The Church’s sexual abuse scandal is the “blame Bush” of Catholicism. Anything that goes wrong anywhere that has even the remotest connection to Catholicism can be explained by or blamed on the sex abuse scandal.
It’s reflexive now. Liberal Catholics can’t say anything about the Church without bringing up the sex abuse scandal. Whether it’s a conversation about altar rails, mass times, abortion, vestments, or gay marriage liberal Catholics will instinctively raise the specter of the abuse scandal as if the very existence of sin in the Church is evidence that they’re right.
A priest who’s made quite a name for himself by attacking the Church every chance he gets is now attacking the Church for the excommunication of Sister Margaret McBride who approved of an abortion being performed on a woman whose life was in danger. The media is, of course, making this the most famous excommunication since Theodosius’. The Rev. Thomas Doyle is joining in the bashfest on National Public Radio by calling out Bishop Thomas Olmsted.
He said Sister McBride shouldn’t be excommunicated because of…(wait for it) the sex abuse scandal.
Doyle, a canon lawyer, said the bishop “clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated.” Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a “gross inequity” in how the church chooses to handle scandal.
“In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook,” Doyle says.
Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.
“Yet in this instance we have a sister who was trying to save the life of a woman, and what happens to her? The bishop swoops down [and] declares her excommunicated before he even looks at all the facts of the case,” Doyle says.
Now, how does he know Bishop Olmsted didn’t know the facts of the case? Well, that’s because he doesn’t agree with Fr. Doyle, of course.
In fact, according to Courageous Priest, Sr. McBride told Bishop Olmsted that she believed performing an abortion in this case “was a morally good and allowable act according to Church teaching.”
Fr. Doyle’s logic would seem to go something like this, I guess: The Church can’t be against killing the unborn because some in the Church have sinned.
As illogical as the argument is, the specter of the sexual abuse scandal is still causing great damage. The enemies of the Church (even those on the inside) can publicly impeach the authority of the Church by calling on the sex abuse scandal and the media will hurrah their every utterance. People will be swayed and souls will be lost. That is the horrible truth.
And many in the media who have these liberal priests and theologians on speed dial cheer every time they bring it up. And they will continue to do so as long as it hurts the Church.