As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 9


The Extent of the Christian Clergy’s Sexual Perversion and Betrayal of Trust - Statistics and News Items

Statistics by, ‘The National Review Board for the Protection of Children’ Commissioned under pressure by advocacy groups and media, by the ‘US Conference of Catholic Bishops’

Figures are widely suspected to be grossly underestimated. According to ‘Linkup’ (the survivor’s advocacy group) in the mid-90’s there are 1,400 known insurance claims and the Church has paid out over $1 billion in liability with an estimated $500 million pending. US clerics accused of abuse from 1950-2002: 4,392 (About 4%) Individuals making accusations: 10,667. Victims' ages: 5.8% under 7; 16% ages 8-10; 50.9% ages 11-14; 27.3% ages 15-17. Victims' gender: 81% male, 19% female Four in 10 US Catholic nuns report having experienced sexual abuse ranging from rape to exploitation to harassment. A rate equivalent to that reported by American women in general. NCR, 1/15/99 See The Nuns' Stories for details

The Wisconsin Psychological Association's survey found offenders distributed among the following professions: Psychiatrists 34%, Psychologists 19%, Social Workers 13%, Clergy 11%, Physicians 6%, Marriage Counselors 4%, and Others 14%. The Center for Domestic Violence found that 12.6% of clergy committed adultery with church members. 47% of clergy women were harassed by clergy colleagues

The Presbyterian Church stated that 10-23% of clergy have ‘inappropriate sexual behavior or contact’ with clergy and employees. The United Methodist research (1990) showed 38.6% of Ministers had sexual contact with church members and that 77% of church workers experienced some type of sexual harassment. The United Church of Christ found that 48% of the women in the work place have been sexually harassed by male clergy. The Southern Baptists claim 14.1% of their clergy have sexually abused members.

United States of America: 1998, the Roman Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas, pays more than $30m to 12 former altar boys molested by a priest. Church authorities allegedly ignored warnings and covered up Father Rudolph Kos's activities. He is serving a life sentence for more than 1,300 attacks carried out between 1981 and 1992. BBC

Los Angeles: More than 100 people in the nation's largest Catholic diocese have complained to authorities in recent months of sexual abuse by priests, authorities said Thursday.... (AP, June 21, 2002)

Investigators found video tapes in the possession of a North Carolina pastor (54-year-old minister, Leon Harris of the Rose Hill Free Will Baptist Church), who videotaped 8 females (4 under the age of 10) by hidden cameras installed in a church bathroom. [Associated Press/July 29, 2005]

‘The Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland announced Friday that 117 priests were accused of sexually abusing children in his diocese over the last 53 years. Bishop Gregory reported that more than 700 priests had been removed from ministry (in the US) since 2002— about twice the number known previously. [Andrew Walsh - Religion in the News - July 6, 2004]

Mario ‘Tony’ Leyva, 55, a Virginia preacher, spent 11 years in prison for running a child prostitution ring. In 1988, he admitted to sodomy with as many as 100 boys, and pleaded guilty to charges that he used his traveling ministry to recruit youths and transport them across state lines as part of a prostitution ring. (Washington Post 24/11/02)

A suit has been filed by nine people who said they were abused by more than a dozen nuns at a ‘Sisters of Charity of Nazareth’ Catholic school for the deaf. This charity operates in United States, India, Belize, Nepal and Botswana. Jeff Anderson, a attorney who represented more than 1,000 people over 22 years in cases involving priests said he has only handled about a half-dozen involving nuns. He believes many nuns who abused minors were exploited by male clergy themselves. [AP 11/8/04]

South America: At the southernmost end of the Americas, on the remote Chilean archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, a community is racked by allegations that a Catholic priest sexually abused children. [Globe, 4/8/2002]

United Kingdom: One of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church in England and Wales (Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor) allowed a known pedophile to continue working as a priest, despite warnings he would re-offend. [BBC]
Father Adrian McLeish, of Durham, was jailed for six years abusing four boys and boasted about it on the internet. Police had seized the UK's biggest collection of child pornography from his home. [BBC]

A total of 148 complaints were received by the 22 Roman Catholic dioceses in England and Wales last year – 132 related to sexual abuse and 16 to physical abuse… Between 1995 and 1999, 21 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offences against children. [The Scotsman 27/10/03]

Canada: The "Christian Brothers" who run many charities world-wide, have also been implicated in a sex scandals in Canada, where 300 former pupils at 'Mount Cashel orphanage', Newfoundland, have alleged abuse. BBC

Native Indians in Canada have filed 2,500 compensation claims over physical and sexual abuse at boarding schools run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and the order filed for bankruptcy protection last week. [AP 19 Apr 2002]

