Pederasty: An Exchange

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

This is almost freakish! I just finished watching the show on iview, and am writing with the tears still wet on my face. The girl at the end got to to me.

My father went to one of those schools and I nearly to another. I was lucky, but most people knew of something or someone affected. As children we could do nothing, and as parents our parents thought they were doing the right thing.

Events described make me wonder how vulnerable I was, whether I was close to abusers on occasions when the opportunity was barely denied them.

It wasn’t understood then and it still isn’t now what the nature of the damage done really is.

What I will say is that the nature of the injustice is understood.

The catholic church and its clergy believe in reward or judgement beyond the grave and in forgiveness for sin in this life. And I believe they use this doctrine of vicarious redemption to perversely avoid the primary recourse to justice that their victims are owed.

Needless to say relations between myself and the church are strained. And by stained I mean I reject the institution of the church and the tainted individuals within it. But more than that I reject theism.

I seek to live an examined life and nothing more. The notion of a god is immaterial to me. I’m just trying to be the best person that I can, and I’m lucky that many around me are embarked upon the business of doing likewise.

We don’t want to attack and get rid of religion like militant atheists. We just figure it will die as people realise they’ve no need of it.

In the meantime the guilty do need to be dealt with and the notion of compensation for victims that was outlined in the four corners show is clearly only a half hearted attempt to settle matters without addressing victims’ need for justice and the community’s need for protection from further incidents of abuse. Victims need to know that where compensation is in order that the legal system will get it for them so that they should not enter into the church’s process, but instead they should report this to police in full confidence that justice will be forthcoming. To this day they don’t have that reassurance and that I think is something society needs to provide them at long last.

Helvi July 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Hudson, I saw the Four Corners last night and found it hard to watch, I have to admit it brought tears to my eyes. The whole families are affected, the old parents still feeling bad for encouraging their innocent young sons to be a choir boys.

Pell does not seem to me a very compassionate man…anyhow I don’t think there is any chance of him becoming the pope…

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Thanks Helvi,

And let’s hope he doesn’t become Pope. I don’t think it would bode much better than tarnished reputation of the present one has.

Gerry Dorrian July 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I was living in Rome in the mid 80s when an rumours of a change in Vatican policy came out that I don’t believe is well-known. The then Cardinal Ratzinger, having assumed control of the Constitution of the Doctrine of the Faith, was told of the scale of the clerical paedophilia crisis and persuaded John Paul II to no longer allow the US church to export priests accused of child abuse to other dioceses or indeed abroad. The rest is history: dioceses in the US are still going bankrupt paying compensation in what amounted to a powerful lesson.

But more should have been done. That’s why I left the RC church – the abuse may have been done by individuals or even rings, but the conspiracy of silence was institutional and went to very high levels, possibly the highest.

Which is why, as a Brit patriot, I believe it is hypocrisy for the British establishment to condemn clerical paedophilia and often become an accomplice after the fact to child-abuse perpetrated by Muslims, with the cry of “it’s their culture!”

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Gerry if you’re talking about the crimen sollicitationis document I believe it dates back to the 1960′s or earlier. And to be fair I’m not sure it is still in force, or at least one might say it is inconsistent with the church’s public policy. Fact is they’re still acting very much like it is!

DENIS July 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I raised this earlier today (See ‘Lines For Albo’ 11) — Billy Connolly covered the subject in a SUNDAY (7) interview two shows ago, pointing out that if the Catholic church were a political party or, say, Apple, and these same abuses occurred, people would be in jail. And Pell is, supposedly, on the list for next Pope…

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Well nothing much would surprise me after Ratzinger!

Jack Robertson July 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm [Edit]

The ABC could make a more contemporaneous, confronting and urgent 4 corners program on Indigenous child abuse every week for a year and still not get close to giving those victims a proportional voice.

That’s where the very worst conspiracies of silence fester.

Reader1 July 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm

They should send the army into the Catholic church. Quarantine Catholic people’s paypacket so they can only spend it on certain items at certain places. That would supply them with moral backbone and teach them how to be like us – mainstream society. Mainstream society is good and pure and does not abuse. So this approach would categorically fix the problem.

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Well no Reader. While I do sympathise wholeheartedly with an expression of the anger which I obviously share over this, the truth is that’s the exact opposite of what is needed in a way.

You see religion supposes a kind of moral authority over people believing in effect that they couldn’t be moral without it, and that punishment will come if not in this life then redoubled in the next. It is a mindset that I think we have to break by demonstrating that morality exists in this world for worldly reasons so that the law we’ve made for the good of society is able finally to deal with this properly.

Funny thing about religion is that with the best of all intentions among the best religious people that I know they live with a kind of double standard that is implicit in the idea that belief in the least credible doctrines somehow obtains most merit. They do this by remaining just as subject to moral reasoning in their lived experience as are you or I. So the upshot of all this is that if you create a disproportionate response then being as sensitive to injustice and discrimination as is anyone then they’ll take this underground and defend it rather than doing what we need them to do for the victims’ sake which is to fess up and get it over with.

