Saturday, October 5, 2013

Abuse Scandal(s)

Consider the following items in light of the scrutiny the Church has received over the last decade or so.

First, this story from Michigan, where a 38-year old teacher was found to have been molesting a 14-year old boy. There isn't any doubt that the acts occurred. The teacher has admitted to it. That didn't stop said teacher's colleagues from sending letters to the judge in the case asking him to give the ephebophile here a break. He just "made a mistake," and this was an "isolated incident."

Can you imagine the pandemonium that would have been unleashed if a parish had done this for a priest under the same circumstances? We'd still be hearing about it from Nancy Grace, 20/20, Primetime Live, and whatever other show wanted to pile on. Having worked with literally dozens of school systems in my younger days, I can tell you this. Some day, the abuse of kids by school employees will get a hard look from some party in the media. What they will find will make the Church's problems look like Pollyanna's picnic.

On a separate note, there are these recent comments from Boz Tchividjian, Billy Graham's grandson:

While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think we are worse,” he said at the Religion Newswriters Association conference, saying too many evangelicals had “sacrificed the souls” of young victims.

“Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” said Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations.

Earlier this summer, GRACE spearheaded an online petition decrying the “silence” and “inattention” of evangelical leaders to sexual abuse in their churches.

Mission agencies, “where abuse is most prevalent,” often don’t report abuse because they fear being barred from working in foreign countries, he said. Abusers will get sent home and might join another agency. Of known data from abuse cases, 25 percent are repeat cases, he said.

Are you seeing/hearing any kind of outcry or calls for further action on this issue, though? I'm guessing not. The target just isn't tempting enough.

Just something to think about when you wonder if reporting on the Church is fair and balanced.

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