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Read this: The Revealer on the Catholic sexual abuse study

The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010 came out on May 18th.

So now we know what we need to about the stories behind the shocking statistics about child abuse by priests, right?

As the study’s largest percentage of funding came from the Catholic church, the report reflects the conflict of interest.

The report features an invective against the 1960’s counterculture and sexual revolution; feminism, “singles culture”, premarital sex, divorce, working mothers, rising crime and drug use rates, and acceptance of homosexuality are all targeted by this detour from the empirical data. So much for the priesthood considering itself in–but not of–the world.

Notably, the study denies a relationship between homosexuality and abuse, thankfully not lending credence to a flawed, bigoted argument. The study also denies the influence of celibacy.

Glossing over the potential benefits of womenpriests, backing down on mandated celibacy, reconsideration of the stance on birth control, and other issues, the Catholic Church’s study reinforces the status quo.

Check out the Revealer’s coverage here–especially Amanda Marcotte’s article which highlights the patriarchal reasoning that calls feminism and openness about sex fueling forces of the abuse, rather than what they are–tools with which to fight for victims’ rights.


Slog readers know that it is not merely a Catholic problem, but a ministry problem. See Dan Savage’s Youth Pastor Watch, a running column.


Towards an evolving understanding of marriage

The traditional marriage model is being re-examined in the 21st century America.This is the natural flow of societal change, as Hindu-American immigrants negotiate the tradition of arranged marriage, as LGBT couples seek the right to marry or participate in civil unions, as straight couples in Britain seek civil unions as a commitment option–and as French couples enjoy the privilege,  and as many relationship columnists–instead of just Dan Savage–are writing about polyamory.

Both the  high divorce rate and the number of couples in long-term partnerships are  anecdotally and statistically significant.

Historically, the church and religious customs have been the arbiters of marriage, a position now undermined by social diversity.

By narrowly defining the formal expression of love and commitment as heterosexual marriage, the church is marking itself as out of touch and losing relevance.

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