At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Some fences mended, still Catholics are not getting the true story about sex crimes by their priests

By Kay Ebeling

(Here goes half my readership, oh well):

One way to bypass corporate media control and tell the story of sex crimes in the Catholic Church is to take it to the streets, talking to one person at a time. Like we did with Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse, which last week arrived at the Pacific Coast after starting in Eastern Oregon on July 27th (see photos below).

Still, the Listening Session at the Catholic Church in Portland last Saturday continues to haunt me. I know I'm going to perplex and maybe even enrage some people by writing this, but it is honestly how I feel. Something is definitely not right with the way active Catholics are getting the story about crimes in their churches, or rather not getting the story.

At first of course there was the initial afterglow when the Compassionate Listening session ended. When people communicate and mend fences, it releases endorphins everywhere. But following the session, something was wrong, I couldn't quite put finger on it at first, and still haven’t quite got it.

Okay, the parishioner who opened the meeting said by way of introduction that indeed at that very same church a pastor had recently been removed, suddenly. The speaker inferred that there had only been one charge of a sex crime against a child filed concerning Gus Krumm and she said those charges had never been proven. -

Once again, because of the wording on so many settlements, the church ends up with a non-admission of guilt. As a result stories in the news, and apparently stories priests proclaim from the pulpit, continue to say “alleged abuse” or perpetuate the myth that the charges against most pedophile priests have not been proven true.

The charges may not be proven in a court of law, but that is only because Church attorneys are so resourceful in manipulating the justice system. So the court of Catholic hierarchy can continue to proclaim innocence, and pass that myth onto the parishioners, at the same time encouraging them to get their news on the priest sex crime topic only from them, the very same bishops who perpetuated the crimes.

Actually that one and only official charge referred to regarding Krumm was the first lawsuit filed in 1995 concerning Krumm, and the Franciscans paid a significant settlement, while continuing to keep Krumm in service, transferring him from Orange County to Portland, Oregon.

Misinformation to the parishioners is a result of wording Church Attorneys add onto almost all settlements made out of court. The non admission of guilt leaves sexual predators’ names off of sex offender registries, and allows bishops to proclaim mistruths from the pulpit, keeping their parishioners in the dark as to how bad the crimes really were.

If anyone wonders why so many adult victims of pedophile priests can’t seem to “let go and put it behind us,” it’s seeing this slippery justice on the part of the bishops that keeps us riled up.

This was a group who had been meeting in and around Ascension Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, for more than two years, a group spawned by the resignation of Pastor Krumm, a group of intelligent seemingly well read individuals who profess an interest in the clergy sex abuse crisis. And yet they still think there has only been one charge against Krumm and it’s never been verified.

I think there was also a comment at the Listening Session that it’s only a small number of priests nationally who’ve been found to have acted out and committed sex crimes against children.

This Part Really Creeps Me Out

Several persons we met through the listening session and later the Walk mentioned The Eucharist. One woman spoke of her relative who is a pedophile priest survivor living in another state, she mentioned his isolation and loneliness. “I just hope he comes back to the Eucharist,” she then said, and I felt a chill go up my spine.

Something is just not right here.

I'm not saying the prayer, the spirit, the notion behind the words of Catholics who are still actively Catholic isn’t respected.

But there’s something scary about how even after hearing the length and breadth of the crimes that took place - horrendous crimes, violent sexual assault that was nodded away or ignored by the bishops - people still return to this church, repeating that idea that they have to ingest a Eucharist that is prayed over by one of these criminals or their time in eternity is damned.

It’s like - don't you see?

The same people telling you these ideas that keep you chained to their church are the ones who lied through decades of child sex assault crimes going on right before their eyes. How can people keep filing back into their cathedrals, even after knowing the horrendous crimes that were allowed to take place by virtue of the very secrecy that is inherent in that religion.

Oh God one gets boggled trying to describe this frustration. There are no parallels. I can’t make a reference with an example, because I don't think there is an example.

I can say, I did learn to have more respect for Catholics who are at least trying to find out the truth, after going to the Listening Session. I just wish there were more listening sessions between Catholics and adult victims of priest sex crimes.

Maybe narrowcast the sessions on the web, with diagrams and maps and links, so people will get better educated everywhere.

These crimes are unparalleled in history, there is no precedent in law or social graces, when it comes to communicating about the crimes of pedophiles in the Catholic Church. So I close my eyes and type what comes into my head and maybe this will all go away someday.

