Tuesday, March 22, 2016


To believe this is typical of the Catholic Church is just a mystification


I will try to be short because the subject of this film is so important, so dramatic, so horrific that we do not need many words to speak of it.

My first remark is that it concerns Catholic priests in the area of Boston, but it could – and probably does – concern the whole world, and not only the Catholic church, and not only churches or teachers and schools; or UN troops in the Central African Republic. It is all the more shocking when it deals with an ethical institution like a church or a peace-keeping corps of the United Nations or an educational institution because these three institutions have an ethical definition and the respect of the integrity of children is one basic principle of these institutions. You could add the medical institution with orphanages, psychiatric wards or hospitals, retirement homes (because sexual abuse MUST NOT be only considered when the victims are children), etc. Sexual abuse, of children particularly but not only, is a crime against humanity.

My second remark is that in any society at large, in any social group in particular some abuses are often hidden under the carpet and even at times tolerated not to stain the reputation or the identity of this society or these social groups. There is in all social community an identity dimension for the members and they may feel negated in this identity of theirs if the public image of the community were criticized in a way or another. Such criticism leads in certain cases to racism, segregation, discrimination and of course exploitation, rejection and victimization. Better keep the “small” defects secret so that it would not leak out in the public around. And the members become silent, blind, deaf, and a few other sensual impairments.  And the family is such a social community.

The third remark is very well explained in the film by some victims. Children, often, but not only, from disrupted families with marital violence, with parental violence, with poverty and even divorce, if not divorces, and casual male or female partners going through the home, not mentioning drugs, alcoholism and a few other intoxications, children, boys as well as girls, in such situations from 6 to 14, at times later, look for some parental model, be it a man or a woman, a substitute father or mother. When they have some adults who are close and as such have a high level of prestige, a priest, a teacher, a coach, or at times simple neighbors or even relatives, they can fall into the trap of sexual attraction or sexual abuse. But even if sexual attraction there is, in the child the experience of abuse, the sexual experience with an adult, will be traumatic and will leave serious damage behind at the mental, psychological or ethical levels.

The film did not try to explore what the strategies of children in such situations are or can be. Some are protective and enable the children to suffer the abuse as it it were something from another world than their own, the one they build in their psyche. Note this is very difficult when the abuser is a priest, a teacher, a father, a brother, a mother, a sister, that is to say people who are essential for the growth, development and maturation of the children. The film was in fact too short on one issue. They insisted on the number of surviving victims (without specifying the mode of this survival). But what about those that did not survive? How many, how bad they ended, at what age, etc.?

The film is essential to show a vast problem but the concentration onto only the victims of Catholic priests may appear as a way to avoid speaking of pedophilia in our countries, and in the world. There might not be 6% of pedophiles in our societies, male or female, but it is indispensible to understand our modern rejection of pedophilia is a very recent evolution in the West, that is to say mostly among Western Christians and Jews. It sure is a crime against humanity but this is recent. Marriage was set at the age of 13 for girls in England by a law in Parliament in the 18th century. We would not even think of it today, though some studies do say a fair proportion (40%?) of people between 14 and 16 have had or regularly have some sexual activity. Nothing is said before 14, except in doctors’ offices. It would be fair to consider that sexual activities between young people at the early age of 14 leading quite often to teenage pregnancies are also a form of pedophilia. That is to say there is quite a long road ahead if we want to get rid of sexual activities among minors. Is it abuse? Not all the time, but quite often yes, with some drug use, some alcohol and just some carelessness. I would suggest to read my own poetical fiction on the subject: “AN UNTELLABLE STORY, A dramatic Confession, THE NINETEEN STATIONS OF SARAPHIC LOVE,” Kindle B00UP4CX88.

A fascinating film that has to be widened in scope not to appear like a pamphlet against the Catholic Church that neither deserves it nor is able to avoid the “problem” because it is simply the predator nature of any man or woman that actually comes out in any situation and may come out in any person when circumstances permit, like UN peace keeping soldiers of French citizenship in the Central African Republic.


You are evil, using ever excuse possible to condone child rape.

You will not be forgiven (Matt 18:6-14)
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?