Friday, May 11, 2012

Thoughts On Father Reese 's Remarks on Sexual Abuse

Father Reese gave a keynote address on the topic of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. See The sexual-abuse crisis: unfinished business.

There is a lot I agree with , and some that I do not.

First I am struck by the glaring lack of attention on religious orders including his own Jesuit order. It's a popular to bash the Bishops , but looking at one's own house not so much. He might have done it elsewhere , but to ignore the Religious orders and their role in all this is folly.

Second for all the talk of CLERICALISM it really is a clerical speech. I keep saying this , but the problem of LAY Catholics working in the Church and abusing kids has not been addressed. I suspect because Lay People unlike Priests have better lawyers than priests it is much easier for the problem to just go away. This focus just on clerics drives sexual abuse victims in other faith communities bonkers I find. A Youth Minister, a Teacher, etc just becomes another person at the Church. Just looking at Protestant data we can find that sexual abuse by non ordained clerics is rampant. Yet in the much more LAY involved Catholic Church of the Post Vatican II not much attention is given. That was one fault of the latest audit of Dioceses on sex abuse. I find it hard to believe the almost non existent numbers of non cleric sexual abuse allegations they reported.

That being said I do like that he understands there needs to be system of fairness for both the accused and victim.

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