There is no way that anyone can find justification for such an action in the teachings of ANY major religion. So a person who claims to be religious, then molests a child, is not doing so BECAUSE of their religion, but in SPITE of it.
To those non-Catholic Christians who are gloating at what they see as the "downfall" of the Catholic Church, I'd suggest they don't jump on the media bandwagon too quickly. That spotlight can easily turn to YOUR religion at any moment. Or have you forgotten the televangelist scandals of the 1980's?
And to those who insist that every priest who is accused of molestation is guilty and should be defrocked, then thrown to the wolves, I'd like to remind you of two things:
1. In America, we have this philosophy called "Innocent till Proven Guilty." In case you haven't heard of it, it means that you aren't supposed to assume someone is guilty of a crime until it's been proven in a court of law. I know, wild, huh? But it's seemed to work pretty well over the past 200+ years.
2. Remember the McMartin preschool trials? How about the Communist witch hunts of the 1950's? How about the REAL witch hunts in Salem and elsewhere? In ten or twenty years, are we going to look back in shame, realizing how many innocent lives were ruined because of a rush to judgment? Let's hold off on ripping all those priests to shreds till all the facts are in.
If they did it - yes, punish them. But if we're dealing with accusations that haven't been proven, give them a chance to defend themselves. If you're not willing to do that, then I don't want to hear ONE WORD from you about how horrible the Catholic Church behaved during the Inquisition. Get it?
And remember - "Let he (or she!) who is without sin throw the first sin." Hold onto those rocks, pal!
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