Someone sent me an article about a help center for priests in New Mexico in the 1950’s run by a religious order. The center had been started as a treatment center for alcohol abuse and emotional problems. The facility eventually also treated priests involved with sex abuse with children.
The main point of the article was to illustrate how there was an awareness of this heinous crime back then, over half a century ago. Letters and discussions of the topic were circulating among the American church hierarchy. Recommendations, such as not putting a priest back in the setting where he could molest more children, never got made into any formal policy within the hierarchy of the American RC church.
Individual and ambitious bishops apparently did not want to take any meaningful first steps toward revolving this terrible situation. No bishop wants to tell the RC institution or the emperor that management had a problem that it could not solve. Nobody wanted to tell that Emperor that he was not wearing any clothes. Only a few good “yes men” need to apply for the position of bishop.
I recommend that you read it:
Catholic bishops warned in '50s on abusive priests
There was such a large volume of Catholics in those years of the 50’s that a few bad priests got unnoticed on the public side except if you knew the victim etc. The buck had to eventually stop somewhere - and the underlying issue is "celibacy".
Celibacy is not chastity. Celibacy is only an agreement not to marry - and not have legitimate heirs to claims deeds or church property etc. Considering all the legal hassles the church thought it would avoid with this medieval policy of celibacy, I think it may be cheaper in the long run to let priests marry and in a way eliminate some of the reason that these sick bastards, operating under an institutional blind eye, hit on children etc.
Celibacy, besides meaning both celibacy and chastity, no doubt is also a code word of sorts for protecting those who cannot control their sexual needs and appetites. Is it a code word for that “sex topic” thingy? Don’t touch! Bad mojo! Bad juju! How immature!
This passing the buck obviously went on for decades until the numbers in the ranks of the faithful thinned and individual crimes got more notice. This is I believe a worldwide phenomenon. It is only because it is so easy to sue people in the USA that this whole abuse thing spun out of control and fell into the public forum.
The issue(s) under the heading of “Celibacy” must be separated, dissected, discussed and possible solutions recommended and in an open forum of both hierarchy and laity. This RC Celibacy thing needs an intervention. The dysfunctional nature of this present RC corporate culture matter regarding sex interrupts, disrupts and interferes with the energy flow of Christ’s true mission statement for his church.
John Paul II formally dumped this American mess into Cardinal Ratzinger’s lap in 2002 when this American mess blew up in the press. Ratzinger doesn’t understand the scientific life saving benefits of condoms. Both as Cardinal and Pope, Ratzy has not dealt with the problem. It has been swept under the bumpy carpets in the papal apartment waiting for some other pontiff in some other decade to maturely deal with it.
God help the planet and protect us from all failed corporate CEOs!