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This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.
Posted on: Tuesday, August 22, 2017
I was lied to about successful, educated women “having it all,” including marriage and children. I was lied to about the impact of the contraceptive mentality on women, men, and their relationship.
Brought up Catholic, sex was meant for marriage. But in my late teens I was persuaded to embark on intimate caressing by my boyfriend. I eventually broke up with him. But my confused feelings were left in my body and mind, a powerful bodily desire… for motherhood? The sexual revolution does not tell women about it.
I met my husband a few years later. We got married in the Catholic Church, but we received no help to embark on our marital relationship in chastity, no warning of the dangers of contraception or on work and motherhood. It took a few years for us to decide to have our first child. Deciding on full-time motherhood, after a time of struggle with work and my inner pain of wanting to be with my baby, dropped me off somewhere incomprehensible: I had been educated to be liberated and independent, and I found myself wanting to be with my baby but a bored housewife with no exposure to my career or mental stimulation and dependent on my husband. I felt tricked. But what was the solution?
When I had a second baby I felt the same emotions: still bored but still happy to be with them. Along all those years I said that “society” had tricked me, while at the back of my mind was the question: Why is John Paul II opposed to contraception? I think this internal questioning eventually allowed the coin to drop in me.
I had been separated from the Church, and through circumstances I ended up on a retreat. There I experienced the great love by God, who in a mysterious loving way, opened my eyes to my marriage and our fertility. I resolved on stopping contraception. The connection between what I now call the Sexual Revolutionary ideology and the problems I faced in my life happened by the grace of God in this retreat.
I was determined to overcome the ill effects of what I now call the Sexual Revolution. So I told my husband. It then became clear that we were experiencing life in different ways, which had been hidden all those years of contracepting. The difficulties in our relationship were hidden. Contraception was a barrier for our inner depths. When a few years later he had a conversion, a better understanding started growing between us and about our dealings with our children. A few years later we had our third child. It was interesting how not contracepting had changed our attitude to parenthood, and the dealing with this child was much easier between us.
All those years on and now we are “dating” again. Now it is easier, as God seems to step in. We are now where we could have been all those years if we had not been left in the grip of the sexual revolution.
I feel hurt that no one told us about the dangers of the contraceptive mentality. I feel hurt that we did not know what a woman experiences in motherhood and how important it is for the children to be well looked after. I feel graced that we have seen it.
The positive change that I am most passionate about is to educate men and women, starting young, about relationships and sexuality and about the dangerous lies of the contraceptive mentality. What I ardently desire is for our children not to be victims, like we have been, and for my husband and myself to continue our love in this new awareness.
The actions I have taken and I am taking to help others have been in: 1-Talking to people: with my husband, our children, their friends, people we know,
and with the pastoral sections in the schools of our children, about the dangers of the contraceptive mentality, which underlies the sexual revolution.
2- I am very interested in uncovering the link between contraceptive mentality and abortion. 3- I help in prolife groups.
Submitted by CS.
Posted on: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
We were the happy couple, married in our parish almost 30 years ago. After the marriage, my spouse apologized for pressuring before marriage to unchastity.
That had been my first mistake--believing the lie that in a serious relationship (we were nearly engaged after all) having sex occasionally was ok.
It wasn't. It bothered my conscience deeply and I felt used.
Once married we used Natural Family Planning. In the first year, we conceived. With bills to pay, crying every day, I left my child to go to work. Eventually my husband did quite well financially, so I quit to raise our children. My youngest was born in a traumatic delivery, which led me to fear having more children. I then made mistake number two--taking the pill. I knew it was wrong, but I justified it in "my case." God would understand, but I'm ashamed that I didn't confess it. I didn't understand the WHY of what the church taught. My mother had worked full time, and the message growing up was to put career and financial security as the top priority. Having a large family was seen as irresponsible.
