By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Spirituality is intrapersonal. Itâ€™s a liberating and uplifting awareness. It nurtures personal growth. It inspires more conscious perceptions. But when personal spirituality is organized into a religion, an institution is produced and, as all institutions, it then produces a hierarchy who concoct dogma that has nothing to do with spirituality and everything to do with maintaining social and political control.
The Roman Catholic Church lied about and covered-up decades of child abuse by priests. When finally exposed, they responded by banning â€œgay priests.â€ But as Kathryn Conroy, assistant dean of Columbia Universityâ€™s School of Social Work, pointed out in a New York Times piece following the Vaticanâ€™s ban on â€œgay priestsâ€:
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What is forgotten in all of the hysteria about priest sexual abuse is that pedophilia is about a sexual attraction to children (most often, regardless of their sex) and about access. â€¦
Reliable studies show that pedophiles (those adults who sexually abuse children) are overwhelmingly heterosexual. In fact, homosexuals are statistically underrepresented as those who sexually abuse children. â€¦
Further, women have far lower rates of sexually abusing children than men do. So if the church were really serious about protecting children from sexual abuse by priests, gays would not be excluded from the priesthood and ordination would be extended to women.