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122 Church Sex Abuse Scandals are Not Just a Catholic Crisis. Apr 30, 2010 by Karen Stephenson


Mainstream media focuses on Catholic sex abuse scandals yet many denominations have clergy who sexually abuse. Sex abusers are in most faiths. 

There is no shortage of news that reveals cases of sex abuse in the Catholic Church because mainstream media is diligently reporting these stories. However, there are other news stories that are just as serious and involve other faiths in which their clergy are sexually abusing children. For years, religious and victims’ rights organizations have been seeking church sex abuse data that includes all faiths, not just the Catholic.

The Catholic Church Sex Abuse Stats  Father Jonathan Morris is a Roman Catholic priest in New York City and he is also a news contributor for Fox News Channel. In a recent news story, "Father Jonathon" stated that heavy media scrutiny forced the Catholic Church to open the books on how many sex abuse cases there have been. Since 1950, 13,000 credible accusations were brought against Catholic priests; this averages 228 cases per year. 

Sex Abuse in Protestant Churches Three insurance companies in the United States that provide liability coverage for 165,000 Protestant churches revealed data to the Associated Press that they typically receive 260 reports every year of children being sexually abused by Protestant clergy or other staff. 

If these and the Catholic statistics are accurate, then on average, there are 32 more sex abuse cases per year in the Protestant church. As Father Jonathan stated in his news story, “The mainstream media has all but ignored the recent Associated Press report.”

 

Anglican Sex Scandals In July 2003, LifeSiteNews reported that in South Australia, a police task force was established to investigate child sex abuse cases in the Anglican Church. The police task force identified more than 200 victims and there were 48 offenders arrested. Police stated that the number of victims could rise to more than 400 by the time all investigations are completed. The arrests happened following a controversy that forced Archbishop Ian George to resign just months before his scheduled retirement. 

Australia’s Anglican Church is no stranger to clergy pedophiles. In 2004, The Associated Press reported that Australia’s governor general, Peter Hollingworth, was disgraced in an Anglican Church inquiry that discovered he failed to take strong action against identified pedophiles in the church when he was a bishop in the early 1990s. 

More on this topic Sex Abuse in the Protestant Church

  • Catholic Church Sex Scandal Reaches Brazil: Priest Arrested
  • Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Former Bishop Speaks Out

Sex Abuse in the Jehovah Witnesses MSNBC reported in 2007 that the Jehovah Witnesses settled nine lawsuits that alleged their church policies gave protection to men who sexually abused children for numerous years.

Frederick McLean is one of America’s most wanted fugitives and has been for several years. The 58 year old is charged with 17 counts of child sexual abuse in California. Police identified eight victims that have alleged continued abuse over a ten year period. One girl estimates she was molested over 100 times according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

 

Mormon Sex Scandals In a Salt Lake Tribune 1999 article "Bringing Abuse to Light," the reported stated that the Latter Day Saints Church experiences sexual abuse allegations just as most other religions do. The reporter stated that experts claim the incidence of child sex abuse in the church is the same as the rest of society. 

In this particular news story, it was revealed that the church reached confidential settlements in numerous lawsuits.

As James Shelledy, Salt Lake Tribune reporter wrote, “..experts say that the incidence of child sexual abuse in the Church is the same as in the rest of society.” Mainstream news is not doing sex abuse victims of other faiths justice when the focus solely on the Catholic Church. Until society acknowledges that this is a serious crisis that affects all faiths, sexual abuse in all churches will continue for many years to come.

Sources: 

Bringing Abuse to Light, Salt Lake Tribune, October 17, 1999

New evidence in Jehovah’s Witness allegations, MSNBC.com, November 21, 2007

Major Anglican Sexual Abuse Scandal in Australia, LifeSiteNews.com July 18, 2003

Sexual Abuse of Minors in Protestant Churches, FoxNews.com, exact date unknown 

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