Saturday 20th October 2018

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Sexual Harassment “Crisis” — Time For Some Clear Thinking

January 11, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By STEPHEN M. KRASON

(Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. Among his books are: Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution; The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic, and most recently Catholicism and American Political Ideologies. This column originally appeared in Crisismagazine.com.)

+ + +

The sexual harassment frenzy of the last few months — and it can only be called a frenzy — is disturbing in many ways, and decent and right-minded people need to speak up about it. It’s only the latest poison from the sexual revolution and the regime of moral relativism generally.
First, it is troubling that in the minds of the media and political powers that be in Washington mere allegations — often backed up by nothing more than the fact that a woman, often out of the blue, made them — are held to equal proof. No more evidence is necessary, even though the stakes are high indeed: the destruction of careers and livelihoods, the permanent damaging of reputations — even who is going to hold a Senate seat from a state.
To be sure, while only some of these claims rise to the level of criminal acts so that proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not the formal standard in play, fundamental fairness demands that there be genuine proof that a person engaged in an act — to say nothing that the act even occurred — before he’s labeled a miscreant.
In the case of Justice Roy Moore in Alabama, we witnessed a situation where there was no firm evidence that he did anything untoward, there were inconsistencies in the claims made, at least one of the accusers had big credibility problems and a criminal background, the alleged incidents happened forty years ago, and some of the allegations — such as a thirty-something man seeking the affections of teenaged girls — were hardly an issue in the culture of that time and place.
Today it’s sexual harassment concerning which mere allegation is held to be proof. Tomorrow, it will move onto other things, until we end up having moral confusion, an undermining of law, injustices left and right, and a society of deepened interpersonal suspicion that comes to resemble something like Hobbes’ state of nature.
Allegations concerning incidents of the distant past — some, as with Moore, decades old — is another particularly disturbing element in all this. Even if the criminal law is not involved, we can learn from it. There is a reason statutes of limitations exist in the criminal law. Memories dim about things in the distant past, misimpressions about them often abound, and witnesses are often not around anymore to confirm or dispute claims.
What has been painfully evident in this frenzy has been a lack of charity. This isn’t surprising, since the secular culture that is suddenly rife with sexual harassment has overturned Christianity and with it the greatest of the Christian virtues, charity.
The imperviousness to facts and proof, the willingness to let the accused flap in the wind and be destroyed, and the subjection of innocent people to grueling investigations — whether by congressional committees supposedly in the name of ethics or within private institutions — even without anything like probable cause as a threshold so as to determine if anything happened in the first place and if it could reasonably be believed that a person did anything wrong hardly bespeaks charity.
The last time I checked, calumny, libel, and detraction were sins, but then the secular culture doesn’t think there’s such a thing as sin. So, should we be surprised that many don’t blink an eye when a person’s reputation is unjustly destroyed? Also, isn’t it uncharitable to conclude the worst about someone — for example, to read a nefarious intention into what may be an innocent comment or action?
If we can take a reference point for this whole subject of sexual harassment such criminal law principles as the desirability of statutes of limitations and probable cause, we can also add the need to spell out clearly what the forbidden actions are.
One of the most basic reasons, from the standpoint of sound ethics, why a positive law might be determined to be unjust is because it is vague. If anything has been apparent from the recent exposés, it is that what constitutes “sexual harassment” is up for grabs.
It readily reminds one of the law respecting child abuse and neglect over the past forty-odd years: There are no clear definitions anywhere so pretty much whatever someone — whether it be a neighbor who dislikes a family and anonymously calls the authorities or a child protective system operative (many of whom have no firsthand experience with childrearing and whose education and training betray an anti-parent perspective) — wants to call “abuse” or “neglect” is.
Directly on point with sexual harassment, we are seeing feminists and some others pushing an expansive definition of rape that goes well beyond what has always been understood. We’re now even told that it’s sexual harassment for a young man to keep asking a young, unattached woman for a date if she keeps saying no. Didn’t at one time we think that gentle persistence would pay off in the end for both parties, that the woman might change her mind over time and wish that she had responded positively sooner?
There is another danger of open-ended definitions of such things as sexual harassment and child abuse and neglect. If they apply to everything they become trivialized and as time goes on the true cases and perpetrators too often are missed or ignored.
In the midst of this, has it dawned on anyone that we have to be wary of the self-interest of accusers? One doesn’t doubt that there legitimately is what might be called “sexual harassment” out there (for example, unwanted touching of a genuinely sexual nature — but not something, say, like a man putting his arm around a woman’s shoulder at a public photo shoot).
Also, in a sex-saturated age, it probably happens much more frequently than in the past. By the same token one can hardly ignore the fact that some people — women are no more virtuous than men in this respect — are motivated by raw self-interest and will allege untrue things for the sake of it.
Speaking of self-interest, it’s noteworthy that some of the accusers of recent months — from the worlds of politics, entertainment, and media — say that they tolerated the harassment or agreed to provide sexual favors for fear that their careers would otherwise not advance. Were their careers more important to them than sexual virtue? Can’t they truly be viewed, at least to some degree, as cooperators with wrongdoing?
As has now become apparent in the supposed campus rape crisis, it is not unheard of that a young woman who has been involved in a consensual sexual affair that has gone sour will allege that she was raped as a way to get back at the man.
Can all the high-profile actresses and female entertainers who have alleged unwanted sexual advances by their male counterparts and bosses — whose own lack of virtue, to be sure, one has no illusion about — escape all responsibility when the movies and other types of entertainment they readily take part in are hardly examples of wholesomeness when it comes to sexual morality? Can we ignore the possibility that since big name men and entities are involved money might be a motive for some of the accusers?
One does not have to look too far to find enough cases of allegations of sex discrimination or even sexual harassment by women in workplace, educational, and other institutional settings to see such self-interest at work. One is foolish not to believe that there are enough unconscionable people ready to make untrue allegations to get something they want or to retaliate against someone.
Sometimes they can get others to join the bandwagon with them to think that they too have been mistreated and so they pile on. Sometimes, for some people, the power of suggestion can be strong in riling them up to see a supposed (but unreal) injustice.
While it would not excuse true sexual harassment, don’t women have to be attentive not to create situations that could open the door to it? For example, no one seems to see a problem with provocative dress by women. In fact, the whole notion of modesty is laughed at. Even some young Christian women don’t seem to be adequately attuned to the need for modest dress.
It’s interesting that the people telling us that we have a crisis of sexual harassment say nothing about rolling back the sexual revolution or restoring the lost ethic of the gentleman, even though at bottom line these are its causes.

