The editor of the Journal Pioneer, and its owner, SaltWire Network, are to be congratulated for their powerful and blunt editorial, "Shake up the Church" (Journal Pioneer, Sept. 5, 2018) dealing with the Catholic Church's continuing child sex abuse scandal involving priests. The clarion call for "serious and immediate reform," with concrete recommendations, within the Catholic Church should be of concern to all Islanders, regardless of religion.
The sexually abusive behaviour engaged in by deviant priests against children and teenagers, including hetero-and homosexual rape, covered up by church officials for decades, is an international epidemic and conspiracy, including the U.S., Canada, and the Maritimes [N.S. (1), Nfld. (2), and P.E.I. (3)]. Google and "Sylvia's Site" (blog) are useful tools for tracing church child abuse incidents.
The sound of silence is deafening here on P.E.I. when it comes to any public discussion of the recent Catholic Church's child abuse scandal. Ever since the Borgia popes of the 15th century, the church has been tainted with corruption and criminal activity. Those church officials who have covered up deviant priests and their child abuse activities are, in fact, engaging in crimes under the Criminal Code of Canada. No one is above the law.
The church has fostered a systemic organizational culture that has tolerated child abuse.
But this silence is dangerous, disingenuous, and abhorrent. It is an abuse of power and an abuse of trust. But where are the self-proclaimed "ethical commentators" and militant fundamentalists, such as Kevin J. Arsenault and Patricia Wiedemer, who feel that it is their right to tell others how to live their lives and what value system to follow? Why haven't they spoken out publicly and demanded reform within the church? And have Charlottetown's Bishop Grecco and Rev. Palamattam made any public statements on the subject?
To these people I say: before you invoke your "absolute values" to formulate public policy in any area, clean up your own stable first. Stop being hypocrites.
Some within the Vatican claim that Pope Francis was aware of this priest sex abuse scandal. Such an accusation is a product of the sharpening conflict between Pope Francis's liberal approach to theological matters as compared to conservative traditionalists in the Vatican bureaucracy (Curia). This is merely an excuse to force out a liberal Pope; it is an attempted coup d'etat.
Clearly others within the Vatican must have known about this lurking scandal, including Popes St. John Paul ll and Benedict XVI, Francis's immediate predecessors. In reality, the child abuse scandals, and their cover up, have been public knowledge for at least 30 years or more. And it can only have been the conservative traditionalists within the church who have engaged in the cover up of this scandal because Francis's predecessors, all traditionalists, have been in power the longest,. They also helped cover up the Vatican Bank scandal.
Bureaucracies, regardless of ideological or religious dogma, have a knack of protecting their own organizational and personal interests.
So who will speak for and protect the vulnerable, the raped and sodomized, those who have been humiliated, and those whose trust has been violated in the name of the "absolute values" of Catholic Church? Serious reform is long overdue. The silence is deafening. Someone, speak up.