After a decade of marriage, one day I walked in and caught my husband masturbating. Was he watching porn on his computer? He said that every man does it. It hurt deeply. He met someone, a porn model. He told me that he didn't want to be married to me anymore. He claimed that he had never loved me and we were not compatible.
We saw a priest who failed us. He told my husband that since he wasn't happy he could leave. I felt so abandoned. I considered leaving the church. My husband continued to be distant, cold towards me. I considered suicide.
Alone one night, I heard a quiet voice telling me that I was not alone--God was there. During this time our oldest, who was in high school, became involved in a same sex relationship. I cried all the time. No one could tell me how to deal with this. The ministry in my archdiocese turned out to be gay-affirming. I left the first meeting in tears. Their message, to affirm, I couldn't do. At my new parish the priest told me about Courage.
I couldn't in good conscience start dating, as I was still a married woman, regardless of what my husband chose to do. He had broken his promise; I didn't want to give my children that example. I focused on my two teenagers. They needed a responsible parent. I was forced to go back to work. I remember crying on Christmas Eve as the utility man came to shut off our utilities again. That same Christmas my estranged husband bought our daughters designer handbags. I felt ashamed that I had failed my children. One day I came home and caught my youngest daughter, 18, with her boyfriend. I yelled at him and asked him point blank if he was prepared to support a child.
Soon it will be 10 years since that day when my husband shattered our family. Along the path of tears I gained a deeper faith. I learned to trust God in ways I never had. I discovered how very much He had always been there with me, protected, and guided me. I am a different person than I was on that first day when I thought my heart would explode from pain. I left my old parish because the memories hurt too much and because the failure of the pastor left me feeling abandoned. I found a new parish where they actually preach the true Catholic faith. I became involved in parish life and began formation as a secular Carmelite. I began to educate myself through the Courage apostolate. I began an EnCourage chapter in my area, providing hope and truth for parents.
Three years ago my husband filed for divorce. I miss the man he used to be. I now see a man without inner peace, and my heart hurts for him. He is
cohabiting with a woman 10 years younger than I. My oldest is cohabiting in a same sex relationship. I understand now about redemptive suffering. God
really is close to the broken-hearted, abandoned spouse. He always provided for me. And I really feel that I have been blessed with the better part.
I am His, and that is where I want to stay.
Submitted by M. M.
Posted on: Tuesday, July 04, 2017
by Bettina di Fiore on watchingthewhirlwind.net. Posted July 3, 2017.
“ And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” –John 8:32
There was a time not so terribly long ago that I did not believe in God and practiced no religion. I had various reasons that seemed compelling at the time—anyway, they’re not particularly relevant.
I believed my lack of faith gave me an abundance of freedom compared to all the strictured, structured religious people around whom I grew up, with all their rules and behavioral regulations. Indeed, I believed that hedonism was categorically liberating. So I indulged my impulses; if it felt good, I did it.
There was only one problem with my theory: it ruined my life.
At age 30, I found myself without a respectable job, significant family ties, a meaningful romantic partnership, coping skills, or a dime to my name. What I did have was a mile-high pile of debts and bills I couldn’t pay, a string of broken-off affairs with people I never would’ve considered marrying (some of whom were already married), two pregnancies but no children, and a tendency to seek chemical solutions to my problems. I also had a massive supply of prescription painkillers and other heavy-duty medications, so, as was my habit, I turned to them to solve what I came to consider my biggest problem of all—that of being alive.
In sum, I took over 500 pills. The hospital staff tasked with untangling the aftermath of my actions agreed that my survival was nothing shy of miraculous.
* * *
I now look back on that time as my period of enslavement.
I was enslaved to my impulses—it wasn’t a matter of choosing to indulge them, rather, I felt compelled to do so. When one doesn’t believe there is anything bigger, better, or more powerful than oneself, one deifies one’s own desires, and becomes addicted to one’s vices. If life begins and ends with my own experience of it, then my whims are imbued with the gravity of divine decrees; there are no apparent eternal consequences for indulging them, nor is there evidently anything more sublime to pursue in their place. Thereby, in rejecting God, one makes little gods of one’s vices and oneself.
