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#4871 - 08/12/03 11:06 PM Seeking wellness
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Brother Survivors,

I see a problem that, I feel a certain responsibility, to write to you about. It appears that an increasing number of posters write, as though the settlement of a law suit, and receiving a very large amount of money, will cause us to be recovered from the effects of CSA. I believe, that there are some that are stuck there. And I am totally convinced that no one’s apology, nor any sum of money, will ever be the key to my healing, nor to yours.

Since I came to the board, a little over a year ago, I can count less than a dozen men whose perpetrators were Roman Catholic Priests.
Yet, hatred for Catholics seems very nearly required, to be here. I use the word hatred in it’s theological sense: wanting harm to occur to another. Synonyms for hatred clarify that some, these are: ill will; enmity; hate; animosity; malevolence; rancor; malignity; detestation; loathing; abhorrence; repugnance; antipathy.

Getting stuck here is so far from recovery, that, in my mind, recovery becomes virtually impossible.

A second mistake I hear talked about is the term: The Roman Catholic Church, or more often, The Catholic Church. May I point out the problem here? When we speak of the Catholic Church we speak exclusively of people who are Catholics. They, and they alone, constitute the “Catholic Church”! Church=people period. There is no such thing as the “Catholic Church” apart from Catholic people.

Lets take Boston. They speak of the Church of Boston. That means, solely, the people in the Boston area who are Catholics. There are said to be over two million of those kinds of people there. One of those people is the new Archbishop, Sean O’Malley. Along with Sean are several assisting Bishops, perhaps 600 or 700 priests, and possibly another 100 to 150 Catholic men and women who hold various positions in the Church of Boston. Let us say that these people total 1000. They are technically called, “The Hierarchy of the Church of Boston.” Sean is not the Church, none of the pastors are the Church, none of the men or women in authority there, are the Church. The Catholic Church of Boston are the two million people, of which these 1000 are a part, and ONLY a part. They have been called, from the larger group, to minister in some special way. They are not the Church. They are a tiny fraction of the Church.

Boston, with its’ large Roman Catholic population is NOT the Church.
The Catholic Church is several hundred million people, world wide who have been Baptized into the Catholic faith and continue to practice the Catholic way of life and culture.

Boston’s two millions are a tiny part of the Catholic Church. I think the mistake many here are making, is that the Catholic Church is like General Motors. There is a specific group of people who are the Corporate Board of Directors, and who can in a real sense, be said to be General Motors.

Again, this does not exist in the Catholic Church. People some times attempt to say that;” Oh, I don’t hate Catholics, it is just their Church I hate.” Doesn’t work. “Their Church” is us. The Vatican is not the Church, it is a building and a governmental Independent State with citizens. The Pope is not the Church, nor the Cardinals and the Congregation etc. Several hundred million people all over the globe, they and they alone, are the Roman Catholic Church. This happens to be a crucial point of doctrine that Catholics believe.

You will hear it said: “The Catholic Church has issued an official statement, e.g. on the right of laborers to organize. That is real sloppy writing. The truth is, some Congregation within the Vatican has issued a statement, that the Pope has approved, as a teaching to be a guide for Catholics in the living of their daily lives. The Church does not issue the statement, a tiny group of Catholic leaders, issues a statement to the Church, the People of God. Sometimes, most of the times, these are meant to be guides or the ideal towards which we as a people are to strive. Most rarely, they are definitive statements that we are required to accept if we wish to continue to be a Catholic. The total number of these statements is just at 21 or 22, and most of them have to do with doctrinal matters.

Now, when we talk about making the Catholic Church come up with some fantastic sum of money we are talking about the Catholic people raising that money. Some comes from insurance companies. But even Lloyd’s of London doesn’t give out policies that will pay off a half billion dollars!

So, someone was correct when he talked about the joy he would feel as he talks to his son as to why St. So and So Parish is closed. After the insurance companies pay what they will pay, then the savings of the Diocese or Archdiocese are spent, then property is sold. The pattern has been to close schools first, then social service agencies, then parish buildings and combining parishes, combining distinct communities of believing people in some other parish set of buildings.

A parish is people. It is all the people who have and do come to the parish for worship, spiritual guidance, the sacraments, who are Baptized, receive Holy Communion, get Confirmed, use the other Sacraments like Matrimony and finally, are buried from the parish church building.

