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"Moral panic flares again" is an article by Italian sociologict Massimo Introvigne explaining the sociological basis of the moral panic over priestly pedophilia.  I've added bolding for emphasis and chosen just a few paragraphs to give the important points of the article but it's all worth reading. 

To begin, Introvigne explains what a "moral panic" is: 

"More precisely, moral panics are defined as socially constructed problems that are characterised by a systematic amplification of the true facts in the mediaor in political discourse."

"The current discourse on paedophile priests – considered from a sociological perspective – represents a typical example of "moral panic". The concept was coined in the 1970s to explain how certain problems become the subject of "social hyperconstruction". "

"Two other characteristics have been cited as typical of moral panics. First, problems that have existed for decades are reconstructed in the media and political accounts as new or as the subject of a recent dramatic increase. Second, their incidence is exaggerated by statistics plucked from the air which, while not confirmed by academic studies, are repeated by the media and inspire persistent media campaigns. Historian and sociologist Philip Jenkins, of Pennsylvania State University, has emphasised the role of "moral entrepreneurs" in the creation and management of panics whose agenda is not always revealed. Moral panics do not bring any good. They distort the perception of the problems and compromise the efficacy of the measures which should resolve them. After a harmful analysis inevitably there comes a harmful intervention."

"Let there be no misunderstanding: at the origin of moral panics are objective and real dangers. They do not invent a problem; they exaggerate its statistical dimensions. In a series of excellent studies, Jenkins demonstrated how the issue of paedophile priests is perhaps the most typical moral panic. Two characteristic elements exist: a fact which serves as a starting point, and an exaggeration of this fact by moral entrepreneurs."




"So, does the John Jay College study tell us then, as one often reads, that 4 percent of American priests are paedophiles? Not at all. According to the research, 78.2 percent of the accusations involved minors who had advanced beyond puberty. Having sexual relations with a 17-year-old is certainly not a beautiful thing, and much less so for a priest, but it is not paedophilia. Therefore, only 958 American priests were accused of true paedophilia over 52 years, 18 per year. There were only 54 convictions, a little less than one per year. "




"Why are old and very often well-known cases being exhumed in 2010 on a daily basis, always attacking the Pope? This is paradoxical if one considers the great severity of then Cardinal Ratzinger and of Benedict XVI on this very theme. The moral entrepreneurs who organise the panic have an agenda which is increasingly clear and which is not essentially the protection of children. This is a time when political, juridical and even electoral decisions in Europe and elsewhere are being made about the abortion pill RU-486, euthanasia, the recognition of same sex unions. Only the voice of the Pope and the Church is being raised to defend life and the family. The reading of certain articles in the media shows that very powerful lobby groups are seeking to silence this voice with the worst possible defamation -- and unfortunately an easy one to make -- that of favouring or tolerating paedophilia."

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/mora/

So the "moral entrepeneurs" are pushing this moral panic to discredit the Church for political reasons, in order to further their culture of death.  This shouldn't surprise anyone but the article gives us better terms for discussing what's being done and why.  Please read it so you will be prepared to answer the critics of the Pope and the Church.

There's an old saying that where there's smoke there's fire.  But sometimes where there is smoke there is someone with a smoke machine.  Those are the "moral entrepeneurs."



Moral entrepreneurs?  Moral perverts sounds a little more on the mark.
(04-03-2010, 05:19 PM)MarcinK Wrote: [ -> ]Moral entrepreneurs?  Moral perverts sounds a little more on the mark.

they are using somewhat entrepeneurial techniques to create and "sell" moral panics.  i didn't name them, sociologists did, but i would say that calling them moral perverts would backfire, give them another chance to go on about the "pedophile priests" about whom they created a moral panic.

it's important for people to grasp the thesis that moral panics are created and managed by moral entrepeneurs.  they don't just happen.  moral entrepeneurs take some old problems, present them as new, and magnify their extent and thus their importance, in order to cause a general moral panic.

it's a way to sell newspapers, books, or an entire agenda, in this case an agenda against the Catholic Church.






