The Catholic hierarchy, from Pope on down, are liars.
They pretend, and regularly claim, to be “doing everything possible” to help victims of their widespread and systematic child rape and other abuses, to protect children and to bring offenders to justice.
In reality they are doing everything possible to ensure they retain the right to take credit for doing these things, while actually doing the complete opposite. Just as they have always done.
Victims, like myself, who have made heartfelt personal appeals to senior church figures know first hand these callous self serving bureaucrats have no intention of listening to victims, no intention of changing the policies, procedures or structures which encourage abuse to flourish, and certainly no intention of putting any other consideration before their own reputation, wealth and power.
Any study of the incriminating church documents dragged from their secret hiding places reveals the arrogant disdain these careerist narcissists have for those below them on the Vatican pyramid of corruption and influence. Their contempt for the lay populations they pretend to serve but actually enslave is complete. And the children of those slaves are, literally, beneath notice. Except as fodder for exploitation.
Lowest of all, not even human, are the children of their slaves who threaten their pampered lives of undeserved privilege with first hand experience of being sexually abused by the princes and other officials of the church. Without modern media scrutiny, and the bravery of individual victims, journalists and editors, they would be happy to re-abuse and intimidate all such victims until we solve their problem for them by committing suicide. In my view, nothing would make them happier.
Of course, when asked to take responsibility for this appalling attitude towards the sexual abuse crisis of their own making, they will drown all other voices with their howls of indignant denial.
But it is simply unacceptable to have it both ways forever.
Either the Church is actually “doing everything possible” and so should be able to provide proof of this to a standard acceptable to experts in the areas of trauma recovery, child protection and law enforcement.
Or Church “leaders” should stop lying.
And in case they have lost all the other advice they have been given over the years and ignored, explaining what needs to be done to fix this issue, here is a simple list of 8 points that would turn Pope Pinocchio from liar to true leader.
But I won’t hold my breath.
What do Victims Need From the Church?
We need the truth.
We are irreparably harmed by arrogant dishonesty from those who abused us and those who re-abuse us by covering up, denying or excusing our abuse. Often we are accused of lying by those who know we are telling the truth, or important details are hidden from us, or those implicated in our abuse or its cover-up deliberately lie to us in order to keep us confused, isolated and unable to grasp the big picture. This re-victimises us and adds to our overwhelming feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness.
We need an apology.
Not the offensive PR spin we are currently confronted with, but full and genuine apologies from those who abused or re-abused us. A full apology includes an acknowledgement of the facts of the abuse or re-abuse, of the serious nature of the damage inflicted, that the abuse was wrong and should never have been allowed to happen, and that it was in no way our fault. Anything less can do more harm than good and is for the benefit of the abuser, not the victim. A genuine apology does not ignore victims to instead whine about how hard this issue is for the criminals who abused and re-abused us, and how it is everyone’s fault except theirs.
We need churches to obey the law.
Criminal cases against child rapists are constantly undermined by church refusals to provide documents, by lies, by hidden or destroyed evidence, by witnesses threatened with losing their livelihood, by deliberately hiding wanted criminals, by legal gymnastics and loopholes, and by technical defenses. Obstruction of justice and concealment of serious crime is standard church operating procedure and keeps us forever victimized.
We need the guilty to accept responsibility.
Attempts by those responsible for our abuse and re-abuse to escape any legal and criminal consequences of their actions or lack of action threaten our recovery. If they were truly contrite and willing to help victims they would plead guilty to criminal charges or not contest civil suits. Whenever a guilty party puts up an extended or vicious fight to avoid such consequences it adds exponentially to the suffering of the victims, and can even lead to suicide. It is also profoundly unfair, indeed immoral, for wealthy organisations to use their access to the best defense money can buy to overwhelm impoverished victims, whose very inability to access legal services is a result of their abuse.
We need real child protection.
The powerful organisations who enable and cover up our abuse must be forced to ensure no other children or vulnerable adults are sacrificed as we were sacrificed or suffer as we suffered, and will continue to suffer for the remainder of our lives. These organisations should never be directly responsible for such actions being implemented, since they will inevitably do so in a way that is nothing more than a PR smokescreen and/or is completely ineffective. But they should support, and preferably fund, genuine child protection measures through a truly independent body.
We need a judicial review.
We need the society which ignored our abuse, did not prevent it happening to other children, or offer us any help, to implement a full review of the crimes which flourished under ideal conditions of secrecy, the cover-up which enabled more crimes to be committed, and the existing legal framework which so callously denies all possibility of justice to the vast majority of victims, and endangers countless additional children.
We need law reform.
We need widespread legal reform to remove the current bias in favour of the protection of powerful male offenders and even more powerful organisations which enable widespread abuse. We also need to ensure that in the future once media attention on this issue has died down, such offenders and organisations will not be able to return to their favourite criminal practices, once again untroubled by effective and well implemented law enforcement or child protection measures.
We need to recover.
We need help to overcome the significant physical, psychological, social, educational, financial and other effects of our abuse. Paying us off with insultingly inadequate blood money, then denying all responsibility for us or our abuse is about the worst possible way to approach this issue. Apart from complete denial. We need a range of services to help re-build our stolen lives, including counseling, job training, life skills, emergency financial assistance and financial planning, and a range of medical and surgical assistance, and healing therapies. Plus access to drug, alcohol and addiction programs, legal services and other special assistance. All of which should be offered in a manner that does not treat us as the problem, but rather focuses on our individual needs and understands our trauma and dysfunction result from events beyond our control.