I see a pattern here


In the US and Canada, we’ve had a tremendous number of cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests — over and over, with the church hierarchy concealing and actively shuffling criminal priests about. But maybe it’s just us Americans? Or Canadians? So let’s see what’s going on in other countries. It’s another horror.

A major report released Tuesday said French Catholic clerics had abused more than 200,000 minors over the past 70 years, a systemic trauma that the inquiry’s leader described as deep and “cruel.”

The report’s findings could trigger a public reckoning in a country where church officials long stalled efforts to investigate complicity. The findings also add to the picture of country-by-country trauma within a religion that has tended to find abuse on a stunning scale anywhere it has looked.

I know, you find it hard to believe, but the common link seems to be … the Catholic priesthood! Who could have guessed that?

I think the appropriate response would be to disband the church, for governments in every country to seize their assets, and for everyone to look on Catholic priests as we would Nazis or the KKK.

That last is only a minor punishment in the USA.

I think, though, we know what to expect from the Vatican: empty pieties and disingenuous regret. But Jesus, 200,000 abused children, how are they going to gloss over that?

Comments

  1. says

    I saw this the other day.

    When the USA was pushing these charges into the open, they first denied that the church was involved or responsible in any way. Then through lawsuits plaintiffs forced discovery and the church’s active role in furthering rape and sexual abuse became to obvious to ignore.
    So what did the RCC do? The Vatican put out statement after statement that this was a situation unique to the USA and that the US must be uniquely depraved…but nothing is wrong with the RCC.

    Then Ireland pushed its history into the open. The church denied responsibility there as well, for many decades before the final public rupture in the Aughts. In the Aughts denial of complicity in the murder, negligent homicide, and abuse of children and young adults became implausible. So the RCC put out statement after statement that this was a situation unique to Ireland.

    In the 2010s it was Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Canada. The new pope, hailing from South America oddly did not portray South Americans as uniquely depraved. Instead he denied that the RCC had any responsibility save that it hadn’t done enough to prevent abuse, and maintained that any perpetuation of abuse was only because RCC priests are so, so good, and that any fault that they had was being too loving and too trusting.

    Now it’s the 2020s and France.

    It was never that one part of the world was more depraved. There are people willing to rape and assault others, including children, in every country. But the avoidance of responsibility, the escape from prosecution, the neglect of care for identified victims, and the continued work to conceal information from parents while providing new, vulnerable victims to those known to have engaged in serial abuse, all of that was the unique responsibility of the RCC.

    They say that they’re going to kick out priests who abuse children now, but it will only happen in countries and/or dioceses where they have already been shamed for their neglect.

    Mark my words, in the 2040s we’re going to be dealing with major revelations that the African dioceses were facilitating rape all through the 2020s and 2030s, because the Vatican won’t clean its own house. It has to be forced to do so by a country with a strong enough feminist movement and sufficient numbers of women in the workforce (especially in government, academia, and journalism) to have educated its public on sexual assault and rape, and culture has to change in ways that make it dramatically less likely that victims will be blamed for their own abuse.

    Unfortunately that’s not true of much of African and Asia, but since the RCC is much less present and powerful in Asia, Africa is going to be the last great haven for Catholic rapists.

  2. John Wilkins says

    And Australia: over 2500 children abused (who were still alive; probably tens of thousands historically) by the Catholics. Well over the majority of all religious institutions.

  3. StonedRanger says

    This from a religion whose god killed every living thing on the planet but 8 or 9 people and all the animals they could cram on a boat, and whose adherents practice ritualistic cannibalism. Not surprised they deny responsibility.

  4. david says

    “ 200,000 abused children, how are they going to gloss over that?” – conservatives in the US can gloss over 700,000 COVID19 deaths. I’m sure 200,000 children will seem like a bump in the road.

  5. consciousness razor says

    Mark my words, in the 2040s we’re going to be dealing with major revelations that the African dioceses were facilitating rape all through the 2020s and 2030s, because the Vatican won’t clean its own house.

    Now, see … I was with you right up until the end.

    I’m sure it’s gonna be because the African diocese in the 2040s will be uniquely depraved. I know it like I know that the sun rises in the east, every morning. It’s just science.

    ~~~~

    Also, I don’t care what dictionaries may say. Diocese is already plural, because dioceses is just too ugly to pronounce. All I’m saying is that I’m on Elrond’s side with this: “never before has any voice uttered the words of that tongue here, in Imladris.”

  6. DanDare says

    Australias tipping point was when Julia Gillard pushed through the Royal Commission on Child Abuse by Religious Institutions. It uncovered open secrets about not just the CC but the Mormons, Orthodox Jews, Pentacostals etc etc.
    Then there was the big push to get Cardinal Pell and the churches attempts to whitewash and minimise costs.

