Rob Super, right, holds a sign as people gather outside the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn., in August to demand action from the Catholic Church and show solidarity for victims of abuse.
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I am responding to Diane Hamilton’s letter suggesting the answer to the problem of priest pedophilia in the Catholic church is to castrate all Catholic priests upon ordination. The logic is the same as keeping all the grade school children in for recess if a few children misbehave.
Philip Jenkins a professor of history at both Baylor and Penn State Universities who left the Catholic Church, has written a book entitled Pedophiles and Priests, Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University Press, 1996).
In it he found .2 to 1.7 percent of Catholic clergy have been guilty of pedophilia while 10 percent of protestant ministers have been found guilty of sexual misconduct with a 2 percent to 3 percent pedophilia rate.
Somehow the media has focused on the Catholic Church’s problem with pedophilia while neglecting the same issue in Protestant Churches. Jenkins theorizes the emphasis on Catholic pedophilia is a gateway to criticize celibacy.
However, the married Protestant ministers exhibit a higher rate of pedophilia than the celibate Catholic clergy. It seems that Protestant pastor pedophilia does not fit within the “social constructionists” as Mr. Jenkins calls the media .
Pedophilia is a terrible sin and I am not trying to mitigate or diminish the problem, but on the contrary, I am calling attention to the fact that the problem does not exist solely in the Catholic church, but is more pervasive across other denominations than we are have been led to believe by the media .
Should society place credence in, and implement Diane’s suggestion for castration as the solution to pedophilia, the calling to be a pastor, priest, and I assume rabbi would go largely unanswered.
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