Sometimes it seems like the Catholic Church is competing with BP to see which organization can get the most bad press (which I think is what BP stands for).
If there were such a competition, the Church certainly would have scored a point when it recently issued a document that at once strengthened its rules regarding child sex abuse cases and reiterated its stance against the ordination of women priests as a “grave crime.”
Monsignor Charles Scicluna of the Vatican’s doctrinal department denies that there was intention by Church officials to equate ordaining female priests with sexually molesting children, explaining that the former is a “crime against a sacrament” while the latter is a “crime against morality.”
Okay, I don’t really get the Church’s opposition to women priests but I accept that the Church leadership has a right to set its own rules. I don’t agree with every law the federal government enacts either but I recognize its authority in its sphere.
But, aside from all that, here’s some free PR advice, going forward. If the Church doesn’t want to seen as equating the two subjects, don’t deal with them in the same document.
In fact, when in any way dealing with the child sex abuse scandals, take special care to make no mention of issues having to do with women priests or gay marriage or birth control or really anything else. Stay focused. Keep a strict firewall between the subjects. To do otherwise will only lead to articles and commentary that will strengthen the public perception of a Church leadership that just doesn’t get it.