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BS: Another year, same old story

Raggytash 01 Jan 18 - 09:09 AM
Senoufou 01 Jan 18 - 12:30 PM
Raggytash 01 Jan 18 - 06:41 PM
Raggytash 01 Jan 18 - 06:43 PM
Senoufou 01 Jan 18 - 06:56 PM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 18 - 04:51 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Jan 18 - 05:18 AM
Raggytash 02 Jan 18 - 05:43 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Jan 18 - 07:02 AM
Senoufou 02 Jan 18 - 07:54 AM
CupOfTea 02 Jan 18 - 12:27 PM
Senoufou 02 Jan 18 - 01:16 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Jan 18 - 01:33 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jan 18 - 03:04 PM
Senoufou 02 Jan 18 - 04:27 PM
Raggytash 02 Jan 18 - 05:03 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jan 18 - 05:39 PM
Senoufou 02 Jan 18 - 05:42 PM
keberoxu 02 Jan 18 - 06:40 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Jan 18 - 07:50 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jan 18 - 11:00 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 18 - 04:29 AM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 04:34 AM
Raggytash 03 Jan 18 - 04:50 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Jan 18 - 05:25 AM
Senoufou 03 Jan 18 - 05:35 AM
Jack Campin 03 Jan 18 - 05:47 AM
Steve Shaw 03 Jan 18 - 06:10 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 18 - 06:15 AM
Raggytash 03 Jan 18 - 06:27 AM
Senoufou 03 Jan 18 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 18 - 07:29 AM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 02:22 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Jan 18 - 02:56 PM
Iains 03 Jan 18 - 02:56 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 04:14 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 04:35 PM
Raggytash 03 Jan 18 - 05:08 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jan 18 - 05:30 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Jan 18 - 05:46 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Jan 18 - 06:35 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 06:54 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 07:10 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Jan 18 - 08:10 PM
Joe Offer 03 Jan 18 - 09:31 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jan 18 - 08:51 AM
Jack Campin 04 Jan 18 - 09:51 AM
Joe Offer 04 Jan 18 - 10:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jan 18 - 10:37 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Jan 18 - 10:51 AM
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Subject: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 09:09 AM

Another year and the same old story of abuse. The link is to todays Guardian newspaper.


Yet more abuse


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 12:30 PM

Oh my goodness Raggytash! My Irish cousin's three young Roman Catholic sons (all boys) lived in Ealing and attended both those schools!! This would have been in the early sixties up until the early seventies. The youngest tragically committed suicide, but we never discovered why. He was fifteen. I'm now wondering if it was connected to abuse he may have suffered? His parents are now deceased, and I'm not in contact with his two surviving brothers. His funeral was conducted in Ealing Abbey, and my parents attended.
I can't understand how any person (never mind a man in Benedictine Holy Orders) could beat and sexually abuse young boys and get away with it. Rumours must have abounded and his colleagues must have been complicit.
One can only admire the victim (called 'Peter') for his courage in coming forward and telling about what went on.
My cousin's husband was a doctor, and the poor lad stole drugs from his father's briefcase with which to end his life. It was absolutely horrendous.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 06:41 PM

I don't really know how to respond to you Senoufou.

The damage that those "caring" people did to innocents is beyond my comprehension.

If, as the religion they professed to believe in, castigates sinners, they will probably burn in hell for eternity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 06:43 PM

PS It's good to see you back!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 01 Jan 18 - 06:56 PM

I've e mailed my sister, who being younger may have some memories about the events. (I'd left home for University long before it all happened)
I think rotting in Hell is probably too good for these abusers. And the damage they caused will last lifelong in their victims' psychology.
Thank goodness the Kosovans extradited the fiend. 'Father Laurence' indeed!
I think I mentioned long ago on a similar thread that a Catholic priest, Father Anthony McSweeney, blessed me several times by laying his hand on my head when I used to attend Mass in his Parish in Norwich, although an Anglican. He was convicted of long-term abuse of boys in a children's home, and of being a member of a paedophile ring in West London. One wonders if one can trust anybody...


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 04:51 AM

How lovely to see your name in a thread again Senoufou.
Happy New Year to you and your hubby.

Rag, child abuse is a despicable crime. No-one here defends it.
Do you really need to start another thread whenever one kind of it hits the headlines again?

