The Gates Of Hell

 USA Today has perhaps given one of the most fair minded and balanced accounts/overviews of the clergy sexual abuse scandal in their article "How Serious Is the 'Predator Priest' Problem." One of the questions raised in this article is if sexual abuse is found in other religious denominations, as well as in secular professions such as teaching, scouting, coaching etc., why then do we hear of so many Catholic cases?
My personal opinion is this: The attack is not on individual priests, but on the Catholic Church itself. This is what Satan knows; if he can get rid of our priests, he can surely get rid of the Church. After all, no priests, no Eucharist~ no Eucharist, well you can finish it from there. I know I have said this before, but some things are worth repeating.
While there have been priests, and others truly guilty of this heinous crime, there are those who have been accused and are not guilty. (You can read Fr. Gordon MacRae's story on These Stone Walls) Those who are truly guilty need to be punished accordingly. However, Satan doesn't seem to be too discerning as far as priests are concerned- he is going for the lot.
While Christ did say that "Upon this rock I build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.", he never said this Church would not suffer its share of attacks and hard knocks.
The Catholic Church has suffered attacks and scandals at different periods throughout her 2000 plus year history, but Christ's promise is our hope, but that doesn't mean we can just sit back secure in that promise; we as faithful Catholics need to pray~ for our priests, for the priesthood in general, and for our Catholic Church.
It was refreshing to see a fair and balanced appraisal of this very serious situation.

*Mantilla Twitch to Fr. John Trigillio at The Black Biretta and American Papist for the link to the article.
Note: Thomas Peters' article on American Papist is worth reading as well. He gives a little more background and depth with informed insight from Philip Jenkins who wrote the USA article.

For a good semi- related post read Fr. Kenneth Baker's post on The Holiness of Priests at The Ignatius Press Blog. He refers to points made on the importance of a priests' personal holiness by Pope Benedict XVI and Fulton Sheen.


Colleen said…
Karinann, I am afraid that this article left out an important point in trying to figure out why Catholic cases are reported more often - the cover up. The cover up by bishops and priests for years, plus moving offending priests around so they could abuse some more. This all led to more children being abused, children who should have been protected by their Bishops.
This is a major part of the scandal and adds to the anger and hurt and media frenzy. It also makes the situation unique and difficult to compare to other situations such as public schools.
And so the scandal became a universal church problem - a hierarchy problem - rather than just a problem with individual priests. It will take a long time to undo the harm.
The Good News?
Jesus sent us Pope Benedict. I think Il Papa will help us heal and grow. I hope and I pray.
ocd sister said…
I think that one of the reasons that the Church is such a favored target is that it has structure. Most protestant churches are splintered, individual groups. So, while a reporter can report on a scandal in the Catholic Church, he or she usually may only say the same about the "City Valley Church of the Believers". Thus, their abuses are not seen as being as significant as those in the Church. I remember reading several months ago an article about how there were more abuses in public schools or the methodist church but those were under reported by the zealous reporters. And we can't ignore the number of sexual harrassment cases reported in universities nationwide. The Church is an easy target. But that means that a) we are been offered great means of purification and atonement, b) God will provide the necessary graces to pull through, and c) in the end the Church will be triumphant. Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us!
Karinann said…
Thank you both for your thoughts on this. You both make excellent points.
I definitely agree that God will send the necessary graces- Pope Benedict being among them.
Blessings to you both!