Abuse enabler says sorry and shockingly, it means nothing.

I’ve recently subscribed to Feministing which focused my attention on the Catholic Church, specifically in Ireland – my adoptive country.

You’d have to have your head pretty far up your arse to not realize the prolific world-wide sex scandals that have been rocking the church for nearly a decade now.

Having said that even I had no idea how far-reaching the rape and abuse was within the church. The pressure about the revelations has forced a response by the Pope. The same Pope who, himself, was involved in the move of a priest accused of molesting boys to seek therapy in another area but never notified authorities of the allegations of abuse, allowing the accused to subsequently molest more children. Whoops! Dropped the ball there Rottweiler.

How the fuck is an apology from a man who negligently moved and hid an accused pedophile and molester supposed to carry any weight within the church or to the victims? How the fuck is an apology with NO MOVE to provide justice for the victims supposed to carry any weight? Why are the accused routinely protected, re-located and in many cases allowed to re-engage with children in different areas, while the victims are ignored, shut up, shamed and silenced? How does “I know some of you find it difficult even to enter the doors of a church after all that has occurred.” and “submit yourselves to the demands of justice, but do not despair of God’s mercy.” even come close to being acceptable responses to the rape and abuse of children world-wide?

Cardinal Sean Brady, head of the Irish church, read the letter the Pope issued with the apology out in church even though he himself was involved in forcing 2 children to sign secrecy oaths back in ’75. All together now! WTF is THAT? You’re basically mocking the realities of the abuses happening within the church and showing the apology to be the load of steaming horseshit that it is. Why the fuck are these two abuse enablers leading members of the Catholic Church (one as the fucking POPE HIMSELF) when they themselves should be removed from leadership and preferably convicted for being accomplices in rape, molestation and abuse? Cardinal Brady said he would resign if the Pope asked him to… because that’s going to happen when the douche bag himself sheltered and enabled a molester. Clever, that.

And where are the authorities? Why are these pedophiles not being brought to justice in a court of law?

Good question.

I can’t speak for the rest of the worlds justice systems, but looking at my own adoptive country I cannot ignore the shockingly low conviction rate for rapists; as low as 1-2% back in 2003. Or the fact that they get suspended sentences or over turned convictions. It’s appalling – especially when rape has such far-reaching and horrific effects on the victims.

Apparently this Island either can’t or won’t face the realities of abuse and rape and prefers to ignore it or cover it up. The shocking victim blaming attitude so many Rape Victim Advocates speak of was demonstrated in a stunning response to the conviction of a rapist in Listowel earlier this year. That’s right, people lined up in sympathy of the rapist to shake his hand and console the sick fuck over his sexual assault conviction. Thankfully on social networking sites groups supporting the victim sprung up instantly and many spoke up in rage and indignation of such a sickening response and the local rape crisis centre in Listowel was inundated with support for the victim. And too right, too – that girl is being shunned in an assbackwards town for being violated.

You ready for the kicker? One of the men who defended the rapist as having nothing but respect for women? A priest. Who then shook his hand after the conviction was handed down. Father Sheehy has since resigned – thankfully, because anything less would be a mockery of the victim. Or wait – he already did that by defending her rapist. Good on ya, Father.

If Ireland wants to be taken seriously as a modern and progressive country, this attitude of blatant disregard for the victims of violent sexual and physical abuse not only needs to end but do a complete turn about and start bringing the offenders to proper justice. A sorry just doesn’t fucking cut it.

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My inability to stfu.

Why am I here?

I am here because of my inability to keep my mouth shut anymore.

Ten years ago this month I made a commitment to Jesus. I became a born again Christian. I went to church and soaked up the welcome.

Previous to this I can wholeheartedly say I was no where near a path to Christianity. In fact I was on a path to becoming a fierce little activist. Now I can clearly see I would have been on a path to becoming a feminist and fighting for social justice.

What happened? I have no fucking idea.

