I sat on this story for a while, because I was hoping to find something to connect it to. Unfortunately, nothing appeared in the past couple of weeks, so I present it here on its own:
An archbishop who has held positions in a number of Canadian communities has stepped down amid allegations of sexual abuse involving pre-teen boys. In a statement released on the website of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), church officials said Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, 66, of Ottawa is on a leave of absence as police in Canada investigate abuse claims.
In my last post about this ongoing priestly abuse, I said there were some important questions to ask. One of those is whether or not it is a uniquely Catholic phenomenon, this practice of abuse and subsequent coverup. This story suggests to me that there is nothing in Roman Catholic doctrine that leads priests to abuse children. Instead, it suggests to me that when human beings are given positions of power, power that is by its very nature uncontrollable with no checks or balances against abuse, and when those same people are given a mechanism to suppress any evidence of wrongdoing, they will commit atrocities. We see it in government scandals, we see it with corporate financial illegalities, and we see it with the churches.
Clohessy charged that church officials have known about the abuse claims for years but were slow to act. The recent announcement of the internal probe and vow of co-operation with police comes as a relief, he said. Clohessy added he hopes people with any information pick up the phone and share what they know with authorities. He admitted being disappointed that Storheim was allowed to take a leave of absence instead of being removed.
And just like in the Roman Catholic Church, the coverups and shifting around of abusive priests happened in this case. The hypocrisy of claiming the moral authority of Christianity, while at the same time committing shocking crimes against humanity is dumbfounding. Or at least it should be. Sadly, it seems to be the rule rather than the exception that those who claim superiority without evidence are the smallest, meanest, and most morally bankrupt among us.
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