One day when Alfred Hitchcock was still a churchgoing Catholic, he was driving through a Swiss city when he suddenly pointed out of the car window and said, “That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen.”
His companion was surprised to see nothing more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand on the child’s shoulder.
“Run, little boy,” cried Hitchcock, leaning out of the car. “Run for your life!”
There are few things that are sicker than abusing children – the violation, the abuse of innocent trust.
Some things that the Catholics seem to excel at.
Dozens of pupils at exclusive Roman Catholic boarding schools in Scotland have alleged they were sexually and physically abused by monks, one of whom allegedly raped at least five boys.
Nine Benedictine monks who taught at the Fort Augustus Abbey school in the Highlands and its preparatory school in East Lothian have been accused of repeatedly beating, sexually assaulting and verbally abusing boys in their care over several decades.
One monk, Father Aidan Duggan, who taught at Fort Augustus and Carlkemp prep school, which both closed in the 1990s, was accused by five ex-pupils of raping and sexually abusing them, but they claim their allegations were ignored and rejected by two headteachers, according to the BBC.
Duggan, an Australian, died in 2004 after returning to become a parish priest in Sydney.
Another priest, Father Chrysostom Alexander, now 77, is also alleged to have abused one pupil at the Fort Augustus school in the 1970s.
Alexander, also an Australian, returned to work in Sydney and has now been suspended by the Catholic church after he was challenged about the allegations by a BBC journalist. Alexander did not respond to the allegations.
The allegations, in a BBC documentary Sins of the Fathers, broadcast on BBC1 Scotland on Monday, are now being investigated by Police Scotland in the latest in a series of scandals about abuse by priests and misconduct by senior figures within the Scottish church.
The church endured its most serious crisis for decades earlier this year after Scotland’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, was forced to resign and retire early in disgrace after he admitted having had affairs and sexual encounters with several priests.
According to the BBC two brothers who attended Carlkemp, Christopher and David Walls, also alleged that Duggan had groomed them.
David Walls said Duggan had been bullying and oppressive in class but then when Walls was 11, Duggan became much friendlier and began being physically intimate.
Walls recalls being made by Duggan to sit on his bed during recorder-playing practice, and has memory blanks about what happened next.
“Why would somebody treat you horrendously and then for no reason, all of a sudden, start cuddling you and kissing you?,” Walls said.
“At the same time, it was a relief that you weren’t on the receiving end of unpleasantness.
“Because that all stopped; the beatings stopped, the sarcasm and the making a fool of you in public and so on, that all stopped once the cuddling started. And you definitely felt this kind of sense of gratitude, almost.”
One former pupil, Donald Macleod, told the documentary that Duggan had effectively groomed him before raping him when he was 14.
Macleod tried to raise the alarm but the then head teacher refused to hear about the alleged rape, warning him that lies were a mortal sin.
It’s enough to wrench the stomach. The hypocrisy, the misuse of power, all stemming from an ancient but very convincing lie.
The denial of human needs as pertaining to ‘original sin’ are multitudinous – and repression of basic human needs leads to a form of mental illness that is well-shielded by the folderol of faith.
And ‘pure’ blind stubborn faith is the fodder of fools .
Till the next post, then.