” does not wash, however.

In the area of sexual abuse because of biases you are likely right.

But, when was the last time there was a school shooting in a catholic school?

Yes, there has been three or four reported in the last ten years, but compared to the dozens, if not hundreds in public schools. …

I would think Catholic schools are safer.

Time Line of Worldwide School Shootings

The following table lists the worldwide school shootings from 1996 to the present. Find the date, location, and a short description of each incident.

Here in the Detroit Area, about 13 years ago, I remember reading a story of a school shooting at a John Glenn High School football game that did not make the above list.

here are others not on that list either, I think…

Suspensions likely for Portsmouth High School ‘hit list’ authors

Expert says Catholic schools are safer - Mary Angela Shaughnessy

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit