Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Decade in Blogging (VI)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cardinal Sean's prayer service at Saint Michael's


I have to admit I was not planning on going to the prayer service being held at Saint Michael’s this evening for the victims of sexual abuse. I could say I am pregnant, it is a holiday or the heat but to be honest I just did not want to deal with it because I was being selfish. 

I have to admit why should I get my hands involved, I did not sexually abuse anyone. 

I rather talk about Natural Family Planning, helping couples with the Sacrament of Marriage, or seeing a friend enter the Church through confirmation. Even though I am a Catholic within the Archdiocese of Boston, I do not see myself as part of the sexual abuse scandal. If anything, I am the answer. Right?

I went anyways. I was moved by Father Capone’s comment that it was as a parishioner of Saint Michaels I have a duty to suffer with the victims as a part of the restoration of our very broken Church. My husband sat close up on the left hand side and waited to witness what had was done to our Church. 

The service was disturbing, painful, and upsetting. It was not like a funeral, where people mourn, the pain that existed by the hands of the abusive priests was devastating. The service main focal point was in the beginning, where one of the victims of Father Birmingham in the 70’s spoke about his torture at his hands. The victim went into detail as a twelve year old boy lured on a church skiing trip left alone with his abuser in a hotel room. The abuse lasted until he was 18 years old. 

The victim went into further detail how it affected his entire life. He could not feel safe in what should have been his home, his parish. He went into detail of confusion as an adult, a failed marriage, and a concern that his own daughter could be another victim of abuse by hands of a predator. It left him in a psych ward for a week, with much therapy and healing through his family and Faith in God to come forward.

The overt action of Cardinal O’Malley, Father Capone, and all the priests and deacons present was so painful to watch as they ask God to heal our Church and mercy by lying flat on the stomachs in front of Saint Michael’s altar as we prayed for healing. 

There were some protesters; I did see photographers respectfully present. It is not “Business as usual” in the Archdiocese as one protester had stated on his poster. The suffering I felt was horrible, and I am sure the pain the protestors have is painful also. I had to feel it first hand. This was no public relations stunt, this was no “I’m Sorry”. I saw it. This is real.

So if you do have an opportunity in the future to go to a prayer service in your own parish or a nearby service with Cardinal, I strongly plead that you attend.

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