fredag 6. juni 2014

# 30 - Is it because of all the scandals in the Church that have been uncovered in the last years?

Well, here I am, in the beginning of June as I promised in #29.

I'm going to write some lines about the fourth question for blogpost # 3 (2012). It is time for you to find your written answers if you wrote them down. For you who are new: I want to recommend that you start with the three first questions unless this particular question that I'm writing about now is especially important to you.

It is 12 years (2002) since we could read in the papers all over the world about an overwhelming abuse of minors in the Catholic Church in America (at that time). If you are one of the abused or a relative or friend of someone abused I will guess that you were very angry! So was I, but even if so, the very same year I was received into the Roman Catholic Church. Why? Please repeat my input «# 1 - God's ways can be mysterious». 

Even if all the abuses came as a shock, I continued the introduction course that would allow me to become catholic, if I still wanted too. As you know I'm a psychologist. That means that I at that time was very much aware of how the life of a person who has been abused certainly would be full of pain, and not only the pain in remembering, but also the pain of loosing years of ones life. I knew about their flashbacks, their problems to function in daily life because they could never be sure that they would not bump into a room with a special smell that reminded them about the evil done to them, bump into a person who looked somewhat like the abuser, a noise or may be music that reminded them about the abuse. I knew that the effect of abuse can give problems to concentrate and that means problems to continue an education and to have a job to secure a reasonable income. I knew about the problems that some of the abused might have with being close to others. Some will never get married because of that. They miss the opportunity to have children, to become grandparents and great-grandparents. Others are so destroyed that their ability to say no to sex doesn't work. They might have children with different fathers or become father to kids with different mothers. To be without education and have the economical responsibility for these little ones might be hard. All in all the problems might be so hard to deal with that some of the abused start misusing drugs or alcohol. These persons will have to be treated for dual diagnoses. Some of those (both dual diagnoses and the others) may have to use many years of their life to struggle their way back to life through therapy. The damage the abuser has done is not a small one. Of course the damage will vary from person to person. Factors like how old they were when the abuse started, how long it lasted, how much trust they had given the abuser before the abuse and so on will have influence upon how hard the job of going on with their lives, will become, have been or still is going on.

I knew all this and still I chose to become catholic? I knew something more. I knew that people high in rank in the secular society very well could be abusers. I knew how clever they could be to hide this evil side of themselves to others. Nobody would have guessed that these «nice and good people» had a dark and hidden side.

Abuse is not a special «thing» for celibate priests!

When it was possible for me to become a catholic, in spite of all these ugly abuse cases, it was because I believed that this was the CHURCH God had instituted. This was the Church with apostolic succession. This was the Church where Jesus was really present in the tabernacles. No other church could be a substitute for the Mother Church.

If this was the Church that Christ himself instituted, how could I allow myself to stay out of it?

I saw that there was a big job to do inside the Church to stop all this evil, but nobody could affect the sacraments with their evilness. Whatever one of God's priests does, it never affects the sacraments.

If you who read this, now, have been a victim of these terrible acts done by God's servants, have lost your faith or left the catholic church for a protestant church, I can understand you very well. In a catholic church smells, music, cloth, movements, special prayers and more may trigger your memories and give you flashbacks. Be sure, I have felt very angry about these priests, unknown to me, who did all this. I have been angry on those who sent these priests on to new churches where they could abuse others. I don't understand my colleagues who declared that some of the abusers were cured ...

To round this up, even if there are triggers in the Catholic Church, I think that you will make Satan and his demons very angry if you do the psychological job that makes you able to come back. (A good psychologist or psychiatrist should be able to help you to come back to Church the day you are ready for it). Remember that the Church is Church even if people inside it fails to do good.

The same goes if you are family, relative or friend of the abused. It might be wise to come back to the Church that Christ instituted. I know it will be hard to go back, but if you sit down and repeat why God gave us the Catholic Church, may be it will become a little easier. I converted, as told, because «I believed that this was the CHURCH God had instituted. This was the Church with apostolic succession. This was the Church where Jesus was really present in the tabernacles. No other church could be a substitute for the Mother Church».

May be you could pray about it, so God can help you back when you are ready for it?

In my country there have been made step by step rules if one suspects sexual abuse among the clergy. The first step is to tell the police. If that had been the rule in the churches where the abusive priests worked, we would probably not have had the high amount of sex-abuse that media has told us about. Evil people will find their way to churches, both protestant and catholic, also in the future, as they do in the secular society. When we teach our children that obedience to God, doesn't mean to become others doormats and when we have rules to follow if abuse happens, we, as Church, are better equipped to prevent such scandals in the future.

To end this, I want to say, let us pray for all the good priests that are there and for the whole Church to become better to protect herself and her children!

Recommended reading:

«Catholics Come Home: God's Extraordinary Plan for Your Life» by Tom Peterson

«I Choose God: Stories From Young Catholics» by Christopher Cuddy, Peter Ericksen (ed), Schott Hahn (ed).

«Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith» by Scott Hahn.

«Surprised by Truth: 11 Converts Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic» by Patric Madrid

«Surprised By Truth 2: 15 Men and Women Give the Biblical and Historical Reasons For Becoming Catholic». (v. 2) by Patric Madrid

«Surprised by Truth 3: 10 More Converts Explain the Biblical and Historical Reasons for Becoming Catholic» (v. 3) by Patric Madrid

«What Catholics Really Believe – 52 Answers To Common Misconceptions About The Catholic Faith» by Carl Keating

«Where is That in the Bible?» by Patric Madrid

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