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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Sept. 07, 2021
Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org.
The latest report out of the United Kingdom on widespread child sexual abuse within non-Catholic religious settings is not surprising but it still manages to send all the wrong signals—just as almost every revelation of child sexual abuse has done for the past twenty-five years. The problem, of course, is that that the horror of child sexual abuse is always outlined against a stark background of sexual abuse among “consenting adults” which is not only legal but protected and fostered by both culture and government.
In a society which, at the adult consensual level, typically defends all manner of sexual abuse as “love”, those who “love” children in the same ways may well perceive themselves as riding the next great wave of positive change. May they not reasonably hope it is only a matter of time before their own form of abuse is recognized as liberating, wise and good? Or to put the matter more bluntly: They cannot help but recognize that the opprobrium heaped upon them for their own sexual desires is not fair. And insofar as this opprobrium is heaped up in only one dark corner of a libertine culture, they are absolutely right. …
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