At first, these gods seem benevolent. Take, for example, the tribute paid to lust in the form of a one-night-stand. When you exchange those first few glances with your quarry, everything is mystery, intrigue, and the challenge of the hunt. Your heart beats faster; your brain turns cartwheels scheming up potential plotlines. And when the deal’s been sealed, and you’re on your way to the rendezvous, you feel triumphant, as though you have captured a rare animal for your own private zoo. And your thoughts, still spinning, sound something like this: This time, I’m really going to let go and just have fun. This time is going to be the best one yet.
And then, the transformation begins. This rare animal you believe you’ve captured is his own personal god with his own deified desires and his own private zoo. You can “let go” all you want, but you’ll never have “fun” the way you hope to, because you mean just as much to him as he means to you—precisely nothing—and he, like you, is only there to indulge his own impulses.
Posted on: Thursday, June 22, 2017
At the age of 52, I recently found myself sitting in my mother's psychologist's office. She went to him most of her adult life, though she died six years ago. I knew her psychologist well since, at the age of 14, I was the one who had sought him out in hopes of acquiring help for my family. My dad attended family therapy once, at which time he stood in frustration, faced his broken family, and proclaimed, "I am an alcoholic and have no intention of changing anything."
After my third divorce, I returned home to the Catholic Church. Then, following a year of devotion to praying my mom's rosary, I felt compelled to approach my parish priest about starting the annulment process. The time had come to confront my painful past, and the healing process was subsequently set in motion. It has not been easy, but necessary.
After Mom passed away, I discovered her own annulment documents. They revealed that my father was a sex addict and described in detail the abuse she had suffered in her marriage. It was overwhelming to realize the puzzle of my past consisted of a myriad of pieces. I think it would have been a relief the day dad chose to walk out of our family had it not been Christmas Eve. He was donning a new shirt and void of regret as he walked right past his wife's brokenness and his children's joyful anticipation of the arrival of Santa Claus.
After two years of therapy, I found myself still staring at a mound of puzzle pieces--very few connected. In my desperation, I thought mom's psychologist could help trigger some memories. Within the first ten minutes of our visit, I regretted this decision as he hastily concluded I had "hang ups" about sex since I was in a chaste relationship. He suggested that if we liked each other, we should live together. I remember staring at his degree hanging appropriately lopsided on the wall when it felt as if a bolt of lightning shot through my body, which appeared to have traveled upwards from hell, as I realized this man had influenced my mom. She sought help to better her life, and this is what she got. I was now guilt-ridden, knowing I had brought them together.
This sparked an unwelcome memory of my mom asking me to purchase her a condom. I vividly recollected struggling to process the metamorphosis I was witnessing--she was planning a one night stand. At the time I was married with two small children. Possessing only the life skills acquired on my own, I desperately tried to persuade her to reconsider. What was most upsetting was that she seemed so happy, even giddy, at the prospect. I wondered what had happened to my mom, the one who attended mass and confession and was quite devoted to praying the rosary. Now I knew.
I listened to the psychologist as he recalled this very encounter as my mom had described it to him. "It was liberating," he proclaimed, for her to express herself in this manner after being abused by my dad for so long. She now had control over her sexual being and was free to express her sexuality with confidence and without fear. He assured me it was quite pleasurable for her. I felt sick and was rendered speechless for a moment as I absorbed the shock waves of this most recent traumatic event. I responded to him by leaning inward and looking directly into his eyes with a resounding, "Seemingly!"
It was time to leave. As I walked out the door, I muttered "hippie" and felt somewhat vindicated.
Submitted by D.W.
Posted on: Friday, June 09, 2017
Today is June 7th. I found out today that my maternal grandmother died. My mother called to tell me. Mother found out today too. Grandma, my mom's mom, died on May 15, three weeks ago.
