A Second Victimization
Nicholas D. Kristof wrote another New York Times editorial condemning the Church. It’s not worth reading; it’s the same stuff about the Vatican is not the Church, but the real Church are the ones helping the needy (i.e. the ones doing what Kristof likes-except for obviously Mother Teresa b/c she didn’t like contraception) and the Church needs to expand its ideas on women and contraception in order to avoid the sex abuse crisis. For example
That story comes to mind as the Vatican wrestles with the consequences of a patriarchal premodern mind-set: scandal, cover-up and the clumsiest self-defense since Watergate. That’s what happens with old boys’ clubs
That’s not interesting. We’ve heard it before. What is interesting is his blog. He himself comments on the article.
One question that I’m still puzzling over is this: how much difference would it make if the Vatican did admit women as deacons, or ordain them? It’s certainly true that women can be abusers as well as men. The painful report of the Irish Commission of Inquiry last year made that clear, with accounts of nuns brutally mistreating children and in some cases raping them. Likewise, ordination of women is no guarantee of popular support: mainline Christian denominations have been ordaining women, and still losing ground to more conservative Evangelical denominations.
Yet I do think that addressing the gender/celibacy issue would help in some ways. Certainly it would be easier to attract priests if they could marry. Orthodox churches have trouble attracting priests (who can marry) but less than the Catholic Church. And bringing women into the leadership, and democratizing decision-making generally, would I think mean more accountability and transparency. The worst thing that can happen to any institution is unaccountable centralized leadership, and that’s part of the church’s trouble. Moreover, I think that a church with women leaders and married priests might take a different view of birth control and of child abuse.
It is amazing to me that he admits that the women can be abusers as well as men, and he only wants them because it would democratize the Church and change attitudes on birth control! In essence, he admits that he knows darn well that ordaining women would do little to nothing to change the sex abuse crisis. All he claims is a vague idea that more women would bring more transparency, a claim which has no rational basis (I’m fairly certain that women are good at keeping secrets too-I should know; I’m married).
In the end, it is obvious that he is using this opportunity to push for changes b/c he doesn’t like Church teaching on contraception. He knows what he is advocating will do nothing to protect children but he uses the scandal as justification anyway.
It amazes me that child abuse advocates do not attack Kristof for this. Kristof is acknowledging that he is merely using the victims of child abuse to smear the Church in order to pursue his own agenda not to prevent child abuse. By doing this, he has victimized them a second time-he is using them without respect for their dignity. He ought to be apologizing as well as the Church.
However, I doubt we’ll see the day when the NYT calls for Kristof’s apology.