Wednesday, July 04, 2007

the good father

Wednesday, July 04, 2007
3 years of prison for 47 counts of assault [that we know of ... that number grows still, as more women come forward]. he served only 3 months before dying in prison of natural causes. here's the sordid story.

47 counts of abuse. (can you compute that? that's 47.) over a period of 4 decades. numerous little girls between the ages of 9 and 15 years. 'touched' by father charles sylvestre. and many of these girls did what we have all always told children to do: told an adult they trust. only to hear things like ... 'well you seem ok, so we'll just drop the whole thing.' numerous counts ... numerous complaints ... all had fallen on deaf ears. the catholic church KNEW of these incidents. in fact, made frequent, weak attempts to rehabilitate father sylvestre with routine trips to counselling, etc.

however, at no time did any of the church hierarchy see fit to REMOVE canada's worse pedophile priest FROM ACTIVE MINISTRY! in fact, at one point the church even removed him from his post as parish priest before the police could get to him for questioning, under the guise of sending him to a 'retreat' in montreal! father charles sylvestre has since passed. and his victims continue to suffer ... and suffer ... and suffer. and so do all of their intimate partners and spouses. as for the church, they have mishandled this whole issue from day 1. alas, how could they have dealt with it any other way? i mean, a large group of sexually repressive, celibate, and for all intents and purposes 'asexual' and undersexed men ....? charged with the welfare of children? GIMME A BREAK!

what struck me about this whole story? the blatant perpetuation of lies, and abuse and the oppression of truth all with a view to 'protecting the institution' ... with a view to protecting a family's reputation among fellow parishoners. how am i, or any other believer, supposed to in all honesty, attend to, participate in or support an organization that protects criminal activity of the most horrific type, all for ego and reputation? how i am supposed to believe any priest when he says those words, read from his alter book, 'whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me' ...?

for years, i have had only the shakiest regard for that overgrown elephant known as the catholic church. i have known the greater part of my life that catholic hierarchy concerns itself with reputation, public relations, and their mythical vision/notion of sexuality, marriage and family life (like, none of them can purport to teach any of us how to manage a spousal connection, given they know JACK FUCK about conjugal life!) at the greatest cost to individuals, their personal suffering and any injustices contained therein. many-a-priest, and my mother's own parents turned a blind eye for almost 20 years while she received the most awful abuse at the hands of her husband. at least 4 miscarriages, several tumbles down flights of stairs, and a broken leg. and still, the party faithful could not bring themselves to step out from under the oppression of their rules to stop the suffering and save a family.

sure, i believe. i believe that no institution has carved a private golden road to heaven or g-d. i believe that the church represents a lying, power addicted corruption and that its had a hand in covering up the injustices of much suffering in this century alone, let alone in its long history. i believe that many paths lead to the promised land. and i will surely AVOID the path which that catholic institution insists upon. i don't know about anyone else in the crowd, but i cannot support, condone, or find any favour with any individuals or organizations that deliberately cover up such horrific abuses of children.

~the end~

visit the link ~the good father~ to see the website of this documentary, entitled 'the good father,' which includes a link to the documentary in full, interviews with father sylvestre's victims and the horrific, forty year timeline. indeed, its some splendid journalism. albeit on an ugly topic. we all must face the ugliness in order to appreciate the beauty of this life.

15 comments:

Enemy of the Republic said...

This is why we aren't raising our son Catholic, nor sending him to Catholic school. Child molestors are everywhere, but when the institution perpetuates it by shifting the guilty into new parishes where they can find more victims--well, I just don't trust priests, pure and simple. I really believe the Church should take off the rule about celibacy; it is the only major religion that demands it. Will it solve child abuse? No, but it will help with guilt and shame. People who get their sexual kicks from children are abberant, no matter how common they are in today's world. This is not normal sexuality in any way, and I am very open minded. It is based on secrets and lies. That does not come from God. Nor does protecting the guilty for the sake of the Church. Jesus would slap the shit out of all these people. If you think this is a rant, you should hear my husband who was raised Catholic. He thinks this issue alone will take down the church. I think it will help, but as long as the church fails to put in a pope from the third world where they are more represented than in Europe or North America, they will continue to alienate the faithful and the Pentacostal faith, another yucko, will win out in the third world.

the.red.mantissa said...

its pretty sad when, in these cases, a child would not even be safe in his/her own classroom, for all any priest has to do is say, 'i want to speak to this one, this one, this one, individually.' and most of us think we are doing a good thing by sending our kids to school. how sick and awful that this happens/ed.