My parents are divorced. My dad has been a porn addict since before I was born. I know that contributed to his attitudes about women and the eventual failure of my parents' marriage. Dad is remarried to a woman who had children from a previous marriage. He and his second wife had a child together too. We were strongly coerced to pretend we were all a cohesive family, but it never really took root.
Mom is post-abortive and believes in sexual "freedom." She's been married four times and now lives with a man who has never been her husband. She struggles with depression and has attempted suicide numerous times.
I was close to my grandmother and loved her very much. Despite her death, the saddest, most injuring thing about today is how, even 36 years after their divorce, my parents are still so awful to each other. My brother was my grandmother's power of attorney. He and my dad talk regularly.
I've been shut out of my dad's life because of my decision to have a relationship with my mom and because I told my sister that good Catholics don't cohabitate with their boyfriends. (I have been branded someone who tries to "force their religion" on other people.) I expected not to be told when my grandmother died. Mom is angry. She said, "I don't believe in hell, but I hope your father goes there."
I think attitudes of the sexual revolution led to the demise of my parent's marriage and all the fall out that I still experience. Divorce never stops being destructive.Submitted by T.K.
Posted on: Thursday, May 04, 2017
Three long years ago, my husband and I separated. The intention was to work on our marriage; I never thought it would turn into divorce.
I know the agony of a broken home. My parents divorced when I was not quite two years old. My mother remarried, but their marriage ended ten years later, just a month before my own wedding. I thought, If this is how marriages turn out, do I ever want to be married? But I also knew that my husband and I were both Christians. No matter what difficulties we would face, we would face them together, I told myself. We married almost 20 years ago.
So, what happened?
In a word: offense. My husband and I did hurtful things out of our own pain and immaturity instead of solving the real problems in our relationship. We can be hurt by others and yet not take up offense. Offense happens when we compare ourselves to one another, instead of in humility comparing ourselves with Christ. We need look no further than the Cross of Christ to see the cost of our own sin, to feel the weight of the price that was paid for our mistakes to be forever removed. Our obligation, having received such a gift, is to give it away, to share it, by forgiving others. No matter how badly I have sinned or been sinned against, it is nothing compared to all my sins put together that Christ had to forgive for me. Should we do anything except fall with our faces to the ground, crying out great thanksgiving to God for His mercy? Having received such a gift, do we owe anything less than complete forgiveness to our brothers and sisters?
The enemy of our souls had fed us a lie, that our situation was hopeless. With Christ, there is no such thing as hopelessness! We got to the point where we told ourselves, I can’t take any more of this. But in hind sight, the pain we experienced then is nothing compared to what we’ve been through since. Oh, how I wish I could go back, put my hands firmly on my own shoulders, look myself in the eyes and say, “STOP. Now. If you go any further, you will experience pain and sorrow that no English words can accurately describe.” I would have dropped all offenses immediately. I would have apologized faster. I would have repented sooner. I would have guarded my mouth with utmost diligence. And I would have realized with great sobriety just how easily divorce can happen in our culture.
Davis and children
at the rotunda of the Texas State Capitol Building
We would do well to heed the Proverb: Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin; anyone who trusts in high walls invites disaster (17:19, NLT).
Days became weeks, weeks became months, and then that message I’ll never forget: “I want a divorce.” Despite my desire for reconciliation, our family is
still facing permanent division. A wise man once told me: divorce is like tearing a tree in two. Trees don’t rip neatly; they tear. If you’ve ever
heard a large branch break off a tree, the tearing is loud and violent. To me, ‘divorce’ means “division by force.” Three times now in my life: once
as a toddler, once as a grown adult, and now as a wife and mother, divorce has been forced upon me, and there is nothing outside of prayer I can do
about it. All three have happened in the state of Texas, and all three under the “no-fault divorce” system put into place before I was even conceived.
Forty years of agony. If you’ve been through it, I need not explain how it feels.