One listening parishioner, Quentin, (pictured left) spoke toward the end of the session and related an analogy. After the death of Christ, he said, the first Christians spread the Word at the same time they told the story of this heinous crime that had been committed against a great man, nailing him to the cross. Today, says Quentin, Catholics have to proclaim the truth about the great crime committed by their church, where the bishops allowed sexual assaults on children and vulnerable adults to take place disregarding the damage done to parishioners.

It’s like the scene in The Time Machine. When the sirens go off, the humans go into a trance and then file in a straight line one by one into the cave where the Morlocks will grind them into food. They walk willingly, not quite knowing what they're doing as they're entranced, but they drop everything and file like automatons….

It just doesn't add up in my head. How can you look straight at these crimes and the Mafia like behavior of bishops across America with their teams of attorneys and PR firms - look at the damage they did to just two people sitting in front of you, not to mention the tens of thousands of other survivors there are out there - how can anyone look at the totality of these crimes and then -

When the church bell rings in the early AM as if in a trance they file one by one through the cavernous doors of the churches, continuing to feed the monster.

OH, KAY, You are never satisfied:

Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday today and I'm sixty one years old and still have never been able to be in love… please, God, just once before I die can I experience a normal healthy intimate relationship?

Tom Doyle emails me that putting my personal life out there all over the internet is not a good practice.

Oh well, too late now.

(Above, Walk Across Oregon in Portland cools off Sunday afternoon in Jamison Square by the fountain, getting to know each other.)

Still the Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse as a whole is an idea that I hope gets developed by Virginia Jones and Elizabeth Goeke and the rest of the crew who made it happen this year. A mass of people all wearing the same or similar t-shirts walking through public places really makes its presence known. Then the conversation begins. You can, one person at a time, tell the stories that media outlets don't seem to want to run. That person you talk to will then tell another person who will then tell more individuals.

And along the way, you contact new activists, like we see in the photo at right. When Walk Across Oregon was stopped to cool off in Jamison Square in Portland last Sunday, a woman walked up and asked to be a volunteer, and Virginia signed her up on the spot.

Plus you get exercise and fresh air as a bonus. Hope the Walkers do something similar next year.


Letters, We Get Letters:

Story posted here last Sunday, about a form of Delayed Discovery that is Repressed Memory, generated a lot of email, most of which is published here:

Bob Schwiderski wrote:

Hi Kay, I hope you are enjoying the beauty of Oregon. I wish to share with you and those addressed in your email the explanation of "Delayed Discovery." Delayed Discovery is not the same as "recovered memory" or "suppressed memory." Delayed Discovery is when a victim, let's say of sexual abuse, makes the "causal connection" between the act(S) of abuse and the negative dynamics those acts cause in life. I for example had a drinking and drug problem - a negative dynamic in my life because of the abuse.

I discovered later in life that the "causal connection" between my alcohol/drug sickness was the childhood sexual abuse I survived. The when I discovered those damages and injuries, they were later in my life or, "delayed discovery" from my prepubescent years. "Delayed Discovery" is a term often used in our existing states civil law/sexual abuse statute of limitations laws. In many of the codifications of these states laws, the term is following by the term "made the causal connection be the act of abuse and the damages and injuries."

I am concerned that the misuse of the term "Delayed Discovery" will only confuse survivors, their loved ones, their supporters and those trying to gain understandings about sexual abuse. Besides, those that fight us in the legislative battles to correct the civil justice laws, organizations such as the Catholic Conferences and insurance companies, loved it when our side of the issue confuse ourselves.

Your friend,
Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota USA

John Brown wrote:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your input - unfortunately this is all an absurdity and very typical of the way the catholic church has manipulated our health and legal systems to further its covering up of the global scope of the abuses and the industry which has grown up to support it.

Only the sophistry of the largest known group of co-ordinated pedophiles on the planet could attempt to devise a means to classify and control and regulate how one recalls their abuse. The stupidity is extended further when we are drawn into the legal battle traps the church and its insurance and legal businesses want to work in - where else would you want to fight if you have had hundreds of years to manipulate the entire social system of your country in your favor.

Does this mean that should be a new category to argue over if we used the term "forgot for some time" - a great place for the legal sycophants however it bears no relationship to reality and also displays a stunning ignorance of basic human biology and psychology. The aim is to keep victims returning to their abuse - that keeps them re traumatized and ineffectual. There are still places within the church who are entreating victims to relate the horrors of their abuse and packaging and reselling with a target audience of other victims - nothing will send them running with more fear and loathing than to have to sit through a DVD length of horror - this works a charm and keep hundreds of victims quiet, any that attempt to speak out are met with similar sophistry and myth.

