The current scandal [in the Catholic Church] has been billed as many things: a celibacy story, an "emotional immaturity" story, a homosexuality story. What it really is is a 1970s story.
Virtually all the sexual wrongs were committed during the 1970s and early 1980s, when liberal Catholicism was at its zenith of cultural power in the U.S. church, sticking its gooey fingers into every corner of American Catholic life, from pulpit "dissent" to music, liturgy styles, and radical church redesign to the private lives of priests — all supposedly prompted by the window-opening Second Vatican Council of the 1960s.
...the Vatican II changes in the church, combined with the prevailing Sixties ethos of self-fulfillment, gave many priests the idea that anything went.
--Charlotte Allen in National Review Online, June 17, 2002
Over six decades, likely more than 1,000 people were molested by Roman Catholic priests and church workers while leaders in the Boston archdiocese engaged in a ''massive, inexcusable failure'' to do anything about it, the Massachusetts attorney general said in a report Wednesday that outlines the results of a lengthy criminal investigation....
The archdiocese itself documented 789 allegations of sexual abuse made against 237 priests and 13 other church workers from 1940 to 2000.
--Boston Globe/AP, July 23, 2003