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Church Sex Scandal: Many Things to Learn

Date: Sun, 04 Apr 2010 15:58:14 -0600 To: AM-GLOBAL From: "Paul Paltrow" Subject: Sex Scandal: Many Things to Learn Baba PS Intro: This following Prabhat Samgiita is a melancholic song - the bhakta has a deep yearning to receive Parama Purusa in a more intimate way. Those who have not fallen in love with Him may not understand this feeling. In that case one may mistakenly think this song is too harsh in its expression towards Parama Purusa. But in the world of divine love, this is all quite natural. The bhakta wants Parama Purusa extremely close so when he does not get what he wants then this type of loving accusation and playful interaction occurs. All because the bhakta has a bond of love with Parama Purusa. So the accusation placed is not harsh, but just the sweet longing of not getting Him as closely as one feels. In worldly love, this type of longing can occur between the baby and its mother, if they have a sweet relation. You may have seen how the child will carry on if the mother is absent, because the baby wants her to be close. Similar feelings the bhakta has for Parama Purusa. Those who do not have that type of deep love for Him will not feel comfortable accusing Him in a loving way. The below song is based on a deeply intimate and loving relation between the bhatka and Parama Purusa. "Toma'r la'gi kato vytha', tumi ta'ha'r khon'ja ra'kheno na'..." (PS 345) Purport: Baba, do You know how much longing I feel for You? You do not understand the pain of my heart. If You did understand You would come close. Instead You just always keep Yourself engaged in the great works of this vast universe. You never listen to the painful stories and suffering of this lowly being. Baba, now in my mental forest, I will collect flowers for You and weave a magnificent garland to offer You. I will see whether You accept my humble gift or not. Baba, I will go on singing Your sweet melodies and my heart will vibrate in that melody and I will dance in Your divine vibration. Will You then look at me or not? Baba, my Dearmost I have so much love for You, please do not forget me, pleas keep me in Your arms...
Namaskar, For decades and decades the Catholic Church has been riddled by sexual abuse and scandal. Yet, it all remained hidden for a long time. Now it is rising to the surface as their own followers are coming forward with their personal accounts and tales of abuse by priests. This has become a huge public scandal for the church. In addition, recent reports reveal how the Pope himself was also involved in this long-standing problem. Even though Ananda Marga is not a religion - ours is universal dharma - we should examine how issues of sexual abuse became rampant within the church as well as why those cases were effectively covered up for generations and generations. We should take note of the problem not just as the downfall of a particular religion but also how we can prevent such incidents in our Marga. Finally, we shall review why Baba has termed neo-humanism as a "weapon" to clean up the entire humanity and put an end to all dogmas.
All the various religions have taken hold of society in one way or another. But the main thing they have in common is creating a scripture and doctrine that pronounces their priests on a pedestal. Their priests are deemed as infallible - i.e. God's chosen representatives. Without them, one cannot enjoy the kingdom in heaven. Church officials can then use their unquestionable authority as divine leaders for their own self-interest and even crude sexual dealing - as we now see. In AM we have monks and nuns, but there is no priestocracy because in Ananda Marga, our Dadas and Didis are not "middle-men" between the sadhaka and the Supreme. But in the church it is like that. Basically, religions like Catholicism rule society by creating all kinds of unfair laws - against women, lay people, outsiders etc - and then proclaiming their own priests as demi-gods. This entire agenda is then wrapped in the tinsel of godhood. That means if anyone does not follow the priest rulership, they will not enjoy the eternal bounty of God, instead they will be doomed to hell fire. With this fear complex and air of superiority, the church easily rules over the masses. It has been this way for centuries. And the main precept is: The priests are infallible and beyond question. By this way, the lay people become second class citizens at the mercy of the all-powerful priest. Even in today's materialistic society, still church officials carry tremendous clout. That is one of the main reasons why Catholic priests were able to get away with all kinds of sexual abuse from pedophilia to homosexuality and much, much more - for decades and decades if not centuries. They were deemed as infallible, beyond reproach, and God's divine messenger. In that case, what wrong could they do?
