Church, State, and the Abuse Crisis: The Role of Assumed Ideas of 'Reasonableness’ in Religious Liberty.
Journal of Christian Legal Thought 10.1 (Summer 2020): 21-28.
8 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2021 Last revised: 2 Jun 2022
Date Written: September 30, 2019
In this essay the author looks at the abuse crisis in the American Catholic Church through the lens of the often complex and uneasy relationship between Catholicism and American culture and politics. He also takes us on a brief excursion into Supreme Court jurisprudence and explains why appeals to religious liberty by themselves are ultimately ineffectual in providing a safe harbor for the Church. What he hopes to show is that the long-time — and in some cases, continued — reluctance on the part of segments of the American Church to aggressively root out and prosecute wayward clergy has the potential to provide justification to some of the most deep-rooted and pernicious prejudices about the Church and its place in a liberal democracy.
Keywords: Catholicism, Abuse Crisis, American Catholicism, Religious Liberty, Church-State Separation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation