Saturday, February 26, 2011


(assemblage sculpture)

They call it soul murder
The boys and girls
who were sexually abused
by priests
That’s what they call
what happened to them
Soul murder

Some of the kids say they felt like
they were having sex with Jesus
like gravity stopped for them
They were in another world
They were making love with God
But it didn’t feel right
not like going to church
and praying you’d go to heaven
Even when the priest made you say
your prayers before and after.

Jesus said, “Come unto me,
the little children.”

A boy and a girl kneel at the altar
their mouths open, their tongues out
The priest comes along
an altar boy beside him
The priest says, “Eat this.
This is my body.”

They say that a priest
would go into a classroom
and pick out a child.
He would bring this child
to the rectory, into the bathroom
or into the confessional.

A priest who’s been molesting kids
goes to another diocese
where he won’t be recognized.
It is there, that he makes his confession.
Tell me, Father
What is the penance
for raping a six-year old boy?
What is the penance
for making him suck
your sacred cock?

In the Middle Ages,
the Church sold indulgences
forgiveness to sinners
who could afford to buy their way
into Heaven
For years, the Church has been secretly
paying out cash settlements
to families of children
who were molested
by priests
in an attempt to buy their silence.

During the witch hunts
priests would search
women’s naked bodies
looking for the Devil’s mark
a mole, perhaps or a scar
Something that would prove to them
that the woman had consorted
with Satan.
Tell me, Father
What is it you look for
on children’s naked bodies?
Tell me, Father
Who is the Devil?

And you, Pope
descendant of the apostles
mouthpiece for God
marionette with broken strings
presiding over the Catholic church
from your high palace of hypocrisy
and self-serving ignorance
You call for pastoral charity
toward victims and their predators
You retire priests who prey on children
to monasteries, where they will pray
for forgiveness

Tell me, Your Holiness
What is the penance
for soul murder?

c.copyright Marlena V. Azoulai 2002

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