Propaganda and Pedophile Priests

By Jerry Kroth

March 01, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -Most reasonably literate Americans recognize how the media has lost much of its objectivity. Mainstream, corporate American media has obvious political leanings—so report a surfeit of media studies on what is now called  “opinion journalism.”  [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] 

The problem is what happens when facts don’t fit those opinions.  A good example is how we perceive sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.  

Something like 80 percent of the children abused by Catholic priests are boys, which means homosexual priests are most often the culprits. But since the media has some very strong Will-and-Grace opinions on this subject, that statistic falls into the shadows and doesn’t really get discussed.  (7) In psychology we call that denial.  Elsewhere it is just plain old censorship.  

The Catholic Church housed some 3,000 pedophile priests over the last 50 years, (8) but now we have to incorporate the unpleasant fact that that the majority of its child abuse victims are due to the illegal conduct of homosexual priests, not just garden variety ones.  

That doesn’t sit well with the media zeitgeist, and it causes some considerable cognitive dissonance, so we don’t hear much about this side of it. 

At least, though, if for only a moment, we lifted the veil of denial and started to see the real world more as it really is. 

But then we return to regular news programming to hear more about Catholic abuse of children, more priests indicted, more Archbishops compromised, more out of court settlements with victims, and we shake our heads in dismay. All the while the membership in the Catholic Church in the United States plummets— from 24 percent of the population in 2007 down to only 18 percent in 2016. [9] 

The constant fusillade reinforces a growing anti-Catholic bias, but if we start to pay a bit closer attention, along comes another statistic to shake us up again:  between 4-7 of Catholic priests are pedophiles,  (10) but at least that many pedophiles exist in public schools too.  

Say what?   

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That’s right, the rate of pedophilia in the general population and in the public school system is likely greater than in all those Catholic parishes that keep getting sued.  [11] [12]  [13] 

There have been a few studies that take issue with that. Some say the rate in the general population is closer to 5 percent, while Catholic priests can rank as high as 7.  (14) That might seem too gnarly to resolve, but if we look at victims, things get clearer rather quickly: about 19 percent of girls and 7.9 percent of boys report being sexually abused as children, so clearly even the highest 7 percent figure attributed to priests falls under that benchmark. [15]  

Another source of data from on this subject comes from the insurance industry that provides liability coverage for sexual abuse incidents. Their data shows that the rate of abuse is not a particularly Catholic problem compared to other religions at all.  Risk control manager Rick Schaber says “We do not see one denomination above another. It’s equal.”  [16] 

But the problem in public schools is, in fact, much worse than in religious ones. 

Charol Shakeshaft from Hofstra University studied the problem in public schools and said, “Think the Catholic Church has a problem? The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is more likely 100 times the abuse by priests.” [17] A national Sexual Health Survey looked into child sexual abuse too and concluded “Most of the abusers in this category were teachers, neighbors, doctors, grandparents, a parent's friend or coworker, or an adult around the house: a gardener, or repairman. . . In fact, only a tiny fraction of child sex abusers are priests.”[18]

But media coverage spins it all very differently:

“. . . During the first half of 2002, the 61 largest newspapers in California ran nearly 2,000 stories about sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, mostly concerning past allegations. During the same period, those newspapers ran four stories about the federal government's discovery of the much larger — and ongoing — abuse scandal in public schools.”  [19]

So media hype continues pretty much unabated, but the reality is that pedophilia is not a particularly Catholic issue at all, and when it is, it is primarily a symptom of homosexual pedophilia, and that latter element is not going to be talked about on CNN anytime soon.   [20] [21]   

Still, it is nice to get a few facts to temper all of our conditioned biases that metastasize the more we are exposed to mainstream news. 

None of this is offered as an excuse by the way.  The sexual abuse of children is immoral, destructive, and criminal, but it doesn’t fall at the foot of the Catholic Church any more than it falls elsewhere—except in our media conditioned perceptions.  

That’s really the point.  

Opinion journalism will continue well beyond the margins of this article, but wouldn’t it be nice if those opinions were occasionally shaped by reality instead of the propaganda we increasingly call news.

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus from Santa Clara University in California. His new book is, Coup d’etat: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Kroth may be contacted through his website  

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==See Also==

1-in-10 students will be sexually abused by a teacher during their years in school.



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==See Also==

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