Abuse in Church Contexts:
This set of pages, numbered 8.0+, discusses abuse in Church contexts.
I've thought about what is appropriate to talk about and not to talk about. I know this much: calls to propriety – “Don't talk about things that happen. It's damaging to respected institutions.” – are damaging in and of themselves.
This type of admonishment from authority boils down to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. It not only permits, but encourages, abuse to occur.
It's better, in my view, to talk openly about things. To admit that they happen, to set aside nonsense, and to look at what should be done.
I'm neither condemning nor defending Churches and Church Schools in these pages.
It needs to be understood that these institutions aren't holy organizations imbued with a Spirit that transforms those who work for them and renders people unable to lie, cheat, steal, and commit abuse.
But Churches and Church Schools expect to be viewed in that light. And they're trusted, even more than schools in the secular world are, not just to educate but to protect children and others who are vulnerable.
They need to take responsibility consistent with the degree of authority that they claim. And to step down from the high horse of presumed superiority.
A Church is simply a public place where the possibility that faith is the path to be followed may be explored. In every other sense, it's just a building or a campus.
The people, too, are just people. There is no direct pipeline to God involved.