Orodo, Ken, thank you so much for posting this powerful speech! So much in it stands out for me..
Christ himself warned you of the predator in sheep's clothing. ...in too many cases you scorned and ridiculed those among you who dared to cry "Danger!"
It's hard to remember, when there seem to be so many wolves in sheep's clothing (and one is one too many!), that there are also, thankfully, a number of genuine caring sheep. And that Christ remains the Good Shepherd.
Christ Himself has been scorned & ridiculed, His heart broken, becuz His warning has gone so unheeded. As have the cries of so many countless other male survivors down thru the centuries.
With particularly pointed irony I would like to remind you at this season that "God so loved the world that He" did not send a committee. Ponder this as you wade through your endless by-laws and points-of-order, your plenary sessions.
I'm sick to the point of dry heaves with the God forsaken "political correctness" (talk about an oxymoron!) in which not only many church leaders but also politicians, political action groups, bar associations, law enforcement agencies, big businesses, and everyday folk, jump on the band-wagon of male survivor advocacy as tho they were the ones to start it rolling! After
how many endless meetings, patronizing documents, & costly studies? After
listening for how many years to how many screams of how many victimized boys & men? After
how may times saying, "Men are too tough to be abused" or "Men really always enjoy it" or "Only women bleed"?
The lived and exemplified love of Christ in the world are not, and certainly should not, be a matter of Parliamentary procedure for witnessing Christians.
Amen! The faith of this man flies in the face of & defies & rises above the abuse he has suffered.
Arthur Austin has made a difficult, deliberate, & dramatic distinction: between the institutional church with its frequent cruelty, corruption & cover-ups, their cheap caricature of Christ, on the one hand; and the real, true, authentic Church, a compassionate, candid community, the Body of Christ, on the other hand.
Take this message, too, with you: Christmas is not a holiday, to victims of sexual abuse by priests; it is a day of mourning. It is the commemoration of the birth of yet one more child who will grow up to be abused, defiled, and lied about, by the Catholic Church.
Amen again! Christmas is no holiday for any victim of sexual abuse by any perpetrator! For me it has always been a day of mourning, as for many of us here.
A commemoration of the birth of another victim of abuse! How fitting for the commemoration of the birthday of the One Who came & suffered such agonizing abuse as one of us, to help us, to show us the way thru it! (Re: "The Abused Christ: Survivor!" in the Poetry forum).
Perhaps we Male Survivors should begin & encourage this as an annual ritual.
Maybe those of us who can, when we can, should look at our trees & nativity sets & our celebrations & the Christmas story, remind ourselves that even one child is on this very day being born into a world where he/she will be horribly abused, and determine anew to do all we can to put a stop to it!
And while we're at it, remember at least one, besides ourself, that we know is abused, and vow to support them anyway we can in the coming year.
This would be a powerful way to celebrate Christmas, to gift ourselves & others, and to make a worthwhile resolution for the New Year!
I for one intend to do it, beginning now!
At this Advent time, I ask Almighty God to bless each of you in a special way, with the understanding of what has been done to children and young men and women by an arrogant and ungodly Roman Catholic hierarchy; and understanding of what your inertia of mind and heart allowed to be done.
Now that's a blessing a lot of people, whether in or outside of the church, don't want; but I'm going to join Arthur in praying it nevertheless!
Better late than never. I am reminded of the biting comment in the biting Irish temper of my father as he snapped at one or another of us who were too slow in responding to what were our duties. "What were you waiting for? Christmas?"
Yes, I'm praying that people will quit waiting for Christmas, or even overlooking us then too.
I'm praying that people will quit waiting for a bandwagon to jump on & just do the right thing when they know its right whether anybody else is doing it or not, whether it makes them look good or advances their cause or scores them PC points or helps them win the next election or not.
I'm praying that people will quit being reactive way after the fact & start being proactive to not only seek out & support survivors, but to seek out, punish & treat perpetrators, to overhaul our "criminal injustice systems," and to begin yesterday
serious priority work on victims rights and on preventive measures, taking the offensive, against sexual offenders & offenses!
And I'm praying that more than ever male & female survivors will come together in the true spirit of Christmas all year, to support one another & unite in working together for our common cause--to overcome our abuses & to fight mightily to prevent any further abuses ever again!
Thank you Orodo, Ken, and Arthur Austin!
copyright December 2002