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He is careful to say that there’s not enough data to compare the prevalence of child sex abuse in Protestant and Catholic institutions, but he’s convinced the problem has reached a crisis point. In 2012, Christian radio host Janet Mefferd declared, “This is an epidemic going on in churches. When are evangelicals going to wake up and say we have a massive problem in our own churches?
” For years, Protestants have assumed they were immune to the abuses perpetrated by celibate Catholic priests.
And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray: When in the Lord's great landing net And peacefully asleep That in His mercy I be judged Big enough to keep.
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Bob Jones officials said they were taking the step after watching the pedophilia scandal unfold at Pennsylvania State University the previous year.
They vowed to ask forgiveness of any students they may have “underserved.” In truth, the origins of the investigation were closer to home.
They urged the university to hire GRACE, which had investigated allegations of sex abuse in two Christian missionary groups.
In November 2012, Bob Jones University, the longtime flagship institution of fundamentalism, announced it had hired GRACE (short for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), an independent group of evangelical lawyers, pastors, and psychologists, to investigate the university’s handling of sexual-abuse and -harassment reports.
When Anderson and her mother told their pastor, Bob Jones graduate Chuck Phelps, what had happened, Phelps had Anderson stand before the congregation while he read a confession of her pregnancy.
She was then sent to a family in Colorado until the baby was born and given up for adoption.
But then a few months later, on the eve of graduating, Peterman was expelled for watching , among other violations. Peterman and alumni groups active on Facebook began to hear from more and more students who claimed they had been poorly treated when they reported sexual abuse to school staff.
Over the following months, alumni pressured the university to update its policies and investigate the school’s handling of abuse reports.