Monday, August 20, 2018

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

GetReligion is a site concerned with the media coverage of religion in America. Today Terry Mattingly writes about "The must-cover 'Big Ideas' at heart of the complex Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis" and wonders whether you have noticed the coverage of these things in the news you have been reading or viewing:
When candid liberals and conservatives agree on core facts, I pay very close attention.

I will emphasize elements of the scandal on which these men agree, ranking these Big Ideas according to their importance (as I perceive them, after nearly four decades of reading).
I: The key to the scandal is secrecy, violated celibacy vows and potential blackmail. Lots of Catholic leaders – left and right, gay and straight – have sexual skeletons in their closets, often involving sex with consenting adults. These weaknesses, past and/or present, create a climate of secrecy in which it is hard to crack down on crimes linked to child abuse.

II. Classic pedophiles tend to strike children of both genders. However, in terms of raw statistics, most child-abuse cases linked to Catholic clergy are not true cases of pedophilia, but are examples of ephebophilia – intense sexual interest in post-pubescent teens or those on the doorstep of the teen years. The overwhelming majority of these cases are adult males with young males.

III. One of the biggest secrets hiding in the bitter fog from all of these facts is the existence of powerful networks of sexually active gay priests, with many powerful predators – McCarrick is a classic example – based on seminaries and ecclesiastical offices. Thus, these men have extraordinary power in shaping the lives of future priests.
It seems to me that Madison's Catholic bishop, Bishop Robert Morlino, got it exactly right writing to his diocese in response to the scandal (from which I borrowed the title of this post).

 The must-cover 'Big Ideas' at heart of the complex Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis — GetReligion