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#447282 - 09/15/13 03:54 PM What Happens if I Report?
biker97 Offline

Registered: 09/14/13
Posts: 3
Hello, 33 years ago I was 16 years old and in crisis over a pregnancy scare with my girlfriend. I sought council from our parish priest who was in his late 20's at the time. His advice was half hearted but he was very focused on whether I knew how to masturbate. I told him yes but he said he had "techniques" he could show me and asked me to come to his apartment. I made up an excuse and declined. The priest called me once afterward at my house asking about the "lessons".
I know this is nowhere as serious as any of the issues addressed here but after all these years I wish I would have said something. I wonder how many other young people he has approached. Could I have stopped future abuse? Or am I overblowing the issue?
The man is now the priest at my local church. I have read our Archdiocese procedure for reporting abuse and am ready to report. I wonder if I am opening myself up for more trouble? Will I be cross examined and have my life placed under the microscope? Since this is so long ago will they do anything to him anyway? There is a big difference between a "request" and actual abuse. Should I report? Any opinions?

Edited by biker97 (09/15/13 03:58 PM)

#447283 - 09/15/13 04:01 PM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]
biker97 Offline

Registered: 09/14/13
Posts: 3
My apologies I posted this in the wrong place.

#447286 - 09/15/13 05:05 PM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1155
Loc: michigan
hey biker
I am glad that you found the courage to post here and that you dodged the bullet so to speak. I think that reporting is the best thing for your peace of mind as that behavior may still be continuing. that being said I have no Idea what might be required. it seems it would be your word against his. but as you say there may be others who did not escape that trap. I think that you could call the diocese and ask what might be required. if you find it too intimidating you might use a pay phone that is disposable and just gather the information you need. you might even call a different diocese from the one you are in to give another layer of insulation. I never told on my perp and that fact drives me crazy even today after 40+ years. I hope that helps
P.S. you have nothing to be ashamed of man it was NOT your fault and again I am glad that the abuse did not proceed further.

Edited by newground (09/15/13 05:06 PM)
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

#447325 - 09/16/13 02:37 AM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada

I cannot tell you what to do, only you really know what you're capable of dealing with.
It would be worth a couple of calls of inquiry, even if you took it no further.
Insulate yourself just in case you choose not to move ahead.

I do not even know who attacked me, and for years I would not have even considered it, but now, oh yes now would be different.
I would have no problem reporting, in fact I may report the attack, even not knowing the attacker.

Keep well
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

#447328 - 09/16/13 03:30 AM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 756
Loc: VA

If I could "out" the guy who got me, I'd do so in an instant. (I don't know his name or anything else about him other than he was an alcoholic.) But considering the catholic church's obstructionist and "hush" tactics toward these abuse incidents, I would also want to make sure somebody outside the church heard about it, too--even though it was decades ago (as in my case, also). Depending on the factual details of the incident, and who is available to tell, it might be possible to see that word gets around without any accusation of an offense. Such publicity might enable other victims (and there are always others) to speak out about incidents that ARE still actionable.

That's just what I'd do. Of course, I have nothing but hatred for the guy who got me! Your results (and feelings) may vary.


Edited by unhappycamper (09/16/13 03:31 AM)

#447343 - 09/16/13 11:47 AM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3855

I have been working through reporting myself. My abuse is over 45 years old but the priest still lives. I have reported the abuse to the parish church and I have met with the diocese. In order for the diocese to do anything a formal grievance or report must be made. I have spoken with a law firm that has handled many of the cases against the diocese and warns this process can at times be intimidating and place the survivor as the victim. But in this situation it seems many people know who the abuser is and the process may not be as difficult. In my meetings with the diocese, the diocese encouraged me to file a formal grievance--maybe they want this abuser off the streets because I most likely am not the first to have reported his abuse. The diocese also suggested, if I was not ready for the formal process, to report the abuse anonymously to the child abuse Hotline--which is the way I have gone so far. The police will ensure he is not working with children--based on his age and what I have learned he does not appear to be working with children but one never knows. This gives me comfort he is being checked on. Even with the formal process no legal or civil action can be taken against the priest due statute of limitations. The recourse the diocese has is to revoke his faculties to act as a priest, but is retired. I would be able to seek additional assistance. At his age I do not know his health status.

