Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today, Belgium; Tomorrow, Vatican City

Belgian police authorities have raided Catholic Church offices to look for evidence of sexual crimes. BBC News:

"At the home of Archbishop Danneels in Mechelen, just north of Brussels, police did not question the cleric but took away his computer, according to his spokesman, Hans Geybels.Mr. Geybels said police had also asked the archbishop to accompany them to the cathedral in Mechelen because they had heard that there might be files there.

He said the officers were tapping on boards and looking for hidden spaces but, as far as he was aware, they had not found anything.

He said Cardinal Danneels was co-operating fully: "The cardinal believes justice must run its normal course. He has nothing against that.""

(Sarcastically) Well, it's nice to see the Pope is on the case, too:

"Pope Benedict XVI says the clerical child abuse scandal shows that the greatest threat to Catholicism comes from "sin within" the Church."
Let me translate that for you: The gay kids we emotionally suppress in adolescence by telling them their innate, predisposed gayness is inherently evil are endangering the gravy train by joining the priesthood and acting out on their tendencies with minors. The Pope sees this as sin.

I see the Pope as a twisted bastard in denial.

I'll let Andrew Sullivan (a gay Catholic) belt that one out of the park:

"(I)magine you are a young gay Catholic teen coming into his sexuality and utterly convinced that it's vile and evil. What do you do? I can tell you from my own experience. You bury it. But of course, you can't bury it. So you objectify sex; and masturbate. You cannot have sexual or even emotional contact with a teenage girl, because it is simply impossible, and you certainly cannot have sex with another teenage boy or you will burn in hell for ever ... so you have sex with images in your own head. Your sex life becomes completely solitary. It can be empowered by pornography or simply teenage imagination. Some shard of beauty, some aspect of sensuality, some vision of desire will keep you sexually energized for days.

Now suppose your powers of suppression and attachment to religious authority are also strong - perhaps stronger because you feel so adrift you need something solid to cling onto in your psyche. And you know you cannot marry a woman. But you want to have status and cover as a single man. If this is the 1950s and 1960s, it's into the Church you go. You think it will cure you. In fact, it only makes you sicker because your denial is buttressed by their collective denial. And the whole thing becomes one big and deepening spiral of lies and corruption.

Many of these tormented men have arrested sexual and emotional development. They have never had a sexual or intimate relationship with any other human being. Sex for them is an abstraction, a sin, not an interaction with an equal. And their sexuality has been frozen at the first real moment of internal terror: their early teens. So they tend to be attracted still to those who are in their own stage of development: teenage boys. And in their new positions, they are given total access to these kids who revere them for their power.

So they use these children to express themselves sexually. They barely see these children as young and vulnerable human beings, incapable of true consent. Because they have never had a real sexual relationship, have never had to deal with the core issue of human equality and dignity in sex, they don't see the children as victims. Like the tortured gay man, Michael Jackson, they see them as friends. They are even gifted at interacting with them in non-sexual ways. One theme you find in many of these stories is that until these screwed up priests' abuse and molestation is revealed, they often have a great reputation as pastors. As emotionally developed as your average fourteen year old wanting to be loved, they sublimate a lot of their lives into clerical service. But they also act out sexually all the time."

And the cycle continues.

I don't give an explosive runny shit about Ratzinger's promises or finger-pointing, or even his apologies. I'll take him, or any pope, seriously when they declare homosexuality what it is--a naturally occurring, harmless minority in sexual preference. Unless it's repressed and turned into self-loathing...and directed outward at others.

Like Catholic Church high executives.

I don't know if Ratzinger's a closet case and I don't care. The Church is clearly incapable of internal reform at this point, because other than abortion, the only topic on which Catholic dogma rests is sex, specifically gay sex. If they admit they're wrong about that, their credibility really goes out the window. So what's left is to see secular authorities teach them that they are still accountable under the law.

Oh, and speaking of Laws, I wonder how well Cardinal Bernard Law is sleeping these days. I'd love to see him or Cardinal George of Chicago or ANYONE above the rank of monsignor do a perp walk.

Remember this, priesthood: molesting kids isn't a sin, it's a crime.


Mary said...

It doesn't matter if they are gay, they are pedophiles. If a priest feels a need for sexual satisfaction, leave the priesthood. There are many Christian denominations that would welcome him, whether he is gay or straight. I have a gay son, and the thought of touching a child does not appeal to him at all.

Ahab said...

The Sullivan commentary was interesting, but I'm not sure his analysis applies to all cases of clergy sexual abuse. As Mary observed, clergy predators are mainly pedophiles, not gay men.

Having said that, I agree wholeheartedly that the Magisterium is messed up. Their positions on many issues are unethical, they've shown time and time again in the clergy abuse crisis that they see themselves as accountable to no one.

Kudos to Belgian law enforcement for holding them accountable!