Despite repeated sex abuse scandals and promises from church elders that change would come, a Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer investigation revealed that more than 130 U.S. Catholic bishops — roughly one third of those still living — have been accused of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct.
Reverends Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III joined Jim Braude and Margery Eagan on Boston Public Radio for their weekly All Revved Up segment to look at the institution that continues despite decades-long mishandling of abuse.
“It’s unsalvageable,” Monroe said. “At one point I thought it was a church in need of prayer — it’s really a church in need of demolition, at this point.”
The perception of the Catholic Church in America has changed — but does that mean the Catholic Church around the world may remain relatively unshaken by the actions of its United States contingent?
“The church is the people, not the hierarchy,” Price said. “The people live, because the people believe in what they believe in, and if they have been raised and groomed and socialized and catechized within the Catholic faith, then they live that out. The problem is the aristocratic piece of the church, the hierarchy, which may be the other part of the church.”
Irene Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist, the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail, and a Visiting Researcher in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University’s School of Theology. Emmett G. Price III is a Professor and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.