Reading the posts about Marshall Roberts and others like him brings to mind the awful abuse perpetrated by religious here in Ireland down the years. There are many many stories, all now well known, and subject to several inquiries, with one currently on-going in Britain at the moment that includes church institutions in a much broader remit.
I went to a Christian Brother's grammar school where abuse was endemic. I suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a lay teacher from the ages of 11 to 14; thankfully I was never abused sexually.
I have never done anything about the abuse I experienced, although I have shared details about it in recent years. I have been contemplating writing to the man concerned, letting him know that I will never forget what he did to me, and telling him that he shouldn't be allowed to forget either. I was not his only victim - he seemed to delight in terrifying young boys. I am not seeking to make a formal complaint about it, or to have my abuser go through any form of belated punishment. It was a long time ago and thankfully I have a robust personality, and there has been no lasting harm to me. Some advice from forum members on whether I should write or just leave it alone would be appreciated.
At the same school, I was taught by a Christian Brother who was notorious for his sexual interest in young boys. When I was 11 years old, his punishment for getting a question wrong in his maths class was to put you over his knee and spank you with his hand. He did so openly, in front of the whole class, but at 11 years old none of us would ever have fathomed that there was a sexual element to these actions.
He engaged in more nefarious abuse of other boys in various schools. Initially, and for a long time, the response of the superiors was to move him around the country from school to school. They were doing so as a damage limitation exercise, but of course all it did was spread the abuse around. Eventually his past caught up with him, and the order, and he was defrocked and expelled. I don't know if he ever faced legal sanction for his actions, and the head of the order couldn't (or wouldn't?) tell me when I asked him. The Brother Superior and I are quite friendly, and have kept in touch by email down the years. When I asked him about the abusive brother, he said he couldn't tell me for legal reasons - he was restricted in what he could say by a court order.
Anyways, my reason for posting this is just to reaffirm what everybody knows already - that evil can flourish anywhere humans congregate, whatever the circumstances. The Roberts fiasco is certainly not unique, nor will it be the last!
God Bless. I also take this opportunity to wish everyone on the forum a very Merry Christmas, and a happy, peaceful and holy New Year.
(None of that generic 'Happy Holidays' or 'Season's Greetings' from this Catholic!!}