My Other Hat.
Imagine this! Or Can a Church hierarchy become a Catholic community? by Angela Zito
Eight years in , from which I liberated myself at the age of fourteen into public junior high, has put me into a Facebook flurry right now among former now grown up. The slow-burning scandal of child-abuse covered up, which started in the minds of many as an American brush fire in 1985 in Louisiana (and which was, in the words of Hendrik Hertzberg in the New Yorker this week: “dismissed as an epiphenomenon of America’s sexual libertinism and religious indiscipline”) has burned right up to the ’s door. Like a horrible slo-mo tennis match, we’ve had new accusations served and returned with ever-more ridiculous attempts by the Church hierarchy to defend the indefensible. (And for a comic round-up of the Church’s “blame game,” visit Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.)
The critics refuse to approach the problem as the Vatican has, “one sinning priest at a time,” and look instead for structural reasons for the abuse of kids, and for its cover-up. They have attacked hierarchy, the exclusion of women, and celibacy. But in searching for reasons and reforms, they often conflate the problems of abuse and cover-up, thus conflating the psychological and individual with the bureaucratic and communal. I’d like to try to untangle that knot just a bit. Continue reading....
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