By D’Anne Witkowski | Guest Editorial
Welp, child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is in the news again and, gosh, wouldn’t you know it, the Catholic Church is trying to blame it on the gays. Again.
A recent Pennsylvania grand jury report found sex abuse rampant in the church, something everyone who has ever delved into it has also found to be true. According to the report some 300 priests preyed on children for decades while church leaders turned a blind eye to the literal hell on earth they were letting fester.
There’s a reason why in every Hollywood depiction of prison there’s a child abuser, usually a sexual abuser, who gets shanked in the showers. After all, it’s easy to hate that guy. I’m not condoning violence, just pointing out that as a society we pretty much agree that child abusers are the worst.
Unless they wear a black robe and a white collar. Then instead of going to prison, you just get transferred to a new parish with brand-new parishioners to terrorize.
There are many reasons why this is such a bad practice, but I would like to point out that by moving the priest away from his victim(s) the church is essentially saying that the victims are the problem. The priest is the innocent here, seduced by the tender flesh of wicked children, as opposed to a very sick person guilty of the worst kind of abuse.
And if you feel like you’re experiencing déjà vu, well, you are in the sense that, yes, this has happened before. And it keeps happening. All over the world. But the Catholic Church knows just who to blame.
In an Aug. 16 interview with Thomas McKenna, the president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Cardinal Raymond says, “It seems clear in light of these recent terrible scandals that indeed there is a homosexual culture, not only among the clergy but even within the hierarchy, which needs to be purified at the root.”
Now, it may sound like Burke is shining a spotlight on problems within the church itself, something that really needs to be examined more closely and would be examined more closely if the church stopped trying to cover up its sexual abuse epidemic. But, of course, that’s not what Burke is doing here. He’s basically saying, “If we just get rid of all the gays who are mucking up each level of the hierarchy everything will be just fine.”
But, of course, it won’t. Rather than spend a second examining the institution to stop abuse, the church once again seeks to change the subject.
Look, all organized religion requires a great deal of suspended disbelief and magical thinking, aka “faith,” in order to work. Critical thinking is pretty much the antithesis to religious doctrine. Which is why the church is seeking to capitalize on the gross mischaracterization that gay people are pedophiles in order to absolve its own sins.
“I think it has been considerably aggravated by the anti-life culture in which we live, namely the contraceptive culture that separates the sexual act from the conjugal union,” Burke tells McKenna. “The sexual act has no meaning whatsoever except between a man and a woman in marriage since the conjugal act is by its very nature for procreation.”
Got that? Gays are a problem, but the whole thing has been made even worse by all of these whores on birth control having sex without making babies. Thank you for attending this TED Talk about sex by a man who supposedly has never had sex.
Burke calls homosexuality “disordered” and he’s not the only conservative Catholic calling for a purge of gays from the priesthood. However, Burke and the others are not making any distinction between “gay” and “pedophile,” a distinction that is, uh, really important because they are not one in the same. Unless, of course, your goal isn’t to keep kids safe from abuse, but is actually to CYF (cover your frock).
— D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.