Priest targeted by the permissive society

COMMENTATORS on the bishops’ visit to Rome seem to imply that the chief sexual abusers of children are Catholic priests.

This is incorrect. US figures show American priests are among those least likely to be abusers, and it is a fair guess that the same is true of Ireland where abuse is spread through all society.

Yet in America, as in Ireland, the spin is that priests are the chief culprits while other groups are let off the hook.

For example, the known incidence of child sexual abuse among some American public servants is staggering, yet they suffer no witch-hunt.

They are part of the permissive society which protects its own.

The non-Catholic scholar Philip Jenkins has written two books on this topic, both published by Oxford University Press.

He concludes that priests as a group are falsely singled out because they are hostile to the permissive society, which of course has caused immense suffering. Many will agree Jenkins has got it right.

Aidan McGing

Sunday’s Well Road


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