I condemn arson. The most I can say in support of the persons presumed to be burning down Catholic churches in Canada is that I fully understand how it came to pass that some indigenous people in Canada might wanna burn down all the churches. I don’t condemn their rage. I don’t condemn any statement that justice has been denied for hundreds of years and remains out of reach. And, yes, I do see a violent response as inevitable to the kinds of repeated injuries that Canada as a nation and the RCC as a church have inflicted on indigenous peoples.
That doesn’t mean that I think violence is okay. But the Catholic church is not the victim here, and strictures against blaming the victim are inapplicable. If we want to understand what’s happening, we must be allowed to say that the RCC has long embraced policies of genocide, and not being a church insider, I can’t even say that time is over. Is there no Catholic church even now who steals children from parents and actively tries to eradicate an entire culture in the name of converting the next generation to holy Catholicism? I cannot answer that question yes or no. It pains me to say it, but if the RCC has no credibility on this issue that is not victimization. That is not antiCatholic prejudice. That is the natural result of years of lies and misdeeds and coverups. The RCC is the architect of its own credibility. If they have done a poor job building it, the problem is not prejudgement. It is postjudgement. It one natural outcome of the RCC’s actions.
I wish for better for Canada in the coming days. I would write something about that wish, but I certainly couldn’t put it better than Buffy Sainte Marie. (Embed not allowed by youtube, but song available here.)
The great flood of tears that we’ve cried
For our brothers and sisters who’ve died
Over five hundred years has washed away our fears
And strengthened our pride, now we turn back the tide
We will no longer hear your command
We will slide your control from our lands
Re-direct the flame of our anger and pain
And pity the shame
For what you do in God’s name
We will stand for the right to be free
We will grow our own society
And we will sing, we will sing
We will sing our own song