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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Monday, October 21, 2002
10:06 PM

I see posts hither and yon about what a calamity it is for the Vatican to reject the U.S. Bishops' "zero tolerance" plan to deal with sexual abuse allegations. But all of this was foreseen months ago when canon lawyers and a variety of Catholic bloggers said it clashed with canon law, not to mention common sense, on a number of fronts including due process. Previously, the American bishops wouldn't discipline a priest no matter how vile and well-founded was the charge of (usually gay) sex abuse. Now, the American bishops would scarcely bother to evaluate the facts of the matter no matter how thin and speculative. In both cases they're abdicating their responsibility, in both cases they are earning about the level of respect they deserve, though thank God there are individual exceptions. But if the Andrew Sullivans of the world had acknowledged, identified and named the damaged little subculture of boy abuse that exists in the gay universe instead of pretending otherwise, it's possible we could have avoided all this in the first place. We also could have avoided nonsensical ideas like emptying the Catholic orders, and I do mean emptying them, of all gay priests. There's nothing scriptural and I suspect very little in Tradition to support that. But again, we have people like Mr. Sullivan, who is a treasure of contemporary journalism, crusading against the one impolitic thought: Today, It Really Is A Gay Problem. Only men of his stature could have led that charge.

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