I was having it out with one Mavprof, an apologist for Rush Limbaugh and all things wing-nut on Chronicle.com. I turned Limbaugh’s medicine on him over the issue of contraception and the moral authority of the Catholic priesthood by reminding him of the pederasty scandals and the Catholic hierarchy’s cover up of them. I got this from the author of the post.
I agree with many of your points and appreciate the arguments you make, but perhaps it would be better to refrain from the assaults on Catholicism. You have every right to ignore my plea, but civility really is the only way forward in these debates, at least among scholars.
Too, there is a dark history of anti-Catholic hate in this country and I hope that secularists would join me in saying that they want no part of that going forward (the connection with secularism and anti-Catholicism is widely unknown and something I look at in that book I keep mentioning).
I am not the moral ombudsman of the site. This is just my opinion. I hope you consider it in the spirit it was given.
I am not trying to fan the fires of religious hatred, just stating the obvious on an issue of politics. Picking up where I left off in replying to the author, my reply continues:
There was a young gay man in a therapy group I briefly joined years ago who was introduced to sex by his priest when he was 12 years old. He struggled with the rape, but he struggled even more with being gay. He feared that his sexuality was somehow bound up with that rape, as if succumbing to it made him gay. He wondered if he took male lovers in order to assuage the guilt, in order to assure himself that it was alright to be gay, but he was looking to sort it all out and it tortured him. Yet where does the Catholic Church come down on homosexuality?
This is not something I or anyone else of a secular bent is bringing down on the institution of Catholicism. This is something the institution did to itself by covering up this moral outrage in order to protect its reputation. In so doing it lost its moral authority. Its calls for religious freedom sound like nothing more than hypocrisy and an attempt to insert another wedge issue into a secular power struggle.
The laity stopped listening to the institution on sexual matters years before the scandals broke out. Most lapsed Catholics talk about the burden of guilt. Maybe they want a bite of the apple. Maybe they want to found their morals on something other than proclamations from on high. Maybe they simply don’t want to live in the shadow of scolds. Is it any wonder some of the most traditionally Catholic countries, Italy, France, Spain, and Ireland are hotbeds of secularism today? I don’t happen to think so.