First, a content notice: Sexual assault victims may want to sit this one out.
One way to write this column would have been to simply copy PRIESTS RAPE LITTLE KIDS and then paste it over and over for 600 words. I suppose that would have made a point.
But it wouldn’t make the point I think needs to be made, which is that it is time to stop grabbing these collars with kid gloves. The Catholic Church is the most vile institution on the planet, a pedophilic cesspool years beyond potential rehabilitation. Strip back the tradition and the power and the hypocritical accoutrements, and all you’re left with is a circle jerk, some cheap red wine, and generations of believers cursed by physical and mental lacerations.
The emperor has no clothes, and because of the inexplicable complicity that has flown in the face of the most vile rape offenses one could possibly imagine, neither did thousands of the children in the church’s care for god knows how long.
On the heels of horrors that have come to light since a redacted version of a grand jury investigation into Pennsylvania clergy was released last week—a document that features, among other sins, details of plots targeting the most vulnerable kids—it’s time to use these facts about the Catholic Church against them. Sort of like the way President Trump uses lies against immigrants; if conservative voters acknowledged how much more likely men of the cloth are to be sexual savages than are migrants from south of the border, the POTUS would be able to campaign for reelection by pledging to build moats around these crass dens of felonious iniquity.
To think that such an evil bastion has been given any kind of platform to engage in public conversations about sexuality and gender is a disgrace to the outlets that facilitate the bloviation, as well as to anyone who sits around and lets it slide. On Meet the Press on Sunday, one of the talking knuckleheads discussing the news out of Pennsylvania noted how badly they felt about having to hash the news out on a Sunday. With that kind of sentimental nonsense in the air, I doubt that my suggestion—to openly confront and question Catholics any chance you’re given, and to insist that the children in your family are kept far away from churches—will catch on. Still, it’s worth a try.
Finally, I won’t say outright that I feel this strategy should apply to all organized cults and religions, other than to say that Catholics wondering why journalists and prosecutors have turned a blind eye to sexual misconduct in other stables of worship would be on to something. When it comes to touching children, nobody can touch the Catholic Church; nevertheless, if we checked court records across the United States to examine the lawsuits filed against people of God in every denomination, Halliburton would probably go into the moat-building business.
And those are just the cases we have access to. If we knew about the shit that happens behind closed doors and gets swept under the rug, the feds would have to work around the clock to update local sex offender registries, while law enforcers would have more evictions on their hands than following the subprime lending plummet.
That kind of massive effort may not be manageable, but the Catholic Church is good place to start.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.