I remember a religious studies book from high school that had on it, among other captions, 'Silence is Golden'. It was part of a catholic religion program, in a catholic school, in a catholic community.
At the time, it had little meaning for me other than the obvious. Now, today, its significance is profound.
For an organization that is drenched in secrecy and cover-up, I can see why that was such an appropriate adage for that cover. With the more recent allegations of sexual abuse within the catholic church, the church's refusal to acknowledge that I, a gay man, am just as relevant as my fellow human beings and the silence of all members of the clergy, a very significant number who are gay themselves, that silence is now deafening.
As a former seminarian, the ideologies and teachings of the catholic church, such as celibacy is a joke! I've been inside the bowels of this institution, and it is hypocrisy in its purest form.
It is an archaic institution that survives only on the fears of its congregants.
The palatial Vatican, is a cesspool of priests, bishops, cardinals and the holy (pejoratively speaking, of course) one himself, Pope Benny.
We are guilty of having a head in the sand mentality, myself included. How can one have faith or respect for what this institution truly represents?
The holy one himself is guilty of covering up sexual abuse while a Bishop in Germany in 1980. As Pope, he went to Africa where there is a major AIDS epidemic, preaching condoms must not be used to by wives or husbands to protect themselves.
Church doctrine, he stated, was paramount and must be adhered to regardless of any consequences that may result.
Canon Law for the church is above and beyond Civil Law.
He has denied any possibility of inter-religious dialogue with certain other denominations. He has refused to sign a UN declaration on the rights of gays and the disabled. He welcomed the schematics of the Society of St Pius X back into the Church - only discovering afterwards one of the society's illegally created bishops, Richard Williamson, denied the truth of the Holocaust.
The list is endless!
I urge all Catholics everywhere to take a moment and re-evaluate their place within this institution.
I urge everyone to fight for equal rights for all of humanity.
I urge you to stand up, shout from the highest mountain peaks, demanding the veil of secrecy be lifted and the perpetrators of such heinous crimes be brought to justice.
I will not, however, hold my breath - surely, I would suffocate.
We have become all too complacent, in our comfy little worlds. I implore you to look deep within yourselves and at the very least give ample consideration for the intrinsic evil of these immoral individuals who profess to practice Catholicism, and the patriarchal arrogance.
Join in solidarity for the thousands who have suffered grotesquely at the hands of this institution. Guide yourselves, your conscience, accordingly.
The silence, once and for all, must be shattered!
St. Bernard's-Jacques Fontaine