Instead, the report says, the abuse occurred because priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed in the midst of the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s. Known incidents of sexual abuse of minors by priests rose sharply during those decades, the report found, and the problem grew worse when the church’s hierarchy responded by showing more care for the perpetrators than the victims.
Ross (last year):
In reality, the scandal implicates left and right alike. The permissive sexual culture that prevailed everywhere, seminaries included, during the silly season of the ’70s deserves a share of the blame, as does that era’s overemphasis on therapy. (Again and again, bishops relied on psychiatrists rather than common sense in deciding how to handle abusive clerics.) But it was the church’s conservative instincts — the insistence on institutional loyalty, obedience and the absolute authority of clerics — that allowed the abuse to spread unpunished.
Unfortunately, these priests were not made of sterner stuff. Like Ross.