Doing soul searching during the Wuhan Virus many things have come to the forefront of my thoughts. I am not a soldier, (actually I am for God), and have never fought in an armed conflict or in a war yet I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD wasn’t diagnosed until after my horrendous experience at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia and my horrendous experiences with the priests, both faculty and administration, there.
The horrendousness started because I had the audacity to turn in a priest for his inappropriate behavior toward me and my partner during an apostolate, (like an internship), to a high school. All hell broke loose. In my naiveté I thought priests would care about the safety of seminarians and…I don’t know…the teaching of the Church. Silly me. Notice I’m not a priest of Philadelphia…just sayin.
Of course the initial trauma came from my own molestation at the hands of a priest. All of this other crap just served to reiterate the feelings of not being safe in the Church. Almost all people who have been traumatized have a problem with trust and a dislike for authority especially when they are non-supportive and retraumatize us. My first tattoo is on my butt and it really is a middle finger to the powers that be in the Church. The first tattoo is a spade ♠, acceptable cutting.
After experiencing zero support as a priest, (because the bishop chose money over me), from my own diocese, and seeing zero support for individuals who have been molested by; priests, by the hierarchy, by other priests and by the laity it’s easy to leap to cynicism. Lip service is not enough. Where is the report on Mr. McCarrick? Where are the reports on the others who have treated their priesthood as their own private Sodom & Gamora?
I am well aware that I am not perfect, not even close, and I will have to answer for my own sins at my judgement. And it is not an excuse that some of them, most of them, stem from the abuse. I need to constantly work at it. Healing does not happen with re-traumatization.
I love the Church, not so much the men in love with money who run it, not so much the weak bishops and weak priests who seem to have abandoned her, not so much the faithless but the Church that believes in Devine truth, in scripture and tradition. To hell with the pc crowd going against TRUTH for money or political favor…literally. Feeling good about yourself will not get you to heaven. The hard work of belief has to happen. God save us all, me especially.