Sexual Abuse and Me, Excuses don’t Wash With God

While ministering to a man who is getting ready for his trip into eternity I said something to him that was not only exceedingly brilliant, (so obviously it was God and not me), it took my breath away. This man is having a lot of anger issues with his ex-wife, his current wife, his daughters, his current wife’s daughter, his granddaughter and a myriad of other people. I told him that it did not matter what they did or didn’t do because at his judgement he will be alone with God and excuses don’t wash. Lightbulb!!!! So I cannot wallow in the sexual abuse I experienced, (not that I do), at the hands, and other parts, of a priest.

Of course that hasn’t taken away bad reactions to triggers or anger caused by do nothing, lying, victim blaming bishops, priests and laity. But it did offer me a new perspective in my struggle into eternity. Excuses don’t wash with God.

The healing that I seek can only be brought about by God and my cooperation with his grace. Programs like Grief to Grace are a great jumping off point but even as I was going through it, (and it helped immensely), I knew that wasn’t the end. As I get further away from that immense help that Grief to Grace provided me I have come to realize, even though I knew it all the time, That not only was I not abandoned by God but only God can make me whole again. I will always be damaged but that’s not an excuse.

Now let me relate a little story from many years ago. I was celebrating the Lord’s Supper. In the congregation I saw a man who looked sort of, kind of, like the priest who molested me. I knew it wasn’t him. My intellect was quite clear on that point. But, and it’s a big but, seeing this man still triggered a panic attack in me. I didn’t suffer paralysis and I finished mass but it was a quite uncomfortable and a somewhat scary moment.

Ultimately it will be God who heals me. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to speak up when members of the Church are being bone heads in regards to the issue of abuse. Their eternal salvation might depend on it, and so might mine, so they need to be called out and corrected.

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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