Celibacy rule doesn't cause abuse by priests

March 17, 2010

Can we put to rest the idea that it's the celibacy of priests that causes the sexual abuse of young people? I don't particularly care about defending priests, but if that's at the bottom of the abuse then there shouldn't be any victims among those living in homes of married folk.

As a contact person for a group dealing with sexual abuse issues, I can say there's no common denominator. Sexual abuse was experienced from fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and in so-called "Christian" homes. Its effects cut through all socio-economic levels, from the classiest-seeming persons to the not-so-classy persons. From the nicest neighborhoods to the not so nice. An often heard comment was "my abuser was seen as a pillar of the community." Imagine that!

The tragic thing is that it has gone on everywhere, and nobody has cared much to take a look at it to give it much attention until it was uncovered in the church.

C. B. Rader, Churchville

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