For decades, the Catholic Church has relentlessly covered up the ongoing epidemic of abuse that took place within their organization. Instead of punishing those responsible, many high ranking church officials are blaming the changing culture on the crimes that have been committed by countless priests.
This week, former Pope Benedict had the audacity to blame the Church’s string of pedophilia scandals on the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
In an open letter, the former pope said that the changes ushered in by the 1960s destroyed morality, and created a world where “there could only be relative moral judgments,” and went on to say that this culture has infected the priesthood and is causing them to act immorally.
The 91-year-old man could not seem to tell the difference between consensual sexual relationships and forced sexual activity with a child who is too young to consent.
In fact, this is the crisis of morality within the church: Since most sexual activity is considered to be a sin anyway, many people within the church, including Benedict, think that pedophilia is a sin that is equal in severity to something like sex before marriage, adultery or any type of alternative sexual perspective.
This was apparent in Benedict’s comments about the “openly gay culture” among the seminaries. Once again, Benedict does not seem to realize that being attracted to people of the same sex is not the same thing as violating a person’s sexual consent, especially that of a child.
“Among the freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to fight for was this all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms…Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of ‘68 was that pedophilia was then also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate. For the young people in the Church, but not only for them, this was in many ways a very difficult time. I have always wondered how young people in this situation could approach the priesthood and accept it, with all its ramifications. The extensive collapse of the next generation of priests in those years and the very high number of laicizations were a consequence of all these developments,” the former pope said in his letter.
He also went on a strange rant about how pornography can’t be shown on airplanes, otherwise, the passengers would break out into violence.
Benedict is now calling for the church to become even more regressive and return to its roots of moral extremism.
“Why did pedophilia reach such proportions? Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God. We Christians and priests also prefer not to talk about God, because this speech does not seem to be practical,” Benedict said.
Benedict’s theory falls apart under the evidence that Catholic priests have been engaging in child sexual assault for far longer than he suggests in his letter. He makes the assertion that these abuse scandals did not begin appearing in the news until the 1980s, and thus this must be a result of corrupted priests who grew up during the sexual revolution of the 1960s. However, the 1980s is simply when the issue began getting major mainstream media attention, there have actually been documented cases of abuse going back for generations.
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According to a PBS report last year, many of the victims to come forward in an investigation of Pennsylvania churches showed that some of the victims were in their 70s and 80s.
Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and psychiatrist assistant in the state of Maryland, who was professed as a Benedictine monk in 1953 and ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1959, conducted an extensive report on the history of sexual abuse within the church. Sipe’s research showed that high ranking members of the Catholic Church were aware of pedophilia within their ranks since at least the 1950s. His report detailed a long list of cases that go back decades, many of which were covered up by the church.
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