Dec 17, 2015
The movie "Spotlight" (which I saw last week, and thought remarkably fair-not at all expressive of the familiar media attacks on the Catholic Church) has again opened up discussion about the issue of child abuse in the Catholic Church. The movie portrays the disastrous handling of sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston over a number of decades.
"Boz" Tchivividjian (don't ask me how to pronounce the name) offered an insightful commentary in a Religion News Service blog last week entitled "Spotlight: It's Not Just a Catholic Problem." Tchivividjian, a former child abuse prosecutor, the founder and executive director of ABUSE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), and a Professor of Law at Liberty University (and I would guess a Baptist) argued that child sex abuse is just as prevalent in the Protestant Churches as it is in the Catholic Church.
Regarding the movie "Spotlight," Tchivividjian writes: "Some may be tempted to watch this film with disgust at the Catholic Church and a sigh of relief for Protestants." But, he says, "such relief would be unfounded and misplaced" for the reason that over a number of years the three companies that insure most Protestant Churches reported receiving approximately 260 reports per year of minors being sexually abused by church leaders and members. This compares to the 228 'credible accusations' a year of child sexual abuse reported by the Catholic Church."
Tchivividjian offers a surprising assessment: "In reality, the likelihood is that more children are sexually abused in Protestant churches than in Catholic churches." This means that "Protestants are going to have to accept the fact that there are many more similarities than differences with our Catholic brothers and sisters when it comes to how we have failed to protect and serve God's children."