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They say, at times, the world will beat a path to your door. Today, I wish it would leave me the hell alone.

Dear Parents;

On Thursday, January 19, the Catholic Diocese issued a news release saying that Father XXXXXX has been relieved from duty at Sacred Heart Church due to allegations of sexual abuse back in the 1970’s.

I want everyone to know that we are surprised and saddened by this news. More importantly, we want all parents to know the following:

Those were the opening paragraphs in a letter I received yesterday from Anna’s school. Needless to say, I don’t know what to say.

The letter goes on to state that the priest in question has no official affiliation with my daughter's Montessori School and that he was not involved in the administration, supervision or for that matter , anything at all to do with the running of the school. While that eases my concern somewhat, I’m still a little more uneasy today than I was the day before.

At first, we do everything we can to protect and shelter them. We worry when they leave the house and worry even more when they’re five minutes late coming home. But then, you start to take things for granted and all the shit that happens in the world always happens to somebody else. In raising my kid, I’ve tried to stress upon her that 99% of the people in the world are kind hearted and good. That we should all live by the golden rule and that if you do that, most everything else will take care of itself. Right now, I’m not so sure.

”But Dad, he was priest, he heard some of the kids confessions.”

How do you explain that one away?

I usually like to consider myself an optimist. Most of the time, I’d rather look for the good side of something and/or someone and if I can’t find it, I’d rather turn my back on it then dwell on the bad. It’s almost impossible not to know about the recent revelations of sexual abuse by priests throughout the Catholic Church. In my heart, I know that those who are/were abusers are in the minority and for every one of them preying on the innocent, there’s hundreds more bringing comfort to those that are in distress.

But Dad, he was a priest. People trusted him.”

You hear it all time. It’s like it’s become part of the Zeitgeist or something. From talk shows to magazines, it’s repeated like a sort of mantra and all you have to do is look around to see that it might be true.

“Kids are growing up too fast these days.”

Maybe that’s because we, as adults, are almost forcing them to. I don’t know if “blame” is the right word but the time spent in the so called “joy of childhood” is most certainly getting shorter.

My little kid, the one I refer to all the time as “the wee one”, well, she ain’t so wee anymore. The onset of puberty is getting obvious even to an untrained eye and the emotional rollercoaster that goes along with it has at times leapt off the tracks completely.

We had a little chat last night about what was going on in school and if she had any questions about what had happened. Most of my answers were greeted with:

”But Dad, he was priest.”

I’m at a loss. I don’t know if what I feel is rage or sorrow or if it’s something in-between. I know for sure that it’s not pity because while I’m one of the more liberal people you’re likely to meet, if somebody in that position ever laid a hand on my kid, I'd cut his balls off with a rusty butter knife and I’d be happy to do it. Yeah, I’m all about treatment and steadfast against the death penalty but when it hits this close to home, it takes on a whole ‘nuther dimension.

If that makes me a hypocrite, then so be it.

Sorry if this w/u is a bit off course but I’m still trying to digest what went on. Hopefully, whatever happened was isolated and is buried in the past. That’s what the optimist in me has to think. The pessimist in me says that these things have a habit of snowballing though.

In a weird twist of irony, I received a note from a noder who shall remain nameless that was commenting on my latest daylog. And I quote:

"on diary entry: don't mean to be prying but maybe you should be a more active father. pubs aren't for kids"

Well, maybe said noder has a point but my extended family at my pub wouldn' a harm hair on her head. I wish I could say the same for some of our schools.

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