Clergy Abuse Hotlines
What took them so long?
When a legal entity establishes a Clergy Abuse Hotline you've gotta wonder what took them so long. It's been the practice forever that you could go all the way to the Pope and the Queen of England with your complaint about a clergyman and not be believed -- so maybe that's what took them so long: orders from headquarters.
It remains to be seen if these more recent measures (sops?) are not just more data collections that will hit the top and disintegrate.
CBS: "Secret archives" on clergy abuse were shared with Vatican ...
And lest anyone think the issue is confined to Catholic priests:
NYTimes: Ultra-Orthodox[Jews] Shun Their Own for Reporting Child Sexual Abuse
BaltimoreSun: Sexual abuse allegations against rabbi divide Baltimore's Orthodox Jewish community
Newsweek: Child Abuse Allegations Plague the Hasidic Community
And then there's the Anglicans:
AnglicanJournal: Ontario recovering from impact of sex scandal
Oh, well, that's okay then. It couldn't have been all that bad if they were pardoned, right? Note the final paragraphs in the Anglican Journal article - a blatant attempt to soften the image of the church, and show how much it cares about people by giving hot lunches to people on the down-and-out.
But Gallienne's official pardon (no doubt won with glowing recommendations from church officials) spurred two previously unknown victims to come forward with more charges against him:
TheWhig: New charges against former Kingston choirmaster
TheInquiry: In 2004, the Kingston Whig-Standard reported that Gallienne was leading choirs and playing the organ at [St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Ottawa], in contravention of a lifetime ban on such activities imposed by a former Anglican leader in Kingston.
I remember that Ottawa church, having sometimes taken used items to their fundraising second-hand shop. One day, as I began to browse through the shop, I was curtly told I had to leave my bag at the front desk. That had never happened to me before and it made me feel untrusted and therefore uncomfortable (and a little bit insulted), so I chose to leave the premises instead.
I then emailed the Minister asking why the church had so little faith that it treated its customers like potential thieves. The reply was brusque and to the point: it had nothing to do with faith, it was simply a fact that people steal and that deprives the church of needed funds. Case closed.
Now I see why they don't trust others; people seldom do who skirt the rules themselves.
Gallienne was a superb choirmaster; he took the Kingston boy's choir all the way to Westminister Abbey, and the parishioners fought hard to preserve that prestigious image, even to the point (I have this on good authority) of little old ladies, arriving to commune with God, angrily using their handbags to bash the protesting parents of Galienne's victims.
Lo and behold, Westminster itself is rife with paedophilia among the upper crust and apparently that's been hidden for decades - and isn't just another "conspiracy theory". But oops, a whole bunch of files on that matter went missing.
Apparently thievery really does happen to churches, Westminister Abbey having lost quite a few valuable trinkets at one time. A culprit, of course, was found, but:
Clearly a very bad example was set.
"Suffer the little children" seems to have been gravely misread. Who was it that Jesus thought should be drowned? It seems the Church assumes it's the child, because its representatives have certainly caused quite a number of them to, at least, want to die.
CBS: "They murdered something in me":
Esteemed American psychologist Albert Bandura -- in his book "Moral Disengagement -- How people do harm and live with themselves" -- devotes a whole section on how, for decades, the Catholic Church has managed to keep its myth of morality intact. What he says would also apply in Jewish and Protestant coverups.
Worst of all, attempts were made to convince the parents that their children were lying.
Now, we can't leave out Christian fundamentalists. There's a whole blog on how they deal with complaints of sexual sins; Most often:
The nice thing about religion is that you can sin like crazy because the whole meme is about how to find personal salvation, which ends up being how to get around God's rules. God forgives, therefore you must forgive -- again and again and again. And when whole congregations are in thrall to a charismatic leader, his victims are sure to be isolated and accused of either lying or, when the truth becomes obvious, of tempting him beyond his capacity to resist.
Note: I have not mentioned Muslim child molesting, not because it's not possible, but because the reports of it tend to be shallow, lurid, tabloidish, and mostly focus on Pakistan, with no real insight into how the issue is officially handled.
Scapegoat: A goat used in the ritual of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16); it was symbolically laden with the sins of the Israelites and sent into the wilderness to be destroyed
Image below: Basically, we stick our leftover mistakes onto a goat which will be “sent away.”
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