Seeking Power

In good feminist fashion — copying Marxism and Hobbesianism — it’s all about power. The solution is to “empower” women. Hasn’t that been what the current wave of feminism has been about for almost half a century, however? They have had one success after another, helping to transform the landscape of American culture and the male-female relationship. Still they would have us believe that women are more vulnerable than ever.
The contradictions abound. Women are the same as men, androgyny rules, the old protections enshrined in law for women had to go by the boards — yet they say that women now need protection, even from the smallest of slights. Women, they say, are as tough and capable as men. Yet, we have to respect every kind of sensitivity they might have — even if it’s an oversensitivity.
Isn’t this just another version of ensuring the “safe spaces” that some students insist upon on the campuses, so that even ideas they don’t like are considered offensive and so off-limits? We are told that women should be in every workplace alongside men and can handle all the challenges as well as them — in fact, women who choose to stay at home are denigrated — but at the same time, every small or merely perceived offensive action or injustice is pounced on and can literally become a federal case. So, institutions are constantly on their guard for fear of lawsuits.
The effect of all this — and almost all of what feminism has to offer — has been to sour relations between men and women. Oh, and by the way, check out the studies done about women’s attitudes in the era of the current feminism: Women are unhappier than before.
Like so much today, this topic cries out for realism, common sense, mutual respect across the board, norms of civility and charity, and traditional — true — morality. Don’t expect the people who are screaming about sexual harassment as one of the crises of our time to pay much attention to such things, however.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Twitter locks LifeSite out of account for ‘hate’: fact-based post on rise in gay STDs

