The damage done by Roman Catholic priests and brothers who so shamefully betrayed their trust with children does not end with the pain and anguish inflicted on innocent lives. By their sins this tiny minority of child-abusers has destroyed the moral authority of the entire Church in the public mind, and in the mind of many Catholics.

What a weapon to hand the forces of secularism.

With what authority now can the Church argue against abortion and progressive causes such as gay "marriage"? Who would listen?

No one believes child abuse is peculiar to Catholic clergy, and in percentage terms clerical abusers are fairly low down the list compared with other walks in life that are in contact with children. The problem is endemic in our morally decadent society. Yet in the media and in the utterances of children's "advocacy groups" (often adults with an axe to grind) the Church is daily singled out as though it were the sole offender.

Is it only my nasty suspicious nature that makes me wonder whether the frenzy of these accusations is not wholly unconnected with the Roman Catholic Church's vigorous opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage? Many of those in politics and the media whose attacks on the Church are loudest, and who will do their best to turn the forthcoming Royal Commission into a forum of anti-Catholic propaganda, are enthusiasts for these causes. It is clearly in their interest that the Catholic Church be rendered so despicable in general estimation that no one will dream of taking any notice of anything it says on any moral or social issue.

So although the cries of condemnation of child abuse are no doubt sincere, many who cry loudest must admit with equal sincerity that it's an ill wind that blows no good. The clerical abusers have done them a favour.

14 November 2013

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