Those familiar with history know that the Catholic Church is no stranger to scandals. The latest scandals involve sexual abuse and other sexual scandals with the church.
While some might be inclined to argue that this tendency towards abuse results from the religion itself, this does not seem to be the case. The actual doctrines of the church seem to be rather against this sort of behavior (after all, the Catholic Church relentlessly condemns homosexuality). Also, there seems to be no causal connection between the religious impulse and the tendency to engage is such evil behavior. After all, most people are (or claim to be) religious and most people do not engage in such behavior. While this does not conclusively show that there is not a causal connection, it does indicate that if there is any connection, then it is a rather weak one.
Given that the Catholic Church demands abstinence on the part of the priests, it might be argued that this has a role in these scandals. This does have some plausibility. However, this does not seem to be a complete explanation. After all, other groups practice abstinence and yet do not suffer the same sort of scandals.
It might be the case that it is not something about the church that causes the behavior, but rather that the church attracts people with those tendencies. It has been suggested that since the church provides excellent cover for such behavior, it tends to attract people who will engage in such abuse. The church has been rather slow to deal with the problem and its actions have been rather limited. As such, people who are inclined to inflict such abuse might be drawn to the church because of the cover and protection it provides.
Also, the fact that the church provides such cover and protection might serve to encourage people with such tendencies to act upon them. After all, if a person knows that he will be able to act on his impulses with impunity, then this removes a major reason not to act upon these impulses.
The church clearly needs to remove the cover and protection it provides for such abuse and abusers. However, there seems to be little will on the part of the top hierarchy to do so and this raises serious questions about their moral integrity and values.