July 29, 2005

From The Left-Santorum vs. Boston, or Red vs. Blue , and who wins?

Barnstable Patriot

By Richard Elrick

With Rick Santorum, the third ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate leading the right-wing charge, the Democrats may actually have a chance to win back his Pennsylvania Senate seat, and even the White House in 2008.

Earlier this month, Santorum reiterated his bizarre view, as expressed in a 2002 Catholic Online opinion piece, that the liberalism of Boston was responsible for the tragic child sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church the last few years. By uttering such inane absurdities, he demonstrates, by blaming the culture of the victims, not only a callous disregard for those young victims, but even more disturbingly, an ignorance of the facts and of the history of the Catholic Church, itself.

What he said exactly was, “When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected” … “it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.” How ridiculous. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by such comments. This is the same Republican senator who intruded on brain-dead Terri Schiavo’s deathbed, saying she had been executed, and who said that consensual homosexual behavior by adults was like “man on dog” sex, and that gay marriage “absolutely” threatens his own marriage.

What happened with the Catholic sex abuse scandal had nothing to do with Boston being the bastion of liberalism, other than that it was the first place where actions occurred to stop the abuse. If the esteemed Senator Santorum had researched the issue or had any historical or intellectual understanding of his Church’s background and culture, he would have discovered that the curse of pedophilia has been an affliction of the Catholic Church since the Middle Ages-and before. He would have found that the current history of sexual abuse cases in Boston goes back to the 1950s and 1960s, long before Boston became the great beacon of liberalism it now is. He would also have found that Catholic priest abuse of children has occurred, according to a study commissioned by the national Review Board for the protection of Children and Young People (an arm of the US Conference of Bishops), in greater percentages in such not-so-liberal strongholds as Jackson, Miss., and Belleville, Ill., to say nothing of that beautiful Catholic island of Ireland.

Posted by kshaw at July 29, 2005 08:10 AM