Much weeping to be done

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I was gone most of the day yesterday  – Stations of the Cross in the morning, Church at 3 pm, and out for supper with some dear friends I haven’t seen for ages.

Good Friday is always a day to meditate on suffering.  Over the past years on Good Friday my mind invariably turns to the suffering of victims.  Today was no different.  In particular, one sentence from the Gospel of St. Luke has been rumbling in mind: 

But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

Yesterday I read and and heard those words which I have read so often in a new way. 

There is much weeping to be done.

Circling the wagons

Meanwhile, things seem to going from bad to worse at the Vatican.   Seems that a priest has gone over the edge in circling the wagons, and  Jewish groups are angered at a comment made by the priest, Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa.   

Cantalamessa apparently likened the anger expressed over the clerical sex abuse scandal to anti-semitism, and seems he said that the Church is a victim of “collective violence,” which resembles the suffering of the Jews.

What ever possessed Cantalamess to come out with something as outrageous as this?  Pathetic.   In the midst of this scandal of sex abuse and cover-up to actually  imply that all within the Church are innocents goes well beyond the pall. 

What of the predators?  What of those who covered up on their behalf? 

Archbishop Fred Henry

And then there’s Calgary’s Archbishop Fred Henry’s statement.  Aside his defense of the Holy Father this is what I call the sad politicization of clerical sexual abuse.  Look at these few lines:

The sin and stigma of sexual abuse is not unique to Ireland, nor is it unique to the Catholic Church. It is a sin found in all societies and nations. Sexual abuse of children, like the abuse of women, has deep historical roots. Hopefully, by serious investigations of the social, psychological and cultural root causes of this behaviour, we can eliminate it as we have made encouraging progress in eliminating violence against women.

Never mind the now all too familiar refrain that ‘everyone else does it,’  what exactly does Henry mean when he says that child sex abuse “like the abuse of women” has “deep historical roots?”  

And what’s he talking about, doing serious investigations of  “the social, psychological and cultural root causes of this behaviour”?   

“Serious”?

“Root” cause?

“Where is he going?  Where is the Bishop going with this?  He obviously has something on his mind.  What is it?  I shudder to think.

More excuses?  Is that it?

Blame patriarchal hierarchical structures? 

Blame who?

Blame what?

Disturbing. 

Henry, by the way,  was the bishop who, back in 2002, silently slipped Father James Kneale, a convicted clerical molester from the Diocese of St. Catherine’s Ontario,  into a parish in the Archdiocese of Calgary. 

Read the articles.  And weep.

That’s the way things are done here in Canada.  Slip them in.  Don’t tell a soul, or perhaps share the dirty little secret with one or two members of parish council.  ‘Our little secret.’    Keep the parishioners in the dark.  They wouldn’t understand.

Never ever would the bishops get away with this in today’s Ireland.  And they sure wouldn’t be getting away with it in Germany.  Nor for that matter would they get away with in anywhere in Europe..

But, they’ve been getting away with it here. 

For years.

You know something?  If this were Ireland a whole lot of bishops would be stepping down.

“I went too far”

One more before calling it a day. 

Read it and weep:

27 March 2010: Priest describes touching boys ‘I went too far’

If this man actually thinks that he needed supervision when he was supervising a group of young boys he should never have been ordained.  These quotes turn my stomach inside out.

“Sometimes I even apologized, but I didn’t make a fuss, anyway I felt the boys did not take it very badly,” he said. “It rather appeared to me as if it did them good that I cared for them. One said once: ‘It is not so bad.’”

“It rather appeared to me as if it did them good”!!

And now he cries! 

“Poor me”!

What about his victims?  Did they cry then?  Did they cry later?  Do they cry now? 

What about the mothers of the victims?  Have they jusy heard?  Are they crying?

Yes, I fear there is still much weeping to be done. 

Enough for now,

Sylvia

(cornwall@theinquiry.ca)

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