Thursday, May 26, 2011

Child Abuse in the Catholic Church. Again.

Yet another child-abuse case in the Catholic church:
The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.
Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said.
These cases always cause certain arguments to crop up, having to do with the causes of the apparently widespread child abuse in the Catholic church and with the ways to fix the problem. Thus, we are told that it all started with the permissive sexual culture of the 1960s or that it is caused by the enforced celibacy of the (all-male) priesthood.

But it is less seldom that we connect the problem of sexual child abuse by so many priests with the assumed authority of this church (and of other religious organizations in several religions) to define what sexuality should mean for other people. If sex is allowed only for procreation within marriage, shouldn't the church walk its talk?

And when do we connect the dots from this to the church's view of women as essentially without any reproductive rights, given the church's disapproval of contraception or of abortion? Never mind. Most people don't seem to find anything odd in the fact that it is theoretically celibate men who decide on all this.