Action Alert!

99% pure

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 18, 2012

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.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Jul. 18, 2012 5:45 PM ET USA

    And he's still a priest? No wonder the laity is and remains confused!