October 06, 2005

Vatican's ban of gay priests is a simplistic solution

News Gleaner

-In Our Opinion
In response to the scourge of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy, the Vatican is expected to announce a ban on homosexuals into the priesthood.
An overview of abuse cases certainly indicates the majority of assaults occurred on adolescent males, not pre-adolescent children. That, the church has concluded, means the problem is, in part, uncontrollable gay priests.
The church after Vatican II, no doubt pressured by the cultural permissiveness of the '60s and '70s, allowed gays into the priesthood provided they maintained the vow of celibacy.
The question remains: Did the homosexuality cause the abuse or was it the church's permissiveness?
According to a 2002 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on sexual abuse by priests, "bishops breached their responsibilities as pastors and put their heads in the sand.... These leadership failures are shameful to the life of the church," said attorney Robert Bennett, head of the study's research committee.
The key problems, the report said, were bishops who failed to reach out to victims, a defensive attitude toward their priests, an over-reliance on psychiatry and a resistance to sharing information with other archdioceses which allowed problem priests and identified allowed the abuse to reach "epidemic proportions," Bennett said.

Posted by kshaw at October 6, 2005 12:58 PM