Statistics

Were There Really That Many Victims Of French Pervert Priests?

Heard the news about priests abusing kids? Here’s what experts (their word) say about “the Catholic sex-abuse stories emerging”:

Many point to peculiarities of the Catholic Church (its celibacy rules for priests, its insular hierarchy, its exclusion of women) to infer that there’s something particularly pernicious about Catholic clerics that predisposes them to these horrific acts…

Yet experts say there’s simply no data to support the claim at all. No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination, and only the Catholic Church has released detailed data about its own. But based on the surveys and studies conducted by different denominations over the past 30 years, experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. “We don’t see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations.

Wait. Not those experts. We want the French ones! We want nothing less than the Commission indépendante sur les abus sexuels dans l’Eglise.

They have released a two thousand and five hundred-page report which nobody has yet read, but which is being summarized in the usual propaganda outlets.

Some are reporting the report says 200,000 mostly boys were abused by French clergy since 1950, and some are saying 216 thousand mostly boys were abused. The record, discovered by myself in a vigorous two-minute scroll through Twitter, is 330 thousand mostly boys.

Let’s first think about the mostly boys. Reuters quotes Jean-Marc Sauve, “head of the commission that compiled the report.” He said “Most of the victims were boys, he said, many of them aged between 10 and 13.” So it’s mostly boys.

This doesn’t make the abuser priest pedophiles, though, a word reserved for diddling the very young. It just makes them garden variety perverts. That it was mostly boys is the consequence of ordaining so many men “oriented” towards males. I believe the Germans call this preference for ordaining men who enjoy sodomy the Synodal Path.

Anyway, nobody disputes there were, and are, pervert priests. The proportional number is less than or the same as the general public, as the insurance companies tell us, but it should be zero, as the Lord commands.

Even though the numbers are equivalent, or even in the priests’ favor, we’re still waiting for the big commissions and reports on pervert teachers, pervert politicians, and pervert doctors. Since those might be late arriving, let’s look at the number of claimed victims in the French report.

It should, but won’t, go without saying there’s a wide margin between 200 and 330 thousand. Both are suspicious whole numbers, our first clue something is odd. They couldn’t count actual victims, maybe? Instead they estimated? Let’s see. I’m working from their English-translation summary (32 pages; as of Tuesday night I couldn’t download the full French report; the website kept timing out).

…the Commission arrived at an estimate of the number of child victims to have suffered sexual assault at the hands of priests, deacons, monks or nuns to be 216 000 over the period from 1950 to 2020, based on the general population survey of 28 010 persons aged 18 and over and representative of the French population in accordance with the quota method. [p. 9]

Ah. A survey and not a count of actual victims. We don’t know what quotas were used. Also, this was “An anonymous online questionnaire”. Big trouble.

There was in that anonymity no verification of those who claimed to be a victim. Was everybody genuine victim? Were some boasting of victimhood, the highest possible status one can have in the West? Were some people hoping to disparage a hate institution? Were all respondents scrupulously honest? Hold those questions in mind for a moment. We’ll come back to them.

First, what about that 330 thousand?

By broadening the analysis to include persons connected to the Church (staff of Catholic schools, laypersons providing catechism or chaplaincy services, organizers of scouts or other Catholic youth movements) the estimated number of child victims rises to 330 000 for the whole of the period. This study shows that more than a third of sexual assaults within the Catholic Church were committed, not by clergy or monks, but by lay people. [p. 9]

So not priests. All those headlines with the higher totals—and I know you’ll be shocked—got it wrong. These were just ordinary perverts who happened to have a job connected with the Church. Those who had jobs connected elsewhere weren’t measured. And there is no indication that it was because of having a job connected with the Church that led these perverts into being perverted. These extra hundred-some thousand should not count at all. Except as propaganda, for which they work well.

The report then moves to this startling admission:

…sexual violence on an equally massive scale occurred across French society: 14.5 % of women and 6.4% of men, i.e. approximately 5 500 00 people suffered sexual assault in their childhood. Acts of sexual violence committed by clerics, monks or nuns represents just under 4% of this total.

