Sad day in PA for sexual abuse survivors


Once again the Church, at least the church in Pennsylvania, has won in its ongoing fight against taking any responsibility for sexual abuse.  And once again they used lies and scare tactics to achieve their goal. The Pennsylvania State Senate successfully killed the bill that would allow for a change in the statute of limitations for sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church is not the only entity in the world guilty of harboring sexual abusers, they are, however, the only entity in the world who has God, (or should have God), as their moral center and the teachings of God as their moral compass.  And yet they lie, something God is incapable of doing, something that is anathema to God.

When trying to defend the indefensible the Church’s mantra has been; we have done a lot for the victims of sexual abuse.  Really…  What?  A healing mass performed by priests of the entity that first victimized and abused? Or perhaps paying for talk therapy for victims at the churches own mandated sites, (Still attempting to control a horrible situation that they gave birth to and nurtured for years.), ignoring all of the psychiatric studies that have stated that talk therapy is not effective in the attempt to heal/help trauma victims.  And lest you be confused, sexual abuse is traumatic.

After all of this the Church wonders why there are so many people that have left their ranks and ponder how to get them back.  The answer that the powers that be have come-up with is a new evangelization of the people. Here’s a news flash; that will not work. What will work? Taking responsibility for what you the Church has done, not just give it lip services, (the Church is good at that), THAT WOULD BE THE NEW EVANGILIZATION.

 

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The bishops of dioceses and archdioceses in Pennsylvania continuously lied to the faithful and to the world.


There are two things for all Roman Catholics to celebrate.  The first is the defining of sexual abuse issues and the mishandling of it by bishops is enough to have a bishop removed.

There has always been an area in Cannon Law that states that a bishop can be removed for negligence/incompetence but now Pope Francis has made the mishandling of sexual abuse cases a defined reason for removal. BRAVO, and why did it take so LONG!

The second thing is the passage of Bill 1947, in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, that changes the time for bringing charges of sexual abuse to the law.  The statute of limitations is changed from a victim reaching his or her 18th birthday  to a victim reaching their 50th birthday.  The bill now goes to the Pennsylvania Senate.

The bill does not exclude venues outside of the Catholic Church as the Archbishop of Philadelphia has claimed publicly. It is not an anti-Catholic bill.

Let’s look at what is really anti-Catholic.  Molesting, sexually assaulting and raping are anti-Catholic. Hiding molestation, sexual assault and rape is anti-Catholic. Priests and bishops lying about molesters, sexual assaulters and rapists in their ranks is anti-Catholic. Blaming victims, lawyers and the press for bringing to light  molestation, sexual assault and rape is anti-Catholic.

Two sayings come to mind in all of this; God will bring everything done in the dark into the light. And the second, you reap what you sew. The bishops of dioceses and archdioceses in Pennsylvania continuously lied to the faithful and to the world. Since their eternal salvation is at stake you would think that they would be more humble…and stop lying.

 

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Lay men and women of Osorno


The Church still doesn’t grasp the depth to which the clergy sexual scandal has infiltrated the souls of the people of faith.

A bishop, and sadly it does not matter if he is innocent or not, the perception in this case is the reality. The perception is that the bishop was involved in covering-up a sexually abusive priest. Of course I am referring to  Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros of the diocese of Osorno in the country of Chile.

How is it that I conclude that the Church still doesn’t grasp the depth of the pain of the people? The Holy Father, Pope Francis says incendiary things like, “foolishness”, and the Church in Chile has, “lost its head” in discussing the protests that have taken place several times in the cathedral in Osorno.

Pope Francis also blames the, “leftists”,  in the current socialist government for stirring up the controversy and that may be true.  The key issue that the Church always seems to forget is that if there was never a clergy sexual, some say homosexual, scandal, then there could never be anything; leftist, news papers, movies, reporters, (and bloggers for that mater),  could say against the Church or the hierarchy.

If I was accused I do not know how I would react. If cleared of the charges and still protested against I am sure it would make me very angry. Hopefully I would also understand that my presence among the people could be a disruptive one, as it is in Osorno.  Since the goal of all of us should be heaven and my presence, whether or not I have been exonerated, is causing strife then the humble thing to do would be to  resign and quietly take another position. Of course that is easier said than done. A page needs to be taken from St. Pius of Pietrelcina, and St. Mary Helen MacKillop.

Name calling and speculation on the reasons for the protests do in no way heal the still opened wounds of the people in Chile.

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Rape is never the right thing to do, and yet our government is supporting it. Where are all the voices that claim to support children. Support these children who are being sexually abused in Pakistan.


American soldiers are told by the federal government to ignore sexual assaults on children by our allies in foreign countries.  Excuse me. That is warped, morally bankrupt and another signal that the crime of sexual abuse does not matter when children are victims.  Well guess what? I matter!  As a victim and survivor of sexual abuse I am outraged at the U.S. Government just as I was and am outraged at the Catholic Church for their allowing it to go on for so long even when they knew about it, and then trying to cover it up.

“It’s a cultural thing.”  No it is not!  And you know, the Aztecs’ practiced human sacrifice as a ‘cultural thing’, smacks of the diabolical and was warped and morally bankrupt too.  How can anyone say that the rape of anyone is okay?  How can our government support this, and they are supporting it by not stopping it or trying to stop it.

The American Press was up in arms about Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse, and well they should have been.  God makes things done in the dark eventually see the light and in that light see how glaring an evil something is.  Narre a word on this evil of ignoring the rape of Pakistani boys.

