St. Peter Damien’s War Against Clerical Perversion and Incontinence

This article, oddly enough, appeared in America, the Jesuit review, in 2005. It is most relevant considering today’s abuse crisis with the clergy. However, his criticism of Pope Leo IX’s being too lenient cannot be true. Leo IX was a great reformer, a great defender of the Church’s unity and papal supremacy; and he is a saint.

America, C. Colt Anderson: Mark Twain said that history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. The sexual abuse scandal that continues to echo throughout the church in America, as evidenced by the recent controversy over the decision to allow Cardinal Bernard Law to preside at one of the memorial Masses for Pope John Paul II in Rome after his death on April 2, bears a striking resemblance to a series of crises that roiled the church in the Middle Ages, particularly in the 11th century. Then, as now, the higher clergy seemed to be completely unaware of the damage that scandalous sexual behavior was causing to both the victims and the community as a whole. Article is here.