“If God does it, then it is OK, right?”
I wasn’t sure what he meant and it didn’t answer my question. We were returning home from a Catholic Church where we were altar boys in training. We were very young and in awe of everything.
From our parents, school and from Church itself we learned there was nothing more powerful than “The Church”. Church was God. God does no wrong. You must do what God says.
“If God does it to you, then it is OK, right?”
I had asked again where did he go with the priest for so long. That’s what that kid said to me in Ontario, Canada many years ago. “If God does it to you, then it is OK, right?”
We walked along, rehearsing what we had learned for our actions and verbal responses to a priest saying a high mass. It was an easier thing to talk about even with shaky, uneasy voices.
It was 6:30 am by then and we were not going back to the church that day but on Sunday we had to serve mass.
I didn’t go that Sunday. I left the altar altogether. There were many things I didn’t like. I wasn’t afraid of payback from God or the priests. I was a bit rebellious then. I went to the new yet-to-be-finished Catholic school then and had to walk past a Protestant school as we called it. The boys there were blustering daredevils who hated “Micks”. They called us “bum boys”. Every day I had to fight these mischievous bullies who attacked me no matter which path I took on my 1.5 mile-long walk. I got good at it and also better at not taking any crap from anyone.
Months later my little friend killed himself. We were not very old. I never learned how he commit suicide. His brothers stopped talking to me. I might have asked too many questions. The only answer I ever got long after my questions started was that the parents had said don’t talk to me. I was determined to talk about this but the whole church closed me out for trying. I am pretty sure they said bad things about me, that I was inclined to make up stories. People knew I served with my friend and they know I knew what I saw.
One of the brothers had been my best friend. In my whole life he never talked to me again. They moved away. Far away, I heard. I figured it out bit by bit over the years. People didn’t talk about that kind of thing one little bit. I told my paper-route boss and he really blasted me saying not to talk about that. I didn’t mention it to my parents; they were cutting me still about quitting the altar. Screw the altar.
Another boy waited until he was 20 to kill himself. That was a surprise to me. I said that to co-workers at the golf course where I worked as a caddy to pay tuition and was told there had been others over the years. Some were even the sisters of altar boys. People still were not talking about that sort of thing. They should have told me about the suicides. I was angry I was never told. Maybe it was my fault. I had isolated myself plenty during those years. What those priests did impacted a lot of kids in many ways. But nobody talks about it. If you do you are in very big trouble. Even the Pope today says it is calumny and a sin. (‘It’s all calumny. Is that clear?’)
Decades later I had a couple of friends working for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board of the Ontario Attorney General. I was in law enforcement. They were dealing with the survivors of pedophile gay priests who had terrible ongoing problems as a result of being incessantly raped as children. They couldn’t even hold back their poo when they had to go; they wore diapers because of the terrible damage done inside them.
I knew what they were talking about. I recognised some names. What I learned in confidence about some of the hundreds of cases would make you sick. Me, it just made me angrier until years later when I let myself cry.
In Chile there are many kids molested by Reverend Fernando Karadima and Father Barros who was an assistant Pastor. Karadima got caught and the watcher, Juan Barros, was made a Bishop and given the diocese to take it over while Karadima spends the rest of his life in a cushy “home for wayward priests” of which there are many around the world. There used to be one on St. John’s Sideroad near where many of the Catholic Church’s sex crimes were taking place. I once knew of many.
Survivors often find each other. I don’t know why there is a need. This organization The RINJ Foundation allows for that in a way that helps people sort of dip their foot in the water and sense if it is going to be OK. I am still at that point so I will withhold my name.
But one of the things I am finding anew is that people who still have this happening to them will reach out to someone like me. I invite you to do that.
I happen to have been told that there are boys in the church of Pope Francis who are being raped. (This link points to a brave journalist investigating these horrible rapes.) Help break the code of silence by contacting me. You can read below how RINJ sets that up. Thanks for reading my story.
Are you done with the Catholic Church, yet?
You should be. It is a safe haven for some of the world’s worst sex offenders. The organization protects them and cultivates large lists of victims. That makes it a criminal organization.
Tens of thousands of church officials have been accused of sex offences in our time. It was once worse but the current Pope has made it worse again by vilifying survivors of his Bishop’s sex crimes, presumably to discourage survivors from telling their story. That is normally the goal of “victim-blaming” and “victim vilification”.
The RINJ Foundation Women speak to thousands of persons every day. Nobody is the wiser, meaning that such conversations are private until the “client” seeks to change that.
In the case against the Catholic Church which is the biggest fraud in history, not doing God’s work but a fully organized network of pedophiles, maybe even led by the pope by act or omission, we suggest breaking the code of silence. Contact us if you wish to help do that. Contact us if you would just like to talk.
You can contact the author of the above by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you prefer immediacy, send a text to that number on Whatsapp which is entirely encrypted and private. The country code is +1 if you need it.