WILL THE PRIEST SEXUAL SCANDAL EVER STOP?

Last week in Chatham, Ontario, a priest in his eighties was sentenced to three years in penitentiary for sexual offenses against young girls.

Today the lawyer for disgraced Congressman Foley said that his client would presently reveal the name of the priest who molested him as an altar boy to the Archdiocese of Miami.

Just when you think this scandal is over it pops up again.  Is the priest pedophile crisis a bottomless pit?

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7 Comments »

  1. 1
    Matthew Cope Says:

    There are two issues, it seems to me. One is the sexual abuse of children, which is bad enough. But at least as bad, if not worse, is the response of the church — which has been to wilfully deny, obfuscate, skate, close ranks, relocate the perpetrators around to fresh fields and new opportunities and generally fail to act. I’ve withdrawn my support of Catholic charities until and unless the church remedies this, and accepts responsibility.

  2. 2
    SUZANNE Says:

    I think it’s not unlike the teachers who abuse. Given that there are thousands of priests, there will naturally be pedophiles among their ranks, and the Media will take great delight in taking down the Church a peg.

  3. 3
    Paul Geraghty Says:

    Whilst it is probably true that the Church will be an easy target for the media and that priests will always be just as prone to problems and sin as the rest of the world, nonetheless the issue of child abuse remains a horrific stain on the Catholic community – regardless of whether other groups are just as guilty or not. Doubtless it is an issue that does not admit of glib or easy answers but to dismiss the use of children for one’s pleasure as easily as Suzanne seems to do in her response seems to me to be part of the problem. If I sin I don’t think I can excuse myself by saying that others do too.

  4. 4
    Matthew Cope Says:

    Suzanne’s comment about “the media” makes several assmptions. There’s no such thing as “themedia” in this sense. Rupert Murdoch does not have a daily conference call with Canwest and the BBC, CJAD and CTV. It’s like making blanket statements about “Hollywood.” There is no monolith in either case.

    And if there is any delight in taking the church down a peg, a) I want to see evidence of it, and b) I would ask if that alleged monolith “the media” decided one day toattack the church for no reason at all, orif the church had it coming.

    It’s my contention that if the church had it coming (which I believe it did) then it was not becaue there were some pedophiles in the priesthood, but because the church — unlike the media — had an agenda to cover up the wrongdoing, andthe coverup had been going on for decades.

    What’s particularly objectionable about pedophile priests (and teachers) is that they not only abuse children, but they get away with it because they are looked up to in society, that their word will be taken over that of a troubled child and they are abusing their positions ofauthority and MORAL authority. And for school boards or the Vatican to sweep it all under the carpet is beyond reprehensible.

  5. 5
    SUZANNE Says:

    Doubtless it is an issue that does not admit of glib or easy answers but to dismiss the use of children for one’s pleasure as easily as Suzanne seems to do in her response seems to me to be part of the problem.

    I don’t. But if you compare the rate of pedophilia between school teachers and Catholic priests, it’s about the same, but people seem to think it’s more prevalent in the Church.

    Suzanne’s comment about “the media” makes several assmptions. There’s no such thing as “themedia” in this sense. Rupert Murdoch does not have a daily conference call with Canwest and the BBC, CJAD and CTV. It’s like making blanket statements about “Hollywood.” There is no monolith in either case.

    However, if the people in the media do share assumptions, then they tend to put forward the same worldview.

    It’s my contention that if the church had it coming (which I believe it did) then it was not becaue there were some pedophiles in the priesthood, but because the church — unlike the media — had an agenda to cover up the wrongdoing, andthe coverup had been going on for decades.

    Of course there are anti-Catholics in the media. Just check out how Neil vents his spleen against the Church with the same old anti-Catholic canards (“The Church’s teaching on sexuality causes harm”). He used to be in the media. That kind of attitude is extremely prevalent. The media constantly get it wrong about the Church.

    This is not to say that the bishops responsible shouldn’t have been reprimanded. But just like the woman caught in the adultery, the adultery wasn’t the point for the Pharisees pointing out the sinners.

    What’s particularly objectionable about pedophile priests (and teachers) is that they not only abuse children, but they get away with it because they are looked up to in society, that their word will be taken over that of a troubled child and they are abusing their positions ofauthority and MORAL authority. And for school boards or the Vatican to sweep it all under the carpet is beyond reprehensible.

    The Vatican did not sweep it under the rug. The dioceses did, but not the Vatican.

  6. 6
    Matthew Cope Says:

    “However, if the people in the media do share assumptions, then they tend to put forward the same worldview.”

    That’s quite a sweeping generalization. The right is convinced that “the media” is a left-wing conspiracy. But, um… Fox News? Hardly in lockstep with the New York Times. Which is hardly in lockstep with Rush Limbaugh.

    “Of course there are anti-Catholics in the media. Just check out how Neil vents his spleen against the Church with the same old anti-Catholic canards (”The Church’s teaching on sexuality causes harm”). He used to be in the media. That kind of attitude is extremely prevalent. The media constantly get it wrong about the Church.”

    And you persist in perceiving “the media”as a monolitic entity with a single point of view. The point is, neither “the media” nor “the people in the media” speak with a single voice on most matters, so if they find near unanimity of opinion on any subject, including this one, maybe they have a point.

    “The Vatican did not sweep it under the rug. The dioceses did, but not the Vatican.”

    Well, good for the Vatican. Which obviously has known what’s been going on in the dioceses for decades, if not centuries and did nothing in all that time — only lifting the rug (as opposed to lifting the surplice) when the prevailing silence became too deafening.

    The church has a long, long way to go.

    PS: Am I anti-Catholic? I don’t think so. But I am anti-hypocrisy,

  7. 7
    Paul Geraghty Says:

    Suzanne – I don’t think that the point that paedophiles are as prevalent in the teaching profession as they are in the church is relevant at all. There shouldn’t be ANY in a community committed to the Gospel. It is my belief that the Church SHOULD be held to a higher standard. This is a separate issue from whether or not the Church is unfairly targeted by the media as may very well be the case. In the rush to cry foul the Church will only be seen to be putting its own interests ahead of thos of the children.


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