Monday, September 13, 2010

Atheist Says Priests Wrongfully Targeted as Abusers

Earlier this year I posted a story from Newsweek which discussed how innocent Catholic priests have been unfairly targeted as child abusers.

The Telegraph's Damien Thompson is now highlighting a story from another unlikely source--a left wing atheist--who is making a similar case. The author explains how an anti-Catholic agendas have essentially ushered in a new Inquisition in which all priests are basically assumed guilty until proven otherwise.
Were 10,000 children in America and thousands more in Ireland really raped by Catholic priests? In a word, no. Instead, what has happened is that in the increasingly caliginous, almost Inquisitorial mindset of sections of the New Atheist anti-pope lobby, every allegation of abuse against a Catholic priest … has been lumped together under the heading of ‘rape’, and every allegation has been described as an actual proven ‘rape’ regardless of whether it resulted in a legal trial, never mind a conviction.

The term ‘paedophile priest’ has become such a part of everyday cultural lingo that most people, when they read in last week’s relatively respectable UK Independent that ‘over 10,000 children have come forward to say they were raped [by Catholic priests]’, would probably think, ‘Yeah, that’s possible’. But it isn’t true.
Indeed, Jim West was just talking about this earlier this week. In a post, "It's Open Season on Catholic Clergy", he highlighted one story--which hardly got much play--about a priest who was wrongfully accused of abuse and exonerated of such charges. I wish more bloggers would highlight such stories.


Ed Gentry said...

I agree completely.

I have to wonder, however, if the Catholic church had been quicker and more thorough in responding to the very real cases of sex abuse there would be fewer false charges raised later. When the problem first came to light there seemed to be a very real perception that the Catholic church was more concerned with protecting themselves than caring for the people their priests had ravaged.

Perhaps if the church had come clean, and taken swift and decisive action to censure the priests and protect the flock then others would not feel the need to be overly suspicious later.

mkvine said...

Hello Dr. Barber, I know this isn't related to the blog article you posted, but I was wondering if its possible for you to do a study on expiation vs propitiation in relation to the word Hilasterion in a later blog? God Bless