Q: And When There Were Still Two Sets of Footprints in the Sand?


That was when I made you keep walking, so as to comply with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's new guidelines regarding inappropriate behavior for Catholic priests:

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has issued a detailed list of inappropriate behaviors for priests, saying they should not kiss, tickle or wrestle children.

The newest version of the archdiocese's Decree on Child Protection also prohibits bear hugs, lap-sitting and piggyback rides.

But it says priests may still shake children's hands, pat them on the back and give high-fives.

Victim advocates who have criticized the Roman Catholic archdiocese for its handling of abuse cases say they support the new measures as a step toward better protection of children.

The Cincinnati archdiocese says it updates the rules every five years. The latest version, issued last week, also mandates background checks for contractors working with children.

More here.

Am I just being too pre-Vatican II to suggest that any priest who high-fives anyone should be excommunicated and remanded immediately to the custody of Jack T. Chick?

Perhaps it's Cincinnati's proximity to Covington, Kentucky, site of the biggest priest-abuse scandal payout (yes, the worst damage was done not in liberal coastal towns, as Rick Santorum would have you think), that makes the Queen City so touchy about touches. Then again, if you need to make an explicit rule against priestly piggy-back rides, you should do it sooner rather than later. Unless you're carrying the babe Jesus through a river or carting someone from a burning building, it just doesn't like the sort of thing that Pat O'Brien would even consider doing.

In any case, here's reason Contributing Editor Thomas Szasz on pedophiliac priests. And reason columnist Tim Cavanaugh took the measure of the hype around the abuse scandal (including convictions based on shaky recovered-memory testimony and what he took to be the real scandal—the CYA mentality of Vatican higher-ups) here.