Times when forgiving isn’t easy
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me,
and I forgive him? Till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but,
Until seventy times seven. –– Matthew 18:21-22
So after 490 misdeeds –– the very same immoral one after immoral one –– what then?
This sardonically cynical question could be fairly and squarely put to the Holy See; but it is not likely we will get a straight answer –– not if the United Nations Human Rights Council itself couldn’t. The council’s probing committee is still struggling with the Vatican to come clean on the paedophiles within its midst and on the cover-up of their vile deeds by bishops hoping to keep a pure and holy face on the Roman Catholic Church.
Lord, how oft shall my priest sin against me, and I forgive him?
Until seventy times seven?
Regrettably, the United Nations investigating committee offered the Vatican on a platter a diversion from these burning issues by spending an inordinate amount of time in its report on the Holy See’s unwavering stand on contraception, abortion, and ironically –– and ostensibly –– homosexuality.
Apparently, homosexuality is a criminal act committed by two consenting adult males; but not perpetrated on an oppressed and abused male child by his priestly bugger.
We can accept, as the Vatican charges, that the investigating United Nations committee on human rights is all cock-a-hoop about its defence of homoerotic rights, and that it has been swayed by the gay ideologues. But all this will not be diversionary enough to shove us away from the point of obvious lack of spirit in guaranteeing the protection, safety and purity of our young boys in the environs
of the church –– from the predators in robes, that is.
Lord, how oft shall my priest sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seventy times seven?
In its damning report, the United Nations committee blasted what it termed the “code of silence” that has long been used –– surreptitiously and deftly –– by the Vatican to keep the church victims of paedophilia quiet, and charged that the Holy See had “systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims”.
For this, the United Nations group wants to have the Holy See providing victims with compensation –– substantial sums of which were paid out long before this report, to be fair –– and holding accountable not just the obscene abusers, but as well those who cover up the perpetrators’ crimes.
“The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by, and the impunity of, the perpetrators,” the devastating report continued.
But Pope Benedict, to his credit, defrocked almost 400 priests, over two years, for molesting children, according to a document obtained and published by the Associated Press. The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests disrobed. And now Pope Francis has sworn to show no leniency towards paedophile priests –– clearly, zero tolerance from the new pontiff.
And it is some comfort to us that the news blitz of abuse of boys by these clerics proliferates the United States and Europe and beyond –– and
not our Caribbean.
What would be commendable –– surely what must come to pass –– is the mandatory reporting to the police of these reprehensible acts against little boys by their “mentors”, “counsellors” and “spiritual guides”.
By all terms, these base acts are worse than the bullying we are are trying to be rid of in our schools and society at large. And our unspoiled boys, if ever approached by these predators –– within or without of the church –– should make good use of that tracking that allows you to lodge complaints anonymously
There will come the time when that child must face his oppressor and abuser, gladly from opposite ends, but he will have those for whom paedophilia is anathema holding his hands, standing up for his rights, and for the dignity, high self-esteem and purity of body and soul he is entitled to.
. . . Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein. –– Luke 18:16 and 17
In such context it is tough and agonizing forgiving a child abuser and paedophile seventy times seven.