Pedophilia and the Priesthood

The great thing about witch hunts is that it gives bigoted people the opportunity to “grind the their axes.” McLaughlin’s “Letter to the Editor” is a perfect example (3/28/2). The recent attacks on the priesthood have gone beyond criticism. Too many people have tried to link pedophilia to homosexuality and celibacy. Enough is enough. It’s as simple as this: heterosexuals are attracted to people of the opposite sex; homosexuals are attracted to people of the same sex. Pedophiles are attracted to pre-pubescent children. Saying that all pedophiles are homosexual does not make it true. In fact, most pedophiles are married men. Most instances of pedophilia occur within the home and family. The recent crisis in the Catholic Church offers a chance for introspection, accountability and, most importantly, for forgiveness. It is not the time for witch-hunts and unsubstantiated attacks. McLaughlin’s suggestion that all priests live in group residences is an interesting idea. Perhaps if all married men also lived in community homes, we could stamp out the terrible evil of pedophilia. In retrospect, we know that Salem’s Witch Trials, Stalin’s Purges, McCarthy’s Hearings went too far. Too many innocent lives were lost or ruined. How long will we wait to realize the same about homophobia?

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