When does it end?

By | 2011/08/03

The Mirror reported 31 July, “Church child protection chief caught with 4,000 child porn pictures“. With slight edits, the report opens with:

A child protection official for the Catholic Church has been caught with 4,000 pictures of child porn.

[the] Father-of-four … was arrested after uploading pictures of children being abused to a website … a former social worker, [he] was employed by the church following sex scandals about pervert priests.

Child abuse in religion is not limited to the catholic church, but it certainly appears to have been the standard bearer for it over the last several decades.

My question over the ongoing child abuse scandals that come out of the catholic church is a simple one – when will it end? At what point will those in positions of power within the organisation actually apply for readmission to the human race and aggressively support the punishment of those who would harm children in this way?

Yes – apply for readmission to the human race. Those who either implicitly or explicitly shield child abusers rather than the children lose their status as genuine human beings. And they won’t really apply for readmission until they’re punished appropriately.

Yet, shielding the abusers has modus operandi of the church at seemingly the highest levels of the organisation. At best, nods and lip service to the notion of protecting children, but in actual fact – anything but. If you think that’s history, think again. Only today, The Age reported:

AN INDEPENDENT inquiry into dozens of suicides among victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers in Victoria would achieve little, a Catholic bishop says.

Police investigating the case of convicted pedophile Brother Robert Best believe at least 26 victims of sexual abuse at schools in which he taught have committed suicide. One of the investigating officers wants a parliamentary inquiry to investigate the deaths.

“If it helps the victims I’d be more than happy for it to go ahead,” Bishop of Ballarat Peter Connors said.

“I don’t think they’ll learn very much more … I’m convinced we’ve done the best we can in recent years.”

(“Suicide inquiry won’t shed light: bishop“)

That’s a mighty big and lumpy roll of carpet the catholic church keeps on using to sweep these ‘scandals’ under.

But here’s the thing: they still create the impression that the scandal is a priest being discovered molesting a child. After all, the bishop went on to say:

While conceding the abuse of children was wrong, he said that in the past it had not always been clear to everyone what was inappropriate behaviour.

“In the past a lot of ignorance was there on the part of lots of people. Parents didn’t understand, sometimes bishops didn’t understand. We have no excuse now.”

No, Bishop, you had no excuse then, either. At what point was it ever unclear that molesting children was inappropriate behaviour? Buggering or abusing an innocent is just that. Mitigating the blame by trying to suggest parents might have been at fault is tenuous and an exercise in self-absolution at best. It’s trying to suggest that it used to be normal, or at least, less abnormal. Just the way that Ratzinger himself claimed:

“In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children … It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

(Pope Benedict XVI Declares Pedophilia is/was ‘Normal’)

And if you think there was never any official policy in the church about protecting these beasts, think again –

A letter from the Vatican demanding that no pedophile cases be turned over to police has been uncovered … The letter dating from 1997 demolishes Vatican claims that they never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence from police about pedophiles.

(“A smoking gun letter reveals Vatican directly ordered pedophiles be protected”)

The international community recognises the notion of diplomatic protection of the leaders of countries, but even though it’s arguable as to whether this protection extends to the Pope (after all, the Vatican is not a member of the UN, just an ‘observer’), this protection does not extend to more heinous sins, such as crimes against humanity.

If you think I’m making a bad joke by suggesting this is a case of crimes against humanity, you’d be very wrong.

Oh it’s easy to quantify crimes against humanity when it’s people like Saddam Hussein, who gassed entire villages – or the various individuals involved in genocidal acts in Kosovo, etc. After all, that’s a more ‘tangible’ thing. If an entire village is wiped out, or ethnic cleansing is being performed, there’s gruesome images that can be shown on TV (with suitable warnings about ‘distressing content’ to attract more interest), then practically everyone can look at that and decry the events.

Yet the various countries, and United Nations do indeed qualify acts of mass rape as being crimes against humanity.

Has there been a greater example of mass rape than that conducted by catholic priests over the decades? Some examples include:

Based on the number of priests involved, if this were an army, there’d be no hesitation in calling it an act of mass, systemic rape. The catholic church has done its best to suppress and hide information as to the numbers of children abused by its priests, deacons, bishops, etc. Yet even the most casual of summations would put this over the last say, 5 decades, into the order of tens of thousands.

How does this not qualify as mass rape, and therefore crimes against humanity?

At what point do governments around the world actually acknowledge the hard fact that this is an organisation which has actively shielded pedophiles for decades, making excuse after excuse – including the increasingly pathetic newer ones of:

  • Morals change or
  • It’s not pedophilia, but instead hebephilia, if the boys are aged between 13 and 17.

The first excuse is one of outright bastardry. The second, outright sophistry. If governments and the United Nations believe that mass rape constitutes crimes against humanity, then there is no excuse for failing to act over the systemic and ongoing abuse perpetrated by and shielded by members of the catholic church.

When will it end? Only when we demand it ends.