Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Blurred Lines”: Scandals in Bohemia and Ecclesia

 

“And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl / I know you want it… / I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it… / But you’re a good girl…” Unlike in Thicke’s hit, the “it” youth seeking mentorship want is hopefully not sex. Nonetheless, decent people have long suspected that among more bohemian sorts — actors, musicians, academics, etc — the blurring of lines between mentorship and sexual grooming, coupled with the impulse to save face, risks fostering a climate of sexual abuse. I’ve even heard decent people argue that those who go into bohemian fields ought to know what they’re getting into, and if they’re abused, it’s really their fault.

Decent people don’t want bohemian clergy. Nonetheless, religious callings have more in common with the bohemian than decent people might like to think. It’s appropriate for spiritual mentorship to be intense (possibly even more intense than intellectual or artistic mentorship). It’s normal for charismatic spiritual leaders to attract groupies (also known as disciples). Great good can come from both these dynamics. But also great evil. Decent people are properly sensitive to the great harm false accusations can do, and it feels awful to suspect those called to holiness of perverting these dynamics. Nonetheless, perversion has obviously happened — especially, it seems, in Catholic seminaries.

Sexual exploitation, provided everyone involved is of age, is often not a crime. It may be immoral for mentors to sexually groom their non-minor proteges, it may be against institutional policy to do so, but it’s usually not criminal. Vast amounts of sexual grooming appear to have taken place in America’s Catholic seminaries, especially between the sexual revolution and the 2002 exposure of abuse among Catholic clergy. American seminarians have completed high school, so seminary sexual grooming is unlikely to exploit minors. Rather, it exploits youth eager for mentorship, fostering a culture of sexual predation and duplicity which then makes it all the easier for those who do go on to exploit minors to get away with it.

***

I attended college for the same reason I imagine many seminarians attend seminary — for deeper education in the transcendent things. While my idea of transcendent things wasn’t focused on religion, or even a classical education, it included my unformed Christian faith. My first real exposure to Evangelical culture came in college. It was a minority culture at my college, but more vibrant than I would have guessed. Even a purely secular college, I found, could still be a place where youth grows in wholesomeness. Granted, youth must be exceedingly careful as well as lucky in order to pull it off. My own interests meant half my friends were Jesus freaks, and the other half were bohemians. Luckily, most bohemians I knew still maintained an affectionate regard for blatant innocence and proved quite easygoing — at times, stunningly courteous — in accommodating my distaste for debauchery. We have some power to make our own luck in these matters, but I had some real dumb luck in my peers, if not my mentors.

Some kids go through their pre-college years with a huge, if invisible, “kick me” sign pasted above their heads. I came to college with a giant, invisible-but-still-flashing-neon “mentor me” sign. Challenges I didn’t recognize at the time hindered my attempts to secure stable mentorship, which provided even more opportunities for would-be mentors to proposition me. To this day, I can’t be sure how many really propositioned me, or whether I missed out on some perfectly innocent mentoring through sheer skittishness. Enough offers involved a bed, though, to make it implausible they all weren’t propositions.

I admit, I wanted “it.” It’s just that the “it” wasn’t sex: it was mentorship, though I wasn’t confident I’d manage to avoid Faustian bargains in my thirst to find it. One missed Faustian bargain began with a plotline straight out of a cheesy romance novel, but that’s a story for another time, a story bohemian enough I knew to keep my guard up. Another vividly memorable miss involved a layman of some elevated authority in my church, and that miss was narrow enough to cause some scandal. I did let my guard down more around a man I imbued with Christian authority than I would have around the more bohemian, and my greater trust was nearly my undoing. If that was my experience at a secular college, how much worse must be possible at Catholic seminaries, where all those in authority over you are presumed to be Christian authorities?

***

Complicating matters, what counts as sexual grooming in an exploitative relationship overlaps with what would simply be courtship in a more equal relationship. Even among those who manage to remain virgins until marriage, courtship typically entails the bolder lover persuading the shyer lover to shed sexual boundaries, much as a groomer does to his victims. While those called to a life of celibacy ought to know they’re not called to courtship, mentors often do favor their proteges by treating them more as “equals”, and when a man has you convinced enough you’re his equal, it becomes easier to forget the real power he has over you if he comes “courting”. Is the story of Abelard and Héloïse a tragic story of doomed love? Or is it a story of mentorship gone horribly awry?