Is there anything more to be said here that has not been said?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 05:18 AM

Keith,
While I agree that we don't really need more of these threads, it does appear that it has given Senoufou an insight into family problems which she would not otherwise have.
On this occasion perhaps the ends justify the means, as regards opening a new thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 05:43 AM

Nigel, I think some people would rather these matters were "swept under the carpet". It is because of such views that these abuses continue to occur. Today, tomorrow, next week, next month ........


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 07:02 AM

Nigel, I think some people would rather these matters were "swept under the carpet"

I do not and I am sure no-one else here does, but we have had endless threads devoted to clerical abuse, while all other kinds of child abuse are ignored.

Everyone who wants to express a view on clerical abuse must have done so by now.
Is there anything more to say?

I am happy if this thread has been of personal interest to Senoufou, but that is pure serendipity.
Perhaps this time, as Nigel says, the end for Senoufou may justify Rag's questionable means.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 07:54 AM

While I agree that the subject has been extensively debated, here and elsewhere, it was the fact that the abuse took place at St Benedict's School that caused me to comment. I had no idea that this had occurred, and am grateful to Raggytash for having posted the article.

My sister hasn't yet replied to my enquiry - she's got the 'flu poor soul, so she's probably tucked up in bed.

I'm being very tentative about posting again on Mudcat, not wanting to become embroiled in unpleasant arguments. But thank you so much for the good wishes and New Year greetings.
Kindest regards to all, and a Very Happy New Year everybody!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: CupOfTea
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 12:27 PM

Silver lining - hearing from the lovely heart of Senoufou again - a much missed graceful voice.

Getting information about abuse out like this is very much like the #metoo movement, and what the general response to it amounts to is going to be important.
Does it result in a less stigmatized future for those who report abuse, making it easier to stop someone before they make a life career of abuse?
Does it result in accusations being weaponized to deamonize persons & institutions?
Does it create an social environment where scrutiny of the facts comes before instant condemnation?
How are victims best helped to find emotional health for the rest of their lives?

That higher-ups in the Catholic Church can harbor known abusers is beyond wrong, and has driven more people away from the comfort of religion than if they'd been upfront, defrocked and prosecuted each case. In my own diocese, this was dealt with a bit better than some - I was shocked that the sweet young priest who'd celebrated my wedding was one of those who was removed from the priesthood for abuse.

I grieve for all the victims, including those innocent, holy, and loving priests and teachers who care for children, but must be ever vigilant that they never be alone with one, must be cautious about hugs, be denied the kind of comforting touch that should be natural.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 01:16 PM

Ah Joanne, you're quite correct in all your questions - it is indeed a very complex and troubling state of affairs, and the repercussions are huge. There can be over-reactions, but one can well understand them.

My husband is a school cleaner, and he has to be extremely careful when cleaning the vast secondary school where he works. He always locks the toilet blocks from the inside when he's in there cleaning, so that no pupils can enter. He never ever speaks to pupils except a short nod of the head in the corridors. He gets the female Team Leader to come and re-open a classroom if a pupil has forgotten something. It's sad, but entirely appropriate nowadays.

My sister has got in touch, and says my cousin's boys were not boarders at St Benedict's, and as day-pupils would 'probably' not have been molested. The suicide of the youngest has never been explained, and remains a mystery to this day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 01:33 PM

Why is a troll being allowed to stop a discussion on a subject that will probably outlive most of us here
We haven't begun to learn what happened in denominations other than the Catholic Church
The situation in the North of Ireland has hardly been scratched yet
Proper acknowledgement and compensation for all victims has yet to be arrived at
Then the question of why these thing happened will need to be tackled
I can see why those describing themselves as Church people need this to go away
Not going to happen, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 03:04 PM

We should not stop targeting clerics, for one very simple reason.

Of all the people in the world who can shield their nefarious sexual predilections behind their positions of trust and authority and their almost untouchable sheen of holiness, it's men of the cloth. In this awful world of sexual abuse, they epitomise the most how it is done most effectively, most undetectably and most damagingly (because it goes on, unseen, for so long). The more we talk about it, the more victims are likely to acquire the bravery to come forward. And that's what decent people should want. If you tell us you've heard enough of it and would rather move on, you're complicit. Simple as that.

