[Trigger warning.]

So. The Vatican has "gone on the defensive" against those who would try to "smear" the Catholic Church leadership with a despicable campaign of telling the truth about how the Catholic Church has abetted child rape for decades.

And, because he's totes classy like that, the Pope used the occasion of his Palm Sunday sermon yesterday to stick it to the Church's critics.
While he did not directly mention the scandal involving sexual abuse of children by priests, parts of his sermon could be applicable to the crisis.

The pontiff said faith in God helps lead one "towards the courage of not allowing oneself to be intimidated by the petty gossip of dominant opinion."
Because you know how petty it is for assholes who think child rape is wrong to "gossip" about it. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned: I refused to be silent about the institutional rape of children.
One prayer asked God to help "the young and those who work to educate and protect them," which Vatican Radio said was intended to "sum up the feelings of the Church at this difficult time when it confronts the plague of pedophilia."
You know what neither helps nor protects "the young" who have been sexually abused...? Silence.

Silence is a secondary trauma, not a solution.

The only people who are "helped" and "protected" by silence are sexual predators. And if the Church leadership had taken even the most basic steps to learn about assault prevention, they'd know that. They'd beg the media to cover the issue and beg the police and independent investigators to get involved, instead of relying for decades on internal investigations, conspiring with police to conceal evidence, and going on a defensive against coverage of this ongoing problem.
As the scandal has convulsed the Church, the Vatican has gone on the offensive, attacking the media for what it called an "ignoble attempt" to smear Pope Benedict and his top advisers.
I just... ARGH.

What drives me to absolute distraction about this issue is that no matter how bad, how endemic, child sex abuse in the Catholic Church may seem in media reports, it doesn't touch the reality of how ubiquitous it is. Every person I've ever known who's done survivor work with male survivors reports the same thing: Person after person after person after person after person reporting sex abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest.

Being on the other side of this crisis, it absolutely infuriates me that the Vatican is taking the position that the issue is being exaggerated, when I suspect few of us can truly contemplate its vastness.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus