Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Catholic Obsession with Sexuality!

In calling church leaders "arrogant", Catholic Theologian Daniel Maguire informed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that they are overly fixated on contraception, abortion and same sex marriage and neglecting justice issues including poverty, racism and environmental degradation.

Maguire, a graduate of Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome who teaches religious ethics at Marquette University, a Jesuit school has been challenging the church's views on sexuality for years.

Last year he distributed pamphlets to all U.S. bishops titled, "The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion" and "A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage."

The response from the bishops' doctrine committee was that Maguire gave his views wide distribution "as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church." The prelates publicly denounced his arguments.

Meanwhile the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, established by the same US Conference of Catholic Bishops published the following statistics on abuse by catholic clergy.

US clerics accused of abuse from 1950-2002: 4,392.
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

Known cost to dioceses and religious orders: $572,507,094 (does not include the $85 million Boston settlement and other expenses after research was concluded).

These figures are widely suspected to be grossly underestimated. For example, the late Fr. Tom Economus, former President of the Linkup, a national survivors' advocacy group, said back in the mid-90s that he knew of "1,400 insurance claims on the books and that the Church has paid out over $1 billion in liability with an estimated $500 million pending."

He also said that over 800 priests had been removed from ministry and that there might be as many as 5,000 with allegations against them.

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