Even with these worst case estimates, and assuming no uncertainty in them, priests only account for a tiny percent of all “violence.” Indeed, “3.7% of persons aged 18 or over in mainland France suffered sexual abuse as children by a member of the family, 2% by a family friend and 1.8% by a friend or acquaintance”.

Which makes 7.5%. Meaning families, and those “linked to” families, are almost twice as dangerous as priests. Stay away from families?

Now let’s think about the 216 thousand, which is presented without uncertainty—in the summary. In the full report, I don’t know. It is at least irresponsible not to give some indication of the uncertainty given that this is a survey with an unknown (to us) quota sampling scheme. And an unknown (to us) indication of how quotas were filled.

They say in their search for victim testimonials, which were on the small side and which were used to that quota system mentioned, “That far fewer victims are individually counted in the appeal for testimonials or in archival investigations does not in any way negate these estimates.” Yes it does. But they say it doesn’t because of the chance some abuse went unreported. Some surely did, but it is still telling fewer people than they hoped for came forward.

How about the number of pervert priests?: “Research, conducted with great rigor and thoroughness …leads to an estimation of between 2900 and 3200 aggressors.” By “aggressors” they mean perverts.

If that’s right, it makes 68 to 75 victims per pervert. Brother, that’s a lot. Not impossible, but it has to be something like that, or more, for most perverts. They say priests might be under-counted, but they say victims were too, which still makes the per-priest victim average about the same.

They claim this 3000 or so perverts is only “a ratio of 2.5% and 2.8% of clergy and monks” of all of them from 1950. That percent number of perverts doesn’t sound high when it’s considered in the first (insurance) link above, “a conservative estimate is one in 10” men become abusers. If that number is right (seems high to me) the priests are doing better than the general population, pervert wise.

Point is, the percent should be 0% for priests, and 0% for family members, too. It should 0% everywhere. It isn’t. It’s higher. And it doesn’t seem especially high for priests as a class.

Much of the rest of the report is given over the lamentations of the way the Church handled abuse claims, how awful Church teaching on sexuality is, and recommendations what to do in the future. My idea of stringing up the known perverts is not mentioned in any bullet point. Not in English: maybe in French?

Once I can get a copy of the full report, I’ll see if any of this post needs updating.

Meanwhile, apropos to all this is a communication I received from Anon, who asked me to put this in:

The flaws in this piece of research are so glaring and so obvious to anyone with even an undergraduate training in statistics, that the only reasonable conclusion is that the authors set out to defame the Church. French law allows the prosecution of people who publish defamatory statements directed at groups and organizations.

Under Art. 32 of the Law on Freedom of the Press, defamation directed against a class of people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation or handicap is punishable by one year in prison and/or a fine of €45,000; in the case of insult, the punishment is six months in prison and a fine of €22,500.

Church groups should hire relevant experts and press charges against those who published this material.

Update See my comments on the full report in the comments. E.g. explanations of this:

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Categories: Statistics

39 replies »

  1. The real problem is not the occasional evil man, but a Church organization that not merely hides this behavior, but promotes it. The Lavender Mafia is real, and in charge.

  2. All,

    I now have the full report. Just got it.

    I can report there are, indeed, wee p-values in it.

    Update

    Happy to report the first question they asked people was “You are?” with only two answers “A female”, “A male.” No “do you identify” nonsense.

    They asked if the person was abused ever, and if so by one or more than one person. Then there was a checkbox of possible choices for the abuser. E.g. “Une personne animant un groupe scout”. So not just Church. They were allowed to choose more than one.

    But they don’t report on the multiple answers. Be interesting to see how many claimed abuse from priests AND others.

    Update

    Table 52 has the uncertainty bounds. For the 216 thousand, it was 165-270 thousand. Also broke down by sex. Mostly boys. Gosh.

    No details of calculation other than “X males in pop” times “this fraction of reported abuse in survey.” E.g. “Pour les hommes, le pourcentage de violence est de 0,69% et celui de la population concernée de 24 469 124, soit 170 000 hommes confrontés à de telles violences.”

    Doesn’t seem like they weighted by the quotas in the sample. Odd, that.

    Update

    Here’s a wild one.

