In 2002 the bishops in the U.S.A. adopted what were termed “Essential Norms” in response to the then growing national shame, (soon to be international shame), of clerical sexual abuse/misconduct. Now, eight long years later, new updated essential norms have been released by the Vatican. I say, “SO!”
Nothing that I’ve read thus far addresses in any way the plight of a victim of sexual abuse/misconduct. There are now harsher penalties for priest abusers. SO! (The abusive priests need their own advocate because they are very sick individuals.) Nothing is coming out about helping the victims of these very sick individual priests.
From what I can deduce from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia they believe, (think), they are doing a good job. But since this is a very different problem than the Church has ever faced the efforts to reach out and to heal must also be different from the norm. Using parishes to publicise help isn’t effective because of the fact that so many of the abused have left the Church. Ms. Becker cited the mass mail-out of over 100,000 brochures trumpeting what the archdiocese will do to help. (Nobel.)
But the reality was I was abused in 1981 and NEVER told anyone until 2003. I didn’t even start to deal with it until 2005. I never told anyone because I couldn’t. I didn’t start to deal with it until 2005 because I couldn’t. I could deal with it once I could no longer internally suppress it. And I was really one of the lucky ones, it only took me 22 years to get to the point where I had to deal with it. (Not that it didn’t affect me every day of my life.) Others take even longer.
In my post before last which included the letter that I sent to Ms. Becker I tried to get across what would help; Contacting individuals and treating each case individually would be a start..