Frank July 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm

You wont get an adequate response here Jack Robertson.

The Left can’t handle the truth and need to sweep things like indigenous child abuse under the carpet.

In fact your comment will just be ignored.

It’s too hot a potato.

Best just criticize the Catholic Church and George Pell. Its a much safer and easier option for the group herd to follow.

johnsalmond July 3, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I think Reader1 was parodying the christians who led and lead the charge for the NT intervention,and its shameful continuation and extension by Labor. While it is difficult to generalise about a faith which has as many variations as it has followers, generally it is members of such “follower” organisations that love the idea of regimentation and force to solve human problems.

As to child abuse in general, let us not fool ourselves – we live in a world where all of us are responsible for all sorts of rotten things done to other humans and to animals. This is not to excuse any particular set of criminals, such as child abusers. But let us remember where our iPhones come from, where our coffee comes from, where our oil comes from, where our wealth in general comes from (grinding terms for the poor nations who supply basics; dispossesed Australians), how many our government killed in Iraq, where our bacon and eggs come from (remember hens debeaked and confined-for-life and cruelly slaughtered after a few months)

The power of humans’ ability to shut things out of our minds is what makes the world go round

To return to Christianity: if needed after 2000 years of crime and folly, what could be better proof of the failure of christians to be better than the rest of us than the breathtaking refusal of their leaders to acknowledge their fellows’ sins against children

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm]

Jack you’re welcome to your opinion but if it tends to function as some kind of defence to the catholic church then I think its a disingenuous one.

I agree that the left struggles with the problem of Aboriginal child abuse. We’re egalitarian on the whole and that makes the idea that one culture is disproportionately worse in some regard that all others antithetical. But supposing you had proof that all was comparatively rosy among white Anglo Saxon Australia would involve explaining why the people we came to trust most didn’t commit acts of abuse against children too.

So yes I lean to the left on social issues and no I don’t think that one culture is much worse than others. And if it is then that’s confusing because many in the medical profession regard paedophilia as a disease, and what we’re criticising here isn’t just the disease and its symptoms. We’re talking about something far worse. The ingrained culture of denying the victims help and covering up the problem!

Had the acts just have happened and been dealt with at the time it would have been regrettable but somewhat more understandable. We had and have the infrastructure to do so, whereas I doubt remote indigenous communities share that luxury. There’s work to be done there too but this is different work under different circumstances.

bernice July 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm

“the question of the punishment, by gaol or community service, of those who knew and did not speak.”

I think that gaol should be kept for people who commit sex crimes with children.

But for people in positions of authority, like William Lynn (the first senior U.S. Roman Catholic Church official to be convicted for covering up child sex abuse), I don’t know that a gaol sentence serves any useful purpose.

Child sex abuse seems to me to fit within the general area of crimes against humanity: . . . as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings . . . atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority. – and I’d like to see an international criminal tribunal set up to investigate child sex abuse.

shad July 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm

These grotesque serial offenders should be brought before an international court and be dealt with under the crimes against humanity articles.As for the results of such offenses one only has to look at a probable future leader to note the resultant product and its ramifications on the whole country. Victims such as this shouldn’t be allowed to take their justified anger on the whole country. After all Tony what did we do to you.

Jack Robertson July 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Frank, Godfrey, it’s no more appropriate or useful to introduce an ideological generalisation like ‘The Left’ into a discussion on child abuse than it would be to drop it into one on pancreatic cancer or gravity. You can’t generalise about it; each case is suis generis. And as such, utterly amenable to a process if moral triage. The repeated full penetrative rape of a prepubescent girl over several years by an adult indigenous male continuing in the here and now is by any measure you can think of more deserving of our attention than the molestation of a boy by a priest thirty years ago. Cultural relativism has nothing to do with it.

I’m not defending the Catholic Church, but it does tend to be a target of disproportionate scrutiny on this, and I think it’s not because it is largely impervious to it (as seems to the 4 Corners thesis)…but precisely the opposite. You can leverage the innate sense of guilt and masochistic pleasure at self-castigation and think you”re ripping the lid off a Vast Conspiracy of Satanic Evil. .

A lifetime tragedy for the individuals – those who haven’t been able to process it properly, anyway – but there are a million bigger problems in the world just now than the Catholic Church.

hudsongodfrey July 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm


I only responded in terms of speaking from the left in part because someone else mentioned it earlier, and also because it fitted in with the other ideas that I was trying to develop.

There’s a certain disdain for aboriginal culture that I think comes from a bad place when we presume to be so superior as to “rescue” them with our intervention. Perish the thought that the same kinds of abuse are happening in Sydney or Melbourne tonight.

