That was brave, Tom, to tell your story. Yes, times change and so does the concept of what is acceptable behaviour. Most of what I learnt in those times, just a little later than you, might as well be neolithic these days. However, hypocrisy is always hypocrisy â€” and in my experience, the Jesuits, the pope's special order of intellectual stormtroopers, were truly superb at being hypocritical.
And wasn't that a nice little PR exercise today, meeting with five â€” count them five! â€” people who had been abused back then? And saying all the right things again and again. If one didn't know what it means to close the barn door after the horse has bolted, one should now.
When I was younger I lived in a community where the Catholic church was King.
I was educated by The Christian Brotherhood and although I was a good and bright pupil I was hit every day (usually with a strap). When my brother went to school without his glasses he was made to wear a placard around his neck saying "TAKE PITY ON THE BLIND" and on Friday if you didn't have a penny to give to the "black babies" then woe betide you.
Like a lot of bullies this behaviour was designed to maintain control but thankfully the parish priest's word is no longer law and although I am unsure whether it is a good or bad thing I now have a very cynical view on all organised religions.
I've never been a Catholic myself & haven't beleived their teaching on a lot of things.
No, it's not offensive to feel the way you do. It's offensive what so many people have done that are supposed to have higher standards & teaching others what they should do, & then they turn around & do the opposite by hurting vulnerable children.
Kevin is right about the Christian Brothers, thankfully they'd toned down a bit by the time they got their hands on me in the seventies, but tales of their proficiency with the strap were a sort of dark local folklore.
On the other hand, they were able (in the days of the 11 plus) to take poor kids from the backstreets of Bootle and get them into Oxford. So like most things it wasn't all crud - though in my case Oxford wouldn't have me. I don't think I missed anything much though.