What we Know about Abuse by Clergy – For Starters, Homosexual Priests and Modern Sexual Norms are Not the Problem

Feeling much pain after the media release of Cardinal Pell’s guilty verdict this week. Here’s a blog post offering perspective where I can’t:


Clergy sex abuseSexual abuse perpetrated and hidden by clergy goes back centuries.

A priest with unsupervised access to boys grooms and then molests them. As the pattern becomes undeniable, the primary concern of church leaders is not for the children but for the reputation of the institution (a school) and the priest himself. So they simply move and promote him, as they have with other abusers. In this particular story, that includes appointing him headmaster and ultimately giving him administrative power over the religious order that runs the schools—before the whole mess implodes.

Stories like this have become mind-numbingly familiar, but in this case the abuser is Father Stefano Cherubini and the story takes place in the 17th Century. The superior who covers for him is Joseph Calasanz, a peer and correspondent of Galileo who, in 1767, will be canonized.

Sexual abuse perpetrated and hidden by clergy goes way back.

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