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  1. #41
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    But the victims groups feel the opposite and want the victims to be able to tell their stories.
    So would a just and loving god. Indeed, justice must be served - even if, and especially when, it endangers the church.

  2. #42
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    So would a just and loving god. Indeed, justice must be served - even if, and especially when, it endangers the church.
    Yes, it is very interesting listening to this issue being debated. It is just not seen in the larger picture starting with the abolition of slavery in 1833, and the emancipation of women in 1904, and now in 2012 coming to terms with child abuse.

    To me it all seems to be tied to the limitation of power, the limitation of power of one group of people over another - first the power over slaves, then the power over women and now the power over children.

    The Church is just running for cover and not, for instance, asking what are the theological implications of institutional child abuse and its cover-up.

    I think we are living through a moment of historical change - but except for a few like your Alice Miller, most don't seem to grasp the import of the change.

    It's nice to hear from you.

  3. #43
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    The Anglican church has had some of the same issues that the Catholic church has. I know that many Catholics believe the Anglican church to be against them but my understanding is that there has been a dialogue and efforts to commune, especially since Vatican II. I can say that I, personally, am not anti-Catholic- I may be critical of the church at times but it's sort of like being critical of American policies but still being a patriot. It's done out of love.

    So as an Anglican (and a Quaker- but we don't really have a hierarchy that lends itself to abuse of power in that tradition) I would not want the issues to remain in the dark. I want them addressed head-on, routed out, the victims taken care of and not shamed or ostracized, the perpetrators allowed to experience the legal and social consequences of their acts without shielding from the church. Only then can the wound begin to be cauterized. To me, that seems like the only way the church can survive long-term (or even really have any credibility at all, going forward after something like this).

    On a small scale- in my church, there was a parishioner (on the vestry, actually) who was caught sexually abusing his sons and even offering them to other abusers on the internet, which is how he was caught- FBI sting. If the church leadership had tried to hush it up or seemed more concerned about their own asses, I would have lost a lot of faith in them. But they faced it head on and held a series of opportunities for parishioners to voice their concerns and feelings, and to hear how the church was going to handle it. He was immediately removed from the vestry and congregation (although our priest continues to minister to him in prison) and a statement of compassion for his spouse and victims was issued. His spouse and children kept coming to church after his arrest and have remained a beloved part of the congregation since that time. The church has taken up offerings for the boys to contribute to their therapeutic and educational needs.

    He's in prison so the question of whether his acts would have been reported outside the church never came up, but I have every reason to believe that if it had been a church leader who discovered it that they would have reported it to the legal authorities instead of trying to handle it internally. Seeing how it has been handled has only strengthened my appreciation for my church and its leaders.

  4. #44
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Incidentally- I think until the 1970s the responses of the Catholic and Anglican churches to sexual abuse by church leaders was almost identical. One big difference between how they've responded since that time is that much of the confrontation in the Anglican church has been initiated by women clergy, I think in large part because parishioners felt safer to tell their stories to them than to another male clergymember. A change like that in the Catholic church could breathe new life into it like it did the Anglican church in the 70s. I don't really have a full understanding of why that doesn't seem to be an option in the Catholic church. I know the Bible says this/that about women having different roles and whatnot, but I have always appreciated that the Catholic approach to the Bible is much less literal than most other churches, including and maybe especially the nutty Primitive Baptist church I was raised in, and which was unabashedly sexist far and away more so than the Catholic church IMO.

  5. #45
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Yes, Ivy, child rearing practices help form our personalities and the type of society we live in. So focusing on child abuse highlights the larger issue of child rearing practices.

    And child rearing practices have changed and improved over history, creating better personalities and better societies.

  6. #46
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I think we are living through a moment of historical change - but except for a few like your Alice Miller, most don't seem to grasp the import of the change.
    My Alice Miller? I am not familiar with any Alice Miller.

  7. #47
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    My Alice Miller? I am not familiar with any Alice Miller.
    My very dear Nicodemus, here, meet your very own Alice Miller by clicking http://www.alice-miller.com/index_de.php

    @Nicodemus

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