It’s not about sex. Sex abuse and rape are always about asserting power and dominance and control. (H/T)

And it is always evil.

Today, despite his hospital treatment, Jean Paul still bleeds when he walks. Like many victims, the wounds are such that he’s supposed to restrict his diet to soft foods such as bananas, which are expensive, and Jean Paul can only afford maize and millet. His brother keeps asking what’s wrong with him. “I don’t want to tell him,” says Jean Paul. “I fear he will say: ‘Now, my brother is not a man.’”

It is for this reason that both perpetrator and victim enter a conspiracy of silence and why male survivors often find, once their story is discovered, that they lose the support and comfort of those around them. In the patriarchal societies found in many developing countries, gender roles are strictly defined.

“In Africa no man is allowed to be vulnerable,” says RLP’s gender officer Salome Atim. “You have to be masculine, strong. You should never break down or cry. A man must be a leader and provide for the whole family. When he fails to reach that set standard, society perceives that there is something wrong.”

Often, she says, wives who discover their husbands have been raped decide to leave them. “They ask me: ‘So now how am I going to live with him? As what? Is this still a husband? Is it a wife?’ They ask, ‘If he can be raped, who is protecting me?’ There’s one family I have been working closely with in which the husband has been raped twice. When his wife discovered this, she went home, packed her belongings, picked up their child and left. Of course that brought down this man’s heart.”

Read the rest, if you can bear it.

When I made my First Holy Communion, I recall Sister telling us that our prayer, upon reception, could be about our own concerns, but the most powerful prayer at that moment would be the one we offered for “the whole world,” and its suffering. “Make Jesus welcome, and then beg for the whole world.” I can still hear her saying it.

There is so much suffering, it feels like there can never be enough prayer; so much sin there can never be enough penance. All we can do is plunge ourselves into God’s wide mercy and beg for all of humanity.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://thecornerwithaview.blogspot.com Julie Robison

    Thank you for sharing this! So many transgressions against the human person that we need to pray for.

  • Andy

    I think that this posting “merely” reinforces what so many people ignore about the priest abuse scandal, the child abuse scandals … it is not about sex it is about power. I pray that we can start to see that and move away from blaming an orientation and see that people who feel in that they are in positions of power exercise all too often in ways that at best inappropriate and at worst destructive. Thank you for finding this article and posting it. I come here to take advantage of your ability to find material, not that I always agree, but it at least makes me think. Again thanks

  • http://www.ghpoetryplace.blogspot.com/ Maria Horvath

    After reading this heart-rending story, I can only ask, What is it about humans that we could do this evil to other humans?

    And then I think of what went on in the latest broadcast of the Bill Maher show. Three men, in public, on television, with their identities revealed, fantasized and laughed about their violent rape of Michele Bachman and her husband.

    Lord, forgive us.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Oh darn it, I just lost what I was posting because it was deemed too spammy. I don’t feel like retyping all that. :( Urrgh. What’s the point of that stupid spam filter.

  • James

    (Andy wrote – “I think that this posting “merely” reinforces what so many people ignore about the priest abuse scandal, the child abuse scandals … it is not about sex it is about power. I pray that we can start to see that and move away from blaming an orientation…”)

    Please Andy, heteros&xuals do not engage in homos&xual acts. 81% of the priest abuse cases were homos&xual. The vast majority of the victims were not children, they were teenage boys. This clearly shows that homos&xual priests are far more prone to s&xually abuse teen boys.

    Why is this such a surprise? After all, homos&xuality is a profound disorder and an obvious perversion of our natural human s&xuality. If your s&xual orientation is already of a perverse nature then why should any further s&xual deviation come as a surprise? Obviously the majority of priests who expressed their “power struggle” through abusive s&xual acts with minors ARE in fact homos&xually inclined. And yet, far too many people want to ignore that blatantly overt fact.

  • Laurie

    Think so, James? Tell that to the priest that molested me when I was 13.

    I’d also like to add that someone who has to put an ampersand in the word “sexual” clearly has issues to address.

  • Andy

    Please James I think we can agree that what is profoundly disordered is abusing others – it does not matter the orientation or the sex of the abuser. I am not going to debate the orientation of the priests who abused children, nor will I debate your interpretation of the data. I will not go into the numerous studies that point out that abuse is not tied to orientation. I will not cite the numerous pieces of research that tie abuse to availability of readily available objects. I think it is best if we agree to disagree.

  • Ellen

    That is the saddest thing I have read in a long time. Those poor men!

  • James

    (Andy wrote – (“I will not cite the numerous pieces of research that tie abuse to availability of readily available objects.”)

    Then allow me to cite the relevant opinion of the leading expert on predatory priests that clearly shows that the Church s&xual abuse scandal was obviously driven by homos&xual orientation. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons has examined and counseled more predatory priests than anyone else on the planet. You should listen closely to his expert opinion:

    NEW YORK, May 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A leading authority on the clerical s&x abuse crisis has criticized those who conclude that new data has ruled out homos&xuality as a significant cause in the scandal – even though the vast majority of priest abuse was perpetrated against adolescent males.

    Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a top psychiatrist and expert in handling s&xually abusive priests, says criminologists “crossed a line” by pronouncing on the psychological causes behind the data released May 18.

    “Analysis of the research demonstrates clearly that the major cause of the crisis was the homos&xual abuse of males,” said Fitzgibbons in an interview with the Catholic News Agency. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/critics-say-new-study-misses-real-reasons-for-priest-abuse-crisis/

    The new study, conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and commissioned by the U.S. Bishops, shows that nearly 80 percent of victims were post-pubescent and adolescent males. However, the study concludes that available data “do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homos&xual identity … are significantly more likely to s&xually abuse.”

    The report marks the third such effort by U.S. Bishops to address the causes and manifestations of the clerical s&x abuse scandal since it first erupted publicly in 2002.

    The data also shows that less than 5 percent of abuse involved prepubescent children, contravening rumor that the scandal largely manifested as acts of pedophilia. But homos&xuality, according to Fitzgibbons, was clearly the primary s&xual aberration driving the bulk of abuse.

    “One can conclude that these priests have strong same-s&x attraction,” said Fitzgibbons. “When an adult is involved with homos&xual behavior with an adolescent male, he clearly has a major problem in the area of homos&xuality.”

    The psychologist said that, while the college has done good work collecting data, criminologists “lack the professional expertise to comment on causes of s&xual abuse.”

    “If the (U.S. bishops) conference wanted an analysis of the causes of complex s&xual behavior with adolescents, don’t turn to criminologists,” said Fitzgibbons. “They are not trained to understand those causes – that training is given to mental health professionals.”



    And then there is this:

    National Review Board member Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recently described the John Jay Report’s findings about the link between homos&xuality and abuse as a “bombshell.”

    “I’m astonished that people throughout America are not talking about it, thinking about it, and wondering about what the mechanisms were that set this alight,” McHugh said.

    Dr. Fitzgibbons concurred that priests who have deep-seated homos&xual tendencies and who subscribe openly to the homos&xual subculture are implicated in the abuse scandal.

    Said Fitzgibbons, “These priests do not support the Church’s teachings with regard to s&xual morality,” he said. “In fact, they try to undermine it in high schools, colleges and seminaries. They’ve been doing this for more than 30 years. This undermining of s&xual morality is the cause of the crisis in the Church.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/homosexuality_and_holy_orders1/#ixzz1SUeDjTA8

    [Amazing. This is a terrible story that deserves some attention, compassion and some human feeling and all some can do is ride their hobby horses to it. I'm in no mood for it today. I'm closing comments. -admin]