Sunday, March 21, 2010

More Important

"It was not being raped by a priest at the age of 14 that shattered my faith; it was the horrifying realization that the Catholic Church had willfully, knowingly abandoned me to it, the knowledge that they had ordained the priest who abused me despite knowing he was a paedophile and set him free to abuse with near impunity, ignoring all complaints."
Colm O' Gorman


  1. Yes, child abuse is a very bad thing, especially if it happens behind walls of religious institutions. Right there it should be obvious that children and young people get scars that they won´t get rid of their whole lifes ...

  2. "What can we do with priests like that? How can we assure adequate 'Surveillance and Punishment'? And how must men like this be resocialized? I want to ask this questions to Monsieur Michel Foucault who has come to visit us today to speak with us on pedophile priests."

    Can you imagine Foucault speaking in front of such a mess in a talkshow? Giving clear, sober, helpful, pragmatic indications?

    It has to be assured that priests like this can never be priests again. But how can this be achieved without violating the demand that breakers of the law have to be resocialized?

    Perhaps I would like to resocialize them as suicide bombers and persuade them to explode in the Vatican... but this is only a daydream of magic controll over evil, and the argument is too serious to be checked off with funny witticism.

    George Soros wants even to abolish prison (and if I am not wrong, he wanted to do this even before the tecnology of "imprisoning without prison" was a realistic perspective).

    I am afraid, we need not only comprehension, therapy and pragmatic problem solving in certain cases of social human disorder, but also punishment.

    But what is punishment? Punishment is a conscious, intended infliction of suffering.

    The problem is that it is not possible to distinguish punishment and torture using this definition. Like the difference between terrorism and the legitimate fight for freedom of some violent militants as the beating heart of a people, this distinction remains imponderable. And this is quite a problem.

  3. What about Gerry Adams? Will his case discredit Sinn Feins?

    What about mentalities?

    Is it true that pedophilia is more a problem of northern countries? Or is that only a clichee of southern countries?

  4. @epitimaois

    More important than reflection about punishment and resocialisation is prevention. From my own experience (!) – I´ve been in 3 boarding schools – I can tell you a very easy step to be gone: A Boarding School (Internat), by no means, must not be managed and conducted by a single man, only by a married one, or better with own children. This excludes priests categorily. Catholic ones of course, but just as well lutherians as well, when they are single. The latter was my personal experience.

  5. "A Boarding School (Internat), by no means, must not be managed and conducted by a single man, only by a married one, or better with own children."

    I would love to agree on this pragmatic rule which seems to privide us with a perfect, clear criterion and the unambiguousness we are longing for.

    I could agree completely, listening to my heart and experience, if I didn't know that this rule would force a big part of the few really good schools, which in Italy still exist, to close.

    One of the facts I did appreciate very much reading "Highroad to the Stake" was MK's careful scepticism in front of generalizing judgements like the common idea of monasteries being brothels in past times.

    I remember very well the simple-minded enthusiasm in the 70-ties on "sexual liberation", especially in my generation, which was 10 years younger than the 68 movement. I felt always very uneasy, and people would laugh at me, when I tried to explain that the result can only be very different from the intention, if one wakes up a sleaping dragon.

    Now I even cannot long for Savonarola showing up, since Result and Intention have become like Night and Day, and apparently will not be able to find each other any more for some while.

    "Draco dormiens numquam titillandus!" J.K.Rowling is really a good fairy. I had to invent her if she didn't exist.

    Yes, prevention is the most important thing, and I can agree for Germany with your rule, which meets my predilection for pragmatism and practical solutions running by their own. What does G√ľnther Jauch say on this issue?

    My reflection on punishment was concerning either prevention. My belief that good practical rules can be enough isn't as strong as it was once.

  6. To paraphrase the Dixie Chicks...I'm ashamed that the pope is from Bavaria (my home state).

  7. @epitimaios
    "if I didn't know that this rule would force a big part of the few really good schools, which in Italy still exist, to close."

    It is only the head to be replaced. Don´t forget that sexuality of single young male adults is uncalculable and unpredictable from the outside.

  8. @cs

    I agree completely on your diagnosis. I am even sceptical for what concerns married fathers, to be honest. A wife sometimes is the best camouflage. I personally once avoided a married father because I felt he isn't kosher.

    I agree with everything you propose, I am only afraid it might not be enough, and I even expect to occure a radical change in our attitudes during the next decades, because "the bigger the mess you cause, the greater the comprehension you earn" is a "leitmotiv" which has driven us into a direction which might be a blind alley, I suspect.

    You underestimate the clan structure of the italian society. Let us consider the fact, that heads in this country are nearly always old, a conforting fact (or at least as more conforting than alarming). The good schools I was speaking about are good just because the head has always been a priest. There are examples of the right and the left. In Germany once Don Milani was known, whose school at Barbiana in Mugello has been described by a famous book on education politics published by Wagenbach in the 70-ties. Guido Viale affirmed even that the discussions on this school at the Università Cattolica of Milan where the very beginning of 68. Don Milani was a convert grown up in a jewish family!

    68 has brought unimaginable damage to the italian educational systhem. Unimaginable in Germany. Here is not the space to describe the issue...