Saturday, October 09, 2010

I just shot a video today using shoes that were donated for an art installation I am hoping to show at some point in the future. My goal was and still is to collect 1000 shoes making each shoe represent 1200 victims of clergy sexual abuse. That's right, that means there are around 1,200,000 victims of clergy sexual abuse worldwide.

How did I arrive at that number?

Bishops Accountability has concluded that there are roughly 50,000 victims in the United States. The US represents 6% of the world's Catholic population so that would figure over 3/4 of a million victims worldwide. 

Father Andrew Greeley estimated that there were 100,000 victims in the US. That would make it a whopping 1,650,000 worldwide. 

I averaged the two and came out to 1,200,000. So far I have collected 180 shoes. I seriously thought it was a lot more but this was what I had to work with today.

Which was kind of creepy once I did the math. Each shoe represents 6,666 victims worldwide. Hmmmm.

The name of the short video and future art installation is "Putting On Its Shoes," named after the Mark Twain Quote - "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."
What's the lie?

That the abuse is something new. It has been going on for a long time.

The song in the video is Ave Maria sung by Alessandro Moreschi, the last famous castrito who sang in the choir at the bascillica in Rome. He was castrated when he was a little boy so he could sing like that for the Pope. The song was recorded in 1904 when he was 46 years old. 
I'm going to say that castrating a kid as late as the in the 1860's or 70's is abuse. 
Come to think of it, it always was abuse!

Speaking of 1870, Mother Mary MacKillop was excommunicated from the church for reporting Fr Keating for sexually abusing children. Now she is about to become the patron Saint for the sexually abused.
Did I mention this was all in 1870?

And they are still shocked and saddened by the abuse they have been covering up for centuries.
Yep, the lie.

It is time to put on our shoes.


Gabe Azzaro said...

I wish you well in your project. I am a survivor of sexual abuse by a religious sister, and know of the lifelong effects of this abuse. Although the pope has repeatedly apologized, he has actually DONE nothing to make this horror stop. He has not made any complicit bishops or cardinals suffer any consequences. Maybe it will take continued publicity about this horror to make it stop.

city of angels lady said...

Why is the media and everyone ignoring the abuse that took place as a result of Mary MacKillop's work?

Two weeks ago a victim in Toowoomba, Australia, emailed me, with "The Worst Headline in the World" in the subject line, reacting to the first breaking news media mania that MacKillop should be the patron saint of abuse victims.

My friend said MacKillop's religious order ran the orgphanage where he was molested, nuns of the Josephites run orphanages all over the country. I did a story about it at City of Angels here October 5th.

Not only does canonizing this nun do NOTHING but feed the symbolism and idolatry of the Catholic Church that caused the pedophile epidemic to take happen in the first place, but the Vatican is obviously not listening to victims at all.

My friend in Toowoomba says there were thousands of children in Australian orphanages abused by Josephite nuns over the last century.

I know from experience, the Church does all it can to bury the truth about these felonies. Including steering attention in a different direction, as this canonization is doing.

Imagine how much victims in Australia are suffering through this right now.

Christine said...

Thank you for this powerful, important piece, Skip. Well done, my friend. It just breaks my heart.