The Pope and Hippies

The Catholic Church has recently blamed the 1960’s counterculture of American hippies for the child molesting sex scandals plaguing the church.

For once, I agree with them – but only to the limited extent – not their fantasy that the so called free love movement created a culture of permissiveness that encouraged celibate priests to molest children – that the 1960’s counterculture that stood up to authority to say that the individual mattered and deserved dignity of person and personal sovereignty that created the cultural climate that so many of the victims from decades before the 1960’s and in countries all over the world have been able to come forward and tell their stories of systemically sanctioned abuse and gross negligence in protecting the abusers by moving them from one community to another – often promoting the worst offenders so they could protect the next generation of molesters.

That the Catholic Church should try to blame American hippies for their priest’s molestation and their bishop’s protecting the priests and silencing the witnesses, victims and their families is beyond the credible.

American hippies do not explain why the sex scandals are breaking in every single country that the Catholic Church operates in, and in dates before and since the 1960’s. It doesn’t explain the church’s failure to defrock even repeat offenders spanning several communities.

This blaming the hippies and the counterculture only makes sense when you consider that the bully always blames the victim for reporting the crimes that the victim somehow forced the bully to perform.

And our tendency to blame the messenger compounds the problem – as if the acknowledgement of the problem is somehow worse than the problem and as if reporting is on par with perpetrating.

It is not the victim’s fault they were abused by people who they trusted to protect and guide them. The problem is not that the crimes are reported, but that they occurred at all.

This is a huge difficulty for an organization who’s purpose is to deal with immoral actions after the fact and to forgive for a fee; rather than be a system by which people can avoid undertaking immoral actions. If religion could do that, religion would literally be out of business.

If people could understand and make moral distinctions and then undertake morally correct or the lesser of evils actions – then what need would they have of the priest?

But, what need do we have of priests who clearly are not capable of moral action even when they have removed themselves from the ordinary lives that are fraught with temptation. Priests who are allegedly dedicated to poverty, charity and chastity?

The highest authority of the Catholic Church live in a castle, surrounded by material and historical wealth and don ornate costumes while the countries with the highest ratio of Catholics more often than not are existing in abject poverty. Where is this charity? Why do they not redistribute some of that wealth to help the poor followers?

What need does anyone have of priests who harm children or the bishops who protect said priests – and likely were these same pedo-priests in the past?

How can anything as abusive and corrupt, in blatant defiance of the values it claims to hold dear, continue to retain followers who turn over a sizable chunk of their hard earn money, and worse, their children, over to this beast that consumes with an entitlement that is difficult to comprehend?

On nothing more than the basis of allowing them to take the fruits of your labour and your loins and you will be rewarded after you die, because that’s god’s will and the Pope is representing on earth.

Because hey, the pope is always a trustworthy guy, no matter the scheming and maneuvering and double dealing it takes to get into the big chair and the bulletproof popemobile. The ultimate demonstration of lack of faith that ever was.

4 thoughts on “The Pope and Hippies

  1. Sure, Let’s blame it on the hippies. Take a random sampling of sexually confused men. Tell them that any and every sexual outlet, including masturbation, is forbidden. Put them in charge of children. Give them godlike authority. And then blame the hippies when they turn out to be perverts. Makes perfect sense to me. The Pope has such wisdom.

  2. P.S. The process of reporting has a similar principle in the security industry. Suppose you live in a condo and your car has been vandalized in the covered lot you pay for, so you go to the security desk and report it and expect them to review the CCTV footage, make a report and find the culprit. They may or may not remember to tell you that You must also report it to the police. The police can ask for a copy of all the CCTV footage for the time frame. This prevents it from being suppressed. At a condo where I was a guard years ago I followed every clue despite the CCTV having been set on weak motion detaction and not recording human action in the garage. The president of the board of directors is the one who set it, the one who took interest in the parking infractions of residents, and the one I always found (sometimes in one frame flash as a car passed) present in the lot around the time of tire slashings. Security won’t risk the account by offering suspicions. Management bumped my notes to the regional manager who was a friend of the president of the bold and told my supervisor, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Then we had to endure months of the culprit knowing we knew and us knowing there was nothing to do. Before I left I sent out an e-mail that fooled him into contacting the people whose tires he had slashed and making financial amends. Then all that happened was he was demoted to secretary. All because the victims didn’t report it to the police. A bishop could be crawling out of his own skin dealing with a rumor about a priest and be unable to sic the cops on him because of hear-say and unable to defrock him based on denied gossip without possible slander charges as the result.

  3. Here’s the aspect that has never been properly explained to me, Nina. Whether it is a family member, a priest, a hockey coach, a teacher or a baby-sitter violating a trust and abusing a child this is a criminal act and as such must responsibly be reported to the police to investigate. If I am a principle I can’t have a teacher sanctioned or fired based on hear-say or gossip unless I want to be sued. Same deal must exist for a Monseignor or Bishop who hears (through what channels?) that somebody has a problem with a priest. Usually the road block is denial or block by the child until well into adulthood. When they remember (and realize they can get some financial compensation) then they report to the proper authorities. If there is a groundswell of gossip in a parish because a parent or other kid reported something BUT NOT TO POLICE then how can a Bishop do anything other than move the accused? When my mom’s parish priest’s past caught up to him in his fifties (for events in his 20’s) he WAS defrocked and charged and went to jail. This is not to blame the victim, but if my kid said a priest touched him it wouldn’t occur to me to go to a CHURCH official to report it. People can have plenty of undisclosed spites against a priest or a teacher or coach or whatever. The police have to sort it out. As for hippies in the 60’s, I’m pretty sure the Vatican burns more than incense if that’s their latest explanation for not vetting the mental condition of priests they ordained back then.

    • Well that’s part of the problem – people did go to their church officials who pressured them to say nothing or they’d create a scandal for the church. Families were threatened with excommunication – and to people who believed, this was a serious threat – also, people thought that their kid was the only one – people weren’t aware of how wide spread it was.

      but then, the infamous Robert Noyes was a school teacher who was sent from one school to the next – the nature of sex crimes is to cover it up.

      people are more concerned about their liability than the harm done to the victim or a thought to justice.

      I honestly don’t think that in earlier decades people thought of sex crimes as actual crimes – they were dirty old men or it was just what happened – after all – when incest/abuse runs in families – in particular in religious families – then what’s the difference between who is molesting you and telling you that you can’t go to the authorities – who often in the 70’s and earlier, simply didn’t beleive victims.

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