Palm Sunday is before us, holy week, then Easter. The scriptures take Christians through the story once again. I won’t be attending services. If Easter morning is clear, I will drive out to Lake Michigan to watch the sunrise, attending my personal Easter service in honor and reverence of those lost, those forgotten, those still traumatized, those still suffering, and those who have risen up from their trauma to speak truth and lift others. My history includes clergy sexual and ethical abuses.
I think it is about a decade now since I left my faith tradition, since I made the decision to leave the Catholic Church. It was an extremely difficult decision but the best one for me. I knew no one would look for me, ask why, ask me to stay. And no one did. Grieving the loss of my church community lasted until just recently, last fall I think. This lenten season and approaching holy week is the very first I have been totally free of triggers, memories catching me off guard. And this year is the first time I felt a kinship with Jesus as a man who spoke up about the wrongs of his own religion. Jesus stood up for women and women caught in sexual violence, but still, back in his day, boys, children, and vulnerable men were not recognized as victims of sexual violence yet, though it must have been happening.
In churches today, on Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, mid-week on a Tuesday, or any day for that matter, seldom are prayers or intentions offered up for victims of religious abuses, sexual abuses, or victims who suffer the spiritual effects of violence. This March, 2023, Pope Francis dedicated his personal prayer intentions for the victims of abuse. He said, “In response to cases of abuse, especially those committed by members of the Church, it is not enough to ask for forgiveness.” He also stated, “their pain and psychological wounds can begin to heal if they find answers – if there are concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again.” https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2023-03/pope-s-march-prayer-intention-for-victims-of-abuse.html
This is the last day of March. If not by my invitation, would you consider joining in Pope Francis’ intention for people harmed by the church and for all who have suffered sexual violence, both inside and outside of the Catholic Church?
From my heart to yours, thank you.
If you would like more resources, a catholic organization, AWAKEMilwaukee, is a good place to begin. https://awakemilwaukee.org
Amen. And thank you for your beautiful and inspiring sharing.
Special blessings to all in our needy world. We all know the power of prayers.
thank you for your prayers as well. Powerful.
Thank you. I cannot imagine how painful this has been for you. I am pleased you have found some level of peacefulness. I join with Pope Francis and with you in prayer.
Thank you for joining in prayer.
I struggle to even find a way to respond to your words, because of their pain. Except to say I think you are very courageous and I will pray this intention today, Good Friday.
Count me in on praying for the intention of your and of Pope Francis.
thank you so much 🙂