February 24, 2019
It is true that paedophilia is a problem all over the world, said Mary Dispenza, who was raped by a priest when she was seven.
“But the Pope has wrongly concluded that paedophilia is present in the Church because it is present everywhere in the world. That is a big mistake, as priests obligate themselves to cleanliness and celibacy and want to live that way,” she explained.
She said that the Church’s problem is also a culture of secrecy, cover-ups and the “genealogy of abuse which is carried over from one generation of priests to the next.”
“Their culture needs to be reexamined, and it should not simply be said that we are part of a larger culture where sexual abuse of children is the prevalent problem so it is also like that among priests,” she stressed.
The Vatican meeting is a huge event, she acknowledged.
“This morning the Pope said that if one more child is abused by a priest, he will immediately react. That is fantastic, and I hope that the bishops and cardinals will begin reporting crimes and seeking responsibility,” she said.
However, what happened to Dispenza belongs to a painful past and has to be addressed as well, she argued.
“At age seven, I was raped by a priest, it was the first parish he served after leaving the seminary. He kept moving from one parish to the next for the next 40 years,” Dispenza said.
It happened in a dark school hall where the priest played a film from a projector.
“He asked me if I wanted to sit in his lap. I agreed as I was taught that he was God. I was focused on the projector, and he put his hand in my panties and his finger into my vagina,” she said.
“The light within me was then extinguished,” she declared.
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