For years, stories of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church have provided fodder for the media. The general perception has been that Protestants were above this type of behavior. Recently, stories have begun to emerge that Protestants, too, have similar issues to deal with. The heartwrenching stories of many abuse victims are now beginning to be seen in the national media.
The Southern Baptists, at their recent convention, came to grips with the reality of the inroads abuse has made within their denomination. In a story this week, NPR stated “Earlier this year, The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News reported that nearly 400 male Southern Baptist leaders or volunteers had been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 20 years, involving more than 700 victims.” The Washington Post, in article this past week, detailed efforts the Southern Baptists are taking to address this issue, but many question whether it’s too little, too late.
In it’s June 3 issue, The Washington Post Magazine highlighted the work bloggers are doing to expose abuse in Protestant churches. (see full article) Their efforts are in response to decades-long actions by a wide variety of Protestant churches to bury or minimize this abuse.
During my many church visits over the years, I’ve heard some Protestant pastors express anti-Catholic sentiments. I sincerely hope the events I’ve described should help non-Catholic churches to refrain from such language and address their own issues. As is said, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”