More analysis of scandal (Paedophilia Issues)

Michael Burke

No one seems quite sure what causes sexual deviancy, but it is mostly learnt behaviour. If we search for solutions to this problem we will not find them if we think it concerns only Roman Catholic priests, especially in Jamaica where incidents of sexual deviancy are growing while the Roman Catholic population is less than three per cent.

Last week, my piece was entitled “Unacceptable no matter who does it”. It was with respect to the pending paedophilia scandal among priests in the Roman Catholic Church. In the Jamaica Observer online, Carlos King wrote that “there will always be people who manufacture excuses”. I know that I manufactured none as I made it quite clear that it was unacceptable no matter who does it.

I appealed for balanced reporting as homosexuality and paedophilia are not exclusively Roman Catholic problems. I also wrote that those who say that homosexuality and paedophilia would cease if the celibacy law for priests were abolished need to answer a few questions. Why are these crimes prevalent, even among married couples?

I asked who but the devil himself would want to discredit the pope, especially if he speaks in the name of Jesus Christ. And I certainly knew that a statement like that would bring some response from the hard-line anti-Roman Catholics.

Pope Benedict has reiterated all of the Roman Catholic positions on social justice in his encyclical Caritas Veritate (Charity and Truth). Those who have squeezed the world’s poor to become wealthy are uncomfortable with such encyclicals. The Roman Catholic Church continues to give a preferential option to the poor and speaks out against those who do not.

This could well be one possible motive why some seek to sully the name of the successor of Peter the apostle whom Jesus Christ gave the keys of the kingdom, as found in Matthew 16:19. If these motives are real then they are evil. The gay lobby targets the Roman Catholic Church, which most Jamaicans do not know.

Many gays believe that if the pope is discredited an obstacle to their lifestyle would cease. That is one possible motive to sully the name of the pope. In June 2004 there was a front-page picture in the Gleaner of a protest by gay activists in England with anti-Roman Catholic sentiments on their placards. They were protesting against the death of a gay activist in Jamaica.

The Roman Catholic Church remains firmly against birth control and abortion.Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church views abortion as murder. But abortion and birth control methods are money-earning businesses. This is another possible motive to sully the pope’s reputation.

It has been difficult to be Roman Catholic in Jamaica ever since England captured Jamaica from Spain in 1655. This was when the English banned the Roman Catholic Church from Jamaica for the next 137 years until 1792. King Henry VIII of England was angry with the pope when he was forbidden to divorce his wife. This is why the Roman Catholic Church is only three per cent of Jamaica’s population.

Incidentally, the information I am getting is that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) was already transferred to Rome when the paedophile priest for whom Benedict is being accused of “covering up” was caught and reported. If that is so, Benedict is innocent.

But if the pope is innocent, that is not news, is it? How would that sell newspapers or bring in sponsors for radio and TV news? Even so, I know of no church, organisation, family, company or whatever that washes its dirty linen in public. When people speak of the Roman Catholic Church in this way, they are really hypocrites.

As Mark Wignall correctly pointed out when he took me on last Sunday, despite the low percentage of paedophiles among the clergy, one is too many. But wasn’t that understood when I wrote that it was unacceptable no matter who does it? And Mark, I am not afraid to face the reality of sexual deviancy in the clergy as embarrassing as it is.

All Christians struggle with sin of one sort or another which is never solved by running away or hiding. If married men can be priests in the Latin rite of the Roman Catholic Church, it might be the greatest cover-up of all with respect to homosexuality, paedophilia and adultery. After all, isn’t this the real reason why such sins are not exposed in other churches?

I agree with Deacon Peter Espeut who wrote in the Gleaner recently that we need more all-boys’ schools to address the needs of boys for the reasons he gave and more. I have previously written that we need more all-boys’ schools. My concern is that boys are becoming more feminised each passing day.

Some argue that all-boys’ schools increases homosexuality. I believe that the co-educational schools provide hidden opportunities for that. The public education system in the USA is basically co-educational and the same goes for Canada. But the USA’s gay population seems to grow by the day.

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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