New has come to hand (as I did the draft of this entry) thanks to the BBC that a female chief member of the group addressing clerical (one of two previously abused) abuse has resigned even as she suffered abuse in the 1960s. The Irish woman from Dublin is now 70 years old and at the time of her ordeal she was 13 years old. Her idea was called AWARE which included hotline services especially in safeguarding children, counselling and some action against clergy found wanting. Strangely in the first year of the commission’s in 2014 existence there was no office space allocated and no staff which gives the appearance of deliberate obfuscation and efforts to frustrate the processes. Cover-up! The commission was not given any list of designated staff in the various Vatican departments with whom the commission could liaise; the commission then recommended that a tribunal be put in place whereby negligent priests could be held accountable, this was something that was approved by Pope Francis in 2015 but suddenly the congregation for the doctrine of faith said there were some legal difficulties and the tribunal was never implemented.
“The Pope is doing his best and he has made it very clear to church leaders around the world what he expects in regards to dealing with child abuse and with anyone who might abuse; but I think within the Vatican itself is a sort of a bubble there are just that small core who still I think don’t get it.” She said to a BBC reporter.
Meanwhile locally we could easily site some of the obfuscation at the Vatican and other foreign based orders designed to divert or deflect and questions, we are seeing Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of God structures and
UPDATE: Revivalist Pastor arrested in Spanish Town today. Pastor to be charged following allegations that he molested a 14y.o. boy.— Abka Fitz-Henley (@AbkaFitzHenley) February 5, 2017
The resignation of Pope Benedict is widely believed it is the pressure he met with given the underbelly of the abuse of power by members of the Vatican and at monasteries worldwide, our local archbishop had said that he is not aware of any reports of such abuse, but if we are to go by the fear factor to report powerful bishops and men of the cloth things will remain under the carpet. Impacted individuals will simply not come forward, the US African American evangelical preacher Eddie Long’s case some years ago showed up the complexities of misuse or abuse of pastoral power and lesser powered individuals who often cannot say no or do not know how to in the face of a pastor who is supposed to be next to be infallible; albeit that Long case had a same gender element but the gender of the abused is immaterial and they feel abused. Sadly the unwavering support by congregants is also disturbing as they seem blind to the allegations as in the Long case is also reflected in the pending court cases locally to wait and see what evidence comes forth and the cussing out of the media as if they are the ones castigating the accused while using prayer and the ‘enemy’s fault’ in a victimhood ploy i.e. pastors/priests are infallible.
As the Moravian case and the misguided Hampton High School principal’s intervention by blocking the media from trying to interview the accused even as she helped to post bail for the man has shown us; now the school’s good name and image has been brought into disrepute, as she refuses to resign, in recent weeks much more is slowly coming out to suggest she and others including the wife of the accused who are board members of the school knew of some of the shenanigans but kept it hushed, the usual do not upset the apple cart mantra in governance structures. How various systems and terms over time have made the discourse of the lower powered position such as pregnant teenage mothers but what do we call the men who got them pregnant, normal!
Why is it that the congregants simply do not question pastors on certain things or check them by holding them accountable? Often engaging in victim blaming and seek to justify it. They and other supporters also seek to cuss out the media as they seek to cover the matters outside the courtrooms. The half hearted press releases and convenient narratives by antigay groups such as Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, JCHS and its youth affiliate Lovemarch is insulting to say the least; their recently concluded seminar
It is sad that with one God we have so much division and denominational strife, and then there is the business of celibacy as forced in some instances on the priesthood following on theological narratives by Augustine and others while not realising there would have been disastrous consequences in hundreds of years to come. Celibate priests sought to seek the moral advantage over carnal laity while launching a massive re-commitment to helping the poor; however the unintended consequences still are with us today as the histories prove. Part of the new social activism was schools for poor children ran by priests known as pious schools, the combination of strict clerical celibacy with clergy involved in education made for the fermenting of freaks wearing a frock and a collar being created over time. All this happening while a sustained push to all but silence women in the church and or labelling free thinking women as witches in order to punish them, the published Witches' or Malleus Maleficarum is proof of that misuse of church power and was the guide to priests and inquisition judges that instructed how to effect the punishments. The monopolization of marriage under Pope Gregory VII in 1073 only sought to secure church power over persons while also making women as second class and fattening church coffers.
