On The Main Blog

Creative Minority Reader

Priests, Abuse, and the Meltdown of a Culture

George Weigel writes:

The American narrative of the Catholic Church's struggles with the clerical sexual abuse of the young has been dominated by several tropes firmly set in journalistic concrete: that this was and is a "pedophilia" crisis; that the sexual abuse of the young is an ongoing danger in the Church; that the Catholic Church was and remains a uniquely dangerous environment for young people; that a high percentage of priests were abusers; that abusive behavior is more likely from celibates, such that a change in the Church's discipline of priestly celibacy would be important in protecting the young; that the Church's bishops were, as a rule, willfully negligent in handling reports of abuse; that the Church really hasn't learned any lessons from the revelations that began in the Long Lent of 2002. But according to an independent, $1.8 million study conducted by New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and released on May 18, every one of these tropes is false.
Continue reading>>>

Your Ad Here


Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Frankly, Weigel's article is a crock. This is nothing but ex post facto spin. For someone like Weigel to ignore the fact that clerical sex-abuse has been going on at least since St. Peter Damian and Liber Gommorahianus is shameful.

Now, let's look at a couple of his statements:

"A Church that was not in doctrinal and moral confusion from the late 1960s until the 1978 election of John Paul II..."

Apparenly, JPII also was "morally confused," as his failure to deal directly with the problem and his support for Maciel revealed. Besides, how morally unconfused do you have to be to fight sexual abuse within your own ranks?

Furthermore, JPII added to that "doctrinal and moral confusion" with his abolishionist stance on capital punishment, which Benedict also encourages and which contradicts centuries of teaching from Scripture and Tradition.

"A Church that had not internalized unhealthy patterns of clericalism might have run seminary programs that would have more readily weeded out the unfit."

Clericalism has been a fixture within Catholicism at least since the Roman Empire ended. The prelates and higher clergy encourage it to insulate themselves from accountability. Even today, prelates like Cdl. Wuerl in D.C. refuse to enforce Canon 915, and Rome doesn't do a damn thing. That has nothing to do with sexual abuse.

"...a good, long, hard look will be taken at the sexual libertinism that has been the default cultural position on the American left for two generations."

How does that explain St. Peter Damian's critique? It doesn't. Weigel is just beating up on "progressives" when the real cause is far deeper.

Would that Weigel, Keating, Akin, Shea and the rest of the Catholic Apologetics Establishment declare that clerical sex-abuse is an abomination before a holy, righteous God, and that those who engage and enable it will face a rough time explaining themselves before that same God.

Anonymous said...

For me, it simply seems that being funded by the USCCB, hardly a non-player in the
child abuse goings on in the Catholic Church in America, diminishes the conclusions of the John Jay study. It is ALWAYS wise to be aware of sponsors of "independent" studies. The "good guys" are not always what they claim to be.

Now, had this study been co-funded with SNAP or totally funded by SNAP and reached the same conclusions then it would have more gravitas.


Sophia's Favorite said...

SNAP is a tort-fraud front group with no regard for the law.

Rouxfus said...

I am glad you reprised this article on the John Jay study, news coverage of which at the time (a year ago) focused on one narrow aspect of the conclusions, that is, that it was all the culture's fault. But it should be noted that George Weigel write that piece a day after the study came out a year ago.

Popular Posts