“Only 4%”

I’m sure you’re already well aware of the fun and games currently being played out by the Vatican over the fact that a large number of children were abused by the very people entrusted with their care.  I’m sure you’re already equally aware that when the abuse of these kids was discovered by the Catholic authorities they bought their concerns to the police, as they are a moral and upright organsiation covered the whole fucking thing up and let their peadophile priests continue to work with and abuse young children.

If you’re a moral person, you might be a little bit indignant about the whole affair.  You may even be horrified.  You might be tempted to look at the Catholic Church, and it’s position and influence in so many countries in the world and think, “WTF?”.  Well, you’re wrong.

I know you’re wrong, because the official Vatican newspaper has corrected this misguided opinion stating:

For the love of truth, the number of incidents involving clergy is very small.”

See?  See how wrong you were to be even slightly perturbed?  If not, I direct you to the Guardian, where we are politely told that

The Catholic figures show that between about 4% of priests and deacons serving in the US between 1950 and 2002 had been accused of sexual abuse of someone under 18. In this country, the figure was a 10th of that: 0.4% But whereas the victims in the general population are overwhelmingly female, the pattern among American Catholic priests was quite different. Four out of five of their victims were male. Most were adolescents: two out of five were 14 or over; 15% were under 10.

So that’s clearly alright then. Only 4% of US priests and deacons were assaulting and raping children in their care.  Only 1 in 20-ish priests and deacons  in the US wilfully abused their position of trust. It is, of course, taken on trust that these figures from the Catholic church are accurate – it would take a particularly cynical approach to the Catholic church to assume that an international organisation that has persistently lied and obstructed might massage the figures a little.

But hang on. When it come to religion I am cynical. Let’s do some back-of-a-fag-packet calculations. According to the Catholic News Agency there are just over 400,000 priests in the world.  Let’s crunch some basic numbers.  I can’t get a reliable indication of how many priests there are in the US vs. in the UK, but let’s crunch some random numbers.

Let’s take the lowest figure – 0.4% – as the number of priests who have abused children in their care worldwide.  The maths is simple: that’s 1,600 children, as an absolute minimum, who have been abused by the Catholic church, and whose abuse was known about and was covered up by the Catholic church.  That’s the absolute minimum.

At 4% that number becomes 16,000 as an absolute minimum.

We know from the various investigations that have happened, however, that these priests didn’t just abuse one child.  They frequently sexually assaulted many more thanks to the Catholic church attempting to defend its reputation by moving these people around where they were free to assault again, and frequently again and again.

This is an organisation whose head wants to come to Britain to give ‘moral guidance‘. Presumably this “moral guidance” will be, “It’s not so bad. We’re not all rapists. We just don’t want our rapists to be prosecuted. That would be bad for our image.”

That, you see, is religious morality.


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