“But Héloïse was a woman. You’re a woman. Aren’t you missing the fact that sexual abuse among Catholics is usually male on male?” No, I’m not. But I imagine young women seeking mentorship in male-dominated fields risk their chastity in ways not too dissimilar from how young gay men seeking mentorship in male-dominated fields risk theirs. Furthermore, it’s difficult to insist that spiritual formation take place without mentorship. While Christian discipleship means following Christ, not merely someone purportedly speaking for Christ, the body Christ left for His disciples on earth is the church, and the more hierarchical the church, the more the line blurs between following Christ and following your superiors in the hierarchy:

If your superiors in the hierarchy are themselves sound members of the body of Christ, this blurred line might prove more helpful than harmful. But what if they’re not?

***

I have seen the following quoted more than once in recent days:

Important clues exist in the genealogy of abuse. I have been able to trace victims of clergy and bishop abuse to the third generation.

Often, the history of clergy abusers reveals that the priest himself was abused – sometimes by a priest. The abuse may have occurred when the priest was a child, but not necessarily.

Sexual activity between an older priest and an adult seminarian or young priest sets up a pattern of institutional secrecy. When one of the parties rises to a position of power, his friends are in line also for recommendations and advancement.

The dynamic is not limited to homosexual liaisons. Priests and bishops who know about each other’s sexual affairs with women, too, are bound together by draconian links of sacred silence. A system of blackmail reaches into the highest corridors of the American hierarchy and the Vatican and thrives because of this network of sexual knowledge and relationships.

Secrecy flourishes, like mushrooms on a dank dung pile, even among good men in possession of the facts of the dynamic, but who cannot speak lest they violate the Scarlet Bond.

While those with a duty to report criminal abuse become accessories to the crime if they fail to report it, complicity in abuse among Catholic clergy appears to have gone as far as it did not just because some reprobates kept each other’s dirty criminal secrets, but because clergy, in general, were keeping each other’s dirty secrets, period.

The nasty dirty sex secrets most commonly kept among the nominally celibate probably aren’t crimes. Still, keeping them secret fosters an environment of looking the other way, even when actual crime is involved. Moreover, when would-be mentors sexually exploit their younger disciples, even if most only exploit disciples above the age of consent, it makes it all the easier for those who do exploit the under-aged to get away with it.

***

I hear that, since 2002, the worst lechery in the seminaries has been mitigated. It shouldn’t be surprising, though, if it takes decades for a church to grow past such malformation (literally, mal-formation). Clergy formed in a culture where lechery is an open secret can’t be expected to change their ways as soon as the worst lechery is stopped. Those in the know are habituated to keeping each other’s dirty secrets. Those not in the know are habituated to giving more benefit of the doubt than they probably should.

Many might be half in the know, hearing of some allegedly great scandal through the grapevine, but not knowing with confidence whether the scandal is worse than relatively minor scandals they’ve personally witnessed. Being more mortified by one’s own sins than one is by rumors of others’ sins is usually the right thing to do. Moreover, because the sin we personally witness is much more vivid to us than that which we don’t, it’s easy to wonder whether scandals elsewhere are no worse than the scandal we’ve witnessed personally:

“Oh, that seminary. Ridden with scandal nobody likes to talk about.” “Huh. Well, over here, it’s an open secret the hermeneutics professor sometimes hooks up with the religious history professor. I guess we’re a seminary ridden with scandal nobody likes to talk about, too. How bad, really, can the other place be?…”

How much worse can the scandal we don’t know about be than the scandal we do? Decent people aren’t usually much surprised to discover the scandalous behavior of bohemians is even worse than they suspected. Decent people ought to be outraged, though, by news that scandals among the clergy are worse than they suspected. Outraged, but perhaps not wholly shocked, since the blurred lines leading to a scandal in bohemia needn’t be so very different from the blurred lines leading to scandal among the pious.