For me I have received validation of the abuse from my meetings with the parish and diocese. I am still undecided if I need to do the formal process. Your abuser appears to be active in your local church and is active with children. These facts may push me to file but I cannot answer it definitively as a yes to move forward. You need to be comfortable and your diocese procedures need to addressed. Have you been able to speak with anyone who has gone through the process or received legal advise. Are their any other options to report--eg Hotline?

You need to ensure you make the decision and not let others decide for you. Only you can know what will bring you peace and allow you move forward. Each of us seek different resolution to the past abuse. I understand many dioceses are changing their processes to make it less demeaning to the survivor. I have been told my diocese has changed the process. It is in its infancy and the lawyers believe there are flaws. One thing I can say, at least for my diocese, their words and actions validated the abuse but more importantly I was treated with respect and dignity, which I did not expect. But each diocese is different

I wish you the best because I know it is not an easy journey.

#447349 - 09/16/13 01:58 PM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: biker97
... I wonder how many other young people he has approached. Could I have stopped future abuse? ......I wonder if I am opening myself up for more trouble? Will I be cross examined and have my life placed under the microscope? Since this is so long ago will they do anything to him anyway? There is a big difference between a "request" and actual abuse. Should I report? Any opinions?

Hey biker,

I like to give you just a few insights about this:

1) Just his talking to you in such a sexually inappropriate way is a violation of the trust placed in him to be a spiritual counselor and representative of the church. You were vulnerable and went to him for help, not for "masturbation lessons." Don't minimize how wrong this was. This WAS a big deal.

2) This priest very likely molested other boys, either verbally or physically. And he may continue to do so. But its not to late to stop him. I can't tell you what to do, but if I were in your shoes, I'd report him.

3) You would only be cross examined, "placed under a microscope" if you sued the Diocese and testified in court. Reporting to the Diocese should not put you in that situation.

4) You may find reporting to the Diocese to be unsatisfying. Even after all the publicity and scandal, it remains in their interest to downplay such reports of abuse. Be prepared to consider other steps if that's the case, and of course count the cost to yourself in doing so.

5) Consider seeking input from SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). Surely someone there has been through the experience of reporting to their local Diocese. Their web address is

Only you can decide what to do with this. Whatever you do, you can count on our support at MS. Good luck.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#447361 - 09/16/13 05:08 PM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: Jude]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3855

Just some clarity on reporting of abuse. In the State of my Diocese all legal and civil avenues are closed due to the statute of limitations. The diocese cannot be sued in civil court as a result of the SOL. A formal grievance process is all that is available to provide due course to both the victim and abuser. A simple reporting only brings the incident to the attention of the diocese and the diocese, at least in my case, has limited actions it can take. A formal grievance or reporting is required. The outcome between the two levels of reporting can put the survivor in different places--one could put the survivor under the microscope.

It is best to speak with survivors who have gone through the internal processes in the diocese to find out how they are handled and how the survivor is treated. A few diocese now have lay boards that review verbal testimony from both sides and the names of survivor and abuser are redacted. The boards review and decide based on documents presented.

I agree if the option is available to sue the diocese in court the survivor would be put under the microscope. I have heard from others who have reported but have not gone through the formal grievance process, the outcome was less than satisfying.

I believe it is important to totally understand the specific diocese policies and procedures as well as speaking with those who have gone through the process. Their insights can be valuable.

Like you have said, only the survivor can make the decision--it has to be right for that person. It is not an easy decision.

#447399 - 09/17/13 01:22 AM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]
biker97 Offline

Registered: 09/14/13
Posts: 3
I am amazed and touched by all the supportive and well thought out messages.

I have reported.

This group is amazing.

I thank you all!

#447457 - 09/17/13 04:14 PM Re: What Happens if I Report? [Re: biker97]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3855
I am glad you made the decision. I wish you the best and hopefully you found it healing.


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