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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.

Categories
Gender/ sexuality Opinion/Commentary

Abuse can’t be accepted by Christians

Church building
Image: Canva

 

Content warning: homophobia and Church abuse.

Christian singer, Vicky Beeching has revealed that she’s temporarily leaving social media after she received a torrent of homophobic abuse.

 

As you can tell from the embedded link, from Christianity Today, most of the abuse was by Christians.

I fumed when I first read this on Monday.

The debate over the LGBTQ+ community and the church still goes on. It looks like it may go on for a while. Some people still have a staunch traditional view when it comes to sexuality. Regardless, this can’t be accepted.

 

When will we learn? The church seems to have a dark history of abuse. Even if you take the Catholic Church sexual abuse to one side, the toxic culture of spiritual and emotional abuse is horrifying. Domestic violence is another scourge just coming to light.

 

Some people use the “not true Scotsman” argument. “Well, they (the bullies and abusers), aren’t real Christians”. 

I think this is a convenient excuse, to be honest. The problem is, these issues aren’t just caused by a few “bad eggs”. If it was, it would be dealt with years ago. But like with the Catholic Church abuse scandal and others, the issue goes much deeper. As you’ll see if you click the link, unfortunately the Church’s attitudes towards sexuality and gender has exacerbated the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence.

 

Going back to the Vicky Beeching story, this issue is an issue that must be addressed. I firmly believe that it’s stems from certain members of the Church dehumanising the LGBTQ+ community. They are equated with “what they do”, rather than a child of God. Harmful stereotypes and misinformation are what fuelled the incredibly harmful “ex gay” therapy. Some attitudes, seems like haven’t changed.

 

There is good news for LGBTQ+ Christians though.  A group, Equal Voices offered a national apology to the LGBTQ+ community on any mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the Church late last month.

Last time I checked the letter, over 500 people signed. Most of them identified as being a member of a Christian denomination. Others said they were ‘ex’ members and others identified as either agnostic or atheist. I do believe that this is a sign that there are Christians who want to move in the right direction and treat LGBTQ+ community with dignity and compassion. That doesn’t mean that what has happened to Vicky Beeching shouldn’t be addressed.

Here’s the thing. If you are a Christian and you see abusive comments on social media by other Christians, call it out. Block or report the person. If you hear it in real life, if you can, confront it head on. It’s about time all Christians start being real and calling out abuse when it occurs. Whether it’s against an LGBTQ+ person, someone suffering domestic violence or any other types of abuse, it needs to be called out and condemned.

 

There is another thing. Calling out abuse is only a tip of the iceberg as well. Christians need to develop a culture where abuse cannot fester. Everything needs to be examined, including theology and whether it’s used as an instrument of harm rather than healing. Correcting someone when they are wrong is one thing. But abuse cannot be tolerated. If you need to, look deeply into Scripture. Look at the historical context and the original Greek and Hebrew/ Aramaic to get a fuller understanding on what the authors meant. If you can’t get an exact answer, I believe that we need to go back to the number one rule: Love God and love our neighbour as ourselves fulfils the law and the Prophets. I believe that means that anything that causes harm – whether intended or not – cannot be accepted and cannot remain a part of Christian culture.

 

This goes to the those who abused Vicky Beeching as well. You’re conduct does NOT in any way fulfil what I said above about loving God and others. If you are against same – sex relationships, I’m not going to attack that. But the abuse needs to stop. Treat LGBTQ+ people like people FIRST!

Content warning: homophobia and Church abuse.

Christian singer, Vicky Beeching has revealed that she’s temporarily leaving social media after she received a torrent of homophobic abuse.

 

As you can tell from the embedded link, from Christianity Today, most of the abuse was by Christians.

I fumed when I first read this on Monday.

The debate over the LGBTQ+ community and the church still goes on. It looks like it may go on for a while. Some people still have a staunch traditional view when it comes to sexuality. Regardless, this can’t be accepted.

 

When will we learn? The church seems to have a dark history of abuse. Even if you take the Catholic Church sexual abuse to one side, the toxic culture of spiritual and emotional abuse is horrifying. Domestic violence is another scourge just coming to light.

 

Some people use the “not true Scotsman” argument. “Well, they (the bullies and abusers), aren’t real Christians”. 

I think this is a convenient excuse, to be honest. The problem is, these issues aren’t just caused by a few “bad eggs”. If it was, it would be dealt with years ago. But like with the Catholic Church abuse scandal and others, the issue goes much deeper. As you’ll see if you click the link, unfortunately the Church’s attitudes towards sexuality and gender has exacerbated the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence.

