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#519149 - 12/20/17 12:52 AM Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 3187
Anyone who followed the events in Boston in the early 2000's will likely remember Cardinal Law as having assumed a significant enabling role in the shuffling and recycling of abusive priests.

Boston was the epicenter of a scandal which grew to global dimensions, rocking the Catholic Church, which until then had been regarded as a once invincible organization. The Massachusetts attorney general ascribed the Cardinal with the "ultimate responsibility" for the scandal, describing him as the "chief executive of the archdiocese" under whose leadership 48 priest were alleged to have abused hundreds of children.

The scandal which ultimately brought Law down was made into a fact-diligent movie in 2015. Spotlight focused primarily on the efforts and strategy of a special squad of investigative reporters at the Boston Globe. In one particularly heartbreaking scene, a man at his attorney's office describes to Globe reporter Mike Rezendes how a priest took him out for ice cream and fondled him through his clothing while in the car. "You know - I never finished my ice cream... it just melted down my arm."

After the man left, the attorney (Mitch Garabedian) turned to Rezendes and said, "He's one of the lucky ones. He's still alive." But what the movie did not say was that "lucky" man, Patrick McSorley, died several months later of a drug overdose, leaving behind a widow and a five year old son. The movie - unlike many dealing with real life tragedies - did not magnify anything for dramatic effect. The tragedy of these victims is immense beyond comprehension.

To anyone who has not seen the movie out of fear for triggers, those triggers tend to be not so much in terms of sexual detail as much as graphic portraits of the emotional cost of the abuse. The devastation is exquisitely etched in faces of the grown-up survivors as they recount their abuse. As far as movies about CSA, this is one of the most sensitive, respectful, and truthful portrayals I have seen.

.........eirik
_________________________
..



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#519153 - 12/20/17 07:11 AM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
KMCINVA Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 4140
Loc: VIRGINIA
Law was a man who permitted the conscious and ongoing sexual abuse of children to continue and grow. He turned a blind eye and sadly the Church failed to defrock him of his priestly rights and duties. Too many children lived trouble lives because of the hierarchy in the Church.

I saw the movie with friends and it was difficult to watch, painful and tearful. I remember learning of McSorley's death--sadly he was not one of the lucky ones nor were any victim of the Church's abuses.

When I learned of his (Law) death I had a moment of anger because in my Diocese the then Bishop Walter Curtis admitted he moved priest around and believed it was a cure for the abuses, never expressing remorse or sorrow for the children. In more recent years Bishop Egan of the Diocese, who went onto become Archbishop, then Cardinal of New York expressed sorrow and asked for forgiveness of the abuses during his time in Bridgeport in 2002. In 2012 he retracted his apology and added he believed the Church did no wrong. My own diocese was villainous and hurt many. I have met many who to this day suffer addictions and one boy who was with me committed suicide--I wonder how many others have lost their lives.

Eirik thank you for posting.

Kevin

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#519194 - 12/21/17 10:58 AM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
Dan99 Offline


Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 195
Loc: Washington DC
I lived it and had no desire to see the movie. I give the Globe a lot of credit because they did push the story hard, which wasn't always easy in a Catholic state. (I don't know if they would do it today now that the paper is owned by a Catholic.)

But I do take issue with the narrative now being spread. The abuse going on in the church was no mystery. Everyone knew about the priests who were outed long, long before the Globe did its series. Who didn't hear jokes about catholic priests and little boys?

And now we see the same apologists who didn't care when it was going on continuing to walk back the impact of the abuse. It's church-bashing, they insist. Bullshit. If they want church bashing they should talk to me. Fortunately the church is dying out. The 'faithful' may still wring their hands, but the broader public knows the score.

My father-in-law stays in the church. Said to me a couple years ago that he was sad to see attendance declining and wondered why so few young people go. I just said to him, 'Really? You wonder why parents aren't bringing their kids to the church?' He had nothing to say.

My own dad quit the church before he died. He couldn't accept a priest telling a woman to return to her husband who beat her up constantly. She was afraid she'd go to hell. Fact is she was already there, aided and abetted by the church.

I try to think about it as little as possible, since I've got bigger problems. But I am amazed at the people who gather to perform a ritualized ceremony of drinking blood and eating flesh. How is that anything but perversion?

I have one cousin left in the church and if I outlive him I will probably have to set foot in the church for his funeral. Same for my father-in-law. Then again, maybe they'll come to their senses.
_________________________
Work like you don't need the money;
dance like no one is watching;
sing like no one is listening;
love like you've never been hurt;
and live life every day as if it were your last.

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#519197 - 12/21/17 03:54 PM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Dan99]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 764
Loc: VA
Dan99:

One of the best exchanges in the movie "Spotlight" was between the editor and one of the reporters:

Editor: I can't believe 82 priests were molesting children, and nobody knew about it.

Reporter: Maybe they did.

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#519201 - 12/21/17 06:25 PM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
seachange Offline


Registered: 10/08/17
Posts: 55
Thanks Eric. I wrote this in response.
(Un)knowing in 2016: Me and my inner child watch Spotlight.