    In the survey, 2,320 men and 118 women reported first abuse from other than clergy (“Premier abus par une personne non membre du clergé”). And 110 men and 8 women reported abuse from clergy.

    But what got the headlines?

    Update

    Precise kinds of abuse were also listed, for aspiring perverts, presumably. Most was touching privates. 1,748 non-clergy, 74 clergy. There was much more sodomy in the non-clergy group (28.5%) than the clergy group (15.3%).

    Update

    Number of per-person abusers claimed for non-clergy and clergy are interesting, and makes you wonder if people were telling the truth. I mean here is a possibility for exaggeration.

    Non-clergy
    Abusers, Number, %
    1, 1,730, 71%
    2, 357, 14.6%
    3+, 351, 14.4%

    Clergy
    Abusers, Number, %
    1, 56, 47.2%
    2, 26, 22.2%
    3+, 36, 30.7%

    You’d think these percentages would be about the same.

    Update

    Families are (the survey respondents said) much more likely to abuse than clergy, which are here 0.82%. The report unfairly lumps in all employees of Church as if they were priests.

    Families > Unknown > Friends of family > Friends > Clergy (0.82%)

  3. McChuck: So only church organizations that hide and/or promote this are bad? Gymnasitics coaches, congressmen, doctors, etc all get a pass because why? Because you LIKE the gymnastics coaches, doctors, congressmen, etc? Makes zero sense to me.

    *****
    “two thousand and five hundred-page report”? Sounds like a congressional bill to me.

    Seventy years and only 330 thousand boys estimated? Sounds like a Covid response……over-reacting and going off the deep end. (Yes, it should be zero but that ended the day we got tossed out of the garden of Eden, so let’s deal with reality here.)

    Only perpetrators that go to jail should count. If it cannot be proven in court but we punish anyway, we are the communists we now appear to be. Unreported is not countable and estimates are not either. If no one speaks up, the behaviour is considered acceptable (there have been estimates to 50% of women being abused, a rediculous number used to push a lie). Fight back or learn to love this. Accusations are what North Korea uses. Are we now North Korea?

  4. William, thank you for the article and the update. I translated the article (with the help of Deeple… ok, Deeple translated it and I checked the translation) and passed it along as wide as I could. The media and anti Church abuse is too heavy, from the Saddam’s WMD, the swine flu, the coronadoom, the vexx, up until this one (and all the rest). It’s ENOUGH already! So, thank you…

  5. ***—we’re still waiting for the big commissions and reports on pervert teachers, pervert politicians, and pervert doctors.—***

    Seems to be daily, that there are stories of teachers (many female) taking liberties with their students…

    Removing God from our public institutions has not turned out well, not that our religious institutions have anything to brag about…

    That being said. *There but for the grace of God go I*…

    Thanks Mr. Briggs for putting things in perspective…

  6. From the Anon’s statement above: “…the only reasonable conclusion is that the authors set out to defame the Church.”

    I can’t speak to this report itself, but Anon’s claim is certainly not implausible. There is a very long history of Black Legends intended to defame the Church (esp. starting around 1500 and later, for their obvious Protestant and Enlightenment propaganda value).

    Just compare a well-researched, objective history of the Borgias, like G. J. Meyer’s 2013 book, with the salacious and outlandish legends about them over the centuries (ones that even many Catholics have internalized and taken at face value), and which are still repeated ad nauseam by secular historians and taken to cartoonish levels by film-makers.

  7. “….when it’s considered in the first (insurance) link above, ‘a conservative estimate is one in 10’ men become abusers” — if this report seriously concludes that one in ten French men abuse children — 10% of all French men — there is something seriously wrong in France.

  8. From your recent posts, 0.86% of priests molesting children is a small number, but 0.0001% (or some such microscopic number) of people being affected by COVID-19 vaccines is a big number. Sounds reasonable. /sarc One thing is certain: If God exists, he doesn’t lift a finger to do anything to stop children being abused by his own Priests. He just watches.

