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Working in "virtual" fields to produce a harvest of faith

While participating in the threads of the CBC website news story about the appointment of Bishop Brian Dunn as Bishop of Antigonish, a gentleman who identified himself by the nom des plume, "nonreligious" posted the following to me.

To Fr. Moyle
To expand my previous post, my repeated abuse as an altar boy occured in 1973 on northern Vancouver Island. I remember the person wanting me to keep quiet and telling me God would heal all wounds. I dared not tell my parents, mostly out of fear and confusion, and because I felt they would not believe me. I had been taught that God was always right. I was nine at the time.

For those who have not walked in our shoes, which is most of you, trust me when I say that you lose all grasp of reality and have it replaced by something that is foreign. It's like you initially know it's not right, but after time it starts to feel that way. And you learn to deal with it any way you can under the circumstances. It never mattered to me that it involved a person in a position of trust and faith. I could have cared less. What mattered was that it made me feel taken advantage of, sick to my stomach, and I couldn't do anything about it.

As I matured I realized that child abuse surpasses all boundaries of authority, religion. Most males are sexually aroused by visual stimulation at the outset, much less often emotionally. It's human instinct and greed. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Fine Fr. Moyle that you make comparisons to other segements of society. What exactly is your point? I submit your point is self-serving in attempt to justify that "it ain't that bad". I also submit that if you have time to post here, then you certainly have time to put thought into developing meaningful protocol within your faith to deal with pedophilia, and put into place methods of recovery for people like me. I could have used something like that post-1973. After all, your organization has a lot of money. Are you ready to step up?

I responded as follows:

Nonreligious: You have more than earned the right to write as you do. Please allow me to offer my prayer that you find peace in your life. I hope too that you have gone to the police to report your abuser. IF he is still alive, he needs to be made to take responsibility for the wounds he inflicted upon you.

I continue to do all that I can to rid the priesthood of such perverts. I have reported those whom I found out about to the police and to the Church authorities so that they would be punished and kept away from potential victims.

I defend the church. I do not defend those who have acted as predators. If I believed that even half of the allegations made in these threads were true, I would have left the church and the priesthood long ago.

Again sir, my promise of prayers and respect to you.

Fr. Tim Moyle

Shortly there after, "nonreligious" posted the this response.

To Mr. Moyle:

To a man and religion aside, I appreciate your response and kindness. If you are who you say you are, what you have said is more than I've ever heard from anybody in the RC. Just didn't expect to find it on a CBC blog. But I'll take you for your word. I've never been back to the Port Hardy area since we left in 1974. My parents nor family still do not know about my abuse to this day. I'm 46 now.

I've managed to carve out a nice life, full of wonderful people and yes I have found peace. It was a long road and I inadvertently hurt others along the way when I didn't understand what happened and why I was prone to violent outbursts. The abuse took many years to fully process and understand, and cost me one marriage. I reckon there were 40 to 50 episodes I guess. I still remember the man's face unfortunately. It happened on a military base, and sad to say within the confines of the church buildings.

I did not go to the police. This might sound strange, but at nine-ten years old, it never crossed my mind. Far too many years have passed to think about charges, and honestly I'm not interested. Thank you Mr. Moyle. You sound like a decent honest person.

Best regards

So, participating in these threads CAN open up people to the healing presence of Christ, and maybe, just maybe, we can bring souls back to God through clergy participation in these threads. I am left again to wonder why it is that I seem to be among a VERY SMALL number of clerics who make use of this opportunity to put forward the true arguments of faith.

Please pray that soon I will be only one of many who work in these virtual fields.


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