@15 The Church teaches that priests are humans, and fallible. Yes, they act in persona christe during the liturgy. And yes, priests should behave in a moral manner. No, priests aren't perfectly moral. Just like all of us. There's a line in the liturgy that speaks to this as it applies to priests:
[Priest] Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of your mercies, my own unworthiness. Pardon my every offense both voluntary and involuntary, and do not withhold the grace of your Holy Spirit from these Gifts here set forth because of my sins.
Once again, this does not excuse abuser-priests. But Catholicisim doesn't teach that priests are divine. It doesn't hold that priests are sinless. In fact, all priests are sinners - Catholicism teaches there have only ever been two sinless people.
@10 I agree that the enablers are disgusting and should also be punished. But Catholics aren't the only ones who harbor rapists. The quickest site I could find is a foundation trying to raise awareness of the abuse of minors online (http://www.cpiu.us/
). They hold that among those teachers who have faced allegations of sexual abuse:
38.7% of the teachers resigned, left the district, or retired
17.5% were spoken to informally
15% were terminated or not re-hired
11.3% received a formal verbal or written reprimand
8.1% were suspended and then resumed teaching
7.5% were cases where the superintendent determined that the teacher hadn’t meant to sexually abuse
Of the nearly 54% of abusers who resigned, weren’t rehired, retired, or were terminated, superintendents reported that 16% were teaching in other schools and that they didn’t know what had happened to the other 84%. All but 1% of these teachers retained a teaching license.
What the Catholic Church has done is wrong. And it's even more wrong to realize that somebody who is supposed to minister to the people has abused a position of respect and authority. But priests are not unique in their capacity for abuse.
And to be honest, the only reason I'm mentioning these stats is because, above, Dan alleged that they were/are with his Denny's snark.