Where is the outrage? It is sick to allow this to go on and our government is sick to condone it by looking the other way.  Where is the outrage? Where are the reporters and editors of our major newspapers?  This smacks of a human rights issue and violation and it is being backed by the U.S. Government.  It is not a partisan issue so everyone, (Democrat, Republican, Independent), should be writing and screaming about this issue. Rape is never the right thing to do, and yet our government is supporting it. Where are all the voices that claim to support children. Support these children who are being sexually abused in Pakistan.

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Molestation, tattoos and radical surgery


Since I couldn’t sleep last night I was pondering an e-mail I received from a non-priest friend of mine.  The e-mail was in reference to my latest tattoo, (I have seven, number four and number six combine to be one large tattoo on my back.) Why? I pondered that question.

Often times, when someone survives sexual abuse, they shut down in every way possible. this includes their, “feelings”.  In order to feel something many people who have been abused will, “cut”.  Cutting is a persons very unhealthy way to feel something. Getting tattooed is the marginally socially acceptable way to cut.

But tattooing oneself has another purpose, some would go as far as to say benefit, it is a way to render yourself unattractive or untouchable to your abuser and any would-be abusers.  I would lay odds that a lot of the women you see that have radically changed their appearance through tattooing and body modification have been victimized by abuse.  There is a power that is reclaimed by rendering yourself untouchable to those who are like/in the same class as, the person who first perpetrated the abuse.

In my own case the tattoos that I have gotten are on my; butt (a spade), chest (angel), back/including lower back (The crucified Christ & the universe, and a heart with the phrase LOVE IS THE MEANING OF LIFE), bicep (fleur-de-lis representing the Virgin Mary),  and calf (a carpenters square and three Easter Lilies representing St. Joseph the Worker) .  All but the one on my butt have some connection with religion.  Since my abuser was a priest one would hope that the tattoos would render me verboten. (Of course his being a priest should have done that.)  None of this is conscious.

One more thing that I think may have been influenced by my own abuse is my ileostomy.  After suffering with Crone’s Disease for 29 years and having pre-cancerous cells in my colon diagnosed twice in a three month span I was given three options.  Option one was to do nothing.  Option two was to have a bowel resection taking out the section of bowel with the pre-cancerous cells. Option three was the removal of my colon, rectum and anus.  I didn’t even have to think about it, I chose option number three.

Why? The two conscious reasons I made the choice that I did were; I would kick myself if I got colon cancer at a later date and not being married  the two possible side effects, (incontinence & impotency), did not matter to me.  The possible unconscious reason is/was if I don’t have an anus I can’t be anally raped and impotency would mean I could not be betrayed by my body.

HEAVY STUFF!

Forget that at 51 I really don’t need to worry about this kind of thing anymore and even if the very slim possibility of rape and/or molestation happened to me I am now well equipped to fight back. That is my rational and conscious thought process.  Unconsciously there is obviously still some fear hence socially acceptable cutting, (tattoos), and no hesitation at all for the most radical colon surgery for pre-cancer.

Molestation really does effect every aspect of the lives of survivors and apparently for a very long time.

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Okay, this will be brief. The Supreme Court has given the go-ahead for so-called gay marriage.  In the Catholic Church there is no possibility for such a thing…ZERO possibility…(Look up the criteria for marriage in the Catholic Church)…ZERO possibility.  Did the hierarchy come out, (pardon the pun), in force to denounce such a thing.  No. And was the tepid cry that was made by Church against this movement to gay marriage listened to? No.  Why not?

There are a number of reasons.  The faith has not been catechized in generations. All this talk and hoopla about the new catechization is guff because people have not been catechized in the faith for years.  The other reason, and it is our own fault, has been the clergy sexual abuse issue and the fact that we can still talk about it because very little has been done or even said, about how destructive it has been and continues to be in the Church.

Because of the cover-ups and the inaction and/or very slow action when and if the bishops do try to teach or come out against something that is against the Church people think to themselves, ‘Who the hell are you to tell me anything?’  Forgotten is the faith and the Triune God’s teaching.  The current mess falls directly at the feet of clergy.

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Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché resign


“Archbishop John Nienstedt announced that Pope Francis has accepted his resignation as archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché after Minnesota prosecutors charged the archdiocese with the “mishandling of repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest.”

The reason for the resignation is listed as the miss-management of sexual abuse issues. It’s about time that a bishop resigns.  I have too wonder is it because of the newly formed tribunal set to rule on punishment or exoneration of the handling of sexual abuse issues.

How long has this taken??? Three popes, 12 years since the Archdiocese of Boston scandal first hit the press, the nation and then the world. Scandal around the world and then finally something public to address the issue.  Was stuff done in private to address the problem of sexually abusive clergy in diocese and archdiocese, or was the issue ignored???  Because this has been such a public scandal public measures to address it should not have taken 12 years to manifest. The perception has been that the Church just does not care.  Because of that perception many people left the Church. True a lot of those people where just looking for an excuse to leave.  The moral authority of the Church, which comes from God, also took a hit. The bishops have been seen by some, wrongly so, to be the moral authority and they have been anything less than moral on this  issue. All men are sinners, even bishops, GOD IS INCAPEBLE OF SIN.  But it seems that it has been God who has taken the brunt of the blame.

Monsignor Bill Lynn is in prison for failing to protect children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop Finn was convicted of harboring a sexual predator among his clergy and he has since been removed, an archbishop and an auxiliary have resigned due to their miss-management of clergy sexual abuse accusations, a special tribunal to investigate the bishops handling of sexual abuse cases has been formed by Pope Francis.  The cynical me would say too little too late but it’s never to late to right a long standing wrong especially when children are involved.

And still more needs to be done.

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