While glancing at my WordPress.com dashboard I noticed that this will be my 200th post on this blog. I am amazed I have stuck to it this long, although my posts have been less frequent as events in my personal life demand my attention. For this post I am beginning a series on the Catholic playbook. These are the strategies that the Church and its apologists use to downplay the sex crisis that continues to play out around the world. I have been keeping notes over the last five years on reactions to media stories, blogs similar to mine and message boards. There are too many to do in one sitting so I will try to do them in installments. I think you can safely say that these strategies are employed by any organization that takes a risk management approach of covering up and denying instead of being proactive and forthright. The RCC has been using these tactics for centuries. (That’s right, this sex crisis is not the result of Vatican II as the very conservative zealots will have you believe).
Here is installment 1 of the RCC Hierarchy Playbook:
It is in use again. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) hierarchy is pulling out their playbook on how to spin their position on the myriad of crises in which the church is embroiled. The good old boy network has been fostering corruption, scandal and criminal activity for centuries. Why would it be any different in the 21st century.
In the wake of the conviction of Monsignor Lynn in Philadelphia, the hierarchy’s public relations goon squads are trying to minimize damage in the media, isolate other potential “crisis hotspots”, and brainwash “the faithful” that all is well and that the one holy catholic and apostolic church is on solid footing, just as St. Peter placed it. You can keep coming to church and filling the collection plates.
The playbook is predictable and predatory. It can be broken down into several broad categories. We start with: ( I shouldn’t have to say this but… sarcasm runs amock in this post). (If you are a Diocesan Spokesperson, try to keep up, I try use a lot of one syllable words, if you get confused you can use the google machine.)
Paint the Victim as a Predator
1. Victims are only looking for money! Greed is one of the deadly sins. The hierarchy of the church must have people believe that the victim of sexual crimes committed by priests, nuns or lay representatives are only out for a quick, large payday. Gloss over the damage done by the predators who enjoy the top cover of the church while targeting victims for their own pleasure, that is not relevant! Father “Fill in the Blank” is not called to account for his actions, crimes and deceptions. No, we can’t have that. Let’s go after the victim who has carried his/her great terrible secret of violation for years or decades. We lurk in the shadows for years for the opportunity to litigate and force the church to pay for sins it did not commit. The victim is the bad guy in his/her search for justice.
2. Victims will bankrupt us. Ignore the palaces, art work,massive princely mansions, the expensive cars, summer retreat spots, first class flights to Italy and land used to hide pedophiles in Catholic minimum security facilities. Ignore the vast resources of the Catholic Church worldwide. Wealth that is beyond the comprehension of most mortals is not to be considered. Cardinals and bishops have had the audacity to claim poverty in the face of claims that substantiate their complicity it protecting pedophiles in their attempt to protect the church from scandal. Dioceses have attempted to use this tactic in court but have failed. They will cry out that they have to close schools and parishes to pay for settlements and awards to victims of predators that they have shielded. Funny, it would seem that the best way to avoid scandal is to not create one! But I digress. Has it ever occurred to anyone in the hierarchy of the church that predator priests, by their actions and in total disregard for the good of the church, continue to prey on children and vulnerable adults and open that organization to scrutiny, penalty and sanction? Can I have a big “DUH” from the congregations?
3. Victims of sexual abuse are likely to be abuser as well. Make me the new monster! There is no proof of this, but the church and their apologists take this out for a spin on a regular basis. Paint me as the new threat to children and vulnerable adults! Once again the church needs you to suspend belief in the overwhelming evidence of institutional cover ups and re-victimization. Never mind that priests, nuns and lay members of the church have abused their positions of power and were given refuge, financial support and the institutional blessing of the church while victims were ostracized and painted as monsters. Urges, surely the victims have them and seek the same carnal pleasures that they were forced to comply with. Really?! Again, the church is lying to protect its treasure. It relies on the blind stupidity of the parishioners who believe everything they are told.
AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:
4. The Priest is only guilty of being seduced. No kidding! You would be amazed at the number of times this has been thrown at me by “Good Catholics” and priests. It was my fault that he raped me. I tempted him, I led him down the path to this. Let’s for a moment suspend belief in reality that sexual activity with a minor under the age of consent is, at a minimum, statutory rape. Let’s for a moment suspend the logical notion that children who have not gone through puberty are generally not sexual creatures. Let’s suspend belief that an adult man is unable to distinguish between right and wrong. These acts, in my specific case, were not tender, passionate acts. They were brutal, criminal acts that resulted in injuries to my person, my well-being, my psyche. They stole my innocence, my faith, my trust and my ability to deal with the everyday world around me. At age 13, I assure you, I did not seduce a priest. He raped me, repeatedly. They were acts of violence. Acts of intimidation, dominance and depravity. Anyone who can embrace the idea of a child seducing an adult in this manner has, in my opinion, a seriously flawed thought process.