October 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has just locked LifeSiteNews out of our Twitter account over an article we posted four years ago that provided expert analysis on the rise in sexually-transmitted diseases among homosexuals. The 2014 piece by Dr. Gerard M.…Continue Reading

Ave Maria U president who criticized Cdl. Burke, Archbishop Viganò announces resignation

AVE MARIA, Florida, October 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Just six weeks after he issued a statement criticizing Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Ave Maria University (AMU) announced its president Jim Towey will step down in June 2020. Vigano’s 11-page testimony…Continue Reading

‘Just glad we ruined Kavanaugh’s life’: Pro-abortion Left responds to Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the left-wing forces who pulled out all the stops to defeat him show no signs of cooling down anytime soon. The Senate voted 50-48 on…Continue Reading

Pope selects youth from pro-gay Vatican consultant’s media org to attend Synod

October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media. The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on…Continue Reading

Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether…Continue Reading

Michigan AG seizes Catholic dioceses’ records in sex abuse investigation

(CNN)Michigan authorities have seized records from every Catholic diocese in the state as part of an investigation into possible sexual abuse by clergy, the dioceses said in separate statements released Wednesday. The Archdiocese of Detroit, and dioceses in Gaylord, Grand…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal reproves US archbishop for criticizing Youth Synod’s working doc

VATICAN CITY, October 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A second prominent cardinal has publicly rebuked Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput for publishing last week a letter critical of the controversial working document being used at the upcoming Youth Synod in Rome. At a press conference at the Vatican…Continue Reading

Catholic lay leaders: We were wrong about Church, McCarrick on sex abuse crisis

In 2004, Anne Burke went before the City Club of Chicago to say the Catholic Church was beginning “to set things right” by appointing a lay board — which Burke chaired — to address the sex abuse crisis then embroiling…Continue Reading

Protesters demand resignation of Catholic University professor over Kavanaugh tweets

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Demonstrators at the Catholic University of America are calling for the resignation of a dean over tweets he published criticizing a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. In addition, some demonstrators insisted…Continue Reading

Catholic Magazine Rescinds Endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

America, a weekly Roman Catholic magazine published by members of the Jesuit religious order, on Thursday rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh after the Senate hearing on an attempted sexual assault accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford. “Even…Continue Reading

Pedophilia Isn’t The Main Problem With Catholic Priests, Homosexuality Is

The editorial board of the New York Times declared it had identified the source of “The Catholic Church’s Unholy Stain.” It names pedophilia and asks: “How have so many pedophiles been allowed into the priesthood?” The question was purely rhetorical…Continue Reading

A Persecuted Priest Speaks Out

Here is a link to a 10-minute on-camera Church Militant interview with Father Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest who is now in hiding after being tossed from his parish by Cardinal Blase Cupich. Kalchik lost his position after presiding over…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Viganò issues third testimony, refutes accusations of Cardinal Ouellet

ROME, October 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today has issued a third explosive testimony, in response to an open letter from Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. Here below we publish the official English text of Archbishop Viganò’s third testimony, dated October 19, the liturgical Feast of the North American Martyrs. To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so. But I am…Continue Reading

FEDERAL GOV’T LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO CATHOLIC CHURCH IN PA

WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – The federal government has issued subpoenas to multiple Pennsylvania dioceses in a criminal probe into sex abuse cover-up. The subpoenas were served last week, but news of the investigation only broke Thursday. So far, seven out of eight Pennsylvania dioceses — Erie, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh and Greensburgh — have confirmed they have received subpoenas, some stating they will cooperate with the investigation. Two Easter

Youth Synod group calls Church to attend to ‘realities’ of gay ‘marriage’, surrogacy, adoption

