That happened while I was writing another post today. ("Saints, the Catholic Church, and Pedophile Priests" (March 25, 2010)) What particularly bothered me was being pretty sure that I'd run across the term for adults who have a disordered sexual interest in adolescents.1 Fairly recently.
"Fairly recently" covers a lot of territory for me. Depending on the context, it can be anything from the last few seconds; or days; or months; or decades. Then there's paleontology - but I'm getting off-topic.
Turns out, I'd read about ephebophilia earlier this month:
"Papal Pots Shots"I feel a lot better now: and I've got a new word in my vocabulary: ephebophilia. One which I'd like to think I won't have reason to use very often.
The Black Biretta (March 13, 2010)
"Reuters reported that attempts to link Pope Benedict XVI with an alleged cover-up of a pedophile priest in 1980 while the Pontiff was an Archbishop in Bavaria have been disproved and discredited.
"The Vatican's disciplinary office had dealt with 3,000 cases of sexual misconduct since 2001, covering crimes committed over the last 50 years. However only about 300 of these involved 'pedophilia in the true sense of the term,' meaning abuse base on attraction to prepubescent children. About 60 percent of the cases concerned adolescents and the rest involved heterosexual relations.
"Ephebophilia is the attraction of adults toward pubescents and adolescents (generally 15-19)...."
Take that "3,000 cases of sexual misconduct". That's an awfully big number.
Again, one case is too many. But that's 3,000 cases out of - how many priests?
At last count, the Holy See was responsible for around 407,000 priests. (CathNews (August 19, 2009))
In July, 2009, the world population was an estimated 6,790,062,216. Roman Catholics accounted for 16.99% of that number, which means there were around 1,153,631,570 of us then. (CIA "World Factbook," last updated March 4, 2010)) That makes about 1 priest for every 2884 Catholics: It's a manageable ratio. And yet another topic.
Getting back to those 407,000 or so Catholic priests. Since 2001, the Vatican has been handing 3,000 cases of sexual misconduct involving them. With some of the cases going back about a half-century.
It's a problem. One case would be a problem.
What I don't know is how many of those 3,000 cases were simply reports of misconduct, and how many had been verified.
I know, from news and other sources, that more than one priest is involved: so the cases aren't all the work of one moderately active miscreant (3000 cases spanning a half-century works out to an average of about 60 per year). But I don't know how many priests were involved. My guess is that each misbehaving priest got more than one complaint: but that's a guess.
- "Saints, the Catholic Church, and Pedophile Priests"
(March 25, 2010)
- "Pope backed sex abuse priest transfer when archbishop"
Reuters (March 12, 2010)
- "Vatican Sees Campaign Against the Pope"
The New York Times (March 13, 2010)
- "Pedophiles and ephebophiles have no capacity for authentic sexual relationships | Priest Pedophiles"
Melvin C. Blanchette, Gerald D. Coleman, via United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (April 25, 2002)
A tip of the hat to ZephyrK9, on Twitter, to the heads-up on holysmoke.
1 The key term here is disordered. Show me a man between the ages of 21 and 125 who doesn't feel a physical response to well-formed woman of, say, 18, and I'll show you a man who needs help. But I'm no expert.