Monday, May 20, 2002

I have heard the accusation advanced that the Church used hush money to buy silence from the families. There is an ugly but necessary corollary to this argument. Catholic parents are content to sell their kids down the river for a few lousy bucks. I was raised by Catholic parents. I am a Catholic parent. I take umbrage at that claim. It adds insult to injury.

I have heard the argument made that Catholic youth have a reverential (and dangerous) respect for the authority of priests. This is a translation of the old argument that we are ignorant, superstitious, unhealthily subservient, witless and dangerous to democratic ideals.

Since we are raising our children to believe that a priest's word trumps the bounds of propriety, Catholicism itself is dangerous to the welfare of America's children. If a Catholic teenager is this morally inept, we better make sure that the state replaces the family as the primary educator of 'our' youngsters.

By allowing people to buy the more blatant message, Catholic parents are buying into the more subliminal argument.


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