(1) The stock left-wing claims about the sex abuse scandal are that it was caused by celibacy, and that the cover-up was caused by an all-male priesthood. Given those claims, consider this tidbit: the world’s first Lutheran bishop has resigned, because she covered up sex abuse committed by non-celibate Lutheran pastors. Sort of makes Maureen Dowd’s claim that the solution to the sex abuse scandal is a female pope seem even stupider than it already did.
(2) On a related note, Mark Shea’s recent post on the sex abuse scandal is worth reading, hitting on many of the same themes I’ve been addressing lately. In this all, let’s be really clear about one thing: even though the Roman Catholic clerical abuse scandal isn’t the only (or even the most widespread) child sex-abuse scandal, but it is a scandal nonetheless.
(3) Even if Catholic priests abused children at a similar rate as the general adult male populace, and even if other denominations’ clergy were equally guilty, and even if other denominations acted similarly spineless in the face of abusing priests and pastors, that doesn’t negate the factor that this is an enormous problem which requires serious contemplation and action. Priests should behave better than the general populace, and even better than non-Catholic clergy. Ordination does something, and besides, seminary is partly a screening process. If the priests being churned out are no better, morally, than those who have never been through seminary, then seminary isn’t having its desired effect on their moral aptitude for the priesthood. Period.
Something terrible has happened at the hands of those in the office of shepherd over the flock of Christ, abusing the least of these. It’s past time for us to have an adult, serious discussion about the causes and cures of the sex abuse scandal, but part of that process is refuting and rejecting the bomb-throwing of Dowd & co., with its disregard for facts and context.