The Right Coast

May 17, 2004
Oh, that's just great
By Tom Smith

Just another happy moment for Catholics in San Diego. As part of an international investigation, covering many countries, of child pornography, the FBI has seized the computer of a priest who used to work (until of couple of years ago)at the parish where my kids go to school. That's just dandy. I don't want to name the priest. It's in the article; you can read it if you want to. I didn't know the guy, and it's innocent until proven guilty, but frankly, if the FBI comes and takes your computer and the Church puts you on a leave of absence, things don't look so good for you. The pornography involved sounds particularly vile. Apparently it emerges from the former Soviet Union and depicts acts committed against children who are effectively slaves. Some of the children are reportedly very young, even infants.

I could go on about this subject at some length. Like a lot of Catholic men my age, a gay priest once approached me for sex when I was underage, (yes, I declined, ha ha) and one priest I knew fairly well got into a lot of trouble for molestation, though I've heard conflicting reports about whether he actually went to jail. I also know some priests who are fine priests and men, and who are, I assume, celibate and gay. I know, I know, I'm going from child pornography to gay very quickly, but the fact is, the molestation involved is almost entirely against underage boys. The problem is not pedophilia per se, but homosexual pedophilia.

Two books I think shed a lot of light on the subject. The first is Good Bye, Good Men. The book is somewhat amateurish, and tends to blame everything on ubiquitous "liberals," but I think it's more or less correct in its diagnosis. The second is another odd, but insightful book, Dr. Scott Peck's People of the Lie. Yes, there's a lot in the book that is goofy, or wrong, or a little nuts, but it also contains some real insights into the nature of evil, one of which is, evil people are drawn to where the good is, the way thieves are drawn to banks. If you want to take advantage of children, where better to be than in a position of sacred trust regarding children? It's important to recognize crimes against children as being first and foremost, crimes, before we go all therapeutical. Another book which is supposed to be good, which I haven't read, is Pedophiles and Priests. The book makes the point that the problem is not particularly Catholic. What the Church has that other organizations that deal with children lack is a centralized structure that makes abuses easier to discover and track, and also makes it a more desirable target for plaintiff's attorneys.

One good thing about this topic is that it makes me eager to get back to grading exams.