USA Today says there are parallels between Penn State sex scandal and the Catholic Priest sex scandals. In one sense, they are right. In another, they are dead wrong.
On the one hand, ANY and EVERY act of sex abuse of a child (pedophilia) or teenager (ephebophilia) is a heinous crime and most grave moral sin. EVERY sex abuser, regardless of their gender, religion, occupation should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Yet, we also live in a democratic republic where the rule of law states that EVERYONE IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Even Roman Law (the basis for ecclesiastical canon law) guarantees DUE PROCESS for anyone accused. The burden of proof rests with the accuser not the accused.
However, when it comes to clergy, because a handful of bishops botched the situation by ignoring complaints or clandestinely transferring known or accused sex abusers, due process is sometimes denied. When a priest is accused of sexually abusing a minor, he must (by Dallas Charter) immediately be removed from public office and then an investigation ensues. When a bishop is accused, however, he does not step down.
LIkewise, when a civilian (layman) is accused, he retains his civil liberties and constitutional rights. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty..
Penn State Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with allegedly sexually abusing eight boys (pre-pubescent) over a period of 15 years. He was an assistant coach to the famous Head Coach Joe Paterno. While immediate superiors were alerted no one made sure that a follow up full disclosure be made to the local police.
While it is horrible that any acts of child sex abuse ever take place, we must admit the disgusting reality that perversion knows no boundaries.
Catholic Priests, Protestant Ministers, Jewish Rabbis, single celibate men and maried men alike, black and white, poor and rich alike; parents, siblings, relatives and neighbors, coaches and scout masters, teachers and others have committed vile acts against children. If you crunch the numbers and do the math, you'll see that Catholic Clergy are NOT the most populous offenders.
CNN did a special the other day on defrocked Catholic priests who were accused of pedophilia but never convicted for their crimes they committed on innocent victims. Problem is that MANY if not MOST perverts can legally buy or rent homes in local neighborhoods near innocent CHILDREN. But the report made it seem as if ONLY ex-Catholic Clergy were the villans and no one else. POPPYCOCK. !!! Most child abuse is done by parents, siblings and close relatives. Yet, one case is one too many. Pedophilia is not a Catholic nor a celibate issue. It is a perversion and an immoral evil which do not discriminate victims or perpetrators.