The Corner

An Unfortunate Intolerance

The New York Times has an editorial today that purports to be about the Catholic Church, children, and reform. But it betrays its ideological drive before its closing paragraph.

Writing about the Church in the Twin Cities, it explains that the archbishop there is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage.

That he has been, as well as a teacher about marriage. The Catholic Church doesn’t merely oppose same-sex marriage, it supports marriage. And not merely as a legal or political matter, but as a pastoral one. It teaches about men and women and love and freedom in counter-cultural ways the New York Times editorial board is not a fan of.

The editorial mentions that the archbishop has submitted himself to an independent investigation. What it didn’t mention is that he had previously stepped aside when an accusation that he had inappropriately touched the backside of a child during Confirmation pictures years before was made against him. He was found innocent. This second investigation is about rigorous accountability — what the Times claims to want. As Pope Francis has said, nothing can ever be enough when it comes to working to protect children.

The Catholic Church has much to do penance for — the sexual abuse of children is an evil we abhor. Any priest who abuses a child, is not being Catholic, is not being faithful to Church teaching or his vocation. But the New York Times would have the Church change its teachings as its penance — or hush up and go away, or have government mandate you to limit your beliefs to Sunday Mass and not contaminate the public square or daily life with them, thank you very much — insisting the teachings are the reason for the scandal. But the scandal is in the evil. When we are talking about abuse, we are not talking about men who were acting as Christ would or living Church teaching.

Much of the Catholic Church has become a model for best practices in the wake of the abuse and filth that was exposed in the late 1990s. The likes of the New York Times and the United Nations might do a world of good by taking note. Unfortunately, sexual-revolutionary and secular ideology — and an insatiable intolerance — seem to trump the full story, and so America’s paper “paper of record” continues to miss it.

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