For. The. Children.

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I want to write about Aretha Franklin today but I can’t. I loved her music. But I will not write about her today, because I have to write about the horrendous report that was released this past week regarding the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. The report chronicles a harrowing narrative of predatory priests and thousand of sexually abused children. Just when you think it could not get worse, it does get worse. I don’t know any other way of saying it than this . . . every child deserves to be in a home, church and school where he or she is safe. Sexual abuse of children is wrong at every level and does lasting damage to children. People may well survive child sexual abuse, but they will never get over it. Furthermore, protecting sexual predators is wrong, and in some ways, is more heinous than the crime itself. The Roman Catholic Church owes the world an apology for being complicit in what was nothing less than a systemic ring of child sexual abuse. In my estimation, it is time for the Roman Catholic Church to wake up to a different understanding of sexuality (and the human body altogether), especially as it relates to the priesthood. Men and women pulse with sexual energy and sexual need and sexual longing. Sexual suppression solves nothing. Nothing! It only creates reservoirs of toxic stress and aggression that eventually rupture in ways that are damaging, criminal and completely inappropriate. As much as I like Pope Francis for his loving manner, the truth is there has not been any significant reform in the Catholic Church since Vatican II in the early 1960s, and even many of those reforms have been rolled back. I have friends who are Roman Catholic, including many priests, and I have sat on committees designed to create Protestant / Catholic dialogue, but for the life of me I cannot understand how any thinking, caring, sensitive person can continue to participate in a Church that views women as second class citizens and requires celibacy of their clergy, especially when it is clearly rooted in a damaging, untenable, and repressive view of the human body. Everyone has to make their own decision, but when is enough enough? I am heartbroken today. Maybe I will listen to a little Aretha Franklin to cheer myself up tonight. I don’t know. But I do know this: If Jesus were to return to the earth today and read this document from the state of Pennsylvania regarding predatory priests and child sexual abuse, well, I think he would puke his guts out.

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  1. Excellent point and this cover up has been going on way to long. The Vatican is complicit in the cover up. Their lack of action is diabolical and current policies are pre historic. I only hope Pennsylvania and other states change their laws on statue of limitations for these crimes so they can prosecute every single person involved. Up to and including the Pope! Go watch The Keepers.

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