Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Quote for Day: "Church's Radically Patriarchal Leadership Structure and Theology Are at the Root of Most Sex Abuse Cases in the Church"

The Vanier case reaffirms an argument I have made in this column before, which is that the church's radically patriarchal leadership structure and theology are at the root of most sex abuse cases in the church. 
Patriarchy is any system in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. In a patriarchal structure, powerful men dominate women, children and other vulnerable men. 
In nearly every case of sexual abuse we have heard about in the church over the years — whether the situation is priests abusing children, or bishops raping nuns, or ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually coercing seminarians, or Philippe and Vanier sexually assaulting adult women — there is one common denominator: the patriarchal belief that a special class of spiritual men are entitled to use women, children and other vulnerable men for their sexual gratification. 
When this patriarchal system is combined with the theological notion of gender complementarity, which states that God calls men to lead and women to submit, it creates the perfect breeding ground for kinds of abuse we see in the Vanier case.

The photo of the funeral of Pope John Paul II is by blues_brother and has been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for online sharing. 

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