Is this what God wants for me?
But this isn’t what gets preached.
Is this my fault? The Priest says that I need to do confession with them now?
Can I reject God or God’s representative?
What does this mean for my soul?
It can be difficult to know what to do.
You know that if you speak out, you’re likely to be blamed rather than the religious leader who harmed you. He is respected in your community and has better reputation (for now).
You fight with yourself and possibly even the members of your faith community about the nature of forgiveness, with God and the priest, and you feel overpowered once more.
There is a tension that arises as you try to choose between your instinct to protect other potential victims of clerical abuse and your desire to keep a community intact.
The Archdiocese faces similar challenges, as it copes with the shock from discovering that a "leader" they've elected has done something so contrary to their stated beliefs.
Dear Victims of clerical abuse,
You are the parishioner, and you were betrayed. This is not your fault. But even as you read this, I know that you are conflicted and filled with shame and doubt.
It is also shocking to discover that when you do come forward, the community to which you have dedicated yourself may reject you and your story, deny your testimony, and assassinate your character. It is likely that the cleric and religious structure will as well.
By developing effective autonomy and self-trust, you will begin to break the betrayal bond between you, the cleric, the community, and God. This is no easy task- but we're here to tell you that healing is possible. Jesus rose in three days – with effective care you, too, will overcome this heavy burden of being victimized, scapegoated, and used to protect the reputation of others.
Do not sacrifice yourself for the sake of others because these abuses with continue to happen.
Take the first step of supporting yourself by seeking therapeutic and spiritual help.
You need not confront others. I invite you to face yourself with our supportive love, expertise, and compassion.
The time is now to reclaim yourself.