  9. swordfishtrombone:
    I’m sure you have heard of proportions. I’m also sure I’ve heard of misrepresentation. No one has been here claiming the numbers you say. And, finally, you inuendo.about God is very infantile: it’s like “God created free men, free men are indication of a higher order of action than mere automata; but, since that implies men do bad stuff, God doesn’t exist/is bad/is…. , because He respects that order of things”: evidently, you’re just being absurd… Thank you, this type of defense God’s honor is always a plesure

  10. “If God exists, he doesn’t lift a finger to do anything to stop children being abused by his own Priests. He just watches.”

    This was already a tired argument against God when Ivan Karamazov based his rebellion and “return of his ticket” on it 140 years ago. Ivan ended-up a shell of a man who’d lost his mind. So…good luck, Swordy!

  11. Have you read the John Jay report into sexual abuse by US priests? Roughly 5% of U.S. priests are calculated to have been abusers. Yet I think the rate of sexual abuse of minors in the mainstream community is about 25%. (of memory). Makes you think.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jay_Report

    Note: As bad as the sexual abuse was, the horrifying thing is how the Church admin dealt with the problem. This is where the real rot is. Most people aren’t aware that theological changes were responsible for a lot of this. i.e. senior clergy, acting in good faith, did the most damage.

    Bonus: the problem is not liberalism, it’s a Christian variant of Buddhism centered on the exaggerated notion of kenosis. The result being too much mercy to the perpetrator and not enough justice to the victim.

  12. As horrifying as Church admin response was to the problem , church response was a lot better than public school admin response to the same problem in their realm. The focus on the church has always been a smokescreen to divert attention from the larger problem (on a per capita basis) at government institutions.

  13. Slumlord: “Roughly 5% of U.S. priests are calculated to have been abusers. Yet I think the rate of sexual abuse of minors in the mainstream community is about 25%. (of memory).”

    Frankly, I find both of the numbers high, especially the latter. Are you seriously claiming 25% of “mainstream community” (I assume by this you mean the whole general non-priest population?) are sexual abusers of minors? One-fourth of the population?

    Also not sure what “kenosis” – the self emptying of Jesus’s own will to become one with the will of the Father (a theologically difficult and much disputed concept that arises from a small phrase in Philippians) – has to do with excessive mercy for perpetrators (though I agree there was too much of the latter, and that it arises from theological errors of recent vintage).

  14. Carlos, agree, the same wicked Cabal of Destruction behind it all. The Church, and Christ, their ancient enemy.

  15. “Thank you, this type of defense God’s honor is always a plesure”

    Carlos God knows what’s true and what is not. He doesn’t need your help.
    Your church needs your help.

    Worshipping the Church, not God, is the cause of the Church’s fall
    It won’t change for the better unless the sycophants, who show off to each other, all puffed up, not to God, stand up and admit what the Church has actually become

    God knows everyone’s heart

  16. Ugh, I’ll try again. I’m still scratching my head over how they arrived at 200K-300K priest abuse victims since 1950.

    “…the Commission arrived at an estimate of the number of child victims to have suffered sexual assault at the hands of priests, deacons, monks or nuns to be 216 000 over the period from 1950 to 2020, based on the general population survey of 28 010 persons aged 18 and over and representative of the French population in accordance with the quota method. [p. 9]”

    What is this “quota method”? How did they find those surveyed? Were they hand-picked from some data-base, or chosen randomly out of the French phone book? Were those “28,010 persons” the ones who actually responded to the survey, or the number initially queried?

    Briggs notes in his addendum, after getting more info:
    “In the survey, 2,320 men and 118 women reported abuse from other than clergy…and 110 men and 8 women reported abuse from clergy.”

    Again, we must ask, how did they extrapolate that whopping number of 200K-300K priestly abuse cases, out of “110 men and 8 women” reporting priestly abuse in the anonymous survey?

    So these researchers, using “great rigor and thoroughness” (we’re told)….invented a whopping 200K…nah, let’s make it 300K…priestly abuse victims in France, over 70 years…. by extrapolating from the responses of 110 men and 8 women, out of 28,010 queried, via some mysterious “quota method”.

    Not only that, they arrive at the number of “2900-3200” priestly “aggressors”, by using their special formula, with the desired result already in mind: the persecution and destruction of the Catholic Church (and her faithful) in France, for various reasons.

