Of those surveyed:
• More than 3% of women who had attended a congregation in the past month reported that they had been the object of clergy sexual misconduct (CSM) at some time in their adult lives;
• 92% of these sexual advances had been made in secret, not in open dating relationships; and
• 67% of the offenders were married to someone else at the time of the advance.
• In the average American congregation of 400 persons, with women representing, on average, 60% of the congregation, there are, on average of 7 women who have experienced clergy sexual misconduct.
• Of the entire sample, 8% report having known about CSM occurring in a congregation they have attended. Therefore, in the average American congregation of 400 congregants, there are, on average, 32 persons who have experienced CSM in their community of faith.
--From the Baylor University study on sexual exploitation and abuse by clergy
The recent events in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania with Bishop Bennison's knowledge of abuse perpetrated by his brother, have brought up something that doesn't seem to be, in my mind, told enough. It is illustrated in the facts from the Baylor University survey above.
Eight percent of people in a given congregation have KNOWN that clergy sexual abuse was going on in their parish.
Eight percent. Yes, it's a minority, but it is a noticeable one.
Unfortunately, more often than not, they know and don't talk.
The magnitude of this has just hit home recently for me.
I have been visiting at length with a friend of mine who, I believe, has been sexually exploited by a clergy member in the Episcopal Church in another diocese. What has been rather dismaying to her has been as she has been putting out "feelers" to figure out how to most appropriately discuss and deal with this, it has become apparent in the inquiries that people "guessed who it was"--which means they KNEW this person was walking a little on the shady side.
It's the church's version of "Don't ask, don't tell."
Read the rest here:
Kirkepiscatoid: "Oh, you wanted me to GUARD the sheep?"