10 October 2012
It’s safe to say that the Catholic Church does not have the best reputation when it comes to sexual harassment and child molestation accusations. Cases such as these have been coming up for years but all seem to have similar outcomes. The priest typically gets a slap on the wrist, gets moved to another parish, and the issue is never spoken of again. In some of the more controversial cases, the priest is removed from the priesthood simply to get his name away from any association with the church because the church is known to do anything it can to cover up such accusations and rumors. This is no different for Father Flynn in the book Doubt, where he is accused of making sexual advances on an eighth grade boy that attends the school that he works in. He is accused by the principle of the school, Sister Aloysius, who is convinced he is guilty of giving the young boy wine from the sacristy and making inappropriate advances on him after doing so. Sister Aloysius may not have real evidence but based on Father Flynn’s behavior, his interest in boys with little to no friends, and his guilty conscience, it is easy to see that he is in fact guilty.
Father Flynn, on the outside, seems like a very caring man that wants nothing more than to make everyone in his community feel welcome and comfortable. This would be all well and good if his behavior around the young boys did not so closely resemble that of a pedophile. Pedophiles typically gain the trust of their victims which is exactly what Father Flynn does with the eighth grade boys that he coaches in basketball. He likes to have bull sessions with the boys inside the rectory and talk to them as if he is one of them. They are also said to have a good standing within their community which he clearly has since he is the communities priest (Ruggles). Father Flynn is very good at making the boys feel comfortable around him, especially when...