    To those who’ve studied history, this all sounds eerily familiar; there is nothing original about leftists, French or otherwise, and killing Christians and destroying churches is always their first-line of distraction.

    Meanwhile, isn’t the Church herself trying to “normalize” the off-label use of human sewage tailpipes for sexual pleasure, even calling it a form of marital union…. and didn’t noisy left-tards demand that Boy Scouts of America start hiring openly homosexual scoutmasters, leading to thousands of abuse claims brought against the BSA?

    Crime needs motive, means, and opportunity. Family, teachers, and clergy, provide the means and opportunity for child abuse; pederasty (attraction to young teens), provides the powerful (and often socially acceptable) motive.
    Those furrowing their scholarly brows over sex abuse of children (only by priests, though), are, more often than not, the same ones who support open borders child sex trafficking, and the extraction of organs from live full-term babies (without pain-killer) for medical research.

    Given all that, their claims of concern for the welfare of children, are rendered even more suspect than this 2000+ page “study.”

  17. BREAKING NEWS!

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  18. Bunch o’ bloody eggheads.

    Left, right, left right, forward, back, that’s it, mates, feel the beat… dos y dos, spin your partner… ouch, watch her foot..

  19. Probably nobody can sing in tune, either.

    Have a go, hit it, guys— “AAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!”

    “Eyhnnnnnnghughhhhhzplkfugh!”

    Oh, brother…

  20. I think it most interesting that the “survey” began at about the time when Modernism (i.e. Naturalism disguised as “forward thinking”) was becoming a serious epidemic in academia, theologica, infecting seminaries and religious institutions. That was about the time that Bella Dodd claimed that she, as a member of the Communist International (USA), claimed that she had been directly instrumental in getting some 1100 men sympathetic to Naturalist (Communist) ideals into a “career” in Catholic clergy, no doubt promising that perverse sexual proclivities would be “overlooked” to “avoid scandal” where possible.

    Now, the doctrines of Modernism, Naturalism, are very consistent with the doctrines ‘Masonry, Talmudic Judaism, Communism and all that. It has been well defined that such doctrines are entirely antithetical/contradictory to the nature and purpose of Apostolic Christianity. In fact, popes Pius IX and X clearly clearly defined the fundamental antipathy between Modernism and Christianity; one can’t be both although there are plenty of examples of pretenders like the Iscariot.

    Even though Pope Pius V (I think) said that any clergy (or religious, presumably) convicted of “sins against nature” should be stripped of all ecclesiastical faculties and handed over to the secular authority “even if the likely penalty is death”.

    Since, back in the ’60’s when the Modernists started circulating a rumour that ‘Masonry (Modernism) was no longer antithetical to Christianity just how many of these perverts are ideologically ‘Masons pretending to be Catholic. Indeed, why not nominate the secret alliances of alleged paedophiles and pooftas? Might reflect badly on the “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” mob perhaps?

  21. @Dennis

    My recollection of the “mainstream” abuse was too high. ChildUSA quotes figures of 20% of girls and about 6% of boys are abused. That would feel “about right” to me. I work as a family physician in Australia and I can tell you that many “normal” women have stories of creepy uncles, teachers, etc. who have taken unwanted liberties with them.

    Also not sure what “kenosis” – the self emptying of Jesus’s own will to become one with the will of the Father (a theologically difficult and much disputed concept that arises from a small phrase in Philippians) – has to do with excessive mercy for perpetrators

    It IS a theologically difficult concept and therefore has been prone to misinterpretation which is precisely what has happened. The concept of Kenosis when applied to Christ is not problematic, the problem arises when kenosis becomes a generalised Christian attribute, something which all Christians should emulate. The Kenotic Christian is fully accepting of everything that is sent to him, he bears his Cross without complaint, he doesn’t assert himself, rather sacrificing himself for the victim. The innocently abused child is “like Christ” in this schema, bearing their burden to save the “perpetrator” who is the abuser. This type of logic opens the door to a “mercy” which spares the perpetrator and ignores the victims.

