Home / News / In studying abuse, we must be free to follow the argument

In studying abuse, we must be free to follow the argument

Confronting the culture of abuse within the Catholic Church Religion EthicsAustralian Broadcasting Corporation

In order to eradicate sexual abuse from the church, three things must be done: identify and remove all offenders, reach out to and assist victim/survivors, and identify and overcome the more fundamental causes of both abuse and the poor response to it.

cheap moncler coats Here I want to focus on the third of these, that of identifying the basic causes. But to begin with, a few preliminary remarks. cheap moncler coats

moncler outlet store Firstly, there are some causal factors that are common to all offenders and others that are particular to each individual offender. In between these two, there are unhealthy factors within particular societies or organisations that can foster a culture in which abuse will more easily occur, or can compound the problem by contributing to a poor response. Needless to say, the church must look at broader factors in modern society that may have contributed to abuse, but this must never be to the exclusion of factors internal to the church. moncler outlet store Indeed, because the church can change the latter in a way it cannot change the former, it must give particular attention to the internal factors. moncler outlet store

Secondly, abuse is most likely to occur when the three elements of unhealthy psychology, unhealthy ideas and unhealthy living environment come together. Many studies have been done concerning unhealthy psychological elements, but much remains to be done concerning unhealthy ideas and unhealthy living environment. A poor response is most likely whenever anything within the culture causes the good of people to be subjected to the good, not so much of the community, but of the institution.

moncler outlet uk Thirdly, buy moncler jackets I suggest that the major fault of the church in this field is that it refuses to look at any teaching, law, practice or even attitude of the church itself as in moncler sale any way contributing. In studying abuse, we must be free to follow Moncler Outlet the argument wherever it leads rather than impose in advance the limitation that our study must not demand change in any teaching or law. We must admit that there might be elements of the “Catholic culture” cheap moncler outlet that have contributed either to abuse or to the poor response to abuse. moncler outlet uk

moncler outlet sale So let me suggest some elements in that culture that deserve serious consideration. moncler outlet sale

cheap moncler outlet 1. The Angry God cheap moncler outlet

In any religion, everything without exception depends on the kind of God that is being worshipped. It is the single most important fact about any religious system, for every aspect of the system will flow from it. And there has been a long history of “the angry god” in the Catholic Church, with the Inquisition being merely the most glaring example. Spirituality was too often seen in the negative terms of self denial, self abasement and rejection of the “world,” and the Christian life was too often seen as consisting overwhelmingly in right behaviour before a judgemental God. A constricting guilt played too large a part.

moncler jacket sale These are unhealthy ideas that have contributed to unhealthy actions. moncler jacket sale

cheap moncler jackets 2. Moral Immaturity cheap moncler jackets

cheap moncler Before a judgemental God, with the constant threat of hellfire, the all important consideration is that we avoid wrong actions. But if human beings are to grow, two things are necessary: right actions and taking personal responsibility for those actions. cheap moncler

moncler jackets outlet Yes, right actions are necessary, for we will not grow by lying, stealing or committing murder. It is equally necessary, however, that we take personal responsibility for our own actions. If a forty year old man is still in all things doing what his parents tell him to do and never thinking for himself, his growth has been most seriously impaired. A one sided insistence on doing the right thing, to the detriment of actually thinking for oneself and taking responsibility for one’s own actions, produces immature human beings. It, too, is based on fear rather than love. moncler jackets outlet

Moral immaturity does not prepare people to cope with the many and varied temptations that will come to them over the course of a lifetime, and must be added to the list of factors contributing to the unhealthy climate in which abuse can arise.

