Cardinal George Pell “welcomes” the Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse. I cannot imagine him feeling what he is claiming as he must know that the cover-ups which this inquiry will expose will horrify the general public. Where did it all go wrong?
The church’s whole existence is based on one huge fantasy. This was that man’s animal body was simply a necessary physical host for the soul to spend some time on the planet where its performance could be judged.
The focus on the mythical soul/mind as the special creation of God played down to vanishing point the animal input into the mind and replaced it with the Devil’s input - although every component of an animal is there purely to enable the organism to reproduce. We are able to eat only to survive long enough to mate. We are able to move only so we can find a mate. In the complexity of our social lives, we fail to recognise the biological fundamentals we share with all sexually reproducing animal life.
Crucial to the process of the survival of the species was sexual desire so that the animal mated without needing to be aware of any higher objective. The vow of celibacy required to be taken by nuns, priests, and teaching brothers did nothing to restructure the old ape brain around which the new human brain gradually developed over the past two million years. Sexual desire was still there, but held down with varied levels of success by thought-control techniques imposed in the years spent in convent or seminary.
Just as alcohol can scramble rational thinking, sexual desire thrown up by the old brain can scramble the rational thinking in the new brain in the most unlikely of people. But the likes of Bill Clinton and David Petraeus are only unlikely because of our unrealistic image of them. And, nobody seemed to be more unlikely to be a sexual deviant than the priest who passionately believes in hellfire for sexual deviants.
How can men who show such compassion for the unfortunate behave that way? This question is in the same class as another question: How can my car which otherwise runs so well have a faulty lighting system which my mechanic cannot correct? If we can accept that the human brain is a mechanism made up of connecting parts that can have a part wrongly connected, the answer to the first question becomes obvious.
This all-encompassing inquiry launched by the Prime Minister will put information that science has known for some time into the awareness of the clergy, parliamentarians and the public. The public has come to the point of not condemning homosexual relationships. The public has accepted that “that is the way these people are”. This is a mature assessment. Hopefully, “that is the way they are” will finally also apply to the paedophile. He is not to be hated as if he has free will. He is to be quarantined as if he has no free will.
A priest who brings joy to old and sick ladies, but terror to young boys held captive in an institution, will have the same split personality wherever he is transferred to because that is the unusual way his old ape brain and his new human brain communicate with each other.
But the bishops did not believe this. And what they believed was that the church could not afford to dismiss a man who had been trained for years and was willing to work for pocket money. So, with executive fingers crossed, the working priests who were known to be abusing children were moved to another locality where they could find other victims.
The cardinal and his bishops have always done what they thought was right. They would never sell you a shonky car. But what one believes to be morally correct is open to interpretations, which are unconsciously shaped by one’s deep psychology. We call this honest dishonest state “denial”.
So, the cover-up requires that the grievances of the abuser’s victims had to be discredited. To remain honourable men in their own eyes, this further requires that the bishops convince themselves that the victims were not credible. Denial can be so powerful that children who mentioned that a priest touched them where he should not, were almost invariably punished. The children got the message: Not only is this suggested behaviour impossible, we must make sure that nobody even thinks that it is possible.
Delusions can only survive in the real world for a definite period. The banking system collapsed because it ran on delusions. It was bailed out by government because it had a core role in the economy. The Catholic Church will collapse, and nothing will be there to give it a second chance, because governments no longer need any church to instil the fear that God is watching to keep the masses in check.
After many centuries, the time has finally come. And, not only for the Catholic Church. The 21st century is going to be the last century for all Christian faiths.