Looking At the Numbers: Clergy Sexual Misconduct

(Okay, third times the charm, I hope.  Thanks to Chrys for helping me clean this up.  I really don’t like writing about abuse but…)

A recent issue of the National Catholic Register has an interesting, if sobering, article on the instances of sexual abuse of children (Revealing Statistics:Sexual Abuse of Children Runs Spectrum of Society) in the Catholic Church. What’s most interesting to me about the article is the statistical fact that Catholic priests do not sexually abuse children at a rate higher than the general US male population.

It is important to note that looking at a problem like this on a social level is not meant to excuse, minimize or justify such behavior in any way.  Likewise, statistical analysis should not blind us to the much greater moral and spiritual consequences of a priest abusing his office for his own gratification.  Indeed, Christ speaks most forcefully against any such abuse (Matthew 18:6).

Rather, statistical evidence may be of particular service because it can help us understand the social context of clergy sexual misconduct in order to be able to more effectively address it.  We can also look to studies in suitable institutions to begin to identify precipitating factors in abuse.  For example, if celibate clergy offended at the same or lower rates than married school teachers, we may reasonably rule out celibacy or seminary formation as potentially causal factors in the sexual abuse of children.

I must add, however, that while the data may suggest that there were not causes of the problem, it is also clear that these seminaries were not providing the formation needed to be an effective antidote to a culture that glorifies the passions in general and sexual immorality in particular, and turned a blind eye toward the devastation wrought by any form of abuse.  It is this last concern – the vital need to provide sound formation – that is especially critical to the current and future pastoral life of the Orthodox Church.

Since both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in this country are drawing their candidates for ordination from the same cultural pool, we must ask what, if anything, are our Orthodox seminaries doing to counter a corrosive culture in which nearly 8% of adult men molest children?  (In the same way, what, if anything, are they doing to counter the corrosive influences of a culture in which promiscuity is rampant, divorce is commonplace, cheating is acceptable . . . ?)

As always, an effective prescription depends upon an accurate diagnosis.  With that in mind, the article indicates that “there is no evidence that sexual predators gravitate to jobs like doctors or priests or volunteer posts like scout leaders or sports coaches, the better to find and groom victims.”  If this is true (and I’ve seen no studies to contrary), it would suggest that the catalyst for moral collapse occurs after the candidate finishes seminary or professional education, or after they begin working with young people.  Put another way, is it possible that some instances of sexual misconduct are maladaptive responses to the demands of ministry?  And if so, what conditions might increase the likelihood that the clergyman would act out sexually?  Even more important, are there any indications that a candidate is at risk for any kind of sexual misconduct, or any kind of abuse?

We may shed some light on the larger issue by looking at the findings from a 1994 study commissioned by the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).  The study found that between 10-25% of their clergy have had an inappropriate sexual contact “with [adult] parishioners, clients, employees, etc.”  According to some studies I’ve read, the PCUSA study’s findings may actually be conservative.  In another study, up to 60% of Evangelical pastors self-report at least one incident of inappropriate sexual contact with an adult congregant in the last 5 years after the person enters the profession, begins volunteering, or is ordained.

Unfortunately, other institutions charged with the care of our young fare no better.  Thus we learn that a significant number of school children are themselves molested by teachers.  One study funded by “the federal government indicates 7% of public-school students will be sexually molested by staff or teachers, or about 4.2 million victims, while the abuse of various sorts by fellow students will be greater.”

What are the implications of these studies?

First, none of these institutions has dealt with the issue well.  One thing that I think both the Church and secular society have gotten terribly wrong is the tendency to stigmatize the victim.  When we stigmatize the victim – either by minimizing his or her pain or by protecting the victimizer – we increase the likelihood that the victim will eventually become a perpetrator, acting out in sexually inappropriate ways.

Second, the problem is much more widespread than normally assumed – and thus far too pervasive for our seminaries to relegate the formation of our clergy to a secondary or even tertiary concern. (Yet how often does it even rise to that level?)  If our parishes are to be able to pursue the high calling to which we are called, our members must be healed themselves before they can become leaders who faithfully fulfill the healing work of Christ.

