FEMALE IMMUNITY – Catholic Women and the Rape Scandal

Joanna Moorehead writes in the Guardian today “The crimes of the Catholic church: not in our names

Oh bullshit, Joanna. This shit is all over the hands of the faithful women who have, as you go to great lengths to say, been the bedrock and the mainstay of the Church, its real power base, for decades and decades and decades. You can’t suddenly claim innocence now and show us a theatrical little shudder. What’s your defense – “We didn’t know?”

As you say:

“Lay women, the biggest group within the church, are the most silent of all silent majorities. Yet the women of the Catholic church are its backbone: its strength, its prayer powerhouse, its unseen workers.”

I commented:

Absolutely. Women are the power base of the church, and so it is women who are to blame for the culture of silence that suppressed any complaints from boys who priests raped and molested, which silenced these rape victims. This went on for decades and decades and decades. My father was raped by priests in the 40s and knew he had no chance of ever being believed, or else of certainly being blamed in some way. He knew which side the women in our family would come down in, and he never forgave the last one of them left alive, not even the last one, not even at the moment of death. The women of the Church steadfastly supported this hierarchy and were therefore complicit in this silencing.

The women of the Church supported and enabled this rape culture.

“They are also, I believe, its wisdom, its common sense and its conscience.”

That’s right, Joanna, they are. Which pretty clearly is no conscience at all. In this matter the women of the Church have shown themselves by their continued silence over decades and decades to be complete moral cripples.

This was all in your name, Joanna, your name and the names of generations of faithful women mumbling through novenas and dragging the kids to Mass and putting priests on impossible pedestals – all the homey things that made life possible for many and a living hell for some.

A commenter Penie B followed up by telling about a girl she had known:

@PennieB – “I knew a girl who was raped by a priest when she “confessed” to him – after being abused by a family member. After raping her, the priest told her that she would never be believed if she told anyone because he was “highly thought of in the community” and she was “a little slut”. She was 12.”

Yes, Pennie, and you bring up another good point.

Notice how we are only hearing about boy rape victims? Does anyone really mean to tell me with a straight face that in all these decades all the victims were boys? That’s what this talk of a “gay cabal” does. It erases the victims of heterosexual rapists, it erases the female victims.

Calling a 12 year old girl you have just raped a slut. The mind vomits.

And by the way, the gross treatment women get in the church in no way rebuts the claim that women are the base of the Church. You know how you determine an enterprise is male-dominated? By the extent to which it grinds up males – because that’s the arena where the competition is. The same is true for female-dominated enterprises, even if the domination is covert. And the Church has been death on girls.

This is nothing more than a plea for female immunity. Women are the strength of the Church. So then it’s up to women to own the Church’s crimes, Joanna. It’s that simple. In this matter the women of the Church or in the same position as all those Suzie Suburbanites in their gas-guzzling SUVs that get their congressmen – and I do mean their Congressmen; women are the majority of voters in the US – to send men off to die in oil wars.

These crimes are on your hands, Joanna. No, you don’t get to sniffle and claim immunity.

Latest posts by Jim Doyle (see all)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather
  • TheBiboSez

    One of my college buddies was Catholic, and I knew his wealthy parents well. They never seemed to fight about anything, until the first priest-rapist scandals broke in the 1980’s.

    My friend’s father, horrified by the scandal, pulled his other kids out of Catholic schools, and demanded accountability from the Church – he would bend the ear of anyone who would listen about this outrage. My friend’s mother defended the poor rapist priests, and thought it wretched that people were saying such bad things about them over trivial matters.

    Their marriage survived for only one reason. They were Catholic.

    When Sinead O’Connor tore up the photo of the pope on SNL (and destroyed her career in the process), she did it in protest over priests’ sexually abusing kids. She is one of the very few Catholic women we can let off the hook on this one.

  • Ginkgo

    “She is one of the very few Catholic women we can let off the hook on this one.”

    Yes, one of the very few. They others that destoryed her career – fuck them.

