Last month, a Catholic bishop in Nova Scotia oversaw a $13-million settlement to 12 people who'd been sexually abused by priests in the community since 1950. Yesterday, six or seven Canadians were shocked as that bishop, Raymond Lahey, was brought up on charges of possessing child pornography.
This poses a thorny issue here at Xtra: as free speech and privacy advocates, we've long been suspicious of the growing power of the police and the disturbingly broad definition of "child" in the law (those Bel Ami tapes of yours might get you arrested for child pornography!) but when it comes to the Catholic hierarchy….well….let's just say it's a case of twice bitten, thrice shy. Besides, the bishops have gone wrong on a number of issues:
— elections (us, political?)
— World War II (six million, none; tomayto, tomahto)
— education (get 'em while they're young!)
— and, of course, gay marriage (love means never having to say you're equal)
And I haven't even mentioned this week's defense of child molesters from that terrifying Pope!
But it never has to be this way — take a look at the exception that should be the rule in this brief profile of Bishop Kevin Dowling, a man who can actually say "condom" without flinching:
The cynic in me awaits the news headline, "Bishop Molests Village," but I hope that voice is as wrong as the Pope.