Gospel of love vs. treatment of clergy sexual abuse victims

This past Sunday the Gospel spoke of going to your brother when you had something against him.  Then if he doesn’t listen take two or three witnesses and finally go to the Church.  The inference is that the Church will help.  Of course that was then and this is now.  What have we witnessed recently?  People going to the Church, humbly and in great sorrow and pain after being sexually abused by clergy or another Church worker and being rebuffed.  And in some cases in some dioceses actually being threatened to keep the secret.  (Now that’s healthy.)

At the homily, without going into horrific detail of the suffering of the abused, I referenced the both the Gospel and the 2nd reading from St. Paul telling us all that if we have love in our hearts then we have God in our hearts.  If God is in our hearts then hate doesn’t emanate from us.  We do not give voice to it.

With the venom I have witnessed directed towards victims and lawyers by clergy and the faithful I’m not seeing the love.  No one gets through this life unscathed so we should have love and compassion for one another.  That’s what we are to do as the Mystical Body of Christ, love each other, help each other.  That’s what should have happened when people came forward to the hierarchy about this problem, with this problem, with their pain.  For whatever reason this did not happen for years, (still hasn’t happened in so many cases).  Because we have all experienced some sort of pain or trauma in our lives we should know better than to say things like, “Get over it.”  we know it is never something we get over but needs to be incorporated into our lives.  It can’t be incorporated well or in a positive way if the trauma is repeated over and over again by both clergy, hierarchy and the faithful.

The congregation was receptive to the message because most of us have not traveled this life unscathed.

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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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