The next installment will be: “There is nothing we can do about it”
If you want to add to the discussion, feel free to comment…
5 thoughts on “The RCC Hierarchy Playbook, Part I”
You said it, and very well.
I am reminded of the times we who have spoken out have been called “enemies of the church” or accused of trying to destroy it. For some reason I don’t understand, many who were victimized are still faithful Catholics, and others, like myself, would indeed like to see the place close its doors. But if I am their enemy, it is because they were my enemy first. They were my enemy when I trusted them, and they should take a look at that book they claim to believe in (or their own interpretation of it) and read the verse where it says, “You shall reap what you shall sow.”
Oh Michael…You are just incredible..you never give up the “good fight” and neither do I…I’m now going to be 83 Aug. 17th and I’ve been blogging for over 10 yrs.,on the same sickening subject. I’m anxiously awaiting your next installment. Gloria.
Seduce a CCRCC priest? I’d like to sedeuce one into a painful, unresponsive nothingness — using a Hillerich & Bradsby. Just kidding. I would love to seduce one into 5 five-minute rounds of MMA in the cage. Oh. Did I mention that I will be 53 this year? Long time to be angry? No justice — no forgivance. I’ll take on the young-buck hand-to-hand champion of the Swiss Guard blindfolded, hopping up and down on one leg, with one arm behind my back — using only the pinkie of my other arm. Seriously. For the “gift” for the CCRCC that keeps giving extended pain to the victims — I’ll take the Dailty Double on my life savings with that bet, Alex.
I cannot prove to you that there will be another wink, Michael, but I feel very deeply as if I’ve been there at least two or three times in my life — when I was in very near-death states. These bastardo’s may get away with what they can now — but if there is anothyer time and place of judgement — they ain’t gonna want me then.
NJo sdpell check
Michael, I am amazed, (for lack of a better word), and as I had expressed to you previously, how similar our stories are. How similar our feelings good/bad are, and our feelings of injustice or as if, it appears, somewhere along the line, we were told to put our seat belt on, hold on and just shut up. Your words are very elequent yes, but meaningful, moreso.
On some of the occasions “he” had his way with me, be it verbally, physically, sexually or simply through touch, well, as a grown adult now, makes me realize how “ignorant” I was to accept his paternal and holy touch upon me … Oh wait, no, it is the church that wishes for me to feel ignorant regarding that touch. I WON’T HAVE THAT. I may and can now think on my own and frankly, I don’t need them.
This blog is my first experience with this RC Priest mess being compared to or likened to the result of Vatican II. Interesting concept, in the least. I intend to look into that further.
It has, to date, been 1 year and 3 months since my (my ?), local Diocesean Bishop has publicly stated that he has reached out his hand, attempted, to get ahold of me and has simply lost touch with me. Bold lie, he has never attempted to call or ever shown up at my front door in a bishopmobile asking to talk to me. ( He was the archbishop of Philadelphia, though never questioned or asked to explain his knowledge of events that took place in Philadelphia, Pa. during his tenure there. That I am aware of. Yet, he has the audacity to publicly state that he has tried to contact me or in the least, see to it that spiritually, I am well. That is a BOLD FACED LIE.
So, my point, he lies, he lied to me and I wish so deeply that he would be asked to tell of his knowledge or lack thereof, in the best case scenario for him, of his knowledge of just what took place in Philadelphia for the past close to quarter century. He is an untouchable, period. That may change.
#2. Victims will bankrupt us…well no, you will bankrupt yourself and especially if, as in my case you spend countless hours asking me what I want of you, as a church. I told you first, 20 years ago…pay back my parents for all the tuition money the wasted on my Catholic education. ( in addition, I might add, they “had” to pay the public school tax ). No, remember Father Helwig? You spoke for the Bishop and said you could not pay them back. It simply was NOT POSSIBLE. Then you proceeded to repeatedly ask “us” as a family unit, just what I wanted from you/them, you asked me four times…remember, my response? $ 1.00, you stated. ( NO, SERIOUSLY ). Done
O’Gorman — who was raped repeatedly by an Irish priest when he was an altar boy and was among the first victims to speak out in the mid-1990s — said evidence is mounting that some Irish bishops continued to follow the 1997 Vatican instructions and withheld reports of crimes against children as recently as 2008.