Saturday, March 25, 2006

Talking To God 

Dear God

Please hear my prayer. Right now I am at a loss and extremely confused. Being raised a child of a Pentecostal Minister has made me somewhat confused about what I believe is real. Today I met a man who has been battling HIV for 11 years. He told me he got HIV from a man who molested him as a child. He said this man was a Catholic Priest. I was in such shock to hear him tell this story. I told him my husband was Catholic and I had been to many Catholic Churches.

When I was a child my father told me that many Priests in the Catholic Church hid their sin behind a title of Priest. Their title hid their deepest illness, and their darkest sins. You see many of the Priests that turn out to be child molesters join the church because they have this sickness; they have this desire to be pedophiles, and I believe some of them would like to get rid of this desire so they join the church to hide their sins behind the church veil. What ever the reason may be for so many pedophiles being found in the Catholic Priesthood, we should know that priests are just human. They are all sinners just like the rest of us, and though we strive to be closer to God, we should know we are far from grace of God until we past the gates of Heaven. But I ask this of you God, “What must I do to be closer to you? Please hear my prayer Lord, keep my children safe from all the evils of the world, and save my children from the kind of despair that this man had to suffer.”


Post By Ann Stewart

Naut2b: Sunshine, As a Catholic I have this to say. I've met bad priests and good priests. I've met bad protestant ministers and good ones. It's possible that it's true and it could easily be said of some boy scout leader or teacher. If it's true, the priest should/will be dealt with by the judicial system.

As far as priests hiding behind the collar, I think that is a blatant and unwarranted attack on catholic priests from someone who doesn't understand Catholicism. I know several priests personally, including a young man who is a friend of mine who was just ordained. He truly loves God and it is his calling - and it always has been.

I need some time to think about how to respond because although I understand that there are some priests who are bad, I'm really tired of hearing how "terrible" the Catholics and their church are.

Ann Sunshine Stewart: Naut2b...Thanks for the comment...I'll probably post it under the prayer I wrote...I'm not anti-Catholic by the way...I go to a Catholic church with my husband every chance I get...(if I get the day off of work that is)...but even my husband who is a extreme Catholic believes that the church should change the rules of celibacy in the Catholic church. He believes it could be part of what cause a sexual sickness.

Bien: Ann..... I would like also to hear any feedback on this too I do think it is sad....you hear more about this kinda thing in catholic, but it is prevaliant in other religions also....I think it is those fine lines again, some people do not stop to think when they get to these, some people get lost or caught up in these fine lines....and it can be a blessing, or it can go the other direction,I am so slow..I have really had to rack my brain on this one...I feel like you needed someone to say something...I wish I could say more,......maybe to lighten or to balance things....I also hate to see Christians take such a bad rep too.....maybe more later when I can think clearer.......

Ann Sunshine Stewart: Thanks Bien for the comment...I agree with it.

Naut2b: Having said that, I don't mean to say it didn't happen and I would want justice for the young man.

....What I'm trying to say is that I don't believe that many or even a lot of priests 'hide' their sin behind a collar, the church or their congregations...nor will any Catholic tell you they are anymore than human. In fact, I can tell you that they struggle with the same desires and sins that anyone would. There are alcoholics, drug addicts, and yes sexual deviants. In every human heart is a shadow that grows bigger the closer they come into the light. We all sin. Every mass the entire congregation says

"Priest: My brothers and sisters, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins. (Pause for congregation)

Priest and People: I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, our God.

Priest: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
People: Amen."

The Catholic Church in the United States has struggled with the realizations of the sex abuse scandals. In our own arch-diocese, when an accusation comes to light now, the priest is removed instantly. A nun in a religion class told me once that the lowest place in hell is reserved for the fallen priests and nuns - because God expected more of them and they had fallen. I don't know about that, but I know that I continue to pray for everyone, because none of us could live in a glass house.