Back in January, just a few short months ago, I sat in my attorney’s office working on draft #3 of our divorce decree. I asked my attorney, “At what point can I stand up and say to the judge that I don’t agree with this, that I don’t think our marriage is irreconcilable? Or insupportable?” Her reply, “Well, you can say it at final trial, if the case goes to final trial, but it won’t matter. The judge will still grant the divorce, even if she doesn’t want to. It’s the law.” It all seems so very wrong. Why can a judge who has never met my husband, myself, or our children, agree that our marriage relationship cannot be reconciled and our family healed? Why is this ok, if one of the two parties in this court case disagrees with the “charge” of insupportability, especially the defendant?
About a week after that meeting, however, a friend and mentor of mine shared with me, “Have you heard about this new bill in the Texas House? They are asking for the repeal of no-fault divorce.” I couldn’t believe my ears! You mean, someone is standing up against this decades-old failed social experiment? I looked it up online. I wrote to my Representative. (Did I mention we are a homeschooling family?) And thanks to a homeschooling program called Capitol Days put on by Texas Home School Coalition, I found myself in the state capitol with my four children less than a month later, on my birthday. Though we were tired by the end of the afternoon, we made one more stop and went by the office of the Representative brave enough to author this bill, just to share our story, just to say thank you.
They asked me if I would testify for the bill.
I could not have asked for a better birthday gift! After feeling helpless against divorce for so long, I was given an opportunity to do something about it.
On March 8, I went back to Austin to testify for House Bill 93, authored by Representative Matt Krause. I was overwhelmed, as out of the millions of people who have suffered this tragedy in my state alone, I was among eight in the office that day, ready to stand for marriage with this Bill. The Committee gave me about 3 minutes to tell them what I had waited about 40 years to say: Making divorce easy makes for disaster. The local news asked for an interview. You can view it here.
While I was there, I met another person who had shown up to testify, a constitutional law attorney. He was willing to say that no-fault divorce cases are without due process, and it is therefore unconstitutional to have such a law. He said he would challenge the Legislature’s law right up to the Supreme Court of Texas if he could find someone willing. I knew I had to ask if my case qualified; I was willing.
The attorney and I spoke. We were on a very short court schedule, so getting everything we needed done in such a short time would be difficult. I needed two things: 1) an extension to one court deadline to get all the paperwork for the challenge submitted, and 2) funding for the case to move forward. I only had a few weeks. We asked for a hearing before the judge to see if the deadline could be extended. That hearing was held April 20. The judge granted us the extension, but only for 8 additional days, until April 28th. It was not enough time. After all the effort, my case could not move forward. Even if the House Bill passes, it will not affect our marriage as our case was already filed.
I find myself back where I started: facing unilateral no-fault divorce, with nothing but prayer to help me. I cried. A lot.
But all is not lost! House Bill 93 is alive and moving through the Texas House. You may follow it here. Please contact the House representatives, and let them know you support this bill!
Are you walking through no-fault divorce and would like to use your case to challenge the law? Or maybe you are able to contribute financially toward such an effort? It’s an investment that could affect millions of lives for the better, especially the lives of children! If so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, please pray for our family. After standing for our marriage for so long, I am nearing my 20-year anniversary; I’ve spent the last three anniversaries without my husband. All four of my children have dealt with various issues because of this divorce. Our case is scheduled for mediation on May 18th, just two weeks away. And yes, I am still believing for a miracle. With God, all things are possible!
Standing with you for marriage,
Posted on: Friday, March 17, 2017
I am a happily married woman and mother of three beautiful boys who regrets having an abortion.
It all happened about 24 years ago when my husband and I got engaged. We were, and are very much in love, which is the most disturbing part of this story. One would think that because of this strong love, once we found out that we were expecting it would have been the happiest thing. However, it was just the opposite. We were engaged at the time, due to be married in the next 2 years, and happily planning our future.
