My dictionary defines Abominable as: "nasty and disgusting, vile, loathsome, highly unpleasant, disagreeable, very bad". Those are just the right set of words to describe the molestation and sexual abuse of boys by certain members of The Roman Catholic Church. It is also the way to describe the current dialogue by the Talking Heads in regards to the first situation. The debate has shifted from pedophilia to celibacy and homosexuality, as if the clergy were allowed to marry, then the problem would alleviate itself.
The issue of celibacy and "gays" in the ranks of the catholic priests has nothing to do with pedophilia. It is most certain that if they, the priests, adhered to their vows, then there would be no such problems. But allowing these "Shepherds of God's flock" to marry is no answer. Nor is it reasonable to believe that the gays within the clergy are part of this abomination. The entire time that the pros and cons of celibacy, a life's commitment to their God, are being addressed; We are distracted from the real issue. The bickering over the percentages of gays in the clergy further obfuscates what is really taking place. Does it matter if those percents are 2-4 as some insist, or closer to society's 10 percent? That is only a rhetorical question and serves no purpose.
There are, however, two points that I believe are necessary to explore. The first is the deplorable act of preying upon children for sexual satisfaction. And the condoning of those actions by the "Church". That is truly nasty, disgusting, vile, and loathsome. Do not try to tell me that it is not so. We now know that the hierarchy of priests and bishops were aware of these things happening. We know that there were monies set aside to "compensate " victims. We also know that the offending priests were moved from place to place to help cover their actions. Shame Shame Shame.
There is one other point that no one has yet spoken of: That being the real carnage left over from those acts of abomination. The numbers of people molested are not just the couple of hundred who have been compensated by the church. If we apply the norms of society, it is only a small number who have actually come forward to be "a voice in the wilderness". That many, because of guilt and shame, never tell anyone. Then those numbers quickly grow to thousands. But, there is still more of this terrible problem to open and address.
We find that pedophiles were themselves subjects of molestation. It is therefore no great leap to wonder how many victims are now themselves perpetrators. In fact, is it unreasonable to wonder if the church has foisted generations of child molesters upon our society? The question chills me. How many of today's perverts, sexually using children is a perversion, were abused by one victim, who was a priest? How many more "victims" are yet to be transformed into the role of abuser? These are the real questions that must be confronted and dealt with. Not whether the vow of celibacy is archaic or if a gay is less sincere in the taking of such a vow. The question goes beyond to the culpability of the church.
It may be a complex problem. However, the answer and resolution is simple. "STOP THAT", as my Grandmother would say. Stop not just the action of molesting, but the remaining clergy should be expected to stand up and do the right thing. That is what is expected of any person who sees or knows of wrong doing. It should be demanded of those who profess to be our spiritual keepers. What is right is right and no all absorbing black wall of silence should be tolerated.
Michael T. Sherer
Editor, Salmon River Gazette
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