This e-mail came in from Matthias after posting Who is Going to Blast the Bullhorn on Abuse in Church?. I really liked what Matthias had to say and wanted to share it with you (with his permission).
Hello Julie Anne,
I’ve been thinking some about your current topic about blasting the
bullhorn in abuse in the church.
So many times, people who want to do this are “shamed into silence”.
They are told by the abuser that no one will believe their story.
And, until recent times, few would, even law enforcement, because of
the lack of evidence and lack of collaboration from others who might
have also experienced or witnessed the abuse. Going public, as I only
know too well, can take a real emotional toll on a person. As abusers
often prey on the most emotionally vulnerable individuals, it can be
especially hard for such a person to take a public stand against the
abuser. There is much fear. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of being
scorned. Fear of being shunned. Fear of being sued.
Those who pursue legal means against their abuser have faced a
particularly long, uphill battle, which can drain not only emotions
but finances. “They” have the power, the money, the support, and we
are more like that lone voice crying in the wilderness.
In the recent clerical abuse trial in Philadelphia, defense lawyers for the
Archdiocese spent more than ten million dollars defending their
client, Monsignor Lynn, who was convicted of withholding information
concerning sexual abusers and transferring them to other parishes.
Today, an article from Reuters reveals that up until 1987, the
archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahoney, and another church
official plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law
enforcement. The archdiocese waged a five-year long legal battle to
keep court records out of the hands of the media and/or redacted.
When the archdiocese lost the case, an attorney speaking for the
archdiocese would say that the documents were but a “part of the
past”. But the criminal acts noted in the legal documents will never
just be “part of the past” for those who were abused.
I’m presently reading an allegorical book with my daughter on“[She], like all wounders, became powerful just by wounding. She
abandonment recovery entitled _Black Swan_ by Susan Anderson. The
story is about a girl, Amanda, who is abandoned at a young age by her
father and ends up in an orphanage. While at the orphanage, she
encounters a lone black swan who teaches her the tools of healing from
abandonment. There is a quote from the black swan in describing his
mate that applies not only to abandonment, but also reminded me of the
many discussions I have had with others concerning spiritual abusers.
brought me to a feeling of insignificance and to pain. all I could do
was marvel at her power to accomplish so mighty a task. I was reduced
to helplessness, while she seemed to become more powerful, more
valuable, and more beautiful for having vanquished me. I could only
worship my wounder. But the pain this caused helped me find my will
to survive and survive separately.”
How many who are spiritually abused could relate to this? And the
key, is recognizing and accepting that we must be separate – separate
from the abuse, separate from the power, separate from all those who
will continue to do what is popular and fashionable, but not