SHOCKING as that statement may seem, that is the conclusion of a well-argued opinion piece (with that title) by Neil McDonald of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. The piece was in reaction to the recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed more than 1,000 cases of sexual abuse over a period of several decades by more than 300 Catholic priests, all identified by name and many of them still alive.
McDonald wrote: “Imagine for a moment that a big, admired multinational corporation, one selling a beloved product, was employing large numbers of male pedophiles and rapists, operating in rings all over the world, and that their crimes had been uncovered in Australia, Ireland, Canada, the Philippines, Belgium, France… and, further, that senior executives had systematically covered up and suppressed evidence, transferring and enabling hundreds of predators, betraying thousands of victims.
What would happen to the company is not terribly difficult to imagine.
At a minimum, the US government would likely use its Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act to go after not only the rapists and molesters, but also the company’s executives, up to and including its CEO if possible, seizing the company’s assets and seeking the harshest possible prison terms. That’s the sort of thing RICO was invented for. The company would almost certainly collapse.”
In our case, what would happen if it was discovered that leaders of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines for decades had systematically sexually abused the organization’s young recruits. Won’t it be immediately closed down, its leaders hauled off to jail?
One would not even have to actually imagine such scenarios. Remember the case of the Christian cult Branch Davidians in Texas which the Federal Bureau of Investigation even attacked with its most deadly SWATs, after reports that children of its followers were being sexually abused?
I have always maintained that arguing whether the Catholic Church is God’s representative on earth or even whether God exists or not is totally useless. Instead you will learn the truth from actual data, as even the New Testament, to my surprise, believed in Matthew 7:19-20: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Read the report Well, this tree in Pennsylvania has had such poisonous, stinking fruits as could possibly be. If Philippine Church leaders and their secular apologists think they can simply ignore the Pennsylvania grand jury report and its impact, they should read the actual document which can be downloaded at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/report/.
Already, friends have reported that their teen-age children have told them they have become agnostics because of the incontrovertible reports of sexual abuses by Catholic priests.
Nobody with an open, objective mind can read the 900-report with his faith in the Catholic Church and its teachings unscathed and even denied. One finishes the report with horror and anger.
The report summarizes what it found:
“We heard the testimony of dozens of witnesses concerning clergy sex abuse. We subpoenaed, and reviewed, half a million pages of internal diocesan documents. They contained credible allegations against over three hundred predator priests. Over one thousand child victims were identifiable, from the church’s own records. We believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands.
Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography. Some were made to masturbate by their assailants, or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.”
Many of the details of the sexual abuse are so horrific I don’t think even the most depraved pornographer, or horror-movie writer, would have ever thought of these.
Oral sex, then holy water One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him. A nine-year-old boy was forced to perform oral sex and then had his mouth washed out with holy water. Another boy was made to pose naked as if being crucified and then was photographed by a group of priests who then shared the photos with others.
As appalling was how bishops dismissed the sexual abuse cases, even when the perpetrators had confessed to having committed them. Two examples in the report:
“In the Diocese of Erie, despite a priest’s admission to assaulting at least a dozen young boys, the bishop wrote to thank him for ‘all that you have done for God’s people…. The Lord, who sees in private, will reward.’ Another priest confessed to anal and oral rape of at least 15 boys, as young as seven years old. The bishop later met with the abuser to commend him as ‘a person of candor and sincerity,’ and to compliment him for the progress he has made in controlling his ‘addiction.’”
How would the Church which for centuries has claimed to be God’s representative on earth explain all these? That Satan and his cohorts have infiltrated it so as to make the faithful lose their faith? That Gods works in mysterious ways? And that oft-repeated line that all these are simply meant to test our Faith?
But we have our rationality and the sciences to explain such sexual depravations.
Sex is one of the most powerful instincts of humans, designed into our very genes in order to ensure the continuance of our species (or any other species for that matter). If sex hadn’t been so powerful we would have been extinct by now.
Catholicism, for reasons so complex to be discussed here, is one of the few religions that require absolute celibacy for its clerics. Even its “Eastern” branch, the Greek Orthodox Church requires it only for its bishops. Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Protestant Christian Churches — like our local Iglesia ni Cristo — don’t require it.
Buddhist sects which require it — apparently being more scientific than Catholics — have special disciplines to “transmute” sexual energy into higher forms of consciousness, as in the yoga tradition called Tantra.
Nature always takes its course. A celibate priest realizes one day that all the theology he has learned are fiction. Left with no beliefs in the supernatural as the basis of his morality, his sexual instincts are unleashed, violating even a society’s secular rules. With his years of being with men 24 hours a day having transformed him into a homosexual, he preys on boys. Or perhaps his sexual preference had been for males even in his youth, and he entered the priesthood as a means of suppressing his homosexuality.
The Catholic clerics have been able to do their dastardly deeds because they were in positions of power over the minds of their young victims, the victims’ families, and the families’ communities. In a society ruled by Catholic dogma, no cleric can ever commit such crimes. Therefore, it cannot exist.
The Pennsylvania grand jury report is important to us in this country for the following reasons.
Pennsylvania and the dioceses the grand jury investigated have been among the most civilized communities in the world, with a secular efficient state, a highly developed rule of law, and a very high sense of the rights of individuals. Yet Catholic priests and even its bishops have managed to commit on a mass scale sexual abuse against boys and girls.
Our country has been one in which the Catholic Church has been so powerful that it was even virtually the state religion during four centuries of the Spanish colonial period. In this superstitious country, or because the elites use it to legitimize its rule, the Church’s power over the minds of our people is a hundred, a thousand times more than in Pennsylvania.
With the same repression of the sexual instinct among priests here, logic tells us that the scale of sexual abuses here may have even been more horrific than in Pennsylvania. Our state, which has been in one way or another controlled by the Church for five centuries, simply hasn’t investigated such depravities. Victims here of course have been more brainwashed than in the US to suffer in silence, told that it is God’s will.
Is the Philippine Catholic Church’s involvement in politics its way of squelching public attention and state investigation of its priests’ sexual abuses?