The good, the bad, and the ugly about the Catholic Church scandals.

The church is in a crisis. That much is obvious. We are just beginning to find out the sordid details of what some in the Church have been doing for the last few decades. Here are some tell-tale items, in case you haven’t heard.

Over a billion dollars has been paid by the Catholic Church for out-of-court settlements having to do with sexual scandals. The Boston dioceses has just discovered another 250 cases of sexual predation among its priests. Archdiocese all over the country have similar problems. The Sante Fe diocese is almost bankrupt due to fewer than one hundred lawsuits against its priests and bishop. Lloyds of London, the Sante Fe diocese insurer, refused to pay out any more insurance claims because the Church, “continued to give parish assignments to priests with a history of sexual abuse”(Our Sunday Visitor, Feb. 27, 1994, p. 5).

The Chicago diocese has paid out multi-millions in lawsuits. Philadelphia, New York, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Jose, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and many other cities are experiencing the same. The problem is widespread. The National Catholic Reporter in the early nineties stated that, “10 percent of priests report a sexual approach from a priest while they were in training…spiritual directors, novice masters, seminary professors often introduce sexual contact into the context of their spiritual office” (NCR, Sept. 7, 1993, p. 7). Others say the numbers are much higher.

Canon lawyer Fr. Thomas Doyle, who co-authored the Doyle-Moulton-Peterson report on sexual abuse among the clergy, estimated in 1990 that 3,000 priests were “currently involved sexually with minors.” They also estimated that about 12,000 priests were involved with adult women, with thousands of paternity suits filed against them. They estimated that 6,000 priests were involved with adult men in homosexual relationships (ibid). The total of all three categories is 21,000 priests involved in some type of illicit sexual relationship, out of approximately 47,000 priests. The total is 45% – a number far higher than the 1-2% you hear from some apologists trying to downplay the present crisis by focusing only on pedophilia cases. Twelve years later, the statistics are only worse. Crisis Magazine, in the October 2001 issue, documented that every one of the 188 Catholic dioceses (some say 193 dioceses) in the United States have faced, or are facing, claims of priests in illicit sexual relationships.

Behind the pedophile scandal, however, is the real engine driving this present immorality: homosexuality. Although it is rarely mentioned by the media for fear of the backlash from the gay community, pedophile priests are primarily homosexuals merely using young boys as their favorite targets. In contrast, there are few cases of pedophile priests molesting young girls.

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