Thinking Out Loud

September 13, 2010

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: More Widespread

A CNN story on the weekend documents the situation in Belguim, revealing a situation worse than might be imagined with this paragraph:

“We can say that not a single congregation escaped sexual abuse of minors by one or more of its members,” said the Commission on Church-Related Sexual Abuse Complaints, which was led by Dr. Peter Ariaenssens, who is both a church investigator and psychiatrist.

You can continue reading that story here.

We should never assume that such abuse is limited to the Roman Catholic denomination however.    Stories of abuse are bound to surface in any situation where an adult has power over a younger, more naive, more innocent person.

There is perhaps someone reading this who also been the victim of sexual abuse and you’re not Catholic.

What is even worse is when you don’t truly understand that you’ve been abused; you don’t do the math or check the scorecard and realize that the situation amounted to an abuse of the perceived authority that someone had in your life.

That’s the premise of Anne Jackson’s book Permission to Speak Freely (Thomas Nelson, paperback $16.99).   Anne’s experience growing up in a church wasn’t a happy one and in this book and her previous title with Zondervan, Mad Church Disease, she is documenting two very different aspects of her childhood and early twenties.

I haven’t read enough of Permission to write a full review, but knowing Anne, I want to give it my full endorsement.    You can also read seven sample articles from the book through a series of links on seven different blogs, starting with a chapter at Donald Miller.  (You’ll be directed at the end of each where to go next.)

Today’s question is:  Do you think the Catholic church gets too much of the publicity on this subject; in other words, do you think the story is the same in Orthodox, Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Reformed or Pentecostal/Charismatic churches?

Create a free website or blog at