A study commissioned by U.S. Roman Catholic bishops concludes that neither the all-male celibate priesthood nor homosexuality caused the church's sexual abuse crisis. The five-year study says the abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and '70s.

The "blame Woodstock" explanation has been floated by bishops for years but the study was likely to be regarded as the most authoritative analysis of the scandal in the Catholic Church in America.

COMMENT: There's a couple of elephant's in the bishop's fabricated room. Firstly, priests, ministers, schoolteachers, scout leaders etc. have been abusing little girls and boys since opportunity first knocked, which was certainly long before the first hippie started wearing flowers in his hair. Many of the cases against abusive priests in the courts recently have dated back to incidents prior to "the permissive society."

Secondly, the sexual freedom that came in during the 1960s and 70s made legal sex more possible for everyone including the clergy. I expect the chances of being found out for having sex with a consenting adult are no different to being found out for abusing minors. But the Church will forgive you for the first because they're not going to have their asses sued off over some consensual hanky panky.

The only effect the changes in society since the 1960s have had on the obscenity that is child sexual abuse by the clergy is that more cases are now reported. The hippie / free love movement went hand in hand with calls for equality for previously oppressed groups such as women and children. This led to more openness in society and people who would have previously been too downtrodden and uninformed to complain about assaults finding that they could now complain and be taken seriously.

I suppose you could argue that the permissive society has led to people becoming sexually aware and active at an earlier age. But for the Roman Catholic Church to use this as an excuse is just a case of them blaming the victim rather than the perpetrators YET AGAIN.

If you remove legally defined paedophilia from the equation then you are left with a fact that cannot argued with. A far higher proportion of clergy in denominations that insist on celibacy (which is, pretty much, just the Roman Catholics) are tempted into illegal and abusive sexual relationships than in other denominations. Surely Occam's Razor must come into force on this and give us the obvious conclusion that enforced celibacy is potentially extremely bad for the vast majority of priests and downright catastrophic for many of the young people who are in their care.



  1. The permissive society lead to people actually challenging the authority of the church and not just shutting up and going to confession for leading poor priests astray with their lewd and lacivious behavior…

    what a crock and a half!!!

  2. As renzmqt says, and that in itself makes the permissive society to blame because otherwise no one would have ever known and there would be no crisis. !!!!!!!! Thus thinketh the guilty institution.

  3. Anyone who is baffled by this response should watch The Magdelen Sisters…you’ll never be the same again (if you were raised RC).

  4. I do recall that my grandmother was greatly concerned that my uncle, during his hippie phase, didn’t wear underwear.

  5. You should celebrate mainline protestantism’s growing diversity!
    And stop pretending that you have an invisible friend; it just makes you look stupid.

  6. Makes me look stupid?

    You demonstrate a poor grasp of the English language, troll. As you only ever write the same few words over and over again you could at least use the correct ones.

  7. Trolls are bad enough when they can write in coherent sentences, but when they don’t even make sense…like so many black flies in June…

  8. And speaking from experience, he’ll say anything as long as he thinks it will piss you off. Don’t imagine that he really believes in anything he says because he doesn’t. He doesn’t believe in anything. Don’t waste you’re time arguing ’cause he just don’t care.

    As they say in Texas, some men just ain’t worth shootin’.

  9. I’ve redirected him to a page that just says “BORING!”
    But it won’t last long as he just gets another IP address every time I block him. But it’s quicker for me to block him than it is for him to get a new address. So I take some pleasure in the fact that it must annoy him.

  10. I love the way lack of education is the problem. About 15 years ago there was a rash of lawsuits in the ELCA with wronged husbands suing the church over “affairs” between their wives and pastors. So we ALL had to go to “boundary workshops” to be taught that we should not screw our parishioners. Really? Who knew? The only result us lady pastors noticed is that none of our male colleagues wanted to car pool with us anymore. Worried about “boundaries” I guess.

  11. Just as an aside, I’m not sure that celibacy itself necessarily has anything to do with the proclivity to molest children.

  12. BTW MP, I am not clear on something.

    Joe is under the impression that your laws in your country state that Roman Catholics cannot hold ANY public office.

    I thought that was limited to the office of the PM and of course the monarchy.

    Clarification, please? Thanks

  13. Absolutely not, Tracie. That’s why I took paedophilia out of the equation. Being sexually attracted to children who look like children, not adults, is a sexual perversion and has nothing to do with celibacy. However, most acts of abuse have been against minors who look like adults. This is not a perversion. The perps are sexually normal and prey on young people because it is easier than preying on adults. Personally I believe that most of them would not do this if they were allowed to engage in normal adult sexual relationships.

  14. Just the monarchy, Tracie. The prime minister can be a catholic. This is because the monarch is the head of state and not the prime minister. Our PM does not have the same powers as your president.

  15. I think the Woodstock era well and truly passed these types by. It eluded them, more’s the pity. If they had taken a bit more of it on board the Church would have had less of these troubles.

    I don’t say it would have cured them but it is a long way from being the cause of their troubles.

  16. I think it is the Vow of Celibacy, not the celibacy itself, that adds to the problem. You take a group of sexually confused men in their late teens and offer them the promise of a “lifestyle” in which they do not have to confront their confused sexual identity. Unfortunately they end up with a stunted adolescent sexuality in which they are often homosexually attracted to boys in that age group. Their personal sexuality never matures and neither does that portion of their personality. Unfortunately, their bottled up desire drives them to improper use of their station and the power that comes with it. Allowing priests to have a healthy sexual existence would go a long way towards eliminating a large portion of this problem. OCICBW…

    PS – Those who prey on small children were likely molested themselves as children.

  17. That sounds very logical, Larry. The insistence of the Church of England that you have to at least 22 before you can even consider going forward for ordination is beneficial in this respect. Like the Amish, it allows the sowing of wild oats at an appropriate age and an opportunity to consider the future. It also gives you at least some experience of real life which is a necessity for any pastoral profession in my view. This is good for everybody whatever their sexuality.

  18. That sounds like a sound plan, that and the ability to marry like everyone else. Not so easy to hide your budding homosexuality in the priesthood.

  19. Well, Brad has a point – his asshole demographic is expanding all the time.

    Assholes like him are everywhere and all the same.