Despite Abuse, They Stayed in the Church

New Boston Post

March 29, 2018

By Kevin Thomas

Elena received her fair share of faulty Catholic teaching as a child, never believing she was good enough … “so any imperfection must be willful on my part and therefore a sin …”

“I learned not to trust my judgment on anything but to allow the priests and others in authority to usurp the role of my conscience and the role of God in my life.”

Then, Elena was molested by a priest when she was 12.

“I felt like Jesus must be on his side.”

Remarkably, both Elena and her faith survived.

“I realized, believing that Jesus was on the priest’s side was part of the lie,” she wrote. “I imagined how angry I would be if someone hurt one of my children.

“Somehow knowing God was on my side, that he was just as angry as I was, helped me to find forgiveness alongside the anger.”

That is part of one story, in a collection of essays in the recently released Christ’s Body, Christ’s Wounds: Staying Catholic When You’ve Been Hurt in the Church” (Cascade Books), edited by Eve Tushnet.

The 12 essays detail a variety of experiences, including abuse, manipulation, rejection, theft, personal judgmentalism, and racism.

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