As the Catholic Bishops gather in Rome this week to discuss pedophilia in their ranks, there are many things they likely will not discuss. Although the Catholic hierarchy is well aware of the problem of childhood sexual abuse and has, in fact, more institutional historical knowledge about it than any other institution about it, it continues to mislead and misinterpret the root causes of the problem.
Many in the ranks argue that the scandal exists because priests cannot marry. The problem with this argument is that it assumes that childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault come from a place of sexuality. However, rape of anyone - a child or an adult has nothing to do with sexuality or who a person is attracted to sexually. It is a power and control issue. It is a method by which clergy, who have been told from a very young age that they are entitled, powerful and above others, exert control.
Similarly, the systematic rape and assault of children has nothing to do with homosexuality. Again, homosexuality is a preference regarding sexuality - not a power and control issue. Let me state this very clearly for those who, in the 21st century still do not understand - homosexuality does not equal sexual assault, pedophilia, or any other behavior that causes harm to the participants.
Childhood sexual abuse automatically damages one of the participants - the child. The other participant - the adult - is aware that he is causing harm and does not care. This is sociopathic. Childhood sexual abuse has much more to do with sociopathy than it does with sexuality.
Now, here is why the Church does not want to discuss this. The 1000 year old hierarchical system that takes boys in their teens, encourages them to join the priesthood because they are "called" by a higher power - they are the voice of God on earth, they are better than women, children and the laity, is creating sociopathy. It is creating issues of power and control. Telling young men that they are the moral leaders for the population neccissarily creates power and control issues.
How can the Church change this? Open up the hierarchy. Bring in laity and female involvement.
But, doing this would be to change the 1000 year old structure of the Church. Although Pope Francis has tried to do some of this work albeit in teeny tiny baby steps (whether he is aware it will help prevent abuse or not), he has been criticized internally by conservative Cardinals and Bishops for doing so. Thus the Church is doomed to lose moral integrity day by day because it is too steeped in tradition to see what is truly important.
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