Thursday, April 30, 2009

The pope sucks, his so-called apology sucks and Catholics should be ashamed

Thank you for reminding me Pope, in case I needed reminding, why I am no longer a Catholic. I was never really much of a Catholic after Confirmation. That was the same year we discovered a priest in our church, St. Maurice, had molested a number of alter boys. My parents watched in horror as more and more victims came forward. Our church sermon that week told us we should not speak of, or pay anymore attention to the issue. My parents never returned to church.

Our church refused to take responsibility, much as the Pope has. Whispering regrets to 5 people in a closed door meeting is not an apology. National Chief Phil Fontaine should not have gone to Rome knowing that this is what would take place.

I am also horrified that the Inuit and Metis leaders, Mary Simon and David Chartrand, were shut out of the room. It makes me think that the Pope knows very little about our peoples. It is irritating to see his Metis and Inuit excluded form his non-apology.



Wideye said...

Yes the Pope sucks, the not-an-apology sucked, Catholics should be ashamed, poverty bites, and child abusers should be punished, liars and cheats exposed, and bad parents slammed by society.

“In his statement, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the Church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity. His Holiness emphasized that acts of abuse cannot be tolerated in society. He prayed that all those affected would experience healing, and he encouraged First Nations peoples to continue to move forward with renewed hope." AFN communiqué

An apology won’t cut it for many people and for others the statement of sorrow or recognition from the Pope will suffice. But even if he had apologised on his hands and knees and begged forgiveness how will that change what has happened?

I think we must all carry some of the burden of shame when atrocities happen to children. Somewhere somehow in a long chain of events evil was born and someone somewhere either condones it or ignores it.

When the Prime Minister spoke the apology on behalf of Canada it was not the words so much as he finally told Canadians that in fact horrible things did happen and that it was not alright and was never ok. That meant a great deal to me. All Canadians heard part of the truth.

When the Pope spoke – he spoke to his community of people to say that abuses happened by people in his Church. He acknowledged that it did happen and that it was wrong then and it is wrong now.

I was not in the residential schools but my biological mother was. Three of her children were stolen from her by child welfare officals who removed children from my community by the bus loads – her last two children (me and my sister)were claimed by child welfare in the hospital as she birthed them. To this day she cannot look at me so I think I can speak with honesty when I say I have felt the rolling waves of social stress brought on from the after-shocks of the residential schools. Some call it a ripple affect (snort).

Should Phil not have bothered to go? I learned from another advocate that a crack in the door requires a foot to keep it open. Words that acknowledge responsibility and pain can educate and affirm. The Pope has a following that listen and believe in him and his words. I think Phil should have gone, I think he could have chosen who would accompany him to the private audience a little better – but that’s all history now.

In the end its people who hurt children - the Church had a role in creating the monsters among us because people who administer the churches hid and continue to hide pedophiles. It’s sad and really not fair but I believe it is now our responsibility to identify and work with the monsters among us to make things right otherwise we are just as culpable.

Ward of the State said...

Well put wideye. We can agree to dsagree on whther or not the NC shoud have gone. Your remarks about word-only apologies and the residential school legacy are good points. also I agree - I can't believe he brought Gino Odjick with him. What old crony relationship brought that about I wonder?

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