This is not the first time that a priest has misused his powers and indulged in an act that priesthood forbids. A long and notorious history of catholic priests involved in sex crimes tells us that the preachy church has a rotten history of burying dirty secrets allowing systemic gender violence to mushroom in its backyard.
The latest incident that has rocked the church and its faithful followers is the repeated rape of a minor girl by the vicar of a local church at Kottiyoor in Kannur district,Kerala. He was the manager of the school in which the girl attended classes until February 6th, a day before she gave birth to baby boy.
What is bizarre is a system that had tried to cover up the crime until the Kerala police conducted intensive searches and arrested the accused priest and seven others including five nuns and the doctor of the church run hospital where the girl gave birth to the child, were on the run. There were picked up on February 7th and booked under non-bailable sections. The police should be applauded for being swift and efficient but what breaks the heart of faithful Christians like me is that the onus of the sexual crime is being put on the minor child. The church conveniently retorted to victim blaming rather than accepting the need to clean up the rot in the system.
According to News Minute's report on an editorial written by Sunday Shalom, a Christian weekly, the rape could have been averted by the girl if she wanted to. The weekly said "Here, the girl is above the age of 15. Let me tell you this, as I consider you like my daughter, you are also at fault. Before the Lord, it is you who will have to answer first. Daughter why did you forget who a priest is? He has a human body and has temptations. He may have forgotten his position for a few seconds, my child who has taken the Holy Communion, why didn't you stop or correct him?"
As per this statement, a priest who preaches and makes lofty speeches after a Sunday mass is not at fault, but the people who trust him and respect him considering him a messenger of Christ is at fault. Yes, the human body has temptations, but shouldn't the Bishop's council who blamed consumerism for rape ask such sexual offenders why did they forget their celibacy vow? If it was difficult for them to control their hormones, they should have never embraced a vocation that forbids its servants from sex. The Bishop's council also forgot that the priest who gives out the Holy Communion and not the faithful who take the Holy Communion are more responsible for protecting its sanctity.
Clearly, these words also expose the notorious abuse of powers by people serving religion and institutions run in its name, because the Christian weekly has reprimanded the minor girl reminding her of who a priest is. It seems the church and its faithful servants are forgetting who priests are and what their duties should be.
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