Sure, there has been some abuse. Some are guilty. Many are innocent, but are sitting ducks because they are not allowed due process. The numbers of the actually guilty are much lower than the numbers of the merely accused. And on that score, it should be pointed out that whatever the numbers that have been reported, they are vastly smaller than the numbers reported for incest, which stands at something like 10-20% percent of the population, so that one in every five lay people you meet is an abuser. Anyway…
There’s a difference between accused and convicted and between convicted and guilty, right? Right? But as one judge told a bishop who asked if the judge if this was about money or justice, the judge said that it has nothing to do with justice, only money, and he intends to take as much money from the Church as possible.
But in the perception of people, you know, those with pious ears, if someone is accused of such a thing they are automatically guilty of everything for which they stand accused, you know, like the case of an accusation against a priest which was allowed by a judge even though the abuse is said to have taken place before the priest was born. This has nothing to do with justice. Generally speaking, clergy are not allowed to have due process. Settlements are made by their (arch)dioceses and they are removed from the priesthood forever, even while the accuser pockets money. Many church officials, making themselves heroes for being “tough”, stack juries against priests by making public statements about the certain guilt of the priest (with no proof) even before the jury is selected, with that statement from a diocese being used in the trial as the only “proof” which convicts the priest, with those church officials getting promotions for being heroes…
When, at the last judgment, the devil accuses before God those who falsely accused priests on this earth, and denied those priests due process, it seems to me that the advocate we have before God, Jesus Christ, with His wounds pleading for our forgiveness, will be denied them, so that everything the devil wishes to accuse them of will be attributed to them whether they are guilty of it or not. It’s only just, right? Right?
Here’s the deal: SNAP is being sued for corruption, for allegedly taking kickbacks, feeding lawyers any and every case and getting money in return from outcomes. SNAP, it seems to me, is on a world-wide blitz to take attention away from themselves by having such as those in the Royal Commission publish ludicrous numbers with no distinction between the accused and the convicted and the guilty.
We will see what the reality is at the judgment, for, let it be known, Christ Jesus, Himself falsely accused, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.
P.S. I often hear from lay people, from priests and from bishops who are aghast that I would say such a thing about Jesus, exclaiming all breathlessly that Jesus wasn’t accused of such a thing as that and how dare you make such a statement. I explain to them that all false accusations are false accusations (easy logic, no?), and that any kind of false accusation leads to the death or dismissal also of innocent priests. They simply remain aghast, or put on such a pretense, revealing, it seems to me, an indication that they themselves may well agree that all accusations must be true, having invested themselves into this dynamic in conversations by quickly agreeing that so and so must by guilty, you know, just because, with the idea that in smacking others down they lift themselves up, making themselves heroes in being tough.
But here’s the deal. Those “heroes” only encourage real abuse: “Come get money! I’ll be your hero!” Even more, when people are sick of this kind of abuse of authority, they will no longer listen even to real victims. That’s terrible.
The way to go is justice all around. None of this “The victim is always right without any due process for the priest” rubbish. That only encourages abuse with impunity. Get it?