Liberalism made them do it.

Senator Rick Santorum blames the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal on Liberalism:

It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning “private” moral matters such as alternative lifestyles. Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While it is no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.

Oddly, living in Boston did not drive me to abuse young boys. Growing up Catholic. I was taught that priests answered to a higher power, and expected them to have higher morals. I later learned that wasn’t always the case; that priests sometimes had human failings.

Yet just because a culture is diverse, open, and tolerant, this should not be enough by itself to drive a good person to aberrant behavior. To suggest such a thing ignores the concept of free will. People are free to make their own decisions; to make choices as those priests did.

These scandals were not limited to Boston, or even to liberal cities. But a common factor was the decision by senior personnel within the church to overlook, even to hide these events. That is the most egregious part of this entire story. Is Senator Santorum suggesting that this liberalism pervasively affected every member of the diocese, even Cardinal Bernard Law? Doesn’t that imply that nobody was capable of thinking for themselves? That seems to be a pretty strong indictment of the Catholic church in general.

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