What we have here in
the current sex abuse crisis, says Italian sociologist of religion Massimo Introvigne
in an article in MercatorNet (the creator of this blog), is a “moral panic”.
Certainly one deviant priest is too many. Certainly the pain of his victims
must be atoned for. Certainly there have been far more than one of them. But
how many, he asks. It’s an obvious question. Check out the article.

“But asking for forgiveness –noble and appropriate
as it is – is not enough. We have to ensure that this will not happen again.
Thus, it is relevant whether to inquire whether there are 2, 200, or 20,000
cases. And it is relevant whether the number of cases is higher or lower among
Catholic priests and consecrated persons compared to other categories of
persons. Sociologists are often accused of working on cold numbers, forgetting
that behind each number is a human individual. But numbers, while not
sufficient of themselves, are necessary. They are essential for adequate


Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia.