I hope that the youngster is being properly counselled and engaged towards some recovery, also I hope the court systems are taking into account the sensitivities involved and that the matter is tried ‘in camera’ (the accused and the victim) so as to avoid any unneeded exposure. The repeated mention dates and or preliminary hearings can be daunting for the victims in particular, to be asked to go to court to face the evil one or made to relive the matter. I can only imagine the state of affairs in that household and by extension the rest of the church community and the condemnation on their part of the accused pastor seeing it is same gender sex matter, I raise that because of the justification of an ongoing matter of the Moravian pastor who was accused of assault of a fifteen year old girl. Many commentated openly that nothing was wrong with ‘a little sex’ and after all she is a girl and the accused pastor in that matter should be forgiven; the efforts by some who ought to know better to seemingly protect that pastor only threw salt in the wound and has left me wondering what other dark secrets ad out there that church boards are aware of but cover them up so as not to ruffle feathers. Apparently hetero-paedophile appearing abuse cases can or should be allowed some leeway because it the accepted straight sex but mention a male and all hell break loose. Comments made by overly fanatically sympathetic congregants and others that the Moravian pastor blasting those who accused them shows up the kinds of control some have over those who are easily led.
Something seems off when it comes to the Moravian church in recent times as such clerical abuse is mostly linked to the Catholic Church but in this year alone we have seen Pentecostals, now this New Testament Church and even non traditional denominations. Priests continue to clothe themselves in piety but use their power and privilege over the weak. Simply put abuse is abuse no matter the gender of the victim or the perpetrator and a pastor is the last person one would expect to hear being accused of such issues, are pastors joining or hiding in the church just to gain access to the weak, the very weak Christ’s teachings encouraged that should be reached?
This is not the best time for awful news such as this given it is child’s month and the disturbing set of inappropriateness of pastors or persons purporting to be men of the cloth who abuse the weak psychologically and otherwise. On one hand it is good that such hidden actions are being exposed but on the other it sends a wrong message to persons in terms of the trust of the church and has indirect implications towards the national discourse or shouting match on the buggery law amendment or repeal depending on which side one is on. Some members of the public have been up in arms since the story broke suggesting that no change whatsoever must come to the law; it is cases like this one that makes it all the more relevant to amend the law as in the amendment it should take into account (non) consent for adults while also making it very clear the protection of children under the age of consent which is 16 years old. One also hopes that if and when there is some amendment that there is no hetero or homosexual buggery demarcation as was done in the UK before the ages of consent were equalized in the 1980s.
There is another ongoing matter for some years now in the St Andrew parish court involving a female victim who was also buggered by a pastor, sadly the creaking court systems and yet to be properly updated ways of doing business still escapes our justice systems overall. That case is being tracked but in the twenty first century why are some judges still taking notes by hand despite smartphones with voice recording capabilities, laptops with powerful microphone ranges and the promised video cameras in court to track hearings so judges can go back and review the materials. Only a few courthouses have been updated to meet the relevant changes and make them fully operational. Another challenge I have is the business of follow-up of older cases and their outcomes in terms of the victims, the system is so overwhelmed that it is next to impossible to keep up.
The sexual offences bill review is on and many like me are not so optimistic on any positive movements similar to reviews passed but hope remains while company is true.
Peace & tolerance