TCS Daily

From Priest Abuse to Legal Abuse

By Stephen Bainbridge - March 26, 2007 12:00 AM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego recently declared bankruptcy, becoming the fifth and largest American diocese to initiate a bankruptcy proceeding in the face of massive tort lawsuits arising out of priest sex abuse allegations.

No person of good will denies that true victims of priest sex abuse deserve compensation for any physical or mental injuries they may have suffered. Likewise, no person of good will denies that priests proven to have abused their position deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, as do bishops who may have protected such priests from criminal or civil action.

Yet, the victims and their lawyers aren't going after just the priestly abusers and their enablers in the hierarchy. Instead, they're going after the deep pockets by suing the dioceses in which the priests served. Typically, the diocese is sued directly for negligent hiring or supervision of priests; more rarely, the plaintiff may seek to hold the diocese vicariously liable for a priest's sexual misconduct.

Courts have consistently held that the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion is not implicated in such suits. Yet, priest sex abuse litigation unquestionably implicates the ability of ordinary Catholics to exercise their religion.

In a diocese such as San Diego, there are hundreds of parishes, schools, orphanages, homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and so on, each ministering to numerous worshippers and even non-Church members. When the diocese faces mass tort liability, the assets and property of many parishes and other ministries that had no connection with any incident priest sex abuse are thus made available to satisfy the claims of sex abuse plaintiffs. Inevitably, execution of a judgment against such assets would impede, if not destroy, the ability of these ministries to serve the needs of their congregants. Indeed, the mere threat of liability might do so. As Edward Gaffney and Philip Sorensen have observed, "Both church and society will suffer if the continuation of ministries prompted by compassion—ministries often involving risks—is stopped short by the nervous calculation of legal liabilities."

In turn, the impact of such liability—or even the risk of such liability—on parishioners inevitably redounds against the Church. If parishioners come to believe that donations to their local parish, which they expect to be used in the main for the benefit of the local church and its ministries, are being siphoned off to pay diocesan claims and legal bills, their attitude towards giving to the support of the parish will inevitably sour. In turn, this is likely to impact the morale and effectiveness of the parish priest and other local church workers, whose morale may already be in doubt due to the threat to their retirement and health benefits. As Mark Chopko explains, "Religious entities, to a greater extent than their secular entities, rely on the unbridled goodwill of volunteers to make their operations run."

Put simply, the parties with an interest in priest sex abuse litigation are not just the victims and their abusers. All American Catholics are stakeholders in this litigation. The risk that abuse litigation poses to the financial viability of the Church and, as such, the implications of such litigation for the values that inform the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion must be taken into account when secular courts assess the claims of the competing interests.



The First Amendment and the Choice of Catholics
"the implications of such litigation for the values that inform the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion..."

I do not accept a direct implication between an impingment of First Amendment rights and the current abuse litigation. If the Catholic Church disappeared from the United States, "Catholics" would still retain the right and the capacity to be "Catholics". Being a "Catholic" is defined by an adherece to a set of beliefs, and not membership in a group. The Catholic Church organization exists as a tool for the faithful who accept and try to live by Catholic beliefs. Catholic beliefs include both the respect of human dignity and the rule of just law, both of which were violated in cases of the abuse of minors. The policies of the US Bishops and the Church overall are directly responsible for the harm caused and the current litigation. The assets of the church are rightfully used to bring justice to the victims of these crimes. The worse case scenerio is that the Catholic church would be forced into a significant downsizing...not unlike many other organizations that have failed in their mission and must seek bankruptcy protection.

If Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is no longer a viable, then downsizing would eventually occur even if the financial impact of litigation was minimal. On the other hand, if Catholics believe in the long term value of their Church, then the they will support their church and bear the costs of the mistakes made by church members. The choice is really up to church members. And whatever the outcome, first amendment rights are not only not compromised, but are part of the necessary process of moving forward for all Catholics.

mistakes made by some members
Nice understatement! Try "Crimes committed by many alleged members" and you will have my vote. I was sexually abused a few times and have received some therapy for it, but still have no closure since the abusers might never have done jail time, or are sorry for what they did to me and probably others. These criminals have co-conspirators, and cover ups are worse than the crimes. I hope that you will join me in getting written apologies from perps, and justice for me, and help me prosecute these cases on behalf of the abused in the future. I am Nassau County Exec. Committee Chairman to The Constitution Party, and discussed these, and other pressing matters with Kevin Hickson of Port Washington, a Nassau County Employee who helps track down dead beat dads, and he might be reached at You may also help me get nominated and elected to The US Office of The Presidency 2008 on any available party lines, as I have fulfilled the Constitutional Age and Residency Requirements, and wish to defend, protect and preserve The Constitution of The United States of America, and The people of The United States.

