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Jorge Latorre , Professor of Communication, School , University of Navarra, Spain.

Where is the hypocrisy?

Thu, 22 Apr 2010 08:21:34 +0000 Posted in La Rioja

There is such an outpouring of news about pedophilia among clerics that it seems that the entire Catholic Church is just as corrupt as a minority of unfaithful priests. Specifically, in the United States, where all the data are already published, 54 clergymen have been condemned, out of a total of almost 200 denunciations and 104,000 priests. But unlike that campaign, which brought so many benefits to the American Church, since it served to correct those internal problems, the very well orchestrated current campaign uses the data taken out of context to accuse the Pontiff himself of concealing cases of abuse of minors when he was Prefect of the Faith; or at least of negligence in punishing the guilty. It is not said that only recently, and by decision of Benedict XVI himself, already as Pope, have the laws been modified that allow these crimes to be punished with the forcefulness they deserve. Laws follow customs; recent laws to prosecute gender violence with forcefulness serve as an example.

It is unjust to accuse the Church of doing the opposite of what she has always unequivocally defended: the protection of the weakest against all subject of abuses. There is a Gospel phrase that touches the heart of this topic: "Whoever scandalizes one of these little ones, it is better for him to put a millstone around his neck and throw himself into the sea"; a hyperbole that should not be interpreted literally, but with which Christ wants to underline the seriousness of any scandal involving minors. It is true that the Church has never excluded anyone, except those who believe themselves to be impeccable. Christ himself tried to save Judas several times before he abandoned himself to despair. But the existence of one Judas does not nullify the merits of the rest of the apostles, and it is because of the faithfulness of many, and not because of the infidelity of the few, that this message continues to resonate today.

That is why it is striking that those who are currently tearing their garments against the Church are the same ones who defend all subject of 'Judas' within the Church; and as far as the topic of pederasty is concerned, they use a double standard, since they show off the early promotion of sex with all subject of social programs and with unequivocal laws in this regard. The fact that minors can have abortions without parental permission, among other things, is an open door to pederasty, as they know very well in the USA: according to recent statistics, a large number of teenagers who secretly have abortions have been led to do so by their adult lovers. And the adoption of children by homosexual couples (known for their ephemeral stability: statistics are also very clear in this respect) is another firm step in this direction. While contributing to the systematic destruction of the only truly stable family model , derogatorily considered 'traditional' and boring, they accuse the Church of being hypocritical for not living the message it preaches.

The manipulators should keep in mind that the accusation of hypocrisy is easily turned against those who launch it. Although it is true that to see the fruits of these laws we will have to wait 20 years, the same that many of the facts of the denunciations of the ecclesiastics are now taken out of context. Returning to the case of America, since it is now closed, more than 90% of those condemned are homosexual clergy who were ordained in Los Angeles and Boston in contravention of the clear norms of the Holy See in this regard. It was a confusing time of sexual 'liberation' that also affected some ecclesiastics, who were supported -against the Holy See- by many media that now promote the campaign against the Pope. They all silence this fact of homosexuality, perhaps because it would seem a hypocritical attitude; and also for fear of being accused of homophobia, as has happened to Cardinal Bertone (who has all the information, with very clear statistics on the matter).

Of course, it is not only a problem of homosexuality, although in the American Church this aspect has been of special importance, because of the coexistence of seminaries and colleges of male religious. Along with these 54 cases of ecclesiastics, there were more than 6,000 convictions of child abuse in public schools; and most of the abuse of minors (several hundred thousand complaints in the USA in the same period) takes place within broken families.

The sexual revolution of 1968 did not fail, as some frivolously and voluntaristically claim. It penetrated into all social spheres, including religious environments. The Pope is setting limits to these excesses, and for this reason he has become the target of the hypocrisy of the very instigators of the sexual revolution. It is not necessary to mention names, I leave it to the prudence of the reader. In any case, there are so many inconsistencies in the attacks on the Church that there is no doubt, at least for those who seek to go beyond the morbidity of topic and the media noise, that the current campaign does not so much seek to clarify the truth (which every Catholic is concerned about) as to discredit the institution as a whole, and celibacy in particular. A pity, because the missionaries lost all over the world will feel the effects of these criticisms when they stop receiving help, and see contempt as a response to their availability -celibate means free of ties- and disinterested submission to others. They will get ahead in spite of everything, as they have done many times before in similar historical contexts, following the example of Christ. But they are human, and they have the right to regret so much hypocrisy.