I have this odd feeling that I’m not really disagreeing with Disputations as much as he thinks I do

Disputations take issue with my gripe at Fr. Tom Doyle’s interview. He makes a lot of points which I agree with and which, in fact, I’d love to see more strongly emphasized. There is this curious clericalized notion (sometimes practiced by priests and laity and frequently attributed by ignoramuses in the blogosphere to the Magisterium and “Poop John Baal”) that “The Catholic Church teaches that that the life of the faithful comes from priests and bishops, not from God.” As Disputations rightly points out, this is false. Our dignity as Christians proceeds from our baptism and is not mediated to us through the hierarchy. I tried to say as much here.

What troubled me about the interview (and I certainly grant that verbal interviews are likely to be less nuanced) is that there did not appear to me to be a distinguishing of abuse victims from ordinary laity. What came through to me in the remarks was not “Abuse victims are discovering that they don’t have to live their lives mediated through servile fear of priests” but “Maturity (for anybody) means outgrowing the need for sacraments (particularly Holy Orders).” Perhaps I misread him due to my own years long experience as a Protestant being taught *precisely* this doctrine (to the degree that my old church group practiced no sacraments whatever) and therefore was over-sensitive to the danger. I dunno. But that was was I was responding to and I think the text of the interview is ambiguous enough that it’s not hard for a reader to conclude that was what he was saying. As I say, I’m certainly open to changing my mind here. It’s just that all I’ve got to go on is the text. I can’t read Fr. Doyle’s mind.