POPE SAYS 2% OF PRIESTS, BISHOPS AND CARDINALS, PEDOPHILES
Pope Francis has told the founder of an Italian newspaper that some 2% of priests, bishops and cardinals are pedophiles.
If the popes figures are right that means that there are:
8,000 clerical pedophiles in the church worldwide.
100 clerical pedophiles in Ireland.
Many experts in the field says that the Pope's figures are at the lower end of world statistics and that the world average is about 4%.
If 4% is right it means that there are 16,000 clerical pedophiles world wide and 200 in Ireland.
That 4% is a figure for the whole community. But I think that the percentage of priest and bishop pedophiles in the priesthood is higher than in the population in general. This is true, I believe, for 2 very important reasons:
1. Catholic priests and bishops are more prone to sexual immaturity and problems because of the very unhealthy and negative approach to sexuality they are given in their entire formation in catholic schools and seminaries.
2. Catholic priests and bishops are more prone to sexual dysfunction given the imposition of compulsory clerical celibacy.
If you take a young child and from early on in their life tell them that their body, their sexuality, their feelings etc are "dirty" and sinful then you are setting them up for serious psychosexual dysfunction in later life.
If you then ordain them, put them on a religious and social pedestal and give them power over people's bodies and souls you are going to discover that they will seek an outlet for their sexual dysfunctions in people they have power over - children, teenagers, women, men, people in confession, people in counselling situations.
The majority of the people I have ministered to in my 38 years in the priesthood who were "abused" by priests - whether they were children, teenagers or vulnerable women and men - had their abuse begin either in the confessional, on school retreats or in counselling scenarios.
Let me give you a few examples:
1. One young17 year old man I ministered to over 30 years ago went to a Belfast priest and confessed masturbation. After confession the priest asked him to go to the presbytery with him and remove his trousers and underwear so that he (the priest) could check that he had not damaged his genitals by masturbating. This allowed the priest to get sexual gratification by fondling the young man's privates.
2. A young married woman I ministered to some 20 years ago was having marriage problems. She went to the presbytery to discuss those problems with her local priest. Without any warning the priest physically pinned the woman to the wall and had intercourse with her and they ended up having a very dysfunctional sexual relationship for a number of years until the young woman got the strength to cut the priest out of her life.
3. A young man whose family I worked with wanted to be a priest. The local priest convinced the boy and his family that he should move into the presbytery with the priest at the age of 14 to begin his priestly formation. The priest abused the youth from day one and the young man had to endure years of sexual abuse before he finally broke free. However to this day the abuse has greatly overshadowed his life.
Some years ago a priest giving the annual retreat to the priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin opened his retreat with these words to the assembled priests:
"Well we all get by Fathers, don't we, on the three excesses: excessive whiskey, excessive golf and excessive masturbation".
That priest - shockingly but truthfully hit the nail on the head. Many Catholic priests do a great deal of good.
But many (if not most) Catholic priests are also ticking sexual time bombs.
It is a miracle that there are not more cases of abuse - against children, teenagers, women and men.
Maybe we have the whiskey and the golf to thank for that?
We also are saved from the explosion by the number of Catholic priests who are in clandestine relationships with woman and men - these days - more men than women.
But every now and then a bomb goes off and we read of a priest abusing a child or a teenager.
If Pope Francis thinks that he only has a problem with 2% of his priests, bishops and cardinals he is deceiving himself.
The Catholic priesthood is NOT working. It is seriously dysfunctional.
The 2 main causes of this dysfunction are:
1. The Catholic Church's flat earth approach to human sexuality.
2. Obligatory celibacy for all priests, bishops and cardinals.
If Pope Francis were to resolve those 2 issues he would have far fewer worries abot his 2%
In fact he would have far few worries about his 100%