One fine day we'll see the big religions being honest, promptly open and fully apologetic for what goes on in their ranks. While they are being shifty, evasive, dilatory and in denial about it, we'll carry on about it, and that is precisely how it should be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 04:27 PM

I agree Steve. Clerics have an excellent smoke-screen for their activities and are often seen as immune from any scrutiny because, as you say, they're regarded as holy and sacred. They also, sadly, have access to opportunities in which to abuse. (Children's homes, Church schools, choirboys, Sunday schools, youth clubs and so on)

It's not valid to point to celibacy as a cause, which is often mooted, because married clergy of the Anglican/Protestant persuasion have been charged with abuse offences too.

The important thing about modern times is that child victims feel able to come forward and tell about the attacks, and are believed. This applies to adult rape victims (of both sexes) too, but that is a whole other issue.
And we all need to be vigilant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 05:03 PM

Exactly my reason for posting.

Sadly some say there has been more than enough coverage.

Abuse will continue unabated if coverage is not constant, we all have a responsibility to guard the vulnerable in our society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 05:39 PM

Not saying for a single second that we shouldn't also shine the spotlight on non-clerical abuse, nor should we smear tbe whole of religion (even though I'm far from being religion's number one fan and that I recognise that religion is in danger of institutionalising the abuse via its inaction, inappropriate responses and denial). But Senoufou and Raggytash are making the case very well. Happy new year, Senoufou, by the way. Roll yer sleeves up, girl!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 05:42 PM

Heh heh Steve! Happy New Year to you too!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 06:40 PM

Moreover, I don't see why this thread has to be limited to the atrocities
in the clergy / religious hierarchy.
The headlines and reports of late, after all, are not so limited --
abuse everywhere and by everybody is making news, now.

The author who comes to mind is Andrew Vachss,
whose fiction works -- a long list of novels now --
are informed by his work with abuse of children.
He was interviewed by, I think, New York magazine, years ago, and remarked:
"My problem is not exaggerating in what I write [publish].
My problem is toning it down so that people will believe it."


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 07:50 PM

We know that the abuse is by no means limited to the clergy, and we know that most clergy are very decent, upright people. The particular concern with the clergy is that they are trusted and regarded as guardians of morality more than almost anyone else (at least, before Joe goes for my jugular, they don't half talk about it from the pulpit a lot). There's no doubt that their institutions have, by dint of denial and inaction, perpetuated the misery endured by thousands of victims. How bad is that. Yes there are thousands of victims within families and within institutions that are supposedly there to protect children, and there are adult victims in Hollywood, etc., the thing universally in common being that the vulnerable are exploited sexually by adults in positions of power. But two things set the religions apart, first, that sexual abuse is, on the face of it, a terrible sin that we would least expect of the clergy of all people, and second, that the abusers are seen to be able to hide behind their institution. That last point is a very serious one and it's one that the religion mostly in question has had serious difficulty in coming to terms with. I say this with some regret in that I was brought up in that religion, taught for seven years by priests and brothers, and, despite all its absurdities that I now see, I saw nothing of this kind of abuse and I acknowledge freely that, despite their delusions, they generally had our best interests at heart. There ya go. No black and white!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jan 18 - 11:00 PM

Damn! Here I was, sizing Steve up for a bullseye on his jugular, and he goes and makes a reasonable statement. Golly, what am I to do now?

Well, I could question Raggytash. He titles the thread, "Another year, same old story." I might propose that the title should be "Another year, same thirty-year-old story." That's the problem with most of these threads. The offenses are not new, and present no evidence of ongoing misconduct. But yet, I have less confidence in the current generation of priests, than I have in those who were ordained with my seminary classmates forty-five years ago. Those who were ordained 40-50 years ago, were "Vatican II priests." Many of them at least tried to fit into the real world. Those who were ordained during the era of John Paul II are a different breed. John Paul II was Pope from 1978 to 2005, but I think his anti-progressive influence is still stronger than the attempts of Pope Francis to bring back the progressive and generous spirit of Vatican II. The John Paul II priests have brought forth a new clericalism, and many of them seem to be in love with all the pomp and circumstance, and with their power and popularity. They seem to have a weakness for teenage girls - I'm not sure that's an improvement over earlier priests' preference for teenage boys. I will say, however, that dioceses are now far less tolerant of "sexual indiscretions" by priests. Most dioceses in the U.S. have "no tolerance" rules, and I think that's becoming the standard throughout the world. Priests tell me that those rules can often be unfair and unreasonable, but dioceses are running scared now and tend to honor even the most unreasonable complaints. So, priests tend to feel suspect simply because they are priests. I don't think I'd like to live like that - to be in a position where I'm automatically suspect, even though I may never have done anything wrong.

