How many people talk about the issue of Catholic Church enabled child sexual abuse without a thought for how it feels to be the victim of such abuse?
This issue is, after all, about children. Yesterday’s children whose lives were irreparably damaged by their abuse and who are still being re-abused by the Catholic Church. Today’s children experiencing such pain right now, desperate for someone, anyone, to consider their suffering more important than Church reputation, and reach out to offer help. And tomorrow’s children who, with our help, may yet escape being targeted by sexual predators and live a normal life, and be allowed to reach their full potential.
In a humane society, no organisation, no matter how powerful, secretive or wealthy, would be permitted to routinely ignore, even dismiss, innocent children’s right not to be raped. In a humane society, if such rapes were so common as to be widespread and routine, an open secret nobody ever speaks up about, cries for justice would put an end to the evil practice as soon as it was publicly revealed. In a humane society, the practice would not be allowed to continue despite horrifying revelations, politicians would not refuse to do anything that might upset the powerful Church, and everyone who raped children, allowed others to rape children, or covered up the rape of children would be removed from office and prevented from ever holding positions of authority or having access to children.
Clearly we do not live in a humane society. Because as a society we are turning our backs on child rape and allowing an obscenely wealthy, grotesquely influential, and arrogantly defensive Church hierarchy to continue to get away with lies, distractions and excuses but no real change. They still enable and coverup widespread sexual predation of the defenceless. They still believe they are above the law. They still think they are entitled to escape responsibility for their own shocking crimes while expecting us to blindly follow their self interestedly vicious and controlling moral dictates. And they still define victims as the problem.
And to a certain extent we are. We commit the one unforgivable crime.
We tell the truth.
Truth is the enemy of the Catholic Church. Truth is what will force change. Truth is what they are trying to bury with their avalanche of misinformation and obfuscation.
It is only the truth of victim’s experiences at the hands of the abusive Catholic Church that brings us back to the heart of this divisive issue.
Protecting our children. Everyone’s children.
It is not humane that by refusing to address the culture of entitlement, abuse and rape at the heart of the Catholic Church, society is putting the burden of protecting today’s and tomorrow’s children on the shoulders of yesterday’s victims. It is not humane that they, we, must be put through additional suffering to ensure the truth is heard. It does not come without immense personal cost to those brave enough to take on the might of the Catholic Church.
A new short film, being shot next week in Sydney, will offer an opportunity to see what it really costs one such victim to stand up for child protection.
The characters and situation are fictional, but the experience is all too real for thousands of the Catholic Church’s victims.
If more people understood this issue with the clarity of those whose lives have been stolen by it, perhaps we would be a humane society.
In the interests of full disclosure (something you will never receive from the Catholic Church), let me make it clear I am personally involved with this film and have a vested interest in getting its message to as many people as possible.
So take that into consideration when I ask you to look at details of this film and consider supporting efforts to make it a reality, and make it available to as broad an audience as possible. Worldwide.
If you have ever wished you could do something personally to support this issue, to protect children, but not known how to help, please consider this film. While we need and welcome all financial support, no matter how small, we are just as interested in you spreading the word or sending us a few words of encouragement. And if you have a short film festival near you that we should consider submitting the finished film to, we would love you to send us some details.
Please note the film and the crowdfunding site on which it is listed are Australian, so all amounts are in Australian dollars.
Focus – short film