Bishop Anthony Fisher, coordinator of World Youth Day, has jammed his little hamster foot in his little hamster face while responding to this statement by a father of two rape victims. The good bishop had this to say (from the SMH):
Happily, I think most of Australia was enjoying [and] delighting in the beauty and goodness of these young people and the hope for us doing these sorts of things better in the future, as we saw last night, rather than dwelling crankily, as a few people are doing, on old wounds…
Come again? A father still awaits justice for his daughters, both of whom were raped by the same Catholic priest (whom, one could say, was enjoying their “beauty and goodness” in his own broken & twisted way), one of whom recently took her own life, and all you can say is, essentially, “Get over it – look at all these happy kids enjoying being Catholics!”?
Fuck you mate. Fuck you and fuck Pell too, for his hollow, repeated non-apology. Fuck you both in the most uncomfortable way possible. Fuck your church for continuing to allow this kind of thing to happen with no results and no accountability and for continuing to allow halfwits like Fisher to speak for you.
You just don’t get it, do you. Here’s a man in agony over sexual violence done to both his daughters – by the same man. He’s still grieving for his lost daughter. He wants an apology from the church – he wants the church to damn well take responsibility – and to be compensated fairly. He wants the church to take action to prevent such things re-occurring. He’s entitled to want those things. And how does the church respond? “Get over it.” This is why so many people get so annoyed, angry, enraged at the Papacy – Fisher’s innocently ignorant failure to appreciate the gravity of the situation and respond appropriately is just another brick in the long, high wall between Catholicism and the rest of the world. The fact that Fisher seems almost childlike in his infuriating innocence only serves to heighten this wedge between the church and the real world. His is a world of robes and rituals and vaulted ceilings and thousands of polite kids rapturously rocking out to clean-cut un-annoying young singers; Mr Foster’s world is one of the darkest pain, grief, frustration, injustice, hollow half-apologies and now, more than likely, of incredulous rage that someone so senior in the church responsible for that pain could just stare, wide-eyed & uncomprehending like a puppy, and say “get over it.”
Ordinarily, in the world the rest of us inhabit, it would be simply incomprehensible that anyone could respond in such an unsympathetic way to a man’s grief and demand for accountability, especially when their organisation is responsible for it. Imagine a school principal or education department spokesperson responding in the same way if it was one of his teachers that had raped two girls, one of whom would later commit suicide. There would be hell to pay, heads to roll, arses to kick. Sadly, however, this kind of thoughtless, callous response is all too common when it comes to the Catholic church on this issue. Idiots like Fisher – clearly unaware of the weight of their words – and emotionless bastards like Pell are exactly why the church needs a complete overhaul when it comes to investigating and responding to sexual violence.
It boggles the mind – it actually puts a tight knot in my gut – that an organisation that’s run by celibate old men, that’s plagued by sexual abuse going back decades or perhaps even centuries, and which has no idea about how to respond to it appropriately continues to lecture their members (and the rest of us, for that matter) about appropriate sexual behaviour.
Happy World Youth Day.