Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Misdirection play

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 19, 2003

The phony stories about that 1962 Vatican document are still spreading, and you begin to wonder why there hasn't been a more energetic effort by Church leaders to debunk a story that is so obviously inaccurate.

Well brace yourself, because there may be an answer, and it isn't a pretty one.

That Vatican document was about the ecclesiastical crime of "solicitation," which is the grave sin committed by priests who use the confessional (or information obtained in the confessional) as a means of obtaining sex.

Has it struck you during the past year to two, as you read story after story about sexual abuse, that some priests have had a remarkable knack for picking out the teenagers who would be vulnerable to sexual overtures? Could they have learned something in the confessional?

Traditionally the Church has guarded against this potential abuse by taking solicitation very, very seriously. (If you have any doubts on that score, just read that 1962 document.) And the policies set forth by the Vatican in 1962 were still in force when many of these incidents took place. If those policies had been followed, it seems reasonable to conclude that some predatory priests would have been defrocked many years ago.

We don't know, of course; and we never will. But here's one bit more evidence-- to toss onto a very large pile-- that the breakdown in clerical discipline began long ago, and the corruption has become widespread.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($22,308 to go):
$35,000.00 $12,692.44
64% 36%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action 7 hours ago
As Catholic News Unfolds... August 19
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West August 19
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story August 19
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas August 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8