Pedophile Priests and Corrupt Judges: Why Do We Look the Other Way?

Well, you are right – as shown by the recent news, we no longer look the other way insofar as the pedophile priests are concerned. Yet, until quite recently we used to – when the scandal initially broke out in 2002 after decades of being kept under wraps, there was shock, and embarrassment, and, for that matter, denial.

On the other hand, judicial corruption, fully acknowledged by the federal judges themselves to the point of being elevated by them into their inalienable right, still causes no stir, sharing its present status with the pre-2002 priestly pedophilia.

One wonders what it is that made it so difficult to out the pedophile priests, and why is it so near-impossible to make anyone indignant at judicial corruption.

I guess this is because both priests and judges serve an identical and hugely important social function of allaying our moral scruples, of sanctifying our social mores and of serving as sources of our collective self-satisfaction with the uprightness of our society. They are guarantors of spiritual decency of our collective existence, they are fountainheads of the warm and fuzzy feeling of the goodness, rightness – in sum, of godliness – of our entire social enterprise.

So if this warm fuzziness is based on a lie, where do we go? How to move on when nothing is holy? What remains when the ideals are shuttered?

These are momentous questions which we would rather not face.

And so, when confronted with stark reality that our social comfort is founded on a patient lie, we’d rather not face that reality, but hold on tight to the fiction that our priesthood – be they priests or judges (for judges are also priests, priests of our civic co-fraternity, sanctifying as legitimate our motives and actions) – are honest and honorable people.

Rather than endure the ultimate pain of collapse of ideals, we convince ourselves that facts aren’t facts, and that ultimately, all is good. We’d rather not know, seeking bliss in ignorance.

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