Reply To: America’s game: Eternal recrimination and shame



As a fairly bad Catholic, I am at least familiar with the Church’s teachings regarding the sins of the flesh. Historically, sins of the flesh have not been considered as severe as sins such as avarice, calumny, and pride….with pride ranking as perhaps the worst sin of all. This is not meant to be understood as permission to commit sins of the flesh, but it provides a perspective on the traditional Christian approach. This may also explain why the Church has been widely condemned for its slow response to the so-called “priestly scandal.” The Church was following its own guidance on the matter and was totally unprepared for the onslaught prompted by what appeared to be the wide-spread abuse of minors by ordained priests. In reality, the actual rates of abuse by Church leaders have proven to be no greater or less than any other institutionalized form of custodianship (public and private schools, YMCAs, summer youth camps, etc.) over the same period of time (mostly the late 50s through the early 90s). Where proximity to children has occurred, there has been abuse….and at a pretty consistent rate across the spectrum of organized life. The idea that assaults on the body (physical) are assaults on the soul (spiritual) is a post-modern precept. The Church would reject this paradigm outright as an affront to the redeeming power of Christ’s sacrifice….and a form of animism that regards the corporeal world as superior–or at least identical to–the spiritual world.