Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wait. What?

This may be the weirdest story I've heard in a long time.  I have not yet seen the new documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, about attempts over the years by high-ups in the Catholic church to hide the church's rampant pedophilia.  But, according to a review in the San Francisco Chronicle, the makers of the film claim that:
In 1965, the Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, who had co-founded the Servants of the Paraclete, advanced a plan to have the church buy the Caribbean island of Carriacou and even put a down payment on the island. His plan was to move all the pedophilic priests to the island to keep them from harming other children - like some kind of sexual deviant version of an old-fashioned leper colony. While the idea seems absurd, the fact that it was even considered shows how committed the church was to the cover-up.
 Wow.  Can this be true?  Carriacou is where I spent my Peace Corps service (1971-74) and also where I have, over the years, carried out linguistic research on the English and French Creole languages spoken there. Due to its French colonial past, Catholicism has been a fixture of Carriacou culture for centuries.  But this, really?

If it is true, what was supposed to happen if the "sale" went through, I wonder?  Would the local people be allowed to continue living there, and if so, what sort of safeguards would have been put in place to protect the island's children from these repugnant "priests?"  And if the idea was to move them, where would the 3,000 or so people have been moved to?  Or were the descendants of African slaves on a little Caribbean island sufficiently unimportant that nobody really cared? 
 
And what role might the Grenadian leader of the time, Eric Gairy, have played in this?  Given that Carriacou was typically the center of political opposition to Gairy, and remembering what sort of leader he was, it's not hard to imagine him selling off the people of Carriacou, especially if enough money were involved.
 
I'm no fan of religion, especially Big Religion, but it's hard even for me to believe that a religion could foster such obscene callousness.

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