We have Mary Eberstadt of the Hoover Institution, writing in The Weekly Standard: The Elephant in the Sacristy:
The real problem facing the American Catholic church is that a great many boys have been seduced or forced into homosexual acts by certain priests; that these offenders appear to have been disproportionately represented in certain seminaries; and that their case histories open questions about sexuality that–verboten though they may have become–demand to be reexamined.
Then [thanks to Walker for the link] there’s Eric Raymond, armed & dangerous, with a powerfully worded self-professed determination to go ‘further than Ms. Eberstadt’:
I think this scandal is grounded in the essentials of Catholic doctrines about sex, sin, guilt, and authority. This is not an accidental corruption of the church, any more than Stalin was an accidental corruption of Communism. Bad moral ideas have consequences, and those consequences can be seen most clearly in the human monsters who are both created by those ideas and exploiters of them. There is a causal chain that connects loathsome creatures like the “Reverend” Paul Shanley directly back to the authoritarianism and anti-sexuality of St. Augustine; a chain well-analyzed by psychologists such as Stanley Milgram and Wilhelm Reich. I suggest that any religion that makes obedience to authority a primary virtue and pathologizes sex will produce abuses like these as surely as rot breeds maggots.
Raymond approaches his topic with the same misguided zeal I referred to in the comments I made several days ago about Joe Katzman’s Winds of Change, not only grappling with his topic but believing his brand of weblog is the only counter to the ‘dominant media culture’ (he uses this term repeatedly) which keeps homosexuality a ‘journalistically protected class.’ This, he thinks, allows him to get away with trotting out the same old tired homophobic stereotyping about the supposed ‘homosexuality/pederasty/pedophilia connection in gay culture.’ Pity, it seemed for a moment he might have kept to some useful angles on the Church scandal and the media. Instead, there is ridiculous rhetoric about things like (to take one phrase admittedly out of context) ‘the sort of university-educated gay men who wind up determining what’s on the front page of the New York Times.’