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Girl seeking help was without sin

Published: Wed, June 27, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Girl seeking help was without sin

I finally read something that disturbed/perturbed me deeply enough that I had to speak out. On the June 22nd front page, Bishop Murry is quoted as saying, “the priest is duty bound to keep things disclosed to him in confidence” and further states that “the Seal of Confession cannot be broken under any circumstance.”

Wrong, Bishop. When she approached and requested help from what she believed to be a godly man, she was not confessing any sin or any wrongdoing on her part. She was not asking the Lord for forgiveness, but asking someone she trusted to rescue her.

The bishop’s faulty logic may have made sense if the parent had been the one seeking penance from the church, but that was not the case. Instead, the church under the representation of the priest, allowed a crime to continue. There are so many people who are sexually assaulted by family members and it continues to get swept under the rug because no one wants to talk about it, or when the victim seeks help, their pleas are dismissed. So they live out their adult lives, sometimes in fear, having difficulty in relationships, feeling internally tormented when they encounter their abuser at family gatherings, and often need professional therapy.

It is unfair that she should have had to endure abuse when someone in a position of authority knew about it and refused to assist.

It is a real abuse when the Catholic Church continues to sweep rapes and molestations under the rug as if they are mere nuisances. It is a sin that the priest knew and assisted in the perpetuation by not reporting it.

No wonder the church has to take out ads on television to get people to go to Catholic services. The priest should be sentenced to jail and experience the same treatment he allowed her to endure for years. How’s that for justice?

Heather L. Olsen, Youngstown


1JudyJones(155 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

quoted: “She was 15 and went to him for help, and he did not report this to anyone, so for an additional two years she was abused,” Frenchko said. “She suffered the abuse silently because the only person she told did not do anything to help her.”

This victim is extremely brave for speaking up and getting this child predator in jail and away from kids. But it is so sad that when she was 15 years old and being sexually abused by her step dad, that the one person she went to for help...did NOT help her.....What would Jesus have done?

If anyone has knowledge about this, please contact the police.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org).

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2DwightK(1361 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

This letter writer has a much better understanding of how the church operates than Bishop Murray.

I find it telling that every time the Catholic Church has an opportunity to step up and help someone who is being harmed they find a way to do the worng thing. Whether it's Jews in Germany in the 1930's, sexual abuse victims of priests or this young woman, the Church always manages to step out of the line of fire.

What does that say about their convictions?

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