As the Catholic Church in the United States turned into the twenty-first century, it was rocked by revelations of sex abuse on the part of a not insignificant number of clergy, religious, and other Church personnel perpetuated on young children and, very much more so, on teenage youth.
Recently I heard that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has opposed a legislative proposal that would require priests to report cases of suspected child abuse said in the confessional. Apparently, he said that he would even tell the priests to disobey the law and that he would even go to jail if need be. I am surprised how many of my Catholic friends are critical of Cardinal McCarrick. Isn't what is said in confession sacred and cannot be revealed by the priest?
The meeting held in Dallas to address the scandals rocking the American Church was about many things, but chiefly it was about damage control. By that measure it may be judged a limited success though, as we shall see, it might have been purchased at the price of things more important than damage control.
The horror and tragedy of priests involved in the sexual abuse of minors can hardly be overstated, but some of the reporting has contained falsehoods and downright fabrications. So Crisis has put together a list of the ten most common false media claims along with fact-filled responses to them.
I am in no sense soft on the issue of child abuse. My concern over the pedophile priest issue is not to defend evil clergy, or a sinful church, but I am worried that justified anger over a few awful cases might be turned into ill-focused attacks against innocent clergy.