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CLAIRE FOX: Sex abuse is just an excuse to attack the Church
The Times ^ | November 26, 2002 | Claire Fox

Posted on 11/25/2002 3:22:05 PM PST by MadIvan

The Roman Catholic Church is backward, superstitious, morally conservative and bigoted. Yet it needs defending in the face of a barrage of accusations, on both sides of the Atlantic, of paedophilia among the priesthood. For much of the motivation of these attacks is an assault on commitment and authority per se — a new front opened in the culture wars.

Atheists who believe in reason and progress should be concerned that the Church of Rome is under threat from a regressive culture of cynicism, low expectations and relativism. Why else have the present scandals captured the public imagination? After all, the Catholic clergy, a declining breed, seems an unlikely threat to society. Since the 1960s the traditionally powerful parish priest has become an ageing, demoralised figure of pathos.

Nor does the extent of the abuse explain the column inches devoted to it. A sober assessment of the figures shows that the monster in a dog collar is rare: there is no evidence that Catholic clergy offend at a higher rate than other clergy or non-clergy who deal with children. So why has the priesthood become society’s whipping boy?

One of its crimes seems to be the vow of celibacy, popularly regarded as the root of child abuse. A poll by Newsweek this year found that most Americans think the celibacy rule should be scrapped. Society is cynical about people of faith who voluntarily sacrifice sexual relationships and dedicate themselves to God. How do we explain orders of chaste nuns and brothers dedicated to good works unless as a cover for perverts in cassocks?

Celibacy’s critics assume that an individual’s sexual proclivity is the dominant motivation in his life.Therefore chastity and celibacy are regarded as an undesirable — indeed unbelievable — repudiation of sexuality impossible for any individual to maintain. Not only does this reflect the rise of a determinist notion of sexuality, it is also a denial of any notion of self-sacrifice to a higher cause. In today’s highly sexualised society, with its demand for self-fulfilment and immediate gratification, we are suspicious of anyone who professes to give up their personal life for the greater good.

This prejudice has a significance beyond the Catholic Church: it implies that it is impossible for the individual to subordinate his desires to the achievement of a higher goal. Yet an element of self-sacrifice is the condition for any individual or social advance. In an era where the feeble view of human beings as capable only of the lowest level of commitment is common, and where ideas of public service and vocation in the professions are in crisis, we should be wary of the attack on celibacy.

Another common explanation for paedophile priests is that their authority as leaders in the community, and the power of the Church, provide criminal opportunity and protection. Unquestioned authority irks contemporary mores. Over recent years we have seen assaults on a range of authority figures, from doctors to dons, scientists to politicians, who have been told their presumption of knowledge was nothing less than arrogant bullying. Frequently commentators slip from tales of sexual abuse into condemnations of Jesuit-style discipline in schools, or of nuns and priests who dared to suggest that they knew the difference between right and wrong. The main crime of Catholic priests seems less their supposed sexual deviancy than their affront to moral relativism and scepticism.

If the priesthood was under assault for peddling myths and pre-Enlightenment irrationality, we might be right to celebrate its tarnishing. But as we pull priests off their pedestals simply because they have commanded positions of authority within a traditional institution, we should reflect on the way that relativism has sapped the morale of so many other authority figures. The real parable worth studying is the cultural consequences of a society that so easily elides authority and abuse, and concludes that dedication leads to deviancy.

The author is Director of The Institute of Ideas

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; ireland; paedophiles; pope; priests; uk; us; vatican
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I think she's a lefty, but overall, not bad. The Church does have to be more aggressive in smashing the homosexual subculture and paedophilia, however.

Regards, Ivan

1 posted on 11/25/2002 3:22:06 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: Delmarksman; Sparta; Toirdhealbheach Beucail; TopQuark; TexKat; Iowa Granny; vbmoneyspender; ...
2 posted on 11/25/2002 3:22:21 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Enforce the 1961 ban and clean out the seminaries and episcopacy.
3 posted on 11/25/2002 3:41:09 PM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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Enforce the 1961 ban and clean out the seminaries and episcopacy.

