The Punishment Should Fit the Crime

The language and subject matter in this post may not be suitable for younger readers. I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide.
I’m thoroughly sick of the callous and arrogant way the Catholic Church has dealt with the overwhelming number of cases of child abuse by their people. Not only have they permitted it to happen, created an environment where it could continue to happen after its victims had cried out for help – and the perpetrators had been named – but now they use utterly pathetic language in response to the barrage of proof that those in power allowed this to happen on their watch.
The Cloyne Report, the latest uncovering of what has been a long line of outrages, has been met with language from the church authorities that sickens me to the stomach. The Papal Nuncio, the Pope’s representative in Ireland is apparently ‘very distressed’ by the report, but this is after he had told the Commission compiling it that he was ‘unable to assist you in this matter’.
I’ve heard other representatives of the church use terms like ‘mismanagement’; ‘very disappointed’; ‘unfortunate’. They have implied that this shielding of paedophiles was down to some kind of muddle, a bureaucratic error, a breakdown in communications. I heard one priest talking about it yesterday evening on the radio. He said that the situation had been allowed to get so bad because a few ‘nincompoops’ in certain positions failed to act appropriately, which wouldn’t have happened if some of the more ‘saintly’ people who deserved to hold these positions had done so. He actually used the words ‘nincompoops‘. And ‘saintly‘.
I wanted to smash the radio. Yes there seems to be some kind of muddle here. Some breakdown in communications. It seems some of these pious fuckers need to come back down to earth. We are talking about the brutal raping and buggering of children. If one man had been caught doing this in public, he’d be condemned outright by society – and by the Catholic Church.
If this was done to one of my children, it would take all my self-control not to beat that man to death. It’s hard for me to imagine how the parents of these children could have dealt with what happened, never mind the children themselves.
Instead of swift and firm justice, what we have is a case of dozens, probably hundreds of priests over the last few decades (we can only guess how many before that) using their privileged positions to commit these horrific and violent acts against children, being found out, and instead of being dragged out into the light as they should have been, being hidden, moved and protected by the Catholic Church so they could do it all over again.
This is not a fucking muddle, or a bureaucratic error. The representatives of this organization raped children.
Then they were deliberately protected by their superiors, allowing it all to happen again. That too, is a shocking crime. They abused their power, used it to defy the enforcers of our laws, – who played their own part in this abhorrent process – and stuck two fingers up at their own parishioners, the people who looked to them for moral guidance. Moral guidance from an organization that shelters paedophiles. The very thought of it. Jesus Christ, where are you now?
Let me state my position on this, in case it isn’t clear already. The men who committed these violent acts, should be in prison, serving sentences that are consistent with the terrible damage they have done to their many victims. And the men who conspired to protect them from the law, should also be in prison. Not given a telling off, or sent on a sabbatical, not defrocked, or retired – imprisoned. And I don’t mean a nice civilized prison, I mean the type for perpetrators of violent crimes, where they belong.
I’m not a Catholic, nor have I ever been one, but both my parents came from devout Catholic families. For their own reasons, they chose not to indoctrinate their children into any religion, and I’ve been grateful for that decision for a long time. I don’t believe in a God, but I have nothing against those who do. I firmly believe that everybody has to make their own decision about that kind of thing.
But if you are a Catholic, I think it’s time you took a long look at your church, and asked yourself if this is an organization you want to be a part of. Yes, there are many fine men in the clergy (no women, obviously, but that’s a whole different rant), but it’s not enough. Not when the bosses of the church are fucking around the way they are.
Every Catholic should be standing up in church and demanding of their priest that this issue be handled with the utmost seriousness that it deserves. Every decent priest who is sickened by what has happened needs to stand up to his masters and say so – publicly. And if the bishops, and the archbishops, and the Papal Nuncio and the Pope don’t start taking responsibility for what has been happening, what may still be happening, then you either align yourself with these people or leave the church.
And finally, the government has to stop behaving as governments have in the past, submitting to the power of the church. This organization runs most of the schools in this country. They claim it is their place to lecture our children on spirituality, on morality. This from the people who refuse to accept their own responsibility in events that have left thousands of children to grow up physically and mentally scarred, and stained the very character of our country.
This shit has to stop. Now.