05 February 2013

I think Andrew Sullivan is a great writer, and a moral man.  But I must concur with Ta-Nehisi Coates that he can be pretty maddening.

In his reflection on a documentary about Catholic clergy and sexual abuse, Sullivan writes:

If those of us are asked why we still believe in the salvation of Christ in the Catholic community, in the midst of all this, we do not have a good answer. All we can say is that we are, in some ways, trying to live in a parallel church, finding those many, many good priests who have been unfairly tarred by the pedophile brush...
Maybe Sullivan has cut off all financial support to the Catholic parish churches he attends.  I sure hope so.  But still there is a problem of explicitly identifying yourself with a criminal syndicate (and I'm using Sullivan's own language here).  It's not that much different than saying "I'm trying to live in a parallel Nazi Germany, finding those many, many good government employees who have been unfairly tarred by the anti-Semitic brush."

I can understand that cradle Catholics have a deep attachment to the rites and spiritual practices that they grew up with.  This is in fact why so many have moved over to the Episcopal Church!  This doesn't have to be every Catholic's answer to disaffection with the Roman hierarchy.  Still I am annoyed when any Catholic makes these sorts of excuses for continued affiliation with a church of mass child rape.

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