Agreed. Call me old fashioned but I think Vatican II was a mistake in many ways.

Regards, Ivan

4 posted on 11/25/2002 3:42:19 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan
Call a spade a spade Ivan. The media hates the Church, and reacts with glee every time they get the chance to make their not-so-subtle dig.
5 posted on 11/25/2002 4:43:17 PM PST by WaveThatFlag
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To: MadIvan
Sex abuse is just an excuse to attack the Church

Maybe... but it's a darn good reason...
6 posted on 11/25/2002 4:46:51 PM PST by Stone Mountain
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To: Stone Mountain
Maybe... but it's a darn good reason...

In my opinion there are two components to this - the Church's weak response to the homosexual subculture and paedophilia is worthy of criticism, if not out right damning.

At the same time, the Left wants to use this scandal to undermine the Church as a whole, to suggest it is not an institution worth preserving.

Regards, Ivan

7 posted on 11/25/2002 4:50:20 PM PST by MadIvan
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To: MadIvan; *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; ...
Catholic discussion ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Catholic Discussion Ping list.

8 posted on 11/25/2002 4:51:43 PM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation
Please remove me... thanks...
9 posted on 11/25/2002 4:55:48 PM PST by
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To: MadIvan
10 posted on 11/25/2002 5:03:22 PM PST by MonroeDNA
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To: MadIvan
Call me old fashioned but I think Vatican II was a mistake in many ways.

I'll call you old fashioned Ivan, and love ya all the more for it, LOL! ;)

The whole Vatican II thing reminds me of a quote from Ellen Glasgow: "All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward."

11 posted on 11/25/2002 5:03:47 PM PST by kstewskis
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To: MadIvan
Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and former priest, has studied celibacy and sexuality in the priesthood for four decades. He has authored three books on the topic. He once estimated that 30% of the priesthood is homosexually oriented. 3 Elsewhere, he is quoted as estimating that between 25% and 45% of American priests are homosexual in orientation. 4 He told the Boston Globe: "If they were to eliminate all those who were homosexually oriented, the number would be so staggering that it would be like an atomic bomb; it would do the same damage to the church's operation...It would mean the resignation of at least a third of the bishops of the world. And it's very much against the tradition of the church; many saints had a gay orientation, and many popes had gay orientations. Discriminating against orientation is not going to solve the problem."
12 posted on 11/25/2002 5:05:15 PM PST by MonroeDNA
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To: MonroeDNA
See above link.
13 posted on 11/25/2002 5:06:57 PM PST by MonroeDNA
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To: MadIvan
Call me old fashioned but I think Vatican II was a mistake in many ways.

Vatican II was not a mistake.

Some of the excesses which invoked Vatican II were mistaken, as were the invocations of Vatican II utilized to justify almost every aberration which followed the Council.

Those who look back on everything prior to the 1962 as some kind of ideal age, where Catholic women wore head covers, and Catholic men belonged to the Knights of Columbus, and everybody watched Leave it to Beaver on Saturday night, and all was right with the world and the Church, are naive.

Without Vatican II, the Western Rite of the Catholic Church would look like the Eastern Rite: shrinking, self-focused, and obsessed with internal matters instead of leading the world out of communism and inculturating liturgy with local customs in primitive third-world countries.

John Paul II is an advocate of Vatican II because he exemplifies the best of the Council: open to the world and open to his fellow man.

14 posted on 11/25/2002 5:07:36 PM PST by sinkspur
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To: MadIvan
I attended a Caholic school, in grades 7-9. My best friend at the time, William Morisette (Farmington, Michigan), was an alter boy.

Bill "accidentally" shot himself in the forehead with a .22 rifle, while "cleaning it," shortly after this period. We were devestated.

