Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quote of the Day

Let us be clear: We are not suggesting that church leaders are sex offenders. But we must name a tragic reality: Many of them think or respond the way sex offenders do when confronted with clergy sex abuse and its cover-up: They deny, defend and blame. They minimize and cover up. They become outraged when their abysmal handling of abuse cases is exposed. Most egregious of all, they display appalling deficits in empathy for victims: They turn to categorizing crimes when all people want is a heartfelt pastoral response from their leaders.

Celibacy is mandated for male church leaders. Women are excluded from sacramental leadership, thus creating an ecclesial environment that offers a perfect refuge for those whose sexual interests do not include women. Among them are the sexually disinterested, who simply don’t pick up sexual cues in the environment. For these asexual men celibacy is easy -- and so is failing to notice if some of their brothers become sexual with minors. Since asexual individuals have a minimized capacity for intimate feelings, their affectivity is stunted, limiting their ability to experience the whole range of the most normal human feelings, including falling in love and feeling horrified over the abuse of a child. Women are a genuine threat to this world. They can expose it. Keeping them far away from the inner workings of the system is essential to its survival.

Rome has now connected the sexual abuse of minors and a ban on the ordination of women in one of its own documents. Perhaps those who crafted the document are on to something: The refusal to allow women into the inner sanctum of ecclesial power may well be related to clergy sexual abuse, and to the Vatican’s impotence in addressing this crime in a truly pastoral way. Is the attempted ordination of women a crime, or is the real crime the refusal to allow it?

- Fran Ferder and John Heagle
"The Inner Workings of a Hierarchy with a Sex Offender Mentality"
National Catholic Reporter
August 2, 2010

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