Churches are in a difficult position. Of all employers, churches seem to be the ones most likely to be held liable for the sexual indiscretions of their employees, because their clerical employees are held to be acting in the name of their employer 24 hours a day. Lots of other employers have employees who commit sexual offenses, but those employers are far less likely to be held liable for the offenses of their employees. That may be changing in the wake of the offenses of Harvey Weinstein and so many others. It breaks my heart that even Garrison Keillor has met his downfall in this. As a result of Keillor's sins, all the memorable performances on his program will disappear - and that includes a great number of really significant performances by folk musicians.

But that's the deal with all this. The conduct of these sexual predators is truly deplorable - but in the response, the truly good efforts of so many innocent people are brought down with them. I wish there were another way to respond, a way that doesn't affect so many innocent people.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 04:29 AM

"Another year, same thirty-year-old story."
The first recorded reference to clerical abuse was in Medieval times around the time The Book of Kells was being written
Maybe you are only referring to the widespread exposure of clerical abuse Joe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 04:34 AM

Well, yes, Jim, it's an old, old story with many chapters. But Raggytash is stuck on the same chapter, over and over again. The current chapter is the Weinstein chapter. No doubt, there will be many more chapters.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 04:50 AM

Au contraire Joe, I was highlighting yet another case that was reported in the newspapers 2 days ago.

Whether that abuse happened the week before or a decade before or fifty years before matters not one iota.

The fact remains that a member of the clergy, who we are supposed to look to for guidance in our lives, has abused (in this case) young boys.

We cannot sweep it under the carpet and pretend it hasn't happened and with reference to your statement that the churches are held liable for these "sexual indiscretions" (now that's an interesting way to put it) more than other employers that is pure nonsense.

Any other employer with responsibility for the young would dismiss the perpetrator ........ instantly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 05:25 AM

"Of all employers, churches seem to be the ones most likely to be held liable for the sexual indiscretions of their employees, because their clerical employees are held to be acting in the name of their employer 24 hours a day. Lots of other employers have employees who commit sexual offenses, but those employers are far less likely to be held liable for the offenses of their employees."

There's a case in the news here in Cornwall of a male teacher who was sending inappropriate, sexually-charged texts to pupils and viewing pornography that a pupil had directed him to. There was no alleged sexual physical contact. He has been outed, named, his photo published everywhere in the media (you'll find him on the BBC website if you look) and he's been banned from teaching for life. That's the way to do it. The teaching profession in general, in consequence, remains untainted.

So, Joe, who's responsible, do you think, if priests in general feel that they are always under suspicion, whereas teachers don't? It's not fair - but it's not us to blame, is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 05:35 AM

I think any other type of employer would involve the Police first, then after conviction and serving a prison sentence, the perpetrator would never work again. They would be on the Sex Offenders' Register, and in any case, who with any moral compass at all would employ a rapist/paedophile?

I watched a most interesting TV programme about sex offenders in an American prison, and it was obvious that they were not deemed by their psychologists to have 'overcome' their tendencies. They continued to maintain that their victims 'enjoyed' or 'sought' the abuse, and many of them surreptitiously obtained images etc while incarcerated, with which to continue their perversions.

The religious organisations however, as everyone knows, merely moved an offender to a different geographical location, and did not involve the Police at all. The 'Father' Tony McSweeney chap I met in Norwich had already spent much time indulging his evil pleasures in a West London children's home, before being moved to a Norwich parish. I suppose his superiors may have hoped for his Redemption, but they were risking the well-being of young children by giving him the benefit of the doubt. That can never be condoned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 05:47 AM

I think any other type of employer would involve the Police first, then after conviction and serving a prison sentence, the perpetrator would never work again.

If it was the military, the guy would be declared a hero and anybody questioning the honour would be monstered by the tabloids as a terrorist sympathizer.