Years later, I was informed that a certain priest at the parish, the head priest, actually, was doing alter boys for years. Right at the time Bill was an alter boy.

One of his lay-persons was outed, too, and once showed me and my friends porno flicks that you would not believe. This guy was also a boy scout volunteer.

15 posted on 11/25/2002 5:15:01 PM PST by MonroeDNA
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To: MadIvan; Thinkin' Gal; Prodigal Daughter; babylonian; Fred Mertz; shaggy eel; Crazymonarch; ...
>Sex abuse is just an excuse to attack the Church

No, it is just G~d revealing everything that is hidden -- in this case, He is hewing down the bad FRUIT of false teachers in order to warn the flock to stop following them.  He has done it in Protestant Churches and Catholic.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Who?  False teachers and false prophets. Anyone practicing paedophilia and preying on the flock is false!  Stop following them.  Follow the L~rd!

Mt 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Run like Joseph ran from Potiphar's wife! Gen. 39.

16 posted on 11/25/2002 5:17:28 PM PST by 2sheep
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To: MadIvan
the Left wants to use this scandal to undermine the Church as a whole

I agree. However, they forgot that they were exposing one of their favorite protected classes--homosexuals--in the bargain.

17 posted on 11/25/2002 5:24:53 PM PST by Nubbin
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To: 2sheep
Tenakh/Hebrew/Old Testament
Fulfilled by
Jesus Christ, Messiah

ALL of these prophesies were made hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years before Jesus Christ was born. Looking in the face of how He literally fulfilled them all (plus hundreds more), it is an impossibility that He is not Messiah, Saviour of the world. The ONLY person...past, present or future...who could fulfill all these prophecies is Jesus Christ.

If you have questions about Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah prophesied in the Tenakh, please write Daniel Sims, a missionary to the Jewish people or visit his website, The Hope of Israel Baptist Mission. Their mailing address is The Hope Of Israel Baptist Mission, P.O. Box 911, Powder Springs, GA 30127.

You may also contact "The Everlasting Nation," (a.k.a. International Board of Jewish Missions.) P.O. Box 3307, Chattanooga, TN 37404.

