Posted by: mutantpoodle | March 30, 2010

Liberals + Therapists = Priests Buggering Children

Sure, the Catholic church, and Pope Benedict XVI in particular, are facing some, um,  problems related to the handling – if one can call it that – of pedophile priests, including by the Pope back when he was Cardinal Ratzinger.

If you’re the New York Times’ Ross Douthat , you find a way to blame liberals and therapists for the church’s behavior:

In reality, the scandal implicates left and right alike. The permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s deserves a share of the blame, as does that era’s overemphasis on therapy. (Again and again, bishops relied on psychiatrists rather than common sense in deciding how to handle abusive clerics.)

What share of the blame would that be, exactly? I came of age in the “silly season of the 70’s,” and I managed to miss the “it’s OK to have sex with kids” part of that wacky 70’s curriculum.

The sad thing is that after doing the “both sides share blame” two-step, Douthat actually pegs the problem in the next sentence:

But it was the church’s conservative instincts — the insistence on institutional loyalty, obedience and the absolute authority of clerics — that allowed the abuse to spread unpunished.

I don’t think Ross Douthat is dumb. But it feels like he needs to spread blame around to keep up his membership in the right wing he-man liberal haters club, even when, as in this case, it strains credulity.

I’m guessing the Times doesn’t edit their op-ed contributors for content, but a friendly “you might want to rethink this” from someone at the Grey Lady couldn’t have hurt.


  1. Yes, particularly because much of the abuse pre-dated the permissive sexual culture. In fact, my sense is that the liberal sexual culture led to more open conversations about sexuality and desire which gave new priests tools to live celibate lives, and not prey on parishioners.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: