Over the weekend, there was a serious incident at a Roman Catholic church in the Las Vegas area.
The circumstances - as revealed publicly - suggest Father George Chaanine - the parish priest and administrator - was involved in a violent struggle with a female employee of the parish. She fled the church showing wounds about her head. Someone notified the police - who responded quickly and who had the victim transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
A small "media circus" developed. Somebody apparently told police the priest had a gun; and for a while, the police engaged in what the media described as a "tense standoff"-which ended anti-climatically when it was discovered the suspect wasn't even there: having apparently driven away long before police arrived.
The media next began reporting the victim had been sexually assaulted - which she had not - although she had been beaten with a blunt instrument - recovered by investigating officers in the church rectory.
The story at this point in time is that Fr. Chaanine is being sought in connection with attempted murder, and attempted "kidnapping for sexual purposes". The Church has suspended him, pending further investigation - which seems a reasonable step.
The "fugitive priest", as some of the media are calling him , may be lying in a shallow grave, for all the police or the media know ; ie: he may have been a victim rather than a perpetrator - although I'm strongly inclined to doubt it.
Here's what one of the " Tolerant People " had to say about this case (I've summarized) : "The Catholic Church claims yet another victim ! Because of sexual repression, this felon beat and raped a hapless parishioner, then fled with the assistance and connivance of church higher-ups."
I interjected mildly it seemed strange that "TP" was so eager to rush to judgment before even a small percentage of the facts were in. ( TP is one of those who believes Enemy Combatants encountered overseas should be read their "rights" and -presumably - be given Appearance tickets...no matter how hard they are trying to kill you.)
TP then went off like a hand grenade : Wasn't I aware that the percentage of priests who are pedophiles was 4 times greater than that found in the general population ? 4 % as compared to 1 % !(I didn't bother asking-at this juncture- what in hell pedophilia had to do with an attack on an adult woman - something you probably would have wondered as well. )
Gee, I answered. Can you cite some authority on this ?
"Thought you'd never ask !", he enthused , supplying me with links to a 2002 John Jay study covering a 52 year period .
OOPS ! The study, which was rather meticulously done, showed that over a 52 year period, 95 to 96 % of all US priests/other clergy had performed their duties in an honorable and chaste manner.
It also showed actual incidences of true pedophilia - while devastatingly regrettable- were extremely rare among these clergy: perhaps 2/10ths of 1 % - as opposed to the 1% TP claimed applied to the general population - and the 5 % some media figures claimed was attributable to Public School teachers (!)
Most of the sex offenses committed against minors involved - not pedophilia , but hebephilia : a distinctly homosexual family of offenses, committed against pre-pubescent males. Those priests committing these offenses were found - by and large - to be active homosexuals - a conclusion that enrages the "Tolerant People" almost beyond endurance - because it suggests homosexuality and the priesthood can be a very risky combination.
When I began feeding back the results of the links TP had suggested ( I like that TP abbreviation. It sorta reminds me of something on the shopping list !) TP insisted the study he had fed me was "flawed".
Ho....kay , TP: The truth was you were trying to smear a whole church (which I happen to know you hate) by dragging up the unrelated issue of sex offenses against minors. I don't happen to be a Roman Catholic but many are-whether you approve or not-and your tactics told anyone with half a brain much more about you than they ever wanted to know.
Fortunately for you, the Site Moderator pulled the whole thread, TP , but there will be other days !