Wednesday, May 18, 2011
After a five year study that cost nearly two million dollars, the Catholic Church has concluded that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality were to blame for pedophile child abuse in its ranks, but caused by "priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, [who] landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and ’70s."
The "blame Woodstock" defense, so popular among conservatives who blame all our social ills on the Sixties, again rears its ugly head--this time wearing a bishop's mitre.
The New York Time reported on the study ("Church Report Cites Social Tumult in Priest Scandals," May 17th, 2011).
"The 'blame Woodstock' explanation has been floated by bishops since the church was engulfed by scandal in the United States in 2002 and by Pope Benedict XVI after it erupted in Europe in 2010,"according to the Times. "Since the scandal broke, conservatives in the church have blamed gay priests for perpetrating the abuse, while liberals have argued that the all-male, celibate culture of the priesthood was the cause. This report will satisfy neither flank."
When in doubt, blame someone else. In this case, blame the kids who questioned the moral authority and piggishness of archaic institutions--such as the Church--and wore different hairstyles and listened to music. Evidently that was enough to drive these poorly supervised priests to sexually assault children. And I guess all the priests who assaulted children before this time (and there were many) were driven by jazz.
All in all, it's another case of Church bullshit. You might as well blame the bossa nova.
In the excellent documentary,"Deliver Us From Evil" (shown above, in it's entirety), filmmaker Amy Berg tells the story of a serial child molester priest, Oliver O’Grady. "O'Grady (pictured here) was a Catholic priest who served in a number of parishes in Southern California during the 1970s and ’80s. O’Grady was also a habitual child molester who abused dozens of youngsters who were entrusted to his care, and while his superiors in the church were aware of O’Grady’s crimes as early as 1973, they opted to simply move him from one congregation to another rather than turn him in to authorities or strip him of his ordination."
Sadly, this case is not that uncommon. Many times the Church has simply shuffled the deck and sent the troublesome priest to a new parish to prey upon new children. They've tried to sweep it all under the rug, or worse: cast public doubt upon the victims. Now they want to blame it on the Beatles and strawberry incense, or whatever. Maybe this flimsy explanation is sufficient for those parishioners still desperate to believe, in spite of all the evidence, that the Church did the best it could, but it certainly isn't enough for those who suffered as innocent children under its predatory priests. Until the Church can honestly search its soul and confess its sins, criminals like O'Grady will continue to find protection under its black wing.