Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A long overdue and incomplete report...

...has just been released into the decades of abuse perpetrated on children by clergy and nuns in Ireland. Its conclusion is that the abuse, far from being an aberration, was endemic. Thousands of children were affected. I remember meeting a man some years ago. He was in his 50s and still emotionally wrecked by his experiences in the "care" of the Christian Brothers in Ireland. He told me of the recent suicide of a childhood friend and of a memory he had of standing in front of the desk of one of these men of god and seeing blood running down the the back of his friend's legs. They were both eight. He did not say why the blood was flowing.

He spoke about needing to keep the curtains drawn so that paedophiles could not look in and see his children when they came to visit. He lived on the 9th floor of an isolated tower block.

He was not one of the over 2000 who have been to the authorities. He is too scared still.

And yet, the report names no names. Many of the perpetrators are dead but some still survive and will not have to answer for the atrocities they committed. Neither will those members of the hierarchies, both clerical and lay, who colluded with and enabled the abuse. As head of the congregation of the doctrine of the faith, this current pope is culpable as he was in the position to investigate the allegations and report culprits to the secular authorities. He chose neither but threatened any who did so report with excommunication. His recent apology is both highly belated and inadequate. He speaks now of wnating to see the abusers punished. It will not happen and his past actions have ensured that.

When the current furore dies down, as it will, what guarantees can he give that the abuse will not resume? On his past form there are none. Can we trust anything this terminally corrupt corporation says?

I do not think so. And I feel sad for the many honest and caring individuals within the church whose good work has been betrayed by the hierarchy under whose rule they serve. I trust that their innate love, compassion and goodness will enable them to continue to strive for the betterment of others despite the cynicism and realpolitiking of their church. I have met many such and admire them greatly. I cannot understand how they continue within the organisation of whom they are so openly and vehemently critical. But they do.

And that is part of the wonder of being human - and a partial antidote to the poison that has been spread throughout the world, not just Ireland. But it is only partial.

And it can be no more. The church is built upon a false premise and that cannot be remedied.

It can only be abandoned.


OnlyEd said...

The patriarchy must be eradicated.

Period. End of story.

Idris said...

And it cannot happen too soon.