More clerical child porn

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There’s an article in this morning’s National Post about the sad case of a priest in Newfoundland accused of possession of child pornography. Sound familiar? Are you unfazed by the thought of a priest being accused of such a crime? Expecting the diatribe about those Catholic celibates; who aren’t so celibate?

In this case, though, the priest is Anglican, was married and has three children! Now he claims to be gay. I feel terribly sad for him, for his family and of course for the children who are exploited in that pornography.  It also perpetuates the connection between this crime and homosexuality.  A study by New York’s John Jay School of Criminology has a preliminary report which debunks this connection.

Either way, the issue is not celibacy or homosexuality or even sex at all.  The root of child sexual abuse or any abuse for that matter is about power. We need to look at this as a society. In my experience as a pastor, I can tell you that there are many forms of abuse and it always hurts. We need to have resources available to help people when they are deeply hurt so that they don’t pass that pain on to others.  We need to move, as the Canadian Bishops wrote: From Pain to Hope.  It’s an appropriate reflection during this season of Advent, when we wait in Hope for the One who brings healing and consolation to our wounded world.