Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests and Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse of Children and Minors
Introduction: The general issue of Priest Sex Abuse
It is very well known that once they are ordained, Catholic priests cannot date or marry. Whether it is playing into the issue of sexual abuse is still largely unknown at this time. What is known is that the whole issue of priest abuse is an international and a very public one. The issue is public in 16 different countries, including the U.S. However, according to AlterNet, it is not a new issue and in fact, has been going on for at least 2,000 years. Father Thomas Doyle along with two former monks put together a book titled Sex, Priests and Secret Codes, published in 2006. The book is currently being sold on Amazon ranging from $7.60-$25.28.
It should also be made clear that not all who enter the Catholic clergy as priests perpetrate sexual abuse. In fact, many sources claim that priest sexual abuse is rarer than that in the general population. That would definitely explain why the good majority of priest abuse stories make the media. Another probable reason that the issue appears so rampant is because it has been found that pedophiles generally tend to have at least 40 victims before they are arrested and/or convicted for their actions. It could arguably be the same case with priests although the 2004 study done by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops claimed that they found that only 3.4% abused more than ten victims. However, we can’t be certain as to whether that research was biased since it was conducted within Catholic Church itself.
According to SNAP (Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests), one study at the University of Chicago estimated that there are probably at least 100,000 survivors of priest child abuse out there. In fact, the Archdiocese located in the area has now released several formerly confident church documents concerning Chicago priest abuse.
Like any other clergy, once they are ordained, priests are put in a position of certain respect and trust and whenever one abuses that power, indescribable damage is done not only to the church but to the victim and the victim’s loved ones as well.
The Priest Abuse Scandal and List of Catholic Priests Accused of Abuse
According to AlterNet, one possible factor that may lead to sexual immaturity among many priests is that some enter the training as young as 14 and as a result, they miss out on opportunities to properly explore the nature of their sexuality. Another is that some have been abused themselves and AlterNet claims that they may have been “initiated” into “homosexual pedophilia”. However, it has been found that among the general population, males who are survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) themselves and who have not been treated for it are more likely to act out and perpetrate it on another child. That’s more than likely the case with priests who are CSA survivors themselves.
Like AlterNet also points out, especially the priests who become educators almost always have access predominately to boys. The female victims of Catholic priest abuse make up only a quarter of priest child abuse cases and most of them are under the age of eight. However, according to the modern psychology site, Culture Wars, about 90% of priest child abuse cases involve adolescent males.
According to a May 2014 article on The Wire, the Vatican has recently made improvements as to how to handle priest abuse cases. In fact, it was not until 2010 that the Vatican started to require that the cases be reported to the police as well as to them. Even so, they still appear not to be handling it in the most ideal way. Of the over 3,000 cases that have been reported to the Vatican since 2004, over 800 were dismissed and the over 2,000 were simply endorsed and placed elsewhere. The Vatican has explained that the reasons for that are that most of those reported to have committed abuse were elderly or ailing although that the re-sanctioning meant that they were placed somewhere where they didn’t have access to children. Also, even the ones who are dismissed usually face ongoing investigations.
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Network is a site that helps survivors of priest abuse to get help for themselves and move on with their lives. They offer everything from tips to finding the right therapist for you to the latest news regarding priest abuse to helping you take legal action and what to do when your minister is accused of abuse.
A couple of credible sites that provides lists of priests accused of abuse include:
-They link the accused priests by the various dioceses located in the separate states. When you click on a diocese, you will immediately be taken to a page that lists the accused priests, how they’ve served in their work and the nature of the accusations made against them, whether they were accused, convicted or sued as well as the sources of the accusations.
– This Website Provides links to the growing lists of priests officially accused of perpetrating minors put together by the Archdiocese of St. Paul Minneapolis. Related, in January 2014, the Archdiocese of Chicago, released a list of 30 abusive priests within their diocese who were not prosecuted and protected by the Church. The details are stated in an article in the Chicago Tribune, its URL is here.
More dioceses are working to put together their own list of priests accused of abuse. These lists almost always include the names of priests accused of abuse. One example is the Philadelphia priest abuse investigation of 58-year-old Michael A. Chapman along with four other suspended priests who were accused of inappropriate behavior with minors although the church didn’t specify as to the exact nature.
Given the Vatican’s gradual process with helping to improve the situation, it will probably not be very much longer now before we start seeing more lists like the list of priests accused of abuse, list of abusive priests and the general priest abuse list with the majority if not nearly all of the dioceses of the countries in which Catholic priest child abuse is an issue. Sexual abuse by priests may be rarer than in the general population but it is by no means an issue that is neatly cut out or easy to handle. However, it appears that we are safe to hold hope that we will see much improvement in the issue as time goes on.