Quantcast
Home » News
Home » News

Letter: Church makes progress over 500 years

Published May 13, 2014 3:57 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

According to the Vatican, 848 priests were defrocked in the past decade for raping or molesting children, and another 2,572 were cited for "lesser penalties." ("Vatican says 848 priests defrocked for abuse since 2004," Tribune, May 7)

Now, I know at first glance this seems like a lot of lecherous behavior, but in the context of the Catholic Church's history, it's not terribly surprising.

For example, in his meticulously researched history of the Middle Ages, "A World Lit Only by Fire," William Manchester quotes English Archbishop John Morton, who accuses the country's monks in the early 16th century of leading "a life of lasciviousness ... nay, of defiling the holy places, even the very churches of God, by infamous intercourse with nuns, and making a neighborhood priory "a public brothel." One Abbot Johannes Trithemius condemns his own monks of spending the day "in filthy talk; their whole day given to play and gluttony." And the papal emissary Guy Jouenneau in 1503 described the monks in France as "foul-mouthed gamblers and lechers."



So, while more than 3,000 cases of clerical abuse may seem a tad excessive, and the harm to young children unconscionable, I suppose we could actually congratulate the church for its moral progress over the past 500 years.

Keller Higbee

Salt Lake City

 

 

 

USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus