I was recently approached by Dani Sevilla, who represents a group called Survivor Corps — a group I was up until then unfamiliar with. Dani very politely asked me if I could perhaps help in spreading the word on their efforts to get cluster bombs banned.
After researching them a little and finding out a little bit more about their aims and philosophy, I decided that I would indeed like to help them reach a few more people — hence this post.
“Survivor Corps operates under the credo that no one is better equipped to change the world than those who have been most scarred by what’s wrong with it. There is a way to break the cycle of violence, and it begins with showing survivors a new, more hopeful way forward.”
It’s always seemed to me that in order to solve any kind of humanitarian or social problem it’s vital to, where possible, involve those at the heart of it. In many respects, it’s common sense that they will be the most motivated to bring it to end and be able to speak with real authority on the issues concerned. And, yet, so many groups and organisations still don’t see this. Survivor Corps does.
If the problem of cluster bombs concerns you, please take a moment to read their news release relating to this. If you can help in some way, I’m sure it would be appreciated.
© 2008 Gary William Murning
I’m never very good at working out time differences, but I believe that by now Pope Benedict XVI should have landed in Australia. And guess where his plane lands for refuelling… yup, Darwin airport!
Anyway, to the real point of this post. The trip is, in effect, a belated apology/damage limitation exercise concerning sexual abuse committed by Australian Catholic priests, and during his flight, he reeled off the usual, by now well practised spiel to reporters about how the Catholic Church has to prevent, heal and reconcile, and then went on to add:
“It must be clear … that being a real priest is incompatible with this (sexual abuse) because priests are in the service of our Lord.”
Ah, so that’s what makes sexual abuse such a bad thing. It isn’t the horrific effect that it has on the abused individual — it’s because it doesn’t fit a priest’s job description and, one assumes, is an offence to the Lord.
It seems to me that these apologies have very little to do with helping the abused. The healing that concerns him most is not that of the victims but of the Catholic Church itself.
Insult piled upon insult. Atrocity upon atrocity. Nothing ever really changes, however much they might like to pretend that it does.
Whilst catching up on my feeds yesterday, I came across a disturbing article (disturbing because of the appalling events it reported) from my friend and fellow blogger, Lottie. The piece tells of the treatment received by a kindergarten pupil, Alex Barton.
Alex is five years old and is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome — a high functioning form of autism. A child with what is described as “disiplinary” issues, he was recently “voted out” of his class by his fellow pupils, at the instigation of his sorry excuse for a teacher.
Whatever behaviour problems the little boy might have, there is no excuse for someone in a position of authority and acting in loco parentis to resort to what can only be described as one of the cruelest acts of victimisation I’ve heard of in a good while. He’s a child — a child with what seems to be a very real and diagnosable disability.
Shame on you, Miss Portillo.
For more on this story and relevant contact information, click here.