But these are only initial thoughts, offered in the hope of beginning to address a deep wound in our society.  I would encourage people to read the National Catholic Register article as well as a recent Newsweek article (“Mean Men“).  And of course, and as always, I welcome your thoughts.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory


Comments

  1. Geo Michalopulos :

    Fr Gregory, your post raises many pertinent points. One that I have noticed regarding the Catholic priesthood was that ever since Vatican II, a massive desertion of priests happened, supposedly because they were expecting this council to allow them to marry. Perhaps 20,000 left world-wide. The subsequent vacuum forced many seminaries to lower their standards. They essentially became dumping grounds for deviants who looked at the priesthood as an acceptable profession which would silence their families’ incessant carping on “why don’t you marry that nice Mary-Katherine O’Malley girl?” (I know, I’m dealing in stereotypes here. Sound familiar Harry?)

    Anyway, the thing that is most distressing to me, and what is NOT being discussed, is that this phenomenon is not one of pedophilia, but pederasty, or more accurately, ephebophilia, the love of adolescent boys. In other words, homosexuality.

    Somewhat less distressing is that there is far more child/adolescent molestation going on the the school systems than there is in the Catholic Church. The lamestream media makes more of a stink about the priesthood but they will not say what the real problem is. For this reason I find myself commending Harry Coin’s views about the “never married,” or “bachelor synods” because in my estimation (as someone with lifelong experience in the GOA) is that this is a significant problem. And as Fr Hans has observed, homosexuals display a “disordered way of thinking.”

    Of course I will be hit over the head with the charge of “homophobia” (a neologism devoid of meaning) but most psychologists will tell you (privately) that male homosexuality is a disorder.

    • George thanks for the comment.

      If I may, the research suggests that in fact Catholic seminaries did not “became dumping grounds for deviants.” Yes there were some notable cases in the 1990’s but very little of what happened seems to have resulted from the events surrounded Vatican II but much of the misconduct that afflicted the Catholic Church happened in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and so was perpetrated by men who went to seminary BEFORE Vatican II.

      Again, the problem isn’t that we ordain bad men but that we ordain men who become bad.

      The question of whether or not the molestation is homosexual or not is interesting but morally and clinically I’m not sure how it is relevant. Could you elaborate for me please? (And part of why I ask is that I am dubious that sexual orientation as such is fixed. In other words, I think “gay” and “straight,” like homosexual and heterosexual our cultural-political terms not psychological or moral.)

      Did you mean to say the higher rate of child molestation (both as a percentage of the number of children and in real numbers) in schools rather than the Catholic Church is less distressing? I think that, at a minimum, it is at least as distressing if not more so.

      Finally, I’m not sure what you and Harry mean by “bachelor synods.” Could you or Harry please elaborate? At least as it pertains to sexual abuse of children, Catholic (and I would assume, Orthodox) vowed celibates are less likely to offend then the general male population. What I can say is that emotional immaturity , cross-denominationally, is common among clergy and a significant predictor of all forms of misconduct not just sexual.

      Again, thanks for the comment.

      +FrG

      • Geo Michalopulos :

        Fr, if I may clear up at least one point: re certain seminaries becoming “dumping grounds for deviants,” I get this information from Michael Rose Goodbye Good Men, in which he states that a covert, and often overt, homosexual subculture has arisen in many of these seminaries. These cultures have made it difficult for straight men to remain in them. Often, the interviewers will not accept straight men, telling them that they’d be “more comfortable” at St X’s Seminary. Otherwise, should they be accepted, the atmosphere is so “hothouse gay” that they eventually leave on their own, either to another seminary or out of the priesthood forever. According to Rose, this phenomenon first started in the late 60s and intensified in the 70s. Supposedly it still remains in play today.

        Regarding your statement that gay/straight is not necessarily “fixed” I agree with you. That’s one reason I’ve come to reassert the more traditional position in the current culture wars and why I resent traditionalists throwing in the towel in these same wars. Simply put, it’s premature to do so, history is on our side.

        If I may elaborate: it seems that there is a continuum of sexuality that people can be drawn to, with a significant percentage occupying the middle portion of the bell curve (so to speak). Historically this seems to be the case. Having said that, the extreme end, that is those who are 100% homoerotically inclined, does seem to arise from a psychological disorder. Usually some type of trauma, either psychic or physical. This trauma may be as simple as the absence of the biological father from the household, leaving an impressionable boy in a feminine subculture of mother, grandmothers, maiden aunts, nannies, etc. (I.e., the so-called “mama’s boys.) This is evident in the African-American and in many first-generation immigrant communities. According to the best estimates, 2% of white men are exlusively/primarily homosexual whereas 4% of black men are. The loss of paternal presence/ordered masculinity is that significant.

