Posted by LaPaz, Jungle Watch Correspondant from Spain.
Two days ago I watched "Spotlight" movie. Very sad.
A lot of pain, unnecessary pain and of course unwanted by God.
Humans do sin. Humans are not perfect. Humans are limited. Humans are able to do the worst.
But humans have natural law inscribed in their deepest heart and there are some red lines all humans are able to know at least by intuition.
There are some things every human person resists because such instinct says. If it does not work it is because that natural instict is damaged. If a mother kills her baby it means she has her natural instinct damaged. Her natural instinct is to protect her baby even against her own life.
This is very primitive, of course. Humans do have intelligence and free will, but their instinct should make them tend to be better, so intelligence and free will are two gifts which should allow them looking for the best always, for themselves as singular person and for themselves as members of a group.
In the same way, there are things which instinctively go against the common good and each person instinctively knows it. Intelligence should help to know when something goes against common good when instinct is not enough to discriminate.
That is why each of us need to be well formed. We need to learn how intelligence can be developed to go further, where our natural instinct is not enough.
All of us need a helping group to learn and be more perfect. First place our parents, our brothers and sisters, second our extensive family and closest friends. Then the whole society through school and educational system and another different educational agents, like the Church.
Being well formed is so much important that it is a human right. Since the moment I have that human right, it means the society has the great duty of bringing me the opportunity to be educated and formed.
Each individual right implies a duty for those who have to protect my right. My parents do have the duty to educate me since I am born. Society has to provide schools for me. When protecting and developing my human rights, even the group protects and develops is benefited. When my human rights are downtrodden, then the group is impired.
That was the feeling when I watched "Spotlight". Each time a priest abused a child, the human group was injured. Because each abused child was wrendhed from his most basic environments. Each abused child was introduced in a jail of ostracism by his own abuser at first.
But then, when his abuser's superiors did hide that crime, the abused child was introduced in a double jail. Each time somebody knew something and did nothing about it, that abused child was caged in a deepest dungeon. One jail over another. Too many paclocks to broke.
While watching "Spotlight" I was thinking on the meaning of the sin of omission. The matter is not only what you do wrong, but also what you do not do right. It is like an exam type test. It is important to make your answers right, it is, do not make answers wrong. But also it is important to consider how many items do you answer and how many of them you simply leave empty.
For catholics, it is important how many times we do choose the right answer, but as well how many times do we "leave empty" answers. The good samaritan was the only who did something. Before him, there were others who did nothing. They sinned of omission.
If concentration death camps to kill millions of people were successful, that was not only because nazis soldiers were extremely evil, but also because a lot of non nazi soldiers were blind and dumb in front of what they committed. Nazi's prisoners were working for great multinational companies. Each day they were sent to factories, each day the deportation trains travelled through many towns and villages. How many people did just look away?
There are some crimes which for international laws can not be under time limitations to be judged. That means they can not prescribe. For example, crimes against humanity. That is why elderly nazis were judged despite their crimes were committed several decades ago.
Child sexual abuses are considered in certain view as if they were crimes against humanity, since the moment there are not under a limit of time to be judged. I am not going to enter in a philosophical argument now, but Justice does evolves as History. Before nazis maybe their crimes were unthinktable. But then History showed how far humans could go against themselves, not only in a individual but in a colective sin.
Sexual abuses of children within the catholic Church were not isolated sins. They were committed once and another, here and there, with the sistematic silence and omission of many people. And of course with the helping wrong decisions of those supperiors who had to stop them. Since the moment that there was a colective failure, sorry Diana but that exceeds the individual consideration of "one sin-one sinner".
Sorry if my words are too hard, but if a sin near becomes such a simple sport for many, then we can not consider it as many isolated cases. "Spotlight" shows how pedophilia was like a common thing among many priests. And how many bishops considered it like a sin against celibacy "substitutive" of sex with women. As if having sex with a boy or a girl was not so grave as having it with a woman.
I remember here Saint Paul's words: it is better to get married than to be seared (mejor casarse que abrasarse). Those priest who raped children could have had sex with an adult. Then, it was not only the misconduct of having sex against their vow of chastity, it was worst because they wanted to fornicate and they used children for their sin.
If those priests had stayed with adult prostitutes it would have not be the same. They would have had the same misconduct but without the crime of raping a minor.
Then, Diana, do not make people think that for a priest, as for any adult, to have sex with a minor is the same than to have sex with an adult, because there are very different things. Not every sin is a crime, in civil terms. When your son does not obey you at home, you say your son sins because he desobeys you. But anyway your son is committing a crime.
When a priest rapes a boy or a girl, a minor, he is committing a very grave sin for God and the Church, but also a crime so great as if it was against humanity. If we consider the dimensions of the consequences, we could say in fact is a crime against humanity.
It not only destroys the person who suffers the crime, that boy or that girl, it destroys all the good and all the hopes and all the efforts of those who are represented in that child. We need a whole tribe to raise a child, to raise the whole humanity in an only child.
How many efforts are behind a boy who starts being an altar boy? How many loving persons along how many years before it? How many years of teachings and hopes fall down when that boy is destroyed just in a few moments? It is the absolute devastation.
I know that breaks neocatechumenal way of understanding the world, because for a neocatechumenal person is exactly so bad to disobey a catechist as to be a child raper. And it is obvious two things are not comparable, as well as to abort is not the same as to steal an apple.
I will finish this post with a very worrying anecdote, which explains the tittle of my post. After watching "Spotlight" I was reading about the first catholic bishop who was accused of sexual abuses. The "honored" was Bishop Ferrario, from Hawaii. He died without being judged, although first abuses were dated before being consecrated as bishop.
This picture shows him as a very happy bishop brandishing his crosier. He seems a little child with new shoes.
Here is his "curriculum": http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Ferrario_Joseph_A.htm I want to underline this: "Two of the men said Ferrario abused them after they disclosed to him abuse by another priest". The film "Spotlight" shows precisely the case one of those two men, that one who being a child suffered sexual abuses and another different priest again rapes him after trusting on him his suffering. Absolutely discusting, to vomit.
That man, Bishop Ferrario, was also honored being one of two co-consecrator bishops of Apuron in February 19, 1984.
In Spanish we use to say "Dios los cría y ellos se juntan", translated "God creates them and they join", to mean more or less the same you say with "birds of a feather flok together".
I do not know which is the role of co-consecrator bishop, then I do not know if Apuron could choose Ferrario as his co-consecrated. I would like to know if it was just a coincidence. Then, what a joke that the first acused bishop in the world was such a "godfather" of the first acused bishop in Guam. Apuron always shining.