When writing his autobiographical Confessions, St Augustine of Hippo saw “filth” and “the itch of lust” in infants.* He thought babies were “evil” and in his Answer to the Pelagians, he wrote, “Who is clean from filth? Not even an infant who has lived one day on earth.”
Through his teaching Christians learn that their babies are born already stained with original sin from the concupiscence (sexual desire) of Adam and Eve, and children must be baptised to wash this sin away.
Does the burden of undeserved censure and guilt make some sensitive children more susceptible to abuse by holy clerics?