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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, June 02, 2020

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

A friend recently called my attention to a debate held at the Oxford Union last June, on the resolution: “This House believes the Catholic Church can never pay for its sins.” It wasn’t really much of a debate. With their focus on the sex-abuse scandal, the speakers couldn’t quite agree as to whether the Church is more criminal than vicious or more vicious than criminal.

But the final speaker (for one side or the other; it was hard to keep track) made a couple of revealing points. Dr. Jay Feiermann had worked for nearly 20 years as a psychiatrist at Paraclete Center in New Mexico, the world’s largest program for treatment of troubled priests, where he evaluated and treated 800 priests. He reported, simply, “The men that came to the program were there because they had sexually abused young boys.” He didn’t say they abused young people. He said young boys. No surprise there, but a clear confirmation, from a highly qualified witness, of what we already know. …

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