I just returned from three weeks in the UK with my husband. We had been married in Melrose, Scotland in 2000 and had not been back for five years. We didn’t watch the news anywhere so had no idea what was happening back home. When we returned and I found out about yet another child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, this time in Pennsylvania involving more than 300 priests and more than 1000 children, I felt physically ill. Not only am I a victim of incest and two domestic violence marriages, I had been sexually attacked many years ago by a priest inside his church after a face to face confession, something he talked me into even though it had been many years since I had gone to confession. I only turned him in last year, too afraid and thinking it wouldn’t do any good anyway. Was this truly still happening I thought naively? Why are they not putting these priests in prison? Why is the Catholic Church not making reparation to the victims? Why are there no solutions? No one is above the law and when you sexually abuse a young child you should go to prison for life. The rest of the inmates, who hate child molesters, will take good care of them from there.
Today at mass my priest who is the finest priest I have ever known said he’d been in Canada during the month of August on vacation and like me did not know what was happening back in the states. When he found out about what had happened in Pennsylvania he wanted to turn around and go back to Canada. He is the first person who has helped me find resolution and a kind of understanding and acceptance as to what is happening in the Catholic Church. I had been questioning whether I still wanted to be part of such an organization or would I take my God and my Blessed Mother and have our own religion. He reminded us that Jesus had twelve apostles and one of them was Judas. He said today we have many apostles and many Judases. It is so true. Organized religions is one of the biggest perpetrators of child sexual abuse. I have discovered other truths lately. I used to believe there were good Muslims and then there were Muslims who were terrorists. Then I found out that the Koran says that all infidels must be put to the sword. Why would anyone want to belong to a religion that has that as its core belief?
When I get emails from people who have been sexually abused as a child and need help and want answers I feel helpless to give them the wisdom they need to heal. I do what I can recommending the Lamplighter Movement, the REPAIR program, and 12 step programs. I give them compassion and understanding and hold their horror in my heart as I try to reach out. Some of the stories are so terrible that my heart aches on a continual basis as I know there are so many more, those who don’t have the courage to reach out for help. But I do what I can. There is great evil in our world and we will never eradicate it all. But there is also great goodness, great compassion and great love and I like to think that the latter is greater than the former. I take my walk in the morning with my puppy and we talk to God. There is so much to say, so many that need help and sometimes I wonder if God is tired of me pestering Him when there are starving and sexually abused in the world who need his attention more than I do.
That is all I can do.
Below is the article in the Washington Post that covered the story. It will have you sick at heart if not sobbing.