To Edmund Burke it was clear that the anti clerical campaign of 1790 was "only to be temporary and preparatory to the utter abolition.... of the Christian religion," by " bringing its ministers into universal contempt." One hopes Americans will have the good sense to change course long before we reach that point.
The brutal reality is that there are an estimated 39 million victims of childhood sexual abuse in the United States today. Of these, between 40 and 60 percent were abused by a family member (for the most part uncles, cousins, stepfathers and live-in boyfriends). Carol Shakeshaft and Audrey Cohan have produced a study showing that 5 percent were molested by school teachers, while the New York Times published a survey showing that fewer than 2% of the offenders were Catholic priests. But to read the papers, it would seem that Catholic clergy hold a monopoly in child molestation.