On the website of the liberal Catholic outlet, Commonweal, Mollie Wilson O’Reilly accused Pope Francis of ignoring the problem of priestly sexual abuse. According to her, “he [the pope] has said and done little about the scandal itself”; and she maintains that “things haven’t been fixed.” Similarly, Father Thomas P. Doyle said the pope “has done almost nothing” about this issue, calling one of the pontiff’s efforts “so meaningless it is almost comical.” An editorial in the National Catholic Reporter also expressed its chagrin with the pope on this issue, imploring him “to meet with victims of clergy sex abuse.”
Here are some fast facts. We know from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice that 81 percent of the sexual abuse of minors was the result of male-on-male sex, and that less than 5 percent involved pedophilia. In other words, the Church witnessed a homosexual scandal.
Perhaps these people haven’t noticed but the scandal largely ended over a quarter century ago in the U.S., and has witnessed a marked decline in other nations. The data show that most of the abuse occurred between 1965 and 1985. In the last six years, a grand total of 7.0 credible accusations have been made against 40,000 priests. In short, there is little left for the pope to “fix.”
It is particularly galling for liberal Catholics to admonish the pope on this issue when their hero remains former priest Anthony Kosnik. A book he wrote, Human Sexuality, suspended all moral judgment on homosexuality, sodomy, and bestiality, and was taught to seminarians in the 1970s. It was commissioned by liberals at the Catholic Theological Society of America and was given a first-place award by the liberal Catholic Press Association. Subsequently, it was condemned by the bishops, but to this day it is celebrated by the National Catholic Reporter.
The call for the pope to meet with victims was a cruel ploy: these liberals have a vested ideological interest in keeping the scandal alive. Why? So they can press for their “reforms.”