And yes there may be bigger problems with this issue than just the one that the catholic church faces, and beyond those even bigger problems in the world. The fact remains that they aren’t the subject of this article, or last nights’ four corners program.

Moreover the other the argument you seem to make is built on the fallacy that attending the victims of sexual abuse by priests come at the cost of forgoing the need to prevent and attend the damage done by other abusers elsewhere. It is as if we can’t attend both simultaneously. So that by your account we’d be compelled delay all action on child abuse until we achieve world peace.

Anyone who can walk and chew gum at the same time might be forgiven for wondering why your arguments seem to apologise for the catholic church in ways they just doesn’t deserve after this.

Jack Robertson July 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

Hi Godfrey,

I take your point about attending to child abuse not being an either/or proposition but I do stand by the concept of moral (outrage) triage: it is a matter of proportion. As last night’s 7.30 Report follow-up on on-going abuses in the indigenous communities illustrates, our focus ought not become too broad on ideological grounds and thus miss where the most pressing priorities lie. Your suggestion that my concern is somehow to defend the Catholic Church is a case in point: I have no interest either way in that kind of higher issue. My suspicion is that right now there is far more abuse going on in the remote indigenous communities than in the urban priestly cloisters. So that’s probably where the bright light of contemporary scrutiny should mostly – not ‘only’, just ‘mostly’ – be pointed.

Doug Quixote July 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm

“there are a million bigger problems in the world just now than the Catholic Church.”

No, but there may be a dozen or so which are; very few of them are amenable to any solution within our grasp. The Church, on the other hand, is present in the here and now. And amenable to criticism.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Amenable, Doug Q?

    With respect, the Church doesn’t seem to be that.

  2. “We hold this treasure in earthen vessels”, St Paul says. I.e the grace of God is perfect; we are not. Christians are the most aware that they are fallen and in need of redemption. But let’s cut out this overplayed nonsense that paedophillia is somehow inherent to Priests. The facts are that, though a shocking abuse of authority and deeply damaging to the witness of the gospel, child abuse spiked in all areas across the 70s and 80s and was a direct result of the sexual revolution that you stinking lefties were so keen on. “Sex means nothing; sex is love, man, groovy!”

    The Church formed a tiny fraction of the cases and it is too her shame that she could not refute the damage you hippies have done to our culture and civilization. You tore down the crucifix at the summit of who we are and what we desire and replaced it with… the orgasm. Shame on you. Shame on the few priests who unwittingly chucked out their God and knelt before your same altar of selfish, irresponsible, instant gratification. Animals. Unthinking, unreasoning, instinctual animals.

    And now you seek to transfer all your guilt on the one thing that could help you? Wake up, for God’s sake, and see the evil you’re tangled in. The enemy has you right where he wants you… Locked into yourselves and out of redemption

    • Where to start? Well I agree, although, the word has never passed my lips,use of the word “groovy” and the resulting damage to culture and civilization is worthy of eternal hellfire.

      • You don’t have revelations and you don’t use the word groovy. As Adam Ant might say - what do you do?

      • “and replaced it with… the orgasm.” = “instant gratification”

        This is a contentious issue dependant on your gender and you would be well served to have a closer look at the literature.

    • hudsongodfrey


      Do you have any sense of what you’re trying to be an apologist for? It is offensive to me, but no matter. I accept that my offence is not an argument.

      Yours however is an argument from a god who made us evil and commanded us to be good, or gave us free will and told us not to use it. A divine dictatorship, championed by capricious earthly despots whose minions choose to abuse innocent children and found them willing to cover the whole thing up. The cover ups themselves bear testimony to their guilt. While the acts themselves may well be the aberrant product of diseased minds the help denied the victims is the product of negligence, guilt and calumny of the worst kind.

      Shame on you and you lies!

      Shame on you for trying to transfer blame for this onto the sexual revolution within living memory of the unhealthy imposition of sexual repression that preceded it. The refusal to acknowledge people’s right to control their own fertility, persistent homophobia and misogyny of these male hierarchies are things modern society rightly rejects.

      We are better off without your religion and we demand a royal commission!

      • All things work towards the good in ways that we usually don’t see. I have faith in this, but I make no excuses for the horror of child abuse. But i do seek to have it discussed in a proper context of the ‘revolution’ that sparked it (bravo guys) and the figures that point to wild figures within families etc that totally dwarf the numbers of very wicked priests.

        What your generation has done is take all the taboo out of sex and place it all on death. You’ve unleashed a moral monster that you have no ability to take responsibility for. Think of the millions of young men trapped in the addictions of pornography and masturbation and subsequently doomed to never really loving another as other, or at least failed marriages.

        And yet all you can do is shake your fists at the only institution that always said you were wrong and still says you are wrong. All you can feebly claim, like the immature, indulged children that you boomers have always been, is that God ‘gave’ you evil instincts, so your choice to act on them is His fault. Im not guilty of anything! XYZ made me that way! I am the immaculate conception! Sex without responsibility! Abortion rights now! Gay rights now!