The building is not the church. The people are the church. So the glee in closing down communities of Catholic people means that: people can not come there to worship, to be married, etc.., the meal program can’t be there anymore, the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts can’t meet there, the children can’t go to school there, the Red Cross cannot have it’s blood drive there, the Parish nurse gets fired, anyone who made a living working for the parish is fired because the parish no longer needs teachers and maintenance people and the parish secretary and the director of religious education and the young adult ministry. Yes, it is a really wonderful thing to do to make The People close down a parish. Let us all rejoice! It really is a most healing thing, for us survivors.

However, none of this is important in the end. The important thing is that we who have been sexually betrayed and violated get well, or at the very least, significantly better.

If a huge sum of money from the Boy Scouts of America will make me feel good about myself again, let me trust people, not always fear an ambush from someone I was so stupid as to be vulnerable to; if I will be able to have meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships, and I won’t be afraid, and I won’t wake up at night thinking danger is in my bedroom; and I won’t feel like I am ruined in the core of my being, and I won’t have a slowly seething anger, and I can finally feel like I am a much a man as any other male in this world, THEN, I am going to sue the Boy Scouts of American for a pile of dough. BUT, I need at least three expert therapists to give me an iron clad guarantee that winning my law suit and getting a formal apology from the BSA will do all that, before I get mired down in litigation, raging constantly at the huge cover up by the BSA of all it’s freako Scoutmasters etc who abuse boys. And by God, I WILL rejoice when I see the BSA having to shut down it various troops, camps, regional offices etc. because one Assistant Scoutmaster sexually assaulted me, many times, 45 years ago.

Oh yes I will rejoice as I can finally say” Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I am Free at last!”

It is so sad to see us getting stuck there. And I see many of us so stuck we will never get out and move on.

So, I feel the need to leave the forums for a while and work on the harm that has been done to my spirit, as I see my brothers getting mired down, with no one to tell them that, that is what is happening.

I most certainly will return, because you all have been a crucial part of my recovery, and my on-going recovery. I would be afraid not to have your help. But I just can’t continue to see this nightmare, that formal apologies, and enormous sums of money, that actually harm other people severely, is the solution to anything.

Peace to you all. I hope to see lots of you at the Conference. It will be good to meet you in person.

Bob Wheelock

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#4872 - 08/13/03 01:33 AM Re: Seeking wellness
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
True a church is made up of people but it is up to those people to open their eyes and fully see what is going on in front of them. That is not something that I have seen acknowledged to the full extent by people who happen to be in a church. The catholic church is not the only one involved in this as I know from a all too painful past history in another form of a church.

Would I take my abuser to court. A lawyer wanted me to at one time, but I said No, and I still say No for me. I have taken steps to help protect other children should they cross his my abuser's path. For me, I didn't want to go through this in public nor did I want to waste the time and energy on it. That was my personal decision and it was right for only me at the time I made it. To this day, I still feel the same way and I realize that my abuser suffers every day of his life because he knows what he did. That is far more than any court could ever offer.

I think we have to be careful in viewing someone or some group as being stuck in a spot. Sometimes we need to be in that spot as we try to figure out what to do next. Reminds me of being stuck in the snow. You didn't intentionally get stuck but it sure was hard as hell to figure out how to get out of being stuck in the snow. And yet it was a temporary thing. I just hate to use a wide paint brush to say those who are focused on this right now are stuck. Maybe it is right where these people need to be.

You know if the leadership of the catholic church because from my understanding and perception, the leadership (i.e pope, bishop, priest, ect) are the ones that run the church that everyone follows and listens to. If they had stood up and acknowledged what took place and had compassion for the victims, I feel things would be much different. But they did just as everyone else in society does, they brushed it under the rug. And at the very same time, the concepts of love, compassion, etc were being taught, but not practiced. This is beyond unfortunate and it is beyond a crime against humanity in my mind. I don't care if it is a person in a catholic or baptist or any other group of churches or society as it is all the same to me. I could go on, and probably it would be best if I don't.

If you need to take the time away, then by all means do that. We all have to do what is right and healthy for ourselves. But please be careful in painting a broad stroke of paint over a picture that is anything but simplistic. Maybe I'm reading too much into what you said, and if I am, feel free to offer a post of clarification for me, but that is the impression I was getting.

