Hiding Behind Double Standards

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan complains "that the sexual abuse of minors is presented as a tragedy unique to the Church alone." Douthat counters:

Call out bad reporting, by all means; defend yourself against unjustified allegations, definitely. But don’t spend too much time complaining about a double standard, or griping about being unfairly targeted. Because, after all, the church is the church not the public school bureaucracy, not the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, not the American juvenile detention system or the Scientologists or any other organization that you might not be surprised to discover has a problem with sexual abuse. Catholic scandals are worse even when they’re the same as everybody else’s, because it’s Catholicism’s business to be better. And the church is a target because it asks to be a target  because it aspires to set a higher standard, and answer to a higher master, than princes, governments and civic institutions.

Of course, I'm with Ross on this. But from his last column, I'm left to wonder: does he think this abuse of children didn't occur before the 1960s? There does seem to be an explosion of cases in the mid to late twentieth century. But couldn't that just be because sexual abuse became mentionable in the 1970s and 1980s - and the victims finally gained the courage to 'come out' so to speak?

What haunts me is the fear that this went on for centuries, and we would never have known about it.

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