"Whereas in 1954 it was politically correct for seminary authorities to look hard at a young man's sexual orientation, fifteen years later it was politically correct to be "open" to "new expressions". And thirty years later, in many Catholic seminaries and dioceses, it was positively retrograde to disapprove of homosexuality or to acknowledge its ties to pederasty."

Put some 'lie ability' onto the homosexual community, too.

Wouldn't that be a shame...
"If parishioners come to believe that donations to their local parish, which they expect to be used in the main for the benefit of the local church and its ministries, are being siphoned off to pay diocesan claims and legal bills, their attitude towards giving to the support of the parish will inevitably sour. In turn, this is likely to impact the morale and effectiveness of the parish priest and other local church workers, whose morale may already be in doubt due to the threat to their retirement and health benefits."

I find that I can bear the misfortunes of the Church with great fortitude. If we could figure out a way to bankrupt every religious institution worldwide, we'd be well on our way to a paradise on Earth.

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up
I'm not Catholic so I'm not conversant with the supposed spiritual aspects of having fish on Friday or priests raping children. I'm willing to accept First Amendment protection for eating fish but not for sexual abuse. I'm sorry but the church is not immune from secular law, and if the enforcement of secular law forces the church to close then so be it.

Had the Catholic Church practiced anything close to decency, honor and integrity then this would be a non-issue. Instead, when reports of impropriety arose they transferred the predatory priest to a new church so he could "get behind another youth group". The church deserves to be bankrupt, the predatory priests should be in prison and the church authorities who participated in the decades long cover-up should also be in prison. Nobody expects perfect behavior, you'll always get a few bad apples. But you don't throw those bad apples back in the bin, you remove them at the first sign of trouble.

Churches are all about teaching lessons. Maybe they should have been paying better attention so they wouldn't have to learn a very expensive one now. Granted, it's unfortunate for the parishioners but they're no different than the shareholders of Enron, WorldCom, or other formerly thriving corporations that went bankrupt because of the actions of the executive officers. IMO, the Catholic Church is already morally bankrupt, it might as well be financially bankrupt.

It was organized crime and Catholics have to learn to deal with it.
Many of the perpetrator priests wanted help and instead got transferred to new parishes and h their crimes were allowed to go continue.

Because the hierarchy was more concerned with protecting the church than the children.

There are thousands of us, victims of priest pedo-rape, walking the earth greatly damaged as a result. The church committed felonious aiding and abetting RICO violations and the men at the TOP need to be prosecuted.

If you want to continue to be Catholic in the middle of this, okay, but don't deny justice where it's due. Most of us do not have civil cases, we just want the criminals brought out, prosecuted, and made to serve time.

You don't need a building or even a pope to find God.

How to stop future abuses
The quick synopsis is this: The state has allowed the Church to police itself for generations, trusting that their moral authority would cause them to always do the right thing.

The Church-- not just San Diego, but the Church everywhere-- failed miserably and repeatedly to curb a practise that ruined young lives, preferring instead to stick up for one another as though they were all just dirty cops-- or soldiers who had done something horrible and agreed to keep quiet about it.

Not just decades but very likely centuries have gone by, while the code of silence pre-empted any serious intention of addressing the issue.

The answer? Sue the pants off them. If the Church goes bankrupt servicing the fines they accrued by their own egregious activities, let them go forth wearing a barrel-- sadder but wiser.

And if the parishioners want to keep such a Church alive, let them refill the empty coffers with fresh gold-- and next time exercise a little oversight.

agreed that homosexuality is the worst of the problem

Approx. 80% of sexual abuse was homosexual abuse, committed by a priest on a minor male.

What a shame that some bishops turned a blind eye to such a revolting scandal while the scandal developed.

Did the bishops really thing that no one would notice that the minority of priests caused the bulk of the damage?

Patronizing people who practice homosexuality is nothing but a presciption for disaster.

who is to blame ?

The Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. and Europe is infected with political correctness, out of a desire for an easy comfortable life.

If the Catholic Church was more focused on calling out evil as part of the Great Commission without fear of persecution, they would have gladly called out evil from amoung their own ranks, and kicked the bad priests out before the serial perps were able to harm dozens of children.

I lay the blame squarely at bishops who are not willing to be politically correct at the risk of being called names by the liberal press.

But what good did it do the bishops to try to appease the liberals by allowing homosexuals to become priests and coddling known abusers? No good at all, because the liberals ended up having a field day in critisism of the Church once the actions of pervert priests became known.

When the Catholic church realizes that liberals have nothing but contempt for the Catholic Church, and give up on trying to appease the liberal critics, will the Church finally be free to embrace true Catholicism, and in turn manage the Church according to Catholic principles, and finall stop the abuse for good.

Don't think this is the end of homosexual abuse scandals in the Church - most bishops including the Bp. Skystad (president of the USCCB) have publicly pledged to NOT turn homosexuals away from the seminaries.

It is well-known amoung those close to the Catholic Church that in the U.S. active homosexual priests and homosexual priest abuses are merely keeping a low profile for now, and are merely being more illusive in covering their trails. While it is generally believed that abuse is less common than in the 70's and 80's, you can expect more newspaper headlines about priest sex abusers in the future.

It's complicated
Gay priests didn't turn in pedophile priests as then the pedophiles would revezl the bishops, monsignors and so many others were gay. They recruited young boys for junior monasteries and turned out a generation of gay-pedophile pederast priests.

It goes back generations and cardinals like Mahony chose to cover the crime and protect the church's assets at the expense of children's lives.

i know it goes back generations as my perp priest paid off my dad in 1955 so we would all be quiet after he raped my sister and me. That was in Chicago and same pattern, problem priest moved to rural area where maybe no one would notice.

Doesn't work.

My life was ruined. Totally by this.

The secrecy, the institutional hypocricy --

what did you expect when you base a whole doctrine on lies?

Honest propators of the lies?

Get Rid of All Associations that Employ Pedophiles
Nice to see that without evidence, the resident fair minded religious expert can expand the scope, magitude and culpability of the problem. Of course, where one's enemies are involved, its always justified to single that group out, while ignoring similar problems elsewhere

If we weren't tapping the last aceptable prejudice, would the NEA in trouble. Anybody remember Mary Kay Laterno? How about the teachers in Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania? Oh thats right, if you're blonde and female and you can get some paparazzi/pseudo journalist idiots to cover your marriage to your former victim on TV-then its OK. Actually, there seems to be a rash of young women sleeping with their students- but heh heh, wink, wink..what teen boy doesn't want a little Mrs. Robinson. What a better way to cross the threshold of manhood than to have an experienced educator as your guide to the mysteries of carnal knowledge.

Interestingly, in a great many cases-the hierarchy is guilty of wishfully listening to the psychological community, which removed homosexual behaior from the "DSM" and who provided assurances about the low risks of recitivism, instead of consulting the injunction to remove the sinner from temptation.

Guess that there won't be any malpratice suits against the psychologists/psychiatrists that said "they can be cured".

"Many of the perpetrator priests wanted help and instead got transferred to new parishes and h their crimes were allowed to go continue."

Huh? Are you seriously suggesting a notorious abuser like Paul Shanley, who was a member of NAMBLA, wanted help.

If these animals really wanted "help", they'd have the priesthood and sought help-assuing the secular commuity would have had an answer other than "so how do you feel about these urges".

Illogical, Incredible Post.
"my perp priest paid off my dad in 1955 so we would all be quiet after he raped my sister and me."

This isn't a logical post. You are abused (by one) and he pays off your father and this is an INSTITUTIONAL problem? It seems to me that assuming this is authentic, then your problem is your father and your rapist.

I can't imagine any man (assuming your pseudonym indicates a female) not flying into an uncontrollable rage at the thoughts of having his daughter violated. A father taking cash to say nothing is a paternal failure, not a church failure. If your father took hush money, then nobody even had the chance to deal with the crime. Worse, there would be the distinct possibility that the payment was arranged in advance, would would make it "pandering".

The Word of the Lord
I've suspected as much from the start-- that this protecting of priest abusers is multi-generational, and has possibly been going on for centuries. I fell very badly for the pain you and your sister (and countless others) have been put through by men abusing their power over theit "flock".

When you think about it, it's hard to imagine a system going as planned when it relies on men who have renounced their own sexuality to minister to the spiritual needs of others. That's a recipe for disaster. I'm amazed they have held the total power they have over devout Catholics. You'd think people would see through this kind of scam.

At any rate, we are all capable of free choice. In light of the full dimensions of the problem, continuing to come out, everyone gets to make their own choice as to whether these are people whose every word is to be considered as coming from God.

Illogical, Incredible and quite possibly true
I've read many accounts similar to the one posted.

The hush money actually came from the church as the priest had none. The family was coerced into accepting the money "for the good of the church" with a lot of the coercion being to avoid embarrassment for the child, and family, by a very public trial. There were, quite naturally, assurances that the church would deal with the priest in an appropriate manner. Unfortunately, the church had a different notion of what constituted "appropriate handling" than the average human.

Not just believable, but fairly common
A number of personal stories similar to hers have come out. Some Church official comes out to apologize, to assure the parents the problem will be "taken care of", and to remind them, as devout Catholics, that they should not let the story get out lest it undermine the moral authority of the Church. The parents, highly embarrassed by the taint of sin, readily accede. Then some money gets passed, to "help tide things over".

You would have to grow up Catholic to fully appreciate how normal all this might be. The befuddled parents are none the wiser, while the offending priest is merely transferred to another parish... where he can go forth and sin some more.

Oops it was the archdiocese not the priest
Okay I posted quickly and without carefully proofing first and for that I apologize --

It was the Chicago archdiocese that gave my dad money -- after this priest caused havoc in our family for a few years. He started on me in 1953 after my older sister got too old for his tastes.

It was 1955 not 53 when this payment occurred and we all of a sudden moved from Illinois to California.

I was 5 to 7 and so some memories may be weird.

Sorry I made a big mistake in first post.

IT WAS CARDINAL STITCH in Chicago who did the deal as I was there, little 7 year old girl and was also lectured by Stitch or someone with a lot of power who looked just like him and told not to say another word about this for the benefit of the church. The reason it had become a problem is I was "babbling" telling everyone I met what the priest had shown me, even demonstrating. It was an embarrassment all around -- lots of weird incidents before the pay-out such as our sudden move back from the country into town where the priest's secret wasn't as easily kept -- because of my babbling !!!

My dad was humiliated confused and dedicated to keeping his family together

IT WAS 1955 no way you can understand how my dad then in his forties reacted to this experience.

KATHRYN is my name

For the good of the church
What Stitch said to me was "Sometimes you have to lie or not tell the whole truth when it protects a greater good." Big powerful cardinal standing over seven year old girl already scared saying that. I didn't speak about it again until age 45, 40 years later...

I'm amazed at how many other priest pedorape survivors are told that same thing almost the exact same words.


Smoke and mirrors
Bishops love to 'cry poor' and 'we won't be able to
continue our mission of ministering to the poor and
downtrodden, blah, blah, blah' in the face of these

In fact, if you take a look at their real assets,
two things are obvious:

1) They aren't going to go broke any time soon
2) Organizations like Catholic Charities, etc. that
do the work 'on the ground' are completely separate
legal and financial entities which won't be

No, the real motivation is that bishops just don't like
to be told what to do by anyone but the pope in Rome.

Even civil courts.

They measure their success in particular by how well
they've done at preserving and swelling the assets of
their dioceses.

This whole bankruptcy business is just ruse to first
convince their big donors that they, not the abuse
victims, are the real victims and to sway opinions
against victims. Second, it is to forestall trials
in which damning evidence against themselves and
former bishops would be uncovered during discovery.

In all of this who gets lost--- the victims. They are
in many cases 'poor and downtrodden.'

It seems that the bishops would rather send money off
to the 'starving pagan babies' than to make whole the
victims of their own church's abusing priests and
enabling hierarchy!


Time for another Reformation
Scripture says that unrepentant sinners are to be excommunicated.

Scripture demands high standard for church leaders.

Any church leader who argues that sin is OK should be removed from leadership, and excommunicated if there is no repentance.

It is time for another Reformation!

