The Clergy are not Moral Exemplars

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Clergy serve in the holy office of the ministry, and are expected to serve as spiritual and moral exemplars for the community whose development they oversee. Yet, too often, these guides and teachers are responsible for the most heinous of crimes, often committed against their own parishioners, enabled by exploiting the special trust and confidence which their communities had placed in them.

Churches protect their priests, even when faced with their absurdly evil crimes perpetrated against their own parishioners (i.e., sex abuse), simply because it is wildly expensive to put someone through seminary, an institution which few people chose to enter. It’s cheaper and easier to replace parishioners than it is to replace priests.[1] What little oversight exists in churches is thus exerted on blaming the victims and protecting the villains, like the mad kings who killed messengers bearing bad news.[2] This practice continued for centuries; in many European nations, the clergy was above secular law, and the church was permitted to internally handle any priest-related incidents. Even in the United States, it was all but unthinkable for the clergy to be tried in secular courts until 1979.[3]

A real Christian can’t work in a Christian organization.
—Rod Sherrill, Peter Popoff’s cameraman[4]

Jesus' main focus was not to prohibit stealing, sexual sins, or even violence -- but against hypocrisy (i.e., identification with a false persona which prevents one from being genuine or real). While this was intended as an indirect attack at the Pharisees, Christ issued this as a general blanket statement that made many enemies, who in turn, crucified him.[5] As such, those who claim that holiness leads to goodness must answer for all of the crimes listed below. Please note that this is just some of the material we have accrued, and this is not a complete list. A more through, independent listing is available at Clergy Gone Wild. Daily updates are available at the PastorArrested subreddit.


See ten thousand ministries
See the holy righteous dogs,
They claim to heal, but all they do is steal,
Abuse your faith, cheat, and rob,
If God is wise, why is he still,
When these false profits, call him friend,
Why is he silent, is he blind!?

Motörhead, "God Was Never on Your Side"



LBGTQ+ Discrimination

Physical Abuse

Sexual Abuse

Research studies have estimated that up to 20% or more of the clergy have violated sexual boundaries with parishioners (a higher percentage than any other professional group).
—Rev. Pamela Cooper White, Ph.D., from the Disciplinary Policy and Procedures Task Force of the Episcopal Church[6]
  • Details of the Catholic sex abuse scandal have been logged in extreme detail at
  • In September 2005, a Philadelphia grand jury concluded the longest probe of sexually abusive priests ever undertaken by a grand jury or district attorney at that time. Over the course of 3 years, the jurors documented over 60 abusive priests and hundreds of victimized minors, all hidden through a continuum of cover-ups by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The resulting 423-page report, and its additional 309 pages of appendices, refused to shy away from detailed descriptions of the priest’s crimes and was seeped in the barely-contained disgust and anger of its authors after years of examining secret documents and interviewing victims, perpetrators, etc. Keep in mind, this report was not written by people who viewed organized religion with suspicion, but by a group of ordinary citizens plucked from the jury pool, including some Catholics. The entire report is available at the Philadelphia D.A.’s website
  • Confessionals were invented in the late 1500s to curb sexual immorality, since Confession gave priests a private venue for molesting parishioners. This became so problematic that priests had to be sealed in boxes and communicate through screens to prevent all physical contact. However, this was soon circumvented once priests began secretly installing removable screens and/or glory holes. Alternately, the confessional was a place for anonymous dirty talk and masturbation.[7]

Unclassified and/or Weird


  1. D. W. Ray, The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture (IPC Press, 2009).
  2. M. T. Singer and J. Lalich, Cults in Our Midst: The Hidden Menace in our Everyday Lives (Jossey-Bass, 1995).
  3. G. L. Rediger, Clergy Killers: Guidance for Pastors and Congregations and Under Attack (Westminster John Knox Press, 1997).
  4. J. Randi, The Faith Healers (Prometheus Books, 1987).
  5. J. A. Sanford, Ministry Burnout (Westminster John Knox Press, 1992).
  6. R. Kick, Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion (Disinformation Books, 2007)
  7. G. P. Harrison, 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian (Prometheus Books, 2013).