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Archbishop's curious perspective

Published:Tuesday | March 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

The front page of The Gleaner on Monday, March 29, carries what appears to be the position of the Roman Catholic Church on paedophilia.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, Donald Reece, appears to be hot under the collar with those who might harbour the view that paedophilia is a disease afflicting the Roman Catholic clergy only. Not so, he would wish us to believe. The Roman Catholic clergy has been no more culpable than its Protestant counterparts, he was quoted as saying.

Perhaps most disturbing, has been the revelation by the archbishop that paedophilia is an infectious incorrigible disease from puberty. There is no cure for it. However, victims of paedophiles may be healed from the bruising scars.

questions raised

The revelation should provoke a number of questions not only in Christendom but in the wider Jamaican society, which, more or less, has been susceptible to the view that all good thinking and deeds are derivatives of Christian virtues.

One may propose establishing and expurgating or exorcising the source of attraction in the church to which paedophiles gravitate. Eliminating the source of attraction could possibly make the priesthood unattractive to persons afflicted with the paedophilia condition. This could be one solution.

The Roman Catholic Church has laid claim to what is referred to as the apostolic tradition. A large plank of that tradition has been the empowerment to heal the sick, restore good health, and the resurrection of the dead. That has been one of the distinguishing marks between the works of mortals and those of the apostolic tradition to which miracles have been associated.

Unfortunately, we seem to be hearing from the Roman Catholic Church that the contemporary church has been bereft of the empowerment to heal, rendering the church incapable of doing or achieving that which is outside of the purview of the disciplines of medicine, psychology and psychiatry. Consequently, exploring the possibility of the restoration of the empowerment to 'heal' might provide a second solution to the problem of paedophilia in the church.

I am, etc.,


Ensom City

St Catherine