One thing about clergy sex abuse is that it is not exclusive to Catholic priests. I googled this for other denominations, and while I could find almost nothing regarding rabbis, I found an overabundance of Protestant abuses in addition to Catholic scandals. I came to find out the rate of abuse in Protestant churches is at least equal to those in the Catholic church, and some organizations have cropped up to deal with those scandals. StopBaptistPredators.org is one. I bookmarked the sites and news stories I found that showed abuse in only Protestant churches, and ended up with 34 bookmarks--links I'll be happy to provide to any interested party, insofar as I don't want to be accused of making a claim and not being able to prove it.
I was raised Presbyterian. While he was not the pastor, the greeter at the door of our neighborhood church (who had been in that position for as long as anyone could remember) was convicted in the early 1990s not only of multiple counts of child abuse, but also kidnapping and enslavement (not sure if that's the right legal term; he had hired boys in their young teens to work at his ranch in the summers and apparently had been keeping them there in some sort of weird abuse-brainwashing-farm setup or something; Lord have mercy). After the allegations against him broke, my then-stepmother happened to get herself on the jury that ended up convicting him. She was horrified to realize later that the same man had attempted to get my older brother, who at the time was about 14, to work on his property. Luckily my brother did not accept the offer. Abuse and all kinds of sickness and perversity are human problems, not monopolized by any particular faith or creed.
Having said all that, I cannot fathom any priest with even a shaky faith in God doing this. How could he not be absolutely terrified? And how does a Catholic priest get HIV? Sounds like a profoundly stupid question, but really, that's supposed to be something that does not occur. A priest with HIV? Really? I've heard it all now. I'm going to take my ball and go home. Check, please! Get me outta here.
Well, they're not supposed to have secret families/mistresses or be practicing homosexuals, either, but there have been plenty of those activities in the history (including the modern history) of the RCC, as well as other churches. I suspect it only strikes people as 'worse' in the case of the RCC because they still attempt to maintain a hard line in public against such things, so it looks especially hypocritical to many RC detractors.
I wish this man would not be a priest anymore, though. He is clearly mentally/emotionally, and possibly physically (on account of the HIV infection), unfit for the rigors of the priesthood, and certainly needs help and prayers. I am perhaps a bit more sympathetic than I should be about the terrible shape that the RCC finds itself in as a result of many events like this one, but also I think it shows a fatal flaw of their indelible mark theology. As I understand it, priests are considered to be priests forever, as the character of their ordination marks them permanently as a priest (so it is a kind of ontological change from "regular guy" to "priest"). As such, a criminal or otherwise unfit priest may be laicized in the sense that Rome tells him he can't serve in that capacity anymore, but there doesn't seem to be any way in which he may be "un-ordained", for lack of a better way to put it. In fact, with the Latin phenomenon of Episcopi Vagantes
, so long as he was validly ordained in the first place (see, for example, the "Dutch Touch" and other such ridiculousness), there probably wouldn't be anything to stop him from reacting to any church punishment by simply leaving the RCC and continuing to work as a 'priest' elsewhere.
That's sad. I mean, the whole thing's sad, but that there's essentially no safeguard from things like this repeating themselves over and over again once a man is ordained...ugh. I do not envy the RCC, or the many very good priests I was blessed with when I was RC, who I know are especially hurt when things like this happen. It really degrades the whole idea of the priesthood for many, many people.