Posts Tagged ‘#churchtoo’

Two is too many (Father Tran/Father Malcom). Yet there has been two alleged monsters that have come close to my family. The clerical sexual abuse that only broke in the United States this century, has been known about in Canada longer. Yet we still do not comprehend how to stop the devils in the temple. One can zero in on the Roman Catholic Church and cry it’s due to celibacy, or like hard line Catholics have said “gay priests”; both are wrong. It is monsters, either created (due to enduring their own abuse and assuming it is normative) or born (true Pedophilia) that choose their power of sexual assault over another.

I have sat in many different religious circles that have struggled with this, sadly have made apologies for the devils or shamed the victims. I have also sat in many religious circles that have made the right decision to exorcise the devils, and allow the law to do what the law is empowered to do. The one’s that clearly work with the law, also understand that all the screenings organizations can do are a first wave of defense only, as they screen out the, what I colloquially call, the dumb devils– the ones previously caught and still trying to destroy lives.

What is needed is the open dialogue and conversation. Where no matter the denomination (Alliance, Restoration, Catholic, United, Mennonite, etc…) the clerics are not placed on holy pedestals but are seen as community members, and human beings. Thus not only approachable, but held accountable to the same standard and laws as everyone else.

The story that scrolled across my wife’s feed during the early hours this morning of Father Malcolm D’Souza has left me heart broken for those that suffered in silence until now. He served at St. Mark’s in NE Calgary from 2010-2016. We had attended mass there during a time our family needed a respite. My wife did not understand my love of liturgy in my Anglo-Catholic Soul. She got it after the Mass, and hearing the homilies of this man that cut so clearly to the heart of the gospel message. Neither of us knowing what has been alleged to the man offering blessings and sacraments.

A large Filipino congregation, they embraced children. I had written earlier of the elders who stood with inclusion for my son who is differently abled. The fun potlucks, and children game festivals. How children were loved on, and how all were welcome regardless of label. We had discussed at that time going through the RCIA and coming into full communion with the Vatican. Then my Mum’s health took a more drastic turn and we were not able to attend the classes as we wanted to spend as much time as possible in Bassano with her, and mid-week trips were frequent.

Devils can come in any shape and form. They can be ones that appear to guide us, let when the light of day is shone upon them it confuses and begins to drive it back. Shadows disperse, and words emerge. Healing can begin. Thoughts and prayers have become empty words in these dark times, yet that is what I am left with in the shell shock. I pray that those who were harmed get the help they need. I also pray that those who harmed are held accountable by the law, and also get the help they need for this evil needs to end.

I encourage anyone who has been a victim of these priests to contact the Calgary Police Service with information (403-266-1234).

*Jesus boots- my Granddad’s term for sandals.

Read huffpost article here.

The above article opens a conversation that should not have to be opened. It should not have to be opened because our Puritan-ableist beliefs should no longer exist. Guess what world— Human beings are sexual beings. Shocker I know. And guess what else? The Differently Abled (or the preferred descriptor of the individual) exist upon the sexual spectrum. For those having a hard time to comprehend…it is like life with what our ableist world defines as “typical”… or for a better analogy in my world– the Archie Comics Universe. The ol’ Riverdale gang where everyone exists and is accepted for who they are.

Guess what that means? Some people want to be intimate. Some want to be touched. Some don’t. Some want a life partner (who is same or different gender), some want to date two people at once (and the two are ok with it–not saying anything Betty-Archie-Veronica). Some, like Jughead, just want a cheeseburger…but guess what…no one looks shocked at them. Some are non-binary, some are trans-gendered, some a cis. Some are heterosexual, LGBTQ2+, some are somewhere on the spectrum…some are also the less talked about Asexual.

Guess what though? We as a world cannot impose what makes us comfortable.

We are all in the beautiful rainbow family of God, and that means that folks will date and fall in love regardless of the labels imposed by society. Between consenting adults that is called healthy relationships and sexuality. So please understand the terms: healthy, equitable, equal, consenting… all must be in play.

That means it is our societies responsibility to equip with the same knowledge we do others. Healthy sexual education in public and private schools; teaching of consent, body ownership. Believing abuse allegations and fully investigating. Yes #MEtoo, #Churchtoo, #Timesup, exists within community members, and usually at higher rates because the predators know that communication and believable are more easily questioned when the victim is viewed as “less than” by society.

Once you shatter the “less than” to “part of” and that everyone belongs and is fully who they are as they are then something wonderful happens. Communication difficulties break down. One learns the subtly of the non-verbal communication. One becomes observant of very subtle body reactions, and is able to see if something has changed in even the most cerebral of persons. The community, begins to address vocally and globally that abuse of any kind, against anyone is not acceptable and punishable. The abuser is the one who is held accountable, the victim is no longer traumatized.

True healing and reconciliation happens, because there is no longer a group that can be abused for we are all part of this together. We are neighbours.

It begins with affirming full person-hood, and yes, that includes the very human sexuality.

We are all whole and complete.

Just the way we are.