Peter Logan died alone at the age of eighty four. Their were no mourners at his death, no funeral, just placement in a cardboard box, followed by incineration in a furnace. His earthly body disposed of and forgotten. He was unmarried, an only child, no family, friends or acquaintances to pray for his soul. Perhaps prayer would have echoed in the cosmos and changed things.
Peter craved power, he craved control and he craved instant release for his sexual desires. He tried a few mundane jobs after university, but he felt ignored, unwanted, his potential not used. He became frustrated with his life and was seeking change. It was then that he met Father Bob.
Father Bob was always on the lookout for potential candidates to the priesthood. He met Peter while standing in a long line-up at the local coffee bar and they struck up a ten minute conversation. Father Bob was intrigued with the politeness and serious demeanour of his new acquaintance and they found a table to continue their discussion. He asked Peter for his views on God and if he would be interested in attending a two day retreat on discernment for the priesthood. Peter felt a little intrigued at the prospect and answered in the affirmative. They parted on good terms. Father Bob pleased with the results of his chance encounter and Peter apprehensive but excited at his future prospects.
A year later Peter entered the seminary and five years later was ordained a priest. He couldn’t believe his luck. The power and control he had always craved was now his. He had total control of his parish congregation. He was an eloquent speaker and they hung on his every word with their simplistic trusting faith in Father Peter and the institution he represented. It came as quite a shock to the parishioners when forty years later Father Peter was accused of multiple crimes of child abuse. One brave adult had come forward with his story and once this became public another sixty came forward with statements of how they were repeatedly subject to sexual abuse by Father Peter. Father Peter was eventually defrocked, spent time in prison and died alone.
Peter drifted as in a dream. He was aware of a disembodied voice.
” Hello Peter, I see your belief system was Roman Catholic. Your religion taught that after death you would enter heaven, hell or purgatory depending on how you lived your moral code. You weren’t very successful at this, were you. Your name sake, the apostle, asked to be crucified upside down as he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. Well Peter, I have reserved a special corner in hell for you, where you will be suspended upside down to contemplate your sins for eternity”.
” Oh. Here’s the next one”.
” Let’s see. Your belief system was Muslim. You’re an ISIS suicide bomber, killed twelve included five children. I’ve reserved a special place for you, right next to Peter. Enjoy eternity”.
All religions have their predators.