Unmarked graves

The big story out of Canada is the discovery of hundreds of bodies in unmarked graves at the sites of former Native residential schools. One is tempted (I was tempted) to ask if it would be better for the graves of children to have headstones, rather than addressing why/how they died. Turns out the missing headstones are significant because, according to survivors, there were grave markers that presumably got removed when their number became an embarrassment.

The schools were operated by the Roman Catholic Church. I am reminded of the stories told by a friend of having done landscaping at a convent and digging up an assortment of very small bones and the speculation that the nuns found it necessary to dispose of fetuses on a regular basis.

Child abuse is rampant in the Roman Catholic Church. Children have no rights and sins are easily absolved in the secrecy of the confessional. Moreover, since shared guilt serves as such a potent social glue, there is actually an incentive to sin. If there is no sin, there is nothing to forgive.

Perhaps I am being too personal here. There was a time when the sacrament of the Eucharist had to be preceded by the sacrament of penance. “No confession; no body of Christ for you.” Eventually, I got tired of making up sins. Did not know what “unclean thoughts” even were. So, I decided to stop lying, which I did consider wrong, and dropped the charade. The discovery that the priest who married us had spread false gossip sealed the deal. However, we did have the children baptised, lest they might come to feel cheated at not being inducted into the community of the automatically saved.

I do not think they care.