The first real issue was that we were having sexual intercourse, although I was on the birth control pill. So, we didn’t think anything would actually happen even though we knew that there was always a chance that the pill would not be 100% effective. Now, we are both Catholic and should not have even considered having sex out of marriage or using birth control, but we were products of this permissive society that almost expected us to be sexually active. We bought into the whole idea that you couldn’t possibly consider marrying someone without having “tried them on” so to speak.
Anyway, there we were, in love and getting ready for marriage when we discovered that I was pregnant. I remember crying and having panic attacks thinking how I/we could have this baby out of wedlock; it would be such a scandal. That’s the thing; I should have been thinking how we could abort this beautiful baby created out of our love in union with God’s obvious will for our lives. I felt pressure to hide this mess up, which is how I thought about the situation. I thought that I messed up and couldn’t possibly be capable of bringing a life into the world that was so unplanned.
I thought that I must terminate the pregnancy. My then finance supported me either way, and with regret now too, he drove me to the Planned Parenthood facility and the abortion was completed at around 7 weeks.
I remember the facility being very cold and non-human. I remember being told don’t worry this will all be over soon. I was never offered an ultrasound or any counseling as to other options. They just took my call, scheduled my abortion, and proceeded with it without any other words of advice.
I did have a lady I was working with at the time who tried to convince me to keep the baby, to give consideration to adoption, or get married sooner, but I was not listening. As a result, I’ve spent many years of emotional torture and regret. I long for that baby and still feel an incredible amount of pain and sorrow for having gone against God’s will and his commandments. I did end up going to confession for this and my sin was absolved. For that I am forever thankful that Our Lord showed so much mercy toward me and this horrible decision.
My deepest regret is that I bought the lie that society tells you. I bought the lie that says God only exists on Sunday… that it was ok to abort a precious gift from God because it was just a blob of tissue. Plus, it was legal to do, so why would it be wrong?
I pray that my story will help others choose life, choose to listen to God’s will and honor him by obeying no matter what the circumstance because if not…
you will end up in the dark world of regret, which is no place for a child of the light.
Posted on: Thursday, March 02, 2017
I took them off about 15 years ago when the grudge started.
The grudge was because I expected my husband to fulfill my every need. I had idolized him. I put him in the place of God.
My husband was my knight in shining armor when we got married, and I placed this insurmountable burden on him without even realizing.
The fact is that I was expecting him to fulfill the parts of me that only God can fulfill. I had placed my husband above God. And because he couldn't fulfill the God shaped hole in my heart, I unconsciously started to hold a very low level, almost unnoticeable grudge. Subconsciously I must have always been thinking "What am I getting out of this?" rather than ""What can I give to this marriage?"
Over the next 15 years this grudge effected my relationship with God because, without realizing, I was not putting Him in the first place in my life. I was not recognizing God as provider. I always felt this terrible separation from God, but I didn't know why.
When my husband became ill 3 years ago, my earthly provider stopped being able to provide. And because I had put him in the place of God, I had no where to turn.
The fear I felt in those years is something only an atheist would understand. I couldn't feel God near me, and I had no idea it was my own doing.
A few weeks ago it reached crunch point. I had already reconciled that I couldn't leave, but I felt I couldn't stay either. Who would provide for me?
It was after reading the 'Healing of Families' book that I realized I had been harboring this grudge, and that my relationship with my husband and with God was out of sync. I took all that to confession, along with a few other things.
I felt the fear lift. I felt the grudge go. I felt my relationship with God fall back into place. And I felt free to love my husband - agape Love, unconditional love, for the first time ever in our marriage.
He asked me "Why have you decided to do this now? I can't provide anything for you right now."
I told him "This is the perfect time, the FIRST time I have ever been able to love you unconditionally." 😊
I now recognize God as provider, and the love in my relationship with God, and with my husband has grown immensely. I am now free to love. And my husband is free from the burden of being put in the place of God.
Submitted by C. C.
