26 April, 2010

A refreshing voice in these turbulent times

NOTE:

The statement “10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia” has no basis in fact!

In his original speech Mr. Miller cites a July/August 2002 Sojourners article by Rose Marie Berger in which she misinterprets statements from Penn. State Prof. Philip Jenkins regarding sexual abuse by Protestant ministers.

In the original article Berger writes…
“Philip Jenkins concludes in his book “Pedophiles and Priests” that while 1.7 percent of Catholic clergy have been found guilty of pedophilia (specifically of boys), 10 percent of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia.” (This quote is used in Miller’s speech)

To which Philip Jenkins responds (Sept/Oct 2002)…
“I regret to say that the statement is baloney. I never said it, and it’s not true!… Every time this ten percent statement appears attributed to me, I try to debunk it, but these things have a life of their own. I have no idea what the actual proportion of pedophile protestant clergy is, but I would be amazed if it was more than a fraction of one percent.”

Sojourner Article… http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0207&article=020741d

Sojourners apologized to its readers for passing on erroneous information and revised the article, removing the incorrect and defamatory information. But not before Sam Miller got a hold of it!

Regrettably, Miller’s speech has spread like wildfire within the Catholic community by way of the internet and e-mail. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites, blogs, forums, facebook pages, and news services that have posted it.

Thanks to Rev. Rob Pollock for this information. Keep it in mind as you read the column from Mr. Miller.   Fr. Tim


Be Proud to be a Catholic

By Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman

Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States (and Canada too), namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars.

Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free. The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. With an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.

But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.

Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example,

• 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church ,

• 41.8 % of clergywomen reported unwanted sexual behavior;

• 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed.

Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.

A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests (and Bishops who concealed their crimes) that have probably been totally weeded out by now. Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States (and Canada too!).Then remember what Jeremiah said:

'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'.
Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions.

Be proud that you're a Catholic.

Be Yourself   . . . . .    Everyone Else Is Taken”

4 comments:

  1. Hi,

    My name is Rev Robert Wright, Editor for Christian.com, a social network made specifically for Christians, by Christians. We embarked on this endeavor to offer the entire Christian community an outlet to join together and better spread the good word of Christianity. Christian.com has many great features like Christian TV, prayer requests, finding a church, receiving church updates and advice. We have emailed you to collaborate with you and your blog to help spread the good word of Christianity. I look forward to your response regarding this matter. Thanks!


    Rev. Robert Wright
    rev.robertwright@gmail.com
    www.christian.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am writing to bring your attention to a significant error in this piece by Sam Miller.

    The statement “10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia” has no basis in fact!

    In his original speech Mr. Miller cites a July/August 2002 Sojourners article by Rose Marie Berger in which she misinterprets statements from Penn. State Prof. Philip Jenkins regarding sexual abuse by Protestant ministers.

    In the original article Berger writes…
    “Philip Jenkins concludes in his book “Pedophiles and Priests” that while 1.7 percent of Catholic clergy have been found guilty of pedophilia (specifically of boys), 10 percent of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia.” (This quote is used in Miller’s speech)

    To which Philip Jenkins responds (Sept/Oct 2002)…
    “I regret to say that the statement is baloney. I never said it, and it’s not true!… Every time this ten percent statement appears attributed to me, I try to debunk it, but these things have a life of their own. I have no idea what the actual proportion of pedophile protestant clergy is, but I would be amazed if it was more than a fraction of one percent.”

    Sojourner Article… http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0207&article=020741d

    Sojourners apologized to its readers for passing on erroneous information and revised the article, removing the incorrect and defamatory information. But not before Sam Miller got a hold of it!

    Regrettably, Miller’s speech has spread like wildfire within the Catholic community by way of the internet and e-mail. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites, blogs, forums, facebook pages, and news services that have posted it.

    This is not to disparage Mr. Miller or the Catholic church. But... in the interest of honesty and ecumenical relations, this post should be either edited or removed.

    Rev. Rob Pollock
    Vancouver, BC
    CANADA

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rev. Rob,

    Thank you for the clarification. That particular point of Mr. Miller's column did not catch my attention when I first read it. I see little value in comparing abuse rates among various faiths or professions as it amounts to little more than saying one group is 'less' or 'more' perverse than another - hardly a defense worth promoting! It's an adult version of the juvenile 'well he did it too' defense of a child.

    The only virtue in such comparisons is to prove that all Catholic priests are not predatory - as some articles and commentators propose (a contention based on their twisted view of celibacy as being the reason for these crimes).

    Thanks again.

    Fr. Tim

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous07 May, 2010

    Hi Tim,

    You write: "I see little value in comparing abuse rates among various faiths or professions as it amounts to little more than saying one group is 'less' or 'more' perverse than another - hardly a defense worth promoting!"

    Glad to hear it.

    Since religious folks have decorously agreed among themselves that they won't castigate each other for statistical differences in their "bad" behaviours, I am guessing that they will also extend a similar courtesy to all of the other groups with which they might hold a difference of opinion?

    I might point out that this courtesy is never extended to the LGBT community when it comes to anti-gay propaganda. Frequently we hear that gays are more inclined to abuse children, or that they are more inclined to promiscuous behaviour than their straight counterparts, therefore gays are entitled to reduced or zero protections under the civil law.

    Cheers...Martin

    ReplyDelete

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