Church scandals are nothing new. Neither is the solution.

The great medieval Doctor of Reform, Peter Damian (1007-1072), determined the root cause of systemic sexual abuse to be episcopal laxity resulting from a misunderstanding of the bishop’s office.

Instead of seeing the bishop as a teacher who leads people by his humble example, whose authority is based on his service for the community, and who seeks to persuade people freely to embrace a Christian life, a number of medieval bishops frequently understood their roles as princes or lords of the Church, whose office unequivocally demanded obedience, and who pronounced the moral law by fiat.

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Editor’s note: When the post-Vatican II bishops discounted all that had come before, they almost totally abandoned many tried and true techniques for ultimately maintaining the faithfulness and fidelity of Catholic clergy and religious.

This is not to say there was no scandal prior to Vatican II … just that the church already had effective mechanisms in place to suppress and deal with such things.

When the post Vatican II church threw in the towel, apparently giving in to the world, the flesh and the devil in a wholesale fashion … all bets were off. Nobody really knew what the new rules were, nor did they seem to care.

The result was spiritual anarchy, which rapidly decimated the ranks of the priesthood and religious orders … left the church’s venerable institutions broken and in shambles … and the church wide open for precisely the type of massive and unfettered abuse that we’ve recently witnessed, all around the world.