Southern Religion

Another price of clerical sexual abuse

Roman Catholic author Peter Steinfels reminds us at dotCommonWeal that in his book, A People Adrift:

I warned that the Catholic church in the U.S. faced “thoroughgoing transformation or irreversible decline.” Yes, the gates of hell will not prevail but that did not guarantee the church’s flourishing or even existence in any given time or place.

He feels The Atlantic’s Ross Douthat has made the same point “even more bluntly.”

Douthat does not say the Roman Catholic Church is finished. Instead he writes:

But if the Church isn’t finished, period, it can still be finished for certain people, in certain contexts, in certain times. And so it is in this case: for millions in Europe and America, Catholicism is probably permanently associated with sexual scandal, rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. And as in many previous dark chapters in the Church’s history, the leaders entrusted with that gospel have nobody to blame but themselves.

Not that Roman Catholic clergy are alone amid the rising waters and scrabble of feet abandoning ship.

The Southern Baptist Convention, just for example, continues year after year to resist necessarily forceful action against clerical sexual abuse.


July 1, 2010 - Posted by | SBC | ,

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