        The lady protesteth too much!

        Your whole spineless, sniveling, guilty and glutted generation makes me sick

        • Hippies v Catholic Priests - who are statistically the more likely to commit pederasty? Greg Jericho needs to crunch those numbers. Also, hippies should get their own country, within California, and a slush fund to cover up some of the grosser excesses of Woodstock. And a hierarchy. Hippies need hierarchy. My vote is for Ken Kesey as top dog. Is he still alive? Does it even matter? Richard Neville could be his representative in NSW.

        • Peter, just for my own clarification, on what side do Christian Boomers fall, more on the Christian side or more on the Boomer side, or do they just hover in their own self-conflicted way?

          • Don’t let my youthful lapses of clarity and precision get in the way of a good argument. And don’t be so flippant m8.

            It’s no secret that the church has been badly mauled in western countries like ours since the 60s. Is that their failure of leadership? Is it the success of ‘those opposite’ using a vast arsenal of multimedia to bombard our brains with sexy youthful images that form the opiate responsible for today’s moral haze?

            Does it matter to how we should think and act right now about the moral value of life?

            • Your invitation to discussion is predicated on those that disagree with you being stinking lefties, animals, unthinking, unreasonable, instinctual animals, I think they were the terms you used, but we’ll put that down to youthful lapses, eh? I hope you didn’t enjoy Scarface though, because that would place you in the very great danger of perhaps being a victim of the opiate repsonsible for today’s moral haze. Were you astonished at that beautiful continuous piece of camera work that gets the camera from the street and into the Miami bathroom where the Colombians chop up Tony’s compadre with the chainsaw? I’ll get back to you on thinking and acting right, the news is on.

              • Allthumbs m8, look at the death your words drip with; all detachment, all sarcasm and flippant humour. It betrays your skeptical philosophy of meaningless and your lack of faith in any truth other than your own experience.

                You’re a corpse man. For all your intelligence, you have only a limited capacity for joy in this life because you’re not really convinced that you are alive or that it’s worth living…

                (Just thought I’d throw a bit more on the bonfire)

                • You seem like two or more people, in fact you may be, and you should have that seen to.

                  Sometimes Peter, I lack faith in my own experience as well. What would you recommend?

                  Do you think it matters how we think and act right now about the moral value of life?

                  Why would you care, if you already have the faith that all things work towards the good, that we don’t always see. You are here because either you do not believe that, or your are here to prosletyse.If it is the latter then you have got off on the wrong foot by addressing me at least with:

                  Your whole spineless, sniveling, guilty and glutted generation makes me sick”

                  But pehaps you come with a sword.

                  If you can put up with the bad language and sex scenes, I would heartily recommend Henry Miller to you. You will really, I am being sincere, really like him, he will more eloquently speak your mind, begin with the Tropics.

                  • What does it matter? It matters a very great deal. If we exist through an act of the highest being (Being itself), then we exist to fulfill His purposes, if only we would listen - to history, to reason, to the voice at the very core of us that tells us so. Love is not something we just consume m8; if it is genuinely felt then it is genuinely returned through service in this life.

                    Sure I throw a few cringing phrases around, but it’s not out of sincere malice. Nor am I crudely convert cruising, primarily.

                    I read this blog because Ellis is an excellent, clever writer and so are many of his contributors,

                    Thanks for the recommendation too m8. I’ll investigate Miller

                    • Peter,it is admirable that you at least aks these questions, you would be suprised how many do not question. You may come to the conclusion though, that it was not worth asking the question at all.

            • They’re all excellent questions Peter, and it’s a refreshing change to see them being made.

              This post and your last have offered, to those willing to engage, several complex arguments and it will be interesting to see the nature of the rebuttals.

              I just thought I’d pop in to say well done on posing them in light of this horrific subject matter.

        • hudsongodfrey

          Hello Peter,

          In relation to your opening line “All things work towards the good in ways that we usually don’t see”, we’re interested in visible results and tangible change.

          I totally agree with your second statement, but as we’ve said elsewhere and earlier we can shine a light anywhere we like and find something to quite rightly criticise, just as long as we’re not so hypocritical as to refuse having it shone on ourselves.

          And I think the case has been worse among the clergy than elsewhere because of the position of trust that they abuse and because of the long running and orchestrated concealment of it all.

          Those two above statements I think inform the context most accurately and clearly.

          Yes I abhor sexual taboos they’re unhealthy and to my mind thoroughly undesirable. I make no bones about that. But I think the moral responsibility as a result is undiminished as are the consequences, quite aside from the fact that medical science offers a modicum of control we’ve willingly accepted, and which you’re sadly dragging your feet over.

