Just Trying to Survive

There is no cure for pedophilia, just as there is no cure for alcoholism. Alcoholics in AA are given tools and support, not sent out to work in bars. It is expected that they will fail. But they can always come back and start over, because THEY ARE NOT CRIMINALS. But if they do break the law while drunk they are not given a FREE PASS from criminal prosecution.

Pedophile priests on the other hand were told there is a cure for their ”behavior,” that they can pray for healing and be absolved of their sins through reception of the Sacraments. And then they were sent out ”all fixed” to work with children in church schools, and take altar boys on trips.

When are we going to let go of the magical view of sacraments as a cure for psychological disorders. Sacramental healing is insufficient;  pedophiles,  given access to children will continue to offend, despite weekly absolution and daily Eucharist. It has been proven. 

Prayer can be one tool but prayer alone is not enough. Pedophile priests have never been cured only moved around, and their perversions protected through systemic secrecy. They should have been required to attend pedophile support groups where the first thing they would do is introduce themselves and say, “I am a pedophile.”   They should never be given work in parishes; they should have to identify themselves to the local law enforcement and communities as sex offenders. Of course that would require that they get prosecuted through the criminal courts first, and the financial and legal protection of the church and the complicity of civil authorities, along with the limitations of the statutes of limitations for child abuse cases, has made criminal prosecution virtually impossible. Pedophile priests should live under strict supervision like house arrest.

Finally, for those who say sexual abuse is a minor crime it doesn’t end lives, it most certainly does. SNAP has a data base of victims who have committed suicide, some after receiving a ”settlement.” The numbers continue to grow.  

It is very, very hard to live through the horror of being a victim when day after day the papers reveal more evil in the Church’s systemic support for pedophiles and suppression of victims. And night after night we re-live the horrors of our own abuse in our nightmares. We, the victims, no longer have the support of our parishes or the sacraments to give us peace. Only the pedophile priests still have that. And they also get free counseling. For over a decade I have been attempting to get help with my ongoing mental health costs. The limited help I received was long ago  exhausted and now other victims in my family are finally coming forward and are in need of help. We are just trying to survive.

My Parents Give Testimony

My parents are in declining health and both in their 80’s,  but they both recently recorded testimony about their abuse by two catholic priests. My dad gave his testimony in front of a diocesan representative. The same two priests who abused my parents (my dad from his teens into his thirties) went on to abuse me and two of my siblings. These priests are both dead, so why did my parents bother?  Because my dad “wants to put it to rest” and my mother is still having nightmares and is hoping for some peace. I must admit that, while I hope they do get some relief, I really do,  I am also filled with anger. My mother knowingly sent me on outings  with the priest who had repeatedly assaulted and raped her. Maybe she did it to keep him away from her and thought I would be safe because I was a child and she knew from experience he liked adults. But parents are supposed to protect their children and keep them safe. He was a rapist. She sent me on outings with him and sent me over to his apartment to visit him. I can’t get my head around it. But still, she deserves some peace, now. I want him to stop visiting her in her nightmares; I want her to be able to retain the fact that he is long dead. From one conversation to the next, she asks again and again, “Is he dead? Oh, Thank God.” And a few minutes later, “I dreamt about him last night. Where is he now, is he dead, long dead? Oh, Thank God for that.”

And then I think, will I still be having nightmares in thirty years? Oh God, oh God, oh God.