This is a copy of a letter I have sent to Archbishop Chaput. He responded to a letter I wrote as an FYI as to why I would not attend a healing mass in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I didn’t want or ask for a response but I got one. Unfortunately, and maybe typically, it had nothing to do with the content of my letter.
It was nice of you to respond to my letter concerning the healing mass for sexual abuse victims. It was more of an F.Y.I. then anything else. Still, while reading your response you seem to have missed the point of my letter. So let me make it explicit. The fact that there was a cover-up that has lasted for years, and the blame and hateful treatment of the victims is more traumatizing than the sexual abuse itself.
The transparency that the Church keeps talking about isn’t really happening in spite of what various dioceses and archdioceses keep saying. THAT is what hurts and frustrates me the most. Even Marie Collins, newly appointed to the pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, stated, “The reason everyone is so angry is not because they have abusers in their ranks. Abusers are in every rank of society. It’s because of the systematic cover-up.” Back in 2003 when I first confronted my own abuse I may have disagreed with her but now that has been my own experience too. Ms. Collins is also quoted as saying, “people are telling me that it means I trust the Church. But the fact is, I don’t trust them at all.”
Try to imagine just what it is like to work in a Church that you do not trust because of what you have experienced and what you have seen. Just so you understand what it is I am saying I will reiterate; it’s because of the systematic cover-up.
What is the answer? I do not know…but maybe a more thorough reading of your mail may help.