          You’re worried about whether young men who enjoy a wider range of sexual experience you disapprove of have less healthy outcomes that the women and HIV patients your church denies contraception in Africa? Give us a break! The former is patently untrue as many doctors more expert in the field than I will attest, while the latter is a shameful tragedy. The idea that people should be taking advice about sex from people who don’t do it is risible!

          You go on the say that we “shake our fists” those who say we’re wrong, and clearly although we disagree on that it still doesn’t do to argue that two wrongs make a right. So no matter how much you bluster about your misbegotten opinions on Gays and Abortion trying to set up red herrings I’m not for being sucked in and distracted from the wrongdoing of a church that lacks the moral fibre to address its own iniquities.

          And I’ll have you know that I’m not of the boomer generation so you can forget that little theory right off the bat. I’m from the generation that has the “spine” as you would put it to stand up to your lot because they’ve perpetrated a criminal injustice with real victims who deserve real justice. Given satisfaction I have no further interest in disrupting your freedom to believe whatever you like, continuing though I shall to believe otherwise.

          • Hudson,

            “Yes I abhor sexual taboos they’re unhealthy and to my mind thoroughly undesirable.”

            I am not an advocate for sexual taboos, but they have served a very noble purpose throughout history especially in the creation of art. Perhaps the lack of taboos explains the lack of great art.

          • Look, let me be clear that it is a devastating, horrific crime that some clergy have perpetrated. They have ruined young lives, whole families, the goodwill of many outside the church and snapped the faith of perhaps millions on the edges of it.

            Many Bishops, often fairly simple men no doubt baffled by such a new and unthinkable evil, were wrong to confuse crime and punishment with mercy and forgiveness.

            It has been a fucking catasrophy on many levels. But it also finished in the 80s and has been used to scourge the entire church for over a decade now.

            My issue is that the outrage of people like you is totally disproportionate to the outrage you have over all the abuse done by biological fathers, all the children bombed overseas, all the abortions that take place every minuet, every day.

            It is clear that your outrage is properly directed to God - to your own struggle with and rejection of whatever Grace He has showered your life with. Through this issue, you, and all like you, vent all the resentment and anger you have with yourself and your creator.

            And it shows.

            I don’t want to upset you, but I believe this to be the truth

            • The Catholic church is an institution. An institution that has been engaged in institutional, systemic cover up. Also, as a way of life it might have some areas it needs to brush up on. Maybe people just weren’t meant to be so buttoned down, man.

            • hudsongodfrey


              Of course you believe things of me to be the truth that I would attest, to no avail, are completely false. That is no less than what is required of you to keep faith with your tradition which I in turn don’t want to disrespect entirely. But I don’t think it is a valid point just another red herring to distract from the fact that condemning these crimes at the lowest levels within any society requires that we take the same torch to wrongdoers at the highest levels.

              Churchmen who hold themselves up as moral authorities do carry a disproportionate burden though no greater perhaps than their disproportionate claim to sanctity.

              And may I add in all sincerity that I hope it was all over with in the 80′s but with the history of secrecy persistent to this very day I fear we cannot be certain and we’re highly disinclined to take your word for it.

              We need a Royal Commission!

          • “The idea that people should be taking advice about sex from people who don’t do it is risible!”

            I’m going to give them some points though, because celibacy right or wrong, and for the reason of conscientious denial to serve a master, is a confrontation with SEX square in the face. What conclusions they draw from that decision as individuals, who knows, they are still getting into the ring with a very large opponent,mystical, taboo ridden. Abbott failed, is that for him a bugbear,a shrug of the shoulders, something that keeps him awake at night?

    • “Sex means nothing;” I think you meant to say sex meant everything?

      “Shame on the few priests who unwittingly chucked out their God and knelt before your same altar …”

      I think you mean wittingly?

      “The enemy has you right where he wants you… Locked into yourselves and out of redemption…”

      In this scenario, is the enemy God?

    • What a load of Christian Crap. Bugger off, and take your nailed god with you. Pedophilia was around long before any so-called sexual revolution.

      Just ask Muhammad.

  3. As George Pell is Tony Abbott’s political, spiritual, moral and ethical advisor, Mr Abbott should be asked to make public exactly what it is Mr Pell teaches him.

  4. Within the last 8 months, Pell has publicly exposed his ignorance on climate change, given a serve to the Jews on Q&A in an exchange with Richard Dawkins (for which the Cardinal then apologised), and now declares further ignorance of conduct within his own domain (the church), expressing his confidence in his own priests over any allegations made against them. Nice bloke to have on your team as you take the Iron Man sprint along the Yellow Brick Road towards The Lodge.

  5. Being an atheist from a non-RC family background I am often amazed at the anti-Pell stuff thrown his way. He seems a conservative Catholic cardinal and if you don’t like the church re helps to run, get your own church. In fact I respect him for acting like he does with those that want his church to change. That said, the Catholic church has centuries of policies on which to face the public’s judgement and if it took hundreds of years to apologise for Galileo or to forget about the time they killed people over transubstantiation sobeit.

