I want criminal investigations into sexual abuse within the Catholic church. At the same time, I fear a criminal investigation, but not for the reasons you might think. I don’t trust the state to deal fairly with the church any more than I trust politicians to treat me fairly. For right or wrong, religion is a large, cultural force in society. The church competes with government for moral authority. I can easily imagine Catholic bishops sacrificing the church as we know it for their own advantage.
Corruption runs deep for a reason. Advancing within the church on your merits is hard, but being loyal to a corrupt group in the church is easy. Corruption allows men of average ability and low morals to excel because of their extraordinary ambition. Honest men are dangerous while corrupt men are easily controlled from within. For example, a corrupt church official feels secure in his job when he has blackmail evidence on his subordinates and his superiors. These corrupt clergymen are willing to sacrifice a few altar boys and seminarians to guarantee their careers.
A criminal investigation can uncover and remove those corrupt individuals…in theory. In fact, state law enforcement organizations face similar problems with corruption as the problems we’ve seen in the church. There are too many powerful political interests at stake and too many powerful incentives for corruption. State law enforcement officers are tools of their political masters. Illinois, New Jersey and New York legislatures clearly have their bias towards state control…of everything.
The one thing we know about big-government is that it hates competition. The church was, and to some extent still is, a powerful force in our culture. I fully expect politicians and their special interests to serve themselves during a church investigation as well. Look at the states that are investigating the church today.
Florida, Illinois, Missouri, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Not exactly a bunch of Boy Scouts and altar boys. All this leaves me ambivalent. Should we trust the Attorney General of New York more than the archbishop? Unfortunately, it is a tough call as to which is more corrupt.
Compromised church officials could change their moral positions to favor the political party that has criminal evidence against them. There are lots of reasons that a big-government politician would like to control church teachings. Note: to some extent, the Catholic church has already changed de facto on some of these issues. Getting the Church to change its official teaching, as well as its unofficial practice, would be a great coup.
• The compromised church would say there is nothing wrong with same-sex attraction. The gay and lesbian lobby would then reward the political party that won that victory for them.
• There are pro-pedophilia activists who would like to lower or even remove the “age of consent” laws. Wouldn’t it be a coup for that group to get the Church to shut up? Pedophilia becomes simply another choice of lifestyle.
• The church could come out against therapeutic counseling for same sex attraction, even after sexual abuse.
• The church could come out for seventy-two pronouns and gets rid of God as “he”. Of course, the church would have to change the curriculum in Catholic schools to match their newly found sexual perspective.
• The church could come out for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual-pedophile quotas in Catholic hospitals, charities, seminaries, convents, schools and churches. As these scandals have shown us, the church is part of the way there already.
• The church could abandon its pro-life principles and start actively encouraging the use of birth control. When birth control fails, the church supports abortion and single parenting.
• Since we’re killing children, we might as well come out for assisted suicide. That seems inevitable after the church comes out for mandatory health care.
• As a full-throated supporter of big-government, churches become gun free zones and the church now takes an active part in condemning self-defense and gun ownership.
• The church supports carbon taxes and every other socialist scheme to control human activity.
• Since the state will install political officers in Catholic hospitals to verify compliance, why not install political officers in the rectory to make sure these “guidelines” are implemented quickly and fully. Unions do this already, so why not the catholic church as well?
• Why not go all the way and have the church declare it a sin to not vote for socialists?
After the church adopts these oh-so-modest proposals, cooperative bishops get to avoid prison sentences. The cooperative bishop also gets to keep his position in the church… and maybe keep his favorite seminarian or altar boy as well.
All that sounds repugnant to me, and I hope to you as well. I hope you see why the leaders of the church MUST release absolutely all documents even remotely relevant as we try to get to the bottom of clergy sex abuse. Some Church leaders must resign. It is far better if the Catholic Church corrects itself before the State comes in to do it for them.
The only thing that scares me more than the continued church cover-up is this: corrupt bishops cut deals with corrupt Socialist Attorneys General, to save themselves.
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Image: CCO Creative Commons; https://pixabay.com/en/guilty-finger-suggest-3096217/