Tag Archives: Jews

Why they call it Good Friday

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, “
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, “
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

The Gospel Of Jesus Christ

END OF POST

The Age of Dissimulation: ‘…they walked straight up to the priest administering the mass and executed him.’

Caroline Glick
Image via Wikipedia

The Age of Dissimulation

By Caroline B. Glick

Rather than discuss the nature and threat of Islamic supremacism, the Western media, Western political leaders and academics deny it — and believing Christian and Jews are paying the price

Oh, and in case you haven’t heard … according to the UN, the tomb in which the Jewish matriarch Rachel is buried is in actuality a mosque

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Years from now, when historians seek an overarching concept to define our times, they could do worse than refer to it as the Age of Dissimulation. Today our leading minds devote their energies and cognitive powers to figuring out new ways to hide reality from themselves and the general public.

Take US President Barack Obama’s senior counterterrorism advisor for example. On Sunday, John Brennan spoke on Fox News about the latest attempted Islamic terrorist attack on American soil.

Since the Obama administration has barred US officials from referring to terrorists as terrorists and effectively barred US officials from acknowledging that Islamic terrorists are Muslims, Brennan simply referred to the Islamic terrorists in Yemen who tried to send bombs to synagogues in Chicago as “individuals.”

Today, practically, the only individuals willing to speak honestly about who Islamic supremacists are and what they want are the Islamic supremacists themselves.

For instance, in an interview last week with Reuters, the Islamic supremacist Hamas movement’s “foreign minister” Mahmoud al- Zahar told the Christian West, “You do not live like human beings. You do not [even] live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?”

Al-Zahar also made the case for Islamic feminism. As he put it, “We are the ones who respect women and honor women … not you. You use women as an animal. She has one husband and hundreds of thousands of boyfriends. You don’t know who is the father of your sons, because of the way you respect women.”

Finally, al-Zahar claimed that Westerners have no right to question Islam or criticize it. In his words, “Is it a crime to Islamize the people? I am a Muslim living here according to our tradition. Why should I live under your tradition? We understand you very well. You are poor people. Morally poor. Don’t criticize us because of what we are.”

Al-Zahar can sleep easy. The citizens of the West have rarely heard anyone in any positions of power and influence criticize Islamic supremacists “because of what they are.”

In fact, the most remarkable thing about al- Zahar’s interview was not what he said but that Reuters decided to publish what he said. By letting its readers learn what al-Zahar thinks of them, Reuters inadvertently gave Westerners a glimpse at the simple truth its editors and their counterparts throughout the Western media routinely purge from coverage of current events.

Rather than discuss the nature and threat of Islamic supremacism, the Western media along with nearly all Western political leaders and academics deny and dissimulate. Rather than address the threat, they accept the Islamic line and blame Israel for everything bad that happens in the world.

THE ONE group of people that can almost be forgiven for this crime against reality is the non-Muslims who live under Islamic rule. On Sunday, we received a grim reminder of the plight of such minorities with the Islamic terror attack on Baghdad’s largest church, the Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church.

As some one hundred worshipers celebrated evening mass, Islamic terrorists stormed the church. According to an eyewitness account, they walked straight up to the priest administering the mass and executed him. The Muslim terrorists then took the Christian worshipers hostage.

As Iraqi military forces stormed the church under US military supervision, the Islamic terrorists threw grenades at the worshipers and detonated their bomb belts. By Monday, the death toll had reached 52.

It will be interesting to see how Catholic officials in Iraq and throughout the world respond to this attack. At the Vatican’s Synod on the status of Christians in the Middle East last month, Emmanuel III Delly, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq proclaimed, “The population of [Iraq] …is 24 million, all Muslims, with whom we live peacefully and freely…Christians are good with their fellow Muslims and in Iraq there is mutual respect among them.”

As the noted Islamic expert Robert Spencer wrote last week in Frontpage Magazine, Emmanuel has not always been so outspoken in his praise of Muslim Iraqis. In 2008, when US forces were still in charge in Iraq, Emmanuel made a statement that more accurately reflected the plight of his co-religionists.

Then he said, “Christians are killed, chased out of their homes before the very eyes of those who are supposed to be responsible for their safety…The situation in some parts of Iraq is disastrous and tragic. Life is a Calvary: there is no peace or security… Everyone is afraid of kidnapping.”

