With the testimonies posted on this site and with the empirical evidence of the Australian Catholic Dark Network study proving beyond any reasonable doubt the existence of Organised Catholic Abuse, you would expect it to be covered in recent academic and serious studies of Catholic Sexual Abuse.
So I looked at three important recent studies. One in Australia, one in Ireland, and one in Britain.
Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church:
An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry ReportsDesmond Cahill Peter Wilkinson
Centre for Global Research
School of Global, Urban and Social Studies RMIT University, Melbourne August 2017
Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender, Power, and Organizational Culture Marie Keenan.
Betrayed: The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis by Richard Scorer
All three provide valuable insights into the crimes of the Church.
All three have significant omissions.
The Australian book is written by two academic priests, but that doesn’t stop them rightly castigating the Church. At the same time, it’s a cleverly manicured damage limitation exercise. Here’s a typical example concerning failures in Catholic residential care:
The intentions of the religious orders were generally altruistic and well-intentioned but flawed, although many former residents in all inquiries expressed gratitude for the way they had been cared for.
Sexual, physical and emotional abuse was a feature of almost all residential institutions, although the sexual abuse was much more endemic in boys’ than girls’ institutions.
There’s endless whitewashing in their selection of material. For example:
Winship’s study is more targeted than Keenan’s, focusing on 12 priests and religious who had offended against pre-pubescent children aged 13 or under.
Winship describes her subjects as ‘romantic paedophiles’, because their lives and affections were centred on children. Their minds did not contain conscious sadistic fantasies of children, and none engaged in penile penetration so she describes them as sexual molesters, vilified by society, rather than paedophiles.
I don’t think any of the survivors on this site would agree with her definition of ‘romantic paedophiles’.
Marie Keenan’s work has an Irish background. Academics greatly admire her supposedly ground- breaking book. I don’t share their admiration.
She acknowledges her book was partly funded, at least, by the Irish Bishop’s Conference and two religious orders ‘with no conditions attached.’
Her central premise about lonely priests, the structure of the Church etc, is hardly groundbreaking. I’ve read it countless times before. She says there is no evidence that the Clergy enter religious life in order to abuse children. She challenges the view that abusers of children are pure evil and makes various excuses for predators. She also quotes an academic study that abuse doesn’t always harm children and may even be character building.
Richard Scorer’s book I admire greatly. He’s a lawyer who has worked with Survivors and he relates how a client told him she had been warned by her local Catholic priest that to ‘rake over the past is a mortal sin.’
But Scorer reaches roughly the same conclusion as the other distinguished authors. ‘The factors which give rise to the abuse crisis – clericalism, authoritarianism, sexual immaturity the priesthood have not gone away.’
All three ignore a wide range of Catholic abuse issues for which there is hard evidence. And yet they must have been tripping over some of this evidence in the course of their investigations.
You may ask why would they ignore the truth? After all, these are clearly good people.
If you’re familiar with how authors and academics operate, as I am, you’ll already know the answer. You may already know there are subjects in every walk of life that are strictly off limits in a world where there’s now only a handful of key controlling publishers.
Academics cannot and dare not explore certain topics. Their livelihoods and their contracts are at stake, so they simply keep their mouths shut. I’ve already done a study of how important truths are censored at a lecture I gave at Liverpool university in 2014.
In the area of child abuse – as in other sensitive areas –authors and academics are provably not telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Instead, they are selecting their truths and their omissions are disturbing.
Consciously or unconsciously, they are acting as damage limitation, distraction (‘don’t look over there – look over here’), officially approved opposition, call it what you will.
By doing so, although they claim to be part of the solution, they are actually part of the problem.
Here are the areas of clerical abuse they are ignoring for which there is empirical evidence. Evidence that is worthy of study and analysis. They will have come across some of these areas at least. I’ll try to keep them brief so you can get an over-view.
1.Catholic priests were – and possibly still are – Knights of St Columba. There are three priests on a KOSC obituary list I have (It’s since been removed from the web, but I have retained a copy). Two of these priests abused me. Such membership means the line between laity and the priesthood is blurred. That has worrying implications worthy of study.
2.None of the books I’ve referred to suggest the laity- the congregation – were ever involved with or supported clerical abuse. Similarly, I only found one account on the web that indicates the laity were involved. Yet it’s highly unlikely that the congregation were always passive and unknowing and never participated.