    What many people don’t realise is that the Church’s inability to tackle the problem of abuse stemmed a lot from modern theological approaches to the problem of crime and sin.

    Some of the guys upstairs are beginning to recognise the problem. The Church has recently updated some of its canon law but comments surrounding that change are really interesting.

    When reviewing the Code of Canon Law it was noticed:

    ““In many places, punishments were mentioned only as a possibility, and the whole text gave the impression that it was almost merciless to apply punishments,” he said.

    “In this regard, it must be remembered that the penal law was renewed at a time when the law in the Church, and especially the penal law, was fundamentally questioned. Today — also due to the examination of the abuse of minors — the atmosphere is different.””

    https://www.aciafrica.org/news/3585/pope-francis-unveils-sweeping-reform-of-catholic-churchs-penal-sanctions

    The sexual abuse crisis was a symptom of a far deeper rot.

  22. I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but the sexual misconduct insurance makes a much larger point: one insurance coverage statistic is worth a thousand anonymous surveys. As Thomas Sowell teaches us, when someone is telling us something, one should always first consider the price they will pay if they are wrong. If that price is little or nothing, then that’s what their advice is worth. (Applies to this comment, too.)

    Hagfish, I like your hat, you look right smart in it. But it doesn’t seem particularly functional – the narrow brim won’t help much in the rain or sun. Probably good for dancing, though.

  23. Carlos Julio Casanova Guerra,

    I’m sure you have heard of proportions. I’m also sure I’ve heard of misrepresentation. No one has been here claiming the numbers you say.

    The (extremely conservative) 0.86% figure is from the report via one of Briggs’s comments, the 0.0001% figure is, as I said, a rough ballpark as the actual figure depends on what particular vaccine reaction you’re looking at. I have indeed heard of misrepresentation – it’s what I’m complaining about. The major (in terms of numbers AND proportion) problem of child abuse by Priests is being minimized while the minor (in terms of numbers AND proportion) problem of vaccine reactions is being maximised.

    And, finally, you inuendo.about God is very infantile: it’s like “God created free men, free men are indication of a higher order of action than mere automata; but, since that implies men do bad stuff, God doesn’t exist/is bad/is…. , because He respects that order of things”: evidently, you’re just being absurd… Thank you, this type of defense God’s honor is always a plesure

    Free will is a red herring. Suffering is still suffering even if it is caused by something without free will, such as an earthquake. I didn’t argue that God doesn’t exist, I pointed out that *IF* he exists, then he doesn’t intervene to stop suffering. I can’t help but note that your God is a no-show – he doesn’t stop suffering, and he doesn’t defend himself either. It’s almost as if he doesn’t exist.

  24. Swordfish: Why should God prevent suffering? Humans flipped him off in the garden of Eden. They made their choice. And how do you know suffering is bad? Please explain because I have never heard a convincing argument that suffering is inherently bad.

  25. I have never heard a convincing argument that suffering is inherently bad
    Do self evident truths requires an argument or proof?
    I’m thinking you answered yourself in the garden remark.
    Have you, out of interest, recently converted toChristianity? It’s personal so don’t answer if you prefer.

    Suffering is necessary evil.
    BUT it is bad, are you redefining bad?

  26. Ho hum! The fishy, noisy, blowhard is still trying to convince us that God must be a nobody because He doesn’t do what Mr long pointy nose says He should.

    Reminds me of an old story: Bitter and twisted out-of-control ego says “If God exists He should strike me dead right now!” After a respectful pause a child says “Maybe God doesn’t take orders from the likes of you”.

  27. Sheri,

    Why should God prevent suffering? Humans flipped him off in the garden of Eden. They made their choice. And how do you know suffering is bad? Please explain because I have never heard a convincing argument that suffering is inherently bad.

    Apologies for this late reply. God should prevent suffering because he’s claimed to be good. Suffering is bad by definition, but if it isn’t bad, how is it a punishment for God to inflict suffering on us as a consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobeyal? Regarding “Humans flipped him off”, I have three thoughts:

    1. I didn’t flip him off. Saying that all humans are responsible for something done by individual humans (before they were even born?) is saying that we are responsible for the murders committed by Jack the Ripper.

