Vatican Justice: Pedophiles Stay in the Church, While Priests Who Ordain Women Are Excommunicated

From AlterNet:

What happens if a Catholic priest molests children?

Usually, he’s protected by the Church hierarchy. Maybe he’ll eventually have his parish or diocese taken away, or be switched to another one — often after years of serial abuse. But there’s a good chance he’ll stay in the Church.

So what happens if a Catholic priest publicly supports ordaining women? Well, then he’s excommunicated on the double.

“Nearly 5,000 Catholic priests [in the U.S.] have sexually abused over 12,000 Catholic children…but they were not excommunicated,” says Father Roy Bourgeois, who faced the latter scenario after helping celebrate what the Vatican considers to be an illegitimate ordination mass in August 2008. Bourgeois, a Vietnam veteran with a Purple Heart who became a prominent peace activist, stood with the trailblazers of the female ordination movement in Lexington, Ky., to make Janice Sevre-Duszynska a Catholic priest.

For thumbing his nose at one of the most sacred tenets of the conservative hierarchy — that only men are worthy of the priesthood — Bourgeois was swiftly rebuked by the Vatican in a letter two months later, telling him he had 30 days to renounce his actions or face excommunication.

(via J-Walk)


  1. How do you know it’s bedtime in the rectory?

    When the big hand is on the little hand.

    My husband’s uncle is a former priest, nearly 80,married to the same woman for decades. We asked him, Did you know about all these molestations?

    He said, There were two kinds of priests back then. Those that were molesters and the rest of us who wondered about those sent away to be treated for sexual problems.
    What kind of sex problems could priests have? he wondered. It was a mystery to him back then, innocent as he was in the early 60s.

    Is he involved in the Catholic church now? Hell no. We left. We all left.

    And when I lived in Colorado Springs, the whispered words of those who knew about what was going on in fundamentalist organizations scared the shit out of me. “Don’t let your kids attend there” one woman told me privately. Not that my kids were going to any church but there’s a lot more than just the Haggard story.

    What is it about the power of sky-god mixed with sexual exploitation of minors?

  2. I can’t understand why ordaining women, having an abortion, performing an abortion, getting remarried after a divorce, etc. are so much worse in the eyes of the hierarchy than sexually molesting children who have been taught to respect and even revere them. As my students would say, “That’s messed up!”

  3. What I find really interesting are the statistics. 5000 priests and over 12000 children?
    I find it kind of weird that they are able to quantify it so precisely, and that according to these numbers, each priest has molested fewer than three children (which doesn’t match up with social stereotypes although they could be completely wrong), has molested adults as well/instead, the children were perhaps shared by the priests (shudder), a vast number of priests only molested one or two children, some priests and children have independently presented themselves, or some other weird combination of events that would explain this odd set of numbers.
    Most cases I’ve heard about involve one priest involved with many children… but google doesn’t seem to have a lot of stats on this, amazingly enough. 😉

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