A 67-year-old man whose name is being withheld due to legal reasons, in on trial in Australia for 18 charges of rape and indecent acts allegedly committed against a girl in the 1980s which started when she was 13, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The man, who is a former priest, has pleaded not guilty.
The alleged victim, who is now 44, broke down in tears as she gave a graphic account of the alleged sexual assault.
She alleged he first raped her in a Canberra church after she had finished violin practice.
The woman said she had chosen to play in the church because she was working on a difficult Bach piece and wanted to surprise her mother with the completed concerto.
When she finished, she heard the priest clapping in the back pew, the court heard.
He then asked her about her dog Lily, who had recently been run over by a car.
“He said if you think about Lily hard … God might let you see her again,” she told the court.
“It made sense to me. I wasn’t quite sure if I believed it … but I missed her terribly.”
According to court testimony, the priest then told her to “pray hard” for her dog as he guided her onto his lap, telling her, “It’s not like you haven’t done this before.”
As he was raping her, the girl testified that she had no choice but to stay “really still.” In another disturbing court account, the priest allegedly muttered to himself, “Please, God, forgive me” as he was carrying out the act.
According to the Friendly Atheist‘s Hement Mehta, that one disturbing detail shows how trivial the Christian concept of “forgiveness” can be.
This is why I’ll always argue that forgiveness, so central to Christianity, and so easily obtained with a crocodile tear and a few Hail Marys, is a bug, not a feature. And by the way, if the Almighty had wanted to protect the girl and prevent the rape, as any decent mortal would, He could’ve done so without batting a divine eyelash… but of course He looked the other way and pretended to study His nails. Some father figure.
Featured image via wisegeek.org