Vatican: National Catholic Reporter quoting internal Vatican reports about sexual abuse of nuns and other women by priests and bishops reports that some priests and missionaries forced nuns to have sex with them and, in several instances, committed rape and obliged the victims to have abortions. [Los Angeles Times 23/11/01]

A trusted ally of Pope John Paul II sexually abusing boys a half-century ago at an elite seminary for the Catholic Church. The victims say the Vatican knew of the allegations against Father Marcial Maciel and chose not to pursue them...Maciel is the founder of the ‘Legion of Christ’ which operates in 20 countries. ‘The Legion of Christ’ recruits boys as young as 10 years old to leave their families and follow a rigorous course of study to become priests. [ABC News 26/4/02]

Ireland: Catholic priest, Brendan Smyth (1927–1997) used his position to obtain access to his children and is one of the most egregious examples of child molestation in the Catholic priesthood, Smyth systematically raped hundreds of children in parishes in Belfast, Dublin and the United States. The church was aware of Smyth's crimes as early as the late 1940s, but did not report him to the authorities – instead moved from parish to parish and did not inform the diocesan bishop in Ireland or the U.S. that Smyth had a history of sexual abuse and should be kept away from children. His arrest led to the collapse of an Fianna Fáil/Labour coalition government in 1994 An estimated 3,000 victims at church-run schools and orphanages will share up to $500 million under a January deal, with the church on condition they drop other claims against the church or government. [AP 19/4/02]

Australia: During the past nine years at least 50 priests and brothers have been sentenced for sexual offenses. One of the worst involved sex rings at four Christian Brothers orphanages. [AP 19 Apr 2002]

Hong Kong: 42-year-old Catholic priest arrested for assaulting a 15-year-old boy more than a decade ago [Inside China 5/5/02]

The Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong confirmed that 3 priests have been accused of sexually abusing children over the last three decades. [BBC – 2/5/02]

Austria: A huge pornography scandal hit the Catholic church in Austria after the discovery of 40,000 photos and a number of films at a priests' seminary at St Poelten west of Vienna. This included child pornography… The report said that some of the seminary leaders had joined in "sex games" and allowed themselves to be photographed. Profil (a magazine) quoted allegations of drunken orgies in the seminar building… [News24 11/7/2004]

France: Court gives 3 month suspended sentence to Bishop Pierre Pican for covering up for a pedophile priest. The secretary general of the bishops' conference says nearly 30 priests have been convicted of molestation over the past decade. [AP 19 Apr 2002]

Kenya: Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci, the Vatican representative to Kenya, said he knows of three or four abuse cases the past six years in east Africa. [AP 19 Apr 2002]

Uganda: The Rev. Livingstone Kanyike, chaplain of Uganda's Makerere University said priestly misconduct in Africa "has more to do with women than boys.'' [AP 19 Apr 2002]

Poland: An archbishop who once served on the pope's personal staff resigned after being accused of using an underground tunnel to make sexually harassing late-night visits to local seminarians. [Globe, 4/8/2002]

Germany: This week, the pope accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach of Mainz, Germany, who was accused of sexually abusing and injuring a woman during an exorcism. [AP 19 Apr 2002]

Bangladesh: The priest, the Rev. William Christiansen, 61, of Bangladesh, is being sued in St. Louis Circuit Court for sexually abusing a Chaminade College student in 1975. "We worry about the safety of children in Third World countries where priests are more revered and trusted than here," said David Clohessy, of St. Louis, the director of the ‘Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests’… Christiansen has worked in urban development in Bangladesh since 1986. Before that, he spent eight years in India. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch 24/9/03]

India: A missionary school Manager, Father Melwin De Silva, was arrested last night for indulging in ‘unnatural sex” with hostel inmates … at a missionary school at Bhavanikhera village, Rajasthan … Police said Father Melwin, the hostel warden, was forcing 5 boys into having ‘unnatural sex” with him for the past two years. The parents of the victims, along with the villagers surrounded the school and demanded that the priest be handed over to them. Sensing trouble, the school staff locked up the priest in a toilet. Another missionary, Jose Mathais of Ajmer, who reached the spot, had to face the wrath of the agitated mob and was forced to do sit-ups before the villagers. [UNI - Tribune, Chandigadh 10/9/02]

Africa: The ‘National Catholic Reporter’ reported that the Vatican had known for seven years that priests were committing adultery with nuns, and in some cases raping them - apparently in part because in Africa many people have AIDS, the nuns were viewed as safe sexual partners. In a handful of cases, nuns became pregnant and were encouraged by priests to have abortions. [Boston Globe 4/8/02]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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