When my eldest kid was in her second year of high school, she studied the horror genre in her English class. They were asked to write their own horror story and many of them, as was to be expected, wrote themselves as the victim, usually stuck upstairs with a noise coming from the kitchen or some such horror trope. All except my kid, who wrote her story in the third person and then let us into the dark cesspool of her imagination.
She bypassed the word limit three times, unable to stop her hypergraphic and lurid horror story of a priest in a small Irish village who was sexually abusing children, and then boiling up their bodies and bones to make soap for the poor villagers.
Then the villagers learned of the priest's nefarious activities, and they placed him on a Judas chair, which for those not familiar with their medieval torture tools, was a contraption where the person would be placed on top of a pyramid-like seat. The victim's feet were tied to each other in a way that moving one leg would force the other to move as well - increasing pain.
The triangular-shaped end of thes eat was inserted in the victim's anus or vagina. This torture could last, depending on some factors anywhere from a few hours to complete days.
So yes, my sweet kid wrote this when she was 13-years-old, wearing her pretty dark hair in a red ribbon, and not long after, her teacher rang me to say he thought she needed counseling.
After asking her about the story, she told me she had read an article about catholic priests who had abused children, and figured that the Judas Chair, which she had seen in a BBC murder mystery was the only answer to stop curb and stop the rapes.
I told the school of her calm and clear answer, and they agreed that she didn't need counseling, in fact, perhaps she should be working as a judge to those priests before the court.
Right now in Melbourne, the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how the Catholic Church and other organisations dealt with abuse victims and abuse allegations over the past decades.
The Church’s history has involved crimes, cover-ups, failures of leadership and a careless disregard for some of the most defenseless members of our community, children.
The stories that have emerged are heartbreaking and unforgivable, and now Cardinal George Pell is blaming ill health for his reason not to leave the Vatican, where he now works for the Pope. He has been ordered back to give evidence in Australia about his role in the cover-ups when he was a priest in Ballarat and the Archbishop of Melbourne.
I recently had a fascinating conversation with an incredibly smart Jewish woman, who told me that country of England soared ahead when English Reformation happened and Queen Elizabeth I of England allowed the clergy to marry. Why? Because their children became educated, and education is the key for building a better society.
By keeping the masses unable to read, or write, they have less power in which to ask why things are the way they are, and they are easier to control when they are poor.
But when the masses can read and write, they can create opportunity, and they can pull themselves out of poverty, and the more educated society is, the more it surges ahead.
After the reformation, England was taking over the world with ships, and explorers, and machines and the industrial revolution. Why? Because the priests, the leaders of the community were having children who were taught to read, and question and ask why instead of being kept ignorant and poor, and as a chattel of the church.
Some amazing thinkers came from children of the clergy.
- Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters were children of clergymen.
- Lewis Carroll was the son of an archdeacon.
- Carl Jung was the son of a Swiss pastor.
- Condoleezza Rice is he daughter of a presbyterian minister.
- Nikola Tesla was the son of an Orthodox priest.
- Friedrich Nietzsche was the son of a Lutheran priest.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the son of a rector.
I am not religious, but I do like ritual, but not ritual abuse. The world is tired of the lies and sadness. We want accountability and transparency in every area of our life, particularly around our children.
If my 13-year-old child can see that this abuse was wrong then how the hell did these supposed men of God not see it?
For every single child who was abused, their childhood was a living horror film, with them starring in the main role.
I sincerely believe the Catholic church must step up and out from behind the altar and make modern and momentous changes if they are to survive.
Will it happen in my lifetime? I hope so, but I have doubts. It seems the only answer for those victims is now burning down the churches in Melbourne. But better to burned down a building than take your own life. People are angry and rightly so, and the only thing that will fix it is change, or if my daughter had her way, a Judas Chair for every prick who ever touched a child.
Featured image on post is:
Artist: Frida Kahlo
Completion Date: 1945