There are 15 comments.

  1. RightAngles Member

    Complicating matters, what counts as sexual grooming in an exploitative relationship overlaps with what would simply be courtship in a more equal relationship

    My high school biology teacher was married to a former student of his. I don’t know what the age difference was, but he was young, probably early 30s.

    • #1
    • August 16, 2018, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. SkipSul Moderator

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The nasty dirty sex secrets most commonly kept among the nominally celibate probably aren’t crimes. Still, keeping them secret fosters an environment of looking the other way, even when actual crime is involved. Moreover, when would-be mentors sexually exploit their younger disciples, even if most only exploit disciples above the age of consent, it makes it all the easier for those who do exploit the under-aged to get away with it.

    Indeed it does. As I’ve said elsewhere, once an institution, and particularly a church (Protestant, Catholic, whatever) lets that sort of rot go unchecked, it spreads. I attended a church for a number of years where it turned out that the 2nd most senior pastor had been cheating on his wife through a number of affairs for years. The elders wanted to protect their own, to shield their own reputation and power (this place, it turned out, had some other serious pathologies at work). Well, that same damnable attitude also led them to shelter teachers and coaches who were pedophiles, even going so far as to readmit one guy because he had confessed (only in the vaguest of terms) and was thus “forgiven”. It was a swamp.

    • #2
    • August 16, 2018, at 5:11 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. RightAngles Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The nasty dirty sex secrets most commonly kept among the nominally celibate probably aren’t crimes. Still, keeping them secret fosters an environment of looking the other way, even when actual crime is involved. Moreover, when would-be mentors sexually exploit their younger disciples, even if most only exploit disciples above the age of consent, it makes it all the easier for those who do exploit the under-aged to get away with it.

    Indeed it does. As I’ve said elsewhere, once an institution, and particularly a church (Protestant, Catholic, whatever) lets that sort of rot go unchecked, it spreads. I attended a church for a number of years where it turned out that the 2nd most senior pastor had been cheating on his wife through a number of affairs for years. The elders wanted to protect their own, to shield their own reputation and power (this place, it turned out, had some other serious pathologies at work). Well, that same damnable attitude also led them to shelter teachers and coaches who were pedophiles, even going so far as to readmit one guy because he had confessed (only in the vaguest of terms) and was thus “forgiven”. It was a swamp.

    A married pastor having an adult affair is unseemly to be sure, but it’s nowhere near the level of pedophelia.

    • #3
    • August 16, 2018, at 5:12 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. Judge Mental Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The nasty dirty sex secrets most commonly kept among the nominally celibate probably aren’t crimes. Still, keeping them secret fosters an environment of looking the other way, even when actual crime is involved. Moreover, when would-be mentors sexually exploit their younger disciples, even if most only exploit disciples above the age of consent, it makes it all the easier for those who do exploit the under-aged to get away with it.

    Indeed it does. As I’ve said elsewhere, once an institution, and particularly a church (Protestant, Catholic, whatever) lets that sort of rot go unchecked, it spreads. I attended a church for a number of years where it turned out that the 2nd most senior pastor had been cheating on his wife through a number of affairs for years. The elders wanted to protect their own, to shield their own reputation and power (this place, it turned out, had some other serious pathologies at work). Well, that same damnable attitude also led them to shelter teachers and coaches who were pedophiles, even going so far as to readmit one guy because he had confessed (only in the vaguest of terms) and was thus “forgiven”. It was a swamp.

    A married pastor having an adult affair is unseemly to be sure, but it’s nowhere near the level of pedophelia.

    Read the end of his comment. Right on point for Midge’s point.

    • #4
    • August 16, 2018, at 5:15 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Scott Wilmot Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: Sexual exploitation, provided everyone involved is of age, is often not a crime. It may be immoral for mentors to sexually groom their non-minor proteges, it may be against institutional policy to do so, but it’s usually not criminal. Vast amounts of sexual grooming appear to have taken place in America’s Catholic seminaries, especially between the sexual revolution and the 2002 exposure of abuse among Catholic clergy.

