Sexual crimes in the Church: A philosophical change

In the last twenty years finding sexual crimes against minors inside Catholic church has been one of the most common scandals followed my media. From United States, Ireland, South America, Australia, among other countries there are multiple cases where the Catholic Church had faced great damage to its institution, as well as, the most important part in any organisation: Their members because no institution from the public or private sphere could create a meaningful work or service without the people involved in the movement.  In Australia, following the information from media where the numbers expressed that nearly 2,000 Catholic Church figures, including priests, religious brothers and sisters, and employees, were identified as alleged perpetrators in a report released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this year.

What called my attention is this has been happening not only in different countries, you can find similar situations like in Dominican Republic 2014, where Josef Wesolowski, died before he was able to go to trial for being guilty of sexual abuse of minors and possession of child pornography, The Netherlands, Ireland, The United States,  among  other countries. You could even find the same issues in the time of the greatest division of England from the Catholic Church, even when the main topic under the reign of Henry VIII was controlling his territory in all possible sense. The truth is Thomas Cromwell  found similar cases of men in the Church behaving in not so Saint or Christian ways, like having nuns getting pregnant, sexual abuse of minors and sodomy.

In the book A new life of England’s tragic Queen Anne Boleyn  by Joanna Denny there is an extract of Cromwell’s report Valor Eclesiasticus, which reported an enquiry of abuses in monasteries and convents during that period “Monks and nuns confessed to immoral acts, including incest, homosexuality and sex abuse…”.

“Of chastity they monks and nuns make outward shew but very little was fownd amonge them, for it plainlie appered their filthie lusts were not satisfied with maidens wifes and widows but they also practised one with another…”

I grow up attending Catholic schools because the system of teaching was considered the best, as well as, the quality of education. I still recall some drastic ways of teaching from some professors but I truly believe that it is time for societies to ask for a change in the philosophy behind the Church. Perhaps, men and women do really should have the right to raise a family even when they belong to Jesus. I am not saying I had all the knowledge on Earth but when you find the same situation repeated after more than five hundred centuries, something must radically change. If it is not possible  that the people inside the Church stop feeling guilty over the sexual desire they could face, which biologically speaking is normal, during their lifetime; they should have some external support in the psychological sphere to face that perhaps, they couldn’t belong to a life of celibacy and leave the institution, rather than using minors to satisfy their sexual appetite; or the Church should consider  let their priests and sisters have a normal life with a family while they take care of God’s sheeps at the same time.

How many more centuries should we wait to see the Church face the problem and solve it in a radical way? It is necessary we keep seeing more cases in media each decade in a different country to understand that something is wrong in the belief system and not only in the Institution. Also, we need to see more victims to understand silence had not been working during the last centuries because erasing the truth as Queen Mary did to protect the Catholic Church during her period as Queen in England, only provoked the same situation more and more cases appearing later. To end an event, which replied itself in different cultures and countries we must to understand is a problem inside the structure of thinking. Perhaps, even when the Pope and different members couldn’t understand the idea of changing in a radical way the Philosophy of their doctrine, they shouldn’t have to hide anymore than some situations happened once and again under that structure of thinking about sin, sex, celibacy, homosexuality and living a regular life as women and men with a family. If the Church is not interesting to increase the discussion to solve these issues, perhaps, the members should request actively to find a solution because not only girls face the risk of being sexually molested and it is relevant to protect boys too, from this kind of crime.

The pressure over gender and sexuality is so relevant in all the spheres of societies, that we cannot let this out of discussion. The original purpose of our material is supporting female in societies, where abuse and dead are part of regular risks for women, and all the time we conclude that no parent raise their daughter for ending with a partner, who will kill her. However, men don’t deserve being sexually molested neither manipulated by an adult in any instance, case or situation and as society we must protect them too.

The Royal Commission has stipulated multiple recommendations and measures to diminish the number of situations in Australia. However, as we had seen before institutions tend to protect themselves from different claims so in that case only members can and should promote a real change for their institutions working inside. Undoubtedly, the external measures increased awareness over the risk and how to handle the problem but why should we consider having that kind of risk in a Church is part of something unchangeable? Why couldn’t we consider a different way of living for the priests and nuns, where they can handle their mortal bodies with more respect and dignity for them and others? Those are the questions for Catholic Church leaders, community and members to solve.

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Journalist. Student of Global Media Communication. Interested in Politics, Economy, Social Media, Technology. Feminist. Like walking, talking and swimming.

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