... I wonder how many other young people he has approached. Could I have stopped future abuse? ......I wonder if I am opening myself up for more trouble? Will I be cross examined and have my life placed under the microscope? Since this is so long ago will they do anything to him anyway? There is a big difference between a "request" and actual abuse. Should I report? Any opinions?
I like to give you just a few insights about this:
1) Just his talking
to you in such a sexually inappropriate way is a violation of the trust placed in him to be a spiritual counselor and representative of the church. You were vulnerable and went to him for help, not for "masturbation lessons." Don't minimize how wrong this was. This WAS
a big deal.
2) This priest very likely molested other boys, either verbally or physically. And he may continue to do so. But its not to late to stop him. I can't tell you what to do, but if I were in your shoes, I'd report him.
3) You would only be cross examined, "placed under a microscope" if you sued the Diocese and testified in court. Reporting to the Diocese should not put you in that situation.
4) You may find reporting to the Diocese to be unsatisfying. Even after all the publicity and scandal, it remains in their interest to downplay such reports of abuse. Be prepared to consider other steps if that's the case, and of course count the cost to yourself in doing so.
5) Consider seeking input from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). Surely someone there has been through the experience of reporting to their local Diocese. Their web address is http://www.snapnetwork.org/
Only you can decide what to do with this. Whatever you do, you can count on our support at MS. Good luck.
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "Joni Mitchell