Happy New Year to you all!
I guess, like me you are ploughing through endless e mails trying to sell you things ! I woke up yesterday to 158 of them!
Among the mails and FB messages I came across one which was telling me about a couple of survivors who are r referred referred as “leaders” and are affiliated to another Survivor organisation who have written to the pope to ask him to “put his words into actions”.
It is a compassionate and heartfelt letter, and I have no doubt that every word of it is meant. But I also have NO doubt that it will fall on deaf ears!
There is a common misconception that suggests that it is only the incorrect use of language or approach that has kept the catholic church silent on the abuse of children by their priests.
There is a strange idea that if he were REALLY to hear the effects from yet another broken hearted survivor then his heart will melt and he will reach out to them and wrap a warm blanket around them and lift them to safety.
I have heard this cry from so many victims of clergy abuse. “If only I could MEET him” “If only we could get directly to him” “If only I could get in front of him” “If only he would read what I have to say” One lady I met said “I want to give him a piece of my mind”
Heres the thing:
He DOES NOT CARE!
He and his church have had decades of futile pleas from thousands of survivors, and they have fended them all off! They even did the same when we faced them at the UN, despite the committee finding AGAINST them! They sat there bare faced and lied, contradicted themselves, and even made jokes!
It is what they do! It is their absolute priority!
There is nothing new that you can tell them, nothing that has happened to you or to me or to thousands like us that they haven’t heard (and ignored!) before!
Write your letters by all means if it helps you, send messages and write poetry, draw pictures if it is cathartic, and demonstrate if it eases your pain. But PLEASE have NO illusions! This will NOT change the uncaring unfeeling attitude of this narcissistic regime. At best you will be ignored, at worst you will be exploited, wheeled out to an unsuspecting public to show how the church is “caring” for victims – they do not.
Either one of those responses will abuse you further, and give a false view of these crimes.
Each and every one of us are different, we all have our own insight, our own slant on things. So it is not always helpful to criticise another’s approach – unless we feel it undermines survivors in some way.
If we do dislike another’s approach we may ask “so what exactly is the answer”? As if somewhere there is a magic bullet which will fix things.
There is no magic wand, if there were, we would all be waving it and everyone would live happily ever after!
One thing I am sure of is “If you do what you have always done, you will get what you always got”
We all may think we have that “answer,” most professionals have their opinions, and those of us that have been touched by this crime, and have been searching for many years to make sense of what happened to us, are full of ideas and opinions and thoughts on how to tackle it.
And we all have a different focus, some organisations spend years chasing errant clergy, some trying (in vain) to convince the church of their responsibilities, others focus on trying to educate the wider population, others changing the laws.Some even pray! SVE indeed, has our own way of contributing.
I personally have no desire to have any dialogue with the church, I have witnessed for years their lack of concern, their contempt. I have no appetite for playing that game with them, they have nothing that is vaguely attractive to me, there are others who think it useful.
I have no interest in the “healing” of the church, it is of no consequence to me. My experience has only served to make me wish it would cease to exist. My only interest in them is to see their crimes against children and the vulnerable be stopped.
I personally wonʼt be standing in front of cathedrals with a childhood picture of myself, I do not want to be seen as a victim, but I know others find it helps them.
Individually, we all only have a certain amount of energy, and I have a rule of thumb about where mine goes. I will not be wasting ANY of it on trying to talk to ears that are simply not able to hear.
It is like trying to speak Russian to someone who only speaks Spanish – There is NO common ground.
Been there – done that – seen their true face !
Each time we “plead” with these people we make ourselves vulnerable again, empower them further and disempower ourselves.
THEY MUST NO LONGER BE ALLOWED TO CALL THE TUNE!
We have a vast amount of resources between us, many many skills. It would be great to think that all of that energy could be used on survivors themselves. Give the laws of the lands real teeth, and let the law take care of the criminals in the vatican.
I will spend MY energy on my fellow survivors who deserve to be celebrated!