        Forgive me for going off-tangent, but I am giving thought as well to your other point, that the priesthood itself can distort a man. I think this is very cogent. On the AOI blog itself, there is a fine article by Fr George Morelli about this effect. This bears further study and in my opinion, the decks should be cleared in that the bishops should take this issue up immediately. If we are going to maintain a celibate episcopate, it seems to me that these same bishops should view themselves as mentors/spiritual fathers to their priests. They should make themselves available at all times to their priests so that these men can be healed. These priests are on the front lines of battle and they need constant spiritual counselling themselves.

        • it seems to me that these same bishops should view themselves as mentors/spiritual fathers to their priests.

          Bingo! That is and should be their primary focus. Jesus spoke to the crowds, but spent most of His time “forming” the Twelve. If God saw fit to form His Church this way, then presumably this how we should be doing it today. Instead, our Bishops are primarily administrators. Even if they want to assume pastoral responsibilities, they are charged with overseeing so many parishes that meaningful pastoral care of those “on the front lines” (as you rightly put it) is rendered unfeasible.
          Here’s a radical idea: one city, one Bishop.
          We can’t keep putting folks out there and then leaving them bereft of meaningful support.
          Take care of the big priorities and the little stuff will take care of itself.

  2. Fr G: I found the article to be rather squishy, shifting freely from general sexual abuse among volunteers and others at various ages with the effect of fogging up the profound problem of covered-up, ignored, enabled and denied sexual abuse by never-married clergy upon teen boys.

    You assert a statistical fact that Catholic priests don’t abuse at a rate higher than the general male population. While abuse of a minor of either sex is equally illegal, it is another statistical fact that the never married Catholic clergy is prosecuted for abusing teen boys but so few girls that the female abuse numbers are by comparison so small they are hard to find.

    If the civil authority was able to take more of an interest in unwelcome sexual activity above the age of consent I think you’d find an even larger problem. As it is those complaints decades later are treated in a hit and miss fashion comparable to decade-old rape complaints by women. Not ignored but hard to prosecute because there are no parents, no others able to corroborate events.

    At any rate we all know in any group of people — all of them, all of us, will fail in some way sooner or later. Institutionally we need to place those in positions of authority who have proven their track records and who do not find it self-protective to enable the creation of further victims by protecting subordinate misdoers.

    Empty nester priests who’ve proven themselves are the best we have and they should be able to be elected as bishops whether or not their wives have neglected to die.

    • In the main I agree. The Scriptures make clear that the Bishop is to be a proven father. Whether he was a father of actual children matters little. For instance, there is no indication that St. Paul or St. Timothy were married, let alone parents. (Esp. since St. Paul wished that all would be like him: dedicated solely to the Lord.) But, without question, he must be a proven spiritual father.

      As I have noted elsewhere, it’s not for nothing that the canons state that a candidate to the priestly office should be 30. In a culture in which maturity is delayed rather than accelerated, we are hardly in a position to ignore that, yet we do. (Do we need further proof of our pride? “Yeah, that obedience thing, that doesn’t apply to us.”)

      We are putting men who have borne no hint of paternal responsibility into THE paternal role . . . on steroids. (Why, this would be like having a Presidential administration take over more and more of the economy without having run so much as a lemonade stand. Can you imagine the havoc?) Yet this is what we do. We regularly ordain youngsters . . . barely just married . . . to a role requiring wisdom, insight, and considerable skill. We shouldn’t be surprised that many of our parishes are spiritually anorexic because, to quote Craig Ferguson, the young, through no fault of their own, are stupid.

      If we want effective priests and healthy parishes, we need real fathers. If we want healthy priests and growing dioceses, we NEED Bishops who are exceptional fathers. (Of course, if we just want a figurehead, then any poseur will do – but then you get what you get.) And since the addressing the passions – or any other moral or spiritual distortion – requires a well-grounded adviser (just as AA), perhaps it is no surprise that the worst of the passions has run rampant: no one is really minding the family store. . . . cause it takes a really good father to parent a misdirected or troubled kid. Look at the price we have paid for being taken with intellectual and academic baubles while neglecting the greater matters of the heart. As smart as the Pharisees were, Christ chose fisherman and tax collectors – and formed them. These changed the world. So give me Papa-Nicholas Planas any time. Of course, ideally, one gets both – like St. Paul; these become true Fathers of the Church.

