It is with a wry, arched eyebrow that I read that Vincent Nichols has decided to write to Rome to ask that the papal knighthood be removed for Jimmy Savile and that in response
As one of the founders of Survivors Voice Europe, an organisation of empowerment for survivors of clergy abuse, I cannot help but think that from the vatican perspective, this prolific sex offender, all his allies and cohorts and anyone that allowed the crimes to happen through the BBC are, to coin a phrase, manna from heaven! For the church the focus can be taken off their centuries of international child abuse crimes, their enabling, cover-ups and their evasion behind the so called sanctity of canon law – crimes that are still going on.
One might ask why I feel compelled to write about this but the correlations between the BBC and the catholic church are too close for comfort. The impervious, arrogant, narcissistic flagrancy of the abusers, all protected because in both the church and the bbc case, the ‘bella figura’ of their public image far outweighs the value of a child’s life and potential. Institutional abuse, collusion and an overwhelmingly well-fed sense of their own importance – not much to choose between either of them! It feels like the "knighthood " was given from one pedophile ring to another. What next - beatification?
Nichols – I suggest you are ill-placed to have any commentary on how this situation should pan out. For our organisation and for me personally anything you have to say will only be seen as a gleeful deflection of your own organisations persistent, ongoing crimes. When you and your church have tidied up the filth in your own back garden, then perhaps you may find humility, empathy, compassion and congruence enough to have an opinion. I suggest that rather than obsequiously write to rome to ask for an honour to be removed, you write to your pope and demand that the lessons and experiences coming out of this contemporary, sickening scandal help to educate the catholic church about how they can start to deal with their own disease and corruption.
Sending in the meantime our kindest, warmest thoughts to survivors of abuse everywhere with particular attention to those of us who had the crimes compounded by the institutional cover up and neglect that ensued.