In a high-profile Christmas speech, Pope Benedict XVI chastised priests who have molested minors, saying it had reached an “unimaginable dimension.” He also tried to put the problem in a broader context, and for this he was condemned. The pope said, “In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. It was maintained—even within the realm of Catholic theology—that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself.”
Among those condemning the pope was Sinead O’Connor: “Exactly who held the theory that pedophilia was fully in conformity with man and with children? Please give us their names.”
We were more than happy to provide them: Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Jean-Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, André Glucksmann, Roland Barthes. All of these French intellectuals signed a petition in 1977 demanding that all the laws on sex between adults and minors be stricken. Years earlier, in the U.S., Alfred Kinsey justified pedophilia, claiming that “the current hysteria over sex offenders” was detrimental to child development. So did his colleague, Wardell Pomeroy.
Moreover, many other writers and activists have expressed a tolerance for pederasty that is extremely dangerous. They include Larry Kramer, Camille Paglia, Allen Ginsberg and John Money. And, of course, NAMBLA is expressly organized to further the cause of man-boy sex. So commonplace is this perversion that some scholars use the term “BLs” to refer to “Boy Lovers.”
The Holy Father was not wrong about some Catholic theological circles getting caught up in this insanity. In the 1970s—the pope was right about the decade—under the auspices of the Catholic Theological Society, Anthony Kosnick’s book Human Sexuality was published. Adopted by some seminaries at the time, it sought increased tolerance for every conceivable sexual deviancy. In other words, the pope got it right.