    Interesting story too, Bibo. Not very surprising, sadly. A mother who cared more about her religion and the comforts it gave her than she did about her own children’s welfare. If I had been that husband I would have made it clear to her there was no way for her to remain in the house. The marriage, perhaps, but the house, no.

  • dungone

    Don’t let the women of any other religion off the hook: they form the backbones of every religion that I’ve ever heard of. And this is the same shtick that they’ve played for centuries. The core of feminist theory is all about denying any responsibility for everything that women are just as guilty of as men, if not more-so in some cases. It’s just plain old hypoagency.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Bibo, O’Connor was ordained a priest in one of those breakaway factions.

    In the late 1990s, Bishop Michael Cox of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church (an Independent Catholic group not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church) ordained O’Connor as a priest. The Roman Catholic Church considers ordination of women to be either invalid, impossible, or both and asserts that a person attempting the sacrament of ordination upon a woman incurs excommunication.[24] The bishop had contacted her to offer ordination following her appearance on the RTÉ’s Late Late Show, during which she told the presenter, Gay Byrne, that had she not been a singer, she would have wished to have been a Catholic priest.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin%C3%A9ad_O'Connor#Religion

    I’d be a priest in this church, whatever it is. LOL. I say, you go girl!

  • Ginkgo

    Daisy, I remember Thomas Cahill spending a little extra time on Patrick’s comments about Brigid, saying that it was a rather contrarian view of women in the church at the time. Brigid turned out to be the mother of Irish monasticism, the heart of the Irish church right up unitl the Penal Law period.

    So much of what is wrong with clericalism in the church as it stands would vanish like dew if the church had women priests. The mother-son dynamic between the priests and the various forms of the Amen Corner (wrong churches, I know, but the analogy is exact) would break down irreparably. Of course there are other kinds of clericalism – Shi’ite clericalism probably doesn’t have alot to do with women, but then again, it may very well. Aych had a chilling file of some Iranian mothers crowing about how they would send their sons to die like Hussein.

    Anyway, the whole priest-as-Christ-figure and church-as-bride that is used to justify keeping women out of the priesthood is theologically incoherent. Within Christianity gender essentialism is a vestige of paganism.

  • Clarence

    Sigh.
    So we are to believe EVERY accusation now, and we are to treat Priest mid-late teen consensual sex the exact same as if it was priest-toddler?

    The policies of the Catholic church in the past were inexcusable in that they sometimes kept serious accusations of rape or molestation from the police, and it was even worse when some of the same people were reassigned again and again picking up multiple accusations. This scandal possibly went to the very heart of the Catholic heirarchy, including the current Pope and so it’s been good propaganda for anti-catholics everywhere (most of whom seem to forget the Church is over 1000 years old and has been at the center of both more good and bad things then you can shake a stick at), as well as various “reform” groups within the church.

    Now I’m not Catholic or Christian. Personally, I think the Catholics and Prots are full of fairy tales and bulldokey and certainly I don’t think a celibate male Priesthood is in any way Divinely inspired or required by some God. I don’t such repression of desires is even psychically healthy.

    That being said, the current outrage against the Catholic church is hypocritical and counterproductive and is merely a bit of a witch hunt in its own right. Not everyone accused is or was guilty (and its damn hard to prove you didn’t fondle someone 35 years ago) and some of them are merely guilty of violating their vows(which should lead to expulsion from the Priesthood) and not necessarily exploiting any minor children whatsoever. Age of consent laws are much different today than they were then, and I’m sick of people today being held accountable for todays sexual morality instead of being judged by the standards of their time. At the same time frame that many people are whining about them not contacting the “authorities” , authorities in many states were busy with the first round of feminist witch hunts (literally!) involving day care providers and such accused of satanic molestation and worse and utilizing such scientific methods as “recovered memories” to sustain their largely politically motivated convictions.

    We’ve still yet to decouple our sexual laws from both old fashioned but irrational moral concerns or the locus of control it provides authoritarians everywhere. The current sexual laws are literally insane, disproportionate, and in dire need of reform. I’m sure some of the accused Priests aren’t getting a fair trial here, either in the court system OR the court of public opinion.

