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Child abuse

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 Contents - May 2010AD2000 May 2010 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Abuse of minors: why the Church is targeted - Michael Gilchrist
Anglican: Anglicans and Christian unity: progress report - Bishop David Robarts
News: The Church Around the World
Culture Wars: Christians uniting to take a stand: the Manhattan Declaration - Bishop Julian Porteous
Liturgy: Reform of the reform: a 'shift in liturgical culture' - Archbishop Mark Coleridge
Culture: The vocation of Christians in public life - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
Parish life: A youth apostolate that works - Fr John O'Neill
Obama Health Bill: how liberal nuns undermined US bishops' opposition - Babette Francis
Foundations of Faith: The Mass: early centuries to Vatican II - Br Barry Coldrey
Conversion: 'Strangely and suspiciously tall': an Evangelical meets the Mother of God - Terri Kelleher
Letters: Child abuse - Arnold Jago
Letters: Non-Christians - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Letters: Correction
Books: BE TO ME A FATHER AND A PRIEST, by Fr Peter M. J. Stravinskas - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR, by George Orwell - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: INSIDE THE NEW AGE NIGHTMARE, by Randall N. Baer - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Our prayers and God's silence: what Scripture says - Arthur Ballingall

Following constant media statements about the Catholic Church and child abuse, the Pope's official preacher, on Good Friday, quoted a letter from a Jewish friend: 'The stereotyping, the transfer or personal responsibility and blame to a collective blame, reminds me of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism. I have followed with disgust the violent attacks against Church and Pope'.

The media didn't like that - responding with claims that two- thirds of Americans say the Pope has handled charges of abuse by priests poorly.

To put things in context, between 1950 and 2002, about 4.1 percent of American priests were accused of having sexual relations with minors but just 0.1 percent (one in 1000) were convicted.

Over that period, 60 times as many gym teachers and junior sporting team coaches were convicted of similar crimes.

The rate of sexual abuse by US school teachers has been over 100 times that of priests. (Sources for the above figures available on request).

Headlines saying 'it involves the Pope' refer to a case in the Archdiocese of Munich, where the Pope was Archbishop in 1980. The court decided, among other things, that the decision to accept the accused priest into the Archdiocese had not been taken by Cardinal Ratzinger.

The whole human race has handled child abuse poorly, that is for sure. But trying to demonise the Church as chief offender is dishonest - trivialising the guilt that we all, especially the media, share.

Mildura, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 23 No 4 (May 2010), p. 16

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