Sunday, March 28, 2010
In a not-so-subtle reference to the recent investigations into further sexual abuse, the pontiff said faith in God helps lead one “towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion.”
Okay. A few points here.
1. The sexual abuse of thousands of children is not "petty gossip." It is real and painful. It could have been stopped. It has left lasting scars on its victims. Petty gossip? You insult every victim of clergy abuse with these two outrageous words.
2. The sexual abuse of children in the church is not "dominant opinion." As I used to teach my middle schoolers, opinion is what we conclude after weighing all the facts. The sexual abuse of children is the fact! This is not an opinion. Opinions aren't proven. Facts are reality. That the Roman Catholic Church closed its eyes (or worse, abetted the perpetrators of sexual abuse) is as much a fact as the sky is blue. Given that much of the struggle of sexual abuse victims entails doubting one's own reality, this statement is, in itself, further abuse.
3. Courage? You dare use the word courage to describe the Church in the face of the sexual abuse scandal? Here's what courage is. It's a middle aged man or woman still in therapy, still hoping to have a healthy intimate relationship with another human being, despite being sexually assaulted by a person they trusted. That's courage. The Church has shown nothing but cowardice.
4. Intimidation? You dare say that the church should not allow itself to be intimidated by gossip? I can't think of anything more intimidating than a person in a position of religious authority taking a vulnerable child and forcing himself on that child sexually. If you have a better example of intimidation, I'd sure like to know.