Christian clergy in Muslim countries are so terrified of Islamic aggression that they systematically hide the truth of their oppression and often distort their own theology to win the tolerance of supremacist Islamic authorities. Spencer noted that the head of that Vatican Synod, Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros, who presently heads the Eastern Catholic church in the US, and in the past served as archbishop of Baalbek in his native Lebanon follows a similar pattern of dissimulation.

In Bustros’s case, his prevaricating goes beyond false depictions of the plight of Christians. In his bid to win the favor of his Islamic supremacist overlords in Hizbullah, Bustros has regularly engaged in theological revisionism.

At last month’s synod, Bustros repudiated the teachings of the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council and embraced the discredited supersessionist theology that Vatican II denounced. Bustros claimed that G0d’s covenant with the Jewish people and his promise to give us the Land of Israel “were nullified by Christ.”

In his view, “There is no longer a chosen people.”

Bustros did not simply assert a theological view at odds with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. He used his replacement theology to politically delegitimize Israel. Bustros said, “The theme of the Promised Land cannot be used as a basis to justify the return of the Jews to Israel and the expatriation of the Palestinians.” Bustros is set to return to Lebanon soon to serve as the archbishop of Beirut. The fact that he used his position as the head of the Vatican’s synod on the plight of Christians in the Middle East to earn him the protection of Hizbullah when he returns is made clear when his statements at the conference are compared to a speech he made in 2006, when he was still comfortably ensconced in the US.

As Spencer notes, in a speech Bustros made at St. Thomas University in Florida in 2006, Bustros minced no words about the plight of Christians in the Middle East. Addressing the Islamic precepts on relations with non-Muslims, Bustros said, “The doctrines of Islam dictate war against unbelievers….[T]he concept of nonviolence is absent from Muslim doctrine and practice….Peace in Islam is based on the surrender of all people to Islam and to G0d’s power based on Islamic law. They have to defend this peace of G0d even by force.”

FEAR OF Islamic massacres of Christians — like the one in Baghdad on Sunday — goes a long way towards explaining anti-Jewish and pro-Islamic pronouncements by Christian clergy in the Islamic world. But what can explain the West’s embrace of lies about Islam?

Why would people who do not live under the jackboot of the likes of Hizbullah, Hamas or their sister groups in places like Iraq obsequiously parrot untruths about Islamic history and theology and deny the very existence of Islamic supremacism?

The most notable case of such behavior in recent weeks came with the UN Educational, Science and Cultural Organization’s Executive Board’s declarations about Israel and Jewish history. At its October 21 meeting, the governing board of the UN agency charged with naming and preserving world heritage sites engaged in a shocking episode of historic revisionism in the service of Islamic supremacism.

UNESCO’s board issued five declarations regarding Israel. In addition to its routine condemnations of the security fence, Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and Israel’s refusal to give Hamas control over its border with Israel, UNESCO’s board asserted that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are all buried, is a mosque. Rachel’s Tomb, where Rachel is buried, is also a mosque, according to UNESCO’s governing body.

It is not surprising that UNESCO’s Muslim members pushed for these declarations. Islam is a supersessionist religion. It claims that all the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs as well as all the Jewish prophets, kings and judges were Muslim. It similarly claims that Jesus, Mary and the apostles were Muslims. It is standard Islamic practice to transform Jewish and Christian holy sites in lands conquered by Islam into mosques.

It is this Islamic practice that led Yasser Arafat to shock and disgust Yitzhak Rabin in July 1995 when he proclaimed that, “Rachel was my grandmother.”

Arafat’s statement was the first time that a Muslim leader in modern times claimed Rachel’s grave is a mosque. Arafat made his preposterous claim in the course of negotiations about the disposition of Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. Due to its significance to Jews, Israel demanded full security control over the tomb. Arafat based his counter-claim on standard Islamic historical revisionism.

While Rabin rejected Arafat’s baseless assertion, last month UNESCO’s executive committee, whose membership includes France, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Poland, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Italy, the US and India accepted Arafat’s wholly false rendition of the historical record. In so doing, they collaborated with an Islamic attempt to eradicate Jewish history.

Why would they do this? They are not bishops who have to worry that their communities will be annihilated if they step out of line.

No doubt, fear of Islamic terrorism fuels some of their behavior. But fear can’t be the full explanation. Most Westerners have no contact with Muslims. And Islamic terrorist attacks in the West are not a daily occurrence.

