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Ex-senator defends Church in New York Times

May 04, 2010

“Appalled at the now-daily assaults by the liberal media against the Church,” a former United States senator has written a letter to The New York Times defending recent actions taken by American dioceses against abusive priests.

“There is no question that certain Catholic clergymen abused children and that certain members of the Church’s hierarchy failed to deal with those abuses properly,” writes Al D’Amato, who served in the Senate from 1981 to 1999. “That failure was based primarily on the mistaken belief that pedophiles can be cured. At the time, that mistaken belief was supported in large measure by the psychiatric community. It has since been rejected.”

“Over the last few months, several cases have cropped up that took place decades ago and long before the Church’s all-out effort to acknowledge, make amends for and rectify its past failures,” he continued. “Some have seized upon those cases to attack the Church anew and with frightening vigor. Those attacks are unwarranted and unfair.”

“To simply reject out of hand the church’s extensive and intense program to heal and correct suggests the possibility of an anti-Catholic agenda more concerned with Catholic teachings than with child abuse,” he concluded.


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  • Posted by: Bellarminite1 - May. 04, 2010 2:39 PM ET USA

    Is it not the ultimate irony that so much of the covering up was to avoid public scandal and bad press? May I suggest that perhaps, too, the perceived shortage of priests was a contributing factor.

  • Posted by: Steve214 - May. 04, 2010 11:35 AM ET USA

    Excellent letter to the editor! However, it does remain curious that the Church turned to secular psychiatry, rather than 2,000 years of dealing with evil--even long after psychiatrists were PROVEN wrong. It is part of the wishful thinking that has been so characteristic of the modern Church...and the admiration of all that is non-Catholic.