The Catholic Church Must Look Deep into Abuse
By Barbara Francisco
February 11, 2021
|Snow falls on St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church as President Biden attends Mass in Wilmington, Del., on Sunday. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)|
I hope that Candida Moss did not mean to play down in her Feb. 7 Outlook essay, “Five Myths: Catholicism,” the damage done to individuals and families by pedophiles in the Catholic Church.
Though most people who have been sexually abused do not abuse others, those who abuse others have been disproportionately abused themselves. Convicted abusers should be interviewed as to their past trauma to discover how prevalent this problem is. Many priests and bishops do, apparently, break their vow of celibacy and involve themselves with consenting adults. Secrecy means that priests who abuse children may not be reported because of the information on vow-breaking that they hold on others in their ranks.
The damage must stop, and Ms. Moss and others must lay out what steps the Catholic Church and law enforcement must take to make that happen. Dismissing celibacy and homosexuality as causes for this serious problem is not enough.