I realize a lot of the points I’m about to make have been made by now. And this is not a blanket condemnation of Catholics, Catholicism, or organized religion. This is about admitting you’ve made a mistake, correcting it and making amends to those you’ve hurt.
When I was researching my book about the NYPD’s Cold Case Squad, I was interviewing a chief and I glanced down at his desk and there was a picture of a recently captured pedophile. VERY UPSETTING PART COMING UP: In the picture, you see a grown man about to stick his dick into a little boy who is crying and terrified.
I almost threw up when I saw that picture and I have never recovered. If that man had suddenly appeared in front of me and I had a gun in my hand I would have shot him. This picture, I mean the size of this guy, and his dick, and this tiny little boy, I’m shaking just typing about it. His erection was like a third of the size of the child, it was horrifying.
The idea that there are people who learned that something like this had happened and then didn’t do everything in their power to make sure this never happened again, blows my mind. It is inconceivable to me actually. Inconceivable. I will never ever get that for as long as I live. You should have seen the picture I saw. To let someone like that anywhere near children again, how could they?? Why didn’t they turn the priests over to the police? And why aren’t they being charged with aiding and abetting now, for not turning them over to the police? Why haven’t police gotten search warrants to look at the records? It must be a statute of limitations thing. I’ve posted on my Restless Sleep blog about how I feel the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children.
I also just don’t get how they could fail to go to the children, the victims, and then spend the rest of their lives doing everything they could to help them heal.
So when I read things like this I become enraged:
“VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Pope Benedict, facing one of the gravest crises of his pontificate as a sexual abuse scandal sweeps the Church, indicated on Sunday that his faith would give him the courage not to be intimidated by critics.” In another piece he was quoted as saying “From God comes the courage not to be intimidated by petty gossip.”
I couldn’t believe I was reading this. You are not the victim here, Pope Benedict. And “petty”? Petty?? You’re calling these matters petty?
And you see yourself as courageous? Really? This is what courage looks like? And then I read this:
“A senior Vatican priest speaking at a Good Friday service compared the uproar over sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — which have included reports about Pope Benedict XVI’s oversight role in two cases — to the persecution of the Jews, sharply raising the volume in the Vatican’s counterattack.”
My head exploded after that one. Even the church decided it might be best to distance themselves from those comments. I will say again, I am blaming individuals, and aspects of the system which protected the guilty and must be corrected, and not all Catholics (my family is Catholic) or Catholicism.
The proper response to this crisis is not whining but full cooperation. Period. You hurt everything that is good about religion and the many good people in service to it by this response. Your behavior is criminal. And I’m not speaking metaphorically. Full cooperation and paying for your sins, that is what courage looks like.