Unspeakable sins

Why we need to talk about them

During his tenure as cardinal archbishop of Boston, Bern­ard Law vigorously defended the position of the Catholic Church on abortion, which is sometimes described as an “unspeakable” act in authoritative church teaching. All the while, it turns out, the cardinal was turning a blind eye to another act that most people consider “unspeakable”-the sexual abuse of children or adolescents by Catholic priests within his archdiocese. The label “unspeakable” hits us at a...

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About the Author

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.