3. Sex and the Angry God

moncler outlet jackets For centuries the church has taught that every sexual sin is a mortal sin. According to that teaching, even deliberately deriving pleasure from thinking about sex, no matter how briefly, is a mortal sin. The teaching may not be proclaimed aloud today as much as before, but it was proclaimed by many popes, it has never been retracted and it has affected countless people. moncler outlet jackets

moncler outlet online The teaching fostered belief in an incredibly angry God, for this God would condemn a person to an eternity in hell for a single unrepented moment of deliberate sexual desire. Indeed, it is the teaching on sexual morality more than anything else that has kept the idea of the angry God alive and strong within the church. Belief in so horrendously angry a God specifically in the field of sex has been a most significant contribution to the unhealthy culture I am seeking to describe. It can lead to the unhealthy attitude of sexuality being seen as dark, secretive and troublesome. moncler outlet online

moncler sale Furthermore, this teaching helped to place the emphasis on the sexual sin against God rather than the offence against the abused minor. Paedophilia was, therefore, to be dealt with in exactly the same manner as any other sexual sin: confession, total forgiveness and restoration to one’s former state, and this was a significant part of the motivation for the practice of moving priests around from one parish to another. moncler sale

The problem is overcome only when, in forgiving a past wrong, we also see the necessity to take all precautions to prevent future wrong, and we will do cheap moncler sale this only when we appreciate the moncler outlet online compulsions that paedophilia creates and place the emphasis, not on a sexual offence against God, but on an action that is deeply offensive to God precisely because of the harm caused to innocent children. I do not believe that God is upset by sexual desires or acts in and of themselves alone, but God is very upset by harm monlcer down jackets caused to people.

If the church moved away from a sexual morality based on the artificial concepts of “natural” and “unnatural,” towards a morality based on persons and relationships, we would finally be basing sexual morality on the gospels rather than a theory that has little reference to the gospels. We would all have a healthier basis for our understanding of moncler sale outlet sexuality and for living our lives as sexual beings.

moncler factory outlet 4. The Male moncler mens jackets Church moncler factory outlet

The sexual abuse of minors is overwhelmingly a male problem. Yes, some women have also offended, but the vast majority of offences have been by men. In relation to the response to abuse, the temptation to subject all other matters to the overriding importance of one’s own good name and honour, with the consequent hiding of anything that would bring shame, is also a largely male concern, with a long history behind it in many so called “honour shame” cultures.

Sexual abuse has arisen in a church in which all power is in the hands https://www.moncleroutletsite.com of men, where all the dogmas, teachings, laws, customs and even attitudes are those of men. Indeed, even men’s ways of being human beings have been seen as normative for all human beings. Women have had no voice moncler outlet sale in articulating the church’s doctrine, morals or law. Banned from the pulpit and the altar, their wisdom has not been permitted to interpret the gospel nor their spirituality to lead the church in prayer.

It is surely reasonable to assume that, if women had been given far greater importance and a much stronger voice, the church would not moncler outlet have seen the same level of abuse and would have responded far better to this overwhelmingly male problem.

cheap moncler jackets sale 5. A cheap moncler Culture of Celibacy cheap moncler jackets sale

The predominant culture has not just been male, but celibate male, for all power has been in the hands of celibate males. In the atmosphere created by this fact, celibacy was the ideal, and the only concession made was that, in the words of Paul, “it is better to marry than to burn” (1 Corinthians 7:9), so that marriage was seen to involve an element of failure to strive for perfection.

I am not suggesting that the preference for celibacy is the sole or even predominant cause of abuse, but I believe it has made a significant contribution, both directly and indirectly. It has certainly been a major contributor to the other massive problem the church has not yet begun to face: the sexual abuse of adult females.

moncler sale outlet Actually, celibacy itself is not the problem, but obligatory celibacy. A celibacy that is freely embraced out of a passionate love for God and people is not unhealthy. But a celibacy that, sometime after ordination or final profession, becomes unwanted, unaccepted and unassimilated, is both unhealthy and dangerous, for it is a celibacy without love. It then contributes to unhealthy psychology (such as depression), unhealthy ideas (like misogyny) and unhealthy living environment (like loneliness). moncler sale outlet

The cheap moncler coats preparation for a life of celibacy in the seminaries and novitiates was negative (“Don’t do this, avoid that”), and there was little assistance in building healthy friendships, especially with women. The only answer given to the problems this creates was that God would provide all the love and friendship one might need. This undervaluing of the importance of human love and friendship contains serious dangers.

What Do You Think?

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About Bradley Albury

Bradley Albury
Editor-in-Chief of The Abaconian.

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