Here's a different kind of Church-sanctioned abuse. What kind of an excuse for a human being would behave like this?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-42085065


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:10 AM

The trouble with stories like that, which is a story of a strangely inadequate man bereft of normal human empathy, is that it's hard to take lessons from it. True, the Church authorities did what we've come to expect, sweep embarrassment under the carpet and prioritise that over the wellbeing of the victim (which she became, but didn't need to be). I'd like to know how that's supposed to chime with the teachings of the man who founded the religion in question. Whether it's symptomatic of a deep institutional sickness is hard to say. But there are too many stories of inhuman behaviour and too many cover-ups. I don't doubt that many priests do many good things. I witnessed a lot of that myself. But the Church has allowed itself to gain such a rotten reputation with regard to unaddressed abuse by people in positions of power that the evil trumps everything and the good, as Shakespeare might have put it, will be interred with its bones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:15 AM

The Irish Government has begun to prepare legislation which will remove the demand by Catholic schools to produce a baptismal certificate as a condition of acceptance - a number of cases have already been highlighted in areas with a high shortage of school places.
The Bishops have announced that any such moves will be met by a barrage of legal challenges.
So an institution with a track record of facilitating child abuse and protecting child abusers will now fight tooth-and nail to maintain access to childern
Is there not something a little obscene (and obvious) about this?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:27 AM

Surely Jim that is so only Catholic children will attend their schools, can't have them mixing with Protestants, Buddist, Baptist and especially Atheists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Senoufou
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:34 AM

The story posted by Jack is very sad indeed, describing rejection rather than active sexual abuse. However it does show how inhumane behaviour can be sanctioned by religious bodies, with no regard to the natural needs/suffering of an offspring - not a very 'Christian' approach, as Steve so rightly states. It also demonstrates the immense secrecy employed by them to cover up situations which they cannot sanction or handle correctly.

I personally think that all religious bodies of every persuasion (including Muslim) should be subject to far more scrutiny than they are at present. They should not be seen as sacrosanct or above inspection. And they should all of course abide by the Laws of our land.

I am a Christian, have been a schoolteacher and have visited offenders in many prisons. I am married to a Muslim, and have made the acquaintance of many nuns and religious sisters from both Roman Catholic and Anglican Orders. Over many decades I have been able to form opinions and see for myself the mindsets of the various types of people I have met. People are complex and the reasons for their behaviours are complex too. But above all, the young and the vulnerable must be protected at all costs, even if this means intrusive, fearless and swingeing scrutiny of all organisations in our society. This isn't 'persecution' but simple safeguarding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:29 AM

"Surely Jim that is so only Catholic children will attend their schools,"
Basically it is so the church can retain their grip on the minds of the children - nothing to do with mixture
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 02:22 PM

Ah, yes, the old Jim Carroll brainwashing theory. Yes, Jim, it IS likely that teachers may at times express thinking that is not to your liking. But is every idea expressed in school brainwashing, if it does not meet the Jim Carroll imprimatur? I think it's important that we teach children critical thinking, so they can sort things out for themselves. Whether we like it or not, our children will be exposed to unacceptable thinking all their lives. Shielding them from such thoughts would cause greater harm.
I think it's far more important to emphasize critical thinking in education, like the Jesuits do (not that Jim will believe that, since he's such a firm believer in agitprop).
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 02:56 PM

"Ah, yes, the old Jim Carroll brainwashing theory."
Not mine Joe - the Jesuits summed it up perfectly
"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man"
Out of the horses mouth, you might say
You seem to forget than most of my family were victims of this
Doesn't matter anyway - no establishment that had behaved as the Church has towards children would be allowed a million miles near them
The bishops seem to believe their church has been granted a special dispensation from someone or somewhere
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Iains
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 02:56 PM

Well stated Joe. I have no complaints about the education I received from Jesuits. Quite the reverse in fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 04:14 PM

Oh, and let me call it to your attention that Raggytash reported the 1972-1983 offenses of ex-priest Laurence Soper in this thread (click) on 10 August 2017. So, yeah, it's another year, and Raggytash is still starting threads to repeat the same old story, over and over again.

I don't deny the severity and appalling frequency of the offenses. It's all true, and it's a horrible truth. One could certainly call it an atrocity, this widespread physical and sexual abuse of children by priests and the subsequent coverup by bishops. But this atrocity peaked a generation ago, and the offenses have dwindled dramatically since dioceses worldwide instituted strict controls in the years since the U.S. bishops instituted controls in 2002.

But yet, Raggytash and Jim Carroll and Steve Shaw continue to pour shame on Catholics for these offenses that happened years ago. Of course they're right, since these offenses were indeed horrible. But I wonder if that incessant shaming for thirty-year-old offenses has any constructive effect. And what's the reason for their obsessive shaming of Catholics? Why don't they put as much effort into shaming all the other groups who have to bear the shame of past atrocities?

