Tuesday, July 5, 2016

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Peter Onedera's column today was cleverly titled: "Ginen i sengsong na ma abusu i patgon" ("It takes a village to abuse a child") I don't know if he titled it himself or the PDN editors did (which is usually the case) but missing (unless it's in the Chamorro version) from the otherwise excellent piece was any mention of "the village." 

A few weeks ago, a woman shared with me an account of when she was a girl and the parish priest wouldn't let go of her hand while he tickled her palm with his middle finger and looked at her with a strange smile. Too young to understand what this meant but old enough to know something was wrong, the girl told her grandmother who then scolded her so severely she did not want to repeat what her grandmother said even though this happened 40 years ago. 

Another woman told me of a friend of hers who was raped by her pastor when she was a teen and when the girl ran home crying to her mother, her mother yelled at her saying "I told you never to go to the rectory alone," an indication that the mother knew what happens to young girls who go to the rectory alone. 

There is another account of a man who committed suicide after finding that his wife was having an affair with the parish priest, with some accounts even including that she bore his child. The priest is still in active ministry and even appears in public with the woman. One person who knows the intimate details of the relationship has related that the affair is well known, but the priest is popular and the scandal is even clandestinely celebrated amongst the other women in the priest's very visible entourage.

The account reminds me of the many times I overheard young neocat women in my bookstore a few years ago cooing and fawning over which (RMS) seminarians they thought were the cutest, leaving little doubt that flirtation and who knows what else was quietly permitted within the neocat communities where these seminarians were in close contact with the girls. 

So yes, it takes a village. It takes a village to look the other way, something Archbishop Hon apparently demands that we still do.  MORE LATER. 

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