    The 1983 Code of Canon Law removed these canonical crimes as stated in the 1917 Code:

    1917 CIC 2359 § 2 stated:

    “If [clerics] engage in a delict against the sixth precept of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of sixteen, or engage in adultery, debauchery, bestiality, sodomy, pandering, [or] incest with blood-relatives or affines in the first degree, they are suspended, declared infamous, and are deprived of any office, benefice, dignity, responsibility, if they have such, whatsoever, and in more serious cases, they are to be deposed.”

    A grave mistake in line with the bishops exempting themselves from the punishments of the Dallas Charter.

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: While Christian discipleship means following Christ, not merely someone purportedly speaking for Christ, the body Christ left for His disciples on earth is the church, and the more hierarchical the church, the more the line blurs between following Christ and following your superiors in the hierarchy

    I don’t buy your conclusion. This crisis in the Church (both the sexual preadation and the doctrinal confusion from Rome) should convince us to follow Christ and not the hierarchy – this chastisement has unblurred the lines.

    I found this article from Fr. Hugh on the connection between liturgical abuse and Humane Vitae to be very relevant:

    50-odd years on Humanae Vitae (HV) and Novus Ordo Missae (NOM) offer a study in both contrasts and congruities. What HV predicted of a contraceptive culture has been comprehensively fulfilled; the promised fruitfulness of liturgical reform has not. The sad accuracy of the one and the equally sad failure of the other share a common cause (among others): the turn to self as the standard of judgment and the focus of attention.

    That both HV and NOM came from the same pope, Bl Paul VI, is surely sobering. Popes are infallible in ex cathedra dogmatic judgment, but not in personal judgment, and Bl Paul VI is the example par excellence. Paul VI soundly, if controversially, ignored the advice of the commission on birth control; but he lamentably listened all too willingly to Annibale Bugnini, outed now as a manipulative scoundrel of diabolical ability.

    The common cause of the turn to self is one of diabolical narcissism – the Devil is laughing his a$$ off at the Church today. This is a battle against Satan. Is the Church Militant up to this battle? 

    • #5
    • August 16, 2018, at 5:16 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. SkipSul Moderator

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake: The nasty dirty sex secrets most commonly kept among the nominally celibate probably aren’t crimes. Still, keeping them secret fosters an environment of looking the other way, even when actual crime is involved. Moreover, when would-be mentors sexually exploit their younger disciples, even if most only exploit disciples above the age of consent, it makes it all the easier for those who do exploit the under-aged to get away with it.

    Indeed it does. As I’ve said elsewhere, once an institution, and particularly a church (Protestant, Catholic, whatever) lets that sort of rot go unchecked, it spreads. I attended a church for a number of years where it turned out that the 2nd most senior pastor had been cheating on his wife through a number of affairs for years. The elders wanted to protect their own, to shield their own reputation and power (this place, it turned out, had some other serious pathologies at work). Well, that same damnable attitude also led them to shelter teachers and coaches who were pedophiles, even going so far as to readmit one guy because he had confessed (only in the vaguest of terms) and was thus “forgiven”. It was a swamp.

    A married pastor having an adult affair is unseemly to be sure, but it’s nowhere near the level of pedophelia.

    Right, but the affairs were well known by the elders, and I believe well preceded the predators. The defensive mechanisms of denial, shaming those in the know into silence, closing ranks, and covering up, were well entrenched and practiced by years of covering for the pastor. When more serious allegations came out, their response was well choreographed.

    It’s rather like conditioning oneself to pain or to drugs by increasing doses. By the time you’ve hit what would normally knock someone else out, you can take the heavy stuff and not even feel it.

    • #6
    • August 16, 2018, at 5:18 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Complicating matters, what counts as sexual grooming in an exploitative relationship overlaps with what would simply be courtship in a more equal relationship

    My high school biology teacher was married to a former student of his. I don’t know what the age difference was, but he was young, probably early 30s.

    It’s no scandal when people who are free to marry begin courting after having been student and teacher. Many happy marriages have sprung from that or similar dynamics. But while people are in a formal relationship of unequal power, it’s important for both parties, actually, to be careful about boundaries. Particularly the older party, since the older party should know better, but the younger party, too, though the younger party shouldn’t be held culpable if under age.

