A reader sends along a link about the report and remarks:
Forgive me, though, for thinking that the author’s objecting to the term ‘pedophilia’ as “malicious” where ‘ephebophilia’ is the correct term seems a laugher. As a daddy to two boys that are 11 and 13, they still seem like children to me if technically they are no longer ‘pre-pubescent.’ Get a grip.
Yeah. The whole “it’s wasn’t pedophilia, but ephebophilia” thing seems like the sort of pettifogging distinction without a difference that butt-saving bureaucrats like to make. Let me put it this way: if some priest laid a hand on my 15 year kid, I wouldn’t stand there parsing distinctions about pedophile vs. ephebophile. I’d call the cops. I’d also engage in intense interior debate about the morality of beating the living daylights out of the priest who harmed my kid.
I don’t have a problem with *laypeople* taking responsibility for the fact that pervert priests are not grown in hydroponic tanks and that they come from the culture that we–the laity–have created. That’s because I believe in subsidiarity and think the people who are closest to the proble should take responsibility for their part in the problem. So, as a layperson speaking to laity, I think we need to face the fact that we are the manufacturers and guardians of our culture and not pretend that the abuse crisis happened without our help and cooperation. We own all the guns, staff all the police, run all the courts, man all the prisons, do all the psychology and lawyering. We let this happen as much as anybody and, as laity, we should own up to that.
However, when clergy and especially the episcopacy are assessing the trouble, they really need to do better than “blame the sexual revolution and Woodstock.” Sure, the abuse follow the general contours of sexual insanity demographic from the 70s. Yes, the Church always tends to reflect and be colored by the culture around it.
But you know what? That *still* doesn’t mean the pervert priests had no choicess to make and it emphatically does not meant that bishops who lied and covered it all up were helpless puppets of the spirit of the age. We laity have a duty to take responsibility for creating sexually deranged culture. But priest and, in particularly, bishops who committed and covered up sexually derange crimes have every responsibility to take responsibility and spare us the “Blame Woodstock” evasion of responsibility.
Color me dissatisfied with the report.