Fr Dwight Longenecker has a post on the thorny subject of child abuse by priests. What he says deserves to be read and his full post is here. Some of the points for consideration he raises are:
He also has further insightful commentary on the issue here.
- Priestly celibacy is not the issue - married men are more likely to abuse children than unmarried
- Most child abuse takes place within the home.
- All religious groups have pedophile scandals, and the Catholics (while the largest religious group) are at the bottom of the list statistically.
- Child abuse is prevalent in all areas of society: schools, youth organizations, sports, etc.
- Statistically, of all the professions, Christian clergy are least likely to offend. Doctors, Farmers and Teachers are the professions most likely to abuse children--not clergy.
- Among clergy offenders Catholic priests are least likely to offend.