 

Going back to the Vicky Beeching story, this issue is an issue that must be addressed. I firmly believe that it’s stems from certain members of the Church dehumanising the LGBTQ+ community. They are equated with “what they do”, rather than a child of God. Harmful stereotypes and misinformation are what fuelled the incredibly harmful “ex gay” therapy. Some attitudes, seems like haven’t changed.

 

There is good news for LGBTQ+ Christians though.  A group, Equal Voices offered a national apology to the LGBTQ+ community on any mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the Church late last month.

Last time I checked the letter, over 500 people signed. Most of them identified as being a member of a Christian denomination. Others said they were ‘ex’ members and others identified as either agnostic or atheist. I do believe that this is a sign that there are Christians who want to move in the right direction and treat LGBTQ+ community with dignity and compassion. That doesn’t mean that what has happened to Vicky Beeching shouldn’t be addressed.

Here’s the thing. If you are a Christian and you see abusive comments on social media by other Christians, call it out. Block or report the person. If you hear it in real life, if you can, confront it head on. It’s about time all Christians start being real and calling out abuse when it occurs. Whether it’s against an LGBTQ+ person, someone suffering domestic violence or any other types of abuse, it needs to be called out and condemned.

 

There is another thing. Calling out abuse is only a tip of the iceberg as well. Christians need to develop a culture where abuse cannot fester. Everything needs to be examined, including theology and whether it’s used as an instrument of harm rather than healing. Correcting someone when they are wrong is one thing. But abuse cannot be tolerated. If you need to, look deeply into Scripture. Look at the historical context and the original Greek and Hebrew/ Aramaic to get a fuller understanding on what the authors meant. If you can’t get an exact answer, I believe that we need to go back to the number one rule: Love God and love our neighbour as ourselves fulfils the law and the Prophets. I believe that means that anything that causes harm – whether intended or not – cannot be accepted and cannot remain a part of Christian culture.

 

This goes to the those who abused Vicky Beeching as well. You’re conduct does NOT in any way fulfil what I said above about loving God and others. If you are against same – sex relationships, I’m not going to attack that. But the abuse needs to stop. Treat LGBTQ+ people like people FIRST!

Content warning: homophobia and Church abuse.

Christian singer, Vicky Beeching has revealed that she’s temporarily leaving social media after she received a torrent of homophobic abuse.

 

As you can tell from the embedded link, from Christianity Today, most of the abuse was by Christians.

I fumed when I first read this on Monday.

The debate over the LGBTQ+ community and the church still goes on. It looks like it may go on for a while. Some people still have a staunch traditional view when it comes to sexuality. Regardless, this can’t be accepted.

 

When will we learn? The church seems to have a dark history of abuse. Even if you take the Catholic Church sexual abuse to one side, the toxic culture of spiritual and emotional abuse is horrifying. Domestic violence is another scourge just coming to light.

 

Some people use the “not true Scotsman” argument. “Well, they (the bullies and abusers), aren’t real Christians”. 

I think this is a convenient excuse, to be honest. The problem is, these issues aren’t just caused by a few “bad eggs”. If it was, it would be dealt with years ago. But like with the Catholic Church abuse scandal and others, the issue goes much deeper. As you’ll see if you click the link, unfortunately the Church’s attitudes towards sexuality and gender has exacerbated the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence.

 

Going back to the Vicky Beeching story, this issue is an issue that must be addressed. I firmly believe that it’s stems from certain members of the Church dehumanising the LGBTQ+ community. They are equated with “what they do”, rather than a child of God. Harmful stereotypes and misinformation are what fuelled the incredibly harmful “ex gay” therapy. Some attitudes, seems like haven’t changed.

 

There is good news for LGBTQ+ Christians though.  A group, Equal Voices offered a national apology to the LGBTQ+ community on any mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the Church late last month.

Last time I checked the letter, over 500 people signed. Most of them identified as being a member of a Christian denomination. Others said they were ‘ex’ members and others identified as either agnostic or atheist. I do believe that this is a sign that there are Christians who want to move in the right direction and treat LGBTQ+ community with dignity and compassion. That doesn’t mean that what has happened to Vicky Beeching shouldn’t be addressed.

Here’s the thing. If you are a Christian and you see abusive comments on social media by other Christians, call it out. Block or report the person. If you hear it in real life, if you can, confront it head on. It’s about time all Christians start being real and calling out abuse when it occurs. Whether it’s against an LGBTQ+ person, someone suffering domestic violence or any other types of abuse, it needs to be called out and condemned.

