It pains me to post such an irrelevant article yet sensitive subject to a POLITICAL discussion, but I thought you should know. Whig said something interesting (now look at what you made me say) he said you can confuse a fanatic by presenting him with facts. Hopefully this will not confuse you but educate for the purpose of one less insult in your arsenal:
Catholic clergy far from only abusers:U.S. survey
Most church sex crimes blamed on Protestant volunteers
National Post, with files from The Christian Science Monitor
More U.S. children are sexually abused in Protestant churches, by church volunteers, than by Roman Catholic priests, according to a nine-year survey of U.S. churches.
The national study, by Christian Ministry Resources, contradicts the assumption, created in the United States by a recent series of sex-crime scandals, that Roman Catholic clergy are responsible for most of the sex abuse taking place in churches.
Catholic prelates from Florida to Massachusetts are reeling from a spate of accusations this year that they failed to take action against child-molesting priests. There is growing pressure on Bernard Cardinal Law, head of the archdiocese of Boston, to resign over his handling of child sex cases involving priests.
Last month, the scandals prompted the Pope to call for a renewed sense of priestly virtue.
Because only 5% of U.S. churches are Roman Catholic, the vast majority of abuse allegations come from Protestant organizations, according to the survey by Christian Ministry Resources, a tax and legal-advice publisher serving more than 75,000 U.S. congregations.
CMR has conducted annual surveys since 1993, asking 1,000 U.S. churches about incidents of sexual abuse.
The survey did not break down the results by denomination, so it is not clear whether there was any higher incidence of abuse allegations in one church or another.
Experts say Protestant churches are more likely than Catholic ones to report and reveal cases of pedophilia.
"Protestants are less reluctant to come forward because they don't put their clergy on as high a pedestal as Catholics do with their priests," says Dr. Anson Shupe, an Indiana University professor who has studied church abuse.
The survey suggests most alleged pedophiles operating within churches are not priests, but volunteers.
In 1999, for example, 42% of alleged child abusers were volunteers, about 25% were paid staff members [including clergy] and 25% were other children.
No similar surveys appear to have been carried out in Canada.
However, Loretta Merritt, a Toronto lawyer who has represented victims of pedophiles, says the finding that some church volunteers are the most frequent perpetrators does not surprise her.
"What often happens is, you have someone who is a pedophile, and they place themselves in positions where they have access to children -- a large number of potential victims.... They go wherever children congregate," said Ms. Merritt, a partner with the firm Torkin Manes Cohen Arbus.
"I'm not sure it works that way for leaders of religious organizations, but volunteers within those organizations may operate that way."
In Canada, the worst cases of institutional child abuse were not caused by ordained religious leaders, Roman Catholic or otherwise. Many -- such as the abuse of children at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, and the abuse of boys at the Kingsclear reform school in New Brunswick -- occurred at secular institutions.
Other high-profile cases that have involved churches -- from the reign of terror of Christian Brothers at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland to the abuse committed by John Gallienne, the former choirmaster at St. George's Anglican Cathedral in Kingston, Ont. -- were not the crimes of priests but of volunteers and non-ordained adherents.
In addition, most of the people convicted of child abuse at native residential schools in Canada were not members of the clergy, but dormitory supervisors and other staff members employed by churches and the federal government.
The U.S. survey also shows that the number of abuse allegations reported by churches each year is beginning to decline. The peak year for allegations was 1994, with 3% of churches reporting an allegation of sexual misconduct compared with just 0.1% in 2000.
Some say this is because churches have in recent years introduced tough preventive measures, partly to protect themselves against financially debilitating lawsuits. Two years ago, for example, the United Church of Canada, this country's largest Protestant denomination, began demanding police background checks of incoming clergy.
Both Protestant and Catholic organizations in Canada now also have written policies reminding members that the law requires people, including clergy, to report child-abuse allegations to police.
"It may be today that there's less institutional abuse than there was 30 years ago, because the institutions are becoming educated about it," Ms. Merritt said. "Rather than 'passing the trash,' as they once did, institutions are now aware of their responsibilities and the liabilities associated with that kind of non-action."email@example.com