3. The role of all Catholic Knights is to protect the good name of the Church. What does that mean in practise? My testimony and the testimony of another survivor, plus a further account I have, would suggest it was used to cover up in the context of Ipswich Province. The Dark Network study indicates something similar. The Knights worldwide play an important role in the Church. Why isn’t this studied?
3. Finance and control. The Knights controlled and paid my school fees. They paid compensation to Survivors, including me (see my last post about Brother James). They also in the past helped finance schools like St Joseph’s and possibly the building of new churches. As they have a tradition of being secret organisations, how is that monitored and why is it never studied?
4. The Knights rituals, a form of psychological brainwashing and for which there are transcripts, stopped in the late 1960s. Why? And did those traditions continue in some truncated form?
5. Papal Knight Jimmy Savile was almost certainly a Knight of St Columba from the photos at his funeral where the KOSC act as ushers. See Google images. There are no references to this on the web. It’s been ‘combed’. Are his connections to KOSC off limits like his connections to Thatcher and Prince Charles. Given the KOSC’s charitable work, it’s a relevant question.
6. Major studies often refer to the legal situation in clerical abuse. Lawyers are involved in compensation to victims. The Dark Network study shows such an important role for Catholic lawyers. A private testimony I have does the same with a KOSC lawyer providing support after a child has been abused. Why is there never any reference to similar legal interventions which must have occurred elsewhere?
7. All these books I’ve referred to – and all others on the subject – still present the abuser as a lone rogue priest or monk, like a clerical version of Lee Harvey Oswald, the lone gunman.
Yet any anthropological study show humans like to work or get together in organised groups whether it’s golfers, authors, organised crime, or organised abusers. Why haven’t academics considered this on an anthropological level alone? Apart from all the other evidence.
8. In one recent testimony on my site there is evidence of a private hospital that dealt with a Catholic victim of abuse. The nurse indicates this has happened before. It’s clearly well organised and yet it would seem the academics know of no such time where it’s happened before. Is the nurse lying? Are we all lying?
9. The Dark Network study of clerical abuse in Oz has details which cannot be unique. The academics must have come across the same or similar details. Why don’t they mention them? Note the study also refers to abuse amongst leading members of the laity.
10. There is Opus Dei self harming and also British examples of Catholic self harming. For instance, John Cornwell’s Seminary Boy describes his self- flagellation at his seminary and how it was approved by priests. Surely that has some relevance, not least because of the danger of clerical abusers flagellating victims. I was aware of the threat of this, at least.
11. At the heart of the Church is Mother Theresa’s view of the glory of suffering (although she didn’t apply it to herself, having first class palliative care). It’s because it’s the Imitation of Christ’s suffering. Why hasn’t this driving concept been explored in the context of abuse? As excuses for abuse? Just how far does the Imitation of Christ’s suffering go? Quite a way, I can assure you.
As the basis for a twisted theology with an abusive modus operandi, it is highly relevant.
It’s astonishing that academics never even consider or discuss the central premise of the Church in the context of abuse. I will be shortly.
12. Most survivors accounts that we read are passed through the filter of academics and authors who act as gatekeepers, selecting, censoring and editing. Is this why we are not seeing more accounts as on my site where there is no censorship?
When that doesn’t happen – as in the excellent survivor site on Oz ‘Broken Rites’ -it supplied much of the hard evidence for the Dark Network study. We surely need the equivalent in the UK .
13. Why aren’t there more sites like Broken Rites that can finally expose the whole truth? Not a censored version.
There is a very reputable Catholic survivor site, for which I normally have the greatest respect, who invited me to talk at one of their conferences. They even offered to pay for my hotel. So I went into further detail, covering my experience of the organized nature of Catholic sexual abuse. I told them this would be the basis of my talk.
I never heard from them again.
Where is this self-censorship coming from?
14. There is substantial evidence on this site gathered over some seven years. And my site is now widely known. Why isn’t the evidence affirmed or repudiated?
Instead, there’s silence which is the usual response from academics when they’re presented with uncomfortable truths that they dare not consider. I have overwhelming evidence of academic silence in other areas, such as the real truth about World War One, which is my personal area of expertise. It looks like it’s the same here.
In conclusion, let’s hope there’s a serious author or academic out there who is courageous enough to look at the serious issues I’ve raised in this Check List.
I’m not holding my breath.