A historical perspective
Strangely in the present Mrs Collins resignation matter mentioned above she also said in part in a follow-up interview with the BBC:
“One particular area of the Vatican don’t want to cooperate with that work [child abuse matter] and that’s what been so shocking to me that these men still exist in the church; it’s something I like most people before I started working with the papal commission I was under the impression that pope just says do it and it’s done, but I think things are a lot more complicated than that there are ways and means in the curia they have been there for hundreds and hundreds of years as appearing to be amenable to something and actually put stumbling blocks in the way.
I think those men strive on secrecy, that has been the problem with the church all along but these men do these things behind closed doors and nobody gets to know about it; so from my point of view I want to say the commission is working very hard, I’m with them completely behind them and behind the Pope in every effort they make but I think keeping it secret that there is this group of people who are not willing and not of like mind I think that has to be said; I worked on it for three years, I’ve stayed silent on this instance and hindrances put in the way but there comes a point when particularly for a survivor where you see this obstruction there you cannot just accept it and go on because that’s how these things thrive; for people to keep it secret and nothing and then they get away with it.”
When asked about the systematic cover-ups equating her Vatican experience to that globally by church leaders, hierarchy and diocese she responded:
“It echoes for me the attitudes I have seen when I try to bring my abuser to justice here in Dublin twenty years ago; it echoes very clearly the attitudes that I met with in hierarchy here and my own archbishop it totally bring that all back but the church in many areas has learned and has improved and I’m particularly pleased with that I have been asked to continue with the training of new bishops.
There are church people willing and open to understand and to learn and to change, the ones that are not and that are pinning on to old ideas and institutional protections and all these other things they’ve got to be rooted out.
I can’t do it, those in the church themselves have to do it.”
Again I ask how much of that context as outlined by Mrs Collins can be placed in our local makeup in other denominations. Our very own Bishop Reece years ago in an interview had said there was no known case of abuse (see: Archbishop of Kingston Denies Claims That Clergy Members Abusing Alpha Boys or No Reported cases of Paedophilia say local Catholic Diocese Representative Reece from a 2010 interview) and the recently edition of the catholic voice publication mentioned nothing on the ongoing hot matter of clerical abuse or pastoral sexual matters but presented its usual politically correct fluff. For a church that has had so much allegations thrown at it I was expected far better particulars, statements and such as they are good at especially given the usual conflation of paedophilia with homosexuality overall often used as justification to deny any pro gay rights wrapped up in a Levitcal imperative thrust while putting other concerns over the safety of children.
Meanwhile in a Gleaner article entitled "Canute Thompson | Confronting The Moravian Sex Crisis" and "Canute S. Thompson | Sex, Church And Power" by a member of the Moravian community suggested some actions to address the matter in his church he said in part from the former entry:
Trouble with these things and calls for introspection that are often met with snooty rebuffed and ignored, I can identity all too well in that department.
Moravian Sex Scandal Deepens - Email Trail Reveals Church Knew Of Sex Allegations Against Pastor (Gleaner)
I run the risk of being criticized yet again of moral equivalence but how can disgraced clergy and pastors claim to speak on moral matters with any credibility? The robust nature of the antigay thrust versus what appears to be a typical expected response is hypocritical to say the least. Several cases are in the courts now I hope the systems can offer good support for victims although I am used to the knee jerk reactions when these waves of abuse come, then something else grabs our attention.
Think on these things
Peace & tolerance
More Pastoral Inappropriateness & Under-aged Victims... Silence from The Selective Religious Anti Gay 2014
Vatican says cover-up accusations due to Pope's opposition to gay rights 2010
Church members bashed for backing pastor
Two Good Letters on Gay Person-hood & Paedophile Homosexuality Conflation
No Reported cases of Paedophilia say local Catholic Diocese Representative 2010
Another St Thomas Pastor Accused of Rape ........... Where are Anti Gay Religious Groups?
Ephebophilia vs Paedophilia & Male Homosexuality part 2 .... the need to continue the discourse
Catholic church 'abused 4,400 children'(BBC)