    But who are any of you to go off about the Catholics as if they were the only ones subject to challenge over child abuse? After the Queensland example, when supposed bible bashers from every religion seemed to preside over a state full of child abuse, sexual excesses and so on, I am of a belief that this sort of child abuse somehow defines a part of our culture of the past. Maybe people can feel better when they can concentrate on a ready-made scapegoat such as the RC’s or Pell because it stops them having to face up to the FACTS that child abuse within families of whatever religious persuasion (or of NO religious persuasion) is the great Hidden Crime. And has been so for 150 years!

  6. [to Peter before he got into the long exchange with allthumbs]

    Christianity along with other religions is a teaching and belief system based on an amalgam of historical evidence, subjective accounts and mythological and allusive fables pertinent to the specific belief.

    With this in mind, the metaphor that humanity is climbing a mountain in search of understanding and meaning but by many routes representing different religions or teachings tends to suggest that there are, essentially, no better or worse paths, they all serve a common purpose and tend to want the same outcomes for their followers.

    Keep in mind also that all of the major religions are old, and as products of the cultural mindset and understandings that formed them they lack scientific rigour.

    The 2007 documentary Zeitgeist: The Movie does a reasonable job of deconstructing the Christian myth, (quoting Wikipedia) …“… arguing that [it's] mainly derived from other religions, astronomical assertions, astrological myths and traditions, which in turn were derived from or shared elements with other traditions. In furtherance of the Jesus myth hypothesis this part argues that the historical Jesus is a literary and astrological hybrid, nurtured politically”.

    It shows how Christianity shares many elements with other earlier spiritual systems, plagiarising the beliefs surrounding gods such as Horus (3,000 BC), Attis (1,200 BC), Mithra (1,200 BC), Krishna (900 BC), Dionysus (500 BC), and many others, all sharing the key beliefs - virgin births, stars in the east, wise men, death and resurrection after three days and so on.

    I guess there’s still some place for religion in the world, but it’s becoming less relevant; there’s a long wavelength period in play and religions and beliefs like everything else in life have births and growth and decay and dissolution. It’s hard to reconcile the mythology of a religion with the factual knowledge we have access to.

    It’s also hard to swallow the cant of pious hypocrites and apologists who spout hokus pokus as if it were hard-core truth. As for the boomers or hippies being somewhat responsible for the present spiritual malaise that afflicts this planet (or is it only the english-language speakers or Christians), were you serious? It’s much more complex than that…

    The problem of adults molesting children isn’t a religious problem, per se. While it’s probably never been as big a problem as today, internet and general moral slippage and all that, I think some sort of anthropological analysis would tell you it’s been around a long time and across many cultures, like Japanese women and incest with their sons, or the practices in many cultures of child-brides.

    • I am an Atheist, but somehow “Religion” provides a great scaffold on which you can hang all the biggest themes of life upon, there is something Grand in it, it is a great exploratory framework, a jungle jim to climb and crawl over, hang from, swing from. It has been a bringer of death and a great fecundating mother.

    • The fact that some religions say the same thing as Catholicism is not proof against Catholicism, but proof for the One True Universal faith. At his core, man knows the ten commandments, he was largely right in elements of his paganism. Even Greek philosophy went very far in genuinely seeking God through natural law.

      All the threads came together in the fullness of time and revelation; with Christ.

  7. I like superstition, enjoy reading my stars, love ghosts (a movie with eight ghosts in it sounds like my kind of movie), and think it possible my dog has been reincarnated as a kookaburra. But I object strenuously to the idea of a god. Superstition is all about how you do it, not what you do. The moment you hand over the reigns, you are a slave. A slave to everything. Rather, you need to reign over the forces at your command. Save yourself first and thereby make yourself available to assist others, as opposed to being burnt to a crusty husk, or drowned, or suffocated, or squashed. Whatever mode of thought gives off the most life is the one that works best. And the singular god, by definition, is a bad idea. Multi gods is preferable, but still not ideal.

    • hudsongodfrey

      The Greeks whose gods were capricious at best were at least at the advantage of not having to explain the world’s injustices.

    • The moment you hand over the reigns, you are a slave. A slave to everything. Rather, you need to reign over the forces at your command.

      Peter is of the opposite view, whereby in his world you give yourself over, in his terms you give yourself over to Christ. But Peter wants it both ways, he want everybody to “listen to history, listen to reason”, but what he should be saying is stop listening, period.

      How much of the reigns can you share with someone or something before you show slave like tendencies? How many forces must you have at your command, is there a minimum, is it eight like the number of specters in a good ghost film?

      • Roughly 75%. You want to avoid Buber’s black hole.

        • Buber eh? Another session on wikipedia, thanks. Why can’t you reference Henty Ford?