  • dungone

    > The policies of the Catholic church in the past were inexcusable in that they sometimes kept serious accusations of rape or molestation from the police

    *Enough* said, Clarence. These are the very policies that the “backbone” of the church is defending and these are the policies that everyone else has a problem with. Don’t you see that the issue with powerful religious organizations is that in spite of all of these horrific scandals, they still want to be regarded as being above the law?

  • dungone

    Damn reddit formatting…

  • Ginkgo

    “Sigh.
    So we are to believe EVERY accusation now, and we are to treat Priest mid-late teen consensual sex the exact same as if it was priest-toddler?”

    No. Not the issue.

    The issue was the authoritarian structure of the church that immunized priests from the consequences of their actions.

    “Priest mid-late teen consensual sex …’

    My father was a teenager. There was nothing consensual at all about the sex. It haunted him so badly he only spoke of it to me, and then only when he was closing in on dying.

    This is something that would never occur to you because you are just not rancid enough, but a standard response to kids when they told was that they had lured the priest into this lapse, that it was their fault, the dirty litle things, and priests knew this and would use it as a threat.

    The community valued the structure of the church and the community over the welfare of its children. That’s the scab that is being ripped off here.

  • Clarence

    Dungone:
    “Above the law”??!!!
    Like our OWN government?!!

    “When the new 2008 FISA eavesdropping law was passed, all sorts of legal scholars debated its constitutionality, but it turns out that debate was – like the Constitution itself – completely academic. As both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly proven, they are free to violate the Constitution at will just so long as they do so with enough secrecy to convince subservient federal courts to bar everyone from challenging their conduct.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/26/supreme-court-eavesdropping-law-doj-argument

    I don’t get this “above the law” argument. The Catholic church, for all its problems at least is a strictly voluntary organization to join. They had no secular power to harm the victims in these cases. The government and its coterie of (for at least 30 years now) out of control prosecutors, and its omnipresent (and totally unaccountable) family courts on the other hand —!

    Anyway, at least half if not MOST of the damage to the Catholic church will be social in nature, which is as it should be for an organization that doesn’t rule this or that.

  • Clarence

    Gingko:
    I never claimed the Catholic church didn’t shield molesters.
    But it also shielded innocent people as well, and that totally gets overlooked.

    Oh well, the Catholic church (at least the part that takes its own doctrine seriously and actually believes it *bye bye 99 percent of American “Catholics”*) is hurting over this. I’m sure quite a few have had a crisis of faith. And the church, really isn’t suited for a new reality of ominipresent governments, science capable of meddling with human nature, and all of that.

    So don’t worry – short of a societal collapse(people then look for stability) I think in 50 years it will be gone.

  • Clarence

    By the way, Gingko and just so there is no misunderstanding:
    A. I agree with the thrust of this post about the women of the church. I furthermore agree that not only was this policy of the Catholic church wrong ( I might consider privately investigating small, singular accusations, but anything like rape is going straight to the cops) but that the culture of the church was to blame.
    B. I’m sorry your father died before he got any kind of justice. I suppose we could all be wrong, and maybe the Catholic God will judge his tormenter after all, but there isn’t always justice, at least not in this life at least. I certainly understand that “victim blaming” properly defined, is real and certainly isn’t confined to masculinists and feminists. People whose whole life was wrapped up in Catholic dogma can victim blame with the best of them, regardless of sex.

  • Ginkgo

    “The Catholic church, for all its problems at least is a strictly voluntary organization to join. ”

    Actually no, not voluntary to join – that’s what infant baptism does. But you are still right in your basic assertion. You can leave voluntarily. Which by the way is what’s happening over this, as it did over birth control and abortion, and over women priests, and over being admitted to communion after divorce….

    “I’m sorry your father died before he got any kind of justice. I suppose we could all be wrong, and maybe the Catholic God will judge his tormenter after all, but there isn’t always justice, at least not in this life at least.”

