There have been a few recent stories about Catholic priests and molestation of young boys. In most cases the boys suffered through not one but many instances of molestation by a priest and remained silent about this abuse for years. I am sure there are many more men out there who were molested by a priest and have tried to put these memories behind them. Perhaps they have confided in therapists or wives, friends or parents, and still the molester lives out his life without punishment for what he did to an innocent child. The lives of these boys who may now be men are not the same as they might have been had this abuse not happened. These boys, now men, are forever damaged by what was done to them by a “trusted” authority figure.
Imagine, if you will, a young and impressionable boy being taken to the rooms of priests and subjected to whatever sick act was in the mind of a priest. Could the boy scream and fight and get out of there? Absolutely not. There was no escaping these men as they were careful to choose boys who they could control and who they could force to do whatever they wanted them to do. I can barely listen to these stories as I find abuse so sickening. I have to admit I have begun to disrespect the Catholic Church as it seems to do little to punish these priests, and in some cases, actually protects them for years. A few cases have come to light where the priest’s behavior was known within the church and the church protected the priests and not the boy.
Let’s imagine how that child felt. Who could he share this event or events with as he had been threatened by the priest to keep silent? Where was he supposed to go with his feelings of fear and shame and betrayal? There was no place to go and no one with whom he could speak. There was no safety. He learned as a child that adults in authority could not be trusted and there was no safe place in the world.
I think we should have the same trial and imprisonment for these priests as we have for abusers outside the church. I think the Catholic Church should go much further than it does in finding and punishing each person who is guilty of these crimes. It is unacceptable to me that some priests are still abusing children. It is unacceptable that churches often do not seek out their criminal members but seek to avoid public disclosure at all costs. There are those who believe church goers are in some way better behaved than the rest of the population. Some believe the authority of the church should be revered and preserved.
The older I get in life the more I see that we must do our best to create lives for all of our children that are safe and happy and free of any kind of fear. It is up to all of us to do this whether we have children or not. Sometimes we have to speak up when no one else will back us up if we see that something is amiss. It is better to investigate a situation that seems not natural than to lift the corner of the carpet and sweep up everything around you under it.