Few things have been more disgusting than the countless priestly sex abuse cases that have been publicized around the globe in recent weeks or the Catholic Church’s mishandling of these crimes.
But the bid by liberal Catholics and their allies in the establishment press to exploit these scandals for political gain has been just as outrageous.
Instead of merely expressing righteous anger with the apparent cover-ups, the establishment press has returned to lecturing the Church on how it could have prevented these scandals had it ordained married men or women to the priesthood.
(By the way, there are hundreds of married priests in the Eastern Catholic Churches that follow Rome, not to mention the dozens of married former Anglican and Lutheran ministers who serve as Catholic priests.)
However, no concrete evidence exists to show the Catholic Church would have avoided these incidents had it listened to them.
Dozens of Anglican clergy have been cited for abusing children around the world, but these reports have gotten scant attention according to the conservative Anglican blog Virtue Online.
According to Reformation.com, a repository of information about sexual abuse cases involving Protestant clergy, over 800 Protestant ministers have also been involved in child sex abuse cases in recent decades.
If the contention that ordaining women or married men would end the scandals in the Catholic Church were true, then why do they exist in the Anglican Communion and other Protestant churches where married clergy and female clergy has become the norm?
And some feminist bloggers have argued priestly abuse would not have happened had women been ordained to the priesthood since the latest round of scandals became public. But this contention ignores the dirty little secret that women, including nuns, have been involved in numerous child sex abuse cases over the years.
A 2006 report in “The Australian” found that female sexual abusers usually go undetected compared with male abusers. The report said sexual abuse of children by women has largely gone undetected because women have been traditionally seen as nurturers and incapable of sexually abusing children.
Also, how would allowing married clergy in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church have prevented the priestly sexual abuse of minors, considering 81 percent of the abuse cases were conducted by male priests against boys and young men? Do normal heterosexual males lust after boys like this?
Connecting celibacy with pedophile behavior among Catholic clergy smacks of ignorance and bigotry because no study has ever demonstrated a direct correlation between celibacy and pedophilia.
Less than 1 percent of the Catholic Church’s over 400,000 priests worldwide have been involved, and the press has succeeded in lumping the good priests who keep their vows in with the evil ones in the minds of the uninformed.
Perhaps the press has an agenda behind its decision to portray clerical child sex abuse as if it were an exclusively Catholic problem.
These crimes in the Catholic Church have likely received more press attention because the leftists hate how the Church takes firm stands against the desacralization of sex and the family, while mainline Protestant churches have caved to the spirit of the age.
In an age when nothing is sacred and sex has become about using people for selfish pleasure rather than love within the context of traditional marriage and the family, it is little wonder why the Catholic Church has become a convenient target for denigration.
The Catholic Church continually reminds people how the sexual revolution of the 1960s has undermined Western society and led to an epidemic divorce rate, an epidemic of children growing up in single-parent households and the general breakdown of people’s ability to enter into selfless relationships.
People hate hearing the truth, and the Catholic Church’s firm conviction that it stands for the truth has made it a target for today’s postmodern libertines.
Pope Benedict XVI has been personally targeted for discrediting due to his courageous witness to the Catholic belief in transcendence of the faith and for his refusal to condone the prevailing secular ethic of sexual narcissism, as well as his condemnation of what he calls “the dictatorship of relativism.”
It is also important to note that no concrete evidence exists proving he knew about the sex abuse cases the New York Times has hounded him about in recent days.
Since becoming pope, he has spoken out more forcefully against clerical sex abuse and taken a stronger stance against it than any of his predecessors.
Tthe Catholic Church’s handling of these countless priestly abuse incidents, mostly having occurred in the 1980s and earlier, reflects more on the flawed theories of the psychiatric community that suggested any person could be cured of their pedophile tendencies through therapy than the Church, says Catholic League President Bill Donohue.
The Church wasn’t alone in how it handled pedophiles because it followed the same type of flawed thinking that psychiatrists and psychologists pushed back then because the Church’s handling was commonplace across society.
Where is the outrage against psychiatry for the flawed handling of these cases across society?
There are no excuses for what happened, but the scandalmongers of today are judging the standards of the past in the guise of contemporary standards. This is like condemning medieval doctors for bleeding their patients in an effort to heal them in spite of the fact they did not know that contagions such as bacteria and viruses existed or that bleeding patients could kill them.
In this case, the Catholic Church and others in society were sold a bill of goods that suggested pedophiles could be reformed, something we now know is impossible. Lives were destroyed as a result of the ignorant recommendations from the psychiatric community, and they should be taken to task every bit as much as the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church has taken significant strides in recent years to come to grips with past mistakes, and most dioceses, especially in the United States, have instituted practices to crackdown on future abuse.
The abuse scandal has offered the Church an opportunity to return to the basics of the pursuit of holiness, a sincere profession of the Gospel and a chance to cleanse itself of those who have sought to undermine it from within.
Celibacy has little meaning for the secular hedonist, but it lies at the core of Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian spirituality that emphasizes the need for self-mastery to come closer to God.
John Rossomando is a journalist whose work has been featured in numerous publications such as CNSNews.com, Newsmax and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.