Hope your time of rest is good and will look forward to when you feel ready to come back.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#4873 - 08/13/03 06:49 AM Re: Seeking wellness
zadok1 Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
I can certainly understand the anger toward a church system where knowledge of those few abusers was wide spread, and added to by a systematic attempt to cover it all up. The thing that angers me most, isn’t the fact that the handful of abusers molested countless children, it was the fact that when those in authority found out, they went nuts trying to conceal and hide the whole thing. They took problem priests and simply moved them around to abuse more kids.

Biblically, the church is the multi-membered body of Christ, the people. In today’s world church governing bodies are also the church. Everything a Catholic or a Baptist is, he is because a group governing that body of Christians says what they believe and think to an extent. In other words, the Pope is the Catholic Church to an extent, because he and a few other select members guide that church.

The real losers in all of this are those that have had all chance of salvation driven from them because of these monsters. Because of the abuse, some can never know the peace and joy that loving God comes with. They will never feel the safety and security of the hedge He places around one of his children, and the knowledge that no matter what comes, He will provide a way. Instead their hearts are now stone, and nothing planted there will ever grow. God tells us, judging will start with the teachers, and they will answer not only for themselves, but the souls entrusted to their care. I know I would hate to be one of those at that moment.

It is never right to hate a people as a whole because of the actions of a few. Instead we should strive to cut off those few. If a suite forces churches, schools, governments and private people to take a harder stand on child abuse, then it will all be worth it. To me, the money is a side effect, the true point of any suit would be the object lesson, one that says covering for these creeps shouldn’t have been done, and tolerance will incriminate those that helped them keep abusing.

i also agree that no amount of suing, hating or anything of the like will bring anyone closer to healing. that can only come with time, forgiveness, grieving and understanding. abuse is with a person forever, but you can have happiness and joy despite of it. i have read those who dont agree, i feel for them. to live a life with endless depression, anger and unhappiness would be the ultimate curse. fortunately, i have had the strength to rise above that, and i pray those others find it some day.

jeff

_________________________
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

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#4874 - 08/13/03 08:27 AM Re: Seeking wellness
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Gentlemen:

This has been a very sane and intelligent post with everyone respecting the views of each other. To add my two cents worth would be of no benefit because it has all been said.

Bob by all means take a breather. God knows you deserve it but please do come back and give us the benefit of your insight.

To all others who read this thread please do not take sides or get into a clash of views that could cause us, as a whole, to mire ourselves in a fire-fight. We must remember that the prime reason we are here is to as Bob so succinctly put it
Quote:
Oh yes I will rejoice as I can finally say” Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I am Free at last!”

Religion can open a can of worms for us all as can politics.

Our anger should be against or PERPS and to a certain extent those people who knowing their acts do not speak out. Simple as that.

The thing to remember is that SA knows no level of society, race, religion , ethnic background or sexual persuasion. Perps are found everywhere unfortunately. I think that the real culprit in all of this is society in general for not acting in a pro active manner. Could it be they are hiding. Remember that most Perps come from the so-called hetero and normal branch of the human race.

Thank you!

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#4875 - 08/13/03 09:06 AM Re: Seeking wellness
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Dear Bob,

I am deeply sorry that you feel frustrated about the manner in which people here express their feelings at being victimized by agents affiliated with an organization whose care they were in, who they were encouraged to place their trust in, and whose lives were destroyed after doing so.

Your discussion and clarification about the structure of the church as "body of christ" is much appreciated, but I don't think that the victim/survivor's defensive attacks in the form of statements are meant to be blows against the sheep, but rather against the shepherds.

Personally, I don't buy into the infallibility of this organization and anyone with half a brain would understand why. Still, I work within this institution, and choose to remain its employee because I believe that most of what it is trying to do and what it stands for is helpful for guiding people through their lives.

I think that the church is in a great state of change and is about to turn a corner in its own evolution, and that all of its hierarchy and policy makers would do well to heed the signs of the times before all of us who depend on it for our future livelyhood and well-being are placed in precarious situations regarding our means of support. We need not throw out the baby with the bath water, but the time is coming for a wake up call of some sort.

I know you are making your own recovery journey, and I pray that you take the steps necessary for your healing. You have been intrumental as a source of healing for me and my family and I know that as a representative of roman catholicism, you will continue to act on behalf of all survivors.

The percentage of us seeking justice in the form of money, apology etc are just a small percentage who are trying to stay sane, as we strive to recover our lost purity and restore our faith and trust in life, and its people, places and things.

