On a zoom call yesterday I was able to witness first hand how at least one catholic diocese does not get the issue of abuse. (All abuse.) My volume had been disabled, good thing, and the moderator of the meeting did not have her phone with her. Obviously God was with us because I called her and I was angry! One of the participants whom I could hear but could not see…I don’t even know how to say it…said something akin to, the beatings won’t stop until morale improves.
Here is a little background; An organization called, Gather My Lost Sheep, founded for the sole purpose of making abuse survivors or those with mental illness feel that they have a place in the Church. That they indeed are loved by Jesus and the Church is a welcoming and safe place for them. I am on the board.
The bishop of the diocese of the founder tapped her to help implement this for anyone with mental illness. Of course she ran into trouble right away. A permanent deacon downloaded three videos she made and distributed them without compensating her. Now this is a non-profit not a free service. She put a ton of work into this project and deserves compensation.
One of the gentlemen at this meeting kept saying to her that she should be happy that she has been instrumental in helping others. Of course that doesn’t address compensation, put food on her table or a roof over her head. That is a perfect example of a person not getting the abuse thing. I was very angry.
And of course it brought to mind all the people in my life who really do not understand including my current bishop. The scariest thing is that these people think they actually do understand.
This is what victims are up against, people who do not get it but think they do and saying things like compensation for work doesn’t matter. (That priest only molested five boys in his first parish before we moved him. or The Boy Scouts of America had a worse problem with sexual malfeasance among their ranks.)
However this meeting was not about the clergy sex scandal it was about understanding people who have been traumatized and/or people dealing with mental illness. How can a safe space be created when you have people saying bone headed things.
I told ‘C’ to get out of that diocese and away from those toxic people. That takes money and she doesn’t have any. She keeps tapping into her retirement savings to make ends meet…but she should be happy.