The sun is shining, or it’s raining or snowing, so it must be time for yet another attack on the Roman Catholic church. This time involving lies about the Pope, his brother and, before long, his auntie Freda and his pet cat Hans. Logical thinking and balanced thought were eliminated from this subject long ago. It’s church-bashing time and why bother about poverty and war when you can pretend that Catholicism is to blame for everything.
While many of you reading this column are not Catholic, and some may even be critical or suspicious of the Roman Catholic church, as people who understand the pro-life cause and have seen how it is marginalized and ridiculed, you surely appreciate how the mainstream media have distorted the truth and attempted to discredit the largest institution standing up to the culture of death.
While sexual abuse is obviously grotesque, the number of occurrences in the Catholic church is neither higher nor lower than any other denomination or religion and the same as that in education, sport and any other institution that involves a power dynamic between adults and youths. This is proven in numerous studies by objective authors. Yet, if we are to believe the media, abuse is almost exclusively Catholic and – here we go again – all because of celibacy and an-all male clergy.
Complete trash-talk of course. A failed priest says no more about Catholicism than a failed Canadian says about Canada. On a basic level, if celibacy were an issue, there would be no abuse in Protestant churches and if gender were an issue, we would not have female teachers going to prison for having affairs with child students.
No man is forced to be celibate because no man is forced to be a priest, just as no man is forced to be monogamous because no man is forced to be a husband. There are years of formation for Catholic clergy and it is pure fantasy to think that after a decade of preparation, a man suddenly realizes that he cannot live the priestly life. Let’s be realistic here – if they do, they leave and marry, not turn overnight into abusers. If we want to see modern failure, we’d do better to look at divorce rates and men and women who swear fidelity to their spouses but do not live up to their vocation.
In fact, some of the people who seem most angry about the abuse tragedy, including those campaigning for married priests and the ordination of women, often seem more concerned with their own political agendas than with the protection of young people. Which is, in itself, horribly abusive.
What these same people seldom discuss, because it runs directly contrary to their politics, is the genuine nature of abuser and abused. Forty years of statistics show that 85 per cent of the latter have been teenage boys. Their tormentors were homosexual men. This is not for a moment to suggest that all homosexual men are abusive, but merely to state the undeniable truth that this is a particular pathology with particular solutions. When the church grasped the nature of the problem, it introduced new guidelines concerning the sexuality of men applying to seminaries. And it was immediately accused, by the very critics blaming the church for doing too little, of being anti-homosexual and doing too much.
This is important. Pedophilia is the sexual attraction of an adult to a child, to someone who in no way resembles a mature person. In fact, all of the studies of pedophilia conclude that the pathology centres on children younger than 10 years old, sometimes even on babies. As the child reaches puberty, the attraction lessens. This may be repugnant to consider, but it says much about what has occurred. The typical victim of the abuse scandal has been a 13-year-old boy. Ninety per cent of the abusers claim to be homosexual and more than 90 per cent of the abused are boys, the overwhelming majority being adolescents.
This in no way excuses the horrific crimes, but it does explain what went on. Gay men attracted to young men or teenage boys took advantage of their roles and abused them. Remember, some of the fiercest critics of the scandal are people who actively support the lowering of the age of consent for homosexual sex. It does reveal a certain inconsistency. Yet, what is staggering is that whenever this issue is discussed, the word “homosexual” is never uttered.
There are priests working with the despised, the disabled, the dying and the desperate on every continent. They make the world a far better and happier place, unlike their ill-informed critics who ignore truth and are terrified of asking meaningful questions. The Roman Catholic church will survive all this, but truth has taken a battering. No surprise there for pro-lifers, no surprise at all.
Michael Coren can be booked for speeches at www.michaelcoren.com.