Fulfilled Prophecy Tenakh/Hebrew Scripture New Testament
His pre-existence Micah 5:2 John 1:1, 14
Born of the seed of a woman Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:18
Of the seed of Abraham Genesis 12:3 Matthew 1:1-16
All nations blessed by Abraham's seed Genesis 12:3 Matthew 8:5, 10
Genesis 22:8 John 1:29
From the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:1-3
Heir to the throne of David Isaiah 9:6-7 Matthew 1:1
Called "The mighty God, The everlasting Father" Isaiah 9:6 Matthew 1:23
Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18
His name called Immanuel, "God with us" Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23
Declared to be the Son of God Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17
His messenger before Him in spirit of Elijah Malachi 4:5-6 Luke 1:17
Preceded by a messenger to prepare His way Malachi 3:1 Matthew 11:7-11
Messenger crying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" Isaiah 40:3 Matthew 3:3
Would be a Prophet of the children of Israel Deuteronomy 18:15 Matthew 2:15
Called out of Egypt Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15
Slaughter of the children Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew2:18
Would be a Nazarene Judges 13:5; Amos 2:11;
Lam. 4:7
Matthew 2:23
Brought light to Zabulon & Nephthalm, Galilee of the Gentiles Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:15
Presented with gifts Psalm 72:10 Matthew 2:1, 11
Rejected by His own Isaiah 53:3 Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31, 12:10; Luke 9:22, 17:25
He is the stone which the builders rejected which became the headstone Psalm 118:22-23; Isaiah 28:16 Matthew 21:42; I Peter 2:7
A stone of stumbling to Israel Isaiah 8:14-15 I Peter 2:8
He entered Jerusalem as a king
riding on an ass
Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:5
Betrayed by a friend Psalms 41:9 John 13:21
Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:15; Luke 22:5
The 30 pieces of silver given for the potter's field Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 27:9-10
The 30 pieces of silver thrown in the temple Zechariah 11:13 Matthew 27:5
Forsaken by His disciples Zechariah 13:7 Matthew 26:56
Accused by false witnesses Psalm 35:11 Matthew 26:60
Silent to accusations Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 27:14
Heal blind/deaf/lame/dumb Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 29:18 Matthew 11:5
Preached to the poor/brokenhearted/captives Isaiah 61:1 Matthew 11:5
Came to bring a sword, not peace Micah 7:6 Matthew 10:34-35
He bore our sickness Isaiah 53:4 Matthew 8:16-17
Spat upon, smitten and scourged Isaiah 50:6, 53:5 Matthew 27:26, 30
Smitten on the cheek Micah 5:1 Matthew 27:30
Hated without a cause Psalm 35:19 Matthew 27:23
The sacrificial lamb Isaiah 53:5 John 1:29
Given for a covenant Isaiah 42:6; Jeremiah 31:31-34 Romans 11:27/Galatians 3:17, 4:24/Hebrews 8:6, 8, 10; 10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20
Would not strive or cry Isaiah 42:2-3 Mark 7:36
People would hear not and see not Isaiah 6:9-10 Matthew 13:14-15
People trust in traditions of men Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:9
People give God lip service Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:8
God delights in Him Isaiah 42:1 Matthew 3:17, 17:5
Wounded for our sins Isaiah 53:5 John 6:51
He bore the sins of many Isaiah 53:10-12 Mark 10:45
Messiah not killed for Himself Daniel 9:26 Matthew 20:28
Gentiles flock to Him Isaiah 55:5, 60:3, 65:1; Malachi 1:11;
II Samuel 22:44-45; Psalm 2:7-8
Matthew 8:10
Crucified with criminals Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:35
His body was pierced Zechariah 12:10; Ps. 22:16 John 20:25, 27
Thirsty during execution Psalm 22:16 John 19:28
Given vinegar and gall for thirst Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34
Soldiers gambled for his garment Psalm 22:18 Matthew 27:35
People mocked, "He trusted in God, let Him deliver him!" Psalm 22:7-8 Matthew 27:43
People sat there looking at Him Psalm 22:17 Matthew 27:36
Cried, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46
Darkness over the land Amos 8:9 Matthew 27:45
No bones broken Psalm 34:20, Numbers 9:12 John 19:33-36
Side pierced Zechariah 12:10 John 19:34
Buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57, 60
Resurrected from the dead Psalm 16:10-11; 49:15 Mark 16:6
Priest after the order of Melchizedek Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6; 6:20; 7:15-17
Ascended to right hand of God Psalm 68:18 Luke 24:51
LORD said unto Him, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool Psalm 110:1 Matt 22:44; Mark 12:36;, 16:19; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 1:13
His coming glory Malachi 3:2-3 Luke 3:17

(Thought you might enjoy this)

18 posted on 11/25/2002 6:29:17 PM PST by Jael
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To: MadIvan
After I read the first paragraph, I seriously needed a barf bag.
19 posted on 11/25/2002 6:31:55 PM PST by For the Unborn
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To: Nubbin
they forgot that they were exposing one of their favorite protected classes--homosexuals--in the bargain

Good point, Nubbin. The media tie themselves in knots to "prove" that homosexual Boy Scout leaders are not a threat to their charges, then declare all priests are pederasts because they are celibate.

Most of the charges of abuse by priests are directed against men who sexually assault boys. Not girls, boys. That would seem to indicate a homosexual trend.

So if a homosexual male is a priest, he is likely to assault a boy. If a homosexual male is a Boy Scout leader . . .

Seems they missed a step in their argument.

20 posted on 11/25/2002 6:36:59 PM PST by reformed_democrat
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