On a related note, within the last two weeks, all of the top four ranking prelates in the Church have been implicated in media-generated sex abuse scandals.  This includes:

1) Pope Benedict XVI
2) Cardinal Bertone (Secretary of State) --
3) Cardinal Levada  (Prefect of the CDF)
     in an article just appearing: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art...fD6L8kS3uA
4) Cardinal Sodano (Dean of College of Cardinals) -- In a new ABC News Nightline report.
(04-04-2010, 12:44 AM)unknown Wrote: [ -> ]On a related note, within the last two weeks, all of the top four ranking prelates in the Church have been implicated in media-generated sex abuse scandals.  This includes:

1) Pope Benedict XVI
2) Cardinal Bertone (Secretary of State) --
3) Cardinal Levada  (Prefect of the CDF)
     in an article just appearing: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art...fD6L8kS3uA
4) Cardinal Sodano (Dean of College of Cardinals) -- In a new ABC News Nightline report.

the moral entrepeneurs are very busy these days and foolish enough to think they can destroy the Church.

(04-03-2010, 08:10 PM)i.p.i. Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-03-2010, 05:19 PM)MarcinK Wrote: [ -> ]Moral entrepreneurs?  Moral perverts sounds a little more on the mark.

they are using somewhat entrepeneurial techniques to create and "sell" moral panics.  i didn't name them, sociologists did, but i would say that calling them moral perverts would backfire, give them another chance to go on about the "pedophile priests" about whom they created a moral panic.

it's important for people to grasp the thesis that moral panics are created and managed by moral entrepeneurs.  they don't just happen.  moral entrepeneurs take some old problems, present them as new, and magnify their extent and thus their importance, in order to cause a general moral panic.

it's a way to sell newspapers, books, or an entire agenda, in this case an agenda against the Catholic Church.

"i didn't name them, sociologists did, but i would say that calling them moral perverts would backfire, give them another chance to go on about the "pedophile priests" about whom they created a moral panic."

I think we should call them moral perverts anyway.  They're perverting the truth to advance an agenda. 

While the mainstream media still wield disproportionate influence in the court of public opinion, their influence is waning.  More and more people get their information from the Internet.  Yes, there are good and bad Internet sources, but the demise of the Gatekeepers can only advance the cause of truth.  The Gatekeepers, after all, have proven themselves perverters of truth.     

A case in point: the Centers for Disease Control estimate that only 20 percent of Americans received the H1N1 vaccine.  You can believe the estimate is high.  As a result, the Washington Post is reporting 71.5 million doses of H1N1 vaccine may have to be discarded if not used before expiration.  This despite all the media reports of an impending pandemic. 

More and more fair-minded people are taking these hysterical reports of pedophile priests with a grain a salt.  We should continue to expose the reports for what they are.  But the people who latch onto them probably already hate the Church for other reasons, and we're never going to get through to them.   
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnew...ne-in.html

This situation is unthinkable--because in fact Jesus taught the practice of sublimating sexuality except in its legitimate, appropriate time, in marriage.

And Paul taught us how love works in marriage for the good of all.

What do some people think they're doing, by repudiating Jesus Christ's teachings on chastity?

It's happening in many churches now.  I don't understand the reason or rationale or principle at work in this instance. 

What good is supposedly accomplished by sexually stimulating the young?  By whose authority?

: (  Emily
(04-04-2010, 02:00 PM)No3456 Wrote: [ -> ]What good is supposedly accomplished by sexually stimulating the young? 

None.

Quote: By whose authority?

Well, most likely the devil's.  Because these people are agents of his whether they realize it or not.  They want to pornify the world.

So, now what do we do?

Cloister ourselves into enclaves away from THAT?

Remember the old days when people who couldn't fit into society founded monasteries and convents?

What do we do NOW?

(04-04-2010, 05:36 PM)No3456 Wrote: [ -> ]So, now what do we do?

Cloister ourselves into enclaves away from THAT?

That would be foolish.  We fight the good fight like St. Paul said.

Quote:Remember the old days when people who couldn't fit into society founded monasteries and convents?

No....  I do remember the old days when people who wanted to dedicate their lives to prayer founded monasteries and convents.

Quote:What do we do NOW?

As the monks would say, ora et labora  --- pray and work.  Fight the good fight.  What we've always done.  There were plenty of perverts in ancient Rome, too, and they were defeated for a time at least.
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