As a new mother gazing into the innocent eyes of my two babies, marveling at their wide-open smiles and implicit trust, I feel revolted by the thought that someone could violate that trust in such unspeakable ways. Looking at them, I don't much care about caveats or context. I don't want to hear apologies or complaints about media bias or comparisons to the equally abysmal records of other institutions. I'm glad there is zero tolerance for pedophiles, but I want something more.
I want outrage.
I want to know that the righteous anger I feel toward these predators in cleric's clothing is shared — by the many good priests smeared by the sins of a few, by the bishops forced to deal with such predators, by the pope who knows more than anyone the length, breadth and depth of this plague.
Perhaps that's what has been missing all along in the church's response to this crisis, from the early days when pedophiles were bounced from one parish to another, to recent years, when church leaders plaintively assured the faithful that they feel the victims' pain. Empathy, contrition and strict new policies are good, but they cannot restore confidence until lay Catholics know in their bones that church leaders share their fury at these sickening crimes and their perpetrators, that protecting children no longer will take a back seat to protecting clerics. [read more]
01 April 2010
Where the outrage?
Colleen Carrol Campbell suggests "the Pope should get more vocal" about the grave scandal of clerical sexual abuse: