Insight: part III

The most significant thing that happened to me on my third attempt at priesthood was the Boston Archdiocese clerical sex abuse scandal. I was a transitional deacon at that time. Being in the seminary at that time was surreal. With my history of abuse it was cataclysmic for my mental health. It felt as if evil wisps of dark smoke wrapped me in a robe of darkness.

Unbeknownst to me this had become an issue in my proceeding to priesthood. I was never asked directly what was going on with me or ever told that there was a problem that could keep me from ordination. (I would not have told them about my abuse because I was not ready to deal with it yet.) Then my hand was forced.

Finding out I was not being ordained to the priesthood forced me to tell the rector and vice-rector what had happened to me. Finally saying it out loud was not cathartic in any way. It was no longer a dirty little secret but a real event that I had tried to suppress but could suppress no longer.

I drove home to tell my parents everything. They had no idea. Now they knew and the secret was not a secret any longer. It would be another four years or so before I could confront the abuse head on in therapy.

I did get ordained the following year. After three assignments in three years I bottomed out and asked for a leave of absence to deal with the molestation and all of its fallout. It was granted but I was now seen as a problem in my diocese.

After a lot of hard, painful work on my part, a plethora of tears and a very helpful Grief to Grace retreat I was ready to rejoin the world and ministry. Even though I was still pissed-off and untrusting of others I was also in a place, (still am), where I will not take any crap or burry my feelings. Working for the entity that belittled victims, shirked responsibility for the evil that it is and tried their damnedest to cover-up and lie my life is constantly triggered. (Studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is a perfect example.)

Sixteen years after ordination I keep plugging away. The Catholic Church has done nothing or almost nothing to confront and/or fix the problem of clergy sexual abuse not to mention all the other kinds of abuse. The bishops all over the world are either tone deaf, uncaring or non-believers, (A scary thought.), so nothing gets done.

Round two of this mess has finally woken a lot of the laity up to the corruption that is in the Church but should not be. Where is God? God is here, cling to Him.

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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