When Pope Francis apologized recently to all the world and especially to the people of Chili for his unbelief regarding abuse there because of his lack of knowledge and bad advise my first thought, (sadly), was that is how the Church operates. Facts are not sought or gotten before decisions and/or statements are made. This happened to many people I know who dealt with the Church and it happened to me.
The priest sexual scandal in Boston hit the news like a tsunami when I was a transitional deacon. It became the incessant talking point of every formation meeting we had in the seminary. Having never dealt with my own abuse at the hands of a priest I became very depressed. Every paper, report or presentation I had was late. I no longer showed up hours before morning prayer to say my Office of Readings and to pray the rosary. I eventually told the psychologist on staff about my own sexual abuse. I had never told anyone. Telling her was not cathartic. Saying the words out loud made it real.
Of course my radical change in behavior was noticed by the formation team. No one asked me what was going on, no one told me that my ordination to priesthood was in jeopardy…no one. Assumptions were made about me that were so far from the truth that it was surreal. And decisions about my life were made based on that. No one ever asked me what was going on in my life, (not that I would have told them). Decisions were made about me based on nothing. Not even the bishop inquired…talk about dysfunctional!
My point is that questions were not asked and should have been, facts were never sought, truth was not a care for any of people involved, and they happen to be members of the Church.
And here we have the Holy Father not given truthful or full reports and then making a pronouncement based on what he could not know because he was not told. He should be very angry.
One of the things that upsets me the most is when the truth does come out and still nothing is done. No one acts on the truth. Hats off to Pope Francis for his acknowledgement of truth in this situation.
Hang with me there will be two incidents that I will touch-on happening in two parts of the world. The first is the pending scandal involving the homosexual, atheist prostitute in Italy and his dossier that includes many Roman Catholic Priests. And the Saginaw, Michigan priest sex scandal and cover-up that is about to explode.
First the homosexual, atheist prostitute. Even he, an atheist, sees the monumental hypocrisy of these gay priests, who have promised celibacy which implies chastity, paying for sex and also living a life of homosexual activity with one another. As the icing on this morally decaying cake he had a lot of trouble getting any bishop to acknowledge this filth when he came forward. Coming forward would cost this prostitute business and still he is ignored by the bishops. Charged with hating the Church and causing scandal. UNBELIEVABLE!
Now let’s jump from Italy to Michigan and the diocese of Saginaw. Again it seems like it is involving homosexual priests. What part of chastity is so complicated that these men don’t understand it? I will try to help. NO SEX!!!! Maybe it is because I have very low energy but I think living a double life must be exhausting.
The diocese has said that they will fully cooperate with the police investigation. The police say that has not happened. Now we have other male individuals coming forward with charges that other priests have been sexually inappropriate with them over the years. Now that the widow is opened to let the fresh air and sunshine in all will be revealed…hopefully. What do the personnel files show? Did the bishop know if his predecessors covered for priests with complaints of a sexual nature? Did Bishop Cistone cover for priests with complaints of a sexual nature?
This is from the revised edition of Outlines of the Catholic Faith, it is applicable to all Catholics; “The theological virtue of Faith, a gift given by God, enables us to believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, including all that the Church teaches.” Of course the people of the Church believe erroneous things because the clergy, including the bishops, do not teach the true faith or live that faith.
Cling to Him.
I had to ask myself recently; What year is this? Sexual abuse and the grooming of victims for sexual abuse is still going on in the Church in 2018? Why won’t the Church allow us to wake up from this nightmare? Why hasn’t anything been done? In the name of God What is happening to Christ’s church?
Every time that another priest or diocese or archdiocese is exposed for sexual abuse and the inevitable cover-up it is like being cut open by a flaming, hot knife. I never knew Bishop Joseph Cistone as a bishop. I did have very little interaction with him in Philadelphia. The only thing I do remember about him was he was not a warm and fuzzy person. This was sometime in the 90’s. I do remember him telling seminarians that his father never missed a day of work even when he was ill. I also remember thinking to myself; that is absolutely ridiculous. (Maybe he had a job that if you didn’t show up you didn’t get paid.) I still thought it was kind of dumb and really nothing to be proud of or pattern your life after.
