By Michael Skywood Clifford.
Tonight I have had a serious discussion about the accusation that the Bishop of Ireland was complicit in covering up the problem they had with pedophile priests. I get the impression that this is not news but an old story used for political reasons. The safeguards regarding this case have already been implemented by the church. Yet suddenly all this anti Jesus stuff has miraculously appeared on the media! Who would enjoy slagging off Jesus? Other religions for a start, especially powerful ones.
The BBC have invested in a Radio 4 play, a mega expensive BBC 2 documentary and much news coverage over the past 48 hours. How long has all that taken to create, film and orchestrate?
I haven't studied the recent developments but I will address myself to that very soon. I don't believe you can condemn 100% of priests for the heinous crimes of a miniscule number. What we need are statistics and absolute proof of these statistics. For example: it would be easy to accuse a town of wife beating. Trial by media. How would they prove it not to be the case? Especially when the whole world's media is accusing them of wife beating. Wife beating is an exceptionally difficult crime to prosecute because it is unpoliceable. Yet they expect the Catholic Church to be able to police things of a matter which is somewhat similar in that it is impossible to pin down: sexual abuse.
According to figures of social workers a few years ago most of sexual abuse happened in families. Pedophilia happens, it appears, across the whole of society yet it is difficult to know the statistics. However the church is being accused of being the only institution that has this problem. This is corrupt and malevolent reporting. This type of reporting seems to be where we are heading.
Why did they move a pedophile from one congregation to another? It looks remarkably naive that they did this. The question every Catholic (and essentially every person) faces is – how do you deal with your own sin, your own selfishness, your own misdemeanors, your own crimes?
Catholics believe that the human race is essentially a 'fallen' creature, so there they are never surprised by the inadequacies of the human being. Christ says '"Go and sin no more." It would be good if that was the case. A man or woman always has to struggle to keep virtuous. They moved priests around in the same way that dangerous school children in modern schools are moved around. An aggressive school child – who is off the wall – is regularly just moved to another school – and often that can be positive. However, that is the young, and these deviant men – wolves in sheep's clothing – are adults.
The trouble is that paedophiles are not curable in fact. What do you do with them? Bang them up for ever? How many of them exist? We need stats. The recent changes in the Catholic Church is that you inform the police regarding paedophilia, or sexual infringement. However, I think I am right in saying, that in the mid-twentieth century those things were not quite so legally defined (I may need correcting here – not sure). How many pedophile priests are there here in the UK and how many are their worldwide? I don't know the UK stats. The last stats I read was that it was globally 0.4% accused (not necessarily guilty). So globally 99.6% of priests are not paedophiles. It is appalling nevertheless there are 0.4% who are pedophiles. What is the proportion of paedophiles in BANKING/ FINANCE? in POLITICS? in RETAIL? in the MOTORCAR trade? And all the other trades and sectors of industry. I would like to know so I could compare. Yet do the media ever explain the broad picture to us? Or just hit us with distorted emotions? Ha ha!
We are beginning to enter the religious totalitarianism world of Elizabeth 1st. Catholic priests will soon need hidey holes, Catholic priests will become the bugbear of a drug addled celebrity-centred culture and be considered vermin. Yet 99.6% of them go and feed the needy, both spiritually and materially. And they are actually heroes.