A second major contributing factor to the ongoing sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church is canon law. Church officials and priests are not subject to state law etc. Instead they have their own canon law. But when that canon law just rubber stamps a priest's innocence regardless of what sin they commit or what hell they do, then the priest need not answer to anyone. Then there is no law to which they must adhere. For this reason, there has been systemic sexual misconduct in the church. Because via canon law they covered it all up and brushed it under the rug. Whereas if anyone in the general society is convicted of pedophilia, child molestation, or anything else, then that stain will remain on their permanent record and their name will be publicly listed on official websites as being sexual predators. They will have a criminal record and be followed by the courts in their every dealing. But the church does not operate with such strictness. To appear pristine and pure, they never address their issues publicly, unless someone else has brought the affair to the fore. And most often, the church merely overlooks the matter entirely. The sexual crime remains but a piece of paper in the file cabinet of one bishop, far beyond the reach of the parishioners and state officials. Thus when priests are deemed as infallible and when the governing body of the church overlooks their wrongs via canon law, priests literally have license to do as they please. In that case they can and will commit so many atrocities. That is why the floodgates have now burst. After years and years of cover-ups, people are coming forward to report all the hellish behaviours of those priests. Indeed, today the church is confronted by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of cases of sexual abuse. Many cases remain unreported - but certainly people are coming forward and demanding justice. What was covered up for years behind the cloak of the church is now pouring into headlines around the globe.
Even though some victims are making claims today, for generations, hardly a single person was willing to bring the matter in the public arena. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, many little boys who may have told their parents about being touched etc, were simply not believed. Parents could not fathom, nor did they want to think, that their child had been sexually abused by a priest. This is one reason why a case was not brought forward. That happened within the family. Then of course there were many ways that the church had for dealing with this. Often the church simply blamed the victim for enticing the priest and imposed such a guilt complex on the victim that they were ashamed to come forward. Or the church warned the victim that it was a sin to speak openly about this issue, so the only option was to remain quiet. And finally, the priests told victims that if they kept this to themselves they will be rewarded in heaven. Plus there are so many other strategies and justifications the church employed in order to keep the matter hush-hush and unknown. Then there is an entire group of victims who became utterly terrified of the priests. There were emotionally scarred and did not even dare receive the holy sacrament from such priests as that would entail being touched by them or being whispered to in the ear by the priest. When they were so hurt, they have neither the courage nor the strength to come forward and fight an institution as mighty as the churhc
That era of utter silence has now mostly passed. Dirt and grime can only be covered up for so long. Even then many remain silent - forever scarred by the abuse, breach of trust, scandal and shame. Here is but a brief glimpse of some of the sexual abuse issues since 2000. The below represents a mere fraction of what actually transpired. However, each and every day the list grows and becomes more steeped in rampant abuse and irresponsible governance. 2002 Vatican issues directive that all sexual abuse allegations should be reported to Rome 2002 Rev. Paul Shanley, former priest of the Archdiocese of Boston arrested, charged, and convicted of abusing numerous boys 2002-US cardinals travel to Rome for emergency meeting with Pope re. sexual abuse scandal 2002 Cardinal Law of Boston resigns as Archbishop and moves to post in Vatican 2004 John Jay Report, commissioned by the US Bishops, says more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years, in cases involving more than 10,000 children - mostly boys 2004 Archdiocese of Portland files for bankruptcy 2007 Spokane Diocese agrees to pay sexual abuse survivors $48 million 2007 Archdiocese of Los Angeles agrees to pay survivors $660 million Thus, the church can no longer deny that there is a problem. The only question is how will they resolve issues of the past and prevent future scandals. Regardless, they may never be able to regain the trust of the people. In Europe, the massive churches are mostly empty. The continent has become a lost cause for the church. Christianity is doing comparatively better in the US, but mostly their so-called success is found in the "developing nations". This too however will be short lived because once the people are armed with the ideals of neo-humanism, the irrational and dogmatic ways of the church will no longer appeal to them.
Let's now take a look how celibacy came into being in the Catholic Church as well as why it could not become a successful practice. Christianity is about 2000 years old whereas the eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism are much older. So those early Christian leaders took a look, albeit a superficial one, at what was happening in the east and they saw that huge respect was given to monks who practiced celibacy. So it was incorporated into certain sects of Christianity as well. This was one way to present the priest class as being "divine" and better than the general public. What the church officials failed to emulate however were all the stringent codes of conduct that monks in the east followed: Vegetarianism, fasting, asana, pranayama, sadhana, tapah, no intoxicants, yama and niyama etc. This is not to say that every monk from an eastern tradition is tried and true. Only we are to understand that those who are successful adhere to a pure way of living. But in Christianity, they only copied the point of celibacy. They failed to copy any sentient lifestyle practices. Hence their priests indulged in tamasik foods, crude drink and had no real spiritual base. In that case they were an accident waiting to happen. It was impossible for them to lead a disciplined life when their entire constitution was littered with static properties. In that case their baser propensities were just growing and growing. It comes as no surprise then that for centuries, the Catholic priests have been submerged in crude pursuits like child molestation etc. By Baba's grace our Marga is not like that. Baba has blessed us with a proper way of living. No doubt we are not scandal free, but anyone who sincerely follows 16 Pts will lead a blessed life. Sixteen Points fuels the sadhaka - family person or sannyasi - in a wholly positive direction.
