When the Catholic Church’s prohibition on scandal helped womenRoundup
tags: Catholic Church, religious history, womens history
Sara McDougall is associate professor of history at John Jay College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and author of "Royal Bastards: The Birth of Illegitimacy."
Speaking with reporters last week, Pope Francis acknowledgedthat the Catholic Church is confronted not just with a crisis of widespread allegations of sexual assault and abuse of minors, but also the rape and even “a kind of sexual slavery” of nuns.
This statement was not technically news. Many already knew of these long-standing allegations of such horrific abuses of power.
What was new, and what some might consider a grave sin on the part of the pope, was not his silence but his public recognition of the problem.
We know all too well how long Catholic authorities have sought to keep priests’ sexual sins quiet. Only recently, because of the brave children and nuns who have come forward, has the depth of sexual abuse in the church been acknowledged as a crisis that must be addressed.
But why has scandal been systematically silenced in the church for so long? One answer lies in the medieval church's doctrine on scandal.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke Middle East Studies program portrays Islam too positively
- What White Kids Learn About Race in School
- Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?
- Chronicling New York’s Muslim History
- New Documents Illuminate The University of Texas’s Secret Strategy to Keep Out Black Students
- Women Scientists Were Written Out of History. It’s Margaret Rossiter’s Lifelong Mission to Fix That
- Allen C. Guelzo Reviews Sidney Blumenthal's Latest Installment of His Biography of Lincoln
- What Reconstruction-Era Laws Can Teach Our Democracy: The NY Times Reviews Eric Foner's Latest Book
- Should historians read their own book?
- Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At 75