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Socialist ruby slippers of high office
If there there is one virtue in the sacerdotal tradition of the Catholic Church that I really admire its the humility and piety that has been exhibited by the new pontiff in his refusal to take up the ostentatious trappings of his high office. not for him are the palatial apartments in the Vatican, not even the fancy red shoes are important to Francis. I was actually unsurprised that our new PM Tony Abbott is following the same example in his choice of digs while the lodge is being renovated and even more surprised that some media commemorators from the Left like Radio National‘s Fran Kelly should be tut tutting that (and I paraphrase) “Abbott should be seeking accommodation more in keeping with the dignity of his high office” .Call me an idealist but I would have thought that a true socialist would be applauding the simple workman like piety on show here. This along with Julie Bishop‘s decision to travel business class for her official duties as Foreign Minister really seems to be striking the right tone for an incoming Abbott Government.
The lesson of history has been that socialists like Fran Kelly, Gillard and Rudd are often the biggest fans of forelock tugging deference to our elected officials even though you would expect their ideology to be endorsing the clear humility of both the Holy Father and our New PM (elect), yet if they did then they would have to explain or justify the love of the good life exhibited by the last two and a half Labor PM’s…
Bread and circuses have a long and less than honorable history at entertaining the masses.
Hmm pardon my cynicism but I can’t help but think that this is just another attempt by Gillard to distract media attention from the poor performance of her government, after all what could be more fine and noble that to chase after kiddie fiddlers? Strangely enough though there is no mention of the rampant sexual abuse that has been revealed in far to many remote indigenous communities or the way that our friends from the left want to look the other way on that…
I seem to recall someone of significance opining that no politician should have an royal commission unless they know precisely where it will go to and what it will achieve. Gillard may well have climbed onto the tiger here in an effort to distract attention from her own dodgy past at Slater and Gordon but who is surprised that she makes this desperate move?
This exercise will be expensive, but I have my doubts about its efficacy and as I said in my previous post it will be a great boon for the legal profession and the victims of abuse are less than likely to end up feeling that much better about their exploitation and subsequent angst.
Its a circus and it will cost an awful lot of bread, but bread and circuses have a long and less than honourable history at entertaining the masses.
with a very big sigh Comrades
- Gillard acts on sex abuse claims (smh.com.au)
- Child sex abuse inquiry (smh.com.au)
- Gillard launches royal commission into child abuse (abc.net.au)
- PM calls abuse inquiry (theage.com.au)
- Australia: Royal Commission to probe sexual abuse of children by clergy (examiner.com)
- Clerical Sexual Abuse: The Crisis Is Exploding in Australia (queeringthechurch.com)
- PM announces child abuse royal commission (news.theage.com.au)
- Coalition would support abuse inquiry (bigpondnews.com)
- Lawyers contradict PM’s claim (smh.com.au)
- Julia Gillard launches Royal Commission into child sex abuse (telegraph.co.uk)
I still find it hard to endorse the sort of “all Catholicism is evil” thinking of the likes of Richard and Criagy
Iain, what about a blog on the Catholic Church—-to me it looks like it has Terminal Cancer. You have given the Muslims a good run—now it’s the Catholics turn.
In the fifties its was a conspiracy of international communists that inspired that spittle flecked outrage of a paranoid group of theorists and it seems to me that today we are facing a very similar sort of rolling witch-hunt for kiddie fiddler priests within the Catholic church.
Frankly as a life long atheist I have never surrendered my self to the notion that any Godbotherer deserves any sort of deference or has any sort of deity derived authority because it always struck me as lacking any sort of logical sense that an omnipotent deity would need any intermediaries between this world and the next. However for those in the thrall of organised faith the authority of the religious functionaries and the prophets of the faith is an unquestioned given. Naturally this is the foundation for the abuse stories that motivates the likes of Richard or our other regular Craigy, to a fever pitched excitement.
The foundation stone for the systemic history of priestly abuse surely has to be the rather bizarre idea that to be a a religious functionary you have to deny and repress the intrinsic biological imperative to breed and give up your sexuality to the deity. The thing is that this imperative is so strong that its denial takes an almost superhuman act of will to overcome. Being only human many fail to live up to this impossible ideal. It is of course no surprise that the contemporary church is struggling to find recruits for its priesthood in this age of far more open sexuality. Add to this the tendency for victims of childhood abuse to themselves subsequently tend to abuse a new generation children and you have the elements for an almost perfect cycle of self-perpetuating misery. finally we have the not unexpected desire for the church theocracy to try to avoid scandal and loss of social standing by dealing with any accusations against priests in house rather than seeking any sort of secular justice. To my mind the real scandal here is that the response of the church has been to essentially sweep such things under the rug and to have unjustified faith that an abuser could change or that they would not offend again if they were placed elsewhere in another parish.
With al that in mind I still find it hard to endorse the sort of “all Catholicism is evil” thinking of the likes of Richard and Criagy because most of the practising Catholics that I have known in my life have in fact been very decent people with a very sincere desire to see a human society that is caring compassionate and just. So I tend to think that the desire to see the church brought down that is so evident in the Richard and Craigy’s thinking may prove to be counter-productive. The abusers that are being named are almost always old men and the offences cited are likewise far from being contemporary . Allegations about events in the long distant past are notoriously difficult to prove to any sort of satisfactory legal standard and it generally comes down to a battle of veracity between the accuser and the accused both of whom may be less than frank and suffer from the frailty of memory, Its a legal can of worms and only the eaters of such wrigglers, the legal profession, are likely to benefit from the creation of Royal commissions or judicial inquires of any sort, the victims of abuse will still have their legacy of angst to deal with, the perps are unlikely to be adequately punished at this remove from their offending (if they are not already dead from old age) and the good works of the church are likely to suffer as its resources are diverted to the pockets of lawyers and those who see a way to gain monetary compensations for their suffering. That sounds like a classic no win situation to me but I expect that my readers will disagree so its over to you in the comments …
- NSW Police allege Catholic Church cover up child abuse
- Pell: Abuse royal commission not needed
- Me Vs The Catholic Church – Take 1
- Catholic church asks to appear before Tribunal
- Polish Coffin-Maker’s Topless Calendar Outrages Catholic Church
- Church to release internal files on sex abuse
- Call to force clergy to report abuse
- Tracking trends in Catholic Church
Blessings and damnation
In a move that may just help Sandpit regular Craigy get over his visceral hatred of the Catholic Church, it appears that the Melbourne Diocese is getting rid of priests that have been convicted of sexual offences in a much more timely manner than they have in the past. This is a good thing that shows that the church is being responsive to the needs of its congregation and the wider community that those who abuse their priestly office are unfit to wear the collar.
I have the greatest respect for people of faith and even though I trend to think that there is no need for an intermediary between anyone and the deity there are a lot of people who seem to need someone to guide their spiritual journey. It has been a terrible evil that the hierarchy of the church has previously been so keen to protect men like the ones above and that they previously allowed them to continue their abusive behaviour. That said the church is now doing the right thing and we should recognise and appreciate that. For those who stil take comfort from their faith and the rituals of the church this is important.