Clergy Abuse Goes Viral
Do you remember last week’s YouTube videos that went viral? What about yesterday’s video? Clergy abuse goes viral but will the interest fade just as quickly. There is a sex crime news story at least once a week. Some of these news stories are shocking to society, but survivors are not shocked at all. It’s not new news to sex crime victims. It isn’t that sex crime victims just started speaking up over the last few years. The truth is people are finally listening. Or are you? How many horrible sex crime attacks must be exposed before society does something? Listening is one thing but what are you going to do to change the mindset of society. What happens when the initial shock is gone? What happens when the new news is no longer news? The current news about the PA priests and clergy abuse is just a pebble in the sand. It’s no shock to those who are survivors and those advocating in the sex crime community. How do you change something that is so deeply embedded, interwoven in the history of our nation?
It’s customary for victims to be revictimized over again, not by the abuser but by the church. Survivors have spoken up for years just to be shut down, ignored, shamed, discredited and experience retaliation. All this is done to save the reputation, the credibility of the church and the predator. These tools are used to keep victims silent. Most times the church is successful. No thought is given to the emotional damage done to the victims. Some victims were permanently silenced when they committed suicide. Emotional, mental, physical and spiritual damage can be traumatic. The survivor has a new normal now, not by choice. Most question God, question their faith to the point of leaving the religious community. I have sat in support groups with survivors of clergy abuse both men and women. Though it’s decades after the abuse, the pain on their faces is still so real.
For someone who somewhat understands the depth and destruction of sex crimes, every news story is like exposing a rotten apple on a tree. The problem is that there are so many rotten apples on that tree that there is an infestation at the root. There is an infestation in the religious community. This is not just a Catholic church issue. Sex abuse in the church covers all religions and denominations. There is an infestation in our society. Some church leaders if not accused of the abuse itself are involved with coverups. I find the silence of the church leaders during this time interesting. What are church leaders thinking? What are survivors of church sex crimes thinking?