Friday, May 22, 2009

Missing the Point - The Ryan Report


The British press is covering the Ryan Report in more detail than the American MSM. It is closer to home geographically.

My apologies to Archbishop Nichols for taking away from his installation day yesterday at Westminster Cathedral, the seat of the RC church in Britain. I of course should note that, as a Protestant and a Cultural Christian, I just see red when I see someone in the clergy wearing gold. It feeds into my own personal prejudice and my own mythical 11th Catholic commandment that “Thou shalt honor thy local gold encrusted bishop” – gold is so, you know, un-Jesus to me.

The remarks of the Archbishop of England and Wales and sticking his nose in the next RC bailiwick of Ireland deserve some critique. Whether quoted in or out of context, his remarks show a remarkable lack of empathy with the victims and in favor of the victimizers. It’s not my fault that perversion and cruelty exists in the world. It would exist in any secular as well as religious institution. The factors though seem to become magnified when much of this sexual abuse has some direct correlation to the so-called discipline of celibacy.

Nichols' forced lukewarm remarks to prosecution according to degree of severity sounds like it came straight out of a USCCB Public Relations response manual.

This overflow of dysfunctionality of the RC church over the sex issue has stems and roots going everywhere. Indeed, a once great and pervasive institution like the RC church and its faults flow over into the secular side of the town square. The other distasteful part of the sexual dysfunction has to do with trying to impose Catholic Sharia Law on the United States in regards to birth control in general and abortion in particular. (Notice I said once great.)

Back to the Ryan Report and the British press. Some comments in the same and different Brit papers about some lady who wrote an article about how she did not know any pedophile priests and therefore did not feel qualified to talk or write on the subject related to the Ryan Report. Hack journalism. Fill the space – type, type, type.

One journalist below makes reference to that strange apologist for the situation past and present in the RC church. Laura Canning also makes some sound closing remarks about what most of us, Catholic or not, feel in general about this cancer on Christianity.

Missing the point on paedophile priests

“Blame the individuals, not the religion" and "there are paedophiles in all walks of life" are two common apologist statements on sexual abuse within the Catholic church, both of which miss the point as spectacularly as Mary Kenny. It was not just the abuse, but the denials, cover-ups, removal of known paedophiles to other parishes where they could rape more children that is a major part of the problem. The Christian Brothers delayed the investigation that became the Ryan report for over a year, arguing successfully that all members referred to in the report had a right to anonymity, even when these members had been convicted in court of abuse.

The other main apologist statement is the assertion that "things are not like that any more", that allegations of sexual abuse or paedophile priests are taken seriously by the church and that all those working with children are now vetted. Like the previous two, this statement does not hold water. It was "like that" for decades, with thousands of children damaged for life.

What is so difficult for the church and its apologists to admit that this was a terrible scandal and to try and put things right? Surely anyone within the church today would be horrified at these cases and take every step they could to ensure that the institution's reputation is not damaged further, even if only for reasons of pragmatism? But no. The pope is always right, priests can do no wrong, and raped and abused children do not matter.
Perhaps The Ryan Report, a secular report, is the laxative the RC church needs to wake up, smell the roses – get out of the seeming back street sex shop and brothel business – and get back to the message and teachings of Jesus to be spread to the whole world and to all time.

1 comment:

klatu said...
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