At another site, I got caught up in a discussion of the the Church's response to the HHS mandate. But, unfortunately, as often happens in Church-related discussions, the focus shifted to the birth control pill (and one side saying the Church is wrong), and then bringing up the clergy sex abuse scandal as an argument. Basically, the other side's point ended up that the Church should focus less on coming down on people for birth control and the Pill and focus more on weeding out abusing priests.
Never mind that the Church has been weeding them out, and that the majority of cases surfacing now involved abuse that took place decades ago involving priests who are often dead or have already been removed form ministry and are no longer allowed to function as priests.
I stuck to the original topic pretty much until we got to that Pill/abuse argument. Then I threw a curve ball.
I said the Pill was partly responsible for the sex abuse problem.
A number of studies over the years have shown that the growing availability of the Pill has radically altered our society when it comes to moral and sexual rules, and many negative social effects - as, by the way, Pope Paul warned in Humanae Vitae.
The Pill helped to separate sex and procreation both physically and mentally. It also separated it from marriage. That led to a sexual revolution where sex was more about pleasure and self gratification than about relationships, commitment, and family.
We saw the effects of that in the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties.
Divorce rates increased. Cohabitation rates increased. STD rates increased. Homosexual activity increased (sex is all about pleasure and self-gratification, after all, so any way to achieve those became increasingly accepted). The objectification of women increased. Out-of-wedlock births increased, and abortion rates increased, because birth control and the Pill don't always work.
Our culture became more sexualized. Being sexually active became the norm, and choosing not to be active became abnormal.
The Church, with it's celibate priests and religious came under increasing pressure and ridicule.
We witnessed a mass exodus of priests and religious. Many got married, or joined in on the sexual secular culture.
But within the Church there were also a number of homosexual priests and priests who had never resolved their sexuality. When society's sexual rules broke down, when everyone was "doing it," when celibacy came under attack, some of those individuals began to abuse young men.
Notice that the time when most of the abuse took place coincided with the time of the sexual revolution?
And what helped to lead to this distortion of sexuality? The Pill.
So, I contend, the Pill is one of the things that helped to lead to clergy sex abuse.
And Pope Paul was right.
And those people who argue for loosening the birth control rules in the Church don't realized that birth control and the Pill are a greater threat to the Church than the abuse crises ever was.
Pax et bonum