Sunday, 13 May 2012

Just what is the colour of the sky in their world, part 2


Setting the Stage:

A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States The National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People Established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. February 27, 2004

I will be doing a far more in depth analysis of the John Jay Reports at some point in the future but I wanted to make note of something that sets the stage for understanding so much about what has gone wrong & is going wrong with the RCC institutional response to their "pedophilia crisis". The following is an excerpt from the Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States:

To understand the purpose and scope of the Report, it is helpful to emphasize what it is not. First, this Report is not intended to address Church doctrine or to serve as a sounding boards for those within the Church and outside the Church who wish to use this scandal to accomplish objectives unrelated to or tangential to the goal set forth above. The problem facing the Church was not caused by Church doctrine, and the solution does not lie in questioning doctrine. Second, this Report does not address specific instances of clerical sexual abuse or inadequate episcopal response. ... it is not the purpose of the Report to determine whether an individual priest or bishop was responsible for a specific act or omission. Finally, this Report is not, an does not purport to be, a scientific exercise. With the exception of the analysis of the John Jay College study, ... the Report does not rely upon the scientific method. Thus, for example, the Board has not attempted to conduct a comprehensive analysis of factors that may have made sexual abuse of minors more or less likely in a particular environment, or to develop an empirically-based profile of a typical sexual abuse offender.

However, the Board is confident that it has accurately placed in context the reasons for the current crisis. (pp. 7-8)

There you have it. The parameters of the report. It speaks for itself. I'll give them #2 but honestly, do they expect anyone to believe that they can "accurately place in context the reasons for the current crisis" with those parameters. It is no wonder that Robert S. Bennett, the Research Committee Chair, washed his hands of the whole mess.

A First Look at The John Jay Reports

1. The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States.  A Research Study Conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice

2. The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.  A Report Presented to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the John Jay College Research Team

First things, first. It should also be noted that although the Causes and Context Report (C&C) says 1950 -2010, all the graphs and statistics end as of 2002 with a couple of paragraphs & 3 graphs to cover to 2008: pp.32-33).

It would be interesting to do a comparison of the earlier "Nature & Scope" with this one - there are some changes in how the data is reported. Just one example: compare the Tables 4.4.5 &  4.4.6 (p.76) of the Nature & Scope report to Table 5.7 (p. 112 where the 2 previous tables are collapsed into 1)) of the Causes & Context report. The initial report (N&S) shows the gifts & enticements offered to victims in a raw count and as a percentage of incidents, while in C&C it is broken down into % of male victims & % of female victims. The C&C table makes it look far less of an issue - let's look at alcohol/drugs - In the N&S the table reads 712 count or 38.8% of 1,834 incidents. In the C&C table, it is now listed as 8.6% of males and 1.2% of females were offered alcohol and/or drugs - not so bad now, is it!

What is more egregious is the missing N&S tables in the C&C report. These are the tables (pp. 73-75) 4.4.1: Alleged Acts of Abuse by Gender; 4.4.3 Threats by Victim's Gender and 4.4.4 Type of Threats by Victim's Gender. These tables all discuss the true nature of what these priests did to their victims, 4.4.1 being the one that would truly upset the apple cart in a report that essentially would like to suggest that it really wasn't all that bad & besides it's getting better. Clearly, no one needs to be told about oral sex, manual penetration, penile penetration or group or coerced sex  Time to do my own blog on the report, I guess, even if it is a year later.

One sees the mighty hand of the Roman Catholic editors in the construction of the C&C report.

I seem to remember that when the initial Nature and Scope Report came out, it was really impossible to find. I had been reading references to it - it was talked about on the John Jay website, for example, but no links. At one point, it was up on the USCCB website and then I couldn't find it again - might have been my search engine :-). Anyway, I now have 2 copies of it, plus the Causes and Context Report.


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