    Thank you for that kind thought.
    I think justice is a social construct. If you notice, Jesus preached against it pretty consistently. Yes the Church talks about justice, but that’s just another intrusion of paganism

    What saddens me, what I wish my father could have had, was reconciliation with my aunt over some telling of the truth and confronting it. But he knew it just wasn’t going to happen. I think he was wrong about my aunt, but maybe right about himself – she may have been willing to hear and accept it, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell it.

  • Ginkgo

    “That being said, the current outrage against the Catholic church is hypocritical and counterproductive and is merely a bit of a witch hunt in its own right.”

    There is entrenched anti-Catholicism in the Us, but actually that probably impeded progress in this. People outside the Church didn’t want to look like bigots and people inside just circled the wagons.

    Comment in CiF, a very English venue, is rabidly anti-Catholic. Anti-Catholicism is after al lpretty foundational to English identity. It’s like anti-Communism in the US.

    But that doesn’t explain what is happening in Ireland over this.

  • dungone

    Actually no, not voluntary to join – that’s what infant baptism does. But you are still right in your basic assertion. You can leave voluntarily.

    Oh, they’ve got forms for joining up but not a single one for saying goodbye. I’ve always joked that if the Catholic church had a form that allowed you to excommunicate yourself, I’d be all over it like white on rice. I used to receive those little donation envelopes in the mail for years after I managed to wrestle myself out from under my mother’s thumb and refused to go anymore – from age 13 until I left for college. As far as I know they still have me on their rolls.

  • Ginkgo

    ” I used to receive those little donation envelopes in the mail for years after I managed to wrestle myself out from under my mother’s thumb and refused to go anymore”

    I hope you are much more in touch with your inner bitch by now. You should have scooped a stool sample into each little envelope and sent them back.

    If you want to leave, you just leave.

  • dungone

    Gingko, just leaving isn’t always the point, it’s being left alone that matters. Just imagine my first weekend in boot camp, finding out that the battalion commander’s personal mission was to make sure that every recruit is a churchgoing Christian by the time they got done. So I ended up being the only guy in the entire battalion to refuse to go to their church and as a result, 6 Christian recruits jumped me in the head one day. I have a scar from that. You can’t just tell these people that you’re done because they don’t accept “no” for an answer.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Dungone/Valkina has been exposed as a fake/sockpuppet on THIS THREAD. Just letting everyone here know. It is hoping no one will notice. That is why he is suddenly here trying to distract everyone.

    Valkina: it’s being left alone that matters

    Indeed, maybe you should take your own advice. I told you not to start with me again, but you did. Now, you want to run away, just as things start getting interesting? I am very disappointed in you… what kind of Marine runs away from a fight?

    Answer: a fake one.

    Valkina: Just imagine my first weekend in boot camp, finding out that the battalion commander’s personal mission was to make sure that every recruit is a churchgoing Christian by the time they got done. So I ended up being the only guy in the entire battalion to refuse to go to their church and as a result, 6 Christian recruits jumped me in the head one day. I have a scar from that. You can’t just tell these people that you’re done because they don’t accept “no” for an answer.

    As a famous Catholic (Mary McCarthy) once said: Every word is a lie, including the AND and the THE.

    Perhaps if you had stayed in the church, you wouldn’t be such a pathological liar.
    STOP LYING ABOUT BEING A MARINE. YOU ARE NOT EVEN AN AMERICAN.

    Consider yourself warned. This is my last warning to you. If you continue the lies, I can’t promise other bloggers will not post your name. Do you understand how furious some of these guys are? And you keep on with this fake-Marine shit? The real Marines are ready to tar and feather you.

    Carry on, I am out of this thread. Pardon disruption… However, if the fake wants to answer the questions I asked on the other thread, of course, I am listening.

    And so are lots of other people. Some of them are not nearly as nice as I am.

  • Valkina

    Consider yourself warned. This is my last warning to you. If you continue the lies, I can’t promise other bloggers will not post your name. Do you understand how furious some of these guys are? And you keep on with this fake-Marine shit? The real Marines are ready to tar and feather you.

