May 19, 2011

The Day After

The day after the release of the newest John Jay report, there is a veritable storm of controversy and debate ongoing on various blogs and websites. Check out Googling God and the comments section of National Catholic Reporter, among others. It is all quite sad and depressing. Should we even be giving this report so much attention and credibility? I don't know. Lots of controversy swirling and accusations of sensational reporting in the mainstream press. I await the discerning judgement of wiser heads than I.

Thanks to Reluctant Rebel for his comments here and at his blog, and for Thera and Colleen's input.

Not wanting to contribute to the mayhem, I deleted an earlier comment - which Thera P refers to in the comments - in which I suggested that all sexual contact between Ministers and young people  of any gender under the age of 17 should be referred to as pedophilia, regardless of the technical, clinical, psychiatric use of the term, simply because the word resonates in the general public with that sense of horror which is appropriate to the offense. Quibbling about pedophilia/ebophilia is a distraction. Who is horrified by ebophilia. Say What? Though there is also another term for the same thing - hebephilia, which sounds like a skin disorder. But as Moderate Fundamentalist points out in the comments, we also have to take into account the public's horrified fascination with 'gay pedophilia' because of it's own repressed homophobia and unrecognized subterranean desires, which leads the media to focus intently on such cases. Perhaps this is one reason among many for the under reportage of cases involving young girls. Sadly, while anti-Catholic bigotry may contribute to the complications of the issue, the greatest contribution to such bigotry, in my opinion, is the behavior of the bishops themselves. These are not good days to be proud of being 'Catholic'.

In the meantime, I continue to chart my own eccentric, heremitical path, witnessing to the fact that the catholic mystical charism survives quite nicely outside the formal structure of the Roman Church. The Spirit lives and breathes we know not where and none of us can control Her. Let us follow where She leads - and for many of us that guiding hand leads us "outside the door". I can testify to the inner peace and joy that comes from following that loving, all seeing hand, which is revolutionizing the community we call church in many unexpected and radical ways, few of them within the formal institutional structure. Nonetheless, without that structure and the tradition it was meant to enshrine and protect, I would never have been given access in the Spirit to this precious charism that constitutes being a catholic Christian. For that I will always be grateful. Peace, joy and freedom in the Spirit.


TheraP said...

I think you nailed it! Well Done!

There should be no flinching on calling sexual exploitation of young people pedophilia. And for older persons, simply call it sexual exploitation. Full Stop.

Beyond that, yes, I am in total agreement. Move on! Sure in the knowledge that God never ceases to reach out with love, to inhabit the margins and call us ever deeper.

Peace be with you. And with all.

Moderate Fundamentalist said...

There's something slightly dishonest about the attempt to redefine paedophilia and homosexuality as if the two disorders are somehow mutually exclusive. There are gays and straights who are sexually interested in adults and there are gays and straights who are sexually interested in children. The paedophile cases that get the most media attention are of course the ones that involve gay paedophiles because they appeal to the (often repressed) homophobia of the general public. The same goes for cases supposedly involving Catholic priests and boys - not that there's anything repressed about anti-Catholic bigotry.

Jayden Cameron said...

Thanks, TheraP, I actually went back and deleted those comments (in a state of depression haha) because I didn't want to contribute to the furious discussions now underway. And yes to Moderate Fundamentalist, the media focus on 'gay priest pedophilia' may be one factor why cases involving young girls do not reach the limelight.