Needed: A Fresh Look at the Kavanaugh Nomination

The Catholic Church has been roiled by another chapter in its sex abuse problem. A Pennsylvania grand jury this month issued a sweeping report saying that more than 300 Catholic priests across the state sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up.

The investigation, one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history, identified 1,000 children who were victims, but reported that there probably are thousands more.

The revelations have sparked more commentary on what the Church should do about its sex abuse crisis, including this one in the Washington Post:

Catholic bishops and priests, I need to know how you’ll fix the church you broke

The grand jury findings come a few weeks before Senate hearings are to get underway on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. In its comment on the Post article, IndieDems explored this dimension.

Downes has written a hard-charging analysis of the Catholic Church’s horrifying inability to rein in it horrific sex abuse problem. He asks the core question: what are Catholics to do? But another question faces all Americans and the U.S. Senate: what are we to do about Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court?

Judge Kavanaugh comes to us as a devoted, practicing Catholic. The Church is a central part of his life. His daughters attend a Catholic school, where he coaches their basketball team. The reason a Republican president nominated Kavanaugh and Republicans cheer his nomination is because of his ant-abortion stand. He is expected to cast a vote someday to overturn Roe vs. Wade. His life in the bosom of the Catholic Church no doubt shaped and molded his outlook. All well and good.

And the very first question he needs to be asked at his Senate hearing derives from that very fact of his Catholic background: “Judge Kavanaugh, what have you done to bring the Catholic predators to justice and to finally rid the Church of the stain of sex abuse of children?”

The sex abuse problem has existed pretty well for Kavanaugh’s whole life. The same Catholic Church that is militant in its opposition to abortion has turned a blind eye to its massive sex abuse problem. In what way has this shaped and molded Kavanaugh and will influence his decisions as Supreme Court Justice? Has it made him more tolerant of criminals, even vicious sex fiends? Is he a real Christian, or just a hypocrite like the predator priests and the other prelates that tolerated them?

Senators, don’t just heap praise on Kavanaugh for being a religious person. Probe the dark side of that experience.

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