Lepers, Molesters, and You
Fr. Stephen Rossetti (America, 9-9-95) on clerical sex abuse:
Fearing contagion, Hawaii's government sent the victims of Hansen's disease [leprosy] to a settlement on the island of Molokai. The fear, a mixture of clinical facts and centuries of misinformation, fueled an irrational response to the disease. False legends and popular myths made those afflicted with Hansen's disease a dreaded people. It might be argued that child molesters are different from those with Hansen's disease in that they are guilty of a crime, while lepers suffer from a physical disease.
(Most of us would feel that this distinction is not one that "might" be argued but one that must be made -- one without which moral reasoning entirely collapses. But moral reasoning seems fairly peripheral to those who treat abusing priests. If you've been paying attention to the post-modern "fear of the Other" cant that seems to reign undisputed at the Saint Luke Institute, you can probably guess the pay-off line:)
Child sex molesters are singled out for particular loathing and punishment that is now being institutionalized by state governments. Truly, they bear the mark of Cain.
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