The Eastern Rite and the Current Scandals. Scandal Free?

I’m going to ask this here as I don’t know where else to post it.

Is the current set of scandals involving clerics sexually preying on teenagers (which seems to be the case, and it seems to be the case that there is a lot of same sex depredation of that type when these stories break) and young adults (ditto) concentrated in the Latin Rite?

I haven’t heard of any such scandals in the Eastern Rite, but maybe that’s because the Easter Rite gets so little attention in the Press.

If that is the case, what’s that tell us?

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There have been one or two scandals in EC/EO in the US in the last decade or so, but they weren’t sexual.

Most Easern parishes are very small by US Catholic standards. I think there are a couple with 3,000 families or so, but it’s only a couple. Every actually knows everyone else so the environment is drastically different.



Not sure why small parishes/everyone knowing everyone else would prevent abuse. What’s the thinking there?

If the Eastern Churches truly haven’t had any sex abuse it could very well be because of the composition of the priesthood in contrast to Latin rite. But that’s another discussion altogether…

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The entire social dynamic is different.

I don’t know the mind of a pedophile, but I’d assume that it would be different molesting a relative stranger than someone you’ve known fairly well since birth, and know his parents well–but then, most abuse is by close relatives/friends of family, so . . .

In the smaller group, there may be less chances to be alone with the victims.

The selection process is probably different, too, between RC and EC. That is a possible source of difference.

And the EC and EO are very small, so statistically they might not even show up.

There was a Penn State study about ten years ago that came to two surprising conclusions:

  1. the RCC had the lowest rate of such incidents of any major church in the US, and
  2. celibate clergy offended at a slightly lower rate than married clergy



I think there have been some US Eastern rite priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, but their numbers are much smaller considering the small size of the Eastern rites here compared to the Latin rite.

Do you know if this is correct @dochawk?

Wherever you go, there are going to be scandals unfortunatley since we live in a fallen world. I’m not aware of any scandals that have happened in the Eastern Catholic Churches, such as mine (Melkite), but I am aware of there being an issue in the OCA (Orthodox Church of America) where clergy were having relations with teenage boys.

But the media rarely touches on these subjects since the Eastern Churches aren’t well known in the Western world. To many in the West, were simply Catholics with funny clothing and beards. (Regardless if Orthodox or Eastern Catholic). So basically, depending on who It is, they just group us all together. (At least from what I have continuously seen).

But even though this crises is going on in the church, be at peace. These scandals shall pass, and Christ is in charge. Just like the sinful actions of Judas do not reflect Christ’s teachings, neither do the bad clergymen reflect Christ and His Church.

I would like to suggest a video:

God Bless.

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I actually haven’t heard of any.

There was a bit about an “inappropriate” relation with another man and some finances in Alaska, and that’s the only one I’ve heard about.

And given the relative sizes of the churches, a single incident might be a higher rate than the RCC has . . .


I wouldn’t be surprised if smaller parishes are more prone to abuse. It seems to me that abusive priests tend to have close relationships with and are generally trusted by the families of those he abuses. And if the parish is small and everybody knows everybody and everybody knows/trusts the priest, that could be the perfect scenario for abuse to occur unchecked.

Additionally, this close relationship between the priest and his flock could make people hesitant to report him or take heed to suspicious behavior. In a sense, these small communities may be more willing to “cover it up.” It has always seemed to me that the small, tight-knit communities tend to have the deepest, darkest secrets.

But this is all my own baseless conjecture.

Most sexual abuse happens between two people who know each other. Statistically, it’s more likely to be molested by someone you know.


That was the rest of the sentence you quoted :slight_smile:

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Oops, didn’t see that. Sorry

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Hmmm…given this fact, perhaps it might be to the benefit of the Latin Rite for the laity to be reduced, as Pope Benedict XVI foresaw, for the chaff to be winnowed, so to speak. Perhaps the scandalous behavior wouldn’t be so likely to occur, then. Just a thought.

No, that’s not the answer at all. We want to bring people into the Church, not drive them away.

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I know, I know. I just meant from the point of view of trying to avoid scandals. Just playing devil’s advocate for a bit…:smiling_imp:

It is another discussion, but that discussion would be informative and perhaps provide some lessons that we should apply in the Latin Rite,

And I’m not necessarily limiting that to the obvious “married priest” matter. There could be other lessons to learn here as well.

Very interesting. Of course, it’s going to be buried in the news, but that’s pretty significant to the discussion.

That’s highly true.

But in my fairly conservative view, I think we in the Latin Rite are now presented with evidence that some entire branches of the tree are infected with disease. Were it up to me, and it isn’t, I’d aggressively prune at this point. And by that, I mean if you were made a Bishop under a now tainted Cardinal, you’d be suspended from office for that reason alone with the presumption being that you’d lose that office unless it could be manifestly demonstrated that you were not complicit and had orthodox views. If you were a Priest ordained by such a Bishop, or attended a Seminary now associated in any fashion with this conduct, you’d be holding office on a short “we’re going to check up on your soon” list. If the innocent fall with the guilty, so be it.

This group lists at least two scandals in “Orthodox” churches:

@Yeoman I agree to some extent. I’d like to see a large number of Bishops admit their shortcomings and resign. Knowing about McCarrick and doing nothing or moving even one abusive priest to a new parish improperly should be reason enough to resign. I don’t feel the need to name names, but there are more than a few that could go right now…

I know that’s tongue in cheek, but it wouldn’t be reducing the gross numbers, but the relative numbers. If there were a priest for every 250 families, and small parishes instead of huge ones . . .


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