An official from the Vatican came out today and said that the overwhelming majority of sex abuse cases in the Catholic church do not involve pedophiles because almost all the cases deal with adolescents. The official also said that this same problem exists, perhaps is even worse, in other church and religions (Protestants and Jews are mentioned specifically) I re-read the article three times to make sure I was reading it right.
It is incomprehensible to me that the Vatican would make such a statement. Are they saying it isn’t as much of a problem because the victims were 12 instead of 8? Are they saying that since the same crime is going on elsewhere that it gets them any more off the hook?
I know this is a troubling issue. I also know that the overwhelming majority of Catholic priests are great and dedicated men who would never dream of harming their parishioners. And I absolutely believe those who are out to attack Christ’s Church use this issue to their own ends.
Nevertheless, every religious organization has to realize that one clergy person engaging in sex with any parishioner who is under eighteen is one too many. Such people are deeply troubled souls and must be removed from traditional ministry permanently.
Every soul God entrusts to a church is a precious soul and the Church (and Synagogue and Mosque) must keep close eye on every vulnerable person (young, old, disabled, etc.) and make sure they are not being abused – especially by those who are there to be their priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam.
I strongly believe in what I call “two-person integrity” with children. We should always have two adults with anyone in the church 18 or younger at all times. The odds of getting two bad apples at once are much much lower.
Whoever this priest is who said these words needs to rethink his position. The problem isn’t the outrage. The problem is the problem.
All the best and until next time,