So the US bishops own in-house news service has had a new Vatican document on the Scandal “leaked” to them before publication and it just happens to agree with most of what they have been saying. And it just so happens to be “leaked” the week before the John Jay Criminal College report will bring the malfeasance of the bishops back into the media spotlight, and this document will provide some cover.
For one thing, the Vatican document almost discounts the “elephant in the living room.” The document is based on a Vatican-sponsored symposium of non-Catholic scientific experts in the field and only one of them mentioned homosexuality and he said it was just a risk factor and not a major cause of the sex abuse crisis. Right. Almost 80 percent of the victims were young men between the ages of 11 and 17, but it’s not about homosexuality.
Of course, the report also supports the approach taken by the US bishops, except it disagrees with a “zero tolerance” policy, which most of the bishops didn’t really want anyway. The experts said it is better to keep an abuser in the priesthood, but remove him from ministry, so that he can be observed and controlled, rather than releasing him into society unsupervised. I may not completely disagree with that, but I find it curious that this “leaked” document matches up so well with what so many bishops have been saying.
But the dismissal of the impact of homosexuality, whether in the abuser or in priests in general, is a flaw, in my view. Yes, same-sex attraction itself may not be an automatic indicator that someone will be an abuser, but it is an indicator that the man has a psychological disorder and looking at the way things areould get this so obviously wrong. But this is par for the course among judicial activists. Logic has nothing to do with their decisions. The agenda is what’s important.