PF believes that the crisis in the Church is to do with Clericalism. He will not blame homosexuality.
My belief is that the crisis relates to Lust. And to disordered Lust.
If an abusing priest is homosexually inclined, his problem is Homosexual Lust. If he is heterosexually inclined, his problem is Heterosexual Lust. I fail to see that there is very much practical difference between the two. I fail to see that it is particularly helpful to fling the word 'disordered' about. Does anybody seriously argue that there is any 'right ordering' in the abuse of a young girl just because it may be her vagina that is abused?
I share papa Ratzinger's view that the problem acquired vaster dimensions in that period during the 1960s when crooked individuals among seminary and university teachers were spreading the diabolical gospel that there are no absolute moral prohibitions. The dreadful problem has been shown to have peaked in the period 1965-1985.
I can see only one real difference between, say, 1970, and today. It is this: we know now that paedophilia is, at least usually, incurable. This has not always been quite so obvious, not least when there were psychiatrists who were prepared to guarantee that they had cured an abuser. (I wonder, incidentally, why some of these 'clinicians', who assured bishops that Fr X was OK now, are not being given their rightful share of the job of facing the music.)
So I do have some sympathy for some bishops who, back in the 1970s, gave a second chance to 'cured' paedophiles. Whether that same sympathy is owed to bishops who have operated cover-ups in more recent decades, I am far from sure.
If the hierarchs who meet in Rome next month, representing their respective Conferences, let PF get away with his sick dodge of blaming 'clericalism', rather than facing up to the the problem of LUST, and of profoundly disordered seminary teaching, they will have a lot answer for.
And it is not presbyters who should bear the brunt of criticism. The current crisis is the result of massive mismanagement by that Order in the Church which, with so much self-congratulatrion, used Vatican II to award itself an enhanced status in the Church. The pompous episcopal oligarchy which emerged strengthened from that disastrous gathering is a big part of the problem.
I remember Ratzinger, years ago, complaining that so many bishops, timorously faced with difficult decisions which might make them unpopular back home, kicked the ball to Rome for the CDF to do the hard stuff, and then played Mr Nice Guy on their home turf.
Is it not obvious that the current generation of Bishops is, as a whole and generally speaking, a very busted flush? If this were not true, they would have done something before now about this scandalously disfunctional pontificate.
There is an old Anglican joke about a child watching an episcopal consecration. (In Anglicanism, the coconsecrators all gather around the consecrand and impose hands simultaneously.) The kiddy asked what they were all doing.
"Removing his backbone".
A second part of this will discuss , more constructively, what is to be done.