The West’s newfound obsession with Islamophobia probably also has something to do with it. Western elites are terrified of being accused of racism. This is particularly true when — as is the case with Islamophobia — the charge is leveled on behalf of people who were oppressed in the past by Westerners.

But while fear of the charge of Islamophobia does play a role in Western kowtowing to Islamic supremacists, the West’s aversion to the perception that it is oppressing those it once oppressed fails to provide an adequate explanation for its willingness to collaborate with Islamic supremacist attempts to blot out Jewish history. The West’s history of oppressing Jews is far bloodier and longer than its record of oppressing Muslims.

In the end, there is only one credible explanation for the West’s willingness to lie about the nature and goals of Islamic supremacism. There is only one credible explanation for the West’s willingness to collaborate with Islamic supremacists as they purge the historical record of the Jewish roots of Western civilization. There is only one explanation for the West’s willingness to accept the Islamic supremacist assertion that Israel is to blame for Islamic aggression against Jews and Christians alike.

But if I mention anti-Semitism, I will be attacked as a paranoid Jew.

JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post.

END OF POST

A Non-Catholic Perspective — “The Myth of the Pedophile Priest”

A Researcher Puts Scandals in Context  

 

EDITOR NOTE: Excellent commentary and bullet-points from Fr. Dwight Longenecker today on his blog Standing On My Head, followed by Penn State professor, Phillip Jenkins, and his fine article on the scandal and nature of sexual abuse within society:

As more pedophile priest scandals blow up across Europe we should be ashamed of the offenders and those who sheltered them and oppressed the victims. The guilty should be weeded out, removed from office and handed over to the civil authorities where they are guilty of crimes. Systems to avoid abuse must be established and rigorously maintained, and victims should be justly compensated for their suffering.
However, Penn State professor Philip Jenkins (who is not a Catholic) has written the most objective book on the subject, and he summarizes his arguments in this excellent article.
 
 
 

In light of his work, we should remember some basic facts and principles: 
 

 

  • Priestly celibacy is not the issue – married men are more likely to abuse children than unmarried
  • Most child abuse takes place within the home.
  • All religious groups have pedophile scandals, and the Catholics (while the largest religious group) are at the bottom of the list statistically.
  • Child abuse is prevalent in all areas of society: schools, youth organizations, sports, etc.
  • Statistically, of all the professions, Christian clergy are least likely to offend. Doctors, Farmers and Teachers are the professions most likely to abuse children–not clergy.
  • Among clergy offenders Catholic priests are least likely to offend.
  • Catholic cases of pedophilia make more headlines because of anti Catholic prejudice and because the Catholic Church is bigger and more lucractive to sue.
  • Pedophilia and Euphebophilia are different problems. The former is sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children. The latter is attraction to teenagers. Most cases branded ‘pedophila’ are actually ‘euphebophila.’
  • Most of the cases of euphebophilia are homosexual in nature, however the politically correct do not want this problem to be associated with homosexuality.
  • The number of Catholic priests guilty of pedophilia is very small.
  • What we now call ‘cover up’ was often done in a different cultural context, when the problem was not fully understood and when all establishment organizations hushed scandals. They did so for what seemed good reasons at the time: protection of the victims and their families, opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender, the avoidance of scandal to others. It is unfair to judge events thirty years ago by today’s standards.
  • When lawsuits are looming people smell money. We must be wary of false accusations.
  • The accused must be entitled to a fair hearing. The church should insist on hard proof of the abuse, and for the sake of justice, ensure that the innocent are not prosecuted.
  • When guilt is established the offender must be punished, not sheltered.
  • Distinctions must be made between types of abuse. Some offenses are worse than others. Verbal abuse or corporal punishment during a time when that was acceptable, while lamentable, is not the same as sexual abuse or extreme physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse of an adult, or a sexually experienced older teenager is wrong, and damaging, and should be punished, but it is not the same as the sexual abuse of a younger, innocent child.
  • Number of offenses must be considered. One lapse is not of the same seriousness as repeated, persistent and premeditated offenses. 

I am in no way wishing to be soft of pedophiles and those who covered for them, however justice and truth demand an objective analysis of the facts. 