Maybe that is the genesis of allowing sexual abusers to work in your diocese. He is also accused of a cover-up, (big surprise), and was accused in the Grand Jury report done by the attorney generals office in Philadelphia of supervising the shredding of personnel documents that the Grand Jury wanted to see. This was done at the behest of Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua.
It is all so sad and depresses me a little. The Church will not let the wounds of all of us who were ever abused by a priest to be allowed to heal. The wounds of the Church are not being allowed to heal either. God help us.
On Feb 23, 2018 2:02 AM, (I’m going to call her Svetlana), wrote:
When we talked, you wondered why I’m plagued by suicidal thoughts. The pain caused by Fr Jared and then the Chancery is never acknowledged. Never addressed.
No one in the Catholic Church is interested in truth or justice.
Then you all wonder why victims walk away. The hypocrisy is too much to take.
No one is interested in healing. Just in making the problem “go away.”
That’s what pisses the Chancery off the most. I haven’t gone away.
How can they call me a Church hater, and all the other scapegoating names/accusations, if I won’t walk away?
There’s nothing Christ like in the situation.
No effort for healing by the Chancery.
Priests who see what’s happening and do nothing. “Maybe it will get better on its own if we just ignore the real issue,” seems to be the thinking.
And if I died, you’ll all wring your hands. “Gee, it’s a shame. If only there was something we could of done.”
Why is the suicide rate so high among victims?
I don’t believe that this is what Christ wants. Or condones. Especially by his Church.
Until the Church addresses true healing, claiming itself a leader in how abuse cases are handled is total crap.
Wow! Another survivor of abuse… Such sobering words. It is sad thought to realize “I”, or “WE”, are not alone in our suffering due to inaction. It makes you wonder why is it so hard to implement the words and attitude of God? Abuse, and more and different kinds of abuse, heaped on the suffering are not from God. And we perpetually suffer.
“His left hand reaches around grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around. I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.” Brendan Fraser on his experience of sexual assault.
And it happened when he was already an adult and also married. No it wasn’t a priest. He goes on to talk about the depression that overwhelmed him for years…and he was an adult…and married… “I felt like a little kid.”, so how do you think little kids feel?
Let me start out by saying that Pope Francis isn’t my favorite so anything I may say against him must be taken with a grain of salt.
That said a letter about sexual misconduct by now Bishop Juan Barros and “Rev” Fernando Kardima being hand delivered to the pontiff by Sean Cardinal O’Malley could have been misplaced. I was not there so can only speculate. I imagine that the pope’s secretary was with him. The letter could not have been read at that very second. It was probably handed over to the secretary who put it somewhere. Where? So it is feasible that Pope Francis never read it. It’s also feasible that the secretary read it then trashed it for his own reasons.
Now for the grain of salt… For the pontiff to actually lie about something that has been so devastating to the Universal Church does not bode well for him as a person, priest or pontiff. Because of the seriousness of the issue it is not akin to saying, “No, those pants don’t make you look fat.” when they actually do. Saying that there is no proof or complaints against Bishop Juan Barros when there actually is proof or a complaint is disingenuous, yes a lie. Of course it is not a lie if you never read or got the letter.
However this development does not in anyway excuse the pontiff’s remark in Chili about Bishop Barros and the calumny charge leveled at those abused. It was not a, “merciful”, remark by the pope so makes him seem like a phony and it further hurt victims and then further angered them.
How long has this priest sexual scandal been going on now? The Church can not make miss-step after miss-step and expect healing. All the talk in the world about immigration and climate change, (actually not even Catholic issues), will not hide the fact that some priests molested kids and the Universal Church is still making excuses, lying and dragging her feet instead of trying to rectify the pain that this has caused world wide.
So, what is the answer? To be better informed about this issue, to be genuinely sorry because words are cheap, to start making bishops accountable and to cease saying bonehead things regarding this issue.
Once the bell is rung it cannot be un-rung.