Mudcat Café message #3946755 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164703   Message #3946755
Posted By: Steve Shaw
28-Aug-18 - 06:29 PM
Thread Name: BS: Clerical abuse of kids: More Revelations
Subject: RE: BS: Clerical abuse of kids: More Revelations
I worked with a lot of nuns when I taught in the East End of London in a Catholic school for seven years in the 1970s. I found them to be down-to-earth and pragmatic on the whole, expedient even, working as they were with some of the most deprived children in the country. Like any bunch of people, they were a mixed bunch. Old Sister Helen was seen as a harridan by the kids but she had a twinkle in her eye and I loved her despite her wilful nature. Sister Christine was a lovely, young, humanitarian person, a bridge between the older nuns and the kids. Sister Theresa was the head of the school and she was lovely with both staff and children, though she had her red lines and crossing her was unwise. She got me a council flat by encouraging me to go down the housing department in Poplar and lie in my teeth about my residency credentials. She told me to say that I lived in Pope John House, the nuns' house in Poplar, which I'd never even been to. She and I both got away with it and I got my flat! I hasten to add that plenty were available at the time so I didn't diddle anyone else out of somewhere to live - it was just a matter of defeating bureaucracy. That was seven years in Poplar, following seven years in a Catholic secondary school in Bolton, run by the Salesian order. Looking back, I can recall some rather antediluvian attitudes to lots of things, as well as some pretty rotten teaching, but in all those fourteen years of very close contact with Catholicism I didn't see or hear of any sexual abuse nor of any untoward, for its time, physical abuse or cruelty. I'm not saying this to defend in the least the depredations of those thousands of abusive priests, and, you know me, I'm no defender either of Catholicism or of any other faith. They're all total bullshit as far as I'm concerned. But let's just be fair to all those non-abusers, the vast majority I believe, who have the wellbeing of their charges to heart first and foremost. Please?