Categories: Articles

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

This post was published on May 30, 2016 9:25 am

Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

Recent Posts

Someone said God created evil, how do i respond to them?

Someone said God created evil, how do i respond to them?

Question: My friends keep telling me that since God created everything, it means he also created evil. How do i…

3 weeks ago

Will a child that commits suicide go to heaven?

Question: Will a child that commits suicide go to heaven? Answer: Catechism of the Catholic Church: 2282 …Grave psychological disturbances,…

2 months ago

Is It a Sin to Waste Food?

Question: Is it a sin to waste food? Answer: Yes, it is wrong to waste food. Even non-Christians believe this…

2 months ago

When is drinking alcohol mortally sinful?

Question: When is drinking alcohol a mortal sin? Answer: Over drinking to the point that the drinker loses the use…

2 months ago

Is it sinful to be a surrogate mother?

Question: Does the Catholic Church consider it sinful to be a surrogate mother? Answer: The pain associated with sterility or…

2 months ago

Is It OK to Take Pictures at Mass?

Question: Is it okay to have photographers and videographers at Mass? Answer: Any form of distraction at mass should be…

2 months ago