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Best analysis about Catholic clergy abuse I’ve ever read


Catholic priest at Mass praying
Image: iStock

I have rejected the idea that the child sex abuse scandals is a case of just a few bad eggs within the Catholic (and other Christian) clergy. For a while, I had a niggling feeling that more ingrained cultural and even theological beliefs have been at play.

Annie Hutchinson, writer of the blog Diary of Heretic Catholic has written the best analysis on the Catholic Church child sexual abuse scandal I have ever read. She argues that, like the coffee shop franchise, Starbucks, all the Catholic churches around the world are under the same guidelines and the same hierarchy. Systemic abuse and cover up has happened in multiple parishes around the world including in Australia, Chile and, as we now know, the U.S. In the U.S. it was revealed that 300 priests had abused 1,000 children over a seventy year period. Do you really expect me (or anyone else, for that matter), to think this was a fluke?

As Hutchinson pointed out, parishes around the world follow the same hierarchy and the same standards. The issue hasn’t just affected one parish, but, as I pointed out, multiple parishes around the world. Something is rotten culturally, and the injustices are to be blamed on the Catholic hierarchy. It needs to change.

Australia ended a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The commission gave the Catholic Church a number of criticisms and recommendations to help prevent abuse in the future. To their credit, many Catholic clergy have been open to at least some of these recommendations, although breaking Confession secrecy is still strongly resisted.

Personally, I think the problem is deeper than the Confessional. When the revelations of clergy abuse in Pennsylvania came to light, a number of prominent Catholics blamed a ‘homosexual subculture’ for the abuse.  Essentially in blaming gay men proves, at least to me, that too many prominent Catholics don’t get the gravity of what occurred.

I think a part of the problem with the Catholic Church has been their theology, particularly around human sexuality. I don’t think priestly celibacy itself is the problem (it was the topic that dominated the media during the Royal Commission), but it is their overall ethos of shame around human sexuality.

The Catholic Church has been quite infamous for their ‘prudishness’ around human sexuality. Not only did people have to wait until they were married to have sex, but humans weren’t meant to be a sexual being until marriage. This created a shame around consensual and harmless sexuality and a conflation with sex crime, which gave predators a foothold.

I believe shame around homosexuality in the Catholic Church has been anther factor. Most of the victims by predatory priests have been boys and it’s a fact that Many male survivors of sexual abuse become confused about their sexual orientation, especially when it happens in adolescence. This makes the conflation of gays and the abuse detestable. Too often, male victims of sexual abuse are afraid to speak out in fear of being shamed for their sexuality (whether the victim is gay or not). All victims of sexual abuse are victims of violence. It is NOT a reflection of ANYTHING the victim is or what they allegedly did or didn’t do.

Unless these changes occur within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church (and probably more), I don’t think Catholic hierarchy can be trusted despite “abuse hasn’t happened in [insert number of years] arguments. Unless the Catholic Church hierarchy is willing to examine themselves and make fundamental changes, then, I really don’t think there is anything to stop the abuse from starting again.

If this post has raised any issues for you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. For medical or safety emergencies, call 000. As usual, for anyone from other countries, feel free to leave numbers email addresses, etc of mental health or emergency services in your area/ country in the comments below.

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Media

‘White’ magazine closes after same – sex backlash: bullying or free market?

 

Australian wedding magazine, White announced that it’s ending production after twelve years. Creators Luke and Carla Burrell claimed that the magazine was no longer ‘economically viable’.

A number of wedding businesses pulled their support for the magazine after it was revealed in August that the Burrells were  deliberately excluding submissions from same – sex couples. There have beeen some reports that advertisers caved after a social media campaign turned nasty.

I am vehement when it comes to bullying. Nobody deserves it and it should always be condemned. However, reading articles on this story, it’s hard to tell for certainty whether advertisers boycotted White due to intimidation, or, rather it was in disagreement with the Burrels choosing not to feature same – sex couples in their publication. If it is the latter, then, the advertisers should have that right

One of the arguments used for the loosening of anti – discrimination protections against LGBTQ+ people is the free market. If a business refuses to cater for a gay wedding, for example, then word would get around and there may be a backlash against the business, hence, reducing their revenue and putting the survival of the business in jeopardy. Well, depending on the real reason for the advertiser boycotts,  it seems possible that’s what happened to White. Businesses pulled their support for White because of vehement disagreement with the Burrells on same – sex marriage and/ or not making their stance public. If this is the case, isn’t that what a part of being a free market is all about? Aren’t businesses (and advertisers), allowed to run in a way that suits their conscience?

Also, should businesses be able to operate in a way that satisfies their consumer base? Again, I do not condone bullying, threats or intimidation of any sort. But, what if a social media campaign isn’t vicious, but a businesses bottom line could be affected, can a business adjust, Or, at least reevaluate their values to make sure that customers are willing to support them? True, it may be the only reason why a business may support a particular cause, like Nike supporting former NFL player, Colin Kaepernick. Do companies and advertisers have a right to do this or not?

Also, as I’ve written on a number of times, magazines are becoming a shaky industry in Australia. Since 2016, Bauer Media has stopped the production of three major magazines: Dolly, Cosmopolitan Australia and Cleo. Could it be possible that print magazines became shaky for White, too?

 

One last thing, I really don’t think the White magazine controversy is a part of a ‘gay agenda’ (I hate that conspiracy!). It was a company that decided on, what turned out to be, an unprofitable venture (and possibly format given the ever collapsing of the print media industry), and the Burrells saw no option but to close. While it is a shame (I do feel for media companies have to close or journalists, photographers, etc who lose their jobs), it is a) the way much of the media in this country is going and b) exclusivity may not be a good business value to build on. Maybe since last year, Australia has moved in another direction.

 

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Just a quick note about Glycerine Queen Media’s Patreon

Hi guys.

As you may have noticed, on the end of my posts, there is a Patreon plugin that’s supposed to link to the Glycerine Queen Media Patreon page. Or it should. I’m not sure it’s just me, but it seems that the link is broken.

If you’d like to support me on Patreon, go to http://www.patreon.com/glycerinequeenmedia. All patrons will be acknowledged and thanked on this blog.

P.S. The website for my Patreon page does actually work.

Thank you again for everyone who have stuck by this blog over the past few weeks. You’re loyalty is really, really appreciated. 🙂

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I’m back

I’m back, I’m back, I’m back. So sorry for the hiatus. I’ve just been in the process of moving, so haven’t had time to do much researching or blogging for the past few weeks.

Now, back into it! I’ve got a few ideas I want to write about, so watch this space!

Thank you for your patience and sticking by me. It means a lot. 🙂