2% of the Catholic Church clergy are paedophiles - Pope

That’s just not good news, but it’s good news that this guy seems to be, on the face of it at least, knocking down the house of smoke and mirrors they were all hiding in.

Hopefully this is all getting to someplace where they all get prosecuted, and it never happens again.

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Lets hope so.

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Apparently “clergy” equals deacons, priests, and bishops. According to Georgetown University, total priests (414,313) + permanent deacons (56,924) worldwide = 471,237. 2% = 9,425 pedophiles.

That’s probably just the minimum number, and it’s nearly the population of Mount Airy, NC (the “real” Mayberry).


Holy Cow. Frightening number, resident under the cloaks of a deceiving global institution.

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Depressingly, it’s probably 2% of everyone, so you most likely know several…

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There are several reasons to believe that the clergy has a higher percentage of pedophiles than the general public. Even without looking into the stats, it’s not hard to see why the nature of the job might attract more people who don’t fit the heteronormative mold.

If you’re an observant Catholic male who is sexually attracted to adult women, you’re more likely to choose a life where you can act on those urges with the full support of your church and community.

On the other hand if you realize that your sexual urges are something you’ll never be able to act on openly under any circumstances, the idea of a career which officially bans all forms of sex isn’t going to seem like such a bad option.

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That is also a good point; my previous statement was pure conjecture, but given the number of people I know in all walks of life who were victims of abuse, not necessarily from powerful institutions, I wouldn’t be surprised…

In the interview, Pope Francis was quoted as saying that the 2% estimate came from advisers. It would represent around 8,000 priests out of a global number of about 414,000.
The Vatican now says that the pope must have been misquoted

The number of priests is a very much more exact figure than the number of pedophiles. You can’t claim 9425 pedophiles. You might be able to claim 8,000, give or take a thousand or so. Significant figures, and all that.

Then there’s also the question of whether you’re estimating the total number of pedophiles versus the number who have acted on their pedophilia.

Let’s not forget that rape is a crime of power, not sex. Forcing children (and other parishioners) to engage in sex acts is exactly the sort of behavior you’d expect from those who are drawn to a career in which they will have absolute power and control over large groups of people.

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you wish

What? As Dawkins puts it, religion is intellectual slavery.

The continued presence of non atheists in this world, even after hearing the Gospel of Dawkins continually baffles me. Have they not heard the news? Awake!

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Not everyone agrees with Dawkins, though, not even all atheists.

While power and control are a portion of pedophilia, the actors aren’t the same as “anger, power, or sadistic” rapists who attack adults. Pedophiles have a different psychology behind their activities. Most come from a place of isolation and an inability to communicate emotionally with adults, and many pedophiles were themselves abused as children. Don’t worry, I’m not in any way saying that their actions are acceptable, it’s just important to note that rape comes in many forms.

Priests may be able to give sound relationship advice to others, but because of their life choices may never experience the same roles themselves, and that puts them into a very submissive position with other adults should they ever seek adult relationships. This plus their public vow of celibacy may help to explain why there are so many pedophiles among them.

Here’s a really good discussion on the subject of pedophelia.

also from the article.

While the incidence of paedophilia as a psychiatric disorder in the general population is not accurately known, some estimates have put it at less than five percent.

Certainly, “about two percent” is a subset of “less than five percent”.

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Here’s an earlier article from 2011, that provides a estimated range for both in and out of the Catholic Church. I always find it interesting to see how estimates vary by source and date when solid information is hard to come by.

The study concluded that the rates of alleged abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States ranged from 3% to 6% of priests.

Meanwhile . . .

The prevalence of pedophilia in the general population is not known but according to some studies it is estimated to be between 3% and 9%.

Here’s another good psych article on the disorder.


Priests have access to and multiple layers of control over a great many individuals. Even if abused, the god-fearing parents will ensure they continue to be in contact with the priest - in fact, it’s not hard to see that your kid being made a special steward of some goblet or something is a ‘promotion’ for the family in the community and therefore enhances the importances of that relationship.

I wouldn’t be surprised to know that there were parents who deny their children’s’ stories, either wilfully or unconsciously.

I was once invited by a nice postman to attend a meeting in a secluded spot where I’d get some sweeties. I wanted the candy, but wasn’t silly enough to go alone. I was young enough (about 7) to formulate an argument as to why my friends should also get treats. Thankfully, he wasn’t there, and the astonished fellow I approached to enquire as to the whereabouts of my treats made no bones about informing us of our ill-advised course of action, and he made very, very sure to get every detail he could about the odd fellow who extended the invitation.

So in terms of paedophilia as a condition rather than as a label on a set of actions, I’d agree the prevalence is much, much higher.

As a parent, I see the care I and others take with who my kids can be trusted with, which is a further indicator of suspected high prevalence - it can actually be extremely hard to definitively say whether one custodian or another is not a danger to the kids’ wellbeing. You just cannot take chances with this one.

Which is all really upsetting, but perhaps that’s just reality biting.


I don’t agree with Dawkins (agnostic here), but he’s dead right about dogma being intellectual slavery.


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