Secrets

Is there anyone who is unaware of the clergy abuse crisis within the Catholic Church today ?

It seems like almost every day more victims are coming forward, describing painful abuse at the hands of clergy.

26 civil suits remain unsettled on our island, while others are in the process of being filed. The island’s western Diocese declared bankruptcy due to clergy claims several years ago.

Newfoundland has one of the highest rates of clergy abuse anywhere in the world. Why has so much hurt on the part of clergy happened here ?

One of the reasons is that areas of the island are remote. Illiteracy rates are high; some adults have difficulty reading at a grade 5 level. Rural Newfoundland fisherman were oppressed by powerful merchants for centuries. This has resulted in a passive population which historically has not dared question authority, especially clerical authority.

Outports often attracted priests who could not be employed elsewhere. Parishioners were conditioned never to question priests ; they were taught to always ‘turn a blind eye, and a deaf ear’ to anything that seemed suspicious.

My friend ‘Betty’ was devastated when the priest who baptised her was later jailed for fathering a child with his 16-year-old housekeeper.

Years later, another priest , who married her, was arrested and jailed for abusing altar boys.

She was further shocked when the ‘charming’ priest who sang an impromptu solo at her son’s wedding, was dismissed without explanation by the local bishop, and went to Toronto to stack shelves at a grocery store. Betty still attends Mass regularly, although she dared not ask his Excellency, the bishop, why the musical priest suddenly chose to change careers.

Accountability is coming to the Catholic Church. It is long overdue, in many places, especially in Newfoundland.

When we moved to this spectacular scenic island, we were unaware of the secrets here. Thankfully, these are being exposed, one by one. Many Catholics, including me, have been wounded by the Catholic Church. It is good that the purification process is underway now.

18 thoughts on “Secrets

  1. Hi Sally. First I’m sorry to hear about the hardship and pain so close to home in your personal life due to abuses. I must say I had no clue about any of this out there where you reside and wouldn’t have without your explaining this abusive situation and why it was happening. For years I have thought how all people are fallible and sinners so why would priests be completely immune from sin or hurting innocent children if given the opportunity and they weren’t strong enough to overcome such demons within. It’s both sad and sick to me how this sort of behavior is rampant not only in the Catholic Church which does get a lot of attention over this by MSM, another thing I think Satan promotes totally to knock the legs out from under one of the largest Christian established churches to harm Christianity overall with these crimes but they also do occur just about anywhere disturbed and even evil adults had or have supervisory controlling influence over young people, these things can happen; just like the athletic organizations or even the Boy Scouts of America! I agree it’s very good that a cleansing and purging within the Catholic Church and elsewhere is occurring and I’m one for trying to repair or mend all this dysfunction to make for a much better worship experience for all concerned and by no means be radical and “toss the baby out with the bath water,” which I know some extended family and friends were talking like when this subject would come up over the last 15 to 20 years. They would say to heck with the church and I won’t go anymore; which is just what Satan wants and is cheering on totally! People forget that part of the equation that sin is inevitable in us humans but our worship and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ should never be compromised or discounted so easily. I’m very sad when I think of all the pain and suffering that has transpired over many years but I’m still hopeful that the truly faithful and devout will help the Church and most if not all the injured heal, so we can show our Lord we are trying much harder to repair and build bridges rather than abandon. God Bless You and Yours; as well you’re Dear Friend Betty! 🤗

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    1. Thanks, Lawrence. I believe that it is the laity who will bring healing within the church. Yes, I am sad for the injury that some in the church have caused, but she is still our Mother, and we stand by her. People are quick to forget the centuries of the Lord’s work that the church has accomplished.
      Folks in rural NL have generally been very poor, and thus they have been vulnerable. It was the Mt. Cashel Orphanage Scandal that was the beginning of the exposure of what has gone on here.
      We leave healing of the church in the Lord’s loving hands. 🤗 And, yes, my friend Betty continues to be faithful, and I admire her faith.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🤗 Beautifully said Sally! I too see how one must look at the abundance of good which is the true measure of the value and integrity of the church for indeed now thousands of years since its inception; and to radically denounce the beauty and heart of the Mother church is not only a foolish thing for some to do but is sinful because Jesus Christ our Lord Himself instructed Apostle Peter to build His church and that is what we all should be doing as faithful, is continuing that legacy and edict from God Himself as an ongoing building not tearing down! The human race is full of sin and shame, but do we make matters worse and attack all that is good about the human race because the evil one has his way with many people who commit horrendous evil upon innocence and all that is good daily? That would be like saying everyone should have thrown in the towel when people like Hitler did the great evil he did because this is such a bad world so why bother. Unfortunately great suffering is a part of this life here and Jesus did instruct us to take up our own crosses, and doing it in our commitment of serving Him is a great thing each of us can offer up to our heavenly Father through the body and blood of Christ Jesus, who suffered and died so we might live. It’s all worked out and we are all are doing our best by hanging in there as we try doing the best we can to serve and honor Him our Lord and Savior!
        God Bless.
        Lawrence