Posted on: Thursday, March 02, 2017
My dad divorced my mom after 26 years and eight kids. He subsequently married three more times. I was out of college when my parents divorced and so was
least affected. I've heard that divorce is the suicide of the family. I have to agree. I'm 50 and not married. I'm a marginal Catholic. My youngest
sister became a Marxist in college. She has two kids from different men and will likely continue this trend. She was four at the time of my parent's
divorce. My youngest brother was nine. He still lives rent free with my mom and verbally abuses her. My sister says he is a heroin addict. These two
were so beautiful and innocent before. Watching home videos of them before the divorce is heartbreaking.
Submitted by B. B.
Posted on: Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Without the societal climate that has been created by contraception and free sex, I don’t think it would have happened to me so easily. The Sexual Revolution is foundational in the situation. I wouldn’t be dealing with this trauma and the resulting emotional injuries. My pastor, a Catholic priest who has taken vows of chaste celibacy, tried to seduce me. He has ongoing affairs with other women. Despite being good friends with my husband and children, he wanted to add me to his collection of paramours. Raising a red flag on a priest’s sexual impropriety is a dicey situation. He is a designated and ordained moral leader, and, in my case, well-loved. Nobody wants to displease him.
In our sexually-porous and unrestrained cultural climate, people are not as alarmed as they should be when they hear of sexual improprieties—even from a priest. I have experienced a crass, blind tolerance and dismissal of the problem from his superior and other members of his religious community. One of Father’s paramours is a woman he “helped” through a divorce. Everybody knows! “Oh, Father is just like that. There is nothing you can do about it.” He could have destroyed my marriage and he has a serial problem with it. My husband and I have a large family, including a grandchild. It would have affected all of us, for generations. Father was our friend and our confessor. We’ve known him over ten years and he used to come for dinner and to spend time with the family. We loved him and he betrayed us. I remember thinking, as I sought emotional support and help from those closest to me, This is how it happens to the children who are sexually abused. He has everybody groomed to accept or ignore it. It’s like “The Emporer’s New Clothes.” Everyone knows, but no one wants to be the one to speak up first.
Because we live in a culture that doesn’t recognize the importance of family and the sacredness of sex, this situation is going basically unaddressed. His superior told me, “Yes, he gets himself into situations that might look bad. But I’ve known him a long time. He needs to be with people and have lots of friends. He likes to be with families. That’s just the way he is.” Well, that’s just the way a predator is, too.
One of the ironies of this situation is that if he pursued minors and not vulnerable women, the Church would be all over this to the point of paranoia. I’m not suggesting that’s an appropriate response. But is accountability so unreasonable? Is asking him pointed questions about his behavior unreasonable? Is expecting him to not regularly have woman alone with him in the rectory unreasonable? That’s how he was grooming me, using the rectory. Aren’t vulnerable women worth protecting? Our culture says no. Put them on carcinogenic contraception, kill their babies by abortion and tell them to shut up. That attitude has pervaded the Church, too, and my situation is fallout.
After Father’s religious superior politely dismissed me, I reached out to my friend in a Catholic abuse survivor’s network. My friend put me in touch with a canon lawyer who deals with these kinds of situations. Finally, someone to help! On his suggestion, I wrote the bishop of our diocese. I was called in for an interview and they asked me lots of questions. It was respectful and neutral to both parties involved. I haven’t gotten any further follow up and don’t necessarily expect any, but it’s documented now. If anyone else reports Father, my testimony will corroborate theirs.
Raising kids and living a lifestyle of marital chastity without contraception is a militant struggle in our hostile culture. It’s so sad that not even
the Church can be a safe haven for marriage. My pastor has been moved to a nearby parish, in accordance with the “How to Enable an Abusive Priest”
playbook. The new pastor is great, but I’m afraid to tell him. I’m afraid that, even with him, conforming to norms so things running smoothly in the
parish will be more important than my marriage and family.
Submitted by T. K.