The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the most recent revelation in Pennsylvania has caused outrage, and I am certain has had a tremendous disheartening effect on the over one billion faithful. Many in the media, especially the usual Church detractors, have had a field day in their rebuke, condemnation, with many of them taking cheap shots. And although much of it is both understandable and to be expected, in all of the words spoken and written, there was one comment made in a local tabloid by columnist Linda Stasi - I have mentioned her before in a past article. Ms. Stasi remarked the Catholic Church “will never, and should never, recover.”
The Catholic Church over the past twenty centuries has had a profound effect on the world. Most historians would agree, and there have been a number of books written that explain how it was the Catholic Church that built Western Civilization. And yet with all its achievements and the good it has done, it has had its trials and tribulations, and yes has made mistakes. Does the good outweigh the bad, you can be the judge of that, but to dismiss the Church’s ministry and her history and hope that it never recovers from this crisis is unconscionable and a damning statement.
Let me suggest that Ms. Stasi, and be assured I have sent her a copy of this article, rethink her words more thoughtfully and carefully, and consider this. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care in the world, providing over 26% of the world’s health care. The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental provider of education in the world with over 140,000 thousand school facilities. What would the repercussions be, if the Church did in fact never recover and did succumb to the crisis, and eventually fade into the mist of time and history?
Eventually the Church's evangelization, its care for the sick, the poor and destitute, the elderly and homeless, the education of the student, and all the Church's social contracts would cease. Imagine for a moment what would follow, the government would have to step in and assume responsibility, and you know what that means. In the case of health care and education in the United States, I believe both systems would eventually collapse.
For anyone to hope the Catholic Church never recovers is to accept the fact that the Church will fail, and eventually its mission, in all its many manifestations, will cease to exist. Usually when one does not recover, the result is death, which are what Ms. Stasi and all the enemies of the Church hope for.
So there is no misunderstanding, and that no reader believes for a moment that I am making any excuses here, let me state for the record, anyone found guilty of sexual abuse, especially of children, and especially by members of the clergy, deserves punishment to the full extent of the laws of both the Church and society. With that said, it was never a pedophilia scandal; less than 3% of the allegations involved abuse of prepubescent children. The greater majority of abuse allegations dealt with homosexuality, abuse of post-pubescent teenagers, this according to the study done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Charol Shakeshaft, an educational researcher, whose area of expertise was sexual abuse, was commissioned by the Department of Education to review available literature of sexual misconduct with students by public school employees; she published her findings in 2004. According to her report 10% or approximately 4.5 million students had been victims of sexual abuse, rape, and harassment. In 2006 in an opinion column in National Review Online, Shakeshaft wrote “The physical abuse of students in public schools is 100 ****greater than by Catholic priests.”
The detractors of the Catholic Church cannot see beyond their virtual hate. And don’t be fooled, the crisis in the Church is nothing more than an opportunity for her enemies to bash and condemn. The fact, however, is that it’s all about traditional values and social issues, and the Churches unwavering position against abortion and same-sex marriage. Democrats, the mainstream media and Hollywood, are obsessed with these issues and see the Church, the spiritual influence of over a billion Catholics, as an obstacle in the way of the total acceptance of these morally depraved constructs.