Hypocrisy: December 2002 Archives

December 30, 2002

More Christian ritual abuse

A minister in Ayr has been charged with assault over allegations that he belted children as young as three. Rev. Martin Trench, of the River Ministry Christian Fellowship Evangelical Church, does not deny abusing his children, but insists he has committed no crime becuase it's an essential part of his Christian religion. Trench is a fine example of Christian leadership--divorced, he lives with his second wife, a lingerie shop manager. When the Sunday Mail made enquiries, he was not very communicative:

Yesterday Mr Trench denied the allegations. He said: That would be my ex-wife who put you on to this. The details are exaggerated greatly. My solicitor has told me not to make any statement. A friend of Mr Trench's said: He feels he has done nothing wrong. He was acting as a good parent and a good Christian.

Minister: It's Christian to belt boy of three. - Sunday Mail, 29th December 2002.

December 24, 2002

Get religion - and a divorce.

A Methodist-led week of spiritual cleansing in Fiji did not go according to plan when it resulted in the break-up of three marriages, with several others now on the rocks as a result.

The cleansing which reportedly took place at a village in Bau, Tailevu two weeks ago saw couples confessing about things they felt guilty about, to a reverend. Some men confessed to having affairs with other women in the village while their wives confessed to having affairs with other men. As a result, three married couples split after the confessions and their children are now living with relatives. The villagers are talking about the confessions on a daily basis and how their lives have been affected. One villager who was interviewed said she was shocked at the number of extra marital affairs happening in the village, considering it had a population of less than 70 people.

Marriages break-up after 'cleansing' - Fiji Live, 24th December 2002.

December 19, 2002

Pagan Prattle sweep time.

How many Anglican and Episcopal vicars are going to be caught in bed with prostitutes, children and sheep in the next year?

In his first speech since taking up office at the start of the month, Dr Rowan Williams said church leaders instead of governments will have to form a moral basis for society.
Archbishop launches moral crusade - BBC News, 19th December 2002.

December 13, 2002

Christians admit ritual abuse.

Parents and teachers at a private Christian school have been told that they are not allowed to abuse children as part of their religion. Christian Fellowship School, Liverpool, had claimed that the ban on corporal punishment violated their right to freedom of religious belief but the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling banning such violence against children. The judges observed that it is still legal in England for parents to hit their children and that, if the abuse really was part of their religion, parents could beat their children at home with impunity. Christian group loses smacking appeal - Daily Telegraph, 13th December 2002.

December 10, 2002

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385660

A notorious Buddhist priest known as the 'Bawdy Bodhisatva' has got himself in trouble again. Kenichi Aitani has been arrested by Tokyo police on charges relating to child prostitution, pornography and for stalking a 17-year-old schoolgirl who broke off a relationship with him. Five years ago, Aitani was the first person to be arrested under an ordnance banning sex with schoolgirl prostitutes.

Aitani is also famous for refusing to come out and greet those normal worshippers who come to pay their respects at the temple. The exceptions are when it's a family that has girls of junior high or high school age. When those families visit, he'll whip open the front door to his home and invite them in for a cup of tea.

One worshipper complained With a Chief Priest like the Bawdy Bodhisattva, it's no wonder believers are deserting his temple in droves. Pervert priest confesses to schoolgirl sacrilege - MDN WaiWai, 10th December 2002.

December 9, 2002

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385659

Japan: A Shinto priest has been arrested after he performed a "Holy Massage" on a 15-year-old girl. The priest insists he was performing a traditional Shinto rite:
I just channeled Earth's vital energy into her in accordance with Shinto ritual. So what I did was not illegal, 34-year-old Sakamoto told grilling officers.

Police said the Shinto priest was giving a private tutorial to the local junior high school student at his shrine on Oct. 18.

Midway through the teaching session, Sakamoto suddenly told the girl, Your problem is a lack of earthly energy. I will channel the energy into you, and started groping her, according to the victim.

She complained to her parents and the police arrested the priest after investigation.

Pervert priest pinched for 'holy massage'Mainichi Daily News, 9th December 2002.

December 4, 2002

More on Boston.

Thousands of freshly-released files document the extent to which the Archdiocese of Boston tried to cover up the sexual abuse of children by priests. A Supreme Court order forced the release of around 3000 pages of material on eight priests. One priest has admitted allegations that he abused girls who wanted to become nuns:

In the late 1960s, the Rev. Robert V. Meffan allegedly recruited girls to become nuns and then sexually abused them, according to 1993 letters from Sister Catherine E. Mulkerrin to her boss, the Rev. John B. McCormack, who was a top aide to Law. Meffan allegedly would counsel the girls to perform sexual acts as a way of progressing with their religious studies.
Meffan allegedly engaged in sexual acts with four girls in a Cape Cod rental, one of the girls told Mulkerrin, according to the 1993 memo.
According to the records, Meffan encouraged them to be brides of Christ, and described himself as the second coming of Christ. Meffan did anything but intercourse, one woman told church officials, because he said that was for the afterlife.
On woman said Meffan used to suggest to her that she imagine Christ touching, kissing, having intercourse with her, according to the church records.
They were all young girls planning to be nuns, said attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., who represents 247 plaintiffs suing the archdiocese.
Meffan told The Boston Globe the allegations in the documents were true, and that he still believed his sexual relationships with the teenage girls were beautiful and spiritual, and were intended to bring them closer to God.

The archdiocese dealt with such 'problem' priests by moving them to other parishes. Personnel records show drug use, sex abuse by priests - CNN, 4th December 2002.

Shame and guilt cause abuse.

Christianity's culture of shame about sexuality is an important causal factor in child abuse in the churches of Britain and Ireland, according to a report published today. Put together by representatives of several churches, including Anglican, Methodist and Catholic groups, the report, Time for Action, states that the Christianity itself, as well as the church institutions, encourages abuse, but puts the abused off complaining about it. It claims that clergy are in a Catch 22 situation:

Since the clergy and other church leaders are sexual beings as a condition of their humanity, they are caught in a trap: experiencing sexual desire and sexual need, and at the same time, experiencing shame and distress.

High levels of misogyny and homophobia make the situation much worse. Church cultureof shame 'feeds abuse' - The Guardian, 4th December 2002.

December 3, 2002

What Jesus really said.

The Face to Faith column in yesterday's Guardian examines those bits of the New Testament you are unlikely to see on a wayside pulpit any time soon. What Jesus really said - The Guardian, 2nd December 2002.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Hypocrisy category from December 2002.

Hypocrisy: November 2002 is the previous archive.

Hypocrisy: January 2003 is the next archive.

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