i don't know about you and your husband, but i feel so betrayed by an institution that was a big part of my growing up. my husband simply says he has no use for the catholic institution or anyone that takes a protective/cop-out stance wrt this. yes, of course there are some truly good and worthy men of the cloth ... but all the goodness seeps out when it tries to cover up what's so very bad.

you are right, of course, none of this comes from g-d and jesus would bitch slap all of these losers. of course, ours is not to judge, and no doubt all child abusers get their day in g-d's court. still ... where does that leave us all.

i fear you're right about the pope and celibacy. i think celibacy is either at the root of this whole sexuality thing or its a manifestation. either way ... its sick. and indeed, that house of lies needs to be brought down several pegs.

makes me flippantly ask ... is islam really the evil religion? is it? let's really consider our answer before we give it.

i dunno ... i think abusing children and covering it up is right up there in the evil books.

pentacostal - yucko and scary for sure. i attribute the scourge of AIDS and its rampant spread to the pentacostal views of sex.

glad you read this. do take the time to check out the link. the documentary was very well made ~ the journalism is great/balanced - she asks the archbishop some tough questions in her interview (yeah, another CBC documentary ...).

do you know that the archbishop interviewed - supposed appointed head of some task catholic church task force on sexual abuse - when asked, did not have a clue as to how many priests have been charged/accused of pedophilia?

i'm inclined to think that catholic clergy = sexual deviants. my eldest brother attended a seminary school in the 60s. the school got shut down ... yeah, we all know why right? duh! of course, did any adult have to take responsibility for his actions? no. how many more sexual deviants did this create? there's no telling.

grrrr. it makes me so angry to think about this mass manipulation of vulnerable folk.

the.red.mantissa said...

i mentioned it in this post and the documentary also mentions it. but its worth repeating.

sexual abuse is not a violation of that one individual. its a violation against society. for sure against all the people that person will become intimately connected to. once removed, trust of that nature can never, ever be restored. and so, those who never commmitted any violations, also suffer at the hands of the abuser. how sad, indeed.

any survivor of rape/sexual abuse knows who's married knows of what i speak.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I agree with what you say. I personally don't think any religion per se is evil if one follows it as God inspired and not as an instituition. Islam is a fine religion, but it gets a bad rap because it interjects political anger with spiritual belief. That actually is not of the Koran--the lesser jihad is fighting against one's enemies, but that does not include straping explosives on 6 year olds. That is a perversion of the faith. Likewise, moving pedophille priests around is no better. Sexual abuse kills--it is a different kind of death, but it destroys something without renewal; something may come of the ashes, but life as the survivor knows it has gone forever. I will look at the documentary--right now I am caught up with finishing my grading and things are tense here.

K9 said...

uh-oh.

K9 said...

red: the light gray type is hard to read for an old timer like me. i read at xdells you finished school? congratulatons.

K9 said...

no good catholics should never stand for this nor should the priesthood or the church. if fact, molesters in positions of power as teacher and priest should go straight to prison and be put in a cell with the biggest most baddest and lonliest inmates there. grrerhhaha noam sayin?

its always important to be mindful of the great divide between the God and the people who set themselves up to be his representation on earth.

the.red.mantissa said...

she ~ ok. i will see if i can make the grey a tad darker ... u r not the first to complain about the light grey being too light.

i have reached the halfway mark ~ the most challenging part of my course - all the programming stuff - is now behind me. onto the fun stuff - html, java, visual basic script, animation, flash, blah blah.

i agree with you regarding people in trusted positions. i don't understand why so many, for so long, just turned their heads to so much suffering. not just the catholic priest/brother pedophilia ... but so much other abuse, also. countless individuals, just told 'you made your bed now you lie in it' (i.e. wife abuse ... child abuse). and then there's all the nazi officers the vatican hid.

susan's right ... that is NOT the path of g-d. its the path of TOBY. you know who toby is, huh? bezelbub.

nice to see you, she. thinking about you. its hot and humid here. there too, eh?

how's that wild tree climbing hound?

ours has been dead for almost exactly a year. :(

K9 said...

oh oh i am so sorry. i am glad you had that artist do her portrait...i loved it. your own beautiful hound gone a year already. red, i am sorry. and even though i have trout, i still miss eva so much. but....i think of eva often because of trout...."eva would never do that" grrherhahaha
have you given any more thought to a puppy?

the universe mustve sent me a dog that i had to learn some hard lessons through.

on to the fun stuff????? i cant wait to see what you do. youve really gotten good at this and i said it before im a little jealous i think i would like to learn all that too. but i should be painting.

by the way, i cancelled my october show. i can see i wont be ready. so i turned it into a group show and i will have 2 or 3 pieces. i took an illustration project and agreed to another smaller project so....

ive missed seeing you, but i am impressed with how much writing you do AND school. enemy too. you two are the uber bloggers.

piktor said...

