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Wolves in White Collars - Crimes by Clergy

by Sim Lee  
8/21/2018 / World Affairs

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves," Matthew 10:16 ESV

This August's Media headline of "Over 1000 Boys and Girls Raped by Hundreds of Catholic Clergy in Pennsylvania"* was a shock to most of us, as was the story back in 2004 about the record payout by insurance company to the sexual abuse victim of a single minister (Lutheran - Sherman, Texas, 2004: $69 Million**), but the shock does not stop there.

Along with the recent stories of Christian women being sexually assaulted or harassed by their clergy and fellow members, added to those sad stories of so many converts leaving the church where they found Christ because of clergy attitude, conduct or outright dismissal of their requests to be taught more, to understand more about the Faith, the reaction is one of heartbreak. Those of the clergy who are doing these things are truly wolves wearing white collars and one aspect of their unlawful behaviors that is increasing at the alarming rate of 6 percent a year is financial fraud.***

The latest figures from the Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company (second largest insurer of U.S. Christian churches) indicates this six percent growth rate in fraud committed by our clergy will reach 60 billion dollars a year by 2025, just seven short years away from today. That estimate is far short of the real numbers because it is agreed by insurance experts that a full 80% of annual fraud committed by clergy goes unreported. With a growth rate of 6% annually in clergy committing fraud, it does not take too long to these thieves to become a majority.

I pray that the good people of our churches, who have been far too trusting of their clergy and church employees, will finally snap out of their general (90%) state of being unaware of these things and begin to listen to the women who have been abused in church by clergy or a fellow member (50% USA), or to their children who continue to suffer every year from the pedophilia, rape and abuse perpetuated by 7% or more of our clergy. When they have faced that outcry, I further pray that they will aggressively pursue any of the clergy doing such despicable things hold them accountable and bring them to justice.

Just focusing upon acts of financial fraud, far too many (80% go unreported) of the clergy are given a pass when detected and simply allow to go away. Even though there is little transparency in the contacting of tax exempt organizations, the general lack of unawareness on the part of Elders to detect financial fraud is no excuse for such ineffective oversight. Please listen to the insurance companies, to the many victims of abuse and to the churches who have been robbed by those they had entrusted. Then listen to Scriptures and to your own heart, then do your duty to enforce all that is right, working together to put these wolves among us in jail where they belong. Just do it.

* Fox News 8/14/2018

** "Lutheran Church Abuse Victims Receive $69 Million Settlement - Christianity Today, 4/1/2004

*** "Growing Fraud Sucks Billions From Churches Annually.." Leonardo Blair , Christian Post - August 12, 2018

Sim Lee is a retired NE Iowan who loves all of God's creatures.

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