As a member of the Episcopal Church here in the United States, and a survivor of CSA at the hands of a clergy member I have only one thing to say…Thank God!!! In the various 12-Step programs you hear all the time, admitting there is a problem is the first step. Well, they have not only admitted to the problem, they are seeking ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. At the bottom of this post you will find two articles that are prime examples of what should take place.
Unlike their Roman Catholic, Jewish Orthodox, and Southern Baptist counterparts, and essentially EVERY other religious group, who choose to remain in denial, deflection and dogma that says defend the institution rather than the children, the Church of England has come to its senses and is no longer protecting these pedophiles priests. They have now taken the lead and done what hopefully all schools, religious organizations and civic groups will do. Quit worrying about how much money it’s going to cost them in litigation and do the right thing! They have made a public statement acknowledging the wrongdoing, the cover-ups and how they will protect children and not the church as an organization.
Even though the abuse that happened to me occurred at another denomination, it told me I made the right choice in selecting this one to continue my spiritual growth. The church I once belonged to, more specifically, the church I had dedicated my life to, the Southern Baptist, have not only ignored my plea’s to remove the man who sexually abused me and at least 7 others that I know of, they have told me in no uncertain terms, its not their problem…each church is independent of one another and them as a convention. All of which are bold-faced lies. If each “independent” church doesn’t send the convention a certain amount of dollars, they are denied representation at the national convention. Does that sound autonomous or independent to you? The RCC and the SBC have shown their administrations true colors time and time again, they don’t really care about the protection of children. They either deny, deny, deny or they want to pay “hush money” for things to just “go away”. And in doing so, they facilitate these pedophiles/sexual predators to keep harming more children. In my opinion that’s condoning, not condemnation.
Which is why I say now I’m so thankful for how the Anglican church is acting. In doing so they are saying to me, we are genuinely sorry and even though we didn’t help protect others in the past, we will do all we can to prevent this from happening in the future. And the bottom line, that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I am not a church or religion “hater”. To the contrary, it’s my faith that has helped me overcome much of the pain caused by these so-called men of the cloth. And it’s because of my faith I want to see things changed WITHIN the church, not have the church TORN DOWN.
I can only hope and pray that others will follow their lead. But if the past actions are any indication of future ones, it doesn’t look good. It appears the only way things change with them is to hit them in the wallet as hard as you can. Which means survivors of CSA brave enough to come forward are forced to relive and retell their nightmares over and over through depositions, trials, etc. And by forcing survivors to do this, these religious leaders are victimizing them all over again.
If you really want to see change within your organization, it’s going to take some effort. You must do as we have been for some time now. Write and call your state and national leaders of whatever group you belong. Demand that they make REAL, LASTING change, not just empty, broken promises as they have done in the past. A quick google search will tell you who you need to contact, and if you’re having difficulty finding them, just email us and we’ll be happy to help.
Please stand with us and demand that your church, your school or any organization that harbors these pedophiles/sexual predators stop denying and start defending the ones they should…the ones they were charged to protect…the children.
Copyright © 2013 Together We Heal
September 1, 2013 at 8:44 pm
As a solitary Wiccan, I have no true religious organization. But I can appreciate just how important it is to those who have been harmed by their spiritual leaders for said denominations to finally acknowledge the betrayals. While absolutely nothing can act as a reparation for sexual abuse, it is validating for the survivors and should lead to better conduct and discipline in these organizations.
Let us pray that any and all religions begin to take a deeper interest in the people they employ in their services.
September 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm
And I appreciate your care and concern for survivors of abuse. To me, it matters not what faith a person has. What matters is that they, like you, want to protect children and help those who have been harmed begin to heal. Blessed be and may peace be with you always. 🙂
September 2, 2013 at 10:58 am
Yeah Dave! Thanks for the good news!!
Pingback: Church of England Makes Child Abuse Apology — The Good Men Project
September 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm
Hear! Hear! Dave. Great posting, full of fire and brimstone. I’ve heard that the church that has the biggest problem with child sexual abuse and refuse to do anything about it is the Mormon church. I watched a Fox news special a couple of days ago about Hawaii and its problems as a result of being too liberal. It was a real eye opener.Their child sexual abuse problem is horrendous but no one will do anything about it. They refuse to have Jessica’s Law and one man interviewed said he couldn’t understand the fuss (I’m paraphrasing). He said that having sex with a child is ok and finds nothing wrong with it. He said most people in Hawaii have the same opinion. Made me want to throw-up.
Keep up the good work, Margie
Pingback: Church Of England Makes Child Abuse Apology | justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis
September 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm
Thank you, Dave, for a great blog post. I am thrilled to know that the Anglican Church is doing the right thing. As a survivor and an advocate I understand how important it is for those responsible to fulfill their role in making apologies and providing for the needs of the offended, as well as creating a safe space for its members now and in the future. I have been attending an Anglican church for a year now and have found great life and grace among its people. This confirms my choice in identifying myself with this group! It is my prayer and deep longing that the church at large WILL become a place of healing for those who have been abused in any way. It is my intention to spend my life working towards that goal.
September 15, 2013 at 12:35 am
I agree with you whole-heartedly! I was so proud to hear that they not only admitted the wrong-doing, but we’re also taking steps to look back and reopen old cases to make things right in those instances as well. And moving forward they have already put training in place for clergy and laypeople. It’s a first step, but it’s the RIGHT step. Now if we can just get all others to follow suit.