I am at peace with the Magesterium.

Thousands of people have been hurt by the priests, bishops, deacons and religious in the church.  But they are not the only Church offenders.  Employees and volunteers have committed crimes against children as well.

We all know, however, that those who have made promises and vows to serve God in his Church are held to a much greater standard.  That they would wound the very souls they were sent to save is unconscionable.  It is morally reprehensible and a crime in itself that bishops and religious superiors did not call the police upon learning about suspicion of abuse.

Thirty years ago, it was thought that a pedophile could be cured of his disposition to abuse after going to a “treatment” center.  That is why bishops thought it was safe to put them back into ministry.

Misinformation aside, there was a moral and civic duty to keep priests away from chidlren after they had abused and inflicted so much psychological damage.

A lot of people hate the Catholic Church and her ministers, and they hate her with a vengeance. There almost seems to be a sub-culture in the world.  So many have been victimized, and re-victimized, and those who stand by and watch become secondary victims who are thrown into the vat of gut-wrenching pain, anger, vengeance, and defiance.

They are sharing their stories.  Hopefully this is healing for them.  Everyone deserves peace but most especially they deserve to know the boundless love and compassion that God has for them.

The Church was cruel to so many.  Downright cruel.  They didn’t listen or believe victims. Church officials accused them of falsely accusing the priests.  And there were people who did bring false allegations, but I am talking about the real victims here.  They were slandered and shamed, beyond the shame they experienced in the abuse.  I read their stories as you do, and am shocked and ashamed as they give details of how poorly they were treated by Church officials.

I may have experienced abuse by a priest, but I have not had the experience afterwards that so many of them had.  I know what I know, and that is my experience.  I am at peace with the Catholic Church and the Magesterium.  I have my moments when I get angry, very angry, but I work through them.  I don’t think I am exceptional, rather the recipient of copius amounts of grace from God and gentle, prudent, boundary-clear spiritual direction by a priest.  I have always lived a life of intentional faith, even while the abuse was taking place. After disclosing it, I stayed close to the sacraments – and a good Catholic psychologist – as I went into the pits of hell. Seven years later, I feel like I have my life back.

Triggers.  When I read an article about a new credible allegation of sexual abuse by a priest, religious, bishop or religious superior, or mishandling of a sexual misconduct case of a bishop or religious superior, I can feel the anger rise from my toes to the crown of my head.  THERE ARE NO EXCUSES FOR THIS! Have they not learned?  

Quite frankly, I believe (and have seen) that some simply do not get it. If they don’t, they need to get out.  Period.  The problem is that they think they have a full grasp of the issue of priestly sexual abuse.  Having been through it, I can assure you, there are those who do not.

I have been in contact with others who have been abused by a priest who continue to practice the faith.  But I still sometimes wonder, am I alone?  Are there more than a handful of people who have suffered abuse at the hands of a priest who want to live authentic Catholic faith joyfully?  Or is it like life: the squeaky wheel gets the grease?

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