A round-up of recent religion news.
Cain, Sandusky, Catholic Priests. Sex has been in the headlines a lot lately. But some important distinctions are getting lost in the rush to categorize offenses, blurring the difference between crimes against marriage with those against women or minors, or the crimes of institutions with those of individuals.
So much commentary about the cover up of sexual abuse at Penn State has wrongly made comparisons of the University to the Catholic Church. While both are large, patriarchal institutions, both have kept the long-term abuse of children under wraps for the sake of those in leadership positions, and both have all the ritualistic trappings that inspire devoted followers and protect strict hierarchical structures, Penn State is not the Roman Catholic Church. Continue Reading →
by Amanda Marcotte
To quickly summarize a recently- released, five-year study funded by the Catholic Church on the priest sex abuse scandals: “We’ve investigated ourselves and concluded that it was the hippies that did it.” It may be easy to be hoodwinked into believing the report isn’t as dodgy as it is, as the researchers did offer some concessions to the critics, both in denying that homosexuality is the root of the sex abuse scandals and suggesting that the church failed to deal with the problem effectively, but it’s important to look beyond these concessions and at the larger conclusions reached. Doing so demonstrates that the Catholic Church has no interest in addressing the toxic, patriarchal culture that breeds sexual abuse and the subsequent cover-ups. Instead, the researchers have gone out of their way to suggest that the sex abuse was a historical anomaly caused by a lascivious 1960’s culture, and that no real changes need to be made in order to prevent future incidents of abuse of children and teenagers by priests. Continue Reading →