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Fr. Robert Barron looks at Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas Message.
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Child abuse is worse when it occurs in the Church because the Church knows better.
[Really? And public school admnisters, who hold the public trust, do not know better? Families and parents do not know better? I make no excuses at all for the evil that has occurred within the church. It is no secret that the church survives only by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and that the faulty imperfect people who run it (and they've been faulty and imperfect from the start, because they're mere humans) would have long-ago mismanaged the church into extinction with the Holy Spirit; I'm fully cognizant that nothing has done such damage to the body of Christ as these scandals. But I grow weary of people who seem to imply that the sins of the church are "worse" and that somehow exempts the sins of everyone else, and for that matter, diminishes the victimhood of those who have been abused, but not by the hands of anyone connected with the church. As one who was abused in the home and the public schools, I think we do a genuine disservice to the victims of public school teachers; they watch their abusers remain employed, tenured and benefited for decades, with little pubic awareness and no outcry from the NY Times et al. Most people are not aware of the fact that abuse currently occurs in public schools at 500 times the rate it does in churches...if my memory serves, the last year data was gathered there were a total of 6 abuse cases reported against clergy or church volunteers in the Catholic church, but almost a thousand reported in the schools. 1 case is too many but the truth is, child sexual abuse is epidemic, throughout the world; don't you think the victims in our public schools, in our health institutions, in foster families and birth families deserve the same attention, the same outrage, as the victims of the church? I sure do. There is a legislator in NY who keeps trying to open the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse in the church, but (until this year) never, never wanted to do the same for victims of teachers. That seems wrong to me. I hope it seems wrong to you, too. -admin]
Elizabeth Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos. She is an award-winning writer and a regularly-featured columnist at [Read More...]
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