Thursday, April 01, 2010

Sacrificing our souls

His name is Stephen McCarthy.

He was a classmate at St Justin's Catholic school from the 4th to the 6th grade. His hair was red and he had loads of freckles. His face was a virtual map of Ireland. I am sure his parents sent him him to Catholic school to get a good education. They didn't send him there, I am guessing, to be paddled in front of his 49 classmates every year.

Last night I lay awake thinking about my classmate. The look on his face when he was ordered to the front of the classroom. When he had to bend over so the nun could take a PADDLE to his butt, the back of his legs. The tears in his eyes, the red of his face all on display for the rest of us. The message was clear. Don't mess with the teachers or this will happen to you.

This physical and spiritual violence is not the same as being sexually molested. It is not the same level of disturbing behavior. I don't pretend to make them equivalent. But ask yourself this, if this was your child, would you allow a teacher to touch them in any way like this? Would you deem it acceptable that your son or daughter was marched to the front of the classroom and told to bend over to get whacked?

Last night I cried as I remembered the pain of Stephen and so many others who were taught through a church hierarchy that allowed nuns and priests to behave in any way they wanted. Out.Of.Control. Protected by god and the greatest religious institution on the planet to be virtually infallible.

well they are not infallible, they are barely human. In 2008 the Church involved itself in the Prop 8 vote. I am baptized Catholic but I didn't count in that vote. It was about the married couples I would terrorize in the church with my, I don't know cooties. I keep hearing how this is about protecting the sacred institution of marriage. Funny, I thought the confessional was a sacred place and confession was a sacred institution. Now the revelations in Wisconsin show the offending priest who was never held accountable by the Vatican, violated children in the confessional. I guess some things are more sacred than others and some priests are more disgusting than others.

Look around the globe and see how many children have been fathered by priests. So much for that celibacy thing. How about the former archbishop of New Mexico who fathered a child and placed known pedophile priests throughout New Mexico after completion of their "pray away the problem" treatments in NM. When asked by a grand jury why he had allowed the pedophiles to remain priests and placed them throughout a mostly rural, Catholic state the answer was priceless. Apparently he was of the understanding that an abortion or hitting a priest was a bigger sin than pedophilia.

Once again, during the supposed holiest week of the year, the Vatican seeks to portray its victims as liars. The children it abused (now there are allegations of flogging by priests visited on children) have bravely stepped forward to tell their truth. Once again the old familiar claim that they are making it up from the Prada clad types in Rome.

If you are witnessing a massacre, people being hurt and maimed in front of your eyes, would you not want to save the children? The Vatican has answered that question, they are trying to save themselves.

My family is still waiting for that apology from the 1968 slapping of my sister. I am not holding my breath.

Stephen McCarthy if you ever read this, I am sorry for not trying to stop the abuse. You didn't deserve it. None of us did. We were just kids.


the feldman's said...


Thank you so much for sharing.

I read it and it moved me so much that I read it to Dan.

You had us both crying by the end.

We both hope that Stephen McCarthy reads this too.

All our love,
Erin and Dan

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