Page 9, 31st January 2003

31st January 2003
Page 9
Page 9, 31st January 2003 — Moving the goalposts
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People: PETER KNOT
Locations: Boston, New York

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Moving the goalposts

From Mr Peter Knot Sir, Whilst I defer to a resident of the Boston area on the details of the cases there (Letters, Jan 17), I don't think the scandals in the States can be reduced to an issue of gay clergy cruising the streets for rent-boys.

We have been here before on that subject — Newfoundland in the early Eighties, for instance, and there, too, bishops were reluctant to act against a predominantly gay sub-culture among their clergy. Still, there are cases of women making allegations against New York bishops, so it seems that it is not entirely a rent-boy crisis that has gripped the Church over there.

Maybe the real problem is that many of the people ordained in the 60s and 70s publicly dissented from the structures of celibacy and sought refuge in a sort of therapeutic Christianity where all abberrant behaviour is forgiven and smoothed over. Also to blame are the same media now confronting clergy — those networks campaigned for the clergy to let go of Victorian morality and to experiment in a much more understanding society throughout the Seventies and Eighties.

Now, though, the same libertine media networks have become more Catholic than the Pope in their drive to stamp out the climate of sexual liberation among the clergy that they originally engendered. Moving goalposts is a favourite past-time of the American media — now noone can score if they're Christians.

Yours faithfully, PETER KNOT, Brighton




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