Let Us Prey

This be the reason for writing “Let Us Prey.” 

My young disenchantment with the R.C. church grew with the intermittent and universal accusations of child abuse by their clergy so egregious I began to write, hardly knowing where to begin so great was my outrage.

For those who simply cannot speak about this, and for those who gave up and took their own lives because in their youth no one believed them, I know I take a liberty that I hope those living aggrieved will understand. I write this based on my own beliefs, my own outrage, and on behalf of those whose voices have not yet been heard.

While I believe one is too many – and I know that exponentially the devastation of such abuse is staggering – here is my take on that.
 

Let us Prey – Part 1
Written by Judy Forsyth
April 10, 2010

Rotten and septic from moral disease,
At any cost your fantasies
Are being fulfilled. Little girls and boys
through duress and fear become your toys.

Respectful, obedient, as they are groomed,
not knowing their trust will render them doomed.
Bereft of belief, nowhere to hide,
some later driven to suicide.

Itself mortal sin. Hell by default.
Yet another deflection from public assault.
It’s on your head, their literal blood,
as you grunted and wallowed like pigs in mud.

How could you frighten, threaten, and paw
and still call yourselves men of God?
Diametrically opposed to all you teach,
you’ve lied and hidden, never sought to impeach
your fellow predators. You’re all of a kind –
brothers-in-sin, serpentine.

Not all may have done the physical act.
All the same guilty as part of the pact.
Transferring priests … in total denial,
you move them around to further defile
the next set of victims beyond repair
as you shape yet more lives into that of despair.

Knowing you had positions of trust,
abusing it for your own private lust,
the carnage you’ve caused goes far beyond words.
Your conduct with children leaves them interred
to viewing the world as a young all-alone –
trusting in no one, not even their own,
since you dealt with their parents in such a way
that they took your word and had nothing to say.

What? You the virtuous, they the cancer?
They all looked to you as the ultimate answer!
Naive? Oh, yes. In your pious fraud,
they believed you personified the ways of God.

They couldn’t know your vestments and tomes
would shatter their lives, invade their homes.
Forevermore their lives are defined
by corrupt, psychopathic, malignant minds.

What Cardinal Virtues declare your hands clean
when you re-define the term ‘obscene’?
Inflated egos hiding behind
ceremonial pomp. Sins combined,
you force your silence on those victimized,
shutting up the traumatized.

Weak and corrupt, vulgar and base …
lascivious, covert … a life of disgrace.
Isolate, ambush, invade, and trawl …
deceive and threaten, hold hostage and maul.
Conspirators, felons, impostors at heart,
the evil you share tearing lives apart.

Let’s just give it an actual name
instead of deflecting onus and blame —
Sepsis unchecked, sporting your gowns,
paedophilic, sacrilegious clowns.

The now-chalice-of-malice from which you drink
gives one pause, makes one think
the blood of your Christ was shed for naught …
blasphemy in every word you’ve taught.

You’ve engineered a sovereign cabal.
Having issued many a pastorale,
it’s shocking to know it applies not to you.
Instead you harbour your chosen few.

There is no such thing as a child half-raped.
Childhoods stolen become parents re-shaped.
You’re about to find out from their sons and daughters
that blood runs thicker than holy water.

Your Canon law … self-serving, mad …
You commit the very sins it forbade.
Sociopathic, carnal abuse …
as you play down the numbers, so you tighten your noose.

Priests on up to the Papacy,
to the rotten core of the Unholy See,
you sit in ridiculous red shoes and jewels …
empty shells, a coven of fools.

There will come a time when your soul is at stake.
What will you then say — “I made a mistake”?
“Forgiveness for all,” as you yourselves preach,
“no matter the sin, no matter the breach”?
Let’s just say under heavenly glare
be careful of your savoir-faire.

Part 2 – Sentencing

“THE PEARLY GATES. OPEN AT NOON.
TAKE A NUMBER. BE BACK SOON.”

Well, well, well, who have we here?
A Roman Cardinal. So, let us be clear.
Here you are at the Ultimate Gate …
smug, expecting a privileged fate.

And … that would be why? Let me see.
Oh, yes, innocent of debauchery …
Soul as clean as the driven snow.
Ingratiating … a benevolent, duplicitous show.

The boss and I just had a meet.
Before I can speak, I’m hearing you bleat.

Silence! Do not trifle with me.
Your reign is over. Your perfidy
rests with the Court of Contempt for God.
It seems you’ve been a perfect fraud.

