Priests who abuse kids will suffer wrath of God

By Robin Barrett
Daily News-Miner
September 14, 2018

I recently heard a hauntingly beautiful song that I hadn’t heard in years. It was the song “Africa,” by the group Toto, recorded in the early 1980s. As some songs do, it kept playing in my mind long after I listened to it. Coincidentally, the night after I heard it, I saw several references to the song on Twitter. This made me more interested in the song, so I watched the group sing it in a 35th anniversary live concert on YouTube. It is really a magnificent song, and has been meaningful to later generations from all over the world who weren’t even born when it was first recorded.

The words to the song are enigmatic, and I wondered what they meant to the band member who wrote the song. According to a source on YouTube, Toto’s keyboarder, David Paich, saw a documentary on the then-famine occurring in Africa. He was inspired to go to his keyboard and quickly worked out the song. He said that the idea behind the song was that a lonely missionary serving in Africa had to choose between the love of a woman, and his growing love for Africa. David Paich stated that the line in the song, “I bless the rains down in Africa,” was inspired by the missionaries he encountered while attending Catholic school as a child. The former missionaries told stories of their service there and how they would go to the people’s houses and fields and bless them. And when it rained, they would also bless the rain.

It is so nice to hear a lovely, inspiring and positive story, for once, about Catholic missionaries and Catholic schools. This is in stark contrast to the current day, when the media bombards us with terrible stories about bad things and people in the church. It is nice to know that David Paich apparently had a positive experience in his Catholic school. I can also attest that I, my siblings, my parents, their siblings and my parent’s parents all had positive experiences in the Catholic Church. I don’t personally know anyone who suffered abuse in the Catholic Church, and, as far as I know, I don’t know of anyone who knows anyone who suffered abuse in the Church. I say this only to counter the impression one gets from the nightly news, and The Associated Press, that every other priest must be some sort of predator. This is far from the truth. The vast majority of priests have served God and the church honorably and humbly.

In fact, in a recent article published Aug. 22 in Psychology Today, Dr. Thomas G. Plante, an expert who has spent years studying abuse in the church and in society disputed common assumptions about abuse by priests. First, he stated that the research shows that Catholic priests do not abuse at a higher level than do ministers from other denominations. Dr. Thomas stated that 4 percent of priests in the last half of the 20th century violated a child. As a matter of contrast, he wrote that the U.S. Department of Education found that 5-7 percent of public school teachers engaged in sex abuse of students in the same time period. I can only guess that the reason the public is constantly reminded of past sex abuse by priests, but is never told of the national statistics of abuse by teachers, is because the media is not interested in destroying public schools or the reputation of teachers.

The second myth that Dr. Plante wanted to disabuse people of, is the common assumption that celibacy has anything to do with sex abuse of minors. Most sexual abuse occurs in the home, often by married men, who certainly are not celibate. So celibacy does not lead to abuse of children. What does lead to abuse of children? Sin, and a person’s personal choice to turn away from God so that he can follow Satan.

For the abuse that has occurred, every faithful Catholic is sickened and appalled by these men who violated their vows-sinning against children, against God and against the church. The faithful demand answers and we demand accountability.

To those people, some positively demonic, who sought to destroy the innocence of children while blasphemously serving in the office of priest, bishop or cardinal — you will encounter the wrath of God. The wrath of God is a terrible thing. Jesus said it would be better for these people to have a millstone tied to their necks and thrown into the sea rather than to harm the innocence of a child.

To those priests, bishops or cardinals who courageously try but cannot keep their vows of celibacy made before God, perhaps you do not have a calling. You can serve God honorably in other ways. But for the priests, bishops and cardinals who lied their way into seminary, and who are arrogantly, flagrantly disobedient to God, you are not fit to be a priest, bishop or cardinal. Please leave before you do more damage to your souls and to the church.


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