If news of a 3.2 Earthquake striking London was reported, it would not only create mega headlines within the media, we would also be inundated with clips and comment for days to come. An event like that would come as a complete shock to many. However, if the news was that a 3.2 Earthquake struck in Oakland near San Francisco, it would at best merit a brief mention somewhere on the back pages — minor tremor in an earthquake zone — gasp, what a surprise.
Well, I have just such a moment for you. Do the words “Catholic” and “Sex Abuse” surprise you in any way at all? Sadly no, this very serious breach of trust and gross abuse is no longer a shock and is now part of what we have come to expect. The very observation of that reality is itself now perhaps news.
The latest media story is that the Catholic Bishops in Scotland knew all about the child sex abuse being carried out by the clerics they were responsible for and — here are a few options for you to select from, see if you can pick the right answer …
- Immediately reported it to the police
- Fired the priests
- Took decisive action to prevent it ever happening again
- None of the above, they just covered it all up
So did you get the right answer? I have no need to check, because I know you did. In fact, I do not even need to tell you what the factually correct answer is, you already know.
Now, into the precise details, the latest news, as reported in the Guardian and other media outlets is …
A separate report by the BBC, which claimed that bishops knew of as many as 20 allegations of child sex abuse by priests, was based on correspondence between senior clerics and Alan Draper, an expert in social work and lecturer at Dundee University who compiled a report for the church on how to deal with abuse.
After writing to Scotland’s eight bishops to ask how much they knew, letters were sent to him reported to refer to 20 allegations of child abuse. Draper said the bishops rejected his suggestions that independent experts should investigate.
He remains scathing about the hierarchy’s response to the report drawn up by him and a working party and last night called on the church to open up its files and records to an independent assessment.
“Certainly there’s strong evidence to say some of the priests were out of control sexually, whether they be homosexual or heterosexual,” he said. “The file should be made open to an independent group, preferably chaired by a judge.”
The Church’s reply is that they don’t cover up things like this any more and it all gets reported to the police now. Er, one slight flaw here with that claim, nobody, and that includes the police, knew about any of these allegations that were being reviewed here, it had all been covered up.
As for their comments on Mr Draper, the academic who advised them to come clean and set up an independent inquiry, apparently they did not like the guidance he was giving them, so they fired him.
In response to the publication of this story, the Church asserts that they now have a robust standard and completely transparent policy that involves reporting all abuse to the police. How do we know that? Well because they have told us they do, so it must be true … right?
.. and that is exactly it, they have no credibility left at all. One can only wonder when the penny will drop, if they cannot be trusted to handle basic things such as child abuse in an appropriate and just manner, then why should anybody trust anything they might say on anything at all.
In the end, the church will do what it does best — survive. Why? Well because the belief system has evolved over many centuries and has learned how to ride bad PR out. The internal thinking extends out, not just in terms of years, but centuries. A party line in which this is written off as a “few bad priests” will prevail, and the fact that they all knew and happily covered it all up will be forgotten as the generations pass.
Make no mistake here, the fact that a belief can thrive like this and retain a considerable degree of popularity, even when it is public knowledge and no longer a surprise that many of its clerics are sexual perverts, says nothing at all about the truth of the beliefs. It is like this because the belief has been naturally selected, it has evolved the ideal tools to grasp and cling to the human mind by fully leveraging human psychology.
Meanwhile in other news, a new study has reported a shocking insight, apparently bears do indeed defecate in the woods.