Facebook exchange

A Facebook exchange.  I have a head ach.

Me: When did money become more important, (Church money as well as parishioner’s money), than the salvation of souls?

MG: Who said that it was? And, where does it say that salvation can only happen with money? In fact, what does money have to do with anything? Why is money demanded?

Me: Try telling the powers that be that money isn’t the driving force in the Church. Hence the HUGE battle against victims of clergy sexual abuse. A battle that has gone on for years. + Parishioners who give lots of $$$ are often deferred too even when they are wrong.

AR: I think it had to do with the money changers in the temple. I think it is unforgivable that I cannot get my pension from my few years in Catholic teaching because the money has been spent on the cases. I did NOT do anything to anyone.

Me: That is the fault of the diocese. declaring bankruptcy put the pensions into play. And again I must stress that if the men in power did something constructive instead of destructive then this wouldn’t be a huge black mark on the soul of …the Church. When the Boston scandal hit the press and then for the next 8 years the media was blamed and then the lawyers and then the victims for retaining lawyers. When the pope said that the only ones to blame was US because it is a problem born internally of the Church did the attacks stop. By then 8 years of placing the blame elsewhere took root in the faithful. It is not the medias or lawyers or victims fault. Fault lies with the clergy.

MG: I disagree. The reason why they declared bankruptcy was to protect the pensions. Someone needs to tell me why we are being sued for as much as we are. And, the parishioners give their money willingly, but I wont be so willing in the futu…re. This whole matter has to do with criminal issues, not money. As long as the criminals are prosecuted, why the bleep do we need law suits? It is OUR money that is in question here and I don’t like it. And, if it means someones soul won’t be saved because I don’t like it, so be it!!!

Me: Then why are the pensions in play? I cannot not answer you about the amounts I can only say that from my perspective as a victim the pain is intense and ongoing. I still do not trust, that ability has been shattered but I have been working… on it in therapy and in spiritual direction. (Therapy is not cheap.) Mark my words once this is settled in court there will be a diocesan wide fund-raiser. No one has told me that it is just a gut feeling.See More about an hour ago ·  ‎…and I know you don’t really believe that a lost soul is o.k. Oh and most of the molesters weren’t prosecuted criminally because they were protected by misguided officials. That is why the civil suits are happening.

MG: Oh, so now the abused have become the abusers and it’s ok. I do not condone what happened to the victims, but I’ll be damned if I’ll say that money will cure your or anyone else’s pain. Please don’t liken OUR money with the salvation of s…ouls. I have never known money to save souls. Have you? Let’s start preaching about love and not what we need to do to demand action. I believe that prayer is the best action. And, I won’t be praying that the victims receive the money that they are suing for. It’s absolutely ridiculous!

Me: Take a deep breath. We agree that throwing money at the problem is not the answer. Any compensation needs to be geared toward healing. Please go to http://www.grieftograce.org and click on the stories from attendees. The money that you seem so …attached to should be used for healing victims. So many Hate and blame God. It doesn’t matter that they are wrong to blame God but that is the reality. If money is us used to get them, brothers and sisters who are also in the body of Christ,.to stop hating God & to stop hating themselves then we are helping in their salvation. I had a parishioner actually say to me that this issue has nothing to do with the Gospel. That is a statement that shows unbelievable ignorance. That is what the Gospel is about…LOVE What is the best action? At a Grief to Grace retreat people are in prayer. The whole retreat is centered around the passion of Christ. That is the action that we need to demand out of love. They are not mutually exclusive. No one is asking you to pray that victims get money. I am asking you to pray that victims get help with healing. The thing I find most ridiculous is that dioceses everywhere have resisted in helping with the healing so desperately needed by those who have been abused. All of this craziness could have been avoided with the Church acknowledging this and aiding with the healing of victims. That would not have cost millions of dollars. One of the ways to show love is to help get healing for those that have suffered for so long.

This is one brief testimony from the Grief to Grace website about the retreat. “From Grief to Grace is an amazingly spiritual experience. A journey involving safety, bonds, connection, merging of hearts, grieving together towards transformat…ion. A wonderful instrument for healing of those with sexual abuse wounds! This is an extraordinary opportunity to live through Christ’s redemptive work.”

SJ: John, as a non-Catholic, but a practicing Anglican. I did not realize the extent of the Catholic communities’ problem. It sounds like the Churches hierarchy are pouring oil on burning water.I did consider Catholicism, but the centralisatio…n of power, secrecy and vast wealth of Rome put me off. This will turn more people away.

Me: Susan keep praying, keep listening to God and keep your heart open. This isn’t the Catholic Church’s’ first bump in the road, (remember Luther & King Henry VIII just to name a few), Journeying with God is always an adventure. Pax!

About follow1in3

I am a Roman Catholic priest ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington, DE who is also a victim of clergy sexual abuse. I am often angered by the insensitiviy and hostility of other clergy, the hierarchy and the so-called people-of-God. If clergy, bishops included, really and truly understood abuse, (any kind of abuse), I would not feel the need to blog on occasion. It is very frustraing.
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