Proper research instead of court battles will show that there is no substance to the myth that victims are scarred for life - they can be if you keep putting them in front of church produced DVDs however. The years of recovery can be dealt with more effectively in a few weeks with simple and appropriate techniques.

Bringing an argument as twisted as this church in regards how one recalls a past event only displays the desire of the church to maintain as many myths as it can - there is money and children to rape for them if they can.

The sooner people get over the notion that this church will act appropriately the better - it has not been able to do this in its previous 2000 year history and it beggars belief that there are still people on the planet who could ignorantly cling to this notion.

When a religion comes to be a moral hazard to our society due to its gods demanding the sexual sacrifice of society's children then its time to remove and do away with such scams.

JohnB, Australia

NB: The issue of support here is entirely lacking only argument over the minutiae and obsolete. Where are the statements to Kay to say it is wonderful for you Kay to have been able to recall, for us there is no matter if that was triggered by the bounce of a ball - the important thing for us is that it has helped set you free from the sophistry of the greatest scam and fraud ever perpetrated upon society simply to maintain the supply of suckers and children to feed their sociopathic cravings. A pox is a pox no matter what else you call it.


The World's most despised Catholic due to bringing to the world a definitive and appropriate solution to the global clergy abuse crisis.

18 people walk in Astoria

Final leg of Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse reached the Pacific Ocean last week, after trekking across the state.

Still Compassionate Listening needs elaboration:

Here is an explanation of Restorative Justice and Compassionate Listening related to abuse on our website under "What we Believe" as well as a list of Core Principles that came our of our experiences with clergy abuse. We saw what went wrong in our parishes and experiences and what went right and laid them out. For example, our core principles are:

1. Every person is sacred.
Read every survivor and every confused parishioner is sacred. Nobody should be left out

2. Coming together in community is a sacred act.
Parishioners and the community need to be part of the healing process as well as the survivors. This should not be handled by professionals away from parishioners. The community is sacred and should not be kept in the dark. Individuals we are important but our coming together for mutual healing and support is really important.

3. Apology is a sacred gift.
Real and genuine apology is rare in the Catholic clergy abuse scandal. We are trying to promote that. The Sack Cloth Penance Patch is part of that promotion of apology.

4. Healing is a sacred journey.
So often Catholics want survivors of clergy abuse to forgive, forget, and move on. You would never rush a retreat or mass. How can you rush healing? Healing from clergy abuse is a very spiritual experience. There is no quick and easy way about it.

This is all on our website. You won't find it anywhere else. This is us, our core message. I think these core understandings are really key to healing the wounds we all carry from clergy abuse as well as other forms of abuse.

--Virginia Jones

Story that generated above emails:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Recovering a memory that may help explain recovered memory, while speaking to a group about recovered memory ...
*By Kay Ebeling

Yesterday six parishioners came to hear two pedophile priest crime victims talk in a room at Ascension Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon...

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Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry Kay - I can't see how any of your comments in this post would 'turn-off' any of your
readers! (This is among your best posts yet!)

Anonymous said...

Please keep up the great work Kay.

I cannot help but to be reminded of Nazi Germany when I think of the Catholic church.

As we all know, the concentration camps were hideous death factories for the Jews and other so called undesirables.

After the camps were liberated, all of the German locals claimed not to have had any knowledge of the crimes being committed in those camps.

You know that was BS. The stench of death and burned flesh went for miles.

Of course, no one wants to die. So in a way, I suppose it would have been kind of tough for the average citizen to approach a German officer at one of the camps and demand that this barbaric practice stop.

How many Catholics know the score about pedophilia in their church and do nothing about it? They are not under threat of any penalty, no one is going to shoot them for saying it's time this stopped.

Or, they could just be silent and do nothing.

But instead, they keep giving the church money!

Money that is ultimately spent on defense attorneys for pedophiles.

Defense attorneys that fight the victims of pedophile priests at every turn. Defense attorneys who on behalf of this evil church attack the victim all over again.

Catholics of ages past might have been able to claim they didn't know about the pedophile problem in their church.

But Catholics of today know better. They are without excuse.

Every dime that goes into a Catholic collection basket is slap in the face to a victim of clergy molestation.

Catholics who believe in an afterlife really ought to think about the ramifications of doing that.
Because if there is going to justice in the life after this one, the victims of clergy sex abuse have wronged by more people in the church than the priest who initially molested them.

As usual, thanks for letting me vent.