The Catholic Church and Pedophilia
The Catholic Church needs to make a collective decision concerning pedophilia: Do they support sex with children or do they abhor such obviously immoral and criminal activity? The decision should be simple. Nevertheless, in the United States, when the scandal became too large for them to continue to pretend it was only a few misguided souls, the Church had multiple meetings, large conferences even, to decide how to handle this issue. Let me repeat, they felt the need to talk, at length, about what to do concerning grown men in their organization who like to have sex with children. They were not able to immediately condemn these behaviors, excommunicate anyone, or reveal much of anything to the public or law enforcement. Effectively nothing changed.
If you or I were to ask about celibacy for priests you will find the Church responds immediately. Question the Church about its stance on abortion and there will be no delay in their condemning the practice. Inexplicably though, when it comes to the issue of pedophilia they feel the need to consider how to approach the issue.
I have not talked to anyone, not a single person…ever…who has taken more than a second to respond to the question of whether pedophilia should be an acceptable practice in any organization or society. There is nothing that justifies any delay in responding to a single instance of improper sexual contact with a minor. That there are likely thousands of such instances within this one organization should evoke immediate and ruthless action against offending members of the Church, by the Church itself, as well as complete cooperation with criminal investigations and acceptance of their ramifications. Nothing less is acceptable.
The Church does not appear to agree. Instead of allowing cooperating with law enforcement they are obstructionist. Instead of removing offending priests from the Church they merely move them from one location to another knowing that they are likely to commit the same acts again. They are thoroughly complicit in these priests’ actions.
The question I now must ask: Why do we allow such an organization to continue to operate in the United States of America? I like to think that this country is better than that. I want to believe that we will not allow any exception to the outlawing of pedophilia. We have trouble agreeing on health care. We disagree on gun ownership. We are unclear about positions on drugs. However, we can certainly agree on this one issue. Raping children cannot be excused. Obfuscation of the truth cannot be allowed. Investigation into legitimate allegations cannot be obstructed. An organization that exhibits continued complicity in abhorrent illegal activity cannot be permitted to persist in such endeavors without severe consequence.
These are not radical ideas. This is not an unfair singling-out of an organization. A problem exists that has not yet been corrected and little is being done to change that. I say again, we are better than this, but I cannot continue to hold this opinion if we are not willing to make this clear to the Catholic Church.