23 October 2012

The Jimmy Savile Affair: Remember The Predatory Priests

It is hard to fight off the schadenfreude as the BBC tries to come to terms with the fact that one of its stars was a sexual predator, exactly the same sort of "paedophile" as all of those wicked Catholic priests it has spent years condemning and using as pretexts for knocking the whole Catholic Church which had nurtured and protected them.  It's even harder when the first hint appears that it wasn't just Savile, but that there were others; and that a culture existed in which that seemed like the sort of behaviour to expect from people like that.  It's hardest of all when the sneering, soppingly wet, liberal elite who have spent the last fortnight trying to say that it was just Savile, and that they had never liked him, start to face up to the fact that the institution of the BBC was not structured to protect the innocent, but rather to protect the guilty.

But fight it we must, because the priests who abused children were filth even worse than Jimmy Savile, and while the BBC might be (is likely to be?) in hock to the spirit of the age, the Catholic Church should never be.

Priests are called to a much harder vocation that other men: the immense privilege of bringing God to the altar, of being another Christ, brings with it the responsibility of not behaving like any other man.  That's why the rest of us should support priests, pray for priests, look after priests, watch out for priests as well as giving thanks for them: they aren't some abstract Mass machine in dark clothes, but men with a burden that isn't humanly bearable.  But as high as God helps them climb, the Devil will lead them into deeper pits than any of the rest of us if he gets a chance to help them defile the hands consecrated to God.

And however pompous the BBC, however much Malcolm Muggeridge could compare it to the CofE, even suggesting that Controllers should sign documents in the name of their Controllerate: George Light, James Third and so on; however the BBC tries to have the best of being a state-funded part of the Establishment while both offering daring critiques of all of society's best values on one hand and feeding society's basest values on the other: it's in our gift to turn our backs on it, and even, if we organise and campaign, to change it.

Not so the institutional Church: from among those priests whose burden is already heavy, some are selected for even greater burdens: to head the local Church, to create new priests of those men called by God, to teach the Faith in its orthodoxy, and to create and maintain the structures to support all of these functions, and fill them with good people and maintain their goodness.  This is an even greater burden, and the Bishops need even more prayers and support than their priests.

However bad the scandal in the BBC, however the Beeboids squirm and try to blame their failings on wider society, however much they try to claim that there were a small number of bad people and nothing else: it is as nothing compared to the shameful evil willfully brought into the Church by the priests who preyed sexually on young people.

Let's not pretend; let's not look for an excuse to hide behind somebody else's scandal.

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