Child Me: What are you doing?
Me: "Spotlight" is on Netflix.
Child Me: You don’t watch those kind of movies.
Me: It’s about time.
Child Me: Is it?
Me: It won awards.
Child Me: But it’s about--
Me: Trauma?
Child Me: Yes. And also...you know what.
Me: So what?
(pause)
(I make popcorn)
Child Me: So this is for entertainment?
Me: Yep.
Child Me: You’ll feel bad and then you’ll blame me, and push me away because--
Me: Shut up.
Child Me: You’ll be sorry.
Me: I said shut up.
(the movie starts)
Me: See, it's a newspaper story, nothing to do with me.
Child Me: Oh brother. Then why do you feel so guilty?
Me: Guilty? I don't. This is an important and timely subject. I should be informed.
(pause)
Child Me: You’re feeling sick and it's barely started.
Me: Shush. I can watch this. It's not a trigger. I'm fine.
Child Me: But it's about sexual--
Me: Yeah it’s terrible, but it’s not war, no one's trapped or shot or dying--
Child Me: Listen to me--
Me: Stupid, it’s not exactly about the abuse anyway. It's about the cover-up of the abuse.
(pause)
Child Me: Huh.
Me: What?
Child Me: The cover-up.
Me: Yeah.
Child Me: It's about the cover-up?
Me: Yeah and....?
Child Me: The irony.
Me: What?
Child Me: Ugh. Don't be so dumb.
(pause)
Me: Wait... wait. Wait. I’m the dumb one? (pause) Me?
Child Me: Uh-oh. Now I'm in for it.
Me: Me? I'm dumb?
(pause)
Me: Shut the fuck up.
Child Me: Who said anything?
(pause) (the movie is sickening me)
Me: (mumbling) You think you're so smart, making things up, always did, trying to get attention. (shouting) That's it. We're not watching this anymore.
Child Me: You wanted to watch it.
Me: You ruin everything--
Child Me: You still wonder if I was molested.
Me: I do not think that.
Child Me: Liar.
Me: This movie is not about me.
Child Me: Then why are you watching it?
Me: It's just a movie--
Child Me: You’re relating to them--
Me: I am not relating to these guys, look at them, that's not me, it's not you. It’s not me.
Child Me: Looks kinda like you.
Me: Alright forget this.
Child Me: Can't.
Me: I'm turning it off.
Child Me: Too late.
Me: Shut up. Now.
Child Me: I told you.
Me: Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

"Spotlight" really cracked me open exactly for the reason you cite, the guys. The tragedy. The cost.
I did watch it all finally, in segments, over a couple weeks. It helped me identify things in myself and my life. I'm still in that painful painful process.
But the truth without humor is sometimes too hard for me to bear, so this is a humorous snapshot of my strange state of both knowing and not knowing, a struggle I was in for years. I know better now. I'm also learning to listen to myself better. And to be gentler.
Thanks for indulging me.
_________________________
"There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen." -Rumi

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#519223 - 12/22/17 10:40 AM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4464
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
wow, seachange - that is powerful.
i can easily identify with both sides of the dialog.
glad you made it through and that it helped you.

lee
_________________________
"The wound is the place where the light enters you."
- Rumi

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#519285 - 12/23/17 08:20 PM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 3187
Thank you Seachange. That is compelling. My heart breaks for Dan99. I can't imagine what he went through. But then, I've heard others tell me they couldn't imagine what I went through - so I suppose I am on both sides of that statement.
_________________________
..



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#519321 - 12/25/17 03:14 AM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
CelloL Offline


Registered: 07/20/17
Posts: 197
Loc: Missouri
I'm sad for what Dan99 went through and how it destroyed a relationship with church or faith. Without my religious beliefs I would have taken my life many years ago. The pain in me was too much. Let's put it this way, if there is a God then those in the clergy who abused should have a much harsher judgment by God (millstone and all that).

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#519336 - 12/26/17 01:23 AM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: CelloL]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 720
Loc: where the shadows lie
Originally Posted By CelloL
I'm sad for what Dan99 went through and how it destroyed a relationship with church or faith. Without my religious beliefs I would have taken my life many years ago. The pain in me was too much. Let's put it this way, if there is a God then those in the clergy who abused should have a much harsher judgment by God (millstone and all that).


The millstone verse refers to an adult causing a child to sin. So it has nothing to do with priests abusing children, because the children did nothing a good god would call a sin.
_________________________

making it through

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#519413 - 12/28/17 10:20 PM Re: Boston Archdiocese Cardinal Bernard Law is dead [Re: Chase Eric]
seachange Offline


Registered: 10/08/17
Posts: 55
So many of my friends & lovers told me they were "messed with" by a priest, or a teacher, or a family friend or a neighbor. But especially priests. It seemed like almost every adult gay man I met had been molested. But I didn't think I was.

I always kind of froze in the face of their revelations, which were usually said with a shrug or an embarrassed smile, an apology, a joke, maybe a grimace, rarely anger. Sometimes they were told during the cigarette after sex on a first night.... more often just friends comparing notes over drinks: "when did you first have sex?" ....or with a lover when real trust had grown.... once in a couples therapist's office when a relationship was ending.... once given as a reason not to become emotionally involved at all.

Often it was just a remark made in passing, tossed off as just an ordinary fact of "gay life," a rite of passage, unremarkable.

Or announced at parties: "Okay everybody, a show of hands, who here had Father So-and-So? Ha ha ha." (Note the inversion of the power relationship: who of us had "had" Father, not who Father had "had.") And me, feeling kind of anxious.

Or revealed in the stories of my fellows in recovery from sexual compulsion: typified by years of re-enacting the abuse and denying the devastating cost of sexual betrayal on their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being; betrayals made long before they came of age. And me, completely avoiding the subject altogether, whistling in the dark.

In fact now I know I had been "messed with" very early on, not by a priest. I feel a growing sense of empathy, sadness and grief for all my friends and lovers who I never asked, "So what happened? Who was it? Who knew? How are you now?"

I know now partly why I froze and never asked those questions: I was afraid to ask them of myself. But finally I'm now answering them.

Thank you Dan, Lee, Eric, and really everybody here on MS, you continue to give me the strength and sense of purpose to carry on.
_________________________
"There is a voice that doesn't use words. Listen." -Rumi

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