Bien: one more thought...no matter who or what you are..you have to deal with it,before other's will...alot can not deal with being gay...so to speak...because it has never been dealt with in this capacity....and some still feel the need to hide,behined whatever and that make things worse....and think all the years of people running and hiding from this and themselves...now that is sad!!!!...I always heard ther truth will set you free.......some can not deal with the truth because they think they are the only ones...when they are not the only ones..there are others with the same feelings.......such a long topic Ann....whooooo!

Plaid: Ann....Hopefully I can shed a little light on things.....Hey I didn't think anyone was still up...
My brother was a minister ......My brother committed suicide....Ministers aren’t suppose to do that..... Right? God does not immune anyone from problems..... Even men and women of the cloth..... They're not immune from mental or physical or spiritual problems....Just as the rest of us aren’t either.... We would hope that they are stronger and have a tighter relationship with God than the rest of us....Or maybe we believe they do as our spiritual leaders..... God made them human and humans have problems..... My brother suffered from depression for years..... That wasn't something that he could easily talk about....In fact all his friends either were fellow ministers or people that lived great distances from the area that he lived in......People in ministry, because of the mature of the job, are very isolated.... You can't complain about the chairman of the deacons ...it'll get around town and the next thing you know your looking for a new church to work at.... It is very much a fishbowl existence...
I can understand how hard it must have been for the wife of the pastor in Tennessee... You are held up on a pedal stool and you are to be involved in sooo much of the church stuff....
Even when you don't feel like it's your thing.... It’s very much an isolating line of work....
At our present church our former head pastor resigned after it was found out that he was addicted to pornography.....The computer systems were updated in the church office and the tec doing the job found over 30.000 hits to pornography sites.... God's servants aren’t immune from anything in this world.... We as followers just hope that they wouldn't fall so hard from grace......

lindy: The Catholic church and it's priests have certainly had their problems recently...but to paint them all with one brush would be wrong. I don't believe that anyone would ever go into the priesthood as a means to prey on children. I think these priests were good men who had problems and made some horribly awful choices that hurt others. Separate from the lifelong effect this had on their victims, these priests have had to live with their own consciences. Can you imagine the shame they brought to their families also? These problems were not isolated in the catholic church. It has been a dark page, but hopefully resolving. Interestingly enough, lots of the accusations took place in the 60's and 70's...a decade where there was alot of "stuff" going on. (of course you are too young to know that first hand) As Bill Hemmer would say...a convergence of the worst set of circumstances.

I want to make one more point. Being gay and being a pedophile are two completely different things. I think everyone knows my favorite person in the whole world is gay :-) Wouldn't life be boring if everyone was the same? Nuff said. (big smile)

Wheels: Sunshine, I also have wondered if its a good idea for the Catholic Church to stop requiring celibacy of Priests but I can see good and bad points for both sides. A married Priest would have family priorities that would take some of his attenton and time but he would also be able to relate to his parish's family problems more.

Still I don't see how letting Priests marry would help with the problems with Priests who abuse children. Those Priests aren't molesting children because they don't have wives. They are molesting kids because they are pedophiles and Pedophiles are found in all walks of life, married and single. They aren't people who have no other sexual outlet, they are people who desire children. It's not a gay thing either. Some desire those of the same sex and some of the opposite sex. We've all heard of "creepy uncles" and such. Now we are hearing more about female pedophiles.

As far as the Catholic Church goes I doubt they have any more pedophiles than any other organization that size. Their problem as I see it, is that instead of calling the police and turning them in when they got complaints they covered it up. I assume they wanted to avoid the scandal and look where that got them.

Timothy: Reformation.com lists all the non-Catholic incidents of child abuse by clergy. The list is up to 838, more than the more publicized Catholic stories.

Baptist and evangelical/bible church ministers appear to be the worst among the non-Catholic Christian denominations.


Justin: "If 500,000 child molesters who have not been punished for their crime rallied in the streets demanding their rights, would our congress grant them a free pass and acquiesce to their request?"

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