Friday, 4 May 2012

Catholic Church's 'scandal' is just a part of the issue.

David Quinn, in his comment piece for the Irish Independent, 4th May, ‘Abuse Cross Church must bear stems from decades ago’ wrote that a large scale study into child abuse, carried out in Holland, found that ‘the prevalence rate in Catholic-run Institutions was no higher than in other Institutions’ that were studied.

This is a fair comment. However, it does not mitigate the Church's behaviour in relation to the suppression of the truth and subsequent (avoidable) harms caused to so many children, over such a long time scale, one whit.

What he misses in his piece is that the abuse of children is a serious problem across our entire Society.

Whilst there is a huge focus on the abuse of children within Catholic-run Institutions, and rightly so, the issue of the sexual abuse, the mistreatment and brutalising of children is much larger than the Catholic Church.

Europeans often lay claim to the centrality of Christianity as a benign force in European development, as a central pillar of our Society. What kind of Society has this as a central pillar?
This is a matter of profound importance to Society at large. The fact that none of this (the 'scandal' of the Catholic Church) would be occurring without the courage of Survivors of abuse, who braved a prevailing societal unwillingness to accept the truth, is something David Quinn ought to have noted. It is something I reflect upon regularly. I am in awe of those who have shown such courage, well aware as I am of the shame, self-loathing, fear and confusion that are the outcomes for so many Survivors.

David Quinn's omission reduces his piece to a defensive polemic, on behalf of the Catholic Church, and does nothing for the children, be it those who have been abused, those who are being abused and those whose abuse might well be prevented, if the work of John Bowlby, (child mother bonding) James Prescott, (origins of violence) Alice Miller, (child abuse sanctioned by Society, intergenerational trauma) JosephChilton Pearce, (prenatal consciousness) John Holt (how children learn) and David Chamberlain, (child birth, infancy) and John Taylor Gatto, (the origins and intent of Compulsory Schooling) all of whom have examined in detail, and with courageous honesty, how we, as a society, treat our children, was not so studiously ignored by Government departments responsible for Education, Health and Child Welfare, so carefully avoided by the leading Psychiatric and Psychological Establishments, so rarely mentioned by leading media, in spite of  the verified and corroborated evidence that supports their collective contention, that the psychology of any given society is both revealed and perpetuated in how that Society relates to and treats the children.

The psychology of Power, (in simple terms, bullying), still dominates our Society and it is perhaps the single most important connective issue that we can, as adults, face in these tremulous times.
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death amongst 10 – 24 year olds. A telling statistic indeed. Physical Health has been improved, yet psychological health is deteriorating.

War, Institutionalised Abuse (children, elders, prisoners, poverty) Ecological Destruction, the Competition of Power, be it secular, religious, economic or ideological are issues that cannot be avoided whilst at the same time the claim that we are a decent society is made.

The intergenerational trauma patterns associated with these issues will not diminish because we mitigate or ignore them. The work that has been done, mentioned above, and is being done is now more widely available, through the dissemination of information in this, the information age. Some of us, with access to that information, are genuinely better informed as a result.

It is surely time now for the organs of public discourse and the organs of Governance to fully engage with that information and that crucial work, to engage with what is known of this matter, in order to build a future that honours all our children, and with that all our peoples, for all of their lives.

Kindest regards


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