Divided loyalties: an incredible situation
Joan Chittister; 7/3/10
For all the certainty about the facts of the case, there is still an aura of discontent everywhere about the situation surrounding clerical sex abuse in the church. No one disputes the data now; everyone disputes the nature of the problem. And worse than that, the data simply keeps piling up on all sides. First, the world called it an “American problem.” As in, those Americans are a wild bunch anyway, what else can you expect?” The Vatican went so far as to dismiss the issue as simply another demonstration of American exaggeration — what the Irish call the American tendency to be “over the top.” Then Ireland found itself engulfed in the problem and suddenly the outrage was no longer seen as “over the top.” On the contrary, it became a display of integrity. Nor were the numbers seen as being exaggerated by the media. On the contrary, the numbers of child victims, the world began to understand, had, if anything, been minimized. Now, the boil has broken in Europe, too: in the Netherlands, in Austria, in Germany, and, oh yes, in the Vatican, as well.