OK, I’ll bite. A lot of nice Catholic guys (Reese, Gibson, Martin…see the Paulson roundup) are in a lather about criticism of the arrest of Roman Polanski in the child rape case that he skipped out of decades ago. What, they ask, if Polanski had been wearing a (Roman) collar? No such slack would have been cut for him, they say. The moral according to Reese:
The world has truly changed. Entertainment is the new religion with
sex, violence and money the new Trinity. The directors and stars are
worshiped and quickly forgiven for any infraction as long as the PR
agent is a skilled as a saintly confessor. Entertainment, not religion,
is the new opiate of the people and we don’t want our supply disturbed.
Is there a double standard here? You bet.
Well, forgiven by whom? Without defending Polanski in any way, I’d just point out that there’s been no evidence of popular opposition to his arrest–just as Michael Jackson’s career suffered badly for the accusations against him; O.J. Simpson’s, for what people believed he did, and so on. The fact that some French politicians, some folks in the movie industry, and a couple of American journalists have spoken up for Polanski is hardly a basis for assailing civilization as we know it.
One more thing. It is right and proper to hold clergy to a higher standard–they’re in the ethnics and morality business. Sure, a Fr. Polanski would have been cut less slack by those who are cutting him slack now. And he would have deserved to be.