Unspoken Boundaries

There have been many controversies surrounding the Catholic church and allegations of sexual abuse by prominent clergymen spanning across countries, many of them from decades earlier, so who is to say what has yet to be revealed. In an article for The Guardian on Monday February 6th, Melissa Davey wrote on yet another instance of sexual abuse allegations, this time by an Australian cardinal, George Pell. Davey writes that Australian police “have been investigating allegations that Pell exposed himself to three young boys at Torquay life-saving club in Victoria in the summer of 1986-1987” (Davey, The Guardian, 2/6/17). Pell has continued to reject all allegations of sexual abuse brought against him, and has willingly participated in police interviews after they traveled to the Vatican to find him where Pell manages the Vatican’s finances. Additional allegations against Pell include him repeatedly touching former St. Alipius students’ genitals while swimming with them in Ballarat in 1978-1979. In chapter 6 of McGuire, she writes on some of the boundaries between members of an official religion and those deemed as “outsiders”. This boundary presents itself in many of the workings of the Catholic church, including these pedophilia and sexual assault controversies because by looking at the dates, one can interpret that there must have been at least an inkling of previous knowledge during these occurrences. But nothing was said until fairly recently, perhaps because of the generally clear boundaries that the Catholic church declared “their business”, and what should be told to outsiders. Until people started to come forward and break the previously set boundaries by the church, the public was ignorant to what was truly happening behind closed doors.