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.


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I am a wife and mother, a once-Catholic now UCC Christian, with a degree in Theology, a Masters in Religious Education, 27 years of theology teaching experience -- mainly High School, some College. I am now working as a Hospital Chaplain and feeling humbled and privileged every day. I love my family and I love to write; writing helps keep me sane. Published writing: • From Hurt To Healing, Publish America 2004, ebook on Amazon, 2011; •"Forgive and Forget," America Magazine, September 16, 2002; •"From Victim to Victimizer," Human Development Magazine, Summer 2005; • It's Just Not Fair, Introducing The Fairly-Good Mother, ebook at Amazon, 2011; • Traces of Hope: Surviving Grief and Loss, March 2015, St. Johann Press http://www.amazon.com/Traces-Hope-Surviving-Grief-Loss/dp/1937943275

2 thoughts on “Just Trying to Survive”

  1. A priest didn’t molest me but I get where you are coming from. The person that abused me has hidden behind the mask of religion and has considered what was done to me a sin rather than a crime. He’d molest me then be the dutiful “Christian” and show up Sunday morning as if nothing were out of place.

  2. First, I am so sorry that you were abused, and by someone in your community. I hope you have received some help in processing this. It is a double hurt when it is someone we know and someone that our family continues to trust and expose us to.

    There are people who really believe that telling God you are sorry is enough, and that you can repeat the same behavior as long as you keep telling God you are sorry. So, sadly, your perp may have believed he was forgiven by God and all was well with the world and with the church. How awful for you to be molested by him and then have to face him on Sunday morning.

    It is such a perverse understanding of forgiveness that as Christians we don’t feel the need to go to the one we have hurt and ask forgiveness there. In the early church there was public admission of sin, that would certainly put an end to some of this wouldn’t it!

    I had a molestor/priest get mad at me one Sunday for rufusing to receive the eucharist from him after he molested me on Saturday. He really felt he was in a state of grace and could dispense the sacrament to me. I was the one who felt guilty and ashamed.

    I hope that you are no longer exposed to this man, but I hope you have not allowed him to rob you of your faith.


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