Almost every group must bear the shame of some sort of atrocity committed in its history. The primary American atrocity is racism - against indigenous people, against the black descendants of slaves, against immigrants - much of that "original sin" of racism in the U.S. is in the past, but much of it continues and may continue forevermore. Germany's "original sin" is fascism and multi-faceted genocide, and Germany will bear the shame of that atrocity forever. Britain's "original sin" is imperialism, an atrocity that continues to have dire consequences in the irreparable damage it did to indigenous cultures all over the world.

So, why aren't there threads posted once or twice every month to shame the Americas and the British and the Germans? For most of you, it's safe for you to pour shame on Catholics, because most of you aren't Catholic (or are no longer Catholic). And many of you pour similar shame on Jews for the offenses of the government of Israel.

It's the same with all atrocities - and with all crime, for that matter. If the offenses are committed by members of other groups, we humans tend to pour shame on those other groups for offenses committed by (usually) minorities within those groups. That way, we can feel smugly superior to "those people" and watch gleefully as they wallow in their shame.

Don't get me wrong. The sex crimes by Catholic priests and bishops were horrible, and we Catholics are both ashamed and outraged by those crimes committed against our children. And although we and our children were victims, we must bear the shame (and cost) of the offenses committed years ago by priests and bishops who are now mostly dead or elderly.

But how long will this shaming last? Yes, we Catholics must bear the shame of these atrocities, but how much external shaming is sufficient? And where is the dividing line between appropriate shaming, and bigotry?

Raggytash, you've started so many threads to shame Catholics, so it's obvious that you're very adept at this shame game. Why don't you start threads shaming some of the groups you identify with? Surely, there must be some skeletons in your closet, too.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 04:35 PM

Once again, Jim Carroll says:
    Not mine Joe - the Jesuits summed it up perfectly
    "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man"

Of course, that's not what the Jesuits mean. That's how Jim Carroll twists their meaning to fit his own prejudices. The Jesuits have always had high standards for education, standards that have always emphasized the priority of critical thinking. They have often been in trouble with church authorities through the centuries for their emphasis on critical thinking and excellence in education and on respect for indigenous cultures. They were suppressed by various European monarchs through the 18th century, and by the Pope from 1773-1815. And now we have a Jesuit Pope, and many right-wing Catholics are not happy with that at all.

On occasion, I have found fault with the Jesuits for their frequent alliances with the elite and the wealthy and the powerful. But for the most part, Jesuit education has always been excellent and has emphasized intellectual freedom. And in the last half-century, the Jesuits have far more often been allied with the poor and oppressed.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Raggytash
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 05:08 PM

Firstly Joe your statement "And many of you pour similar shame on Jews for the offenses of the government of Israel" is a downright lie. Full stop.

Secondly you state " Why don't you start threads shaming some of the groups you identify with? Surely, there must be some skeletons in your closet, too"

I was brought up as a catholic, by a staunch catholic Mother and attended catholic schools all the way through my infant, junior and senior schools. You have the audacity to tell me me I don't associate with this group !

In a previous post you had the temerity to say that "The offenses are not new, and present no evidence of ongoing misconduct" and that in recent years "They seem to have a weakness for teenage girls"

Is it any wonder, people like myself castigate the various religions when they are so proudly supported by people like yourself.

I have no desire to fall out with you personally but your continued excuses for the catholic church, in particular, cuts no ice with me and I would suggest several others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 05:30 PM

You only need to look at the abuse Iains inflicts on everyone to know that the Jesuits teach scorn for anyone that disagrees with them. Unless of course he is either not a typical product of a Jesuit education else he is not one at all.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 05:46 PM

Well, Joe, the Catholic Church is a constant target for very good reason, whether you like it or not. A very common attempted getout on Mudcat is to try to dilute the accusations by bringing in all those other miscreants the world over. No-one denies it, Joe. Start threads on it if you like. You'll get takers. For better or worse, we tend to react to what happens to be topical, what's in the news. If the Catholic Church doesn't like being in the news all the time for all the wrong reasons, well the matter is entirely in its own hands. But because of the reluctant, shifty and dilatory nature of its responses so far, it'll take a lot longer than it should have taken to clear things up. That is not our fault.

I'm sure that those excellent Jesuit teachers taught critical thinking in geography, history, English and maths lessons. But over in those religious instruction lessons they taught you to accept, under pain of sin (not to speak of under a crucifix on the wall) mythology as truth. My teachers were the Salesians, who I believe were a little less stern than the Jesuits, and they certainly sowed that brand of confused messages. Been there, Joe. If you think I'm speaking out of date, let's hear you telling your supporter Iains that he's also out of date.

