Monday, July 18, 2011

Frances Kissling on Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis: Abuse of Power No Surprise

Frances Kissling from The Revealer's series on the John Jay report, in an essay entitled "Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise":

Sexual abuse is the extreme on the continuum of church abuse and violence. Like rape it is about power, not sex. It is seen in the silencing of theologians; in forbidding contraception which results in unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality and abortions that could have been avoided. It is about the control of local Catholic schools and parishes; evident in a history of moving priests from parishes they love simply because they were too popular; and it is seen in excessive pomp, the retention of medieval European costuming, palaces and privilege. The cause of the sexual abuse of children is ultimately the continuation of hierarchy and patriarchy; the inability to change, the stifling of the human spirit whether it is the spirit of children or the spirit of priests.

Abuse is abuse is abuse.  It's on a continuum.  And it's about power, first and foremost.  And above all, it's about the abuse of power.

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