Church in the whirlpool of sins, guilt and morality

published on July 1, 2010
R L Francis
National President, Poor Christian Liberation Movement

Last decade has been very painful and disturbing for the Vatican as it has mired in various controversies surrounding immoral behaviour of priests and accusations pertaining to sex abuse inside confinements of church. These accusations have practically bogged down Vatican to such a level that despite lot of squirming it has practically failed to come out of the mess. In the year 2000 Vatican first time officially acknowledged that many of the priests have been found indulged in the sex abuse of children. According to Vatican this is not an entirely new problem and is confined to certain geographical area. Vatican had also issued a list of twenty-three affected countries which includes America, Brazil, Philippines, India, Ireland and Italy.
Pope Benedict (XVI), 2-years-ago, had released an official list of sins in order to salvage the plummeting prestige of priests who were found over-indulged in ‘sin’. Polluting environment, genetic manipulation, obscene wealth, creating poverty, drug-trafficking, immoral scientific experiments and violation of fundamental human rights were included in the list seven modern day sins. However, irony is that already blemished representative of Vatican are even sinking deeper in the quagmire of sins. After America, Episode in Ireland has shocked the Catholic churches all over the world. This is the second biggest blow for Vatican. Even those who believe in the administration of Church have started taking legal recourse against Bishops and other priests.Victim families have demanded1.37 billion dollars as compensation. On the other hand those victimised by priests are demanding from Vatican to make those secret files public which contains details of the sex abuse inside Roman Catholic Church.
Victim families have accused Vatican of concealing and suppressing the truth instead of protecting children. Vatican and its higher officials are more concerned to save their skin and there is hardly any instance of taking tough action against misconduct of priests in the long history of Vatican. However, this time victims seem in no mood to relax and they are demanding to remove any priest or any Bishop or cardinal who have done anything wrong to children or has made the crime sophisticated. This case is pending in Supreme Court of America and is very important in two respects. First reason is Supreme Court will decide that can a legal recourse be taken against Vatican, which claims of sovereign immunity, in United States Courts? Victims, on the other hand, have released some documentary evidences that suggest that despite making lot of complaints against guilty priests to Pope Benedict (16th) and the then Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger; these people helped guilty church officials to save their skin and did not take punitive measures on the complaints.
At the time of appointment; Cardinals take oath before Pope that they will not divulge anything that brings bad name to church or brings disgrace to the church. This is the reason Cardinals try to suppress the truth even after cases of sex abuse erupts against church. Such priests select their victim from the highest level of devotes. These people are always told to respect the church at any cost. However, during last decade many victim families have publicly come out against sinful activities of church officials. Television Channels and newspapers have played pivotal role in publicising these sins of church. This is the chief reason Vatican and European Catholic Church are on defensive turf.
Vatican is also very upset over the fact that due to sexual frustration priests are not taking genuine interest in compulsory services of church. And, impact can be seen as rising irritation and anger among Catholics. Devotes are constantly pressurising church to maintain its dignity and the drive for purity has taken international form. Catholic youths are playing important role in this movement. However, Indian priests have no threat from this movement as majority of catholic population in the country is wretched and they have hardly any time to understand these grave issues. Even if some ‘Reformist voices’ erupts; they are suppressed shrewdly. Priests and Bishops have huge organised army of slaves to help them. They also have support of big political parties, media and those in power.
Such cases of rotting ills of church have also come into light in our country off and on.  However, most of the cases remain under carpet due to highly God-Fearing nature of Indian Christians. Even if a case erupts it pre-maturely dies away due to strong influence of church in corridors of power and in the media. In August 2008, case of suicide of two nuns had come into light. Father of 22-year-old Anupameri accused that his daughter committed suicide due to sex abuse in the convent. Some time back his nun -daughter had complained her mother of such things. Anupa Mary’s father told that his daughter was highly scared. Father of deceased nun used to work as chef of Bishop in Kollam catholic diocese. Christian population in Kerala is 25 percent and 35,000 nuns in catholic churches alone come from Kerala. CPM government had given indication to take some action in order to stop sex abuse in convents and churches. Due to backlash of church CPM had to suffer humiliating defeat in the last year Loksabha election.
Last year aSister Jesme book Amen – Oru Kanyasthreeyude Atmakatha (Amen-Autobiography of a nun) had rocked Catholic Church establishment in Kerala. Sister Jesme had given chronological sequence of injustice being meted out to nuns, sex abuse and torture. Initially, Indian media took cognisance of the book but very soon media was trapped in the planted story of church that Sister Jesme is ‘Mentally ill’ and consequently media frenzy soon ended. Now, nobody knows where is Sister Jesme? Incidents of suicide are not only confined to nuns but catholic priests, too, are ending their lives out of desperation. Many priests are deserting church. Recently, a priest in Delhi Catholic Seminary committed suicide.
Vatican seems to be highly distressed with growing sense of sexual-frustration and even desperation among priests. A section of officials in Vatican has mooted the idea of allowing priests to marry. British Catholic Church Bishop Malcolm McMahon says that there is no genuine reason to stop priests from marrying. McMahon’s name is being touted as an inheritor of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.  It is to be noted that Jesus never advocated for celibacy. Most of his apostles were married and having children. Had Jesus planned to make his followers celibate, then why he would have selected married disciples? He should have selected only bachelors and spinsters. In fact egalitarianism propounded by Lord Jesus took the form of imperialism of state and exploitative capitalism under church administration. To protect this ‘Pope Gregory VII’ in eleventh century had made it mandatory for priests of Roman Catholic Church to remain celibate
Authoritarian mentality of church can be gauged from the fact from the level of faith it has in the holy Bible? In the first chapter ‘Creation’-Lord God has said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought to the man to fulfill bodily needs and in order to continue the ‘creation’. However, ignoring this basic need of the body and need to continue the ‘creation’ Pope/Catholic church has been running own authoritative regime. This has been opposed off and on but nothing concrete has come out. Due to fastidiousness of church most of the Catholic priests have been forced to live in desperation and sexual frustration. And when, a matter of sex abuse comes in light, church, instead of accepting the reality, tries to suppress it from its power and wealth. It resorts to saama (the process of pacifying), Dama (Process of paying), Danda (Punishment) and Bheda (Discrimination) to bury the matter under the carpet.

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