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John Harman
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I know this is ridiculously late, but nobody in the comment thread has yet specifically refuted Theodore Seeber's blatant lie about the proportion of priests who molest children. Theodore could not give a citation for his "one in five hundred" claim because he pulled it out of his self-righteous ass (or, possibly, Bill Donohue or Ross Douthat's self-righteous ass). According to The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, the comprehensive study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and carried out by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the fraction of American priests active between 1950 and 2002 who were the subject of accusations of child abuse substantiated by their dioceses was roughly one in twenty-five (4,392 priests, out of 109,694 who served parishes in the USA for some part of the 52-year period covered by the study). Since it's safe to assume that many of the accusations that were *not* substantiated by the priests' superiors were nevertheless true, and that many priests who preyed on children were never reported by their victims, the actual proportion was probably between one in twenty and one in ten.
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May 14, 2010