All in all, there is a heaven and hell difference between Ananda Marga and the existing religions. We should be aware of these basic differences. That will give insight as to why AM will succeed where the religions failed. Slowly, slowly the whole globe is search of truth - a way to reach God - and we should be able to clearly elucidate the differences so none think that Ananda Marga is merely an off-shoot or combination of certain religions. The following points have been well outlined in the book, "The Flame that Burns Upward" (1974) by Jagadishwarananda. Here the chief differentiations between AM and the dogmatic religions are merely listed for your review: (a) Ananda Marga does not recognise holy river or holy places. (b) Ananda Marga is determined to put an end to priesthood. (c) Ananda Marga has made heaven and hell non-existent. (d) Ananda Marga discourages prayer, worship, rites, rituals etc. (e) Ananda Marga has created disenchantment about religious thread and pigtail, ie sacred thread and sacred hair. These are some of the basic differences between our Ananda Marga and the various religions. Some other differences are related with our social outlook. Christianity rallies around capitalism whereas our Ananda Marga advocates Prout. Furthermore, anyone familiar with the ideals of AM can list more differences.
For us, seeing what is happening in the Catholic church is a lesson. We must always remember that priests are not infallible and that anyone can err, regardless of their dress. Of course our AM scriptures do not proclaim that avadhutas are infallible nor do they proclaim that avadhutas are a medium between the sadhaka and God, but if we are not careful we can fall into that hole. In that case so many dangers and scandals will come our way. Thus we should remember that all must live up to the ideal of Ananda Marga codes of conduct. That is the main thing. Just being an avadhuta is not enough. That way of life is a practice, not a position. Baba says, "Bear in mind that people may be harmed or misled by even a small weakness or defect in the conduct of an a'ca'rya. Just as it is the duty of a father to educate his children properly by his good conduct, an a'ca'rya should always instruct by his exemplary actions and words." (AV-31) Thus, everyone in AM, family person or Wt, must adhere to the codes of conduct as given by Baba. Should anyone drift from that conduct they should be pointed out - and if applicable, exposed in front of the law. We must not tolerate even an ounce of wrongdoing, otherwise we will face a similar scenario as is unfolding now with the Catholic Church. We should not lose the faith of the masses when all around the globe people are looking for someone to lead them unto the path of beatitude and peace. One other point to bear in mind is this: Baba says, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (AV-33) For centuries, the Catholic church possessed extraordinary power, wherein they were not answerable to any law whatsoever, and that led to their demise. In AM, everyone person, regardless of their post, must be answerable for their own behaviour - no one is exempt from review.
When Baba first gave neo-humanism then He said that you now have the "weapon of neo-humanism". Those days few understood since in that time the atom bomb and long range missiles were thought of as powerful weapons. How could a philosophy be a weapon. Now we know. Wherever neo-humanism is propagated, the masses become aware and dogma gets exposed. In that case, no one can rest on their so-called sacred position and claim themselves as divine. Over time, people have thought of kings, queens, priests, politicians, actors, war heroes, and athletes as being divine. Due to Baba's grace, the collective human consciousness is rising and before our very eyes we are witness to the fall of crude leaders in all realms of life: financial, political, social and religious. With the spread of neo-humanistic ideals - as is happening now - there is nowhere for crude leaders to hide. All must face their misdeeds. That is what the people demand. With the propagation of neo-humanism, our human society will be rid of old dogmas and enter a whole new era. What is happening now with the Catholic Church is no coincidence. It is a direct result of their dogmatic ways combined with the supreme advent of Parama Purusa and divine His teachings. Baba says that the dogmatic religions are going to die. And indeed now they are getting exposed and being torn down by their own followers. The Pope and his Catholicism are facing this as we speak.
Baba's divine cosmic grace is working and this entire world is changing fast every day. Ananda Marga is the real thing; it is dharma for the welfare of all. We should represent His teachings by our conduct and not let our Marga fall like as happened with the dogmatic religions. Baba says, "Your ideal is represented by your conduct. Your learning, your social or economic status have nothing to do with your ideal." (AV #13) Namaskar, Punya'tman
*************************************************** Psychic Disease: False Health Problem
Even though they do not have any physical problem, psychically diseased people mentally suffer and cry and complain about different imagined physical ailments. Such types of psychic diseases are called mania. Following is one example: Baba says, "There was another person I knew who was quite healthy and carried out his daily activities with ease, and yet he was under the impression, for no particular reason, that there was some trouble in his stomach. Actually there was no disease; he was in good health. Yet occasionally he used to come to me and complain that there was some disorder in his stomach. This was his [psychic disease] of mania." (APH-5, p. 347) Herein lies the solution: Baba says, "One of the numerous benefits of sa'dhana' is that it keeps the mind free from psychic disease." (APH-5, p.348)

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