Saturday, May 21, 2011

Catholic bishops release report that exhonerates the catholic bishops in the series of sexual scandals. Gee. What a surprise.

The bishops of the Catholic Church have conducted a five year study of the the church’s sexual abuse crisis. Their corporate conclusion is - wait for it - the problem was the free sexual mores of the 60's and 70's and the lack of supervision of the stressed priests who had to deal with the horror of those times.
Known occurrences of sexual abuse of minors by priests rose sharply during those decades, the report found, and the problem grew worse when the church’s hierarchy responded by showing more care for the perpetrators than the victims.
So let's see. A study funded by the Catholic bishops exonerates the bishops of responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis. Surprise, surprise.
Robert M. Hoatson, a priest and a founder of Road to Recovery, which offers counseling and referrals to victims, said the idea that the sexual and social upheavals of past decades were to blame for the abuse of children was an attempt to shift responsibility from church leaders. Mr. Hoatson said he had been among those who had been abused.“It deflects responsibility from the bishops and puts it on to a sociological problem,” he said. “This is a people problem. It wasn’t because of the ’70s, and it wasn’t the ’60s, and it wasn’t because of the 1450s. This was something individuals did.”

Kristine Ward, the chairwoman of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, said the cultural explanation did not appear to explain why abuse cases within the Catholic church have shaken places from Australia and Ireland to South America. “Does the culture of the U.S. in the 1960s explain that? It’s hard to believe,” she said.
The problem couldn't possibly be the difficulties that bishops have had for the last 50 years or more getting people to train for a career as a celibate priest, causing the bishops to be extremely protective of the warm bodies they already have on hand even when those warm bodies sexually attack boys in their care.

The article points out a number of technical points of weakness in the report, mostly going to downplay the seriousness of the problem. These bishops who paid for and released this report are the same men, after all, who first defended the perpetrators of the sexual abuses rather than the victims. It should be no surprise that the corporate leaders of the church react to charges that they failed in their job would prepare and publish a report that defends the behavior of the corporate leaders of the church.

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