So slither on in to this jury of one.
Oh, we’ve been watching. You’ve had your fun.
Abuse of innocents … complicit denial.
Let’s be up-front. You’ve had your trial.

Plenty of chances to do the right thing,
instead of human trafficking.
Sending ‘your boys’ from one site to another.
That’s what you see as being a brother.

Sinning from Easter through until Lent
in the need to fulfill your personal bent.
You have done nothing to make victims whole,
your conduct destroying life and soul
of those entrusted into your care.
You truly believe you should be spared?

Lust-after-lust, site-after-site,
you enabled this toxic perpetual blight.
Your crimes far surpass Original Sin
as you violate innocence, spirit, and skin.

Abundance of victims negates any defence.
Your record belies penitence.
Some arrived long before you,
and every word they say rings true.

Just imagine how it felt …
helpless to power as these innocents knelt,
threatened by you to service your needs —
the Judas kiss behind virtuous deeds.

Rules for them. None for you.
‘Men of the cloth,’ each the glue
to perpetrate your mortal sin,
absent any self-discipline.

No, do not speak! You’ve done enough.
We don’t operate here on deceit and bluff.
Standards rise for those of your ilk.
Not you the cream, they the milk.

You’re out of control, so here’s the deal.
Stand up, sir. And now you will kneel.
Don’t get your hopes up. We’re in different realms.
I have to say I’m underwhelmed.

* * *

The inn is full, so to speak.
Accommodation is looking bleak.
There is, however, a special place
reserved for those beyond disgrace.

Your sentence is thus. You will go
to the Parish of Perverts far below.
Age-appropriate, no youth to decoy …
no more young lives to annul and destroy

There you can play to your heart’s content
Histrionic forever in lustful torment.

No fun there? What did you expect?
You’d bow and scrape and genuflect
and all would be well? You’d saunter on in
to your just reward? Instead your sin
renders you to life infernal
as your victims spend life eternal
in heavenly bliss. Bye-bye for now.
So be the price of your broken vows.

*  *  *  *  *
*  *  *  *  *

Lucky me, I was brought up Catholic. Had it crammed down my throat until about age 14-15 when I informed my mother I could not be a hypocrite and would no longer be attending church. I knew it would hurt her deeply, but it was a moral dilemma I had to deal with in my own young reality. Something was very “off” for me. It was a troubling decision at my age in the early 1960’s. But I couldn’t get past, number one, our new parish priest who never ceased to shut up about the donation of more and more money by blue-collar parishioners who had nothing more to give. Secondly was the culture shock on a couple of levels of moving to a private world-prestigious all-girls Catholic day- and boarding-school where the tuition by parents of international students, continents away, and a lot of rich local folks, were the life-blood of keeping it a viable operation.

Many students of Jewish and various Eastern religions, about whose philosophies I knew nothing, were forced to attend our daily religion classes – all teachers being Sisters of Charity whose oath as I recall was poverty, chastity, and obedience. One day our home-room teacher announced we were going to learn something about the Jewish religion. I was so up for this! One, maybe two, of our classmates had the floor uninterrupted. I have a general recollection of expecting some sort of Q-and-A to follow. I certainly had questions. Instead, Sister Sunshine glowered like it wasn’t over a minute too soon saying … and I am paraphrasing … that’s as much as you get. Don’t even think about corrupting our Catholic girls further. Charity indeed.

My first reaction at her cold dismissal was incomprehension. Surely there is some mistake here. As class ended, I felt a white-hot outrage I had never known possible. It was crystal-clear to me in that moment that what our Jewish friends had to say was of absolutely no value. I felt embarrassed by the insult to them I knew it to be.

That exercise was a sham and mandated, I suspected later, because some wealthy benefactors threatened to pull their girls out unless they, too, were given some opportunity to share their lifestyle and describe the meaning of their beliefs and holidays. It happened but once for approximately 45 minutes. Whoo-hoo!

I left school that day so disillusioned. I had spent ten wonderful, happy years in a five-room parochial school where the nuns would skip rope, play baseball, go skating with us and, most special to me, my music teachers; and Sister Gordius who would greet me as I passed the back door of the convent to hand me a home-baked treat on my way to piano lesson.

Transported as I was to this foreign reality which was so unreal, where the currency was not charity but literal currency, and where the oath of poverty apparently held little appeal, two sets of nuns from the same Order existed in different galaxies – the former, beautiful, genuinely loving women; the latter, the personification of hypocrisy. So shocked was I, it caused an immediate and what I would now call an involuntary realization that I was in the midst of some terrible evil. As the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, you know you are in danger. Creeped-out would be an understatement.

