Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

What a tangled web we weave ...

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 18, 2003

It seems that Phase Two of the crisis is in the forensic starting blocks. A suit filed against the Los Angeles Archdiocese points to networking and institutional acquiescence in sexual abuse:

"The presence of such a high number of high-ranking child molester priests in the [Los Angeles] archdiocese underscores the institutional and cultural acceptance and acquiescence in child molestation by priests," according to the 46-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the Los Angeles archdiocese and others....

The suit also alleges that abusive priests were promoted into positions of prominence between 1966 and 2002, including key posts such as auxiliary bishops, vicar generals, recruiters of priests, school board members and judges in the archdiocesan court that passes judgment on priestly misconduct.

"The elevation of child molesters to these positions helps explain why so many child molesting priests were protected by the [Los Angeles] archdiocese, how so many child molesters became priests and how so many seminarians and priests became child molesters," according to the suit filed by attorneys Raymond P. Boucher of Beverly Hills and Laurence E. Drivon of Stockton.

Archdiocesan spokesman Tod Tamberg says the allegations are "over the top and without merit," and reminds us that "abuse of minors is often a crime that happens in darkness." Maybe so. But remember that he's talking about prosecutable felonies. If, repeat if, there existed a network of gay clergy who covered up their own misconduct with consenting adults, in the civil sphere there'd be no crime committed. And of course the word gay is nowhere mentioned in the article. It's significant though that the highest ranking churchman mentioned, Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann, was deposed for homosexual relations not with minors but with a fellow clergyman. Notionally at least he would be party to covering for fellow gays, not fellow child molesters. Would it not be ironic if the gay clerical hegemony were brought low because of their own performative blurring of the sacred bright-line distinction (between homosexuality and ephebophilia) they're constantly insisting we honor?

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