          • I had never heard of Buber and my Wikipedia session literally consisted of half a sentence. But that’s all it takes when you’re a thinker. Essentially, I just like the name Buber because it sounds like Bieber and that, to my mind, makes it funny. Henry Ford’s name isn’t funny at all. Frankly, I don’t even know why you brought it up.

            • HeNty Ford was a one time Lithuanian cabaret singer, born an identical twin sister although strangely 4 weeks later than her older sibling; she escaped to America in the 1930’s where she struggled in New York until she established a small factory specializing in the production of small concrete fish for concrete garden gnomes interested in angling.
              Seven months of hard work around the clock and a bridging loan at 7% interest (a lot in those days) saw the business fail in a record sevent-two hours. She killed herself by consuming nine plates of concrete sprats (latin: sprattus sprattus). Hence the sayings “are you coughing up Henty’s” or “Get your Hentys’ on” and my personal favourite “Sprats eh?”

            • OK I tracked it down: ” The could have been becomes meaningful when what has been collapses, sucking all related options toward its black hole”

              I will consider this, but cannot imagine for the life of me Clint Eastwood singing it.

        • Gina Rinehart has 15% of Fairfax and seems to be in control.

  8. Recipe for a religious sect:
    (a) Take one Jewish ‘god’ named
    YAHWEH (‘He who is’),
    (b) Take one radical preacher
    named, YESHOHUA, from the many
    wandering Judea at the same
    (c) See said preacher off in what
    is an almost invisible foot
    note in history,
    (d) Stir in turbulence of the
    times in a corrupt, rotting
    empirical rule over most of
    Europe, part of Africa and
    Middle east,
    (e) Offer the enslaved a smidgen
    of hope in an afterlife said
    executed preacher did not
    indulge in,
    (f) A while down the track when
    things are on the verge of
    empirical collapse and THE
    WORD is whipping up the
    masses into a real threat,
    gather a bunch of WISE OLD
    HEADS together and pick the
    eyes out of ‘the gospels’
    that have popped up all over
    the place, ‘cut and paste’ the
    best bits into a ‘New
    Testament’ (change the names
    so they don’t come across as
    something out of Star Wars,
    i.e. ‘God’, ‘Jesus’, and
    ignore glaring contradictions
    between ‘Gospel facts!), put
    the Good Book out there as
    THE WORD for the TRUE church
    of Rome, benefiting from one
    empirical collapse melding
    into a brand new empire able
    to get a grip on just about
    the whole world,
    (g) Let bake for a couple of
    thousand years of chaos, much
    of it executed in The Name of
    God’, and Bob’s your uncle.

    • If you squint your eyes a little, and tilt your head to the right and lean forward a fraction, it almost sounds like the Russian Revolution.

  9. Jack Robertson

    QED, really. A thread on pederasty quickly turns into another high level debate about metaphysics. I am all for that kind of stuff myself…just not as a response to the very specific matter of a child being sexually abused. Each case is individual and grown-ups have to resist the urge to generalise in our response, because generalisation represents a dissipation of our ameliorating agency. A child who was buggered by a priest doesn’t want to hear that the Church is to blame: they want the individual to be made to bear that, all by himself. Don’t forget that condemning the Catholic Church in this case serves to mitigate the actions of the individual blasphemous priest, not distil and isolate them. There is also the deeply complex factor of the victim’s own relationship to the church and/or their faith: blaming their God for something done to them by a man feels to me like an exquisitely cruel misdirection of what earthly wrath it is ery much in our power to deploy.

    • I’ve tried to avoid the issue directly Jack, because in some ways the perpetrators of pederasty are being presented here, as people making a life style choice. It is obviously something deeper and darker than that,something in the human psyche that needs to be illuminated or at least I would hope so, or this goes on forever and everything is up for discussion.

      The trip off into metaphysics is the polite way of trying not to say, kill the perpetrators.

      • allthumbs, the Aboriginal men sexually abusing two year old girls are walking the streets, the priests who have sexually molested innocent twelve year old boys are not punished or locked up, they are still preaching…
        No wonder some of us are having murderous thoughts.

        • It seems to be a psychological necessity for some to refer back to Aboriginal people, many of whom were themselves abused in missions. If there is a theme here at all, and there does seem to be one, it is pointed squarely at certain elements of traditional white culture. There are no racial genes that cause abuse but there are institutional factors that enable its occurence and there are cultural and historical factors that encourage it to be swept under the rug. Children don’t have many rights in this society. We are an identity-as-commodity based culture and children are the unformed.

        • Helvi, I have heard it said, that Pederasts are attracted to the priesthoods, scout groups and teaching for instance because of the ability to work in close proximity with children, so that the Church per se is not the cause of the pederasty but the means.

          I had an aquaitance who was at Duntroon in the late 70′s, he thought the place to be a nest of pedarests.

          I don’t think Aboriginality explains pedaresty, and the only common link is the committing of these acts by men. Is it therefore an aberration in the sexual psyche of some men, or a predeliction?
          Is it faulty wiring?