  7. Allison says

    This from a religion whose god …

    It’s news to me that they care at all about what that god (or any other one) does or says. The “god” that the Roman Catholic church worships, or perhaps I should say lusts after, is power. This has been pretty consistent over its entire ~1.5 millenium history. My favorite example is Pope Julius II, who in helmet and mail led battles to regain (temporal) control over parts of Italy which he considered belonged to the Church.

    But, to be honest, it’s what pretty much any organized religion falls into once it develops an organization that can hold and wield any sort of power.

  8. chrislawson says

    CripDyke–

    Australia has always been more secular than the US (despite the efforts of modern conservatives to entrench religious privilege), so disgust at church child abuse has been a prominent part of public discourse since at least the 1970s. Dan Dare is correct though that the royal commission was a tipping point for demanding changes from the church and refusing to put up with further dissembling and horrific legal strategies. (In Australia, several dioceses were declared independent financial agents while time their assets were shifted to other parts of the church for the sole purpose of limiting financial exposure to lawsuits. This is a technique the church pioneered in the US. So much for their eternal moral values.)

    Also in Australia — the Anglican Church was caught in its own abuse cover-up which cost our (conservative-appointed ex-Archbishop) Governor-General his position when it was revealed that he had allowed a known paedophile to continue working as a priest. Which only shows that even relatively progressive church leaders (he supported ordaining female priests) will still protect the institution rather than make changes to minimise abuse and prosecute assailants. So it’s not just the Catholic Church. Or even churches in general. There have been systemic abuses in sports, in schools, even in WHO aid missions. The real root of the problem is authoritarianism, especially where there is no release valve for the power of the leaders. It just so happens that most churches are built on an ultra-authoritarian model.

  9. says

    So it’s not just the Catholic Church. Or even churches in general. There have been systemic abuses in sports, in schools, even in WHO aid missions. The real root of the problem is authoritarianism, especially where there is no release valve for the power of the leaders. It just so happens that most churches are built on an ultra-authoritarian model.

    For the record, I never thought it was just the RCC.

    Thanks, folks, for the info on Australia.

  10. festersixohsixonethree says

    A horror, indeed!
    I wonder what the French reprisals will be? And Francis – what a loser! “Listen to the victims for the sake of the church.”
    Even the most wretched of we humans understands that one listens to the victim for the victims’ sake. What a horrible example given by this ridiculous old man – full of false piety and empty words – who purports to be the leader of HRCC.

  11. gijoel says

    @ crip dyke No slight perceived, at least by me. But it is telling that 2/3 of complaints to the Royal commission were committed at Catholic Institutions.

  12. chrislawson says

    Crip Dyke–

    Definitely wasn’t meaning to sound contradictory to you. As an Australian, the thing that stands out to me is that even in one of the most secular countries the world has ever known, we still have perverse religious privilege, deliberately entrenched religious political influence, and rampant abuses that have been largely ignored by both main political parties (the Liberal Party despite its name is not liberal at all but an increasingly perverse conservative party — it is now far to the right of the party’s positions when it was founded as a genuine liberal movement in 1944! remind anyone of the Republicans??? — and the Labor Party, despite being the party of the union movement, has a very strong Catholic history; in other words, both parties are reluctant to take on churches even when the churches have behaved criminally and horrifically).

  13. John Morales says

    chrislawson,

    As an Australian, the thing that stands out to me is that even in one of the most secular countries the world has ever known, we still have perverse religious privilege, deliberately entrenched religious political influence, and rampant abuses that have been largely ignored by both main political parties

    Indeed.

    Our Prime Minister is a Pentecostal loonie, the (Government-funded) National School Chaplaincy & Student Welfare Program is still a thing, and religious exemptions from various otherwise lawful requirements are a thing.

    Still, better than the USA, I try to tell myself…

  14. birgerjohansson says

    -The Catholic church has zero credibility when it opposes family planning using pills and condoms and opposes abortions while ignoring a particularly heinous crime regarding sexuality.
    Incidentally the US evangelical churches have a shitload of dirty laundrey as well, so their pro-life BS should be exposed for the hypocrisy it is at every turn.

  15. birgerjohansson says

    If your children want to join a Church of Satan youth group they will probably be much safer.

  16. benedic says

    One thing, these religious rites are reported on as in the past. On the likelihood of the future here resembling the past shouldn’t the concentration be on what is happening now?

  17. stuffin says

    The Pope said he was shamed by this, so I’m OK with it.

    And yet the Catholics act like nothing is bad in there world.

  18. nomaduk says

    Henry VIII was certainly a bit of an arsehole, but the break with Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries was no bad thing. Shame about all the stained-glass windows, though.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    BTW I just read somewhere that an American group called Christian Ministries is interacting with hundreds of thousands of youngsters, and now a lot of accusations of sexual abuse is becoming public.

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