I believe, after seventeen years of close involvement in the Catholic sex abuse issues in this country and others, that debating whether the cause
has been liberal trends in Catholicism and society or consevrative trends,is missing the point. In my extensive experience I could never see a cause-effect relationship. Allen claims that virtually all the abuse took place in the 70's and 80's. That is simply untrue and not backed up by reality. I have had contact with more victims than I can count. A very high number were abused in the pre-Vatican, pre-sexual revolution, pre-counter culture era. they were abused by men who had been trained and formed in the
so called "old church." The oldest victims I have ever me and with whom I spent extensive time in spiritual healing were 91, 86 and 73. I have met and gotten to know dozens if not more who were abused in the sixties. All of these people were abused by men who kept their secret deeply hidden, who were trained in the former system of moral theology, who were somehow convinced that their status as clerics would protect them. Indeed this last point is the truest. The clerical system produced men with severely
warped senses of sexuality but I also produced men who were so "clericalized" that they cognitively and emotionally believed that they would not be discovered.
The bishops, when they became aware of those cases of abuse that managed to get beyond the secrecy and denial of the "good Catholic home" also relied, though subconsciously, on the clerical system to protect them. It did.
When clericalism began to crack ever so slightly after Vatican II the dark secrets began a long and slow ascent to the surface.
To argue that the problem is homosexuality and homosexuals misses the point.The problem, from my experience, is clericalism. Sex abuse by heterosexual and homosexual clerics has been happening for centuries.....take a look at the Medieval Canon Law Collections and you will find more documentation than you need to prove the point. The true destructiveness has been the
mannerwith which abusers have been covered up and victims...children and adults...have been dismissed, denied and turned into the culprits for trying to "hurt the church." The church never needed the homosexuals or any other kind of sexual to hurt it. Its own leadership has been doing quite a good job at that.
Don't forget the story of the encounter between the Pope and Napoleon the night before Napoleon crowned himself at Versailles:
Napoleon: "Your Holiness, do you realize that I could shut your church down overnight."
The Pope, laughing: "Is that so? Well, the priests have been trying to do it for 1500 years and they haven't succeeded so what makes you think you will?"