      • George Michalopulos :

        Chrys, at the risk of singing my own praises, I submitted a paper to the OCL last year which showed how it was feasible to take each of the 65 bishops in the US and Canada and place them in 65 of the largest cities in each country. For my research, I went to the SCOBA website and did an inventory of all the parishes in each state and was astounded at how many cities had anywhere from 8-20 parishes, a number which could easily accommodate the formula of “one city, one bishop.” Even in the Great Plains & Rocky Mountain states, which have miniscule Orthodox populations, I could find only one or two states with fewer than ten parishes in them. If we are going to adhere to the canonical norm of true monastic bishops, then why can’t each state of the Union (or province in Canada) have at least one bishop? It boggles the mind to think that Chicago has six bishops, each with his own chancery, administrative staff, etc. but Kansas City or St Louis don’t have one.

        • George, I’m glad you took the risk of “singing (your) own praises – I’d love to read your paper! Any chance I can get a copy?

          • Geo Michalopulos :

            Chrys, thanks for the interest. Ask Fr Hanse for my e-mail address. Otherwise, I believe it’s archived on the OCL website.

    • Geo Michalopulos :

      Harry, here are some numbers that back up your concerns: Male homosexuals make up 3% of the population but constitute 36% of child-molestation charges. That means of course that the majority (64%) of child-molestation is perpetrated by straights. However, homosexuals molest children in numbers far greater than their share of the population as a whole (i.e. 3% vs. 97%).

      From a secular, business model, view of things, I would have to say that men who are homosexual (no matter how pious) should not be allowed entry onto the priesthood track.

      • Sorry, but this is incorrect. (I’m not gay and not a supporter of gay rights. I want everyone to understand the truth.) These men are predator pedophiles and their sin/illness/whatever you want to label it… is not related to homosexuality.

        There is a fallacy concerning your three percent figure. Therefore, the mathematical equation and its result cannot be supported. There is no basis for concluding that gays are responsible for a disproportionate amount of child sexual abuse. Because the data is unreliable, one can’t prove that those who behave homosexually are not abusing children disproportionately, regardless of whether they claim to be gay or not. That means that if we really want to understand what’s going on, we have to look much more closely at the predators themselves.

        With pedophiles “the commonest remarks concerning attractive features of the victims, were that the young boys did not have any body hair and that their bodies were soft and smooth.”

        Marshal, W.L.; Barbaree, H.E.; Butt, Jennifer. “Sexual offenders against male children: Sexual preferences.” Behaviour Research and Therapy 26, no. 5 (1988): 383-391.

        These disturbed predators are pedophiles and pedophiles have no adult sexual orientation. They just prefer soft, smooth, hairless children.

        • George Michalopulos :

          Petr, you may be right, the phenomenon of human sexuality is multiform and complex. Regardless, the numbers of the percentage of the population that is homosexual were from the Batelle Study (done for the Alan Guttmacher Institute I believe). These numbers indicated that 3% of the males in the US were exclusively homosexual, not 10% as indicated by the discredited (but believed to be gospel truth) Kinsey Report.

          Even if we took the spurious Kinsey numbers (10%), given that 36% of child molestation charges are same-sex, then this would still indicate that homosexuals are 3.5% more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

          As for the phenomenon of priestly/scoutmaster/teacher male juvenile abuse, the preponderance of such cases appear to be post-pubescent. This was the case in ancient Greece for that matter, where the adoration of youths (ephebes) was considered a higher form of love than that of women among certain men.

          Regardless, the molestation of all children –pre or post-pubescent, male or female–is to be regretted at all times and punished with the utmost severity. And it goes without saying that men who have this propensity need to be nowhere near the priesthood.

        • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

          I’m not sure whether to delete this post or dispute it. It tries too hard to normalize homosexuality by re-categorizing sexual behavior into adult and child categories determined not by age but by the object of desire (adults or children), and then lumping adult offenders into that child category. It’s a conceptual shift that does not work.

