Thursday, 27 March 2014
Random Thoughts on the Church Sex Scandals and Wider Society
Having recently watched a TV programme in which the sex scandals in the Church were once again discussed I was left with a question: why are the child sex abuse scandal and homosexual acts by clergy being discussed in the same programme? Certainly both shatter the integrity of the individual priest and are gravely sinful acts, but the abuse of children is a heinous, criminal abuse of power over the most innocent and vulnerable in our society; taking a male (or female) lover or fathering illegitimate children are not criminal acts and actually sit well with the morality of today’s secular culture which is, on the whole, supportive of men and women taking lovers of either sex.
We must be ever vigilant against abuse by clergy (for perspective see here and here), but I think it is time abuse itself be seen and presented as the problem rather than the organisation in which it occurs, be that the Church, the BBC or any other institution, otherwise it is too easy to see abuse as a failure of the institution when in fact abuse is a massive problem throughout society: the NSPCC reported that in 2011-2012 there were 29,837 offenders on the Sex Offender Register for sexual offences against children (see here).
Having been brought to consider the need for abuse to be seen and reported as a social problem, I found myself irritated by the fact that abuse of the child is considered worse than the killing of the child as occurs in abortion. Further, research indicates abortion harms the woman too, studies indicating that in women who have had abortions there is increased risk of mental health problems, of premature birth with subsequent children, of cervical cancer and breast cancer, to say nothing of the risks associated with the procedure itself such as perforation of the uterus, infection, even death –see here and here.
N.B. Any Post-abortive women who are suffering can seek help through the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (see here) or via Rachel’s Vineyard (see here).
No matter how expert and clinical we make abortion, its true nature as the deliberate killing of the child is not easily dismissed by these mothers: women’s maternal instincts cannot be completely fooled by sterile equipment in clean operating rooms; they instinctively know they are engaging in the killing of their child since it is the child they are seeking to eliminate, not pregnancy. How many more women have to be harmed and unborn children killed before society begins again to value human life from the womb to the tomb? Indeed, following recent revelations by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, it is almost possible to say that in our “civilised society” the crematoria of the Nazi concentration camps have been replaced by hospital incinerators where babies are not simply cremated as waste but burned as fuel to heat the building in which other babies will have their lives ended. And we call our society ‘civilised’...