          If you found these guys in possession with a K-Mart catalogue with pictures advertising children’s underwear, would you be more sympathetic to the arguments of Melissa Tankard Reist? Or would you see the aberration as a psychological outlier?

          What we really want is revenge, and why not?

          • “It is defined in a strangely restrictive way, in that, to begin with, this power
            is poor in resources, sparing of its methods, monotonous in
            the tactics it utilizes, incapable of invention, and seemingly
            doomed always to repeat itself. Further, it is a power that
            only has the force of the negative on its side, a power to say
            no; in no condition to produce, capable only of posting limits,
            it is basically anti-energy. This is the paradox of its effectiveness:
            it is incapable of doing anything, except to render what
            it dominates incapable of doing anything either, except for
            what this power allows it to do. And finally, it is a power
            whose model is essentially juridical, centered on nothing
            more than the statement of the law and the operation of
            taboos. All the modes of domination, submission, and subjugation
            are ultimately reduced to an effect of obedience.” - Foucault

            • You are going to have to tell me what “it” is R1, for me to understand, you should know who you are addressing if possible I would ask you to draw pictures.

              • Sorry Reader1, too argumentative, too ambiguous, to actually mean anything.
                I agree with allthumbs here. You’re going to have to spell it out.

              • Allthumbs - Even Foucault spoke of Buber’s black hole. What revenge, when it is just a question of eliminating the irritation. Do you want revenge on Ivan Milat? No, you just want him gone. Same with the mean man from Snowtown, but not the young man. Same with Patrick Dignam, who seems to have returned to our shores.

                • R1,I hope it’s true as I have been missing him.

                • OK, well I consider being gonned is a sort of retributivejustice. Buber, that’s 40 minutes of my life I will never get back again. In a nutshell when we two speak we speak to eachother and God listens in, and when I talk to the trees, I’m actually quoting from Paint your Wagon. Buber, what else you got?

                  • When irritation falls in on itself, it creates its own vortex. WE ARE DEALING WITH DARK FORCES HERE PEOPLE. Buber and Lee Marvin hold the key. The irritation is happening right now, right under our noses. I know I’m feeling it.

      • Jack Robertson

        Touché, allthumbs: the uncompromising trinity approach seems apt (and not at all as unreconcilable as it may appear): kill the guilty mongrel bastards, try to understand what made them tick while you do so…and (what, would Jesus do?)…love them, anyway. Nuremberg, say. More or less.

        The Catholic Church’s probably-terminal problem is that its current earthly custodians don’t believe their own made-up stories well enough. His Eminence is a show-pony tyre-kicker.

        • But as everyone knows, you now see a lack of male teachers in the Primary school system, they will become a marginalised group and always considered suspect from now on. That looks to me like a lack of trust in ourselves or at least a lack of trust in men. Will this have consequences further down the track, I guess it will.

          Just because we outlaw revenge as a principal of justice, doesn’t mean there isn’t a thirst for it, we might as well admit it.

          There are a lot of things at stake here Jack, including our understanding of innocence and our betrayal of it. A lot of this is going to have to be fought at the margins, not two year old babies being assaulted, there is no defense of the indefensible, but adults with teenagers, as adults remain teenagers for longer and longer and teenagers are exposed to adult life earlier and earlier the lines of demarcation blur, at the margins. And we as a society are always proud, we hold it as an ambition to push the fold of the envelope, to push the margins.

          I think Geoffrey Robertson has done all the legwork on this, let’s just hire him and get on with it.

          • hudsongodfrey

            I’m against revenge even for this and always have been. It’s just not worth it.

            Honestly justice is more satisfying to me. Even without revenge there is still a sort of calculus of how much pain reciprocated upon perpetrators is commensurate with their crime. So that if being subject to justice is painful then maybe by forgoing revenge we can extract a greater modicum of pain in terms of compensation extracted and measures enacted too redress and protect victims and potential future victims. That’s the way I think justice can be more of a catalyst for positive outcomes.

            • I agree Hudson. If the Justice is punitive enough it can have a resemblance to revenge.

              • hudsongodfrey

                Yes and since history shows that it would be naive to think this stopped in the 1970′s 80′s….

                Well I think measures to better protect are in order.

    • The Catholic church is responsible for its systemic cover up. Catholisicm is perhaps responsible, as are many other cultural conflagrations, for the culture of standing by a mate in accordance with their social position. You don’t see anyone buggerising the pope and if they did, unrequested, chances are they’d see jail time.

  10. Cardinal Pell has been caught out as has his three accessories. It is time for a reckoning and the poor innocent victims must have their day in a criminal court and these offenders must be dealt with harshly so the message can be sent to every Australian present and future priest. It seems to be in the church’s mind acceptable to ruin young boys lives just to satisfy their sexual yearnings. What a sick bunch of Bastards

  11. Jack Robertson

    Exactly, helvi.

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