- [Part 1 HERE - suffering a failed but violent rape]
- [Part 2 HERE - unwitting stardom in kiddie-porn films]
- [Part 3 HERE - a suggestion]
- [Part 4 HERE- angels!]
- [Part 5 HERE - responding to some comments.]
If you haven’t read at least Parts 1, 2 and 4, the comments and my responses won’t make much sense. So, trundle off to read those. Clicking on the links will open a new tab or window.
O.K. Now then. Here are just a few of comments that came in. [I add my own comments in brackets]:
- Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Now sharing Pornchai (HERE) and Father Gordon McRae’s stories (ABOUT) makes so much more sense. [You're welcome, but not for the reason you give. If I have any enthusiasm for the heroic nature of Pornchai's coming to know Jesus, this has nothing to do with a been there, done that, identification transference rubbish of failed pop-psychology. Misery does not unite people in friendship. Identification transference rubbish objectifies the other and is another form of abuse. Instead, and take note carefully, any friendship I have with Pornchai is based on a common sharing of thanksgiving to Jesus for the goodness and kindness of Jesus regardless of our circumstances. It is only God-given charity which provides that we are both happy to rejoice in the Lord's goodness in this Mystical Body of Christ in which we live and move and have our being. We don't see our experiences and vomit those on others. Rather, we take note that the good of the other is our good, but that good of the other is Christ Jesus Himself. Sure, Pornchai suffered horrific abuse. But I got away unscathed and was able to take note of the Lord's presence among us from the get go. There's a big difference at the start, but not at the end. Both Pornchai and myself rejoice in the goodness and kindness of Jesus. That shouldn't be reserved to me or anyone else who has been in trying circumstances. Rejoicing that someone knows the Son of the Immaculate Conception is something we can all do, right? That makes sense for everyone, right? For more on this, read over a post in my priestly celibacy series in the sidebar of the blog called "wounded healer idiocy". /// As far as Father Gordon goes -- honestly! -- This priest's priest is suffering from a false accusation. He's heroic beyond anything I could imagine in his great charity. I don't have a high regard for him because I suffered some momentary difficulty, but because he's, again, a priest's priest on the front lines of the battle for souls in this world. Appreciating the work of Father Gordon is not limited to those who have had difficult moments. The friendship I now have with Father Gordon has nothing to do with my own past experiences, but rather in a common rejoicing before the Lord for the Lord's own goodness and kindness and enthusiasm to save as many as possible. You have to know that whenever I see a priest who knows why he is a priest, I rejoice exceedingly.]
- You’re showing by your example that those who think that damaged humans can’t be priests are wrong; my understanding was that active homosexuals couldn’t be priests nor could those who think homosexual behavior is just fine. [Gagghhh! Where do people get these things? Read over Part 1 and Part 4 again. Anyone who is damaged does not have the wherewithal to be a priest. We don't need priests who use others to figure out their own damagedness, do we? Really not. Honestly! That's not to say that those who have suffered whatever trauma can't be guided to a balance in their lives such that they could become priests. Everyone has some growth to do, right? That's also what seminaries are for: Human Formation. Lastly, I never thought of myself as "damaged" from such an experience, at all. Way the other way around. I was totally in humble thanksgiving to our dear Lord and my guardian angel. A sharp learning curve. You betcha! But really, no trauma. The Lord is good. /// I'm really sorry you fly in the face of the practice of the Church by putting into the past tense your once correct understanding that active homosexuals and those who think homosexual behavior is just fine are not to be ordained. The practice of the Church stands. That's what I acted on in the formation I provided to seminarians in the seminaries where I taught. That's what I insisted upon for one seminary in particular, so strongly, in fact, risking my tenure there, that I was successful in changing their policies so as to get them in line with the practice of the Church. Priests must be Father figures in their parish families of faith. At the consecration of Mass, they pronounce, in the Person of Christ, Jesus' own wedding vows for the Church, vows of total self-giving unto death for that Bride which is the Church: This is my body given for you... the chalice of my blood poured out for you. More on all that in the series on priestly celibacy in the sidebar of the blog, especially in the two posts on the word eunuch: HERE and HERE. The last thing we need in the priesthood are those who cannot provide fatherly governance, fatherly self-sacrifice because, instead, they want to fly against the teaching of the Church. All sorts of bad things can happen with a homosexual priesthood. Need I mention 82 percent of the abuse was homosexual? Celibacy is not a natural condition. Something will go wrong with priests if they don't know that they are married to the Church by the very Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that they offer. We need priests who are men! Honestly! At any rate, I can't for the life of me think of what any of that has to do with what I wrote in Part 1 of this series. Does providing advice to someone who is at risk of committing suicide mean that one is homosexual? Gaghh! That's truly incomprehensible. Such an attitude would mean that all homosexuals or those who have been abused in your logic, are to be locked out of all pastoral care, you know, for the sake of appearances, right? That's just so wrong.]
- Although it’s true that a lot of abused become abusers, that isn’t an absolute result. [No, that's not the logic. After revisiting Peri Hermeneias, let's put it this way: Very few of those who were abused become abusers, though lots of those few abusers were themselves abused. Otherwise /begin sarcasm: Let's just kill off all those who have been victims so as to bring the brave new world forward with -- How to call it? -- Moral eugenicide! Hey! There's an idea! /end sarcasm. Talk about a witch hunt. For crying out loud. Wake up and die right!]
* * *
Finally, just to say, does not all this speak about where we are in society? We’re failing each other if this is what lots of people think. We always have hope in our Lord.
Also, in all this, I never once thought of myself as a victim. Why should I?
I never once thought of myself as damaged. Why should I?
On the contrary, I thought of myself as someone who should be in humble thanksgiving to the Lord and to my guardian angel. Does that make me damaged? God forbid!
No, no. Our Lord loves us, and can work with us in this world, and even have us work with Him in this world. He can and does.
Isn’t that really cool? Awesome? Something in which we can rejoice? I think so.
The Lord really is very good and very kind, as my father was always want to point out.
He’s right, you know.
I mean, it has come to mind that atheistic pop-psychos will think that the angel bit I mentioned in Parts 1 and 4 of this series are proof that I somehow went delusional. Piffle. Such an assertion merely comes from a fear that would bring them to the conclusion that: “It’s all real! Even free will! I’m afraid!” There’s no need to be afraid. Did not such an angel shove my face into reality all the more with all the more understanding, with all the more fortitude, with all the more unhesitating service to neighbor? Yep. Doesn’t sound like a distraction to me. On the contrary. Right?