On March 11, Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI, stated that he slapped pupils as punishment after he took over a boys’ choir in 1960.
Hello? Those of us who were raised Catholic and attended parochial schools (run by nuns or brothers) during the 1940-1970 era knew that if you did wrong, physical abuse (by a belt or large stick) was acceptable. One nun, nicknamed “Sister Bulldog,” had no problem whacking her students.
Psychological abuse was done on a monthly basis. The priest would visit each classroom and call your name. You stood up while he read out loud all the grades listed on your report card. When your monthly grade on a subject was 29, you wanted to crawl under your desk. Instead, you were forced to say, “Thank you, Father,” and sit down.
After a school year, no one knew if he or she had been promoted. On the first day of the new school year, you returned to your old classroom. Names were read for those who were promoted. One year, I was the last student to make the grade. Three were left behind. I’m approaching 68, yet one never forgets things like that.
The era of religious vocation has nearly come to an end. While the military is expanding, people do not need religious groups to further their education. Now one can seek Uncle Sam, where individuals can legally release all their pent-up aggressions.
Rolande I. Caron, South Paris