Speaking to the National Council of Priests of Australia, Father Timothy Radcliffe, the former worldwide head of the Dominican order, said that the Church should embrace the modern world, enjoying such developments as the acceptance of homosexuals and the debate on women’s ordination. (He suggests, as a “starting point,” the ordination of women as deacons.)
Naturally, the popular speaker was expected to comment on one very unpopular recent development:
He said priests had been associated with an “image of false impurity” as a result of sex abuse scandals.
I beg to differ. The image may have been false, but the impurity was all too real.
But if what Father Radcliffe meant to say was that innocent priests have been falsely portrayed as impure, the remedy is surely a more conspicuous effort to protect and promote purity. Which, in a sex-saturated society, definitely does not mean a rush to embrace the popular culture.
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