As I write this 50 years later, those feelings of having been duped and manipulated and betrayed are as raw as they were at the time. I had no concept then how accurate was my gut instinct to flee as far from this as I possibly could.

* * *

Although never physically abused by a “person-of religion,” I do understand through my own experiences how insidious, sadistic, and self-serving are those ordained into a coven of misfits whose man-made rules (their own) apply to everyone but them, and demonstrate collective, absolute disregard for the integrity of person – priests and nuns alike. My personal experience was different from that, and I now know common, reserved for those special Catholic teenage girls who get themselves pregnant. That would be me in 1967, the outcome of which was relinquishment of flesh-and-blood to I knew not whom for 40 years. Puppet parents – mother the perfect ostrich, father almost certainly out of the loop, the R.C. church pulling their strings. Brother in Ontario who surprisingly came to my rescue, for which I am eternally grateful, given the state of maternity homes in that era.

I went away. I gave birth alone. I insisted I see my baby girl before I would sign papers. I did, and I did. No one can ever convince me that she did not smile at me that day, looking directly into my eyes. I had maybe ten minutes with her, and it was over. I returned home. It was never discussed. I was supposed to act, because everyone was in denial, like nothing happened.

I’ll tell you what happened. It was a life-altering experience, and coloured my life and the choices I made on a sub-conscious level I never actually understood until I had the good fortune through my younger daughter for us three to reunite 40 years after-the-fact.

* * *

In the interim, the proverbial shit hit the fan when the Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel, Newfoundland hit the press. Huge news followed by other parishes across Canada, the U.S., Latin America and, perhaps the second-most Catholic territory of all, Ireland, to name a few. The press was releasing stories of child abuse by the R.C. clergy including the common practice of transferring priests to other unsuspecting jurisdictions, followed by denial after denial, hiding behind Canon Law. So many revelations over many continents, the R.C. church could no longer deny, but then chose to minimize. One phrase I came across was “It was only a few.” Are you kidding me?

Given my own history, I cannot say that the first time I heard of this I was completely surprised. Remember the hackles on the neck years prior? It was intuition materialized. I couldn’t believe the extent of abuse by so few to so many had been kept secret for so long, allowing it to persist unchecked, covering it up, then denying it for years in full-blown self-righteousness. Proportionally, the abuse was and is astronomical.

Having done a little research of my own in 2009-2010, I discovered a Vatican document called “Crimens Solicitation” whose translation must be fairly obvious, a real eye-opener on the concept of silence and secrecy having to do specifically with the abuse of children. Look it up for yourself at http://projects.usao.edu/~facshaferi/secretarium/crimenssolicitations01.htm .

Another site I accessed, www.beginningcatholic.com/mortal-sin.html, offered this sage piece of advice phrased to sound it applies to the flock, not the frocked: “We can’t get off the hook here by just pretending ignorance or by willfully remaining ignorant to justify some behaviour. This actually increases culpability.”

I thought about other concepts: the Ten Commandments (check out  www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-examination-of-conscience.html which gives a broad interpretation of same and outlines the Precepts of the Church among other things; mortal sin (see site named above); the Seven Deadly Sins v. the Seven Virtues which used to be on a site called http://www.trosch.org/chu-examcons.html (when I checked it in December 2013 it was listed for sale and could not be accessed and made references to freemasonry, masonic handshakes – so try a generic search); Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance, one of which is sodomy; Nine Ways of Aiding Another in Sin, one of which is “Concealing, remaining silent about, doing nothing to prevent another’s sin.”  All of which are available on a site called :www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities … and its various internal links, if they too have not pulled their site offline.

Father Thomas Doyle, having in the past been affiliated with the Vatican (see http://www.arcc-catholic-rights-net.com/tom_doyle_on_bourgeois.htm explained the seven Vatican bases for automatic excommunication, one of which is “Absolution of an accomplice in a sexual sin,” which to me perfectly defines the silence of the confessional, particularly priest-to-priest. How this compares on the same level to “Procuring an Abortion” I will never understand and yet it, too, is a ground for automatic excommunication. There is another category which I won’t go into here now called “self-excommunication” – later.

The concept of “Sins Against the Holy Spirit” and one of its maxims, “Presuming to gain salvation without meriting it,” helped me realize that the consequences of such aberrant behaviour should therefore naturally, even if hypotheticallly, have a sentence imposed, and one was – mine. And I do not think mine alone

This little … well, maybe longwinded … background to my first story-in-verse should be evidence enough that prose is not my forte.