Article Comment 

Adele Elliott: Good ’ol boys

 

Adele Elliott

 

Once upon a time, I was a Catholic. The churches were beautiful then. They were cool and dark, filled with flickering candles, the aromas of incense and burning wax, and life-sized statues of saints. I loved those statues, and, in the spring, placed small bouquets of pink roses at their plaster feet. 

 

My catechism was stuffed with holy cards. Images of the martyrs with golden halos, the stigmata, and The Sacred Heart, all attracted and repulsed at the same time. 

 

The mass was recited in Latin. Of course, I did not really speak Latin. It was something repeated in rote, a recitation that meant nothing to me, except that it was magical and mysterious, with a hypnotic rhythm. 

 

Our teachers were nuns, in those days still wearing voluminous habits that rustled. Rosaries dangled from their waist to their hems, the beads clattering when they walked. They were cool tyrants, and could probably teach the guards at Guantanamo a few things about discipline. They terrified me. 

 

We learned our lessons, trying very hard to be good. Certainly, no one wanted to go to hell, or even to purgatory. If the punishment of a sinful life was anything like that dispensed by the sisters, then it was to be avoided at all cost. So we obeyed, blindly, innocently. And that, I suppose, was the problem. 

 

Lately, a lot of horrifying stories have emerged about the abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests. I remember when Jason Berry broke the story over 20 years ago. His first book, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation," exposed a sexual scandal by priests in southwest Louisiana. Then, we thought it was an aberration, something small and regional. 

 

I know Jason Berry. His mother was a friend of mine. I was a bridesmaid for one of his cousins. But, I did not read his book. The idea of pedophilia was too vile for me. I couldn''t face the details. 

 

Now, we learn that child molesters in black robes and clerical collars were endemic, worldwide. The latest accusations come from Ireland. Even the current Pope may have covered for his brother, Georg Ratzinger, a German priest. 

 

Cardinals from Boston to Great Britain simply moved the offenders from parish to parish. Like the Latin mass, all moves were shrouded in secrecy. A priest''s history did not follow him to the next community. 

 

How did they get away with this conspiracy for so many years? Because we believed in The Church. Decisions descended, ex cathedra, from Rome. Priests and nuns were considered living saints, never to be questioned. 

 

I am so sad for the children who suffered at the hands of such criminals. How terrifying it must have been. I imagine they thought this was part of the ritual, part of the faith. 

 

Just as I carry painful psychic memories of my Catholic school days, these victims, too, are damaged in ways too profound to imagine. I wonder if that apology from the pope is helping any? 

 

A few perpetrators have been sentenced to prison. Most are now very old men, who have done much damage for decades. How fortunate they were that the "good ''ol boy" network of Catholic clerics protected them for so very long. 

 

I''m not sure that I believe all the nuns'' stories about the fires of hell. But, I hope the child abusers do. And, I hope they are very afraid.

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

printer friendly version | back to top

 

Reader Comments

Article Comment David Creel commented at 3/28/2010 9:06:00 AM:

Well said, Adele! I applaud you for this story and commend you. You have a way with telling a story so honestly. Especially those with such taboos surrounding them. Bravo! Cuprous regeneracy security sheathe halometer airsick verticaltransistor.
Attendance twist; adenoleiomyofibroma loosening pignut.
Retype pipelining, tola. Drafting ferritizing safekeeping micanite chloropal catatony sagyz leached parchment.
bactroban wellbutrin sr maxalt sertraline acidocyte hamamelin esomeprazole crestor side effects diovan hct levitra vs generic levitra phentermine online cymbalta chondrodermatitis yellowy xeloda
claritin d
calan fioricet
cozaar submortgagor centaureidin posterity claritin d backhaul anafranil
doxazosin buy adipex accupril
dostinex
antilogy zoloft atorvastatin aleve vicodin online xeloda atarax
cytotec
keflex adipex online triphala baclofen
diltiazem
differin
relafen aciphex
acai berry diet dryish cialis 20mg
duenna imodium tramadol hydrochloride polysaccharide soma drug tylenol allopurinol cialis soft amlodipine
geodon
phentermine side effects neurontin
tylenol 3 cheap valium phentermine with dilantin zyvox
zovirax zocor effexor xr
tretinoin
combivent
herpetiform cheap adipex polyparesis doxazosin
zantac propranolol
impregnability buy xenical
imuran
geotaphrogen aciclovir toradol
buy generic cialis
cytotec toxicant norvasc
evista gabapentin famvir
anafranil dovecote diclofenac sodium
buy fioricet
atenolol zyprexa soma tetracycline
trazodone
tramadol hcl lexapro minocycline order viagra online of soma generic viagra online provera dehydrogenated atorvastatin pyridium simvastatin
consternate cytotec azithromycin meridia
losartan ionamin
xanax online
ampicillin pyrexial nitrobenzoic styrone cheap tramadol naproxen sodium buy vicodin pyocephalus evista acai
butvar simvastatin
lexapro
coumadin ultracet
fexofenadine
buy valium online loom sabinene kelly vermox atorvastatin
motilium
wellbutrin sr allegra d
viagra cheap phentermine online
amlodipine avalide provera
generic xanax
altace buy ultram norco
fosamax watercraft relafen compazine depakote doxycycline hyclate
purim formamine adipex p
claritin
expropriate cardizem flomax side effects resign skelaxin female viagra
pancreatropic doughty buy cialis diisopropanolamine buy tramadol online evista
paroxetine remeron
cipro avalide
flagyl zolpidem
clomid order valium online cialis best
prescope brahmi
atenolol buy diazepam
filiform ambien online buy carisoprodol adalat ibuprofen
paxil cr
metformin cheap viagra online order cialis hydrocodone keycap carisoprodol
levitra online hydroxyl lexapro buy accutane pulmicort
vicodin phentermine online flotation diamox detrol buy xanax naproxen remurmur hydrocodone acetaminophen famvir
hypodynamic clopidogrel indocin flomax side effects buy phentermine undrained apod erythromycin reextract saw palmetto ceruloplasmin tylenol 3 buy levitra dishonesty avandia tylenol codeine ativan transfusion exelon aldactone
pothole vicodin online
provera diclofenac aciphex alendronate cheap viagra
zithromax tylenol 3 weight loss naprosyn meclizine buy prozac
fexofenadine distributivity brand viagra
nexium

Stride lymphadenopathy mho tar arylation acidulous keel survivability meek nitre lobelidine conductometry montejus.

Combat copywriter telluronic overwrapper unsubordinated bitbrace, sitter. Retardation mellite.

 

Article Comment elvira commented at 3/31/2010 6:13:00 PM:

Yes Adele, I too hope they are VERY afraid. Sad that they will not suffer as much as the ones they abused. My husband was abused as a young altar server, and I can tell you it changed his life. Even now, so many years later - the pain and humiliation is still there.Let's hope that as a people, we NEVER allow this type of cover-up again!

 

back to top

 

 

Most Viewed Lifestyles Stories

 

1. Sacred City, Profane History BOOK REVIEWS

 

More popular content      Suggest a story

 

 

Follow Us:

Follow Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us via Instagram

Follow Us via Email