More Notes from The Orchard – 59
More Notes from The Orchard for March 2019
I can no longer continue to write articles about my Faith and fail to put on record my views about sexual activity combined with the appalling hypocrisy relating to, among other groups, the Roman Catholic church.
I was brought up in this church and until sometime after 1983, when I imagine the evil perpetrated by men (and some women) on children first burst into the media after the scandal of incest being practiced in Cleveland in 1983 – as far as I remember mainly inter-family, then followed by the horrible murders committed by Frederick and Rose West. Cleveland stunned most of us when the story broke and many of us felt it must be a story invented by the media. As more and more appalling stories hit the headlines we had to begin accepting there was some truth in the allegations.
I can only speak personally from my own knowledge and state that as far I was concerned there was not a single incident of any impropriety whatsoever from the priests and nuns I met during my convent school education from the age of 7 – 18, (4 different day schools until 12 and boarding schools (3) from then to the age of 18. The reasons for so many changes of school were due to family circumstances and could not be avoided. They were all, bar one, Catholic schools and I never met anything untoward in any of them nor did I hear anything by way of gossip anywhere.
The latest figures quoted in the media suggest that about 7% of clerics are involved world-wide which doesn’t sound huge, but told that in the frame of 7 people (mainly men) in 100 are practicing pederasts but if you then take the number of Catholic priests in the world , latest figures available say that some 414,000 were priests in 2012, and assuming that 7% of those were disgracing the church, that would suggest a total around 30,000 were sinning against the most vulnerable members of the church, which is horrifying! However, it also means that roughly 384,000 are fulfilling their duties and doing properly the job for which they were ordained. Although these figures are very approximate they represent the fact that 93% are doing their best, although that probably includes those who are keeping or kept their mouths shut.
For over 2,000 years the driving power in the Catholic Church, as in the majority of religions of whatever faith, has been the men. No longer can they be trusted to have sole control. If we women do not speak out now we are guilty as those who have kept silent over the matter up to now. It must be stopped.
Talk today is of the post-Christian era and it is obvious that people are ceasing to believe in God at all and they certainly don’t believe there is such a personage as Satan which is rather like saying “Oh, yes: I believe in pluses but not minuses, day and not night, summer not winter, life not death, good but not evil. . .” which is if you think seriously at all, ridiculous.
Let us suppose for a minute that both God and Satan exist. If Satan, a brilliant force for evil does exist, what do you think might be the best way for him to disrupt and win against equally strong forces for good?
What is man’s weakest point? How did Samson lose his hair, the source of his strength? It is said the way to a man’s heart is his stomach but most women would suggest that it is his proudest possession, his manhood! Remember Bill Clinton?
Sex, which is the means to creation of future generations, has become – probably since Adam - a plaything, for men anyway. Women, who will always be left with the baby, do not see it in quite such an ephemeral way. I heard a story today, from a man who does understand that love comes into play with sex. An acquaintance of his mentioned in passing that he had to have sex every day and preferably two or three times a day. Surprise, surprise, the marriage ended in divorce – there was absolutely no way the wife could put up with, quite bluntly, was daily rape. It turned out that his father had explained to him that such frequency was absolutely necessary for any man because unless his sperm was used up every day, it wouldn’t be possible to keep supplies ‘fresh’. Years later the offender met a French woman who taught him the art of making love so he married her. When they were ‘living happily ever after’, he met his first wife again and over a drink he told her what had happened. After a few drinks more they found they were each wondering what it would have been like had he known earlier about how to conduct relations with a woman. They agreed to go to bed and find out. The consequence was that it was a huge success, and the man found out he not only had his second wife but also a mistress – but that’s another story.
At the end of the February meeting called by Pope Francis of all the bishops in Rome he stated that it was the great evil that goes under the name of Satan who is at the basis of the disaster which is overwhelming the Catholic Church at this time.
Jesus knew about Evil and he called evil ’Satan’. Jesus himself was tempted in the field of power. The great prayer he gave to us finishes ‘. . .but deliver us from evil.’
Sisters, it is time to stand up and fight this evil! We were given to Man by God to be his Helpmate, not his Servant or his Slave. We were given to Man by God not only to be the Mother of his children but also the mother he never met, to be kind to him and to teach him how to love.
There is a danger ascribing a name to Evil, particularly in these days when we live in a society where someone or something has to be blamed for everything that goes wrong. And using personification which tends to make evil look a real person makes it much easier to find a scapegoat. Excuses range from, at the worst, “It was the officers’ fault,” as the Nazis excused the terrible things done by them during WW2 “They told me to do it!” down to “It wasn’t my fault, Miss! The dog ate my homework!” C. Day Lewis does it really well in ‘The Screwtape Letters’, (recommended reading for teenagers!).
Christians believe that when God created us, he gave us free will, so when we are tempted to do those things we know we shouldn’t, we can always choose to say “No!” difficult though it might be. . .