"I was taught by Jesuits and it didn't do me no 'arm..."

Yeah, right...


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:35 PM

By the way, Joe, while I take pleasure (frequently to your irritation, as we know) in pointing to the absurdities of all religions in general, no matter of what colour, I take no pleasure whatsoever in the self-inflicted plight of the Catholic Church over the long-running sex abuse scandals. You can check all my postings going back years on that. The decent thing is, not least for the sake of past, present and, hopefully not, future victims, to want this cleared up in a rapid, open, honest and contrite manner. I come from a solid Catholic family and my dad has been going to Sunday Mass for so many decades (over sixty to be precise!) at the same church that no-one would even begin to dare to sit in his spot in the pew. Heaven forfend. I still get on with him. I've always defended the right of anyone to believe what the dickens they like, as long as they don't try to force their beliefs on anyone else (especially children - credit me with consistency on that score if nothing else). I was educated at Catholic schools from four 'til eighteen, and you can see from my demeanour here what a fine, upstanding and morally-sound citizen it turned me into. So no black and white from me!

Er...


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 06:54 PM

Well, no, I didn't really expect to achieve any understanding or tolerance.

So, Raggytash, when was the last time you went to church, if you claim to be associated with the Catholic Church? If you are a Catholic, then step forward and apologize and do penance and pay reparations for the misdeeds of your priests and bishops. I have never once heard a word of apology from you, and I highly doubt that you are paying anything toward the huge amount of reparations that are being paid to the victims of these crimes.

And what's so wrong with my saying that young Catholic priests seem to have a preference for teenage girls? At least in my diocese, the two young priests who went to prison recently were convicted of having sex with teenage girls. That seems to be a trend in many dioceses, for a number of reasons.

Raggytash, listen to me: I make no excuses for the sexual misconduct that went on in the Catholic Church and that continues to happen to a lesser extent - never in my life have I excused or denied it, although I do seek to understand it so I can help find a way to prevent it.

But somehow, it seems to be that there comes a point when the frequency of your oh-so-righteous shaming of Catholics becomes an act of bigotry. I think you passed that point long ago, and your obsession has become just plain bigotry.

This Soper thing is not the first time you have reported offending priests multiple times, each time as if it were something new.

You are obsessed, my friend. Why is that?

-Joe Offer-

And Steve Shaw, the Jesuit professors I have known, have always taught myth as myth, often much to the chagrin of many who think otherwise. The Jesuit philosophy of education has always been quite different from that of the Salesians, although I will admit that even the Jesuits have a fundamentalist wing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 07:10 PM

Steve Shaw says:
    The decent thing is, not least for the sake of past, present and, hopefully not, future victims, to want this cleared up in a rapid, open, honest and contrite manner.
I have the same wish, Steve. To a great extent, I think that is finally happening. I screamed and shouted and jumped up and down and wrote letters until 2002, when the Catholic bishops in the U.S. finally enacted strict controls and began to enforce those controls and make reparations. Dioceses all over the world followed suit. What's happening now is mostly cleanup - payment of reparations claims and criminal procedures against those offenders who can be prosecuted. There are no more denials of the offenses that took place - nobody is denying the crimes committed by Soper and so many others. Now it's a matter of cleaning up the horrible aftermath of those offenses. Yes, some dioceses are fighting the million-dollar settlements assessed against them because they simply cannot afford to pay all that, but I think that will be settled eventually.

And yes, the Catholic Church will forever bear the shame of what happened in this terrible scandal. The powerful Catholic Church has been humbled, and I think that is a good thing. But when does it come to a point where the shaming from outside sources is too much? When do we get to the point where we humbly can go on with life and deal with all of the other pressing issues, like immigration and homelessness and racism and sexism and such? Despite its past offenses, the Catholic Church has also been a powerful voice in defense of refugees and the poor and oppressed. When can we be allowed to stop wallowing in shame and take steps to advocate for those in need?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 08:10 PM