    When I was in high school, I overheard one of those talk radio agony aunts take a call from a pair of 15 year old girls who said they were planning on arranging their skirts to flash their pantiless crotches to their hot math teacher. Now, who knows, maybe they were just making a crank call and really planned to do no such thing. Still, if they were really planning to do it… though they’d be underage, and the teacher would sure be guilty if he reciprocated in any way, would decent girls have known better? I sure hope so! I would think it’s a particularly awful thing to do to a teacher you did have a crush on.

    • #7
    • August 16, 2018, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. RightAngles Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Complicating matters, what counts as sexual grooming in an exploitative relationship overlaps with what would simply be courtship in a more equal relationship

    My high school biology teacher was married to a former student of his. I don’t know what the age difference was, but he was young, probably early 30s.

    It’s no scandal when people who are free to marry begin courting after having been student and teacher. Many happy marriages have sprung from that or similar dynamics. But while people are in a formal relationship of unequal power, it’s important for both parties, actually, to be careful about boundaries. Particularly the older party, since the older party should know better, but the younger party, too, though the younger party shouldn’t be held culpable if under age.

    When I was in high school, I overheard one of those talk radio agony aunts take a call from a pair of 15 year old girls who said they were planning on arranging their skirts to flash their pantiless crotches to their hot math teacher. Now, who knows, maybe they were just making a crank call and really planned to do no such thing. Still, if they were really planning to do it… though they’d be underage, and the teacher would sure be guilty if he reciprocated in any way, would decent girls have known better? I sure hope so! I would think it’s a particularly awful thing to do to a teacher you did have a crush on.

    Girls that age are pure poison to any men! And it’s the most dangerous when the man doesn’t know them, like the teacher did, and meets them out somewhere and they look 19 or even older.

    • #8
    • August 16, 2018, at 7:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Unsk Member

    From Megan McArdle:

    “If Jesus were here today, would He not be running through American cathedrals, knocking over tables as He did with the money changers in the Temple? “According to scripture,” He said in the Gospel of Matthew, “my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.” The words are a fitting indictment of the men who are accused of committing a moral theft of unimaginable wickedness — in their thoughts and in their words, in what they did and in what they failed to do.

    The innocence of children was stolen, as was the church’s sanctity and the faith of congregants, many of whom are today asking how they can possibly continue to believe that this is the one true church that Christ founded through Peter. They do not expect the church to be perfect; even St. Peter, after all, denied Christ three times. But they do expect to find the reflection of Christ there.

    According to news reports, the church hierarchy in Pennsylvania and beyond has already denied Christ’s gospel three times: once when it sheltered predators in silence; once when it failed to remove everyone who was involved in covering up any crime; and again when two of the six dioceses involved tried to shut down the grand jury investigation that produced the report. Now they face the same choice Peter did.”

    • #9
    • August 16, 2018, at 9:16 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  10. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Girls that age are pure poison to any men!

    They sure can be.

    And it’s the most dangerous when the man doesn’t know them, like the teacher did, and meets them out somewhere and they look 19 or even older.

    At 15, these games were simply unthinkable to me. Evidently, they’re not for all 15-year-old girls, which perhaps shouldn’t amaze me in retrospect, but to be honest, it still does, a little.

    • #10
    • August 17, 2018, at 8:34 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. MarciN Member

    I am so discouraged about this story as it is being reported this week. 

    If these men wanted to live this way, they should have done the decent thing and left the Church. The damage they have done to the American Catholic church is incalculable. And the list of people hurt by their actions is long starting with people who depend on the Church for charity. 

    If I were a Communist, I’d be dancing a jig this week. 

     

    • #11
    • August 17, 2018, at 9:21 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. RightAngles Member

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Girls that age are pure poison to any men!

    They sure can be.

    And it’s the most dangerous when the man doesn’t know them, like the teacher did, and meets them out somewhere and they look 19 or even older.

    At 15, these games were simply unthinkable to me. Evidently, they’re not for all 15-year-old girls, which perhaps shouldn’t amaze me in retrospect, but to be honest, it still does, a little.