 

There is another thing. Calling out abuse is only a tip of the iceberg as well. Christians need to develop a culture where abuse cannot fester. Everything needs to be examined, including theology and whether it’s used as an instrument of harm rather than healing. Correcting someone when they are wrong is one thing. But abuse cannot be tolerated. If you need to, look deeply into Scripture. Look at the historical context and the original Greek and Hebrew/ Aramaic to get a fuller understanding on what the authors meant. If you can’t get an exact answer, I believe that we need to go back to the number one rule: Love God and love our neighbour as ourselves fulfils the law and the Prophets. I believe that means that anything that causes harm – whether intended or not – cannot be accepted and cannot remain a part of Christian culture.

 

This goes to the those who abused Vicky Beeching as well. You’re conduct does NOT in any way fulfil what I said above about loving God and others. If you are against same – sex relationships, I’m not going to attack that. But the abuse needs to stop. Treat LGBTQ+ people like people FIRST!

Content warning: homophobia and Church abuse.

Christian singer, Vicky Beeching has revealed that she’s temporarily leaving social media after she received a torrent of homophobic abuse.

 

As you can tell from the embedded link, from Christianity Today, most of the abuse was by Christians.

I fumed when I first read this on Monday.

The debate over the LGBTQ+ community and the church still goes on. It looks like it may go on for a while. Some people still have a staunch traditional view when it comes to sexuality. Regardless, this can’t be accepted.

 

When will we learn? The church seems to have a dark history of abuse. Even if you take the Catholic Church sexual abuse to one side, the toxic culture of spiritual and emotional abuse is horrifying. Domestic violence is another scourge just coming to light.

 

Some people use the “not true Scotsman” argument. “Well, they (the bullies and abusers), aren’t real Christians”. 

I think this is a convenient excuse, to be honest. The problem is, these issues aren’t just caused by a few “bad eggs”. If it was, it would be dealt with years ago. But like with the Catholic Church abuse scandal and others, the issue goes much deeper. As you’ll see if you click the link, unfortunately the Church’s attitudes towards sexuality and gender has exacerbated the rates of sexual assault and domestic violence.

 

Going back to the Vicky Beeching story, this issue is an issue that must be addressed. I firmly believe that it’s stems from certain members of the Church dehumanising the LGBTQ+ community. They are equated with “what they do”, rather than a child of God. Harmful stereotypes and misinformation are what fuelled the incredibly harmful “ex gay” therapy. Some attitudes, seems like haven’t changed.

 

There is good news for LGBTQ+ Christians though.  A group, Equal Voices offered a national apology to the LGBTQ+ community on any mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the Church late last month.

Last time I checked the letter, over 500 people signed. Most of them identified as being a member of a Christian denomination. Others said they were ‘ex’ members and others identified as either agnostic or atheist. I do believe that this is a sign that there are Christians who want to move in the right direction and treat LGBTQ+ community with dignity and compassion. That doesn’t mean that what has happened to Vicky Beeching shouldn’t be addressed.

Here’s the thing. If you are a Christian and you see abusive comments on social media by other Christians, call it out. Block or report the person. If you hear it in real life, if you can, confront it head on. It’s about time all Christians start being real and calling out abuse when it occurs. Whether it’s against an LGBTQ+ person, someone suffering domestic violence or any other types of abuse, it needs to be called out and condemned.

 

There is another thing. Calling out abuse is only a tip of the iceberg as well. Christians need to develop a culture where abuse cannot fester. Everything needs to be examined, including theology and whether it’s used as an instrument of harm rather than healing. Correcting someone when they are wrong is one thing. But abuse cannot be tolerated. If you need to, look deeply into Scripture. Look at the historical context and the original Greek and Hebrew/ Aramaic to get a fuller understanding on what the authors meant. If you can’t get an exact answer, I believe that we need to go back to the number one rule: Love God and love our neighbour as ourselves fulfils the law and the Prophets. I believe that means that anything that causes harm – whether intended or not – cannot be accepted and cannot remain a part of Christian culture.

 

This goes to the those who abused Vicky Beeching as well. You’re conduct does NOT in any way fulfil what I said above about loving God and others. If you are against same – sex relationships, I’m not going to attack that. But the abuse needs to stop. Treat LGBTQ+ people like people FIRST!

 

If this post has brought up any issues, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you’re from another country, feel free to leave numbers of any counselling services in the comments below.