A Researcher Puts Scandals in Context

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, MARCH 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Philip Jenkins, a Penn State University professor of history and religious studies, is author of “Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis” (Oxford University Press, 1996). He wrote this article for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which published it March 3 under the headline “The Myth of the Pedophile Priest.”

* * *

By Philip Jenkins

Every day, the news media have a new horror story to report, under some sensational headline: Newsweek, typically, is devoting its current front cover to “Sex, Shame and the Catholic Church: 80 Priests Accused of Child Abuse in Boston.” Though the sex abuse cases have deep roots, the most recent scandals were detonated by the affair of Boston priest John J. Geoghan.

Though his superiors had known for years of Geoghan´s pedophile activities, he kept being transferred from parish to parish, regardless of the safety of the children in his care. The stigma of the Geoghan affair could last for decades, and some Catholics are declaring in their outrage that they can never trust their church again.

No one can deny that Boston church authorities committed dreadful errors, but at the same time, the story is not quite the simple tale of good and evil that it sometime appears. Hard though it may be to believe right now, the “pedophile priest” scandal is nothing like as sinister as it has been painted — or at least, it should not be used to launch blanket accusations against the Catholic Church as a whole.

We have often heard the phrase “pedophile priest” in recent weeks. Such individuals can exist: Father Geoghan was one, as was the notorious Father James Porter a decade or so back. But as a description of a social problem, the term is wildly misleading. Crucially, Catholic priests and other clergy have nothing like a monopoly on sexual misconduct with minors.

My research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination — or indeed, than nonclergy. However determined news media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported.

Literally every denomination and faith tradition has its share of abuse cases, and some of the worst involve non-Catholics. Every mainline Protestant denomination has had scandals aplenty, as have Pentecostals, Mormons, Jehovah´s Witnesses, Jews, Buddhists, Hare Krishnas — and the list goes on. One Canadian Anglican (Episcopal) diocese is currently on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of massive lawsuits caused by decades of systematic abuse, yet the Anglican church does not demand celibacy of its clergy.

However much this statement contradicts conventional wisdom, the “pedophile priest” is not a Catholic specialty. Yet when did we ever hear about “pedophile pastors”?

Just to find some solid numbers, how many Catholic clergy are involved in misconduct? We actually have some good information on this issue, since in the early 1990s, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago undertook a bold and thorough self-study. The survey examined every priest who had served in the archdiocese over the previous 40 years, some 2,200 individuals, and reopened every internal complaint ever made against these men. The standard of evidence applied was not legal proof that would stand up in a court of law, but just the consensus that a particular charge was probably justified.

By this low standard, the survey found that about 40 priests, about 1.8 percent of the whole, were probably guilty of misconduct with minors at some point in their careers. Put another way, no evidence existed against about 98 percent of parish clergy, the overwhelming majority of the group.

Since other organizations dealing with children have not undertaken such comprehensive studies, we have no idea whether the Catholic figure is better or worse than the rate for schoolteachers, residential home counselors, social workers or scout masters.

The Chicago study also found that of the 2,200 priests, just one was a pedophile. Now, many people are confused about the distinction between a pedophile and a person guilty of sex with a minor. The difference is very significant. The phrase “pedophile priests” conjures up images of the worst violation of innocence, callous molesters like Father Porter who assault children 7 years old. “Pedophilia” is a psychiatric term meaning sexual interest in children below the age of puberty.

But the vast majority of clergy misconduct cases are nothing like this. The vast majority of instances involve priests who have been sexually active with a person below the age of sexual consent, often 16 or 17 years old, or even older. An act of this sort is wrong on multiple counts: It is probably criminal, and by common consent it is immoral and sinful; yet it does not have the utterly ruthless, exploitative character of child molestation. In almost all cases too, with the older teen-agers, there is an element of consent.

Also, the definition of “childhood” varies enormously between different societies. If an act of this sort occurred in most European countries, it would probably be legal, since the age of consent for boys is usually around 15. To take a specific example, when newspapers review recent cases of “pedophile priests,” they commonly cite a case that occurred in California´s Orange County, when a priest was charged with having consensual sex with a 17-year-old boy. Whatever the moral quality of such an act, most of us would not apply the term “child abuse” or “pedophilia.” For this reason alone, we need to be cautious when we read about scores of priests being “accused of child abuse.”

Get the rest of the story at the source: ZENIT

END OF POST