Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?
This William Donahue piece hasn't got much attention.
Donahue's premise is that forty years ago, no one called the cops when their employees got caught molesting kids, so why single out the Catholic Church? (Donahue's answer to the question, by the way, is that the New York Times is a bunch of Jew-loving bigots.) That's a clever way to change the subject, but it doesn't really address the issue.
The Catholic Church didn't just fail to notify authorities, they retained known molestors and moved them to other positions of authority over other children. They failed to protect the children in their care, and facilitated further molestation. Providing rapists with new victims is a lot different than not calling the cops.
More fundamentally, the defense is based on the premise that the Church shouldn't be held to a higher standard of morality, compassion or compentence than a private day care center or local school district. So then what's the point of being a member of the Church? If the Church isn't any better than anyone else at recognizing right from wrong, protecting the helpless from predators or doing the right thing, does it serve any purpose whatsoever?
Donahue says, "Rarely have employers called the cops, and none was required to do so." Really, Bill? That's the standard you advocate? "Had the Catholic Church simply tossed the offenders out, it would have been branded as heartless." Are you shitting me? I don't remember the Sixties, or much of the Seventies, but I am fairly confident that retaining rapists wasn't a fan favorite back then.
Of course, Donahue's premise is false. The Church's entire reason for being was/is to assert that non-marital sex is wrong, that dishonesty and deception are wrong, and that whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believed in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. In practice, the Church said that those rules don't apply -- to it.
The best face that could be put on it is that the Church was protecting itself against its own members, those who stupidly placed their trust in the Church for spiritual guidance. But that doesn't explain why the Church protected their rapists -- terminated pedophiles wouldn't have called attention to the reason they were terminated, since sexual molestation of children was a crime then just as it is a crime now. Both those in control of the Church and the pedophiles shared (and probably still share) the thought that anything they did was not wrong. How else could the Church assert that birth control and premarital intercourse and homosexuality were evil incarnate while condoning and facilitating rape within their ranks?
Donahue has laid out a compelling case why the Catholic Church serves no useful purpose and has no reason to exist. Let's hope more people see the light.