    They were to me, too. What a different world it was. No internet, no Instagram selfies. When I was 15 I didn’t even really have a clear idea of the facts of life for pete’s sake. My 15 wasn’t even as worldly as a 9-year-old of today.

    • #12
    • August 17, 2018, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor

    Unsk (View Comment):

    From Megan McArdle:

    “If Jesus were here today, would He not be running through American cathedrals, knocking over tables as He did with the money changers in the Temple? “According to scripture,” He said in the Gospel of Matthew, “my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.” The words are a fitting indictment of the men who are accused of committing a moral theft of unimaginable wickedness — in their thoughts and in their words, in what they did and in what they failed to do.

    The innocence of children was stolen, as was the church’s sanctity and the faith of congregants, many of whom are today asking how they can possibly continue to believe that this is the one true church that Christ founded through Peter. They do not expect the church to be perfect; even St. Peter, after all, denied Christ three times. But they do expect to find the reflection of Christ there.

    According to news reports, the church hierarchy in Pennsylvania and beyond has already denied Christ’s gospel three times: once when it sheltered predators in silence; once when it failed to remove everyone who was involved in covering up any crime; and again when two of the six dioceses involved tried to shut down the grand jury investigation that produced the report. Now they face the same choice Peter did.”

    What interests me most about McArdle’s article is this passage:

    For what is striking about the grand jury’s findings is that this was not simply a matter of a few bad individuals, or even many of them; what impresses and appalls is how routine it all was — that the church had, as the report says, “a playbook for concealing the truth.”

    As with other instances of organizational corruption, such as accounting scams or police scandals, the playbook may well have started with small exercises in reputation management that metastasized into monstrous proportions: each lie necessitating the next one because telling the truth about today threatens to unravel the long chain of past falsehoods.

    One suspects, too, that many who should have known — must have known — went along because by the time they caught on, they were already halfway to being accomplices. Exposing the crimes risked destroying the entire organization and themselves with it.

    In the small scandal I mentioned at my protestant church in college, the man in question believed he deserved some reputation management. Did he? Yes, probably some. His propensity for manipulation left him unfit for even lay (ha! lay!) authority in a church, but at least as far as I directly knew, he wouldn’t have deserved me branding him as some sort of pervert or molester.

    Of course, as I later found out, that I did not know more was part of the problem: Others did know, including that he had worn out his welcome at other churches. My congregation thought they had their eye on him, but they didn’t. He was not an unusually bad man, and certainly not a pervert in any normal sense: His sort of peccadilloes are common enough among the male half of the species, they just don’t belong anywhere in the institutional structure of a church, which ought to be a refuge for innocents as well as a hospital for sinners. That churches are called to be both is of course part of the problem. At the very least it’s nice when the hospital patients can’t get away with masquerading as the doctors.

    • #13
    • August 17, 2018, at 9:42 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Hypatia Inactive

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I am so discouraged about this story as it is being reported this week.

    If these men wanted to live this way, they should have done the decent thing and left the Church. The damage they have done to the American Catholic church is incalculable. And the list of people hurt by their actions is long starting with people who depend on the Church for charity.

    If I were a Communist, I’d be dancing a jig this week.

    <span class=”atwho-inserted” contenteditable=”false” data-atwho-at-query=”@marcin“>@marcin, as usual you are a voice of common sense. This is the saga of a bunch of otherwise pitifully inadequate men , who probably could not have made it in any other profession, entering a status –yes a status, since once you become a priest, how is your performance measured?  Because they felt assured that, once in ( ” Thou art a priest forever, unto the order of Melchizedek!”) they could do what ever they wanted, to whom ever they wanted. I think is not the “complicated” narrative many want to cast it as. There really is no nuance here.

    • #14
    • August 17, 2018, at 2:43 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    MarciN (View Comment):
    And the list of people hurt by their actions

    Think about the people that died for their faith. The martyrs that suffered horrifically to build up the Church are surely weeping in heaven.

    • #15
    • August 18, 2018, at 11:30 AM PST
    • 1 like