Så længe vi accepterer, at religioner foretager selvjustits inden for lukkede døre, kommer børn til at betale prisen for samfundets manglende mod.
Why don´t we stop pedophiles in religious communities?
If we keep accepting that religious communities deal with pedophiles within their own ranks, children will pay the price for society’s lack of courage.
Children cannot always take care of themselves. They have adults for that job. Or so it should be. The problem is that somethimes, we trust the wrong adults. Children who are exposed to pedophiles pay an outrageously high price for that. All too often, religions and sects function as places where sick souls have free range.
We know this all too well, have heard it so often. Things happen on inside of the confessional booth and behind closed church doors that should never happen between adults and children.
The latest scandal is about the Catholic Church in France, where at least 3,000 Catholic priests from 1950 onward till present day have raped and sexually assaulted more than 10,000 children. The report is based on church, trial and police reports as well as interviews with the victims.
Again and again we hear stories of children who have been sexually exploited. We read the structures that allow the abuse to happen. We know about how religions internally have their own mechanisms to avoid getting into the spotlight of the public eye and the media. And the fact that we know it makes us as a society complicit if we do nothing.
The religious systems protect their own, sometimes reprimanding the perpetrators behind closed doors, other times sending the pedophiles around to new churches where they can abuse new victims. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes within Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, who keep such cases closed and order the parties involved not to share their experiences with anyone – neither with family and friends within the sect nor with authorities, law enforcement or psychologists outside.
Why do we as a society do nothing? Why do we just watch from the sidelines? Yes, yes, of course we are disgusted by what we read and hear, but then we apparently shrug before moving on to reading the next newspaper article. There is such a huge fear of meddling when it comes to stepping into the holy halls, when it comes to questioning what is going on within various denominations. Why do we have a notion that when something happens within closed religious groups, then we can not touch it?
Only cowards do not dare to react to injustices. Power is closely linked to fear, and the fear that the victims of pedophiles experience both during and after the assaults is reinforced when we as a society maintain taboos. We have a duty to not shy away but face this head on and confront the organizations and structures that repeatedly exploit the leeway of these religions.
Politicians have a responsibility to act and enact harsh legislation in relation to what religious practices look like when it comes to dealing with pedophiles behind their closes doors. But instead, out of fear of not respecting various groups’ religious autonomy and freedoms, they turn their backs and hearts to children’s suffering.
(partly Google Translate)