          If you are saying that adult pedophiles and pederasts have arrested emotional development, just say that. Don’t say they don’t have an “adult sexual orientation.” Say instead that they are adults with sexual maladjustment.

          Normative adult sexual orientation is heterosexuality in adult relationships (opposite sex marriage in advanced cultures). I’d be a little more cautious about dismissing the percentage of homosexuals in the culture as well. The Center for Disease control estimates that only 2.3% of the population considers themselves homosexual. See: While homosexuals claim they make up 10% of the population, the reality is closer to 1-2%.

        • Scott Pennington :

          Petr,

          “These men are predator pedophiles and their sin/illness/whatever you want to label it… is not related to homosexuality.”

          That’s just flat out wrong. Most of the abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests (I think over 80%) was on pubescent males, not prepubescent males or females. That is not pedophilia. That is homosexual statutory rape.

          It is normal for men to be attracted to females after they reach the age of puberty. We have to control this desire and not act on it because as a society we’ve made a decision that it is inappropriate for females under the age of 16-18 to have sexual relationships. However, nature and older cultures are not of the same opinion as modern western culture on this.

          Pedophilia is a pathological attraction to prepubescents. This was not, for the most part, what the Catholic priest abuse scandal was about. The MSM has tended to downplay this fact because of the impact it might have on the gay community.

    • Harry,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes the NCR article is a bit squishy–but as Aristotle tells us, we ought not to expect from a science more precision than its objects allows. In the case of sexual misconduct there is very little good evidence. Even the best of the evidence, the John Jay study of misconduct by Catholic clergy, has some noticable flaws (specifically, it does not break down the data about miscreant clergy by seminary and diocese–information that many of us think would be VERY helpful).

      That said, to the degree that we can research the matter statistically, Catholic clergy are statistically less likely than the general male population to abuse children (4% and 8% respectively). Given this, I think to suggest that celibacy has some causal connection to child molestation is not data but I am certainly open to correction on this if you have statistical data from another study.

      Yes, the majority of victims in reported cases of Catholic clergy sexual misconduct are boys and many of them teenagers. On the other hand, the majority of victims of sexual misconduct committed by Orthodox and Protestant clergy are female. So I’m not sure the point you’re trying to make–could you spell things out for me a bit.

      As for civil authority taking notice of unwanted sexual advances against victims above the age of consent–there are criminal and civil laws on the books. So again, I’m not sure what you are getting at.

      Finally , I don’t see where married bishops would solve anything with regard to clergy sexual misconduct. Over the 20+ cases I’ve been involved in the majority of the miscrent clergy were married Protestant or Orthodox clergy. Whether we draw our bishops from monastic or married clergy sin’t germaine to what I’ve written.

      Thanks for your comments.

      In Christ,

      +FrG

      • George Michalopulos :

        Fr Gregory, I don’t believe that celibacy is the causative factor for molestation of either sex. It’s just homosexuality that is. According to Catholic canons (pre-Vatican II) homosexuals (or men with the “homosexual inclination”) were simply barred from even entering the seminary. That’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Indeed, that’s why the gay brownshirts have not come down forcefully on the Catholic Church, because they know what the real problem is and it would upset their agenda of gay marriage, gay adoption and gay scoutmasters.

      • Fr. G: The science has allowed for much more, but don’t look for it in a Catholic publication you quoted that tries really hard to obscure the fact that their cadre of only never married priests disproportionately, wildely , abused teen boys — and the only reason we know about it is because the civil authority holds that to be illegal and so investigates. The more horrific scandal is that both their church and ours has tremendous assets and yet depends on the civil authority to investigate and cause what is supposed to be Christ’s church to have managed to detect and rectify on its own. Where are the priests? Where are you? How many knew of the chaos with Fr. Graff in Florida or Fr. Karambis and so many others and do nothing? Why does not the church spend any resources policing its own ranks? Why does it take the interest of the civil authority to turn on the lights?

        Why only these weak fig-leaf apologies that try and fail to remove focus on what’s killing us? Pointing out that the worst of society is, well, a bit worse than the church leadership? That’s what the canons had in mind for church leaders?

        If you like to preserve the anti-gospel only-never-married clergy institution that has used parishioner money to pay off victims those collecting that money created and covered up and caused more of — well that’s alot for a consicence to carry.