I think ultimately I got discouraged from being told I was too mouthy, too opinionated, too argumentative, that I thought too much or was too contrary. I was 16, a baby and sadly saw acceptance in group think and off I went. I mourn that decision and the lack of strength and support I had.

However. Water under a fucked up bridge.

Fast forward ten years and I’ve been through a LOT of stuff. An abusive marriage. Both physical and that sickeningly insidious emotional stuff. Birth Trauma. Ill health. Rape. Divorce.  Depression. Bulimia.

Omfg that list is enough to make anyone cringe.

All of those things occurred in my life while I followed the Son of God. I accepted many of them under horseshit spiritual guises. God was trying me. God was testing me. God was only giving me as much trials and tribulations as I could handle. I accepted the rest because of fear and insecurity. I thought to myself, it isn’t THAT bad. I must have done something to deserve it. My suffering is nothing compared to x, y and z. I must submit! I must pray harder.

Bla bla fucking bla.

The things we tell ourselves in a desperate attempt not to face the truth in life.

When I was raped I didn’t call it what it was for over a year. After a year I only whispered it to 3 people. 3 years later if I hear a rape joke I am apt to tell you “Hey, that’s not fucking funny. Why? Because I was raped. Is it funny now?”

When I was abused, I fell silent. I did not speak out. I did not fight back. I didn’t think what was happening was right but I was so isolated I felt I had no other choices. When I was physically attacked I knew every god damn thing every pamphlet I had ever seen told me to do in case of physical abuse, but I didn’t. Because of fear. Because of spiritually submitting to my husband. For fear of besmirching his name. For fear of retaliation. For fear of losing my child.

When I was spiritual abused… I was already starting to snap. In fact it could have been the straw that broke the camels back. I was told as a divorcee even though God didn’t blame me for the divorce nor hold it against me (gee, thanks!), I could never remarry as I would be committing adultery. Fabulous. So single struggling mother who must not only spend a life alone after being abused but be condemned to a poverty trap and a social outcast. Gotcha. Fanks Jesus.

I began to question. Everyone had a different story. Which was true? I went to the beginning. Was the Bible the Word of God? That’s where I got stuck. After a year of research and deep deep contemplation I realized I, personally, could not accept the Bible as the infallible word of God. And if I couldn’t accept it as the Word Of God then I was bullshitting myself by calling myself a Christian anymore. I adopted the title of Agnostic. An apostate.

Suddenly I was free. Free to question. Free to ask all the questions I had been ignoring while I reveled in my cognitive dissonance. Free to reject. Free to dig deeper. Free Thought. What a gift.

I also had to face the discriminations and abuses I ignored or justified away while following Jesus. Discrimination against the LGBT community. Against those of other faiths. Against… fuck I am ashamed. There are too many. Awhile ago I reposted this and was like… soooo everyone… this is what I wish I could write as elegantly. Read This

And that brings me why I am here. I am here because I refuse to allow cognitive dissonance in my life anymore. I am here because as much as I deeply believe in self sustainability and eco-friendly and organic and family and bla bla bla I also believe in social justice, feminism, equal rights/human rights, etc. I always did. I just lost my god damn voice along the way and I am ashamed of myself for that. And so now, I refuse to STFU. I want a life ideology that is whole. Whole for my family, whole for me, whole for my community, whole for the world. I am still sorting through this but basically that wholeness means standing up against inequality, against sexism and racism and against so many -isms, against the destruction of our earth, against corporate greed, against discrimination, against people dying in a war for oil, against patriarchy, against bullshit and tyranny and abuse and lies to keep the sheeple docile and in line while we all suffer so a tiny portion can profit (and forfeit their souls). And for family and for individuals rights and for REAL education and for choice and for communities and for justice.

Why blogging? Because it’s what I can do right now. With limited options and the responsibility of raising a child, this is what I can do right now. So I am doing it.

I am opinionated. I will question. I will debate. I do think too much. I will learn. And I’m doing it all out loud and refusing to stfu anymore. The topics will be far reaching and varied. Lets hope it makes some kind of difference.

~GP