Letter to bankruptcy judge after hearing testimony from several victims. I keep trying!
I hope this isn’t inappropriate so I’m sending this to you and will let you make the determination. I too am a victim of clergy sexual abuse, (the Archdiocese of Philadelphia), and I am also a priest for the Diocese of Wilmington. As both I completely understand the horror of clergy sexual abuse. It was over 22 years before I was even able to speak it out loud. In the book, The Betrayal Bond, the complex intricacies of, BETRAYAL BY SPIRIT, are explored and, “Even fewer studies exist on the victims of clergy, although it is generally agreed that the impact on survivors of sexual abuse by spiritual leaders is greater than survivors of other forms of power abuse.” That helps to explain the years and the depth of suffering. Since you probably already understand that let me get to the point of this letter.
I have done some work with Grief to Grace, www.grieftograce.org , in working with healing of men and women who have suffered sexual abuse, (other kinds of trauma and abuse also). It is a four-day, very intense, retreat and it really has worked very well as supplemental to traditional therapy. Traditional therapy lacks a spiritual dimension to the healing process. A spiritual component is necessary since a grievous spiritual betrayal has been experienced by victims.
I would like to make the victims aware of this avenue to aid in their healing. I would also like to stress to them as a priest I too have suffered greatly because of their continued betrayal by the Church. I too have experienced that.
So, your honor, if you think it appropriate to contact them through your office I would very much appreciate it. All correspondence that generates from my end I would be more than happy to let you see, read, comment on. Unlike so many in the Church today I do not care about money all I care about are the victims, how they have been utterly shattered and need desperately to be made whole by a God who has always loved them and never abandoned them…even if they think God did.