Thursday, July 14, 2005

Rick Santorum blames the priest scandals on "liberalism"...

"Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture," [Rick] Santorum wrote in a July 12, 2002 article for the Web site Catholic Online. "When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."

Asked by the Boston Globe this week whether he stood by his remark, Santorum said he did. "I was just saying that there's an attitude that is very open to sexual freedom that is more predominant" in Boston, the Globe quoted him as saying Tuesday.

I'm not offended by Santorum's comments; to me, this is like hearing an 8th grader claim that the Revolutionary War was fought in the 1870s. He's just dead WRONG--you can't attribute something like the Catholic church's sex debacle to an abstract concept like liberalism. That's reification up with which I will not put. For me, the scandal stems from the conservatism of the Catholic church--and that's NOT political conservatism. It's the authority/secrecy duality that's a problem. In fact, where's the diocese with the highest rate of abuse? KENTUCKY.

"Based on statistics publicly reported by many of the country's 195 dioceses, the Boston-based lay activist group BishopAccountability.org has calculated that the highest percentage of abusive priests from 1950 to 2003 was in the diocese of Covington, Ky. Boston was among the 10 worst dioceses, but several other cities commonly regarded as liberal culturally and politically had relatively low rates of abuse. Just 1.6 percent of San Francisco's priests have been accused of abuse, for example, compared to more than 4 percent nationwide."

Rep. Barney Frank called Santorum a "jerk."

6 Comments:

At 11:43 AM, Blogger RedHurt said...

That's not "reification" so much as taking him completely out of context.

First, those remarks were made 3 years ago.

Secondly, they were preceded by this paragraph:
"The most obvious change must occur within American seminaries, many of which demonstrate the same brand of cultural liberalism plaguing our secular universities. My hope was rekindled last week as our American Cardinals proposed from Rome an 'apostolic visitation' of seminaries emphasizing 'the need for fidelity to the Church's teaching, especially in the area of morality.' It is an arduous task. However, the Pope made it clear last week that he expects the strong appeal of the Cardinals to be followed by decisive Episcopal action."

The "storm" he's referring most directly to then seems to be the problem of immorality in Priests derived from the false teachings of their institutions - the storm isn't the scandal itself. How many Catholic seminaries are their in Kentucky? I bet there's a lot more in Boston, and I bet their teachings about things like homosexuality are much more accepting than any semminary in Kentucky.

If you want to accurately criticize Santorum for his statements, I think you're going to need to do some research and go about it a different way. You'd need to say that the seminaries attended by those convicted of abusing alter boys and either show that they're not in Boston or that the homosexual movement has no presence there. Or you could show that the seminaries in Boston in general are not strongly supporting the homosexual movement.

Here's the full text of what Santorum said:
http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=30

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

I don't get it...

It seems to me that you're assuming that tolerance of homosexuality and the molesting of children are correlated in some way...and they're not.

We both know that Santorum was saying that Boston is a liberal city in a liberal state, and that that's why the abuse occurred there. I didn't take him out of context. I don't think any of the statements he made in his comment A) mediate in any way what I posted, or B) are true.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

Pastors, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this case, it is no surprise that things like this happen in Louisiana, a seat of academic, political and cultural conservatism in America.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/05/22/louisiana.church/index.html

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

Here's the link.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

I'll agree with you here: "you can't attribute something like the Catholic church's sex debacle to an abstract concept like liberalism."

But not here: "this is like hearing an 8th grader claim that the Revolutionary War was fought in the 1870s."

I think you COULD blame it on an abstract concept like moral relativism, which Santorum uses synonymously with cultural liberalism, and not without some good cause. Liberals are far more tolerant of moral realtivism than conservatives. You won't find a NAMBLA meeting in Kansas, but you will in Boston.

The paragraphs (and sentences) both before and after the quote you posted are decrying cultural relativism, so I really think that's what he means. It might be reification for him to abstract cultural relativism to liberalism in order to blame the sex scandal on liberals - I'll concede that. But he's not "dead WRONG" to link it to Boston.

Sorry for misreading you earlier and all of my references to the homosexual movement within the Catholic church, which I agree can't be blamed for pedophile priests.

 

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