VATICAN CITY, October 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group at the Vatican’s Youth Synod has called for the Catholic Church to pay more attention to homosexuals and the “realities” they face, specifically mentioning “marriage,” surrogate pregnancy, and adoption. “[…]There is the issue of what to do and how to act with homosexuals, which cannot remain outside of our pastoral activity and other realities such as marriages between homosexuals, wombs for rent, adoption on the part…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl blasts Viganò testimony as ‘not faithful to the facts’

October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Donald Wuerl had a few choice words to say regarding Archbishop Carlo Viganò when he was interviewed by a liberal Catholic magazine yesterday. In a long and laudatory article published by America magazine today, the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C. – and its apostolic administrator until his replacement is named – denied Viganò’s allegation

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. By Christopher Wells Cardinal Wuerl had submitted his resignation three years ago, when he turned 75, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law (can. 401 §1). In September, the Cardinal met with Pope Francis and requested that his resignation be accepted. At the time, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Pope Francis . . . Laicizes Two Chilean Bishops For Sexual Abuse Of Minors

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Pope Francis has officially expelled two Chilean bishops from the clerical state. Both men were accused of sexual abuse of minors. The decision was issued without the possibility to appeal, the Vatican announced on Saturday, October 13. The Vatican announced that Francisco José Cox Huneeus, 84, archbishop emeritus of La Serena,…Continue Reading

Pope Orders Investigation Of Vatican’s McCarrick Files

By J.D. FLYNN VATICAN CITY (CNA) — The Vatican announced Saturday, October 6 that it would review its files pertaining to allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused in recent months of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually coercing and assaulting priests and seminarians…Continue Reading

After Holy See-China Agreement… Persecution Continues In Wenzhou, Henan, Hubei

ROME (AsiaNews) — The “provisional” agreement between China and the Holy See, signed on September 22, does not seem to have stopped persecution and violence against Catholics. The morning of October 11 in Lingkun, in the district of Yongqiang, the cross that stood on the bell tower of the Catholic church was torn down; the…Continue Reading

Bishops Of Ireland . . . Condemn Lack Of Safeguards In Irish Bill

DUBLIN (CNA/EWTN News) — The Irish bishops on October 5 lamented that the draft bill to legalize abortion in the Republic would require pro-life healthcare professionals to provide abortion referrals, calling the provision “an affront to conscience.” “The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 poses a very real practical and moral dilemma for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Truth: The Casualties In The Current Controversies

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. How many times can you receive Communion in one day? I have had priests tell me once and twice. Which is it? — J.S., Massachusetts. A. Twice a day. Canon 917 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law says that “a person who has received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only during…Continue Reading

“St. Michael The Archangel, Pray for Us!”

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Life International, www.hli.org. It first appeared at www.hli.org on October 8. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able…Continue Reading

Our High Priest Sacrificed Himself

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the second reading St. Paul says we are to hold fast to our confession because we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. In this statement St. Paul summarizes our reason for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Youth Synod Repeats Old Errors

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are now making things up as we go along. As if the Church had been founded yesterday. This nonsense was already tried in the sixties and found wanting. Paolo Ruffini reported on Twitter that at a press conference for the 2018 Youth Synod now underway in Rome a speaker called for “a liturgy that…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Indulgences!

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The “indulgences” of the Catholic Church have acquired a bad name ever since Luther’s Reformation. In Luther’s days, it is true, the Church was going through one of those periods of crisis. Yes, there was a great crisis, almost as bad as today. The crisis was chiefly among the decadent clergy of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Luke

By CAROLE BRESLIN Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — these are the four evangelists who wrote the Gospels. There is a children’s prayer that many have learned to say before bed with a variety of versions, but who are these men? Actually, little is known about them except what is in the Bible. There are some other traditions handed down…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alexander Sauli

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church was blessed with many saints including a lesser known but deeply loved man, Fr. Alexander Sauli, who labored in a little-known order, the Barnabites. Alexander was born of a wealthy and highly regarded family of Lombard on February 15, 1534. His father, Dominic, was the Marquis of…Continue Reading