I don’t know why I am surprised…and I’m probably not… I am frustrated thought… frustrated because of people not understanding the abuse issue and other Church “life” issues. Roger Cardinal Mahoney may really believe that he is innocent of being a putz within the confines of the priest sexual scandal. Living in an alternate reality will do that to a person. The alternative is that he is so arrogant, (Pharisee?), that he can not see the truth that is right in front of him. It is the same thing with Monsignor Bill Lynn. There are so many clerics and others who propose he is the victim, like Manhoney sees himself as the victim.
“…but anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone around his neck.” It can be applied to victims of clergy sexual abuse, really any clergy abuse, as well as people who promote abortion or stay silent in the face of such evil, (can you say any number of bishops).
When bishops and priests do not and will not take responsibility for the clergy who have been aloud to run amok abusing children and/or protecting abusers then the grievous wound that has been caused to the Church will never heal. Because excuses were made for so long until Pope Benedict XVI told hierarchy and clergy to stop blaming others the tactics were shifted. Now it is… people are saying they are victims just to get the money… (Yes, like any amount of money could possibly be enough for the abuse suffered.) If this way of thinking and believing is bought by clergy members and by the members of the Church then every victim becomes suspect and thus a liar and subsequently victimized again. I’ve had both members of the clergy say this to me as well as some lay people. (When this is said to me I just want to smack the stupid out the person who said it. This is yet another reason why I am not God.) Remember when Jesus healed ten lepers and only one came back to thank him? Let’s apply it in a new way to the abuse scandal. If one in ten in not being honest does it mean the other nine are liars? Were the other nine lepers who were healed by Jesus not overjoyed? Because only one came back to thank him did he take back his healing for the other nine? No, he didn’t. So if one in ten people are not truthful about being sexually abused by a clergy member should the other nine have their claims negated? NO!
Let’s forget for a moment that the Catholic Church still believes and still teaches that sexual…how can I put this tactfully…behavior outside of marriage is sinful, and let’s forget for a moment that priests promise or vow, (a technicality), to remain celibate which in itself implies no sexual relations of any kind, how do we make the jump that sexual behavior/relations with minors is just a lapse in judgement or a moment of weakness and not criminal behavior? The two are not mutually exclusive.
Looking on the laps or weakness of the perpetrator with compassion is quite noble but a crime has still been committed. There are certain crimes that make a person unfit for certain jobs. It would be imprudent to hire an accountant who has embezzled from one firm to be the accountant for your firm. Why is that so hard a concept to grasp?
Sadly the compassion for those victimized is lukewarm if it exists at all. Here is the bottom line for me in my situation; I trusted someone who betrayed that trust and as a result of that betrayal for a very long time I trusted no one. Now I have great difficulty trusting anyone and if I do choose to trust you and you betray that trust then you are out of my life. It is not prudent to trust someone who has proven themselves untrustworthy. That is just one of the lasting results of being an abuse victim/survivor. (Even though that seems like a pretty innocuous result try living with it for a lifetime.)
Just for the record we are ALL sinners, I know that. When we are or when we become blind to our own sin that is when we are truly lost in the dark.