appeared on Larry King Tuesday to claim that because most of the boys were post-pubescent, it was homosexuality, not child abuse that was plaguing the Catholic church. Sinead O'Connor quickly put him in his place, asking him to clarify the exact age that demarcated "post-pubescent." "12 or 13," was the reply. I cannot even begin to explain how morally repugnant it is to blur the line between homosexuality and child abuse. But, just to help Donohue and others who may be confused, let me spell out the difference: C-O-N-S-E-N-T. If you use fear and intimidation to coerce others into sexual acts with you, you are a sex offender. If you cover such behavior up, you are a criminal. If you defend it on national television, you are an a**hole.
For more on the abuse and the Church's role in aiding and abetting it, see O'Connor's (an abuse victim herself) excellent opinion piece in the Washington Post. Over at the NYTimes, Maureen Dowd speculates the church gave up its credibility for lent. Read about the Vatican's refusal (including the current pope) to defrock a priest who molested over 200 deaf boys, when they had specific knowledge of his crimes, here. Also check out this 2006 report on the pope's role in covering up abuse. And, for a different opinion, read an Op-Ed that defends the pope as a part of the solution to the widespread abuse and institutional indifference.
What do you think? Should the pope resign? Can the Catholic church really change its ways and get its credibility back? And do you believe, like me, that both those who committed abuse and those who covered it up should be tried in civil courts?