Looking forward to meeting you at the conference,

Your friend in survival,

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#4876 - 08/13/03 06:20 PM Re: Seeking wellness
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Bob
I hope your rest is a short one, but a worthwhile one.
I'm not alone in appreciating your efforts here, or your wisdom.

I agree with what you say about using broad terms like "the church" when we talk about the subject of abusive Priests or whoever within ...'the church'
But I don't think anyone is deliberately judging everyone, or including everyone.
I think we're just being a bit lazy rather than making sweeping judgements.

Enjoy your rest Bob, but don't be a complete stranger.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#4877 - 08/14/03 12:38 PM Re: Seeking wellness
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Bob,

I'm looking forward to seeing you at the conference. We'll keep a spot ready for you here until you're ready to post again. I hope the time away helps you recharge.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#4878 - 08/14/03 02:20 PM Re: Seeking wellness
Ivanhoe Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/03
Posts: 1907
Dear Bob,

I am pained to read that what I said has anything to do with your leaving this forum for a break, a rest. I apologize for causing you more grief than you already bear on our behalf. What you do for us is probably the healthiest response to being harmed, as we have been. You've taken your hurt and turned it into compassion for others, us. Your behavior of care is a benefit to us and we can all learn and grow because of it.

I've got to thank my brothers here who I think have understood my words more nearly as I meant them to be understood.

I was blessed to have had a leadership role in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The catalyst for that group came from a small group of supporters who reached out to the Seminary President who was fired for "heresy," and the 99% of the students and faculty who left with him in protest of the firing.

The group that orchestrated this controversial action against this highly respected, world renown teacher of furture ministers, was a group of narrow minded, misguided zealots, who, after over nearly 30 years of infighting, are still consuming one another in a never ending cycle of accusations of heresy and false teachings--never seeing, of course, the evil in their own hearts.

Having had this experience and knowing about the coverup and unwillingness of leaders of other church bodies who refuse neither to apologize nor to root out their own errant leadership, leaves me wondering if the cycle of abuse will ever change.

Put this together with my perp/Christian/teacher who had me wait in the car for him while he went to Friday night confession, and the story of one of our brothers who was told by his priest/perpetrators, that, he, the eight year old boy, was the one who would go to hell because of his seductive beauty; he, the eight year old boy was the seducer.

Bob, this was not you, this was not me, but they were both our brothers--how do we take care of each other? How do we support one another? It is hard. I have to step away. I feel too much. I hurt with so many of my brothers. But, like you, Bob, I want to help them, too. I want them to know, that no matter who abused them, I will stand with them and seek the redress that they are looking for, not for what I think that they should be seeking.

Yes, our organizations need to change; our schools, our churches, our Boy Scouts, any group who holds power and sway over our lives and the lives of our children.

I will never be able to thank you enough for what you have done for me here, what you have done for all of us, and I don't want you to be hurt by what I say, but our abuse needs to be talked about and I will strive to be more sensitive in my choice of words and will be most earnest in not saying anything flipantly or disrespectfully.

Your brother, and, I hope, still, friend,

David

_________________________
"No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence."
George Eliot

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#4879 - 08/14/03 03:45 PM Re: Seeking wellness
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Bob I am sorry that you feel the need to leave us for awhile,we sure can use your help here. As one of those survivors who's perpetrators were Roman Catholic Priests. I have never talked bad of the church.
Please don't leave us Bob we need your help to change things.
For the last two years my mission has been Truth and Justice.The truth stage has been making sure that history was rewritten to tell about the abuse that happened in Hastings from 1946-1965.
I could never find justice from a forced court order The justice stage can only come from within the church. For me to have justice the people within the church must come forward with a plan to deal with us.They have come to understand the truth about the evil which was done inside their church. Now they must find it within their hearts to right the wrong done to us. We need restorive justice for the harm done. Within the next few years I feel that the people within the church will do the correct thing and deal with us in a honorbe way. Muldoon

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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#4880 - 08/14/03 05:19 PM Re: Seeking wellness
Muldoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 1428
Loc: St Paul MN
Bob Just one more thing. When I was lobbying at the capital I talk with over a 100 of The people of the Roman Catholic Church, and all of them wanted the church to do the right thing. They want the church to come clean, admit the sins of the past and deal with the victims. We even talked about there being a victims fund that would be seperate from the main funds, I really beleieve that the people of The Roman Catholic Church, will open their heart to the victims once they hear our storys. they want this issue behind them .

_________________________
Teach the Children to Never Hide in the Silence

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