Here to support and encourage the spiritual healing for victims/survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, and their families.
HEALING WITHIN THE CHURCH, AN AUTHENTIC PARADOX
"Are victims of sexual abuse welcome in the Catholic Church?"
My aim is to support and strengthen the Catholic Church's goal of helping victims/survivors and their families find healing, especially regarding spiritual healing, and to do so within the arms of the Catholic Church.
There is a wonderful resource already available to victims on spiritual healing from the author and speaker, Dawn Eden. She has written two marvelous books about healing and reclaiming one's sexuality: The Thrill of the Chaste, and My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints. You can find both these books on her blog spot: http://dawneden.blogspot.de/
Joining her efforts, I write and support the healing of sexual abuse victims who have the added difficulty of faith-related PTSD, and faith-related wounds because of the nature of their abuse. My target audience are victims of clergy, ministerial, and God-image abusers, who twisted God's image, and the Catholic Church's image to sexually abuse their victims.
"can Christ heal victims within the Catholic Church?"
I firmly believe that Christ really can heal victims of "God-related" sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
So where should a person start on their journey of healing? Although each person will have their own unique and individual experience of healing, all healing comes from the same Christ. I've written a series of articles that cover the healing journey mapped out by the Carmelite saints of the Church, who followed Christ on a path of pain and darkness. (To start reading about the beginning of the journey to spiritual healing, click here).
"do the wounds from abuse make it difficult or painful for victims to receive the sacraments? Is there a path they can trust even through their pain?"
Practicing the Catholic faith will not be easy for victims of sexual abuse. In fact, it's very difficult, and most truly the "way of the cross." I personally suffer from faith-related PTSD because of my abuse, and I know many others who do as well. Memories of the abuse can make it extremely difficult to approach Christ in prayer and in the sacraments. This is a very normal experience for a victim, but it doesn't mean they have to be left in their pain. Victims can heal from their painful memories through the Memories of God and the Memories of the Church.
And what's more, because of the very nature of the sacraments, victims can find tremendous healing in the midst of their pain. The sacraments are healing by their very nature, and they build each individual up to live a life of healing and virtue. The bottom line is that the sacraments retain their validity, regardless of the holiness or the sinfulness of the minister, (read more about it here).
"How can victims find God's healing and love within the Church?"
The sacraments are the main source of healing within the Church. Along with that are the words and teachings of the Church on the importance and sacredness of human sexuality. (It is obvious that abusive priests and ministers were not living these teachings out, but were acting far outside of the Church's true holiness, which should be a wake up call for all of us).
Therefore, on the pages of this website, I've written down a way for faithfully approaching Christ and the sacraments through the wounds of faith-related sexual abuse. In "The Spiritual Journey," I address each aspect of the spiritual life and the healing process, based largely off of Carmelite spirituality (as this is my personal background).
Other great influences have been St. John Paul II, especially his "Theology of the Body," as well as Dietrich von Hildebrand's writings on marriage and sexuality. The Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and many Papal writings and encyclicals steered the movement of these articles as well. I've found that the deepest, most authentic healing is aided by the Church's difficult yet profound teachings on marriage, love and human sexuality. Lived out these teachings are a powerhouse of healing.
And lastly, my greatest inspiration for healing has been my husband, Justin. The depths of his love, humility, fidelity and patience have led me to the heart of Christ. He is the true miracle behind my life of authentic Christ-centered healing.
You can find the Spiritual Journey, for free on this website.
WHAT IS HEALED BY TRUTH ABOUT?
This website supports the spiritual healing for victims/survivors of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and their families. The main resource provided here is The Spiritual Journey, which is like a road map for those looking to find authentic spiritual healing from God-related sexual abuse, within the Catholic Church.
I also have informative and encouraging articles on my "Articles" page, as well as special prayers for those who are looking for relative prayers to aid in the healing process. I purposely do not include any of my abuse stories or details, as I feel it is not appropriate or needed.
I welcome and love feedback. If you'd like you can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HERE'S WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THE WEBSITE
"Carrie... I think you have done a fine job of showing how someone can deal with the pain of sexual abuse and be strengthened and healed by their faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church. You have used your three years as a cloistered Carmelite and your own happy marriage to write something that will be helpful to other people that have been abused. God's blessings on this project!"
~Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, Archdiocese of Santa Fe
"Her whole journey is ultimately towards forgiveness (but not in an easy sappy, and therefore somehow wrong way), and therefore goes to the wound at the heart of the Church, in particular to the sexual and emotional abuse of children by priests. I am a firm believer that the world will be saved by beauty, and that stories are a form of beauty, and since few people are willing or able to tell this particular story I rejoice to pass (her website) on...Carrie hopes to make her story into a book one day and I think some publisher would be very lucky to have it"
~Heather King, Author of Shirt of Flame: A Year With Saint Therese
I've dedicated this painting to the victims/survivors of the Church. May the fruits of their healing blossom into healing for the entire Church.