Catholic charities
All good points you've raised. The practise would be stopped in a twinkling if the Attorney General just announced that the federal prosecutors would be taking a personal interest in all cases of priestly sexual abuse. Certainly it does not involve freedom of religion to enforce the laws equally on all citizens. In fact, discriminating in favor of Catholic priests would be an example of exactly the kind of commingling of church and state our founding fathers were so concerned about.

As for non-hierarchical Catholic groups, I would always want to be taken to a Catholic hospital if they scraped me up off the pavement of some highway. You get great treatment there.

And abroad, Catholic Relief Services is one of the best NGOs anywhere. I used to have a friend in that group who was a first responder during the bloodletting in Liberia. No one else dared to tread there while the killing was going on... but CRS was on the job.

Many Unnamed Accounts
And in any and every case where a parent accepted "hush money", the was a distinct deriliction of parental duty in addition to a complete abdication of pastoral and episcopal responsibility.

A parent's job when it comes to protecting their kids was best summarized by a friend who once told me- if your kids are threatened- your job is to kill or be killed.

By All Means
Convene another Council of Trent.

Of course I suspect what you want is another mentally unstable rebel countenancing murder and telling his followers "go and sin boldy" because "sin must be committed".

who said "go and sin boldy" because "sin must be committed" ?

Was that Martin Luther ?

If I told you, google wouldn't get all those hits.

Hell on Earth..
If we could figure out a way to bankrupt every religious institution worldwide,we'd be well on our way to a paradise on Earth.

Apparently you missed the episodes of that program known as "Nazi Germany", "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" and any other adventure in societies "cleansed" of religion, you know all the one's called "People's Republics".

From Child Abuse to Bankruptcy Protection Abuse -- An Act of Bad Faith
All too often we hear from those like you, who criticize--in veiled and cryptic language--the actions of those survivors who have brought lawsuits against the church.
Those critics cite, as their justification for vilifying the victims, the "potential for damage that might be done" to all of the charities in which the Catholic Church is allegedly engaged. Yes, I said "allegedly" because I assume nothing. In fact, if I were to assume anything it would be their lack of trust worthiness not their reliability.

Let us not forget that the donations received by the church are handled by a corporation that is first and foremost a business, albeit a non-taxpaying entity. This
business and the funds it controls is managed by the same individuals who are guilty of--or have been responsible for--criminal acts committed against our children. The corporate officers including the bishop(s) are either a part of the actual crime committed or are guilty of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and in some cases are accomplices. We all know this to be true. It is not a "theory" that might be so. It IS so, as evidenced in their own documents that they wish so desperately to keep out of the public's eye. So desparate are they that they bankrupted their own corporation to keep the truth under wraps all the while knowing that such an act would jeopardize their so-called, mission and would pit the average well-intentioned parishioner against the victims.

Here's the REAL kicker: How blind are the so-called faithful that they continue to believe in the individuals who have blown this task--the most basic, simple, easy to understand, no-brainer duty of all--namely: The duty to adhere to the doctrine that SEX with kids is forbidden?
Right? I mean this IS a no brainer, is it not? How hard was this extremely basic, IN YOUR FACE obvious, task to accomplish? It should have been the easiest assignment to NOT botch that these mental midgets ever had to perform. We now know only some of how poorly they performed. But not all of it. We may never know. We are still witnessing the cowards duck and cover.

Back to the kicker: Do we really trust them with our money? After all, money management is a much more complex task, no? We trusted them with the care of our kids. It should have been THE "no brainer" as far as trust goes. That assumption was a big mistake.

Like I said: I assume nothing. I suggest that "the man in the pew" every Sunday, the "faithful" who donate week in and week out, become a little more cynical and a little more responsible. Faith in God is Godly, I suppose. But blind faith is in the dark. Don't spend good money after bad faith.

Ascertainment bias abounds in your logic--
This is not a case of mass (no pun intended) "gays gone wild" syndrome run amok! Sheesh... Such a spin is highly counter-intuitive and very distracting. The attraction is to children, male or female--preferably vulnerable. That altar servers were exclusively males (altar boys) until very recently most certainly accounts for some of the gender bias toward minor males. That is not to say that it is due to gender preference, just availability. To conclude otherwise, from a statistical analysis point of view, is very likely nothing more than a conclusion tainted by ascertainment bias, at best--or by homophobia at worst.

