Nick Kristof should probably go back to freeing sex workers (or whatever it is he really does with them) if he’s going to write garbage like this:
It may be easy at a New York cocktail party to sniff derisively at a church whose apex is male chauvinist, homophobic and so out of touch that it bars the use of condoms even to curb AIDS. But what about Father Michael Barton, a Catholic priest from Indianapolis? I met Father Michael in the remote village of Nyamlell, 150 miles from any paved road here in southern Sudan. He runs four schools for children who would otherwise go without an education, and his graduates score at the top of statewide examinations.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph — how can he not see that what is so deeply wrong about the chauvinism, homophobia, and sexual abuse is that it takes place, in effect, in the name of decent, courageous, selfless people who have devoted their lives to what they thought was a worthy institution?
The sex scandal in the Catholic Church is, first and foremost, a crime against the children who were abused. But it is also a crime against the priest who has devoted his life to helping the poor but is ashamed to wear his collar in public because he doesn’t want to be seen as a pedophile. The insanity about condoms is stupid and murderous, not only because it kills but because it makes fools of the African clergy who truly believe they can make the world a better place by giving their lives to the Catholic Church.
I sniff derisively at the hierarchy of the Catholic Church but I have nothing but the highest respect for the nun who teaches at a poor, city school and the priest who stayed in Rwanda to try to save lives. I suspect that most of you feel the same way.
I’m sure that Kristof sincerely believes he is doing good with his rich-boy-slumming-it-in-Africa-shtick. Maybe that would be true if he’d pull his head out of his ass long enough to understand what criticism of the Catholic Church is really about.