The pope and all his minions can beat their chests, proclaim sorrow for the pain they caused, declare that the Catholic Church will do all in its power to change the code of silence and coverup that surrounded the sex abuse of children and piously intone that the children come before the organization. They can say all that and it all will remain utter bullshit until such time as they open the doors of the priesthood to EVERYONE, even those without penises.
For so long as the priesthood remains an all boys’ club, the temptation to cover up and shut up will not go away. This Catholic Church, as an institution, has proclaimed on multiple occasions that one of its top priorities is to protect the institution first and foremost. And if a few kids had to live with the memory of a priest’s penis penetrating their private parts, well, so be it. Protecting the church was apparently more important than any given child.
While all female institutions, such as the nunneries, have certainly had some problems, they are nowhere near as widespread and pervasive as they are in the priesthood. Maybe a woman’s maternal instincts are just stronger than the paternal instincts of a man. Or maybe some men joined the priesthood because they had no paternal instincts and so could rape and abuse without a second thought. And maybe by the time those men become bishops and cardinals, the cover up is so ingrained that they can’t imagine ever actually coming clean.
If the Catholic Church doesn’t realize just how much it needs to shake up the old and filthy institution called the priesthood, they can pretty much guarantee that they will soon have to sell their Pieta to pay the bills because money from their parishioners will dry up. The Church already finds itself in the fun position of losing members in every first world country and many second world countries. The only place its growing is Third World countries. And as soon as they enter into full membership on the world stage, they too will start to question their allegiance to this antiquated church. The only hope the church will have then is that our Space Force encounters really dumb aliens who can be converted.
When I was young and asked why a woman couldn’t be a priest, I was told that women had their own special jobs to do. Interestingly, this mostly involved cleaning up after the priests in church and elsewhere. Nuns were allowed to approach the altar only if they had a cleaning rag in their hands.
I didn’t buy this level of inequality then and I don’t buy it now – especially since I have never heard a good argument for keeping the priesthood segregated. It’s a tradition based on the prevailing philosophy of a time when a woman was barely considered an equal human to a man. It has no theological basis, especially if we un-erase all the women of Christ’s early ministry that the founding fathers so carefully wiped from history. And it’s not as though keeping women out has helped men to maintain their abstinence. When they couldn’t find a woman, they always found a child.