Bangkok (AsiaNews) - "The accusations against paedophile priests shames and embarrasses me, but I also have great compassion for the victims and perpetrators of abuses. So it is important not to reduce everything to the act of reporting abuse. It is far better to be discreet and help those who are guilty – who are certainly wounded people - and the victims who have been abused. Only in this way can something positive come out of these bitter experiences. "
These are the remarks of Fr. Adriano Pelosin, 64, PIME missionary in Thailand for 29 years, and more than 12 years engaged in the recovery of street children abused by their parents, used as instruments of pleasure for sex tourism, abandoned by their families.
The scandal of paedophile priests even if reported in newspapers in Thailand, has no great impact on people. "Here - continues the priest - there is a law that prohibits people speaking about scandals involving the monks and the royal household. The pope and priests are associated with the Buddhist religious world and so little mention is made. Among Catholics, there is a certain degree of shame over the way some ministers have stained their sacred service and betrayed the trust of children or young men and women”. For this, he says, the culprits must be prosecuted and there should be no cover ups or silences. "But - he adds – the time has come to take a deep look at ourselves, priests and laity, believers and non believers: if priests could have done so much wrong, who knows how much wrong has been done by others! Jesus' would say: Who is without sin cast the first stone. And if God has called an army of journalists to accuse the Church - as he once called the Assyrian army to destroy Jerusalem – we must be careful not to go beyond the limits that God puts on all punishment. "
Father Pelosin believes that reporting the crime is not enough. "I live in the midst of so many cases of victims of paedophilia, not by priests but by members of the family circle of the victims: fathers who abuse their children, older siblings who abuse younger siblings, uncles and relatives who abuse grandchildren…It is something that deeply affects children. Yet I'd rather not talk about it publicly, not make them the subject of conversation. First, because otherwise I risk pushing the victims to despair; secondly because focusing exclusively on the negative leads nowhere. It is much better to be discreet and help the perpetrators and victims. Only in this way can something positive come out of these bitter experiences ". Fr. Pelosin has saved many 12 year old boys from prostitution (mostly homosexual, by Westerners). He is surprised that "the allegations against the priests come from a permissive and anarchic world, where violence and sexual freedom have emerged as a right:" There's like a vendetta against the Church that stands as a judge on the actions of others. " "In reality this is a time to become aware of the beauty of children, their dignity and fragility, their need for respect and love that everyone must bring them, from parents, teachers, and society in general. And we should remember the children whose lives are suppressed in the womb: this is the greatest abuse and one which a mother carries out on her own child, perhaps with the formal approval of those very authorities who are bent on pursuing the sexual abuse of priests. "
Another fact that amazes Fr. Pelosin is that "there are allegations of priests only regarding these sex scandals and not on other aspects of their work, such as money laundering, stealing, and laziness." All this makes him think "there is a real campaign against the Pope and priests', forgetting that in addition to these humiliating cases "There is so much good that is done. "
The last recommendation of Fr Pelosin is "not to be afraid to tackle all these scandals: they are an opportunity for purification." And after quoting the letter Benedict XVI wrote to the Irish Catholics on the scandals of paedophile priests a few weeks ago, he adds: "It's time for a global examination of conscience, we should be aware of the rights of poor children who do not have enough food, can not go to school, who die of common diseases because they can not afford healthcare. The international community ponder its responsibilities in this abuse of millions of children that because of indifference end up being abused by adults in every sense: slavery, sex, begging, child soldiers or drug dealing. Is it not perhaps the rich and indifferent world that denies the rights of millions of children? ".