Out of the Darkness and In the News Again – Child Abuse and Sex Crimes from Members of the Catholic Church
May 28, 2013
It is good to shine light in dark places.
As the world continues to follow the Catholic Church child abuse and sex crime story, and I learn that Australia’s Cardinal George Pell recently admitted before Victoria’s Parliament that the Catholic Church “covered up abuse for fear of scandal”, I’m reminded of the fear I and my siblings faced with our own situation of child abuse and domestic violence.
There really was nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to – not even the church. One time, my sister and I went to our local priest after a horrific incident. We desperately asked for help, but we were turned away and made to feel even more shame. We were told that we should go home and apologize to our father and mother as we were sinning against them by telling about the acts committed against us.
But the truth is, we were part of a big cover up and there was no way out. The next day, the priest called my mother. She took me aside and told me if I ever told anyone what went on in our household, it would be the last thing I do. It saddened me deeply to finally realize that she played an active part in the cover up of our family’s “big lie”. Even today, Cardinal Pell is trying to cover up the truth, protect the Church and avoid criminal prosecutions for the crimes that have been committed. Dark indeed.
As I pray for all who are, or who have been, victims of abuse, I wonder how many are still living in fear, afraid to speak out and hiding dark secrets. I hope that the truth keeps coming out, and I’m grateful that my story is shining light on this issue that needs to stop; needs to be healed.
You don’t have to warn the darkness that you are coming with the Light. Just shine your light. This is how you bring peace to the world. -Mary Robinson Reynolds