Follow usTwitterFacebook


18 Oct 2014 Articles Comments (31)

Proof that Peter was the first Pope of the Church

"You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18) is probably the most disputed metaphor…

Read more

14 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

3 men get 80 lashes in Iran for taking Holy Communion. Read why.

A Muslim woman was pronounced dead in Moscow, Russia. Her body was sent to a coroner's office where it was stripped and stored in a cooler. According to Assi…

Read more

14 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Francis to Congolese bishops: Contribute, but don't replace politicians

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2014 / 06:41 am .- In his ad limina address to the bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pope Francis assured them of the neces…

Read more

08 Nov 2016 News No comments

ISIS calls for 'slaughter' as voters cast ballots on election day

ISIS has released new threats and plans to attack voters as they cast their ballots this Tuesday. According to the Mirror, ISIS has called its followers to r…

Read more

24 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Which should be my priority: morality or family harmony?

Full Question My siblings and I were raised in a good Catholic home but now, as adults, we no longer all share the same moral code—some follow authentic Cathol…

Read more

18 Sep 2014 USA No comments

Catholic women's conference refreshes moms, forges friendships

Austin, Texas, Sep 18, 2014 / 04:22 am .- A pair of Catholic authors has found a new way to give mothers some time off while helping break the social isolation …

Read more

28 Jan 2016 Europe News No comments

Catholic Robert Flello MP appeals to Parliament to legally recognise Christian Genocide in the Middle East

A Catholic MP, Robert Charles Flello has put forward a Commons motion designed to appeal to the Parliament to push the UN to obtain an agreement that the word ‘…

Read more

13 Jun 2015 Articles Resources Comments (2)

Can drinking too much water be harmful to your health?

The advice "drink lots and lots of water" is one of the world's longest-standing cliches, that no one would ever consider it to be dangerous or deadly. Is th…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

How much Confidence do you have in ‘child-protection programs’

In the last 12-month period for which full statistics are available, the US bishops spent a bit more than $49 million on child-protection programs.

That’s a whole lot of money. Imagine how many parishes and parochial schools you could re-open, how many teachers and nurses and catechists you could pay, how many poor families you could help, with $49 million.

Sure, it’s better to spend $49 million avoiding sexual abuse rather than $3 billion settling lawsuits brought by abuse victims. But is that the relevant comparison? Is there any persuasive evidence that the “child-protection programs” have actually protected children from abuse?

Yes, I know; the number of sex-abuse complaints has been dropping at the same time that the “child-protection” budget has been soaring. If you tend to slip into the post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacy, that correlation might be good enough for you. It shouldn’t be. There are many other good reasons for that decline in complaints. The cases registered in the past decade represented a backlog of complaints that had built up for several decades. Most of the people who had complaints have now registered them. And certainly people are much more aware of the options available to sex-abuse victims and the urgency of curbing predatory behavior. But is that awareness the result of the child-protection programs, or is it more directly attributable to years of intense media coverage?

If the child-protection programs functioned like a shield, making young people invulnerable to abuse, they would be worth the cost. But they don’t. The $49 million price tag reflects the cost of training materials (of questionable value, but that’s another story) for students and parish volunteers, and the bureaucratic rigmarole involved in doing background checks on everyone from the CCD teacher to the janitor to the soprano in the church choir.

Now that you know $49 million is being spent in a year—and that cost is rising—do you feel confident that the children are safer? Suppose all the child-protection programs were phased out, but you had 100% confidence that your pastors would do the right thing: would you feel less confident, or more?

By Phil Lawler


1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Wow. Sounds like someone wants to open the doors back up to sexual abuse. The RCC is always talking about repentance, but then dioceses’ hid their assets to protect them from those they victimized. This guy is whining about spending $49 million, but the best thing he can say for it is that it may save billion$ in lawsuits. He’s annoyed by the “the bureaucratic rigmarole involved in doing background checks on everyone from the CCD teacher to the janitor to the soprano in the church choir.” What about a word for those who were abused by the church? The author does not seem to harbor much concern for them or any future kids who might be abused. He’s more worried about the thing that is most important to any religion: MONEY.
    He ends by saying, “Suppose all the child-protection programs were phased out, but you had 100% confidence that your pastors would do the right thing: would you feel less confident, or more?” This is not logical, and one statement does not follow the other. You would be out of your mind to have 100% confidence that your pastors would do the right thing. Week in and week out, in the Catholic Church and other denominations, there is someone always being hauled in for violating children in one way or the other. You can NOT trust your pastors and you’d be an irresponsible parent to leave your kid in the company of clergy unless there were sufficient safeguards in place. With regard to the RCC, these are disordered, celibate virgins dressed in robes – they are not normal people. As a parent you must exercise caution with all clergy, but particularly those that are from denominations like the Catholics or Jehovah Witnesses that have a manic obsession over what we do with our clothes off.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories