An Unreasonable Percentage

The Irish Times – Letters

Madam, – Congratulations. At last you have published a letter (Fr Christopher Fox, April 24th) which refers to the fact that 3 per cent of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by clergy with the balance 97 per cent done by the rest of society. Perhaps we may now look forward to your treating this disdainful and abominable crime in a more objective and comprehensive manner. – Yours, etc,

JOHN ARRIGAN,

Newpark,

Portlaoise, Co Laois.

But this means that a priest, whose number makes up about 0.1% of the population, is, by my rough calculations, 28 times more likely to perpetrate child abuse than the remaining 99.9% of the population.

Of course there are ‘good’ (I am setting the bar for ‘good’ very low here by defining it as ‘non-abusing’) priests who do not deserve to be lumped in with the criminals who made up their number, but if I were one, I wouldn’t be citing figures such as these as potential evidence of my trustworthiness.

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2 Responses to “An Unreasonable Percentage”


  1. 1 Philip May 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    “the balance 97 per cent done by the rest of society”

    What – all the rest of society? I’ve been missing out.

    Good use of the word “disdainful” there, as well. Buggering children is all very well, but the sin of PRIDE is an abomination.

  2. 2 Hugh Green May 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I had missed the ‘disdainful’ detail. Or, if only those priests had shown a bit more respect to those children when they were abusing them.


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