Postage for Pakistan and other parts of the planet

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh no! More clergy sex abuse! Oh ... wait ... uhm ... well ...

Click HERE to see the latest case of clergy sex abuse. But wait. It's not a priest ... or any clergy ... or even a catechist ... or a religious. In fact, there's no way to tell whether this person is Catholic at all. (However, if he is -- or even was -- at some point we'll be told how as a young child, he had been an altar boy. Yeah, well, so what? So have probably about 1-5% of all Mass attending boys who have ever been Catholic. Some grow up to be saints, some don't. Why is it relevant?)

However, I digress.

The real point of this is to ask you this question: Before reading this post, had you heard of this story? I only saw it as a side post on Yahoo! News, barely noticed before I clicked away from another story I'd been reading. Why isn't this front page news? Why isn't this at the top of all the network newscasts? FoxNews on its homepage has a story about a black bear crashing into a wall (for the record, I love FoxNews; I'm simply expressing my frustration that not even they consider this a major case; to find it on their site, you have to do a search for "Del. judge to rule in ex-pediatrician's trial"). Other news outlets have run pieces on it, true, and maybe the story has simply been drowned out by "Weinergate" (Lord, help us), more bad economic news, Obamacare, debit card fees, and other items. Or maybe the clergy sex abuse scandal made us inured to outrage?

However, if you've read the story, by now you know this doctor -- a man people trusted with all that was most precious in their lives -- was one sick jerk. I've read many accounts of what priests have done to their victims over the years. None come close to matching what this sick man did to his patients, whose average age was three.

Where is the outrage? Where are the calls for a John Jay-type commission to investigate child sex abuse amongst those in the medical profession (I will guarantee you this man is probably the tip of the iceberg, not that there's any greater incidence amongst doctors than there has been amongst priests -- 2 percent or less)? Where are the outraged editorials and groups of lay people sprouting up like weeds calling for greater accountability and more transparency from the medical community?

We haven't seen it, and we won't see it. And you know what? OK. Fine. I get it. The world is unfair. Life is unfair. The Catholic Church and her clergy -- as is only fitting -- are held to a higher standard. And, yes, there is certainly some schadenfreude on the part of others when they learn of Catholic clergy sex abuse. But that's the way it is. I'm glad that, if nothing else, these sordid last 10 years or so have made us aware of the extent of the problem and given us the means to begin dealing with it. Hopefully, this will help prevent further incidences and more victims in the future. That would truly be a sign of God bringing good out of evil.

I only wish we could get the rest of the world to pull the beam out of its eye before dealing with the beam in ours. This problem is endemic across confessional, ethnic, and national lines. The more we concentrate on that rather than "Bad, Catholic Church! Bad! Bad! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!" the sooner we help all victims, no matter their victimizers, and the more we will, like I said just above, help prevent their being even more victims.

What do you think?

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