Whenever people think about the Catholic Church, the whole scandal thing is likely to run through their minds. And I'm always fascinated by people's thoughts on the subject. Some people are shocked by the magnitude of the whole thing. I've actually heard people say, "Can you believe so many pedophiles become priests?" Yes. Yes, I can. Scumbags are likely to go where they're treated best, and no one treats scumbags better than the Catholic Church.
Plus, the testimonials from other priests probably don't hurt, either. I figure priests have to talk to other people from time to time about the things they love -- especially if they get the sense that these other people share common interests with them. Kind of like me and horror movies. I love horror movies. And because I love horror movies, I make it a point to talk to other people who love horror movies about horror movies. I don't know too much about pedophiles, but I'm guessing they tend to talk other pedophiles about pedophile things. So I'm pretty sure a lot of careful conversations of this variety took place:
Confused Man: Bless me father for I have sinned. It has been about six months since my last confession.
Enlightened Priest: Very good, my son. What are you here to confess today?
CM: Well, you see father, I've been having all of these terrible thoughts about people I shouldn't be having thoughts about ... um, younger people.
EP: I see. And have you acted on these impure thoughts, my son?
CM: That's the thing father. I'm sure I would if it were easier, and there were opportunities that wouldn't arouse suspicion. But, lucky for me, it's hard for someone like me to meet ... um ... other people. Do you know what I mean?
EP: I know exactly what you mean. Let me ask you something: Have you ever thought about becoming a priest?
CM: A priest, father? I don't mean to rude father, but, no ... absolutely not. I can honestly say I've never thought about becoming a priest. I have no interest in spending valuable years of my life holed up in some lonely seminary poring over a bunch of archaic texts day and night -- just so I can understand the finer points of Catholicism enough to say morning mass for the next 40 years of my life. No thanks, father. I don't think that's for me.
EP: Well, those are some valid points my son. But I'm afraid you're focusing too heavily on the negative aspects of my profession. As a parish priest, the entire community looks to me for for guidance. Parents look to me to help turn their children into good, practicing Catholic and trust unconditionally in my methods ... however strange and unusual they may seem.
CM: But with all that trust comes even greater responsibility, right? I don't even want to think what would happen if people found out you were doing what I think you're talking about doing. They'd probably string you up and hang you from the steeple of your own Church. That's just seems way to risky to be worth it.
EP: That's the best part. When you get caught, they simply move you to another Church in another town with a whole new group of ... um ... people. Getting caught isn't a punishment -- it's a reward. I shouldn't be telling you this, but sometimes when I need a change of scenery, I'll just let myself get caught. Now say five Hail Mary's and two Our Father's and meet me at the rectory on Thursday at eight. A few of the local seminarians are doing a presentation on the vocation of the priesthood.
And thus another social deviant decided to become a priest.