The Vatican’s summit on sexual abuse is over. Hold the presses and your breath. How long has this shit been going on? This pope, who I must admit, I do not like, has been responsible for concealing information on scumbag priests who for years molested the vulnerable and the young. This man disguised as the champion on human rights has the gall to lecture the US on the border fence, but is yet to admit that he was partially responsible for the proliferation of abuse by “men of the cloth”. Now, he wants to talk about it. Right.
I have always reiterated that I love my faith but often dislike my church. That has grown since the outbreak of disturbing news on abuse. Abuse perpetrated by men who were held in esteem by children, parishioners, and lay ministers. For years, parishes have allowed these men to prey on innocent altar boys and young girls, and as we have found out of late; even nuns. Try to approach any Catholic clergy on the subject of women in the priesthood, and the curtain goes down faster than on a bad late night stand up comic. The tongue-in-cheek explanation on women’s role in the church has been reduced to the male holistic one track mind that men are the center of the Catholic faith universe. I will not even go into the mundane and now so familiar rhetoric of how traditionally, the apostles were men. Go figure. Two thousand years ago a man could buy a woman for two cows and a camel. Does the Vatican find that adequately traditional as well?
This pope, which I refuse to even mention his name, is an oddity and not in a good way. His idea of women’s rights in the Catholic church amounts to telling mothers that they can nurse in the pews. How thoughtful. I am sure that with the current sexual ripple of perversity, that gesture is true progress in the war against sexual abuse! In the meantime, the church is suffering from the lowest attendance and lowest number of vocations to the priest hood. Of course, in today’s “judge first” than investigate later #MeToo world, no man in his right mind would even dream of joining anything that might expose him even minutely to allegations. And to be fair, some of the current accusations against priests have not been fully investigated, but the reputational damage has already been done.
Whenever I attempt a discussion (and always a heated one) with one of our local priests on the subject of women and priesthood, I get the same talking points from the same playbook. Tradition. The apostles. Women have other roles. You get the gist. The same bullshit we have been listening to for years. Yet every Sunday we pray for men’s vocations. What hypocrisy. What about women’s vocations? What about young girls who aspire to serve the church as priests? Where in the New Testament is written that only men can serve? Oh yes, I forgot, the apostles were men. Christ did not ask any of his women folk to follow him. What nonsense. In the meantime, the church bemoans its diminishing popularity. You think?
The Vatican can kill two birds with one stone. Ordain women, and stop celibacy. The former will increase vocations and servitude to the Lord, and the latter will surely eliminate most of the sexual abuse, and also increase vocations to boot. Of course, one must also admit that the pedophiles who harmed children would still remain pedophiles regardless of their status.
I refuse to keep on praying for more men in the church. I am praying to God to make his leading shepherd, aka the pope, to wake up and realize the implications of paternal stubbornness in continuing to refuse women to the priesthood and priests to marry. An unescapable insidious irony is the pope’s latest trip to rich Dubai. He found comfort in embracing the Imam and expressing unity and understanding under one God. Really? He has empathy with Islam? A faith regarded as the most abusive against women, girls, and gays. He should have been in Iran this week when the Imams publicly hung two young men for being gay. Would he also consider embracing those sons of bitches as united under one God? Is that something he wants to have in common with Islam? Frankly, I have no wish to have their kind of god in my life.
I am still confused about this summit which was led by none other than Maltese Archbishop Caruana. He is the head investigator. The sexual abuse inquisitor so to speak. His role is as vague as the summit itself. Was it an investigatory summit or a training session? As part Maltese, I know that although the Catholic Church in Malta is very powerful, the young generation of Maltese have stopped attending. Most of the reasons are basically the same like that of the rest of the world. The abuse of children, and allowing male priests to continue their totalitarian hold on communities that include schools, convents, and politics. I do not know Archbishop Caruana, but I am hoping that Maltese tenacity will help him decipher between a serious attempt at bringing to justice church perverts or just a papal publicity stunt.
There is a special hell for anyone who abuses the weak and the vulnerable. A recent article noted that the abuse had extended to assault on young nuns. Often forced to have sex and then equally forced to have abortions to cover up cassock indiscretions. Something out of a sordid mediaeval novel. Torrid and evil. As always, the man may be the villain but the woman ends up paying the price. The problem with sex turned bad is that the woman always ends up with the short end of the stick (excuse the vulgar pun). Whether rape, incest, or consensual, the sexual act has more impact on the female than the male. He walks away sated and she is left with whatever she is left with. Celibate priests and monks felt the need and the nuns were available. Very convenient. Children were more vulnerable because they were frightened. Most attended parochial schools run by Jesuit priests. The intellectuals of the Catholic church. Which is not a surprise to discover that allegedly Jesuits seem to make up for the majority of sex offenders. I guess they were thinking with their dicks not their heads. Most of the boys were young altar boys without recourse to divulge the abuse to anyone. Sends bile to one’s throat.
The Catholic Church is going through a public relations nightmare. This is worse than Bill Cosby and Jeff Bezos combined. It is rocking the church’s very foundation of trust, truth, and faith. The summit albeit vague, was supposed to be training church leaders on how to prevent sex abuse. What a load of crap. If the Vatican really wants to drain the swamp, it must open its doors to all the faithful and not the interpreted chosen few. Let the air out of the gender bubble and allow women and young girls to answer their call to sacramental service. Allow good men with families to serve as priests and servants of the Lord. Dismantle the empire and build a true united church of Christ and his followers.
In the meantime we must endure the appearance of action by the Vatican in the hope of appeasing us malcontents. Catholics have the right to demand more of their church and especially of their pope. His gratuitous lip service has become as meaningless and annoying as his pandering to the flavor of the month activism. I have very little time and patience with this man and with every other promotable ‘man of the cloth’. Faith has very little to do with tradition. I will keep the faith, but I will never subject myself to the twisted thought that married men or women are somehow less godlike than celibate men. How has celibacy worked so far? It is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.
We only had a “summit” because the pontiff got caught with his hand in the cover-up cookie jar. Now he wants to listen to ‘the cry of the young who want justice”. If it wasn’t so abhorrently sad it would be ludicrous. One last thought: the pope is said not to expect any “miracles” from this summit. How insidiously obtuse! Thank you pontiff, you sure know how to restore our faith in you and our church!