Mantissa, I think that an organization that pretends that child sexual abuse is nothing to raise hell about is a very sick organization.

It is sordid and felonious.

It has cost the catholic coffers untold millions of dollars in jury awarded penalties and hush-hush settlements.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is still rampant throughout the catholic organizations. How do you eradicate such an entrenched evil that has probably been in place for centuries?

By the way, I concur with she's first comment: uh-oh!

the.red.mantissa said...

she ~ one only receives in life the things one can handle. indeed, lessons we are meant to learn come in the form of challenging individuals and situations that confront us.

your show ~ sorry to hear about that, but best you feel absolutely ready. still 3 pieces ... and a couple projects on the side ... its ok, right?


i've missed you like crazy too. school has been keeping me occupied. and, aside from enemy's blog comments, i rarely feel moved to write things. except for this latest post. i felt moved to write it as the documentary was still in progress.

i am 'learning' html ... lol ... formally, that is. its a blast to do this stuff now b/c i a familiar with a lot of it d/t my blogger addiction! haha.

piktor~indeed. i think the catholic view of sexuality and carnal and the human flesh in general leads to this. given how the human psyche just is(yes, freud was spot-on about many, many things). what grows in the dark can only stay in the dark. it can never grow in the light. similarly, all attempts to repress the animalia that lurks within each of us will end up as futile exercises. and so ... sexual repression + celibacy = sexual deviant. IMHO.

i am quite sure, that as long as things within that institution remain as they are ... such heinous abuses will continue.

the most angering thing here is that men of knowledge and authority manipulate a most vulnerable part of anyone - belief and trust and spirituality.

that's just plain fucked up.

excuse the pun (not intended!).

the.red.mantissa said...

she~ about the dog. i have pined away and pined away like you must know for a pup. martin, on the other hand ... i think he's still suffering. his reluctance at entertaining the notion of a dog tells me this. life is so busy and unsettled right now ... tho we are living in a perfect place for a dog (rental that allows pets with back yard and all). it would not be fair to bring a dog, who needs so much love and attention and instruction and you know ...

we have mice, so i have really wanted a mini schnauzer ... or some similar terrier that likes to kick the shit out of small vermin and 'eat them for breakfast' ... but alas ... (please don't be cross with me) i will settle for a cat ... martin seems like he will go for that. we'll see. i would like a pet that keeps mice at bay ... for now. and there are so many cats looking for homes. i dunno. i sort of like not having to worry for a pet right now. but i do miss one.

for now my build-a-bear stuffed animals (yes, i'm a loser and i have 2) serve as a reasonable facsimile for pets. haha.

yes, i've finally lost it!

X. Dell said...

(1) Here's a link to a segment from an episode of This American Life titled "Enemy Camp." It's a story about a priest who investigated pedophilia and all sorts of other sexual transgressions withing the Roman Catholic church--not to find out the truth, but rather to cover it up. The Church calls such priests 'fixers.'

(2) I have known a lot of Roman Catholic men (or former Catholic men) who told me of repeated and routine buggery in dormitories and youth camps.

(3) I'm going to talk about the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) which helped such institutions as the Church cover up crimes of this type when recalled in adult life from people who repressed it. The FMSF has some pretty shaky backgrounds, and their assertion of FMS comes from methodologically suspect research.

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Oh friend... this is sad- I hadn't read the story before now.
My mom was so protective of us girls in this regard- and sometimes she asked questions that were hard for her to ask- because she wanted us to understand that an abuser could be ANYONE- and she wanted to protect us. She was never blunt or scary, but she knew how to ask us if we were ok...none of us were ever abused as kids- by anyone. Mom, honestly, I think would have easily killed anyone who even tried. I'm so thankful for her protective nature- and it was definitely passed on to me.

Peace friend...good to be here- I'm still sketchy at MV until school starts- which will be on July 16th- blah!

the.red.mantissa said...

x-dell~ i will check the link. sadly what you say does not surprise me.

mayden~nice to see you. martin also had a way of asking logan ... similar to your mother's. it never was overtly asked, but indeed the question was understood. only another week or so until school starts ... hang in there ... :)