FEBRUARY 1, 2016 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS
Click here to read: “Ohio Seminary student arrested, charged with trying to arrange sex with infants,” by Elizabeth Faugl, abc6onyourside.com, January 29, 2016
This unfathomable crime happens more often than sane people can comprehend. The perpetrators come from all walks of life, but we don’t expect them among our Seminary students or priests. What are the standards for acceptance to Seminaries? With a priest shortage can we expect more or less diligence in screening?
I fear there will be less. We try to keep a narrow focus on this blog. Our topics are within the context of current doctrine and clergy child sex abuse. But perhaps it’s impossible not to discuss the priest shortage in connection with the clergy child sex abuse cover up.
The shortage leaves rectories more empty and with less oversight. It leaves good priests with an enormous amount of responsibility. Elderly priests are coming out of retirement to fill the gaps. Just covering Masses is difficult. What about Last Rites, the parishioner struggling with a crisis or a newcomer with faith questions.
In these situations, does “any priest is better than no priest” mode kick in at the administration level?
The same clericalism that allows child sex abuse to go unchecked will be the same that destroys any opportunity to minister to Catholics when they most need it.
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