    So you violeted my privacy and attack me without provocation.And now you threaten me.Let me ges going to send your tags to fack me up.And when it get proven that you were wrong all along,the what.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    Valkina, your English gets worse and worse. It was perfect a few days ago… what happened?

    Gingko, did you see where Benedict met with all the Cardinals one-on-one? It is being advertised as a goodbye-chat, but I am thinking it is also damage-control for the scandal, asking them all what “problems” they have in their local diocese. Probably dispensing a few favors while he is there, so he gets favorable press on the way out.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    The so the conclave begins! White smoke imminent! Gingko, do you foresee an African pope this time?

    I bet that way last time and lost.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    Cross-posting since the topic came up here as well:

    FOR THE RECORD

    I’ve looked through our site’s comments dating all the way back to the beginning of Genderratic, and pulled a sampling of IP addresses from Valkina’s and Dungone’s comments at widely varying times throughout the blog’s history. I looked up the locations of those IP addresses.

    Valkina’s comments and Dungone’s comments do not come from the same locations as each other. They do, however, come from the same locations for each of them. All of Valkina’s comments come from the same country, region, and city. All of Dungone’s comments come from the same country, region, and city. And they are very far away from each other, and fully consistent with where each of them have claimed they are from.

    While it is certainly possible for a person to create false identities with this level of consistency, given the amount of effort and discipline required I think it is extremely unlikely that this is what is going on in this case. That is the kind of effort you put forth when attempting to defraud someone, not typically the kind of effort you put forth when making a parrot identity online for gender blogs.

  • http://www.genderratic.com Xakudo

    Oh, and please keep discussion of this in the other thread. I’d prefer it not spill out all over the blog.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    I commented over there, as per your instructions… also added this comment to the thread in question (at my blog).

  • Ginkgo

    “The so the conclave begins! White smoke imminent! Gingko, do you foresee an African pope this time? ”

    Not really and frankly considering the reactionary tradcons on offer, that’s no loss.

    A friend who cares much more deeply about this than this Episcoplaian does says it will probably be an Itlaian, becasue it hasn’t for a while now. Maybe….. but the Italians are only a plurality and if everyone gangs up on them they will not be able to steamroller an Italian in. However, if an Itlaina is a front-runner, all those others may go along. The one argument that will not work if made explicit is “we need this; since we lost the empire it’s all we have….” Which after all, is the primary argument for an Italian.

    A Filipino pope would be very provocative, as would an Indian be. As for a Latin American pope, that’s supposed to be some big breakthrough, but it’s not. What part of “Latin” do they not get? It’s just Italian-lite.

    We can count on a conservative, if not a reactionary. JP II and Benedict appointed only that kind, and by now that’s about everyone of the cardinals.

    The one thing Benedict did, and he was adamant on this, was root out as many of the enablers and active pedophiles as he could (even as he ran that disinformation deflection about gay clergy.) He was closing in on Maciel when suddenly he stopped, and then the day JP IIdied, not the day he become Pope but the day JP II died, he resumed and went in for the kill and Maciel and a whole load of his associates vanished. He probably started the whispering campaign to keep Mahony from coming.

    And as for the gay clergy thing, the buzz is that a big scandal on that is breweing, “at the highest levels”, that certain highly placed prelates were vulnerable to blackmail, and the timing of his retirement reflects that.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    We are placing bets, and one friend is putting all his money on Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka. Close enough to India!

    I am betting on South or Central America; there is a Mexican cardinal being touted right now.

    And as for the gay clergy thing, the buzz is that a big scandal on that is breweing, “at the highest levels”, that certain highly placed prelates were vulnerable to blackmail, and the timing of his retirement reflects that.

    OOOoooohhhh! This is what my friend (the one betting on Sri Lanka) briefly considered, but I was assured by American Vatican-watchers that the continuing pedophilia scandal (and possible lawsuits from that?) was the thing that scared him off.

