Did you ever have a memory pop in your head and say “if only I said something?”
I saw a commerical on CNN that Cuomo will have his own 9pm show on CNN. I thought “ugh” I like flicking between Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. I know Cuomo iss a democrat and comes from a great democratic family I just cannot stand him.
I thought well in the moring who will replace him? I hate watch Morning Joe since Joe reminds me of classmates from High School. Usually flashbacks to high school were for decades nice until the explosion of Priest Sexual Abuse case and some Brothers appeared in a local paper connected to it.
Here is what happened. It was late Winter/early Spring 1983. I was taking Sociology for two quarters it was taught by a Brother.
For nonCatholics a Brother is sort of equivalent to Sisters (Nuns).
He had in the back of the classroom cabinets. Two were locked. The others contained stuff for class.
One day a classmate said aloud the Brother had a few students after school meet in the classroom to read magazines. Another classmate said “yeah they have naked people”. I said beyond stupidly “wow”. I was 16 and the preinternet age.
The Brother said “its for biology research with select students”.
I knew then magazines with naked people meant porn. I absolutely knew that. Yet I wonder how could I be so stupid not to make the next step and ask myself “why would an adult man be showing porn to teenagers”. Nope. I made the dumbest mental step in my life “why wasn’t I invited”. Of course I thank God I was not.
Yet I look back and told no one. No one who was in that class as far as I know said nothing. By saying nothing I have to assume part of me thought it was wrong but why? I was thinking today did I say nothing because I was afraid to reveal I wanted to look at the magazines? The rational side of me wants to go back in time and kick the crap out of the 16 year old me. I would have deserved it.
The worst part is I remember vividly what these two students looked like. They were also 16.
All I said was “wow”. That was it in 1983 until I am writing this. That was my only word on the subject.
Today as I write I wonder if those two students and others were invited and said “wow going to look at naked pictures”. An insidious trap by the Brother luring young men with this.
Today I would hope students at 16 would be knowledgable enough to blow the whistle. In 1983 I never heard of pedophilia and thought molesters targeted children under 10.
Yet I keep thinking a small part of me knew something was wrong. I could not have been that stupid. I said nothing for a horrible reason. Those who heard these two students and said nothing were we complicit. How many others throughout the Catholic school system world wide my age knew something was wrong and said nothing and for some saying nothing for the wrong damnable reason like myself.
He is dead thank god. Like Cardinal Law in hell.
I know some here went to Catholic schools and wonder looking back did you ever suspect something was wrong or later in life realized something was wrong that you should have realized then?
Its too late but I should have said something then.