- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- How It All began
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Humor & Truth
Bill Maher’s video clip is exemplary of his biting sarcastic humor, that frankly I find entertaining. I especially enjoyed his movie, Religulous; however, what is disturbing about this particular video clip is that while it does a wonderful job of attacking symptoms it fails to expose the cause of the problem of sex-abuse in the Catholic Church.
Pedophilia is an inexcusable violence and crime against children. Despite the most determined efforts of law enforcement agencies and the judicial system, such crimes will continue to occur. Just as murders, rapes, and assaults still occur despite the fact that these are criminal acts and prosecuted as such. According to the John Jay School of Law in New York City, “The 4,392 priests who were accused amount to approximately four percent of the 109,694 priests in active ministry during that time.” Logically, that means that ninety-six percent (96%) are not pedophiles. Another stereotype is that pedophiles are predominantly gay. The reality is that most pedophiles self-identify as straight (heterosexuals). A pedophile is an adult who violates children and this has nothing to do with sexual orientation; rather it is a psychological disorder.
Perhaps the reason why such false stereotypes are attractive is because, disturbingly most acts of pedophilia are incestuous. By characterizing pedophiles as Catholic priests and/or gay men, attention is drawn away from two things. First, that it is most probably a heterosexual family member, or relative who will violate your children. There is a false comfort and security in believing that pedophiles are “one of those people” and not someone seated at my family’s Thanksgiving meal. Secondly, the real scandal in the Catholic Church is not that there are pedophile priests. The real scandal is their superiors had knowledge of such crimes and failed to report them to law enforcement and District Attorneys.
Imagine if a Superintendent of a School District knowingly transferred a pedophile teacher from one school to another in the School District. Further imagine that Superintendent paying parents/guardians money to remain silent and requiring the student to sign a statement that he/she would never divulge what happened. What would happen to that School Superintendent if all of this became public?
Can you name one (1) Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop who has faced criminal prosecution for their role, not merely in obstructing justice, but thereby actually causing new incidents of pedophilia? Visit www.BishopAccountablity.com for a detail listing of such incidents and documentation. Even more disturbing is the fact that documentation exists that links the current Pope Benedict XVI with the Cover-Up Scandal.
Focusing exclusively on the small percentage of priests who are pedophiles and alluding to pedophilia as a gay crime reinforce false stereotypes. Not only does this cause many innocent people to suffer unjustly, but these stereotypes also serve to draw attention away from the real criminals. It may sound counter-intuitive; however, I’ll bet that the Pope and Catholic bishops are very happy that comedians and the public think that the problem is bad gay priests. It is not, the problems are bad bishops and American District Attorneys who lack the political guts to go after them. One of the reasons that politicians lack the guts to do their job is because of false public (voter) perceptions regarding this issue. Bill, please do a show on the Bishops role in all of this and since you are in LA, perhaps you could invite Cardinal Roger Mahony to be your guest.
PS: Since I wrote this post, I ran across this letter from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez to the new Archbishop of LA, Jose Gomez. The letter is posted on www.BishopAccountablity.org.