BBC: Sex Crimes And The Vatican - Parts 1and 2 genre: Hip-Gnosis

I grew up attending Catholic schools...from first through twelfth grade. I attended a boy’s Catholic high school that had students living on campus from all over the world. I lived with my parents since the school was located in my home town.

During my time in high school, it was common knowledge when a member of the monastery had committed a sexual transgression with a student. The typical procedure would include sending that member of the clergy away for a period of time...often to another monastery. After a while, they would return and resume their duties at the school. With more than one clergy member, a second sexual transgression occurred.

For the most part, existing students soon learned to be careful about the situations and circumstances they placed themselves in with these particular members of the monastery. Unfortunately, that left freshmen and new students vulnerable and they were often the ones to be victimized.

Strange as it may seem, these events were viewed as one of those things that happened at our Catholic school (and I assume at many others). While it was known to be wrong and clearly frowned upon by the administration, it seemed to become more an element of folklore than the commission of a felony. In fact, to my recollection, these events were handled by the monastery and the school administration and not forwarded to the police for criminal review and prosecution.

I'm not sure what that says about the times or about the unspoken acceptance by Catholics that members of the clergy were prone to such behavior. Throughout her life, my grandmother...who emigrated from Italy as a young woman...often spoke about the indiscretions of priests in Italy. Her stories primarily involved heterosexual indiscretions but the prevailing theme was that she knew as a young girl to avoid one on one contact with the priests.

Perhaps the seemingly unconscionable ignoring of such events by the Church results from the willingness of followers to look the other way...or perhaps it demonstrates the degree to which men of the cloth have realized their ability to push the limits of decency while hiding behind their positions of authority.

Whatever the case, I've always viewed religious institutions and those who create and promote them to be interlopers in the relationship an individual may choose to have with a higher being. My grandfather, who also emigrated from Italy as a young man, didn't attend church and if asked why, he would simply state that he could talk to god without needing to go through a priest...who he viewed to be just like any other man...not god's anointed agent.

The following video clips are parts one and two from an hour-long BBC documentary on the Catholic Church and its efforts to hide or ignore the years of sexual exploitation on the part of its monastic members. Parts three and four will appear in the next posting.

UPDATE:

BBC has forced YouTube to remove the video from its site. The following link will take you to a site where you can still view the documentary (Be sure to paste the below code as a continuous sequence...I had to break it in order to fit the posting width):

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid326855969/bclid715966067/
bctid909959911

Part One

Part Two

Daniel DiRito | May 21, 2007 | 1:39 PM
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Comments

1 On May 31, 2007 at 7:19 PM, Vanessa wrote —

Why am I unable to view the documentary from yours and other sources?.

2 On May 31, 2007 at 10:40 PM, Daniel wrote —

Hi Vanessa,

BBC forced You Tube (and others) to take the video down. I found another source for viewing the video and I've included the link above in the posting. I was unable to find a copy that I could embed here but the link will take you to a site where you can view the video in its entirety.

Regards,

Daniel

Thought Theater at Blogged

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