March 9, 2016
2016 Blog Number 69
#Clinton Avenue Reformed Church
Gay Marriage and Priestly Sexual Abuse
Two news stories in the news last night concerning the Roman Catholic Church in the United States struck me as being worthy of comment. The first story is a report of Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, former head of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. Bruskewitz commented on the marriage of gay individuals and commented that society was damaged by gay people lobbying for the right to marry and the Supreme Court ruling in favor of such unions. He used such words as “repulsive” and “degeneration.”
The other story that caught my eye was a story from the Seattle Times. In this article a lawyer for victims of child sexual abuse, Michael T. Pfau, expresses disappointment that the Archdiocese of Seattle has not released secret files held by bishops that detail the cases of child sexual abuse. In January the archdiocese released the names of seventy-seven priests who have been accused but has yet to release the case files. Victims of the sexual abuse as well as their relatives, are hoping to have these files released. For victims, having the Archbishop release the full files is a sign of the Archdiocese taking child sexual abuse seriously.
I realize that these are two different bishops making these comments and that neither speak for the entire church but it seems to me that there is more of an objection to marriage by gay people than there is over child sexual abuse. Whether we support or oppose marriage of gay people, only adults are involved in the practice. That certainly pales in comparison to child sexual abuse. I believe that the abuse of children ought to outrage us all. It would seem to me that part of this outrage out to be the release of the entire files that are held on the subject. One bishop is outraged over marriage of gays. The other seems to be protecting perpetrators. Is something out of proportion here or am I missing something?