Once is one time too many.
When James B. Nelson wrote Embodiment: An Approach to Sexuality and Christian Theology,
he did not imagine the current crisis regarding sexual and emotional
abuse of parishoners (expecially children and teens) by ordained clergy
and other representatives of the Church. Such abuse betrays a person's
basic trust — in God, in the Clergy and the Church, in the world, in
humanity, and even in the person's own self. This basic trust is
essential for the development both of Love and of Faith.
abuser destroys what he or she is specifically called to build — a
person's relationship with God. And the abuser selects his or her
targets for virtues that can be exploited into vulnerabilities.
the case of a young person who can be trusted to sacrifice his or her
own well-being rather than harm another. That's the kind of virtue you'd
look for in a firefighter, a doctor, or a priest. But it is also the
kind of virtue that an abuser exploits in order to keep from being
caught. Trustworthy people are so because they value trust so highly —
hence it hurts them all the more when they are betrayed. And our society
colludes by creating a culture of subversion in which the breaking of a
vow or a promise seems to have no consequences, as long as the one
doing it espouses the proper ideology.