  3. cynthia curran :

    Well, I think George has a point about anicent Greece. And Rome had a belief that you were ok as long as you were not passive in the relationhip. Julius Caesar as a young man was accuse of being passive in a homosexual relationship with Nicomedes the king of Bithyania. Not that I’m saying that homosexuality is correct but were were discussing how Greeks and I added Romans view it before the christian period.

  4. I think many, what shall we call them, ‘gay bullies’, hide behind this ‘fig leaf’ that if they are ‘pitching’ and not ‘receiving’ sexually then they aren’t involved in homosexual activity and it’s all good and they are normal, just taking care of urges.

    From an anthropological (dare I be called ‘darwinian’?) biological perspective back in the day, 1000+ years ago, when only around 28% lived to 30 years old and women lived 6 years less than men, consider what daily life presented: men outnumbered women 2-3 : 1, sex led to pregnancy and risked the woman’s life, and men will be, ah, well, men. Much as in the prison populations where the bullies ‘assert dominance’ and rape the weak.

    In the modern context where either sex can control whether pregnancy happens, women live longer than men, and there are about as many men as women the only men interested in sexual bother with other men are either in prison or it’s because they aren’t interested in women to begin with.

    • Geo Michalopulos :

      very good point, Harry. Recently, I read an excellent piece about homosexuality in the Islamic world. It’s called “Dancing Boys,” by Phyllis Chesser. It’s about the homosexual rape of poor boys, forcing them to act and dress in an effeminate manner, etc.

      In those Muslim countries in which polygamy is normative, the sexual imbalance is about ~3 single males for every female since a rich man can have four legal wives (thereby depriving three other males of ever getting a wife).

  5. George,

    With the knowledge you’ve presented I think now you can see why Orthodoxy has done so very poorly creating converts in the Islamic world. All the Imam has to do is point to our bishops, say ‘ordained young never married bachelor– no wife, no kids, hangs out with men’ and point to our priests and say ‘is totally subordinate to -them-‘. Then he points to the other Imams and its all about how many wives and how many kids and family life and so on.

    Now our priests show up explaining things and they sort of get winked and laughed at.

    Empty nester or 50+ years and and childless also as bishops. Seriously. Soon.

  6. Ah George, everyone wants to think that the grass is greener where they are now because they don’t know the new lawn as well as the one recently vacated. Still all have to admit that the OCA has done more to correct leadership problems than any other group. ‘Home Free and all done’ is not exactly apropriate however– see ocanews.org.

    It wasn’t the OCA leadership that policed its own ranks internally, it was the intense activity of dedicated laypeople and a few priests. Later Archbishop Job decided to get answers to whether ‘the allegations were true or false’ and that accelerated the process. But remember nearly all the same people that were sitting on the synod while the problems were happening are still there. The category of ‘two person monastery’ that looks alot like a common law gay marriage gives rise to some due questions.

    And how fast did ‘self governing Antiochian archdiocese’ get dumped in high places when some accounting in Detroit got half of a sliver of momentary sunshine?

    The Romanian Archbishop Nathaniel who pushed hard for Unity at the OCL seemed to do a quick 180 and lept to go work for the Romanian Patriarch, who recent news accounts has embraced diaspora remote management. This, more or less around the time allegations from a Fr. Susan about the gay activity of another priest came to light. Seems Fr. Susan was termed ‘disloyal’ (without his day in court) and got himself ‘transferred to nowhere’– a thing that happened plenty in the GOA. Still not clear who shot John there.

    Still in all your point that absent foriegn pressures things get better shows to be true. The OCA is certainly better off than it was. Meanwhile the GOA is having a fellow in Turkey deem it wise to send a fellow from France to manage in America. Seems they don’t think we have anybody who ever worked here good enough to lead here. Though I had my share of problems there years ago I have to admit even though I live half a country away the Boston GOA group has built impressively.

    • Geo Michalopulos :

      Harry, I for one don’t think that the grass is greener now that I’ve decamped from the GOA. It’s just that I made a conscious decision that only in a local Church could there be any chance of problems being rectified. They simply will never be solved as long as churches view themselves as being colonial outposts (forgive my interminable use of this phrase). Are they solved yet? No. But they are definately on the way to being solved. That’t the difference.

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