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Friday, March 31, 2006

The Cafeteria Is Closed: Punishment
Take, for example, the spiritual and physical penalties declared by the 4th Century architect of Eastern monasticism, St. Basil of Cesarea (322-379AD), for the cleric or monk caught making sexual advances (kissing) or sexually molesting young boys or men. The convicted offender was to be whipped in public, deprived of his tonsure (head shaven), bound in chains and imprisoned for six months, after which he was to be contained in a separate cell and ordered to undergo severe penances and prayer vigils to expedite his sins under the watchful eye of an elder spiritual brother. His diet was that of water and barley bread - the fodder of animals. Outside his cell, while engaged in manual labor and moving about the monastery, the pederast monk was to be always monitored by two fellow monks to insure that he never again had any contact with young men or boys.
As I commented yesterday, the Catholic Church has a tendency towards feminine virtues, a tendency which I think most would agree grew during the 20th Century. The sexual abuse scandal is one of the fruits of that tendency becoming too dominant. Sending a pedophile to counseling where he works through his issues and then is welcomed back into the fold is not a manly response. A manly response is some people taking the abuser out back, kicking the crap out of him, transferring him to a position away from children, explaining to him that if he's ever seen near a child again he'll believe he got off easy the first time and then telling people he fell down some stairs if they ask why he's bruised and cut up.

Obviously, a more "sensitive" approach than the second one I described above is called for, but that approach would likely have been more effective than what we tried.

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