How many baptist pastors are married?

Sometimes you hear the argument that, if only priests could marry, the problem of abuse of minors would be solved.

One is tempted to ask…

QUAERITUR: How many baptist pastors are married?

I read at FNC:

Hundreds of Southern Baptist leaders, volunteers accused of sexual misconduct in bombshell investigation

Hundreds of leaders and volunteers within Southern Baptist churches across the nation have been accused of sexual misconduct against young churchgoers for decades – many of them quietly returning to church roles even after being convicted for sex crimes.

A bombshell investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News found that over the last 20 years, about 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced credible accusations of sexual misconduct. Of those, roughly 220 were convicted of sex crimes or received plea deals, in cases involving more than 700 victims in all, the report found. Many accusers were young men and women, who allegedly experienced everything from exposure to pornography to rape and impregnation at the hands of church members.

The newspapers reported that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) largely treated the accusations as isolated issues, and took on an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, even amid growing pressures to create a registry so the accusations wouldn’t disappear as alleged perpetrators moved from city to city. The Chronicle and Express-News created a database of convicted sexual abusers with documented connections to the SBC.


Read the rest there.

Do you suppose this story will get a lot of MSM coverage?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Ellen says:

    I live in an area where there are a lot of Baptist churches. All the Baptist ministers I have known have been married. I have seen a couple of articles where one of them has been found guilty of molestation and he has been sent to prison. The stories have been no different from other men who have been found guilty of the same crime. Thank God there has been no sex abuse by priests in my home town, but I have no doubt that if there had it would have been a Very Big Deal.

  2. fmsb78 says:

    The lack of coverage by MSM is just because: 1) Baptist false religion teaches lots of heresies and distortions about the Christian faith. 2) The big heads are involved in Masonry and are all radically anti-catholic.

    I was raised in a Baptist household and lived in that lie for 35 years of my life. I thank our Dear God and the Blessed Mother for my conversion to the only true faith.

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Um… They are not Southern Baptists. They are a denomination known as Independent Baptists; and it turns out they were run by a guy and his son who were both serial molesters secretly, and who trained and arranged the whole denomination to make it easy to abuse and molest both kids and younger adults of either sex. They broke away from the Southern Baptists and other Baptists more than 50 years ago.

    There are some related denominations that broke away from the Independent Baptists much earlier for various religious reasons, like the Falwell folks. (Although this guy and his son being powerhungry jerks was probably another reason, even before they started giving vent to their psycho side.)

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Okay, it is apparently some Southern Baptists too, but a lot more Independent Baptists. I would suspect that a lot of them came over from the Independent Baptists, though.

    On the bright side, Get Religion has uncovered an incredible story about black reporter Mabel Grammer and her vision of the Virgin Mary, which led to her conversion and to a better life for thousands of kids.

  5. bobbird says:

    I have had the good fortune of knowing two (2) Baptist pastors who actually preach and teach Humanae Vitae as authentically prophetic, laud Paul VI and scold congregants who contracept, so not all are Mason or anti-Catholics. They don’t like our theology in other areas, of course, but accept the differences. One actually permitted me to present an evening in his church explaining it, so we brought in experts from a nearby city to cover all aspects: historic Protestant resistance until 1930, NFP, the failure of contraceptives, the dangers involved, the duality of the marital embrace, etc. It was very well received, and by a good number of people in attendance. Video recorded it, presented it to the bishop as a “pilot” program from the diocese — and of course it was rejected! As the sex scandals unfolded, I asked the pastor, “How come the Protestants have not dog-piled on the Catholics amidst this mess?” His reply: “Because you should see the mess in OUR churches!” Far down below secular contempt for Catholicism, the Baptists nevertheless stand in 2nd place. In movies after 1960, most southern white males (Baptists, mostly) are portrayed as brutal, stupid or dishonest. My experience is that Baptists burn with an authentic love of Christ and at least west of the Mississippi, are a bulwark in the prolife movement. If they are tossed into the Frying Pan with us, perhaps that is one way Christianity might one day again be unified.

  6. dbf223 says:

    I was raised in the SBC (received into Catholic faith in 2008). This story has some personal import for me. I attended a church when I was 13, whose youth pastor was also the principal of the local independent christian school. A few years later, the FBI raided the school and copied the hard drive of every computer in the building. This person is currently serving a sentence of 30 years for charges related to child pornography.

    In terms of the question, “How many baptist pastors are married?” the answer in my experience is – nearly all of them. In the SBC churches I was raised in, people often regarded unmarried men with suspicion and generally did not accept unmarried men in Church leadership roles (meaning pastors and deacons). This was also based on passages in 1 Timothy and Titus that call for a minister to be a “man of one wife.” Men who wanted to be pastors generally married early, since being married was basically a prerequisite for getting a foot in the door with a church to start on a career in ministry.

    I won’t venture a conjecture on what percentage of baptist ministers have abused children (or compare to catholic priests), but I think it’s more common than anyone realizes. The SBC is decentralized; the SBC as an organization is basically a confederation of independent churches, and individual churches have their own leadership and choose their own ministers. Someone with a title like “President, Southern Baptist Convention” is basically just a talking head and doesn’t have any real authority over particular churches. You can’t talk about “the Baptist Church” in the same way that you can talk about “the Catholic Church”, so it’s been harder up to this point to identify a problem like this as an institutional issue, and not just a set of isolated incidents.

  7. AA Cunningham says:

    There’s a couple of sites that track predators masquerading as Baptist ministers:

    Stop Baptist Predators

    Deep Thoughts

  8. hwriggles4 says:

    First, the priest in charge at my parish is a former Episcopal priest with young children (he often says that his situation is not the norm). The latest scandals have really upset him too, like many of us laymen of the Male persuasion.

    Second, it’s sad that a few bad apples seem to sneak in nearly anywhere. For example, I am an engineer and our state required all registered engineers about 4 years ago to undergo fingerprinting for license registration and renewal. Out of the ten thousand or so registered engineers, forty had criminal records and their licenses were revoked (two out of the forty had records of child abuse). A small percentage, but still too many. I also remember in the 1980s, a few of my friends had a Scoutmaster (I was in a different troop, but I knew this Scoutmaster and my dad had worked with him) who was convicted and sentenced to six years in jail for child molestation (I even knew one kid who was a victim).

    Third, I have said this like a broken record, that when a priest has an accusation, the news media (particularly where I live, since a high profile case happened here in the 1990s) puts it on page one. If it’s a Protestant minister or youth pastor, if it makes the news, it’s a paragraph in the Tuesday edition on page 20.

    Fourth, there was a news story months ago about basketball coaches and the percentage of child abuse. Did anyone mention that maybe if basketball coaches were married, would there be any pedophilia?

  9. hwriggles4 says:

    About contraception, many of the Southern Baptists in the 50s and 60s, particularly in rural communities, had 4, 5, or 6 children, similar to Catholic families of the time. I have also heard that some Church of Christ and Assembly of God pastors frowned upon contraception.

  10. Gaetano says:

    This is no surprise.

    1. Married men comprise the vast majority of sexual abusers.

    2. I have met victims of Protestant clergy abuse whose stories are no less horrific than those abused by Catholic clergy.

    3. I have had the misfortune of knowing more than a dozen Catholic priest abusers. Not one would have changed his behavior by being married to an adult woman.

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