Saturday, February 23, 2019
Oh sorry! Excuse me for expecting better!
Yesterday I was listening to the news regarding a meeting of Catholic bishops from around the world regarding the sex abuse scandals, they happen in almost every country where the church has members. I was raised Catholic, my friends and neighbors are mostly Catholic so I'm not an outsider with anti-Catholic views just looking to criticize the church. What I heard however; made me laugh with disbelief and embarrassment.
I don't know what I was expecting, I thought that by now the church would be more educated, have more knowledge and at the beginning it sounded like they were trying to do the right thing. Soon it was evident that they were just saying the right phrases to make positive headlines. The conference on abuse did not allow any victims to speak, did not invite any experts on sexual abuse to speak and did not create any repercussions in the church for abusing people. Instead they created a list of "reflections" for a person to think over.
Many bishops were surprised by the allegations, I have to ask, what rock have they been living under? You don't get to be a bishop by hiding in the woods all your life! You have to be educated and generally live in a populated area. Other bishops said that sexual abuse was a "western illness", that it doesn't happen in places like India or African and Asian countries, despite many people showing up from those countries with the same horror stories that happened here. The bishops also got bogged down with what "is" actually sexual abuse. Apparently raping a woman is slightly acceptable in some countries but not others, raping boys is for the most part a no no but they felt we need to take in cultural differences. Well... oops, silly me, I thought the vow of celibacy meant no sex at all. I thought that vow would have made it pretty clear as to what is or isn't acceptable. These same bishops would probably tell you that sex between two "adult" males is sick, that's one of the reasons their judgments lost their power over me long, long ago.
I will be honest and say I was disappointed and actually surprised by hearing this, the hierarchy used to be very conservative but more worldly or better educated, now they sound more like evangelicals. I'm almost expecting them to declare that it's the devil attacking the church and that the victims secretly belong to a cult that was formed to bring them down. This feeds into the people who are too lazy to think for themselves, I remember one older woman who insisted that the victims are just looking for money and attention. That's completely false, I know of men from well-off families that came forward, they were embarrassed to have friends and colleagues hear about sex acts committed against them but they felt compelled by never being able to move on from the abuse until they said something.
Now I feel maybe this result is actually a good thing, maybe more people will start to see how silly and phony the whole thing is. People need structure and guidelines to live by but it's 2019, time to stop living like it's two thousand years ago, put away the robes, candles and crying statues, let's move on.