When I was a much younger man, I wanted to be a priest.
In fact, I trained to be a priest. For a good while, I was groomed to be a priest.
Then I guess I veered into other things and as you can now conclude, I didn't become a priest. But I still greatly admire priests and I know many of them.
That's why I was disturbed by something that happened not too far from this building yesterday.
A priest walking down the street was spit on. The guy yells afterwards, "take that, pedophile."
As if all priests are pedophiles. As if all priests are perverted. As if all priests are immoral, or corrupt, or just bad.
Every profession has its bad eggs and the Catholic Church is no different.
Believe me, I'm a practicing Catholic. And I have serious qualms with the way the church has handled this crisis. Too tentative. Too grudging. Too late. Too self-absorbed.
But that doesn't take away from the fact that a lot of priests are good men, trying to do good things, under a good bit of hardship.
Yet the good ones are being forgotten for the bad ones that aren't being forgotten.
That wouldn't bug me as much as this: Their causes are being forgotten as well. Causes like feeding the homeless. Educating the poor. And attacking plagues in Africa.
You don't hear much of those causes. You do hear a lot about lawsuits.
I say, cover both. Report on both. Put perspective on both.
What some priests have done and are accused of doing is sinful and worse. But that doesn't make them all sinners.
Just like it doesn't mean all Arthur Andersen workers are crooks. Or all CEOs are SOBs. Or all stock market pros are fools.
Some are — most aren't.
The key, now especially, is properly appreciating and reporting, the difference.
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