    Gay clergy blackmail as a possibility? It certainly would make sense and its long overdue. They go after local priests unmercifully, while the Vatican itself appears totally off-limits to gay scandals.

    Local (gay) diocesan priests have been furious about the unfairness of that for decades now.

  • Ginkgo

    “…. but I was assured by American Vatican-watchers that the continuing pedophilia scandal (and possible lawsuits from that?) was the thing that scared him off. ”

    They have their own blind spots. I have yet to come across even one of them that believes what is obvious form simple observation – ruby slippers from Prada that would make Dorothy blush, an absolutely toothsome secretary and an equally tasty-looking coterie of retainers, and pronouncements that are so homophobic only a closet case like J. Edgar or this pope could come up with them – they are eithe rin denial but more likely just unconvinced because they can’t read these obvious signs.

    A Sri Lankan – ha, that would give both the Buddhists and the Hindus there a distraction from killing each other.

    A Mexican would be a breakthrough – Latin in name only. He might incorporate some quetzal plumes into the papal regalia.

    As for all these front-runners though, there’s that old saying “Whoever goes into the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal.”

    Although it is not being addressed in any open way, the child rape scandal still ahngs over the church and it is going to be the icepick that cracks the whole block open. The church in the global South can tell itslef whatever comfortable lies it wants about how that’s a European or an American thing, but the next wave of revelations will be coming out of Africa and Latin America. That’s a prediction.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com stonerwithaboner

    anyways, I’m glad feminists find me disgusting…

    http://jezebel.com/5987888/if-you-want-a-more-thoughtful-boyfriend-try-pegging-him

    there are worse things than incel…

    and, uh, irony of all ironies, this makes all the MRA insults of “mangina” spot on…

  • Clarence

    Stoner:
    Ahh, the old “real men ” shaming. And about a sex act, natch.
    That has to be about the stupidest thing ever posted on Jezebel, and that’s saying alot.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com stonerwithaboner
  • Schala

    ” If you like your wang covered in dookie, good for you I suppose,”

    Not sure where you get the idea that this would happen? You’ve probably never tried it yes? So how would you know if its messy or dirty?

    I’ve tried it, you could say “I was pegged”, if that’s how all anal receptive sex is seen as. I even gave fellatio right after, and my gag reflex is very very heightened (I gag at the mere thought of emptying my plate in the trash can, and can’t eat 75% of foods people find “totally normal”, because I’ll vomit). And nope, can’t say it even tasted bad. It probably was dirty enough to merit a wash afterwards, although not visibly, (heck, I wash daily even if I’m not visibly dirty too), but it wasn’t “covered in dookie”. It tasted like KY more than anything (tastes like plastic). And this wasn’t a one-off, so not just a lucky shot.

    It’s not for everyone, but avoiding it to avoid a mess to your bed and such is mistaken.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com stonerwithaboner

    Schala,

    I’ve never tried it and don’t want to….

    this porn starlet talks about enemas and not eating to avoid the mess….

    http://superdps.com/2009/07/10/porn-star-tara-lynn-foxxs-10-things-i-do-for-anal-scenes/

  • http://danipettas.com Dani Pettas

    Great response piece.

  • Schala

    Not needed, enemas and not eating, seriously.

    Bet she did it from day 1 and never thought it had no actual effect. Unless you regularly have diarrhea or something. I eat 6-8 hours before usually, and I don’t plan my food habits with regards to it. Never had an enema in my life.

    And zero mess.

    Worst case scenario is there is a tiny amount of blood the next time I go to the toilet. That’s usually a sign it was a bit too rough or too fast (or not lubed). It doesn’t drip or anything.

    I do think the butt plug thing is a good idea if there is no direct prep during filming (lubing and fingering), the rest is paranoia.

  • http://www.google.com GOOGLE

    Players can easily revive at a checkpoint within fractal maps when the total social gathering has run out of combat. GOOGLE http://www.google.com

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011482565865 williams leiva

    Fantastic ideas , I was enlightened by the information ! Does someone know where I might be able to acquire a sample a form copy to complete ?