Rotten first post, Joe, very decent second one. The first of the two is rotten because it is so needlessly defensive. The second is grand because it confirms that you are among the true followers of the word of Jesus in that you are shouting out loud against wrongdoing and injustice. I said that the dilatory and reluctant nature of the response of the Church to sex abuse was not only very damaging in an ongoing way to present victims of that abuse but was also what makes the reparations, in that they exist, so drawn out and so hard for us to digest. If your Church is really following the teachings of Christ, then it would go through hell and high water to stop the abuse, and punish the abusers, right here and right now. That's what the teachings of Jesus (don't push me...!) indicate to me. My understanding of them is nowhere near as nuanced as yours, but I do recall something about doing right by the least of the people and by little children. Misused positions of power in order to carry out abuse seems to me to be the polar opposite of that. I kinda like Jesus, mostly, even though he was probably a committee... And he's my Jesus, just as much as he's yours!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Jan 18 - 09:31 PM

Steve Shaw says: If your Church is really following the teachings of Christ, then it would go through hell and high water to stop the abuse, and punish the abusers, right here and right now.

Well, I think the bishops ARE taking strong and immediate action to stop the abuse and punish the abuses; and also to offer treatment and compensation and apology to victims. However, I think they're doing it mostly because of fear of further lawsuits and claims, and not because they are following the teachings of Christ.

But my complaint about the proliferation of these threads still stands. I think that every Catholic bears the burden of shame for this scandal, and I think they know it. There's no doubt in my mind that the Catholic Church has been humbled, and rightfully so - and whatever it does in the future, it must do with humility.

But what then? How do we deal with the sins of the past? Must we be burdened by them forevermore? Isn't there a point where outside people recognize that the organization has been brought down and has paid the price, and now it's time to go on? In these endless discussions, Mudcatter have hurled everything in their barrage of blame, back to the 15th century Inquisition and before, and they have continued this onslaught for almost 20 years in threads that appear at least once a month. What is the constructive effect of such a flood of shaming?

As a Catholic, I bear the shame of all the wrongdoing of my Catholic Church, and there is something right in my having to acknowledge that shame. As an American, I bear the shame for another long list of misdeeds by my country - and I think that it's right that I bear that blame, too.

But where does it go from there? How does this whole puzzle of blame fit together. And from that humbled position of shame, how do we go forward?

All of us humans have shame to bear. How do we deal with it? And perhaps more importantly, how do we deal with the shame that others have to bear - attack them for it?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 08:51 AM

Must we be burdened by them forevermore? Isn't there a point where outside people recognize that the organization has been brought down and has paid the price, and now it's time to go on?

No, I don't think so, Joe. It has to be a forevermore thing to help prevent it happening again. Sins of a far greater scale were performed by the Nazis (queue Godwins law...) so the world must be reminded of that constantly lest it happen again. Yet we are still seeing an upsurge of national socialism here in the UK, in Europe and in the USA. If we drop the reminders of what happened in the past people will forget and it will happen all over again. In my opinion that is.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 09:51 AM

Why don't you start threads shaming some of the groups you identify with? Surely, there must be some skeletons in your closet, too

That kind of rhetorical stunt is called "what-about-ery" in Northern Ireland (which saw quite a lot of it in the period when paramilitaries were exchanging atrocities).

It's a disgusting abuse of the human capacity for moral reasoning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 10:33 AM

I don't think so, check Jack. This Thread is about a thirty-year-old series of offenses that Raggytash had already reported last August. No new misconduct, No new insights, No new anything.
And the fact of the matter is that physical and sexual child abuse happens everywhere, all the time. Placing emphasis on events that happened 30 years ago, tends to help us forget That which is happening right now. We all know child abusers, and most of those abusers are not members of the clergy. Child abuse is a horrible problem, And we must come to an understanding of it. This constant shaming of others, only serves to hide the blame that we all must bear.

Joe


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 10:37 AM

I think we must agree to disagree on that then, Joe. Those who ignore the past are destined to repeat it in my opinion.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Another year, same old story
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Jan 18 - 10:51 AM

"Of course, that's not what the Jesuits mean."
That is how it is taken and basically, that's the way it is - or was, till thee chi rape scandal undermined the power of the church
"But yet, Raggytash and Jim Carroll and Steve Shaw continue to pour shame on Catholics"
Please to not stoop to untruths Joe - these are criticisms of the behaviour of the Church - it has nothing whatever to do with "Catholics" or even their beliefs
If it had , Id be throwing stones though most of my relatives and neighbours windows.
Are you really seeking "understanding and tolerance" for the way these people behaved given the way many churchmen are still behaving towards the victim of these crimes?
Jim Carroll


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