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      2. Thanks, Lawrence, I so agree. When we are betrayed by other Christians, we should expect it. If our Lord was betrayed, we will be too, at some point.
        Something is happening within Christianity which none of us, with our feeble human understanding ,can understand.
        Instead of being more united, there seem to be more divisions happening. We can see the schism developing within traditionalists and “progressives” within Catholicism , but within other groups as well. When we came here there was one Anglican church, now there are two, as this church had various differences. Traditional Baptists also disagree with their more liberal members, and on and on it goes. It is perplexing to see insults hurled at “Romanists”, while some Catholics can’t resist commenting on “protest-ants”.However, of course God does not choose to share all of his secrets with us, and we don’t know why he allows all this division, but we trust that He will, eventually work everything out for his good purposes. 🤗

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      3. Sally, you are so very correct and I love how you point out how so many in the world of humanity betrayed even Jesus Christ! He told us in so many of the Scriptures that if they will do that to him should we expect they will do less to us who will follow Him! Of course as we know, He the Master they betrayed; and me a lowly incompetent by comparison a mere fool and only a servant of the Master they will destroy if given the opportunity! Why did it take me so long to be as wise as my dad and not be more careful with people when he had told me to mind my business and keep my nose clean or in other words be hip to the traps and tricks that people use all of the time to cause hardship for another? Now at this point I am a bit wiser and see how way too much bad has taken a grip upon the world, and as I get older I figure its go for broke time for me; just to live is not enough and so I will make my voice be heard or do some little piece of good wherever and whenever I can and not lie down to this evil sweeping the globe. Of course those with others to be more concerned about must be much more restricted or guarded because family comes first, and that is the priority in most instances. But, God will use all of His instruments when and how He chooses according to His plan; and thanks be to God for that! 🤗

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      4. Hi Lawrence – You are so right – as we are granted the grace of getting older, we see more disturbing things in the world ( but also we have seen how wonderfully God works). Your dad gave you good advice . It is God’s great gift to us to give us wise parents devoted to Him.
        Yes, God uses all of us uniquely according to his plans for us. And, although I have wondered many times why He has allowed certain situations into my life, I can see, looking back, how all those situations helped to strengthen my trust and my faith.
        🤗

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    1. Hi Temi – nice to hear from you. Yes, it is a lot like Europe here. Our island is a different culture than the rest of Canada. So true, God’s judgment starts in the church, and it looks like the judgment has begun.
      I hope that you are doing well with your studies. 🤗

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  2. I am glad that they are being held accountable for their actions, it is time to know that they cannot just carry on without some consequence and those in the church should not turn a blind eye. And at the same time, it also saddens me to think that many out of faith are getting such a distorted view of what christians are like.

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    1. I totally agree with you. This island has been especially vulnerable because of the poverty here. And poverty brings vulnerability. It is the Catholic laity especially who have been wounded. However, the Lord is working to bring healing.
      Thanks for your comment. 🤗

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  3. I totally agree with you about accountability especially and I think that the Pope is now using his office to become more open and even apologetic.
    I don’t know much about the Catholic church, I was brought up Church of England but I think that abuse is not just within the Catholic church it happens in many churches.
    I think that sometimes in any walk of life that people in power abuse their positions, their trust that people put in them and many other aspects.
    I also think that all too often we blame the establishments and sometimes that blame is justified, when they don’t act either because they don’t want a public outcry or people to lose their faith or just because maybe the abuse goes on further up the chain. We must remember though that churches and other institutions have a duty of care, I also think that peoples faith in a society is more shattered when revelations come out.
    My thoughts though always remain with the victims of this abuse and the effects that it has on their lives and relationships.
    I do know that Our God is a God of Miracles and Healing and that he watches over his children and wants only the best for them.
    Enjoy your day Sally and please remember that God lives and has the ability to bless our lives and make even the most unbearable of circumstances bearable if we believe.

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    1. Thanks for such wise and encouraging comments. Yes, secrecy happens when churches try to avoid public outcry, but as you say, trust is more shattered when revelations come out. For sure, God is a God of miracles and healing, and we trust him as the healing process progresses. 🤗

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. Perhaps nothing is harder to forgive than clergy betrayal. But Jesus asks us to forgive, as difficult as it is. He understands betrayal best of all.
      And he said : ” Forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
      And this is how I feel about about clergy who abuse. They could not possibly have any personal relationship with the Lord, and act in such manner.
      God sees, God knows, and God will act. 🤗

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      1. I agree, they can’t be seeking the Lord as they should if they are abusing others. I like that quote by Jesus. We must forgive. God is indeed aware! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ron !
      I am not sure specifically what village this is, as Newfoundland has so many of these tiny outports.
      What we are facing here , is that as our economy worsens, with the downturn in global oil prices, is that many of the small outports are asking their residents to re-locate to larger centres.
      Thanks for reading, and for commenting. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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