Ten Points, Stumble on Number 5

Mark Miravalle offered ten points of “just response” to the scandal of the abuse of children and the cover-up of bishops. I note without further comment that as he delves into his points, he gets more wordy. I want to focus in on number 5, comment a bit, then open up things to your thoughts.

5. Applying the serious offenses of the relatively few priests and bishops to the entire Catholic Church in Ireland and to its innocent clergy is yet another offense against truth and justice. The statements voiced in several major editorials of national Irish newspapers would give the impression that it is the vast majority of clergy in this country that are guilty of child sexual abuse. It must be stated that the vast majority of the clergy in Ireland have never been accused nor convicted of child sexual abuse.

“Relatively few priests” would seem to be accurate. Bishops, alas, are another matter.

The Philadelphia Church suffers from big questions swirling around its last three ordinaries–all members of the college of cardinals. High profile leaders like Cardinal George have seriously offended by allowing predators to remain on the loose despite counsel from experts. Even well-regarded moralists like Bishop Finn have mismanaged abusers.

The truth is that we don’t know how many 20th century bishops mismanaged clergy. Sure: the list of this century’s most newsworthy American offenders: Rigali, Finn, George, Walsh, Law … doesn’t appear to be that long. What percentage of Irish bishops have been found out? What is it? Six empty sees right now. How many resignations offered? How many others demanded?

Professor Miravalle’s points would be better taken without the exaggeration of his “impressions.” Let’s face the facts: a significant portion of Ireland’s episcopal leadership are dealing with significant and substantial allegations of criminal wrongdoing and immorality. Will Dr Miravalle’s  “human authority that is guided in truth by a divine authority” act in accord with divinity or will it throw in its lot with fallen humanity?

What are you reading in these ten points?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Church News, Commentary, Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Ten Points, Stumble on Number 5

  1. Its not relatively few priests, and its not relatively few victims, although the Catholic church and its defenders will tell you that.

    In the John Jay study of 2002, which is a lie. The John Jay study of 2002, and internal study, said it was 4%, which is intentionally, statistically misleading. They included priests that has just been ordained in the previous year or two or three, et cetera, because that made it look like there was a smaller percentage of child abusers. If they included only the priests that had been there for the full time of the study, the number of abusers jumps to more than double that.

    But it gets worse – factor in that the study was voluntary, and 3% of diocese didn’t report, which were obviously the worst. One of them, Los Angeles, paid hush money to 500 victims in 2007.

    This technique of misleading and minimizing truth is Catholic church practice, not Catholic religion practice. In Ireland, the slogan is “One In Four”, which means one child out of four was raped by a Catholic priest, or as the Catholic apologists would say, “relatively few”

  2. Todd says:

    Patrick, I’m aware of your passion and tenacity on this issue. I’m also aware of the dynamics of psychology, politics, and moral blindness that lead to institutions, mobs, and other groups to persist in social sin.

    However, you do yourself and your cause little good dropping bombs like this. If you have numbers, let’s see them. If you have no numbers, but harbor deep suspicions, join the club.

    One percent of ordained priests and 5% of bishops would be bad enough. I think we all realize the numbers we’re given are the lowest possible. Given the nature of human weakness, my own sense is that 6% of clergy and 33% of bishops are closer to the truth.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    Sorry – that was the wrong link. This is the correct one:


  4. Not to diminish the high crimes of the RCC but please examine the Jehovah’s Witnesses who go door to door and come on our property.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses pedophiles.

    Many court documents and news events prove that Jehovah’s Witnesses require two witnesses when a child comes forward with allegations of molestation within the congregation. Such allegations have customarily been treated as sins instead of crimes and are only reported to authorities when it is required to do so by law, (which varies by state). It has also been shown that child molesters within the organization usually have not been identified to the congregation members or the public at large.
    These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles.

    Although the Watchtower Bible Tract Society claims that known pedophiles are accompanied by a non-pedophile in such work, there is no law stating that such a practice must be followed.

    The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already.

    Danny Haszard abuse victim

  5. Pingback: Website

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