HERE WE GO NOW

HERE WE GO NOW Written by Amy

NEW blogger : Out Of The Ashes Of My Life

 

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2016. The Year that I vowed to open my heart to life again. To love.

Here we go now.

Opening my heart means being open to everyone, and everything…. and that includes being open to the Catholic church too.

Like any adult, I have had my heart broken many times. By friends, by family… by lovers. But none more profoundly than the church itself.

I grew up in a very traditional Roman Catholic family, and spent much of those growing up years in Catholic schools. It felt like the remainder of that life was spent in church.

I thought the church was not so different from my parents- strict but loving. Maybe even a little ( a lot ) scary

I thought that the church was a safe place.

Then one day, I found out that one of my brothers had been molested by a priest.

From there, the blanket of faith and security I felt, completely unraveled…

I have spent many years watching my brother dig himself out of the depths of despair. I have watched him stand up for himself and go against the church. I have watched as church members and even family questioned his story. I have watched the church deny knowing about this priest… and I have seen them fight the records being unsealed and released…. which revealed not only did they know…. but that they promoted him anyway. These files incidentally, were so large that every time I tried to open on my computer, it crashed.

They protected the predator, and not the children who were entrusted to their care.

They lied about it. They made every attempt to cover it up. And when they could no longer hide, they forced these victims to have to take them on publicly and legally, to find any kind of restitution.

But it didn’t end with my brother. I would later come to find out that it had also happened to several boys in my class. Boys that I grew up with and loved.

It happened to other classes and children too. I don’t know the exact number and I don’t think I want to.

And then, when my heart was already broken and tattered…came the news that still my mind can’t quite wrap itself around. My best friend in grade school.. someone I had lost touch with over the years…… was now in prison. He himself had become a predator.

I cried for an entire day. Literally. I cry still.

I cry for the innocence that was stolen from him, from my brother, and so many.

I cry because I am angry. I am so angry still years later, at a church that went against everything it professed to stand for.

I cry because they broke my heart.

I cry because I still can’t find it in my heart to forgive them for what they did.

I cry because they stole my ability to trust.

I still believe in God. I love God with all my soul and I try to live the best life I can. I do believe I am saved.

But there is a deep sadness in my soul that I no longer have a church I can call home. I don’t know that there ever will be a place for me.

I wish it could be the Catholic church, but I don’t think I can ever go home again.

My heart is broken, and I can’t forgive.

 

 

14 thoughts on “HERE WE GO NOW

  1. Amy, your story breaks my heart too. Not only because of what you and your family and friends have been through, but because I also grew up in a very Catholic family, and went to Catholic elementary school. There was one particular priest at our church that I trusted completely. He’d even performed the funeral service for my baby brother who died, so I felt like he was more like a friend than just a priest. Then, when I went to public high school, I took his religious education class–it was held at the rectory–and sometimes I noticed that he was very physical with some of the girls. So much so that it made me uncomfortable. As far as I can recall, he never acted that way with me, but I saw it with some of my close friends. Years later, I learned that he’d been molesting a girl from my neighborhood repeatedly. She had a job answering the phone at the rectory, and had become his victim. I have also heard that she’s extremely ill and has spent a good deal of time in psychiatric hospitals. And all I can think is that someone must’ve known about the abuse. But it was allowed to go on. I no longer feel as though the Catholic church is home anymore either. My mom, however, has found a way to forgive them, and is an active member of that community again. From what I can tell, it seems to be a better place now than in the past. I wish you and your family peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! My family is split here… Some have found new churches…. Some remained faithful to the Catholic Church and then some like me are without a home.
      Thank you for sharing, and for your kind comment

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Amy, I was not raised in any particular church or religious instruction, but I have been horrified, disgusted, enraged at the revelations, both personal and public of those who use the power of spiritual authority (not just in the Catholic Church) to abuse children and who, in protecting the “brand”, conceal and deny those crimes. In a way it is maybe easier for me, not having ever seen the Church as a spiritual home. I can only try to imagine, with the help of stories such as yours, what a loss that must be. Thank you and Hasty for sharing your story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree. I absolutely do not think this is limited to the Catholic church. Nor do I think it is the majority of priests, or the church…. but it IS far too many! And the hierarchy protecting/ covering up etc….. is maddening as well as heartbreaking.

      Thanks so much.

      Like

  3. My heart aches for you.. 😦 I too was raised Catholic. I married a man who was not and converted to his faith. I am now, once again, a practising Catholic. I love my faith, and my church. I’ve not had your experiences nor known anyone who has but I don’t doubt that they are real because there is evil everywhere in this world. This is really all I know, and perhaps what keeps me faithful. The Gospel is perfect. People are not. I will keep you in my prayers.. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Amy. You write wonderfully. Your topic I imagine was difficult to write about. I’m so sorry having grown up in a church, (not Catholic) that these horrible cases of child abuse were occurring and are. Your pastor or whatever you call him should be arrested for what he was doing. Even in a church the clergy should be subject to the laws of the state. I’m sorry for your brother and I’m sorry for the experiences you went through losing the RC as a home and having people not believe your brothers story. I’m glad you still believe in God, just know he will never leave you. I hope he will help you find a church you can call home again and that you can be assured that the church leaders aren’t covering up horrible sins, as they were in the hutch you grew up in.

    Liked by 2 people

    • By the time things came to light, the priest had lived to old age and died comfortably in his bed. I don’t know much really of the laws…or statues of limitations…. perhaps it would have been too late anyway? I only know that guilt, shame, fear…. these are powerful things and allowed him to get away with his crimes for a lifetime.

      But, I do know he had to answer for it and I have wondered about his soul. Then I wonder if he too was a victim at some point…. And eventually I have to stop thinking about it, and remind myself that it’s in God’s hands where it belongs.

      I pray for peace for everyone that he hurt.

      Thank you so much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderfully but heart-wrenchingly written. Thank you for letting Hasty share this so I could see a little of your story. Sorry to hear about what happened to your brother and all those other kids. It’s awful, but no longer shocking. I am so saddened by the way the church repeatedly seems to close ranks rather than admitting culpability in these cases. It’s so difficult to have a perfect message conveyed by imperfect systems and flawed humans, and I think the important thing is to hang onto your faith in the message rather than the messengers.

    I hope you find somewhere or some way you feel at home again, but until then, keep the faith 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think that is what makes me so angry…. what makes it difficult to forgive…. that time and time again, when they had the chance to do the right thing….they STILL did NOT choose to do it. Unfathomable to me.
      How do you go against everything you are supposed to believe and stand for… and then still preach to me and others??

      I just can’t.

      But I do have faith in God, and that never wavers.

      Thank you- Means a lot to me 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s frustrating. I can only assume it’s shame and embarrassment and the knowledge that they would struggle to hire again. There’s a wonderful Irish saying, which I think applies; “The pathway to hell is paved with the skulls of bad priests.”

        Glad your faith is strong. Mine won’t quit whether I want to quit it or not.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. How about this? The pathway to hell is paved with the deception of narcissists. In this day and age, we cannot trust anyone in power. This has been a plea demonstrated by the ruthless, killer çops protected by one and all as well as the perverted priests from all religions. The corruption is all through Government, big business … It is not good for us. Narcissism is spreading throughout our society like a slow moving cancer. Has been for centuries. God help us all.
    N-Searcher

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The abuse of innocents, the abuse of power and position, of trust, it is unforgivable. Even less forgivable is the way the truth is actively and collectively suppressed, when the opportunity to at least give victims some ‘satisfaction’ that they were heard, finally, believed, but instead are further victimised, that’s heinous.

    Liked by 2 people

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