    2. I’ve been flipped off. I’m sure you have. We didn’t respond by inflicting death and suffering on all of nature. How come we can respond in a way that’s 1,000X more mature than a supposedly perfect God?

    3. We know from genetics that Adam and Eve never existed. So that’s another issue.

  28. Oldavid,

    Ho hum! The fishy, noisy, blowhard is still trying to convince us that God must be a nobody because He doesn’t do what Mr long pointy nose says He should.

    Nope. I’m just pointing out that he’s inconsistent with his supposed qualities. You can’t get from: “Infinitely good” to “Kills children with cancer”.

    Reminds me of an old story: Bitter and twisted out-of-control ego says “If God exists He should strike me dead right now!” After a respectful pause a child says “Maybe God doesn’t take orders from the likes of you”.

    Cute. But the child in the story is as thick as two short planks. And how is this story any different from that of Doubting Thomas?

    (Also, what’s with all the pathetically childish insults based on my screenname? I know you’ve capable of being reasonable when talking to fellow Christians, why can’t you be reasonable when talking with me?)

  29. As I see it, Sheri’s described understanding of most Christians’ bible interpretation is the false (in my view) fundamentalist notion, held by a minority of Christians in fact but as Kieth Ward describes, they just make a very loud noise.
    it seems like political frustration that hooks onto the Christian terminology and notions of ‘entitled power’, in order to gain traction in society. None of that outpouring of outrage is particularly Christian. I will admit to finding it impressive in the past when people showed righteous anger. God, in reality isn’t anything like that. God is warmer and happier than people think.

    When people lack or lose faith in others, they often cling to politics and the law. The left wing of politics which is associated with atheism in the US; ‘assumes’ that written laws will solve everything. Yet the point of Paul’s teaching and Christianity is about the Spirit. We are ‘good’ because we love and have love because we feel love. (Paul never said that part)
    This paragraph still works without even a knowledge that God exists.

    He did say the part about the Written law kills, the Spirit gives life.
    That’s why most people know that doing harm to anyone let alone the most vulnerable is not good.
    We don’t need a written law or written official doctrine to remind us.
    Very often those in high positions of power in the church and in governments are in it for all the wrong reasons, nothing new there. They don’t know themselves enough to know they are not suited for the responsibility of power, let alone to represent or be In persona Christi. That’s to say the very least about them.

    As for who’s fault it all is? We believe that God gives freedom but of course freedom is the natural state of the universe as well.

    I understand your point that it must be God’s fault and take it as the logical conclusion for argument’s sake, not taking offence on God’s behalf. If he is indeed real. I

    If God is in some way outside of the system THAT we understand, we’re missing an enormous amount of information by that very definition.

    So just as there is immense evil there is immense goodness and beauty in the world.
    While this is consistent with a materialist view, it is also consistent with God being real.
    It is the fundamentalist view that is inconsistent and self contradictory, which is why it’s wrong, (aside from all the other reasons.)

    Yet, we’re (as Protestant and sensible catholic christians) supposed to allow the freedom of Spirit/conscience and thought, which God allows us all).
    Freedom for dissent is in the realm of the heavenly, not the unGodly as so many accusatory fundamentalist dogmatists will try to insist.

  30. On the matter of the title of this post:
    Michael 2 once made the point that newspapers which ask a questions as their headline usually don’t have the answer or proof to hand. They know better.

    so it’s a way of giving an “out” but without really stating a factually incorrect or unprovable statement.
    Which is to say nothing but look like it’s saying everything. Sewing seeds of doubt.

    It is procrastination. Given the calculations of the numbers in Ireland who were abused just in the laundries and children’s homes, for the size of Ireland’s population at the time; it’s totally in keeping with the same kind of ratio. The numbers sounded like an exaggeration. The French are good at exaggeration! As with covid though or annual death figure for large population, they look horrendous when you see them all together. However this problem in the church isn’t about perspective, it’s about the nature of the organisation which is there to protect and shepherd all in society including the most vulnerable.

    “If the number were HALF That Number Of Pervert Priests, for argument’s sake, would anybody think it time to start talking about the actual problem?”

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