Read up on it, mutual blackmail
It's in Thomas Doyle's most recent book on the clergy pedo-rape crisis. One of many reasons the truth was hidden was mutual blackmail. Gay priests didn't dare turn in pedophile priests as the pedophiles would then turn in the gay priests. Not true in all cases but it did happen. The levels and variations of corruption fill volumes and most of the books and movies have yet to be written.... This does not equate gays with pedophiles but shows how both taking place in the rectories at the same time contributed to the crisis.

So true so true
I just don't get why people continue to be members of this religion. It's not like there are no other ways to worship. It's like attending mass with the mafia and tithing to them...really. Thanks for making me laugh with that post especially the part about the no-brainer. Because that's what I keep thinking, it's just a no-brainer. You don't let creeps rape kids...

Casting your lot with Roy
This sounds more like the MO of governments who give us failure, corruption and other faults of your church, the church of the state redeemer. For those that find themselves aligned with Roy in there hatred would do well to examine the company they keep.

Its truly amusing to see how somebody who has readily discounted and excused the gulag,in literally hundreds of posts,the concentration camp and mass graves as the aberrations of a few misguided practioners of the statist road to perfection. As evil as the acts and evil and stupid as the coverups were-tarring and feathering the innocent is just as bad, especially by those with an agenda

In RB's case, before he grew up Catholic, he'd have to grow up. I'm sure you'll protest thats unkind and unwarranted, but to bad. Charity makes no demands to treat the disinguous, the selectively outraged and calumnous as purveyors of righteous indignation.

Somebody who protests - and then denies until the evidence is laid bare-that the concept of depreciation (yes accounting) is some sort of unrealistic chicanery, because it eludes his untrained financial mind is not a fair or rational judge of anything.

I didn't miss them at all. But I also didn't miss the fact that atheism was not the defining characteristic of any of them.

You may have missed the fact that Lutherans were among Hitler's greatest supporters, and that Hitler himself admired the Catholic Church -- not for the specific beliefs it inculcated in its followers, but for its organizational structure, its discipline, and it domination over its followers.

As to Soviet Russia and the other atheistic communist states, it should be fairly obvious why their totalitarian governments found it necessary to eliminate religion: when the reigning political philosophy centers around the notion that Man's life belongs to the state, there can be no room for competition from religious leaders who preach that Man's soul belongs to God (or gods)... or, more accurately, to God's representatives on Earth.

Two things to consider:

1) Communism did not evolve in atheist countries. Atheism was established in the aftermath of communist revolutions, by the new governments; and

2) While you may not recognize it, the communists certainly did: communism and religion are incompatible not because religions are fundamentally different from communism, but because they are fundamentally the same. A communist government and an organized church are in competition for control over men's lives. The churches simply lost the battle, because they were finally faced with a foe that understood them, and who had guns. All the church had was guilt, original sin -- and that only gives them power over those who don't understand their aims and methods.

The communists understood that a man can have only one master; it's about the only positive lesson we can learn from them.

Our own (American, for the foreign reader) political structure is demonstrative of this principle -- we are now faced with a choice between and increasingly left-wing and anti-religious Democratic party, and a Republican party much of which is attempting to integrate religion into its own form of controlling the citizenry. There appears to be very little room in this mix for the freedom of our minds.

That is probably much closer to the truth. However, even so--the danger with the reasoning that allows the average "man in the pew" to conclude that the problem is a "gays are becoming priests" issue is disturbing because it is a distraction from the real problem. The real problem is that pedophiles sexually abuse children BY DEFINITION. Period. Their sexual orientation or preference is irrelevant to the discussion. To conclude otherwise is fallacious. For example, the vast majority of criminal incidents involving rape of and by adult heterosexuals are overwhelmingly characterized as a male abusing a female. They are not characterized as females raping adult males. Nor is it even close to a 50/50 even split! It is without question overwhelmingly a male raping a female problem. Now, is it logical to conclude that the problem is that there are too many adult male heterosexuals in society? Obviously that is absurd. The problem is that there are too many RAPISTS regardless of their gender, sexual preference, orientation, etc. So too in this discussion. The problem is not with gays in the priesthood, per se. It is with pedophiles in the priesthood. That there have been individuals (irrespective of their sexual orientation) in a position to witness the rape and abuse of children, who failed to report the abuse or to protect the children in order to continue their own secret sexual life is a separate crime and problem that is distinct from their sexual preference.

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